By Nerissa Martin. Photo by Deun Ivory.
There is something about the way Erykah Badu tells Sway ‘I’m exquisite’ in this interview. When I heard it the first time, I thought ‘This is the goal. Being exquisite.’ A few months before watching that video I would have said the goal was being in a relationship and a career as a freelance writer.
But the relationship and career I wanted had been my goal for years. Through all the jobs that just weren’t a fit and all the ex-situations who cheated, took my money, called me stupid or hit me.
I took time to work on myself so I wouldn’t find myself in more "situations." Then in May of last year I met a guy on Plenty of Fish who was amazing. He treated me really well, did all the right things and then some. He definitely wasn’t part of my pattern. I liked him. Like, like-liked him.
We had only gone out on two dates but I knew something was different. And I was really excited because I realized I had had a healing. I did the work I needed to on myself so I wouldn’t attract the types of guys who had abused me or treated me like shit in the past.
But by June that guy disappeared.
The crossroad here was so vivid I could see it: I could file this experience away in a folder that was already full of ex-boyfriends who cheated, rejections and humiliations, or I could grow.
My first step was dealing with the pain of my own expectations. My pattern was to sit and make up stories about what happened, so I knew I had to do something different. This was when I started working on a book; a project I hadn’t worked on for months.
“[P]ay attention. In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember... pay attention to right now… The phone call from the lover, for all my waiting, may not ever come, but just at the moment… that’s all right.”
— Julie Cameron, The Artist’s Way
During this time I learned how to talk to God again. This wasn’t conscious, I would literally ask questions to myself, to the universe and eventually I would get an answer. Once some time had passed and I was on my way to finishing the book, I started to ask: What was all that work for if I’m still dealing with being hurt? If I still don’t have the relationship I want?
I wasn’t totally surprised to find the answer on YouTube, but I was surprised to find three videos featuring Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker, expressing the same frustration I felt. She was talking to Abraham Hicks about not being able to find a husband. And even though I knew it was a recording, I think I heard my brain click at the same time Patti’s did.
The work I had been doing wasn’t about attracting different men. It was about getting to a place where I felt exquisite, a place where I was in love with myself.
“As the relationship between ‘soul’ and ‘personality’ begins to deepen… [s]ubconscious patterns left behind long time ago reappear... The nightmarish boss… The emotionally immature ex-partner… The list is seemingly endless and personal.”
— Heidi Sawyer, Highly Intuitive People
I’m single now and not dating. Over the past few months I’ve been through some major transitions, all based on the deeper connection I’ve been building with myself.
I moved, left the last job that didn’t work and started a career as a freelance writer. I’ve had days where I feel excited about what’s coming for half an hour and then I cry for another half an hour. My friends and family won’t understand what I’m going through. It feels scary to not talk to my friends and know what’s going on in their lives, but I have to be by myself for this.
I’ve learned and accepted that I am incredibly sensitive, but it’s not something to be embarrassed by. I’m learning to trust myself, to have faith in my intuition and in the universe.
I’m determined to go through this. I’ve come too far to stay still or turn back. It’s part of a process that I need to see myself through.
I know I’m on the right track because my mind is calmer. I’ve found a way to say to myself: You can manage. You can pull together when you break, give yourself time. There’s a way to find the place where you fully enjoy life.
My process is about learning how to keep my heart open to avoid bitterness and rigidity. I’m determined to keep asking questions and reaching out for guidance. And I’m determined to handle myself with patience. I’m not exquisite all the time yet, but I’m getting there.
Nerissa Martin hails from Toronto. Her purpose for contributing to BGIO is to write for women who look like her, who have had experiences that look like hers and who have the same questions about finding self, growth and thriving that she does. One of her self-love practices includes enjoying sparkling water in a wine glass. Connect more with Nerissa on her website, Twitter, and Instagram!