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Soul Food

It’s amazing how much pain we are able to endure. From the smallest pieces of rejection, to the biggest heartaches that eat away at our soul, we managed to maintain. Time and time again, we’ve heard people say “life ain’t easy”. People constantly tried to feed us advice and hand us the necessary tools to be successful and make money in life however, no one taught us how to take care of ourselves. No one taught us how to truly take care of our souls. Some would preach religion, others would argue school. Some would preach passions, others would argue doing the minimum to get by simply because “the world is unfair”. When our mind is at war and our hearts have no peace, where do we turn? When our back is against the wall and it feels as though we have the weight on our shoulders, how do we survive? How do we face a world that does nothing but hurt us? How do we put our trust in people who do nothing but lie, cheat, and disappoint us? How do we find our peace?

I wish I learned the importance of the self in middle school. I wouldn’t have allowed the words and opinions of others to destroy my self esteem. I wouldn’t have constantly looked in the mirror and hated what I had seen. I wouldn’t have cried. I wouldn’t have complained. I would have just been happy, being exactly who I was. I wish I learned the importance of the self in high school. I wouldn’t have allowed the words and opinions of others to destroy my self esteem. I wouldn’t have constantly looked in the mirror and hated what I had seen. I wouldn’t have cried. I wouldn’t have complained. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to eat some days and not eat on others. I wouldn’t have looked at the girls around me and wished to be like them. I would have just been happy, being exactly who I was. I wish I learned the importance of the self in college. I wouldn’t have allowed the words and opinions of others to destroy my self esteem. I wouldn’t have constantly looked in the mirror and hated what I had seen. I wouldn’t have cried. I wouldn’t have complained. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to eat some days and not eat on others. I wouldn’t have looked at the girls around me and wished to be like them. I wouldn’t have put so much faith into every man that decided to walk in and out of my life. I wouldn’t have paid so close attention to the ways that they hurt me. I wouldn’t have given so much of myself to someone, expecting them to give it right back. I wouldn’t have been begging for love because my broken spirit felt like it had nothing to hold onto. I wouldn’t have lied and said my pain was okay just to have something to hold. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to take on such abuse that I did not deserve. I wouldn’t have needed anyone to validate my existence, tell me that I matter and that I am more than simply a woman of this world. I would have just been happy, being exactly who I was.

Every time I felt as though there was nothing left, no fight, no tears, no more room for pain, I was surprised. Thinking back, I find it funny how all those times I promised myself I would no longer cry or stress over certain situations, and I always find myself locked in my room, quietly listening for the clicking of my ceiling fan, surrounded by tissues to wipe my tears as they raced down my face. I’ve never been so desperate to clear an ever so full mind. Positive, negative, agreeing and conflicting thoughts filling my head, causing me to think irrationally. Have you ever tried to rid yourself of a migraine with positive thoughts but you cannot seem to find any because even the thoughts that were once positive, now are negative? Have you ever tried to pick yourself up out of your bed and felt nothing but numbness? Have you ever tried to move and you cannot find the strength to even lift one limb? Have you ever looked in the mirror and saw that the person staring back at you was in so much pain, you could hardly even recognize who they were and how they managed to get there?

For all the nights I wanted to run, something in me convinced me to stay. Something that wasn’t religion based, nothing that had to do with school , nothing that had to do with anyone in the world but myself… something convinced me to hold on. I was ready to give up on everything and everyone yet, something inside of me would not die. No matter how low or how frustrated I was with life, something inside my soul, would not die. The something was me. When I thought I had no more tears to cry, I managed to push them out. When I thought I was too depressed to get out of bed, I managed to drag myself to class. When I thought I had no one to love me, I managed to break down and clear my thoughts. I managed to coach myself into loving myself. When I thought I had seen all life had to offer, I offered myself to God.

I have the power over my life. I choose to be good, bad, or all that is in between. What others say about me can either break me down or have no effect on me at all. The power within me to push past every lie, every heartache, every rejection, every amount of abuse, every tear, every pain, started with me. If I wanted to die, I could make that happen. If I want my dreams to become a reality, I have that power as well. Life can tell me “no” but I will always have the power to fight back. All things begin with me but nothing ends with me. Changing my life was a decision I made. God doesn’t need me. I need Him. I cannot just read the Bible and expect for things to magically change. I needed to feel those words, heal myself, and reach out, without fear of rejection. My life has never been perfect and the brightness of my smile and the gentleness in my touch is the physical representation of the warmness of my heart. God gave me this heart, not just for love, but to heal. To help those that struggle to help themselves. To love myself when the world seems to hate me. To love Him when the world seems to be against me. This heart beats at a rate that at times, I cannot keep up with. This heart bleeds at a rate that at times, I cannot always heal but I manage because I decide to manage. I maintain my happiness because I know that happiness has nothing to do with what’s going on inside of my world and has everything to do with what is going on inside of me. The reflection of my soul is painted with the lightest and darkest shades of the rainbow. I am a masterpiece that can neither be copied nor destroyed unless I say so. When the powers of God combine with my humbled powers from within, there is no force that can end my life. There is no pain that is too great for my heart to manage. There is no storm that my home cannot endure. Granted my foundation has undergone numerous renovations, the location has never changed. In my journey of discovering the self (my self), I have not only discovered the location of my foundation, but I have eagerly began to build with the strongest of bricks and the toughest of wood and metals.

I wish I could go back and speak to that 14 year old girl that cried after being bullied at school. I wish I could go back and speak to that 17 year old girl who tried to throw up after every meal. I wish I could go back and speak to that 21 year old young woman and tell her it is okay that he never loved you. My 23 year old self cries at the pain and suffering my younger self went through and as a woman, she has declared that she will feel such pain no more. That her growth will be so prosperous and positive, that deep down, the younger self will feel this happiness and smile, despite all that had occurred. Am I saying the rest of my life will be without pain and suffering? That is ideal and happens to be very unlikely. What I am saying is that my self, my powerful and mighty self, will have control over my life and how certain events effect me. My happiness will begin with me, and will end with me. The only thing more powerful than my self, is God, for without Him, I ultimately would not be existing. For the times where I will feel like I want to quit, I will push. For the times I want to break down and quit, I will run faster. Nothing in this world will stop me from becoming the powerful woman that I am meant to be. If and when the day happens to reappear, when I re-live the time when my younger self wanted to die, and I am contemplating something so painful, I will decide to stay or to go. That power is embedded in my spirit but my spirit shows no concern for I have become fairly acquainted with my self. We are not amused or entertained by such thoughts of negativity and depression.

Realize that you too hold the power over your life. No matter how much hurt you feel, how much pain you’ve endured, you are breathing. You have the power to do that. You have the power to change your attitude, your awareness, your situation, and ultimately, your life! Do not waste your powers on feeling sorry for yourself and keeping yourself down. Lift yourself up and give yourself exactly what you want.

Find your happiness. There is no need to go on a life long journey to look for it because it lives within YOU.

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