Monday, December 29, 2014

She reminds ME!

As another picture of Joy came across my newsfeed on Facebook of my daughter smiling, laughing, playing I am reminded again of why I made the choice I made, even on a deeper level I am again renewed on my journey to forge forward fearlessly in my pursuit of an exceptional life.

For those of you who have traveled this one love journey with me through the entries here over the past three plus years, you know the story of Stella, my daughter who will be four this February.  For those new to this blog, Stella is my daughter.  She is my savior, my light, she is MY BIGGEST WHY.  She is why I never give up, she is why I can make tough choices, she is why I put myself first for the first time in my life.  She came into my life at the toughest part of my life, the bottom of a downward spiral and lifted me up.  My choice to choose adoption for her was the hardest choice I ever made, the best choice I ever made, my greatest sacrifice, my last sacrifice.

What I mean by that is that before Stella I spent my life sacrificing myself to be loved, I didn't know I deserved love, I had no love for myself.  My upbringing taught me to put others first and that in order to be loved I had to sacrifice myself in some way.  I spent my life taking care of others at any and all costs to myself.  It was all I knew.

I fell apart after the adoption, felt the greatest pain imaginable, felt like a failure as a mother.  I almost didn't make it through that part of my journey.  My tears ran daily, my pain too deep to endure until I found myself sitting on my couch in December of 2011 planing my exit from this life.  I realized in a moment of clarity that I didn't want to die, I just had no reason to live.  I remembered my therapist telling me eleven years earlier some very profound words that I didn't get until that moment, she said...

"Lelania, you are one of the most intelligent women to ever sit across from me, you can accurately self analyze, you are so strong, yet you do not believe you deserve to be loved, you think you have to sacrifice yourself for love and one day my dear you might find yourself with no more reason to sacrifice and if that day comes you will have no reason to be here, you need to learn to love yourself honey."

I laughed at her, I said she was crazy, I am the strongest person I know, suicide is for the weak minded and I will never be that weak.

And there I was, that weak.  It hit me like a dagger, her words were true, I got it, I understood what she was trying to warn me of.   I saw Stella's face in my hearts eye, I imagined her life.  I imagined what her life would be like if I quit, if I gave up, her story would be one that began with pain and defeat from the woman who loved her enough to choose more for her.  I couldn't allow that to be the beginning of her story anymore than I could allow that to be the end of mine and in that realization this One Love journey to self love was born.

An amazing journey, an exceptional life!
I did the unimaginable, I in my disabled state drug all my belongings out onto my lawn, I posted an ad on craigslist and began selling everything I owned. I acquired an old RV named it One Love and a month later was towed away by a complete stranger to my first destination on my journey.  The rest, the last three years shared here on this blog because I wanted to face a fear of sharing that I didn't have it all together, to admit I was screwed up and make a deceleration that I was going to change. I also wanted my sons, daughters in laws and people in my life who cared to know to have a way to follow me without being in contact with me.  I literally had to cut everyone in my life out of my life so that I could do the scariest thing ever, learn to be alone and learn to love myself.

I never expected anyone to actually read this, but you did and it grew.  So much has happened in the past three years, I sit with tears in my eyes right now, with so much gratitude in my heart for not giving up that day, with so much pride for all that I have been through in my life, all that I carried shame and guilt over is now a testimony to me of how strong, capable and amazing I am.  Stella is a testimony to me of why I will never give up, why I am not only entitled to but have to love myself first.  She reminds me that nothing and no one can stop me besides myself, she reminds me that I am more than a survivor, she reminds me that I am triumphant.

I get to kiss her cheeks this coming Saturday, I get to hug the amazing men who have given her and I the most amazing gift... An Amazing Life for My Daughter.  They truly came into our lives as if it was pre-written that it could be no other way and helped me through it all.  The cried on the phone with me everyday those first weeks after we parted at the hospital, my pain was their pain.  Since then they have never faltered in loving me unconditionally and supporting me on my journey by cheering me on and becoming two of the most important people in my life.  I am forever grateful for them both.

Stella is traveling the world, she speaks French and English fluently, she is the most amazing little girl.  I look at her and am reminded of a time in my life that was so scary, a time when my choice made sense to no one besides myself,  a path I had to walk alone, yet I was never alone, no, Our Creator was there each step of the way.  She began on the day of my first prayer and every since it has been prayer that has carried me higher and higher.

So when I think of quitting, even begin to slip back into sacrificing myself for the sake of love, or others I am reminded that I deserve to walk my path, love myself enough to make the tough choices and that I am already all that I am working to become, my future self and I are aligning more every single day that I stay the course of living an exceptional life.

This is my story, the past few weeks have been documented on pages for my upcoming book, I have faced some tough moments, I made a decision that rendered some opposition and some judgement, a decision I knew in my heart was the next step, I had the courage to make that decision and here I sit just a few weeks later with more evidence than I could have ever imagined as testimony to that one decision being the best decision I could have made at this part of my journey.

Every day I light a candle for each of my children.  While I am out there chasing my dreams for the first time in my life and staying committed to this journey like nothing I have committed to before I take them with me, these candles burn each day to remind myself that they are with me and one day I will have broken the cycle of poverty and lack of self love in our family line and we will all celebrate on that day.

My WHY is so much bigger than myself while at the same time it is putting myself first that enables me to succeed.

I love you all from a space of encouraging you to put yourself first in life, to love yourself enough to know that you deserve nothing less.

One Love,
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