top of page
  • Writer's pictureA'Leeyah Ponder

TFAS Step 1: Choose You

Hello Family!

As many of you know, I am on my “becoming my true full authentic self” journey. IT’S HARD. I’m going to weekly therapy sessions, listening to podcasts and having tough conversations with myself, family and friends.

This week I’ve forced myself to confront my coping skills and exercise boundary setting.

Before now, when I became stressed, super emotional or H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired-shoutout to my therapist for that one!) I would get drunk or rely on the men I was romantically involved with to distract me from what I was going through.


My homegirl and I get all dressed up to go to a concert. I’m excited to see one of my favorite rap artists and excited to get dressed up. Normally, when I get super cute and go out I get lit (inebriated, drunk, high, intoxicated). Y’all I WAS SOBER… I still can’t believe I didn’t fold (i.e. decide to get lit). So, we enjoy the concert and go grab some food afterwards. My homegirl and I are sitting in the McDonalds drive through waiting to put an order in and I am HIT with this feeling of loneliness.

MY THOUGHTS: “Girl you look so good, you should hit up the guy you were talking to that lives in the city… maybe you can go see him.” (No lie… this is really hard to share lol)

Granted, I met this guy on a dating app back in November, our communication isn’t consistent, he isn’t reliable and he’s basically a stranger. Nonetheless, I’m sitting in my car coming up with scenarios in my mind about how I can feel less lonely. I talk out the scenario with my homegirl and moments after we start to unpack my feelings.

I tell her, “I can’t call this man”. Any good friend would ask, “Why not?” as she did, and I was STUCK.

I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do up until this point. I’ve called who I wanted to call, stayed with who I wanted to stay with, connect with who I wanted to connect with AND RECONNECTED WITH WHOEVER I WANTED TO. Before this moment, I spent months sacrificing myself, boundaries, values and morals for temporary pleasure. I couldn’t do it anymore y’all.

So, I did not call that man. I recognized in that moment that we have the power to do ANYTHING AS OFTEN AS WE FEEL LIKE IT AND WHENEVER WE WANT TO, but everything isn’t beneficial to us. The fact that that’s in the Bible is low key wild to me too.. let’s get into itttttttt!

1 Corinthians 10:23 (AMP-Amplified Bible) reads, “All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].”

1 Corinthians 10:23 (NLT- New Living Translation version) reads, “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.”

*I added 2 translations of the scripture to provide different verbiage and language for readers*

LESSON 1: Being your true authentic self-starts with recognizing that YOU MATTER.

I’ve hated myself for so long. I hated the way I looked. I hated the way I became a chameleon and adapted to every environment all while sacrificing the better parts of myself to be “accepted” by those around me. I hated the way I put others before myself. I hated the way I blamed God for my lack of boundaries and my inability to commit to boundaries once I set them. This moment, though so simple, was such a BIG sign that in a world full of choices I deserve to be chosen too.

Sure, I wanted romantic companionship, someone to flatter me with compliments and make me feel good about myself, but at what cost? At the cost of being connected to someone who doesn’t value me, at the cost of violating my own boundaries, or at the cost of being “chosen”.

The first step to becoming your TRUE FULL AUTHENTIC SELF is deciding to choose you. Putting yourself first, filling up your cup, resting, journaling, not doing the things that make you feel bad about yourself or being in the environments that make you feel less than your TRUE FULL AUTHENTIC SELF is how you take steps towards becoming the TRUE YOU.

You may be wondering, “A’Leeyah you are supposed to love others too though. Right?”

Yes, but loving others should never come at the expense of you. 
How you love yourself is the standard and measurement of what your capacity is to love others.

Matthew 22:39 (AMP- Amplified Bible) reads, “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’”

Matthew 22:39 (NIV-New International Version) reads, “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

*I added 2 translations of the scripture to provide different verbiage and language for readers*

This next chapter of your life, and of becoming your TRUE FULL AUTHENTIC SELF is going to require YOU. Here’s an acronym that came to me today…

AAA: Assess, Acknowledge, Address

  1. Assess - Assess the areas of your life where you’re not being true to who you are, what you want, what you believe

  2. Acknowledge- Acknowledge where you are and how you want to change by talking about it with someone you trust, journaling and/or praying about it.

  3. Address - Address the situation head on. Set the boundaries that need to be set. Hold yourself accountable in areas where you want to grow or do things differently. If you desire an accountability partner, share your boundaries with someone you trust and ask them to help hold you accountable. Address your feelings, fears and fantasy’s as they arise with your TRUE FULL AUTHENTIC SELF in mind.

I don’t know what I am doing. I am learning as I go. I know what type of person I hope to be. I know that I can’t unlock the version of myself “that I hope to be” without standing 10 TOES DOWN on not settling for what’s most comfortable or familiar. That’s insanity…

One of Albert Einstein’s more famous quotes is, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

In order to be different, you can’t just expect different, you have to move different.

I’m tempted to go back to my old coping skills and my vices everyday… No lie. The journey is about making a conscious effort to choose what’s best for yourself and not what’s most convenient. Give yourself grace. Life’s a journey. Life is a marathon not a sprint.

PRO TIP** Here’s a take away quote from ‘The Healing Circle Podcast’ with Kobe Campbell, “The enemy… He will bait us with safety at the expense of our freedom” - HCP, Reparenting Check-in episode

I encourage you to give the TED Talk: 'How to Discover Your Authentic Self-- at Any Age' by Bevy Smith a watch also! The link can be found in the citations.

Remember, you're not on this journey alone.

I love you. Jesus loves you MOST.

Hang in there. Keep your head up, and if you can’t that’s okay too.

Xoxo Miss Ponder




TED TALK: How to discover your authentic self -- at any age, Bevy Smith, TED2022 | This video is used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy | (I do not own the rights to the TED video nor link. TED owns the rights to the video link provided on this blog post. Visit link above to access the video from TED.COM) - The use of the Ted Talk video link and reference is not due to an endorsement. I am not endorsed by TED.

The Healing Circle Podcast with Kobe Campbell (Available on all streaming platforms)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. ( )

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. (

12 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Be sweet to yourself & REST

Hello Family, Happy Black History Month! I hope that this February will be both reflective, revelatory, and transformative for you. Take a moment to silence yourself. Quiet your thoughts, get somewher

It's IN YOU, not ON you

Hello Family, One of the latest TikTok and Instagram Reel trends I’ve enjoyed is, “I’m a (insert what you identify as), of course I (insert what people traditionally do when they identify as that THIN

Discerning the voice of God: What does it sound like?

Hello Family, Have you ever heard God speak? What did it sound like? I encourage you to answer these two questions in the comments at the bottom of the blog post.* **TRIGGER WARNING: Sensitive topics


May 20, 2023

Good Stuff! I really enjoyed that!

A'Leeyah Ponder
A'Leeyah Ponder
Jan 05
Replying to

Thank you for reading & for the feedback family!

bottom of page