Back in my mid-thirties, I found myself living in LA, intertwined in a mentally abusive relationship with my then-boyfriend (which I wrote about in one of my earlier blogs on The Daily Feels). It took me years to admit that I, this strong, independent, badass, who takes no shit, found herself emotionally battered, mentally weakened, and attached to a man who made me feel less than.
When you’re in a toxic relationship, one person is hanging on for dear life, hoping their partner will change. Hoping that things will get better. Hoping your significant other will see your worth and all that you bring to the relationship. The keyword here is “hope”. Hope can be a slippery slope. Hope could be a tool of self-deception. This type of ‘hope’ can be self-deluding, and eventually, it will probably end up sabotaging or defeating you. And that is what it did.
I was in repair for a while. Healing and rebuilding is usually a messy process and unfortunately never fluid. But finally, I returned to a place where I recognized parts of myself and became newly acquainted with my next level.
So why did I decided to resurrect this memory? Because for the last four years, I found myself back in the fold of yet another toxic relationship. However, I did not voluntarily want to be in this relationship, and this time I was not alone. In fact, it seems that I was in this relationship with 81,283,098 others. Some of those people admittedly first entered this relationship certain it was the right choice, but on November 3rd, they decided enough was enough and voted to end this union. They realized they were worth more than what they were receiving.
And yet, what often happens when you are the one who chooses to break up with the toxic person, they dismiss your decision. They go to great (often times crazy) lengths to prove you wrong, and try to convince you that you’re making a grave mistake. Basically, they never concede to the breakup.
Does this sound familiar, Daily Feelers? Many of us are collectively going through this exact toxic cycle as of late. Has it exhausted you? Made you scream? Convinced you that you’re no longer safe having this person in your life? Yup, me too.
I never considered myself a political person. I don’t trust politicians (on either side). I never liked the divide in parties and policies – and often found myself frustrated by it all. However, I always voted, yet I often found myself at the polls not favoring either candidate. I always leaned towards the candidate whom I believed could lead with compassion. The candidate who beneath that diplomatic façade, was a mindful human being who just wanted to do right by the people (all people). That doesn’t make me a Democrat or a Republican. It makes me human. I guess that is why I feel so beaten down and battered at this time. For the past four years, I have been in a relationship where inhumanity reigned supreme.
The past four years has felt like a hostage situation for many of us. We watched the mayhem ensue, and our catastrophic thinking got the best of us. We have been morally injured and through it all, the collective trauma set in.
On January 20th, five days from now, we will be released from this toxic relationship. That is when we can all take a deep breath and begin the healing process. The doom and darkness that hung over some of us for the past four years feel as though it is lifting, but we the people have some serious soul work to do.
After my breakup from the toxic relationship with my LA boyfriend, my therapist at the time repeated those exact words to me, “you have some serious soul work to do”. I had no idea what that meant, but with her guidance, I got to work.
She asked me to sit in stillness for one hour a day, and reflect upon the following:
- What was my role in this relationship (what I owned as my stuff)?
- What made me believe this relationship was worth staying for?
- What did I learn from this toxic relationship? (so I never find myself here again)
Through this self-inquiry, I learned a lot of hard truths…and slowly understood why my therapist called this soul work. The soul is where we store all toxic beliefs, ideas, dogmas, repressed feelings, suppressed desires, and wounds we’ve carried around our entire life. Your soul is your higher self, and it is your ultimate source of truth, peace, love, and freedom. We think it’s our heart that takes a beating and needs healing after a breakup, but our soul is wounded too. Without soul work, we don’t truly level up as we should.
With that soul work, I learned that we can’t rely on our next relationship to fix the wounds from the old one. For instance, it would be foolish for anyone to think that this next relationship we’re entering into on January 20th, will fix all that is broken. It’s up to us to look inward, take inventory, reimagine the world we want to live in and our role in it, and then take action to make sure we never repeat history again. That might be a good way to start on our healing journey.
Here’s to triumphing over trauma…collectively.
Janis Gaudelli is The Founder of The Daily Feels. She started this passion project to reveal the magic behind storytelling, and how truth-based narratives bring people together in the most heart-warming of ways. Fascinated by soul, depth, intellect, raw truths, and rebellion with a cause. Often captivated by the awe of nature: star gazing, moon manifesting, sunset chasing, waves crashing, crickets singing. Fiercely curious about the inner-workings of the human psyche… she professionally studies human behavior for a living. Forever proud and grateful for being a mom to the force that fuels her life: her 9-year-old son, and greatest professor, Kellan.