February. This is the month of Love and most importantly it’s my birthday month! Like most birthdays, as the date gets closer I tend to reflect on who I am and who I am becoming. In the love department, I noticed at times there can be a dissonance between what I believe for myself and how I experience myself. To clarify, there are things I know I should do or believe for myself, but sometimes are harder to apply when I’m in the moment. For example, I know I am worthy of love but when I feel like love keeps passing me by or I go through a break up, in the midst of that emotion Satan swoops in and fills my head with discouragement and doubt. I begin to say to myself, “I know I’m worthy so why am I feeling this way, why can’t I shake these feelings away?” I would then reach out to friends or family who would immediately revert me back to those spiritual To-Do Lists.
You know the ones, when you are to ask yourself:
- Have you been focusing on yourself or the situation?
- Have you been reading your scriptures?
- Have you talked to someone in the church?
- Have you prayed/fasted?
But as I thought more and more on those questions, I thought to myself, those questions would suggest that I have NOT been doing what I’m supposed to be doing! To me, not only were those questions insulting and frustrating, (because I was reading, praying, journaling, etc.) but I realized it also suggests that I am not where God wants me to be! People, myself included, forget that even a straight path can still have bumps and pot holes in it.
For this reason, my path was filled with reoccurring emotions and themes of what Satan would lead me to believe in, such as: unworthiness, hopelessness, uncertainty, fear, the need to be perfect; burden of proof. Not knowing that these themes coincidentally answered the questions to my prayers of, “God, what emotional strongholds have been hindering certain areas of my love life?” Look at God! “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” Genesis 50:20. God was telling me I am EXACTLY where I should be. I could either view my imperfections as part of the problem or the solution. So, as I embark on becoming 31, I choose the latter in order to gain my own self-transcendence. So for each theme that would arise, I would pray to God to heal and release me of them! Like..ASAP! LOL
These ah-ha moments with God is what I love about myself and what I love about Him! He has always given me the ability to find hope in chaos. I thought being an over thinker was an imperfection, but I love the way I take the time to self-reflect, self-correct and let others know of my epiphanies even in the midst of my vulnerability. What I am learning is to tell myself that all corrections takes time in order to form a habit. That the assimilation of these processes, whether it’s spiritual, emotional or mental, all takes time to align. That is the beauty of life and that beauty is also a reflection of my determination and will.
Continuing to love at 31, is continuing to still choose to love ME first even if others walk away. I’m teaching myself to remember that those who walk away from my love/friendship is not indicative of my value depreciating, my character or even an inability to be loved. Instead it shows the exact opposite! I know this because God thought I was awesome enough and anointed enough to live another day, to love those around me another day, to speak life into someone another day. I no longer bestow the burden of proof of my worth because just me living is proof enough. I am enough!
So as I look in the mirror at my almost 31 self, I see a person who is on a quest of centering her emotions, her spirituality and her cognitive thinking, while asking herself new questions:
- What has been giving you peace now?
- What are you doing to love yourself daily?
- What/Who has been influencing your decisions? Your emotions?
- How are you protecting your heart daily?
- Lord, since I am where I need to be, what is Your lesson in this?
I know this inner work will not be in vain, for the relinquishing of my strongholds will create better boundaries, stronger relationships, and a emotionally healthier me! My life’s mantra will always be : Keep living Shay, it gets better ! Every day is Valentine’s Day!