Healing from Heartbreak

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." – Psalm 147:3 (ESV)


This verse stood out to me this morning during my devotions because recently there have been several people who have told me about them hurting, or feeling heartbroken. The situations aren't all romantically related; admit it, when you see or hear the words "heartbreak" or "broken-hearted," the first thing you think about is a romantic relationship. And there's nothing wrong with that at all!

But I think as I read this verse, I thought about the different types of heartbreak, or the different things that can cause our hearts to break – the death of someone close to you, the loss of a great opportunity or of even an item that meant something to you, rejection from a team or group, the list can go on.

Not only are there different reasons for heartbreak, but there are also different ways in which we cope with heartbreak. We cry, we vent to our friends and family, we try to do other things to distract us from our heartbreak, we even shut down completely, unable to handle the hurt we feel.

I can think back to a time when I felt some deep heartbreak. It felt like there was a weight, not just in my chest, but on my back as well. It's amazing to me how much emotions can affect our physical selves. But what was my initial reaction to the heartbreak? What/who did I turn to to try to ease the pain, stop the hurt?

Honestly, I try to deal with the heartbreak that I have alone sometimes. It's not that I'm ashamed for people to know that I'm hurting, I think it's because as a Christian I sometimes feel silly feeling such a heavy weight on my heart over something so trivial compared to other bigger issues in the world. How can I be crying over being rejected by someone when there is someone out there right now without a roof over their head? I don't want to compare sadness or hurts, but I think that's what I end up doing, and I end up believing that my hurt isn't valid or "big enough" to be a heartbreaking thing.

Then, if I feel like I've handled my hurt as best as I can on my own, I turn to my family, my close friends, sometimes to music that will uplift me out of the mess I find myself in. And all of these things are great things to reach out to when dealing with heartbreak. However, I sometimes find that the hole created by heartbreak still isn't

The verse above though is so encouraging. Growing up in a Christian household, I remember my parents telling me to go to God with my problems, and I believed that I could, but I also had some doubt that He even cared about the smaller things in my life, like if I got rejected by someone, or if I lost something, or if I didn't get the job I wanted.

I mean, since then, God has been faithful in so many ways in my life, but I feel like this verse was a great reminder for me; when the things of this world cannot comfort me, cannot soothe my aching soul, I can go before the One Who knows me best, and he can heal my broken heart, and mend my wounds. I know to some that may sound supernatural and religious, but I can't express the peace I've felt simply by bringing my hurts to my Heavenly Father, as silly as they may seem to me, and how much I've seen Him care about them.

This verse is an encouragement piece. A confirmation. An assurance that there is a solution to a broken heart, even if it doesn't seem like there is while I'm dealing with it.

And I hope you find some encouragement in that as well!

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“The Cycle”

Yesterday, I was honestly in a funk. I had already had a mentally and emotionally rough week, and I think it all just peaked yesterday. As I've grown older, I've become more comfortable with who I am in all aspects, especially physically. But unfortunately, I still have those days – those days when I don't feel very beautiful, or when I don't feel like my personality is enough for people.

But I know that these thoughts are lies; I know that I am so much more than what I feel like sometimes. I am worth so much more than other people's opinions. Yet, I just hate that I still find myself in this cycle of being okay with myself, and then not being content with myself if something happens, or someone says something, or maybe just because I'm just not feeling who I am that day.

So, I just wrote a little something last night to reflect how I was feeling. I'm feeling better today, for sure. But I wish there was someway this mental, self-esteem cycle of mine could just stop, and I could be content with who I am all the time.

"The Cycle"

The cycle is treacherous.

I find myself confident, willing to see the beauty and value in myself for a good while. Able to understand that my worth and value don't lie in other people's opinions, other people's words. Who I am isn't based on the color of my skin, or the music I listen to.

It's based on the mere fact that I am part of the Lord's creation; a unique form to behold. And all that matters is He loves me unconditionally, no matter what happens or what I'm told.

But then as the cycle makes its course,
My esteem is emptied, wasted on caring too much about what others think of me,
Comparing myself to girls who look nothing like me, say things differently, listen to music or are a part of things that are more popular than what I am interested in.
The self I used to love becomes a self I now loathe,  and I can't bear to look myself in the mirror, and admit that I am beautiful.

It hurts too much.

The cycle must be broken – I'm over following this trend of constantly feeling great about myself, and then having something not go my way, or not hearing an affirmation I wanted someone to say, which causes my esteem to be at risk.
I'm tired of the negative, mental list I make about myself, all of it rooted in two words – "not enough."

Luvvy, that's a lie, and you know it.
The stuff you want to focus on is nothing but distractions wanting to chip away at the masterpiece you are. You're worth more than those empty declarations that want to crush you beneath those awful statements.
Break the chains of those harsh judgments that bind you to the cycle of loving then loathing then loving yourself. Be free to continue to love who you are, and who you're becoming. Why wait for someone to fall in love with you when one of the most beautiful things you can do is fall in love with yourself, and the Creator who made you?

Be free to believe these things – You are worthy. You are loved. You are enough. End of story. 💙

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle: Day 5 – Have Patience, Be Brave, Restart

"Today I Affirm…"

"I have the courage to restart and the patience to work for it while I wait for it." – Alex Elle

Words: "Courage," "Restart," "Patience"

The nighttime mantra that goes along with this is: "I am courageous even in times of doubt. I am patient even when time doesn't seem to be on my side. I am capable of restarting because it's never too late to make changes." – Alex Elle

The mantra that goes along with this is hard for me to affirm, if I'm being honest. Because it's been hard for me to be courageous when I'm in the middle of some serious doubts. I thank God that lately, He's allowed me to push some heavy doubt aside, and it's caused me to cling to Him even more than I would have before. My initial reaction to doubt is worry and fear, so I have noticed that my bravery has increased as my journey has continued.

As for patience when time isn't on my side? Mmm, I'm still really working on that. I definitely still get upset with myself when I realize how much time I've wasted on certain things instead of getting what I need to get done accomplished. I'm trying to learn that I need to make most of the time I have, and if I am unable to do everything I need to do, it's okay; it isn't going to kill me, or cause my plan to completely de-rail.

And being capable of restarting things? I find it hard to do this because of my perfectionism – once I start something, or think about something, I want it to be done perfectly the first time, or I want the plan that I create to be perfect so that no mistakes are made in the process of getting somewhere. Because I've been going through this process of updating my site, my blog, and the #JustStartWriting site, I've been learning a lot, and well, failing a lot. And I've definitely had to restart on some ideas I originally had, or adjust some parts of my plan. It was sort of painful at first, but once I realized the necessity of being flexible, adapting things I needed to became quite easy. It's almost painless at this point, and I thank the Lord for shaping me more into a flexible person in this area of my life. I definitely am not perfectly flexible; but I see so much growth in myself now than before.

So let me answer the journal questions Elle has for this self-affirmation journal…

Are you scared of starting over? If so, why or why not?

I sort of answered this already, but in some cases, I am scared to start over because I feel like my original plan was perfect to begin with, and I don't want me changing things to ruin the outcome of what I had in mind. But starting over can be so refreshing; I've realized a lot of times if I'm bogged down in all the writing I've done for a post, it's just easier for me to scrap the whole thing and start all over than it is to go back through and try to edit. So maybe in some cases, I'm not too scared to start all over.

How can starting over benefit certain aspects of your life?

A fresh start can change my perspective of something instead of seeing it happen one way. When I start to get frustrated with a project, I tend to start all over instead of trying to fix the small mistakes in the middle because sometimes it's just easier to start making the changes you need to make from the very beginning.

Where can you exercise more patience + courage in your journey?

I need to be willing to be patient through my creative process. I want everything to happen for me all at once; I want to write a book, I want to release this poem, this EP, I want people to start spreading the word more about my poetry. But all of that can't happen without the proper little steps towards that. I can't just take giant leaps, I need to focus on the small things as well, and perfect them so that the bigger things can also be perfected.

But I also need to not be so hesitant when it comes to releasing things or doing things. I tend to not want to write, release, or say things until they are extremely perfect and full-proof, but sometimes I just need to take a leap of faith, and go for it.

Well, the weekend is here, and I don't know about you, but after the week I've had, I think now is a good time to really focus on restarting, on finding the patience to perfect my craft and perfect my way of life, on being brave enough to make the moves I need to make in order to make my dreams a reality.

Happy Friday, you guys! I hope your weekend has started well!

#MishyWrites🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle, Day 4 – Despite the Failure

"Today I Affirm…"

"my failures will not stop me from enjoying the journey." – Alex Elle

Words: "Enjoy," "Journey," "Failure"

The morning mantra for this is as follows: "I am allowed to fail. I am allowed to succeed. My worth is not contingent on my ability to avoid shortcomings. I am worthy through my good times and my bad. I will enjoy my journey fully, truly, and without apology." – Alex Elle

This is honestly perfect for today because from the moment I woke up this morning, I encountered a few small failures.

The first one? Forgetting to take my contacts out before going to bed last night. So I woke up wondering why my vision was slightly blurry, and why I couldn't really open my eyes fully. That would be why.

The second one? I got to work and, after thirty minutes of being there, realized I should have been there an hour ago. Oops. It was my first week with this new schedule change, and I'd completely forgotten. And I felt terrible because I'd let my co-teacher deal with seven one-year-olds for a solid hour or so all by herself. Oh boy.

And the last one? I was expecting to record a new spoken word poem tonight with a friend, and when I went to text him to make sure he was still coming, I realized I never answered his text from earlier this week about pushing back our time. So, who knows if that's even happening anymore tonight.

On top of those three failures, I haven't gone to the gym nearly as often as I normally do, and my eating habits have been total crap all week. If you were to ask me what I think my main source of food has been this week, I may answer chocolate. Whether or not that's true, I can't tell you. I just know that a whole ton of it has been consumed, more so than in the past few weeks. And I don't feel good about it.

You're probably reading all of that and thinking, Mishy, what. Okay, so what you did all those things, it's whatever.

But I don't take failures well because, as some of you already know from reading past posts of mine, I'm a perfectionist. Ever since I was a child, and realized the difference between a success and a failure, I vowed to myself that I'd be the one making all successes, and taking no "L's" ("losses" for those who don't know the slang), and it wasn't a good time for me or those around me when I failed. As I've grown older, I've done way better at accepting failures, but I still have my moments. Like today's three little failures didn't really affect me much; I did mentally kick myself a little though.

One of the failures I still take really hard though is when I repeat a mistake. Have you ever done that? Have you done something, failed, then tried again later in a different way, but then it still resulted in the same failure? I'm not talking about if you're trying to achieve a good goal and you try different ways to get there, and you fail in different ways. That's a part of learning and growing; it's a part of the process, the journey.

I'm talking about making a mistake, thinking you learned from that mistake, and vowing to yourself that you'll never make it again, and then getting yourself back in the same situation only through a different route. Even though you avoided the way in which the failure happened the first time, you somehow find yourself back at the same failure, only through a different outlet. Does that happen to anyone else? Is what I'm saying even making sense?

Anyways, even if I'm not making sense, I will say that I think failures are crucial to the journey. Elle says that "Just because we fail once, twice, or a few times, that doesn't mean we lose sight of the chances to start anew," and it's so true. I sometimes feel like when I fail, I've missed the opportunity for anything good to come out of that attempt, when really, I can still attempt again, and I can fail or maybe I'll succeed. It doesn't hurt to try; I can't be afraid to fail, or I'll never reach new heights in the things I want to accomplish.

And it's hard to sometimes push past the failures I've made. Am I the only one who sometimes sits there, and suddenly thinks of a time when I failed miserably at something, and I physically cringe because it hurts for me to think about it? I don't do this quite as often, but it still happens every once in a while. But again – without the failures, I would have never learned anything, and my journey would have never brought me to where I am today.

I also believe the Lord uses our failures to draw us closer to Him. If we never failed, we wouldn't have to rely so heavily on Him for direction, peace, wisdom. We are only human; imperfect beings in need of a perfect Savior. And failures are a major part of that journey! That doesn't mean we should want to fail; it just means we can expect to, and be okay with it, and be okay with learning something from it.

So, as I sit here, embracing my failures of the day, I am committed to enjoying the time I had today to live my life, and to take some major steps towards this journey of mine. Despite my failures, there were some successes: I was able to bring in a couple of more people into the #JustStartWriting family today. I got to run my errands after getting off of work at two o'clock. And even though I don't get to record my spoken word piece tonight, that means I get more time to practice saying it, and making it what I want it to be and sound like so I can perfect it when the time is right. And I get more time to do other things tonight!

Still so much to be grateful for despite the failures of the day. It's all just a part of life, and I thank God for it all.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle: Day 3 – Joy Beyond Circumstances

Today I Affirm…

"my circumstances can shape my joy – both good and bad. It's all about how I look at things. Through it all, I am blessed beyond measure." – Alex Elle

Words: "Beyond," "Circumstance," "Joy"

Ooo, this is a particularly good topic to write about, especially this week. Since Monday, this week has been sort of "bleh." I normally try to stay in a positive mood despite what's going on around me, and it's not that anything extremely negative has happened to cause me to be in a sort of funk, but I've just been feeling a little down this week. Work has been a little harder; we're in the last summer session before the school year starts, so we've added numbers to classes, and teachers are trying to prepare for the transition into the school year. Meanwhile, I need to prepare for the transition from a floater to a teacher, something I'm a little intimidated about.

There are other smaller things in my life I'm unhappy with, but seeing those things in comparison to the big picture of where my life is right now, I question why there isn't more joy in my heart right now. Because despite the hard week, God has been opening doors I didn't think would ever open. He's proven Himself faithful in little things time and time again, and I have to remind myself that, even though my circumstances aren't where I want them to be right now, I don't have to sulk about it, or just accept that things are crappy. My hope and joy are found in the Lord, and He knows and sympathizes with where I am.

Some questions Alex Elle asked about this subject are…

How are you preparing for joy?

When I think of "preparing for joy," I think of the moments in which I am sitting alone in my room or in my car, about to face something or someone, or even about to work on the things I love, and I have to tell myself that, no matter what happens – good or bad – I have to remember to be joyful in the moment. Easier said than done, but that's what I have to do.

I don't think there are other steps I take in order to prepare for joy, but I feel like there needs to be more. Simply telling myself that doesn't mean I'll actually have joy when things don't go as I planned for them to. When I used to live on Tybee, I had all of these Bible verses and encouraging quotes on my wall, and I think picking one of those and physically having it with me as I go throughout my day to look at could help me to choose joy more often than not. That's also why memorizing Scripture is important too.

What is stopping you from going above and beyond?

Fear and worry are two things that come to mind. They always go hand-in-hand; I'm afraid something won't happen the way I want it to, so I end up worrying myself over it instead of taking action if it needs to be done.

Dwelling on my circumstances is another thing that stops me from embracing joy. I want to be able to use my negative situations to confirm that I can be a certain way, or get out of doing things I should be doing.

In what ways can you learn from your circumstance(s)?

Instead of seeing the negative aspects of a negative situation, I can focus on the positive things that are coming out of where I am. Sure, I may be tired from my job, but hey, I have a job, and some people struggle every day to find one. And my job is truly one of the best I've had because of who I work with and what we do.

In other ways, if I'm able to trace back a lesson through a past circumstance, I can take that and remind myself that there are always new things to be learned from all situations, and I can try to see how I can learn and grow within the current circumstance I'm in.

Wanting to have joy beyond circumstances is an easy idea to say and to want to execute, but actually having to do it takes a lot of effort. And I thank God that He is with me every step of the way to help me slow down or pause, and look at my situations with a positive and big-picture perspective. And I'm also thankful that, when I cannot find any way to have hope or joy, He is there willing to strengthen me, wanting me to rest in His joy.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle: Day 2 – Hurt to Heal to Grow

Today I Affirm:

"being hurt will not stop me from healing and moving forward." – Alex Elle

Words: "Hurt," "Healing," "Forward"

The other day, I thought about some recent hurts that occurred in my life, and how, if I hadn't gone through those things, I'd be a completely different person in a completely different place right now.

Truly, I am only the writer I am today because of a deep hurt that happened to me a little over a year ago; it pained me so much that it caused me to have to look for other things to focus on instead of aching day after day over the situation. I chose my writing as that outlet. And since then, God has been faithful in showing me that, as long as I continue to focus on Him despite the hurts that happen in my life, so much good can come out of it.

Now, do I wish more hurting situations upon myself? Well, my initial answer would be "no." It's never fun to be hurt. I remember the days when I was still wallowing in my pain, unable to think about anything or anyone else. I knew it wasn't healthy for me; I asked God to take away the pain, but also told Him that if He needed to teach me something through this, that I longed to learn from Him. Looking back a year later at how I was feeling then, and where I am now, it all makes sense.

In Alex Elle's email, she states that "The hard part was choosing to heal. The tricky part was facing my hurt and intentionally deciding that it would not win." And I completely agree with that. It's too easy to feel sorry for yourself, especially if a wrong was done to you. You feel like you have permission to then be sad and mad as much as for as long as you want. Now, it's okay to feel sad and mad at a situation; however, it isn't okay to stay there.

There has to be a conscious decision of hurt to heal to grow. Acknowledge that, yes, I was hurt. But I am going to allow myself to heal from this hurt, and through the healing, I will grow and learn about myself more than I could have had the hurt not occurred.

Some questions Elle asked in the email were…

How will you grow?

I think for right now, I'm growing when it comes to my time and my writing. Although there are consistent factors to my schedule, there's always something new being added during the day – a hangout with a friend, a recording session, a phone call, a grocery run. So, I'm still trying to learn how to manage the time I do have within my day.

For writing, I think I'm always trying new things. I did like a month or month-and-a-half of fiction writing after not touching that genre in years just so I could step away from my spoken word for a bit. And as I continue to write more-so in spoken word, I'm learning my own groove and pace in the written and spoken aspects of my writing.

Of course, there are other things I'm growing in, such as cooking actual meals from scratch instead of using a box or can (not that there's anything wrong with that, I just felt like now was the time to break out of my shell) and taking care of my body physically by going to the gym and watching what I eat and how much water I drink. And spiritually, I'm constantly learning; I'm in need of so much grace, and God has been so gracious to me as I fumble through this life. I'm humbled that He's still willing to teach me.

What are your steps to healing?

I don't think I've ever thought about the steps of healing, even though I know it's a process.

My initial reaction to healing is seeing what the Word says about it, even if there is no direct answer to the situation I'm healing from, there is always some sort of comfort or encouragement in the Bible somewhere. From there, I think on what exactly I need to do to make the appropriate steps in my healing process – it could mean reaching out to people I trust and asking them for help, or it could mean spending more time alone to process things. It could be taking a break from things I'm used to doing, and delving into new activities.

So, in that way, I know there are steps that need to be taken, but I feel like those steps change depending on the circumstances.

As Elle said, healing is hard; I know I would rather complain about my situation than choose to grow from it. And even after choosing to heal and grow from a hurt, the process isn't easy, and it isn't short. But I definitely believe it is worth it.

Turning to God, and asking Him to heal me, I didn't know what I was getting myself into – weeks that turned into months of constantly questioning the place I was in, only to come back to the conclusion that I didn't have to know the answer but simply trust that He knew what He was doing. I didn't think my pain would turn me into this – a writer, a spoken-word artist, a creator/leader of a writing community.

It's humbling, and I'm extremely grateful

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle: Day 1 – Love vs. Fear

So, there's this writer named Alex Elle whom I love, and discovered through Kehlani's latest album because she spoke in a couple of the introductions, and she recently did this email series "Today I Affirm…" in which she would declare something, and we'd do some affirmation writing based on what she declared. I wasn't able to keep up with it during the week she was actively doing it, so I'm going to do it this week instead!

Normally, this is supposed to be done in a journal or on Post-It notes, but I'll do that once I wind down for the day. I'd love to share my self-affirmations on here with you all, and maybe you can even do this for yourself!

Today I Affirm:

"To walk boldly in the light of love and not cower at the darkness of doubt." – Alex Elle

Words: "love," "prevails," "trials"

Honestly, this is sort of ironic that this is what today's self-affirmation is because today is Monday, which means that I do #MotivationalMishyMondays on Instagram live at 8pm EST. And tonight, I was planning on talking about fear, and how we are not called to live a life of fear, yet we so often do, and it causes us to miss out on opportunities, to regret things, to wish that we'd done or hadn't done things in certain ways.

And specifically today, I am going to preview a new poem I recently wrote entitled "No Fear," which actually delves into the fact that God's Perfect Love casts out fear, and if we rest in it, we can overpower the fears that so often have a grip on us.

The circumstances of why this poem was written actually seem more shallow than the poem itself is. I wrote it because I had sent a message to someone that I cared about, and I was afraid of how they'd receive it / how they would view me. Overall, I was mostly afraid of rejection; I was afraid the person would take my words negatively, and reject the care that I had for them.

As I debated on whether or not I should delete the message I'd already sent before the person read it, I was assured by friends that I should just take a risk; that maybe it would be a good thing, and that rejection wasn't something I had to worry about. And, even though their encouragement was sweet, I was still on the fence about the whole thing. Hence why, I thought about what God says about fear and being afraid.

He says, "Do no fear, for I am with you."

"fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

And reminding myself of that verse led me to think about all the things I was afraid of in the past that I went through, and realized I had no need to be afraid of. It made me think of how God knew exactly how things would turn out, and I worried my little self over everything, but all I had to do was rest in the fact that God is behind me and before me; He doesn't reveal everything to me because He longs for me to trust that He is good, no matter the outcome.

God knows me so well; I mean, He created me, after all! And He created you too. He knows us all so well, and in the past few days, I was reminded of how well He knows me through Psalm 139. I won't write it all out for y'all, but you should definitely get a chance to read it! We long for someone in our lives to know everything about us, and still love us despite the ugly things. And God does that. It blows my mind, really.

So, I declare that I will walk boldly in the light of my Father's perfect Love that casts out fear (1 John 4:18), and refuse to cower at the darkness of doubt, rejection, fear, hate, etc.

Ahh, I'm so excited, I want to write to you all the words from "No Fear" right now, but I told myself I wasn't going to release it until after it's all recorded and whatnot. Tonight on Instagram is just a sneak-peek, but I am so excited about it all.

God is good, despite all the fears I have, and I pray that we can all walk with confidence knowing that He knows everything that will come to pass. It does us no good to sit in fear of whatever we are scared of if we know He is in control of it.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨