Updated: Mar 22
The truth behind healing after a toxic relationship is complex.. often uncertain. Regardless of how right a love is, the first relationship after 'abuse' will always involve a redefinition - a process of unlearning all the ways you sacrificed yourself in the name of love.
And such a redefinition can only exist when it is conscious; when it is pursued and you are hungry for it.
Choosing to redefine the only thing you knew love to be is a challenge in and of itself. If for many years love had only taken the form of days defined by volatile desire, explosive arguments and a continuous degradation of your self-worth, it's hard to accept that real love knows no such forms.
When you find the courage to leave relationships that could have only ever ended in the death of all the beautiful parts of you, you reconnect with your power. The chance to control your life and what happens to you are suddenly realms within your power again. Finally, there's no-one to turn on you, no need to walk on eggshells, no love to fear losing. If you've escaped from such a relationship, you'll know that there's no feeling quite like that feeling - the relief you feel as you drag your heels along, the echo of your footsteps carrying you far away from what you've always known deep down was not right - no matter how long you chose to deny it.
From that moment of walking away, we all make different choices; follow different paths.
Our evolution and our growth following big events in our lives can take us to places we never expected to find ourselves - hopefully, in the beautiful sense. And as you venture through all that comes next for you in your life, there may come a time when you meet your forever person.. whether that be a month, a year, even ten years down the line.. And the biggest challenge of all in that moment is to stay. To not turn away from the love that was meant for you. Instead, to stand tall in the face of fear; in the face of loving again and hold dear to you all the lessons you vowed you would never forget. Take them all with you - a patchwork of memories engraving all the new standards and boundaries that will colour your life, now that you know what you deserve and enjoy learning what it truly means to be in love.
And the difference this time around is rooted in the fact that now you know what you deserve.
And the only way to get to that place when you are genuinely ready for that forever relationship is to put in a whole lot of hard work, mixed with an abundance of love poured into yourself. Allowing yourself to become different so you can therefore ATTRACT different. When you find yourself face to face with your person, there won't be a need to run, or push away, or lose yourself, because that person will see you for everything that you are and be everything that you've ever needed.
Being with someone who knows what it means to LOVE (truly, love) is overwhelming when the past has told you such a different story. The good love doesn't feel right. And it can take
everything you have within you to just stay.. to not turn around, throw the guards up around your heart and close the lock. Doubts appear and they feel very real even when they're not because it's all very foreign.
Someone being kind? Showing love consistently.. everyday.. no more screaming at you, no venom has been spat, no hands around your throat or locks on to keep you out. No no. Someone being calm.. being reassuring.. loving you? No no. That cannot be love..
But you know in your heart that it is..
And it's ok that you feel afraid of all the things you've never known. It's ok that trusting someone who seems genuine is scary. The same behaviour in the past was only ever a wolf in sheep's clothing, or would change at the drop of a hat. So it's ok for you to worry; to feel unsure. Learning that you deserve to wait for a love that loves you honestly is a process, and your only job now is to practice self-soothing. Remind yourself that what you knew before was not love. It was a type of hell that never had the capacity to keep you safe like the magic & wonder of true love can.
Believe in the magic you feel.
Give yourself permission to let your heart settle calmly on a soul that you know will love you, and deserve you, and could never even imagine putting you through a speckle of the trauma you went through before. And when you find that person stumbling into your life, let yourself change your story. Redefine that thing closest to you. And know, that there is more strength in letting someone love you like that than there ever would be in the alternative.
So relax into a new journey. Fill yourself up with the person who knows how to love, who will hold you accountable for keeping your boundaries and your standards. I've learnt that over time you're able to tell whether kindness lives in someone's soul or not. Hold out for the one who you know does; for the one who knew how to love instantly, in your chaos, in your healing.. they will be your catalyst for redefining love; for learning to believe in it all again.
Meeting you was like that.
In just a moment, you redefined everything for me. And I just knew.. I knew I was safe with you.. I knew I was going to be safe with you.
And in your smile I saw my whole life.