Raise your hand if you’re ready to face the ugly parts of yourself?! Not many people would willingly volunteer for this, but what if I changed the question...Raise your hand if you’re ready to become a healed, healthy, and whole person so that you can live the life you were supposed to be living? Okay, now I see your hand moving!
I hate to break it to you darling, but those two questions are one and the same. In order to become that healed, healthy, whole person, you’ve got to face the ugly parts of yourself. Some of you are cursing me in your head right now, and that’s okay. I can take the heat because I’ve done the work so I know how this goes. I was the same person that was cursing someone else when they shared this with me too. But alas, here we are!
Most people are afraid to uncover and face the skeletons in our closets. We don’t want to talk about our toxic traits and habits. Instead, we would rather sweep things under the rug using the guise that everything is wrong with everyone else instead of taking a clear look in the mirror, staring into our own eyes, and saying, “Baby...it’s you. And we got some work to do.”
Healing literally sucks. Yep, I said it. It sucks. The process is messy. You learn things about yourself that you wish were lies and once you see it, you can’t unsee it. You’re stuck in this purgatory between who you were and who you want to be and it takes time to emerge like the beautiful little butterfly out of the cocoon that held it captive.
Let go of your cocoon babe. While your judgmental, self-centered, narcissistic/unavailable men choosing, crazy busy schedule that you keep maxing out, rage machining ways may have served you at one time, it’s likely something you learned from someone else or something that you used for self-preservation. And honey, in 2021, it’s not serving you and to be quite honest, it doesn’t look good on you either. Granted, all of these traits may not be you. Maybe none of these describe you. But if you’ve gotten this far, I have a feeling your intuition is telling you that you’ve got something to deal with.
How do I know? Cause at different times in my life, I’ve been a few of these. I didn’t like who I was, it was hard for me to face myself and my decisions, and I decided I didn’t want to live in the shadows of who I’m really supposed to be. So let’s heal sis. I promise you, it’s better on the other side.
5 Steps For Your Healing Process
Therapy will always, hands down, be my first option when it comes to healing, learning yourself, and making better choices. Why? Plainly, your therapist is unbiased, they don’t know you, are non-judgmental, and trained to do what they do. It may take a few tries to find a good fit, but once you do, they will help you reveal things and face yourself in a loving, caring, and supportive way. The thing is, if you’re ready to do the work, they are ready to do it with you. And don’t halfway do it either. Tell the FULL story, don’t leave out the parts that you’re ashamed of. They can’t help if they don’t know the entire truth.
Most people don’t even know where to start so let me help you out a bit. First, check with your employer. They may have an employee assistance program that will give you a few free sessions. Next, check your medical insurance’s website to search for providers so that you are paying smaller co-pays. If you know specifically the type of person you want (for me, black woman please!), you can usually search by race and gender. Then, ask around! Maybe your friend works with a bomb therapist or knows someone else who does. Last, check out online resources. Therapy For Black Women is a great starting point. Go get yourself some help, friend!
Yep, let’s take it back to the good old days. Remember when you had a diary? The grown up version of this is a journal. Crack one open and get to writing. Sometimes, processing our emotions before we take action can help us illuminate the very thing we need to change. The physical act of writing allows your brain to slow down just enough to consider alternative thoughts or at least just blow off some steam. You don’t have to write everyday. You may not even know what to write. Sometimes, I just feel the urge to write with no starting point...I’ve even started sometimes by writing, “I don’t really know what to write right now.” Just let the pen do the talking.
Enlist the Help of a Trusted Friend
This one takes some humility, so if you don’t have it, skip on to the next step. No shade sis, know yourself enough to know if you can do this or not. Let me start off by saying that this person can’t just be any friend. Like don’t just scroll your friend list and think that anyone can fulfill this role. This needs to be your most objective, gentle, nonjudgmental, yet super straightforward friend. You may not have this friend. If so, this step is not for you.
Okay now that we got that clear, call or meet up with your friend and tell them what’s going on. Tell them that you trust their opinion and that you need to hear what they honestly think. Tell them that you know that it might hurt your feelings and that’s okay because your healing is more important. And then, Shut. Up. And. Listen. Do not interrupt. Do not give rationale. Do not justify. Listen. Ask clarifying questions. Thank them. And process what they’ve shared. There’s something to someone who knows you best telling you about yourself that adds a layer of validity. Will it be 100% truth? Likely not. But your friends have been watching your pattern of behavior and generally can sort out what’s happening for you before you can. And that insight is invaluable.
Learn Healthy Habits
So you’ve done some work. You’ve talked to someone, you’ve been writing, you’ve been figuring out your toxicity. Yay! Congrats to you sis. Most people don’t make it this far. This is the fun part now. You get to decide who you want to be. Are you argumentative? Find your even keeled peaceful friend. Find out what they do when they get upset and how they have healthy disagreements. Do you have a negative outlook or find yourself complaining about anything? Find a happy friend. Ask them how they maintain positivity in the face of challenge (do not find your most bubbly friend. That’s swinging the pendulum too far for you. Learn your limitations!). Is it hard for you to release control? Find the friend who goes with the flow. Ask them how they are unbothered by not being in control and how they’ve learned to let things go. Now take these things, try them on. Keep what feels good. Toss what doesn’t. And then keep trying until you find your sweet spot.
Check In with Yourself
Remember when you decided who you wanted to be? She doesn’t just come overnight. She’s going to make mistakes, but she’s going to get some things right too. It’s important to celebrate your progress. This is a journey and those traits you’re working to get rid of will continue to pop up here and there. Checking in with yourself on a regular basis allows you to determine how much progress you’re making. You can do a quick weekly check-in or extend it out to monthly or quarterly. It depends on what you need and how committed you are to getting things in the place you want them to be. Ask yourself these questions to see where you are:
What did I do really well with this week in relation to [insert habit or trait you are working on]?
Where did I fall short?
Why did that happen?
What do I want to do better with this week/month/quarter?
How will I do that?
Here’s a bonus because it may apply to some, but not all. Once you’ve decided to make this change, you might need to re-evaluate your circle. If most of the people you spend time with embody the exact trait you’re working to get rid of, it ain’t gonna work boo. Sorry. I know you love them. I know they are your friends...but real talk, friends don’t enable each other to be hot messes. So maybe you shouldn’t see them as often. A few you might have to cut off completely. And some will see the change in you and want it for themselves.
You are the most important person to yourself (or should be), so don’t let your circle derail the life you want for yourself. Healing is hard and at times, it can be a lonely road. But once you reach the breakthrough, you’ll also feel freer than you ever have before. And once you’re whole, life will never be the same. So work through your ish. And think of your healing as the perfect time to DateYourselfGirl!