People are like stained glass windows; they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within. ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
I was three months into the relationship, and I woke up in the middle of the night asking myself what I was doing. The man I was dating had a six-year old child. I could easily be his grandmother, not his step-mother. I have my own house. My life is settled – why would I give up everything to be with him? We had entirely different approaches to money, eating, and parenting. He had already made it clear that he wanted to marry me, and I felt so drawn to him that I felt compelled to go along with his plan. Yet, I struggled with giving up my personal freedom that I had worked so hard to establish.
After journaling extensively about all this, I sent him an email summarizing my doubts and fears. In less than two hours, he had responded. Both of our emails were sent in the wee hours of the morning. He assured me of his never-ending love for me and that what I had expressed was perfectly normal and part of the stage that we were in. Of course, I ate up his reassurances with a spoon. We went on to date, live together for a year, and then marry. Three months after our wedding, he decided he was madly in love with someone else. So much for never-ending love.
I refused to listen to the intuition that had woken me up in the middle of the night. Instead, I turned to the very source of my doubt and asked him to assure me that my fears were groundless. In hindsight, I see my mistake, but at the time, I felt helpless to do anything else. The value of looking back is that we can always learn from our mistakes if we are willing to look at our actions with as much objectivity as we can muster. That is the central theme of this blog – learning and growing from our past.
What did your intuition try to tell you throughout the course of your failed relationship? Did you have clear indicators that came through loud and clear but you chose to ignore them? Perhaps your friends and family tried to warn you, but you chose to explain away your partner’s behavior. I was guilty of both. There were countless events and incidents when I refused to see the truth. Write about your insights in this arena, and then write about what you have learned because of the courage you have displayed in seeing this Truth. It is not too late to benefit from exploring this topic. Finally, give yourself permission to consider the possibility that experiencing this relationship was a gift – one you needed to receive in order to garner what you are getting from it now. The key here is to actually open the present you were given by fully looking at and exploring what lies at the depth of this experience. So often I realize because I am so darn stubborn, I must first live who I am not before I can accept who I truly am.
My big take away for me is to listen to my intuition, and not sabotage what it has to tell me by turning to the very source of my fears. Rather, I am committed to turning within and following the path that my inner knowing sets out for me. Following this intuitive guidance, I wrote Too Much Gold to Flush about what I learned from this failed relationship and the healing that I went through during the recovery process. Again, acting on an inner voice of truth, I published the book as a means of fundraising for women’s shelters. One-half of the purchase price goes to the shelter that the purchaser designates. Click here to purchase a book.
I have never had to seek refuge in a shelter, although I have volunteered there and I know staggering statistics that make me cringe when I think about how incredibly difficult a woman’s life is both before she goes there and after she leaves. She would not show up at a shelter except she has no place else to go, and she does not have the training she needs to support herself.
- 1 in 3 women in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
- On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls, an average of close to 15 calls every minute.
- Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
In 2014 in Texas (because TX is my home state, I am particularly interested in these stats)
- Texas domestic violence hotlines answered 185,373 calls.
- 114 Texan women were killed by intimate partners, more than 10% of the national total.
- 75% of Texas 16-24 year-olds have either experienced dating violence or know another young person who has.
In 2015 in Texas
- Last year, 158 women were murdered in Texas by their intimate male partners – a 20% increase over 2014.
- Harris County, a neighboring county to where I live in Galveston County, had the greatest number of domestic violence deaths in Texas.
- 37% of the women killed had taken steps to end the abusive relationship.
On average, an abused woman will come in and out of a shelter seven times in her lifetime. Many women stay in abusive relationships because they are financially dependent on their abuser. When I teach classes in shelters, I donate copies of my book to their library, and women tend to take them when they move on, so they clearly value them. If women in shelters can learn to make different choices and have access to job training or education, they’re more likely to break the cycle of abuse. That’s why I started a crowdfunding campaign called Empowerment through Education. One-third of every dollar donated goes to a women’s shelter college fund and the other two-thirds provides copies of my book for the women.
Help me to help women to help themselves by donating to the General Donation, which will be split among all the shelters in this campaign. Or, if you are interested in donating to a particular shelter, click here and then scroll down the page and choose a shelter. Once you donate, you will be asked if you want a tax receipt. Click here to see all the shelters in this campaign. The URL for this crowdfunding project is: https://try.tilt.com/empowerment
I would love to connect with you. If you are a consultant with a direct sale
s product like Mary Kay or Scentsy, I would love to work with you on doing a fundraiser to donate to one of the shelters on this project. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s discuss how you can help. Please type “fundraising” in the subject line.
Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become. ~Steve Jobs