Question: What are you learning about yourself, about life and about God in this season?
On social media, we often see people’s highlight reels. The accomplishments, wealth, love, luxury, glamor, and happiness are the focal points. We rarely see the rough parts, the ugliness, the loneliness, the failures or the brokenness.
Shame sets in when you feel like everyone else is in their prosperous season and you’re struggling. Your winning season hasn’t come yet. You feel left behind.
Honestly, I’ve felt this way for some time. This valley season, the season of isolation, this season of pruning, the season of learning and unlearning has been heavy. Frequently, I beat myself up about not being where I feel that I need to be, or where I think I should be by now. Sometimes I feel like my brand should have a larger audience or that I should be making more money with my brand. Sometimes I feel bad for not having it together by now, not having a home, a solid relationship and a family.
Noticeably, I’ve been inconsistent with my brand. Between quitting grad school to take on caregiving for my mother, taking on all of my mom’s needs, struggling to find balance in the work space, and experiencing changes with friends, my emotions have been all over the place. Depression and anxiety have had a hold on me.
It is extremely easy to get stuck in a “I’ll never get it together” mindset but you can’t stay there. Feel the emotions but work through them.
This season empowered me in many ways. I am so much stronger now than I was before. I realized that I have done the best I could with the situations I’m in. I have to prioritize myself and my needs before I can help others. Rest is essential. I am talented. My gifts, purpose and calling are unique. My worthiness and value are inarguable. Most importantly, I recognized how important my mindset is to my success. As a man thinketh, so is he. I can not be “glamorous”, but operate with a “drab” mindset.
If I had not endured this rough season, if I had not had my back against the wall, if I had not experienced certain pressures from certain situations, I would not be the woman I am now nor would I be able to empower others through my story.
When I discuss my journey to building my glam life, please understand that every season has purpose. The rougher seasons really pushed me to fight for my needs and my desires, to set boundaries and to seek joy. The rough moments taught me that my power and vulnerability are not mutually exclusive. Faith and obedience prevailed in the absence of my ego and pride. At some point, I had to get back to basics. I took off the weight of everyone’s needs and desires of me. I decided to stop battling the demons of the people around me. I realized that I do not have to show up to every battle, to every pity party nor am I responsible or obligated to anyone but God and myself. Advocacy starts with me. My backbone developed. I grew comfortable with my NO. I learned to get away from the situations and people that continually drain my energy. I began to discern who my friends are versus who is along for the ride.
Last week, I interviewed with Jelly Manga, creator of The Bella Project, to discuss my life as a beauty, fashion and lifestyle influencer and my life after participating in the Bella Pageant. You can catch it on my Facebook. God reminded me in that interview that my presence is powerful and that he’ll give me what I need when I am obedient. I’m inconsistent due to distraction, but God continues to show me grace and mercy. I recognized that I have an amazing support system. My voice is powerful and impactful. I am a powerhouse. How I lead, how I present myself, is empowering to others. I inspire people that I’ve never met.
In this season, I feel God calling me to boldness. The roughness of the last season truly developed my voice. I am learning to be bold in my desires, my standards and with my expectations. Over the last few weeks, I noticed that I have done a great job of advocating for myself. I have said no, and gotten great sleep behind it. My greatest lesson in this season is about understanding my value. Because I understand my value and worth, I am able to articulate why I am the best candidate for jobs and also have developed stronger pitches to brands with whom I seek to collaborate. Recognizing my worth and value are important as I date. My rough experiences with men who were not for me, helped me recognize that I was settling. Settling is no longer an option. If all of my season were sunny, I would have missed the storms and rain that built the traits and skills that I now possess. Additionally, I would understand the magnitude of God’s power, strength and love, had I not endure painful times. Last weekend, My mother experienced severe complications from surgery. We had to go to the emergency room, and the doctors did not want to admit her. An older version of me, would have tucked my tail between my legs and gone hime despite my concerns. The current version of me was bold and challenged their refusal to admit which forced other medical staff members to review her situation. Several other team members agreed with me that she did need to be admitted. The next day, the surgeon, who fought me on admission, called me to tell me that they were doing an emergency surgery due to him not recognizing how serious the situation was. The experiences have been life-changing!
As you enter the new month, many people are focused on setting goals to achieve. I recognized that I needed certain seasons to birth the version of me that I need to be to achieve my goals. I want you to get a journal and write down what you have learned about yourself, about life and about God in some of the not so attractive seasons of your life. What did those season teach you? Did the season serve purpose? How have those lessons helped you today? Did the failures prepare you for success?
If you are currently in a tough season, what lessons are you learning?
Until next time,