For my birthday this year, my husband asked me what I wanted, but I couldn’t think of a thing.
I’ve already had everything I want and need, and if there’s anything else, I can buy it myself or my husband already gets it for me like an everyday thing.
(He surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of red roses and a lovely handwritten card, then he took us on a weekend trip to the sea where he had pre-booked a romantic dinner.)
The point is, I’m living a great life.
My husband is the best man I know, and I love him so much. He’s kind, affectionate, patient, funny, intelligent, and generous. He’s an excellent communicator and my biggest cheerleader. I’m wrapped in his love and care every single day.
But my life wasn’t always like this.
Before I met my husband a few years ago, my life was a mess.
I was in lots of emotional and spiritual pain almost every day. I couldn’t enjoy anything because of my intense anxiety. I got attached to unavailable guys who treated me badly. I went through heartbreak after heartbreak. I hated my job and my life.
See, I’m not here by chance. I had to work for it. Hard. My husband didn’t save me — My life leveled up because I leveled up. I made the decision to turn my life around, and I achieved it by doing many hard things.
1. Reset my life
After many short-lived toxic relationships that cost me my well-being, my time, and my dignity, I felt like I had hit rock bottom. My life was going nowhere, and it scared me deeply.
I had so many issues that I didn’t even know where to begin to fix them. All the lines were blurred. Everything going for me was mediocre. I was not where I wanted to be. And I knew another quick fix wouldn’t help.
So, following my survival instinct, I hit a hard reset. I stopped using romantic interactions as distractions. I cut contact with all men — no more instant gratifications from dating, no more undefined relationships, no more entertaining exes.
I made my life as simple as possible to rebuild its foundation with good principles, habits, and mindsets.
I detailed the process in this article: To turn your life around, you need a hard reset.
2. Did the work in therapy
Going to therapy isn’t hard, but doing the work in it is.
I came back to therapy again and again even when nothing seemed to happen at first. I kept at it even when one therapist didn’t work out. It required me to be patient with the process while being honest and vulnerable with myself.
For a while, I did not see anything concrete in my future but I pushed through anyway. Later when I met my husband, I continued to attend therapy while I tried my best to communicate with him about my feelings and show up for us even when my anxiety told me to shut down or run away.
3. Changed my lifestyle
In my early twenties, I drank alcohol almost every week when I was out with friends or on a date. Other than that, I was mostly in bed with anxiety.
During my reset period, I stopped all of that. I learned to swim. I took up new hobbies. I met up with a new group of friends to play team sports. Basically, I did all the things that required my full attention and focus and helped instill a sense of stability and security in me. They were also naturally healthy for me, and it was how I was able to get on top of my anxiety.
These changes helped expand and upgrade my pool of romantic prospects. I felt like I transformed into a better version of myself and I was able to carry myself with love, care, and respect, which led to a very selective, yet high-quality social circle.
4. Published a book I’d procrastinated on
A.k.a. I did something I was really proud of, something that helped me reclaim my power.
My book “Love yourself enough to let them go” was published by the end of 2019. My last relationship had made me feel weak, vulnerable, and ashamed of myself, so finishing the book was a way for me to build myself back up and tell my story. It gave me a sense of achievement and it was evidence I could do a hard thing. I needed it.
In fact, publishing this book was one of the best things I’ve done. It touched many people, and it also helped me recognise the one in my husband quite early on.
5. Built a serious relationship with myself
2019 was the year I wrote the most emails. I poured my heart into these emails to be real, kind, and loving to myself. In therapy, I learned about the concept of the “vulnerable child” and the “healthy adult”, and it was the first time I was consciously acting and thinking like the healthy adult — there was no coming back.
I no longer blamed the world for my misery or waited for someone to come and light up my world. I decided to become that person for me. I was the one to make things happen for me. I was the one to decide what was right and wrong, good and bad for me. I was the one to draw boundaries and set standards. And even now, I’m the one to be with me even when no one else is.
I’m 100% committed to this relationship.
6. Changed how I approached dating
At the beginning of 2019, I was impulsive, confused, and passive. I was hurting deeply.
At the end of 2019, I was grounded, in control, and self-assured. From then on, I became full and light.
What has changed?
I wrote about it in this article: This dating approach will get you a quality, long-lasting relationship
This is the approach that helped me marry the love of my life and live a life of security, comfort, and abundance inside out:
Have high standards
Set strong boundaries
Move on ruthlessly
Don’t get me wrong — there’s no one way to do this. The journey is also very personal to each of us.
But, in the long run, either way, learning to set standards, draw boundaries, and move on from the things that are wrong for you will serve you not only in love but in life as well.
It’ll give you a brand new perspective and make you realise you’re powerful and no one can take that away from you.
The road ahead might be hard and long, but I want you to know I’ve been there. There’s help and there’s hope.