Through the Ring of Fire
Like billions of people on this earth who probably share the same experiences as mine, we continue to find ourselves stuck in the realm of our past experiences. Even a psychologist needs a psychologist to vent their issues of their life, looking to validate their actions by the observation of another. I knew that if I wanted to find my identity, I had to leave even expert opinion out of the equation. I discovered through simple steps, how it was possible to walk through the ring of fire I call life, unburned, and un-compromised.
Step One- Get Real and Let Go
About three months ago, My oldest sister and I, who I had not spoken to or seen for almost two years, were talking on the phone. My intention of calling her was only to merely say hello, see how her career was going, hash some old issues we never discussed and maybe end with both of us saying, “Im sorry and I love you.” I had very high hopes that we could rekindle our relationship, only to realize that she had very high hopes to tell me everything I did wrong, and proclaim herself as the victim of my rebeliousness as a teenager. In mid conversation, she began to ask me, “What do you know, Jenna?,” I found it to be an odd question because no one had ever ask me that, three times she repeated. I was stuck, I literally did not know how to answer her, I had fallen into her trap and dropped all the armor I had on before the conversation began. Thankfully, before I could come up with a disputable answer that did not sound like I was reading from a Dr. Seuss book, our call dropped. Once I realized I was off the hook for at least an hour, I knew I had made a terrible mistake. I thought I knew myself well enough to not subject myself to a conversation that was going no where. That’s when I checked myself, and checked off what was allowed and not allowed for me. I went to my mirror, looked at myself and asked three questions that changed the way I allow anyone to speak or treat me again, I ask “Do you love yourself enough to let go of people whether friend or family, who does not respect who you see in this mirror? Do love yourself enough to know that your past does not dictate the future you see in this mirror? Do you forgive yourself for what you couldn’t achieve? But, achieve what is in front of you? I answered yes to all of those, how will you answer?
Step Two – It’s Okay, You Go First!
I remember as a kid never wanting to be first at anything from jumping double dutch, swimming, and even standing in line to enter the restroom. I didn’t realize until I got into my 20s’ that I was content with being last at things that required a risk. Part of identifying myself required me to take chances, explore what I had not experienced before, meet people, and taking steps to make myself first. Once you become a Mother or Father, it’s becomes automatic to put your children first, then your husband, then there’s you. I believe that this an unfair, selfless way to be to yourself. Being selfless is not all a bad thing, to some is a way of giving, caring about others before self. No one wants to be considered self-centered or selfish. My question is, if you don’t put yourself first, who will? If you and your husband divorce and you have to share custody of the children, the statement always arise, “Let’s concentrate on the kids and move on.” Putting yourself first is the best gift you can give to yourself, you eat healthier, you exercise forgiveness for yourself quicker, you pamper yourself with self love and you will show your children the importance of saying, I’ll go first!
Step Three – Your Unique, Work It!
I use to think of myself as a just pretty girl, nice body, average smile that needed some work, until my freshmen year in college. Once on campus, I was flocked by guys from freshmen to seniors, left and right, with proposals of dating and relationship. I was dumbfounded because I looked at the other girls and would say, “she looks way better than me, what do they see in me?” Until those same girls I was jealous of, were complimenting me on my looks and physique. One night alone in my dorm room, I decided to look in that mirror. I stared at myself hard, looking at every inch of me, admiring my skin complexion, smiling at myself, glaring deep into my own eyes, trailing my fingers over my curves. Outside looking in, I probably look crazy or conceited, but I felt I was just getting to know me better, loving me and the skin I am in. Although, it might seem I only noticed my uniqueness until I was endorsed by those guys and girls, but their validation only enhanced what I already knew. Then, I thought I was just an average pretty girl, now I know I am beautiful, unique, fierce and can work it like no other!
As stated before, I am not a life coach or psychologist, I am just a woman that wanted to share a human experience. I pray that these steps will help you on your journey to finding your identity as they have with me.