Good Enough

Lately I’ve been reflecting on where I used to be and where I am currently. I tend to focus on my career and education, but the growth in my faith, emotional state, and mindset has been significant over the last 6 years.

6 years ago I was married to my husband who refused to go to church with me or even study the bible with me. My gut intuition was screaming that something was wrong, and I was right. Between the death of my mom and my unsupportive partner, I started therapy to help improve my emotional state. While therapy helped, I was missing the other components until free church found me. Once my husband left me, I was overwhelmed by the feeling that I wasn’t good enough for him. In the middle of a panic attack, I heard God speak to me and He told me I was good enough despite this feeling, and that He had someone better for me.

5 years ago I was in a rebound relationship after my divorce because I didn’t know how to be alone. While I was going to church, my emotional state and mindset were not in a good place. I tried to focus on the surface level things and ignore the deeper level stuff. This led to me feeling sad and trapped. I still didn’t feel good enough, but tried to fake it until I started to believe it. Unfortunately, I never fully believed it.

4 years ago I was trying to continue living this fake life. Physically, I was in the best shape of my life. Emotionally and mentally I was still a mess. I found out my ex husband got remarried and I lost my shit. I become angry and jealous. All of the pain came rushing back. I thought I had healed with time, but this was not reality.

3 years ago I had Aria and her dad living with me. Finally no longer alone, but once again ignoring my faith, emotions, and mindset. When I shared my emotions with the person living with me, he made excuses why he couldn’t love me. He gave me a list of things wrong with me but never owned up to his mistakes. Living with him became miserable since I knew I’d never be good enough for him. Once again, I felt trapped and sad.

2 years ago I asked Aria’s dad to move out and a month later COVID-19 hit. Going through the pandemic was hard on me in many ways, but it allowed me to focus on my emotions and mindset. I started reading the bible daily and listening to positive podcasts. I had more time to run and reflect. I finally started focusing on the deeper level stuff, but once things started opening back up there were habits that were hard to break. I started chasing the attention of men and didn’t focus on finding a healthy, positive relationship that I deserved.

1 year ago I was in a bad place mentally and emotionally. I struggled to not have deep feelings for Aria’s dad despite our differences and non-compatibility. It took him starting to date someone and still trying to come over for me to finally wake up and refocus on myself and my mental state. I started therapy which helped me no longer be angry and upset at this person that I was trying to maintain a co-parenting situation with. I finally started to feel good enough and started realizing my true worth and value.

Today I am still a work in progress, but I am no longer believing the lies I used to believe. I am no longer only focusing on surface level things. I am taking the time to read the bible and pray. I am focusing on God’s plan for my life. I am so very blessed and loved by Him. I no longer let others trigger me, instead I take my time to reflect before responding. I still speak my truth, but I don’t linger on any situation or person or thing. I don’t hold grudges, I forgive and move on. I’m not perfect by any means, but I am trying my best to be the best Jen I can be. I am trying to be as much like Jesus as I can be. And I look forward to growing in my faith, mindset, and emotional state.

Healing is a journey

I wanted to write another post about partnership and what it is I’m looking for in life, but then I realized my last post was kind of a cliff hanger, so I am here to update you all.

First of all, I started therapy. Honestly, I am not sure why I ever stopped therapy and am I so glad to be back on my healing journey. Secondly, I was able to navigate and create boundaries that were necessary with the person I mentioned in my previous post. While there have been more tears and hard days since, they are getting more manageable as I focus more on myself and my healing.

While I know healing is a journey and I am just now re-starting it, I am already feeling less triggered and more centered on my wellbeing. I’ve been taking time to pray, meditate, and manifest what I want out of life. And, honestly, my social life has been exploding. I have been growing my network in and around Oak Park. I started a single moms and dads social group that has expanded to local singles. It went from once a month thing to a weekly meetup (but not on the meetup app haha). I have been coaching a running camp with my students at the school where I teach, in addition to teaching summer school. I have been training for the Chicago marathon and meeting new friends through different local running groups. I have been tutoring about 4-5 students a week for ACT or SAT. I’m about to travel to visit one of my best friends and get some much girl time with her. I’ve been living my best life with my daughter Aria as well. She tends to join at least half of my runs, and has been even enjoying the after-run beer with us! Just kidding, she just sips on her juice or water and eats all of the cheese sticks haha.

All of this to say, I am feeling fulfilled and full of joy these days. I am in a career I love. I am working towards that 2nd Master’s degree and more than halfway there. The only thing that I would love is a healthy and beneficial partnership.

That’s where I’ve been manifesting and I saw this post the other day on Facebook that one of my awesome friends shared. A healthy partnership is something I’ve never had, but it is something I both desire and deserve. This is something I will be working towards preparing myself to be a good partner who both receives and gives the love I deserve.

What is one thing you’re manifesting?

You deserve the love you give

I’ve been reflecting on my past relationships and how despite even being married, I have yet to find someone who has been able to love me the same way I love them. This honestly ties back to a post I wrote in early 2019, but I still am circling around it since I’m seeing patterns throughout my relationships and I need to write them down in order to hopefully heal and move on from them.

With my ex husband, no matter what I did it was never good enough. One day I came home after a long day of working and kung fu class to basically be yelled at for not cleaning the entire house as well since his friends were coming over that weekend.

Another time, I did all of the laundry and cleaned the entire house, but he got upset since I didn’t also cook dinner. Actually me not cooking daily wasn’t good enough either.

Actually I almost never heard thank you for cleaning the house. Or thank you for doing the laundry. Or I’ll help out and do the dishes.

Instead I was just torn down regularly. Beyond just the house chores, he started questioning me in other ways. If I got upset over something, he would turn it around on me and say no one else was upset so it must’ve just been me.

To this day, how he treated me and my grief over losing my mom haunts me. To this day, I remember he told me how I should feel after I lost MY mom. To this day, this event sticks out. Even more so than the time he was trying to manipulate me into feeling like the divorce was my fault (which didn’t work).

I don’t know if these events being traumatizing are why I see parts of my ex in other people, or if I am just more sensitive to the things people say and do to me. But when someone never gives me any type of praise and instead nit-picks every little thing I do, it triggers me. When someone doesn’t actually listen to me and instead does whatever the fuck they want to, it triggers me. When someone tells me if only I did X, Y, and Z then I would’ve been successful, it triggers me.

And there is someone in my everyday life who triggers me. It’s weird since we will go weeks or months and be fine, but then all of a sudden I am a triggered mess. Like I spent most of the last week crying my eyes out. This person isn’t someone I’m even in a relationship with, but he still triggers me. I’m still navigating this situation since I just don’t know what to do other than distance myself and be honest with him. Even that is triggering though since when I speak my truth, he shuts it down.

And unfortunately I can’t just cut ties with this person (he’s family). So, for once, I am looking for advice. How do I navigate this situation, this relationship with someone who triggers me? Do I need to create a code word where maybe if I say it he gives me space and time to decompress? How do I stop being triggered? I know therapy is likely the answer. I just don’t know where to start.

A special prayer

I recently found out that my ex is going through some major personal struggles. When I first heard this, a tiny part of me felt a little relief. Sometimes, when you’re on the outside looking in all you see is perfection. But then I felt guilty. And ultimately, I turned to God with all my feelings. I prayed a special prayer for my ex. One that I’ve been praying for since we split up over two years ago.

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I prayed that he find joy and happiness in God and Jesus. I prayed that God’s will be done when it comes to his personal life and struggles. I prayed that he felt love and hope through his family, friends and God. I prayed for God to grant him the strength and courage needed to get through this season of life. And once again, I felt my heart breaking for him all over again.

It also did make me realize that amongst the lies he told me, there was one truth. He really did want a family, just not with me. And while that is heartbreaking, I can’t hold someone back from finding what they truly want. I just hope and pray that this is truly God’s plan for him and that he does end up joyful and happy with his life choices.

I also pray that one day I find someone who not only deserves and can handle this type of love but who can love me in the same way. If this is how I feel and treat someone who cheated and left me for someone else, it’s unimaginable how it could improve for the person who actually loves me back.

That is exactly why I’m patient and willing to wait for the right guy, the one meant for me. I already tried it with the one not meant to be and it nearly killed me. But I still wish the best for him and his new family, even if that doesn’t include me. And I’m so very thankful God made it clear to me that we weren’t meant to be. This time I’m sitting still and listening to His voice to tell me His plan, in His timing. I focus my eyes towards Him and know that everything will work out according to His plan.

He’s already taken me this far. To Oak Park, to run my first marathon, to walk away from yet another toxic relationship, and to be given the blessing of my first baby girl due in another few weeks. I just keep focusing on the good and all the blessings I’ve been given. And through every season, I take the time to thank Him for it all. The good, the bad and the ugly.