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I’m writing this today because I feel I have to. I’m writing this because I think people need to hear it. I’m writing this because in the last two years every single marriage and relationship I know has come abusta, or come close. I’ve had this sitting in my drafts folder for months a year, too afraid to share.
I’m writing this because there is a secret no one talks about. And we need to. Because otherwise we are all sitting in our lonely, sad, heartbroken, lost spheres, not reaching out, not touching, not knowing there are others out there exactly the same.
(Disclaimer: In this article, I’m talking about the hard stuff in relationships. I’m obviously not referring to abusive relationships. That’s a whole different kettle of fish, my love. This is just for goddesses who are afraid that they are the only one with Relationship Stuff. This is to spread light on just how hard it can be. If your buttons get pressed during this, I’m really sorry. Your story is your story, and it is precious and profound. GROUP HUGS!)
The Untold Secrets About Love And Marriage:
There are so many untold secrets about love and marriage.
They are the secrets we think we bear all on our own.
The ones we hold tightly to our chests because they cause us so much pain, frustration and shame.
I’m calling bullshit on it.
Here are the secrets about love + marriage:
Love can be incredibly hard.
Your partner will not be the knight in shining armor without his own personal shit.
You will fight.
It is okay to fight.
Your partner will say shit to you.
You will say shit to them.
You actually CAN forgive a lot of things.
Neither of you will always be your best selves.
Other people do not have a better relationship than you.
You never know what a relationship is truly like unless you are in it. Even then, you only know half the story of it.
Your partner can not read your mind.
Your partner can not be your perfect partner 24/7.
You will not be the perfect partner 24/7.
Leaving the relationship isn’t always the answer.
I’m writing this for you incase you ever feel alone in just how hard love can be. I’m writing this for you incase you’ve ever felt ashamed because your relationship wasn’t perfect.
Here’s my absolute, honest truth:
My love is the love of my life. He is fairydust and wise sage and hot and everything in between.
AND on the same hand, we have argued our pants off (sometimes literally – ha! Did you see what I did just there? I slipped in a bit of a makeupsex pun! Woo! Let’s five that one! Yeah!). Where was I? Oh yes.
There has been many, many points in the last eleven years that I have felt broken hearted, lost, unsure, ashamed and deeply afraid that I was the only one who felt like this in love.
But here’s the truth I have learned:
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t.
(If you are a relationship that doesn’t argue and has never felt moments of uncertainty: I haven’t met you yet. I’m not sure if you actually totally exist. Totally happy if you do exist of course. I just think you are a really tiny percentage of relationships.)
Here’s the one big thing that I think would lower divorce rates by a metric buttload (and that’s MATH!)
If things really, really suck. Or even if they just need help to fine tune.
Go get relationship counseling.
It can make unicorns dance.
AND teach you how to actually communicate together.
How to get on the same damn team as each other.
Stop causing pain to each other.
I really, really believe miracles can happen. There is Relationships Australia. And I’m sure a heap of other organisations in other countries too.
Just google search it. I’m not an oracle, peeps. I’m just someone who knows how to type something into Google.
Trust your instinct. Find something and someone that works for you both.
Here’s the best analogy I can come up with:
If your car started having problems, started crunching and groaning and not starting – would you:
a) buy a new car?
b) just ask random people off the street & your girlfriends how to fix a car, even if their cars are broken too?
c) take it to someone who is a mechanic – someone whose job it is to get cars working again?
If I want my relationship to be awesome, I’m going to give it the best chance for success – by going to someone who is a relationships professional.
They really CAN make miracles happen.
It takes work and tenacity and commitment and courage.
It also means you are going to become an even clearer vision of yourself.
It can be an incredibly healing, transformative experience.
And here is the good news:
I really do believe in love still.
I really do believe we can forgive quite a huge amount of things.
I really do believe that we can make our relationships a thousand times better.
I really do believe that love can make us grow and evolve in quantum leaps and bounds.
Anyone can love the world from a cave in meditative bliss.
But to love the world through someone when your buttons are pressed and theirs are too?
That’s the big stuff.
Our best partners are the ones that help us grow the most.
My love & I might have argued each other’s pants off… but I know of no other soul who could have taught me so deeply about myself than he. We keep right on growing together. Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is excruciating. And then – out the other side – a new expanse. Of growth. Love. Commitment. To ourselves. To each other.
I look back at when we first met – me at 18, he at 27.
And I think:
Holy crapper, were we stoooopid.
I think it lovingly, of course.
But just: Oh my GOSH. We were SO young. We had SO much to learn and grow through together. We are becoming our best selves, but holy DINGER it takes a lot of life roughable to make you as smooth as a river stone.
If this is the difference of 11 years, I can’t wait to see what both of us look like in 30 years time.
When I was in high school, I remember a conversation with a guy. We weren’t particularly close, and we rarely spoke, and yet the conversation has stayed in my head all these years, until I know why I remembered them.
Me, attempting to make conversation: Where did you go on holidays?
His eyes are alight in a way I hadn’t seen before, bar the times he spoke of partying and drugs. It’s always broken my heart when only those things can alight a soul… especially when there’s so much beauty in this world you know? So much beauty to love and marvel at.
But yes. He was alight. In a way I hadn’t seen before.
Me, instantly curious, needing to find out why he has been affected, but of course maintaining my inner decorum, grace and placid nature that I am eternally the embodiment of:
OMG OMG OMG TELL ME MORE WHY WHY WHY DID YOU LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT SOOOO MUCH??? TELL ME TELL MEEEEEEEE NOWWWWWW
Him: I don’t know. The earth up there, Leonie. It’s not dirt. It’s soil. The rainforest is incredible… I’ve just never experienced anything like it. The trees. The soil. It’s just so ancient, it gave me goosebumps. It wasn’t dirt. It was rich and fertile and filled with layers. It was true soil. I sound like an idiot talking about it. But I can’t say anything more than that: it wasn’t dirt, it was soil.
And now I find myself wandering the very rainforests he spoke of, crouching in the soil, feeling that magic too.
At the cafe (named Crystal Cafe, of course) I get to talking to the sweet, bright eyed owner who moonlights as a pole dance teacher.
“Everyone here has their thing,” she says. “You’ll like it. Everyone is interesting here. Just like you.”
At work one day, in Canberra.
Another one of those conversations that stays in my head, seemingly at random, until one day it’s not.
There is a man there, a brother from another mother, descended from the same cosmic womb as me.
We spend an inordinate amount of cubicle time playing horsey and carriage, in fits of laughter.
Whilst possessing the same amount of immaturity, he is 20 years older, married and settled with kids.
And at one particular point, I talk about going “home”… about how Proserpine is and always will be my “home”.
Normally our brains worked in perfect sync together (like Leonard’s mum + Sheldon), but at this moment, it didn’t.
“You know Leonie, Proserpine isn’t your home. It’s just where you grew up.”
“Oh A, you don’t understand. It IS my home.”
“It’s not. Home is the place where you make your family. It’s the place you live and make your life. Everyone grows up and moves away and goes on to make their own families and their own new home. You’ve been away from Proserpine long enough. You have Chris. You have your house here, and the life you’ve made. This is your home.”
And I argued with him. Over and over again, about how Proserpine was and would always be my home. How he didn’t understand.
And he argued back, just as insistently, that home was where you lived, that it was the place you made your own family.
And yet I see now, he did.
He really did understand.
He saw that I wasn’t really, truly growing up. Wasn’t free to find my true home when my compass needle was so stuck. Wasn’t ready to change.
Until the moment I was.
Everyday, at 4:30 pm I can hear the old scenic train winding its way up into the mountain mists miles away from us through spectacular scenery… a reminder that in that very moment, there are hundreds of people gasping with delight at the beauty of this world… I love the reminder so much. I think it’s the same reason my husband loves airports. “There’s always people going on the biggest adventures of their lives, or they are going to see people they love so much… I feel like I’m a part of it when I am there…”
This world. Pretty much the best thing ever.
Each day we live here, I feel tendrils of peace and relaxation unravel within me.
I don’t know what it was before.
What made my shoulders set hard. What made things not feel right before.
I’m guessing it had to do with the weight of family expectations, the weariness of waiting for the next shitty thing to happen.
It just didn’t fit. It didn’t feel good.
And here… here in the rainforest, bathing in the sunlight, in our own little sanctuary away from everything…
we are free to be how we are.
It feels like our old sweet life in Canberra, but even more radiant now. Even more alive. In Canberra we weren’t living in the sweet tropics. We weren’t living in our dream house. We weren’t staying at home together thanks to my beautiful business. We didn’t have the kind of freedom we have now. And yet, there our life was governed by our own groove, our own life pattern.
And we had to come all this way to find it again. The space for our own groove.
And now we are here, and now we have it…
Goshdarn that feels lovely.
A gentle, soft pace of life. Just as we adore it
Every soul and every family should have the choice as to the life that fits them best.
I don’t know what it is,
but I feel more connected here to my sweet little family
and my sweet little self.
Yesterday I said to my love:
People are different here. They are open and smiling. They look happy. They look like they don’t have a care in the world.
It is infectious and it is beautiful to be around.
We used to live on a loud street.
All I can hear is the waterfall behind us. The river at the end of our road.
“Honey, when we’re ready, let’s look at buying a house again. With enough land so you can have horses again. Near to Ostara’s school. How much do you think we can afford?”
“Honey, I believe I can pay off any house I want. I believe in myself. I can make anything happen.”
His brow knits and he sits and he thinks for a while.
“This is so different from our life before, you know? I’m still learning that our life is different. That we can buy the house that we really want, where we truly want it, all in our own time. We used to scrimp and save and make do with thing we didn’t really want. It’s just so different now.”
And I think back over the stretch of our lives.
To the times where I was working full time and had $10 “spending money” a week.
To when lunch out was beyond the budget.
To when we bought our first house not because we adored it but because we were just barely able to afford it.
To when we were saddled with consumer debt and credit card debt.
To when we bought the cottage not because it fit us, but because we thought that’s the life we deserved.
There’s been some pivotal times in our lives.
The times that have changed the course of our lives.
The first was deciding to take control of our finances. We cut up our credit cards years ago and have used only our savings ever since.
The second was making a decision, a commitment to myself that whatever it took, I would earn $30 000 from my creative and spiritual gifts within 12 months.
It’s only a few short years since then.
I earn more in a month than my original year goal.
I help FAR more people than I’ve ever helped.
I feel most alive, most like myself, when I am doing this work.
Our lives are free because of my business.
Not in spite of my business. But totally in alignment.
We are free to choose again and again what is true and right and good for us.
We didn’t feel like we had that choice before.
This business shit?
It is powerful. Sacred. Divine. Purposeful.
It’s the difference between no choice and choice.
It’s the difference between having the job of your dreams and not.
It’s the difference between complete financial and life freedom and being controlled by external circumstances (by jobs, where you can live, what you can afford, what house you can have, what options you have for your family…)
Every morning, I spend the morning with my family.
My husband and my daughter, out adventuring around the world, or just being at home, peaceful together.
We eat lunch at the table looking over the rainforest.
We talk deeply – all the time – about where we are at, how we are feeling, what we are called to do next.
And then I nestle my daughter into bed for her nap.
Today, my husband and his white fluffy shadow (Angel le puppy) joins us for a midweek nap.
I nurse Ostara to sleep, and when she falls into dreaming land, I don my work uniform:
a pair of turquoise leopard print pyjamas.
And as I pad softly out the door, I turn back and see…
my sweetest dreams come true.
My daughter curled up in a fuschia tutu, my husband nestled beside her, our white puppy tucked up between his knees.
And I think:
It’s Monday. And my family can be together.
Following their natural instincts, napping when they need. Together.
And I come down here into my sanctuary of a dreamy office,
and I open my laptop, and I write you this love note.
I have my bucket of textas at my feet, my journals beside it.
This is my job.
I get to dream everyday.
I get to help people every single day.
I get to pour out all the gifts and the miracles inside me.
And I get to receive the abundance that helps my family prosper because of it.
I’m not interested in Survival anymore.
I have my nose firmly pointed in the direction of Thrival.
I’m wondering what else could be truly possible.
Just how much more magic I can spread.
Just how much more sacred and powerful business can be.
I’m going to find out.
And I promise with all my heart that I’ll share along what I find. I’m on the most beautiful adventure, and you are all invited to come along on the journey with me.
I promise it will be heart-opening. Soul-spell-binding. The biggest spiritual journey of our lives.
Abundance – deep, wide, potent, blessed.
Business – powerful, world-changing, big + beautiful.
Life – soulful, heart-centered, filled with joy + freedom.
Things are getting better and better every.single.day.