After A Lifetime Of Being Tempted By Doubt, Choose Hope

Doubt can be charming. I should know; I’ve spent a lifetime being courted by worries.

In that time, I’ve seen how inhibition can be hypnotizing and worries can be spellbinding. I’ve witnessed how easy it is to be lured into worst-case scenarios and limiting beliefs that constrict the very heart you beat with.

I’ve felt how unsettling it can be for the charm to turn into false starts and desire to turn into disappointments. I’ve known it, I’ve experienced it, and I have grown to expect it after all of these years. I have grown used to first chapters and unfinished stories that start with mesmerizing sentences and end with foreshadowed hesitations.

I have to admit that I have felt a spark of skepticism and have lived in a world that always proceeds with, “What if?” I have danced with uncertainty and dated insecurity and even fallen for suspicions. I have gone steady with misgivings and been kept up all night wrapped up in cynicism.

So, to be honest with you, sometimes believing in anything promising is like playing tug of war with my past. But, I wonder, what would it be like to change the narrative? To shift preferences unapologetically?

What would it be like to be pursued by possibility? To trust in maybes? The very idea of it lights a fire in me. A fire lit by the stars I gave up wishing on. Still there, waiting as I dream. The very thought of it makes me yearn for possibilities and animates an insatiable curiosity for “what else” rather than “what if.”

So, here’s what’s going to happen. I’ve come to the decision that doubt is no longer my type. I choose not to be charmed by anxieties and instead turn to be attracted by opportunity.

Perhaps even be dazzled by chance. Or maybe serenaded by serendipity. Or even chased by the real thing. Maybe “maybes” don’t have to be a bad thing. Oh, wouldn’t that be something?

After a lifetime of being tempted by doubts, I must tell you it feels far better to be wooed by hope.

Maybe You’re Choosing To Stay Stuck

Maybe you’re choosing to stay stuck.

For a while, I was too. There was a time before I began this self-study of mine where I had awoken to my discontent but was afraid of actually moving forward. What would others think? What if I changed my mind? What if I failed? What if I succeeded and my whole world was different?

And it took me a while of wanting the change, of asking for the change, of waiting for the change, before I actually gave myself permission to make the change and trust that I’d discover everything I’d need to know along the way.

So maybe you, too, are choosing to stay stuck. Maybe there’s a part of you that is choosing to stay where you are, even if you tell yourself it’s not where you want to be.

Maybe there’s a part of you that is scared to change, uncertain and afraid of who you might be, what or whom you might lose, or what you might do if you did.

Maybe you look around now and say, “I want more.” You look at your dreams and goals with longing, placing them at some point in the future and saying, “That will be me someday.”

But if you’re really honest with yourself, deep down, you’re not making any real effort to get there.

Maybe you’re stuck because you want to stay stuck. Maybe you’re indulging in that familiar and certain unhappiness because the path to where you want to be is long and winding and you can’t always see what’s ahead.

No, never can you really see what’s ahead.

And that takes courage. That takes bravery. That takes being willing to walk on unstable ground, to let go of what’s rooting you now, because that’s exactly what’s holding you back.

You Owe It To Yourself To Know What You Deserve

“Know your worth” — a statement that has almost turned into a catchphrase. It is such an easy phrase to throw around, but do we really know what it means or is it just a camouflage for all our insecurities?

You can read all the inspirational quotes, sing all the lyrics, and read all the books, but until you can tell the person who’s giving you less than what makes you happy to fuck off, you don’t even have a clue what you’re worth.

If you find yourself unable to do this, you need to take a good look at your inner self and figure out what you deserve. There is a hard difference between saying you know your worth, believing you’re worthy, and owning your worth. Until you can back the threats you make, you still have doubts. You still don’t believe you’re good enough for what you want. You still don’t think you deserve better than being mistreated and disrespected. Until you stop settling and clinging to bread crumbs to feel fed, you aren’t going to get what you want. Until you can stand up for yourself and own who you are, what you want, and what you need. You’re going to keep selling yourself short. Until you stop asking and waiting around for people to see your worth, you won’t be happy.

If you keep clinging to the person who has repeatedly let you down and failed to meet the bar of your standards, you’re going to keep simmering in the stew of frustration you’ve created. You’re going to keep clinging to every crumb of potential because you’re starving for gratification — a payout for your emotional investment.

You owe it to yourself to stop giving a shit what the outside world thinks you deserve; you owe it to yourself to harness every ounce of power you have to walk away from people who make you question and doubt what you deserve. You need to get to the point where you are so damn confident in who you are and what you want that anyone who doesn’t match that repulses you. You need to love yourself so much that others’ opinions don’t even shake you. You owe it to yourself to believe you deserve better, so don’t settle until someone comes along and matches your standards and expectations.

You aren’t asking too much; you’re asking the wrong person.

A Broken Heart Isn’t An End—It’s A Beginning

A broken heart. It comes from difficult experiences. It comes from a lost loved one or a lost opportunity—the list can go on and on. People experience a broken heart in different ways, and they break down. They feel vulnerable. They feel weak. You may think all is lost. But, this pain you feel is only temporary.

This is all part of the journey towards growth and strength. When you are at your lowest point and you think things can’t get any worse, a light will shine and it will guide you away from the dark forces that threaten to consume your life full of promise. You just have to open your eyes. You have to gather up the courage to collect the pieces of your heart.

One day you will look back and thank your heart for healing itself. And I promise it will. Despite the hard times, you will find your peace. You will find that the broken pieces of your heart will slowly come together again. You then will finally feel whole, and that memory of a broken heart will only be a distant dream.

I had a broken heart. I was betrayed by friends—or at least, I thought they were. What was once love and care was replaced with resentment from those who I cherished the most. It hurt more than I would care to admit, because friendships to me are more than society’s definition. My friendships are permanent. It is the type of relationship that transcends time and distance, and one that would last a lifetime.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end. And I was left with a broken heart. This broken heart welcomed my demons. It sparked an overwhelming darkness that I could not control. But no one knew what was happening. No one knew that the smile on my face was a mask that covered my permanent frown. I was shrouded in negative energies. I remember waking up every day to the feeling of dread. A feeling like I was not important, that anything I did was worthless.

It is in these moments you should relish the darkness within you. Find the darkness so you can say goodbye to it. It is in these times that you should reflect on your demons and the pain you feel. Once you recognize the darkest parts of yourself, you can work towards finding the light.

I found my demons manifesting themselves in my destructive professional behavior. I would go nights without sleep. I thought I always needed to be working towards making myself better, and if I wanted to be ahead, I would have to sacrifice one of my primal needs: sleep. I had this need to build this successful image of myself to cover the insecurities I was feeling. This left no time for my health or well-being. I approached my broken heart in all the wrong ways.

Instead of taking time for myself, I filled my schedule with other things. This is where I was wrong. You should spend time with yourself and embrace moments of solitude. You need to make time in your schedule to allow yourself to breathe. Leave time to work out, cook a healthy meal, spend time with your family, or other things that bring you peace. By placing yourself in positive situations, you will be able to find the light. You will be able to leave the darkness behind, because instead it will be filled by the love and support brought by a stronger version of you and those that value you.

Now I don’t think I believe in broken hearts anymore. I think your heart only gets torn for a moment in time so that it can become stronger. It’s like the muscles in your body. You have to tear your muscles apart so that they can repair themselves, and this helps them grow in strength.

So it might be uncomfortable right now. You might even experience some pain. But know this: You’ll come out even stronger.

Read This If You Ever Feel Like You’re ‘Too Much’

I hope you never know what it feels like to be told that you’re too much:

too clingy,

too needy,

too intense.

I genuinely hope you never have to experience the devastating ache of being told that you care too much or that you’re too passionate about the things you love.

I hope the day never comes that the world suddenly make you ashamed of being who you are.

I hope you don’t start believing them.

You should never have to be ashamed of being clingy or showing the people you love that you care or that you miss them. If they find that annoying, cut them out of your life. You honestly don’t need people in your life who would make you feel bad about having such a kind and genuine heart. Showing someone you care is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength.

If you took that aspect away from you, you would be taking away the most unique and beautiful thing about you. You are one of those people willing to go beyond this universe if it meant making the person that you loved happy. You love people with so much intensity and passion that not everybody deserves to know you.

You deserve someone who finds it attractive to have someone in their life who cares about everything and everyone with everything that they have got.

You deserve people in your life that are willing to meet you halfway through everything.

You deserve people who aren’t the cause of cutting your own wings, but rather making it possible for you to fly.

You aren’t responsible for being “too much” for anyone in this world.

You’re just too beautiful and extraordinary for your own kind to be ever understood by people like them.

Be yourself, darling, and continue to fly. 

5 Ways Your Pessimism Is Destroying Your Happiness, Your Career, And Your Relationships

1. You assume you aren’t going to succeed, so you set yourself up for disappointment. Instead of asking out someone cute, you assume they would never want to date you and ignore them. Instead of applying for your dream position, you assume you would never get hired and count yourself out of the running without even competing. Your pessimism, your insecurities, and your distrust with the world have convinced you to step back instead of taking steps forward. You never even give yourself the chance to see what you’re capable of achieving because you give up too soon.

2. You focus on the negatives in others and overlook their beauty. You’re terrified of getting hurt, so you’re always on the lookout for red flags. The second someone makes a mistake, you walk away from them and never look back. You don’t give out second chances. You barely give out first chances. Instead of trying to see the world from someone else’s point of view, instead of trying to see the good in others, you zone in on the worst. You tell yourself you’re doing this to protect your heart, but really, you could accidentally be pushing away people who would actually be good for you.

3. You’re stressing yourself out over situations that haven’t even happened yet (and might never happen at all). You should try your best to live in the moment. Enjoy the beauty in your life instead of worrying about when your happiness is going to get taken away from you. If you spend your whole life worrying about what might happen tomorrow, you miss out on the chance to enjoy today. It’s good to have a plan in place for the future, but you shouldn’t spend every waking moment thinking that far down the line. If something goes wrong next week, you can handle it then. Today, you should be focused on what’s in front of you.

4. You can come across as a downer in social situations. You should feel comfortable talking to your family and friends about your fears and your problems. However, you don’t want every single word out of your mouth to be a complaint. You don’t want every single conversation to be a rant. You don’t want to be known as the negative one. Otherwise, people might not feel comfortable coming to you with their good news. They need to know you’ll be supportive. They need to know they can count on you to cheer them up when they’re down.

5. You psych yourself out and end up dreading events that you should be thrilled about attending. You’re allowed to look forward to something written on your calendar. You’re allowed to get excited. You shouldn’t overthink things to the point where you make yourself sick. You shouldn’t assume a situation is too good to be true and expect something horrible to happen to balance out your luck. You’re allowed to enjoy it when good things happen to you. You’re allowed to be an optimist for a change.

20 Things I Have Learned The Hard Way

The past several years has been, undoubtedly, the most difficult, the most heartbreaking, and the most painful years. They have brought smiles and some good memories, but they have also brought tears, many nights lying awake at 3 a.m. and questioning myself, long and lonely days wondering where I have gone wrong, or if I was even good enough for anyone (or anything).

It was also about coming to the realization that I had to undergo these struggles in order to learn some of life’s most important lessons. Living out those difficult experiences have helped me to understand some of the following things, and it wasn’t easy.

These are the 20 most important things I have learned thus far:

1. You don’t owe anyone anything. You don’t owe them an explanation for your emotions, and you don’t have to justify why you feel a certain way.

2. Be accountable for your actions. Don’t leave your work or your things behind for someone else to do. That time should be part of your own day, not taken out of someone else’s.

3. You aren’t obligated to give someone your love, care, attention, or intimacy if they’re not treating you right.

4. Listen to your gut. Always.

5. If someone does something to intentionally hurt you and they try to tell you that it’s the first time they’ve ever done it, chances are it isn’t. Walk away—you don’t need excuses for not being respected or heard.

6. If your body is telling you you’re tired, doing that extra 30 minutes, hour, or more of whatever you’re doing isn’t going to be productive. Take a break. Go on a walk, whether it’s in nature or down the block or through the supermarket aisles. Take a nap. Eat your favorite food. Spend time with your pet.

7. Try your hardest in everything you do. If you say you’re going to commit to something, see it through to its completion and beyond. The worst feeling is knowing you could’ve done more to get a better outcome. That’s on you.

8. Know your boundaries and your limits (physically, emotionally, and mentally). Nothing is worth so much that it’s at the expense of your mental health or physical health. It’s okay to say no to something or someone, even if that means you have to experience discomfort in order to express your stance.

9. Pick your battles. Don’t get hung up and upset about people who won’t initiate contact or conversation unless you do. It means you have a good heart, because you cared about them.

10. Some people that you thought would always have your back, won’t. You’ll know who aren’t your real friends when they’re only there for you when it’s convenient for them, but disappear when you need them most.

11. Going outside for some fresh air will do you good to clear your mind and help ease the tension in your body, whether you’re tired, just had a big fight with someone, or frustrated about something.

12. Remember where you came from. It doesn’t hurt to help people who are in the same position as you once were in. Life isn’t about stepping on people or refusing to help them because you’re worried their endeavors will get in the way of your success.

13. Do your best to care for yourself. One day, you won’t be this young, this energetic, this lively, and this awake. Keep yourself healthy, exercise, and make good food choices. It really pays off.

14. Watch out for gaslighting. Sometimes, people will take advantage of your kindness and willingness to do things and use it solely for their own benefit. They’ll make things sound like your fault, and you’ll question yourself every time, wondering what you did to make things this bad. It’s not your fault. Cut out those manipulative, draining people from your life.

15. Know people’s intentions before you trust them. 

16. There is so much more to life than the pain and frustration you’re feeling right now. One day, you’ll look back on it and realize how grateful you are that you got through it.

17. Don’t force friendships.

18. It’s okay to go out alone, like to the movies or to a restaurant. It can be daunting or even awkward at first. But it’s nice to sometimes enjoy life’s simple pleasures with no other company but yourself.

19. Even though you feel like you’re being judged, in reality, everyone is too busy with their own things to have noticed. Anything stupid you’ve done and felt embarrassed about, someone else has probably done too. When you stop caring about what people think about you, life gets easier.

20. Time heals all. 

Darling, You Are So Much More Than Your Mental Health Struggles

I know. I know there are days when you feel lost and confused. I know there are days when you feel a physical weight in your chest as you try to drag yourself out of your slump. I know there are days when you question your purpose. I know there were days when you wished you were stronger in dealing with what life throws at you. I know there are days when the voices of your mind become louder than the voice of what you know is true.

There is a quote by Johnny Sun that goes, “I think people who ridicule positivity think positivity is easy.” Darling, I see you.

I see those of you who have been trying so hard to get out of your own head. I see those of you who wished they could get out of bed, but your bodies aren’t cooperating. I see those of you who try your hardest to speak life into others while struggling to see the good in yourself.

I see how hard you try to upkeep your persona  out of fear that the people around you will take on the burden of what you feel.

Darling, I see that — I see all of it. I see the frustration you have with yourself over your daily struggles with your mental health. I see the pent-up anger you have at yourself, questioning why you’re still affected after so long. I see the conflicting emotions behind your eyes, flickering between the mask you show to the world and what you really feel.

Beau Taplin wrote, “The best thing about bravery is even a little is enough.

Darling, I see you trying. I see that there is still fire in you ,  because you are still here. You are still here, you are breathing, you are trying so hard to make it day to day. You may think that the fire in you has dwindled. But darling, remember that even the smallest of sparks has the ability to start the greatest of fires.

You may feel lost. And you may have felt lost for a long time. But know that this is not your forever. No darkness, no season, is eternal.

You may not like the version of you at this moment. In fact, you may barely recognize him or her at this point. But I hope you remember that your beauty does not fade ,  even if it is not surveyed.

You may not feel your very best. You may have fallen far and hard. But darling, I hope you know that you are more than the things that you are going through: you are more than your mental health, you are more than a diagnosis, you are more than what people expect of you, you are more than your own expectations.

You have so much more within you than what you think you do.

I may not be able to tell you when you will believe this, but I hope one day you do. One day, I hope you will be able to live your truth that you are still you despite the things you are going through. One day, I hope you will be able to see that there is so much more to you than your struggles. One day, I hope that you will speak more kindly of yourself.

Here’s to that One Day.

No Matter What Anyone Says, Your Feelings Matter

We’re always told not to feel. We’re convinced that we shouldn’t have emotions based off of what we see around us and the daily struggles and challenges we face throughout our lives, but it’s impossible not to have feelings. Others may be better at hiding them, but the truth is we all have them, whether we reveal them or not. Having emotions is not a bad thing.

You’ve probably been told that you’re too sensitive. You’ve probably been told that you feel too much and that you should feel a little less to avoid being hurt or taken advantage of. Some people may tell you not to cry or get upset over things that seem so small but may be bigger to you. Some people may ask why you’re so happy and cheerful all the time, wondering when you’ll ever get angry. Some people may advise you to calm down because you’re over exaggerating and doing more than you should, but sometimes you have to feel in every way.

Your emotions can teach you a lot about yourself and who you are as a person, and it can teach you a few things about other people’s emotions as well. You learn to understand human emotion.

There are eight core emotions, including hurt, shame, guilt, sadness, anger, fear, loneliness, and gladness. Behind all of these emotions reveal something greater and an even bigger idea.

On the other side of hurt is healing, so we must allow ourselves to feel hurt. We shouldn’t walk around bleeding continuously, telling other people we’re fine when we are not. We should freely express our emotions. On the other side of shame is humility. On the other side of guilt is forgiveness. On the other side of sadness is realization. On the other side of anger is determination and a hunger for life. On the other side of fear is courage. On the other side of loneliness is intimacy. You start to crave deeper relationships, and not just the ones on the surface, but the internal ones. On the other side of gladness is hope.

We live in a generation where having emotions is looked at as the worst thing in the world and we are continuously disguising our emotions and building up walls that imprison our natural feelings because we know that if we show the slightest bit of emotion, it may lead to heartbreak, betrayal, or suffering, but the outcomes of your life shouldn’t be a reason to not feel to the fullest.

We may even be looked at as soft and weak, but our human emotions are strong, and they give us strength every day when we use them.

Each emotion within your body signifies something, and it lets your mind and body know different things that you may or may not have been aware of before.

It teaches you things about yourself and gives you an understanding of areas you misunderstood.

Don’t stress about what the world is trying to tell you. Don’t go scrolling through social media looking for that one quote that tells you not to have emotions and to just stop caring. Listen to your body and those emotional sirens that are trying to tell you something. How do you actually feel? What are your emotions telling you today?

Feel and don’t stop feeling until you figure yourself out and understand who you are as a person. You may feel some emotions less and feel some emotions more, but just know that emotions aren’t a bad thing. You’re not a sensitive, crazy, emotional wreck. You are a human being. God created you to be an emotional person, not an emotionless one.

The way you feel is important, and you shouldn’t hide away your emotions because of what the world says.

Never be afraid to feel—after all, you are human.

I believe in you. Spread love and be great.

Stop Looking For A Sign, The Things That Are Meant For You Should Be Self-Evident

I know that it feels like you need to trace patterns in the stars and read lines in your hands and search the universe in pursuit of a sign, a confirmation, a validation that you are on the right path, with the right person, finally, after all this time, doing the right thing.

I know what that impulse is, because it is true that when something is right for us, circumstances tend to align and encircle it. Serendipity is real. But the cold truth is that when we are most hungry for a sign, it is because our conviction is lacking. We are hoping that something else, something far beyond us, can help us avoid what we most fear is true.

Your brain is wired to affirm what you already believe, it’s something called confirmation bias. If you want to believe you’re meant to be with someone, you will filter through all the stimuli around you to make it true.

That is how powerful you are. You can make it true.

But you can’t make a future true for someone else. You can’t always predict and choose and manifest when it doesn’t only involve you.

So you don’t need a sign. You don’t need affirmation. When you are with the right person and on the right path, it will be obvious, because it will be the person you are with and the work you are already doing. It’s not so mysterious as we want it to be. Our fates are not encrypted in the stars, in our hands, or even our hearts. It is what is unfolding in front of us. That is what is meant to be. It is what is most effortless. It is the person who shows up and keeps showing up. It is the work that comes to us and flows from us.

You do not have to think about whether or not something is “meant to be” if it really is. It is self-evident. It is what’s already happening.

What do we expect to happen when we do piece together those signs, those signals, those all-knowing nods from the world around us that we have the very specific future we want? What do we do when we have that confirmation?

We do nothing. We keep searching. We get hungrier.

Because even if every star were to align in front of our eyes, if something isn’t happening, if someone isn’t choosing us, if a job isn’t working out, it isn’t working out. It isn’t meant to be, because it isn’t happening. That’s when you start to teeter into delusion: when your conviction about something is more about the logical and emotional reasons why, one day, it should work out, as opposed to why it is happening, right here and right now.

I know that this is hard to hear. I know what it is like to be the person who leaves claw marks in everything they lose. I know it gives you a sinking feeling, but you need to let go and hit bottom. Because you need to be gutted. You need to grieve. And then you need to rise.

In life, we can choose the what, but not always the how. If we want soulmate love, we can have it. But it won’t always be with the first person we think it will. If we want to have the career of our dreams, we can have it, but it won’t always be in the first field we assume.

When you get too stuck to the how, when you get too stuck to one person or one opportunity or one city or one thing, you are assuming that it is the only thruway for you to experience what you want out of life. And that’s simply untrue. Because love comes from you and passion does, too. Your talents are in your head and your commitment is in your hands and heart. You are meant to savor every ounce, every drop of life you crave. And the dead ends, the road blocks? They are telling you that this isn’t the way to it.

So please, remember this. If you get to the point where you have to ask everyone around you: “do you think this is meant to be?” If you are looking to your natal charts and future plans, to signs and signals and coincidences you piece together to build a road map to the future, you must stop. You must stop because that map is to nowhere. What is meant for you will show up for you, right here and right now.