Guest Post: "Know You, Love You, and Be You"

     I started dating late in life. I joke I had the understanding of a 16 year old but a body of
a 25 year old. Needless to say I learned a hard lesson on how nothing good happens
after midnight. I got wrapped in a relationship without commitment and once a soul tie
was made, I lost “me” along the way. It's been a long journey that I'm still walking out
but who I am today is more gracious, loving and fearless because I've allowed myself
the grace to accept all the good, the bad and ugly.

     Here's some nuggets I've learned along my “34 year” way.

     Know you, Be you and Love you.

     You have to know who you are before you can know who you are in a relationship.
You have to be you in all your quirkiness and give them the permission to love you
just as you are. You have to truly love yourself with all your junk knowing you are a
beautiful work in progress. Being authentic with yourself gives you a healthy ability to
grow and just BE in a relationship. If you like doors to be opened don't apologize for
it, just give them grace to learn but stand your ground. If hanging with your bros is
important then stay true to that while respecting the time and needs of your girl. I am
a true believer in making what's important to them important to you but make sure you
don't lose “you” along the way. Having self-respect is one of the greatest gifts you can
give yourself and it starts with loving your beautiful, messy, honest, (sometimes) crazy,
adorable, loveable self.

    Shame is a prison but you have the keys.

     If you have gone places in the past that has brought you shame, Let It Go! Shame is
an awful thing that paralysis you from your potential. It makes you seem small when
really you are strong, able, vivacious and free. Shame defines you as “less than”,
Grace defines you with respect, honor, and worth. What you do might shape you but
it doesn't define you. Don't allow shame to steal a minute, a day, a year of your life.
Acceptance of what was and the ability to set it free will give you grace to lift up your
head in dignity and receive the love that is for you. No good comes from shame.

     What is for you will not pass you by.

     I have been trapped by fear that “IT” may never come unless I work at “it” and make
“it” happen. If I pray a little harder, dream a little bigger, focus more intently it will
suddenly manifest. But as cliché as it sounds when you least expect it, that is when
it happens. Shifting your attention off the thing is not only healthy but helpful. I think
when we want something so bad we send out this needy energy that can come across
as “too much” and unattractive. You might not say I'm desperate with your words but
it's oozing from your very being. The best way to combat “desperato-ville” is to take
your energy off “when will it come” and put it on “who you will be when it does”. I truly
believe that the right (un-perfect) but perfect for you person will come and the best
is to rest in that fact. Find new hobbies, live full adventures, make memories with the
best human beings you've surrounded yourself with and when your person comes they
will be a beautiful addition to a full life that already exist.

     You are enough. You're growing, learning, being and trusting. You are in the right
place. Shake off what was and set your soul free. Lift up your eyes and hold on to
hope. It will happen. Don't sweat it, control it, fear it or force it. Rest in the fact it WILL
come to pass and be okay that there is nothing you can do about it.


     Kristen Joy Hilyard is a Texas based designer that over the last few years has stepped into her role as a life stylist expert. Through life experience, schooling, creativity, intuition and culture she has grown as an artist and recently launched her business 33Perspective

    33Perspective marries her passion for design with her desire to impact pertinent issues related to violence, isolation, and re-imagining one’s life. Each of her pieces are hand design and crafted with intention. 

     Whether stamped, beaded, sculpted or found, they are inspired with herself and others in mind. Her varied experience and influence in the entertainment industry includes the lead role in a short independent film, featured in local and national commercials, and several news segments on Fox News, Great Day Houston, Mirror Mirror, and as a co-host on a political talk show on CNN 650 Radio News. 

     Bohemian in style she frequently sports a sparkle headband with her blonde beach waves and will break out in song at any moment of the day. Spontaneous dancing usually follows…if you are lucky enough to be in her proximity, you will find yourself somewhere in her twirl. Her desire is to connect with the human spirit, and listen and decipher the intentions and hearts of all who visit her future talk show.

You can find out more about Kristen Hilyard here:

How to Heal From a Broken Heart


     In many ways it seemed doomed from the beginning. But he was cheeky. He was hot. And he wanted me. Three of my favorite traits in a man.

     I ignored the still small voice telling me to just walk away. I was hard-headed, stubborn, and I needed wanted to see this thing through somehow. You know, when you just want to see how the movie ends for yourself. And sometimes, no amount of sage advice can steer your course otherwise.

     But be prepared, because experience is an often cruel professor.

     I knew I was taking a risk, I knew that if I ignored the gentle voice of caution for too long, there was going to be a crash and burn. We were like fire, he and I.

     With him, there were a lot of firsts --first dates by the pier, first embraces under the stars, first kisses on the hillside...and lots of laughs and silliness.

     Oh, how I wanted to be hopeful.

     And then the day finally happened when I chose to give my heart over, knowing that it wasn't completely in safe hands. "But if only I give him more time to change, we'd be happier--I'd be happier."


     See that was my flaw.

     Waiting to get happy, instead of already being happy.

     And my second flaw:

     Trying to change a man.

     Ladies & Gentlemen:

     We do not change people. We do not control people. And what you see is often what you get.

     And any change or control that you have manipulated or forced onto someone's life, is often an illusion and won't be sustained for the long term.

     If there is any changing to be had, let God author it in their lives. The chances of  that change being sustained is far greater.

     "The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

     That goes for both the good and bad...

     And then we crashed and burned.

     He cheated and now there was a baby involved. Hers.

     And I spent my nights crying and heaving and crying some more. My heart was utterly and sincerely broken. That was brand new and all kinds of awful for me.

     My tender heart was now thorny and raw.

     So this is what they meant when they talked of a broken heart.

     But I didn't want to look gray, nor did I want to feel like it for the rest of my life.

     And slowly, weeks and months pass, a letter comes from him. Sincere and apologetic, but expressed everything that I had already known beforehand. We were never truly meant to be together.

     And the second blow of heart break pounds my chest, sending reverberations like questions in a mathematician's mind. Why did it all have to figure out like this?

     But replaying and asking questions that were neither here nor there, wouldn't lead me to what I was lacking in the first place, a mature understanding love.

     And then the days became weeks, and the weeks became months and so on, and so forth.

     And my brokenness would soon lead to relief, freedom, and renewed hope.

     Healing came. And so did love.

     And now, I'm so grateful to share with you How I Healed From A Broken Heart: 


     This was honestly my very first step. I didn't feel any emotion when I did it in my bedroom by myself, but it was important to get the words out and let my heart follow suit when it was ready.

     Forgiveness is not about excusing or justifying the behavior that this person did to you, but instead, forgiveness sets you free from carrying the burden of hatred. Which by the way takes up far more energy than you would believe!

Talk it Out:

     Having 1 or 2 key people that you can simply share your heart with is key. These are the folks that will just listen and not try to figure everything out for you. And once you're done talking it out. Then talk it out again.

     Each time you talk it out, ask yourself what you're learning about your own heart from the words that you are sharing.

Release & Pray:

     There's so many times when we just don't understand. Why? Why? Why?

     And when it comes to the many layers of a broken heart, one must be prepared to truly release the pain and give it over to God.

    You may find yourself grabbing the pain back once in a while, simply because it was your comfort tool, but just keep releasing. It will be worth it.

Connect/Re-Connect With Those Things You Loved to Do:

     Do you remember you? If not, you're about to go on a journey of recollection and discovery.

     In fact, we all are discovering --what's been there in us, what's still there in us,  and what will continue to be there in our hearts.

And Believe for Better:

     If you can't begin to believe, see, or agree for something hopeful, you'll most likely not recognize or walk away from a truly hopeful adventure and go back into the arms of your painful past cycles.

     Much like how an abused woman will often find/attract another abuser until she starts to believe that she truly is worth more and deserves better.

     You heart is worth so much more than you know. And there's someone out there that truly knows this to be a fact as well as a gift they want to cherish.

     And the first someone who should embrace this revelation... is yourself.

Wisdom's Knocking: 

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, 
and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. 
I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape.” 

 ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Going Fishin'

Photo Credit: Anthony Njoku

     Here's a thought: Why not be in a relationship with someone you actually have a great deal in common with, in addition to chemistry and attraction--not just merely someone you want to look at.

     Trust me, I'm preaching to myself as well. But I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Wisdom's Knocking:

The image of a thing, may not be the reality of it's substance.