My New Reality (Part 2)

Here’s the finale of how my new reality ultimately transposed.

It started with some photographs.

In the midst of doing something absolutely unmemorable, I came across a photo collection of my niece and I, which turned to an absolutely memorable moment. I sat there completely mesmerized by them, as I diligently examined every picture, one-by-one. They beamed an unexpected ray of hope in the midst of my dark state of mind. At first, of course, my attention initially geared towards how clear my skin used to be, then I suddenly felt saddened that I didn’t appreciate myself during my younger years, as I should have. I spent so much time feeling discontented, putting a strong emphasis on every insignificant detail of myself to be insecure about.
What a waste of life…
But, I truly believe there is a strong capitalization on a woman’s appearance and we carry this ideal image of what we should look like.
Falling short in any area of the world’s standard of beauty strongly impacts the level of worthiness we carry about ourselves.
It feels like failure.

As I continued going through the pictures, vividly recalling all those endearing moments, I began to experience a different feeling that seemed out of my reach. It was a deep spiritual feeling and far more powerful than just wishful thinking for clear skin or useless reminiscing over regrets. I began to intensely examine them, trying to place the origin of exactly where or what that foreign feeling emerged from. It kept internally nagging at me and I felt so unsettled, as I had to find the source.
The woman I saw didn’t seem like myself- as if I was looking at photos of a stranger.
Is this woman me?
How could I possibly feel so out of touch with myself?
It was a daunting concept to not be able to recognize yourself. The more I stared at them with my emotions in disarray- I suddenly realized the source of that strange feeling.
It wasn’t related to anything I initially thought.

I blame it on… joy.

I hadn’t experienced true joy, for what seemed like forever, but in actuality, a couple of years.
The photos were joyful and loving snapshots, that captured the history of our relationship from the day she was born. They held beautiful memories of the most special moments we shared together.
The joy I saw resonated within my soul.
It appeared as if God hand delivered me a message, to remind me of who I used to be and who he had planned for me to be.

An overwhelming chord of realization strung through my entire being and I literally broke down inside.

My entire mindset of life began to transform.
The last couple of years raced through my mind like flash cards of memories, revealing all the self-inflicted doom I casted upon myself. I felt bare and exposed in front of myself, as I saw how my actions have been nothing, but pure selfishness.
I had lost complete grip of my sense of self and carelessly allowed my passions and values to diminish before me.
I didn’t even know who I was anymore.
Who had I become?
I neglected everything that made me, me.
For almost three years, I wasted all that God given beautiful life, by barely living at all .
I ceased to do all the things I once loved.
I failed to embrace life in the present without being consumed by constant worry and I missed out on experiencing wholesome moments with the ones I love and those who love me.

I intentionally killed the creative force that drove me to live and succumbed to the demon of insecurity.

I became utterly repulsed, as I remembered the countless hours I wasted wallowing into self-pity, all the irrecoverable time spent in front of a mirror, and the emotional and physical abuse I wreaked upon myself.
It was all for nothing, but to fuel my anger and give rise to the resentment I felt inside.

I basked in the demise of my intimate self and consequently took my delicate life for granted.

I purposely remained distant from the ones who loved me most and unconditionally.
Especially my niece.
Even when the acne covered my face, she still adored me, looked up to me, and wanted to be with me. She only ever wanted to spend quality time with me, as we always did. Yet, I still avoided being around her as much as I could. I allowed annoyance to overcome me every time she would ask me about doing something together.
Due to my self loathing issues of insecurity, I set her aside as if she was nothing.
I left her when she needed me.
I’m disgusted by the way I disregarded her.
There is no valid excuse to exempt my behavior and the extremity I took my actions and feelings to.

I put my insecurities first and lived out the delusional idea of my impending doom.

After I realized the mess I created, I knew I had some serious reconciliation to do, not only with those who I may have affected, but also with myself. I believe it’s vital that I own up to every aspect of this journey and face the ramifications of all my actions. In which, this leads me to the destructive course I took my romantic relationship down.
We were a fairly new couple.
He was the only one who actually saw me at every chaotic stage and during all the emotional and mental melt downs. Also, he continually tried to encourage me through every upward and downward cycles of being filled with excitement and hope, to bouts of rage and frustration, then back to shutting down in tears of hopelessness.
Upon all of that, he had to endure my constant complaining, the unpredictable depressive mood swings, the verbal abuse against myself, and the way I would destroy my skin from picking at it. Going out together became out of equation because “I”didn’t want to be in public.

I fundamentally brought him down with me and imposed the torment I felt upon him.

My radical behavior disrespected our relationship and I virtually had no regard for how my actions could have been affecting him. I emotionally abandoned us as a couple and completely neglected all the aspects of propagating a healthy relationship.
I will never be able to comprehend the amount of patience he’s equipped with.

I became the ugliness I felt.

He saw me at my weakest and utmost vulnerable state and never took advantage of it. I’m still in disbelief that he didn’t just walk away. And not walk away because how I looked, but walk away for the instability I dragged him through and the miserable person I morphed into.
It’s unbelievable how self-focused I became. Yet, despite everything, he’s still here keeping me grounded. He loved me all the way through and did everything in his power he could have possibly done to help me.
In fact, he still does everything he can- he even manages to consistently find new snacks for me that go along with my allergy diet and ones that actually taste good.
He’s been beyond dedicated to me in every way during this entire process.

The harsh reality rained on my pity parade.

I came to the conclusion that I must start a journey to heal myself within and repair the damage I may have caused.
So, all my efforts have been put into replacing the distortions I allowed to be intertwined within the foundation my being and to reignite the passions that drove me to live.

This was a spiritual battle within myself.
I had to defeat the internal war, before I could even remotely fight the external war.

I should have faced the struggle entirely different- all I had to do was accept it.
To simply accept it. Ha
My devotion should have been directed towards the state of my heart and mind, not how I looked. Perhaps, I put a much heavier weight into my appearance than I ever realized?
The first and utmost commitment that I made to myself- I will no longer allow this to rule my life and define me. I became so bitter, so isolated, and so unhappy, where I lost complete sight of what existing meant anymore.
Slowly, but surely, I am finding myself through Christ, and relying on him to purify the polluted parts of my being. So, here I am, sharing my story with hopes to inspire or help someone else- to learn from my downfall.
The internal recovery I’ve experienced and the ways I have evolved into a better woman, has made the acne somewhat worth it.
Most importantly, I fully believe the purpose to my acne finally emerged- the purpose I had been so desperately searching for.

To fix the broken parts of myself, that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise and to accept with complete grace, the things I cannot control.

As I reevaluated my life, I found that I constructed my identity with a base built by insecurity. I never carried a healthy level of confidence in who I am and what I am capable of. I subconsciously always chose to take the paths that felt “safe” in my realm of understanding. I always saw myself as not being smart enough or good enough to succeed in the areas of life I felt passionate about. With those misconceptions hovering above me, I unfortunately shorted myself throughout my entire life and never strongly believed in my abilities.
I lived life through a manufactured fear- so afraid to reach the maximum potential of what I could be.

I really am my worst enemy!

Interviewing for a job has been the most difficult challenge for me to overcome right now. I had one a few weeks ago and I inadvertently ruined it by my nerves. The overwhelming level of anxiety from insecure thoughts completely shut me down.
As I was driving home, I asked myself, “why would my acne cause me to be
nervous when I am there to sell my skills?”
My wits and abilities haven’t changed because my skin has changed.
I genuinely didn’t know how to prove the efficacy of my skill sets with surety, when I lacked the one thing I always relied on for confidence.
It’s a complex notion to explain, but it wasn’t like I had the kind of confidence, as in, “I’m so pretty, they will hire me!”
I believe it’s due to the fact that I had a lack of any self confidence, which created a false security being able hide behind my face. I have a tendency to down play what I am capable of and tend to talk down on myself.
Kind of sad and pathetic, right?
But now, with absolute humility, I admit that I completely relied on a superficial confidence and subconsciously convinced myself that my face was the most important thing I could offer.
I had been actively running from the truth to simply face the fact, that my looks meant far more to me than I ever wanted to admit. It took me going through all this turmoil, to brutally break me down and shatter me into a million lost pieces, to finally accept it.

I was terrified to leave the comfort of a false security entirely built on superficiality.

Here I thought God abandoned me, yet he was there the entire time, trying to reveal this to me and I refused to accept it. In actuality, my physical appearance can change in hundreds of ways in a blink of an eye. I’m not promised to have my arms, my legs, my hands, my vision, or anything else for the rest of my life.
So, it’s really a wretched way to live relying on any physical part of yourself.
The state of our heart, mind, and soul should consistently be the primal focus in life. Maintaining our emotional and mental self are vital to building relationships and living a healthy stable life.

Even the smallest things in life can ultimately lead to the demise of your heart.

I greatly tend to become overly impatient and stressed out over things completely out of my control, as in traffic, the wind, skin issues, something not working as it should be, or long lines in a store…etc.
I continually invest into negative emotions towards the things I need to clearly accept as being a part of life.

At this point in my life, I feel like a new woman!
An obstacle I once saw as hopelessness has given me more hope then I have ever felt before. I may not have received the kind of healing I anticipated for, but this kind of healing is far greater.
Also, ironically, as my spirit continues to be renewed- my acne has calmed significantly. The inner wars we carry throughout the day truly manifest themselves physically.
Life is so different now.
I have so much time now to do things I once loved to do, now it’s up to me to get myself back into the habit of using my creativity.
My perspective on life has drastically improved and God has given me an eternal understanding of what’s truly important in life.

But, of course, there are still difficult moments and it’s not an easy breezy change to fully overcome. I have to consciously reprogram my negative thoughts fifty times a day and remind myself that I have absolute control over my attitude and actions, even though I cannot always control the outcome. There are times that having confidence feels scary or foreign, but it’s an absolute must have, for moving forward and growing.
You cannot change the past, by you have the power to change your future.

Not all things in life have a cure.
We will not be able to fix everything and
there will be times of uncertainty and incidents that you truly cannot control.

Give God full control in every area of your life and fully trust in him and his purpose. Accepting that concept alone, has given me an incredible amount of peace and has already transformed my life in so many other areas.
There are times I feel an automatic negative emotional pull that I want to gravitate too, but I just keep trying to fight against it!
You must deny the negativity- don’t entertain it or allow it to enter your mind or it will overcome your entire entity.

Also, truth be told…
The “suffering” and “affliction” I convinced myself I was going through, pales in comparison to what it’s like to truly suffer.
My life has been blessed beyond what words can convey, and in actuality, I have no idea what true suffering really feels like.
With that, I thank God for the life I do have.

I will end with this, I was reading a Bible study and came across the most compelling and life changing quote…
“Living out of your insecurity is the secret to a miserable life.”

Until next time, remember this…
You will not be defined by moments of greatness, but you will be defined by the way you carry yourself through moments of discord.


Note: If you’re interested in the Bible study I quoted from, which will be completely life changing, here are the details.
It’s on the YouVersion app, study called “I Declare War on Myself,” by Levi Lusko.

One Reply to “My New Reality (Part 2)”

  1. Rachael, I’m so excited for you that you’ve found a new trust in Jesus. Pain can ruin us or cause us to grow. I’m so thankful you are growing emotionally and spiritually. I love you so much and in my opinion you’ve handled this situation very bravely. I’m so proud of you!

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