Picture it, the year 2018
Just over year ago, if anyone had asked me if I loved myself, my answer would have been ‘Yes, of course’…’right?’…
That yes wasn’t a way to placate, to stop any further questions of ‘why not?’; it wasn’t born of pretense, it was how I felt. I mean, of course there were things I didn’t like. My mid-twenties was full of either feeling like I could stand to gain or lose a few pounds (more the latter than the former the older I got). I didn’t like the dark marks my acne left behind from when I was a teenager, maybe my nose could have been a tad bit not so broad and really, in the interest of full disclosure over here, I think somewhere in my deep sub-conscious I didn’t appreciate the blessing that it was to be a chocolate girl.
But everyone has things that they don’t like, insecurities… but the big picture? I loved myself…right? Wrong.
It took me a series of wrong turns and valleys to point me to the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. To me. A journey to self.
Is it possible that the best year of your life be the one that you weren’t the happiest? I’m proof that it is. For in those dark moments, the one where everything seems to be going wrong that God shows Himself in a major way.
I was happy (mostly). I was just a year away from completing a major career goal, with an awesome opportunity to work overseas. I had awesome groups of friends (see that plural…not group, groups), I had a family I adored and a fiancée I loved utterly in that ‘unconditional-sacrifice so he could have even if I had to go without-his goal and dreams meant even more to me than mine’ kinda way. I was born to love. Not only him, but everyone. That was my gift, an ability to see past the worst parts of people and to their best and the ability to put everyone else before me. I was raised to think that was what living truly was altruism. I got it from my mama and the Bible told me so which meant I clung to it
I had everything (on paper) but deep inside I knew something was wrong, something was missing. My faith in God was, has been and will continue to be my glue. I felt somewhere along the line we (me and God) got a little disconnected, all on me. Maybe that was it. But I knew crying at home alone at night while listening to every sad Emelie Sande song (cue River) wasn’t the definition of happiness.
Shortly after these feelings popped up, I left to go overseas to work. That isolation of work and going home to an empty apartment where the people I loved were an ocean away gave me my revelation; it wasn’t nerves, it wasn’t being so close to my dreams it scared me, I was unhappy plain and simple.
The root of my unhappiness wasn’t a surprise- my relationship with my fiancée was draining me. Easy fix. Find out what was wrong and just fix it. Until I realized some things couldn’t be fixed and some things weren’t worth fixing and I broke off my engagement just after a month of returning back home. I could easily segue way here into a soliloquy on my lessons in love but I’ll save that for another time.
For a year that was going so great, the end of 2016 left me broken, absolutely broken, shattered. The groups of friends I had dissolved into a handful I felt like I could trust but then with that, there was no one I felt understood how I felt. I had the made the biggest decision of my life with no damn real reason why and I felt utterly alone. But God. I knew He and I were back on the same track and that was all I had to hang onto. Later on I would hear about a song called ‘Gracefully Broken’ which helped me to piece together what I didn’t know then.
Love is blind. Yes ☐ No ☐ Maybe so ☐
Answer must be yes. That could be the only thing that makes us stay in relationships or situations that no longer enrich our souls, the reason why we accept less that we deserve, the reason why we even allow people who don’t even deserve to seat at our table to eat a five-star meals. There are some things that we can only understand or see through the experiences have shaped us and that’s what makes the world beautiful, we all have our own stories.
My story, my journey has taught me that love can be blind but not all love is.
That true self-love can never be blind. I mean in its purest sense, not the narcissistic pathological deal. I mean that love for your self that transcends you to another universe, the one that allows you to know you are unbreakable, the one that makes you smile from your soul, for yourself.
I saw this quote and loved it before I truly understood it. Until I experienced the love that resembled my broken fragments – the love I gave to myself.
The story of my journey to self is not a fairy tale. Truthfully, many roads were slippery, slicked with the wetness of tears, shed and unshed, diversions brought about from closed doors where friends used to reside, exploring avenues prior un-ventured both in myself and from people who turned on the lights in their heart to show me the way. To sum it up- Rough to all! But so worth the beautiful destination.
To be continued..