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)

Sometimes The Only Thing You Can Do Is Let Them Go

There is nothing more painful than looking at the person you love beyond what you thought possible and knowing that you cannot make them stay.

You can hope that they do.  But you can’t force a damn thing, and you can’t make them continue to want you, or to love you.  The way of the world is a fickle one, and it rips happy hearts apart like afterthoughts on a cruel whim.  You can stand there, breath caught in your throat, raggedly exhaling your aching affection, and they could very well turn and leave you in your empty shock.  It is terrifying, and yet we come back to the brink over and over again. 

It’s a process that requires immense vulnerability, throwing yourself into love and hoping for the best, losing despite every desperate effort, only to go there with renewed optimism all over again.  The heart that continues fighting to find the correct love is a resolute, stubborn heart indeed.  

But maybe it’s time to try something different now.  Perhaps instead of fighting, you let it go.  You open up space in your heart for yourself and begin to give all that love to the person who needs it the most.  There is not much that you can control in this life, but you can make the conscious decision to put your energy and emotions into whatever you like.  Your soul and your worth are far too magnificent to keep cooped up in an oppressive prison of heartbreak and regrets.  Breathe away the keen sorrow of your attachment.  Do your best to think of your tender loss not as a finality, but a way to open yourself up to new possibility.

You cannot make them stay, but you can decide to let them go.  The stark reality is that you have absolutely no control over their feelings – if they choose to leave, there is nothing that you can do.  It is out of your grasp … and in a way, that’s incredibly freeing.  You have no responsibility to be anyone other than exactly who you are.  The difficulty of navigating this freedom is in accepting the situation as it is and truly letting go of ego and perceptions.  

Be ever so gentle with your sweet spirit.  It is aching, and you are allowed to sink into the tenderness.  Let the feelings come and go and course through you, even though at times it feels like you cannot bear another moment.  Breathe and know that it is only temporary.  Everything is fleeting, nothing ever remains constant, and you have such a short time to live your unique existence.  

Try your best not to use that time clinging on to people or situations that, despite your deepest genuine efforts, must develop in a different direction than you hoped.  Strive to find the peace that comes with releasing expectations.  When you need to process your pain, do not rush to numb it.  Let it come, let it go.  You are whole entirely on your own, with or without them.  Don’t forget that, and if you do not feel that you are, then turn your energies towards making yourself the joyous, loving, free and completely soul that you absolutely can be.  

Releasing them is not losing.  It’s not failing.  It’s simply a shift of life, which is constantly moving and changing.  Trust that it will all be okay even if it does not always feel that way.  Eventually you will find the home your heart seeks – in yourself.  

(Originally published on Thought Catalog)

 

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)

It’s Okay If The Love Of Your Life Isn’t Another Person

Once upon a time, you absorbed the notion that you have a single soulmate out there in the world, waiting for you.  You’re not sure where the idea originated – maybe from a book or a movie or maybe someone told you it was so.  You began to believe that you needed to find this person or your love life would never reach its potential.  If they did not materialize, you could not consider yourself whole.

Now as you move along your journey, reality sets in.  Maybe there’s not one single soulmate for you – and that’s okay.  In a way, it opens up your horizons to varied opportunities.  You’ve learned that love isn’t always what you think it’ll be.  It doesn’t have to manifest in a certain way.  Even if it isn’t a lasting romance, you always learn and grow from the experience.  Sure, you’re a bit disillusioned because your ideals were shattered – but that’s part of growing up.

With every ending, you begin looking inward.  You take time away from love, realizing you need to figure out who you are when you aren’t searching for someone else to distract you.  You’re not sure anymore if you have one true love, or many, or none at all.  Instead of constantly reaching for a person who will satisfy you, you start to learn about yourself and what you truly want from life.

In time, you actually enjoy being on your own.  You realize that discomfort means you’re evolving and that you don’t need a partner in order to experience your life to the fullest.  You appreciate every little idiosyncrasy that makes you a unique individual.  The best day you’ll ever have is the day that you look in the mirror and understand that the true love of your life is right there, smiling back at you.

It was you all along.  You were always enough.  The world tricked you into believing otherwise.

You become whole entirely within yourself.  For the first time, you’re truly happy, because you understand that love from another source isn’t meant to save you.  It’s a complement to the self-love you now embody proudly.  You’re in a place where you need no one else – and that is when you are finally ready to love someone in a healthy way. 

If you find a partner, wonderful.  If you don’t, you’ll be perfectly fine.  That’s the best position you could possibly experience both mentally and emotionally.  Not meeting someone will not disappoint you so badly and losing someone will no longer break you.  You worked through your harmful patterns and discovered a world of acceptance and joy. 

You only get this one life.  There’s no point in spending it dissatisfied with who you are and what you have.  Now that you realize the preciousness of your short time on this earth, you are no longer willing to waste it yearning over romance, regrets, and lost love.  Instead you choose, every single day, to appreciate the person you are and the life you possess, right here and now.

You’re the own damn love of your life.   And that’s a beautiful thing.  

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)