“What my Insecurity looked like” from Zontaye Richardson!

I’m not sure how or when it started, but somehow over the years I became self conscious about my smile. I was insecure about my imperfect teeth and I was ashamed to show them. In pictures, I would give this grin that I thought was a smile. My friends and family would always tell me to smile and my response was that I was smiling. In my mind, I thought that I was genuinely smiling, but in actuality I was hiding my flaws.

It wasn’t until recently that I have finally started to embrace what I would call my imperfect smile. It took a lot of encouragement from those close to me to get over my insecurities. The process has been so liberating that now I can not imagine not smiling.

This journey to embracing my smile has been more than just a change in how I look outwardly, but how I feel inwardly. I am truly learning to love myself inspite of all my imperfections and flaws.

Beautiful! Don’t ever stop smiling!!💕💕

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Scars to Beauty Marks!

Part Three

“…The Bad & The Good!”

I started to write this and I thought to myself – “Dag Kiesh! This is a lot!!!” Like, I thought I could put all of this in one entry but from the moment I started writing “The Breakup”, my heart has been in this and yall, my heart flows!!!!!!!!!! Ain’t no half stepping or tip toeing anymore. I promised myself I’d pour everything in me into this and I pray each time before writing that God blesses me to tell my story, my way. Without fear of judgement, criticism, hatred, mockery, etc. It’s going to come so I might as well help someone in the process! So, please bear with me, my Broken Beauties! Yes, I am naming you guys! We are BROKEN BEAUTIES!

Alright – so we discovered “The Ugly!” part of this story and I can’t stop, won’t stop now – in my Diddy voice! HA! “…..The Bad” for me is something we’ve all heard about, seen people deal with and maybe at one time dealt with ourselves but we getting into it anyway!

LOW SELF ESTEEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

When I looked in the mirror, I always found something that if changed would make me so much better and attractive to the opposite sex but the biggest thing I wanted to change about myself was my size! I know some people are so cut and dry to say “just work out and lose the weight!” which I did! I lost 60 lbs. and I might as well had still had that weight on me because it wasn’t good enough for me! I would look at pictures of myself when I was 16 or 18 – flat stomach, hips, butt, small boobs and toned arms – guess what though – I THOUGHT I WAS FAT THEN!  When you have low self-esteem, you’re never satisfied with yourself. Well, at least I wasn’t; I don’t know who else feels me on this! But you lose weight; change your hair color; dress different – trying to achieve a look that we’ve seen on someone else that was appealing to us or others. Yet it never looks quite as good on us as it did on them so we’re back at square one! After much prayer, reading and Self-Honesty, I realized that it never looked quite as good because IT. WASN’T. FOR. ME! See people are so busy trying to be, look like, sound and act like, someone else that they are completely forgetting who they are. Why in the world are we all made different if we are just going to spend our time, money and energy trying to be like everyone else? Doesn’t that sound dumb!? You think God is in the business of wasting time? He just took the time to individualize every crease and crevice of each of us. How we sound. Our laugh. Our freckles or the lack there off, just so we could suppress our individualism and be like the person we see at work. Or at school. Or on TV? Doesn’t make sense, does it? But that’s what we do! That’s what I did. I felt if I could just be this size, my eyes slanted a little, lips a little fuller, waist a little smaller, etc. things would be great and then I at least got to the size I wanted and I was still unhappy!

So, in addition to my routine I added a book by Iyanla Vanzant called “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth!” In addition to everything I was doing – this gave me a very raw look into myself. The more I began to read, the more I realized that it didn’t matter what size I was. How much money I had. If I had a man or not. If I didn’t start on Kiesha – all of that would be in vain and I’d eventually burn it all down because I was not centered within myself. First, I planned to fall in love with myself. How do you fall in love in general? You learn about the person. You spend time with the person. You learn to accept that person flaws. You look for the best in the person. So, I began to take time out for me. I could name what everyone else liked to do but what did I like to do? I think I would like to be really pampered. Something I’ve always wanted but never got so let’s start there. I got my hair done. I got my nails and toes done. I came home and ran me a hot bubble bath and I just enjoyed being quiet with myself. I began to do that regularly – just take time for myself. No phone. No TV. Just me, myself and I. I’d light incense all around my house. Jasmine is my favorite. Sometimes I’d read a book in the tub. Sometimes I’d just listen to the music. Sometimes I’d pour me some apple juice in a pretty glass and sip my apple juice in the tub. Yup! I went THAT far! And then one day, I walked past a mirror. Normally, I’d scurry past a full body mirror unless I was at an angle that I thought flattered me in the right way but on this day, I just stood there and looked. I looked at my stomach. My big legs and thighs My flabby arms. The stretch marks. The dimples. The roll in my back. I stood there, turning around and looking at all of me and I said, “This is me.” – It wasn’t a bold, overly proud statement but it was an honest statement. Then I looked closely at my face. My scarred face physically and emotionally. Scarred physically from me popping pimples when my granny told me not too. Scarred emotionally from the number of tears that had streamed down this face. There’s a freckle. Here’s another one. And another. And another. (I never had any clue they were even there!) Look at your lips. They’re so small but they aren’t skinTy. You got a little pout. It’s just enough for you. Look at your nose. How narrow it is. I like my nose. I love my lips. This is me! This is you Kiesh! Not the girls on the TV. Not your friend. Not anyone else. This is you. You’re perfectly you! You may not be perfect to others but you’re perfectly Kiesha; walk in who YOU are – not who you think someone wants/expects you to be! You gotta be you! God made you! You are wonderfully made! You’re a peculiar treasure! There is no one else like you! Love you! Be you! Enjoy you!” I stood there listening to all those thoughts shooting through my mind and it was like a light switch flipped in my brain! You ain’t bad girl! You good because you’re YOU! For me to have the love I’ve always desired, I had to learn to love who I was first! At any size, with every flaw. I couldn’t give love to anyone else if I couldn’t give it to myself first!! How can I expect someone to love me if I don’t even love myself? What kind of sense does that make!? I want a daughter one day – how I can teach her to love herself if I don’t even love myself. We all gotta learn to practice what we preach!!! Learning how to love myself and falling in love with God and His word – things were actually looking up. I didn’t have a car still but this isolation was giving me elevation in the areas that were so low to the ground they were practically non-existent! I know in my heart, the things I had in my mind to do – God directed me to do those things. I needed to be stripped down and rebuilt spiritually, mentally and emotionally – the physical part of it could come later but my inward man – that needed to be renewed and refreshed and God was handling His business!

“…The Good!”

Finally, right!?! First let me start by saying this is not the part where I tell you I wake up singing “Oh Happy Day!” or that I never have days where I feel bloated and meh! Or that I never remember some of the awful things people have said and done to me or that people don’t ever get on my nerves because I’ve learned self-honesty so I’m gonna always keep a HUNNIT with ya’ll. What I will tell you is that I do not allow those things to CONTROL ME OR MY ACTIONS ANYMORE!!! Things happen and they hurt and they never go away completely, in my opinion, but I feel that when you’re in the process of being healed of that pain or healed of it completely, it doesn’t control who you are and what you do! It’s not the first thing you remember in the morning and the last thing you think of before going to sleep. It’s not the topic of all your conversations. You’re able to see the people that hurt you and not want to run them over with a Hummer – self-honesty ya’ll, remember? LOL!! But forreal – it’s there but it’s not! I had to deal with heartbreak, lose my only vehicle, face the hurt from my past and start to accept who I was and learn to love that person genuinely but first I had to learn how to love God!! God allowed all those things to happen so I could start from square one. Him. The more I learned to love God, the more I learned how to love myself and to my surprise, I started learning how to love others better as well; not just my family and friends but people I didn’t even know. God put a love for people down in my heart and an unselfish spirit in me and He is strengthening that even today! See I didn’t realize, the hurt and pain that I had cut me off from everyone – possible new relationships, myself and even God! I didn’t know really how to love without limits but I knew that I wanted that kind of love! People don’t realize that it’s hard to accept God loves you without limits when the people who are supposed to love you without limits, don’t. Hard pill to swallow my friend! But this whole journey was a breaking down of the foundation I had built of hurt, pain, hate, lies to others and myself, disappointments, fear and self-doubt and the building of a solid one filled with forgiveness, understanding, patience, forbearance, joy & love for myself, others and GOD! God was literally doing a NEW THING IN ME!!!! I was still in my Word like crazy – asking questions and trying to learn more of how to be better and do the things that were pleasing in God’s sight; my prayer life was getting better and I was learning how to express myself when new feelings came to me so I wouldn’t let those things fester…. God was moving in my life and for once, I wasn’t standing in the way trying to direct how He did it!!! I started learning how to be genuinely thankful for everything in my life – even me not having a car, although inconvenient, I wasn’t complaining! I was grateful for when I had a ride and grateful when I didn’t. I prayed. I kept thanking God. I kept being faithful. And then one Friday morning…. Almost 6 months after totaling my car, I got a call while I was at work that let me know God ain’t never forgot about little ole Kiesh! I walked out of my job and was handed the keys to my new car! It wasn’t new in year but it was new to me, nice, clean and MINE!!!! I was in utter shock! I couldn’t even believe it. I never thought I would be getting blessed like this but here I was! I was speechless! Someone else might look at me driving Big Red (yes that’s her name) and think – that car is too big, that’s a man’s car but I cherish her! She’s mine and she was God’s gift to me!

It’s crazy that I can sit here and say that I will be 32 years old July 26th if the Lord blesses me to see it and the last year and a half of my life is the first time in EVER that I’ve experienced TRUE happiness! I look at the smile on my face in my pictures now and I see it’s genuine, from the inside, out! I could sit here and feel down because I spent literally all of my life allowing others and negativity to take away any goodness that came my way but God showed me – I allowed those things to happen to you so you could help someone find their way NOW! I could’ve taken my life. I could’ve kept searching for love in all the wrong places. I could have let men use me physically and financially just to have something BUT GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He had a plan all along and He has a plan for you too! He is not limited to one group of people. He loves you just like He loves me and He can help you just like He helped me but you gotta be ready to also help yourself! You won’t find help in another person, a pill bottle, a drink, etc.! You have to literally isolate yourself to find the problem and allow God to heal you of that problem. Is it an easy journey? NO! It is exhausting. It’s disturbing. It’s sad. But man, when the joy comes – it will all be worth it! I encourage all of you guys – if you’re dealing with self-esteem, pain from your past, weight issues, breakups, etc. BE HONEST ABOUT IT! SELF-HONESTY IS LIFE!!! If you have people in your life that laugh at you and judge you – they aren’t good for you. Get off social media. Spend some time with yourself. Find out where it stems from and KILL IT!!!! You cannot be healed from anything you won’t deal with! If you really care about yourself and your future – do the work now!!! Your lasting happiness is well worth being Broken, Beautifully!

Thank you guys for taking this FREEING journey with me!

There is more to come!

With Broken, Beautifulness,

-Kiesh

Her Life!

She was afraid to look in the mirror, afraid of what she’d see.

All the things she hated about herself, eyes of insecurity.

She couldn’t see anything right, everything she saw was wrong.

It was hard to feel the meaning in life’s lyrics or grasp the beat of the song.

She hid behind a wall of emotions; a fake smile she would give.

To get out of bed became a task; it even became hard to live.

She was afraid that people would notice; afraid they’d laugh in her face.

So she’d make the jokes before them; the emptiness she felt she didn’t show a trace.

She ate to hide her sadness; she drank to dry her tears.

Becoming someone she never knew; a person she soon would fear.

She filled her life with chaos; everyday was a new door to strife.

Unhappiness grew throughout her being and she finally hated her life.

– Kiesh 💕

Every Wrong Made Right!

Tears of sadness and heartache spread down through the years; thoughts of suicide to relieve the pain and forget all my fears!

Feelings of loneliness grabbing tighter once the day turns night; something strong in the background saying “every wrong will be made right!”

Days get longer, nights get darker, it’s the same ‘ol routine; need someone to see my pain & hear my inner screams!

Yet the more I lose, the more I seem to fight; here’s that feeling telling me again “every wrong will be made right!”

“This is crazy! Why am I here?” I scream out in hurt! “Why was I born? I can’t do this! Just bury me in the dirt!”

“Don’t give up; it’ll get better!” But I can’t see it from their sight! It’s a nudge this time, “every wrong will be made right!”

Losing this, losing that! Lord, how can this be? This is getting so hard! But I can’t let anyone stop me!

“I see you, Kiesha! I’m here! I know those days gave you a fright! But know through your testimony others wrongs will be made right!”

 

– Kiesh

Broken, Beautifully!

Broken, Beautifully!

God gave me this vision, right down to the name; He is tired of His daughters being hurt & ashamed.

He wants to remind us of the beauty that’s inside; that He can see every tear although we try to hide.

So He chose to use a girl that was tired of living; someone not getting anything despite how much she was giving.

He wants to bring hope where hope is dried up; and give the fight back to the ones who have given up.

He wants you to see how He can change your past & bring freedom to those hiding behind a mask.

He wants to restore the light the world has taken away; to bring life back into every word that we say.

You see, He’s right there, despite how we may feel; we don’t have to accept the fake; He can give us something real.

He’s ready for us to view ourselves just as He; to know we are deeply loved despite being Broken, Beautifully!

– Kiesh 💕

She Was

She was the one who came from nothing,

The one who had a story to be told.

She was the one who had so much love to give but no one stuck around to watch it unfold.

She was the one with hopes & dreams;

desperately desiring to be on the big screen.

She was the one that everyone called ugly;

So much pain in her that remained unseen.

She was the one with the tough facade; she built it hard so no one could get through.

She was the one with anger and tears in her voice; she thought being mean first was the best thing to do.

She was the one who just wanted to be loved; she didn’t know how to make things right.

She was the one who laughed all day with people but herself to sleep she’d cry at night.

She was the one that got tired of crying & allowing others to write her story.

She was the one who allowed God to fix what had been broken & for that He gets all the glory!

My message to whoever is reading, your life right now may not seem too fruitful; but once I heard them say, “while the past can’t be rewritten, it can still be made beautiful!”

⁃ Kiesh💕

Scars to Beauty Marks!

Part One:

“The Breakup”

I remember feeling as if I couldn’t breathe my next breath because of the amount of pain weighing on my heart, mind and soul at the EXACT same time. I couldn’t ask the famous question we all ask ourselves when pain comes, “how did I get here?” because truth is, I knew exactly how I got there and I think we all know; it’s just a matter if we admit it to ourselves or not but that’s another topic for another day. Anywho, there I was…in the apartment I shared with him for the last 5 years. Every tear on the stained carpet. Every fight on the paint peeled wall. All the laughs in the dim lighted kitchen. All the love in our dark bedroom. All of it, hitting me on every side of my almost lifeless body. I walked into my bathroom – I looked in the mirror; no energy, eyes already bloodshot from crying, 12 lbs. lighter in just 8 days because I wasn’t eating and I cried the ugliest cry I think anyone has ever cried – yes, even the famous Kim Kardashian cry! There I was, alone, looking at myself in my grey t-shirt, hair in thick braids, barefaced and crying because I thought I had lost everything I had fought for, for so long. I stood there and saw who I had allowed myself to become. It wasn’t just a relationship ending. It was the past 30 years of my life; every painful memory and word that I heard and remembered; every heart break; every time I was told I was ugly or fat or would never be anything; the things I told myself, “you’re not good enough!” “you’re nothing!” “you’re second best, IF THAT!” – all of it came into me and I was completely disgusted with myself. I had been wasting the life God had blessed me with and allowed the things people said, done to and thought about me to completely consume me and here I was, miserable. Powerless. Alone. Afraid. LOST! How am I supposed to go on? Who am I really? What is my next step? I had no idea. No clue. I could not be comforted. “You’re better without him!” “You’ll find someone better!” “You’ll be fine, just give it time!” Although the words were kind and appropriate, they weren’t what I needed. The only thing I knew down in my soul is that the only person who could help me even a little bit, was God. In that moment, I told God, “I cannot live like this! You have to take it!” I went into my bedroom and got back in the bed…. covers over my head and I went to sleep.

The next day came and I still didn’t feel okay. I was still sad. I still felt miserable. I still felt the pain. But I ate. Thank God for that. It’s not like I had money in the bank so I had to get my butt up and go to work every day – smile when necessary and cry my eyes out when at my desk, quickly wiping away tears as they fell so no one would see.  The thoughts of that night replaying continually in my mind. Thinking of all the tears and exchange of words but mostly, thinking of how I begged him to stay. Yes, I begged that man! Pleaded with him not to leave me. (Thinking of it now, makes me wanna go toe to toe with my own self. Ugh!) But yes, I was practically on my knees pleading with him to stay because I just knew that if he stayed, he’d see being with me was the best thing for him but I was so used to being forgotten about, I forgot myself. What about what was best for Kiesha? Remember her? See everyone tells you treat others as you want to be treated, not realizing that people like myself, “givers”, focus so much on giving to others the love that is so deep inside of them, that they lose themselves in the process. Isn’t that something to think about? How we can be loving someone with everything in us but forget to love ourselves? We ask them if they’ve eaten anything and we’ve only had two grapes and a stick of gum. Crazy, huh? But that’s what I did. I wanted to love someone, anyone so much and I thought me loving hard would automatically make someone love me but that’s wasn’t and is not the case. That’s why it is SO IMPORTANT, for everyone to start loving themselves FIRST! So that when pain, heartache, loneliness, etc. comes – you will still know how to take care of you! I don’t know how I allowed myself to lose that message or if it is a message that I ever had but there I was. (Okay, this sounds so sad & depressing so I’m gonna skip ahead a bit and give you a little hope though….. I found my love for myself and you WILL too! 🙂 But let’s get back to how GOD turned these very real, deep SCARS into BEAUTY MARKS!)

So here I was, fresh out of a 5-year relationship and not having a clue who I was or what I wanted except, I knew I wanted and needed to be closer to God! I packed up the apartment that had become my safe haven and war zone all at the same time and I moved to a newer apartment and was ready for a fresh start. I’ve always been a private person so I didn’t talk a lot to people but I started to open myself up a bit more to God. Reading my Bible… daily devotions and praying were like fresh air to me! It was the only time I felt safe with myself. Dying to call or text him. Wishing he’d call or text me and tell me it was all a mistake, that he’s so sorry and beg me to take him back and then we could go to City Hall and get married immediately! But that call or text never came. And I was a mess and completely vulnerable but when I read my Bible and prayed, I became so lost in the Words on the pages and the security I began to feel after prayer so I just kept going. I was always afraid to live by myself – being inside 4 walls with no one talking to you physically, seemed like the strangest and scariest thing to me but I knew this was the only option I had and I could either learn to live or just die internally. So, I decided to live! Like, I HAVE to live!!!! Come on now Kiesh! You can’t give up now! You gotta figure this thing out… somehow, some way! So, Bible study at our church was my newest safe haven – I was scared of my apartment at this time, LOL! – so Tuesday nights I felt like I hit the lottery. I couldn’t get to church fast enough! I literally felt at complete peace, walking through those doors even though I knew the lesson could possibly touch on what I was going through and that meant… emotional Kiesha was gonna make an appearance. GAHHHHHHHHHH! She can be so annoying! What I didn’t realize is that emotional Kiesha was part of the key to my freedom! Sometimes, we are taught to hold in our tears. “Be strong.” “You got this!” “Don’t let anyone see you sweat!” We don’t realize that we are suppressing our feelings! That’s not good because that teaches us that what we are feeling needs to be hid and isn’t important but our feelings matter! Let me say that again for the people in the back…. OUR FEELINGS MATTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOUR FEELINGS MATTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We don’t have to hold anything in. We weren’t given emotions to hide them – it’s necessary to express how you feel and sometimes you just need to cry! Walk away from your desk. Go outside. Have a good cry. GET IT OUT! Don’t leave it inside of you because it will eat away at you and then you’ll do what I did: have 30 years of emotions bottled up, losing yourself and forgetting your dreams, breakup with your “fiancé” causing you to have a complete emotional breakdown in your WACK apartment! Okay, so back to Bible study…. Emotional Kiesha came out SEVERAL times! Ugh! But as I said, that was helping me and I didn’t even know it! So, every day, I would read, pray, and then God blessed my mind to see that this new apartment was MINE! One thing I always wanted to do in my old apartment was decorate because it was my first real adult apartment. He showed me a blank canvas – it’s like He was saying, “Make it yours!” So, work, prayer, read my Bible and decorate or buy things to decorate was my agenda! My days were still hard sometimes – especially with my nieces; they were 5 going on 6 and 3 going on 4 at the time and came over all the time and they are kids – they don’t know hearing his name would hurt my soul and take my mind through a memory filled emotional rollercoaster that made me feel like I was going to throw up and pass out all at the same time. So, every weekend, here they go: “where is he?” “I miss him.” “Why isn’t he here?” “he used to swing me around!” “why is he living with his dad?” and I’m just like… you know what, I’m tired of the questions and I just told them “because he didn’t wanna marry me and I didn’t wanna be a girlfriend anymore because I love God!” WOW! I just said that to a 5 and 3-year-old! Not in a mean way but I was just…. Honest. And you know what – honesty IS the best policy! And guess what, they understood as best they could. Sure, they still missed him, he was there for all their life but they wanted TiTi to be married so she could have babies so to them it made perfect sense! When I gave my life back to the Lord we stopped being intimate, I was tired of shackin’ up! I needed to be in good standing with myself and God! I’d given him 5 years of dedication and love – this wasn’t gonna stop; if he didn’t wanna marry me now, he’d never marry me! I was honest with myself and stood my ground of what I wanted and felt I deserved.

Anywho, work, reading, prayer, decorate and repeat! Working and decorating, I was there but my mind was still all over the place but when I was reading my Bible and praying – oh, I was all there. I cried. I laughed. I paced. I asked questions. I cried some more. I became so dedicated. It was amazing to me the strength He was giving me… it still wasn’t always easy but it was getting a little better. Then – the wind got completely knocked out of me. On April 21st 2017, almost two months after my gut wrenching break up, after shortly dropping my 5-year-old niece off, I was in a major car accident and totaled my car! Never had I ever been in one – I can close my eyes now and still see and feel the car spinning around in the air yet all I could say was “Jesus!” – calmly and expectantly I called HIS name! Thanks be to My King, I walked away sore and with a really bad seatbelt burn across my chest; the other person, he was hurt a little more but thank God, he also survived. I remember laying in the hospital bed and God letting me know clearly – the enemy is trying to kill you Kiesha! He tried emotionally. Now he was trying physically. He didn’t say anything audibly, but I felt Him in my room and it’s like He just let me know in my spirit and it made me want to lock in on God even more. I remember my uncle walking in and all I could tell him is “he tried to take me out! But I’m not giving up!” and I held on to that! I knew in real life, the only thing I had in my life that would remain solid was God…. It was more than a breakup. It was more than a man. This hurt ran deep and although I took steps that pushed me into the path that I was currently in… God was right by me, making sure every broken piece of my heart that was falling along the way, was picked up and stored for remolding and reshaping so He alone could put me back together. I made mistakes. I loved the wrong man. I said “yes” when it should have been “no!” I forgot my worth or perhaps never even knew my worth. Yet, that did not stop God from setting up a plan to have me Broken, Beautifully. Do you know what that means? It means ever so gently. Carefully. Patiently. Lovingly. He slowly allowed me to lose the things that I had so much faith in so He could isolate me and show me that my trust should only remain in Him. He didn’t want to see me cry – He felt every tear that fell from chubby cheeked face but He needed me to see that I was lost and sometimes God needs to strip us of everything we think we want, so He can truly give us EVERYTHING we NEED! The breakup wasn’t my end but my beginning…. It just took me some time to realize it.

With Broken Beautifulness,

Kiesh💕

Part Two – coming soon.

Behind These Eyes!

Behind these eyes is a world of hurt. Lies told on me. Name dragged through the dirt.

Behind these eyes, is a vision so clear; a fight so strong, a purpose so near.

Behind these eyes are tears that would not run dry; I couldn’t speak about the pain so my only option was to cry.

Behind these eyes were dreams I couldn’t reach, a life I couldn’t touch, a lesson I couldn’t teach.

Behind these eyes is an untold story. But it’s not my doing, my God gets all the glory!

– Kiesh💕