I would consider myself a romantic. I was raised on Doris Day musicals and Disney movies. I could always relate to becoming friends with wildlife and singing throughout my day. I was overall a happy person even in the midst of struggle and childhood trauma.
I also desperately wanted partnership. I wanted a soulmate. I wanted an epic love and a long-term relationship that could mature and grow through the years. I was hopeful and even naive at times, which led me down a very interesting path.
I thought I had found my soulmate when I met my first husband. There were magical signs, but there were also BIG red flags that I completely ignored. If you read how my life burned down, you know that relationship didn’t go well.
That experience hit me in the face with doubt about the core ideas I believed. It made me lose trust in myself. How could I be so sure about him being the “right” one and yet it ended so badly? How could I ever trust myself again?
I didn’t give up. My positive spirit was still strong, but I became a single parent. That makes it much harder and riskier to date. I dove headfirst into the world of online dating – this was late 2004 – and I had some frightening and hilarious experiences…but that is another story.
After some time continuing to attract the wrong kind of partners, I made a commitment to do whatever it would take to create the right one.
This was no small commitment. Choosing to create the right kind of partner when for so long you have been attracting the wrong kind of partner means some serious internal work is necessary. The kind of deep work that brings up old wounds and requires you to look at yourself more honestly and bravely than ever before.
I also committed to not dating at all until this work was done. In all honesty, I thought that would take about six months. It turned out to be more like 4 years.
We live in a world that rewards us with instant gratification and shortcuts for quick wins. The problem with this is that the best things in life require time and effort to create. Just look at the length of time it takes for fruit trees to grow, or the time it takes to make sourdough bread instead of quick bread. Or mature, deep love as compared to short-term infatuation.
Our greatest desires are not created instantly. They require patience and effort to bring them fully into reality. You have to know your core desires first (we will save that for another day), and once you know your core desires, you have to be willing to do what it takes to create them.
I found my soulmate in 2010. It was magical and beautiful and quick. I met him on Eharmony in August. He was in Australia, and I was in Austin. We spent one month talking 4 hours a day on Skype and we both knew this was it. I flew to Australia in September to ensure it all was real. While I was there, he asked me to marry him and on November 30th I arrived in Australia with my 8-year old daughter in tow.
Meeting my husband was quick, but what it took to get there was anything but.
I worked hard on myself for 4 years. I dug into the depths of my trauma and pain. I got honest about who I was and why I was attracting the men in my life. I did the internal work required to manifest what I wanted externally. You couldn’t see it though – it was all under the surface and in my private time.
I also had to recommit to my goal over and over again. I had doubts. I was tempted to date again. I fell into old patterns. I wanted to give up and dive into something more comfortable and safe. I had to drum up the courage every day to avoid settling for less than everything I wanted.
I didn’t give up, and I ended up creating everything I wanted. I had other secret dreams, like living around the world. That unfolded too.
During those four years of internal work, I found myself again. I learned who I was and healed so many of my old wounds.
What it taught me is that it is worth cultivating patience to get what we really want.
I have done this in business many times as well. I have never “quickly” created my biggest goals. They took time, energy, patience and commitment. I wouldn’t take any of that back.
I have watched over the years as countless women gave up on their dreams because they didn’t create them “quickly enough”. The world has told them that they are failures for not going fast enough or big enough.
I am here to tell you that true dreams and core desires are created through work, most often the internal work that we are afraid to do.
To COMMIT to your dreams is the difficult, scary and ultimately courageous path. It is worth every moment you walk it.