Growth In Progress

Growth in Progress post

I do so enjoy those moments when you take a look at a scenario and how you responded to it (or in some cases, didn’t respond) and realize just how much growth has taken place within yourself. I had one of those moments earlier today. I’ve written about it here before and most people who know me know that my mother and I do not have the best of relationships. It’s one of the many things that is disheartening for me because I had always wished for one of those mother/daughter relationships that I see so many of my friends have with their moms and a few years ago after trying and trying to no avail, in the process of rediscovering myself and learning to love myself the way that God loves me, I have come to terms with the fact that I won’t ever get that from my mother because she’s simply not equipped emotionally to give me that kind of relationship.

My mother has never thought much of me, and in her eyes I was never really going to amount to anything and it used to hurt me a lot more than I would’ve liked for it to. My mother was abusive to both me and my sister but my sister was still the child who could do no wrong while I was the one that could do no right, at least in her eyes, and I was the sensitive one so while my sister was the type of person that certain things rolled off her back, I literally cried over every hurtful statement my mother made about me. Even as an adult, it hurt.

However today, in trying to have a conversation with her where more hurtful things were said by her, I realized that I don’t really care what she thinks about me anymore. I mean do I wish she thought more of her own daughter, sure, but she’s going to think whatever she thinks and there is nothing that’s going to change her mind and I’ve finally gotten to a point where I realized that how she sees me or doesn’t see me for that matter, is her problem and not mine. I look in the mirror and I see the wonderful child of God who he gave so much purpose to and who, even though I’m not exactly where I would like to be at this stage in my life, is pursuing her dreams and her purpose with passion and determination and I’m not letting anything, or anyone get in my head anymore about what they think I can or can not accomplish in this life.

When I had that revelation earlier I smiled from the inside out because I felt emotionally freer than I had ever felt. I had gotten to a place I had been longing to get to and I had been working on my personal and spiritual growth and I hadn’t even realized that I had reached a major milestone in that particular journey. There’s something to be said for not caring what people think of you and not that it wouldn’t be nice to be given compliments or to have your talents acknowledged, but to not need the validation of their approval. Sometimes you are going to be the only one who sees the path for what it is and where it’s leading, and it may not even be so much that you know where you’re going to end up, just that you are trusting in God for his direction in getting there.

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Approval Ratings

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” 

~Judy Garland 

Today I got this feeling around me like I was being talked about.  I almost felt like I was back in high school again, when people would talk about me and my insecurity level would rise.  But then I realized something strange, well at least strange in comparison to how it was in high school.  I just didn’t care.  

I mean of course it feels horrible to have anyone talking about you in a negative way, especially when you did nothing to warrant that type of behavior.  But oddly enough, my insecurity level didn’t creep in, and I didn’t feel defensive and I didn’t feel the need to say something to somehow defend myself.  I just simply didn’t care.  I almost felt honored to be on someone else’s mind so much, in any capacity, that they felt the need to converse about me.  

For as long as I could remember, I have always been that person that has sought the approval of others.  Mostly I wanted my mother’s approval (which I realize I am never going to get), but because I couldn’t have her approval, I desperately needed others to approve of me.  It was when I was listening to a sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes that I realized that I must have somehow, within my journey in this life, gotten to the point where I didn’t need the approval of anyone else.  I don’t know how I missed it because that’s a pretty important moment.     

He said that “the losing of those who don’t stand by you is the discovery of you” and that “people who don’t know who they are, are always needing validation to feel secure, but when you know who you are, you are safer within yourself, you don’t need everybody in your space to make you feel good about who you are.” 

In many ways it feels very freeing when you just stop caring so much about what others think of you and what they have to say about you.  My best friend Ms. L. once told me that if people are talking about you then that means you must be doing something right because it’s nothing but the devil trying to put more walls up to keep you from moving forward.  I sure wish she was around when I was in high school because I sure could’ve used that bit of knowledge then.  

I suppose the devil has been putting walls up in my path for a very long time then, and I have just been foolishly letting him.  Now that I am in a place where I don’t need anyone else’s praise or approval I feel more secure within myself and with who I am.  I am in no way perfect and I am probably going to make many more mistakes but I am happy with who I am.  Even if no one else agrees with my path, it is the path that I have chosen and I am quite happy with it. 

 Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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