Ten years ago, I was struggling to find the courage to free myself from an abusive marriage.
In retrospect I didn’t have the compassion for myself that I do now and when I see old photos it is still hard to recognize that version of myself. Ultimately it was my inner strength and the support of family and friends that helped me breakthrough. At that point, I realized that this was only the beginning of my journey and my perception of freedom was actually within me all along.
I removed the external source of pain and abuse only to find it was simply a mirror of my own internal struggle. The struggle had come from childhood and this past decade has taken me on a journey through some of my darkest of days. This included moments of complete defeat, leaving me in a state of total despair. That being said, it also lifted me to highs and conscious states of bliss with depths of love I never knew possible.
One of my first “ah-ha” moments was when I asked myself… How could I expect, ask, or even allow anyone else’s love to land within me if I didn’t love myself first? After digging deeper and sitting with the question, I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t love myself, I actually hated myself. I couldn’t imagine anyone would want anything to do with me, let alone love me. I would look in the mirror and verbally tear myself apart until there was nothing left to see but ugliness and imperfection.
The abuse within my marriage was gradual and deceiving. It slowly built up over time until I believed that every argument and upset of his was my fault. Despite growing up with incredibly supportive and loving parents, I always seemed to struggle with feeling unlovable and not being enough. Throughout my formal education I was only taught about sexual and physical abuse. Nowhere was I educated on the subtle art and manipulation of emotional and psychological abuse. It wasn’t until things escalated within my marriage to physical and sexual abuse that I started to pay attention, to wake up and realize that something wasn’t right.
How could I, a strong willed, gregarious and passionate, caring woman end up in an abusive relationship?
Had I known what was going to go through to get to where I am now, I surely would not have signed up for it. BUT, I can honestly say I’m eternally grateful for my current state of awareness thus making it worthwhile. In this past decade I’ve come to a place of self-love and depth that I never knew existed. Through divorce, bankruptcy, obesity, pregnancy, loss and suicidal thoughts, I was able to find the help I needed. Some key figures in my life included teachers, gurus, guides, friends, family and incredible lovers who took my hand, held space and guided me through the dark night of my soul. This was my journey and mine alone.
As much as I wanted these incredible people to take the pain away, I came to realize the pain was where the lessons were hiding. All along the answers were waiting for me to push through the discomforts of life and discover my truest version of Self. In this process, I became unapologetically authentic and really began to live my life with purpose.
Each time I dropped out of my mind and into my heart, I was lead to an incredible experience of growth. With practice, I eventually began to “feel” my way through life. By trusting myself and following my heart I grew in confidence while aligning with my most authentic path.
It is important to understand that there really are no right and wrong decisions. Whether it be a gentle journey or a rocky road, one is not more right than the other. Regardless of the path, there are lessons to be learned and wounds to be healed. This is a time to practice patience and compassion to ourselves as we navigate the muddy, boulder-filled roads of life.
People ask me all the time… how do I do this? How do I live a life with purpose?
For me, it was through the practice of yoga, meditation, breathwork, traditional and transpersonal psychology, energy healing, shadow work, sacred plant medicine and ICT (Inner Convergence Therapy). These modalities allowed me to break through my mistaken beliefs of Self. From this place, I entered a solid state of knowing that I am lovable and good enough just the way I am. I do deserve great things and I am worth it!
Now, I look in the mirror and see my truest form of beauty and Self. The authentic, dynamic, powerful and unapologetically divine me is finally standing there looking back. I see her, I honour her and I am ready to shine her light outward for the world.
I do not know what will unfold over the next decade but this year will be one for the record books. Despite the insane amount of uncertainty life throws at me, I have never felt stronger nor more solid in Self. My foundation has been laid with conscious thoughts and efforts conjured from unimaginable depths of self-discovery.
A deep desire of mine is that you see these same opportunities are available in your life. It is never too late and it really comes down to… “How badly do you want change in your life?”
Now is the time for you to break free from the limiting beliefs that may still reside within. Set intentions, yes, BUT be sure to ask for the blocks to be gently removed while you take steps of action towards that which you desire. The door may be closed but it is unlocked. The only requirement is courage to reach out, open the door and step through.
See you on the other side.
Hi Gina! You rock!!