Embrace the Anomaly

Sometimes I feel like a bit of an anomaly and this would stir up loads of anxiety for me. I do not have any one way of being. In my purest authenticity, I am many ways of being. Without the complexity of schizophrenia, I do feel as though I am a variety of personalities in one body; however, how could such a busy body (see what I did there?) find it’s place in world obsessed with categorizing?

Where could I possibly fit it?

I can be just as aggressive as I am passive. At any time, while in a group setting, I can be the wallflower/observer but also contribute to conversation and festivities (although I am likely to be more conservative around people that I don’t know all that well).

I am quite capable of being compassionate all the while very vindictive. I can care for individuals very deeply and yet, am happy to know when karma has taught its hard lessons to whom I believe may be deserving.

I am a lover and fighter; a giver and receiver; a disciplinarian and a comforter. And, although these labels describe me, none fully define me. No one, not even myself, could place me into a box I would truly fit in. But who needs a container.

Over time, I’ve realized that, regardless of my characteristics, I need only to define myself for myself. As long as I am content with who my Self is, there is no other necessity.

Forgiveness is an Act of Self Love

I think it’s safe to say that we that there is a “self-love” trend happening in which people are seeking wholeness for themselves by themselves. There is most certainly a positive connotation behind this as many of us are looking to making a change from the martyr mentality and hopeless devotion that we might have found ourselves programmed for in the past. I can relate. For decades, I slipped into false romances in which I was giving way more than what I was receiving and calling it love. Suppressing my true feelings and thoughts became the default as I quietly imploded into a depressed messed. Likely conditioned by my father’s unexplained absence and the dealings of my mother’s trauma, pouring my all into the efforts to be enough for others became a part of my identity. Needless to say, that didn’t last but there were noticeable moments in which that elevation started to turn southeast.

I, like so many of us now, began to awaken and see a better way to live. I, thankfully, had the help of pretty amazing friends, family, and my now husband; not to mention the endless motivational social media quotes and hashtags. However, as I became aware of things on a deeper level, I found myself judging people that did not. In criticizing their ignorance and immaturity, I was inadvertently displaying my own. My ego got in the way of me living the liberated life I really wanted. I separated myself and those who understand true love and compassion know separation is a major contradiction to that. We cannot fully love ourselves if we fail to love others for we are all the same and have been in the same shoes at some point in some way. When we forget this, we take steps backwards. The only way to continue to grow is to heal by way of forgiveness.

Truth be told, the hardest time I’ve had and still have are with my family. It’s difficult to forget where they fell short when I needed them the most and how much it hurt. In the short-term, it’s easier to be self-righteous in my resentment but the best thing I can do is realize where they are and love them there. Yes, even when they are not apologetic. Taking the steps to forgive are some of the hardest but probably the most loving thing you can do for yourself. Forgiveness bumps the ego out of the way. Long-term, forgiveness creates a space for us to learn the hard lessons in the sorrow of it all while developing compassion for others and therefore ourselves. This means that we can develop discernment and know when and how to act in a way that is best for us without carrying deadly hatred and fear in our being.

We cannot not properly conduct self love with hearts full hatred as it will inevitably backfire and manifest in everything we produce. Instead, we can acknowledge our pain and accept our perpetrators for where they are, even if we need to leave them there.

Namaste.

If You Can’t Love Yo’ Self …

Once upon a time, I was a victim of the sad and lonely. I didn’t have a line of prospective baes lined around the block for me and Valentine’s Day bummed me out big time. Even the romantic semi-relationships I had between grade school and college were no cause for envy. Somehow, V-Day does not hold the same power over me that it once did. How’d that happen?

One could argue that it’s because I’m currently happily engaged. However, the truth is that it has nothing to do with it. My guy does not go all out for Valentine’s Day and I’ve heard many a story of couples breaking up over a lack “WOW” put into its preparation. Of course, he and I are all for celebrating our love. We just don’t need a designated day to do it. We make our feelings known to each other daily – the good and the bad.

So where was the transition for me?

It came when I decided to love myself unconditionally. Sounds corny right? Well, in the words of Robert Downey, Jr. in Tropic Thunder, “Doesn’t make it not true.” I’ve learned not to allow my relationship status to dictate my happiness. I enjoy my alone time and appreciate my personal space. I also appreciate those who enhance my space by adding light and love to it. That is the type of love I care most about.

The love that matters to me is not commercialized or on sale. It does not come at its best one day a year. It’s around me constantly because I bring it to me from within.

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I will not lie and say that if my guy left me tomorrow I would not be sad. Surely, I’d miss him quite a bit. However, my desire for companionship would no longer wane my feelings about myself. I would simply chuck it up to him having given me all he could. In fact, I give him credit for helping me discover this intense love for myself.

Believe it or not, everyone around you encourages you to love yourself be it in the best or worst of ways. Maybe a foul attitude reminds you of what it means to be patient with yourself and others. Maybe a random act of kindness inspires you to get out of your comfort zone. Whatever it is, pay attention to the signs!

When I developed a higher level of loving-kindness for my Self, I started caring less about superficial expressions. I realized my lonely days were teaching me to be content with being alone which, in turn, taught me how to be better in the company of others. Joys in life became less about the effort someone put into making a holiday special or, in this case, even romantic partnership. It’s more about the love I receive from friends and family. When they fall short, it’s about the love I can keep showing my Self.

Namaste.

 

 

Happiness Journey: An Introduction

It seems, today, that everyone is trying to find their happiness in something. We strive towards the lives we think we want through our careers, relationships, and even health. Somewhere in the midst of all the grinding, we realize that with each promotion, new lover or pound lost, after the initial elation has faded, there is still something missing. Why is it such a struggle to find long-lasting satisfaction? The answer for me was to simply stop looking outside of myself.

I grew up in a happy home for the most part …or so I thought. As I got older, truths were revealed to me that had not been so during my childhood. Consequently, I became more aware of myself and realized that things were not as peachy as I had originally perceived. While I cherish the beautiful moments of my life, in retrospect I was, in fact, not really happy. In reality, I was riddled with anxiety and depression. I often felt unheard and did not have a handle on my emotions. I was physically unhealthy; overweight and lethargic. Regardless of being blessed enough to vacation regularly and receive lovely gifts on holidays unlike many other children, true happiness was not something I understood until much later.

I’ve had quite a few experiences that chipped away at my self-esteem. So much so, after a while, I further perpetuated the idea that I did not have much worth. Once I began to turn my life around, it was like I had developed a new set of eyes for how I saw myself in the past and present. It turned out that my lack of respect for myself opened the door for others to disrespect me. I would complain and take out my frustrations on others (usually by accident), and myself, in unhealthy ways which only made matters worse. Paradoxically, I was self-conscious but not very self-aware. Thankfully, that is no longer the case.

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It was not until the end of 2016, age 27, that I really started on the path to genuine fulfillment. I gained more life experience and knowledge about the world and myself. I was tired of the mundane lifestyle of doing what I thought others wanted of me. Instead, I decided to take a different route and live life my way. I turned to a more holistic and natural lifestyle. I distanced myself from toxic people and work consistently on making myself less toxic. I started on a career path that brings me joy and purpose without the need of approval. Most importantly, I learned to love and appreciate myself deeply.

I find it important to share this as it is the fuel behind my writing. I almost did not begin this blog because I do not consider myself an expert writer or life liver; however, I realized that wasn’t the point. My passion in life has always been to bring joy and healing to the world in some form or fashion, so I decided to join the ranks of sharers – experts and novices alike – who have unknowingly poured into my life so much and helped me along my journey. I’ve come across many people over time from varying backgrounds and one thing is constant – each of us has a story. That story is usually filled with pain and a quest to find happiness. So, as you find bits of my story throughout my blog, I hope that it helps you find the answers you need and inspires you to pass the torch. Namaste.