22 Things I Learned From Escaping a Cult and Breaking Up With My Boyfriend
If you've ever found yourself in painful situations but running from making the necessary decisions to free yourself, consider my brief story and the lessons I learned from tough choices and standing my ground.
Years ago, after realizing I somehow became part of a church cult (odd, I know), I escaped, knowing they'd outcast and shame me, lie, drag my name through the mud and attempt to devastate my spirit. Unfortunately it was much worse than this, and spending the next 9 months living in my car and dealing with my courage head on transformed my life in ways I never foresaw. Fast forward a few years and into a different situation:
After determining my committed, longterm "dream relationship" was actually just an illusion and I was stuck in a downward spiral of bullshit and stagnation, I decided to leave (against the advice of my friends, who thought my boyfriend was amazing and my standards were too high). The decision to leave these situations and the aftermath of standing firm regardless of outside opinions or my inner pain and heartache immediately became two of my greatest times of growth and transformation spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
Here are 22 things I learned after making those tough decisions:
1. How to create and maintain boundaries.
2. Courage in the midst of doubt, fear and confusion.
3. Self-responsibility, including not being responsible for anyone else's self.
4. Inner guidance and wisdom.
5. The depths of my own strength.
6. The importance of making decisions for me.
7. Not taking on others' burdens or trying to save them.
8. Standing my ground to save myself.
9. Being clear in my communication and saying exactly what I mean.
10. I can be alone for a year and not die.
11. Others are, and will continue to be, fine without me.
12. Don't settle, ever again.
13. Follow my intuition, immediately and don't question myself or procrastinate.
14. How to stand tall when I'm hurting.
15. How to use my pain for growth.
16. How to breathe through my fears and inner-conflicts.
17. How to look within and find inner strength instead of relying on others.
18. How to keep my composure when it feels like everything has fallen apart.
19. How to maintain my happiness during betrayal. My happiness is worth fighting for.
20. How to live through loneliness.
22. How to forgive while creating space.
Sometimes our biggest fears and anxiety come from not knowing what's on the other side of our life-changing decisions, but what I've learned is that my hardest choices open the door to the best times and greatest transformations in my life. The harder the decision, the bigger the blessings for your courage.
Remember, all is well and you'll not only survive, but likely thrive. Just decide.