I’m Done Breaking My Own Heart

I have opened this blog and tried to get my words out several times over the last 3 weeks, and I have struggled. I finally got to a point where I realized I just needed to start over. I had much more selfish motives when it began, and I knew that I needed to begin again from a place of a more open heart. So, in true soul baring, truth telling, heart bleeding Moonshine Niki fashion, here goes…

Sometimes we break our own hearts, and I know this well because I am the queen of it. We tend to have this picture in our heads of what situations, people, and life in general should look like, and when life doesn’t turn out the way we expect it to, we get hurt. We are stubborn. We are short-sighted. We get in our own way.

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So while I had a jumbled mix of thoughts and feelings that I was trying to get out in this blog when I started it, I couldn’t seem to articulate my thoughts. I couldn’t get my words out in a way that flowed and made sense because of some extreme stress and emotion going on. I have had all of the puzzle pieces in my mind, fragmented thoughts and feelings, but the chaos was not allowing me to fit it all together into words. Then, something amazing happened. I had several back to back realizations two weekends ago.

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My life has had a foundation of faith and having a relationship with Christ since I was young. This was something that was previously incredibly important to me, but I’ve spent the last year or so in varying stages of rebellion and even disbelief. I wrote about all of this in Losing My Religion?. Despite having decided that I needed to stop running from God, I didn’t really do much to change it and run back. A large part of this was because I was caught up in my own rebellion, and my behavior has been anything but Christlike.

I’m a pretty transparent person, the kind of person the phrase “what you see is what you get,” was made for. I am the first to admit my own flaws and faults, so believe me when I say that I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong and point out the error of my own ways. I do not feel I’m better than anyone else. In fact, I would be the first to point out that I’m in dire need of a savior…but I’ve been running from him.

I have had some big heartaches in my lifetime, and I’ve experienced yet another recently, and it was suddenly in this heartache that it hit me like a ton of bricks–I need to run back to God! I have been breaking my own heart by running from Him, by living an increasingly worldly life, and by choosing to give my body and heart to men that do not deserve it, do not respect me, and will never be a part of my future. I have broken my own heart by being selfish, choosing to ignore what God wants for me, and making poor choices.

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In these last 3 weeks, I have made some big changes. I have started attending church again, to start. Not only that, but I have joined a church group on Thursday nights that is focused on growing faith. I have been a baby christian my entire life, and I know that it’s time to change that. I have also been changing what I’m allowing into my heart and mind. I have begun cleaning up my personal Facebook account and leaving groups I shouldn’t be in and unfollowing pages that aren’t healthy for me. I have been more aware of what I’m watching on television and more aware of what music I’m listening to. Beyond that, I’ve made the decision to put Christ first in my life and begin living the way that I am supposed to.

One big recent change is that I’ve made the decision to be celibate. My biggest heartbreaks have come from being attached to men I don’t belong with. It is in my nature to be a lover, so I fall easily. I’m tired of those hurts. It’s time to be focused on my walk with God, being a better mom, and being a better friend. I am not meant to be anyone’s temporary lover. I am meant to be one Godly man’s wife. I am not focused on finding that right now, but when the time comes, I will know that it is the right thing for me.

I have to take better care of me. I have to nurture my relationship with the Lord. I also can say that I have an extreme faith that righting my walk with God is going to allow some major blessings to fall into place that I’ve been desperately wanting. I feel that true love will eventually come. I feel that once I can use my talent of writing to glorify God, the book I’ve been wanting to write so badly will come to me. My biggest goal in life is to help bring hope to people, specifically women, that have felt broken by life in the ways that I’ve felt broken. What better way to bring hope with my writing than for it to be a personal testimony that encourages people to reach out to God?! I have this unexplained faith that while life is never going to be a simple cakewalk, this path that I am currently on is going to be absolutely life changing in the best ways and is going to have a lifelong impact.

So now, I can honestly say that I’m grateful for this most recent heartbreak because through that hurt and pain, it has set me straight and gotten me back in the direction I need to be headed. I’m done breaking my own heart. Thank God!

 

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A Woman. A Mother. A True Warrior.

*This following is a submission for a local writing contest.*

Almost three months ago, I felt like my world was coming to an end. The man I loved so much, the first man I’d ever given my heart completely to, the man that I would have bet my life that he was my forever told me he was leaving and that he never loved me. On top of the heartache that threatened my ability to breathe, I knew I was in for a rough ride in many ways. On top of the pain that felt to be shredding my soul, I knew immediately that this meant I was going to have to get a second job.

You see, I am a single mother. I have three children that depend on me to provide for their every need and have no one but me to rely on. Losing my house or my vehicle was not an option. Not feeding the kids was not an option. Giving up clothing, household and hygiene supplies, and school supplies was not an option. I do not receive child support though and I have no one but myself, so I started job hunting on my lunch breaks from my day job. Within a few weeks, I was given a new uniform and learning the ropes of the food industry for the first time in my life.

Since then, I’ve been learning to balance those two jobs along with my “mom life.” Working 6 to 7 days a week has become the new norm and exhaustion has become a growing presence in my life. Sadly, I quickly started to become bogged down with life stress as my heart had no time to ache over the loss of my love.

As he has been posting pictures with his brand new pretty girlfriend on Facebook, I have been trading in my quality time with my children for evening shifts serving pizzas. As he has been out spending his weekends spending money, I have been praying to be blessed with good tips so that I could put gas in my vehicle. As he has been doing God knows what at night, I have been falling into an empty bed and quickly letting exhaustion pull me into the sweet relief of sleep before I have a chance to lie there and think about everything.

For several weeks, life has felt increasingly hard and dark. I’ve been overwhelmed with the worries and felt there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I had allowed loneliness to start to crowd my good judgment. I began to drown emotionally. I love my children more than I love having air to breathe, but any adult knows that there is an intense innate desire in us all to have the companionship of another adult. Between being lonely, the severe stress, and the lack of time, I started to feel like I was not a woman. I didn’t feel like a human being. I felt more like I was expected to be a robot.

The tears came daily for many weeks. I fought back when I felt it was me against the world, but then started to feel like my fight was fading. Then, just as I was reaching my breaking point, just as I was starting to open up to friends and tell them I’m in a dangerous place, there was a sudden breakthrough.

As I watched a gorgeous sunset with one of my best friends after work one day, I brought up to her how I need a better vehicle. It was in this conversation that a new plan was born. While it will take effort on my part to be controlled with my finances, my friend and I discussed how I am going to rearrange my bills, how I’m going to reduce certain financial obligations, and how exactly I’m going to be able to eventually quit my second job.

I left her house that night with a big smile on my face. Suddenly all the bricks of stress that were adding up and taking away my ability to breathe were lifted. I could see a new light at the end of the tunnel for the first time in a few months. I went to bed that night with a renewed sense of peace in my heart.

Not only was I relieved that night, but I’ve woken up happy again every day since then. I feel like me again. . .and that right there is the biggest gift I could give myself. I’m in a good place again.

While there are things that have happened during this time period that I wish I could take back and that I wish that my children could un-see and un-hear, I am thankful for a few things.

My children have been able to see me get my heart broken and experience a deep pain that was life altering. They have seen me fall apart under stress and heard my sorrowful sobbing through the walls. They have seen me truly exhausted and stop caring about so much that I normally would. But my children have also seen me continue on when I felt I couldn’t. They have seen me sacrifice. They have seen me do what needs to be done so that they can remain stable. They have seen me fight back when life was doing its best to kick my ass. They have also now seen me turn around and become me again during this battle. They have seen the gray skies clear and happiness shine on my face again without any man. I have always said that if it’s me against the world, that’s okay because I’m a fighter. Now, my children have seen that their mother is nothing short of a true warrior. And for this, I am happy.

That night’s stunning sunset
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STOP! Stop Comparing Yourself to Her.

Anyone on my Facebook knows that I feel there is great importance in lifting others up, especially women. While that sounds great in theory, it seems to be something that is difficult for us. Why is that?

Think about this, ladies; when you see an attractive woman walk by, what are your first thoughts and feelings? As you stand next to each other in line at your favorite coffee shop or at the grocery store checkout, can you easily throw out a “Hey girl, cute shoes/shirt/purse/hair/lipstick!” at her? Or do you quietly judge her in your head because you are automatically comparing yourself to her. Or better yet, comparing her great parts to your flaws? In my experience as a woman, the latter is much easier, but why?

In my post, I Am More Than My Cleavage, I talk about media, advertising, and the objectification of women. In that post, I was talking about the sexualization of women/girls and all the problems that causes. This post is similar because again, the media plays a HUGE part in this. It is in our faces constantly that we are supposed to be pretty, thin, curvy, confident, have perfect hair, have perfect teeth, have clear skin, be perfect mommies, be fashionable, be a sex goddess, be perfect wives/relatives/friends, and a million other unattainable perfections. This constant “in your face” media makes it damn hard to just be happy with ourselves and happy with the woman we walk by on the street.

One area I personally struggle in is being a mom. For a ton of reasons (none of which I will list here) I often feel a pang of jealousy when I see another mom doing something great. It used to really cause negative feelings in me. I would see something posted on Facebook and I immediately would think to myself about how that mom was just being boastful. Over the years though, I have grown a lot. In that growth, I can now recognize that my negative feelings for other women are so very often a reflection of my own feelings of failure. It had nothing to do with them, I just didn’t realize it. In fact, none of that was even a conscious thought until I’d reconnected with someone I used to be friends with. She is an amazing wife and mother of 5 children, and it clearly shows on her Facebook account. On Sunday, just as I was getting ready to make pancakes, eggs, and bacon for my family for breakfast, my friend’s status showed, “Drinking mint tea and my morning smoothie! Breakfast: Fried potatoes with garlic, pepper, red and green bell peppers and onion, cinnamon rolls I made last night, bacon, sausage, English muffins and I have these fruits ready to there liking: Cantaloupe, cherries, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, sliced up pink lady apples, green and red grapes, sliced oranges, peaches, cherry tomatoes and bananas. Veggie choices: Spinach leaves, celery and carrot sticks, red and green bell pepper, sliced raw broccoli, cucumber slices, sugar snap peas, green beans, snow peas, sliced cauliflower, cubed squash, buttered asparagus and raspberries. Three different yogurts, six cheeses, coconut milk or whole dairy milk and nuts galore to choose from! Now for these people to wake up, anytime now, serious!” For a split second, I thought oh my goodness, why can’t I be like that?! I immediately redirected my thinking and remembered that she is just that freaking awesome and it’s okay that she is amazing. It is also okay that my kids were “just” getting pancakes, eggs, and bacon. We were both feeding our families out of love and that is what matters.

Advertising works hard at making us hate ourselves. It does this because they want to sell products. Buy this teeth whitener, that brand of clothing, this brand of makeup, this diet supplement, and that bra. . . The list is endless because it is effective.  It’s mentally exhausting worrying about it and how we compare to others, and it requires conscious effort to remind ourselves that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Ladies, it is not easy to remember with all that is in our faces every single day that we are all worthy and we do not need to compare ourselves, but it is worth the effort. There will always be someone else that is more pretty, has better hair, has a more flattering figure, etc., but those other women DO NOT affect you. Embrace the differences, lift each other up, compliment what you like in others, and go to sleep at night knowing that those around you don’t make you any less of the amazing woman you are. 

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