EPISODE 101 – Lynn Manning
Hey guys, this is Lynn and I’m excited to be hosting this 101th episode of the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast. Most of you listening probably already know who I am, but those that don’t, my name again is Lynn, Lynn Manning. I have co-hosted actually dozens of the earlier Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcasts. So, any of the early episodes, if you listened to those, you’ve probably already been introduced to me. I am a women’s fitness specialist, a mother of two cute girls and you can find me on social media outlets @2FitAtHome and of course I am on here today because I am Drew’s ex-wife. Hopefully, if you’re listening to this episode, it’s because you had listened to the previous weeks episode, where Drew discussed about his life growing up, a little about his history and of course, about our divorce. He went into a lot of really personal and vulnerable information, that way you’re caught up to what I’m going to be discussing and talking about today.
I wanted to start off by saying, well first of all this episode is hard. *laughing* Obviously, it’s really personal, it brings up a lot of emotional trauma and pain that I have experienced. I am sure it did for Drew as well, and I’m actually really surprised, which I’ll probably talk about a little bit later, that he wanted to do this Podcast. But at times, I may sound a little depressed. I might even sound like a victim at times during this Podcast, and that is not how I feel now. So I wanted to clarify that. I do want to honestly convey the array of emotions that I went through during my divorce. And also probably some other life experiences that I may share from my childhood, so that you guys can understand where I am coming from. And so we can all grow from what I learned and how I pulled myself out of that depression. How I learned to love myself, how I learned to forgive both Drew and myself. How I learned to forgive both of us. My hope is that I’ll be able to spend the bulk of my time on this Podcast sharing some really profound lessons that I learned and tools that could help you, and really anybody, that is listening. Whether you’ve experienced exactly what I have, or if you’ve been divorced or if you’re in the process of divorce. Or, if that doesn’t relate to you at all, because we have all experienced pain. We have all experienced some form of loss or hurt at one time and we’ve all been the victim and gotten hurt. And we’ve all had the opportunity, or the experience, to forgive someone else. So that’s really what I want the main focus of my Podcast to be about. I want it to be about healing, overcoming loss, overcoming depression, and learning to love yourself. I’m really hoping to leave you guys with some really good tools that convey that.
So, when Drew let me know he was going to share this story for his 100th episode, I was in total shock. We had been in counseling for over four years, trying to work out things in our marriage. During that time, aside from telling one family member, who had been my grandpa. I didn’t explain details to him about what happened. I had called him over to do a spiritual blessing at the time. I never shared with anyone else Drew’s struggles. I know a lot of people may think that’s weird, but those that know me would actually expect nothing else. My friends joke around, they call me the ‘vault.” *chuckles* Because, I have this crazy loyalty about keeping people’s secrets. Obviously, Drew had this big one and he didn’t want anyone to know and so I stayed silent. Now looking back, I realize that was both a good thing and a bad thing. It was good because I really think that that type of negativity from other people, the judgment from other people, would have made it harder for him to heal. And would have also probably affected my healing. But it also was bad because I did feel really alone in this. And I will talk a little bit about that later in my Podcast.
As Drew discussed in his Podcast, he had struggled with porn addiction his whole life. He had hid it from me during our marriage. I found out, when I was pregnant with our second daughter, about the addiction and about the affair. Obviously, my world came crashing in. Up until that point, I genuinely believed that I had an amazing marriage. We never fought, we were kind to one another and we were good parents. We probably, in many ways, appeared to be the ideal family, I guess you could say. So the revelation that my spouse was lying to me and that he was capable of having an affair and hiding it for almost two years, was devastating, to say the least. I think I’ve shed enough tears to last me a lifetime. *laughing* I was really in a dark place for a couple of years because of it. And what was hard was through feeling all of this, just like I’m sure many of you can relate to in dealing with hurt on your own, was having to put on that happy face. I still had to live life. I still had to work. I still had to be a good friend. I still had to take care of my two daughters and at the same time, try to heal from something that deeply wounded me. What I didn’t know at the time, but I learned later on, was what was most dangerous about this experience and this trauma and hurt. What it is, in my opinion for everybody, is the stories, the thoughts and the judgments we create around our trauma and hurt and experiences. And when I say stories, I mean we have situations happen to us in our life and we decide what that means about us. And what that means about the other people involved and they aren’t necessarily true, right? They’re stories, they are what we decide. I would even say, they are rarely true. Here are some of the stories I told myself after I found out about Drew. I’m not lovable. That was a big one. Another one was, if I was thinner, or prettier or sexier, that my husband wouldn’t have cheated on me. I have stories that men aren’t trustworthy and all they care about is sex. What is hard about any story you create, is that once we start that narrative, you know that narrative in our head that this is why, this is what it means about me or them. We then find every single example in our lives to prove that those stories are 100% true, right? Starting with our earliest moments in our life. So, I could go back into my childhood and show stories of how I’m not loveable growing up, any moment where I felt that way. So even though the trauma of my marriage, this would have been hard either way, finding out about the divorce and the affair would have been hard either way. But that the fact that I’ve had other hard things in my childhood and poor experiences with men before this happened, just really solidified these stories in my head and made it even harder. And this, you guys, it’s painful. Regardless of these stories, of course this situation is hard and sad and when you add these stories on top of your pain, I felt dead inside. I remember for over a year, I cried myself to sleep every single night. Every night without fail, I would lay in bed and I would sob until I passed out. I hated that this was my life. I hated myself for choosing someone like Drew. I hated myself for not being good enough that my husband would cheat on me. I hated being a woman. *laughing* I hated all these feelings of depression and not wanting to live. I had worked so hard to have pushed through that depression when I was young. I suffered from depression and trauma and I had worked so hard to move past that and be happy. I thought I had this great life. When I was depressed and in that spot again, all of those emotions from my youth came flooding back. I hated it.
If you listened to all of Drew’s episode, I don’t really want to rehash *chuckles* in great detail what happened, you know. We tried to work it out, we went to therapy. I think in all, leading up to our divorce, I tried about 4 different counselors. Each one I am trying to find something, some tool and something that could teach me what I really need to learn in order to trust Drew again and move on. We had ups and downs. There were times that things were better, not great you know, but better. I thought maybe we could heal from this. But even a small lie, right? There were a couple other big ones. But anytime something would come up, anytime I caught him in a lie, it was like one step forward, 5 steps back. I would just be right back to ground zero. Anytime I caught him in anything, I just would think, I can’t do this. Of course it was hard to finally come to that decision to separate. Mostly because we have two amazing daughters. I think anyone who has been in this specific situation, thinking about divorce, can attest to that fact. You worry about your kids, right? Is it going to damage them? I hope we are making the right decision. Are they going to be ok? And I’m not really here to talk about whether I think divorce is good or bad, right or wrong, that’s all relative. Everyone’s situation is different. Actually it’s surprising, because I get a lot of messages from people telling me about being separated or about their divorce. And I’m happy to be a listening ear, but I think people are surprised because I’m not this pro-advocate for divorce. The grass isn’t greener. The truth is for me, when a lot of people say, ‘how did you know that is was definitely the right decision and time to get divorced?’ I came to the point for me, personally, where it wasn’t about thinking, oh I want to find someone else or I want to find other love. I got to the point where I was like, I would rather be alone and single the rest of my life, over being in this marriage. Because I wasn’t able to heal. I wasn’t able to take care of myself. I wasn’t loving myself. But I didn’t once think, oh maybe I will find a better love. It was simply realizing that I could be happier and healthier on my own. Around that same time, Drew had seen the life coach that I was seeing as well, Kathryn Dixon. And he finally agreed with me that it was ok for us to get a divorce. I know that most people listening might think, well it’s your decision, he is the one who cheated. You have to realize though, he went through a lot of pain too. It probably wasn’t easy for him, having obviously hurt me and seeing all my pain and living with that every day. But then also seeing that no matter what he did, I really couldn’t trust him. And I am sure for him, there were many times that he was frustrated by that.
Now obviously, with four years going by, there’s a lot in between there. But, I really want to focus on the biggest lessons that I learned. I can honestly say, by learning these truths and learning these tools, I am happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. So, I’m hoping that these tools can help you as well. And again, they aren’t just about divorce. They are literally about self love, finding yourself, healing, any type of loss or trauma. I really hope that these resonate with you and that your able to maybe find some healing yourself with any struggles you might be dealing with. I wrote down some notes because I want to be sure that I get to each of these points, each of these key takeaways that I think might help you.
So I have 10 tips. Number one, you are not your story. You are not your thoughts. So, like I mentioned before, we tell ourselves these stories. These stories about our pain and trauma and they are usually shaped by our past, by how we grew up. And maybe we didn’t feel loved as a child or maybe we had situations where we felt insecure and unworthy. But you are not that thought. That’s not your identity. What’s good is, you kind of have to realize, your the one looking at that thought. And as you start to realize this, that your just looking at that thought, looking at that opinion because of some pain you have, the control it has over you starts to leave. What’s interesting is this can actually feel sad. Ok, when we let go of our stories, our fears, our thoughts, you might feel some hint of sadness and wonder why. What’s interesting is, because we spend our entire life living as though these thoughts are real, it can be a grieving process. It can feel like you are losing a part of your identity. We are so used to living in this insecure state that in a weird way, you may be addicted to feeling this way. So as you move forward, a lot of times you will grieve that old identity and I know that maybe this sounds a little odd. But if you’re always that insecure person that’s been abandoned, you know, I’ve been abandoned my whole life. I’m not worthy. People leave me. We start to believe that’s who we are, that that’s our identity. And by changing that story, by changing that narrative, it’s almost like your losing a part of yourself. So, it’s really normal to start to grieve as you let go. Like as I let go of this victim mentality, you know, I’ve been abused. I’ve been cheated on. I’ve been lied to. It was kind of a grieving process, because all the stories in my head had told me that was true. I know this might sound a little complex. An amazing book that really helped me to move past my stories and see the truth was, “Loving What Is.” It’s by Byron Katie. And in her work, she helps you to ask these questions in an authentic way, of is it true. And as you pull back, as we pull back these insecurities in these stories, you really see the truth and not what you think, because of your history and past. So that life coach that Drew and I had gone to uses that method. It’s actually one of the most impactful therapies that I have ever done, which is The Work by Byron Katie. Now, this is really one of the most important and pivotal things in my healing actually. Because up until this point, even with the counselors and the counseling individually and with Drew. And even with Drew telling me the affair was not your fault, you might think it in your head and say, yeah I know logically that makes sense but I didn’t really feel that. In fact, during the hardest time, I remember becoming so unhealthy about myself and my body image. You know the affair had happened a couple weeks after we had our first child and I found out about it and the addiction during my second pregnancy, so in my head I created this really unhealthy story about my body. And that was responsible in part for a really unhealthy period I went through. I became obsessed with losing weight and looking better. I remember, I don’t weigh myself anymore, I haven’t for years, but I think I probably was about 20 pounds thinner than I am now. And in my opinion, I am very thin now. But I was like down to a size 0. I remember during that time I went and got my boobs fixed, post baby, because of course if I had better boobs, *laughing* my husband certainly wouldn’t have an affair. Sorry, I sometimes make light of situations now because it seems almost ridiculous, right? To think that if I just lost weight and had perfect boobs, you know, that was the real root cause, right? Which it’s not. But those were literally the thoughts I was having. I remember with these stories and thoughts, that it consumed me until I had one amazing session with Kathryn and with the technique that Byron Katie uses in the book that I mentioned. It really hit me that the affair was not my fault. The affair was not because I am not pretty, or because I don’t have a good body. Or because I am not good enough or smart enough or a good wife. Again, that’s one thing to say it but it’s an entirely different thing to actually believe it and that day changed my life. I just remember leaving that house and just feeling so light and happy. *crying* I think it was the first time in years that I can honestly say that I loved myself again. And it had been years since I had felt any peace. So, it was so freeing to let go of those tall stories that were weighing me down and to remember, I’m not my thoughts. I’m not these stories. I’m not these insecurities. I’m the one looking at them and kind of just coming back into my body and being grateful for who I am. That was such a big step.
Sorry, I don’t want this to be a significantly long Podcast. So, number two, stay in your business. I know Drew mentions this in his Podcast too. There is God’s business, so the things in the world that you can not control, which is a lot. There is other people’s business. What does your friend say? What does your spouse say, your boss say, and your parents say? That is their business. You can’t control what other people think and do, that is based on their perception and how they grew up. And then there is your business. Now your business is the only thing you can control. I can promise you, you will go crazy trying to understand God’s business and other people’s business. So, for me, trying to understand why Drew did what he did, or if he was going to cheat again, it would control my life and it drove me crazy. Or worrying about what friends or family, or our online following, what would they think about our divorce? That would drive me insane and Drew insane. You can not control other people. So, I started to really work on living in my own business, you know, what’s best for me? What is my truth? What do I want in my life? How do I want to live? And you know what? Did people judge me? Yep, they sure did. And did I get some rude responses as I started to live my truth? Yep. Because you will never make everyone happy. Every person is different and everyone thinks and feels different. And even if your making your parents happy or your boss happy, maybe your friend will hate you at that point. You are never going to please everyone, you’re not tacos. *laughing* Stop living your life for other people. I can promise you, no matter how you pretend or live your life, someone is going to be unhappy. So you may as well live it as authentically as you can and be happy. I think it’s Dr. Seuss, that quote that I love, you know, “Those that mind, don’t matter and those that matter, don’t mind.” Such a powerful truth. And it is a hard principle to live, it is. Was it difficult at times during our divorce, yes. Especially because I kept everything in. Nobody knew what was happening or why. Did I have friends, family members, maybe neighbors or others that were thinking unkind things or treated me different? Were there rumors spread about me? Yeah, there were. I heard things from, you know, Lynn got a divorce because she left the church. Or Lynn got a divorce because she’s a lesbian, yeah I heard that one, a couple of people had started saying that. I heard that people were saying, oh I bet Lynn cheated on Drew. You know, Drew is so nice and Lynn is always going out with friends. So yeah, that was hard, hearing all those rumors about me. I could have at any time shared what really happened and said, this isn’t true, this is his fault. But honestly, I’m glad I didn’t. It really helped me to practice and remember not to worry about other people and to just worry about being true to myself. To live a genuine life, and that what others are thinking, or feeling, or saying, has to do with them. They are just mirroring their own insecurities. And it helped me also, honestly, to weed out people in my life. If someone is going to be judging me and name calling me, spreading rumors about me, then they aren’t really a true friend. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. Not in a get out of my life, I hate you sort of way. But in, I can love people from afar and allow them to live their life and their truth and I can do the same. I don’t need to have all those people in my life. So now I have a very small, tight knit group of friends. They unconditionally love me. They support me and my living life in the way that makes me happy. They are always like the cheerleaders in my corner and I love them unconditionally. And so when you’re having a hard moment about something that you can’t control in the world or in your life, just remember, if it’s God’s business or other peoples business, you can’t control that. Sit in silence, take a few deep breaths and then remember, you can only control your business. That’s it, alright?
Ok, tip number three, meditation. Meditate. Meditation is a tool that I had used that really had a huge impact on my family. I think when we are in pain and when we are struggling, a lot of people, I hear this post divorce or any type of trauma, in a weird way, you actually just want to stay busy, right? You never want to sit, because any time your sitting in silence, you have to reflect and look at that pain and really process your healing. And it’s necessary, ok? So you can run, maybe for a little while, but at some point you’re going to have to sit and process the pain that you are going through. And for me, meditation really helped do that. It helped me to process. It helped me to calm my mind. It helps to reduce anxiety. It helps you to connect to yourself and your higher purpose. I received a lot of clarity from meditation. It’s something that I tell all of my clients about. I know it may sound ‘woo-woo’ to a lot, but the science now on meditation that has come out, is so astounding. You can google and read reviews about how it remaps your brain and all the studies that show so many benefits from meditation. It’s why your hearing it from so many people. Almost all the big ‘guru’s, anybody that I listen to, they talk about how they meditate each day and they say, ‘if you don’t think you have time to meditate then you need to meditate even longer.’ I had started meditating because I was near a school that offered it in Hawaii. Also, I had dated a really great guy in Hawaii that had taught meditation for years. There’s a ton of different types of meditation out there. I personally prefer guided meditations. It teaches you tools. There is a great site, it’s called GroundedMind.com. Hopefully, we will put that in the show notes. Or there is a free app, it’s called “Insight Timer”, there are hundreds of meditations on there that you can try for free. Ones that might have chanting and ones that are guided with tools, like the ones I like. And so, meditation is a tip that I share with everybody that they should try.
My fourth tip, live in the moment. *laughing* So, this of course, is easier said than done. It’s true that when you’re feeling, in my opinion when you are feeling depressed, you’re living in the past, right? You are depressed about something that had happened. When your feeling anxious, that anxiety is because you’re living in the future. Something is about to happen, something that you think is coming. The only time that we are actually calm and content, is when we are living in the now. Which is great, because really, that’s all we control. We can only control what is happening right now. The book, “The Power of Now”, was a book that I had read by Eckhart Tolle. It is mind blowing. It takes some time because you may need to re-read things. It’s pretty deep, but pick it up. It’s a really good one. It will give you some tools that will help you and will explain more about our ego and how it creates drama and why we don’t live in the moment. And provides some tools and techniques that can help us get there. But almost every day that first year, after finding out about the affair, I was depressed because I was thinking about it. I was living in the past and I was wishing it hadn’t happened. I would replay it in my head. Like if certain things had been changed or different, maybe it wouldn’t have happened, and wondering if I could have seen signs or prevented it. But that’s so pointless. So much time, that was spent on something that I couldn’t change, that would never have changed. Meditation really helped me to live in the moment more and this is something that I still work on everyday. So when I find myself feeling depressed or anxious, I literally just stop. I take a few minutes to sit and I focus on my breathing. I count, ‘one, two, three, four’, in and ‘one, two, three, four out’. And that act alone, kind of brings me back to the present moment and it reminds me that there is only today. So I focus on what I can do in this present moment and it’s amazing how much happier I have become from living in the moment.
Alright, tip number five, live authentically, live vulnerably and feel deeply. So, one of the best books I have ever read, well aside from Harry Potter, obviously. The Harry Potter series is the best. But aside from that, “Daring Greatly” by Brene’ Brown. She is the vulnerability expert. I’m sure you’ve heard of her, if not google and watch her TED talk, it’s phenomenal. But this is an amazing book that really helped me. I actually had given it to Drew after I read it. Her words had inspired me to live a life that is true. To not worry about how others see me. And it helped me to remember to show my emotions, to express myself. One of my favorite quotes by her is this one, “We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” So for awhile, I felt like the only way to shut off this pain that I had been feeling, was to shut down completely, to shut off. But what we don’t realize is that when we do that, it’s like plugging up the dam, you know. When we stop the flow, we are stopping the joy too. We are stopping anything from getting in. Sure your blocking the pain, but your also blocking the love and your blocking the joy. You know, bad feelings are going to happen. Good feelings are going to happen. You have to process both. You have to process your emotions. A good friend of mine actually once told me, and this just stuck with me forever. Emotions are like fruit. When they come up, those emotions come up, they are like a fruit. They are ripe and if you don’t consume them, they will rot. And that has really stuck with me ever since. When I feel an emotion come up, even if it’s painful, even if I’m like, oh I want to push it away. I remember it’s a ripe fruit and I can either process it now and everything will be well or it will rot. Brene’ actually goes a lot into owning your story, which helps you move through shame. Which is a really hard thing to do, but very powerful. Before I go into my next tip, this is one of my favorite quotes by her, “Owning our story can be hard, but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy, the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness, will we discover the infinite power of our light.” So all of these tips kind of intertwine. Live authentically, be vulnerable and feel deeply. If you are struggling with that, get Brene’ Brown’s book, it’s really good.
Ok, tip number six, we are all doing the best we can. Yeah, this is a hard one. And I am going to get real with you guys. If that made you a little angry, when I said everyone is doing the best they can, if that made you angry to hear that, I encourage you to take some time for reflection and see why. Why that makes you upset, because if that made you upset, there is some processing, some healing that needs to be done. I truly believe that everyone is doing the best they can. Do people hurt us? Yeah, they do. Because hurt people, hurt people. And that person that maybe said something unkind to you, maybe somebody had just said something unkind to them. Maybe they’ve been verbally abused their whole life. Maybe they were made fun of, you know? And I’ve had a hard life. If you’ve heard some of my past Podcasts, you know I was sexually abused when I was younger. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I have attempted suicide twice. Obviously, I’ve been lied to. I was cheated on. But I’m not perfect either. I’ve said hurtful things to people. I’ve lied to people and that doesn’t define me. I think this one is easiest for me because I made some hard choices when I was young, because of the pain and the struggles I had been going through. I remember for example, when I was 12, I was stealing from a neighbor that I babysat for. What’s kind of interesting about this is, I still have a hard time with the situation. Not because I don’t realize I had been going through a really hard time and I was hurting. I paid them back and I apologized. I was so young, right? I was 12, I’m turning 34 this month. *laughing* So its like, why do I still have so much pain over that? One, of course it’s because I hurt them and because it’s not who I am. But also, I remember for years they would tell neighbors and friends of mine about it. And them holding me in that mistake, in that smallness, made it so I couldn’t heal. I felt like I was defined by this poor decision I made, right? But I am not a bad person. When others hold us in our pain, in our mistakes, in our smallness, it doesn’t feel good. I’ve been on that side of it. Since I had been on that side of it, it’s a lot easier for me to forgive others and realize they are doing the best they can. And hurt people, hurt people. Remember that everyone is responding in their life based on their pain, their history and their story. Like Drew talked about in his episode, he grew up and he hated himself, you know. He didn’t like who he was and he made some poor decisions because of that. And yeah, they did hurt me. But he was doing the best he could for where he was at in his life then. And I’ve made mistakes in my past and that was the best that I could do for where I was at then. It’s easier to forgive when you’ve realized we are all doing the best we can. And when do we forgive and when we do think that, we allow the space for them to really grow and change. And that’s so important.
So, kind of going along with number six, number seven is forgive. Now, let’s be clear again, some people might feel some anger about that. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you keep someone in your life. And it doesn’t mean the pain is gone. Basically for me, forgiveness means you don’t allow that to control you anymore. You don’t allow that experience to define you and you don’t allow that experience to define them. It doesn’t mean that the person maybe won’t even do it again, ok? It means you are no longer allowing that situation to control you. When we harbor hate and we don’t forgive, it sits with you. It feels like this heavy weight. Like this ton of bricks. And we are always replaying that pain in our mind, when we are not willing to forgive. I wrote down this quote because Martin Luther King Jr has said it best. Here’s what he said, “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. And when we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” So like I had mentioned before, we have all been the victim, right? But we’ve also all at some point probably been a villain. Maybe you’ve said something unkind, or maybe you have gossiped. Maybe you’ve lied, maybe you have cheated and maybe you’ve stolen. We’ve all made mistakes. But you know, we’ve also all been hurt. I have forgiven Drew. Now, I wasn’t able to build trust back up and stay in our marriage, but I forgave him. And that is, in my opinion, the only reason why we’re able to co-parent so well. I wouldn’t be able to co-parent and for us to work so well together, if I kept all that hate in my heart. If your really struggling with forgiveness or you want to teach your kids this, one of the best books I have ever read about forgiveness is actually a children’s book. And it’s called, “The Little Soul and the Sun” by Neale Donald Walsch. I highly, highly recommend it. For me, it sounds crazy, but this children’s book was life changing for me. It actually helped me to be able to forgive the abuse I had as a child. It’s a really beautiful book. I’ll try to link all the books I’ve mentioned in the show notes. I’ll send those to Drew to link in the show notes for you guys.
Ok, number eight. Sorry if this Podcast is running a little bit longer than the norm, but I want to get through all ten. Number eight, self care and self love. I know this sounds cheesy. *laughing* Everyone preaches it nowadays, right? Everyone’s talking about self love but honestly it’s probably the biggest thing in my journey to healing. And it encompasses all those other tips that I had talked about, right? I have to reiterate specifically during all the pain and all the hurt that I had, I hated myself. My stories were all about how I wasn’t good enough and I struggled with that my whole life. I remember, I had always hated how I looked. When I was in high school, I’m not even in my high school yearbook. I refused to take photos. There’s not very many photos of me in middle school and high school because I don’t enjoy taking them. With all the stress and trauma from my marriage, I was slowly dying inside because I just kept hating on myself, hating on who I was. Hating on my body. And it even caused me to be completely hormonally imbalanced. A lot of people know about my hormonal imbalance and the time that I took to learn how to naturally heal that. What they don’t realize is that a lot of that was linked to this, it was linked to this trauma. It caused so much stress on my body. I talk about hormone balance a lot on my social media and some tips. If you feel like that is something you want to look into, follow me on my social media and I can give you some good tips. My doctor looked me straight in the eye, and I remember she told me, girl, you need to make some big changes because your body is shutting down, literally it is shutting down. I could feel that, you know, but that was kind of the pivotal point for me. I really dug into, ok what can I do, what are some tools that can help me take care of mind, body and soul. I looked for tips, books, anything. Anything that I knew could really help me, because it is one thing to say, of course I know I need to love myself but what can you actually do? What’s funny and what a lot of people don’t realize is that journey is why I created my program, “Love Yourself To Greater Health.” And what I think is funny is, it is the most profound lessons that I’ve learned and it’s the most impactful thing that I’ve done in my life. It’s what changed who I am, to love myself, to become healthy and it is my least selling program. *laughing* Because self love isn’t sexy. Most of us don’t love ourselves. We don’t want to buy something that has something to do with loving yourself. It’s kind of ironic but, really that’s …. those tools and that program that I wrote, was really all the guidance that I implemented myself to really help pull myself out of this depression and learn to love myself and learn to love my body. I know it’s cheesy but it’s true. I will put the link to that book in my show notes for those that are interested, but I talk a lot about self love on my social media. But regardless go to the Barnes and Noble, find any book on self love, read that. Follow social media accounts that promote it. Surround yourself with people that make you feel worthy of love, you guys.
Last two tips, number nine, and the last two are short. Number nine, trust your gut. So, you know people talk about the head and the heart, right? But what about our gut? Instincts, instincts my friends, and intuition. I have a firm belief that we all have a knowing. I think this is a big one. I have my whole life gotten impressions. I’ve known things before they happened. I’ve dreamt things that then came to fruition. I’ve known things about people, that people say, how could you possibly know that? I believe, especially I’ve noticed with women, we have an instinct, an intuition and a lot of times we push that away, right? Because we wonder, why are we thinking this? Why are we feeling this? Why do we feel like we shouldn’t go here or we should go here? Or why we feel we shouldn’t go on this trip or why we should go visit our neighbor? Do not ignore those gut instincts. I knew something was wrong in my marriage, even though everything seemed great on the outside. We never fought, we were happy. In my head, I kept thinking this is weird because everything’s great. But my gut kept telling me something is wrong, something’s wrong, something’s wrong. I would occasionally ask him, hey is everything ok, is there anything you really want to talk about? Is there anything missing, are you happy? He would always, of course, just say ‘everything’s great’, but I knew something was wrong. So trust your gut.
And the last tip, final tip you guys, healing is not linear. Meaning there is not going to be a perfect progression for your healing. Whether it’s from divorce or a loss or other pain or trauma, you’re going to have good days and bad. You might have three months of feeling like you are completely passed your divorce and then something might come up that really triggers it. You have to realize that’s not necessarily even …. the person, right? A lot of people after you get divorced are like, I don’t miss that person, but I miss being married. And sometimes it’s the family unit, it’s the fact that holidays aren’t the same. I know for me, I think Drew and I made the best decision for us. We’re happy and we’re in healthy places. We’re both happier than we were in our marriage. So I think we made a good decision, but I still get sad. And the sadness comes from sometimes when there’s a holiday and it’s Drew’s turn. And we’ll usually actually share holidays or if I really want to come. But a lot of times, it’s just knowing that it’s not the same, right? We don’t share holidays or memories or birthdays or anything quite the same, it’s just different. Realize that healing is not going to be this perfect roadmap. It’s not like, oh a year from that time you were divorced or a year from the time you lost a loved one, you are going to magically be happy. You’re going to have good days and bad. You are going to have things that maybe trigger you or upset you and that’s normal. So just allow yourself that grace, right? Have some grace with yourself and realize, I’m going to have good days and bad. And allow yourself to process those feelings, like we talked about that fruit, right?
That’s it. 10 tips my friend, 10 powerful tips that really changed my life. And I can honestly say, through these tips and these tools, for once in my life, I love who I am. I think I’m an amazing person. I love myself. I love my body. I love my family. I love my friends. I love my life. I am living my life exactly how I want to everyday and that’s the truth.
I wanted to wrap up the Podcast by actually sharing a post that I did. It was almost two years ago. I was on the top of, hopefully I’m saying it right, but it’s Haleakala, it’s in Maui. It’s this tall mountain and you’re actually above the clouds and you can watch the sunrise. So you get there really early in the morning, so when it’s still pitch black. Hawaii has light pollution laws, so it’s really pitch black. I had such a profound feeling of peace and love that overcame me during that experience. I had shared it on my social media pages, in hopes to maybe touch someone’s life, so maybe for someone that was feeling depressed or in a dark place. So I wanted to end this podcast just sharing what I had written. ” I spent so many days of my life stumbling in the dark. I struggled with depression and anxiety for a large portion of my life. I can vividly remember when I felt like there is no purpose, no joy, and so much consumed with sadness that I can barely fathom making it through the day. I’ve had many of those days in the past few years, silently suffering. I know what it’s like to reach the lowest point, so low I even tried to take my own life when I was younger. Only a few people had ever known that about me. I share something so personal only because I felt compelled this morning while watching the sunrise. Sitting waiting for the sunrise in the darkness, I was reminded of those low, dark points of stumbling in the darkness. Feeling no warmth, no sense of direction. But then suddenly, there is just a pinch of light in the distance. So small that you can barely see in front of you. But it gives you hope and as time passes colors start to appear. Things start to take shape and you begin to feel the slightest warmth from the sun that has yet to appear. As the sun rises and the light, the happiness and warmth overtake the earth, things are clear, bright and you see things like you never have. Textures, shape, beauty, it takes your breath away. It’s a vision of hope and pure joy. If you are stumbling in the dark right now, just know the sun will rise. We only appreciate the miracle of the sunrise, when we have waited in the darkness.” Thank you guys. I really appreciate you guys listening to this Podcast. For opening up your hearts, for taking the time to listen to my journey and to listen to Drew’s journey and to accept him wholeheartedly. I hope that you find some form of inspiration from the things that I shared and from those tips that I shared. And of course, I hope you have an amazing day and remember to live your best life. Bye guys.