I neglected myself for him…
I literally left everything I knew for love. Let me be the first to say, “OPERATING IN DESPERATION MODE IS NOT LOVE!” The painting stopped. The work ethic tarnished. Eating habits destroyed. The meditation went dormant. My mom used to call me her “Iron Fist in a Lace Glove”, unfortunately all that was left of this beautiful lace glove was something empty, unraveling and hanging limp. I know I’m talking to someone out there…Hellooooooo??? All of the things that defined Chloé somehow went missing. I was having an identity CRISIS!
So what was left of me? Is this really what love is?
Alice Walker wrote the classic, “The Temple of My Familiar”, (this awesome body of work is the sequel to The Color Purple). Back then Chloe’s life’s theme could’ve been called, “The Temple of My Unfamiliar.” This body, my temple, my house, my sacred place of peace had become barren. I POURED MYSELF INTO A RELATIONSHIP THAT WOULD NEVER COMPLETE ME, IN FACT IT WAS DEPLETING ME… It left me empty, hurting and even ashamed because deep down inside I knew better (Destiny’s Child sang, “My Mama Taught Me Better Than That!” that’s right, keep singing the rest of the song no matter how cliché, BE A SURVIVOR!)
So here is my big sister/mommy moment of the day:
Do not ever rob yourself of the beauty and bliss that was created in you. You are indeed unique, one of a kind. Like a freshly cut diamond, there is no other quite like you. Let me remind you that there is nothing ordinary about you, you are a miracle, one of the wonders of the world. Think about that… Allow no situation or person to diminish that. How? Start by just taking a moment to look in the mirror and say, “What’s Up (insert your name)?” Your mental health, physical well-being and emotional balance are your priority. The uneasiness experienced when you feel yourself slipping away is the warning sign to get back to what you know…get back into your home…that place that was created for you to nurture. Please hear me when I say…NEVER LET YOURSELF GO.
Some of my fondest childhood memories were by the ocean. I found myself in the ocean. Her movement paralleled my freedom. No clear direction but the rhythm never stopped. I sailed, scuba dived and swam back into my paradise. I NEVER DROWNED.
My eyes tear as I write this because I know how it feels to be lost within yourself not knowing how to return to your “safe house.” It is not the end. I promise you this. Pick up that paintbrush, that pen, that mic, that recipe book, that sewing machine…all of the tools that set you free. These natural skill sets usher you away from your pain so that you can think clearly again.
Take this moment and own it….
(Photo via Donnie Nunley)