In "The 'New Side Chick': I was Her", I introduced a new role a lot of women play to men who aren't seriously interested in them. In "The New Side Chick Part II: But I Can't Leave Him...", I discussed how to leave those unhealthy, loveless relationships/situationships. But then what?! You find your knight in shining armor and live happily ever after? Ha! I wish that was the case. I have to be honest with you: It's been about 8 months since cutting my ties with Jake, and I am still not fully healed. I've become too guarded over my heart. I began to see every man who does not immediately commit to me as a potential Jake. I wouldn't allow myself to really open up and be vulnerable with another guy, no matter how good they were, because in my mind, they would eventually hurt me. I developed a fear of becoming The New Side Chick again. Often times when we end relationships/situationships, we just leave the title and the person. However, the heartache and blockades around our hearts follow us.
Queens, it's not enough to remove yourself from such situations; healing is a crucial role. I’m not talking about the type of healing where you are over your “Jake”, realize your worth, and ready to move on. I’m talking about the type of healing where you don’t punish your present/future because of your past. The type of healing where you are able to be vulnerable with a new person because you no longer fear getting hurt. The type of healing where you are confident within yourself and know that you are still a beautiful Queen regardless of what happens with the next person you meet.
When things ended with Jake, I went on a "man fast", began to focus on myself, and had faith that I would meet someone better one day. Now, it's one thing to believe in the unseen, but to finally see what you believe is another experience. Almost two months into my man fast, I randomly began talking to a new guy, "Mike". Mike was the manifestation of my faith. It was refreshing to meet a man who was attractive on every level.
It wasn't until I took the time to get to know Mike and build a friendship with him that I realized I wasn't fully healed from my past. On the surface, I was cool, calm, and collected. But deep in my heart, I was impatient, anxious, and fearful. I was mentally preparing for him to hurt me. Here was a good man who never wronged me and I refused to allow myself to trust and open up to him.
Queens, there's a difference between guarding your heart versus blocking your heart. Don't let the pain and sorrows of your past block you from an extraordinary and amazing future. When we leave toxic situations, we have to remember to leave the toxins there too. If we don't, we will end up poisoning ourselves and the people around us.
In this particular situation I began to poison myself with anxiety, impatience, and invulnerability because I feared wasting the same energy, time, and emotions like I did with Jake. Here's some examples:
1. Anxiety- "God is he the one? Or Is he another random? Why is he in my life? Should I keep him in it? Should I remove him like the rest? What is his purpose? Does he really like me, like for real? Or is he playing me on the low?" I can go ON and ON about the numerous thoughts I had. I wanted God to just flat out tell me everything so I didn't have to trust Him. My anxiety stemmed from a fear of wasting my energy again. I created all of these hypotheticals in my head and created stress from my imagination. Reality Check: Proverb 3:5 says "Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding". Queens, we have to stop being "deputy dogs", trying to sniff out all of the answers to the mysteries of life. The reality of it is that you will not know everything. Only God is all knowing; therefore we must put our trust in Him. He's not going to flat out answer ALL of your questions immediately, but he will reveal just enough information to direct your paths. Listen to the signs and trust Him. It's all working together for your greater good.
2. Impatience - "How long are we going to be talking? When are we going to go to the next level? He needs to make it official by this day & this time or else!" I'm naturally an impatient person, especially when it comes to dating. All of my past relationships had a very short "get to know you" phase. And the first time I did take the time in getting to know someone was with Jake. We all know how that ended up playing out. As a result, I started to associate "taking the time to get to know a person" as "girl, he's stringing you along and wasting your time". With Mike, I began to create timelines and deadlines in my head. I didn't want to go with the flow. I thought if I was able to control time, I would prevent myself from wasting it. Reality Check: We serve a God who is not only always on time, but one who can redeem any amount of time! Psalm 27:14 says, "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" Sometimes it's hard for us to wait on God because we get tunnel vision--we want what we want when we want it. Like a crab, we claw onto our timelines, ideas, and expectations. Queen, I know you're tired of the singleness, but awakening love before its time is a dangerous thing to do. Appreciate the process of getting to know a person and building a solid foundation with them. Trust the timing God has for you.
3. Invulnerability- "I really like him, but I can't show him that. He's going to think he has me. I don't want to look weak. I don't want to show him my flaws. I don't want him to take advantage of my heart. Maybe, if I started talking to someone else, I won't like him so much. Then if he tries to play me, I won't even be bothered because I would have my rebounds/backups." Reality Check: Those randoms, text buddies, and safety nets may temporarily distract your mind, but they can never replace the feelings in your heart. 1 Corinthians 13:7 says, "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." We want love but not the vulnerability that comes with it. Your friendships and relationships will never grow in love if you don't have the courage and strength to take off the masks you've been wearing and tear down the barricades around your heart. The right people in your life will love you for all that you are, and all that you aren't. Stop trying to suppress what makes you beautiful.
I'm learning that the only way you can get over your fears is to face them. Your mountains won't move if you don't speak to them. You can't break chains if you’re not willing to touch them. When God showed me my unresolved issues, I realized I needed help. I went to see a dating coach/therapist. I wanted to talk to a relationship professional about my fears and insecurities and sort through my emotions. I knew the only way to heal was to take off the band aids and expose the wounds.
My therapist said something so profound, "I notice that you value risk taking. You have no problem taking risks and going after all of your goals in life, except when it comes to dating. Why is that?"
I was speechless. I spent this past week reflecting on her words. The only answer I could come up with is fear. I developed a fear of failing. I was tired of getting my hopes up only for them to get let down.
Recently, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said: “You should never be afraid of failing because you can only fall FORWARD. I made you survive all of your past "failed" relationships, and look at you now--you're more wise, beautiful and strong. I make no mistakes. I can and will turn every trial into a triumph and burden into a blessing. When will you trust me?”
Right now, I am in the process of healing, learning, and growing. I'm using my past to help me learn about myself and grow into a better woman for my present and future. I recently gave over all of my relationship fears, doubts, and insecurities to God. This is the first time in my life where I am not anxious, impatient or fearful. I'm not stressing over the future between me and Mike because I have enough confidence within myself to know that I am an amazing woman, and I trust that God will allow me to enter a relationship with an amazing man of His choice on His timing. I recognize that my flaws and feelings make me uniquely beautiful, and the right person will appreciate them. I'm learning that it is okay to slowly let your guard down to a person who has consistently showed you that they are genuine and trustworthy. I can't express the liberation I feel within my soul. I feel confident, fearless, and beautiful. I used to find comfort in controlling my life and trying to plan every little aspect of it. But now, I’m learning to have peace in the unknown future because I trust and believe that God is going to see me through all things and lead me to my destiny.
Be blessed Queens.
A Few Quick Updates:
- I was a guest speaker on “Right to R.E.A.L. Love Radio Podcast”, discussing “Escaping Loveless Relationships”. Check it out here http://righttoreallove.com/loveless-relationships/ OR Download the Podcast Episode via iTunes or Stitcher Radio (for non-iTune users).
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