The Quiet Voice I Finally Listened to

“It is only alone, truly alone, that one bursts apart, springs forth.”
-Maria Isabel Barren

I stared at the Mount Si sign, adjusting my backpack, putting one foot in front of the other to launch myself up the mountain. A year ago, the thought of doing anything alone would’ve killed me. It’s incredible when all of a sudden the limits you created for yourself no longer exist.

I crave people: community, conversation and energy – I need it in my life. In other words, I’m an extrovert. But as I’ve become more self-aware, I’m learning that there’s a quiet little voice that urges me to be alone and find myself. Prior to this discovery, the extrovert was so happy to have found an amazing person to spend my entire life with.

I made a decision. I stood in front of family and friends and said yes to a life. Even though a little introvert voice asked me politely to wait, I still said yes and committed my life to another person.  I could list off the reasons I did it: love, mom’s cancer, “ideals,” but there isn’t really any use in doing that.  As time passed and I lived confined to a role I wasn’t sure I wanted, that little voice grew louder. 

Miles and miles away from my old life, moments of loneliness hit when I crave it.  Then I remind myself that I left.  And when I did, the quiet voice became a pounding song that held my hand as I drove away. I needed to find myself. I needed to know what I wanted – and it had to be done alone. I had to allow myself to take that journey.

People shift and change. If we don’t let them, we lose them. If you start to feel dishonest about yourself, you lose you. I was so lost, and I never even knew who I was to begin with. I hadn’t given myself a chance to find it.

Sweating up Mount Si, the grey skies cleared to let light in and it hit me – how everything is beautifully flawed. If we allow everyone to be a perfect mess, we can find our way on our own – but still together.

I have been many different versions of myself. I’ve had every hair colour and tried almost every sport. From student council president to class troublemaker, yoga teacher to trucker’s mouth, I add a lot of flavour in the pot.  I’m aware of this.

In my marriage I felt like I was wearing all of these hats, trying to find yet another version of myself that fit for somebody else, not one that fit for me. I was left with a room full of hats and I didn’t want to wear any of them.

I truly need to know who I am in order to mean what I say in life. I had to discover it the hard way. I had to break a promise. I had to learn that the grass can be browner, and you won’t make it into everyone’s good books along the way, but you’re worth finding.

Somehow I know that every experience has led me here – to knowing myself. Every bad decision and wrong turn was actually the path I needed to take. 

I’ve never learned anything by following directions. Falling over has helped me up, and getting lost has helped me find the way. 

Now I’m on top of this, looking over it. 

The view is imperfectly perfect, but I’ve earned it. More self-aware, I get me and I know how I fit.  I didn’t discover any of this by ignoring the quiet voice inside my soul; I found it by becoming best friends with it.

We know how hard it is to let go after a relationship, and that’s why we’ve designed an entire program to support you on the path to wholeness. As a loyal blog reader, we are offering 50% off all our Mend Classes for a limited time. Use code BLOG50 at checkout. We cover topics like infidelity, letting go, and how to recover from rebounds. Sign up to get started.

Dear Me: A Reminder

Dear past, present and future versions of myself,

You aren’t who you were, or who you may become. You’re who you are right now.

Be unapologetic. Be humble. Be kind.

Let tomorrow live in tomorrow. Don’t chase anything. Live in the possibility of what could be, not in what hasn’t happened or probably just won’t.

Be liberated. Don’t destroy, just let go. Laugh a lot. Laugh at anything. Laugh at everything. Laugh at yourself.

Learn to heal from things that you may not even know have hurt you. Learn to see what might hurt you, and navigate around it. Don’t put up walls. But protect yourself.

Let people in but stand firm in who you are.

Let yourself linger and leave before the party ends. Have a wide variety of experiences and be open to new things.

Don’t ever pretend to be someone else. You are great and someone is already stuck pretending to be you. The qualities you have are unique, and all of your quirks and imperfections make you vulnerable and attractive.

Don’t stop at anything for the things you want. But it’s okay to not know what you want either. It’s okay to tread water. Just stay above. Stay above everything that tries to push you down.

Mean what you say and do what you want. In the process, be gentle with people’s hearts.

Keep yourself attached in such a way that honours you and other people.

Love being with people, and love being alone. Love smiling, and love taking a moment to be somber.

Hold others, but hold onto yourself.

Be liberated, be wild. Make good choices and then lose your way. Find out how good it feels to come home.

Discover the nooks of your soul that only you can find, and ask them what they have to say.

Do what you love and that can be a great many things. Always own your life.

Accomplish great things, let yourself measure what greatness is to you.

Choose joy. Choose to create. Choose moments in the present, being fully aware of how every step before this has led you here.

Be taken aback by someone. By nature. By life.

Know that you are in control of you, but not everything. You can’t make the stars align, but you can set a goal and work towards it.

Right now things may seem one way. But think about a year ago. Where you were. What you felt. Things have shifted and will continue to shift.

Sometimes a feeling, a moment has a lifespan. Know this and you will free yourself from so much anxiety.

Have fun. Be silly. Know that things matter, but people matter more.

Find out what your heart craves and give it that. Support others in a way that you wish to be supported.

Only let things occupy your mind and soul that latter up to who you are and what you want.

You have so much to offer, and this one precious life has so much to give.

After It All, I Am Courageous

I was married. And now I’m not. He took the papers in last week, so I guess it’s final.

It’s hard to battle the feeling of liberation, yet also mourn the loss of a life I once had. I don’t have much to show for myself in the way of possessions after it all, though I’m satisfied with where my feet are leading me.

Is it bad that I don’t miss it? The fighting, the yelling, and feeling like I had to die over and over again to be who I really am and do what I really want? I guess that’s how I know that it’s right, despite how much it stings.

I never really wanted to get married, although I really liked the idea of it. Standing on the alter unsure, I did it anyways. That’s how I’ve spent a good portion of my life, making choices because I though it was the “right” thing to do.

I’m finally breaking free from that pattern. People don’t always agree with the choices that I make and I have to understand that there is absolutely no way of convincing anybody else of what my soul needs. I am on the lookout for myself.

While my heart aches because I truly did love him, I have to learn to let go. I always had the feeling that he wasn’t meant to be mine.

I have a rough idea of what I want in a man. But I have a clearer idea of what I want for myself. Honestly, no other person will ever be able to fulfill that.

Right now is precious. It’s my time.

It’s a time to recover, to explore, to be fascinated and in wonder. It’s my time to dream, to laugh, to have honest conversations and to be totally and completely okay with who I am; incredible strengths and beautiful flaws.

I’m learning the most extraordinary things about myself. I’m learning that I’m brave. There’s a courage that lies within me that only this experience could possibly uncover.

Courage isn’t easy. It’s understanding both success and failure and continuing to charge through, knowing the possibility of all outcomes.

I finally feel courageous. I finally feel restored.

Biking alone through the small surf town of Haleiwa today, I laughed out loud. The beauty of the moment overtook me and I was beaming from ear to ear. The sunshine, the ocean, coffee shops and surf boards – they were peaceful perfection.

I’m here because I knew I wanted this. I knew I needed it. I knew it was good for my soul.

Sometimes I forget that I actually know where I want to go and I have absolutely everything I need to get there.

I am courageous.