I learned in my early 20’s that I had to start identifying some things within me in order to grow, heal and be happy. It all just happened one day. I was in the shower and my mind just started to wander. I started asking myself questions like, “why am I like this?“… “why do I react like this in certain situations?” and from there I was able to finally see me! It took a lot of digging, moving barricades, and knocking down walls that I’ve built up over the years to cover the pain, and there she was; me standing there waiting to be healed.
I finally met Taylor a couple years ago. She is a girl who grew up around tough love and that’s all she ever knew. That tough love I was given as a child came out of me as being mean to others, but my meanness was love, the same “love” that was given to me as a kid. It took my college friends to point out that flaw to me and that was the very first thing I identified in myself that I wanted to change. I didn’t like being mean but I didn’t know anything else. I had to unlearn everything I knew and learn new ways to approach every situation.
I started being intentional with the words I used and my actions towards people. I learned two things.
- It’s not necessarily what you say but how you say it
- There’s always a better way to say things *shoutout to my best friend Jaz for that lesson*
Once I began applying those lessons to my everyday life more things began to unravel, like how I react to people in anger. There’s a long family line of “crazy” in this blood of mine so when the feeling of anger comes over me, there was no telling what my words or reaction would be. All that would run through my mind was revenge. Point blank period. So I would act out so the people who hurt me could feel my wrath. Learning choose my words wisely in turn taught me how to control my actions. Boy, am I thankful for that (I’m sure there’s a few out there who are just as thankful lol).
Other things arose as well, like holding grudges over relationships and friendships that I verbally forgiven but never forgiven in my heart. I walked around with such a weight on me all the time. I was so used to it that I never noticed it until I finally let some shit go! There were names that would come up in conversation that would still make the hairs on my body stand and the old hurt begin to boil in my spirit over situations I thought I forgave. Now, I hold on to nothing. Everything is what it is. I no longer dwell on a situation. I acknowledge my feelings and emotions, forgive, and say to myself, “Taylor, it’s not that deep” and move forward with peace in my heart.
I’ve also learned how to take responsibility for how I played a part in some situations instead of playing the victim. I’ve become more understand and more aware of how my words and actions may affect others and how it may escalate a situation. I had to forgive people, situations, and myself for things that happened in the past. Now that I understand the root of the issue I can now be wise in my word choice, behavior, actions and emotions.
Taylor has always been a bright, beautiful young girl with a loving and caring spirit but she never knew how to show it properly. Today, Taylor is a strong woman who thinks before she speaks, calculates her actions, acknowledge her emotions, forgive others and has peace in her heart. But don’t be fooled, I am tested and challenged on my learnings everyday. Sometimes I sit and laugh at how I would have recklessly approached situations that I encounter today, some years ago, and I thank God for growth. I’m determined to become a better Taylor everyday. I feel like I was cheated of that opportunity as a child so now I have to make up for it in my adulthood. This journey is not over.