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Emotional battles are the core of women's experiences and existence. Trauma, heartbreak, childhood wounds, physiological ailments, failures in friendships, forced situations, failed communications, peer violent language, mental instability, abusive relationships — are just a small list of the afflictions everyday that creep its way into the innocence and gentleness of our origins. Just this past weekend a close family member of mine was in an atrocious accident. The outlook looked so bleak but this person is living, recovering, and healing today. Life is truly an emotional roller coaster with strong, beautiful highs and deep pits of hideous lows. This battle is real and it should not be pushed down, it should be let out and endured.
For me, I like food. I am a certified foodie from here to infinity. The only problems are that what I like to eat is probably the unhealthiest food in the universe, besides deep fried Oreos. It's my culture's food (Soul Food) which consists of buttery breads, sweet candied yams, mac and cheese, with extra cheese and layers of breads crumbs, sweets, and cakes with extra frosting and ice-cream. Just to give you a "sample" of one of my indulgences. I use food for everything. (Comfort, sadness, boredom, contentment, illness etc.) For instance, if I'm sick I tell myself "Go grab an entire box of Saltine crackers and a Ginger-Ale". For instance, if I had a long week and I make it to Friday, I go to Wendy's or Chick-fil-A and get a meal and a soda. This is a coping mechanism for me, because it's acceptable, it feels good, it feels safe, it takes my mind off of any turmoil, any problems with school or home or mental issues.
So, I am not diagnosed with any mental disorders, but no one is perfect upstairs. I am not the most Type A, or a perfect orator, or a genius at any one specific pastime or skill. I would consider myself a work in progress on a quest to figure myself out, to fill in the spaces of my mind and body that make me feel joy, to treat and heal others, and to find a community that encourages and accepts me.
It is truly difficult to take care of your whole self sometimes. Cleaning your body and mind, affirming your family and friends, consuming halfway pure food, attending to responsibilities, and on top of that dealing with personal matters. The formula is that you need to make a decision to take that break and just "do you." "Doing me" looks like sitting outside on a nice bench, glasses on, inside of a book. (Realistic or Historical Fiction). "Doing me" looks like mediation and social activism, donating, promoting love, giving love, giving my time and patience. Find out what you like for yourself and no one else. This is your time for reflection and the space that you create to let out the pus of your old and new wounds.
So, a bit of a personal narrative about how I am dealing with my heartache right now, is through religion. I am a spiritual and religious mix. My background is Christian, but now I believe that I have found the best aid to my need for acceptance and community. This is something that I haven't even told my family or friends, so this is an exclusive. I am strongly considering converting to the religion Unitarian Universalism. They are a fusion of two churches that came together in 1961, combining for social and environmental justice, acceptance, love, inter-faith, and peace in the world. They do not believe that God subjects humans to heaven or hell based on their sins, but they do believe that God looks for humans to love on and for each other. I came across this organization, one day, surfing the web while doing a Women's Studies assignment on gender neutral bathrooms on American college campuses. (Side note: Of course, which I am fully in support of). When I found the Unitarian Universalism website, I was sucked right in, seemingly called to it. The multi-faith, multi-cultural aspect was a bonus, and their views on the movement for black lives and just overall progressivism is just 100% me.
Having and keeping faith is fundamental for me. It really is the core of my healing and health. I would truly like to give myself to a religion that looks like America, but is rooted in love and getting closer to a cohesive coexistence on our planet, as soon as possible. We cannot help so much of the terrible situations or people that influence our spaces and energies. So much is uncontrollable, whether it is we lose a loved one or we gain a hereditary mental illness — we cannot forget that damaging childhood traumatic event or the sorrow from that heartbreak that just lingers and lingers. Even though I am not yet active in the Unitarian Universalist faith, this seems like a great fit for any believer or spiritual seeker. Their community houses many faiths and I believe forms "love leaders" and allows you to navigate life with unwavering encouragement and support.
Facing your pain is like breaking a glow stick. When you break it, it cracks, it sounds horrible, it’s hard to break, it feels wrong sometimes. And when you break it, inside you see this awful gunk. This gunk represents all of your inside feelings of guilt, shame, your flashback to the seasons of unbalance in your life. When the gunk finally settles, you are left with a bright colorful light. This is the light that you are in the world. You shine so bright, you have so much light and love to give, even with those things that happened to you still on the inside, you are still capable of being bright, whole — that joy in you that only you possess. Suffering is there, it’s always coming, but have your first-aid kit ready to patch yourself up again. Remember to "Do You," find a spiritual cleansing community, and know in your heart that you can be that vibrant being you were born to be.