You’ve heard me say this many times—
and yes you have to— but if you have experienced trauma, related to relationships, you can go within all day long, search your soul and your deepest depths and it won’t give you the same kinds of things a healthy relationship will. That’s the beauty in them.
We are communal beings.
We crave connection and love and most of all we deserve it.
There is so much information out there about self love and this idea that we shouldn’t involve ourselves in relationships before we truly understand how to love ourselves fully and I think it’s mostly bullshit— at least it was in my case. While it’s really damn important to at least have a good idea of what your needs are, and be well on your way of learning how to meet those needs, I’m not a firm believer in that you have to have yourself totally figured out before you can be with someone who is good for your heart and spirit.
Why? Because relationships, especially the right ones, help us to do that. They enhance and enrich our lives in ways that come with new ideas about who we are. They help us grow. The right one will light something within, and where you thought you “needed” completion in another, before—the right one will inspire you to do that yourself. The right one will understand when you’re triggered and work with you rather than against— and you will understand there’s still healing to do— that only you can do, and then you will do it.
You’ll do it and do it and do it, until the ideas and stories that build in your head become a quieter version than what they were before— ones that you can gently lull to silence, with hands on heart saying “that’s just a story, and this time it isn’t true”
To me, self love is a life long process and one that as we grow, we continue to deepen. Are we ever really done? Is there ever really a finished line when it comes to exploring the depths of who we are? In my opinion, no. We are infinite beings. Which means, we are deeper than the deepest depths of the ocean. We are as vast as the darkest corners in the cosmos. We’re ever evolving. So, maybe the misconception, is in that you have to be a finished product before the right relationship comes along.
I think that’s entirely untrue. We are never finished.
Sometimes, advice about this or that, lacks context— so you can’t take what you read, too literally to adopt things as truth, if they aren’t. What’s true for one person likely is not what’s true for you. One size fits all is never the case in this life. There is no one way to do anything, and that’s why, it’s important to know and understand what deeply resonates with you on a soul level.
While it’s fucking important to be all in on your own healing and to do the work that only you can do, relationships are here for us too, to learn, to grow and they give us another aspect that nudge us to deepen and to soften— to open ourselves in ways that we aren’t challenged to do when it’s just us. Relationships are where we get to apply all that we’ve learned— to gain experience that we just don’t get when we’re alone. Truthfully? You likely aren’t and can’t challenge yourself in the ways relationships will— the healthy ones, the good for your soul kind that take your heart and say “you’re safe now”.
When you’re used to traumatic, drama inflicted relationships, it can be a shock to the system being in what’s the opposite of that. Our bodies and minds are used to being on red alert. We’re used to being reactive, on edge and in chaos—we’ve been programmed in way that has us addicted to the drama. So, being in something in contrast, it’s like I wanted to go searching for it. My body and mind wanted its fix— because my normal was “not normal”. My normal was a mind constantly in fight or flight mode, on defense, looking for the danger.
So, for me, navigating a healthy relationship was all new—learning to trust again, where those ties had been severed, severely before, and letting myself actually be loved, and trusting I would be loved in the right way, was scary as shit and a bit uncomfortable. And I honestly had no idea what a healthy relationship even looked like, felt like– I’d never tasted one before. While I’m sure I was also toxic, in my own way, in the past, this relationship came at the right time, as they always do. I’d done the pre requisite soul work it required to ready my heart, but in no means was I a finished masterpiece. Aren’t we all a work-in-progress?
What’s relevant here, is what all was shown to me through this relationship and what lingered was the story. A story built from betrayal– a castle of lies from which I built my whole idea about love, from the bottom up.
This story told me tales of fear and that all men can’t be trusted —that he, will do exactly the same as the ones who came before him. And this needed healing. I needed a new story.
Deep down somewhere, if I got quiet enough, I knew that wasn’t true. I knew it wasn’t true because my grandest fear wasn’t rooted in truth at all, and so, no matter how scary at first, no matter how big the story had its grips in my heart, I leaned into trust anyway.
Because… he isn’t him or them.
Not even close.
And it wasn’t fair to paint him as such.
When I could step back from the story— I could clearly see an alternate reality built from the fear of rejection. This false reality is one that skews and twists the story line and makes something out of nothing. It was here where I learned what being triggered actually meant and I learned that my triggers are where my work lives.
They were and still are my mirror.
They reflect back, the places within that I had disowned and neglected. And they continue to show me where I need healing.
It was in these moments, I got to choose— I could either follow the trail of emotions that are leading me into the parts of myself that need attention, acceptance, healing and love.
Or I could, in that moment, project and perpetuate the cycle, by not owning what is ultimately, mine to own.
It’s in between those two places where you get to choose the outcome. Take a breath and own it or project it and disown it.
Until I truly understood what was happening internally, the story and timeline that was popping up, in these moments, I would choose the latter— I would project.
I would harden.
I would put walls all around my heart and make myself believe the grandest of lies. My ego would say things like “he’s just like the others, don’t trust him”. In these moments I was torn— a shattered version of myself torn between the truth of what was here now, and lies based on the past.
My awareness to this, has been my biggest ally.
The truth is I was scared to death that he was like the others. I was scared that I had already given my whole heart to someone that would shatter it into pieces… but the more I dug into the places that needed me to mend them, the less real that story became. I had to, in those moments separate what was real, and what was just a story, that in those moments, feels real.
When I say that healthy relationships help our deepest healing, what I mean is that they give us the safety we need to do so. Have you ever heard the quote about you not being able to heal in the same environment that made you sick… well, I think that’s true.
However, the myth that he came into my life and completed me, and we lived happily ever after, without any work, is not true.
He never completed me because I was never half a woman when I met him.
My spirit was a little broken.
I was addicted to patterns that were harmful.
I needed healing.
But I was learning what my wholeness meant. I was getting hints of my own power and learning what it meant to stand in that light on my own.
But I wasn’t a finished product— who ever is?
It’s possible to meet your one, and not have yourself quite figured out yet. That is what I truly believe, because it’s been true for me.
The right relationship mirrors the deepest parts of who you are. The right relationship will nudge you deeper into a love affair with yourself.
And the things you’ll learn about this kind love— easy, right, good love— is that it stirs something within your soul.
Good, healthy for your well being kind of love makes you dig deep into yourself, and rather than throwing that responsibility on the shoulders of someone else— you wanna be your own savior.
Good, easy, right, love– will be there to remind you of your light on the days it’s a little harder to see… on the days you want to crawl into the corners of yourself— on the days you crave your bed and the quiet. It understands.
So, when I sing the praises of what good, easy, right, love does for us, this is just a glimpse. In a way, this kind of love makes us see our goodness because we see its goodness. And after all, we are love, so of course we recognize ourselves in it.
And so, the reason why these kinds of relationships help our deepest healing, is because the heart now lives in safe house— whereas before it was in a landmine. When the heart feels safe, it can heal in ways that it needs to and when you’re with someone committed to keeping it safe, well isn’t that what lacked before?
As important as it is, to dig beneath the layers and find the truth of who you are, it’s just as important to let it be shown to you. Let it be shown to you in the form of another human, loving you the way you deserve to be loved. That is a gift and we must receive it, in the way it was intended. Love is many things, in fact it is all things. When you find yourself in the heart of another, and you feel like you can finally exhale— you’ll know you’re safe. And the most important thing I’ll say to you today— the part of this that has been the hardest for me…
Its insanely difficult to comprehend sometimes, how another could possibly love all of your parts in the hardness of healing. The times when it seems impossible for us to even love ourselves. What you have to do is let them.
Let them love you.
And let it heal you.