Yasss! lol– I’m engaged…not to get married, but I’m engaged in my life, with myself more than I’ve ever been.
Yep! I’m acutely aware that being engaged with yourself may not sound as sexy as being “engaged” to the love of your life.
But, it’s tricky, how you engage you dramatically impacts how you engage the world around you. It can impact who you agree to marry, who you choose to befriend and how you decide to give your gifts and talents to the world.
Unfortunately, when I was younger, I didn’t know that I could CHOOSE to take some time out to get to know me, to engage myself, beyond the surface of an amazing pair of shoes or a great hairstyle, which are happy additions, but are no substitute for breaking open that beauty box within one’s soul, one’s being. When a woman resonates with what makes her beautiful from the inside out, watch out!!!
She’s hard to stop, swindle or seduce.
She no longer seeks affirmation from the wrong sources, but calmly rests in the truth that she is indeed a rare jewel created by God. When I think back, had I knew quality “engagement”with me, would result in me knowing some pretty cool things about me, I would’ve sought after ME sooner. Instead, I sought to be someone, anyone’s girlfriend, lady, ah–wife.
This is my story…
I can ask this question: Are women more concerned about being engaged to get married, than being engaged with self? because although I’ve always been a thinker and seeker of goodness in someway shape or form, my desperate need to be someone’s babe had an incredible stronghold on my life. The need to be hitched only intensified once I met “the guy” – you know ‘the guy’ that makes you think, “Come on? this right here is a no brainer, you –me until the end of time. Let’ go?!?”
I had no idea my love obsession could be so brutal…
When I was in my early twenties, I was bright-eyed and overly zealous to make it big in life and I was making it by the world’s standards, college degree, decent job and poised to go higher and higher up that infamous corporate ladder. In addition to raising my daughter well, sis’ plate was full, yet full of promise.
Then, he appeared. Yep, “the guy.” I liked him!! I tried to play it cool, but I quickly got swept up in my vision for us.
I didn’t know a thing about God back then, so I was totally relying on my gut and my gut was like, “It’s him!” Too bad his gut was having a totally different conversation with him. Yikes! I was on an emotional roller coaster ride for years with this one. My concerns about being engaged to him and my deep rooted insecurities, combined with his stuff, began to overrule my life.
As the years flew by, seriously —years, and my “engaging” him didn’t result in an engagement to be married, I was beyond distressed. That bright-eyed and overly zealous woman slowly became a resentful, broken-hearted shell of a person. Then, I started playing the comparison game, trying to figure out, “How in the world is she married and not me?” So, not nice I know, but real, and I was desperate for answers.
Where my vision ended, God’s vision for me began…
Beautiful people, please know, my vision for my life was so limited and holding onto it so tightly almost catapulted me into a nervous breakdown. Well, actually, I did have a breakdown of sorts, which led to a major breakthrough.
By now, several years later, I had lost so much and no longer knew how to keep my vision in tack. My daughter and I were distant, she wanted away from me and my relationship to “the guy” was killing me. Yes, killing me. Okay, not literally, but emotionally, physically and spiritually I was wiped out. When I shifted my posture, my heart, my energy towards being something God never envisioned for my life, I was in deep trouble. I didn’t know how to stop the pain, the loss, the grief, but God knew the way out for me and God had a better vision for my life. In her book, My Beautiful Purpose, Susie Larson www.susielarson.com talks about how God “saves us from ourselves” –thankfully, God interrupted my life to save me from myself.
I never knew butterflies like I know them now…
Over the past several years, I’ve gone through a metamorphosis of sorts, shedding the old skin of lies, shame and uncertainty in exchange for the new skin of truth, being unashamed and living in the certainty that God formed me, formed you, (Jeremiah 1:5) to live and not die without discovering and doing all that we’ve been equipped and entrusted to do. This revelation has ushered much joy and peace to my life, to me. I thought this place of understanding and peace was only reserved for monks or ultra-minimalists in far off places, but no, God gives you and I access to freedom and fullness of life (John 10:10).
Now, that I’m aware of this, of course I’m thrilled to shout to anyone that’ll listen, “I’m ENGAGED! I’m engaged!” What’s so wonderful about me being engaged, it isn’t just for me, it’s quite possibly for you, it’s for my husband-to-be, my family, it’s for the communities God would have me to serve and reach. It’s big! Much bigger.
So, I’ll pose the question again: Are you more concerned about being engaged to get married, than being engaged with yourself?
If you’re like — girl if I don’t get married I’m going to loose it, don’t beat yourself up or think you’re weak, you’re human and you’re female in a male dominated society that constantly beats us over the head with images and ideals that aren’t one-size-fits-all. Peggy Orenstein www.peggyorenstein.com does a great job in her book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, challenging some of these pink and pretty images and ideals.
Every woman is most certainly unique. I don’t care how you weave it, pluck it or tuck it, you still have the ultimate pleasure of being you. Therefore, your shape, style and self-expression will be different from mine or hers, never mind the timing of when marriage should happen or will happen, if it does. Also, the process to becoming more engaged with self isn’t easy. I was literally broken down to my knees.
I didn’t willingly sign up to go on this journey of self-exploration and self-love, but I’m most certainly encouraging you to consider how engaged you are to you sooner than later.
Appropriate self-love is so incredibly empowering…
This may sound strange to you, but it never dawned on me that if I was seriously that unfulfilled that I had the power to say, “ENOUGH, I’m out!” I was so locked in on him, I pushed me aside for us. Yes, my self-esteem was at an all time low, crippled with my intense dread of singleness, the combination kept me bound. As a bound woman, my skin, my dress, my essence was so dim (see pic below).
I have several other pics that reveal the internal turmoil I was experiencing back then, some are very difficult to look at, but it’s fine now because it’s my truth and my testimony.
Gratefully, I’m not that woman anymore! I was set free from my infirmity (Luke 13:12), released to live, thrive, love and be loved. This is why I wrote this blog, to encourage women, quite possibly you, to take the time out for you, to get to really know you.
If you can relate to anything I’m saying, especially, if you know in you heart you’re not engaged enough with you, don’t wait, start to get engaged with you now. The benefits are far-reaching than you could ever imagine.
Here are 8 benefits to becoming more engaged with you:
- No joker will be able to come along and tell you who you are because you’ll already know, wrong one partner!
You’ll be less thirsty for a mate. Instead, you’ll start to see how special you are and how special he’s gotta be.
As you engage you well, you’ll become automatically more attractive. In a magazine interview, Boris Kodjoe said, “I love a woman that takes good care of herself.” I’m saying ladies, when we care for our being, it’s noticeable.
Your self-care quotient should rise. No longer push off holistically taking care of you, it’s the whole point of getting more engaged with you.
You’ll see that God really don’t make no junk. You’re one talented cookie, packed with purpose, as you grasp your God-given gift(s) please don’t keep all your sweet goodies from the world.
You’ll start to see what deserves your time and what is a complete waste of time.
You’ll become more compassionate. The more you engage you and your flaws this should cause you to be more compassionate towards your fellow wo/man. Maybe? Maybe, not lol…
You’ll be more reliant on God, which is always good. God doesn’t want any of us, so engaged in others that we miss the point of who we are and why we were created. Seriously, get at you well and watch how much your life improves.
Wow!! This blog right here was beating me over the head, but I really hope you got something out of it. Most importantly, I hope you get engaged! Will you? Are you already engaged? Please share how getting engaged has impacted your life…
P.S. Next up, I’ll be calling on some sister’s to share how they got engaged, email me if you’d like to be apart of that blog at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to share this post or comment. It matters!