Everyone has a story to tell:
A definitive event or series of events that change the way you view such, the pursuits you seek, and the things you engage in. One of my favorite things to do is hear people’s stories because our dimensionality makes us much more interesting people to learn. Sit down and talk to anyone of your choosing: there’s always something to take away.
I’ve grown in faith. I’ve grown to be secure in who I am. I’ve grown to be a spirit that prioritizes love and happiness before all. But let me remind you, I’ve grown to become these things. I’ve based my foundational priorities off of experiences that couldn’t and didn’t provide what I need.
This is how I’ve come to fall in love with change. Because with every change I consciously make, I’m becoming more aligned with my highest form of spiritual identity. I’m becoming more content with all that I am and lack thereof. I’m comfortable being alone. I’m okay at failing in something. And most importantly, I can love and let go without either of the two taking away from all that I’ve worked to become.
Peace resulted from my darkest season, and I have faith in our restoration and resiliency. We are not defined by our experiences but in how we’ve channeled our energy and in our responses to the seemingly impossible.
My story is one of many.
Well the truth is, it took me a lot of hard work and mental re-training to gain control of my thoughts.
Eventually, this practice manifested.
But this is not the beginning of my story.
It took considerable loss to recognize gain. It took inconsistency to recognize my foundational need for stability. It took lengthy phone calls with trusted friends to maintain accountability. And it took an absence of love to reassure my commitment of prioritizing such.
The process of getting past what you allowed yourself to be defined by isn’t as easy and beautiful as Pinterest quotes make it seem. Henceforth, I wouldn’t want to deceive anyone in the work that it takes, which is the motive behind this post. Directing my energy into soulful passions of mine took time, more wholesome relationships and consciousness in every aspect of getting past what was so innately hard for me to do.
But I did.
And I want the same for you.
Thank you again for taking the time to read part of my story when I know there’s a million other things you could be doing. The solution begins with you and you are all that you need in the process of cultivating a new self. Some seasons are better than others, but you are also the reason you get past the difficult ones.
I was in a fast-paced, highly emotional relationship my freshman year of college. And I truly believed at that point in time, my happiness was originating from everything and everyone but me. I put so much pressure on him to be everything for me, to fulfill me in ways I didn’t have the strength to do so on my own. Not that I shouldn’t rely on a partner, but I didn’t want the purpose to be for compensation or lack thereof. And when the relationship ended, I was completely broken. I felt like the little identity I had fell from right beneath me, and I was terrified of being alone. And I understand now that the reason I felt so empty, so low was because I didn’t know myself at all. It manifested into a hopeless season: struggling to synthesize contradicting emotions at the same time I was trying to fulfill the expectations of a young adult.
I was killing my own happiness at such a young age by loving someone more than I loved myself.
I begged someone to love me the way I loved them, and that’s the saddest thing I’ve ever done. It took me months, it took me a year, and quite frankly it’ll take me years to come. I decided that I was going to find a happiness that worked for me, that I would opt out of dealing with the pain and blind-siding waves of emotion. So I began journaling. I began writing and expressing all my truths onto paper, in honest accounts and in my rawest form. As silly as it may sound, I ended every entry with a positive affirmation: phrases like “this will pass” and “your heart is in the right place.” I saturated my room with inspirational messages, and I found myself faking the feeling till I felt the healing. I wanted more than anything to feel at peace, so much so that the expectation proved to be frustrating. I was fighting the inevitable cycle of contradicting emotions instead of trying to synthesize them and accept my place in the process. I tried to convince myself it wasn’t that deep because of societal judgement that it “shouldn’t” be, but the denial is what made my process lengthy.
I had intentionally tried not to feel what was instinctively coming to me at the time. And something I want to stress is how okay it is to allow yourself the time and space to feel before attempting to make sense of it all. Taking personal time allows you to be proactive rather than reactive. And more reactive responses lends itself to hostile interactions and stressful circumstances on your behalf. Your timeline doesn’t need to mimic that of another. Understand the needs you will not sacrifice so that you can maintain your peace.
AND PLEASE don’t be ashamed of caring “too much, too fast.” I was ashamed of who I was and didn’t embrace or even utilize my capacity to love, because I submitted to a convoluted idea that “it’s a bad thing to care too much.” It’s become “cool” and “trendy” not to care, in a generation where it is perceived as a weakness. Paradoxical to pop culture: it is part of our human experience to feel and fall, to need and provide, to care and cherish, and to respect and love. It’s absolutely okay to feel. And more so, to understand the manner and waves they exteriorize into your world.
An empathetic, compassionate, + caring heart is the most beautiful thing anyone can possess.
I don’t have all the answers. And I never will.
Being comfortable with your place in the process doesn’t mean you have to know exactly where you’re headed nor does it mean you are definitive in your next steps. I don’t think we ever truly are.
There is a timeline of habitual actions after that relationship took place that changed everything for me/ that encouraged me to look beyond the things and people that hadn’t served me in quite some time. Constant dialogue with God, establishing pure friendships, mentoring and connecting with younger students, and my foundational need to not give at the expense of myself are just some of the responsibilities and promises I kept with the one person I’ll forever need to care for: myself. That is when I realized everything began and ended with myself…
Peace isn’t found in a person, place, or thing.
Peace is found when you take care of the wars deep inside you.
Peace comes when you affirm to listen to your negative thoughts + set them free.
Peace comes when you learn to discern the values most integral to your soulful fulfillment so that you may watch your hopes and prayers come into fruition.
None of what I’m saying is easy nor is it instantaneous. It’s much easier to succumb to temptation, to stay in something for the sake of the unknown, to dwell in nostalgia, and to reside in a state of hopelessness for longer than you need to. I’ve done all of the above.
But from human being to human being, I understand. I understand the doubts that plague your perhaps unacknowledged intuition to leave the very thing or person that continues to stifle your peace.
I believe that happiness is something that you create by yourself, for yourself and on your own terms. I believe that we alone fabricate much of the reality we live, on the basis of the thoughts we keep and the thoughts we let go.
I learned that personal growth had to be intentional, it wasn’t automatic and it certainly didn’t always feel comfortable to do. We have to take ownership of our growth processes because we do not improve merely by accident. I decided that despite who or what put me down, I would make myself a priority in this life. There are endless excuses not to be happy. But when we put off happiness by saying “I’ll be happy when…”, we’ll end up delaying happiness forever.
Most importantly, I learned that learning yourself is most important. I learned that self-discovery and self-love are integral. I learned to never be entirely content, but to find contentment in continuous evolution. And I’m continuing to learn how to love with ease and how to let go with peace of mind.
I’m becoming the person I want to be, rather than the person I was told to be or the person I didn’t believe I could be.
Be intentional + simply love.
Love in the way that frees, not in the act of escapism that is sold to us as some magic potion for making everything okay again. Don’t make the quest for love a distraction for fixing the problems we are scared to address alone. Love because it is in your character, not because you are looking for something to gain or looking for a selfish fix. Loving for the wrong reasons will always surface in due time. It’ll begin to feel exhausting because you aren’t doing it innately but rather you are doing it because you are always seeking a return, due to a love governed with expectation. Loving in this way will always prove to be draining.
I pushed through the doubt, the negative self talk that I could never regain what I lost; but more so, I dismissed the thoughts that couldn’t foster success and contentment.
Our bad habits cost us so much in a lifetime that can be so short lived. I set the context of the situations that shaped my desire for peace, not so that you can pity me but so you can see how that is only part of my story… so that you can see that your hardships make up only part of your story.
I cannot advise you on definitive responses but to validate your feelings in the hardships you have overcome or are continuing to overcome. In doing things that reinforce your self worth through the practice of self-love, discipline and conscious affirmative actions: you’ll find yourself not settling. You’ll find that you demand reciprocated investments and will be more likely to leave when your foundational needs are not being met, rightfully so.
Growing into the person that opts for what flows, I’ve learned to not be submissive to fear. Subjecting yourself to the thing you fear is probably the most important way of becoming acclimated to it. And when you become intimate with your fears, they suddenly lose the power they once had. They no longer control you.
Own your invaluable experiences: the good and the bad.
Own your story.
With that said, recognize the lessons and discern which experiences you’ll attribute value to. Never be ashamed of your past: God’s grace is bigger than any one of your sins. Forgive yourself, develop yourself, empower yourself, and love yourself.
I pray that any one of my lesson’s reinforced a care you deem foundational to you ❤
My very best,