I am a vessel of everything I’ve ever learned, perceived, experienced, wanted and lost. I have a heart that’s required mending many times, a dreamers spirit, faith in “happily ever after” despite experiences that have taught me to give-up, and massive goals for my life that are only achievable if I free myself of disbelief.
I have experienced physical and emotional abuse, lived in a state of loneliness and loss for years at a time, I’ve had an eating disorder, spent years of my life body shaming and very insecure about my appearance, and I have felt worthless, lost, misunderstood, and unsafe for such large periods of time that it became my normal.
Healing from each difficult experience and trauma in my past has been a process of unpacking, letting go, accepting, and rebuilding. While I hope to never experience similar events in my future, each high and low has been intricate in creating this version of me; I’m a resilient, powerful, grateful, happy, and loving woman who has survived some hard shit, and I’m proud of how I’ve grown and changed. So as ironic as it may seem, I’m very thankful for even the darkest times of my journey, because without the need to recover from those traumas, I wouldn’t have discovered the depths of my spirit. Falling in love with myself, and becoming deeply connected with my heart, mind, and soul, ultimately freed me of hurt I was allowing to define myself, and the reward of all my understanding, healing, and forgiveness has been a deep sense of peace and emotional freedom.
The decision to change takes courage, but more than that, it takes action. There are often a million reasons to not do something, and as people we are very good at holding ourselves back, creating excuses that feel valid and genuine, and we fear change even when we know it’s for the best. I was the queen of justifying and excusing all of the negative, unhealthy, and dysfunctional aspects of my life, and I’d been unhappy for so many years that I didn’t really feel unhappy anymore; I was just existing and surviving, and would think things like “there are people going through much worse”, in an attempt to make myself feel better. My “rock bottom” wasn’t exactly a coming-to-Jesus moment, and my “transformation” didn’t look like a movie montage. I made an incredibly hard choice, mostly out of desperation, to end an abusive marriage for my children. Let me say that again, my “why” was my children, not myself. I would have remained unhappy, unloved, and mistreated for the rest of my life because I’d made the vow “for better or worse” and I didn’t want to fail. But “worse” had been normal for years and wasn’t compartmentalized to only effect me. The family atmosphere was toxic, and the example being set for the children was terrible, yet I had to dig deep and fight some serious insecurity and pride before I was capable of standing up for the needs of my children (and unlimitedly myself).
Even after making the choice to change, it can be hard as hell to follow-through. I second guessed myself everyday in one way or another for nearly a year, but I’d made a choice and constantly reminded myself that I believed it was for the best. So I put one foot in front of the other, took it one day at a time, faced my fears as they arrived and quickly learned how to live in the moment because I simply didn’t have the energy to worry about tomorrow with so much to worry about today. When I didn’t feel like I had the emotional energy to live the hardships of transition, I did it anyway. I went through the physical motions of my daily life and acted like I was okay until that started to become true. I journaled like crazy, went to counseling, prayed and meditated, changed my diet and my fitness, studied my sleep, and read countless self-help books. What I learned along the way is that there’s momentum in choosing to move forward every single day, even when you don’t feel like it. Over time I found myself setting some big goals and working on my mind and heart in deeper and more profound ways, but it all started by focusing on the physical needs of my body, home, family and career.
My “why” transformed as I grew and changed, and it will continue to evolve as life continues to unfold. So my encouragement for anyone battling with the need to change and fearing the journey is this: find a reason, any reason, that motivates you to start. Then take a leap of faith and take action, because you are worthy of freedom from the burdens you’re carrying or the unhappiness you’re unnecessarily surviving.