The past few blogs have been centered around my own personal journey and story – and how exploring the defining moments of my life established patterns of behavior and emotions I hadn’t even realized.
What I didn’t mention in the previous blog is after I got divorced, I was out in the dating world feeling overwhelmed and afraid of making the same mistakes in my relationships. This led me to embark on my own journey of self-discovery centered around relationships and better understanding my own history.
As many of you know, after my divorce I worked with a relationship coach myself and it set me on a course of finding the hobbies I enjoyed. I found it a bit challenging, because now I was a divorced mother of two children who didn’t have a lot of extra time for “hobbies.” But, what I’ve realized over the years is this:
Life often provides doorways to opportunities we don’t even see at the time, but these events often become instrumental in our life and personal growth.
For example, I began dating a short Jewish man who was twice my age. We met at church, and when he asked if I’d like to go on a date I said “yes,” because he seemed nice and I needed practice in the dating world. After all, I had been out of the “dating game” for quite some time.
It didn’t last very long because of many factors- not just his age! But, he was instrumental in helping me build my self-esteem and feeling better about my life as a divorcee. During our three months of dating, he introduced me to salsa and swing dancing. I found salsa to be challenging, but when he introduced me to swing dancing I fell in love!
Dancing was so refreshing and freeing. Not only was it fun, but it was also great exercise and I didn’t need a partner. As a divorced mother of two children, all my friends were married and I didn’t have any single friends, so I had to rebuild my community. It was a relief to find a hobby that I could do by myself that was just for me. I was then able to go out to clubs where I would know other dancers and it brought an excitement and passion to my life I didn’t even know I needed.
My identity was in being a wife, mother, and psychotherapist and I didn’t have anything that was just for me. Swing dancing opened up a whole new world for me and it helped me learn to be independent and self-reliant. I met people from all walks of life and ages and everyone was there to simply have a good time, meet new people, and dance. It was like a breath of fresh air and I was able to let loose and have fun on my own terms. I didn’t have to consult with anyone about what I wanted to do, I just did it.
I gained confidence in myself again and soon, the glaring, constant feeling that there was something wrong with me subsided and there was no longer the desperation that stemmed from being alone. I was able to redefine what was important to me and learn who I was without someone else. I was able to learn who I am when I’m not taking care of someone else, and therefore began trusting myself again.
Find Your Passion Before You Find Love
I still dated, but it wasn’t in the forefront of my mind. I was more focused on having fun, finding my passion, and meeting new people. I had been out in the dating world for 4 years before I started dating my husband. When I met him, I was more confident in who I was and had begun to understand what I wanted and needed in a relationship.
The key is that I found my passion before I found my love. If I hadn’t first taken the time to explore hobbies and really learn who I was without a relationship, I wouldn’t have been open and ready for one when I met my husband. It’s important to take the time to explore patterns of past behavior and insecurities. We must first understand what is holding us back before we can truly move on and be ready for that healthy relationship when it finally comes.
In my next blog – the third and final part of my personal story series – I’ll explore the story of meeting my husband and the realizations I came to about myself through meeting him. During this journey of telling my story I’ve discovered that all of these defining moments of my life tie together and the same underlying emotions and feelings have been present throughout them all. This realization has been quite powerful and has helped me to better understand myself and grow even more as a person.
My hope is that you too can have these discoveries of your own. If you think you’d benefit from exploring your own story and diving deeper into those defining moments of your own life, check out my relationship coaching program. Feel free to fill out the contact form and I’ll be in touch to schedule a consultation!