Growing up, I had verrrrryyyyy low self-esteem.  I never thought I was beautiful. I never thought I was intelligent. I longed for someone to affirm me.. to tell me I was beautiful, capable, intelligent, enough..

As I grew older and matured, I realized that I did not want to continue living my life with low self-esteem. I wanted for once in my life to feel bold, strong, confident, intelligent, beautiful, fearless, and unapologetically me. So, I decided to do something about it.

I am still on this journey of unearthing the bold, confident, strong, beautiful, fearless and unapologetic woman that I am. However, I have learned some things along the way that I would like to share with you.

On today’s episode of “Take A Shot with Emem Joy Emah”, I share with you 5 ways I learned to build my self-esteem.

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Friend, I hope this episode inspires you to go on a journey to unearth the strong, capable, intelligent, fearless, brave, beautiful, YOU that you are.

With lots of love,

Emem Joy Emah

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

There’s a LOT going on in our world today; a lot of darkness. In times like these, it is important that we all do something. The fight for justice is not just for the elite or the ones we deem brave but in order to see justice prevail, EVERYONE must get involved. it is easy to be a voyeur through the lens of  social media, watching others in the forefront fight for justice. But it is pivotal that we all do something. Everyone has an important part to play. However, the truth remains that most of us wake up with the demands of work, school, children, spouse, and just plain life. But the call for the involvement of everyone to fight for justice simply cannot be ignored. The question then arises, how can we be a part of the fight?

Love; as simple and basic and almost corny as that sounds; Love has always been and will always be the remedy for hate.

In this latest podcast episode, hear me provide examples of how we can wield our weapon of love to fight against today’s injustices.

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Social: @EmemJoyEmah

Website: EmemJoyEmah.com

 

Thanks for taking a shot with me!

Emem

 

WOW. What a crazy couple of weeks it has been. A lot has happened and is STILL happening.

Initially, I was not sure about writing this post. I didn’t know if I wanted to put this out into the world because quite frankly there seems to be thousands of opinion pieces about the result of the election that sound like a resounding gong. So I ruminated, meditated, and decided upon sharing my thoughts.

The election is long over. The president has been chosen but the sting still remains.

Many have just woken up to the cruelty that is the governmental system of this country while others (namely the minorities) have been living in this space for years, decades, centuries…

I don’t write this from a bitter or angry space. No matter how long it has taken for some to wake from their slumber, I am glad to see them awake. I am overjoyed that their eyes are open to begin to see things  for what they really are. From the outside looking in, it looks like chaos and it certainly is that. But I am challenging you to look at things from a different lens, a lens of hope.

Now more than ever is the time for stimulating and eye-opening conversation. Now is the time for people that are JUST waking up to this system’s cruelty to lend their listening ear and empathetic hearts.

NOW is the time for compassion.

“Compassion asks us to… enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish.”

Henri Nouwen

If you have been living a sheltered life of privilege and have not sought to understand the plight of others, I urge you to take a bold step by asking the RIGHT person the questions you may have. I emphasize the word RIGHT because you will find that some are drained from the pain they’ve had to endure and are no longer willing to share their story. That’s okay. They have that right. But there are those that want to speak and more than anything want to be heard.

Find them. Listen. Enter into the places of pain, brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish and share that with them. Then FIGHT together, PRAY together, LEARN together and MOVE FORWARD together.

 

It’ll be hard. We have a long road ahead of us but in unity, we can do ANYTHING.

In the words of Prophet Kendrick Lamar, “If God’s got us then we gon’ be alright.”

 

Let’s do this!

 

Until next time,

Emem Joy Emah

 

Hi.

Ok, it’s been a while and I have some explaining to do. But mannnnnnn… honestly, life got the better of me. Things got real and HARD. REAL HARD. I needed sometime away. I didn’t want to write from an empty and exhausted space but from a full and peaceful one. So, here I am. I am ready and revitalized to keep moving forward. And don’t worry, one day soon, I’ll delve into some of the things that were going on.  

I’ve been away but by no means have I been under a rock. Lots has happened but I want to focus on some specific headlines.

In keeping up with the latest headlines (and the comments people make about them), I found one common thread: we have forgotten about our humanity. When I say we have forgotten or better yet lost our humanity, I mean that there is no sense of compassion or love like there once was. Not that we have always been the most compassionate peoples but maybe in my naivety, I felt we still had a fraction of compassion left. Not so. Things have been happening that has caused me to grieve greatly and be intently compassionate towards people.  

Have you read the latest headlines or comments about the latest headlines?! I mean from police brutality to the comments people have about the events going on in the lives of public figures, I genuinely question mankind’s ability to love and be kind. It’s a bit drastic, I know but it’s been difficult for me to see anything else. Okay, let’s examine the latest headlines that have peaked my interest within the last few months…

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Terence Crutcher and More…

Jesus! If this does not scream lack of humanity and compassion I don’t know what does?! I know this isn’t new. I know this injustice and lack of moral compass has been happening for years now but it doesn’t make it any less disheartening ESPECIALLY because as a black woman this could happen to me or any of my family members. My hope is that as young people, we would not stop talking about this issue and peacefully protesting. The habit for media or any bureaucracy at large is to cover up or deny the most important issues. It is ONLY when we raise our voices in unity that they will bow to our demands.

Kid Cudi & Selena Gomez

Whew. My heart goes out to these too. Again, I know this happens all the time and the tendency is to ignore public figures that check into rehab but we forget that before anything else, they are human. They live and breathe just like everyone else. And what concerns me  most about our society is that we celebrate people when they die and not while they are alive. With that being said, Kid Cudi, I celebrate you for choosing the path of healing rather than taking your life, which I am sure you have been tormented to do for years. I pray you get the peace that you need and continue to be a voice for this generation. Same goes to you Selena.  Girl, focus on you! Get your health and sanity back. Your fans and the world can wait.

Kim Kardashian West Robbery

Yet another public figure that we forget is a HUMAN being. I don’t have to agree with Mr and Mrs. West’s antics to empathize with them during this traumatizing time. Her robbery especially hit close to home  because when I was a little girl, my family and I were robbed in our home and held at gunpoint. It was one of the SCARIEST days of my life and I will never forget it. During this time, a lot of the blame is being put on her for flashing her jewelry on social media (which I don’t disagree with) but what remains bothersome is the lack of empathy that is apparent when people talk about her flashing her jewelry on social media. She shouldn’t have done that,  we all agree, but she is still going through a shocking and traumatic event. All I am saying is let your words heal and not JUST point out the obvious cause.  

All I am saying is be compassionate with your words, especially on social media. Don’t forget your humanity. Your compassion. Your heart. Just because the world is going crazy doesn’t mean you have to be too. Treat others the way you would want to be treated ESPECIALLY online. Evaluate the words you write on social media. If you wouldn’t want something written about you, don’t write it about someone else- public figure or not.

My hope, prayer, desire and dream is that we would use our voices collectively to dismantle systems built on fear and hatred rather than speaking or writing harshly about people we know little or nothing about.

 

You are so awesome for reading this post. Thank you!

 

Warm regards,

Emem Joy Emah

 

A little while ago I was watching Jumping the Broom and a scene that felt all too familiar. The scene went a little like this:

Jason Taylor– “You’re just mad because Ricky- not you- is my best man. Tell the truth.”

Malcolm– “You know what? Yea, I’m upset. I am. I’m your cousin and your best friend but I ain’t good enough to be your best man huh?! That’s what you’re basically telling me. You’d be the best man at my wedding.”

Jason Taylor– “you wanna talk, let’s talk.”

Malcolm– “Let’s do it! Let’s talk!”

Jason Taylor – “You are my cousin but the whole best-friend thing.. Common Malcolm, who are you fooling?! We haven’t been best friends for what.. 2… 3 years?! Right around the time I bought my house, I have a house warming, you don’t show up. I got promoted to vice president, the entire block shows up: Eddie, Casual Mike,even Dave comes. Did you come? No…”

Once I watched this scene, I was inspired to write  about it because it felt all too familiar. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that my whole mission is decoupling and demystifying the adulting process. There are so many lessons to be gleaned from the process and the issue of best friends is definitely one of them.

Now, Let me describe you…

You identify on some level with the above scenario. You’ve had your best friend for (X) amount of years. This person has been in your life for your mountain top experiences as well as your valley experiences. This person has been the shoulder you cry on and your partner in crime. But as you are in your process of growing and maturing, you have found that things have begun to shift. You are both interested in doing different things. The things you once did together has now become a nuisance.  Jealousy, envy, strife, anger, competition, and lack of support has now flooded the relationship. Things  no longer feel the same. In fact, you feel like you are walking on eggshells around this person. What once caused them to celebrate you is now causing them to resent you. There is tension between the both of you and you can cut it with a knife.

The problem is, you have known this person for too long and you have been through hell and back together. Besides, it is very unusual for you to walk out on the people you love, no matter how bad things get. You believe love stays… no matter what.

Here’s the thing…

You are right; Love stays, love fights, but not to the detriment of your health and sanity. It’s that simple. Listen, life happens. Chapters have a beginning and an end and so do the people in our lives. It is very rare to have someone REMAIN a best friend from grade school to old age. Instead, more than likely, there has been some growing apart and then MAYBE a coming together as maturity  takes its course. BUT more often than not, the opposite is true. People grow apart, go on different journeys and may never reunite again. And friend, that has to be OK. Again, part of the growing up process is trusting your gut and listening to that little small voice that tells you it’s time to move on. It doesn’t mean you don’t love this person anymore, it just means the chapter has ended and it’s time to start a new one. And let me say this, as you are going into your new season, it is important that you don’t try to find a new best friend. Take some time, breathe, learn new people. Go out of your way to interact with people that you would not normally interact with. And if you can’t find new people to interact with, be alone. I know that is odd to say but listen…. You have to learn how to find peace in the stillness and quiet. You have to learn that being alone is not bad thing. That sometimes being alone teaches you to enjoy your own company. It’s time to love yourself. It’s time to find yourself. It’s time to know who you really are. What you believe in? Who you believe in? Soul searching, which is a fundamental part of maturing, happens best in solitude. If the idea of being alone is uncomfortable, that’s OK. Do it anyway. Nothing grows out of being comfortable and isn’t growth the goal? Beside, being alone is not something that should last forever but it is a season I believe everyone should experience. It allows you hear the sound of your own voice, see yourself for who you really are, and come to grips with the very thing that’s been chasing you.

Relationship Series Part 2 Quote

So, how do you go about transitioning from a friendship that just isn’t working anymore? As someone that has experienced this a few times in her life, let me offer some tidbits…

Have a  conversation

In other words, confront the issue. Be honest. Be real. Let the tears flow. Let the voices rise but confront the issue.

It’s going to be messy, let it

Listen, a relationship is ending here. One that has had HISTORY. It WILL be messy. Let it. You will feel hurt, allow it. Breaking up is always hard to do, no matter the relationship. If you come across subliminal tweets or Facebook posts, put their account on mute. DON’T go lurking on their page, you will find something you don’t like or something that may hurt you. Remember, you are putting your health and sanity first here. Don’t do anything that will take you back instead of move you forward.

Forgive

You will be angry, the other person will be angry, that’s normal. A chapter is closing that you never expected to close. That’s okay. What is not okay is holding onto unforgiveness. You immediately take yourself ten steps back by not choosing to forgive this person that may have hurt you by their words or actions. Forgive. Put empathy on. They are going through a hard time too and they are just manifesting their hurt in a different way than you are.

Always take the high road

There’s no need to be petty or childish here. Take the high road. Ignore foolishness. Close the chapter and move on with your life. Yes, this is easier said than done but the more you practice it, the easier it becomes. The more you focus on your betterment, the easier it becomes.

Create a healthy distance to protect yourself

Allow yourself and the other person a chance to breathe, a chance to heal. Always being around each other especially after a tough conversation is not going to help the both of you heal any faster. Instead, it will make things ten times difficult. Create a safe distance physically and virtually.

 

If you are going through this; this article may not have all the answers you are looking for, but as always I hope it serves as inspiration and encouragement.

 

You are stronger than you know!

 

Yours Truly,

Emem Joy Emah

 

 

Let me describe you for a second..

You are a young adult. You are transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. You are maturing, growing and learning. You are on the journey to becoming a better you. You are determined not to repeat past mistakes. You are good. You are solid. For the first time in a long time, things are making sense. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders. Although things are not as you would like them to be, you have made significant progress in your life. You have learned the art of hustling to pay the bills as you are on a mission to find what your purpose in life is. This is adulting folks and you are doing it well. But, there’s this one area in your life… your love life. You have been involved in a relationship for quite sometime now. You are crazy about this guy or girl but he is on the fence about you. One minute they want you, they next minute they don’t. One minute you’re together, the next minute you break up. They say they don’t want to loose you and that they love you but their actions SHOUT anything but love. Your heart has been mishandled by them over and over again but you can’t help but go back. You have heard every excuse in his or her book but you have stayed because quite frankly, you are crazy about this person. You have tolerated all their crappy excuses and now you KNOW it’s time to move on. Deep down you KNOW things are not going to change. You know this person well enough to know that if things were going to change, they would have by now. You are tired, angry, frustrated, over it but still love this person. You want to move on, you know you to NEED to move on, but you just don’t know how. In the words of Chingy, every time you try to leave something keeps pulling you back (if you don’t know who Chingy is, its fine, just keep reading lol).

Hi Friend,

This post is not about telling you that you need to let this person go. You already know that and you don’t need another reminder. The pain in your heart from your last heartbreak sends a clear message. However, this post serves to show you what freedom and clarity looks like when you finally decide to let go and never look back.

I get you. I completely and totally understand where you are (well not literally but I definitely empathize). I have been involved in this type of relationship, not once but TWICE in my life. The first time was really painful, the second time was devastating. I literally didn’t know if I would come out of it. See, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I love easy and I am tenderhearted. When I am involved in any type of relationship, I give it my all and expect the same in return. I gave my all and in both situations, my heart was ripped out of my chest, stomped, violently devoured, and then given back to me with blood dripping from his grinning mouth.

Adobe Spark (1)

After my second major heartbreak, I prayed. I needed help and the people I loved -no matter how hard they tried – couldn’t help me. So, I asked God to help me. I asked him to show me what love really was. This for me was the beginning of my spiritual awakening; my love journey with God. I intentionally pursued my healing. I needed to KNOW  that I was loved because I had encountered too many people and circumstances that told me I was not. 

Here is the point of this blog. I want to show you what I have learned so far in my love and healing journey with God. I want you to see what is possible when you are brave enough to let go of what you have now to embrace the greater that is possible for you. I want you to see the imminent danger you are facing by not letting the dead weight go. The truth of the matter is, that relationship is ruining your life and destiny.

Lessons Learned…

Please note that when I am using the singular pronoun (he), I am referring to both of the failed relationships I stated above. I choose to use a singular pronoun because ultimately, I was attracted to the same type of man boy.

Let’s begin, shall we?

It was not him, it was me

Don’t get me wrong, both of the guys I was with had their own issues. I am not saying they didn’t. However, part of growing up is choosing to look within to examine the areas you fall short in. You can control no one but yourself. After all, it takes two to make a relationship work. As I examined myself, I realized I was settling in crappy relationships because I didn’t  think I could get any better. Both of the guys I was involved with were very handsome and deep down, I was shocked that they would be with someone like me. I had low self-esteem.So I held on tight, thinking this was as good as it was going to get. As you are already thinking, this is not a good foundation for a stable and healthy relationship. And because I was starting off on this foot, the relationship was doomed to fail.

I didn’t love him, I loved love

I have a love/hate relationship with romantic movies. I love them because some tell a really good story and who doesn’t love a good story?! But for the most part, to be brutally honest, they are unhealthy and deceptive. They leave us with unrealistic expectations of what love should be. And because as women, we already have an innate longing to be loved, romantic movies goes straight to that place in our hearts and fills us with a counterfeit love that simply doesn’t exist. Again, as you have guessed, I watched too many romance movies and fell in love with an idea rather than the real thing. This caused me to put expectations on boys that didn’t know how to love, much less live up to this unrealistic expectation.

I needed someone to love me

Simply put, I was desperate for love and would get it by any means necessary. If that meant staying in a relationship with a boy that couldn’t see my value then so be it. I treasured the scarce golden moments we had in the relationship. These scarce golden moments showed me what the relationship could be. They gave me a false hope that things would get better. But it didn’t and the wound in my heart from lack of love only worsened.

I didn’t know what love was

You cannot know something that you have never experienced. I had never experienced unconditional love, so I didn’t know what it looked like or what it was supposed to be. My only frame of reference was romance movies. Hence, I learned that what I was calling love, was only a strong infatuation.

Heartbreak was a blessing in disguise

Like you, I couldn’t let him go. I knew I should. Every person I knew told me I should, but I felt like I couldn’t. My insecurities were wrapped up in the relationship and if it failed, it meant I was a failure. If it failed, it meant facing the fear that I would never be able to attract someone like him ever again. It meant facing the fear of being along. But on the other side of fear is everything I dreamed and hoped for. On the other side of this fear was love waiting to embrace me, heal me and never let me go (no matter what I did). Waiting on the other side of this fear was God.  So, when he chose to let me go, it was God’s gift to me. He (God) knew that I did not have the strength to let him go. He (God) knew that although it would break me, it was a good breaking because out of that place came a strength, a knowing of my worth and a revelation that I am indeed loved.

There are good men out there

Not every man is a boy. There are men out there that are growing, learning and maturing — JUST LIKE ME. My goal is not to seek them out. My goal is to better myself. It is to focus on myself and concentrate on my healing. It is to know my value and worth so that when I am ready to explore relationships again, I have healthy criteria  and if it isn’t met, I am not afraid to ask him to leave or to walk out.

He was sent to distract me

I could not wholeheartedly focus my energy on bettering myself and finding purpose if I was wholeheartedly devoted to a relationship that was bent on extracting instead of adding to my life. When he was gone; love, clarity, life, and purpose flooded in.

These seven lessons are only a snippet of what I have learned so far. But, this is what freedom and clarity looks like. It is having your eyes opened to finally realize  why you were holding on so tight. It is taking the time to acknowledge that you are broken and your soul needs surgery. It is re-emerging smarter, wiser and full of confidence knowing what you can and will not tolerate. It is gaining clarity to begin to assess your life to see where you are going and how you will positively affect this land. You simply cannot be and do these things with him or her in the picture. They are too much of a distraction and are not pushing you towards greatness but pulling you back. Let the dead weight go. I pray you find the strength to get up, pack your bags and move forward. I pray you allow yourself to hurt, to go to the dark places and ask yourself the deep questions. I pray you go on a journey to find out who YOU really are. Lastly, I pray you enjoy the taste of freedom so much that you never want to be bound again.

I hope this post has nudged you one step further into making the decision that will turn your whole life around and set you on course for your greatest breakthrough. But ultimately, it is YOUR decision.

 

You are stronger than you know!

 

Until Next Time,

Emem Joy Emah