“Evolve or Repeat – The Choice Will Always Be Yours.”

“She’s outgrown a lot of things… shame, guilt, and clipping her wings. Perfection, control, and multi-tasking. Bad habits, resentments and stress. Unresolved relationships, worries and regrets – all the meaninglessness and negative thinking, disappointment, comparison and people pleasing. She’s outgrown a lot of things… and she’s shining more because of it.”

– Tanya Markul
That “she”, is ME.

Oftentimes, it’s the story you tell yourself that determines the way in which you move forward. You can either choose to see the negative – or choose to focus on the positive.

Life is all about the silver lining, gleaning pieces of hope from the ash, learning to see any bit of light that protrudes through the darkness.

You’re allowed to grieve and mourn what you have lost – the people, or the places, that have meant so much to you… your childhood, your innocence, your youth – but do not fixate only the negative. You should also see the positives. Maybe, in the losing of these things, you were able to uncover much about yourself, your heart, and the ways in which you’ve always shown up?

The purpose of our journey is to grow, to learn, and to continue stepping into our own power. A big part of that, inevitably, comes from heartbreak – from the moments when you must pick yourself up, dust yourself off, walk away, rebuild, and move on.

It’s taken most of my life to get here. In fact, it’s taken the majority of my life just to realize all of the things that were never really “right” in the first place.

As a child, your family truly is the biggest influence on your perceptions of “reality” and, in the case of my own upbringing, the validity of that reality was never up for discussion, nor was any reality outside of our own to be questioned, explored, or even theorized about – to do so was blasphemy. As a result, I internalized a lot, more than I should have, due to my high level of sensitivity and innocence, as very young, impressionable child.

I learned to assume responsibility in order to keep the peace. I learned to tiptoe around others, make myself small, and apologize for the space that I take up in this world. I learned to blame myself for everything – even things that were never my fault. I learned to bear the burden of issues that a child has no business bearing, and protecting the fate and feelings of others when it was, in fact, myself who should have been the one being protected.

It has taken most of my life to realize that a lot of the guilt that I have carried with me through the years was never my burden to bear. It has taken me years to speak the words out loud: “It’s inot my fault.” – and even longer for me to truly believe it.

Every experience grants you the wisdom needed to move forward and continue constructing the life you desire to live. There is no shortcut, nor any button you can press to magically make everything okay. Life is a journey, and you must venture through it. You will mess up. You will get your heart broken. You will break a few hearts yourself, and that’s okay – it’s your outlook that will make all the difference.

Choose to see your progress, rather than your setbacks. Choose to see your loving ways, rather than another’s inability to accept them. Choose to see your growth, rather than your pain and momentary loss of direction.

I came upon a quote the other day that really resonated with me:

“You handed me emptiness, and yet it was the heaviest weight I had ever held. You gave me the gift of nothing, and yet it was everything that I have ever needed, to truly find myself.”

I won’t lie, the past few years have been rough, but I’m finally starting to love who I’ve become. Sure, my body isn’t as fit or as fast as it used to be, I’m still a little bit broken inside and out, I don’t always recognize the woman staring back at me in the mirror… but I know who I am and I’m comfortable in my own skin. I know what I believe in, I no longer settle for less than what I deserve, and my focus will forever more be upon personal growth and continually moving forward. 🌻


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