Is it okay if I am vulnerable with you?
Is it okay if I get real and talk about things that are uncomfortable?
You know the sort of things that we don’t talk about because we don’t want anyone to judge us?
Oh come on you know what I mean…. the type of things that make us look less than perfect so we decide to keep it to ourselves.
Yep, I want to take the time out to publicly talk about failure. I don’t mean a past one I mean one that is currently unfolding in my life right now as I type.
It is neat listening to people talk about how they achieved greatness. Sometimes people will share their testimony and tell us the obstacles they have overcome and they really get us excited.
But what about when someone has yet to realize their dream. That person who is on the road to greatness but they have somehow found themselves standing smack dab at the intersection of Road to Greatness and Your Past is Calling.
Not to many people want to admit that they are stumbling while they are stumbling. Sure they might talk about it once they have overcame it but who wants to publicly announce:
I am failing right now and I am not quite sure how the heck to turn this boat around?
Let’s get real who wants to list out all their failures of the jobs they didn’t get, the relationships that went south and the times they lost their temper?
No one wants to share the real ugly stuff- that dirty laundry that casts us in an unforgiving light that we don’t want anyone, not even our momma to see!
I for one don’t like telling people about my failures. It’s just some things I plan on taking to my grave. So when things are going wrong in my life I most certainly am not big on broadcasting it.
I mean why would I?
For one like everyone else I have an ego. And ego wants to be viewed only in the best light.
Uh and then some people can be brutal.
They say things like:
‘See I told you she wasn’t going to make it.’
‘Who does he think he is anyway.’
‘I knew he couldn’t do it.’
‘She ain’t special.’
‘Oh I thought you was going to make it?’
They are simply out there waiting for you to fall on your bum, who wants to give them any satisfaction?!
But here is the thing, this blog was never purposed for my detractors.
Sure they can view it but they are not why I write.
No, I write for the people who don’t realize that they are beautiful, the ones who have two pennies in their pocket and dream of owning their own company, those the world call losers, the ones who were abandoned as children and don’t know what it is to feel loved, the people who were mocked, those told they were unlovable by their lover, those who were ridiculed but have something in them that says greatness is their purpose.
So I can’t worry about my critics.
Because I do not write for them and I do not live this life for them.
I write for those who want to have a better life and so in writing for them, I write for myself.
I have to share my truth because if not I will be foregoing an opportunity to help someone who thinks they are alone in their struggle. It doesn’t seem right to me to stay silent and allow another human being to think they are the only one.
So here it goes……
I was going along in my journey and I thought hey I am doing okay. I am making strides to a better me.
So I gave myself a pat on the back and kept on with my journey.
But as time passed I noticed that there I was feeling lonely for some of the people, places, things and situations that I thought I had gotten over.
So I phoned true friends for encouragement, listened to self-help audio, I wrote in my journal, I spoke with God, heck I even burned some incense all in an attempt to stay on track.
But I still had a part of me that wanted to go back to what was familiar.
I think this is because overcoming our brokenness is a process. We can’t go from here to there overnight. There are lessons to be learned, mistakes to be made, people to be met and obstacles to overcome.
When you have a habit of something it takes time to step away from it. You can most definitely work to consciously do something different for a while. But what about when things don’t go the way you had hoped, when you get bad news and you grow discouraged?
I have found it’s super easy to decide I am going to eat right when I’m not hungry, but when that afternoon hunger kicks in, my coworkers bring donuts to work and I have forgotten my healthy sensible meal on the kitchen counter it’s a whole new ball game.
It’s easy to exercise when you are taking a leisurely walk with friends on a nice sunny day and you are only walking a short distance. But how about hiking in the rain when your exercise buddy doesn’t show up and it’s a bit cold outside?
I hear it’s easy not to smoke a cigarette when you just finished your last one 2 minutes ago; but what about when you are stressed about work, you got an unexpected bill, your spouse is mad at you and you haven’t had a smoke all day?
It’s easy to go about being nice to everyone when they are nice to you. But what about when the cashier is rude, the flight attendant has an attitude, your coworkers lie on you, your boss berates you in front of everyone and you find out that your romantic partner is having an affair? Do you feel like being a positive ray of sunshine that day?
And it’s oh so easy not to settle for toxic relationships when you are only surrounded by healthy relationship partners. But what about when you go months with no potential relationship partners on the horizon and then you find yourself lonely? What about when you haven’t been on a date in months or in some cases years and someone comes along who you are physically attracted to and yet you see the red flags waving that this person is just like the ex you cried over and it took you forever to let go of? Or worse what about when it is the ex you let go of?
Or maybe it’s not an ex, nope it’s that platonic relationship with the person who was always making you feel bad about yourself. You were out shopping, bumped into them and now BOOM they have come back into your life and you kind of sort of miss something about them when you totally thought you were soooooooooo done with tolerating anyone who treated you less than you deserved.
Isn’t it true that we are really good about being a better person when we aren’t challenged?
I don’t think it matters if you believe it is God testing you, the devil tempting you, that you need to clean up your vibration, you are having bad luck, your a victim or even if you have no idea why you are back battling old demons. What matters is you are having to make the decision of are you going to keep doing what you know to be right or are you going to go back down the path of what you know is wrong.
For me I found myself making a poor life choice of interacting with someone who has proven to me that they don’t really care about me. I had made great strides in this area. But when the time came for me to say thank but no thanks to that bridge to nowhere I got on the bridge and went nowhere anyway.
I immediately regretted my walk to no where. Or perhaps I should say stumble.
Who am I kidding it doesn’t matter whether I walked, ran, drove, skipped, canoed, or stumbled I was definitely in Nowheresville.
I immediately regretted it.
There I was thinking wait hold up just a minute yesterday I was blogging about self love and here I am clearly not loving myself! There I was giving my time and energy to someone who I know for a fact is not my friend!
I talked to my family and friends about it and they told me that they were proud of me for having an awareness that I had a lapse of judgment. They also gave me advice as to how to make a healthier choice in the future.
I really thought I had moved past interacting with people who didn’t love me. I was embarrassed that under the perfect storm of circumstances, I still was susceptible to engaging with people who I know don’t care about me.
Why am I sharing my failure for the entire world to read about?
Because what tends to happen is many people talk about how they stood up but they don’t want to talk about all the times they fall down.
Look if you try to achieve greatness, YOU ARE GOING TO FALL DOWN.
Not once, but MULTIPLE TIMES
You are going to relapse!
And relapse is why it is essential that you have a good network of people around you.
But understand that you can’t confide in just anyone. You don’t need to pick up the phone and call someone who you know is going to judge you and put you down as if they themselves have not fallen short in life.
And you don’t need to talk to someone who is going to say things like “it’s okay to not exercise, I never exercise” especially when you know that your dream is to have a healthier body.
Don’t text the person who is going to tell you it is okay to go back to your ex when you know that your ex was abusive.
Why ask the person you did drugs with how to forgive yourself for taking another hit when you know they are still using?
And please don’t ask advice on how to stop your gambling addiction from the very person you know you used to go to the casino with.
Get yourself a positive network of people who love you and who want you to be your best self. People who are going to hold you accountable but who are going to remind you to forgive yourself and press forward.
How do you get these people if you don’t currently have them?
You must believe that you are worthy of these type of quality relationships and you must treat yourself the way you want other people to treat you. Then people who will hold you in high esteem will be attracted to you and they will be drawn into your life.
I am thankful for those people who don’t chastise me when I make a mistake but who simultaneously hold me accountable.
And so there we have it, I made a mistake.
Yes me, the one who is always encouraging others to be there best self. I got up one day and I consciously chose to do something that I knew was not what I should be doing. And in doing so I found out a piece of old Renata was still very much alive and well.
S0 I had a decision to make.
I could either let old Renata increase and go back to the life I worked hard to escape from or I could do the work of figuring out what is broken in me that allowed me to do the things old Renata would do. I chose the latter.
I took the wise counsel of friends. I forgave myself. And I realized that I didn’t need to beat myself up because while I made a poor choice I have most certainly improved.
I am not okay with making poor life choices. And I purposed in my heart to do better.
I have written this before and I write it again because it continues to hold true:
If I tell you that I always eat healthy, I always exercise, I don’t interact with people who I know don’t value me and I always do what I believe to be what is right I would be a liar. And that isn’t why I started this blog.
I started this blog to help other people as I help myself. I wanted to encourage people to love themselves. And if I only told you about the times I succeeded I would not be giving an accurate picture of my journey. I am not here to only paint a picture of me succeeding.
For I have found it is in my failures, my hard times and those lonely times that I really hate going through that I develop the tools I need to succeed.
Do I want to fail? – No
But when I do and I own up to it I become stronger and wiser.
So here is the thing.
There is a difference between making a poor life choice with no sincere desire to do better and making a poor life choice and trying to find a way to make a better choice in the future.
My friends and family reminded me not to beat myself up and to keep pushing forward and so that is what I am going to tell you.
I made a mistake, I am human.
But guess what I am still going to keep pressing through and becoming a better me. I still have breath in my body and today is a new day. A new day for me to make a positive choice. A choice to love myself mind, body and soul.
So I implore you to love yourself enough to forgive yourself when you fall; seek the counsel of those who you know are going to point you in the right direction; acknowledge your mistakes and work to correct them; and be proud that you are aware that you can do better than the bad habits you are trying to escape!
© Renata Pittman, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.