After my last blog on How To Date (and fall in love with) Yourself In 4 Steps I got a lot of emails from people who were either in unhappy relationships or had just ended one and were feeling a lot of despair and pain.
It broke my heart to read those messages...not out of pity but out of empathy. I was instantly transported back to the girl who just 4 months ago couldn't eat, sleep or work because everything that made life familiar and 'safe' was taken away in just a matter of days.
Gut wrenching for us as humans because we're wired to feel our best when we have stability and safety.
There was one email in particular that stood out and transported me back even farther to 8 years ago when I left my fiancé and partner of 6 years.
It's hard to believe that that woman, me, 8 years ago, wanted a family, marriage and a house in suburbia with 4 rooms to fill with children. Things couldn't be more opposite for me now and that woman is such a distant memory I barely remember what it felt like to live inside her...
The email that really stood out to me came from a longtime family friend who expressed that although she loves reading and watching my content my last blog (which she loved) left her sad at the end of it because I wrote "I've moved so far away from the idea that I must be married with a kid and a home to be successful and happy...I may be jaded but honestly - I just don't see that model working for anyone. I'm personally investing in myself, my happiness and fulfillment and not looking to rely on someone else to fill a void or make me feel complete."
She expressed that there are strong women out there who made 'mistakes' and ended up exactly where I would have should I have married that man 8 years ago, popped out a few kids, settled into suburban life and ended up feeling regret and unfulfillment not shortly after.
I was instantly transported back in time and thought of that old version of me who was a hopeless romantic, believed in happily ever after and thought that by getting married and having kids it would mean I was lovable, accepted, normal and successful.
My heart broke. Although I constantly feel like I dodged a bullet and life truly began once I left that relationship (holy growth spurt!), I also realized that many of my fellow women, my sisters, didn't leave before the wedding, didn't choose the other path at the fork in the road and are now sitting with feelings of regret, confusion and the question "What do I do now?".
Although I've never been married and can't speak to what married life is like I can speak to that place in your head and heart where you feel stuck, unhappy and not sure how to let your true, happy self shine through because of all of that confusion and the feelings of being trapped just weigh you down.
My friend asked if I could: "just don’t forget about us other strong woman who wish we had made better choices and had your insight early on ;)".
So, I decided to write this - my thoughts on finding fulfillment regardless of the situation we're in.
I don't believe in mistakes. Even the hardest situations in life come with the opportunity for the greatest gifts and learning. I learned that when studying Brahma Kumaris and those teachings and principles have stayed with me ever since.
But that space - feeling like you're in a rut and stuck - that space isn't one that any of us want to live in for too long and this is why I decided to write to you today, sweet sister, on how to find fulfillment when in an unhappy relationship.
Dear sweet and powerful woman,
Do not regret the path you've chosen, it has been littered with lessons and opportunity for growth. You have ended vicious cycles, offered intense love into this world and are contributing to positive change.
I know your situation isn't perfect, but neither is mine. We are all capable of focusing on what's not working, on the problems and getting caught up in the mindset of despair and feeling stuck.
No matter our prison, our minds know no limits. We have the ability to change our beliefs, thought patterns, decisions and perceptions of any situation to manipulate it (in the best way possible) to quench our souls.
Your partner may not be who they were when you first fell in love, and maybe neither are you...even though it didn't turn out how your heart had hoped it would have, you still have .... you.
You can create your reality by nurturing your relationship with yourself. You can put that heavy baggage down, even just for 1 hour a day, and indulge in the things that bring you joy.
Sex unfulfilling and dry? What if you were to embark on a learning journey of tantric breathing and transmutation and learned to move and manipulate your own sexual energy to feel excitement and passion again? Might not be what you thought it would be as I'm sure you'd want to explore that with your one-and-only, but who says it won't be as fulfilling or even more so to tap into sexual energy in an intense and different way than you originally hoped for? You won't know until you try...
Wish you were working our with your partner, practicing better financial planning, going hiking more, farmer's markets, learning how to cook new dishes, travel etc., all of the things that your heart desires to experience certainly still can...it may not be with your partner now, or ever, but it can be experienced with you.
I may not know what it's like to be married with children, but I do know what happens to a long term relationship both with kids, and without (I was as step-mom for 3 years).
My point is, things change, they get hard, communication can shut down and we can begin to go on different and heartbreaking paths. This is hard, no doubt and it may or may not ever change...but the one thing I know we have control over is the experience we choose to have every day simply by choosing to empower ourselves and find the opportunity.
Our minds can create a prison or a playground simply by shifting our perception of the problem and our ability to do something about it.
Sweet, unfulfilled, selfless sister - don't forget who you were before the storm came. She is fierce, sexual, magical, desirable, seductive, artistic, capable and fun. She is there right inside you and is waiting for an invitation to come out and play again.
Open your mind, take the blinders off, realize what's available to you right inside of you and set her free...In every second of every day you're making a choice as to whether you want to bathe your cells with thoughts and feelings of fear, despair and regret or the energy of capability, power and bewilderment.
"Fate whispers to the warrior, "You cannot withstand the storm".
The warrior whispers back "I am the storm".
Be the storm.
A wise teacher of mine tough taught me that we cannot expect to have complete fulfillment from one person. It's unrealistic. A best friend, a partner, a great lover, provider, someone to grow with, laugh with, be our best selves with...can one person provide that for us? Maybe. I have yet to see it or experience it, but I'm sure it does exist.
If it doesn't though, it doesn't mean life has to suck or stay the same. It just means we have to become advocates for our own happiness and find that fulfillment in different places and experiences and people. And that is available to all of us.
Sweet sister. Your future chapters can be filled with any story you wish to create. It may not look like what you originally hoped for but those who adapt, change and create vs resist, regret and allow life to happen to them ... those women not only thrive but also teach others, including their children, how to find their power and to make fucking lemonade.
Be well with hope,
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