Finding My Way Back To Me
Turning your life around can be done! I am living proof of that.
There was a time in my life that I lived what I call "The Dark Night of the Soul". I was overworked, depressed, stressed, constantly struggling financially and in a one-sided relationship.
They say that experience is your greatest teacher, and that you go through life experiences in order to grow. I am the kind of person who asks when things go bad, "What can I learn from this?" I suppose I thought that the universe should just bring it all on at once so that I could deal with it in one go. "Just add it to the pile" was my new saying when things went wrong. What else could I do in the moment?
I have grown through that experience in such a way that I would not exchange it for the world. All the pain, the heartache, was necessary to help me let go of my negative patterns, beliefs and relationships.
Change does not happen overnight, even though I believe that it's possible. When you truly realise who you are, anything is possible.
Stuck in a Soul Destroying Relationship
I was completely stuck. Stuck in an emotionally neglectful, abuse relationship, stuck with being the provider and having no support, stuck with a business that I had stopped loving.
When I first realised that you create everything in your life, including your situation, your health and your relationships, it opened up my world for me. It meant that I couldn’t blame anyone for what happened in my life. It also gave me back my power, because if I created it I could change it.
They say that wherever there is a void in your life, that is where your focus will be. Whether it is your health, your relationship or finances, you will spend most of your mental energy worrying about it.
Just because your relationship is bad doesn’t mean that the rest of your life is. But it can certainly impact on everything else in your life. If you don’t pay attention to what is going wrong, you will land up having to fix it.
When I got married the second time it was for life. I wasn’t interested in messing around anymore and seeing how it went. I wanted to build a home and a family based on commitment and trust and I was in it for the long haul.
The problem was that I assumed he wanted the same. He said all the right things, and even though the red flags were there, I overlooked them, thinking that things would change once we had built something up together.
Once the initial romance was over, it started with verbal abuse, attacks of rage that came out of nowhere, then the belittling and the withholding of love and affection. It wasn’t until after my miscarriage that I found out he had also been cheating on me. By that time I had invested so much in my marriage that I was willing to overlook that too as “his way of dealing with the pain”.
I was successful as an entrepreneur, was in great shape, was smart, fun and intelligent, yet I found myself in an abusive relationship, losing my self-esteem, not sleeping and not eating properly. I stopped taking care of myself and I couldn’t understand where I had gone wrong. Was I not loving enough? Caring enough? Giving enough intimacy? The questions went on and on in my mind. I needed to fix it, and so I tried everything:
Marriage counselling, life counselling, reading self-help books, eft, breathwork, meditation, past life regression, inner child therapy, hypnosis, reiki, journaling, dieting, changing my diet, trying to be more fun in the bedroom, dressing up, going to clubs, retreats, labyrinth walks, talking for hours, making promises, getting advice from friends
- you name it, I did it and nothing worked! Sometimes things improved a little, but it was hard work and very draining to pull him along. The problem was that I was looking for answers in all the wrong places. The problem wasn’t the solutions that I was looking for, the problem was that I wasn’t asking the right question.
When a friend asked me why I stayed with my husband, I told her it was because he ‘fit like a glove’. I couldn’t get myself to leave because I needed him so much. That was when I finally started seeing my role in the cause of my bad relationship. He was highlighting a need in me that I needed to change.
In the end I couldn’t handle the sick feeling in my stomach anymore. Every time he ran to get his phone when I got home, the anxiety of lying awake until the early hours of the morning wondering who he was with and why he wasn’t taking care of his family, the endless threats and promises, and the drama of him constantly pulling away and then trying to make it work.
I knew I had to leave, but leaving him was difficult. After years of him telling me how no one would love a woman with children, being told I don’t know how to run a business and I was out of shape and old, I had started believing it about myself.
Even though I used to be confident, I didn’t feel it anymore. I couldn’t have a normal conversation with a men anymore. I couldn’t even look them in the eye. I had gone from having the world at my feet to feeling unworthy, insecure, unlovable and ugly.
Asking the Right Questions
The question I should have been asking all this time, wasn’t what was I doing wrong, but why was I staying in this relationship? Instead of thinking it was me I needed to fix, I needed to see that it was my choices that needed changing.
Sometimes you want something so badly that you can’t see the damage that it’s doing to you. There is not always someone available who can help you objectively see what’s going on.
High divorce statistics, self help books, the legal system and my family were telling me to stay and make it work. They thought that the price I would pay would justify a happy ending, but they don’t consider that it takes two to make it work.
I went through all the stages of grief, the denial, anger, the bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. It was lonely, and it was very tough. But as with any spiritual awakening, we grow through adversity. I needed to develop skills and inner strength.
The years of pain and emotional suffering were valuable teachers, and my only regret was that it took me so long to realise that I needed to leave.
Why I Do What I Do
I share this story, because I have met so many successful women who have so much ability and potential to shine, yet they are in a relationship that is putting out their light.
People assume that when you are in an abusive relationship you are stupid or needy and you should just leave. I was there and it’s not that simple. The relationship doesn’t start off with abuse, in fact it can be the opposite. It can be magical, fun and emotionally intense. The person you are with also has needs they are fulfilling and so you fit each other like puzzle pieces. Breaking away is like leaving a part of yourself, and feels impossible to do.
But when you learn to love yourself again, you don’t need the broken pieces to make you feel whole anymore, because you already are.
I have worked with women for many years, helping them to find their inner confidence through dance, but it’s only with learning who I really am through my relationship difficulty that I have closed the loop. Developing a love for your body, no matter what you perceive it to look like, and learning to take care of it and express your femininity is half of the equation. The other half is belief in yourself and choosing where to spend your time that you have on earth.
I know first-hand how easy it is to blame an abusive relationship on someone else. Whether it is your work, your family or your husband, you are the catalyst for the abuse. Somewhere you are holding beliefs about yourself that they are just mirroring back to you. Fixing your partner, leaving your work, or trying to change them will not work. The only person you can change is yourself.
My life mission is to help women realise that they hold the key to their own happiness. Let go of negative beliefs, change the way you view yourself and the world, and learn skills that will enhance your life, so that you can feel the way I do, viewing life with awe and ecstasy.
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