I haven’t written in a while.
My lack of writing is not due to writers block, but due to feeling like I had some things I needed to sort out before I hit publish.
There have been many times when I have written what I was going through as I was going through it, but something caused me to refrain and I decided to go along with whatever that something was.
I believe that for the last six months I have been coming into myself in a way that caused me to become almost completely unfamiliar to the woman who I used to be.
I see the world different.
I see myself different.
I am different.
Or perhaps I’m not.
Perhaps I am just going through that phase that some people speak of where you un-become everything that isn’t really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.
It’s a purging process of old thought systems and beliefs as I adorn myself with new thought. It has been beautiful pain releasing my former self.
Beautiful as I decorate myself in the garments of my newness, pain as I relinquish who I thought I was.
And yet while I have always known that Erykah Badu was speaking on a level deeper than the ocean when she said “the man who knows something knows that he knows nothing at all.”, I can now say I have lived that truth.
Everything I thought I knew I don’t know. I know nothing. I am just a babe in knowledge typing out my new-found wisdom that years from now I will see as foolishness.
I have so much growing to do, but boy have a grown.
The woman I am today, I never foresaw myself being ten years ago. For that matter I didn’t see myself being the woman I am now a year ago.
And while my present self is alien to the woman I used to be, I love me.
Don’t get me wrong I have so much work to do, but as I take baby steps in the new me that I have become I must confess I absolutely love walking in my new shoes.
To be candid, there were moments where I sat in dismay that despite the fact that I have been consciously choosing to focus on loving me more since 2014 and it seems like despite all of the great strides I have made I have so far to go.
Even though logically it makes sense that I haven’t come full circle, I was still disappointed to tears that I still have so much work to do. I’d hope to be more together than what I am.
But my disappointment turned to joy when I recognized I’m far removed from who I was.
I had to accept that you can’t go 33 years of your life not valuing yourself and be mad that you still have work to do four years later.
Self-love is indeed a life long journey.
And also old habits die-hard.
So, as I peel off the onion layers sometimes I don’t like the funk that I uncover.
I cringe when I initially see an area of weakness.
Sometimes I don’t want to deal with it.
But I have learned to rejoice as I uncover a flaw, because how can you fix something if you don’t know it’s there?
This pass year has been a true training ground. My foundational structure changed and I’ve been putting up new walls and beams.
I don’t view the world the same, for even my windows have changed. I have a whole new point of view.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy learning a new way to move when you’re muscle memory has had you conditioned to move a certain way for three decades. However, it is possible and I am choosing to do it.
One of my major changes is choosing to stay in the present instead of dwelling on the past and dreading the future. This action was and is foreign to me. And yet while enjoying and savoring the current moment hasn’t come easy I see the beauty in it.
I find peace in going on a date and saying I like this person so far so let’s just see where it goes as opposed to the thought process of I hope he doesn’t break my heart and reject me.
And I have to be honest I like being carefree.
I like that I am choosing the people in my life and not hoping they choose me.
While I still smile at the hope that new endeavors bring, I refuse to jettison my mind into the future wrapping it in anxiety and despair.
This past year was definitely a learning process for me.
For the first time in my career life I swam in foreign waters and struggled to stay afloat.
I recall posting about being too proficient, well 2017 taught me what it was to be insufficient.
But I take it all in stride because with the passing of time I keep learning what is meant when they say, “you can’t know what you like until you know what you don’t like”.
I have grown tremendously and I am thankful for that.
I have learned that worry is pointless. Not due to euphemisms or wisdom of the elders. No, I tested it by choosing to not give my energy to things that would have greatly concerned the old me and proving to myself that without giving in to worry things still worked out.
I now practice not giving my energy to things at such a high levels that others find concerning.
I considered their counsel but I find peace in not stressing.
Why stay up all night with anxiety, when I can slumber in peace?
Does it mean I don’t try to make things in my life improve?
Not at all.
But what it does mean is that I truly see the folly in worry.
And yet practicing the present, isn’t my only major life change.
I am coming to terms with the fact that it pierced me to my soul that my dad walked out of my life when I was fifteen.
It left me afraid to show my true self to someone. I figured if I allowed someone to get to know me they wouldn’t like me.
I mean if my own father got to know me and in turn decided he didn’t want to know me any more, how much more so would a stranger?
My story wasn’t one of those situations where my dad left when I was a baby, no my dad left when I was fifteen.
And my childhood mind processed that to mean there was something inherently wrong with me.
It wasn’t until my dad reentered my life in 2014 that I came to learn that what my 15-year-old self had convinced me of was untrue.
I’ve shared this story before and I thought I had dealt with this issue but it resurfaced and I am still working to pluck out that lie by the root so it will not continue to fester.
You see, I am still learning that it’s okay to allow myself to be vulnerable with someone who has earned that right. Additionally, I am truly letting go of the fear that if I unmask myself no one will like me.
I am presently walking in the knowledge that it is okay to say no to things that don’t please my soul.
There was a time when I thought that I had to be uncomfortably comfortable with letting people do things that I didn’t like in order to have someone like me.
I now say no without apology and often without explanation.
I’m going through a phase where I don’t compromise because my emotional, mental and spiritual health comes first.
I spent far too long putting everyone before me in the hopes that maybe one day someone would reward me.
When you behave as if you are last it gives everyone else the green light to treat you as last.
You get to decide your place in life.
With that awareness, I now put me first.
No more, going without so that others can have.
I now give others from out of my excess and with that action my abundance flows.
I still have so far to go.
But I’m doing better.
I am caring less about what others think of me.
Because I truly have come to find truth in the teaching that if you accept the good things people say about you then you have to equally accept the bad things they say about you.
For if I accept your praises, I will have to accept your admonishment.
That’s too much power to give over to another human being.
I’m the only human being that gets to validate me.
I get to define me, not anyone else.
And so, I look forwarding to continuing my growth process, the lessons learned and the love that unfolds.
I look forward to loving me and its my sincere hope that you look forward to loving you.
© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2018. 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 Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.