The journey of letting go and letting God.
Sometimes life can throw us for a whirlwind. Things that we thought that we had control over can unexpectedly take a drastic turn. As a result, our emotions can significantly affect the proceeding events thus interrupting our peace. Learning to let go of situations, finding inner peace, and knowing the importance of your mental health are significant essentials to living a better, healthier lifestyle.
To my group of friends, I am usually known as the “strong friend.” Definitely not due to my physical features as I am also the smallest or “baby” of the group as well. But I am known to be strong due to my emotional and mental appearance. I rarely tolerate drama or petty situations and I have been known to "cut people off" when I see fit. All in all, I am very quick to remove myself from trivial situations. For this reason, my friends would frequently come to me when they would need a little assistance with my scissor hands. But do not let my demeanor fool you; there are some situations in my life that I have encountered where it took me a very long time to be at peace with, which requires great strength. Finding peace has probably been the most demanding essential that I have learned as well as practiced thus far.
There is one situation where it took me quite some time to let go of and to be at peace with it. During my sophomore year in undergrad, I went through an unimaginable breakup. I won't go into vivid details but let's just say that it ended with the reaarangement of furniture. Reason being, I found out that he had cheated on me. Not once, but multiple times. After airing out my frustration and anger, I walked out of that relationship feeling stronger than ever. Of course I cried but only for a minute or two. With the help of my two best friends whom literally stood by me during the wild altercation (s/o to Kaitlyn and Colby!), I quickly gathered myself and realized who the hell I was! And as strange as it might sound, I was over him the very next morning.
At the time, I did not let the situation bother me because as usual, I swiftly moved on with my life. I was okay. But I will be honest, it did hurt me. He didn’t break my heart; in fact, I didn’t even love him. But his actions did break me; that relationship messed with me mentally and emotionally. He wrecked my space and almost my name. Although I was over it, I realized that months and almost a year later I was still asking myself, “Why did this person do what they did? Did I do something wrong? What was their reason for cheating? Did I not make them happy? Why me?” I often left my questions unanswered and continued my day-to-day activities, but I knew that I needed to do something about it when I realized that this past relationship began to mess with my current relationships/friendships. I did not trust people and I often questioned other's intentions. I was unsure of if I should ever open up to people again. I did not want to live like this because there are some genuine people out there and it is not right to presume their actions based on someone else's. Something had to be done; I had to let that situation go and finally be at peace.
I learned that there are a lot of instances where I cannot control this thing called life. I can’t control what people do to me or say to me; I can’t control losing a loved one or losing a friend; I can’t control all aspects of life. But I can control how I react to situations and my ability to move on. When people "try" you and you want to bite back, trust me I understand! I seldomly regret how I physically reacted during that situation because that was very unlike me. At this day and age, you have to ask yourself “how will this benefit me?” I tell my friends to ask themselves this statement whenever they are currently going through something or they try to go back to a situation that they were freed from. Will going back to that predicament benefit you in any way? Yes, there is a thing called closure. But sometimes you have to just let things be. Learn to be done; not mad, not bothered, just done. Protecting your peace should be one of your main priorities and if going backwards to understand a situation better, will interrupt your peace in any way, then don’t do it. Give that situation to God; allow Him to handle it while He restores your peace of mind. You have to imagine yourself being free from things that have tried to hold you. So now I will detail a few essentials that have helped me on my journey of finding inner peace and I encourage you to utilize these techniques as well.
Distancing myself from that situation was the first step to finding peace with it. It is okay to distance yourself from family or friends whom constantly bring up stuff from your past or what was known as the “old you.” It literally got to a point where I had to ask certain friends to not bring up this person’s name because he was no longer a factor in my life. Set boundaries for yourself. To that friend who always seem to bring up that person or that situation, ignore their calls or texts once in a while. When you are ready, have a conversation with them informing them to stop. Real friends will understand and respect your goal of aiming to be at peace. If social media tends to interrupt your master plan of having inner peace, then take a social media cleanse. It is okay to unfollow things or people whom may remind you of that situation.
Another essential that I will probably mention a million times is to journal. Writing has helped me in more ways than I could have ever imagined when it came to dealing with my emotions. Because it is sometimes difficult for me to open up and physically talk about my emotions in person, I often found that journaling was a beneficial tool for me to let out my feelings. When I write, I ask myself questions and I force myself to answer them. I write about what I wish I could say to that person, how they made me feel, and I basically just leave it all on the paper. It is just me and God. As writing is to me, I encourage you to find an enjoyable hobby to help you de-stress and express your hidden feelings as well.
I also encourage everyone to seek therapy when they are comfortable to do so. I myself am still mustering up the courage to physically sit down and talk with a professional about my feelings/life. This blog has definitely served as a stepping stone for me being able to open up in front of others. If you are employed, see if your job offers counseling. For those in school, check out your university health/counseling center. Additionally, there is a service called BetterHelp that offers counseling via message, chat, phone, and video sessions from your mobile device. Therapy For Black Girls is an awesome platform that will assist you in finding a trusted, culturally competent therapist for all of your emotional needs. It is important to note that your mental health should be a top priority in your life. It is definitely a key factor in finding peace.
Being at peace with something is not an easy task and sometimes it is not a one-step task either. Being at peace is a journey. Whether it takes you one week or two years to be at peace with a situation, that is okay! As long as you are constantly moving forward to achieve that personal goal of having peace, then all is well. Set boundaries, delete your distractions, remove yourself from things or people that remind you of that situation, seek a hobby or professional help but most importantly, just give it to God. Ask God to remove you from that situation and to allow you to be freed from those bonds. I can honestly say today that I am free from that situation; I no longer wish or care about what has happened. It it done. But I am working on trusting people more and understanding that not everyone I meet in my life will come with ill-intentions. In fact, I am currently in the most loving, compassionate, and trusting relationship that I have ever been in and I couldn't be happier! Michael has truly been instrumental in my journey of cultivating peace. Again, it is very important to surround yourself with people who bring you peace. So I say to you all, don't allow the actions of your past affect your present nor your future. Just imagine peace; imagine yourself in a better place because you began to let go and let God.
"It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it." -Eleanor R.
Xi’s Takeaway Essentials:
Protect your peace at all costs
Make your peace a priority
Set clear boundaries
Remove your distractions
Journal, hobby, and therapy options