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Lead by desire or be owned by need.

I often come back to Alexis Pauline Gumbs talking about Mama Harriet Tubman & her declaration that "her people are free". Before we talk about leading by desire, we must talk about what desire is. True desire is not the avoidance of pain. It's not the accumulation of stuff that helps you to avoid how shitty you feel on a regular basis about who you are. It is the longing for a vision that has already unfolded inside of you to be revealed externally. What this means is that desire points to an already true thing inside of you that is revealed via your devotion to that truth. Mama Tubman's desire pointed to a truth that Black people are free; a truth (yet to be fully realized in today's society but one that is nevertheless true) and one that she had a major part in revealing as much as it is via her devotion to it. You can tell that you are following desire because desire expands your sense of yourself & possibility with every courageous step.

Need is powered by anxiety. I like to differentiate between anxiety and fear. Fear can be powerfully motivating in life or death situations. It's the adrenaline that tells you to either "move the fuck out the way" or to still even your breath and heartbeat. Anxiety however, is the by-product of simulations that your brain runs about all the possible consequences of every single action that you could possibly take. It is paralyzing and people ruled by anxiety are often caught off guard by the constantly shifting terrain of guessing what will happen if___________________? To be ruled by anxiety is to be constantly reacting and at the mercy of that which is outside of you as opposed to responding from that which is in you*

I'm not saying throw caution to the wind and just do anything. But oftentimes what people call caution is listening to anything except your own guidance and desire. One way to know what your listening to is to ask "What does my desire, my vision, have to say about this situation?" And move from there.


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