This is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. A day of gratitude. I will spend mine without a partner, as I have for several years now, but this year it’s my turn to have my kids! Together we’ll share a scrumptious meal, play games and I’ll do my best to impart the importance of gratitude – and all that we have to be grateful for. For me that includes having the luxury to immerse myself in courses like Calling in “The One.”
A part of me wants to make a smart remark about being grateful for my, ugh — past. But the reality is — I actually AM grateful for my past. As painful as it was, I know that I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for all those experiences. . . and I rather like who I am.
But here’s the thing. I don’t think my past is entirely “completed” after this session in the Calling in “The One” course. I believe that like an onion I will continue peeling away at all this stuff, revealing more and becoming more of who I really am. I don’t know that this evolutionary journey will ever end for me — I am committed to the journey of evolving myself for the rest of my life! And hopefully, before I die, I’ll be real close to that wonderfully pure essence of my self — that I will be fully-realized as the person I came here to be, fully-expressed and flourishing. And making a contribution to life because of it.
I thought it was important to get that off my chest before revealing more of what came up for me doing this work, looking at my past at this time in my life. This happens to be where I’m at right now, and I’m trusting that what came up for me was exactly what I needed to look at right now in order to open myself more to love. So, if you’d like to know what that was, read on!
What I realized after doing the work during this session is that I’ve had a pattern of self-betrayal all my life. In nearly every relationship I’ve betrayed my own needs, my own values, my own knowing.
It’s no wonder I have a heavy heart, slumping shoulders, and an audible sigh when I look back on my past — it’s the pain of betraying myself over and over again in love . . .
I’m not saying that my partners were perfect; it’s that I stayed with them when I knew I should leave. Or I compromised my values or quieted my voice because I was afraid of the consequences.
I chose to be in relationships where I wasn’t able to be fully myself. In many ways, I was dimming myself down in order to fit into the girlfriend role of whomever I was with at the time – trying to be who he wanted. Instead of saying, “Gee. This probably isn’t the right guy for me since I can’t fully be myself” and leave — I would stay, trying to make it work, twisting myself into a pretzel and dying inside until I couldn’t bear it any longer.
When I think of people who say love is hard and difficult — I think they must be doing what I was doing. They must feel on some level they have to sacrifice themselves to be in a relationship — or else they’re stuck in an old pattern that they can’t seem to evolve beyond — a pattern that they cling to like an old shoe. Seems crazy to an outsider, but, you know, smelly as it is — that shoe is comfortable. ewe.
But what I can now feel when I think about love – and meeting my guy – is that it’s going to be just so deliciously easy. It will be so clear that we are meant to be together — it won’t be difficult, and we won’t be dimming ourselves down so we can get along — on the contrary! It will be a gorgeous expansion of ourselves just by our being together. He will get me, and I will get him. And we will relax inside of that, and because of all this, we’ll be able to spread our wings more than ever — and together, we’ll soar. I’m not saying we’ll have exactly the same interests or that we will never disagree — just that our differences will never mean that we have to compromise or sacrifice who we are to be together.
On some level in my past, I didn’t feel I deserved something better than what I was experiencing in my relationships. I’m really haunted by this realization. And sad for all the time that has gone by that I lived this way — and probably the guys I was with felt compromised on some level, too — but I know that if I dwell in the sadness of this place, I’ll never get on. And God do I want to get on!
Since working through all of this, perhaps the best news is that I no longer feel victimized by my past. I feel a deep awareness of myself that has made me a little somber — but I can also feel that the growth I’ve experienced is tremendous. Most importantly, I’ve made amends with myself and have made a promise to myself to never again betray my own knowing. In the end, what have I really got to lose by being fully alive, totally myself? If the relationship doesn’t work out because of that, then so be it! I’d rather be alone!
I’m feeling wiser now and stronger and so much more ready for a mature, healthy, wonderful, ecstatic new love because of this. I’m aware of how to create a healthy love, where I bring forward my needs, where I am sure to voice my thoughts and share my feelings and presence my desires no matter how scary that might feel. I realize that without presencing myself in the relationship in this authentic way, healthy, happy love will not be possible.
I love that you are coming along on this journey with me. I hope that perhaps you’ll find my story helpful on your path toward love. For me, writing about all of this and sharing it so publicly in a way makes me feel I’m not going through this alone 🙂
Here’s to the ever-evolving journey of moving beyond our past!
Oh! One last thing. You’ll probably think I’m making this up, but I swear I’m not. Last week, in a visioning class I’m taking at my church (Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles), this handsome guy who was sitting next to me turned to me and said, “Ashley, I just want to tell you that you have the prettiest smile. You light up the room.” And he said he noticed me on the first day of class.
I blushed, thanked him, and then couldn’t help thinking about the Calling in “The One” process. It’s working already!
***If you like what I’m sharing here, I’d love to know! “Like” my post, or reply and share your thoughts — or better yet, follow me!