What is love?

What is love?

Growing up I always had insecurities surrounding love. From the moment I was created I was told how no on truly wanted me. My mother battling her own demons at the time and my father addicted to drugs were incapable of being able to fully devote all love to me. When I was created my mother had found out that she had cancer. From what I’ve been told Melanoma is the only form of cancer that goes from mother to child and my mother prior to conceiving me spent 30 mins in a tanning bed for her first time and developed a 4-5 on her bottom. I don’t have memories of that time clearly with being an infant so I go off of the things I’ve been told through the years. My papa used to tell me he believes deep down my mother wanted to love me but guarded herself due to the fact that I wasn’t supposed to survive the cancer. My mother tells me she was the only one who loved me. The story I’ve been told and brow beat for years with is my mother father and great grandmother were the only ones who came to see me when I was born. My family, mostly Caucasian, didn’t want to accept a multiracial baby into the family. They had tried to convince her to have an abortion. That’s where my mother says her love for me came in. After a few days my family came around and I believe they grew to love me. But imagine the difficulty believing that you could ever be truly loved and accepted by someone hearing this story over and over again at a young age.

I remember falling into a dark and lonely place very often while growing up. I could be in the middle of doing something with my grandparents and randomly ask them, “do you love me?” They would always reply with a yes and list all the reasons of why.

That insecurity has followed me and has carried over into my relationships. I feel unworthy, not good enough, and unloved a majority of the time. No amount of therapy has been able to change that for me. I am very big on actions. Your voice can express to me a million times the love you share for me but what you do is what matters.

I had a partner who would tell me in this tone that he used only when expressing love that they loved me, but in the same breathe do things that weren’t love in my eyes. They would allow family members to degrade me, hit me, disrespect me and try to convince me that it was love. It takes my brain time to wrap itself around the idea that love isn’t a cookie cutter definition. It looks different to everyone. In his eyes maybe abuse was love. I could understand that. In another previous relationship I had paired love with abuse. He would hurt me and return with apologizes and flowers with cards that said I love you. Every hit combined with “I love you, why do you make me do this to you.” I had been convinced for 4 years that love was violence and fights. At the time it made sense to me. My father abused my mother, my mother abused me, my family degraded one another and they all claimed love.

The other night I was talking to a friend who referred to love in almost the same way. I think we learn love and it’s meaning very young. We see the people around us show love in their own ways and we are programmed that it’s how you demonstrate love. I know what love should resemble based on Disney and Romance movies, but that isn’t real life. So how do you truly know how to love if you’ve only seen it in forms of violence and half ass apologizes? How do you rewire years of trauma like that?

I look more and more to my grandparents. The way they interacted with one another is the type of love I yearn for. My Papa never forgot an anniversary or passed up an opportunity to make my Nana feel special. They had their arguments and tough times but when they looked at one another you could feel the electricity they shared. I try to rewire my brain to accept only love in a form as pure as that. The type of love you don’t have to water down. Love isn’t just in partners but love is in friendships as well. My friend tells me love is being your unapologetic self. It’s being able to be open and talk about the hard issues with one another. I look at her and wish to be as confident and secure.

I’m learning there’s no time constraint to heal that past trauma surrounding love. However; you shouldn’t demonstrate the false love you’ve been programmed to show on others and refer to it as such.

Sincerely,

Me

Changes

Changes

Index finger flexing on and off my fully lit screen. “What do I even reply to this?” I say to myself through the tears. I click in and out. Starting, erasing, and retyping my message. “Is there even a point?” My biggest insecurities being shoved down my throat by my own destructive thoughts. Im always the one who cares more, tries more, gives up last.

I respect your decision

One of the biggest lies. I didn’t respect it. I didn’t understand it. But I had to be okay with it.

In that moment I decided I would never give anyone the power to break me again. I’ve said this a million times…..but I meant it this time.I put to much into the people I care about most. In a matter of 5 months I had experienced some of the biggest heartbreaks while trying to heal from my past. “Now? Now is the time you want to walk out”, I think to myself, “This is when you decide to hurt me?” Timing is everything and at the time I thought this was the worst thing that could happen. Who Chooses to give up on someone they care about during times like these?

I could never do this to you

The same 7 words I thought to myself for each individual betrayal. “This is a permanent decision to a very temporary situation.” I spoke out loud as if I could be heard through the just sent message. This is something that I won’t be able to forgive. How could I? I know myself and as bad as I didn’t want it to be true……I knew in that moment my view of you had changed. I could never look at you the same way I once did.

After weeks of self pity and displaced anger I began to pick myself back up. There is nothing like a heartbreak to make you start your soul journey.

In 2015 after my life actually began to take flight I embarked on a spiritual journey. Derailment happened as it will and In November of 2016 I went through an Evolution course taught by Truth Irvine. It was one of the greatest things I could have done. I learned how to love myself, put me first, set boundaries, and let go of so much trauma. I felt renewed. I remember waking up on morning and thinking I had finally reached enlightenment. I forced myself to be happy every morning and I just knew that I had really understood the meaning of that insightful weekend. Do I have to say it or do you already know what’s coming next?

Yea you’re right….I was wrong. I didn’t know crap about enlightenment. Two failed pregnancies later and I was right back in the darkness that I was trying so hard to escape. I let it consume me. Drinking, partying, and all the escapades to numb the hurt that I didn’t want to address. If I push it down and don’t think about it then it’s not real. It never happened right? My idea of dealing with my shit was pretending it didn’t exist.

Years of doing this brought me to two tours in outpatient therapy due to a failed suicide attempt and on the verge of another. 5 days out of the week I was either in group, individual, or processing therapy and classes. It wasn’t until the second go around that I really understood the key ingredient I had been missing all these years. It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to be anxious.

It is what it is

Those key words. I can’t judge the emotions. What good is that going to do? I can’t change the people around me. I can either express myself and my feelings to the person at hand and if that doesn’t work then accept it or let them go. In the previous heartbreaks I spoke of in the beginning I chose to accept one and let the other two go. Learning that you can’t heal in the same environment that made you sick is something I find myself saying daily. I’ve taught people in the past how they can treat me by what I’ve allowed them to do or them see others do. I’ve allowed people to hurt me, walk away, and then waltz right back in again. That wasn’t healthy or healing for me.

This time around I feel so well rounded. Knowing that it’s okay to not be okay is so healing in itself. Just realizing the judging of my thoughts and emotions and letting them just be that. Emotions without judgement is so peaceful in a way. I’m not saying I don’t cry or get angry because I do, but I don’t root myself in it. I’m not living there any longer. An hour or two and then I wash my hands of it till the tomorrow when I allocate time for it again.

During the past 2 months I’ve said goodbye to people I never thought I’d let go of, left my job of 8+ years, strengthened some friendships with some old friends, made some new friends, saying no more….especially to people who don’t contribute to my growth, and started school for a career in a field I wanted to join right after high school. So many changes that I never would have done before. I’m a firm believer that rock bottom can be the solid foundation you can build up from.

I am communicating how I feel in a more productive way as well. Depression, anger and frustration can be brought on by lack of communication or understanding. I’m learning to admit when I’m wrong and stand my ground when I’m not. I express my feelings and don’t allow them to be diminished.

I think there is some type of ease in knowing that things will never be perfect, but they will be okay. You will be happy as long as you allow yourself to be the main source of happiness. At the end of the day you have yourself and that has to be enough.

Sincerely me

Road To Veganism

Mangos, cucumbers, bananas! That’s all I craved during my pregnancy. For those short months I couldn’t stomach any meat or animal products. The smell was torturous! After my pregnancy had ended I attempted to introduce meat back into my diet. I enjoyed it, but the taste wasn’t the same as before. I began doing some reading and watching some documentaries. In my reading I saw that a lot of women who had lost a baby had a change in their taste buds. Some able to enjoy foods they never had before. My countless hours of reading and educating myself lead me down a rabbit whole of vegan videos and blogs. I knew that this was the life for me!

When I was younger I would gag on steak and pork chops. I loved my fruits and vegetables. I wasn’t a normal child. We had a tradition at my grandparents’ house, at night we would have “snack”. It was basically a late night desert before bed. I would always attempt to eat the same thing as my cousin, a banana split. It wasn’t until my Nana saw me only eating the banana that she started just handing me one for snack with a grin. How strange I thought to myself….how strange must she think I am for not wanting ice cream, for choosing a banana over that. I did enjoy my chicken and fish as a child and young adult. It wasn’t until I started dating my first serious boyfriend and going to dinner at his house did I start to eat meat on daily basis. I felt as if I was offending his family  by refusing the meals they had prepared for me. My body began to change from all the meat intake along with my appearance. I felt tired, my mood had decreased, and I gained weight.

I’m happy to announce I have been vegan for over a month now with no mess ups. It was easier for me then I think it would be for a normal person. I wear my emotions on my sleeve so watching videos like Earthlings and Cowspiracy really put the nail in the coffin for me. I have found amazing recipes from watching Hot For Food, Lauren Toyota, and the Edgy Veg on YouTube. I don’t ever feel like I’m missing out on something.

I have noticed some great changes since becoming vegan. I have lost weight, I feel more energized, and my skin is glowing. I had been having some serious acne problems and since this lifestyle change I am noticing a huge improvement with my complexion. Also my hair is growing at a better rate. It feels stronger. I stopped taking my depression medication, I’m not recommending anyone do this without seeking a medical opinion. I have been much happier and on the days that I’m feeling weak I have developed a nice self-care routine. I haven’t had any negative compliments about this change yet.

This is just another step forward in my spiritual journey.  I love animals, the planet, and have always wanted to make a difference. It’s nice to know that by doing this I am impacting the world in a positive way. I have inspired my boyfriend to not eat meat anymore as well, even though he does enjoy his liquid cheese. He has transitioned into being a vegetarian. I’m hoping by the end of the year I can convince him to be purely plant based.

Some tips I would recommend if you decide to try a vegan or plant based diet go as follows:

1)      Start slow! Don’t just jump into in. Do some research! I slowly decreased my meat and animal product intake.

2)      Decide why! I decided I was tired of talking about how I wanted to change the world and decided to do it! On days that I feel like a mcdouble I watch a little segment of Earthlings, The way they treat the animals helps me stay grounded in this  life style change.

3)      Find what you like! I started watching videos and creating stuff in the kitchen The first couple weeks I spent a lot of money just trying to figure out what  liked and what I didn’t. I stopped being afraid of making a food item I might not like. I just started experimenting.

4)      Bargain shop! A lot of the fruits and vegetables I eat come from my friends and families gardens. It’s always nice to get something home grown and free before going grocery shopping and forking out money for something. Craigslist has a plethora of farmers just waiting for someone to volunteer to come pick their fruit for them. I found a local man who allows people to come pick his plums for free. Also just making a quick post on craigslist ii got some fruits and veggies.

5)      Freeze! If store is having a sale on something stock up on it! Freeze it and you can use it for smoothies or juices later.

6)      Don’t take on the world! Right now I am just focusing on the foods and condiments I intake. Later, after a year I will start paying closer attention to the clothes, cleaning products, and beauty products I use as well.

7)      Don’t be afraid to tell your friends and family. It’s helpful that they know that way during family events they consider you when preparing the meals. Maybe they will buy earth balance butter and almond milk and use that for the mashed potatoes instead of the animal based products.

8)      Prepare! When I know there is an event coming up I make sure to find some recipes similar to the ones that might be consumed at the event so I don’t feel so different. I make sure to bring my own food so I am set up for success.

9)      Invest in a high speed blender and a nut bag! I got a ninja blender for 200 dollars and a couple nut bags on amazing for 13 dollars. Every morning I blend my fruits and veggies and strain them in the bag. Perfect juice without having to hassle with a juicer! Also blenders are good of vegan cheese and sauces.

10)  Have fun with it! Experiment, research, and don’t take yourself so seriously. I don’t judge others on the food they have on their plates, I just focus on myself. You aren’t better than anyone just because of the foods you are now deciding to eat.

 

I’m hoping that sometime in July I will start vlogging, maybe doing recipe videos as well. I would love to really give you guys a in depth look into this crazy journey I’ve been on. This spiritual quest has had so many ups and downs, but that’s life isn’t it. Things don’t work out as perfect as you envision them, and if they did how dull and boring would that be. I am grateful for every experience I have had to endure, because without it I wouldn’t be me.