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It's been a long road. You've made many accomplishments, you've stayed focused, you've experienced freedom, you rebuilt, and you've grown so much! Take a moment to let that sink in. You did it! You put in the hard work and can see results. If no one else has told you, allow me to be the first to say I am proud of you! It's not easy to do what you did. It takes much time, repeating steps, self-reflection, and hard work. Always remember that life will always throw things your way that will throw you off, but now you have the tools and skill under your belt to help you conquer and succeed through it all. The last step is no easier or more complicated than the others.
Empowerment will seemingly hit you out of the blue and all at once. You won't notice the slow progress you've made along the way until way later when you can genuinely reflect on your journey. But one day, you will realize a huge difference in yourself. Your strength, courage, drive, ambition, smile, posture, laugh, goals, and surroundings will all be different and better. Even if, situationally, you are not in a better place, your mindset will be better. You will be better equipped to handle it. You won't be alone because you will have a strong support system. You will have a routine and focus to keep you on track, and you know how to care for your inner self and set boundaries. These are the tools that will get you through anything.
Feel it! Feel that feeling of being in control of your life and emotions. It's powerful. Each day is a new battle, but you have the strength to fight anything that comes your way. Using the skills you learned while rebuilding, take this time to validate yourself. If, at this point, you are not able to validate yourself in your accomplishments, then you need to go back through the steps again. You should believe by now that you can do it! Will you sometimes fail, lose focus, not maintain boundaries, allow negative self-talk, or deny accountability? I'm sure you will, but that's ok! You can make mistakes and experience setbacks while still moving in the direction of empowerment because it's how you handle those moments that validate your empowerment.
Always rely on your support system through the good and the bad times; if they are not helping you to be the best, you find a new support system. You have the tools with things like boundaries to do that. Your support system should allow you to be you without supporting or encouraging decisions that will harm you and your goals. You should feel safe emotionally, physically, and mentally around your support system. If you don't, you should reflect on your boundaries and focus. You may be noticing a pattern of questions, reflection, and adjustments. That's the cycle you should now be in constantly as you keep growing.
I am so incredibly proud of you! I hope you hear it from everyone you know and meet. Through this experience of writing these stories, I have helped people navigate their way through these steps with my guidance and hands-on assistance. Helping others through their journey has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Throughout this time, I have also started developing another set of steps. Steps to Enlightenment. With a focus on things like trust, acceptance, feelings, and more. These are more tools that I have collected that I want to share to help you too. But you have all the tools you need for now. Remember, "Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit." You got this!