This is a new beginning. Here is the truth. Everything you need is inside you.
I’ve been divorced about 9 years now. While the beginning was really painful and heartbreaking, I’m happy to say that things are fabulous now. But it was and still is, a long path of self discovery.
When I first got separated, I was sooo desperate for attention, love, or even a kind smile. I craved anything to remind me that I wasn’t dead inside. I had a longing so deep, so profound, and so filled with despair, that I was immediately uplifted by any sign from a guy that might give me hope that I could find love again. You see, when you’re that hungry for love, its easy to grab at whatever comes your way. I was starving. I feasted on crumbs. And I was completely blinded by it.
During my separation, I got involved with a man I thought was the most amazing, kind hearted, here to take me away from my pain and live happily ever after type of person I EVER met. (spoiler alert: he was certainly not). I lived and died by my phone, and my mood was fully determined by if he texted me or not. Of course I couldn’t see it then, but I had completely tied my value to him. I was attractive, desirable, and fun when we spoke. When he wasn’t around, I was insignificant. I’ll just skip ahead and tell you it didn’t last. In fact, the relationship crashed and burned and I was absolutely crushed.
I see this very often in women coming out of marriages or long term relationships. The pain is so overwhelming that we turn to any type of solace, escape or glimpse of happiness just to make us feel whole again. Immediately, women turn to dating to find someone to make us feel good again. But you know what? It doesn’t work. Other people won’t heal you. I know you’ve heard this before. You’ve all seen the memes on IG, and motivational quotes with pictures of mountains or flowers in the background reminding you that you are enough, and that self love is the most important thing. And its true. But the memes don’t show the overwhelming pain in our hearts that can be so debilitating, that self love seems like the most foreign concept ever written.
Yes, sweet girl, you were hurt and unappreciated, and told that you were less than. Your marriage or relationship was not what you had hoped. You were trying to be a good partner or mom, and ignored your self for the benefit of your family. You didn’t want to mess up your kids. Your mantra became “I can’t because…”. Let’s skip the reasons why the relationship failed (you were young, you thought things would improve, you had issues, he had issues…). You are here now. And now is all that matters. Life is unfolding for you in a new beautiful way, and you can make it whatever you want it to be. I want this for you, and I’m here to remind you that the way to create the life you were meant to live is to know your value. And that value is NOT tethered to some guy with a nice smile. It resides only in you. And you, my beautiful women, will find that. Here’s how.
Live in your space of truth. Pay real close attention to your body, and how decisions FEEL in your gut, in your core. Your heart is bruised right now, so trusting your gut will not fail you. Act with intent and in the direction of the person you want to be. Ask yourself, “Is this what a strong, fiercely empowered woman would do?”. If the answer is no, or I’m not sure, wait it out and ask again later.
Sit in silence and LISTEN. You don’t need to ask your girlfriends, your therapist, or your mom what to do. You KNOW your truth. Don’t ignore it! Get still. Listen. Only you know the right path. The only reason you are asking for advice from others is because you are afraid of your own truth. Fear and pain avoidance are incredible motivators. Letting go, and accepting that this is a scary process will liberate you, and allow you speak from your most authentic self.
Throw out all your stories that are spinning in your head, trying to rationalize why you accepted anything less, or making excuses for putting anyone else’s value above yours. Get really clear on that. I used to defend my poor decisions, by reframing them in my head. I was a “nice” person. I would say to myself, “Wow. I am so considerate, and flexible. It’s because of my awesome understanding and accepting nature that I allow when others cancel plans on me, or don’t show up to support me emotionally. I’m so good.” Instead of standing in my centered soul, in my genuine self, and declaring what I needed or what my truth was, I made excuses and ignored the “red flags”. I fabricated the narrative in my head that I was being a good person, mother, or friend, when all I was really doing was squashing my self love and self worth. You are not letting anyone else down by stepping into your truth other than your self.
Find something that makes you feel alive, excited and completely fulfilled and passionate. Dive into that. For me, it was rock climbing, and it was a life changer. Through climbing I learned that I can be self sufficient, strong, and confident. Plus the connection to nature and the outdoors was a constant reminder that life is a cycle of growth, loss and rebirth. My love for climbing and the outdoors will always be my savior and refuge. Discover what yours is.
Lastly, create a tribe of others that speak your language. Seek out inspiring women that push you to be your best and remind you that you are infinitely capable and amazing. These are the people that are here to help unleash the truth of your life.
I can look back at myself at that time and have compassion. I understand how broken I was. And what I tell my former self, and to you my beautiful souls, is that it’s all part of the journey to self discovery. Everyone wants to know that we are valued, validated, and loved. No one has been through what you have been through, and no one has the power to fix it but yourself.
When you ground yourself in self love, and trust that you are strong enough to stand in it, then you know you are living in authentic empowerment.
Start where you are now.
Claim your phenomenal, majestic, graceful life.
Self love is not a line that you cross, it s a road that you take.
Anyssa Lucena is a climbing guide, health coach, personal trainer and fitness enthusiast who is passionate about inspiring women to reach their full potential through health awareness, self love, and outdoor life. She teaches rowing classes in her home studio in Montvale, NJ and climbing classes at The Gravity Vault in Upper Saddle River, NJ. She also runs various group programs for weight loss and healthy living. You can find out more and contact her at www.genuineselfwellness.com, or @genuineselfwellness on Facebook and Instagram