To learn more about the foundation of the clarity commandment, and how to best apply it to your own life, please either watch the video and/or read the commentary provided below.
I’m sure when Dani*, one of my childhood best friends, said this statement she had no idea what a profound effect it would have on me still to this day. I’m sure to her it was just a simple side comment; like saying what you’re having for lunch, or what you’re thinking of being for Halloween. And I think that’s why I’ve never been able to get it out of my head. It was either the simplicity or the comfort in which she stated it, or honestly both, that truly shook me to my core at my young age of 15. You could tell with the weight in her voice that she had accepted this statement as fact; that she had no other options, but more importantly, that she was comfortable with it, if not adamant or excited to fulfill the task at hand.
I’m sure many of you are wondering what the hell she could have said that has me going off on this diatribe of a paragraph. So here it is.
“Daysha, I have to be married by the time I’m 27.”
“Why 27?” I ask through half a chuckle, as I am very amused by her precision in age.
“Because I’ll be so old if I wait any longer. 27 is the right age because that’s the best time to have kids.”
“But like how do you know that?” I ask, still amused.
“Look Daysha, I have to be married at 27. That’s it. I’ve already decided it, and I don’t care if I have to marry a homeless man to do it. But I will be married at 27.”
Even though I couldn’t help but laugh and say ok in the moment, I feel like it was the first time I really started to question what was so important about marriage and time and women (specifically the relationship all three words had to one another). The funny thing about this story is that I, too, used to be one of those people who had a marriage plan. I mean what young girl, at least during my childhood, didn’t? I think my favorite part of the wedding plan was picking out the song we would dance too. I’m a HUGE music junkie, and anyone who knows me well or has lived in close quarters with me knows that my headphones would probably be congealed to my head at this point if it weren’t for the fact that I have to interact with people from time to time. I believe I often went between “One in a Million” by the late and great Aaliyah or “Don’t Change” by Musiq Soulchild.
In any case, I, too, used to be obsessed with the idea of getting married, and having a partner, and starting a family, and making sure that I had an adequate amount of time to do it all in. But I can also vividly remember making sure that this was my number one priority. It was what put me to bed at night, what I hoped to be dreaming about when I slept, and what I hoped to have on my mind when I first woke up. But I think in my mind, I always thought of it as being a "choice"; that I was choosing to make this my fate rather than it just being a fact. But the day we had that conversation, I guess you could say that was my mirror moment; the moment in which I had to face myself, and the hard truth about just how much control I thought I had over deciding when and why I wanted to get married.
And as much as I wanted to act brand new, and say “oh well I’m so clearly different from her” or “I certainly don’t mean it the way she does,” I knew in that particular moment that I couldn’t say that because I actually didn’t know how to differentiate myself from her. I saw too much of myself in her, and yet I didn’t like what I saw in her, which meant I also didn’t like what I saw in me.
This moment in my life is one of my earliest memories of me stopping to ask why. This “why,” however, was so much different than most of the “whys” I had asked in my lifetime because it was the first time in which I started to realize our society's bad habit of promoting regurgitated information without hesitation.
Why did she feel like she needed to get married so badly at 27 that she’d even be willing to marry a homeless man to accomplish it? I mean at that point, doesn’t that go against what marriage is supposed to be about? Which is love… right? And then if we're gonna go there, then let's also ask how much of modern marriages are actually rooted in love vs the business principles that marriage was founded off of? Do a lot of us even know that marriage was basically a business deal (and often times a bad one at that)? Why was marriage something that we as young girls were conditioned to think about 24/7, while I’m pretty sure none of my guy friends even knew how a wedding worked?
I do not raise these questions to insinuate in that bra-burning, stereotypically feminist manner that women should refrain from getting married. But when I think about what the essence of the clarity principle is supposed to represent, it is summed up by this simple word; why? Why do we believe what we believe? Does what you believe actually align with the life that you want, or are you following regurgitated information without hesitation? And more importantly, can you be real enough with yourself to surrender to the moments in which you do realize that you are following unchecked regurgitated information?
Yes, my friend had an answer as to why 27 was the ideal age to be married, but even her belief that it would be the best age to have kids was still not rooted in anything that she could say to me in that moment. There are plenty of stories of single moms/non-married partners that have raised children successfully, and there are also plenty or articles that debunk the biological clock myth. Again, this isn’t to say that she shouldn’t get married at 27 (and I’ll have 2 more years to find out how true she is to her word), but it is to say that getting married and having children are huge life commitments that many women are eager to throw themselves into blindly (and sometimes with homeless men), and if we don’t take the time to understand where our true motivations are coming from, we might be pursuing goals that don’t actually align with our true desires.
In order to truly take advantage of everything the clarity commandment has to offer, one has to be willing to seek knowledge in an open, painfully honest, and comprehensive way. When it comes to seeking clarity, you have to open yourself up to the positives and the potential negatives of every journey you embark on, so as to honestly test how well your true desires align with your actions.
To me, finding clarity is the most essential Queen Commandment, and your honest commitment to embodying this principle is what will ultimately dictate your progress on your goals. When you breakdown the word "progress", it's latin roots reveal that it is a word that represents movement; to always be moving forward. However, daily stressors, bad habits, misunderstood goals, and harsh self-talk are often some of the leading stagnates when it comes to making progress on important decisions in our lives.
I have found through personal experience, and many vulnerable conversations with women that we unconsciously view the potential of our lives though misguided socialize beliefs, and often times don't question the merit of these beliefs; we don't ask ourselves,"why do I believe this?" "Why do I hold this to be my truth?" We say...
"Well I'm 27 now, so it's time for me to get married."
"Well, I have a kid now, so it's time for me to come out of the workforce."
"Well, I'm so career-driven, so I'll never have love or a family."
"Well I've always been fat, so I'll never be attractive."
"Well, I don't know how to be feminine, so I'll never be lovable."
And the list goes on. We get stuck in dangerous self-talk routines, and end up with unfulfilling "rewards" that can sometimes lead to other harmful consequences down the line (divorce, disordered eating, unhealthy relationships, depression, etc). My simple solution to this problem is "why." Why are women unconsciously playing by the rules of a system that was never set up for them to succeed? Finding your "why," digging deep into your belief systems, and having honest reflective inner dialogues with yourself are at the heart of the clarity commandment.