Since I was a girl, I’ve struggled with depression and chronic illness. I was tender, easily-wounded, and obsessed with gaining (and hearing) approval from the ones I loved. I didn’t understand that their inability to express approval didn’t mean that I wasn’t good enough.
After experiencing domestic violence in my adult years, completely losing all trace of myself, and nearly losing my mind, I was emotinally and mentally destroyed. BUT I also received an opportunity to search for, find, and understand myself in a whole new way. At the age of 25, after losing everything except my faith in God, I had to fight to learn how to LIVE. Either I would live or I was gonna shrivel up and die.
I chose life and I found HOPE. I had to face ugly truths — truths about me, people I loved, and my reality. It was not easy but I did it. Hope was waiting for me on the other side. I found it by accident. I was looking for myself. I was looking for truth. I was looking for a reason to live. I was looking for something greater than the life pain had given me. I found Hope once I stared my greatest fear in the eye and refused to cower under the fear that I felt. I found Hope when I accepted my flaws yet dared to learn to love me. I found Hope when I stopped defining myself by what others thought about me. I found Hope when I stopped being limited by my limitations.
Life has not been perfect since I discovered Hope but Lawd it’s been good. Good because I always bounce back. Good because even when it doesn’t feel good I know that the reality is I’m okay. Good because I no longer need approval to function. Good because I see ME. Flaws and all, I love the woman I have become. I’m fierce yet full of love. So, onward I go tackling and overcoming obstacles and fears. I refuse to be defeated by the very things life has designed to make me strong(er).
What about you? Have you found Hope? Are you looking for her? You may not know where to start and then you may have already begun your journey. I just want to assure you that the journey is worth all the turbulence. Your process may be tedious but it’s yours. You are in charge of your life by taking responsibility for the decisions you make. You are also in charge of how you interpret the outcomes. You can either learn a lesson or place a mistake on repeat. I hope you know that hope is not running from you. Happiness can be found. Sometimes you have to put forth more effort than you want to but the results are worth it.
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