When I filed for divorce, I stated “Irreconcilable Differences” as the cause, because I didn’t want the truth of my daily reality disclosed, not understanding the irreconcilable differences were within me, and at the same time unaware I would dedicate the next 10 years of my life to working on healing me from the inside out.
When I thought about what kept me bound so long in a broken marriage, I understood I did not consider me. I had lost myself in simply trying to survive. I was a non-factor in my whole decision-making process because I was taught from childhood how to function in brokenness and survive in cycles of toxicity that produced a love-less existence within who I knew myself to be. I was taught love was a small, almost nonexistent factor in the whole equation of relationships, particularly the commitment of marriage, and when you get married, you stay married because God hates divorce.
The one thing I knew about God was He really loved me, and it wasn’t because I had experienced that love for myself, but because that’s what I was taught growing up in church. I didn’t pray. I didn’t even believe it worked… for me at least, because the one prayer I prayed with all my heart for years, God never answered. So, when it came to my own life, I didn’t have a clue as to what it meant to fight for me. All I knew was, I was tired of my heart aching from being in emotional pain every single day, within what felt like a terminal life sentence on Rikers Island. I needed to know if God loved me enough to save me from myself. I needed to know how to get to a place, mentally, that would allow me to feel and think about me for once.
I was so close to death because I thought I was in a hopeless situation. I would literally pray that God would allow me to die in my sleep every night… my pain was that intense! I didn’t have the courage to take my own life. I didn’t even know if it was right to consider death, but I did because it seemed like my only way out. I just wanted my pain to end. My breaking point was the night I lost consciousness because my (former) husband grabbed me in an angry rage by both of my wrists and start slinging my body around the living room like a rag doll. When I regained consciousness, I was too scared to call the police and too weak- spiritually, mentally and emotionally to leave, so I stayed.
I didn’t understand why God wasn’t rescuing me from the hell I was living in. One night as I asked God yet again for him to allow me to die in my sleep, clear as a bright summer day, I heard a voice ask, “Do you want to live or die?” and then I drifted off to sleep. I vividly remember what I dreamed that night to this day. I saw how life would be for my children if God answered my prayer. When I awoke the next morning, alive, I decided to live for my children. I knew they needed me, and it wasn’t until I made the conscious decision to heal, that I understood I needed me too!
Healing was hard! It required that I dig deep into my past experiences, understand my reactions, evaluate my thoughts, and speak my pain to be aware of the unhealthy patterns and nonproductive cycles I had been living thru and replicating since childhood. I was a whole mess! I can honestly say I didn’t like myself, I definitely didn’t love me, and I didn’t know who I was. The crazy part about my heart, as broken as I thought it was, it still loved others unconditionally. My perception of that unconditional part of love meant that I had to stay in relationships that didn’t serve me completely and accept everything I was dealt, even abuse.
The more I committed to consistently doing my healing work, the more I got to know God for who He truly is and accept His unconditional love for me, which in turn enabled me to stop hiding behind my past experiences, and the circumstances of my life. I learned to accept I am not my past and that every experience I lived thru was preparation for my purpose, what I asked for, and where my life’s journey was taking me. I understood God did not abandon me, nor did He do those things to me, but He allowed them to happen because they would be vital to my healing journey and divine purpose in life. I understood God loved me and because He gave us all a free will, it was up to me to decide whether I truly wanted to live or die. God couldn’t make that decision for me.
The more I healed, the more I became comfortable with owning all of who I am, including my experiences! Thru my healing I was able to reconcile the parts of me that I suppressed and tried to disown because they didn’t fit the image of a strong brown woman who was able to bounce back from a failed marriage and hardships. The deeper I went within my soul wounds to heal them, the more I understood their purpose within my life’s journey and the power in sharing my life’s experiences with others so they too could heal. I stopped directing my energy toward fear, guilt, regret, and the opinions of others, and I focused on learning to love me, which in turn began to change my attractions and allowed me to experience true peace from within. Daily, I am still healing. Once you make the conscious decision to heal, you are on your healing journey for the remainder of your life as you progress thru its various phases. The last phase of your healing journey is remembering your divine purpose and taking intentional steps to live it daily. I am boldly owning the fullness of Danielle unapologetically and on purpose every single day by way of my divine purpose!
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Healing, light & love to you💜💚