My story is just that, a story. I lived it and moved through it. I live now with dedication to being conscious with an open heart. I have participated in counseling off and on since I was 19 years old. It has been immensely helpful, yet something was missing in order to heal fully. 8 years ago, I made an extreme shift in healing. I went after loving myself with the same dedication I made to becoming a mother; all in! I tend to go big or go home. This was no exception! This shift was toward my heart and soul rather than towards something or someone outside of me. I did not realize that this shift would ultimately change my life forever.
Innately, I knew that the unhealthy relationships and my enabling behavior were not in the best interest for my highest self to thrive. Repeatedly participating in the victim role was not working, and never had. I wanted to recover from years of self-defeating beliefs. I was sick of the effect these beliefs had on the people I loved and me. It was a moment when my heart spoke the loudest; I listened and finally did something about it.
Over those 8 years, the recovery was filled with gut wrenching experiences as well as incredible joy. I was learning that the self-beliefs I committed my life decisions to were false. The initial belief that had been a foundation of how I moved through life was that I am not lovable as I am. This set the stage for my life story. On a positive note, this belief helped me to be an overachiever in academics, fitness, saving, planning, organization, relationships and my career. The defeating part of that belief presented itself with enabling behaviors, seeking love outside of myself from men who were not equipped to do so, craving the outside world to show me love when I did not believe I was even lovable and looking outside myself for validation of being good enough to receive. Dreadful! As I embraced the new belief the I am lovable just as I am, life took a turn that I was not prepared for. The simple statement, “I am lovable just as I am”, became a mantra I said every hour. Quickly, I realized that I had no experience in moving through life believing I was lovable. All of my well practiced ways of moving through life no longer worked. I actually felt lost. How in the hell am I supposed to participate in my relationships? Fortunately, I had an amazing counselor, a handful of great friends and my stubborn dedication to moving through the world differently even if it killed me.
My only job is to be my very best self and live life from the inside out. Sounds simple enough. It actually is very simple now, 8 years later. Yet going through life so differently was difficult and slowly everything external began to change. The key players in my life at the time I started this process eventually left completely. I was no longer functioning with a foundation that I am not lovable as I am, so my behavior changed. Over time, I was not willing to enable my partner, children or friends. I found myself with limited experience of this new way of moving through life, however I continued to chose my healing and me. The old self-hating patterns were always calling me back to comfort. I slipped many times into that old pit. I stayed in a marriage for about a year after it became severely unhealthy. That was an extreme improvement from my past way of life where I stayed in a dying marriage 7 years too long due to fear and hoping things would be different. I stayed in jobs that no longer fed my soul for the comfort of taking care of others financially. I slowly moved away from negative friendships, and at times was lonely. My daughter said to me one day when she noticed I was having a hard time something that sticks with me always. She said, “its okay, Mom. The very best friends and people that are supposed to be in your life are on their way to you now. You just haven’t met them yet.” Incredible how accurate she was at 12 years old.
The external world is a reflection of our internal world. Going from an existence where I agreed that I was not lovable, to thriving in authentic self-love was worth every moment of struggle and the feelings of being lost. What stands before me now is spectacular. Authentic loving connection shows up in ways that cannot be ignored. All I had to do was love myself enough, be vulnerable and willing to meet many nice people, especially men, in order to remember how amazing humanity is. I am grateful for all of my life experiences, yet I do wish I was a faster learner and did not have to stay so long in unhealthy relationships. I like the way I move through the world today. Someone spectacular has magically showed up in my life, which is a magnificent reflection of embracing the belief that I am lovable as I am.
I share my story to further travel along the path of healing. Because I lived it, and move through it now with awareness, I forget that it can be hard to listen to. I am deeply connected to the story but no longer am I defined by it. Learning that someone you are opening your soul to has been treated poorly is challenging. In authentic sharing, the emotional energy is also exchanged. Looking into the eyes of someone who is learning my story for the first time reminds me of the power in sharing my soul. Just breathing can be challenging for the person listening. Stay present and allow the listener to absorb some of the horrible experiences is important to remember. Compassion is meant to flow freely from both parties
Now that you(readers, friends, loved ones, and me) know my story, I have one question. Are you willing to stay present rather than hold on to a past that no longer exists? This moment is all there really is.
Here’s to authentic sharing, compassionate listening, and embracing the present moment!