Sharing my story has been one of the most humbling experiences ever. I say this because every time I share, I learn something else about myself. I’m not talking about just that one horrific night I faced death. I’m talking about my life leading up to that moment and my life after.
Never thought about needing to understand myself until I was repeatedly asked, “How did you end up in another abusive relationship? Didn’t you learn the first time or are you just an asshole magnet?” Over this last year, I’ve been putting together the pieces of my life, learning who I am and understanding why I’ve made certain decisions have shown me that I’m just a “real” person. I’ve learned that I have a big heart and therefore, driven by my emotions. I look for the good in people no matter what. I am faithful, loyal and most of all, I have a great desire to help others. Because I am driven by my emotions, I also learned that I have little tolerance for behavior that hurts and this brings out the worst in me. I say the worst because this is when my wall of defense goes up. I’m very protective of the ones I love and hurt more when the ones I love hurt me. It’s been difficult, but I’ve learned that having healthy boundaries helps me keep my emotions in balance making it easier to maintain a positive light on life. I don’t have to accept behavior that hurts, but dealing with it is something so very new to me. Depending on the situation and the people involved, I either temporarily shut down or I stand up and defend.
I’m all about treating others the way I want to be treated and firmly believe that if we all just lived by this motto, the world would be a much better one to live in. Fear, lack of confidence in one’s self, envy and ignorance are some of the main root causes which leave us with a lack of better judgment.
We talk about that fact that the perfect match doesn’t exist. When in fact, this just means it’s finding that someone that gets you because they too possess the qualities that are important to you. I’m not talking about things like the color of their hair, I’m talking about what is genuine about them and what is genuine about you. The things that define you as a person, should also define your life partner. For example, good moral character, spiritual, loyal, trusting, respectful, ambitious, strong work ethic, passionate, loving and humble. These are genuine qualities important to me. Understanding the person I am has also helped me understand my life and relationships. You see, there are things that are important to me and in both of my marriages, I settled for less. This may sound harsh, but when I actually took the time to write down what was important to me, both husbands did not possess all these qualities and those qualities they lacked were the very reasons my marriages failed. I did not stay true to myself. I was fighting my hardest to prove to them that they were the center of my life. Which I now realize that was the problem. I should not have been trying so hard to “prove” anything. I was giving the relationship exactly what I was expecting from it…and that should have been enough.
If you are just starting your life or, for that matter, starting over like me, take the time to write down what is important to you so that you will never forget. Don’t settle for anything less than that which is important to you. You might think that perfect person doesn’t exist, but remember “stay true to yourself” and you will find that “perfect” person.