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Goodbye Church, Hello Nikole (part 4)
It’s been short and bittersweet, hasn’t it?
I want to thank you for going on this journey with me.
For reading my words, for sending words of love, and for listening to and learning from my experience.
I truly am grateful for you.
So with the closing of this mini-series, where does that leave Nikole?
Good question. 🙂
I have said a lot of goodbyes over the past several months.
I have shed a lot of tears.
I have vented countless times to my dear John.
And while all of that is very real, it doesn’t take away from where I am at in life right now and where I am heading.
I don’t see myself joining a church at any point in the future.
I don’t see myself using the word christian to describe who I am any time soon.
But that’s the beauty of life.
One doesn’t have to know how the rest of life will pan out before living their authentic life now.
Maybe someday I’ll call myself christian again.
Maybe someday I’ll join a church.
I honestly don’t know.
And that’s okay.
I am learning to live in the present – fully, completely, and powerfully.
That might sound easy, but we’re so used to beating ourselves up over the past and fretting over the future that we sometimes don’t know HOW to live in the present.
How does one do that exactly?
Well, here’s how I’m doing it.
Instead of being angry at my past and viewing my past as a ‘loss’ of time, energy, and years, I’m now viewing my life as a journey…a story.
In a journey, there are twists and turns and that’s to be expected.
It’s those twists and turns that turn the journey into a fascinating story.
Being (only) angry at my past and wishing I could have had a different starting point, a different entry into life, I give my power away.
I can’t change the past, I can’t change my starting point, so wishing for a different past or starting point is a total waste of time.
So instead of focusing my energy and time on something I cannot change, I focus on the present.
Because I know what I create in this moment is what I will experience in my future.
I could kick my feet in the dirt with my hands shoved in my pockets and my head downcast, muttering and cursing the church and those who’ve hurt me and the world at large. And while that may feel cathartic for a moment, that doesn’t help me create a bright and beautiful future.
I want the soil of my past to be the birthplace of something extraordinary and new.
And in order to do that, I am learning to look at my past and say thank you.
- Thank you for the experiences, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the painful, because I wouldn’t be here without them.
- Thank you for all that you have taught me. I am stronger now than I have ever been, and I cannot thank you enough for that.
- Thank you for showing me that this isn’t all there is to life; that life isn’t just painful but is and can be and has the potential for so much beauty and pleasure and goodness.
- Thank you for bringing me right where I am today. In this moment I am so grateful to be alive, so thrilled to be learning what I’m learning, and so proud to be standing in my power.
For all of these things and more, I thank you.
By honoring my past, it loses its control over me.
By thanking my past, I’m able to glean the nuggets of gold that I can then bring with me into my future.
By releasing the past, I am able to be fully present in the moment, creating the life I want to live.
So I’ve said goodbye to the Church.
I’ve said goodbye to Christianity.
But I’m also saying hello to life.
And I’m saying hello to myself.
For the first time ever I am asking myself questions I never dreamed of asking myself.
- What do you want out of life, Nikole?
- What brings you the most joy and happiness?
- What brings you the most alive?
- What is it most that you want to bring into this world?
And it FEELS SO GOOD to honor myself and know myself in ways I never have in the 30+ years I have been alive.
It’s like I have been waiting for this moment my entire life.
And since asking myself these questions and leaning into the truth that all things are possible, I have experienced more miracles in the past 9 months than I could list here.
To where I am almost giddy about life.
Life has its hard moments, but I have found so much power, ease and joy when I decided to start tuning in to myself and do what feels right for me, not what others think is right for me.
I am happier, healthier, and a believer again in the beauty of life and the possibilities in the future.
I’ve said goodbye, yes, but in the saying of goodbye I am actually saying hi to new life.
And if life is about anything, it’s about choosing new life again and again and again and again.
When things become stale, dull, obligatory and empty, that’s our cue that we need to say goodbye to something so we can say hello to new life.
So don’t be afraid of the goodbyes.
Whether it’s a goodbye to a friendship, a church, a religion, a job, or our former selves.
The goodbye just might be the breakthrough you’ve been yearning for.
So say that goodbye KNOWING that life is on the other side.
Because it is.
You are worthy of a life that brings you joy.
You are worthy of a life that makes sense to you.
You are worthy of a life that supports you, loves you, and celebrates the you that you are.
Featured Photo: Julia Caesar]