#LIVINGSINGLE “Being healed or whole is one of the greatest successes in life one could ever experience.” – Camille Essick Have you ever noticed some of your greatest ideas, moments of motivation, or periods of productivity came AFTER being released from a job, friendship, or relationship? Why? Sometimes, we become so wrapped up in a person, place, or situation, we negated our own inner compass or that little voice telling us to explore a different path. It may be our fear in knowing the exploration of this new path is a less-traveled path. As a result, we know the journey will be a lonely one. The release is powerful, even when we do not realize it. In life, we all experience release at some point. It may come from a job, relationship, friendship, or even a combination off three – maybe even at the same time. Initially, one may experience confusion, anger, regret, sadness, or all of the above at various stages in life. The key is to not become stuck in any of these stages once the release has taken place. Take a moment and think of people you know bookmarked in various chapters of life when it comes to anger, confusion, or sadness- all resulting from experience a form of release or separation from someone or something. They became so fixated on the loss, they failed to see what was truly gained. Release or separation is not always a bad thing. It is an opportunity to reflect on the experience and take inventory of self. One of life’s greatest fears is the fear of the unknown. And yet, there is a greater power at work directing our purpose, our future, and our destiny to something greater than we could even imagine. Because we are purposed, our path MUST forge with our destiny. In doing so, a release must take place. That release, like the first domino in a chain reaction, triggers a series of events that shift the path of our current journey. What may initially seem hurtful or confusing, actually becomes an opportunity to explore a new idea, talent, or skill. The break or release transforms into a place of production, creativity, and enlightenment. It is just a matter of how the release is perceived. The moment you realize the blessing of the release is the moment you begin to embrace your victory. As a single woman, I had to first acknowledge I was hurting. How many times have you heard someone ask, “Hey, how are you doing?” and you reply, “Oh girl, I’m good.”? Once I admit I am holding on to some past hurts, I then have to investigate the core or the source of my pain. It is during this phase, of honesty with yourself I can guarantee I am in touch with how I am feeling or what I am holding onto pain that goes beyond my past relationships. I challenge myself to dig deeper. How does this tie into dating, Camille? I am glad you asked because I was just about to tell you. We are like airplanes. An airplane’s ability to fly at higher altitudes is contingent on how much weight it is carrying. Too much weight can slow down the speed of the plane, limit its ability to soar to higher elevations, or even cause it to crash. To fly higher and safely reach your divine destination, you must drop the excess baggage. You will be able to fully enjoy all of the blessings God has for you if you do not drop the baggage. Some of the people you are holding grudges against have gone on with their lives, gotten married, had children, and some of them are no longer alive. What is even crazier, you are upset with someone that said something to you ten years ago and the offender forgot what they said to you, yet you have been the one still stuck in the past holding to that conversation or comment. The release is a powerful action. The release brings peace and greater clarity. It is like opening a door or window in a stuffy room in need of fresh air. When you decide to release the hurts from your past, you also permitting yourself to love yourself in a greater capacity. In turn, you can love and be loved in a greater capacity. Why continue to live a limited life? Why love with a cloud hanging over your head? I am not saying to be blind when it comes to dating. However, when you are living a present life in a mindset that still battles past pain, it is like attempting to drive forward while staring in the rear-view mirror. You are bound to crash. Acknowledge and unpack the pain, the hurt, and the apologies you may never receive. Take the time to reinvest in yourself. You deserve a relationship that is fulfilling. It is not only fair to yourself, but also to the other person you are dating. How can a relationship reach its fullest potential when it is limited by past hurts or traumas from one or both parties in the relationship? In search of healing, we begin to search for a voice or a place of relevance. We desire a connection with something or someone to support where and whom we are mentally, emotionally, or even spiritually – as if to say, "Yes, I have been there;Yeah, me too". The greatest falsehood and adversity is isolation. I am writing to you in hopes of creating that place of connection, tearing down the mirage of isolation. But what is so amazing is knowing that you did not just survive it, but also that you are thriving and now able to be transparent about it for the healing of others. The first step to healing is desiring it. The second step is pursuing it. EDITOR NOTE: This website, www.camikimink.com, www.memoirsoagw.wordpress.com, heart+soul or any portion thereof may not be copied, reproduced, or used in any manner.