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A Thank You To My Ex

A Thank You To My Ex

I have always believed that everyone we meet is for a reason. It is never an accident, there is always a purpose. Even if we get hurt, we learn something so much bigger than the pain we endured.

I thought I had experienced being in love before. I cared for past boyfriends deeply. In a way, I loved them. I just didn’t realize there was a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. Now I can honestly say that I have been in love once. It was the most beautiful yet terrifying experience I ever had.

The guy I fell in love with, was also the guy that truly broke my heart. Despite all the pain that was caused in the end, I hold no regrets. My ex showed me exactly how big my heart is and just how much love I am actually capable of.

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    I have always been quite guarded. I had my walls up high and it took a fair bit of effort on another person’s part to even get close to me. I’d like to think I’m not quite like that now, but to an extent I am still quite guarded with my heart. When it comes to friendships and meeting new people, I am a pretty open, loving, and outgoing character. When it comes to my heart and opening up my soul to another, I suppose I am pretty cautious as not everyone deserves it. I have many acquaintances and very few people I consider my true friends.

    For the sake of fairness, let’s call my ex “Dave”. Now, it wasn’t a “love at first sight” kind of deal. It was actually quite a slow burn. I had known him for years. I worked with him, lived with him, and also became best friends with him before we even started anything intimate. Through all those years, there was never even an inkling of attraction on my part towards him. However, what I actually had for him was respect.

    Dave was extremely charismatic. He had a magnetism about him that drew people towards him. He oozed confidence, gave great advice, was a master at communicating with people, was always so generous, and would take the shirt off his back to help someone else. He also had a killer sense of humor.

    Here’s my weakness: if a guy can make me laugh, like actually “laugh out loud”, I’m pretty much caught. This may sound easy because I am known to laugh a lot. You know those “lols” or “giggles” where you find something kind of funny, so you nervously (or confidently) fake a laugh to give it some credit? Yeah, that’s me. I do that a lot. If you see me in person, my face is a dead giveaway. I have been told my facial expressions are priceless. It seems to tell all. Now, to get me to actually laugh out loud to the point where my stomach hurts, my eyes are tearing up, and I am chuckling uncontrollably, takes talent. Dave had this talent.

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    Dave and I spent a lot of time together. When we weren’t together, he would randomly call me just to say hi and we would chat for hours. He would send random texts throughout the day, just to make me smile. Our friendship grew and we both started to open up to each other. I told him things about me no one else knew, and he did the same. We would send random Snap Chats, see how each other’s day was going, and enjoy hanging out in each other’s company for hours on end. There were tears, a copious amount of laughter, and many moments of just being silly dorks together.

    He made me feel safe. When I needed a shoulder, Dave was there. When I had a tough day, he would do little things to put a smile on my face. Needless to say, the chemistry between us started to build. I think this went on for months, as I was fighting it and didn’t want to ruin a good thing. However, we eventually started hooking up. This stage also went for another few months. I will still say, as much as the chemistry was insane, there was always that voice in my head telling me to be careful about this one. I didn’t end up listening to it. We became exclusive. It was official and now everyone knew. There was no going back.

    I felt so safe and secure with Dave. I figured because he had known me and seen all the sides of my personality, there was no need to prove my loyalty or trustworthiness to him. After all, he saw what I was like in the work place, and he saw how I was with the boys. He also knew I wasn’t the kind of girl that had a reputation for sleeping around. I thought it was amazing that someone finally understood me and didn’t need to question me. Unfortunately, I was wrong, but that is another story.

    Once Dave and I became official, I let my guard down. I trusted him with all my heart. I never thought (not even for a moment) that he would have the ability to hurt me because I knew how much he cared for me, especially our friendship. At first, I was scared to allow myself to give my heart and be vulnerable. I fought an internal battle. I have always and probably will always be an all or nothing kind of girl. My heart won and I fell hard. The chemistry was off the wall, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. We were always laughing and just enjoying the simple life and each other’s company.

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    It was like the universe was smiling on us. Everywhere we went, every traffic light would just go green. Things just flowed. I can’t even really explain what it was like to fall in love with Dave. It was nothing even close to what I had ever experienced before. There was really only one word to describe it and that word was “magic”. I realized that I had not in fact been in love before – not even close. This was a whole other level.

    I was always independent. I made my own way, I had my own back, and I worked for everything I had. I relied and depended on nobody but myself. I always took care of myself. Because of this, I always put myself first – until Dave. I found myself becoming selfless. If it made him happy, it made me happy. Just seeing him smile made my day. For the first time in my life, someone else’s needs came before mine.

    The relationship ended badly. It’s safe to say it was the worst break up I have ever been through. I can just say that it was insecurities that caused it to all fall apart. They were insecurities that didn’t need to be there. He wasn’t the one for me. I miss our friendship more than anything, but some doors are better left shut.

    I can’t say that being with him was a waste of time because it took someone like him who knew me for years, to teach me some very valuable life lessons. Dave taught me what it was like to actually be in love. He taught me what I was capable of when I gave my love. He helped shape me. When I actually meet the right guy, now I know exactly how to love him. My ex also taught me exactly what to look out for and what I don’t want.

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    The next time I give my heart away, the man for me will have come to terms with his issues and insecurities already. He will be aware of them; therefore, he will not allow them to control him or take it out on me. There is not a soul on this planet that doesn’t have insecurities. It is just not possible. No one is perfect, and I’m sure I’m not either.

    I don’t know when I will fall in love again, but what I do know is that the right guy for me will love me for exactly who I am, and I will love him for exactly who he is. We will not want to change each other, we will only be by each other’s side to help encourage and motivate each other to grow into the best version of ourselves. If someone is trying to change who you are and wants you to do things that aren’t really you, how can that person really love you for who you are?

    These are the lessons my ex taught me, and even though the break up was extremely painful and a lot of hurt came from it, I cannot thank him enough. I will be forever grateful to have had met him. Without him, I wouldn’t know exactly what I do and do not want. I hope Dave has also learned some valuable lessons from our relationship.

    The universe has a funny way of sending certain people into our lives to make us, break us, or shake us up a little. Even if we meet for a day, a season, or a lifetime, it is always – most definitely – for a reason. Sometimes this reason is camouflaged as a painful event; however, if you look back, it was trying to teach you something.

    How we deal with pain is up to us. As the old saying goes, when something bad happens to you, you have three choices: you can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you. I choose the latter. For that, I thank my ex. He has made me stronger than I have ever been.

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    Last Updated on August 10, 2020

    10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

    10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

    Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

    If you’re ready to do what you want in life, then the 10 principles of success are what you need to follow.

    You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

    Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

    You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

    Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

    1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

    If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

    Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

    When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

    Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

    So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

    Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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    2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

    Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

    Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

    • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
    • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
    • Answer a few Superpower Questions

    Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

    3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

    Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

    The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

    You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

    Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

    Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

    4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

    The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

    Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

    To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

    This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

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    5. Embrace Your Inner Self

    Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

    Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

    • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
    • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
    • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

    The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward. Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

    Here’s How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment.

    6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

    I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

    To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

    Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

    A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

    Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

    Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

    7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

    Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

    Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

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    What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

    Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

    8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

    Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

    Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

    What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

    These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

    9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

    Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

    This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

    Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

    “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

    10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

    Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

    Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

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    You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

    You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

    Final Thoughts

    Eleanor Roosevelt said,

    “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

    Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

    By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

    If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

    This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

    Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

    More About Success in Life

    Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

    Reference

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