Growth.

Ever drove by a garden and saw there was one flower that was taller than the rest? Ever sat at a table and realized you no longer had an appetite for what was being served?

In life, we go through many phases and most of the time, we don’t have a name for these phases … these chapters. Hell, I can’t say how many times I’ve named this current chapter that I’m in, LOL. First, it was self, then it was healing, and then it was self-love … the list goes on. Ultimately, I landed on “Growth” today so bear with me because the shit might change tomorrow.

Lately, I’ve been catching myself in moments where I look around my place and I think to myself, damn … you’re alone again. It’s not too soon before those moments change and I bask in the feeling of my own company. The truth is I love being alone, I just don’t like feeling alone. Through these moments though, I have come to realize that I wholeheartedly enjoy the solace and peace my own company brings.

See, the “old Shayna” as I like to refer to her as, didn’t like to be alone. She didn’t like to upset anyone but she consistently did herself a disservice when she would lie and tell everyone, “I’m fine”. She often wore a mask of the woman she aspired to be … a woman who was strong, witty and took no shit. I think that’s the Shayna everyone had come to know and love until I lost myself. The “old Shayna” began to sink deeper and deeper behind the mask, keeping up a facade of strength and bravery when she was really scared, fragile, and tired. She stayed behind that mask for as long as she could until the pieces began to chip away the more and more she broke. She was hoping for a savior … for someone to help her with her own broken pieces but she’d worn this mask for so long that everyone thought she was fine. She finally realized that it was time to take the mask off, it was time to put the cape on and be her own hero.

Healing requires growth and lately I have been standing firm, damn near wiggling my toes in the dirt as I root myself. The “old Shayna” is buried beneath my feet and ain’t no resurrection for little miss “I don’t have boundaries because I want people to stay around.” Well let me tell y’all, the “growing Shayna” (ooo, I like that) has established boundaries and there are some people who absolutely HATE it!!! What “old Shayna” didn’t realize was a lack of boundaries invited a lack of respect. Having no boundaries caused people to take advantage of her and mistreat her, and there are some people who really believed that shit was going to continue. Well excuse me but this growth applies to YOU too! When someone is growing, you’re not exempt from the newness that they’re walking in but to those people, the old you was easier to manipulate and manage. Who the hell do you think you are letting them know what you won’t tolerate anymore?! What’s that quote say y’all?

“I don’t care what I allowed in the past … TRY ME TODAY!”

I tell y’all this because it’s time to start advocating for ourselves, being there for ourselves, and pouring into ourselves. It’s also important to start being honest with ourselves. Pretending to be okay when you’re not doesn’t just hurt but it’s absolutely exhausting. When you’re growing, you will realize that you are outgrowing old habits and even people but please be advised that you are NOT wrong for that. It’s not your fault if there isn’t anyone who wants to grow with you. Some journeys are best taken alone. 

Take your mask off and don’t be like the “old Shayna” because …

I was a caterpillar talking butterfly shit when I hadn’t even begun to spin my cocoon yet.

Disappointments.

I know, I know y’all … it’s been awhile since I’ve dropped a few words but the real can’t be forced. When I write, I usually grab a notebook and write my thoughts down as a rough draft before I type and publish my work. Tonight, I decided to set the mood by lighting some of my KullturedKandy candles and pour a glass of wine … then sitting myself down and just flowing.

I decided to title this piece, “Disappointments”, because in life, we all have experienced them. They say having expectations leads to disappointments and damn, if that ain’t the truth. In this chapter, not only am I learning that I can’t control the outcome of situations in my life but I am also learning it is okay to be the disappointment in the chapters of others.

Having someone disappointed in me used to unsettle me. I wouldn’t feel as though I was performing as my best self unless I was doing something for someone. Previously I mentioned to you all my issues with codependency and in unlearning this behavior, I am also learning to wholeheartedly not give a fuck … just flow (April Nichole, @NikkiesThoughts). I used to care so much that it would be to my own detriment. Now, I am so focused on the betterment of myself that I truly do not have the urge to please anyone.

When you are becoming comfortable in being a disappointment, you realize your interactions with people will change. Lately, I’ve noticed in my interactions with some people, many of them are still stuck on the “old Shayna.” The Shayna from the past who was apologetic even though she had nothing to be sorry for … the Shayna who consistently poured into others though her cup was empty … the Shayna who accepted apologies she never received … the Shayna who loved others more than she loved herself.

I recently had someone tell me that I had a history of not telling the truth and to their credit, they were right. Did I get upset with that statement? Not at all because honestly … that was the past. I can’t be mad at someone who is still stuck there and doesn’t want to take the time to see my growth. 2007, 2012, 2016, 2019 Shayna is not the same woman who now sits in 2020. I recently had someone tell me I was a horrible friend because I don’t answer calls or text messages anymore. Honestly, they’re right. If I know there is something coming to disturb my peace, I will not receive it … at least, not until I am ready to. If I know there is someone coming to receive and not reciprocate, I do not accept them into my space.

I am learning it is okay to not always show up for everyone. It’s not okay to not show up for yourself. I am learning that it is not my obligation to fix nor heal everyone. I had to wake up and realize that I was slacking in my boundaries … slacking in using my voice to acknowledge my wants and needs. I was so used to being a giver that I wouldn’t voice when my cup was empty and needed a refill. RECIPROCITY … I’m not giving you no more than you giving me. This isn’t to say I no longer care about certain people .. this is to say, “Yes, I want the best for you but not to my detriment!” (April Nichole, @NikkiesThoughts).

Some people aren’t going to accept your growth. For most people, it’s more comfortable for them leaving you right where they left you at … in the past. Especially when your past self was easier to deal with .. easier to manage and easier to use to their benefit. There are some people in my life who have noticed my growth and have acknowledged it. I have been told on many occasions that the light has returned to my eyes and my smile. I thank you all so much but please believe me when I say, this is only the beginning because …

 

I’M ABOUT TO LIGHT THIS MUHFUCKA UP!!

Forgiveness.

Before getting my sexy back, I spoke with y’all about experiencing different chapters in our lives. For those of us who are committed readers, how many happy endings did you come to before reading about the villain who came and fucked everything up? How many of us can actually acknowledge that sometimes we’re the villain in our own stories?

Through this transition, I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection, as I frequently do. I’ve never been the type of person to label myself as a victim or to even carry the title proudly as some do. I realized while processing my current chapter that I’ve been the villain in my own story on a few occasions. Many of the recent traumas I experienced were because I allowed them to happen and this revelation has lead me to kicking myself in my own ass … beating myself up for allowing such bullshit to not only occur but continue.

Now, I’m no longer beating myself up. I’m accepting the lessons I decided to learn the hard way and forgiving myself as well.

I forgive myself for losing myself while helping others find themselves.

I forgive myself for trying to be the peacemaker even though being the peacemaker isn’t always peaceful.

I forgive myself for meeting someone at their potential rather than accepting their reality.

I forgive myself for settling for less than I deserved.

I forgive myself for thinking I deserved less.

I forgive myself for doubting my self worth.

I forgive myself for feeling as though it was my obligation to heal someone.

I forgive myself for placing myself and my feelings second to others.

I forgive myself for being a rehabilitation center for others instead of using my own tools to rehabilitate myself.

I saw a meme that said “no one tells you this but the healing hurts more than the wound” and I’ll be damned if that ain’t the truth. Your healing is your responsibility. There’s going to be the good parts, the bad, and the ugly … because when I cry, I give Taraji a run for her money with the ugly cry LOL. It’s all apart of the process though … you can’t skip these parts and don’t try to as you’re only hindering your process. Keep pushing y’all … and forgive yourself because there ain’t one of us out here who’s perfect.

Bringing Sexy Back.

Today I saw a quote on Facebook that said “Being called ugly all your life then having people attracted to you in adulthood is weird”, and I immediately felt that. Growing up, I was always chubby, heavy set, overweight … whatever the hell they wanted to call it. I never knew what it felt like to be desired or wanted in middle school and high school. My tomboy ass was on the basketball team and rocked straight back cornrows like I was Cleo in Set It Off. I rocked Jordans like it was my job and the most girly thing about me were my SWV nails, LOL.

Life changed when I got to college and I started receiving compliments which I couldn’t take to save my life. One of those compliments were “sexy.” My awkward ass didn’t know ANYTHING about being sexy. SEXY?! I was the type who would try winking at a dude and ended up blinking but each eye was delayed. Embarrassing much? Lap dance? HA! Excuse me while I fall over your legs and step on your toes .. SEND HELP SOMEBODY! I need Meg the Stallion’s knees!

Reclaiming your “sexy” is no easy task, especially after a bad relationship or a string of bad relationships where your confidence took a hit. Remember last week when I spoke about chapters … well, bringing sexy back is apart of my “self” chapter. I recently spent a weekend with my sister tribe and we enjoyed some libations and laughs. Apart of the soirée was to wear some sexy lingerie and I, for one, have never wore sexy lingerie. First of all, some of the shit be complicated as hell. Where does this string go? This snaps to what? F*ck it, be happy my bra and panties match sir 😂

I am in a space where I get sexy for myself and I let my definition of “sexy” be what it is. I’m awkward and I’m funny therefore that’s what comes along with my “sexy.” Sometimes I will prance around my apartment by myself in my little sexy numbers with music playing and wine in my glass. When I pass by a mirror, I hit reverse and say, “DAMN GIRL … YOU KILLIN’ EM!” I say all of this to say, embrace your sexy again ladies. Do it for yourself and enjoy it because regardless of your size or shape, you look good girl! Don’t you EVER forget it!

In conclusion, I can write some sexy shit so I’m blessing y’all with a little something …

 

BEG ME

There he stood, with eyes glaring at me from behind black-rimmed glasses and a smirk on his face.
Meanwhile I stood before him, motionless and wondering how on Earth did I get to this place?
I’ve fought these feelings, this temptation … date after date,
Thinking back to that movie like “90 days girl, make him wait.”
But the sexual tension began to build higher than the wall I’ve made,
and the anxiousness I’ve been feeling, I can no longer escape.
He took a step forward and pulled me into his chest,
so close I could smell the cologne he wore through his vest.
Our eyes met where I could see his lust and desire,
my breathing quickened, preparing for what was about to transpire.
He grabbed the back of my neck as our lips met,
and our tongues danced as my hands tugged at his pants.
He broke our kiss and released me suddenly,
as I stood there … hot, bothered, and ready.
”Tell me what you want,” he said as he walked over and sat on the bed.
”I want you to fuck me”, I replied, looking directly in his eyes.
He smiled and laid back with his hands behind his head and said, “I want you to beg.”
I walked over to him and sat myself on his lap as I pulled him up and wrapped my legs around his back.
He grabbed me by the hair, pulling my head back as I heard the hooks of my bra unsnap.
My neck was exposed and the trail he left with his tongue to my earlobe resulted in the curling of my toes.
I couldn’t fathom some of the sensations he’s awakened,
as he licks and blows, my body shivers with every breath that I take in.
As he continued his assassination of my will, the urge increased for my juices to spill.
I could no longer withstand his tease and the last thing I remember as he slid his fingers in me was my moaning voice cry out …

 

PLEASE!

Chapters.

I think it’s safe to refer to myself as a writer now but what I’ve always been is a reader. To me, there’s nothing like a good book to sit down and get lost in. A truly good book would have you wanting to skip ahead because certain chapters were taking too long. This is what I’ve been doing in my own story.

I don’t believe in New Years resolutions. If I made a resolution, it was always to lose weight and would end up in an epic fail LOL. Instead of having a resolution, I would consider the new year a new chapter in my life and I’d name it. For the past few years, I’ve been naming chapters “Self” over and over again because I screwed up the story the chapter before.

I was constantly naming chapters “Self” because I kept telling myself, this is the part of my story where it’s going to be solely about me … and it wouldn’t be. I kept trying to skip this chapter and get to the good part because writing your own story without any supporting characters is outright hard. I never thought being the main character of my own story would be so lonely. In most good books, (well the romance ones I read) the main character has some type of hero that swoops in and saves the day … saves the story.

In life, we have to realize that we are the authors of our own stories. We can’t look for that hero to come and change the storyline. The pen is always in our hands therefore we’re in control. I know some of us would prefer writing our stories in pencil so we can erase the mistakes. I have plenty of mistakes that I wish I could erase but it’s those mistakes that make the story worth turning the page.

From now on, I’m writing my story in pen … without hesitation. I’m not perfect so the mistakes will continue to be made meaning the lessons will continue to be learned. I’ve decided to take a break off the “Love” chapter. I can always go back to that … when I’m ready. In this part of the story, I’m just going to keep writing and hopefully the main character of Shayna will continue to grow. Keep turning the pages … there is more to come.

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Time Heals All.

How many of us can actually say we give ourselves time to heal? How often do we engage in the healing process after we’ve experienced a traumatic or life-altering event? Do we take the necessary steps? Do we rush it or do we just completely ignore the whole thing and act as if it never happened?

I can confidently say I’m one of those people who never actually engaged in healing. I either rushed the process or acted like the event never happened. I was the type to experience a heartbreak then jump head first into another shitty ass situation … just making the same mistakes I had before. Ignoring the red flags I was well aware of and just focusing on the “love” I had been longing for.

I’m currently in a healing process and I’m doing things differently this time around. With that being said, I am uncomfortable as all hell. How does someone who never put themselves first learn this new behavior of being selfish? How does someone who had barely any boundaries now start drawing lines in front of people they used to feel they couldn’t live without? … with time, patience, and work!

I’ll be the first to say I’m an impatient person. I despise waiting .. especially for something I dearly want and feel I deserve. Being impatient though is what’s gotten me into situations that I had no business in. I’d be in those situations and have the patience of a saint yet the whole time, I was unhappy. Unhappy and thinking, “If I give it more time, things will change.” Stupid, right? Hey, we’ve all been there before but hopefully, a lightbulb has went off for some of us and we realize it’s time for a change. There are also those of us who are hard learners and think, “let me try this a third or fourth time, JUST TO BE SURE.”

Change is uncomfortable but growth is apart of the process. Don’t stay in a situation because to you, it has become your new “normal.” There’s nothing normal about being unhappy. There’s nothing normal about losing yourself and settling for the bare minimum. The healing process will not always be fun. Hell, it’s a rollercoaster ride with times where you feel yourself heading up, anticipating what’s at the top. Then suddenly, you hit a drop and you’re just screaming while you plummet and hope you don’t hit the bottom. Embrace it .. the uncomfortable and the ugly because in the end, a beautiful butterfly breaks out of the cocoon. If this healing process thus far has taught me anything, it’s taught me that putting me first isn’t selfish … it’s necessary.

Heal first … love can wait but self … cannot.” – Moore or Less

That Wasn’t Your Place.

Stop asserting yourself into a role you weren’t asked to fulfill.

In figuring out my purpose, I’ve played many roles in life that were not meant for me. There is one role that I reflect on most. I was never asked to play this role. I never auditioned for it. I just asserted myself into it. My childhood trauma impacted me to the point where I was scared of conflict … even the ones that didn’t concern me. I always remembered myself as being the peacemaker, trying to make sure everyone was happy because things were good when everyone was happy.

Now that I am in my 30s, I realized these circumstances led me to become a “fixer.” I was someone who was broken … so in return, I ran around trying to fix everything and everyone I came across. This tied into my relationships as I attracted some of the most broken people. When we become young first time daters, we don’t ask the person we’re dating, “what happened in your childhood that has made you the person you are today?” We don’t ask, “have you any demons that you haven’t addressed through therapy?” In our teens and 20s, we weren’t thinking about things like that even though we were setting up a beautiful life with this person in our minds already. Fixers like myself saw all of your past trials and tribulations that hurt you and thought, “I can fix this.” I thought with this big and generous heart that God blessed me with, I could love away another’s trauma. I thought I could affirm away their insecurities. What I didn’t realize was picking up someone else’s broken pieces only cut me.

Hurt people hurt people, especially when hurt goes unacknowledged. You obsess over proving yourself as the fixer, not realizing that this stems from your own trauma. You’re doing your best to prove your worth and you’re far different from the disappointments that this person has experienced.

Fixers feel like they get what they deserve. If they have been treated like shit then obviously it’s something the fixer is doing wrong. In true fixer fashion, fixers try to “fix it” in the hopes of being loved again. Being a fixer is a toxic trait that many of us have to let go of.

Boundaries are important when you’re overcoming being a fixer. When you’re a fixer, you’re also a giver and you have to be mindful of your limits because these takers have none. Don’t let someone guilt trip you into believing you’re obligated. You are not responsible for the broken pieces of others … just your own.

As for me, I don’t consider myself as broke anymore. I spent a lot of time falling in love with broken people. I spent a lot of time being a fixer and a healer for others. To combat that, I am spending plenty of time alone so that I could fall in love with myself and receive a taste of my own medicine. No longer a fixer, I am now a potter … someone who put the pieces of her broken pottery back together with her own hands.

Black Girl, Interrupted …

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes self-love as to “love of self” or “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage.”

“People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them. Act on what you need rather than what you want. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs.”

How old were you when you first heard of self-love? How old were you when you actually learned how to engage in self-love? Let’s be honest, they didn’t teach us how to love ourselves in school. They didn’t teach us the concept of conceit and egotism. They taught us bullshit like “y = mx + b” because finding the slope and y intercept is sure helping me address my mental health and past traumas along with Sallie Mae who won’t stop calling my phone. (BITCH, I DON’T GOT IT!)

I decided to write this post because NO ONE TALKS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY, and if they do, they’re not being real or transparent. Well, for those that know me, I’m giving it to you straight up, no ice nor chaser, JUST TAKE THIS SHOT!

Sunday, February 24th was a monumental moment in my life for me. I was alone in my apartment when my depression got the best of me. I said “alright Shay, let’s go have this good cry,” (if you haven’t gathered what a good cry is, look up Dane Cook’s “Vicious Circle”) except this good cry was different. I cried and cried … and cried because I kept saying to myself, “I don’t want to be here anymore.” Now my dramatic ass has had these moments before but not to the extent where I actually started formulating a plan. My fellow mental health professionals know what “the plan” is and means. I even started writing the letter I’d leave behind in my head. Out of nowhere, I stopped and got up off the floor (told y’all I was dramatic, LOL). I looked in the mirror and thought, “holy shit, I’m the 2007 Brittney Spears.” I had completely and utterly lost my shit for a moment. I broke down after constantly bottling my emotions and telling everyone that asked I was okay when I wasn’t.

Not too long ago, one of my best friends told me that I was the “strong friend.” I had to agree because I am selfless. I’m the type to talk someone off a ledge while my world is collapsing beneath me. I always put others before myself. I was always the type to invest in everyone else’s happiness except my own. Then February 24th happened and I realized that in that moment, all I had was me. I looked at my phone but then realized what time it was and said, “Girl, ain’t nobody going to answer the phone.” For the first time, I had to be the strong friend for myself because when you’re up at 3am crying like Taraji in Baby Boy, all you have is you and God.

According to the American Association of Suicidology, there were 44,193 suicides in 2015 alone with 5,491 of them being youth aged between 15-24. The association conducted a study in 2008 which researched the impact of low self-esteem and lack of self-love and its relation to suicidal tendencies and attempts. They defined self-love as being “beliefs about oneself and beliefs about how other people regard oneself.” It concluded that “depression, hopelessness, and low self-esteem are implications of vulnerability factors for suicide ideation” and that “these findings suggest that even in the context of depression and hopelessness, low self-esteem may add to the risk for suicide ideation.”

I say this to say, IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY! It’s okay to think ‘maybe I should find someone to talk to.’ Your friends won’t always have or know the right thing to say, and it’s not their fault. It’s not fair to put that type of pressure on your friends. You don’t know what they may be going through. I have a best friend who checks my mental state before we talk about his shit and I’m thankful for that because some days I’m like “not today, bruh.” I’ve learned to stop answering the phone when I don’t feel like talking. It’s hard giving others a feel better speech while you’re broken inside. So for my black and brown people, ain’t nothing wrong with going to therapy! If you’re going to try and get your shit together, you might as well talk to someone who doesn’t know you and won’t judge you. I’ve been through two therapists so far and I myself as a mental health professional do not like that “So how does that make you feel?” approach. Talk to me as if I’m your sister, let’s have a real conversation! This is why I love April Nichole because she honestly whipped my ass back into shape mentally. I haven’t signed up for one of her therapy sessions yet but I have listened to her podcast, “Nikkie’s Thoughts” and have gotten the READ of my life, LOL.

Love yourselves. Get out of your own way. Life isn’t a walk in the park. Hell, life is like a walk through Jurassic Park honestly but you can make it through. Just believe in yourself, be patient with yourself and trust the process!

Moore or Less …

KEEP YOUR FOOT ON THE NECK OF DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, OR WHATEVER THE WHOLE MOTHAFUCKIN’ WAY!!!

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10 years after high school and then some …

Let’s start off by saying that my high school graduation was trash. It rained and we had to cram God knows how many people into our gymnasium. Woodbridge High School is cursed, LOL. Graduation was bittersweet for me because soon after, I was on my way to Baltimore, Maryland to start precollege at Morgan State University. I entered college undecided in my major because I had no idea what I was good at or who I was as a person, to be honest. My goal then was to get into college … CHECK, now what? I thought I wanted to play basketball. I had played since I was young, made it on the Linden AAU team and then my high school freshman team just to be cut the next year. I’ll never forget damn near crying in the gymnasium with my best friend, who was also cut from the team. Being who we were though, we flipped our middle fingers and moved on.

Anyway, I started precollege and passed all my classes, of course. I had made friends and created an image for myself as the light skin girl from Jersey with long nails and every pair of Jordans (My collection of J’s back then was serious since I was a Foot Locker employee, LOL). In the midst of precollege, your girl had her first love and her first REAL heartbreak. Not the 13 year old me crying and singing Amanda Perez’s “God Send Me an Angel” heartbreak but Bernadine from Waiting To Exhale heartbreak. I had been cheated on and everyone knew about it but me. Now, if the motherfucker had a car for me to burn his clothes in, I would have! Instead, I flipped my middle finger up (I do this often in life) and carried my prideful, brokenhearted ass back to Baltimore to finish what I started. Needless to say, I continued being on and off with this man for a few more years after this incident only to continue having my heart broken time and time again. A good eggplant and love will make you do some dumb shit. Eventually, I learned that a tiger never changes its stripes and moved on. I still had my share of shitty ass relationships afterwards because loving yourself and learning your worth was no overnight process. To this day, I still have some insecurities but in no way shape or form is your girl ugly. I have a FUPA but it’s meant to keep your forehead warm, papi! My goal from high school changed from “Lose weight Shay because they like skinny bitches” to “Love yourself as you are, just live a healthier lifestyle.” I used to have this uncanny fear of rejection because a girl like me ran the Welcome Committee for the friend zone, LOL. Eventually, I let that rejection nonsense go and began to flourish. I mean, at the end of the day, there are those out there who will think I’m ugly (and I could give a shit) while there are others who would like to eat my ass with a napkin tucked in their collar (shrugs). With that being said, DO YOU AND BE YOU BOO BOO because SOMEBODY’S GONNA FUCKING FEEL IT!

As for my friendships/sister circles go, I’m STILL running with the same crew from high school and college. I’ve made friends along these ten years who I now consider family. I’ve also let go of some friends as well. Since high school, I’ve learned that a friendship can be just as toxic and draining as a relationship. Instead of holding on to memories and longevity, I’ve let go and walked away with my lesson. Loving people from a distance is essential to keeping your peace. It’s a self care act that I practice heavily now as someone who’s used to be selfless. Recently, one of my best friends called me, “the strong friend,” but I realized I can’t be the strong friend if I’m not being strong for myself …

From high school to 10 years later to now, I can say I was young, naive, and dumb.I am still young and still dumb, on occasion but the Shayna I am now has a better outlook on life and knows exactly what she wants. I’ll be turning 30 on next Wednesday and you couldn’t tell high school me that I wasn’t going to be somebody’s wife and have two kids by now, LOL. Instead, I’m welcoming Chapter 30 with a different set of goals and a different mindset. Like I said in a recent IG post, “I do not apologize for how I’m about to move” because at the end of the day, who gone check me?

Being a “Yes Woman” …

I’m a people pleaser. I think it’s honestly one of my worst flaws other than my impatience. I’m a “yes woman.” I’m codependent. I tell people “yes” because it makes me think they’ll like me. I said yes because I knew it made others happy and in turn, I thought I’d be happy too. I said yes even when I knew making others happy was at my expense and I was sacrificing my own happiness and peace.

Recently, I was watching an episode of Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith and Gabrielle Union. The episode was originally about friendships but Gabrielle Union made a few statements that spoke to me. When Jada was talking about herself being a people pleaser, she asked Gabrielle how does she deal with that to which Gabrielle responded:

I SAY NO! And no used to be so terrifying because no means a boundary and if you put up boundaries, maybe people won’t come back.

This is me, scared to say no because of how others would react and how it would affect me. Scared that they would leave and I’d be alone again. See, being codependent is unhealthy and it’s even unhealthier when you’re codependent on people. I’ve had to come to the harsh realization that at some point, everyone leaves. Nothing lasts forever … or so they say. I’ve also had to realize that not everyone you lose is a loss.

During Therapy Thursday with Nikkiesthoughts, (check out her IG and podcast), I asked her about my people pleasing dilemma and boundaries. She kindly read me for filth and let me know my boundaries are for me and all I’m doing is getting in my boundary’s way. She asked me how do I feel after I say yes to someone when I didn’t really want to? What feeling do I go to sleep with at night? What feeling do I get when I look in the mirror? She advised me to surround myself only with people who would do the same for me as I would do for them. Matter of fact, be around people who would go above and beyond for you.

I realized I needed to reach a level where I only concern myself with people who believe in reciprocity. I should not concern myself with how others might take offense to me when I tell them no. My main focus should be me and my peace. I’ve come to realize that your growth tends to weed out the bad seeds you were letting sit around while they tried to steal and absorb your light. These people need to go. I’ve always tried to hang on when I needed to let go, not realizing I was only hurting myself more in the process.

It’s time for me to enter a new level where I let go of this fear of people not liking me. I’m letting go of caring and putting others before myself. These changes may anger a few but like Gabrielle Union said, “It’s difficult to take control of a healed, evolved person.”