When it comes to the ideal romantic relationship, best case scenario, you and your partner have a healthy and loving relationship and live happily ever after. Worst case scenario, you invest your time, energy and efforts into making your partner happy, and then…it’s over.
Or…maybe that’s not the worst case scenario after all.
Have you ever heard someone who’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness say that it was one of the best things that ever happened? That it ‘forced them’ to focus their time, energy and attention on the quality of their relationships and the priorities that truly matter. In other words, the idea of death inspired them to finally stay true to themselves.
The ‘dis-ease’ (or even death) of a romantic relationship can be applied in the same way. Sometimes, it takes the pain of a relationship ending for us to rediscover ourselves and be true to ourselves in a way that wouldn’t have otherwise happened.
As we wrap up the ‘month of love’, I’d like to share with you one woman’s journey from the confines and depression of self-betrayal to the freedom and joy of self-love. This story will tap into the emotions of your heart and help you gain a whole new perspective on just how important it is to love yourself.
Permission to Share
The rest of this message will contain excerpts from Rebecca’s story (all of which are in italics), and I have her permission to share it. At the end, I will share a link that gives you access to the entire story. For now, let’s start with how it all began.
The Day My Husband Left Me
If you’ve been conditioned to believe that self-love is weak, think again…because it can only make you stronger.
“I used to think that self-love was a weak consolation prize for those who felt that there is something lacking in their lives. That self-care meant eating well and going to bed early every once in a while. I now realise that I was lacking so much in my life because I denied my worth. The day my husband left me, I was jolted awake. Through my tears, I began to see that this was not the end of my life; it was the beginning of my own becoming. It was the time for everything that I thought was true, and everything that anyone else believed about me, to be stripped away until all that was left were the parts of me that can never be taken away: my deep burning love and my hope.”
Sacrificing Myself on the Altar of Wife and Mother
If you’ve been conditioned to believe that being a good wife and/or mother means sacrificing yourself and your needs in the process, think again…because you and the people you love deserve better.
“Contrary to what some people may think, it isn’t selfish of me to want to live empowered by the fuel I am throwing on my own fire. It is, in fact, the only way that I can whole-heartedly offer anything of value to anyone else in my world. Sacrificing myself on the altar of wife and mother martyrdom did nothing but ensure the coals of my heart gave smoke signals but no actual heat. Living half-alive is no longer good enough for me anymore; and the people I love deserve better. I refuse to listen to the voices of shame and self depreciation any longer that come while I constantly strive but fail to meet the unattainable ideals of perfection that I have bought into over the years. I choose to live believing that I am deserving of love, grace and forgiveness, despite my mistakes.”
Being Perfect is a Myth
If you’ve been conditioned to believe you need to be perfect to be accepted, think again…because there’s no such thing.
“Being perfect is a myth sold to women by a society who cares more about making them feel inadequate in order to market to them stuff they think will fill the void but in actual fact they have no need for. There is no such thing as perfect. There is, however, the appearance of perfect. I have discovered that people, as I did, will go to great extents to avoid having their true, raw, messy selves seen by others. There is a huge fear of appearing ‘less than’ or weak to others, and a sense that this is to be avoided at all costs. We think that this will save us from the unbearable pain of rejection, only to find that we are missing out on the forging of deep and lasting relationships where our true selves are seen and valued.”