I'm still that girl
By now you might have picked up on the fact that I love yellow. It's my favorite color.
Well, it used to be my favorite color, back before I traded in everything I knew as a girl in order to better fit into my surroundings as a young woman, whose sole desire was to please those she loved. My childhood dreams and personal goals I had held close to my heart became roadkill on my journey. So for survival purposes, I opted for a self-imposed sentence of amnesia since it was impossible to be both the "good girl" that those I loved demanded, while holding on to any sense of my real identity at the same time.
The problem was once I had escaped the darkness, forgetting what my favorite color used to be was the least of my worries. The real trouble came when I looked in the mirror once I hit my forties, and figuring out who that woman was staring back at me.
It was then I began the leg of my journey that has brought me to the space I claim in the light today. And it was all because of her, that girl I used to be. She was the one who reminded me of my worth, of my strength, of my courage, and my overall magnificence that would give me the kick in the ass I needed to climb that last mountain of healing.
And don't you know I wore yellow while doing it.
Because of that girl, today I am healed. I am whole. I am free.
If you're still living in a burning building that threatens to collapse around you at any time, I have someone I'd like you to meet...and she's carrying a bucket of water.
She Who Knows You Best is knocking on the door to your survival. Because you need her to heal your broken heart. You need her to remind you of your bad-ass self (remember her? that girl who wouldn't take any of this present bullshit you're putting up with?). And you need her because she is the one who knows that deep down...
YOU'RE STILL THAT GIRL
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*Excerpt from You're Still That Girl:
You’re hurting right now.
You haven’t been able to explain it, not to friends, not to family, because you don’t even understand it yourself. Maybe you’ve begun to feel a bit crazy. Delusional. Maybe you’ve been told you’re too sensitive or too emotional so you’ve convinced yourself that your suffering is all in your head. But it can’t be all in your head because the pain has manifested physically now too: you have stomachaches, headaches, body aches. You feel sick sometimes, weird, like something’s not right. Sometimes you think you’re going to have a heart attack, or panic attack – whatever those are. You’re convinced the anxiety and stress may kill you. You find yourself staring out of windows, looking for hope but feeling void of any.
Some days you find safe corners in your house to crawl up in and cry. Some days the darkness swallows you and you can’t get up off the floor. Some days you think the pain can’t possibly get any worse.
And on some days, the worst days, you wonder why you continue to exist at all...
Now take a deep breath, because you’re not alone anymore.
I see you. I’ve been you. I’ve lived in that same darkness, on the verge of surrender to life as I knew it, believing it would never get any better and I needed to just get used to it and quit whining.
But I’m here to tell you something. I’m here to tell you the truth, and the truth is that it does get better. You can enjoy the life of peace and happiness and love that you’ve always dreamed about. In fact, that you deserve. This darkness you exist in now is lying to you, those voices in your head that tell you you’re crazy or weak or need to grow a thicker skin are not yours. They’re imposters masquerading as someone you trust, love with all your heart, would even die for.
The light is trying to get in – right now as you read these words on the page – but you can’t yet feel it’s warmth or promise of hope because you’re trapped in an illusion that only benefits the one who is breaking your heart.
Maybe you’ve recently left – or want to leave – a relationship that caused you to suffer, or a marriage that was abusive in any form (physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially). Maybe you left but then returned out of guilt or desperation, or maybe you already reached your breaking point and you’re never going back but it still hurts so fucking bad. Maybe you’ve been out of the relationship for months now, even years, but you’re still feeling the aftereffects, you’re still emotionally attached, and you’re unable to move on because of this attachment. Or maybe you think you’ve moved on but now you’re involved in another relationship that is causing you a similar pain.
This is the illusion that prevents you from stepping fully into the light, which is patiently waiting for you and has a space reserved with your name on it. Here in this space, your unconditional honesty and raw vulnerability are required. But to claim it you must first be willing to travel into those dark places that before you’ve desperately tried to avoid. Second, you need to make good friends, best friends, with the one who holds the key to the door of the journey ahead. She already knows of your suffering, and she also knows the way forward if only you’d take her hand.
But first: Wherever you are in this moment, take a deep breath. Seriously, you need to breathe. I don’t care who’s around you right now or what chaos you’ve left behind or are about to head into. You need a long, deep breath.
I’m not kidding. I’ll wait.
You know that girl I’m talking about. The one who used to take no shit, who had Wonder Woman-sized courage and couldn’t be swayed, bought, or bullied into submission. Whether she was five or nine or fourteen, that girl whose spirit had yet to be trampled, whose instincts had yet to be dulled, whose compassion had yet to be exploited.
That girl who played and ran and competed right along with the boys in the neighborhood, having yet to be told that she wasn’t good enough, strong enough, or worthy enough.
That girl whose dreams couldn’t fit into the Grand Canyon because of their scope and size, who wrote secrets in her diary, had more imaginary friends than real ones, fantasized of running away and living with the animals (who were much friendlier than humans anyway), talked to her stuffed animals, and also to the moon at night before drifting off to sleep.
That girl who knew without a doubt who she was and what she was capable of and what she deserved, even if all other outside forces – mother, father, sibling, grandparent, friend – were trying to convince her otherwise.
Yes, that girl.
And yet in all her wisdom and glorious ways, what she didn’t know was the power of Time. She didn’t know that the years would wear her down, unable to bear the onslaught of the people she loved the most being the very ones who would betray her, send her running for cover, until the day she had no choice but to retreat to the deepest and darkest corner of your soul.
Where she still is today.
So now it’s time to wake her up, because you’re going to need her strength and wisdom to pull yourself out of the hole you’re currently in. You’re drowning, and she is waiting patiently on the shore with a life preserver, ready to throw it your way.
But first, let's get honest.
· You are in pain and you want to stop hurting.
· You are ready to look at not only yourself with complete honesty, but those around you, specifically those you are loving or have loved and still feel emotionally connected to.
· You are willing to accept that you are a beautiful and worthy being who makes this world better just by being in it.
· You will listen to the little girl within who has a lot to say (after all, she’s kept her mouth shut for a long damn time).
And most importantly,
· You will recognize that you are not alone.
So take another deep breath, exhale, and even if your mouth won’t participate, allow your soul for just this one moment to smile.
Because you’re still that girl.