Gotta love Facebook. Being the night owl that I am, I procrastinate going to sleep by mindlessly scrolling down my ‘wall’. Then, after midnight a notification pops up – Lorelai, see your memories from the last few years! Don’t mind me if I will!
I see a picture of myself 6 years ago. I look happy, I look young, I look sexy! Yeah, baby!
Then there is one from 2 years ago. I see completely different person. Tired, heavier, older woman. She’s smiling but the smile doesn’t seem genuine …
Is that really me? … I check my current profile picture. I look in the mirror. I don’t look like her! I look as I did those 6 years ago. I remember my friends saying recently how young I looked. ‘Hey, you haven’t changed since high school!’ ‘Is that you daughter? You look like sisters!’
Browsing through pictures, I see few different people wearing my face. I did change – and then changed back. What happened?
6 years ago I was joyful, full of life, in love. I met Him and he said he loved me too! As we went through years together I was still in love and didn’t see the relationship for what it truly was – emotionally abusive. But my body felt it and it showed it to me. The proof is in pictures.
Relationships can either make you or break you.
They can be a driving force to make you become the best version of yourself. If your partner supports you in overcoming your inner challenges, if he pushes you to reach for your dreams, if he holds your hand when you doubt yourself, if he really, truly loves you with all his heart, mind and soul – you will blossom. Your light will shine through, because he believes in you. And if he believes in you, you don’t want to disappoint him, so you reach for all that you have inside, carefully hidden away from the world (because what if you fail, what if they won’t accept you, what if you’re not good enough?…) and you explode into ten thousands of the most magnificent colors. Onto him and onto the world. And you give him all the support, love and motivation to reach his dreams, overcome his challenges and drive him to be the best man he can be.
But if he undermines you, criticizes you, ignores you? What if he always puts himself first, is jealous of your successes and takes out his own frustrations on you? You start to slowly die inside. The flower of your soul withers, you start losing intensity of colour and you stop speaking your truth. Yes, you might try to fight it, but your love for him is strong, so you give up bits of yourself here and there and eventually are left with nothing.
People come together for many reasons – they are our mirrors, our teachers, our challenges. Some stay for a while and then leave when the lesson has been learned. Others stay for life – and those are the ones that are to be our partners in our journey, not just the walls to be broken through or fights to be fought. Abuse might be a part of your learning experience, but only if you get out first and learn from it on the other side. Only then you can learn how strong and valuable you actually are, because you were drowning but you managed to swim to the shore and survived.
But oh, it’s a hard lesson to learn and often lasts longer than necessary. You are stuck but don’t know it. You can’t be objective when going through emotional turmoil. But if you look at yourself in the mirror from time to time – your body will show you what is going on with you. Is your light shining? Or is it so dimmed that you look 10 years older than you actually are? Is your body energized and full of life? Or are you sick and in pain?
I am back to who I was before. I was drowning but I survived. I have learned so much, but only after I got out. My body was telling me this all the time, but I didn’t know how to listen. I was angry at it for getting fat, for being ugly, for being in pain. Now I know – I see it clearly. My body is my best friend, always on my side, trying to show me what I don’t realize.
And so is yours. Look at yourself. Feel your body. Is there beauty expressed on the surface, or is it only pain?