I’ve never been the best at being vulnerable, because its exposing and perhaps the greatest fear I having a vulnerability hangover, where afterwards I feel ashamed about what I’ve shared. However, my entire world has been turned upside down this year and I got to the point where I had an open talk with Alisa about this the other day. I told her I didn’t think I had anything to give when talking about kids and well-being at the moment… it just wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. Alisa’s response surprised me, and she suggested I share my story because people are interested in relationships and it’s what is really going on – and we can only ever share our truth in any given moment.
I thought about this and decided, yes that makes sense! Our life is about well-being, but perhaps the most important part of our well-being is our relationship with our self and with those closest to us. Relationships is what I’m trained in and yes I could talk about this. I’ve tried so hard to make mine work for years and it’s probably why I became a family therapist.
My husband and I separated at the beginning of this year and it’s been incredibly tough. Initially it was so painful to make the choice, because as most of us know the hardest choice is to make is the one you make yourself… all by yourself. I don’t think it’s fair to share why we separated, however, let’s just say I chose to go in a different direction.
It has been the hardest, loneliest most challenging year of my life.
And yes, I have a great business that I love and thank God and my kids with all their craziness are amazing and have coped really well with the separation. However, on those nights without them I feel I’ve been on a boat out at sea without oars. I’ve never felt that before and I’ve been left to figure out who I am.
I’ve spent the last 14 years as a mum, partner, businesswoman – and I did that well, most of the time. But suddenly I had to dig so deep to find out who I was apart from all of this. Things like knowing what my values are, what my boundaries are, what self-worth is, what makes me ME and what sets my soul on fire. I’ve also had to learn about my own relationships, with myself and others.
It’s been lonely and unfortunately, it’s a journey that I’ve had to go through by myself. Yes, friends have been a great help, but ultimately when you make a big life decision you need to do it alone. I wanted to reach out for distractions so many times, believe me.
Things like alcohol and other relationships, however, I knew deep down that those things were not helpful to my soul. What has been helpful is discovering why I made the life choices I made and how to make myself strong, body, mind and soul. So self-soothing is a massive part of what I’m still learning about. What do I reach for when I feel empty? It’s not often we’re given the opportunity to love ourselves and learn about ourselves.
I’m also learning about what fills my soul.
I’ve discovered that putting my heart into words in the form of writing and poetry has given me so much comfort. Another thing that continues to help is listening to podcasts about self and relationships and listening to music. I love dancing – so when covid is over this is something I’ll do. The list goes on.I have an opportunity to fill myself, mind, body and spirit OR I could reach for distractions. Already I’ve figured out that my boundaries weren’t healthy – and this is something which I’m strengthening now on a daily basis and I’m learning about self-worth and what I want and need in my life. I’m learning to love myself and grow from within.
I thought I’d share this journey because it’s all powerful soul searching stuff. I’m sure there are others out there who might enjoy coming on my journey with me, whether you’re in a great relationship or not. It’s going to be real; it’s going to be raw – just let me know in the comments below if you’re interested in learning with me.
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