It's May 1st. So I know y'all know what that means...
There are so many emotions flowing through me right now that I can't even begin to explain them. I mean, I feel like it's my birthday and in a way I guess it is. After 6 months of not drinking and not maintaining any romantic relationships with men what so ever, I present to the world the new & improved me.
I guess so. But who cares, because I deserve this dramatic re-entry into the world. Over the past 6 months I've learned more about me than I ever thought I would, or even could. I dug deep within and pulled out my own insecurities and laid them on the table for me to see. For the past couple years I wore a mask that made me appear to be a tough cookie, that was cold as ice and bothered by nothing. But that was a lie. I was in pain and had buried it so deep that I didn't even realize it was there. I had allowed my past to not just shape me, but to define me and enough was enough, it was time I sat still and let myself be molded by a higher power.
Initially when I made the decision to stop dating it was because I was tired of trying the same things and not getting different results(which looking back on it, makes no sense). I was in the thick of it and it was tough for me to see what really needed to change, to evolve. I quickly discovered that it wasn't just that I kept running into men who didn't know how to treat me right, some of which I've chronicled here, but it was that I honestly didn't value myself and my purpose enough to know that I had to take responsibility for many of the things I experienced; particularly in the name of chasing love. Hell, I was chasing something that I didn't really even know the meaning of.
I had to learn how to connect with myself and with God. That it was more than okay to lay my burdens down because God's got it. That it's okay to cry and even to let those who care about me see me cry; because tears aren't signs of weakness, they're physical manifestations of growing pains. And in life we're ever growing & evolving.
Whitney Houston was right when she sang The Greatest Love of All; learning to love yourself is the greatest love there is. When you love yourself you're able to set healthy expectations for all other areas in your life. No one can make you happy if you aren't happy with yourself. Sure, maybe the love of someone else can temporarily feel the gaping hole left by not loving yourself, but eventually that lack of self love will raise it's ugly head and you'll realize that you aren't truly satisfied. Men leave, women change their minds, but you can't leave yourself; so you may as well learn how to love yourself or be content covering bullet wounds with band aids for the rest of your life.
Don't get me wrong here; everybody doesn't need to take a 6 month sabbatical from the things they're indulging in in order to rediscover what's most important. For some it could be a weekend retreat, just some 'me time' here or there. Do what works best for you. What I am saying though is that you do need to make time for yourself, to clear your mind, face those past experiences head on that have negatively effected your actions so that you can stop using them as excuses and crutches; so you can move on and be better for it. Maybe your parent(s) abandoned you, that man hurt you, that woman broke your heart; don't make your pain your story, allow your triumph to be your testimony. We've all been wronged by someone, somewhere at some point in life, you never know when your experience and how you learned and grew from it may change someone else's life.
In this whole process, there are some women that I really have to thank, who held me down in more ways than I could have imagined. LeighAnn, I'm so glad we were able to get things back on track :0) I don't think either of us were aware of the blessing you bestowed upon me when you shared Psalms 27 with me; I've read that verse nearly every day since then. Gina where would I be without ALL of our chats about men and how to strengthen our faith as we seek companionship?All in God's time! And Dunni, my sister in the struggle! lol I didn't think I could make new, genuine friendships after the age of 21, but I was proved wrong. When nobody else understood, you did, and I can't express how thankful I am for that. Only one more month to go and then a summer filled with #respectfulrecklessness can commence!
See how I've learned to better communicate my emotions towards others?? Growth lol. There so much more in store for me, more than I can even fathom. I hope you all will continue to read along as I turn the page on this new chapter. Hell, I actually think this is a brand new book entirely :0)