“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.” ~Thomas Carlyle
The Chairwoman of this ego-RHYTHM is Lisa Steadman, bestselling author and motivational coach, who writes for us in this and the following post.
Love is the ultimate authentic adventure
Five years ago, I went through what I now affectionately call my Big Breakup. It was the one that changed everything for me.
The pain of losing the love of my life and the accompanying disappointment I felt in being single again (while all of my friends were getting married, having babies, and living the life I thought I was behind schedule for) was often more than I could bear.
More than anything, I wanted to find The One.
I wanted to settle down, get married, and live the cookie-cutter life that everyone around me seemed to enjoy effortlessly. But it wasn’t in the cards for me. At least not then. And certainly not with Mr. Wrong. At the time, I didn’t understand. I thought I was the problem. I was convinced there was something inherently unlovable about me. I secretly feared that I was doomed to be single and alone — forever!
What was most frustrating for me was that I seemed to have found success in every other area of my life – except love. Years before, I had landed my dream corporate job complete with impressive salary, great benefits and creative freedom. As a successful single woman, I took extravagant vacations to places like Costa Rica and the Greek Islands, drove my dream car, was saving 10% of my annual salary for retirement, and enjoyed endless adventures with my fabulous friends. I had even recently purchased my very first home – a stylish two-bedroom, two-bath condo in a gorgeous gated community near the beach.
Even with all of the success I was experiencing, if I was really honest with myself, I felt lonely, incomplete, and deprived of what I truly wanted in life – love. I wanted someone to come home to at the end of the day. Someone to laugh with, cook with, make love to, and share extraordinary adventures with.
Why was it that I could have everything I’d ever wanted – with the exception of real, blissful, abundant, joy-filled love? And then one day a small voice inside gave me the answer I was looking for. She said, This isn’t the life you’re meant to lead. You’re destined for more! It’s time to take the leap.
I ignored that voice for a good six months. During that time, my job changed from creatively fulfilling and free to micromanaged by my new control-freak boss. Mr. Wrong and I got back together, broke up, got back together again, broke up again, and seemed destined to participate in this dysfunctional dance forever. My health started to buckle under the mounting stress, and I became increasingly more and more unhappy. My life wasn’t working anymore. And that little voice got louder. Take the leap! Take the leap! To where? I kept asking.
Conventional wisdom says that nobody makes change until it becomes more painful not to. That was definitely true in my case.
My rock-bottom looked something like this: I left my corporate job ONLY when it became clear that staying would spiritually, emotionally, and physically cripple me. I told Mr. Ex to stop calling ONLY when I realized he was seeing someone else AND still sleeping with me. I rented out my condo ONLY because my burgeoning freelance career wasn’t bringing in enough money to comfortably make the payments and maintain the creative freedom I now knew was essential to my happiness. I slept on an air mattress on my best friend’s living room floor for an entire summer not because I couldn’t afford a place of my own, but because I had woken up to the belief that while I didn’t need Mr. Right to complete me, I DID want a strong sense of community surrounding me as I rebuilt my life from the ground up.
Have you ever been in a situation like this – making decisions only at the lat possible moment when you realized, after much personal hurt, that you had to change? Let us know – we’d love to hear your story, too. But come back for my next posting – when I took about how love finally walked in.
Thanks for sharing!
Image by Michael Albany Photography