Mary J. Blige: You’re going to shed people, it’s sad but they have to go

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Hoda Kotb has a segment for The Today Show called Quoted By, which I have to watch more often now that I’ve seen it. She interviewed Mary J. Blige and Mary dropped so many pearls of wisdom that it’s hard to know what to talk about. I found myself nodding along and listening carefully, because I need this advice. It’s been so rough lately and I’ve been eating my feelings then feeling guilty about it. Mary talked about getting out of your own away, about making sure you have the right people around you, and about truly getting to know yourself. I particularly liked what she said about that.

Her “guiding light” quote
Chaka Khan told me that I needed to get it out of my own way. I think she was speaking vocally as well. She said once you learn how to do that you’re going to be able to do anything. It didn’t really click until I started seeing how I was doubting myself in everything. That’s me jumping in my own way instead of trusting everything that I am. I can only give you me. If I stop doubting me I can only give you the greatness of me.

“[There’s] a quote that says you’re the sum total of the five people you spend the most time with so choose wisely. Did you have to say goodbye to people in your life to kind of clear your path and how hard was that?”
Environment is everything so in order to grow you have to change your environment. In order to get something new you have to see something new. If my environment didn’t change when I
was living in Yonkers in the projects. I had girlfriends that took me out of the projects and I experienced Benzes and jewelry and furs and condos and houses. I saw something that made me want something else.

You’re gonna shed people and it’s gonna be a little sad but they have to go. When things start to stall someone has to get off the boat or get off the bus. You know when the bus stops somebody has to get off.

“Do you have any advice for people who feeling either alone or their problems are getting magnified just because of the current environment?”
Loneliness is hard. If you’re by yourself at this moment take this time to get to know you. Take this time to embrace you to talk to you. Talk to yourself, love yourself, greet yourself in the morning. Take a bath. Use the time instead of having a ‘woe is me’ moment and lift yourself up.

Sometimes we end up by ourselves because [we think] things have to be fixed in order for the right people to come around.

[From The Today Show]

Mary was excellent in The Umbrella Academy as a hitwoman. She nailed that ruthless character. Now I’m listening to Family Affair! Real Love is one of my all time favorites too. I listen to it every couple of weeks, it’s such an ear worm.

In regard to her advice, she’s right that it’s sad but true. Sometimes friends and relationships hold you back and are just going to impede your progress in life. I’ve felt that so hard in lockdown, especially as I see photos of people I considered good friends at the beginning of the year acting like nothing has changed. They’re not even wearing masks around each other indoors. Meanwhile I haven’t seen my mom in almost a year. Also I really like that final line in the quote above that we end up by ourselves because we’re waiting for something to be fixed first. That’s true of so many things in life, particularly relationships.

Here’s that interview!

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