My memories of the multitude of quasi relationships over the years that I passed through sometimes with only experiencing the crash and burn, nothing too much in between, are a blur attempts at connecting with the world. I never truly connected with anyone as it always ended up being a very surface and shallow interaction with them all. Over, the years I just thought “this is how I am” and that I just didn’t want to be in relationship with anyone but that wasn’t true because if I am being honest I wasn’t thinking at all. I then met a young woman who rocked me back on my heels. My first true love, whom I didn’t discover until my early thirties. Sadly, it was her exiting my life that taught me so many life lessons and “woke” me up from the deep sleep of living on auto pilot. She taught me that I had the ability to love and that I wanted to give and receive love but the biggest lesson I learned from her was that I didn’t know how to be in a relationship. A real, genuine, deep and loving relationship. She changed the trajectory of my life by helping me realign my thought process and set me on a course of digging into why I didn’t know how to give and receive, openly. As, I began to truly “think” more I realized this was not about just romantic relationship but all types of relationships to include interactions with family and friends. This was so eye opening! I was a complete mess! My relationships were shallow in nature because I was a mess. No one wants to dig into that old closet of bones from the past but often times this is where your answers lie to unlock the pains of the past so you can move forward into a better understanding of self. I can tell you I found my inability to maintain and deep dive into relationships were rooted deeply in my childhood and upbringing. I had always been a very sensitive child and when growing up I was bullied for being overweight and dark skinned. No matter what anyone says this is traumatic and carries over into your adult self and then you have to address it not bury it. I wasn’t considered attractive and being obese didn’t help matters. I can remember one of my grandmother’s first cousin’s hating me. She was an older lady and was dark skinned as well but I suppose she hated herself so she took it out on me. Another cousin and I would go to her house during the summer months and she was always so sweet and kind with my honey brown skinned cousin but she would look at me with hate and her words were hateful. I knew then it was because she didn’t think I was pretty. I withdrew at a very young age from the world and became mean and hateful from bullying and constant ridicule. It may sound sad that I was well into my thirties before I began to do the work and leave my baggage behind me. Learning to love yourself is no easy feat when you have been shown and told that you are not beautiful but I am doing the work! I have dug into my past and am dealing with it because I want to be loved and give love, I want to be free of my eating disorders, I want to be free of negative self talk, I want to be free of depression and be welcoming to building beautiful, deep and meaningful relationships. This has been no overnight process but it has been worth it. Realigning my vision of self through the constant and ongoing work of addressing my issues head on, being honest with myself and getting up and showing up for myself daily by being present in every moment, is the path that I need to be on and it feels oh so good to know that I am walking in my own truth and not one that others have made up for me.