Seven years ago, it had been two years since my break-up with my first boyfriend. I decided to get back into the dating scene and go with different guys to see what I truly wanted out of a relationship. I went out on many dates and tried my best to see if the guys would measure up to my first love. I wanted to know if they would plan new dates, was a gentleman, educated, wanted to travel, carried on intellectual conversations about the world and the community, enjoyed community events and festivals, expressed kindness, driven, and saw the best in any situation. I steadily looked for these good traits from the guys I went out with, and I couldn’t find the qualities that my first boyfriend possessed. As I was dating, someone told me to quit dating. I was left devastated, drained, sad, depressed, and wondering whether I would find anyone that would compare or come even close to being good enough like my first boyfriend.
My aha moment came when I realized the amount of damage I did with my dates when I went out with a guy for a month. We both hit it off really well, shared the same pain of heartache, strained relationships, and much more. We enjoyed each other’s company, but I obsessed and wondered if our good company would be the foundation for a relationship or not? I knew that I was sabotaging the situation when all I could talk about after a while was my first boyfriend and the pain I felt after my brother passed away. My selfish pride and ego and brokenness got in the way of true happiness that could have been shared with me, and this guy I went out with. He was charming, smart, a family man, I felt at home with this person, we loved the same music, food, and the passion and chemistry was undeniable, but those feelings of butterflies didn’t last long it soon dwindled, and I lost him.
Besides my broken heart over my first boyfriend and the death of my brother, I was struggling to find work. I applied for numerous jobs and had an interview here and there, but it never led to a job. I was angry at the universe, and I yelled and shouted to God, “Why Me?! Why won’t anyone give me the time of day to hire me? I have the degree and skills and drive it takes to get to where I want to be. What do you want me to do with my life God?!” I couldn’t for the longest time understand what the universe was doing to me when it came to love and my purpose in life, but now, I have learned to let go and go with the flow and let the universe unfold love and opportunities at the right place and time.
In 2016, my demons had finally caught up with me, and it was time to reevaluate myself. I let men become my idols, and the only thing that could give me love and acceptance. I stilled prayed to God every night, but Satan was gripping even harder on my mind and heart. I wasn’t standing up to my demons and saying no to shame guilt, fear, doubt, idolizing men, and self-doubt. It took one person to call out my demons, and I was embarrassed and ashamed of who I had become. I recognized my demons and released every one of them from my body, and it was very overwhelming and scary, but I never felt so free in all of my life. God had breathed himself into my body, and though I was overwhelmed, I was forgiven for my sins.
After being set free from my demons, I stopped comparing my relationships to my first love. I learned to release and let go of selfish pride. I learned that it’s okay to feel my feelings. I learned that grief is nothing to be ashamed of. When someone you care about passes away, they will always be with you in spirit and watch over you and protect you. You are not alone when it comes to life’s difficulties. After being set free, I learned these things about love and death, and much more.
It’s not always easy to let go and go with the flow and let the universe do its thing, but when you do, you feel a sense of freedom and trust. You can trust God with all of your worries, anxieties, and stresses in life, and it releases a glow upon your face and confidence to go about your day with no problems. With this, I learned self-love, self-care, self-acceptance, and I stopped playing the comparison game in the area of love and romance. I practiced looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself, I love you. Your past does not define you. You have so much to offer to a man. Don’t quit and give up on love. It’s okay to get help and counseling. Grief is a part of life and should be dealt with. Thank you for reading my story. I hope it helps you too.
In my book Girl Rise, I give insight into my life through the eyes of Alli Billings and using biblical principles to heal from self-sabotage and toxic love.