This was supposed to be a fashion-related post but then my brain was like, “Nah, girl”.
I’m not going to call this a “how-to” on healing because I have no idea what I’m doing right now. The healing process is always specific to the person and situation that requires it. The fact that I’ve made it through other storms just tells me that I can get through this one, but not necessarily how to get through it. But, I do feel like I’ve been on the right track lately. I wrote this in hopes that I can let at least one person know that they’re not alone and that everything will be okay even if it feels like it won’t be right now.
In the past, I would typically try to take a detour around my storms since dealing with it head on wasn’t my style. However, when I lost my dad, I realized that there was no way I was getting around it. I tried to fill the void in other ways but, a father is irreplaceable. So, I went through the motions. I experienced sadness, anger, confusion, fear, jealousy, and so much more. And even now, almost three years later, I still have those same feelings. Although now, they’re not as intense and I’ve learned how to manage them. And I only learned how to do that because I let myself feel them. God put me in a situation where I was forced to deal with the pain I was feeling and from that, I grew. A year and a half ago, I realized that I was a completely different person than who I was when my dad passed away and I was a completely different person from who I was before my dad passed away. It changed me for the better and I know my daddy would be so proud of me. That experience showed me that light can fill your life again, even after your darkest moments. So, now, I just remind myself that if I can make it through that, I can make it through anything.
Healing takes time and that’s a hard concept to accept because patience is one virtue I’ve always struggled with. It can’t be rushed and what we do with that time is important. Lately, I’ve been making a cognitive choice everyday to do things differently. I’m learning to slow down, pause, and ask God for discernment before making decisions based on my emotions. If something feels off, whether that’s a situation or a person, there’s probably a reason why. If if something no longer serves me, I release it. I’m getting into the habit of being mindful and reflective of who and what I allow into my life. I question everything. Does this have purpose? If so, is it a positive contribution to my mind, body, and soul? Until it’s a subconscious thought, I will remind myself everyday that everything that I’m feeling right now is all temporary. The feelings of sadness, lack of confidence, and rejection...it’s all temporary.
Over the past few months I’ve been intentional about evaluating how I spend my time and making sure to include things that bring me peace and happiness: I write in my journal; not everyday, just when I feel like I need to. Sometimes, things don’t really make sense to me until I put it down on paper. I read like I used to when I was a teenager (which was allll the time). I spend time with my family and friends. I’ve started new friendships and strengthened old ones. I make sure to spend time alone, too, because sometimes I need that space to recharge. I joined a book club. I’ve gone to events where I don’t know many people (or anyone at all), which was completely outside of my comfort zone, and now I see that it’s not so scary after all. I started grad school. I joined a pilates studio and started working out with a personal trainer. I even paid attention to who I follow on social media, I follow a lot of fashion and beauty, interior design, Christian-based and self-love pages because those are all things that inspire me. I am slowly changing because my surroundings are changing. And sometimes change requires removal, too. God has been removing some things from my life lately and I’m not sure if it’s permanent, but I know that there’s a good reason for it. Like they say, sometimes, elevation requires isolation.
I’m definitely not perfect and I’m still making decisions that turn out to be completely wrong. Sometimes I’ve made decisions out of fear that led to pain. And then there’s decisions that I made that led to pain but I wouldn’t change it for anything because even if it only brought happiness into my life for a short time, it was worth it. I just have to be patient with myself and remember all of the times that God surprised me with a blessing I didn’t think was possible and how He can do it again. You never know what tomorrow will bring.
A few months ago, I had a pessimistic point of view and now I am working on intentionally replacing those negative thoughts with positive ones. You are what you think, right? I am no expert and I’m taking my healing process day by day, moment by moment, emotion by emotion.
P.S.: Ask your friends and family (men and women) how they’re doing every now and then. And I’m not talking about a surface-level “how are you doing?”. Don’t let “I’m alright” be acceptable everytime. At the appropriate time, ask follow up questions; get specific. That breakup that they just went through, ask about that. That unexpected death in the family, ask about that. That longer than expected job search that they’ve been on, ask them about that too. Ask them what their goals are, maybe you can encourage them or help them brainstorm different avenues to get where they want to be. Get them alone or on the phone and create an environment where they can speak freely and openly. I’m so grateful that I have family and friends who have been giving me a little extra love and attention lately even though they have their own problems to worry about. And I hope that they feel the same about me.