The Universe will never steer you wrong. It will provide you with all the information you need to live your life with passion and purpose!
This set of rules was the catalyst to my personal growth. It was framed and hanging on the wall of a family rehabilitation center. I suppose I should back up just a bit and tell you why I was in Rehab.
I grew up with what I now understand to be a Narcissistic Mother. We were raised with guilt and fear. We were not taught to develop a sense of self, but to believe and follow her understanding of how the world spins. She believed that life was about status and appearing perfect. Children were to be seen and not heard. Children were to live up to the expectations laid out by the parents and anything short of that was a complete failure.
As a result, I developed some very strong people pleasing behaviours. I truly believed that happiness was dictated by how people felt about me; whether or not they approved of me and how much of myself I offered to achieve that approval.
Everything for me, in those days was external. Social status, ability to fit-in and willingness to hold secrets all dictated my level of happiness. The more successful I was at living up to the expectations of others, the happier I would be.
This led me to a series of toxic and abusive relationships.
I equate these relationships to an ice-cream sundae; The base was my mother’s toxicity or the ice-cream, then we added a 2 year marriage which was the whipped-cream and then we piled on the sprinkles with an 11-year relationship!! The sundae looked great! But the truth was, none of it was doing me any good. It was not healthy, and it was literally destroying what little I thought of my self.
So, in 2000, a friend talked me into going to a 7-day Retreat for Co-dependency. This is where I learned the truth about the relationships, about me and about life! And on the wall, hung the Rules for Being Human.
I share this with you, because it is important to understand that I too, was where you are now. I had no idea who I was, what I liked, what I was passionate about or even how to fit in. I felt like such an outcast, discarded and dismissed by everyone, no matter how hard I tried.
I did not have any true friends. I did not feel supported or valued. No one really wanted to hear what I had to say. I was lonely and miserable.
These rules really struck a chord with me. They provided proof that life was not what I was taught. I had the power to create the life I knew I deserved. I had been living such a chaotic whirlwind that I had not stopped to realize the patterns that were right there in front of me. The only common denominator in all of it was ME. I had to change. I had to find a way to be the person who deserved better, who wanted more and who helped others do the same.
I needed to find a new perspective. Rules #8 & #9 were the key. “What you make of your life is up to you.” “The answer is inside you.”
Rules 2, 3, 4 & 5 are all about the lessons we learn in the School of Life. In October of 2001, as the world was still trying to come to terms with 911 and what our “new normal” would be. I was working in a Squash Club. I was busy running this club and the owners were overly impressed because memberships were up, and money was flowing! As a reward for all my hard work and dedication, my Boss sent me to see her Shiatsu Therapist. This is a day I will never forget. I went into his little make-shift office and he asked me to lay down on the floor. The treatment was interesting but nothing remarkable, until I tried to get off the floor. I could not move. My head would not lift, and my left arm was useless. I mentioned this to the practitioner, and he set out working on me again. When he was done, he helped me off the floor and sent me on my way with a promise that I would feel much better in the morning.
The thirty-minute drive home was nothing short of a miracle. I could not turn my head and my left arm still hung completely useless. My ten-year-old daughter helped me to the couch and there I stayed. It took three separate trips to the emergency room over 72 hours, for someone to finally recognise the urgency in my situation. My neck was broken, and I had a herniated disk in my neck. I was fucked. This led to a year of medically prescribed narcotics, experimental surgery and pain that would drop a horse.
All of this was during the 11-year relationship I had mentioned before. Harry was not willing to help support me at all. He was not available for doctor’s appointments, did not help with the kids, would not make a meal or sweep a floor. At some point through this process, I had contacted a lawyer about suing the professional that apparently was not all that professional. This is what he would support me with. He would make time to take me to see my lawyer. He told me that he deserved this money for dragging my sorry ass around all these years. Ouch.
If you understand anything about co-dependency, there is a strong urge to believe what others say about you. And so I did. A couple weeks after that, he brought cocaine and hookers home and asked me to vacate the living room so they could party.
NOPE! That was a hard fucking NO!
You can go party somewhere else and when you return, I will have found a way to get everything you own out of this house, because you are no longer welcome!!
I will tell you now, that breaking my neck was the best thing that ever happened to me (next to the birth of my children). I now know this was the Universe putting me on a time out.
“Andrea, you need to sit and take a long look at the life you have built. You need to make some changes!”
The Universe will present you with Lessons and those lessons will be repeated until you learn them!!
Ok, message received, lesson learned. I do not need the love of a man to prove that I exist. I will figure out how to navigate my life, not only as a single woman, but as a single Mom of 2 children. I returned to work (at a new job) earlier than my doctors wanted. I forced myself to get up, get dressed and show up for my daughters every single painstaking day. I did it. It was hard AF, but I did it.
The Universe really wants you to learn the lessons it offers you. Those lessons will be repeated in various forms until you learn them. If required, the Universe is prepared to put you on a time out until you figure it out!!
Time outs appear as illness or injury and sometimes the loss of something or someone very important. These are the huge events in your life that you were not expecting and definitely not prepared for.
Looking back, my big moments were the death of my most treasured Grandmother, breaking my neck, my daughters’ potentially fatal illnesses and my car being repossessed. These events were traumatizing and rocked me to my core. I had no idea how to get through any of them. I had no idea what life was going to look like on the other side.
The truth is each of these events changed me. Life was never the same after.
It’s Your Turn…
What massive events have happened in your life that made you really question everything you thought you knew about life?
Take a moment and list the events that made you take stock of your life and the world around you.
Wow, that’s quite the list!!
I know this wasn’t an easy exercise to do. But as you travel through this book with me, you will understand why I asked you to do this.
I want you to explore the possibility that not one of these events happened TO you, but each of them happened FOR you!
Each of the events that you listed above was a gift from the Universe to show you how strong you really are. Or to make you stop and re-evaluate your life. Or perhaps to teach you that no matter what this world does to try to break you – it can’t! You are a survivor!!
Several times through-out my life I have thought “How the hell am I ever going to get through this?” or “How am I supposed to live with you?” Something had happened in my life and I had no idea how I was ever going to get through it. But I did, and so did you!
The ME Factor
This is the first chapter in my soon-to-be-released best-selling workbook – The ME Factor. This book is the ultimate workbook for creating the life you deserve to live! I have gathered 50 years of self-discovery into one easy to use workbook that will take you from miserably codependent to blissfully strong and independent!
I would love for you to join me on this publishing journey by joining my online community of women who truly wish to create a life worth living!! You will also have access to the book before it hits the shelves!!
- Anxiety Attack or Heart Attack? How to tell the difference
- How to Manifest – for Beginners
- How to get Unstuck and Create the Life you Want
- How to Manage Your Anxiety
- Learn How to Help Your Relationship Survive the Pandemic
Please comment below and let me know what is on your list of life events.