Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.-Marianne Williamson
I started my blog site February 2019. My original plan was to start a blog and share my personal stories about my struggles with mental health, domestic violence, love, and therapy. I also write short urban stories and I wanted to share my stories with the world. I wanted people to read my post and cry with me, laugh with me, and most importantly heal with me. Once I published my blog I realized sharing my writing with the world and becoming the modern day Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, or Zane would be easier said than done. Putting my writing out for the world to read, criticize, dislike, or love is the hardest thing I have ever done.
Once I started blogging I joined several blogger groups on social media. One of those groups was a new blog support group for women. I instantly felt like I had to join that group because I was a woman who started a new blog to help and inspire all people, but I especially wanted to help women. Recently I was blocked and removed from the group without any notice. I reached out to a group administer to ask her why I was removed from the group. The administrator advised me “sadly many members are uncomfortable and unable to comment, share, or reciprocate on your post”. She advised me that the group was family friendly and went on to say “I understand that you need to and should share your story, but it’s not something we can ask all group members to share”. She then went on to tell me that because of the complaints another admin removed me from the group.”
I went back to look at the number of people in the group to see that there was 5 thousand women in the group. I would imagine that in order for me to be removed and blocked from the group a large amount of people had to be complaining about my writing and my content. I kept reading her reply message to me and crying. In the famous words of Erykah Badu “keep in mind I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit”. Who would get blocked from a blogging group because of their content other than me? How could that many people be offended? I thought to myself that maybe people came to my page and stumbled across my short stories which can be sexual and graphic in nature and were offended. However I never posted about my short stories in the group or asked anyone to share, comment or read any of my stories. I knew I wasn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I didn’t think people would be so offended by me. I didn’t want to write my blog anymore, and I didn’t want to write again. My confidence was stripped.
In my brief disappointment I allowed myself to become a little depressed. I just laid in bed re-reading the message from the admin. I kept repeating to myself over and over again sadly many members and wondering how many people disliked my content so much.
One day my friend called me and I was explaining the situation to her. I advised her that being put out the group really hurt me. While talking to her I was trying to hold back my tears. Her reply really opened my eyes. She said “I watched you go through so much and remain strong, but you let little things stop you, and I noticed that about you. The truth hit me like a ton of bricks.
I thought back to me getting my Bachelor’s degree. I went to school online and did so well. I maintained a 3.8 GPA, and even was awarded an award for being so hardworking. My goal was to go to school and graduate with a degree to better serve my son, and to live a better life. Half way through the program I became extremely ill, and ended up in the hospital. I live with Chrons Disease, and I had to have an emergency surgery. After my surgery I stayed in the hospital for 10 days. I did my best to maintain my studies while in the hospital, but it was so hard. Once I left the hospital I came down with an infection from being in the hospital for so long and I became extremely ill. I had to drop both of the classes I was enrolled in at the time. The school advised me that because I dropped both classes I would not be able to return to the school until I paid 2,600 dollars. I didn’t just have 2,600 hundred dollars laying around that I could spend. I never went back to school. I gave up. I just thought to myself who else would this happen to other than me? Who else would go to school do so well, and then just like that all my hard work didn’t matter. I felt defeated, and I’m very ashamed to admit that.
My friend’s words even though hard to swallow were 100 percent true. I run when things get too hard, and I always have. Sometimes I allow myself to live in self-pity. I somehow convinced myself that I was the only person in the whole world who suffered through setbacks. I really felt like everyone else in the world was moving up to the penthouse in the sky expect me.
After talking to my friend I thought back to a conversation that I previously had with my therapist. I was telling my therapist that I wasn’t sure if I would ever find true love because I was so damaged. My relationship past has been pretty tragic, I have family issues, and I’m a domestic violence survivor.
“I am so damaged and that’s too much to ask anyone to deal with” I remember saying to my therapist.
My therapist looked at me with her therapist look and said “You seem to look at yourself as the only damaged person in the world. We all have our baggage no one is perfect”.
My therapist went on to say that I should stopped referring to myself as damaged. She advised me that “damaged” is a word with a negative connotation, and I was not damage. She stated that I could say I was a work in progress. She advised me that everyone is a work in progress.
I thought about my friends words, and then I thought about my therapist words. I realized that sometimes I block my blessings or self-sabotage when I allow negative thoughts to take over my mind. I realized that I give up way too easily. I realized I would never reach my full potential until I anticipated the bumps on the road. In life there will always be bumps in the road, or hiccups in our plans. I realized that I needed to set realistic expectations for myself in life. Of course with me going back to school as a single mother I would face bumps in the road, but I never considered that there would be bumps in the road. I just thought I would go to school graduate and that would be in the end of the story. I foolishly thought that everyone would like my blog and see my vision. I never anticipated the backlash I would receive for my blog, and I never anticipated the road to blogging and sharing my story would be so hard.
I also realized that I would never reach my full potential in life if I keep running away from my issues. I like to escape my issues and act like I don’t have issues. I am not the type of person who deals with issues head on all the time. That is not to say that I sweep all my problems under the wall, but I sweep the ones I don’t want to deal with her the rug. More than sweeping issues under the rug I often find myself burying my issues. I never dealt with the school situation. I just felt like “of course this would happen to you Janay”, and I wanted nothing more to do with the situation. I realize now that I could have signed up for a payment plan, and paid my debt off by now. I realize that I have so many options to go back to school, but I was just too scared to do so. Now because I was so scared and ran away from my issues I still don’t have my degree. Running is the same thing I was about to do with my blog. I was about to give up my passion of writing because of a bump in the road. I told myself that I was sensitive, but in reality I was scared.
I was scared of continuous bumps in the road. I just wanted life to be “perfect” for once for me like it is for other people. Other people go to college for 4 years and get a degree without an issue. Other people find a boyfriend and a few years later they are married just like that. Bumps in the road just seemed so unfair to me. I often find myself saying “why me” or “of course this happens to me”. I found myself drained of disappointments and setbacks. I found myself not wanting to leave the house unless I absolutely had to, because of fear.
Then all of a sudden I had a revelation. I realized that I allowed myself to only think negatively. I allowed myself to be consumed with such negativity that I dismissed all the positivity and blessings that I have been afforded. For example, so many people reach out to me and tell me how they are inspired by me. So many woman admire me and admire the strength that I have to share my story. So many women reach out to me and share their stories that they keep buried because of fear of judgement. My blog although clearly controversial helps so many people. My words are helping people. My God given gift is helping change the lives of so many people.
I realized that I have to stay positive and always keep my thoughts positive. I have started doing daily positive affirmations. I say to myself everyday “you are loved” “you are special”. One of my favorite positive affirmations is “My thoughts are filled with positivity, and my life is plentiful with prosperity.” I also really love saying “Many people look up to me and recognize my worth; I am admired.
Martin Luther King said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. That quote rings so true in my life. Sadness and fear cannot drive out my negative thoughts. Only positivity and positive thoughts can do that. Positive affirmations and a positive mindset. I have to remain positive no matter what life throws at me. I understand that every day is not going to be rainbows and sunshine, but I understand that I can’t allow myself to remain in a dark place.
Please visit my blog JustJournee.com