Falling In Love With Me

Somewhere along the way, I forgot.  Pouring into loved ones.  Trusting the agendas of others over my own.  Accepting.  Settling for standards beneath my worth.  Little by little losing me, piece by piece.  Living in silent shame of the pain of hopes unfulfilled.  With fruitless dreams and a broken spirit, here I am…an empty vessel. Scarred. Dejected. Hopeless.  

Somewhere along the way, I forgot. 

I forgot to practice what I preach.  I am, where I am, for a divine purpose.  And even in my brokenness, I am enough.  My gifts and glitches don’t need to be shifted or hidden to fit the needs of someone else.  I am the perfect blend of greatness in the making.  Someone else’s lack of seeing my treasures is their problem, not mine.  Recognizing my bright light and letting it shine everyday is my responsibility, not anyone else’s.  I forgot I am enough. 

I forgot the power of forgiveness…forgiving myself.  Forgiving myself for putting others needs before my own.  Forgiving myself for silencing my voice, my needs.  Releasing myself from the pain of things that fell apart.  I forgot that nothing will change the way things panned out.  Not even wallowing in the pool of regrets and shame.  I forgot to forgive.

I forgot that my journey will have bumps and turns that will knock me down, but I choose how I react.  Failure sparks a change, and (in some cases) the change is necessary.  I can choose to use the lessons learned in failing to propel me to a place that reflects my worth and joy.  I forgot, in failure, I can choose to fight.

 

Autumn is a beautiful season of change.  All of nature screams transition.  From the crisp shift in the air’s temperature, to the beautiful color changes in leaves as they fall from the trees making them open, bare, and vulnerable.  It’s the perfect time to allow bad habits to die, and learn some valuable and humbling lessons.  It’s the perfect time to fall for the most important person…ME! 

 

So, what now? In this brief time, I have learned some things as I begin this journey of loving me. 

 

You matter.  So often, in times of trouble, we don’t seek help.  We say nothing.  We wallow in our own pain and shame.  I am finding that people are waiting and wanting to pour into you all the love and encouragement needed to get through the difficult times.  Let them.  I spend a good chunck of my time building my reserves.  Pouring my gifts into the people that matter to me.  During this season of emptiness, they are drenching me with love and good energy, and I am very grateful. 

 

Be selfish.  Its odd even typing this, but falling in love with me means I’ve got to get to know me, again.  Take time to spend time with you...as much time as you need.  Don’t look at it as saying ‘no’ to others, but saying ‘yes’ to yourself.  It may take some time for others to adjust, but they will and they will love you still.

 

Get busy living.  Plan some dates…some solo dates.  Get all dolled up in your fall’s finest, of course, and enjoy an evening out.  (You could also stay in.)  Set some short and long term goals.  Get your mind actively thinking about your next season because it is surely coming.  Write them down, and post them where you can see them often. Say “thank you” for breath in your body everyday (after all, things could be worse).  Find reasons to laugh, songs that fill you with hope, blessings in nature.  Believe in new life, or fake it til’ you make it.  

 

Even in pain, there is hope.  Even in sadness, you can choose joy.  I choose happiness.  I choose redemption.  I choose my own needs and desires. 

 

I choose me….one day at a time. 

 

Do you have stories of self-redemption?  I would love to hear them! Please share in the comments below.

 

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

Bag Lady

 

“Bag Lady, you gon’ hurt your back…dragging all them bags like that.” – Erykah Badu

Relationships (friendship, business-ships, etc.) can be tough.  Sometimes, very tough.  It’s very easy to point the finger, and so much harder to look in the mirror.  As I journey through life and love, more and more I see my own shortcomings.  Now, I may look like I have it all together, dressed to impress, smiles on fleek, but…I have baggage.  Tons of it.   Hurt from my past, opportunities loss, insecurities, doubt.  If I am very honest with myself (and now the world), these flaws have, at times, kept me stagnant professionally and personally.  After all, it is much easier to push people away than it is to face your own feelings.  This is who I am, dammit!  You can love it, or leave me alone!  So, excuse me while I keep my emotional fortress intact.

 

 

Now, that plan would work fine if I could continued this life on a one-woman island, but where’s the growth there?  Holding on to the past and self-destructing behavior(s) keeps you safe, but they will also potentially keep you single, sad, and stationary.  Know that EVERYONE has baggage…everyone!  Stepping out of your comfort zone to manage your baggage enables you to discover the person you want to be and become it!  A while ago, I began the work to clean out the physical baggage in my home (read about it here). Now, emotional baggage?!? It’s your turn!

 

 

1.    Find out what’s in your bags.  Take a moment (and a dose of the strongest truth serum) and write down all the things that trouble you.  Include every thought or action that stresses you or brings you down.  Be open to whatever comes to mind.

2.    Find the source.  Take each stressor you listed, and think back to where you got the baggage.  Were you cheated on in a previous relationship? Have you experienced abandonment from a parent or relative?  Recognize the source, and move on!

3.    Find the GOOD in the bad.  Keeping the source of the baggage in mind, think of a good thing that came from each of those bad experiences.  For example, I have been cheated on in a previous relationship.  That loss of trust eventually was the demise of the relationship, BUT, in that relationship, I learned to be self-sufficient and independent.  The relationship (while painful) literally grew me up!  Find the “but” in your baggage.  This will empower you to become the victor of your painful past, and not the victim.

4.    Create counters for negative thoughts.  Now, you know what is in your bags, and you know how they got there. Use the positives you found to create specific and concrete affirmations.  I also loooove quotes!  Anything that will speak life into your “baggy” moments.  Write them down.  Post them in places you will see them often.  “Be Mary Jane” and post that shit everywhere…at work, in the bathroom, in the car.  

 

 

5.    21 days.  That’s how long it takes to form a habit, and that’s consecutive days.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  Your baggage may never leave, but you can develop structures to prevent it from impeding your promising future…with time and patience.  So, be consistent and persevere.  Find an accountability partner to do self-check-ins with, or track your own progress through journaling.  

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The relationship you have with yourself is the MOST important relationship you will ever have.  Do the work, and lighten your load, bag lady.

How do you handle emotional baggage?  Let me know in the comments, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. 

Love WITHOUT Fear,

Veronica

So, When Is Your Wedding?

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This past weekend I had the honor of participating in my very first bestie’s wedding, my first cousin, Jessica (if you are reading this Jessica, I am still on a high from your weekend of “good food, folks, and fun”).  As everyone was gathered to celebrate and share in their glorious union, several family and friends asked me that infamous question:


“When will we be coming to your wedding?”

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Uumm, really? This is not MY day!  Focus on the bride for goodness sake!  But, it got me thinking.  There are very common statements that a non-married girl of a certain age (read my scary age post if you want to know my age) often encounters.  And typically it comes from married people.  And I get it!  People mean well…they truly do.  They want the best for you, but it doesn’t change the unstated fact that people feel privy to the single’s life.  They want to fix you…undo your plague of singleness.  How dare you be unmarried and ok with it?!?!

Here are a few questions/statements I’ve heard through the years:

 

“See.  That’s why you’re single.”  Oh, ok.  So, you have always been perfect and without flaws.  And the moment that I stop shopping (or whatever other random thing that explains why I am not married) someone will get on their knees and extend a proposal to me, right?  Got it!

“You must have so much time on your hands.” BREAKING NEWS AMERICA: Single people have lives!  While I do not have a husband (yet), I have plenty of things to occupy my time!  I could list the countless activities that fill my daily day, but that doesn’t matter.  The point is life can be just as full rather you have a husband and children in it or not. (Sidenote: not everyone with a husband and children has a full life. #noshade #notea)

“I have the perfect person for you.” Lawd! I really appreciate you looking out for me.  I do.  Really.  Buuuuutttt! Meeting men is not a problem for MOST singles.  Now, if you could step in and make my relationship last, you might be working with something.

“You are just too picky.” Sooooo, you want me to lower my standards?? Ok.  

 Why aren’t you married?” If I had the answer to that question, I probably would be married.  But the greater point is why is it assumed that I am not perfectly happy with my life exactly the way it is.  I am not married for the very same reason you ARE married…it works for you.

 

This journey called life is different for each person.  No one’s story will be exactly alike.  Some will marry, some won’t.  And some times it takes a little longer to get to the altar.  Either way, this girl is enjoying the ride! 

Has this ever happened to you? Can you relate?  What are your thoughts?  I would love to hear from you!

 

Love Without Fear,

Veronica