The pressure to perform, to be strong and not break, always ends up leaving us in tears when the spotlight’s turned off and our thoughts become our only comfort. We hear countless stories focusing on gossip, relationships, and women being compared to other women in the media, all of which serve to cover up the reality of what we’re actually facing. There, unfortunately, is not enough conversation when it comes to our emotional well-being, women are burning out because we keep trying to do it all without a grounded “why” or purpose. We’ve all been there, from everyday folks to celebrities. We all sometimes share a silent cry.
Grammy-nominated artist Melanie Fiona recently released a heartfelt video entitled “It’s time to tell the truth,” where she opened up about giving birth and experiencing mild post-partum depression. Melanie describes herself as feeling numb at that moment of her life. She dealt with feelings of disappointment and as if she was a failure. One of the biggest deceptions of depression is that you are in it alone. You may feel like no one else understands and soon enough you will isolate yourself from everyone. That is exactly how I felt three years ago after graduating from high school. I was not mentally and physically prepared for life after graduation. The pressure to hit certain milestones by this age left me sitting still and stagnant in my room on what should have been productive days.
I was there watching all of my friends progress to the next stage in life and wondering why not me? Why not yet?
I was angry and begin to blame myself, I did not know how I allowed myself to get to this place of uncertainty and helplessness. I avoided every social activity and became disconnected from people around me. I finally reached a moment where I realized my emotions were affecting every single part of my life. It’s a place I see many women, battling depression behind closed doors because we’ve succumb to various societal pressures and lost ourselves in the process. But, I knew I did not want to feel this way any longer. I made the decision that I’d no longer live a life beneath my potential, no longer allow pain to be louder than joy; to finally redesign my life and move past a state of depression.
On this journey, I discovered five ways to reconnect with myself and unlock my fullest potential with five questions: what, why, who, where, and how.
1.What is the purpose of this stage? One can gain insight by just paying attention to the circumstances, understand it is not there to only throw you off or set you back, but to uphold a new perspective and evolve.
2.Why is it important to move past this stage? It easy to get lost in your current emotions and forget how worthy you are and how enjoyable life can be. Acknowledging the importance of your health and well-being will give you a reason to fight. You have value. You are worth the brighter days.
3.Who will help me get there? There is a strength far beyond our human capabilities that comes by handing our desires, worries, and pain to God. For me personally, faith is what allowed me to move forward. Our brokenness never goes unnoticed. When we trust the “Who,” the process becomes less of a burden. It will become much easier to jump the hurdles and accomplish some of those goals that seem difficult to achieve when you realize you’re not out here doing it on your own.
I’ve often stated, “Lord, I give me back to you. You know why you created me,” and in that simple statement some of the burdens fall because I’m honest with God and truly allow Him to get on board. Really, when we have a problem with our vehicles we run to the manual, God is my manual; he engineered this thing. Whether that means taking time out for daily prayer and meditation or finding a spiritual community, reestablishing your faith can be integral in moving forward.
4. Where do I look around? Sometimes, our biggest enemy is ourselves. Understanding my process will be different from someone else’s is essential. No more tormenting myself, no more comparing myself to others. Forgive and love yourself in every stage, through every scar and heartbreak. Don’t look around, we already do too much of this; instead I determined to look within.
5. How do I start? You start by surrendering. Let go of everything you knew. Healing happens when you let go of those feelings of disappointment and failure. If you have to write them down and throw them in the fire do so. Make a moment out of truly letting go. Now, face your truth and let faith dwell in all of the areas in your life by being patient and enjoying the process of this journey.
There is something in us that waits to be awakened. Once we allow ourselves to get to this place of vulnerability a change will transpire on the inside of us, the new you will leap out of the old you simply because you’ve finally given it room to.
Society has faltered our minds and added on-going pressure into our image, careers and relationships and those pressures are accepted by our insecurities. If we can only face those secret insecurities rather than masking them we would regain the true meaning of beauty.
Our brokenness is not meant to handicap us or make us appear to be weak, it’s also not meant to stay boxed in our hearts. Let those emotions move out of you.
We are so fearful of falling apart and being broken, but the truth is you are saving yourself once you allow yourself to break. I mean, no one ever looks at a mosaic and discounts the beauty, the purposed breaking adds to the final piece. It’s part of the process. It’s all yours and we can’t wait to see the art that transcends from that place.
Go be mosaic!
When Naika Dieujuste is not writing, serving her community as a Board Director at Hope for the Future of Children, Inc. or leading spiritual retreats, one can find her pursuing her psychology degree at the University of North Georgia. From radio shows to speaking engagements, Naika pushes women to get past a place of survival to true, authentic living. Check our her recently released book Are You Living or Are You Surviving and more at NaikaFrancois.com.