Make fear irrelevant.
The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” — Audre Lorde
When I first encountered this quote, I read it repeatedly. I kept reciting it in my mind like an NBA announcer would, complete with the microphone echo and the cheering crowd.
Eventually, my attention fixated on one word — powerful.
That was an adolescent version of me, headstrong yet curious. Despite my youth, I had already been on the ass-end of many an ass-kicking just for being different. All I knew of power was how it had been leveraged against me, my forebearers, and those I loved.
It was an obscure concept that didn’t quite resonate with me. Power felt like something other people possessed, and I needed to adapt and function without it.
Like many people, fear had become my constant anchor. An unwelcome houseguest that lingered around instead of heading home. When you’re young, sometimes you feel insecure and defenseless for no good reason. Fear became my measuring stick for threats at school, home, and in the margin where skin color sometimes placed me on the bleeding edge of stereotypes before I could even utter a word.
How was I supposed to untether myself from anxiety? How could I flip the narrative so panic didn’t dictate my actions?
Audre Lorde’s words drafted my blueprint.
“When I dare to be powerful,…”
If I accept the challenge to be unique, to follow my calling no matter what haters might whisper, to ignore the stares, then I swing a wrecking ball at any walls that I and others have constructed around me.
With those barriers knocked down, I can evolve towards my authentic self. And within that change, I will discover the resolve and energy to be original. My internal light will gleam, and the darkness of others will not dim it.
I need to speak up regardless of any threats. I must boldly accept the responsibility of my power, then have the nerve to use it to spread…