A completely raw, honest, vulnerable post about how I begun meditating and how it helped me grow as a person.
I have never shared this story before, however those close to me will know what I went through. I haven't really been this open and it's something I felt important to share with you. As I begin teaching and guiding meditation, one thing that you learn is to become open and vulnerable and to acknowledge your past, present and future.
I'm not writing this for sympathy or to play the 'victim' card at all. It's not a particularly terrible, tragic story, it's me simply acknowledging what has happened, the times I went through and how far I've come. A part of me thinks I shouldn’t even give this past situation energy of mine but I’m not dwelling in it, I’m just telling you about this so you can understand the background a little as to why and how I came about meditation.
We all have backgrounds, stories and pasts that we can either dwell in or move on from and be thankful for the lessons we learn from it.
It took me a long time to understand why I went through this stage of my life, but in an odd way, I'm thankful for it as it has taught me a lot about myself and the world around me.
Finally finding my soul path has made me really happy within myself and my place in the world and I couldn't be more proud of where I've come.
I also talk about this in my latest Podcast HERE.
Well, here’s the story...
A few years ago, I was at a personal rock bottom, and I had left, what I now see as an emotionally abusive relationship. I don’t really like using the term ‘abusive’ because I feel like it’s a very strong word to use and I hadn’t thought it relevant to me, but I think it applies and know what I had experienced. I understand there are other people in, unfortunately, worse situations than me as well, so I’ve struggled with acknowledging what I went through because I’ve felt it can’t compare.. but anything, whether it’s physical, emotion, mental, financial etc, is a form of abuse and no one should have this happen to them.
Over time, I was made to feel incredibly alone, unloved, and basically like a piece of dirt. I was a fragment of my former self.
Of course, in the beginning, it was all fun and flirtatious, but over the years I was with this person, things went downhill and I had gained a staggering amount of weight, I was drinking a bottle of wine a day (I know!), I was crying myself to sleep, I had no money because they made me pay for everything you can imagine, I was making excuses for my partner’s actions in hope that things would work out or they'd finally love me back, I had extremely low self esteem and was incredibly unhappy. On top of that, this person did not want to touch me at all and if I ever tried, they would push me away, say nasty things or leave the house just to get away. I didn't try to be overbearing, I didn't beg or annoy them for affection. I even tried to 'time' when I would attempt, ask or suggest a snuggle or more.. "maybe when they were happy, had a good day, or had a couple drinks and were more relaxed, maybe then they'd want to touch me", I thought. I felt desperate in a way. You don't realise how important touch and affection is until you can't have it.
Then there were the times when they'd just take advantage of me and have their way and leave.. making me feel used and worthless. I was even told that I wasn't special, sexy or good looking and that, 'you all look the same naked'. Imagine someone telling you that in a vulnerable moment, when you're already fragile?
I started to believe everything they were telling me and I started to suspect that they might be cheating on me or at least speaking to others without my knowledge and if I dare question him, it would be turned back on me and I would be made to feel like crap for even asking. It got to a point where I once looked through their phone for evidence when they were in the shower (I know you shouldn't do that), because I was that suspicious. One thing that hurt the most at the time and I always remember it, was the fact they'd messaged someone else, telling them excitedly 'happy birthday' in a detailed message in recent days to me reading that, but when it was my birthday, I got nothing.
At the time, everyone around me saw right through my sadness and through him. They tried to tell me to leave him, how the relationship was affecting me, but I kept making excuses. I hid a lot towards the end because I didn't want my family and friends to know the extent of what was going on, but I was a broken, fragile person.
Obviously there is so much more to the story and I'm only lightly touching on the surface here to explain the situation I was in, the person I became and what my mental state was like. I could share many more scenarios, but I won't go into detail. I know these stories aren't the type we usually share with each other, and maybe we only share things like this with close friends or family, if that.
So why am i sharing this with you then? Because I feel like in this society today, we should be more open and vulnerable with each other without the fear of being judged or shamed. We should be able to connect on deeper levels with each other for true connection.
It hurts to think back to that time, because I feel sorry for that girl, she deserved so much more.
After finally getting the courage to leave (a day I'll always remember - 21st December 2014), I moved back home with the family. They came with their cars and trailers and helped pack up my stuff and got me the heck outta there!
My partner realised at the time that I was serious when I said I was leaving.. when I had told him the day before, he brushed it off, told me I'd never leave and I was being stupid, then walked out of the room. He had nothing to say on the day I moved out and didn't even say goodbye to me.
It took me months to settle back in, get over the breakup (although I had started to emotionally disconnect a few months beforehand) and make a transition back into a healthy rhythm. There's a lot you have to process after a breakup and I'm not going to say it was easy at all. I haven't had a major relationship since then, but I needed to spend time on my own after that and not be with anyone. The time allowed me to find myself again and lead me down the right path that I'm supposed to follow, so I have greatly appreciated it all. I'm at a point now where I feel ready to be with someone, so I'm open to the universe playing love match!
In the months after being home, I eventually joined a gym and worked with a personal trainer, which allowed me start getting in shape and over a short amount of time I ended up losing 15kg of emotional (and alcohol) weight and I soon found yoga and meditation at a local studio as well.
It came at a perfect time in my life, when I was still mentally down in the dumps and it allowed me to reach out my own hand, pull myself out of the dark hole and give myself a loving hug. Through this practice, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel and I started to shine like I hadn't noticed before.
I enjoyed it so much and I would even release built up emotion in class and felt it really moved me. I end up going to 5 classes a week and after a few more months, I decided I needed to share this with the world, for everyone to feel this amazing and know the wonderful benefits it could bring you, so I looked for a great online course that I could do a degree with (as I was working and I couldn't attend physical class) and that was the Australian College of Holistic Studies and I couldn't be more happy to have found them.
It was an online course, which was different for me at the time, so sometimes I felt like I lost the drive to keep going on with it. Which happened. After about a year doing the course and being 3/4 of the way through, I put it on hold. Life got in the way and I had other interests, so I unfortunately left it at that. Another year passed and certain things in my life brought me back to my practice and I knew I had to finish the course, as it was the right journey for me. Amazing how things come together, isn't it?
I had the incredible support of my coach, other teachers and an online community of students and graduates and this year I went to their May Retreat and finally met everyone in person and it was the most amazing experience I could have asked for! I still think about it everyday and can't wait until the next one in September this year.
I definitely made friends for life and gained so much motivation and inspiration that I finally finished my course this year and am now a qualified Meditation Teacher!
Through this motivation, I started guiding classes and have even started my own new podcast to share content on, which I'm so excited about and you can check it out here.
The course was an eye opening, expanding, vulnerable journey that I couldn’t be more proud that I took. I have changed SO much from the person I was a few years ago, even the simple things like being generally more calm and happy, not judging or comparing myself to others or losing control of my emotions at any second.
Of course, things are still a working progress, but no one is perfect. I know that I'm going in the right direction and I'll never allow myself to get back to that same place I was years ago or be in a relationship like that again.
I’d say meditation was kind of a saviour and now it will always be a part of my life.
This is why I am so passionate about sharing meditation because I KNOW how great it can be for you, yet so many people have fear around it, where they feel they're not ready, they're not at the right stage in their life for it, they don't know how to do it everyday, they can't sit there for long periods of time etc. The key is to start simple. To slowly start incorporating it into your life and not pressure yourself to 'do' it a certain way.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate and there are SO many ways you can do this, including but not limited to dance, guided, visualisation, drawing, insight, silent and craft. Anything that allows you to be present, to be calm and focus your mind, can be considered a form of meditation, and there is always the option to start delving deeper if you're ready for it. Or sometimes it just happens, the more you practice.
Are you ready to let the light in?
If this story resonates with you or you had a similar past, I send love to you. I extend my arms out and virtually hug you. I'm sorry you went through this. Remember that you are incredible, worthy, important and LOVED. If you need to talk to someone, I will hold space for you.
Thank you for reading my story. If you’d like to follow more content, my instagram is nurturedmeditation.
[Originally posted on my blog Nurtured & Nourished]