About a year ago, my friend Tanya looked at me and said, “tell me three things you love about him.” She was sitting on the corner of her bed and I was sitting on the floor, in the doorway of her closet, as we had just been surveying the beautiful shoes that she had recently purchased. I sat there and I thought about it, realizing there wasn’t really anything that I could specifically list as something I loved about him. My mind was racing with memories of all the hurtful texts he had sent, the incredibly mean things he had said to me, the times he didn’t show up, the many times he let me down, the moments that it just seemed as though he enjoyed hurting me, and I just couldn’t come up with something to actually tell her.
I looked up at her and she had that look on her face that said, “I know there isn’t shit you can say right now, because this man is absolutely not good for you.” I looked at her in silence and she did that little forward movement of the head where your eyes get a little bigger that says silently, “I’m waiting !!!” Then she jumped up off her bed and walked into her bathroom saying, “that’s a crying damn shame that you can’t even come up with one thing to say that you truly love about him and you let him rampage through your heart and your world like a natural disaster. He’s NOT THE ONE FOR YOU !!!”
The truth was I wanted him so desperately to be the one for me that I was determined to stick it out, hoping for some miracle to happen that would make him magically see that I deserved all the good that I was knew existed inside of him somewhere. I was certain that he probably treated his past girlfriends better than he treated me. I imagined that when he really loved a woman, she enjoyed the beautiful, wonderful, romantic side of him, I had yet to see. I thought I had to become a little prettier, a little sexier, a little more giving, a little more everything to finally be the recipient of his love.
I’m going to actually share a few of the texts I received from this man. He had the uncanny knack of sending texts that could immediately reduce me to tears and ruin my entire day. I’m sharing these because I want other women to know that I did NOT always possess the self-respect and self-love that I have today. I also want to be clear that each day I have to continue my own work in that area to keep my progress moving forward. Self-love is a journey, not a destination.
I always strive to share my complete, unedited truth, because I hope it will hit home with people who are currently experiencing the pain that I used to endure. Some of it is hurtful, embarrassing, and just plain disrespectful. I look back on how I allowed myself to be treated and I am many times struck with a feeling of sadness. I feel so bad for the woman I used to be. Without any reservation, I say that I deserved better. I share my pain so that any of you who may be struggling with something similar, I hope you find strength in the fact that you are not alone and you, too, can choose to make a decision to learn to begin to want something better for yourself.
I completely surrendered all of my personal power and based all my self-worth on what this other human being thought of me and how he treated me. I was so determined to prove myself worthy by capturing his love, that I absorbed all of his hurtful comments and felt like I wasn’t enough for him. I gave and I gave and I gave to him and it was never enough. I literally ran myself ragged trying to come up with ways to show him how much I loved him and how I would do anything for him. It was an exhausting, draining, and overwhelmingly unsuccessful mission.
This went on for four, long, excruciatingly-painful years. The letter I wrote to a man that I shared in my book, You Have Such a Pretty Face, was written to him. When I began my healing journey in Sedona, I came home a different woman. But change is not immediate and it takes time and a concerted effort to truly incorporate it into your life. One-by-one I changed many things in my existence. Each day I embraced myself and I set boundaries in ways I never had before. But my intense desire to hold onto the emotional connection to this man took longer to extinguish. Somewhere deep inside my newly repaired heart, there was still a glimmer of hope that maybe, somehow, someday…… you get the idea.
He’s the one I wrote about in my blog last week-the one I saw on television. After I wrote that blog, though, I started to feel differently. I started some soul searching and realized how holding on to that emotional connection with him, was holding me back and not letting me make the true transformation I so desired to achieve. I knew, without a doubt, that he wasn’t the man for me. I love so deeply and so passionately and I need someone who will love me back in the same fashion. I want and deserve someone who is just as excited to see me as I am to see him. This man only gave me the crumbs in his life and I want the whole dang cake. No more crumbs for this girl. Not today, not ever.
I thought of all the hurtful things and people I had left behind me in 2017. I closed that door on so many situations in my life, but somehow the thought of him had still squeezed through into 2018. I actually spoke out loud to myself saying, “it is time to let this go—it is time to close this door and move on forever.” I knew that I needed to sever the connection that only existed in my mind and heart.
I gathered up all the clothes of his that he had given me to sleep in so many times…the ones that I still wore from time-to-time when I wanted to feel close to him. I grabbed the little gifts, the notes, (I still had a fast food order he had scribbled on a piece of wood once when he was working on my house), I drug out the bigger gifts, and I put them all in the garbage. I looked at all the items that once meant the world to me, laying in the trash, and I reopened that door I had closed so tightly at the end of 2017 and I pushed that mess through and slammed it shut again.
A feeling of peace and relief immediately came over me. I felt so much better. I was free and I walked away from the memory of the last person I would ever allow to cause me to feel like I wasn’t enough. I had to own the fact that I felt that way because I didn’t value myself. As much as I wanted him to love me, he didn’t even like me. I was determined, though, to make him love me. I might as well have set out to prove that water isn’t wet.
I’m proud of myself for finally choosing me and for being able to walk away from something and someone I had been so powerfully drawn to, for all the wrong reasons, for years. It’s hard to make those kinds of changes in our lives. Sometimes our emotions become bad habits and are simply familiar to us and therefore, provide us with feeling comfortable in a creepy, unhealthy way.
I was always scared to walk away from my connection to him, because I thought I needed him in my life and I just plain adored the man. Whether he deserved it or not, I was as crazy as the Queen could ever be about a man. I so desperately wanted to be a part of his every day life. In the past, the thought of not being able to talk to him, text him, see him, hold and hug him, was just too painful for me to ever consider. Today I possess the courage to break my own heart and walk away from something or someone I realize isn’t good for me, in order to allow the amazing things and people God has in store for me to walk into my life.
Sorry Hallmark, no Prince Charming rode in and saved the day. This Queen, however, slammed that door shut, straightened her tiara, and carried on, creating her own happily ever after.