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An Unforgettable Incident. A Powerful Lesson.

On Monday July 17th, at about 8pm ET, I was robbed at gunpoint. To be more specific, I was carjacked.

It seemed like a typical day. I woke up, exercised, groomed myself, went to work, did my thing, and returned home. What was different this time, however, was that I lingered in my car - caught up in a riveting telephone conversation with a friend. Too consumed in the moment to be fully present, I did not notice the crouching danger sinisteringly creeping towards me. In what felt like a nanosecond, two figures clothed in all black appeared at my windows, guns drawn and pointed at my head - one on the left, the other on the right. I gasped! But there was no place to run, no place to hide. They shouted commands - Open the door! Roll the windows down! Give me your keys! Hand me your wallet! Show me your phone! Get out of the car!

The rapid succession of it all offered me no time to have final thoughts, no time to call for help. Rather, it felt like time was an eager accomplice in the unfolding crime. For it offered me no immediate respite. My life did not unfold before me in a flash as it does so often in the movies. What flashed before me were the fading gleams of the setting sun menacingly striking the metal pointed at my face. Was I going to make it out alive?

Suddenly, the raspy voice of the thief broke through the deafening silence of my thoughts. He screamed, "get out the car. Now!" I quickly complied. I passed close to him as I made a hurried exit. With one quick swoop of the hand, he hit me over the head with the gun. I whimpered as the sudden pain momentarily stunned me. He hopped into the driver's seat. My mouth fell open. My body went numb. My thoughts seemed to die a slow, agonizing death as I helplessly stood there watching him drive off.

In what felt like an eternity, I slowly began to emerge from the mental fog, taking in the magnitude of what had just happened. I was alive and physically okay. Thank goodness. But I felt violated. Some time later that night, however, after the police had gotten through taking statements and completing incident reports, a feeling of gratitude blossomed in my spirit, making me relax at last. In the recollection and narration of the details to the police about the list of material things that the carjackers stole, I grew quite conscious of how fortunate I was to be alive and unharmed. Unlike so many unfortunate ones before me, I escaped relatively unscathed. Had this gone differently, I could have been on the way to the morgue. Though they victimized me, I am not a victim!

I'm convinced, now more than ever, that life is too short to be concerned about acquiring things, impressing people, or living in the shadows of one's own greatness. All these things fade into the dust of irrelevance when considering what could have happened that evening. My intention, therefore, is to experience life to the fullest, love my family and the authentic friends I have with all I've got, and to bravely let my life shine no matter what. Sometimes we hold ourselves back for fear of not fitting in or because we feel inadequate for the task(s) before us. But if you were made to be a sun, why not take your place at the center of your solar system? My point is, you will naturally align with your purpose when you choose to live authentically. Things come and things go. They are replaceable. But there's just one you. And you matter. Your life matters. So take a chance on you. You are worth it.

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