StLSass

Posts Tagged ‘growth

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How was your weekend?

Were you highly emotional and perhaps even overly aggressive towards people?

Did you get any gut feelings this weekend that it was time to make a big change in life?

Time to take a stand??

Time to do that thing that you know you should be doing but that you have been making mental excuses as to why you can’t actually do them???

If you can relate to any of the above, you are not alone. This weekend we had a full moon that was the most powerful full moon we will experience this year. It brought forth feelings and emotions that may have caused us to act out, think really hard, or even become super crazy.

Myself? I went through a gambit of emotions and thoughts over the past few days.

Friday morning, after thinking about some of my fears, I decided to research the Fear of Abandonment, as that was one I hadn’t really looked at directly yet. What I found was an article describing seven things that a person with a fear of abandonment will do in a relationship that can push their partner away. Reading that list, I felt as though I was reading a play by play of my last relationship and how I systematically self imploded the whole thing. I mean, I have known that I self destructed in that relationship, that was very clear. But seeing my behavior pin pointed so directly to classic symptoms of the fear of abandonment… just made me so upset. So upset in fact, that I was overwhelmed with extreme emotion the rest of the day. I even had to close my office door at work because I couldn’t stop bawling my eyes out. I think I was mostly upset because it was very clear to me just how hard my ego is willing to go in order to block me from having love in my life. I saw myself in a new light where I was finally able to recognize that the reason I can’t find love is because the more someone tries to love me, the harder my ego will try to push them away and hurt them. For perhaps the first time ever, I saw just how deeply hurt and broken I truly am… and it devastated me.

I did not wallow in this pain though. I cried it out as I also kept telling myself that it’s okay, now I know, and now that I know I can begin to work on that side of myself more. Then I cried some more, because I know I’m at the beginning of a very long road, and well, I’m impatient and the thought of having to take another 2-3 years before I can be capable of truly loving someone is just highly upsetting to me. The psychic I went to see in February did say I would have four more years of being single though, which at the time I thought that sounded a bit dramatic… however, now I get it.

So after a roller coaster of emotions all day Friday I did what I always do when I need some cheering up. I went to a comedy show. I got some much needed laughter in my life, and Friday night I went to bed feeling relatively okay.

Saturday I woke up feeling pretty good. I went to meet up with some friends for brunch, and as I was waiting for them, my mind started focusing on another problem area in my life: my drinking. My problem with drinking is that I lose all ability to maintain self-control when I am drinking. The more I thought about that, I thought about how I also recently became more aware that I have major control issues in my life. Suddenly I realized that I have been using drinking as an excuse to give up control in life, because I am so controlling normally that I don’t know how else to let go. As it goes with situations in life though, because I have refused to acknowledge this problem it has manifested as a bigger and bigger problem in my life, to the point to where now if I even take one sip of alcohol, I automatically give myself permission to go balls to the wall out of control and make extremely unhealthy choices for my life. So as I was sitting and assessing this whole situation, I realized that my real problem is with control in my life, and that’s where I need to start focusing some energy to figure myself out. Another great self realization, however, also another problem I can foresee taking years for me to truly figure out…. yaaayyyyyy.

Then last night I had an interesting dream. In this dream I was decorating and setting up a new home, when suddenly a murderer was breaking in and chasing me and my friends through the neighborhood. At one point, he got me pretty good with a stab wound to my side, which was actually pretty painful. However, the pain didn’t keep me down for long, and towards the end of the dream, I had taken to hunting the murderer myself. I actually tracked down his secret lair, and was in the process of trying to figure out his next move so that I could capture him myself, when I woke up. After I woke up, I googled what it means if you are being chased by a murderer in your dreams. What I found is that the theme of being chased by someone in a dream typically represents some aspect or fear within yourself that you are perhaps running from. Given that interpretation, I found a sliver of hope within my murderous dream. Yes, I have a significant fear of abandonment, and severe control issues… they are the painful stab wound to my side. However, I have now found them out, I recognize them, I have found their secret lair and I can now plot my best plan of attack to finally defeat them! I don’t think it was coincidence that I woke up in the fact finding stage either. That is where I am at in life. I am now aware of my issues, and so it is time that I work to gather the facts and make a plan on how I defeat them going forward. There is hope, and it might take some time, but I feel more confident about my path forward than ever before.

This full moon was indeed a powerful one.

I am so grateful that we live in a Universe full of energetic tides preparing us and pushing us towards our best selves at all times. The Universe wants us to succeed. It is constantly presenting us with opportunities and chances to learn and be better.  However, it is up to notice those opportunities and seize them. This is why I am so into astrology, because it gives us some clues as to what type of energy is swirling about in the Universe at any given moment, and also how we can best apply that energy to our own energetic makeup in order to further our own growth and understanding. It is a truly amazing and powerful tool.

If you are interested in any kind of information about astrology and how you can start using this powerful tool in your life, reach out and let me know. I would love to speak with you and see how I can help.

Thanks for reading everyone, HAPPY MONDAY!!

– Christine

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Does anyone really know you? Like, all of you? Every dark secret and hidden truth that has made you who you are. Have you ever admitted all of those things to another person? Have you ever really admitted all of those things to yourself?

Until about 3 years ago, no one really knew me. Not my closest friends, not my family, hell, I barely even knew myself.

You see I had spent the better half of my life, lying to myself. Telling myself that I was okay, when in fact I was far from okay.

That’s just what I knew though. I knew I had to be okay, I had to be strong, I had to be perfect.

After years of keeping up my charade of perfection and lies, even to myself, I finally broke down.

It was a summer night, and I had just spent the evening with all of my closest girlfriends. Most of whom were now married, either with children, or with them on the way. In fact my best friend was pregnant at the time. After spending the evening with my girls, and celebrating everyone’s accomplishment, I went home, alone, to my small apartment.

As I walked into my apartment that night, I closed the door behind me, and then I just crumpled into a ball on the floor and started bawling my eyes out.

Everyone was so happy… but me.

I had so much happiness in my heart for all of my friends, but all it seemed to do was remind me of how unhappy I was with myself.

I sat there and cried for over an hour. I let my pain flow from deep within me, and I cried a river that night… a river of pain straight from my soul.

What I realized in that hour, was that I was upset because no one knew what I had really been though in my life. No one understood me, because I had never been able to be honest with the people in my life. I was too ashamed.

When I finally was able to pick myself up that night, I grabbed my notebook, and started writing. I started writing about how upset I was. I was upset because of what had happened to me in my life, and how I felt that it was my duty to keep my past a secret. Only, I didn’t want to keep this secret anymore. I didn’t want to be unhappy anymore.

Three weeks and one therapy session later, I told my two best friends my truth.

I was sexually abused as a child. I felt responsible for what happened, and therefore resolved to never tell anyone in my life about it. What I went through was confusing, lasted many years, and left me with a very distorted sense of self worth. I never believed that I deserved anything good in life after it. How could I? I was no longer perfect. I was tainted.

What happened when I told my two girlfriends my story, was very unexpected for me. For the first time in my life, I felt free. I felt loved for who I truly am, and I felt relieved.

That was the beginning of my new life. That was the beginning of my journey towards really loving myself.

It has not been totally easy. I had to tell my parents what happened to me. I have slowly told other close friends. And finally there came a time where I had to confront my abuser, and tell him that what happened between us was no longer a secret I was willing to keep. I lost people I was very close to in life because of that.

What happened as I owned my truth though, was that I finally learned to love myself. What happened to me, no longer defined me. I was no longer a victim… I was a survivor.

Slowly, talking about my past has gone from being something that brings me great pain, to something that I can do openly, without tears, without shame, and without guilt. My past no longer dictates my ability to be happy. I owned my past, so that it could stop owning me.

My advice to anyone out there struggling with their own truth, with their own secret past… Talk to someone. Anyone. Do not let your secret destroy you from the inside out, because it will. Don’t let your past steal moments of happiness from your future, you deserve better. The truth can, and will, set you free… so talk to someone, it will be okay.

Much love to you all,

– Christine

BeFree

Today is my birthday. Maybe it’s the week I’ve had, but I can’t remember a birthday that I have been less enthusiastic about. Thirty one. No glitz. No glamour. It’s just an age now. That part I’m okay with. I’m not dismayed by age. I am quite intrigued by the thirties and excited for how they will see me grow.

I think my disappointment with this year comes on the slight feeling of having failed myself over the past year. You see, since my birthday is in January, every year I set a goal for myself of something I want to accomplish that year. In the years leading up to thirty it seemed my ability to achieve said goal always came in the final hours. I’m a procrastinator by nature, so the pressure to make something happen doesn’t really hit hard until the deadline is fast approaching.

My goal for myself for thirty was to buy a house or property. Anyone that knows me, knows I’ve been working hard towards this goal this past year. I even moved in with my parents mid year in order to meet the monetary goal I knew was truly necessary to be serious about buying a place. Many people also know that over the past two months I’ve put several offers on places, even had one accepted only to fall through shortly after. To say it’s been challenging would be an understatement. I know internally I became more frantic about buying a place in December only because I knew my birthday was rapidly approaching and the thought of failing myself seemed out of the question. The Universe seems determine to not let me achieve this one.

However today, as I look back at the year that I have had, the challenges that I have faced, and the growth that I have achieved over the past 12 months, I see that my failure was not in the fact that I didn’t buy a property this year. No, my failure lies in the goal that I set for myself. You see my goal this year was wrong from the start. Before I could achieve the things that I want in life, I needed to get real about the things that were holding me back in life. That’s what this year taught me.. that in order to move forward, you must first admit to what is holding you back. What was holding me back? My ability to take care of myself… my ability to be healthy… physically and mentally.

Healthy means many things. For me, this past year it has meant finding an exercise that I enjoy, and pushing myself to do it everyday. I love biking. This year my love for biking saved me from my depression. It got me outside on days when I didn’t want to get out of bed. It got me in the heart of nature where I could connect back to my soul. It made me feel alive again. Not to mention it helped me lose 50lbs.

I got my eating under control. One night as I was staring down at the bottom of a bag of donuts, eating my pain away, I stopped and I asked myself… what emotion are you eating instead of feeling right now? That was the first night I admitted to myself that I was using eating to hide from my real pain. Once I admitted that to myself, it became a lot harder to sit and eat a whole bag of donuts and feel okay about it.

I should also mention Juice Plus+ in there, but only because I know it made my struggle against food so easy. When I started taking Juice Plus+ and flooding my body with good things, suddenly I didn’t crave sweets anymore. I craved salads. I don’t care how many emotions I can conquer, for me to actually crave healthy food… that is a miracle. Juice Plus+ was my easy button for nutrition, both the capsules and shakes, made getting nutritious food in my body so easy, and for one less struggle that was not so much a struggle… I am so thankful.

Then came sobriety. This was the hard one. This was the truth I wrestled with all year pretending it wasn’t really necessary. Pretending it wasn’t impacting my life negatively. You see alcohol wasn’t affecting my life to a point where it impacted my job, or my ability to function. Drinking wasn’t even something I felt the need to do every week. How could it be a problem if I wasn’t even drinking that much?? How could social drinking be so bad??

It was bad though. It was bad on the nights when I drank and then I let myself text an ex boyfriend. It was bad when I drunkenly drove myself home. It was bad when I didn’t get up and go to meditation class, or go bike, or go do the things that I truly wanted to be doing. Drinking took away my own power from myself.

I guess that’s what this year taught me really. It taught me that the only thing that can get in my way… is myself. It taught me that the only person that can hold me back from greatness… is me. It taught me, that even when I want to pretend to that I can make short cuts work out… that I can’t, and that I’m only postponing my own happiness by trying. This year showed me the value of listening to myself.

That may not be the goal I set out with… but it was the goal that I needed. As I sit here today and think about that… I could not be more grateful to life for stepping in to rearrange my goal this year to something far more valuable than buying a house.

Funny how if the Universe had let me get a property this past year… perhaps I would have missed the real value in that realization of real lesson I was meant to learn through all this. I love when the universe hands you beautiful moments like that. (Although, now that I’ve realized it, we can go ahead and make one of the properties I’m viewing today work out, right??) :p

Thirty was a beautiful year. It was a year of tremendous growth and learning. It was a year that led me closer to who I really am. With that, I have to say I can’t wait for what 31 has in store. I am set up for greatness. I am set up to make my dreams come true. I cannot wait to see where the Universe takes me a year from now… and what wonderfully hard lesson I will finally come to learn before I turn 32. 🙂

Cheers to goals, new directions… and life! ❤

– Christine

A person very close to me in life had his heart shattered this week when he found out his fiance was leaving him.She had become close with someone else, someone my friend knew and had suspected of being too close for a long time. He had asked his fiance repeatedly to stop contacting this person, and questioned why she felt the need to include him in everything in their life. She never had a good response other than that they were just friends, and it wasn’t a big deal. Which maybe it wasn’t… until she decided she wanted to be with this other person. Something she perhaps knew all along, if she had only stopped to actually listen to her heart.

As someone who spent the majority of 2016 feeling heartbroken, my heart ached especially hard for my friend when I heard this news. I know the pain and mental anguish that he is feeling right now, and will undoubtedly be feeling for the next few months. I know the feelings of self doubt and inadequacy that will fill his head as he wonders what he could have done differently. I know that his ability to open himself up and trust someone again is going to take a lot more strength the next time around. However, I also know that he will hopefully learn a great lesson from all of this. I know that he will find new focus and direction in his life, and ultimately end up in a better place. I know that he will come out better on the other side, eventually.

When I look at this heartbreak and my own, I do see a common theme though: Understanding and Communication. In my own experience I lacked the ability to understand my own feelings enough to be able to communicate them to my partner. I am someone who focuses mostly on external factors in life, so without realizing it, I tend to project my own short comings onto other people as if it is their problem, and not mine. That is the M.O. my external seeking personality has come up with as a way for me to be able to figure out my problems, because the only way I will notice the problem is if I think it’s someone else’s problem. It took me a long time to understand that, and it was only after I pushed my love away that I was forced to take a long look at myself and see that the problem was actually me.

When I think about my friend’s fiance, I know her and I are very similar in nature, and I can only guess, but I feel that she too could not see that her own inability to communicate her true feelings is what drove her to feel somewhat alone in their relationship. After spending enough time in that place, it became easier for her to seek out another person to fill that void rather than to face the hard work of figuring out herself and her own imperfections, and communicating those issues to her partner. Because that’s what real love does, it brings out our biggest imperfections and puts them front and center in our life to finally deal with. I guess in a way it’s nice that life waits until we have a partner to lean on in order to deal with those bigger issues. However, it’s not nice in that we don’t have more of a heads up that this major test is headed our way. A test I feel that many people don’t understand until it gets the better of them and they give up before they make it through to the other side.

It is easy to fall in love with someone. It is not easy to maintain and grow in love. True love requires patience, with yourself and with your partner, as you navigate both of your short comings and imperfections. It requires commitment to each other as you figure out those challenges within yourself and work to overcome them. It requires great understanding and communication. Your partner is there to help you, to show you things you can’t see on your own, to be the light at the end of the tunnel when it gets really hard to keep pushing forward, but only if you trust them enough to truly let them in to do so. Love is one of the greatest gifts this world has to offer. However, we would never really appreciate the depth of that gift if we didn’t have to work really hard for it.

To anyone out there going through heartbreak right now, first off, I just want to reach out and give you a big hug. Secondly, I want to tell you that through this pain you will learn and you will grow, and you will end up more ready for that true love that is out there waiting for you. Some love comes into our life to teach us a lesson that we need in that moment, and once that lesson has been taught that love fades away in order to give room to a greater love that was always out there waiting for us. I truly believe this. To anyone that is struggling in love right now, I want to encourage you to look within and be honest with yourself about what it is that you want and need in your life. Be honest with your partner and communicate those feelings. Together you will be able to better figure out if your relationship is the right one for both of you or not, and if it is, your love for one another will bring you the strength that is needed in order to overcome the challenges you are facing. To anyone that has weathered the storms with their partner and succeeded in growing in love for one another, to you I say congratulations. You have achieved one of the greatest things in life, and while you will most certainly continue to face challenges in life, you can rest a little easier knowing you will not have to face them alone.

Stay strong beautiful souls, and be assured that love is out there for you. Through the darkness we will find the light. ❤

– Christine

My New Years Resolution is one that will keep my accountable to the one thing that I know for certain that my soul should be doing: writing. That’s right, I present to you my accountability structure for 2017, which is 365 Days of Writing. Each day will have a new topic, some topics might make more than one appearance, there are no rules basically, other than that I WRITE everyday. I have struggled with forcing myself to actually write for too long now, so this is my attempt to push past my perfectionism, push past my inability to express myself, and just DO IT. (Yes, I’m a Nike commercial now.)

For my first post, I want to reflect on 2016… The year of learning. Many people had a crappy 2016, for a multitude of reasons. My year had its ups and downs, but yeah, overall I would say it kind of sucked. However, as I was riding through the park on my bike yesterday looking at all the dead trees… I realized that 2016 was just a winter year. It was a year of cold harsh realities and death of life as we knew it. If you are lucky, perhaps you learned something very valuable. Dark times force us into change and growth, so that’s an upside.

Me? I learned a lot in 2016. I learned about patience, which has opened my eyes and changed my entire approach to life. No longer am I in a rush to get everything or have everything that I know I should have. Now I am content enjoying my journey and sitting back to wait and see what the universe has in store. Which is another thing I learned this year. I mean I had heard it before, I thought I understood it, but it wasn’t until I had the patience to sit back and observe it, that I truly understood the fact that we do really create our own reality and our own universe. Our beliefs create our world. If you believe you can, you will, if you believe you can’t, you won’t.

Without trying to be your motivational pep talk for the New Year, I would like to challenge everyone to think about your own beliefs. Think about the dreams and goals that you have. What do you believe is standing in your way of achieving those dreams? Now banish those beliefs… because I have news for you: they aren’t real. Believing in yourself, and your ability to do anything or achieve anything, truly believing it, is the only battle there is. Once you believe you can, you will. However, if you sit in wishy washy confused state not exactly sure of what you want or what you believe… then there you will sit.

I spent most of 2016 in that wishy washy state. I think a lot of us did, and maybe still are even. However, what I learned during this shitty year of confusion is that I was confused because what I want, what I know, and what I believe… are all changing. Change can be scary. Change at the level that shakes you to the core of who you are as a person… feels like death. I can only speak for myself, but I spent most of the latter part of 2016 aware that my life was about to significantly change. Despite the fact that I spent most of 2015 preaching about “Be The Change You Wish To See In The World”, I had not actually prepared myself for such change, and so when the time came I was just stuck in a confused sad state, banging my head against the wall trying to figure out where I was going wrong. Until yesterday when I was riding and it suddenly became very clear to me that without Winter there would be no Spring, without death there would not be new life, and without discomfort there would not be change.

2016 was our discomfort… 2017 is our time for change…. and with that… I could not be more excited for the New Year.

Blessings to all, and thanks for reading.

– Christine

    2016 has been what I would refer to as a transitional year for me, and while it has taken me awhile to accept it, it was exactly what I needed in my life. The year started on a rather low note, as I was in a state of heartbreak and despair after ending a relationship with someone whom I loved very deeply. It was unlike other breakups I have been through where there was a clear reason why it didn’t work out. No, this break up was amicable, and at the same time it was so gut-wrenchingly painful because I knew, and he knew, it wasn’t that we didn’t care about it each other, it was actually quite the opposite. We both cared so much for each other, yet, despite all that love, we couldn’t for the life of us figure out how to make one another happy. During our time together I had slowly turned into someone who even I hated, and I was so frustrated because I had no idea how or what had caused that transition within myself, but I knew it was toxic, and at a certain point, I knew I had to walk away to save myself from myself. I gave up on the greatest love I’ve ever experienced because I couldn’t handle it. I was devastated.

      So after I spent most of the month of January either curled up in a ball crying my eyes out or out drinking away my sorrows, I topped it off by turning 30. 30 and Single. Every woman’s nightmare according to society. I combated my depression that night by throwing myself a kick ass roller skating party, because if there is one thing that always cheers me up it’s the opportunity to be the hostess with the mostess and any occasion where I can appropriately wear my purple go-go dress is just a bonus. To further commemorate 30, I also went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans a few weeks later with a few girlfriends. More heavy drinking, just what my depressed self needed. Mardi Gras was fun, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of utter emptiness while I was there. In fact, being in a sea of other lost souls drinking their hearts out, only made me more hyper aware of the fact that I was self-medicating with alcohol pretty intensely and pretty regularly, I knew this was a problem, but I wasn’t ready to face it yet. 

    By the time March rolled around I found myself in the most depressed state that I think I have ever been in. I was drinking every night, I had stopped eating, aside from drunken 3AM donut binging, and I was being reckless in all aspects of my life. I hated myself. I was giving up on life, and what’s scarier, is that I knew I was giving up and I was okay with that. I was ready to leave this world and all my pain behind. Meanwhile, very few people in my life knew anything about this. It is not within my personality to ask for help when I need it, instead I generally opt to suffer in silence for fear of being seen as weak. Instead I turned to alcohol to cope, which only served to fuel my downward spiral, and push me further towards the edge. 

    Luckily, God intervened and sent a few angels to help guide me back to the light. One day after a particularly hard day my Little Sister’s mom (from Big Brother Big Sisters) called me. When I answered she told me that I had just been on her mind and that she wanted to call and me to tell me she loved me and that she was praying for me. I broke down in tears on the phone with her right then and there. I let her know I had been struggling and that I certainly needed her prayers, that day and every day. We talked for a while, and then she prayed for me on the phone. It wasn’t until I broke down that day on the phone with her, that I realized that I couldn’t and didn’t need to go through all of this alone. That was my turning point.

    I stopped going out, I stopped drinking, and I just let myself rest and recharge. I had worn my body down quite a bit by that point. I was the heaviest I had ever been, and I was constantly battling digestive issues because my body couldn’t handle all the abuse I had put it through. That’s when God decided to intervene again. This time it was through an old work colleague. She reached out to me to invite me to a seminar on healthy living that she was speaking at. I agreed, went, and when I did, my mind was blown away by the information presented. The seminar was on Juice Plus+, a whole food nutrition capsule that contained fruits, vegetables, and berries, and had been shown to help people with all kinds of chronic illness symptoms, digestive issues, sugar cravings, skin diseases, the list went on and on. They had me at sugar cravings, as resisting a bag of donuts had become almost impossible for me at that point, so I thought, why not, let’s give this a whirl. What happened next, blew my mind. Within seven days my cravings for crappy food were completely gone. The thought of fast food disgusted me, and not even donuts seemed enjoyable anymore. On top of that, I had so much energy. I started riding my bike again, and spending my evenings in the park enjoying the beauty of nature. Something I had never realized before is the incredible healing power of plants, both inside your body, and outside in your surroundings. Life begets life. That was such a powerful realization to put together, and one I am so thankful to have learned. As March came to an end, I was slowly starting to see the light through the dark. 

     In early April I met someone who encouraged me to find out my Meyer’s Briggs personality type. I had heard of it, and even taken the test for a job at one point, but I had never put much thought or research into my personality type further than that. What stuck out to me though, was that this person, who wanted to date me, knew that his personality was best matched with a set personality type, and so hence, him wanting me to take the test. What I learned is that I am an ENFJ, which was exactly his type, as he was an INFP, however, in no way shape or form was I actually trying to date at that point so I thanked him for his insight and went on about my life. I was intrigued by his system though, and even more intrigued by the Extroverted/Introverted match of our personality combo. I had always thought the idea of opposites attracting each other was something that was not for me. However, the more I researched the Introverted personality (as I simply thought that meant a shy person until that point), the more I realized that my ex was indeed an introvert and that’s why the attraction between us was so strong. What I was slowly realizing as well was that an introverted person takes a long time to really to get to know and understand, and that dating them requires a lot of patience. Whaaaattt???? PATIENCE?????? Omg, I have never had patience, never aspired to have patience, and actually thought my lack of patience was kind of an endearing quality about me. No. Turns out, it is actually the reason why I had never been in love, because up until my last relationship, I had been scaring away any introverts that may have been into me, because I have no patience to get to know them!! I operate at two speeds, zero or one hundred, either you are with me or against me, in or out, we are either getting married or I’m onto the next… and here I was, 30 and alone, and just now realizing it was all because I have no patience. The only reason my ex had managed to get so far with me is because we knew each other for months before we started dating. He knew me pretty well before he actually made a move, a luxury no other introvert had yet been awarded in my life. This realization was life changing. I wasn’t 30 and alone because I was unlovable. I was alone because I don’t have patience. I could handle that. I could work with that. 

     Over the next few weeks I continued to surround myself with smart women, who I happily shared my revelation with. I was so excited about it. As I continued to think about this and speak with other women about this, I slowly realized that my impatience was a defense mechanism that I developed, because my true problem was that I have a deep rooted fear of intimacy. Opening myself up and being vulnerable, is something I just didn’t do. As I researched more about the fear of intimacy, I read about how victims of childhood sexual abuse are infinitely more likely to have this fear, and to a pretty significant degree. As I read that line one night, I broke down and started bawling uncontrollably. Over the past 4 years I have slowly been facing the truth about an inappropriate sexual relationship that I had with a relative as a child. I had been seeing a therapist for it, I had slowly started telling close friends and family members about it, so that I could step out of the shame of it. However, what I had not yet realized was the long lasting, far reaching problems that this had created in all aspects of how I handle relationships. As I read that line, I realized the full weight of the pain which that event had truly caused in my life. I cried harder and deeper than I have ever cried before. My life’s pain of always feeling alone came out that night, and I finally realized that it wasn’t my fault. That night was dark, but the next day the sun was shining brighter than it ever had before in my life as I finally felt the peace that comes with understanding.  

    As summer approached, I was in a pretty good place. I was losing weight, spending ample amount of time in nature, and focusing on figuring out myself. I started to hone in on a lot of my flaws. I notice how controlling and manipulative I can be within my life. I noticed how secretive I can be with my true feelings and emotions. I noticed how I felt more comfortable telling strangers every nitty gritty detail of my life, but when it came to close friends and family I tended to censor myself for fear of being judged. I became very aware of many of my self-sabotaging and negative patterns that I subconsciously do that hold me back from true happiness in life. 2016 is the year that I finally became aware of myself as a human being that operates on one level, and an innately divine being of God, that operates from a higher level. 

    I started taking a class taught by a spiritual life coach that I had been to once before. The class was over the book, A Course in Miracles. What the book is supposed to help you do is to shift your mindset so that you can truly live in the present moment, without judging life based on your past experiences, but rather taking it for what it is, in the clear and present moment. It is a true mental shift, which is supposed to leave you in a state where you are constantly operating from your God self, vs. your human self. It’s not easy. It takes practice every day, and every moment, but I am slowly seeing myself operating more from that space. That space is pure love by the way. Pure love for everyone in your life, and most importantly, for yourself. 

    Self-love is where I have been lacking the most this year. I’ve had my ups and downs with myself over the years, but this year, as I slowly realized more and more faults and issues that I need to deal with, it became harder and harder for me to love myself. As the summer wore on, I found my drinking was starting to pick up again. Partially because I was traveling a lot, and attending a lot of social drinking events, but the deeper I dug into myself about it I realized it was mostly because I was truly struggling to love myself. 

    When I look back at my last relationship, and all of the realizations I have made about myself from it, that I had no patience, I had a fear of intimacy and inability to be vulnerable and communicate, I can also see very clearly that at one point, I stopped loving myself. I put my worth into someone else’s hands, and when I did, I slowly turned into someone I didn’t like. I was highly codependent. I cringe when I think back on it now. 

    Over the past few weeks I have been really working on my forgiving myself for the whole thing. While I can see so clearly now where things went wrong, what I must remind myself is that it was not all my fault, really no break up is ever one sided with fault. I simply didn’t know what I didn’t know, and I would have never known what I know now, had I not gone through the darkness of the past few months. I can sit and tell myself all kinds of things, but at the end of the day it comes back to my ability to learn and grow from my mistakes, and my ability to love and forgive myself, as that is what life is all about. 

    That is why I am writing all of this today. I know what I have been through this year, but writing it all out… has me realizing that I have been learning a lot more than what I give myself credit for. It has been a hard transitional year, but one that I would not trade for the world. At times it has been easy to focus on the negative, but when I look back on this year as a whole, and I see just how much I have learned and grown… I can’t help but to see the wonderful soul inside of me that guided me through all this darkness and fought my way back to the light, and I cannot help but to love her. She saved me. She is me. I am the light. 

   The day I ended my last relationship, I found this quote that I posted on Instagram:
“As I stand here in a puddle of tears, I give thanks, for without pain, I would not grow. – J. iron word
   Always give thanks for your pain, for it is through the darkness that you will find your way back to the light. 
Sending love, light, & happiness to you all, always,
Christine ❤