I Went From Feeling Stuck and Lost to Feeling Confident, Powerful, and Fulfilled. Here’s How
At some point, my strength became a burden to me. I felt that it took away my humanness because it seemed to be all that people saw when they looked at me.
Being a “strong black woman” began to feel more and more like a lonely death sentence than a compliment. It isolated me, forced me to cry in the dark, and left me without anyone to vent to or receive nurturing from during my darkest moments.
Plus, my strong black womanhood taught me to normalize working my fingers to the bone, even when I was ill or plain ol’ exhausted. Discussing my fears and symptoms somehow equated to making excuses for my laziness, so taking time for self-care wasn’t allowed.
I chose to let that bullshit go.
I rejected everything about the woman I was raised to grow into, choosing to live a soft life of nourishment and care, unlike my mother, grandmother, and many other beautiful, yet misguided women in my family tree.
I chose to release grudges, forgive, and fully open my heart to receiving love regardless of the scars it carried from a series of betrayals from friends, family, and men.
Trust issues were as much a part of my being as my bones and soul alike, but I chose to release them.
Overcoming my many traumas was the most difficult thing I’d ever done to the point that I still look at myself in awe when I reflect on how much I’ve softened and the beautiful ways it’s transformed my life.
I’d almost given up on living my life at 28 years old. I felt like I’d been cursed to remain eternally depressed. At my absolute lowest, I was told to pick up a pen.
I was told that it was time to return to the place where I felt the most safe as a child, a journal. I was hesitant because I hadn’t written that way since I was 15 when my zone of safety was violated by my mother reading my journals and using my deepest thoughts, hopes, and fears to mock and humiliate me.
Still, despite the hesitation, I felt a warmth rush over me. A hopeful feeling that guaranteed that I’d be kept safe this time.
My escape. My road to freedom from my cursed, broken-hearted life was paved by writing out the answer to a single question: “Why?”
- Why am I in so much pain right now?
- Why does pain seem to be addicted to me?
- Why do I feel so empty?
- Why is life so lonely?
And with every answer that came to me, I continued to ask “Why?” I questioned my patterns, beliefs, and my decisions too all the way down to the little things like: “Why do I buy this brand of dish soap?”
This curiosity and being brave enough to search the dark corners of my mind that I previously numbed and hid from for answers changed everything for me.
Once I started finding truths, as scary as they were, I couldn’t stop digging. I found strength in my curiosity. I’d become obsessed with exploring my darkness and finding the truth behind every lie that I’d been told.
Months went by where I barely answered my phone. Once I dipped my toe in the healing waters that “Why?” introduced me to, my entire being was sucked in like a spiritually healing, life-changing, unconditionally loving quicksand.
I’ve changed so much that I feel like I’ve had several deaths and rebirths in the soon-to-be 33 years of my life (at the time of this writing, I’m a month from my 33rd birthday.)
I’m grateful for the woman I’ve become as I sit here feeling unbothered, full of love, and basking in my softness and creativity. I feel fulfilled and I’ve got a sense of purpose and belonging in my life that I never would have had without those 3 little letters.
This is the reason I do the work that I do.
As if it wasn’t obvious, my goal with this post is to encourage you to explore that question and allow the answers to bring you back home to yourself. Discover your truths, heal your heartache, and bask in your talents by asking WHY?