StLSass

Posts Tagged ‘Relationships

The mind is a fascinating place. It can create a world and a life that is heaven on earth, just as quickly as it can trap you in the depths of its mental despair. The differentiator? I’m not sure anyone is really sure. The value we place on our own sanity perhaps? The strength of our spirit to overcome the mind? Genetics? All of the above?

Coming from a family with deep mental health issues, I am no stranger to the dark side of the mind. I have a sister that lost her mind, I suspect, to due guilt and grief after she was involved in a tragic accident that resulted in the death of her best friend. As far as doctors can diagnose, they have labeled her as schizophrenic, but I’m not totally sold on that. My sister was incredibly smart, and sharp minded, and after the accident, she just seemed to check out of life. She couldn’t face her pain, and the guilt that she felt. Slowly, over the years, I believe those emotions have manifested as all kinds of mental ghosts in her mind that are always haunting her.

When you’re in the middle of it, and the terrible pain around you seems so real, how does one overcome those demons?

That is a question I have spent the past few years trying to find the answer to. My verdict? Love conquers all.

Throughout my life, I too have wrestled with my own emotional/mental health demons.

Three years ago I started doing stand up comedy. I was not great by any means, but my raw vulnerability had a way of connecting with the crowd that was I think just very real to people. It was exhilarating, and when I went on stage it was a rush like I had never felt before.

Somewhere around the end of my first year of doing stand up… I lost my ability to be vulnerable. I had gotten into a relationship, and slowly, I lost my confidence and started becoming very insecure about everything.

At the time, I knew something was going on. I knew I was losing myself, but I had no idea why or how to stop it. Sure enough, as the months went on, I subtlety became someone different. Someone that was not quite the Christine that I once was. I looked the same. To the unknowing person, I probably seemed the same, but to those who loved me… to the man I was in love with… I wasn’t the same person anymore… I was a slightly less version of the me that we both knew was possible. A slightly dimmed down version of my amazing self.

At a certain point I left the relationship, because I was so lost. What I knew, but couldn’t quite put into words, was that I wasn’t okay being me any more. I wasn’t comfortable opening up and being real with people. When this all started, it was about three months into my new relationship. Right about the time when one would typically start to open up on a deeper level. Except I had never shared my depths with anyone before. I had never even really looked deep at my depths myself. Perhaps because subconsciously, I knew the demons that lived there… and I was terrified of them.

Instead of facing those demons head on though… I retreated in fear. My best self, my mind, decided it would rather be less, than to have to share my shame with the person I loved the most. My mind, my emotions, told me that he couldn’t possibly love me if he knew the real me, and so without even realizing it… I submitted to those thoughts and locked my best self away for “safe keeping”.

My soul, on the other hand, was not content with this lesser version of me. My soul could not sleep, could not eat, could not function at the thought of living the rest of my life in this place of fear. My soul is what pushed me forward and compelled me to fight the walls of the mental prison which were keeping my beautiful self locked down.

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you might be familiar with some of the demons that I am speaking of. Alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, and one I haven’t quite figured out just yet, but that I’m working on, which is a highly repressed sexuality. The side effects of all of these equaled low self worth, low self esteem, depression, anxiety, insecurity, distorted thinking, grandiose fears, and overall inability to cope with life. Before I confronted and dealt with the sexual abuse, and my repressed sexuality, I was a ticking time bomb of mental anguish. I had successfully masked my pain with drugs and alcohol for most of my adult life, but when I got into a real relationship, and my true self was mirrored back to me (as real love tends to do) there was no hiding from it any more. My soul saw what my mind had been hiding. The broken pieces of me that I always tried to pretend weren’t really there were front and center for my soul to see. At first this was quite frightening. I was frozen a bit in fear.

The hardest part of all of this was that what little self love I had built up for myself throughout the years, was suddenly completely gone. I was so angry with myself. I hated who I was. I hated that I wasn’t strong enough to not let this situation get so out of control. I hated that I had seemingly lost not only myself, but also this person that I loved so much, the first person that ever worked his way into the true depths of my soul. As a perfectionist, the worst thing that could happen was happening. My imperfect self was ruining my chance at a happy life. These were the thoughts my mind convinced me were real.

Slowly, what my soul began to see was that this was my purpose in life. These were the traumas I was given to overcome. Slowly, I stopped being so afraid of these demons, and I began to go to work on myself.

Over the past two years, I have worked my way through the world of jilted emotions and false realities that my mind had created which swallowed up my best self. It was not pretty, it was not easy, it required professional help, a new level of spiritual understanding, and a lot of asking the Universe to please help me figure this thing out, and then learning how to listen and look for the signs that the divine universe was sending.

During the past few years, I knew my stand up wasn’t what it once was. I wasn’t trying. I didn’t have the energy to be funny when all I felt inside was dark. I didn’t put in the effort that it needed, and every time I went up I didn’t get the same rush that I once did.

However, last night I sat down and I started writing. I wrote a new five minutes on my messed up mind. As I was writing, I noticed that I wasn’t holding back. I wasn’t afraid to address the crazy, I was raw, I was real, I was vulnerable. I wasn’t afraid any more. I had conquered my fears, and was finally in a place so good that I could look back and laugh at my crazy fucked up thoughts, rather than cry about them. When I finished writing, I sat there in an overwhelming state of peace and gratefulness; much like Andy Dufrane… I felt like I had tunneled my way through 500 yards of shit, but came out clean on the other side.

I performed my new five at an open mic, and for the first time in a long time… I felt that incredible rush that I used to get. For the first time in a long time… I felt like my best self.

The mind is so incredibly powerful. Whether you believe you can, or you can’t, you are right. Fear is also very powerful. Stronger than fear though, is love. The hope for love is what kept me going the past few years. The knowing that I could never have love until I conquered my fears and faced my depths, is what pushed me forward every day. Because you see, the man that I was dating… I loved him more than I have ever loved any other soul. It was the pure love that I had for him that made me able to see my depths so clearly. Any time my mind tried to make me forget about working on myself, and tried to tell me how everyone else was the problem, not me; that man would come to my mind, my love, and I’d remember the truth, I’d remember my lost self. I’d dig deeper, and I’d continue forging forward through all of the pain. Love was the lighthouse that saved me during the storm.

Life is a constant balance between Love and Fear; heart and mind. There is no easy button to overcoming the pain and the trauma that we each have to go through, that is a battle we each have to figure out for ourselves. The mental strength that is required to do that though… is only found when decide to chose the heart over the mind. Love truly does conquer all.

My advice to anyone going through their pain, and hurt, and suffering right now?

Follow your heart. Find your love. Face your fears. Be your best self. Every. Single. Day.

No matter how long you have to fight for it, keep going. You are worth it.

Much love and light to you all,

– Christine

 

 

 

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I don’t know about you, but for me, August was jam packed with stuff. Work was crazy, my house was busy (Oh, I am renting my house on AirBNB now, check it out!), and there was also no shortage of relationship insights and revelations via the men in my life.

I spent the last week in Florida with my family, enjoying the ocean air and sun, and after such a jam packed month… I spent the week reveling in disconnecting from all my responsibilities and tasks, and let myself enjoy not having to do a damn thing if I didn’t want to. It was great.

However, as the month wraps up, I am back at work this week, back on the mental grind of figuring out where I am steering this ship that is my life, and back at this game of trying to force myself to write.

I believe more than anything what I am taking away from this busy month (which was also jam packed with celestial energy, pushing us all to new heights of self growth revelations), is the gift of being present in each moment. Mentally, I often find myself dwelling in the past, or worrying about the future, yet, this month which so much going on, I was forced to focus on the present moment more than normal, which was good. It was a bit foreign to me though. I didn’t fully embrace the present moment for all that it could have offered. Looking back on several moments, I can see that my relationships and connections may have stood to gain more meaning had I opened myself up in certain situations.

I react instinctively to so many situations, with a set response or reaction, that has just been my go to response for so very long, that I rarely look at each situation in the present moment to recognize the uniqueness of this situation and appreciate it for what it is. Later, as I sit and reflect, I will often see how I missed out in the moment because I didn’t see it for what it truly was. I live in a land of assumptions, which I now see are keeping me from living more fully in the present. So, as this past eclipse brings with it the strong energy of change and the ability to see ourselves and our flaws more clearly, I can now see the impact that living a more present life could have for me… and I am excited to push myself in this area of growth.

For me personally, the eclipse, which was on the 28 degree of Leo, falls into the 8th House in my birth chart. The 8th house rules sexuality, commitments, intimacy, and metamorphosis. What this means, is that for the next 6 months (as we continue to soak in the full effect of the eclipse for 6 months), if I focus on those areas I will be able to see my inherent flaws in these areas with much more clarity, thereby giving me a greater ability to change them. With realizing the effects of my challenges with assumptions and being present, I can already see the potential positive effects that this period of change will bring to my life. Because of this… I do see that I may be more reclusive over the next 6 months. Saving more time for myself, to better understand my challenges in these areas, and also investing more of myself into the interactions that I do have with people… which will end up taking more out of me, and thereby leaving me more selective about whom I spend my time with.

These are the insights that this powerful and busy month has left me with, and if you don’t see me out as much in the next few months, this is why.

It is a very powerful time right now for transformation. Take some time to look at your life, and see how the flaws in your mental thought process may be holding you back. The Universe is conspiring to disseminate radical change right now, within our lives and on a grand scale in our world as well. Step back, see where your beliefs are limiting you, know that you are a being of pure light and love who is capable of doing anything you set your mind to, and know that change, while sometimes hard, is now so very necessary for us all. ❤

Talk soon,

– Christine

 

PS. If you are interested in finding out about how this eclipse affects you personally, I am offering free eclipse insights to the first five readers to respond. Comment on FB, or reach out directly at STLSass1s@gmail.com  ❤

 

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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

I say a lot of things, particularly in regards to my dating life and what I would and would not accept in a man, however, I thought it might be time to set the record straight.

There is one thing that a man must have in order for me to fall for him, and that is the ability to make me laugh. If you can take anything I say to you and turn it back to me with a witty remark and an indignant look that elicits a laugh out of me, I probably already have a crush on you.

In addition to laughter, I also need a man with intelligence. The kind that can back me up with sound logic when my reasoning of “because it’s Gemini season” doesn’t satisfy whomever I may be explaining life to at any given moment, lol. I deal in the realm of the ether… because of that I appreciate men who are in the know on a lot of things and are there to back me up with knowledge, whether they understand my crazy logic or not.

Which brings me to another important quality: patience. I need a man that understands the importance of patience in getting to know someone and start a relationship. Someone that is willing to take their time and develop a friendship first and see where that goes. It takes a long time for me to open up to someone and for them to really know who I truly am. I have a lot of scars that I like to pretend aren’t there, and so only when I know someone truly isn’t going somewhere do I begin to open about these things. 

Lastly, I want a man that can talk to me, tell me what he is feeling, and be open enough to listen to me talk about my feelings and figure out what I’m feeling as I say it. I work things out as I speak, so I can’t have someone that takes everything I say literally. I need a man who will help me work out my thoughts, question me as I talk, and make me think about what it is that I am really trying to say.

These are the things that I want. Nothing else really matters. You would think the combo of all of these things wouldn’t be so hard to find, but it has been. I guess because I’m not always looking either. I have faith the universe will put the right man in my path when I am ready and life will make it all happen.

So cheers to the Universe for making it happen.

Happy Monday!

– Christine

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It took less than a week on Christian Mingle for me to be reminded of why I get so easily frustrated with “Christians”. Let me be clear, I believe in Jesus, I believe in God, I believe in the Holy Spirit, and I also believe in astrology, numerology, Kabbalah, and really anything else that has the potential to bring me to a higher understanding of life. I believe that there is universal truth and wisdom to be found in all religions, and that it is only through our ability as people to set aside our perceived differences, approach one another with respect, and to truly listen with open minds that we will be able to achieve a true understanding of the unknown and see peace and harmony in our world.

Certain Christians, however, would rather focus on how JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, AND IF YOU BELIEVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WILL BE SENT TO HELL TO ROT FOR ALL OF ETERNITY! I do not believe that all Christians are so condemning in their beliefs, but having been raised by in a devout Christian family, who do hold this theory to be so finitely true, this is the group of Christians I will be referring to throughout the rest of this post.

My main problem with this type of belief is it’s straight forward hypocrisy that is completely lost on its believers. Theses Christians talk about how loving and wonderful, and forgiving God is, but then in the same breath will condemn the gays, Muslims, and Jews, because the Bible says to. For these Christians, their religion has become an excuse for them to persecute and condemn others who don’t fit in with their accepted beliefs. You cannot say you are all about love and unity and yet harbor fear and hate in your heart for those who do not believe in the same things as you.

Interestingly enough, in my introductory study of Kabbalah I learned that this self righteous attitude of Christians is actually part of their destiny. For without this attitude, they would never have been so adamant and strong willed in spreading the word of God, and Jesus’ message of saving grace. This pushy, strong willed, holier than thou attitude WAS necessary in our history in order to spread God’s love and light as much as it has. HOWEVER, the ultimate downfall of the Christians, which we are now seeing, is that eventually that self-righteous behavior turns them into a machine that then starts violating others freedoms and liberties in the name of Christ. Which is what is happening today, and which is not okay.

Self-Righteous, arrogant, hard headed, and fear mongering Christians are now crossing into the territory where they themselves need saving. They need to be reeled in, and to understand that opposing views are not the enemy but rather are the key to higher understanding and enlightenment. We cannot grow, evolve, and move towards unity on earth until everyone understands this. Our opponents are in our lives in order to challenge us and help us seek the light in situations that may appear wholly dark. Like a light bulb, you must have friction, you must have resistance, in order to create light. You must be challenged by another in order to open your mind, meet in the middle, and achieve the higher understanding that exists when you bring out the truth in both of your points of view.

So to the man on Christian Mingle who read my profile which states that I love God, I believe that Jesus died for our sins to save us, AND that I believe in the higher enlightenment of Kabbalah, astrology, and any thing else that will challenge my mind, and who took that as an opportunity to condemn me and let me know that my beliefs will earn me a “guilty” sentence in the after life which leads me straight to hell…. to you sir, I send you nothing but light and love. I pray that your heart be opened and that you may see how your narrow minded views are that of a world which is coming to an end. For I know that God is love, and when I open my heart to contain nothing but love and light for all, that is where I find the most peace, joy, and understanding in life.

I will not shame you. I will not condemn you. Those are fear tactics, and I only have room for love in my life. Even in my opposing view of these radicalized Christians, I do not think them to be bad people. Rather I see them as people who are in need. They are in need of someone to come into their life with whom they can tolerate a spark of resistance from, someone who can show them the higher power that lies within challenging their stead fast beliefs, because if we are not continuously learning and growing, we are not seeking the light; and if we are not seeking the light, then we are only serving our own self righteous agendas.

These Christians, in my opinion, have stopped seeking the light. They have stopped seeking a higher understanding as they have become all too reliant upon the highly misinterpreted and misconstrued messages of the Bible. As I said, in Kabbalah, it is outlined how this was an inevitable position for followers of the Bible to end up at. In Kabbalah, there is a text called The Zohar, and what the Zohar teaches is that there are in depth and enlightened lessons that can be interpreted from stories of the Bible. The Zohar actually says anyone who interprets the Bible literally is very dangerous, as this was never meant to be the case. In my studies, I have to concur that the deranged messaging in some of the Bible’s lessons are in fact extremely dangerous when interpreted literally. The Zohar, however, interprets the lessons of the Bible and applies them to our ego, our mind, and our journey towards enlightenment. It provides a path that above all has brought me greater understanding of myself, and has also opened my heart. To say this is evil or blasphemy is pretty much laughable to me, because it has brought more light into my life than Christianity ever has.

Personally, I am a seeker of truth above all. I believe what I believe because I FEEL it to be true, and I then seek out information that will help to corroborate my feelings. So for me, when any person uses their religion as a self righteous shield to condemn all others with opposing views, I see a person who clearly has lost sight of the light that is within us all.

Love. Unity. Oneness. These things can only be achieved when we look at our opponents and chose to see the light within them rather than to condemn them for their darkness. The world IS shifting towards this mindset, towards this heart centered living. I guess I just find it ironic that the people responsible for originally bringing this message of salvation to the world, are now the same people who seemingly need to be saved from themselves. It’s ironic, but also a beautiful display of the divinity of our universe. There is a balance to it all, and no one is above anyone else.

Bottom line: We are all one. The sooner we can all realize this, the sooner we can all work together towards revealing the unique light within each of us, which will bring about an even greater truth and understanding of life than we currently have in our divided state, and that will ultimately bring about true harmony and peace on earth.

May you all remember to look for and focus on the light in all that you do.

God bless,

– Christine

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Okay, time to get real honest and gritty about myself with you guys. (Yes, more honest than yesterday even.) I have been becoming very self-aware lately and I have a confession … I’ve never openly admitted this to anyone, not even my therapist. I can feel the fear welling up in my throat as I type … Oh well, here goes: I’ve cheated on every person I’ve ever had a relationship with.

Even the ones I considered to be really good relationships.

At some point, typically when a conflict was not addressed, I’d find myself being drawn to people outside the relationship, I’d start checking out of my current love and into a fantasy, and eventually the relationship would deteriorate and I would cheat. I used to blame it on the fact that I always dated terrible men or tell myself that if I had an urge to cheat, it just meant the relationship was never going to work out anyways.

However, when I cheated in my last relationship, which was with an incredible man, I was beyond upset with myself. I had even taken precautions to cut all ties with people who I knew I’d be most likely to be drawn to and took note to quickly end any thoughts of other people as soon as they entered my mind. Yet still, one night during a rough patch, I let myself get sucked into someone and I let it go too far. Despite my best efforts, and the fact that I was dating a wonderful man, I still cheated. When this happened I was devastated, and I felt as though I was simply living proof of the old adage: “Once a cheater, always a cheater.”

After spending the past few months in self-reflection mode, I now know that my cheating was actually manifested by the fact that I have a severe fear of intimacy. Which is the fear of rejection combined with the fear of abandonment on steroids basically. I am so afraid of being close to someone and it not working out or of them abandoning me that I self-sabotage my relationships in many ways. But eventually, particularly if there are problems in the bedroom, I cheat. (Spoiler alert: since I have a fear of intimacy, there are always problems in the bedroom, eventually).

As I was reading about the fear of intimacy, I read how victims of sexual abuse were more likely to act out sexually in relationships when the fear would surface, specifically by cheating. I was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. As painful as it was to read that, after thinking it over, it gave me my first sense of hope about the matter. That’s when I realized it wasn’t that I was once a cheater, always a cheater… this was just another side effect of childhood trauma, which I simply needed to unlearn. That’s slightly better… right? Right!

I am also realizing that because I was sexually abused at a young age, I discovered the power of sex before the power of love. And then, I never really developed the patience for true love. So as I was going through relationships in my life, when I would start to feel like I was falling in love, I would develop an impatience and move very quickly with people, particularly in the bedroom, because impatience was my defense against having to actually open up and be vulnerable.

Since I never got that to that true deep love level with anyone, due to my impatience, I learned to master the level that I was at. The level of intimacy fueled by sex. The level that is afraid of real intimacy. I mastered the art of what so many people today think is love, sex without true vulnerability. I have been accepting that level of “love” as true love my entire life. It wasn’t until I finally realized how much patience is required for true love that I discovered that I have never really experienced REAL love. That was a tough realization to swallow, but also possibly the biggest break through I’ve had thus far in trying to understand myself and love.

I say all of this because I know I am not alone. In today’s culture, many people have mastered the power of sex without vulnerability, maybe because many people also have a deep-rooted fear of truly being intimate with someone or maybe because of some other fear that has manifested in their life. To quote Beyoncé in Lemonade: “When did true love become illusive? No one I know has it.” That statement is so true. So many people think they have love, but they are only scratching the surface of what true love is.

True love itself is scary at first. It shines a light on our own darkness and faults and in order to truly master love, you must first love yourself, ugly parts and all. That is where a lot of people are going wrong, I believe. They aren’t fully acknowledging all of their own darkness because they are so afraid of facing those things and taking responsibility for their own actions. That’s the hard part of true love, but it is ultimately the best and most important part of life. Until we illuminate those issues and work to correct them, we aren’t truly living as our greatest selves, and we certainly aren’t capable of truly loving another.

So I guess this is me, facing my ugliness. I have a fear of intimacy and a propensity to act out sexually in relationships when I choose to give in to that fear. Now that I understand that about myself, I am hoping that in my next relationship, I will finally be able to overcome my fear, let myself be truly vulnerable with another person and possibly finally find true love in my life. I hope to finally disprove the “Once a cheater, always a cheater” theory, because I am in fact not a saying or cliché. I’m a real human being who has the ability to learn, grow and be better.

Cheers to being better.

– Christine

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P.S. This post originally appeared on Hobotrashcan.com on 5/26/16, because sometimes it takes a year of loving yourself before you are ready to truly share your truth. And sometimes you are lucky enough to be offered a way to anonymously write out what you are really feeling. I will forever be grateful to Hobotrashcan.com creator Joel Murphy for that opportunity.

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