Possibilities Playground Newsletter

I Can See the Light! (Part II)

Last we spoke, I shared that my old time demons had been resurrected by my sweetie’s ex-girlfriend and how my nearly two year relationship was pretty much going up in flames. In case you missed it, you can catch up here.

In spite of everything that happened, I stood my ground – confident of the clear message that I was not supposed to leave while in a state of turmoil. Instead of running, I took the daggers to the heart and let the feelings of unworthiness and rejection totally engulf me to the point of … well, words simply cannot describe it all.

Here’s the kicker though, not only did I not run, but I kept dating the man! How’s that for doing things differently?! Perhaps it was because he continuously wished he’d “get hit with a 2 by 4 and finally feel what he’s been missing” and I was hanging on to that hope. At first it seemed oddly natural (and I totally scored when he conspired to put together the most fantastic 40th birthday week ever), but when he suggested we continue dating AFTER he spent some intimate time with her I immediately thought, “Um, excuse me?!” I mean, not moving I could see because of pure logistics, but continue dating – WTF?!

But before you jump to traditional conclusions of insanity, hear me out as I reluctantly did him. He had a unique vantage point to be able to see my demons, as he was there for the breakdowns… there asking questions that pulled out the voices from my head.  He thought it best I face them head on and pointed out that if my biggest issues were around worthiness and rejection, then the best way for me to work through them would be to remain in a situation where they’d naturally come up. Finally, he believed he could provide a supportive environment, where he would listen and give feedback, hold me while I cried and remind me of my awesomeness – all so that I could work through my issues should I choose.

Stop and take that in for a moment. If you’re anything like me, when you get dealt lemons you probably start making lemonade right away, but what if there’s another way to make even better lemonade? What if, instead of going straight to the cutting board you were to let those lemons ripen a bit more so you could actually get sweeter juice and more of it?!?

Huh. There I was, face to face with a very unique opportunity to finally deal with the baggage I’d been carrying around deep within for a long, long time. It’s like I could see the key I needed but, in order to get it, I’d have to walk over hot coals. (Which it turns out I did, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.)  It’s really quite impressive, the way the Universe set things up so well. But let me be clear about something: We all have free will.  Even with the best set up, we can make choices that don’t result in the best possible outcome (which is what I’d apparently done in the past and what I was trying to avoid this time).

What I realized was that the initial idea of me not running away physically was really the means for me to not run away from the same pains I’d previously managed to bury repeatedly through my powers of resilience and positive thinking. (Oh boy… the truth of the saying “your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness” certainly rings true here!)

So, I considered my options and consciously chose not to run. Instead, I cried a lot. I journaled a lot. I prayed more than I have in a long time… for grace, for understanding… and for an open heart regardless of the pain so that I might heal my old wounds. I leaned on Marianne Williamson’s book Return to Love. I even hired a spiritual counselor.

Through it all I began to give up on our relationship (not in a bad way; rather, I surrendered it to a higher power) and instead chose to work on my Self. After all, I figured if I was still this messed up at age 40, then it wasn’t going to disappear on its own and would no doubt rear its ugly head again in my next relationship. So yeah… I was definitely doing this different than ever before (go me!)

“Life is fair. It’s happening for us and not to us. Even those moments that seem challenging are leading us to something greater, we just can’t see it at the moment.“   – Panache Desai

Yep…life is fair. In the end, the more I focused on me and keeping my heart as wide open as I could – even through the pain – the stronger I became, the more worthy I felt; the less concerned I was about rejection… and the lighter I became as old layers were shed. As a matter of fact, at one point I commented to my brother that I felt more like my normal self than I had since before I’d moved in with Drew. Now that says a lot!!!

Then things culminated for us at, of all places, a Tony Robbins event with over 5,000 people. You see, since I’m certified to train a class for one of Tony’s companies, I’d been given VIP passes to his Unleash the Power Within event, and Drew and I had already planned on attending before all this craziness came to pass, so we still went.

I’ll have to tell you about how friggin awesome Unleash the Power Within was another time, but for the record: it was da’bomb! Even though we walked on 2,200 degree smoldering coals, I’d have to say that the biggest moment for me came after one of the activities – where we journaled what we wanted and what actions we could take to move toward it and were asked to share with our buddy (Drew was of course mine). I read what I wrote: “I want a romantic relationship with a spiritually conscious man, preferably Drew, and because I deserve it – I’m going to ask him to make a committed decision to be fully in or out of this relationship right now.”

Oh boy, I seriously had butterflies as I read it to him, but I felt an unwavering need to stand up for what I wanted so that I could be better prepared when figuring out my next steps. To my surprise, Drew responded “I’m in!” After clarifying that I meant the other woman was out, that all plans for me moving would be nullified, and that I wanted us to do whatever it took to try and make things work between us… he was still in. Whoa.

In the days that followed, the energy between us shifted dramatically. No longer were we acting like companions, going through the motions of life.  Instead we were playful, light-hearted, flirty and best of all (according to Drew) we could look deeply into one another’s eyes.

And so, it is with great pleasure that I find myself on the other side of what I’d been referring to as “the dark night of the soul.”  We’ve gone from planning the end our relationship to recommitting to each other… from packing boxes to repainting our bedroom… from a respectful love to a much deeper one.

Wow! I’m still pinching myself…

I have learned so much and am incredibly grateful for the experience – every bit of it. So much so that I sent a thank you note to Drew’s ex-girlfriend, who has since moved to the island and to whom I continue to wish all the best.

Now, with all that said… if I asked you what key things you think made the biggest difference in turning this all around, I’d bet you’d summarize it with these 5 things:

  • not running away
  • my willingness to dig into the issues that surfaced
  • insights from the book Return to Love
  • the Unleash the Power Within event
  • having a partner who was also willing to be honest and loving in the face of pain, to stay engaged and to remain committed to supporting me through it

And you’d be right, but I’d like to stress that in the end the most important game changer was what I did internally. Nothing would’ve worked if I wasn’t willing to:

  • stay uncomfortable
  • feel the pain without trying to cover it up or build new walls
  • be honest with myself and others
  • work through old issues
  • stay loving throughout the process no matter what
  • take a stand for what I wanted without being attached

For me it really boiled down to the mantra that I clung to: doing things differently. I swear, occasionally when I was good and confused I would ask myself “what would I normally do” and then do the exact opposite. And what d’ya know, that shit actually worked!

Funny. As much as I am in awe of how this all played out, at the same time I’m not that surprised. I believe everything happens for a reason. With that in mind, I certainly hope my dark night of the soul and resultant sunrise has given you some ideas on how you might handle situations differently in your life going forward.

Unlike some of my other articles, I don’t feel I can share any sort of ‘3-step process’ to point you in the right direction. All I can do is be a witness to my story and share what I learned.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this, so do me a favor and send me a note. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a book like mine ;)

Wishing us all the ability to remain open to our fullest possibilities,
image gif sara sig clear


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I Can See the Light! (Part II) by Sara Russell of Feel The Possibilities
Visit Sara at: www.feelthepossibilities.com
Send email to sara@feelthepossibilities.com