Being Your Own Happily Ever After

No one saves us, no one swoops in and rescues us from life. The truth is we save ourselves.

No one makes us feel loved or valued or sexy. Not in the real sense, at least. Those feelings come from within and flow outward, attracting to us people who also see these same things in us.

Sometimes I forget that I am my own knight in shining armor. Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I am my own happily ever after. Others can enrich my life, teach me lessons, help me tap into new experiences and feelings. But, true love has to come from within me, just as it has to come from within you. That is the only path to true bliss.

I just ended a seven year relationship. It was one of the most painful, heartbreaking things I’ve ever done. I stand here watching the pages of my life flip past, closing one chapter, opening to another. The grieving process will not be easy, but it is necessary.

Without the grief, I cannot grow. Without the messy, ugly digging deep, I cannot heal.

My therapist told me yesterday that the most dangerous thing I can do right now is make a list of things I want in my next partner. A list that I’d already started, of course: smart, emotionally mature, funny, willing to commit to a partnership where we support each other 100%, etc.

Instead, she said I need to make a list of all the things I want to FEEL in my next relationship.

The point is not who does the dishes. Rather, you want someone with whom you can negotiate the things that need negotiating while still feeling loved and respected. As a result of that negotiation, the dishes will get done, but it doesn’t matter who actually does them.

Isn’t that an interesting concept? That it’s not about finding a partner who does certain tasks or possesses certain qualities. It’s about finding a partner that you can work with to make life happen in the most supportive and empowering way – and through that, things get done.

Mind blown. *poof*

But I’m going to expand on that even more.

How do you want to feel about you? How do you want to feel about your own life? Happy doesn’t cut it, either. It needs to be specific, deep, intimate, and real. The kind of stuff that you’ll be proud of on your death bed. The kind of stuff that eliminates regrets and invites joy.

You save yourself in this lifetime. You have to fall in love with you in order to allow others to do the same. You have to sweep yourself right off your own feet and know you’ll be OK no matter what happens. And in that moment, your soul is set on fire.

So, I’m working on my lists. The lists of what I want to feel about myself and my life, and the list of how I want to feel in my next relationship.

I want to feel excited about the future. I want to feel vulnerable. I want to feel empowered to speak my truth and share my feelings without fear.

I want to know what it feels like to love so deeply that I’m terrified and I do it anyway.

I want to laugh every single day.

I want to stand at the edge of the abyss, look into the unknown, and fling myself over the edge – arms out, head back – and soar towards my dreams.

What do you want? What does that feel like? You are your own hero.

Fuck Perfection

“Perfect is beige.” ~ Kris Carr

Ah, perfection: the plague of adventure, the disease of happiness, the obstacle of authenticity.

Perfection is an excuse, it’s boring, and it’s a crutch. Let’s throw out our notions and stop the insanity because perfection means no growth, no sticky edges. Perfection means no change and no unexpected opportunities.

Perfection is void of unexpected delight and spontaneous joy because it keeps us in our head and focused on things that don’t move us up and out.

Rather than perfection, let’s try for experience. Authentic experience is messy and mistake-ridden, but it’s beautiful and poetic. And so very, very scary.

A life of vivacious color and cacophonous joy takes imperfection and mistakes and failures. An unleashed woman is willing to face her fears and take a leap of faith.

So, instead of holding tightly to a false sense of control, why not surrender beautifully into the arms of fate? Instead of fighting to stay inside the lines (that were mostly likely drawn by someone else’s expectations), why not jump into the swirling mystery so that you can create you own story in a way that’s never been done before?

Let us stand up and scream, “Fuck perfection!” Rip off the gloves, toss the dishes in the sink, wrap your hair in a ponytail, and find something extraordinary to do with this moment. Write or paint or sign-up for a class on glass blowing or dance naked in your living room with the curtains open or book a spontaneous weekend away by yourself.

Just do something that gets your heart pumping. Don’t over think it. Don’t doubt yourself.

Trust, decide, and leap. Regardless of the outcome, the fact that you had the courage to try makes you even more incredible than you already are.

ToniVC / Nature Photos / CC BY-NC-ND