Overcoming The Enemy

began to love myself

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel completely lost and alone? Almost like you’re screaming so loud for help but no one can hear you? You feel like you’re dying on the inside, but appear completely silent on the outside because you give off absolutely no evidence that something could be wrong. You hide it all behind a smile. Sometimes, you feel like no one cares, and that’s evident when you see people you know clearly going about their life like everything is fine, and you’re just stuck at a complete standstill and can’t figure out why you aren’t okay. However, when you take a step back and really look at the big picture, you realize that you aren’t alone. You realize that everyone goes through their own struggles time and time again, and we’re all just trying to do our best to figure out how to navigate through the crazy curveballs life can throw at us. Oftentimes, we find ourselves being the culprits of our own sadness and misery, and that’s exactly when we need to face our own worst enemy within us.

You see I’ve spent much of my life feeling like I wasn’t okay. Feeling so alone with all of my complex emotions, and not being able to figure out how to overcome them. It’s in those moments that I would really beat myself up. I would say all of these bad things to myself. I would cut myself down constantly. I would judge myself for how I looked and felt. I’d criticize myself for all of the decisions that I made. I would convince myself that that miserable person was who I was and all I’d ever be. I allowed all of that negativity to just break me down completely. And let me just tell you, it was downright exhausting. I hated every second of it. That’s exactly why I’ve decided, from this day forward, to stop doing that to myself. I’ve realized that I need to stop all those negative voices in my head because I let them hold me back. I let those voices overcome me with fear, and I always let them win. I always let them control me.

So, I’ve decided to stop being my own worst enemy.

I think as human beings, we’re genetically inclined to be judgmental, especially when it comes to ourselves. We tell ourselves that we’re not smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, nice enough…the list could go on and on. Why do we do this? Why do we always feel like we’re in competition with one another? Why do we always cut ourselves down instead of embracing ourselves for exactly who we are? It’s ridiculous, if you really think about it. We spend SO much time and energy being envious of other people and wanting their lives that we forget to take a step back and look at all that we do have right in front of us. You have your family, your friends, your health, your job, a roof over your head, yet you tell yourself that it still isn’t enough. You still want more, even though you know that there are people in this world who aren’t fortunate enough to have all of those things. You may remind yourself of this sometimes, but you don’t fully take it into consideration. You just find a way to make it about yourself again. But why?

…Because you’re still trying to fulfill a void in your life that can’t be filled in the way you are seeking it. The truth is that when you start being grateful for your life and all of the amazing things in it, you’ll quickly realize that that is enough. That is all the fulfillment you’ll ever need.

It starts with that one realization right there. That realization that you really do have everything you need and more. Be grateful for that. Then, take the next step and turn off all those negative voices in your head. Seriously, you just need to tell those voices to shut up. They don’t control you, and they certainly don’t deserve another ounce of your precious time or energy. Replace those negative voices in your head with positive ones. Instead of telling yourself “I can’t do this,” tell yourself “you know what? I can do this and I’m going to prove that to myself right now because I’m worth it.”

The fact of the matter is that the only person you need to focus on impressing and loving in your life is YOU!

Because honestly, how can you expect to build strong bonds and relationships with other people in your life if you can’t even love yourself first? The only way anything else in life will work out is if you’re truly in love with who you are as a person, and you accept yourself for all of the imperfect flaws that you possess. Without those flaws, you wouldn’t be the person you are today. You also need to believe in yourself, no matter what, and if you feel like you’re not happy with yourself, then you really need to dig deep within and figure out why that is and what you can do to change it and make it better.

It is SO incredibly important that you know your self worth. Take pride in all that you’ve accomplished in life. Forgive yourself for all of the mistakes you made and know that you will make more as life goes on. People make mistakes everyday, but it’s okay. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. Love yourself unconditionally. Love your family and your friends. Laugh at the little things and shake off whatever negativity you may face.

Make yourself your biggest fan and you’ll stop being your own worst enemy. 

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Rebuilding Life Starts From Within

hardships

The holidays have a tendency to stir up all kinds of emotions. For the most part, we try to focus on the joy, but for some of us, it is hard to do that if we’re having to spend it without someone we love and care about. Some of you may be experiencing anger or sadness because you’re missing someone. Maybe it’s because they left intentionally or maybe it’s because they’re just gone too soon. Either way, it can be incredibly difficult at this time of year.

Maybe I’m just weird when it comes to missing people, but it gets to the point where I literally just stop missing them, especially if it’s someone who has done me wrong. If it’s someone that’s passed on, I grieve for awhile, but then I’m okay because I’m at peace with knowing they’re in Heaven. I know that, one day, I’ll be able to see them again. Just because they’re not here with me on Earth doesn’t mean that they’re not with me everyday. They’re my guardian angels, and they’ll never leave my side. They served their purpose in my life while they were here with me, and now, they’re continuing to do just that, but from a different place up above.

When someone leaves us, whether it’s expected or unexpected, we’re always left questioning why. Why did this have to happen? Why are they gone? Why is life so unfair? You’ll question it over and over again, but the truth is that you’re never going to get an answer. That’s because I don’t think we’re meant to know what our future holds or which cross God has chosen for us to bear. We just have to trust in Him that he knows what he’s doing. Questioning everything will only make it more difficult on yourself.

Harboring anger and sadness will not help you either. Don’t get me wrong, it is completely okay to feel sad and angry when you need to. Trust me, I’ve been there, and I definitely still have those moments sometimes. I’m only human. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t let these 2 emotions consume you all the time. If you continue to look at life with a could’ve, should’ve, would’ve point of view, then you’re always going to be sad and angry. You’re always going to be left guessing and ultimately, you’ll be missing out on the one life you’re meant to live.

However, if you can find the strength and courage to start thinking differently, then you’ll notice a complete change in your life. I’ll share with you a few things that have helped me do that for myself. The fact of the matter is that rebuilding your life starts within you, and it always will:

1. Rid yourself of all negativity.
If there are things or people in your life that you feel are constantly weighing you down, then you need to do something about it. Sooner rather than later. You need to remove the negativity from your life completely. If you’re someone like me who loves to have a positive outlook on the world, then having any negative energy in your life is just outright toxic and unhealthy. Get rid of the negativity and better things will start happening for you.

2. Stop focusing on the past.
It’s called the past for a reason. You shouldn’t keep looking back. Whatever happened is over and done with. If you keep going back, then you will never ever be able to move forward. You will hold yourself back, so don’t blame anyone else when you wake up one day and find yourself stuck in the same situation because you didn’t have the strength to move on.

3. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Do things that you’d have never pictured yourself doing before. Re-connect with old friends. Make new friends. Go out and enjoy your life while you can. Embrace your freedom (if you’re in a situation like mine and can do so). You only live once, so you might as well make it worthwhile because, after all, tomorrow isn’t always guaranteed.

4. Believe in yourself.
Know that you can do anything you set your mind to. Never stop making new goals for yourself and your life. Never stop learning and never stop challenging yourself. STOP FILLING YOUR OWN HEAD WITH DOUBT. Instead, fill it with hope and optimism. Stop worrying so much about what other people think about you. At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with yourself and your decisions, so you need to make sure that you do whatever makes YOU happy. Always try to be open-minded. Be a positive person and try your best to be an inspiration to others.

5. Forgive others.
Not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. Honestly, I can’t sit here and say that I’ve reached a point where I’ve forgiven every person in my life who’s ever hurt me because then, I’d be lying. However, I do have faith in myself that, one day, I will be able to forgive them. I’m already headed in that direction, but I just know that it will take some more time. Once I’m finally at peace with forgiveness, then I’ll reach a point where I’ll be truly grateful for all of my downfalls, setbacks, and disappointments that I’ve endured throughout my life.

6. Pray.
Now, I know some of you may not be that religious, so this can work for some and not for others. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I attend church every single week because I don’t. However, I am trying to make more of an effort to do so. I do pray everyday. I am constantly asking God for guidance every night before I close my eyes, first thing when I wake up every morning, and every time I’m driving somewhere in my car. I’m always thinking about my life and where to go from here, so it’s in those moments that I really seek His guidance. This is something that I seriously lost sight of over the past 7 years. Finding it again has been very eye-opening and comforting for me.

7. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone.
Whether it be a family member, a close friend, a professional, or a complete stranger, it is so incredibly important that you talk to someone to help you through whatever you’re going through. This is something that I’ve always struggled with because I try to keep things bottled up inside in hopes that it’ll all just go away, but I’ve learned the hard way that that isn’t going to work for me anymore. Do NOT for one second think that you don’t have any support from people. You’ll always have a shoulder to cry on, as long as you’re willing to reach out to them and let them in. Chances are you’ll end up helping them through something, in addition to helping yourself.

There are so many people who have reached out to me and offered words of support and encouragement over these past few months. I’ve had people who have thanked me for finding the strength to share my experiences because it has helped them evaluate their lives in several different ways. Everyone tells me “you’re just so strong. You always have been. How do you do it?” But the truth is, it isn’t strictly strength. It’s the mere (and extremely difficult) decision to finally let things go. To finally let go of all of the hurt and sadness of the past. I simply cannot keep myself stuck there anymore. It is NOT worth it anymore to keep tormenting myself that way. It’s a conscious decision that you cannot force or rush. It comes with time and acceptance, and it is something that I am continuing to work on for myself every single day.

Letting go will finally allow you to move forward with your life, and I promise you, it will be worth it. You’ll be able to find happiness in your life again someday, but only if you’re willing to take the first step forward and look.

“People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.” – Romana L. Anderson