When In Doubt, Lead With Faith

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Unsplash/Joshua Rawson-Harris

I know we’re only halfway through the year but I can already say that 2018 will be a year to remember. I can already sum up what the last 7 months were trying to teach me in three words; lead with faith.

I’ve never been much of a planner because I’m not good at planning anything, especially when it comes to my life but for the past 3 years I planned everything to a T because all I wanted was for my life to be in order and fall into place because I was tired of running around and being lost and just going with the flow. So I took control and while it did give me the stability that I was looking for, it robbed me out of my happiness, my spontaneity, my zest for life and adventure.

I was always worried about tomorrow, about how many hours I have left in the day to go through all my plans, about how many months left until I’m one year older with a societal checklist I needed to strike off so I can catch up with all my friends who got married, had kids and are planning their next family vacation to Europe.

I was beginning to lose sight of what I wanted for myself because I was told that I needed to be more organized, more logical, more put together and more traditional. I was told that I needed to be anything but myself.

And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t work for me, after all, there’s a reason why people conform, it’s easier there. It’s a little bit more predictable. It’s a little less chaotic.

Until I was standing one day looking at the cookie as it crumbles piece by piece right in front of my eyes. I was standing there stoic. Watching everything I’ve ever built collapse. Watching all my plans make a U-turn. Watching every single dream of mine evaporate.

And then it hit me, I planned for everything but I forgot to plan for the day when all the plans stop working. I forgot to plan for the day I lose. I was so focused on winning that I didn’t think losing was even an option.

But today, as I begin to pick up the pieces slowly, I can safely say I’m leading with faith. I still don’t have a steady plan. I still don’t know my final destination. I still have a lot of things to fix but I am leading with faith and it’s making me feel alive again.

Faith that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Faith that the things I thought I lost were actually triumphs in disguise. Faith that those hard 7 months were exactly the fuel I needed to take off and land somewhere new. Faith that the change I need in my life is coming and it’s going to be bigger and brighter than what I had planned for myself.

Because that’s the beauty of leading with faith, it rewards you in the end. You don’t lose when you lead with faith. You can only win.

The other day my friend was telling how we should all believe that we are larger than life and how we shouldn’t let the hard times or the wrong people make us feel small or insignificant. At first, I laughed at her ‘larger than life’ comment but then I thought about it, why is it so hard for us to believe that we are larger than life and that better things are actually coming our way? Why can’t we just lead with the kind of faith that makes us feel powerful, strong and loved? Why can’t we just breathe and believe that things will be okay?

And that’s what I’m going to start doing. I’m leading with faith. I’m walking into an unknown universe with open arms because I’m not scared anymore. I have something within me that’s larger than life…. and you — you have it too.

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I Am Slowly Learning That I Don’t Have To Believe The Stories Others Have Written About Me

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Unsplash/Mark Alexandrovich

I am slowly learning that I don’t have to believe the stories others have written about me. I don’t have to be the character they want to be. I don’t have to give them the happy ending they want. It’s not their story. It’s mine and I won’t let them take the pen away from me again.

They want to paint me as the villain so they can sleep better at night or they want to paint me as the victim so they can feel powerful and victorious. They want to paint me as the crazy, rebellious, lost soul so they can feel like they have someone to guide whereas they’re the ones who really need guidance. They want to paint me as the inconsiderate, heartless kid so they can justify the hurtful words they said.

I am slowly learning that some people will always mold you into their story the way they want it to be because everyone wants to be the hero in their own story, no one wants to be the bad guy. No one wants to write the truth. Everyone wants to write the reality they wish they were living and when you give them something that changes that narrative, they will do their best to write you off because changing their script means facing realities they’ve neglected for years. Changing their script means starting over. Changing their script means exposing their lies and some people out there love living a lie — a fabricated story they tell people so they can glorify themselves.

But I am slowly learning that I’m not like that. I write my story the way it is even if it hurts. I don’t write lies and believe them. I don’t write a fake reality so I can impress people. I write everything they erase. I write all the words they don’t want me to say out loud. I tell the stories they don’t want anyone to know. I don’t sugarcoat their bitterness.

And maybe that’s why they paint me as the villain and maybe I’m okay with that because a person who has already lost everything has nothing more to lose and even if they break all my fingers, I’m not giving them the pen again because my story will always glorify my honesty and their story will always glorify their lies. And maybe that’s why we can’t read the same story and maybe that’s why our story is finally over.

I Hope You Never Stop Falling In Love With Your Journey

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Unsplash/Matthew Hamilton

I know you’re tired. I know you’re ready to give up and throw in the towel because you’ve had enough. I know that sometimes even the most comforting words from the closest people don’t take the pain away. I know it’s been one hell of a ride and you’re ready to just drop everything and leave but I hope you don’t see this as the end. I hope you still have the fire inside of you that pushed you to start in the first place. To fight for your life. To fight for your happiness. To take the road less traveled. I hope you find that fire again that once fueled you to run and chase the life of your dreams. I hope you don’t get tired of trying and starting over because you’re one step closer to finding your treasure. Your journey doesn’t end with pain. Your journey ends with victory if you keep finding the strength to persevere.

I hope you remain hopeful. I hope you’re still brimming with excitement about your future and the glorious opportunities life still has in store for you. I hope you never stop trusting the universe. I hope you never lose faith in God. I hope you never stop believing that the best is yet to come.

I know you’re heartbroken. I know you keep building walls instead of bridges. I know you’re fine on your own and you don’t need anyone but I hope you never stop believing in love. I hope that the right smile still touches your heart and the right eyes still capture your soul. I hope you still believe people when they tell you they love you. I hope you know how lovable you really are. I hope your heart still beats when you get that text or that call. I hope you can still open up. I hope you didn’t let the wrong ones close you off from the right one. I hope you’re still looking for that magical connection.

And I hope you’re still looking for magic, period! I hope you know that life will never look like a fairytale and your timing will never perfectly align with your desires but I hope you know that this journey ends with victory. Your journey ends with joy. Maybe at times, it can be too chaotic, too dramatic or too difficult but it’s also too beautiful, too amazing and most of all, full of marvelous surprises. And I hope you still love surprises because the best moments in life will always be the ones that take us completely by surprise. 

There Are People Out There Who Still Know How To Love

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Unsplash/Brooke Winters

It’s crazy how life works sometimes. You get that one call or that one message you’ve been waiting for you and it doesn’t move you. You finally get the declaration of love that you once prayed for and it doesn’t fill your heart with joy. You get the apology you’ve been wanting to hear and it doesn’t soften your heart.

I guess this is what happens when you’ve been the one who’s always extending your love to those who didn’t deserve it. When you’ve waited long enough for people who never showed up on time. When you’ve been the one who tried to mend and fix everything only to have the other person break it. I guess this is what happens when your heart has had enough. I guess this is what happens when you remember that you deserve the same kind of love you’re always giving.

I guess this is what happens when you realize that time changes everything. Distance gives you the closure you need. Self-love reminds you of your worth. I guess this is what happens when you realize that you still know how to walk away, you still know how to detach, you still know that there are better people out there for you. People who want to offer you a solid kind of love that doesn’t leave you wondering. People who inspire you to become better because they have unwavering faith in you and your abilities. People who want to take care of you. There are people out there who can see your worth right away. They don’t need constant reminders. They don’t need to explore to know for sure. They don’t need to lose you first to appreciate you. There are people out there who are ready to surprise you and redefine everything you thought you knew about love.

And I guess when you meet these people, that one message doesn’t mean anything anymore. That one call is better left unanswered. That person belongs to your past, not your future. Their reality no longer belongs to you. You belong to the ones who don’t make you suffer. You belong to the ones who don’t keep you waiting. You belong to the ones who inspire to love deeper and laugh harder. You belong to the ones who enhance the most beautiful parts of your soul instead of forcing you to hide them.

Come Find Me When You’re Ready

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Unsplash/Dan 7Kidz

Come find me when you’re ready to dive deeper into love.

Come find me when you’re done with all your games.

Come find me when your need for love is greater than your need for attention.

Come find me when you want to have something real.

Come find me when you’re looking for quality over quantity.

Come find me when you’re done chasing temporary things.

Come find me when you’re ready to bare your soul.

Come find me when you’re not afraid to be vulnerable.

Come find me when you’re not scared of showing me your scars.

Come find me when you’re ready to share every little part of your life with someone.

Come find me when you’re ready to hand someone your whole heart.

Come find me when you’re looking for the truth.

Come find me when you need someone to understand your complexities.

Come find me when you’re looking for someone to reflect your soul.

Come find me when you’re looking for forever not just for right now.

Come find me when you’re looking for a home, not a vacation.

Come find me when you’re tired of running and you’re finally ready to stay.

Sometimes It Takes Not Loving Yourself To Master The Art Of Self-Love

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Unsplash/Pete Bellis

Self-love is not easy. It’s not something you can master overnight. It’s not something you can practice in a year or two. It’s an ongoing process. It’s a constant test. It’s a constant battle that you may not always win but you have to remember that self-love is the only weapon you need to win at life because life will always put you in situations where you have to use it and use it wisely.

Self-love means depriving yourself of the things you love and the temptations along the way because you don’t want to lose yourself. It means learning how to walk away from the people who don’t appreciate you even if they’re all you need and think about. It means being brave enough to say no when everything inside you screams yes. It means choosing to walk alone instead of being around the wrong crowd.

Self-love means setting boundaries and having difficult conversations and ending friendships and relationships that are not serving you well. It means suffering alone for a little while to find long-term happiness. It means making difficult decisions and guarding your heart and protecting yourself from those trying to hurt you.

Sometimes self-love goes against everything you’re feeling and everything you’re thinking. Sometimes self-love means ignoring what people think of you and learning how to believe in yourself without anyone supporting you. Sometimes it means having to be your own cheerleader. Sometimes it means having to do the very thing that you hate to do because no one said self-love was easy. No one said that you won’t have days where it’s easier to throw your pride out the window and just cave into the instant gratification. No one told you that it’s actually harder to be your best friend than your worst enemy.

But being your worst enemy will only cause you pain and disappointment. It will put you in situations that you’re going to regret. It will draw people who don’t appreciate you closer to you. It will make people take you for granted and slowly it will make you believe that you’re not worthy of love and respect. You’ll start believing that you’re not good enough. You’ll start living expecting people to treat you like you don’t matter. You’ll start being okay with not liking who you are and waiting for people to validate you in order to feel better about yourself.

So no one said self-love will be easy, but once you get it, once you nail it, once you truly master the art of self-love, you’ll realize that it was all worth it. You’ll realize that no one has the power to make you doubt yourself and no one has the power to make you question your worth because you have the most important shield, you have the strongest protection…you know who you are and what you deserve and you won’t allow yourself to settle again.

You won’t allow yourself to let anyone dictate or define how you see yourself or how you feel about yourself because sometimes that’s the only way to truly thrive in life.

The Wrong Kind Of Love Is Overrated

 

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Unsplash/Tyler Nix

Trust me when I say the wrong kind of love is overrated. Wanting someone you can’t have. Missing someone who wasn’t really yours. It’s all in your head. Fighting for someone’s attention when they’re so easily distracted by anything other than you. Trust me, you don’t want someone who can’t see you or see your worth. You don’t want someone who doesn’t want to spend time with you. You don’t want someone who keeps making excuses as to why you can’t be together instead of finding reasons to make it work. You don’t want someone who makes you feel like getting to know you is heavy or frustrating. You don’t want someone who makes you feel like you’re so hard to be with. You don’t want someone who can’t communicate the truth to you when you need it most. You don’t want someone with a weak heart who can’t handle all of you because darling, you’re not for the faint of heart.

Trust me, it’s overrated.

Once you take them off that pedestal and put yourself back on there, you’ll realize that you should have knocked them down a long time ago. Because it’s overrated. Their love is nothing but a waste of time. It will never match yours and they will never bring out the best in you. It’s pointless. Wanting someone who suppresses the most beautiful and vulnerable parts of you. Talking to someone who forces you to bite your tongue and curb your deepest emotions. Running a mile for someone who wouldn’t even walk an inch for you.

You don’t need that and you also don’t need closure. Your closure is knowing your worth and taking back all the love you’ve given to the wrong ones and pouring it on the one who truly deserves your love because that’s when you’ll know it’s right, when you pour your love on someone and it doesn’t leave you feeling empty. 

Another Way To Look At Things Falling Apart

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Today, I want to talk about things falling apart.

It’s funny how one month can make you question everything. March was such a transitional month for me. A lot of things changed in my personal and professional life and it made me question and rethink a lot of things.

Often, we get carried away with a certain fantasy in our head or a certain life we want to live to the point where we convince ourselves that this is the life we’ve been dreaming of and it’s finally here and the world is better now but then something happens that shakes up this so-called ‘perfect’ life and you’re faced with the hard questions again, the real painful questions you’ve been stifling; is that the life I want to live? Is this is where I want to live? Is that the person I want to love? Is that the kind of friend I need?

And when the answer is shockingly no to all these questions, you’re forced to start over. You’re forced to step back and see things for what they are and people for who they are. You’re forced to stop romanticizing your life and start being a realist again. Change is hard. Disappointment sucks. Feeling like you’ve been betrayed or taken for granted or lied to hurts like hell.

But you know what hurts even more? Pretending that everything is okay when it’s not. Playing dumb when you know better. Underestimating your own ability to walk away from a life that no longer serves you.

Things fall apart so you can change something within you. They fall apart to teach you something really important; the wrong people, the wrong city, the wrong friends will never give you the life of your dreams.

I feel like this month God has ended everything I once lived for or believed in. I feel like in a way he cleansed my life for me, granted, it was a bit too sudden, too abrupt like the saying when it rains it pours, but at the same time, I feel like this is what I’ve been praying for so I can’t really complain. I’ve been praying for clarity, I’ve been praying to find where I belong, I’ve been praying to figure out if I should let go or hold on and I feel like God gave me the answers all at once. You see, praying is for the brave. You have to be brave enough to face the truth even if it’s not the one you hoped for.

Then I remembered one of my favorite quotes from Eat Pray Love ‘Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.’

I’ve been in my bubble for two years. I got comfortable with the way things have been even when they weren’t making me happy. I took whatever I could get without believing that I can do better. I settled and when you settle, there will always be a void you can’t fill, there will always be something missing even though you can’t pinpoint it. There will always be a person inside you waiting for you to move, or say something or change or take a leap of faith because this is not who you are. You are lying to yourself. You are withholding your own truth and delaying your own fortune.

And that’s how I feel about things falling apart, they’re not actually falling apart to destroy you, they’re falling apart to save you. They’re falling apart to protect you. They’re falling apart so you can transform your life.

So accept that ruin can sometimes be a gift from the universe. Ruin can build up better things. Ruin is not always favorable but if that’s the way the cookie crumbles, then we must figure out a way to enjoy the deliciousness and sweetness of it all, even if it’s crumbs for now because the day it all falls back together, the day things fall back into place, we’ll be glad we didn’t ruin our lives when things were falling apart. We’ll be glad we held on instead of falling down with it. We’ll be glad we survived the worst because it only means things will get better. It only means that the best is yet to come.

So on those hard days when it feels like everything is falling apart, I’ll always remember this quote and feel hopeful again. “Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.”

One Day, It Will Just Hit You

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Nikita Kachanovsky

And one day it will just hit you. On a random Tuesday afternoon, as you’re sitting in a cafe sipping tea, it will just hit you that you deserve so much more. You deserve so much better.

Someone who truly wants you. Someone who wants to try. Someone who wants to take a chance.

It will hit you when you start feeding yourself the bitter truth instead of your sweet lies. It will hit you when you try to sum up their actions and they don’t add up. It will hit you when you realize they only liked how you made them feel. The validation they got from you. The attention you gave them so effortlessly and the way you built them up when they were broken.

It will hit you that when it was your turn to ask for what you wanted and ask for your efforts to be matched, they ran away. They couldn’t step up because they didn’t value you. They valued how you made them feel. It was never about you from the start. It was always about them. They never saw you. The only saw the way you viewed them and they fell in love with it. They fell in love with the image you created — the person they’re never going to be.

But please don’t hate yourself for sticking around longer than you should or giving more or caring more. Please don’t say you’re a fool for believing in something more. Please don’t beat yourself up for thinking that they could have been right for you because you gave it your all, you were brave enough to try, you showed up, you embraced your vulnerability and told them how you truly felt and and that’s what truly matters.

That’s how you will move on easily and peacefully. That’s how you will let go with ease because trust me, it will hit them one day, on a random Tuesday afternoon as they’re sitting in a cafe sipping tea that they should have tried harder. They should have loved you when you cared. They should have known that you will eventually walk away. They should have known that when you decide to leave, you’re never coming back.

It will hit them only when it’s too late. Only when you’re gone.

The Beauty Of Choosing To Trust God Instead Of Worrying

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Unsplash/JoelValve

Something beautiful happens when you trust God.

Things don’t hurt you as much as they used to.

Endings don’t cause you pain.

The unknown doesn’t stress you out.

Life doesn’t scare you anymore because you’re not attached to the outcome. You’re not attached to a single plan. You’re not attached to a picture of how things should look like.

You just live knowing that everything will be ok. Everything will be fine. Everything will work itself out because, at the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do.

At the end of the day, you’re not in control.

You can jump up or fall down, crawl or run, yell or scream but nothing will ever change what God wrote for you.

So be still.

Stay calm. Keep believing in him and his plans.

What’s not meant for you will always evade you and what’s meant for you will always find you no matter where you are.

People will tell you that you need to have a plan for your future and make decisions quickly and figure things out but God will tell you that you need to be patient. You need to listen. You need to wait for your turn or your moment. You need to follow his lead.

And trust me when I say that no one will make you feel better, no one will understand what you’re going through and no one will help you or heal you except for God.

So let all your fears and worries go for a second and be still. The universe is moving things for you. God is working things out for you. You are safe.

Writer & Poet

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