• Jackie Waszczak

And so, let's begin again...


My whole life I spent listening to what others thought, said, did. My identity was so defined by what others thought and how I made others feel that I totally neglected to pay attention to my own heart. I was living in this cycle of constant worry, anxiety of not being liked, or of doing the "wrong" thing, or of upsetting someone that I did not even realize that my own heart was falling apart. Any memory of myself was hidden beneath the weeds. I kept trudging along though, looking outside of myself for all the answers to my happiness. I could not quite figure out why I wasn't happy, why I did not feel whole. I had a great family, a great career, wonderful friends... but I was still searching, seeking something that was lacking in my life. My husband would tell me time and time again to stop looking, start turning my attention inward, but I did not get it. I did not understand how to do it. It drove me crazy and then well... I DID IT, unintentionally of course. I'm still doing it, it is a continuous journey that we all are on and never stop. To my surprise what I found was FAITH. Not in the religious way that I was brought up, but in a deep relationship with my Self, with God and in my case, with Jesus.

Life is about growth and learning and finding faith in any way it resonates with you. It took me such a long time to realize that the reason I felt so wrong was because I was looking at it all wrong. I needed to make the shift, change my perspective on what was important in my life and everything changed. I thought I had to plan everything, plan my future, plan my days, nights, weekends. I was even obsessed with this thing called a 3 year plan in my corporate life. Wow... was I totally wrong about all of it. I am not saying that it does not work for others, but for me focusing my time and energy on a plan was just taking away from where my heart needed me to focus most to find inner peace. I focused so much of my energy externally that well, I did not know how to work on ME. And while I still do love to plan fun events and activities to do and create memories, I realized that it is better to have no plan, no attachment to an outcome, no expectations. When you have an expectation you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I have learned to let go of not only expectations but to my attachment to things. Things come and go in life and they are just that, things. Love, now that lasts forever.

A teacher once told me to approach everything with love and to be honest at the time I heard her words but did not understand it the way I do now. So as I began to let go of old patterns of thinking, of judging and sometimes even jealousy or anger, I would counter each toxic thought with something kind. I found that surprisingly the hardest time to do this was when the thoughts were about myself. It is so easy to have toxic thoughts about who you are. It is so easy to feel unloved and unworthy of love. So easy to feel abandoned or that you don't belong anywhere. It is just much easier to find something wrong with you than it is to look at everything right, everything beautiful about who you are and who you have become. This is where the real work started for me. I started to notice my own toxic thoughts rather than believing someone else was making me feel a certain way. I started to really learn how to love ME. Through affirmations and constant gratitude for the life I blessed with (literally saying "thank you" out loud morning, noon, and night) I found my confidence again. Of course it is easy to slip back into the negative vortex of thought, especially if others-- people, places or things might be triggers. There is always time to reset and well, begin again.

Remember,

You are amazing exactly as you are.

You are smart.

You are talented.

You are beautiful.

You have a kind heart.

You have a beautiful soul.

You touch someone's life every single day.

You are needed.

You are loved.

You matter.

And at times when you may forget, know that you can always begin again.


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