Her Spark of Hope

img_2548He was to her fresh energy born from a place she knew not of, experienced in a way she had no understanding.

He made her feel a spark of hope where she had become hopeless and so she genuinely adored him for that.
It was hope that maybe she would find shelter in that of someone else. An extension of peace beyond herself.
She sighed at the thought that when she was weary she might be able to lean on someone outside of herself.
To be able to rest in the arms of someone else and not have to solely rely on oneself.
He felt to her as comfortable as a recliner after a hard days work. Overtime she allowed herself to ease into him and she would like to think that he eased into her.
He gave her hope.
Hope that masculine could provide for her feminine and that her feminine could nurture masculine.
She liked that hope.
No, he was not her shelter, he was the one to spark the hope of its existence and his purpose was as sweet as the scent of honeysuckle.
He bore her no ill will.
He simply was.
Him not being the one to stay didn’t make him wrong but it did make her strong.
Strong in the faith that she didn’t have to face this world by herself.
He made her laugh til her belly ached.
And when he held her she simply felt safe.
She remembered the time he clutched her extra tight. It was the moment of thinking he needed her comfort as much as she needed his and it felt right.
She took her time in getting to know him and wasn’t in a hurry to give him her heart.
She waited for him to endear himself to her, before she allowed her love for him to start.
In the time of getting to know him she learned to enjoy their time together for what it was.
She simply wanted to enjoy the interaction so she could see where it would go.
That’s when he decided it wouldn’t work out, she didn’t take it as a blow.
Recognizing it for what it was she was able to move forward from it.
She would miss him but she carried him in her memories and took forth the gift of hope that he gave her.
The day he came to tell her she was not his match, she had a bruised ego and tears streaming down her face. And yet her heart stayed intact.
Her ego took a bruising as she thought on all the things not right with her that made him make his decision.
She thought of all the others who she cared for where the interaction ended in division.
But she quickly realized this situation was different.
Because as she replayed their interaction wondering what she said or did to make him lose his attraction.
She soon surmised it didn’t matter, for in retracing her steps she realized the entire time with him, she was authentic.
She was free with him and she was genuine.
And that in and of itself was the difference.
It was the first relationship where she allowed herself to be truly comfortable in being herself.
And while on one end she felt pain in the thought that she was rejected for being who she was as well as fear that she was unlovable.
She decided to embrace the hope that she was simply redirected to the one who would love her for who she was and that the man who would intertwine with her heart was not intangible.
The relationship did not end in heartbreak.
He was kind enough to pause the episode before allowing her to continue forward and since only gave what she truly desired to give there was no harm felt from her.
She practiced balanced giving. She allowed him to take the lead so that she could follow. So when he ended the dance with her she took her bow with a new-found hope that she would find her true dance partner on the morrow..
It worked because he was honest in his intentions and his heart was true.
It didn’t work because his desire was for something she could not bring through.
It worked because she waited for him to prove himself before giving him her heart.
It didn’t work because they simply weren’t meant to be he was not the one to play the part.
He simply wanted to know her and that was the purpose of his pursuit.
He wanted to know if she was his match.
And once he knew her he realized his heart could not be attached.
Neither one of them were wrong.
It simply meant they tried.
With the realization that she wasn’t the one he informed her before she ever fell in love that she should refrain. He was completely honest about his interest and provided her no pain.
He did not bruise her ego, the way she chose to understand his words did. And once she licked her wounds she realized if she was not his then he could not possibly be hers.
Upon acceptance of his foresight she expressed gratitude that he could see clearly where she saw dimly.
She wasn’t who he was searching for and so he could not possibly be who she was in search of.
She was grateful for his 20/20 vision recognizing that had they continued to move forth it would have caused a great collision.
Her acceptance of his release of her was key.
It gave her the ability to see that had she tried to convince him otherwise he would have resented her for it.
And so she let him go.
But she held on to the hope.
As well as the memories of how he tickled her and how he played in her hair. As well as how he looked at her and how he showed her care.
She realized the relationship’s lack of continuance wasn’t a bearing on who she was.
Like him it simply was.
A good book doesn’t become bad simply because you reach the final page.
And like all good books their interaction ended. It was a part of her story that had to be accepted for her to move on to her next stage.
He sprung forth in her hope and she was thoroughly captivated by it.
For prior to him she had let that hope die in her youth and yet with wrinkles setting forth on her face through him it was reborn.
She was relinquishing her fear of letting herself love outside of herself and her strong held belief that vulnerability was a catalyst for pain.
She had been told it takes great strength to truly be herself.
And that she understood.
But she also had a deeper knowing that it takes greater strength to trust herself with someone else.
She understood that he was not her missed opportunity.
He was her ability, to hope for love.
She recognized the success of their interaction wasn’t in the amount of time he stayed but in the hope he gave as her ability to behave authentically.
It wasn’t hope in him, it was hope in love and she needed that.
She needed to believe in love outside of herself.
She needed to have comfort in the idea of loving someone else.
There was no requirement for him to stay for her to achieve this hope.
Simply the understanding that he like many before him were simply the one on the way to the one.
He looked at her and he was pleased with her for a while, until he wasn’t.
Initially she had thoughts that perhaps that meant she was insufficient.
And that the separation between where she was and the loved she craved was far too distant.
But those thoughts were drowned out by the knowing that life was sending signals that he simply wasn’t the one.
And yet it was safe to believe in the one’s existence.
She was herself and he rejected her and yet he somehow embedded the hope that if she stayed true to who she was she would be accepted.
She could hold on to the memories but she had to let go of him to find love authentically.
Love,

Renata Nicole

© 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.

A Leap of Faith

imageI am one of those people who believe that our dreams often hold significant meaning.

And with that said one of my ongoing childhood dreams is that I am going up a flight of stairs when suddenly I go to take the next step only to find that the next step is missing.

I am able to see more steps ahead of me, however in order for me to reach the steps I would have to take an enormous leap that for all intents and purposes seems impossible.

In my dream I would turn around and look behind me only to notice that the steps behind me have enormous gap as well.

Realizing that I was too afraid to leap forward and too afraid to leap backwards I would be paralyzed with fear.

As a child whenever I would have this reoccurring dream I would often just dream that I stayed there on that step crying, afraid and traumatized until I woke up.

I always hated that dream.

It was something about being stuck, too afraid to go back and too afraid to go forward that just made me feel trapped. In my dream I would be so afraid of falling that I couldn’t move.

I think what made that dream particularly bothersome is because in both my waking and sleeping life I have a fear of heights.

While in my waking life I work to overcome my fear of heights in the dream world the fear is exaggerated. I often dream of strangers pushing me off cliffs and other mishaps involving heights.

But if you know me I am all about overcoming my fears.

So in reality while I will always have a reverential fear of heights, I have flown on planes, experienced my fair share of roller coaster rides (despite suffering from motion sickness), visited the Grand Canyon and driven across high bridges in the state of Texas which is known for having enormously high structures as well as looked into taking a hot air balloon ride so I can challenge myself to live fearlessly.

However, despite my willingness to overcome my fears in my waking life in the dream world heights are something I dread.

Nevertheless, I had the dream the other night and for the first time that I can ever recall I dared to leap.

Not only did I leap, I did the impossible…. I landed.

I took a leap of faith forward and I landed!

As someone who believes that dreams have deeper meaning I instantly knew that not only was I going to have an opportunity come my way but that I was going to have to overcome my fear and take it. And when I did I would be successful.

So of course I woke up from the dream knowing to that surely transition was coming.

I was afraid of the idea of change and assured that I would be okay all at the same time.

I didn’t really know what the transition was but I knew transition was coming.

The dream occurred about a week ago but it wasn’t until about two days ago that I identified a leap that I need to make.

It’s time for me to go back to actively pursuing a career that I truly find fulfilling.

I have previously blogged about how my change in my professional life affected me but I don’t really go into much detail.

I could easily argue that it is because my website is public and that I don’t want that part of my life made available to potential employers.

But that couldn’t be the reason because for over a year now I have been sharing intimate details of my life story with the world.

I have been making myself vulnerable before anyone who cares to research me.

So I may as well put it out there.

I may as well address my real fear now.

My real fear is that I am going to apply for yet another position only to be rejected yet again.

My real fear is that I am going to go on another job interview just to be told that I am overly qualified, or alternatively that I don’t have enough qualifications yet again.

I find it very interesting how I allowed hearing no to prevent me from even trying to look for something that would truly satisfy me.

I settled in a job position that I know that I am overly qualified for because I no longer felt like hearing sorry but your application has been rejected.

A while ago I noticed a similarity in my dating life and my professional life.

I noticed that every time I would go out on a date with someone new I would be told that I wasn’t the person they were seeking, in the same way that I would be turned down after a job interview or application.

I mistakenly thought no one wanted me.

Which I now can clearly see was an exaggeration.

For example I am able to find employment and at times I work three different jobs to make ends meet.

But I am having a hard time finding employment in my chosen field.

Previously, I started a business only to watch it fail.

I am glad I heard no and I am glad the business failed.

Because that rejection and failure made me a better person.

I now know that I can survive failure and that hearing no will not break me.

Also, it caused me to identify opportunities for growth that I didn’t know existed.

It humbled me in areas that I needed to be humbled.

It was most certainly a blow to my ego when I came to the realization that in a years time I had applied to over a thousand jobs only to find myself in an entry level position.

As the mother of three I took whatever work I could find as long as it wasn’t illegal, unethical or immoral.

That led to me eventually settling in a position where I absolutely love my coworkers however I am not using my education, skills and abilities to my fullest potential.

Everyone asks “what are you doing here?” and I simply shrug my shoulders.

I shrug my shoulders or give some lame excuse all because I am too afraid to say the truth.

I am here because I don’t think anyone else will have me.

I have decided that I no longer what to live my life afraid.

I want to live my life boldly and victoriously.

So I have decided to take the leap of faith much like I did in my dream.

Prior to blogging tonight I put in an application for a position that I know that I am fully qualified for that would be both challenging and rewarding. I plan to continue applying for more jobs that fit that specification.

I have a renewed sense of belief in myself.

I decided that sense I am not willing to settle in my love life I can no longer settle in my work life.

I have to be okay with having employers reject me the same way I have to be okay with having men tell me that I am not the woman they are seeking.

Also, I have to be okay with declining job offers that I know are not going to fulfill me the same way I have to be okay declining relationships that are not going to fulfill me.

I recognize that my love life and my work life are not the same thing but they do parallel in many ways to include the fact that my low self-esteem allowed me to settle for less than I deserve in both areas.

Fortunately, I have been working on my self-esteem and I am ready to take the next step.

I decided that I deserve better than the life I have been settling for.

I will admit that a part of me is afraid that I will leave my current job only to realize I don’t like my new coworkers or that I am not intelligent enough to do the work.

To that fear I recite the quote “everything you want is on the other side of fear” and find strength and a sense of inner peace.

I have to believe that the reason I didn’t get those jobs is because they are not the job for me and that God has something out there better for me.

I shouldn’t have given up aggressively pursuing a better career.

Somewhere along the line I went from actively pursuing employment on a daily basis to sporadically looking once a month.

At one point I would look at the jobs and just break down crying because I felt like no one would ever hire me.

I reached that place after driving 5 hours one way for job interviews and job fairs only to be told I had too much education and too much experience.

It was upsetting because as I have previously blogged, in my romantic life I was simultaneously hearing from men that I deserved better, I was too good for them or I came to the realization that the terms for a relationship that they were laying down wasn’t ones I was willing to pick up.

The thing is both the men and the potential employers were right.

I was too good for those jobs and I was better than the type of relationship that those gentleman were offering.

But in both instances I didn’t accurately interpret what they were saying to me.

I took it to mean something was wrong with me.

I didn’t realize it meant to keep looking.

The higher your education and experience the less jobs there are available in the job market for you.

Also the hiring process for higher paying positions tend to take longer as potential employers work hard to vet potential candidates to ensure that the money they invest in a candidate doesn’t go to waste.

And when you want a relationship partner that is going to treat you well you have to accept the fact that everyone doesn’t have the time, energy or capacity to do give you the type of relationship that you seek.

If you are willing to settle for just any type of treatment it is easier to find a relationship partner but the quality people require a good vetting process and while there are many qualified candidates the majority of people you come across will not be in a place to give you a healthy relationship.

When potential employers tell me I am overqualified it is because they feel as though they cannot afford to pay me what I am worth.

And when men tell me that I am too good for them it isn’t that they are bad men it is that they are not in a place to give me the emotional investment that I am seeking.

Previously I thought it meant no one of substance wanted me at their company.

I was internalizing things when I should have been thanking them for the redirection.

I was being so negative about my career search that despite having employers call me back after rejecting me just to assure me that I did nothing wrong in the interview process and encouraging me to keep doing what I was doing, I simply gave up.

I didn’t like being told no.

Because, I had falsely perceived no to mean I wasn’t good enough.

But I have come to a place where I firmly believe that there is an employer out there with a position that would benefit both them an myself fully.

Just like there is man out there who would benefit from interacting with me as much as I would benefit from interacting with him.

I love my current job but I am most certain that not only am I settling I have also grown quite complacent.

While I have learned so much from my current place of employment I know in my soul that it is time for me to take a leap of faith and start looking elsewhere.

God  blessed me with an amazing supervisor and a positive work environment but I know it is time to go.

Most certainly there is a part of me that thinks no one will ever hire me outside of my current employer which I assure you isn’t true.

It may take some time but I know that it is time for me to go.

Because just like I wouldn’t feel right settling in a romantic relationship I can no longer settle in my professional one.

It doesn’t really matter how long it takes for me to find a new position.

What matters is that I keep looking, I keep believing and that I get off my current step and take a leap of faith.

Sometimes we get stuck emotionally and we are afraid to go backwards or forwards and we just sit there. We can do like I did and make excuses for why we are there but the truth is it’s often fear. I have fears just like everyone else but the thing is that I have learned that I would rather try and fail then to fail to try.

I am taking a leap of faith and I hope you do too.

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith, 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 Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.