You’ve asked me what it looks like. You’ve asked me how it happens.
And as much as I try to give you words that I hope will resonate most with you, there is nothing that compares to hearing from someone who was just like you, asking me these same questions.
Someone who wanted nothing more than to know the "what" and the "how" as well.
You met her on the blog about a year and a half ago, when she wrote to me after a devastating breakup, questioning "Will I Ever Find Someone Else?" Now, I have a follow-up letter from her that she wrote to share with our community.
Here's her story:
I have been meaning to write you for some time now to update you on my journey.
I’m not sure if you would remember me, but I wrote to you about a year and a half ago, writing under the alias “Looking for Hope"...
I had just ended an engagement with an emotionally unavailable man; I felt so heart-broken from my past and scared for the future, but what I felt the most was confusion. I didn’t know how or why what had happened with my ex-fiancé happened, but deep down I knew there were answers to those questions.
It was your blog and coaching sessions that was the beginning of me peeling away to get to the root of that confusion.
Ultimately, I learned that the reason I had attracted someone who expected perfection out of me, who spoke to me so unlovingly, and who didn’t pay much attention to me was because I expected perfection from myself, I spoke to myself so unlovingly, and I had never really given myself the attention I deserved.
It was the biggest “Ah-ha” moment of my life and it is why I am who I am today.
EVERYTHING you said was right, Jane! All of the answers were inside of me all of this time. There was not a single self-loathing thought I had that I couldn’t conquer. There was someone out there who would love me for who I truly am. And God, the universe, of whatever you believe in truly does have your back when it comes to your self-love journey.
While going through the program of “Beautiful, Confident, Radiant You,” I finally realized that I was embarrassed by my emotional and sensitive self, and therefore attracted men that were also embarrassed by it. They tried to change me, because I too was trying to change, ignore, and hide that part of myself.
But not anymore.
I finally see my sensitive and emotional side as a strength and I embrace it, now it’s easy to love! It was the beacon of hope that kept growing and growing until it finally shed light on other parts of myself that I needed to learn to love.
It was such a grueling, challenging, yet absolutely beautiful process.
I also came to terms with the fact that my father and I don’t have the close relationship I wish we had and that was the core of a lot of my past relationship issues. Although he has always been present in my life, he struggles to come after me and I learned that it was okay to want that from him.
When I discovered the pain of this, it was a lot to bear, but once again the universe pulled through and sent me my “cheerleader,” as you call them. She is actually my cousin, we had never been close before and it really was divine intervention of us coming together because unbeknownst to me, she was going through a similar self-love journey.
She discovered that she had similar issues with her mother. Recognizing that her mother and my father are siblings and were raised in the same household, we realized their upbringing was maybe not the best fit for sensitive souls like us.
We both cheered each other on when it came to healing this pain, accepting what is, realizing our parents did the best they could with what they knew, and still forgiving and loving them through all of this.
The bond with my cousin has been such a gift in my life and I am so grateful for her.
Once I did the work and noticed subtle changes in myself like how loving my self-talk was, how I didn’t let my brain go into “beat-yourself-up-mode,” and being very protective of my heart, I was happy with me but I wanted someone to share this happiness with.
It took a while, but I finally met a wonderful man who is SUCH a good fit for me. THE REAL ME.
Whenever I met him, I wasn’t attracted to him at first because he’s not your typical “hunk” but there was something inside of me that told me to keep going. I guarded my heart so much, because I learned how much it deserved to be protected and I didn’t even let him kiss me until the 10th date.
But low and behold, this has been the best 9 months of my life. I don’t have to pretend to be someone else. I don’t have to fake being someone I think he’d like. I don’t have to hide parts of myself and constantly be berating the sensitive, emotional parts of me; I can do right by them, put them on display, and celebrate who I am.
I don’t have to worry about being perfect.
We have had some really raw conversations about who we are and what we want. We say something to each other that always reminds me of how worth it this journey really was: “I love you…warts and all!” And believe me, I’ve got plenty of warts! The thing is… I’m not ashamed of them anymore; and as a matter of fact I’ve found so much good in those “warts.”
In turn, he does the same for me, and I do the same for him.
It’s real love. The kind I always wanted but didn’t quite understand until now. It’s amazing how when you really are on the same page as someone how even the littlest amount of communication is understood, as opposed to my old relationships when we were not on the same page and were very puzzled by the things we would say to each other.
I love my new guy so much, but the biggest victory of this journey is finally feeling like I can be me and LOVE it! The best part about this, Jane, is that I’m not lying to myself anymore and that has been SO liberating.
I know my journey sounds like it was all roses and daisies, but it was definitely HARD WORK. Sometimes when I did the journal prompts from your program I would feel empowered and feel like I could conquer the world, but a lot of the times I was finally being so real with myself that I would have tears all over my journal pages and cry myself to sleep at night.
I would get frustrated with myself for not learning fast enough or have an urge to be angry with the old me and my past decisions, but I always reminded myself that this was just another opportunity to be gentle and kind to myself despite my shortcomings.
Sometimes, I felt so anxious or emotionally drained that I needed to take a break from the work and focus on watching funny movies or working out so I could feel refreshed and get back to the self-work the next day.
Other times, I’d question if the process was even working and if my faith in it was naïve. Other times, everything clicked and I saw the progress so tangibly. It was a very up and down process, but it was also so SOOOO beautiful.
The process still continues today.
I don’t think finding new ways to love yourself should ever end. I’ve learned I’ll never be perfect so if I ever slip into old self-negative thoughts I just remind myself how they are just thoughts, not my beliefs, and certainly NOT me…then I move on. But I couldn't have done any of this without you.
Jane, I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me and all of us in your little blog community. I think of you quite often and I will forever be grateful for you and everything your program has helped me with.
You will always be someone so important to me for giving me the tools and encouraging me through this journey. You are such an inspiration!
Thank you for everything and please feel free to contact me if there is ever anything I can do for you. I hope my story brings hope to the many other women that you work with you who are also “Looking for Hope.”
Lots of love to you this holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Yes, it happens, Beautiful!
Maybe not how you thought it would be, and maybe not on the timeline you're hoping for, but it happens.
Choose to make yours be the next success story we share here! Try the program for yourself and see just how powerful it really is. This is life-changing stuff, and I want you to see if for yourself. I want to hear your story be the next one we celebrate!
What do you think? Are you ready to see these kinds of changes in your life now? As Julie said, it's hard work, but it's certainly worth it. Tell us what changes you want to see in your love life below in the comments!