The Girl Before the Girlfriend

Listen to The Girl Before the Girlfriend

“So you know how on one of your Sister Talks Podcast episodes you said ‘I’m the girl before the marriage’ or whatever? It was in reference to all of your exes getting serious with the next person they found. Well, that is not necessarily a bad thing, sis. That means that you know how to help coach a boy to be a man. But the day will come that you will meet a man that does not need to be coached–I am talking about a man that is already everything you need because God has made him just for you. Do not get discouraged because all things work for the good of those who love the Lord, and sometimes God has to take a little more time on the blessings that are for the believers with favor.”


On an episode of the podcast I formerly co-hosted with my best friend/sister Alexandria, we discussed everything related to relationships. If you are interested in listening to that episode, it is still available for your listening pleasure here. In that episode, we each gave an account of what our dating life was like in the past, and I titled mine “The Girl Before the Girlfriend” or “The One That Got Away”. We recorded this episode at the beginning of 2018, and I honestly had to go back and listen to it again to see what my narrative was then in order to compare it to what it is now.

So what is the “girl before the girlfriend”, exactly? It is literally what it sounds like. Majority of my dating experience has been encounters with men who claimed they were not interested in or ready for a relationship, but shortly after our “situation” concluded (and sometimes during) they ended up in a relationship. Even as far back as high school I have literally been building men for other women. That is not a task I wanted to take on nor is it my responsibility, but it is the role I have allowed myself to play.

I have attracted males who were right on the brink of their next phase of life, males who were broken, and males who were not yet whole. Essentially, males who were lost. I opened myself and my heart and put forth my best effort to add value to them in whatever way was needed at the time. I journeyed with them from “not ready” to “ready”, but unfortunately for me this resulted in someone else reaping the benefits of my effort. They were ready, but not with me. It caused me to believe that there was something wrong with me and that I had to be doing something wrong.

So you must be wondering if this happened to me again? Surprise! Yes beloved, it did. The storyline of what happened is far less important than the lessons I learned this time, so we will focus on that and leave the rest where it is at. So the quote at the beginning of this post came in the version of a text message from my sorority sister and dear friend Shaquila. It came shortly after the situation referred to above, and it was right on time. It honestly gave me the courage to get back out into the dating world and try again.

Moment of transparency: I will admit that this situation shook me to the core. I have had my heart broken twice before, and I definitely coin this as the third. A part of me still cannot believe that here I am, again, singing the same sad song. I have questioned my self-worth over and over again, trying to figure out what is wrong with me. Am I crazy? Am I not attractive? What am I lacking? What do these other women have that I do not? It has taken a lot of emotional work to get back to a healthy, whole place. The journey is not easy, but I owe it to myself to do the work.

The biggest lesson I have learned as a result of this last experience is acceptance. I was faced with two options: either accept what type of lover I am or change who I am. I decided to go with acceptance and this has helped me tremendously. I recognize what role I have played in each relationship. I have an “all-in” approach when it comes to my relationships with other people, and I exhaust every option before I walk away. This is just who I am, and I believe this quality will make me a great partner to someone one day. I have also accepted that this approach can cause me to get hurt. Recognizing this allows me to focus my energy on how to either lessen that hurt or find ways to work through and process it better.

Next lesson: I have let go of all the rules. Society is great at telling you what a relationship should be, look, and feel like. Instagram is full of relationship experts, and you can find at least three love gurus on Twitter. Even celebrity couples will have you creating ideas and idolizing their love stories. I am no longer interested in all of that. When I am blessed with a relationship my partner and I will do whatever works for us. Focusing on what “they” say is stressful and can cause you to miss out on your blessing or deal with things that are less than you deserve.

In closing, I have learned what I want in a partner. I mean, I really know. In the past I have always had a great idea about what I was looking for, I have prayed for the type of man I want, etc. But now there is a certain conviction in my spirit and I know for sure. Refer to 1 Corinthians 13. Read the whole chapter, but verse 4 tells you what love is. I want someone who embodies all of those things. If I cannot read your name in place of the word “love” in those verses, you are not the person for me. It took me a long time to truly figure this out. In the past my therapist asked me what I want in a partner, and I could only tell her what I knew I did not want. I could never exactly verbalize anything positive. I think I was making it more complicated than I needed to. Now it is pretty simple.

Moment of transparency: One of the lowest moments in my dating life was allowing someone to stand in front of me and tell me how they did not want me. Repeatedly. And instead of walking away, I stayed and begged this person to see me. To give me a chance. To love me. I have never felt more vulnerable or small than I did in those moments. I wish I would have recognized then that the person was not my 1 Corinthians 13 and that the conversation was full of everything but love.

So here I am, still “The Girl Before the Girlfriend”, but I know this is not the life God has for me. Like Shaquila said, God has a man created just for me. A man who will see my worth from the very beginning. A man that I may have to teach a few things, but he will be a man on his own. A man that will feel like home. Love was my word for 2017 and is my word for 2018, so I am not giving up.

What is your love story? Take some time to reflect on your relationships. Focus on what they have taught you and how they have made you better. Look at how far you’ve come, regardless of your relationship status. If you are one of those people who feel like they are not “ready” for a relationship, consider this concept I talk about in the podcast episode.

In Wale’s “The Matrimony” featuring Usher, the song starts out with a dialogue about how regardless of the plans you make, you cannot truly be “ready” for marriage because it requires you to grow. As with any growth, you cannot be ready for it, because it is new. You change and become someone new. Marriage is a stage of a relationship right? Right. So the same logic applies, beloved. The right relationships will cause you to grow, whether you think you are ready or not. You cannot say “wait God, no no. I am not ready to grow.” It just happens. You can spend your whole life planning, but sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and go for it. Leave the excuses behind, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

Disclaimer: Do not get into a relationship if you have no intention of doing right by the other person. I do believe there is a necessary mental state to be in before you start dating, so please don’t “be” out here playing games. You know if you are in the right frame of mind to engage with other people. My advice is to those who think they have to have “x, y, and z” in order before they can be open to dating.


“How lit would it be to have someone to do life with?” x Anaston Jeni

Sister Talks with Anaston and Alexandria | Best Friend Tag

For January’s episode of the Sister Talks Podcast, Alexandria and I wanted to do something a little different! We recorded the “best friend” tag and answered a few questions about ourselves. We hope that this allows our audience to learn a little bit more about us in the new season of Sister Talks with Anaston and Alexandria!

You can watch the YouTube video here: 

Out of Grief

 

 

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On Saturday, January 6, 2018, I received a phone call from my mother informing me that my great aunt Evelyn had passed. Although I knew she had been battling cancer, I did not think that news of her death would come so soon, especially since it was the beginning of the new year. The news of her passing instantly reminded me of the day my mother called me when my Granny passed. I started to feel the same emotions and was completely consumed with sadness. It broke my heart that yet another family member had passed away–a family member tied so closely to my beloved Granny. 

I spent the rest of the day wallowing in grief and sadness. As far as I was concerned, my day had been ruined. The plans I had were already cancelled and this news was the icing on the cake. So I did my best to spend the day processing through the grief the best way I knew how. As I mentioned in Grandmother, the Alchemist. grief is a tricky thing. There is not one right way to conquer it, and it can come in waves when you least expect it.

If I felt like crying, I cried. I slept when the tears ceased to fall, and I watched Harry Potter movies to take my mind off of things. Sunday rolled around and I still could not bring myself to get out and face the world. I realized that I had not processed through my Granny’s death as much as I thought, and it frustrated me.

Later that Sunday afternoon, I was able to pull myself together and set a game plan for how I was going to make sure I did not let this loss be the story of my 2018. I had already revisited my goals for 2018, but I knew I needed to be a bit more intentional about the changes I wanted to make. I also knew that just writing them down on paper was not going to cut it this year–I needed to start taking action and make changes right then and there. I needed to get excited about the things I wanted to do, and I needed to accept that in the midst of death, life still goes on. I had to realize that I owe it to my Granny, my great aunt, and every other family member I have lost to live my life fully. They would want me to. Something good bloomed out of my grief and although I am still processing, I am able to do so with much more positivity. 

Now I have seen a lot of debate about goal setting this year. A lot of people are against it, do not quite understand the need for it, etc. But I encourage you to not get so caught up in the word “goal”. An intention for the new year can be viewed as a goal, any changes you want to make can be viewed as goals–the way you view this concept should be personal to you. 

What are goals? Well, according to good ol’ Merriam Webster:

goal

noun

2. the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result

So like I said, a goal can be anything. Desires count, efforts toward achieving something count, it all counts. If I am doing actual goal setting, here’s how I approach it: I try to organize them by the different areas of my life, and I create a map, of sorts, to help visualize what I want to achieve. Here’s an example:

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 1. Set the actual goal.

Ask yourself what it is you want to achieve. Is there something you want to learn? Something you want to improve? Something you want to do more of? Or even something you do not want to do, if that works for you.

2. Why do you want to achieve this goal?

Once you have set the goal, start looking at your intentions. Why is this important to you? What is fueling this particular desire? Make sure your heart and mind are in the right place.

3. How can you achieve this goal?

This is the action part. You may not know initially how to go about achieving the particular goal you have set, and that is okay. Thinking about it will allow you to get the wheels turning and inspire you to try new things to achieve what you have set out to do. Do not be afraid of what may feel like failing along the way–use it as motivation to keep pushing you into greatness. 

4. Affirm that you will accomplish exactly what you set out to do. 

You have to believe that you can do whatever it is that you set your mind to. God created you to be great and he has equipped you with everything you need to live out your purpose. So encourage yourself. Write out affirmations related to your goals and remind yourself daily that you will be successful. Before you know it, you will be doing everything you intended to do this year. 

No matter what approach you take to “goal setting”, always remember to give it all to God. It is important that you surrender yourself to Him and His will. He knows what is best for you and can be a great help when you are trying to figure out what you hope 2018 will be.

What is your plan for 2018? Personally, I am focusing more on intentions this year and keeping the goals I set in 2017 for inspiration. I have never been fond of setting “new year resolutions”, but I have found that setting goals helps me stay focused on being the best Anaston I can be. I use them as a reminder when life starts to get chaotic and I am searching for inspiration to do something.  This is a work in progress though, and once I have a clear understanding I will share with you. If you have set your goals, intentions, desires, etc. for 2018 share them with me! I’d love to witness the greatness you are going to achieve. 

“In all things in 2018, be intentional. Be convicted in your intentions and the year and life you want will manifest according to God’s will. May your 2018 be full of light, love, and an abundance of blessings.” x Anaston Jeni

L is for Love, Pt. II

 

I wrote L is for Love a little over a year ago when I was heartbroken, disappointed, & at one of the lowest points in my life. Growing through that experience forced me to put the pieces of my heart back together again & fall in love with one of the greatest loves of my life…myself. Going through a break-up or a fizzling out of a relationship is never fun, & it is rarely ever easy. Figuring out how to enjoy your alone time, love yourself, & get back to happy can be hard, ugly, & full of ups & downs…but I did it. I did it before, I did it then, & I keep doing it every day. In a moment of transparency I want to share with you one of my most beloved practices on my journey of falling in love with myself.

I write myself love letters.


Dear Anaston,
I pray you love yourself. I pray you love yourself wholly, fully & as fiercely as the love you pray for & seek in other people.
I pray you love yourself when you are at your worst. When you are down to the bottom, tear-stained, battered, & broken. When your mind is working against you & you are anxious, afraid, & your faith is wavering. I pray you love yourself enough to recognize when you need to pour into you & that you are never too self-conscious to ask for help. 
I pray you are able to look at yourself in the mirror, stripped from everything that society & the world around you wants you to be & that you are happy with the woman who looks back at you. I pray you love yourself when you don’t get invited to that event & get passed over for that opportunity. When everyone is busy & the only person you have to come home to is yourself…and Pablo.
I pray you love yourself when you stumble & fall in this dating life. When he doesn’t answer your text messages or return your phone call. When you think “this could be something”, but it doesn’t work out. I pray you love yourself enough to stay the course & be confident that God has created the partner just for you.
I pray you love yourself when he comes. When he sweeps you off your feet & all your practice & work finally pay off. I pray that you can wrap yourself up & dive into the love that God talks about in the Bible. I pray you love yourself when you find yourself in love & you’ve traded your heart for his. I pray you love yourself when your routines change, when someone else is in your space, & when you have him to come home to…and Pablo.
 I pray that you love yourself enough to know exactly how beautiful you are. That you love every bump, every hair, every pound, & every inch of your skin. I pray that you recognize your worth, your talents, & your intelligence. I pray that you love yourself enough to be neutral & humble, knowing that you are here to just be you, to serve, & to love.
And if no one else ever tells you that they love you, I pray that you love yourself enough to be rooted in just that…the love you have for you.
I love you,
Anaston

 

Why wait for someone to write you a love letter? One of the things I’ve always dreamed is that my husband will write me love letters (I’m old-fashioned like that), but until & hopefully after he comes, I will write them to myself. Both writing & reading the letters that you write can serve as an immense healing tool as you put your pieces back together. You discover things about yourself that you may have forgotten & you give yourself some much needed love. When you’re feeling down or discouraged, read one of your love letters & refill your love tank. I’ll share other practices that I’ve tried throughout this self-love journey in another post, but I wanted to share what really helped me figure out how to love Anaston. 

Have you ever had your heart broken? How did you get through it? Let’s face it, break-ups & the ending of a relationship doesn’t mean that you no longer love that person, but if you spend time redirecting that love back to you, it’ll soften the ache just a little bit more. 

 

“Today I affirm: I am responsible for doing the work in my healing. I am my own validation. I am abundantly full of all that I need.” x Alex Elle

Sister Talks with Anaston & Alexandria: Ep. 1 | S is for Sister & T is for Tribe (feat. Jazmine Rogers)

 

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My sister bestie and I recently started our very own podcast, called Sister Talks with Anaston & Alexandria! We are both educated brown girls, & bloggers.

“Everyone has that one person that they call when they need to have an open, honest conversation. These types of conversations inspired the creation of Sister Talks with Anaston & Alexandria. This podcast highlights the ups & downs of being a young, black woman in today’s society. Join co-hosts Anaston & Alexandria as they discuss everything from friendships to relationships, navigating the professional world as a young millennial, & the importance of both mental & physical wellness. Join them on the journey to adulthood the second Wednesday of each month at 8!”

Here’s our very first episode! We discuss the importance of a quality sister tribe, define what a sister is to us, & discuss what we look for in our female friends! Our other sister bestie, Jazmine Rogers, tunes in with us & shares her perspective! 

 

Ep. 1 | S is for Sister & T is for Tribe

Grandmother, the Alchemist.

 

“Grandmother, the alchemist, you spun gold out of this hard life, conjured beauty from the things left behind. Found healing where it did not live. Discovered the antidote in your own kit. Broke the curse with your own two hands…’I had my ups and down, but I always found the strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.”- Excerpt from Beyonce’s Lemonade.

I have to be honest, I have been avoiding completing this blog post for months. Grief is such a strange thing. There is no recipe for “How to Deal With Grief”, & despite all of the self-help books, articles, etc. the fact remains the same–people deal with grief differently. & guess what that means? You have to learn how to navigate through it in a way that works best for you. So that’s what I have been doing, & I can’t tell you that I have figured it out just yet.

My Granny passed away in March of 2016. I thought I prepared myself for her death, but I was way more unprepared than I could have ever imagined. I can’t even describe the audible sounds that escaped my body when my mother called to give me the news. I immediately felt an immense sadness, & wished that I would be able so see her one more time. Hold her hand one more time. Roll her hair or get her dressed one more time. Watch her say her prayers before bed one more time. Give her something sweet for a snack one more time.

So now almost a year later, I still have those same wishes. I often think of all of the memories I have of her & the things she taught me. I’ve picked 3 pearls to share with you.

  • My Granny taught me the importance of prayer.

When her body was able she would get on her knees & say her prayers before bed every night. No matter what time it was, no matter where she was. Sometimes, because of the disease (Alzheimer’s) she would say them over & over, but she would always pray. One of my fondest memories is just watching her pray & wondering what it was she was talking to God about. She also prayed over her meals, even if it was as simple as “Jesus wept”. But regardless of the twists & turns of her life, her relationship with God remained constant. Her faith & her dedication to Him have inspired me to be much more intentional about my walk with God.

  • My Granny taught me the true meaning of unconditional love & that it is okay to “need” it.

Unconditionally loving someone is a remarkable thing, & I truly loved my Granny. As a child, I used to think that love was based on what people did for me, what they said to me, & even how they loved me. But during the last few years of my Granny’s life, I learned that love is not subject to a condition. When you love someone, truly love someone, you just love them. There were times where my Granny was sweet, I loved her. There were times when she was not so sweet, I loved her. There were times when she needed me, I loved her. There were times where she didn’t want to be bothered, I loved her. Because I loved her, I was willing to do anything to make sure that she was happy & well taken care of. If that meant feeding her, I did it because I loved her. If that meant repeating things to her twenty times, I did it because I loved her. If that meant staying with her all day & spending endless hours in a hospital, I did it because I loved her. There were times when I would get so frustrated with the situation & the things she would do or say, but I still loved her. I would be angry, disappointed, & sometimes even annoyed…& yet my love for her never changed. There was no “if this occurs, then I love her” or “I love her when”. That’s when I realized what love was supposed to be. 

Some of the most precious memories I have are when my Granny would ask me or my mom to stay with her when it was time for us to leave. It would break my heart when she would cry & ask us not to leave her. My Granny was a strong woman, one of the strongest I know, but she still needed love. She needed us, our love, our companionship, & it was okay. I think we sometimes feel guilty for wanting other people to love us. Yes, our love for self should be sufficient; the love God has for us is always more than sufficient…but never forget that it is important to feel love from the people around us. We were made to love & getting love in return, in whatever healthy form it comes, is something that it is okay to say that you need.

  • My Granny taught me how valuable time truly is.

Time is really one of the most valuable things we have on Earth. Once it’s gone, you cannot get it back. It is so important to treat every single day as a blessing, & you have to try to make the best of every moment. There were times where I didn’t slow down to appreciate some of the little moments with my Grandmother, & a part of me probably thought that I had a little more time. But one day I didn’t, she was gone, & all I wanted was a few more moments with her. You have to be present in life. Be intentional. Show up for people & always be mindful that tomorrow isn’t promised. 

What did your Granny teach you? Grandparents are extremely special people, & I’m blessed to have been able to have time with all of mine. We learn so many life lessons from them, some that don’t even “hit” us until maybe years after they are gone. Take some time to reflect on the time you’ve spent with your grandparents or even just your grandmother. I recently wrote a letter to mine that was therapeutic in my healing process. It’s also a great way to exercise your memory & remember some things you may have forgotten. My Granny was remarkable, magical, even. There were times where I was just in awe of her & everything she was. She was beautiful, she was honest, she was loving, she was strong, she was faithful. She lived life to the fullest from beginning to end. & I am blessed to have been able to know her in such a special way. 

 

F is for Forgiveness.

Lately, the concept of forgiveness has been just about everywhere in my atmosphere. I’ve read other blog posts about it, my pastor preached about it, my YouTube faves have recorded videos on it, etc. So I took all of this as a sign that I need to sit down & do some real forgiving in my own personal life.

Well, what does it mean to forgive? According to Google it means:

for•give•ness 

noun

“To stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.”

I think it was in July when I purchased 21 Days of Forgiveness by Iyanla Vanzant & decided to embark on my “forgiveness journey”. Fast forward to September, & I had only completed 1 day of the 21 days. So at the beginning of the month, I decided to restart the book & begin my journey anew.

My intentions this time are much clearer than they were the first. This time, I’m actually being intentional about forgiving people (& myself), & I’m more willing to put forth the work to do so. I owe that to my growing relationship with God & my desire to be open to all that He has to offer.

So I had to ask myself why is this forgiveness journey important to me.

The first thing I realized was that if I want to be forgiven for my sins & the things I have done to other people, I first need to forgive people myself. I can’t expect God to forgive me if I’m harboring ill feelings & holding grudges toward people around me. 

Forgiving people is healthy–when you forgive people, you release a lot of negative energy. Forgiving people heals mental & spiritual wounds & brings peace into your life.

Starting on this forgiveness journey made me realize that I was carrying a lot of baggage around, & I didn’t even realize it. I also didn’t realize how hard it is to truly forgive people. I think sometimes we say we forgive a person but still carry around feelings or resentment.  But when you forgive a person you have to let all of that go & move on. It takes time, & for me isn’t something that I could do just in one moment. So I have taken a pause in the 21 Days of Forgiveness to really focus on the areas of forgiving that I assessed in the first few days.

I decided to make a list of people who I felt that I was holding a grudge against. Some of those people I reached out to, to apologize for my part in the demise of our relationship, & some people I had to just work through issues with on my own. It was a huge relief that I was able to rekindle friendships with two women I really cared about. Both of them were very good to me during the time right after my Granny passed, & I was in such a negative place emotionally, that I wasn’t open to receive the love they were giving in their own ways. Thankfully, after the dust settled, I was able to recognize this & make some much needed amends.

Working through these relationships also caused me to learn how to forgive myself. I’m human, & I make mistakes. Sometimes I do or say things that I am not proud of–these things happen…& when they do, I have to be willing to forgive myself so that I can continue to grow and mature. Forgiving myself is not always easy, because it means that I have to admit that I was wrong, which is not always comfortable. 

Do you need to start your own forgiveness journey? First start with forgiving yourself. Forgive your mind & your body. Once you have forgiven yourself, you can begin to start to forgive other people. Ask yourself if there are people in your life that you are holding grudges against. Make a list of those people & see if there are any relationships that are worth salvaging, & reach out to those people. This is not an invitation to open a bunch of closed doors, but it is important to make sure you don’t have any negative ties out in the world. Everyone deserves forgiveness even those people who have wronged us in the worst ways. Forgiveness takes time, but you have to make sure that you truly forgive. You can’t half forgive someone, it’s all or nothing. Once you start forgiving yourself & other people, you open up room for so much more positivity in your life.

“Holding onto a grudge doesn’t make you stronger, it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak, it sets you free.” x Anonymous

L is for Love, Pt. I

Love, is a choice.

And when we choose to love someone, we are choosing to freely give another person our heart.

The question I have been asking myself lately is: “how did I have the courage to give another person my heart, but yet he did not have the courage to give me his in return?”

So if you’re wondering–yes, I recently had my heart broken. I’ve been conflicted within myself about whether or not this was a wise choice for my third post. Is it too soon? Is it too deep? Is it too personal? It may be all of those things to some of my readers, but I decided that in order for me to heal my heart’s broken pieces, I have to talk about it.

The question you’re most likely asking now is “what happened, Anaston?” For the sake of maintaining some level of privacy I will refrain from going into too much detail, & just say this…I thought I met the true love of my life, the last few months were great & I was happy, & then one day all communication ceased. No, I don’t know why. I was given no reason, no explanation. No, nothing bad happened prior to. No, there were no signs. Weird, huh? I’m still waiting for a camera crew to come out & tell me I’ve been punked. 

I know these days it sounds rather cliché to say “I thought I met the true love of my life” & you may wonder how I came to that conclusion, but I just knew. Before all of the things happened that you do when you date a person occurred, I already knew. It was a new feeling for me, & it scared me at first, but I was elated that I found (or so I thought) the person I was supposed to walk through life with.

So my initial reaction, once I got over the immense confusion & disappointment, was to blame myself. There must have been something that I did wrong. For about a week, I blamed myself & picked apart the pieces of my entire being that I thought caused this to happen. Then, I started replaying memories & conversations trying to find the signs that I obviously missed. I came up empty-handed both times, & all I was left with was a fist full of tears.

It would have been much easier for me to be an angry, bitter, black woman on an “all men are dogs” rampage. But I’m not. Even after my first heartbreak (which happened in college), I wasn’t. And even with this being my second, I still love, love. My heart is big, & when I love, I love hard. I think that’s okay. Even though this has been difficult to deal with, deep down I am thankful for the privilege & experience. I am thankful that I was given the chance to give love to another person, contribute positively to his life, & be shown that (despite the ending) good men do exist. I was given effort that matched mine, & someone who made me laugh like it was another language. It was a blessing, & I will learn from the experience.

My dating life has not been the best, honestly. But I guess the plus side is that it has never been dull. I’ve only been in two “official” relationships in my adult life, & obviously neither one has worked out in my favor. I’ve also found myself in a series of situation-ships that never quite make it to a relationship. Throughout each relationship (even the situation-ships are literal relationships) I have had to decide what I value in a partner. There are times when I have settled just to have someone. There were times when I stayed in a “relationship” way too long & allowed myself to be abused, misused, disrespected, & taken for granted. There were times when I embarrassed myself, disrespected myself, & even lashed out physically. It has taken a lot of self-reflection & prayer to get me to a place where I am okay with my “exes” & the relationships I had with them. I am not ashamed, & I have learned so much, that I believe will make me a great wife one day.

Have you ever had your heart-broken? What did you do to pick up the pieces? We all go through different kinds of heart breaks, & it is important that we put our hearts back together again. It is so easy to let the loss change you in a way that does not serve you. It is easy to become angry, bitter, resentful, but the only person you are hurting is you. You have to let it hurt for a little while & then start the healing process. Ask God to heal whats been hurt & to give you the strength to remain open. Don’t give up on love, or let the world we live in convince you that it’s not out there. It is, & it will find you. Stay the course.

“I have been hurt so bad and I still love so hard. I admire my heart for that.”  x Alex Elle