Life is a collection of moments, experiences and choices. Mesh that with thoughts and emotions it becomes one hell of a ride. I have been asking myself for of late “Rachel, how do you want to live?” I used to come up a generic answer like “I want to live a happy life” But there was this feeling within me that said this sentence was not right. It was not the truth. The truth is hard. We already know it deep down, but we deny ourselves of what is right for us because we wish it wasn’t true. We wish it wasn’t the right thing. Even when it is good in this moment, does not mean it makes it right for you.
I’ve laid awake at 3 am most nights recently. My mind sharp and alert. My body wishing it wasn’t awake and my heart racing. My gut was saying “this isn’t right” but my head says “but Rachel it is good”. Sometimes I put a movie on to distract my mind and body of the truth that I felt. Sometimes I would lay there and cry because I didn’t want it to be right. I wished so hard for it not to be true. I kept telling myself for way too long “This is not right for you Rachel, but it is good, so you should stay a little longer” And so I stayed. I stayed because I wanted it to be better than good. I stayed scared of what life would be like without him in it. I stayed because I was playing a victim in my life. I wanted it to work even when it wasn’t right for me. I realise now that I have been telling myself the same story that “this is good” for longer than I would like to admit. In telling myself that this is good, I have denied myself of so much. I have denied myself of what is right for me. I also denied myself of acceptance, fulfilment and being true to the person I am.
I’ve been sitting on the concept of what it means to truly serve yourself. Serving what you know is true in your heart or your gut. For so long, I tried to fight it. But it was at 2 am in a cab ride on the 7th of April that I choose it was time to do the right thing for me. The thing that had been burning on my mind all day and in my gut and heart for far longer than I’d like to admit. Since that day I have looked back at that moment with mixed emotions but knowing deep down in my heart that this is what is right for both of us. Because even with all the good, all the laughter, all the adventures we experienced and all the love that was in it. It still did not deny the fact that it was not right.
Giving yourself permission to do what is right for you is hard and it is definitely not easy. Walking away from something that isn’t broken, bad and 80% of the time is good, is hard. But do you know what is worse? What is worse, is not doing what is right for you. Not showing up for you first. Not giving yourself what you need and denying yourself of what is true in your heart. I did that. Sitting on the other side of it now, it all makes so much sense. I’ve had so many moments over the past few weeks where I’ve said to myself “Rachel, I know this hurts, I know you’re sad or angry but I know that this is the right thing, it just is” and even though I do get pains in my heart and tears rolling down my face at my desk during the day. I know that is right because I am reminded daily of how I didn’t serve myself, of what I know is the right thing.
For so long, I did what I thought was right but really it was just what was good for us. I realise now, that this is the right thing to do but it’s not easy. It’s hard. It’s painful but at the sometime, it is freeing. There is both lightness and darkness in this heartbreak. I feel it mostly for myself because of the role that I played in it every day. The person I was being and who I had become was not who I am. I reached a point where I couldn’t try anymore. Where I couldn’t give any more than I already had. In giving and trying so hard, I disrespected myself and I denied myself of love, acceptance, fulfilment and the person that I truly am.
I firmly believe that everything you do in life is a choice. Every day I chose to be in that relationship. And slowly every day I chose to step away from who I truly am, in search of something that I have always wanted, craved and needed. I have always looked for it externally to myself. I have walked around with this expectation that someone or something should fulfil this thing for me. I have been bitterly disappointed, angry, sad and intensely frustrated with myself and others. “Why can’t you just give me what I need?” I would say it over and over again. I would write it in texts, I would say it to him and hell I even emailed a list of needs. That was the majority of the time met with ignorance. It hurt so much and I kept telling myself “one day you will feel it, one day you will be loved and accepted how you need”. My supposed “needs and wants” had to be disregarded so that I could finally learn that I am the one responsible and in charge of giving them to me. I have learnt that everything you ever need or want is within you. It is not in something you can buy or something that someone else can fulfil for you. For me, that thing is love and acceptance. Loving me for everything that I am and accepting all the parts of myself.
I set us up to fail from the beginning. I thought and felt that if he would just show me love and acceptance how I perceived I needed it then I would be happy. I would be fulfilled. I would be content. And yet the universe consistently kept delivering me the opposite. I didn’t take responsibility for myself and the role I was playing in it. And I thought if I just changed this or that about myself then I would be loved and accepted how I needed. I changed my hair colour. I pretended that I didn’t care about things that light me on fire. I toned down parts of myself because I didn’t want to seem too much or too difficult. I was constantly available to him to the detriment of myself and I have no one other to blame than myself. Because I engaged in it. In doing that I made myself and us unhappy. I was dramatic in ridiculous ways. I sought out his attention negatively and pretended like I didn’t care when I cared way too much because of the void I was hoping he would fulfil. I definitely did not show up as the woman that I want to be.
I was constantly an emotional mess and I would sit there crying, asking him to fix me. Pleading him to make me happy. He would respond “I can’t make you happy, that isn’t my job, you’re the only one that can do that” I now know he was right. So fricken right. I kept thinking I was depressed when really the “depression” was me not acknowledging who I am and what I wasn’t giving myself. It was me not owning who I am and doing me 100% and not giving a fuck about what anyone else thought about me. This was something I was drawn to, loved and admired about him. I believe the universe brought him and this experience into my life so I can finally learn that when I truly do me. Be 100% Rachel. Give 0 fucks about what others say about me. Then I can feel all the things that I have been searching for my whole life. It has taken me 25 years, and a lot of lessons to have the courage and permission to show up and do me every moment of every day.
I am grateful for everything this experience has given me. It has given me new perspectives on life, new friends and a tonne of new experiences that I will cherish forever. I am grateful for who he was throughout the whole experience, which was unapologetically himself. I am grateful for him not trying to fix me. For him choosing to not to cater to all my perceived wants and needs. For him always doing him. I am grateful for all the good times, for all the adventures and all the light that was experienced in the moments of darkness within myself. The best gift it has given me is the permission and courage to just do me.
I now truly believe that if you focus on you. Listen to your gut, your heart and use the knowledge in your mind, then you have no other choice but to in every moment choose to serve yourself and do whatever is right for you. When you truly do what is right for you and serve yourself, the universe does deliver you what you were always searching for, just not in the way you wanted or expected.