I know how difficult the first few days, weeks, months and maybe even year following a major divorce or breakup can be, and how insane it must sound for me to ask you to find a “hidden gift” from what seems to be a loss or a tragedy, and in some cases a betrayal.
Yet, here I am… inviting you to take a radical approach, step outside of your comfort zone, and look beyond your present pain.
Allow me to explain.
A few years ago, I was shattered by a breakup with my fiancé (We’ll call him Mr. X.), whom I believed was the love of my life. Even though our relationship had been rapidly deteriorating for months, he was financially irresponsible, and I suspected he was having an affair, I believed that I’d be devastated without him.
Our breakup happened through a text message. He had already packed his car with all his belongings while I was out and about running errands, and I was asked to come home so he could hand me the keys to my apartment before he left.
After that, I began a journey of self-empowerment. I knew I had to take responsibility for my part in the breakup and all my failed relationships before him. After all, I was the common denominator in all those relationships. Without him holding me back, I felt like I had all the time in the world.
My journey to self-love began, and in time my confidence was being developed. This time I built my confidence from my core, and I was learning how to stay true to myself. As I began to blossom into a stronger, more empowered woman, I could finally see the gifts that I had received from my ex, who I now refer to as “Santa Claus.”
Fast forward to a year later around Christmas time, when I remember sitting in my car on Chestnut Street in San Francisco on a rainy day with my favorite vanilla latte from Peet’s Coffee, waiting for a well-known opera singer who was starring at the San Francisco Opera to call me because she wanted to talk about getting coaching from me. WOW… ME? She is calling me for some life coaching? I was feeling so humbled and quite excited, thinking, “Boy, how did all this happen?”
And my mind started traveling back in time, reminiscing on the life-altering experiences of that year when my finacé broke up with me. Despite the bitter and painful feelings that a broken relationship can cause, I truly and fully feel gratitude for Mr. X and for everything that came to my life as a result of both the engagement and the breakups. Yes, “breakups” is plural: my finacé had this habit of breaking up, leaving our home, taking all of his belongings, and then coming back after a few months. This cycle happened three times, and the last time he left I was done with it.
Back to the rainy day on Chestnut Street. As I’m sitting in my car waiting for the phone call, I look around and everywhere I turn I see Christmas decorations, ornaments and ribbons. All of sudden I hear this calm, still voice in my head say to me,
“Raeeka, Mr. X was your Santa Claus.”
Wait… what? Is this the coffee talking? Was I caffeine happy?
I remember saying to myself, “Are you crazy?” And this small, still and calm voice kept saying:
“Yes, lady. He was your Santa Claus. Think about it: he brought so many good changes and opportunities to your life. It was like he dropped off a big red bag of gifts delivering the opportunity to grow and get on the journey to self-empowerment, to strengthen old friendships and find new ones, to get your life coaching certificate, and to create Dating with Confidence™…and then he was on his way.”
Boy, this was interesting—and a very different thought process than I expected. In the past I would have been prepared to stay mad at him forever, blaming him for all my miseries and intending to be “done” with finding love.
But that wasn’t who I was anymore, and seeing him as my personal Santa Claus is exactly how I’ve chosen to see him since that day. That was when I knew with all my heart that I had forgiven him and really understood what wise people mean when they say “Forgiving is a gift you give to yourself.”
Thanks to my experience with Mr. X, Dating with Confidence™ was born and I have been able to build that business from ground zero and to experience growing success. My ex and my dating experiences with other men have certainly been part of the source for my content, blogs, & teaching materials!
That experience – along with 11 other failed relationships before him, my personal journey to finally learn how to date effectively, and finding love with the love of my life, Tim – has given me such credibility because I have literally walked all my talks, and I model what I teach and preach to my clients. 😉
Here are a few tools I used to help me go from pain to possibility:
1. Curiosity. Instead of giving in to fear of the unknown, I chose to be curious. By choosing that, I began to discover myself and explore my strengths. This led to my career as a coach, in which I now help hundreds and hundreds of other smart, savvy, and high-achieving women who have created success in many areas of their lives, but they haven’t found that with love. I help them crack the dating code and create success in their love lives as well.
2. Responsibility. Instead of blaming Mr. X and all my other boyfriends from my past failed relationships, I chose to be responsible and take matters into my own hands. I chose to learn what can “I” do to change things and let go of all things that were not in my control. In doing, so my confidence grew strong and I realized I am fully capable of creating the life and love life that I deeply desired.
3. Self-Compassion and Self Love. Instead of choosing to feel dependent on others and outside situations to make me happy, I devoted my time to learning how to become happy from the inside and how to truly love and accept the person I am: the same way I’d like to be loved and accepted in a relationship. I learned skills to soothe my broken heart, I learned how to reach out to ask for help, and I created my network of support. In doing so, I learned to listen to that still, small, calm and wise inner voice and to trust it.
So that’s what my ex – ahem, Santa Claus – gave me: basically, the wonderful, vibrant and abundant life I’m leading today happened because of our breakup. Imagine that.
Now it’s your turn. I want to invite you to look at your past relationships and challenge yourself to focus on what you have gained. Think about everything. You might have gained something material, like a house, or something emotional, like stronger confidence. As a result of your breakup or divorce, did you gain money, friendships, a new career, or something else?
Also, think about how your perspective has changed. How have you grown from this experience? What do you know now that you didn’t know then? How are you worlds wiser today than you were only yesterday?
Think about all of those questions today. Write about them in your journal if you wish. Spend some time with this exercise and really push yourself to see what your Santa Claus gave you and what unexpected gifts you can be grateful for this holiday season.
To your new perspective!
As always, I wanna hear from you. I wanna know the biggest insight you’re taking away from this blog. Leave a comment below. And if you enjoyed this blog, join Dating with Confidence’s FREE and PRIVATE Facebook group, “Dating Tips For Savvy Single Ladies,” where you can have more personal interaction with me and get support around your love life. And share this blog with your friends.
To your dating success!
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