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Reclaiming You

And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. (Luke 8: 43-48)

As someone who has spent a fair amount of time in church, I have heard numerous sermons about the woman with the issue of blood. Most of the sermons address the woman touching the hem of Jesus’s robe and being healed. However, one thing that has always stood out to me in this story is Jesus saying, “Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” Before I continue, let me be crystal clear, I am not comparing myself to Jesus in any way; however, I realized when you are someone that spends your life helping others, it costs you something. 

When you are in a constant state of pouring yourself out in service to others, something leaves you. When you are a giver, surrounded by people who are takers, something leaves you. Unless you are surrounded by people that will pour back into you, you will find yourself depleted. And sadly, you can be depleted and not even know it. Have you ever gotten in your car and started driving, and just as you get on the highway, you notice your gaslight is on? In your diligence in completing tasks, you never took the time to notice that you were driving around almost empty.

That was me, going through life on E, pushing through because I had to be here or there. I felt I needed to show up. I thought I needed to speak about this topic or that topic. Throughout the Trump years, I was constantly writing and talking about racism and injustice. I thought that was exhausting, and then 2020 happened, and we faced two pandemics – the coronavirus and racism. If you are Black in America, remaining silent during that time was not an option. We were literally fighting for our lives. Not to mention all the things in my personal life that were just in shambles. And somewhere in all of that, I was depleted. 

Sometimes life will allow you a reset. 

My reset came when after about two years of avoiding it, Covid finally caught me. Covid forces you into stillness and isolation for a least two weeks. I spent a good portion of my life surrounded by people, thousands of followers online, my work has been viewed and read by millions, and I was alone in my bedroom with just myself and my thoughts. And I thought a lot about my life, who was in it, what they contributed to my life, and whether they were givers or takers. I thought about what I was making of my life, the direction my life was going, how I wanted to show up in the world, who I wanted to give my time to, and who I wanted to spend my time with. The more I analyzed these things, the smaller my world became. I had a moment of clarity where I could see myself and not only myself; I could see people not as who I wanted them to be but as who they were. And at that point, I decided to change my life. 

I no longer had any interest in sacrificing myself for anyone else. I no longer wanted to hand over my peace willingly. I had no desire to give of my energy freely. I didn’t want to spend time with people that took from me but wanted to spend time with people that poured into me. I wanted to be done hurting me. So I chose to no longer focus on anyone else. I have one focus – me. I decided to reclaim myself. If you are finding yourself at this moment where you are on the verge of being depleted, stop now before you find yourself on E. Make a decision today to reclaim yourself. And let me be clear for the first few months, it will seem selfish to you but understand it is never selfish to love you first. I have three suggestions if you find yourself in this space. 

Ignore – Ignore everything that doesn’t align with the person you desire to be. I blocked, deleted, and muted people on social media and my phone. I stopped constantly watching news reports, both local and national. I only speak about things happening in the world if it is pulling at me to say something. I no longer participate in frivolous conversations online, particularly those centered around racism. I understood these conversations with people who were hellbent on being racist were nothing but a waste of my time and a distraction to keep me from my purpose. I block them and continue on the path to my purpose. I only give my energy to things I desire to share my energy with. 

Insulate – To insulate means to protect something from an intrusion. When you are changing, it is imperative that you insulate yourself. Surround yourself with people who will look out for you and protect you. Understand that once you decide to insulate, your circle will get extremely small because everyone in your life cannot cover you. Everyone in your life is not prepared to protect you. See this time of insulation as hibernation for your well-being. Pull back from the noise. I turned down invitations to dinner or events. I stopped taking phone calls that would bring nothing but unnecessary noise into my space. I stopped watching certain shows on TV, and I was a murder mystery queen, and I thought, “Why am I sitting around watching nothing but murder shows all day?” I started watching motivational YouTube videos. I only allow who and what is needed for my well-being to enter my physical and mental space. 

Improve – Personal change means you are always in a constant state of improving and becoming the person you are designed to be. Identify those things that will enhance your life. Perhaps it is resting, eating healthier, and exercising. Perhaps it is going for a walk and getting manicures. Maybe you will read self-help books. Whatever it takes, identify the things that will help you improve your life and then do them. And you do not have to do them all at once. You do not have to run a marathon, but perhaps you will walk around the block today. Find those things that will improve you and commit to doing them. 

Indulge – When you are a giving person, you often live a back-burner existence. Your needs, desires, and goals get pushed to the back as you focus on others. In fact, you may have gotten to the point that you do not even know what you like. So indulge. Indulge means to allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure; to take part in something just because you want to. When was the last time you just indulged? We often equate indulging with food, but when did you last indulge in anything just because you wanted to? When was the last time you pampered yourself? When I started this journey, I indulged in rest. I slept and slept and then slept some more. I indulged in face products because I had neglected my skin for years. I indulged in lipsticks for no reason other than I love lipstick. I gave to myself. I treated myself as I had treated others. I poured back into me and it has been glorious. 

The last six months have been so life-changing for me. I am reclaiming myself, and it is so beautiful. As I celebrate my birthday this week, I am thankful I am shedding the woman I was for the woman I am becoming. Nothing is worth celebrating more than a woman going through a metamorphosis. 

Thank you all so much for the birthday well wishes! This was the best birthday I have had since I can remember. Thank God for change!

5 replies »

  1. This article was so inspiring! Thank you for sharing and Thank you for taking the time to LOVE on yourself! I can read the JOY in your words! Continued BLESSINGS 🙏🏽❤️

  2. Thank you for confirmation, I have been moving this direction in the last year. Having no guilt wiil be my focus moving forward. Stress will take us out. I want to be here to enjoy life. Reclaiming me!! I hope you enjoyed your birthday – reclamation day!!

  3. What a great read and so many reminders. I hope this year unfolds to be your absolute best, even if you remain in your restful cocoon. I love everything about you.

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