Discovering the Purpose in my Pain Series: What was the Purpose?

I know, I know. It has been a while but trust me, it has been for good reason.  I have just been trying to live in the moment and give myself some time to take care of some other goals of mine…I will have a new post on this soon. Anywho, while I have been on break, I have been focusing on my podcast. I had the honor of interviewing 21 ladies who were a part of the Purpose in my Pain anthology presented by the visionary author, Dr. Tamika Hall.  (Head over to the BOOK OF ALESHA podcast, in order to listen. Available where you listen to your podcasts).

While interviewing the ladies, I was led to think about any pain I may have experienced and what has become of it. I was drawn to what birthed the Book of Alesha brand, in general.  I was battling feelings of depression stemming from perfectionism, fear of failure, and all that encompassed motherhood, wifeyhood, and womanhood.  I had put unrealistic expectations to be the perfect mom, wife, and woman.  When that wasn’t happening. I was feeling like a failure and started operating on autopilot. I had nothing left to give.  I was just surviving. 

I begin to think, well as long as those around me were taken care of, that was what mattered, but I wasn’t taking care of myself.  Don’t get me wrong, being a wife and mother, aren’t painful roles.  Losing yourself in them is what becomes painful, unrealistic expectations are what becomes painful.

Not only was I feeling like I was failing, but I also noticed that all the things I wanted to do, I didn’t do.  All the things I wanted to pursue; I didn’t pursue.  I thought there was no possible way I could nurture my family and focus on myself as well. I decided that my family was more important than me.  Their well-being, their desires, their dreams.  Truth of the matter is, I am as equally important.  I realized that that had been a pattern in my life. Putting myself on the back burner…not seeing myself as important as anyone else. I am not sure where this thought process came from. I think we as women are afraid of appearing selfish, so we put ourselves low on the totem pole to appease the masses and to come off as modest.

What I have learned is, people rarely respect a woman who puts others above herself.  They will walk right over you, spouse and children included.  They respect a woman who knows how to respect herself, sets boundaries, and takes care of herself.  The woman who strives to be all to everyone but herself usually ends up a bitter, irritated, and frustrated woman.  That woman is usually drained and not good for much. Trust me, I know her. I was her.  When I think back to all the conversations I had with another wife and mom whom I confided in, I think, wow, I bet I sounded so bitter and negative.  I remember speaking so dryly every time we conversed.  I was always tired and had no energy.  I was running on empty and trying to pull from any source I could to pick me up. 

I realized that something had to change, and it had to start with a shift in my thought process.  I could no longer think I was less deserving of being cared for.  I could no longer think that being a wife and mother, meant my life was over.  I began to pour into myself by reading the bible, building my relationship with God, journaling, and surrounding myself with women who inspire me, and boy did things shift.  It makes sense now when they say on the plane to put your mask on first before you assist anyone depending on you.  I used to think, well that sounds selfish, but think about it, how are you going to properly assist anyone if you don’t have yourself together? If you are on a plane, losing oxygen, but trying to put the mask on someone else first, are you even able to fully function to know if you are assisting the person properly?? Get my drift? 

So, as I thought of finding the purpose in my pain, I thought of how The Book of Alesha was birthed.  I realized my purpose was to create a safe space for women who may sometimes struggle with getting lost in their roles, who may feel like they aren’t good enough, and who just need to be reminded of the queens that they are.  I see you; I am you!! Know that God has equipped you for all that He has given you.  You just gotta receive and queen it!

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