It’s astounding what this last year has taught me. I’m truly amazed and proud of how far I’ve come.
This time one year ago, I was at the lowest of my lows. I was heartbroken and abandoned from the most mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive relationship I have ever been in. I had lost my job earlier in the year, and as a result, had to move out of my home. I was beyond full of shame of where my life had come to that all I ever wanted to do was die. I thought about it all day, every day. I even wrote goodbye letters to my family and a few friends in preparation for the day I’d have enough “courage” to actually do it. I was completely empty.
After wallowing and crying everyday for almost a month straight I eventually exhausted myself of depression. I had been going to church since June as I felt the depression caving in. As I turned my life to Christ I could feel myself getting a little stronger every day. Just when you think there is no way out of your darkness, you can always find a light if you just keep searching.
I think my turning point was one day that I spontaneously decided to visit the Grotto in Portland, Oregon. It’s a beautiful Catholic sanctuary that I had visited a few times in the past. I had lit a candle outside the chapel and prayed so hard for strength to get through this depression. As I entered the chapel and started praying for my family as I always do, the choir walks in along with their pastor. I had no idea there was service at that time, but I knew in the moment, this was God’s timing. The service was everything I needed to hear that day, and the choir made me so emotional. In that moment, for the first time in months, I felt SO alive. This was the turning point of my spiritual journey.
It was on this day that I knew I needed to make our Lord the center of my life. I haven’t missed a day of prayer since.
Moving forward, I knew I was going to be okay. I knew with everything in me that God was going to get me through this. It wasn’t an easy journey, and I fell many times. Unlearning all the abuse I went through also meant unlearning all the abusive behaviors that I inherited as survival tactics. I had to change my way of thinking and living. I had to stop being so hard on myself, and wishing ill will upon those who had done me wrong. I had to learn to have compassion for myself, and I had to learn to forgive someone that wasn’t sorry. That was probably the hardest part of this all.
Through the process I had deleted many blogs I posted out of pure shame and guilt. I’m still embarrassed of how much I put up with from my abuser. But I’ve learned to forgive us both. It was the one thing I finally did for ME. Forgiving wasn’t forgetting. It was remembering it all without anger. Forgiveness opened up a pathway for me to a place of peace, despite all that had happened.
All of this triggered some deeply rooted introspection. I recently started practicing meditation, and let me tell you, vibing alone is a good way to obtain inner peace. It’s helped me find compassion for myself, and also for those that have wronged me. I used to wish my ex so much pain. But I know now all the pain that he caused me, must have been caused by pain inside of himself. I’ve learned to wish him healing, because that is clearly what he needs.
Once I started actually healing and feeling peace in my life again, I found myself in another toxic situation with a man of many similar traits. I think I was attracted to him for that very same reason. Although he wasn’t nearly as bad, or abusive whatsoever, he still wasn’t for good me. I had hoped he was different because he is at pastor at my church, but I’ve come to realize that not all prophets are real. He ghosted me on a few occasions, was really bad at communicating, and broke up with me with no reason. About a week later he was social media official with another girl. =) He of course came crawling back (as they all do) and I of course forgave him. However we’ve fallen in the same trap and seemed to have repeated history. If it wasn’t for what I went through with my ex, I would have never had the strength to end this before it gets too far. Because of all the abuse, all the lies, all the false hope, I now have the strength to protect my peace. I see the signs now and am wise enough to listen to his actions and not just his words. I enjoy company, but I will no longer settle for bad company or bad energy from anyone.
I have come a long way.
I’m still working on me, and I’m still learning to love myself. But one year ago today, I NEVER would have thought I’d be alive, let alone as content in my solitude as I am now. Honesty, respect, and loyalty are the values that I live by. They mean everything to me. In this past year, I’ve learned to protect that. I’ve cut off the necessary people who don’t reciprocate my values, and I’m totally okay with it. I go hard for the people I love, and I really don’t ask for much in return. Just don’t mistake my kindness for weakness, and for the sake of love learn to appreciate what you have before it’s gone.
Pain has taught me to appreciate the things that don’t hurt. This past year has been the worst, best, and most meaningful year of my life. My peace came when I learned the REAL value of time.
I’ve learned many lessons throughout the year, and I am strengthened by them all. But the most important lesson of them all: I am worth saving.
“She knew her kindness would be taken for granted at times and gave it anyway. It was what the world needed. She loved hard and sometimes, the wrong people, but it wouldn’t stop her. She wouldn’t harbor hate in her heart, regardless of the pain she had been through. She would continue to love. Stronger. Harder. Her spirit couldn’t be broken. She was only strengthened by the lessons. She held onto her faith and continued to provide hope until her blessings came. She’s soul beautiful.” ~R.Solo