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

Can A Woman Be TOO Independent?

Being a woman is hard.  We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders.  Often times, not by choice, we are placed in situations where we have to “figure it out”, and we do just that without breaking a sweat.  We handle it, get it done (well done!), and worry later.  Being a black woman is hard.  As Poppa Pope would say, “you have to work twice as hard to be thought of as half as good.”  Being strong-willed, confident, and independent are required for survival, let alone success.  You are always needing to consider "plan B", the next step, the way out.  

Heartbreaks from past relationships don’t help either.  Many women have “submitted” in their relationships, only to be dumped or deceived.  After believing and investing in their mate, they’re left high and dry.  And if you’re that woman that hasn’t experienced this, surely you've heard some horror stories from your woman tribe.  Trusting that someone else will correctly and consistently guard your heart goes against all that you’ve learned or experienced...especially the longer it takes to find someone that will. It can create an “I DON’T NEED A MAN” attitude.  

Recently, I read a meme in a conversation thread with a very opinionated black man (who shall remain nameless).  It talked about independent women…independent single women to be exact.  It described how being single and independent over a period of time is detrimental in the context of a relationship.  Women who are TOO independent (according to this meme) drive men away because essentially that don’t need them.  Now, while I am “all the women who independent, throw your hands up at me” and “girls run the world”, I could see how this frame of thinking could cause conflict in a relationship.  Men, and women alike, crave to be needed and appreciated.  And if there is no NEED the other person fulfills, why are they there?  In my own experiences in relationships, I’ve noticed how being single and independent for a long time has changed me.  I have this “I’ll do it” mentality.  Carry 500 bags up the stairs? I’ll do it.  Reaching the bowl that is 20 feet high, and I’m 5’1’’ with no ladder? I’ll do it.  Stranded because your car broke down (again) and you need to figure out how to get home? I'll do it.  Work through my insecurities and fears? I’ll do that too.  Without even thinking to ask for assistance or opinion, I just do it because I’ve had to just do it for a long time.  And, low key, I fear becoming dependent and being let down.  But the message that might send is I don’t need or want help, and deep down, I DO!  Why else would I even date?  

Might dating an independent woman require softening some rough edges?  Probably so.  Could I inadvertently step on your man toes from time to time?  Its very possible.  Might I need time and patience to learn how to relinquish a little bit of my self-sufficiency (because no woman should EVER give up all their power; personal opinion)?  Abso-FREAKING-lutely.  It requires someone strong and determined enough to step up to the plate.  And, I think the right someone will do just that!

Are women too independent?  Let me know what you think!  I would love to hear from you in the comments below!!

 

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