Before 20, I married my high school sweetheart and had a family, but after a few years, we separated and later divorced. Not even a year after my first separation I was involved in another. I never thought someone would look at me with children and already divorce, but he did, and that had me completely attached. Little did I realize that the shame of “what would people think, and no one will look at me like this” caused me to stay in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship for 7 years. Ignoring all continued abuse, cheating, and neglect only because I did not want a second divorce, broke me to pieces.
At age 30 I was suicidal, broken, and I knew I needed to do something before it was too late for me and my children. You see, as a woman you are raised to think you need to be perfect, the perfect body, the perfect family, the perfect grades, the perfect behavior, every single aspect of you must be pure and proper, at least that is what I believed. And because I was short from any of that I had very little self-esteem and had allowed myself to be in very harmful situations, most of my life. Both society and many times your family paints unrealistic pictures and creates the shame of failures and anything that is short of the idea of perfect. I must admit though, one thing I have learned from this is that most of the time the first step is to realize that the most responsible person behind all that shame is the one in front of the mirror.
After having made the choice to get out of that ugly unrealistic cycle my life did a 180. The next 3 years after having surrendered to a higher power to help me through my life I was able to see the beauty in it all for the first time in my life. Allowing forgiveness to enter my heart and understanding how much I needed to learn to love myself before I allowed anyone else to love me was key.
Today it is clear to me that love is a beautiful thing, that good relationships do exist, that happiness is attainable. But you cannot see any of this if you can’t accept yourself first, just as you are, you are perfect. And remember it all starts with the person in front of the mirror.
Bilingual HR professional
Purpose fuels passion