I consider myself blessed to have discovered my calling and higher purpose at a young (ish) age. However, I didn’t discover this higher purpose without quite a few painful lessons of my own along the way.
My home environment as a child was enveloped in a lot of emotional chaos. A product of a split family, I grew up with an alcoholic step-parent who used physical intimidation and emotional abuse as a means of asserting dominance and control in the family. My mother, while loving and well-intentioned, had an unhealthy marriage built largely on fear, codependency and total lack of boundaries.
My biological father, while loving and thankfully present my entire life, was not really aware of what was going on in my home, and I didn’t get to see him that often. As such, I idolized his love, and it became increasingly more important for me to “win” his approval—which almost always felt difficult to obtain. When I came to him excited to share about my new endeavors, it was usually met with more criticism and skepticism rather than overt displays of encouragement and support.
While there were plenty of things to be grateful for in my life, the emotional climate at home was frequently volatile and sometimes downright scary. Subsequently, I had a LOT of anger festering inside me at a very young age. It became evident to the point where my parents sent me to counseling in grade school and also transferred me to a private Christian school in hopes that it would help “straighten me out”.
All of this inadvertently and subconsciously became the architecture of my beliefs about myself and love: “I’m a bad kid because I’m ‘acting out’… I need to change who I am in order to find favor with the ones I love… Love does not have boundaries… Love is difficult to obtain and you must work to earn it.”
These subconscious beliefs manifested in my adult life in two main ways. First, it became increasingly difficult for me to spend extended time around my parents without eventually getting triggered and sucked into a nasty argument. I even estranged myself from my step-father completely.
Second, it led me through a series of failed romantic relationships in which I constantly felt used, unseen, undervalued or emotionally abused.
In one especially painful relationship that lasted for over two years, my lack of healthy boundaries led to me totally erasing my sense of self and individuality without realizing it. I claimed I knew my value in the relationship and the strengths I brought to the table, and I claimed that I deserved better than what I was getting.
Yet, I became SO focused on “fixing” my partner’s issues that I was totally oblivious to my own.
As a result, his opinions of me became my self esteem. My own self worth fluctuated with each day, depending on whether or not were getting along. I worked so hard to win his love and approval, changing who I was in the process so that he would deem me worthy. Instead, I lost not only his respect, but respect for myself.
I had grown accustomed to completely giving away my power for the sake of external validation.
When that relationship officially ended, I had lost myself so much I didn’t even know who I really was, what I wanted, or even how to spend time alone anymore.
Even more painful than the loss of the relationship was the loss of myself.
I found myself again through the healing power of forgiveness, mindfulness, meditation and the practice of self-love.
After a LOT of soul-searching, I was finally willing to be honest with myself. I wanted to know how I had established some kind of pattern of always settling for less than what I really wanted for myself. I also wanted to know why I was so intent on trying to “fix” others when clearly I had a lot of work to do on myself.
In my quest for self-awareness, I uncovered the belief structures that had been holding me in negative or unhealthy patterns. Not only did I identify them, I worked hard to undo them and replace them with more positive self-affirmations. In doing so, I learned how to change my perspective of myself and my past, which allowed me to shift my personal narrative from a place of victimhood to “empowered badass”!
Now, all those things that used to be painful stories of the past have transformed into my power—because I overcame it all, and I get to use that experience to help other people with transformations of their own!
Every great difficulty in our lives is a teacher trying to show us what's not working and where we need to grow. We're not supposed to feel comfortable with being stagnant or things that aren't serving us. We're supposed to learn from the challenges—take what we need from it and move on.
Life is messy and emotional pain is inevitable. But one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that pain is a powerful mentor whose sole purpose is to drive us away from dysfunction and/or things that are not actually edifying us. Pain is only meant to be a temporary consequence, not a life sentence.
I’m no longer a victim of other people or circumstance. I’m now the creator of my own reality. I’ve entered new territory in my life where I’m manifesting personal happiness and attracting abundance. Life’s definitely not without its challenges, but I handle them SO much more efficiently than ever before, letting them teach me rather than cripple me. I’ve done a lot of work to heal myself and clear out the negative energy so that I can be a vessel of love and healing for others.
Even if we don’t directly connect through coaching, I hope you will find bits of useful insight and wisdom through the free content I share regularly on my social media links.
a few extra details…
Originally born in Abilene, Texas, I consider myself a Florida native, having primarily grown up in Tampa and attended Florida State University. Shortly after college graduation, I moved to Austin, Texas, where I’ve been living for almost 10 years. Before coaching, I had a career as a marketing professional with nearly 10 years of experience in the area of professional consulting services. I’m also currently an avid musician, vocalist, and performer with a few different local bands. I live with my amazing partner Brian (whom I absolutely adore), his sweet and precious daughter Remy, our two-year-old Australian Shepherd named Iggy, and our 16-year-old giant tortoise/resident dinosaur, Moby.