So many of you have written to me and shared your stories. A closing phrase I read time and time again is, "I can't believe this is my life." There is so much wrapped up in this one sentence. There is the fear and anxiety that you are experiencing on a moment-to-moment basis. There is a broader worry of what the future holds. And then there is that shame that we don't often speak of but that we feel deeply. The nagging question: "How did I let this happen? Why did I choose that person?"
I have been uncovering answers to this particular question for over a year now. This is what I have learned.
- You let this happen because you were not loving yourself to your full and true capacity
There was a part of yourself, perhaps a large part, that believed that receiving the psychopath's love made you worthy. Somewhere along the way, you lost touch with the fundamental truth that you are worthy with or without a partner. Instead of protecting the amazing, unique, beautiful person you are, by only allowing in others who have your best interests at heart, you accepted someone who manufactured false emotions and intimacy through manipulative tactics. You felt a bit sick; there was a part of you deep down that knew something was very wrong, but you forged ahead, determined to finally validate yourself, once and for all.
Guess what? You're not alone. I would venture to guess that more people than not have self-esteem issues. You, though, have been given this incredible gift. What your ex didn't foresee is that by pulling the rug out from you (emotionally, physically, financially) you will be forced to learn to stand on your own. You will fall in love with your strength, your sadness, your light, your courage, your pain, your empathy - you will feel these qualities sharply and clearly and you will become fiercely protective of the beautiful self you have uncovered.
- This happened because you were meant to become more powerful than you could have ever imagined
After you emerge from this all-consuming grief, heartbreak and despair, you will be walking away with a solid sense of self for the first-time in your adult life. You will get to know yourself very well, you will be stripped down to your most animal instincts. You will discover new truths. You will discover some of the values and notions you once held are utterly false. This experience will force you to start over, to question everything you thought you knew, to test your former beliefs. Some will stand the test. Some won't. When you emerge, though, deeply grounded in your beliefs and truth and self-worth, the power burning within you will be unlike anything you've ever experienced.
- This happened to align your actions with your true self
Finally, perhaps the most important answer of all to this question of "Why??"
This happened in order for you to live a life of authenticity. You have been shown the depths of your compassion, strength and humanity. There is so much more for you out there. You've been given this incredible chance to rebuild your life on your own terms. For the first time you will be moving through life from a place of deep truth. You will begin to see through bullshit swiftly and decisively. I don't mean to say that you won't ever stumble. That is all part of the process. But day by day, you will begin to make decisions that actually match up with what you truly want and believe.
Welcome to your life.