When GG Renee of All The Many Layers first reached out to me to see if I would participate in one of her projects, I couldn't see myself telling her "no". I literally jumped at the chance to be a part of something that I knew had the power to give women yet another platform to share their voices. Ironically, I typed the first sentence without giving it a second thought and I realize that, subconsciously, I'm setting the tone for this post. "I couldn't see myself telling her 'no'"...what a way to begin this post. 

Subconsciously, something told me to choose the letter 'y' for "yes" instead of choosing 'n' for "no". At least I told myself that it was my subconscious speaking for me at the time. But now that the end of October is here, I know that my subconscious had nothing to do with choosing to focus on "yes". This time around, it was me firmly telling myself that I needed to shift my focus and step outside of the familiar box that I've lived in. Now, why would I tell myself this? It's not as if I can predict my own future but I have a feeling that changes are well on their way.

First thing's first, I am an emotional woman. I feel everything down to my core; anger, sadness, joy, passion, determination, frustration, silliness, fierceness, etc. Because I feel and I've worn my heart on my sleeves, being labeled as emotional by others has been taxed with negativity. I've been called "too emotional" for feeling offended over something someone said to me. I've been called "too emotional" for being passionate about the things that matter the most to me. I've been called "too emotional" when I've lashed out because I didn't know how to show that I was hurting and needed reminders that what I'd experienced wasn't going to kill me. Naturally, I've tried to put on my "game face" so that people would never see me sweat during the moments where I felt anything but pleasant and naturally this caused an internal battle to take place within me. A few years later, coupled with another relationship gone sour, I can't stand the thought of telling myself not to feel in order to make others feel comfortable. I don't want to deny myself the right to feel any longer to appease the standards of others. I am tired of telling myself "no" because I become my worst enemy when I do that. I have the right to feel and I declare that it is safe for me to do so.

Speaking of "yes", I've finally surrendered my need to feel in control of every aspect of my life. God knows where he wants me to be and he knows exactly who I need in my life. I can no longer fight for control of the steering wheel with him. I can no longer tell him that he's taking too long and that I can take care of everything myself. The truth is that at 23 years old, I don't have all of the answers and I never will. I need help walking along this journey because getting older hasn't been the easiest walk in the park. A part of me feels young, as if I have all of the time in the world for settling down and being serious with someone while the other half knows that 1. nothing is promised and 2. I'm not getting younger. I'll be 24 years old next year and well aware that a lot can change in just ONE year. I'm well aware of the fact that ONE year is extremely short. I'm a lot wiser, more resilient and even brilliant but life is something that I'm still trying to get the hang of. So, YES I accept all of the support that makes itself available to me. A part of growing up is realizing that it's okay to ask for help. 

Lastly, I accept respect, trust and love. It should be common sense to accept these things right? Well, you'd be surprised at how many times I've rejected one of these things at some point in my life out of fear. I built up a wall around my heart to protect myself from unwanted experiences but the same experiences helped me build the wall and left clues for other unwanted experiences to find me. The more that I closed myself off from receiving, the more that I attracted selfish and hurtful people. We mirrored each other and created a mess that I was responsible for cleaning up when those same selfish people decided to leave. I've always been responsible for nursing scars created by me subconsciously inviting negativity into my space. I decided that my heart can't bear the weight of being enslaved and that in order for me to truly receive the respect, trust and love that I feel that I deserve, I have to be open. How can I expect these things to come into my life if they can't find or see me? Knowing what I know now, I give myself permission to trust (see) that I don't need to build a fortress around my heart. It is safe to mirror the things that I want and it is safe to allow them to seek me. 

I made the statement that this is my "yes" season towards the beginning of the month but today, October 30th, this is my declaration instead: I'm saying YES to life overall. I'm saying yes to living, to showing up, to feeling, to being receptive and to no longer allowing fear to rule me. Saying yes is the key to unlocking a world of possibilities and I know that it is time for me to stop sitting in a corner, wishing and hoping that I could be a woman who emits love and courage from her being. It's time for me to actually BE that woman and it's time for me to be PRESENT. This is what "yes" is all about...being secure enough to trust yourself, God, the good in your life and the good that is yet to come. Saying yes to life is a gift. 

This post is part of The Layers of Self-Discovery Tour created by @ggreneewrites All the Many Layers. Follow the tour through blogs of 26 women exploring the complexities of womanhood and self-discovery from A to Z. Please go to allthemanylayers.com to keep up with each post and enter to win a giveaway package full of goodies for your mind, body and soul.