It's funny how things can change the more you grow through life. At one point, we feel pressed in every direction to do more and reach goals. This is a part of most people's journey as society has done a great job at telling people who they should be and when they should reach that bar. For most people, this starts in middle or high school when it's suddenly not just about your toys and what you like but more about meeting a certain "standard" in order to "fit in". We feel like we need to know the right people, do the right things, go to the right parties... And even tough this phase can be way more intense for some people, we all, in a way or another, fall into this trap. But the funny thing is, even when we feel like we have grown past this, we subconsciously keep repeating the same pattern if we do not make a conscious decision to break this cycle.
See, sometimes, a pattern can have different stages and different forms. So we keep going, thinking we have made peace with the past and separated ourselves from it. But truth is, many times, we fail to do the necessary self-work and introspection, which will truly liberate us from repeating the same mistakes.
Somehow, many of us are still (even subconsciously) living for others. Social media, your job, your environment and even your family can put this pressure on you to be a certain way and even FEEL a certain way. And even though it is OUR job to not open the doors to all of this, sometimes, we simply do not know any better.
After a series of events last year, and going through a season of very deep lows, I felt like I was stuck in a black whole with no way out.
I realized that I needed to do the work I help others do so well. I needed to reevaluate my whole life and take some very important decisions. And while others might think “What do you have to reevaluate at only 24 years old?” Well… to me, even children should learn to reevaluate. Our life is like a canvas. And no, we do not start life with a blank canvas because many decisions can be taken for us even before our birth and there always comes a time of question, a time to assess what we like, our dreams, our feelings, our joys, and our hurts… who we are. And this can be done as soon as we are aware that we are alive.
I will not go into details because this is not the point of this post and these are events I choose to only share with certain (very few) people. But, after going through these series of events, I felt deeply hurt, I felt lost and I felt like I did not know in which direction I should go. Funny how, one thing happening to you can make you question everything you thought you knew… But it happened and I had a choice to make: Let it control my life or face it and choose which method I would adopt to move on from it. After trying to keep going and having multiple meltdowns and crisis, I realized I had not taken the proper time to heal. I realized I had tried to do it on my own instead of letting God operate His surgery on me. It took my courage to acknowledge that what I was going through had reach a level that left me drowning in despair. I needed to accept that I needed more than just a good cry. I realized that subconsciously I did let the pressure control me. Because we believe in the lie that we need to put a deadline on the time we need to heal. Because we accept the lies that we need to keep going and take care of whatever we need to take care of.
In the middle of my breakdown, I refused to accept this lie. I accepted (I mean, REALLY accepted) that it was ok for me not to be ok. I had to take a step back. I stepped away from my personal social media (and I mean, deactivated so people could not even find me on there. It was like it had never existed). And to some, this might seem like a small step but it is HUGE. We are surrounded by so many information that our minds and souls are always distracted. I noticed that, tough I thought I was fine, every time I found myself alone or in silence, my trauma came back for me and I broke down. This meant that I needed to face it without being distracted by things that did not serve my healing. I decided to eliminate things from my life in order to remember who I was, in order to accept the events of my life but never let them define me or make me feel devalued. And the motto that kept coming to me was: “Keep it simple” .
In scriptures, Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. This made me realize that any time we needed to be able to go through a difficult season, we needed to get rid of the burden. And by getting rid of it, I do not mean burying it. But rather, exchange this burden for His peace. Exchange your worry for deeply rooted joy. But I also realized it was impossible to do so without ‘’Keeping it simple’’.
In life, we need to learn that most of the things we label as “urgent” can wait. What is the point of it all if we lose ourselves in the process? What is the point to keep going if it is to breakdown even further along the way? What I the point of looking great if you do not feel great? I had to pause and choose myself above anything or anyone else. Most importantly, I had to do the hard work: Face my feelings, understand why I was feeling this way and choose how I would keep going. I had to eliminate, reevaluate… I had to keep it simple.
I would be lying if I said my work is done but because I chose myself above all else, I am more equipped, more focused. I understood that my hurt, is as valid as other feelings like joy. It is part of life. Most importantly, I have learn forgiveness… REAL forgiveness. The kind that asks for every cell in your body to cooperate. I thought I knew how to forgive before this… man I was so wrong. I have learned love and redemption from ashes. I’ve learned how God uses what is broken to create something new. I learned how to let go of my picture perfect plans (that was hard) and surrender to what God had decided my journey would be. I truly surrendered. God could not use me while I was holding on so tightly to my hurt and disappointment.
This is my first post on this new platform. And maybe from the look of this website, you can feel more simplicity. While I am still Ann-Sophie, doing my self-work has helped me realize how much I have grown. I want this platform to portray what I feel inside. More simplicity, more depth, more passion, more peace…and I would not have been able to reach this point without these hurtful events. Somehow, I am grateful for them because at rock bottom, I have found the true strength to surrender it all to Him.
To conclude, my question to you is “What is costing you your healing time?” Why can’t you PAUSE to face the hurt?
What do you need to let go of? Today, keep it simple. Do not worry about what others will say when you start doing the self-work. Throw away that perfect life plan of yours. Make more room for simplicity. Surround yourself with people who will help you love deeper. Choose events that will impact your life and help you think. Say NO to what no longer grows you. Identify who and what are worth fighting for. And when you find them… love, forgive, communicate. I’ve learned that sometimes, the people who love you the most can also hurt you the most. I’ve learned that sometimes, it is worth separating the person from the action/event that has hurt you. We a
re all in need of more grace so let’s learn to extend it more to others. Clean-up/redecorate your home or workspace. It’s ok to accept you are no longer at the same stage of your life. It’s ok to have new scares… embrace them.
The best is yet to come...
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