“Like a tree, you have to find your roots and then you can bend in the wind.” – Angela Farmer
This last year has seemed like a never-ending uphill climb. Every time I felt like I was starting to get ahead, another obstacle was thrown in my way. I’ve had to fight, push, pull, endure and face some of my toughest battles yet…but here I am, still standing.
I’ve learned a lot of lessons in the past few months, but the one that really stands out to me is that as humans we bend but don’t break. We get pushed to our limit time and time again, and yet we somehow survive.We endure heartache, loss, devastation, denial and regret, and yet we keep on living.
The more I’ve delved into my “new age spirituality” journey, the more I’ve begun to realize just how amazing humans are. We’re capable of finding love after heartache. We possess the ability to trust after being deceived. We can get broken down over and over and somehow get back up. It’s fascinating.
The incredible thing is I know all of this from personal experience. What really pushed me to take the leap of moving to a new city was heartbreak. I was so low, so lost, so confused about life. I’ve always felt like God created me for a special purpose, but at the time I couldn’t figure out what it was.
I tried so many times in my 25 years of living to figure out God’s grand plan for my life. Every time I thought I was making progress, some tragedy swooped in and started me back at square one. My faith was tested to say the least, and there were many times that I asked God, “Why? Why won’t you show me what I’m meant to do?”
Little did I realize that’s why they call it faith. It isn’t something you can see or figure out, it’s just something you have to trust. I continued to fight God, to question His goodness. I felt like, “hello, I’m 25 years old. When are you going to show me my path?” I’ve realized now that every day is a small step toward His bigger plan for me.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could overcome some of the hardships I faced in my life. When I was 14 years old, my best friend died in an accident. You want to talk about devastation, that’s it. It completely influenced who I am today. I have trust issues, I don’t like getting super close to people, and I have a daily struggle with the fear that someone I love is going to die.
As I got older, the pressure I put on myself began to amplify. I always was (and still am) my own worst critic. No one could punish me for the mistakes I made because, trust me, I was already punishing myself. I hated myself, and I always thought I should be better than what I was.
It’s taken me 25 years to truly love myself. It’s taken me all this time to realize that I am worthy, I am special, I am not perfect and that’s okay. I finally realized that the struggles, the bending, that we endure in life is simply God molding us into who we were meant to be.
Once this important life lesson finally sunk in, I realized that everything I’d gone through was leading me to where I am now. I’ve achieved my dream of becoming a Pediatric Oncology RN, I’ve started a blog and I’ve had a successful 9 years with my band. I’ve accomplished so much that I never gave myself credit for until this year.
The most rewarding part of all my accomplishments is seeing my hard work appreciated by others. Every time I see a patient smile or receive a message from someone who’s read my blog or see someone singing along to my song at a show, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of purpose. Knowing I’ve made a difference is what fuels me.
I somehow learned to stop condemning myself. I finally realized that criticizing yourself does absolutely nothing but bring you down. The world will always be judging you so why judge yourself? If you aren’t rooting for yourself then who will? Be your number one supporter, and learn to recognize your worth.
All of this has definitely had a negative effect on my anxiety. When I start going through a rough patch I start to feel like it’ll never end. My mind starts running wild, I start having heart palpitations and I just get in a really bad place. However, I’ve learned some amazing techniques to bring myself back to reality.
The moral of this story is to embrace the struggles and the growing pains. Realize that those moments are shaping you into who you were meant to be. They may seem impossible and never ending, but I promise you will make it through. One day you’ll look back and realize it was all for a reason.
Eventually we all find our purpose. I wouldn’t say I’ve had that big ah-ha moment of clarity where I see every detail of my chosen path, but I’m learning to take it a day at a time. Sometimes we get so caught up in the destination that we forget to enjoy the journey. I hope you realize that no matter what you face you may bend, but you will not break.
Myka Shantell 💋