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  • Writer's pictureJ.L. Whitehead

Claiming your breakthrough

Claiming your Breakthrough

I hear this terminology constantly, most times in sermons or lectures given by motivational speakers. Your breakthrough is the moment that you pierce that glass ceiling and break through to the next phase of your life. The breakthrough could come in the form of a career change or job promotion. It could be a positive change in the behavior of a spouse or child, or it could be the positive shifting of dynamics in a friendship.

I’ve experienced breakthroughs at different points in my life and much to my dismay, they have gone unacknowledged. I simply accept the breakthrough without acknowledging where it came from.

I’ve been blessed with the ability to write. I give thanks for this every day. It’s a blessing that I carry within my spirit as I try to seek gratitude in everything I do. And yet no matter how many blessings I receive, they never seem to be enough. I am always looking for the next thing that would signify my breakthrough to the next phase of my life.

Surviving the unthinkable is something that we would hardly thing of or categorize as a breakthrough. We would rather put the episode behind us and focus on what’s happening now as opposed to giving thought to the moment when someone decided that they were going to compromise our minds, body and spirit for a moment of dominance.

Up until a few years ago, I didn’t realize that I had had multiple breakthroughs. I had acknowledged that I had been a victim for something that took place thirty-eight years prior. Simultaneously, I made the decision that I would do something with the manuscript for my first fictional story. I went through the creative process, found a publisher, realized that this publisher wasn’t for me and decided to self-publish.

But I was still facing the part of being a victim. Somewhere in my mind, I was still the thirteen-year-old boy that lay in the bed of a grown man who sought to seek physical pleasure at my expense. It didn’t matter what was going on in my head at the time. It didn’t matter that I had put myself in the position to be molested. I was still a child that didn’t know any better.

I cannot stress enough that you are not responsible for an act that an adult perpetrated on you. You were not old enough to make the choice. Instead, it was chosen for you.

Claiming your breakthrough is a religious terminology that is indicative of you breaking through any obstacle that has kept you from receiving what you want to achieve or become. It is something that I have carried with me all my life regardless of whether I understood it or not.

I have long accepted what happened to me as incidents that while they are individual in and of themselves, collectively they are a part of my life that has helped shape me into the man that I am today. I can say that I am no longer a victim as I am no longer that thirteen-year-old boy. What I am is stronger than I’d ever thought of being. I am brave because I can talk about what happened with no shame or head-hanging. I can say that although what happened to me was despicable in and of itself; it has made me a better man.

When I wrote “Groomed” I kept thinking of who would want to read this work. I knew who I wanted my target audience to be. I also realized that the book could be targeted to so many other demographics than I originally intended. This book was my breakthrough. It solidified me as an author and brought me into the realm of speaking which is also a passion of mine.

Declaring your breakthrough can be whatever you want it to be. The key is that it must belong to you and it must be personal.

Another thing that most people don’t consider when claiming what is yours is releasing the emotional baggage that holds you back. Emotional baggage is like dead weight that keeps you from experiencing the joy that you have in your life at this very moment. It’s the equivalent of being so disappointed in being passed over for a job promotion that you feel you should have received and not seeing the joy in your child’s face when they bring home an “A.”

I’m not saying that releasing negative emotions is easy; but nothing that’s worth it ever is…and believe me, it’s worth it. There’s a saying that you can’t carry more when your hands are already full. In order for you to pick up and embrace your breakthrough, you have to put down your disappointments, heartbreaks, mistakes, missteps, anger and gaffes.

It’s okay to look backwards for a moment as long as you don’t stare for too long.

~ J.L. Whitehead

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