I’ll be the first person to tell you, I’ve definitely made decisions in my past that don’t reflect my values.
I can’t tell you why I made them. And I won’t make excuses for the old me.
I’ve just been completely lost. Doing things I said I’d never do. I wanted attention. All of it. I made decisions about myself to satisfy people around me. It got to the point where I unknowingly began to be so consumed with people’s opinion of me. Whatever people thought about me, that was me.
It was like a big, black hole that had no end. I couldn’t look in the mirror without pointing out every single flaw. If you were to ask me what I loved about myself, I either would take a long time trying to figure it out, or I wouldn’t find anything at all.
People would say all kinds of things about me.. Whether it was about my appearance, or what they’ve heard, whatever. And even though I always said I never cared about the voices around me, it got exhausting after a while. I thought of myself however they saw me. My self-talk was their open opinion.
No one knew this, though. I can hide my emotions really easily. & what’s even crazier is I would give advice to people around me that I couldn’t even tell myself. I couldn’t ever practice what I preached.
Keep in mind, though, this is all past tense.. For a reason.
I’ve always had a habit of starting little projects with myself and never finishing them. This time around, though, I’ve been working on the biggest project of my life.. Me as a whole.
I’m changing. Completely. And this process has helped me find myself more than I ever have known who I was before.
I can actually look at myself everyday now, and see what I love. I may not be the best-looking woman, but I don’t strive to be. I may not have what “they” might like, but I’m not here for them. My worth is no longer dependent on “them.” I’m seeing how rare it is to find someone like me. I could go down a list of what makes me a rarity and what makes me able to be valued and cherished unapologetically. And if I see something I don’t like, I’m not wasting time being sad about it. I’m fixing it. I don’t have time to pity myself anymore.
Whoever gets the chance to experience this new me is a winner. And whoever didn’t appreciate me even in the midst of finding myself, I wish them well. I’ve learned that you can’t let the people who make the most noise around you to be the loudest. Be the loudest voice in your head. And let every word you say reflect the beautiful being God made you to be.
All of those temporary fixes won’t ever be enough. You have to be enough with yourself in order to not let anything else be the reasons you’re happy. Let me tell you, everything in your life is the way it is, because it is a direct reflection of what is going on inside of you. My life attracted toxicity, negativity, and constant fluctuation of being happy and then unhappy. This consistent cycle of up and down. This was EXACTLY what was going on inside of me. The toxicity came from the decisions I made for myself that didn’t reflect my character, or what I valued as a human being or a woman. The negativity came from my self-talk being so degrading and insecure. And my constant up and down mood came from me yearning for temporary satisfaction from people around me. Now, I won’t ever, ever attract this life again.
Sometimes you have to go through hell to realize Heaven is real. You have to be an ugly person in order to become a great one. The most beautiful part, though, is the process.
We, as human beings and especially women, are so much more beautiful when we’re happy. We glow. I didn’t even believe this to be true until I saw it for myself first-hand. Ever since this process has been taking place, and I’m learning to love me, I see how much happier, glowing, and beautiful I really am.
I realized that too many people are caught up in hiding vulnerability, and maybe that’s just how some people are. But I’ve found beauty in transparency with myself. As soon as I started to become more honest with me, who I am, and who I want to be, I’ve been the best me I’ve ever known. And this process will never end, since I am constantly looking how I can be an even greater woman than I was yesterday. But it feels good to finally say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. And this happiness has nothing to do with anyone else but myself.
“I’ve given up on trying to be anybody’s dream. All I can be is my genuine, flawed, good-intention, mistake-proned self. May not sound dreamy, but at least its real. ‘Me’ is all I know to be, and all I care to be, and that’s going to have to be enough.” -Rob Hill Sr.
-Keilani M Afalava