The Self-Love Journey
Clear to Disclose…
2018: My life as I know it is alive and breathing. In each moment, I have consciously stayed awake to embrace each color, smell, texture, sound and interaction. Through videos and photography, I have shared snippets of my self-love journey. This blog is intended to share the story behind the self-love journey.
In 2014, I made the conscious choice of choosing to discover what self-love really meant. At that time, I just got out of a long term relationship, someone I thought I would get married to and spend the rest of my life with. It was clear we wanted different things and it was not going to work. I was not sure what would be next. I felt empty and it was painful. But in the midst of that pain, I knew the only thing I could do was to move forward, but how? And that is how I made the choice to choose self-love. It was not going to be an easy journey and there were many dark closets that have been kept close for many years to not feel pain.
One thing I have learned is that we are all born with an innate beauty. Through time, that beauty can become clouded by what we perceive to be negative experiences. At the end of 2014, I did not want to run away. The only way that felt right was to find peace by unlocking these doors, revisiting these memories and to sit in its unresolved uncertainties. It was time to be brave and courageous for myself. No one could heal these wounds permanently except for me.
A few of the doors I had to walk through was the bullying I had to endure through grade school, my peers making fun of my eczematous skin, my clothing, constantly calling me “ugly” or looking like a “man”. The adults who told me I could not amount to anything if I did not change my attitude. The judgment and criticalness from those close to me, “Why are you fat?” or “Why do you look like that?” “What is wrong with you?” #metoo, the darkest of my doors, happened to me more than 20 years ago. I can still recall feeling frozen, lying there innocently, unable to respond to something I could not comprehend. I can replay in my head every single movement that transpired. In intimate relationships, I had experienced physical and emotional abuse, memories, which are ingrained into my thoughts and until this day I am still healing from.
I grew up with many insecurities and it translated through every relationship, especially intimate relationships. I could not truly believe others when they would say that they believed in me or thought I was beautiful without a thorough explanation of “why?” I could not receive positivity. The deep rooted anger, sadness and disappointment… The impulsive hateful actions that came out of me to respond when I needed to defend myself… I hated being in my body. I could not look at myself in the mirror. I was impulsive, reactive and turned to “certain” things for a quick fix. The internal battle was heavy. I fed off of negativity and believed this was the way that I am and the only way I could be. If others thought this about me, this is who I must be. I defined myself through the affirmations or lack of affirmations from others.
What changed in 2014? I hit rock bottom. In hindsight it was a blessing because I had the opportunity to start from a clean slate. I knew it was not going to be easy and I promised myself that I would be honest and do the best that I can and take the time that I needed to love myself. The journey is not linear. It has been a treacherous walk through fires, clouds, winds, rainstorms with thunder and lightning, hurricanes and even earthquakes. I have met many walks of life, from different ages, culture, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status etc… I have opened my life to things beyond my knowledge, or in other words have walked and still walk into the unknown. Trusting in the universe that this is what I am meant to experience in that moment consciously, was the approach. I have continued to make mistakes and have made some impulsive decisions that have lead to a downward spiral. I have made friends and have lost them, I have cut ties and let go of things that did not apply healthily in my life. I do not regret my choices.
I started to realize the true meaning of the saying, “the only constant thing in life is change.” Moments are fluid. Pieces of a puzzle only fit when they fit. But once its inner configurations start to change, externally the shape of the puzzle piece changes, hence it does not fit. Just like human nature, the fluidity of moments constantly breaks apart and reforms. We wonder why things get frustrating when we start to change. It is because what we once knew to work no longer applies. We might not know that on a conscious level, but subconsciously or even unconsciously a chemical reaction begins and a new path is created. It is up to the individual to choose what is next.
I grew up with deep rooted anger and through the work I have realized my anger came from not feeling supported. When something truly made me happy on a deep level, I would hold onto it and try to find that same sense of happiness. In doing that I unknowingly closed the door to other opportunities that had the potential of making me feel the same or even a greater happiness. I had tunnel vision. I could not receive compliments because I did not feel worthy. I realized what I felt about myself internally, is the kind of energy I attracted. I have noted this to be true and not until the last 1-2 years have I felt the natural happiness of life. I am attracting others who are similarly minded and who naturally flow without effort.
Although I have walked my journey alone, as we all are destined to do, I am not alone. I am thankful and blessed to have my family and friends who have walked by my side no matter what I have gone through. The success I have made is due to the healthy choices I continue to make on a daily basis. I exercise, dance, journal, meditate, listen to music, play instruments… I have seeked help from a therapist and life coach to help me on this journey. 27 years of unraveling the hardened but not permanent layers that were created…. Every day I choose to put in the INTENTIONAL work.
A friend recently asked me, who is it that I want to be? My answer was I want to be an honest, loving, kind, humble, open, strong, determined, driven individual in every circumstance, moment and second of my life. My human nature is a vulnerable one, always from the heart, I am willing to take chances and weigh the pros and cons the best I can. By coming back to my roots and steering away from imperfection and minimizing expectations, I approach situations with equanimity and compassion. Yeah, that is me, Rosemarie Nagal Dominia, the Woman, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Aunt, Cousin, Nurse, and Dancer. I am clear that I have the freedom to change my perspective in any given moment. To feel stuck is an option not an ending. My eyes and heart are open, still with some fear but not afraid to be the authentic ME. It is just the beginning of the evolution.
It is nice to meet you.
I am Rosemarie and I am clear to disclose.
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Photo credit: Ephraim Mardicas