What a difference 4 years can make. In the midst of the storm … I somehow gained another strength within myself that I never knew I had. 4 years in Houston. WOW. Time flies. Let me just say that the “Grown Woman Au’Vonnie” would not be who she is now without having moved to Houston. Within that time I have fallen but gotten back up many times. Lets see… what have I been through in that time ? Well … went from a great relationship to a not so great one. (But learned to love myself A LOT more during that last little one) 2 car accidents, one which was serious. Took public transportation for a year and a half in the sun, rain, storms. Moved 3 times. Lived with rodents just so I could have somewhere to lay my head. Got my house broken into. Lived off of peanut butter and cup of noodles for months at a time. Made 5 bucks stretch in the bank accounts when deemed necessary. Had some negative bank accounts just so bills could be paid. Denied to my dream school … and then some. However, since then, the come up has gotten much better. I have gone back to school. Written a book. Begun the process of my non-profit and scholarship fund. Traveled to different states and countries. Met new friends. Lost a job but gained a “career” and honestly became a better me. A stronger me. People always tell me that it seems that I have it easy now, but don’t know what is has taken to get here. Lots and lots of tears and setbacks. I still have a long way to go to be exactly where I want to be but I am forever greatful. Greatful that after living in Orlando 5 years ago; me choosing to leave California after that; picking up and leaving everything I was comfortable with and all that I knew to start aknew; All within a span of 9 months. I still laugh at telling my parents “Yeah. I’m moving to Houston, gotta go”. Folks were so mad. That period of time was hard. Best decision I have made to date though. Being stagnant and complacent have never been me. I have always been ok with traveling alone and just up and leaving. The world has so much to offer. Life has so much to offer. I never want to be that person that looks back in years and say “I wish I would have done this or that.” I say all of that to say, seeing the growth of self is dope. Change is dope. Being scared is dope. Living life and learning is dope. I wouldn’t change my experience(s) in my life for anything in the world. It may seem hard during the times when you are going through whatever it is, but the outcome is so much greater.
Instead of constantly seeking acceptance from others, give acceptance to yourself. Accept who you are wholly without reservation. Accept your own brilliant and unique value graciously and gratefully knowing that you are one of a kind. Accept and embrace that. You are inherently worthy, whether anyone explicitly tells you that or not. Give acceptance to yourself, and you will have no need to seek it from others. Accept the goodness that you know is in your authentic nature without hesitation and you will never have to validate yourself for anyone other than you. Accept who you are and revel in it. “The privilege of a lifetime is being and accepting who you are” – Viola Davis
Life is all about progress, growth and change. Who wants to be stagnant and complacent ?? Not Me.
This year has been a true roller coaster for me and I am finally at the point of my life where I have my peace. I have moved on from life’s disappointments, failures, heartbreaks and ultimately found myself.
Moving on from these things have not been easy, yet it has been something that has been a long time coming. It has taken Days, Weeks and Months of tears, of sadness, of reconnecting with God.
I have learned that in life, things may not always go the way we want them to, the road may not be exactly the way we imagined it, but in due time, you are where you need to be. You learn, your grow, you take these things as life lessons and make way for growth and prosperity.
That’s where I am. I no longer have to lie about being happy when in reality, I really am. I don’t have everything I want, but I have what I need right now, and that includes my peace. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s great to have.
According to Merriam Webster dictionary it defines trust as the “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something” and “one in which confidence is placed.” But unfortunately, trust can be broken in many ways. We may have been betrayed, mistreated, lied to or hurt by someone such as a partner, family, friend or colleague.
Instead of developing mistrust only for the person who hurt us, we often begin to be suspicious of every person from that point on. To protect ourselves and avoid getting hurt again, we carry our unpleasant memories of that original person with us and displace the distrust onto other relationships. Sometimes it only takes one person to determine that nobody is in fact trustworthy. In the process, we often lose trust in ourselves—simply because our judgment of the person or circumstance was incorrect—and we then wonder how we can believe our own judgment. As a result, we might close our hearts, repress our emotions, and walk around numb or suspicious in relationships.
The problem is, we need to be able to trust in order allow ourselves to fall in love and to feel loved. Yes, we can live our life by carrying our hurt everywhere we go… but not without consequences. The consequences of not trusting (and therefore not feeling) may hurt others who were not responsible for our pain and may deprive us of feeling loved and experiencing emotional wellness. This eventually leads to loneliness, depression, and relationship difficulties.
The first step to recovering our sense of trust is to learn to trust our own judgment and feelings again. When you start to say to yourself; “I trust myself,” you begin to restore faith in your judgment of others and situations, and as a result, you open your heart to love, joy and feeling safe again.
Your troubles can sometimes be your greatest blessings because most of the time they will hound you until you make valuable improvements. Your troubles help you to seek and understand your weaknesses in which that enables you to begin transforming your strengths. See each challenge as an opportunity to raise yourself to a higher level. As like everything else, your troubles are what you make of them. You can choose to make each one a turning point in your life. Many of history’s greatest accomplishments were responses to terrible situations. Choose to find positive possibilities in everything that comes your way and nothing will ever be able to hold you back.
As I have gotten older, I have realized how crucial it is to take time out of your busy schedule to reflect, to meditate and to even pray. Often, too many of times, when we have time to think, it’s generally about the negative things that have gone on in our lives – and rarely do we think about the good things. Personally, I can admit that has been me one too many times.
As I have reflected this morning, the thought that came across my mind was the moment I found my smile again. The moment I found my happiness.
This time last year, while I was smiling on the outside, the inside of me was so sad for many reasons. Me being me, I never let people see that part of me. It took something in my life to happen, to click, for me to realize I did not want to be this way and/or feel this way anymore. It took me breaking down so many times to remember that trials in life happen and moving forward and letting go of the past is needed. Sometimes in life it takes one thing to force you to finally say “I’ve had enough of my own sadness” “I’ve had enough of my own pity party” to lead you to your smile. In that moment, I realized I wanted to be happy. I wanted to genuinely smile and mean it. You can only be happy when you allow yourself to be. You can only smile because you choose to. You cannot allow other people to generate that for you.
Things could be worse than what they really are so there is no need to bring more pain to yourself when it doesn’t have to be that way.
I found my smile again in April of this year. It literally took months for me to find it again but it happened and it’s genuine. I have accomplished so much more now than I did this time last year because I decided to love me and smile for myself. I decided that “self pity” does not look good on me. I wear my smile bold and proud and with all of the confidence in the world.
Remember, “Nothing is more beautiful than a smile that has struggled through tears”.
Forgiveness can most definitely be difficult. (I already know, easier said than done because I have been there and am still working on it) … but …reality is, in the long run, it is easier to forgive than to live with bitterness or contributing retribution. With this, you can move away from the pain of the past, and achieve real freedom. Forgiveness is not about who is to blame, or who’s fault it was, it’s more so about letting go, completely and permanently within yourself. Forgiveness is recognizing the reality that what has happened has happened and there’s no point in allowing the pain to dominate you any longer. It enables you to move forward in a positive way. Carrying around a load of resentment can be a burden on yourself when if you choose, it does not have to be. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32