This Is The Future You Deserve

In order to get the future you deserve, you must believe it into reality.

It’s not something tangible.  It’s a state of being.  When you reach it, you will feel the glow down to your very bones – but you’ll also realize that’s not so much an end game as a way of living your life from that day forward.  Everything finally clicks for you, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.  This click, this realization, this opening of your eyes to what truly matters – that is the future you’re searching for now, whether you know it or not.

You deserve to stand up tall and strong with a unshakable sense of your worth.  You will get there if you learn to focus on what really matters – not looking forward, not reminiscing, but staying entirely in the present moment.  Work on yourself in the here and now so that you end up with that beautiful future on your horizon.

You deserve to realize every one of your dreams.  They might shift and evolve as you travel through life, but as you grow you learn that reality is never what you expect.  Part of your perfect future is the ability to roll with whatever comes your way, handling it with grace and wisdom.  Nothing can stop you.  Nothing can tear you down.  You are the master of your own heart, your own soul, and your own choices.

You deserve to receive just as much love as you’ve always given, and you will.  When you learn to hold space for yourself and truly love yourself for all that you are, that love will multiply.  Your ability to care for others without condition will expand with your ability to care for your own spirit.  In the future, you’ll recognize that your failures and losses are nothing to hide – they built you into the independent and special person that you are.  Your heartbreaks taught you how to set boundaries, understand your true priorities when it comes to love, and never settle for someone who does not see your worth.  There was a purpose, a meaning to all of the madness. 

The truth is that you are in charge of building the future you deserve.  You can begin today, right in this moment.  You have the capability to bring all of your hopes and dreams into fruition, if you only believe in yourself.  And you, beautiful soul, deserve to know that you can achieve anything if you harness your own strength and determination.  

The future you deserve is whatever you want it to be.  

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)

I’m Afraid That I’ll Never Learn How To Heal Properly

I’m trying to be kind to myself, but this grieving process is so frustrating sometimes.  I want to heal faster.  I want to be someone different from who I am, someone who can handle emotion rationally, someone who sees what’s not working and lets it go.  I am not that person and I never have been.  I went through so much emotional trauma and chaos at a young age that I’ve not had any chance to learn to process pain constructively.   

I attempt to distance myself and let it all go, but I end up in a free fall of terror and dread.  I don’t see a future.  I don’t see a point to anything.  I spiral quickly and silently.  Usually no one around me truly sees the depth of my pain, the nearness to oblivion, how many times I have to drag myself back from the edge with every tiny iota of strength I have left.  Perhaps they would be shocked if they knew how close I’ve come to nothingness and how often.  

I don’t want to be told I’m strong anymore.  It’s not a compliment.  It’s yet another way for people to deflect, to minimize the desperation I feel.  My brand of strength is nothing more than a coping mechanism, a way to survive.  I rise above the sadness by smothering it with shame, but it’s always there, growing with every disappointment and heartbreak.  The truth is that I feel like a terrified, lonely, unloved child who has nothing and no one in the world.  I see no inherent value or worth in myself, only another body taking up space in a society where no one cares that much about anything other than themselves.

If that sounds cynical, it’s because I feel cynical.  About everything. 

I’m treading water, doing my best just to stay afloat here.  I’m becoming tired.  There is so much weariness in this fight of mine, this battle I’ve been waging for what feels like forever now.  

Lest I be misunderstood – as seems to happen frequently when I’m honest and open – I’m not looking for pity, or sympathy, or even for anyone to reach out and express to me that I am, in fact, cared for and appreciated.  My loneliness comes from within myself.  I understand that no one else can heal what’s happened to me and within me over the years, what’s built up and accumulated, layers of scar tissue so thick that I despair of getting underneath.  

All I’m trying to express is that while I am doing my best to finally allow my emotions the space they need to flower, I’m also realizing that I’m lost when it comes to taking care of my own soul the way I’ve always tended to those of others.  I’m incredibly reliable when someone else goes through an emotional crisis – I’ve had to be a support for other people my entire life.  It’s a role that I slip into easily, but if I must do the same for myself, I have no idea how to begin. If I am not needed by an external element, when I am faced with only my own needs, my purpose feels muddled or even nonexistent.  

How do I express the shame of not knowing how to hold space for myself in the world?  I don’t.  I stagger on and hope that one of my sloppy attempts to achieve self-love actually holds true for once. 

Honestly, I’m terrified that after all these years, with so many layers of grief and sadness kept locked in to my core, I am incapable of unlearning these entrenched habits and defense mechanisms.  This fear keeps me apart from others, prevents me from letting myself admit my insecurities.  I don’t believe that I can handle further rejections.  Knowing that I only continue to make the same mistakes, it seems my only recourse at the moment is to block off my heart entirely.  

Unless I can develop another manner of being, I’m unwilling to continue to jeopardize my soul, my health, and my happiness. 

(Originally published on Medium.com)

Insomnia

It’s three a.m. and all I want to do is sleep.  I told myself, tonight will be different.  Tonight I will not lie awake until the wee hours of the morning distracting myself until I finally, eventually, exhaust my mind and spirit enough to drift into a weary slumber, tears paving painful trails down my cheeks.  Tonight I will be okay.

I was wrong, of course.  I can’t shake thoughts of you, no matter how desperately I will myself to do so.  It doesn’t matter how many times I remind myself that you’re sleeping peacefully wherever you are, undisturbed by any worries or sadness about losing me.  You’re fine, and I’m not, and I cannot force myself to feel differently.  Wanting to be okay does not make it so.

I hate myself for hurting, hate myself for caring.  Missing you fills the background of every moment, despite my best attempts to shut you out.  When I end my day and close my eyes, my defenses collapse and thoughts of you flood into my psyche.  It’s too much to bear, so I exhaust all the options.  I do everything I can think of to get to sleep, and nothing works.  Sometimes hours pass before I toss my blankets aside with utter frustration and search for some new method of numbing the pain.

Now it’s four a.m. and I’m contemplating simply staying up the entire night.  Why not, at this point? Once I do fall asleep I won’t want to wake again.  After all, a dead slumber is my only respite from missing you horribly, and sometimes even then images of you creep into my dreams.  The worst of all is waking up from a lovely reverie in which we are exquisitely happy, only to realize that it’s an illusion.  I lie there like a dead weight, wishing the world would let me wither away. 

This is why I’ve decided I’m done with love, for good this time.  It’s too much, this weight that I bear, every new heartbreak that I carry along with me crushing my spirit a bit more.  It isn’t worth it.  I’d rather live a thousand lifetimes with my walls securely guarding me than go through even one more exhausting disappointment.

I’m done.  Once I finally let go of you, the one who I thought was a true match for me, the one who I thought would stay … I won’t do this again.  I’ve accepted that finding true love is not in the cards for me, no matter how desperately I yearn for it.  Neither of my parents ever captured it and it seems that neither will I, and maybe I won’t be able to stand that.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’ll finally exit this earth that’s never felt like home to me in the first place.  The last little bit of hope I had is unequivocally smashed into oblivion.

The idea of sleeping, never to wake, never to feel another moment of despair, comforts me.

Let me rest. 

Women Don’t Want A Fairytale – But We Do Know Our Worth

I am so tired of women being told that we are unreasonable for wanting a good relationship.  Standards have slipped so far that we grasp gratefully at the smallest of courtesies from a partner, and yet we are ridiculed as presumptuous when we ask for what we need.  I am done.  I am done settling for less than what I give. It is not unrealistic to want someone who meets me halfway.

I’ve never asked for much – I’m not at all materialistic.  I don’t care about money or possessions.  I want to know what’s in a person’s heart.  That’s what really counts.  Of course I have my imperfections, and I’m well aware of them.  I’m a human – why are women so often expected to be more than that?  Having imperfections does not disqualify us from deserving a good relationship.  We fight against inequality at every turn and then we are told to accept whatever it is a partner is willing to give us, if they feel like it, when they feel like it.

Relationships are never perfect, and they require much hard work, dedication, and trust.  That’s to be expected.  What I will no longer accept is the idea that I am too demanding for wanting an equal, loving, honest partnership.  If participating in the effort of a relationship is too much for someone, they should not be so selfish as to bring another person into their life romantically.  It seems that many want to have their cake and eat it too.

If we expect anything to change, we have to stand up for ourselves and stop accepting crumbs.  We are only going to get what we demand – we have put up with too much for too long, and now subpar treatment is all anyone is willing to give.  I’m done extending the benefit of the doubt and trying to be the “cool girl”.  That’s a fantasy driven by those who don’t want to put real effort into a relationship, something they can fall back on when they need to blame you for their behavior.  If we needy bitches were only more cool, more chill!  Oh yes, if only.  How nice that would be for all the crappy people in the world who are selfish, inconsiderate, and non-committal.  

If I sound like I’m angry, I am.  We should all be fed up at the societal expectations of us that have dragged on for ages, shifting only in form but not in their function of keeping females down.  Creating a wave of change will not be easy.  Men are accustomed to the patriarchy, and the force of women beginning to assert their equality does not sit well with them.  Many literally do not know how to react, but unfortunately it is often with dismissive and defensive behavior.  

We must remember that this is not our problem.  We need to stop apologizing all the time for our apparent audacity in simply asking to exist on this planet and own our needs, wants and rights.  We are not difficult.  We are not high-maintenance.  We are not too much.  Many of us are conditioned by our upbringing, our surroundings, and the people in our lives to believe that we are.  It takes effort to change this mindset, but we must begin now.  There is no time to waste.  

I do not want a fairytale.  What I do want is a partner who loves, respects, appreciates, and understands me.  I only desire an equal return of the effort I give to those I love.  In my opinion, that’s what most women want – simply someone who is good to us and meets us halfway.  It’s not too much to ask.  Stop trying to gaslight us into believing that it is.  We are sick and tired of the bullshit.  

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)

You Are Capable Of Getting Over The Baggage In Your Past

You aren’t broken just because you’ve been through heartbreak.

The damage that you’ve sustained has nothing to do with who you are at your core. It has changed you, yes, and it’s shaped the way you approach love now. Sometimes you have to remember that not everyone will hurt you. It’s not always easy to get past the pain you experienced, but you try. All anyone can do is try, and keep trying, in the hopes that one day you finally let go of your fears. 

What matters most is your awareness of what’s happened in your history and your determination not to let it dictate the way your future turns out. You can stop yourself from allowing your insecurities and past experiences to ruin what you have in your life now. It’s impossible to discover if you’ve found something wonderful unless you let yourself go there. 

It’s not simple. You will make mistakes, and you will second guess yourself, and you will encounter frustration. Unfortunately, you may even lose someone great because you haven’t quite gotten over your baggage yet. It sucks, but it’s the only way that you learn what you don’t want to do again. 

Life isn’t always kind. Try to remember that everyone else has a past as well, and the right person will not judge you for yours.

Someday someone will come along who understands what you’ve been through and shows you patience. No matter what pitfalls, or struggles, or missteps, somehow they’ll stay. They will keep showing up day in and day out when no one else ever has. You’ll hardly believe that it’s possible. Every time, you assume they’ll run away, but they don’t. They make the decision to continue choosing you even when you are difficult and confusing. That person will show up for you until you finally believe that you’re worthy.  

Then you will finally understand what love is supposed to mean. 

Keep doing the work. The love will follow. 

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)