2017: The Ride of Highs and Lows

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GETTING HONEST WITH THE LOWS

This year has been one for the books. I don’t like odd numbers so I knew this year wasn’t going to be one of my favorites, but surprisingly things are looking up. 2017 began low with a break-up, peaked in Paris, ignited in Italy, hit a milestone with a Masters degree, up again accepting a wild invitation, and finally landing on the journey to peace and love. I want to write about this year because I think it’s important to understand that life is going to bring us fruitful years and learning years. The fruitful years are the easy ones riding the roller coaster for adrenaline, enjoying our gains, and spreading love because we feel so fortunate. In these years you may experience a couple of bumps along the way, but nothing to throw you off course. Then there are the learning years where the roller coaster jolts you at every turn and leaves you hanging on for dear life and nauseated. You feel like everyone else is having the time of their life and you can barely catch your breath, wondering if its ever going to get better. In these years its hard to spread love because sometimes you don’t love yourself and feel like everyone else in the world has it figured out but you. These years are hard and can be isolating and confusing and depressing. I know this because 2017 has been a learning year for me. And I’m here to tell you that it gets better. It has to. I’ve learned through this year to be comfortable being uncomfortable with where I’m at in my life this very moment. Because eventually something has to shift and the fruitful years will return. I want you to know that if you are going through a learning year that you are not alone. I know its hard to believe now, but the learning years are the most important. They teach us how grateful to be in the fruitful years and without the lows how could we ever know when we are high? I’m learning to look at disappointments and setbacks as a constant tutor, allowing them to teach me how to avoid the failing mistakes on the last test in order to pass the next one. If you are experiencing a “low” in your life, remember to look at it as something temporary. I promise you brighter days are ahead, but its important to learn something from this “low”, so when you are high again it will be that much better.

THE LOW

So let’s talk about the lows and how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable while we are going through them. I’d like to share with you my lowest point this year and my journey through it, in hopes it can in some way help you. I’m sure everyone at some point has experienced a break-up and the havoc its emotional toil can wreck on the rest of life’s happenings. My lowest point in 2017 was in January when I was broken up with on Friday the 13th. Did I mention I'm not good with odd numbers? So yeah that happened. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming because I did, I was just so afraid to face the music, to let go of someone I truly loved. I was afraid to face the relationship and the crossroads it was at because of FEAR. Fear is what held me back. Fear of feeling alone, rejected, and saying goodbye to the person I thought was ‘my person’. Fear of canceling all the plans I made for the future, because now I had zero plans. It was one of the lowest beginnings to a new year I have ever experienced. I had so many hopes and plans for the future which all included my partner, but unfortunately I was nowhere in his. I refused to accept this for a long time which became the most painful part of the breakup. 

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Having to accept that i blatantly neglected myself and my worth. I was in denial and held back by fear.

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Spend it Wisely. 

I realized through the pain of the breakup that a lot of the emotion I was feeling was from disappointment in myself, being afraid to honor what I truly needed from a relationship because of fear-based beliefs. Beliefs that I would end up alone, never be happy again, and wasn't worthy of love. But here’s the thing, not being true to yourself causes you to feel alone regardless. I was in a relationship but towards the end of it felt alone 24/7 because I wasn’t being honest with what I needed to fulfill me. The moment you get honest with yourself and your partner with what you value in a relationship, that’s when you honor love. Love is not only giving to another, but it is also respecting yourself enough to honor YOU. And if the other person does not receive it in the way you need, you should love yourself enough to take a step back and really think about what you want in a partner. These talks are sometimes hard and disappointing, but are so vital to understand what each person expects out of the relationship. Communicating your expectations sets the tone of the relationship and if you quiet your voice in this, you could end up disappointed and hurt. You deserve to be heard and fulfilled in giving your love to another. Your love is the most expensive thing you own, and should be spent wisely. If someone else doesn’t see how valuable your love is, I PROMISE there are other shiny people in the world that would love to max you out. :)

NO MORE SUGAR - COATING

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In facing myself and my situation I learned how to be comfortable and relaxed in not knowing what the future held. I embraced my broken heart and was honest about it. Almost too honest. When people would ask me how I was doing, I didn’t sugar- coat anymore. I was tired of sugar -coating. I would simply say, “Going through some things, but I know I’ll figure it out”. There was power in those words because it freed me from denying myself, something I had been doing for a long time. Even it made other people uncomfortable, I wanted to declare that I was not okay at the present moment. Saying it out loud sparked a shift in my confidence. That probably sounds completely backwards and contradicting but I promise it works. I became confident in being uncertain about my future. All of the plans I thought I had were gone, so it was time to find confidence in having zero plans. On the days I felt really sad, I would allow myself to be sad and also remind myself that I would not be as sad this time next week because it would get easier. I chopped my hair off to embrace the new me (this always helps) and pictured my life a year ahead and of all the possibility a new love, or a new city, or a new opportunity could bring. It was just on the horizon.

The greatest thing about a break up or a low, is that you get the chance to start over. Hit the reset button. And you'll get to fall in love again...You get to feel all the feels all over again. How fun is that?! First awkward date, first kiss, first everything. That’s what kept me going and I decided to fall in love with myself, my faith, and Louisiana all over again. I was finally home and I let it heal me. And eventually my heart became open to the idea of allowing myself to love and be loved again. So try to find something to fall in love with. It doesn’t have to be a person, you can fall in love with a new song, a new workout, a new book or a hot new Instagram model.           

BEGIN AGAIN

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It takes great courage to ‘Begin Again’ but to really live requires new beginnings and you deserve to really live. I know its terrifying but search inside yourself and get honest with your present situation. Try writing it down, this helps so much. Jot down the low you are dealing with and then throw it away. The second you gain courage to become honest with yourself in whatever you are facing, the fear loses its power and you gain control. It then becomes so much easier to be honest with the world around you. I’m not saying its instantly going to make you feel better, but you will slowly begin to feel comfortable being uncomfortable and peace will begin to flow.

Ask God for courage, He is always listening.

And when someone asks you how you’re doing, just say “I’m in my learning year, how are you?”.

Sending you courage to begin again, I promise its worth it.

And remember, you’re never alone.

Love, *Dear L.j.*