Cycles.

Here I am again. I’ve been down this path numerous times, so I’m familiar with it. And I know exactly where it leads—to a dead end of disappointment and dissatisfaction. In fact, I can already see all the backtracking that’ll be required of me to get back on course if I stroll down this path again. But...it’s familiar. And right now, in this moment, it seems more convenient to go down this path than to embark on the alternative that will require both more and less of me to navigate. So I start to convince myself that maybe this time it’ll be different. Maybe this time, this same path I’ve been down numerous times will lead me to a different end. In the midst of my emotional laziness and spiritual complacency, I teeter on the edge of making the same not-so-good decision, and then catch myself, because... enough is enough. I am tired of my choices not aligning with what I claim to want, and who I want to be. It's time to try something different, so here I am at 27 finally trying. Actively trying. And by trying I mean actually putting in the work. I’ve decided that it’s about time I put an end to the cycle of making decisions that don't bring me peace. And I know that sounds real cute and all, but, it’s hard! Which is weird, right? One would assume that it would be easy to stop making choices that don’t bring you peace, and that ultimately hinder you from stepping fully into your purpose. But it’s not as easy as I once assumed it would be. I guess that's why they're called cycles though...because it's not always easy to shake off the parts of ourselves we need to shake off in order to evolve. Especially when we're so use to carrying the weight of our emotional baggage, instead of unpacking it. I noticed my cycle. I acknowledged it. I'm really good at acknowledging, not always good at addressing, but this is changing.

I started going to therapy, and it's been helpful. It was my first step toward being intentional about becoming the woman I want to be. While I do believe in the power of God to break any cycle that is hindering you from stepping into your divine purpose, I also believe that God wants us to be active participants in our personal and spiritual growth. I prayed and asked God to lead me to the right therapist (who would also take my insurance, because I mean...let's be real...I actually can't afford to go broke trying to be better. My pockets and mental health have got to thrive together! But I digress...). I loved the first therapist I found. Sis had a PhD from Columbia, was around my age doing her thing, but sis also didn't take my insurance and was charging $170 a session.

 When you tell someone all your business then realize you can't afford to continue telling them your business.

When you tell someone all your business then realize you can't afford to continue telling them your business.

That first session was something real, but I told her I was going to have to take my cycles and emotional baggage to someone who took my insurance. I eventually got connected to a therapist who is a Christian and who also accepts my insurance (win win!). Since then, every other Tuesday I find myself in my therapist's office doing the work I need to do to not stand in my own way of becoming the woman I am determined to be. Unlearning behaviors and attitudes that you've spent a lot more time engaging in than you wish to admit, takes work. It requires getting to the root cause of your decision making. It requires more than just an awareness of the unhealthy cycle(s), it requires you doing something about it. Which has been the hardest part of this for me. I am hella self-aware, but i've also been hella complacent. What therapy is forcing me to do is identify, name, and address my behaviors. Because at the end of the day I have to live with my choices, and I also have to answer to God for them. Therapy is also allowing me to work through my hurtful and traumatic experiences instead of continuing to keep them tucked away in the back of my mind. This isn't always easy, because I pride myself in being resilient. Sometimes I'd much rather pretend certain things did not happen or forget that they did and keep it moving, but that's not exactly healthy or realistic. The messy, murky stuff we've experienced will manifest themselves either consciously or subconsciously, so it's best to just face that stuff head on. It's not easy work to do, but it's necessary work. We can't always control the experiences and circumstances life throws at us, but we do have agency and the ability to determine how they will continue to impact the course of our lives.

God is stirring something in me, and I know it’s time for me to stop playing around and get to work at what it is I was called to do. And this cycle I’ve found myself getting sucked back into is only going to distract me from gaining clarity on what I need to be doing. Too much is at stake so I can't afford to continue in this space of complacency. I can't continue to waste anymore time stuck in a cycle that a) isn’t serving me and b) will only continue to hinder me from fulfilling my purpose. That being said, breaking cycles is much easier said than done. And part of the reason why i've been unsuccessful at breaking out of it is because i've been relying too much on myself and my best intentions. As I said at the beginning of this post, this alternative path is requiring both more and less of me. More intention on my part to make better choices that aren't always convenient and easy, but are necessary for me to grow and be where and who I want to be. At the same time, it requires less reliance on myself to overcome my propensity to make the same counterproductive choices. I can’t do this work in and of my own strength. I mean I can, which is what I’ve been trying to do, but I’ll only get but so far and then bloop! right back in the cycle. I need to rely on God for strength and wisdom to keep me free. In one of my sessions, my therapist cut me off as I was ranting about falling short of who God wants me to be, not living up to the myriad expectations my church, family and errbody else has of me. She told me I need to just take each day one day at a time, because that's literally all I have. Stop thinking about a week, a month, or years from now and the possibility of another misstep; every single day, just wake up and rely on God for strength to make it through that day victoriously. She helped me realize that I need stop being so consumed by expectations to the point of feeling debilitated or so inadequate that I don't even want to bother trying. So here I am again...but this time, I am relying on God to direct my steps and I am going to do my best every single day to diligently seek, and listen to God's directions.  I am not going to anticipate missteps and I won't continue to harp on any either; I am just taking each day as it comes, and asking God daily to help me get out of my own way.