I was a young girl looking for help and answers in all the wrong places. I didn’t realize that the answers that I had been seeking were within. They weren’t in my friends, family, boyfriend, wine, or any other activity that would bring me instant gratification. Instant gratification felt good, but it wasn’t the everlasting gratification that I needed to help me along life’s journey.
I grew up in a small city but when you’re alone, even a small city can feel big. At the age of 13 I lost my mother, by the time I was 15 I lost my brother and by the time I could accept the loss of my brother, I lost my sister at age 21.
At 21, I instantly became a mother to my sister’s son. Not by force but by choice. When I lost my mother at 13, my sister took on the role as my mother. I felt like raising her son was the least I could. Here I am 21 raising a 13 year old young man on my own. Everything I had planned for my future had been stripped away and my life was redirected. Scared, alone, and confused I made countless errors. Errors that have resurfaced while in my 30s.
By the way, Credit is very important. My younger self didn’t know that, remember I was raising myself. I had little to no direction but I knew that I wanted a better life for me and an even better life for my nephew. I watched my friends enjoying the youthfulness of their 20s.
Whereas for me, at 21 I was making serious decisions like dropping out of college. Or paying my nephew’s high school tuition $50 less, because we needed groceries for the week. Many friends stated they would help me and be there for me. However, once the transition from young adult to adulthood started to take place, they abandoned me.
I had a few relatives help me as long as my inheritance checks were at their disposal. I’ve had many sleepless nights filled with tears. I’ve sat in the dark as my mind raced, screamed at the top of my lungs, and just cried out for a little bit of help. Throughout all my dark moments, there was one thing about me. I refused to break down in front of my nephew. To him I was his a real life superhero. Was it my ego? Was it my protective instincts?
Either way, in my mind I needed to uphold the superhero image for him.
However, little did he know I was seeking a real-life superhero myself. I started to feel like I needed someone to save me. I started dating my high school sweetheart and we were blessed to have a beautiful son together. This brought some stability and family structure back to our world.
Somehow even with this blessing I still found myself full of hurt, disappointment, anger, and sadness. I couldn’t fully love the man I was with and It was due to this emotionless wall that I had created. I thought my emotionless wall was protecting me, but the reality was I hadn’t dealt with the things that were plaguing me. At one point I felt defeated. My life was finally going great, but I couldn’t fully enjoy it. I knew there was something stifling my growth and I refused to let it take this blessing from me.
One thing about me…
I may bend but I refuse to break. Once, I identified what was happening, I sought mental and spiritual assistance. Therapy from a licensed professional and counseling from a remarkably familiar local pastor.
It was through countless sessions that I began to truly break free from the bondage that was plaguing me. One by one I started to deal with every uncomfortable emotion, because I knew It was necessary for my growth.
I began to pray more. I started to mediate on spiritual readings. I became a student to this newfound lifestyle. I started to truly seek the understanding of my path and my purpose in life.
Why were these the cards, dealt to me?
I started to dig into my family’s health and uncover the cause of such early deaths.
Were they preventable? Were they hereditary?
The more I uncovered the more I started to change my eating habits. Not solely because of my family’s health findings but also because for me I feel like when I eat better, my body and mind feels better. Trust me, I had to get used to eating Kale salads and taking daily ginger shots. This change started to feel so good. My smile was now a genuine display of happiness and no longer a mask.
Currently, I still consider myself a student to this lifestyle. I’m constantly finding new teachings, courses, and readings that feed my soul and give me the necessary guidance I seek. I listen to teachings from motivational speakers like Deepak Chopra, I read passages from The Bible, and I recite scriptures daily. I even pray when my mind is Idle. As of recent, I’ve taken a few courses such as the Intro to Psychology, and practicing mindfulness. I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of conquering our minds. Despite all that I’ve endured in my past, I have a heart of peace and gratitude. I also have a strong desire in my heart to help others find their internal strength.
A lot of times we are seeking answers from an outside source for our healing, yet we have the tools to heal from within. The first step is conquering your mind. We have to understand that we have the internal power to speak life over ourselves, even in our darkest moments. I know it’s easier said than done but it’s possible. I’m a witness to this. We have to understand we cannot focus on the situation, but yet turn our attention to the goal.
My nephew is a witness to my mindset. Due to my ability to conquer my inadequacies, I was able to pour into his life. It’s a rewarding feeling to see your prayers come to fruition. My nephew recently moved into his very first apartment. While he still calls me for guidance, he has blossomed into an amazing man. When I say calls on me for everything, I mean it. Just last week he called to ask me, will his comforter fit in his washing machine. You’ve gotta love it!
I can chuckle now but let’s talk about separation anxiety. The night he moved in, I took the longest route home and cried. I haven’t cried that hard in a long time. It felt like something had died inside of me. In that moment, I was blinded by pure emotions. I reverted back to a dark place, the place of loss and pain. I couldn’t think straight. For the first time in a long time, I felt lost. Alone. Confused. I had to talk myself though my emotions. Is this a cycle or are you in your head? Once the tears stop and reality set in, I realized that it wasn’t a death but yet a birth.
The little boy I had parented had now grown. I had to understand that this was a joyous occasion. I believe it is ok to work through your emotions, rather than dismiss them. I believe true healing comes from understanding why and how you’re feeling, the way that you feel. While I was mourning the idea of not being with him daily, I was also celebrating my nephew’s consecutive achievements. Not only did he obtain his first apartment, he obtained his Associate’s degree in Computer Science. He now has two certifications in technology and he is in pursuit of his Bachelor’s Degree. I mean, this is what I had prayed for. His Success. His Freedom. His Courage. His Strength.
As you can see, it is easy to revert back to a dark place but it takes tenacity to push forward.
I still stumble. This journey isn’t easy but it’s possible. We have to understand that we have the ability to manifest our desires in this world, anything from seeking peace to seeking a better lifestyle. As I continue to want this for myself, I also want this for you.
May my story encourage you…May your story encourage someone else.
Love and Light.
Shay, thank you for allowing us into your world. Letting us into your journey helps many of us to understand that life has many unexpectancies, but we too can make it, and we are not alone. Your are a true leader and inspiration. Many blessings to you.