Over the past few weeks, I have been in a very introspective frame of mind. I tend to get that way when my life takes significant changes. It becomes more intense when the shift in reality is unexpected, and leaves me wondering about the future. I typically focus on my career, my daughter, or my aging parents. This time however, I have been thinking about my past relationships. My intention was not to relive former indiscretions, betrayals, or heartache. This time, I wanted to finally put the experiences that helped shape my thinking in perspective.
Ladies, we spend so much time beating ourselves up for the choices we make and have made. We absorb most (and sometimes all) the blame, when relationships fail. Our guard goes up, and we proclaim “This will never happen again if I can help it”. Thing is, we do nothing to “help it”. Sure we put our defenses up; become angry and even bitter. We harden our hearts and ultimately block the blessings of potentially good relationships because instead of learning from the past, we use it as an excuse to be untrusting. This weakens us and makes us vulnerable. Unless we use our past challenges as a teaching tool, we are destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over.
Personally, for me, it stemmed from a sense of insecurity. Somehow I had convinced myself, in order to be “right” for a man, I had to conform. Transform into what I thought he wanted instead of being the woman I am. This rendered me powerless. It depleted my spirit and blinded me; I could not see the person I was, because I was hiding behind the woman I thought they wanted. But I realized; after years of punishing self-mutilation, and unhappiness, and questions; the answer lied solely with me. I allowed this. I gave it, (them) power. Every time I adjusted to please, a piece of me died; I was systematically destroying the person God had created. It’s so easy to blame the man or the situation. The hard part is accepting the role we as women play in the destructive drama.
No man, no one, can do anything we do not allow them to do. We need to take our lives back. Tap into our strength, build our confidence, understand and work on our weaknesses, control our emotions, so when we meet the wrong man, we are armed with intelligence, logic, clarity and courage. We need to see the warning signs before we blow past them. Identify the threat before we fall victim. Most of us attract the same kind of man every single time because we have conditioned ourselves to believe, “this is all we deserve”. The “good guys” are not out there. If they are, they don’t want me”. We need to quell this line of thinking. It’s toxic and quite frankly, a fallacy. When you finally accept that you not only deserve better, but you demand better, weeding out the harmful influences will become the norm, not the exception. It’s like re-training your brain to dispel a crippling train of thinking, in favor of a more constructive, self-nurturing stream of consciousness. You own your feelings. You own your thoughts. You control both. No one has the right to any of it; to any of YOU without your permission. You wouldn’t let a stranger into your bank account, your home, near your children. No one gains access to the important areas of your life without you being absolutely sure, they are there for good reason. Why not vet the strangers that want access to your heart with the same vigilance?
I think so many have us have shared similar experiences. I decided it was time to let it go, learn from it, and take my life back. I deserve happiness, and a good life. It’s what I teach my daughter to expect. You attract what you put out.
No one’s life or relationship will ever be perfect. We can’t control our destiny; God already has chartered our fate. But we most certainly can make sure, that while we are here, and blessed with the breath of life, we appreciate every moment by taking care of ourselves; respecting ourselves; loving ourselves. Don’t let your past keep you from embracing your future. Know your worth, your value, your strength. We are children of God. Honor your father, by honoring yourself. Let’s learn and move on. Life is for the living! Live it with peace of mind, a clear conscience, a joyful heart. Reclaim your life!
I’m doing my best every day to do the same. And you know what, I really love the person I am, and can’t wait to see how much more I can become! To say this is a liberating feeling is an understatement. I’d love to see you all on the other side of confidence, and strength and self-respect. It’s so fulfilling here. All are welcome. You have to take the first step though.