When you see the smile that is on my face today, it is one that is genuine. The happiness and joy that I feel is not a facade or pretense for others. Do I have sad days? Yes, but do I truly love Carman? ABSOLUTELY YES!! The feeling of truly loving myself was a journey and a process that took me some years to finally achieve. Now that I have this feeling of self love, I will NEVER go back for anyone.
I have had people to inbox me and ask me how are you so happy. Some have said you are glowing. Do you have a new man in your life? I don’t have a new man in my life. I let them know that I love Carman for all that she is. Here is my story.
Valentine’s Day is the day of lovers. We celebrate this day and honor your boyfriend/girlfriend or your husband/wife. What if you are single? How do you handle this day? I can only speak for myself. Valentine’s Day used to be depressing for me. My divorce was final January 2013. For 21 years, I was used to receiving gifts on this day or though out the year. After my divorce, I would see my coworkers receiving their gifts, and I would be envious. In my mind (at the time), the open display of gifts represented love. I wanted someone to love me.
For many years after my divorce, I was full of emotions (anger, sadness, bitterness, depression, and unforgiveness). I couldn’t seem to shake it. I wore my infamous smile, but I was really a broken women.
In 2014, I became a member of Saving Station International Ministries. My former leaders saw the mental state I was in. They said you have to first forgive yourself and love yourself. After you do those things, you can heal. That was such a hard concept for me to accept. In order for me to be a better person, I knew I had to take heed to these instructions.
Lady Casey Bumpus would hold monthly women’s meetings. Each month, there would be different topics. Regardless of the topic, her platform and ministry is always gonna be about centered around love. The meetings were a safe place for any woman in attendance to pour out her heart and heal. She always had the best interest of the women (men as well) in her heart.
Lady Casey Bumpus would always ask thought provoking questions. During one our private conversations, she asked me do I love myself. Immediately, I said yes. She said Carman, do you truly love yourself. Again and quickly, I said yes. She said ok. If you do, why are you entertaining the relationship with John Doe? It was nothing but a pointless “situationship” as the young people say. Why are you still walking around with unforgiveness and bitterness in your heart? She said you have let yourself go (my physical appearance), and I had. If I wasn’t at work, I didn’t care how I looked. I neglected pampering myself as I did in the past. I had to admit that everything she was telling me was true. The words of wisdom that she spoke to me began to marinate in my spirit and sink in. It was a must for me to let all of that go (situationship and all the things that were holding me bound).
Another piece of advice she gave me was to get busy. I thought it was very clique. I said what does getting busy have to do what anything. I said lady. You are married. You do not understand. She said Carman. I haven’t always been married.There are things that you like to do. Focus on those things, and you will begin to see you for who you truly are. The love for yourself will come. I am a witness to the statement. If you truly get busy, it allows your mind less time to wonder on pointless things.
I began to focus on me in all areas of my life. I focused on my classes and FINALLY graduated. I started blogging last year. I purchased a camera and began accepting clients for pictures. I started back caring what I looked like when I went outside the house and not just for when I went to work. I traveled wherever I wanted. I made sure I kept my facials, pedicures, and manicures. I began wearing makeup. Lady Bumpus was the first person that had my makeup professionally done for me and tips and lesson in it. I absolutely love makeup. I don’t wear it as much now because of the masks. If I’m headed out on a night out of town, I’m beating my face. ☺️ If you knew me from days old, you will see the transition I’ve had. Simply, I started doing things that make me happy. Now, I have the concept that if it isn’t for my happiness, I am not doing it.
Even though I am not a member of SSIM anymore, I believe in giving credit where it is due. Thank you Lady Casey Bumpus for instilling the values, encouraging me, and empowering me to love myself. If you had not seen something in me, I would still be that broken and hurt women that is going in circles and letting life pass her by.
Now, when you see me, the smile is genuine. It is real. There is no man that is making me happy. It is self love. I can truly say that I am at a place in my life where I am happy within myself, and it is true happiness.
I ask that each of you reading this today to do one thing. Look in the mirror each day. Find something you love about yourself and speak it outloud. If you don’t love yourself first, who can you love? Remember, “to thine own self be true”. The question is do you truly love you?