“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.” Richard Bach
Today is my wedding anniversary, and so today I’ve got love on the brain. My wonderful husband has been an amazing addition to my life, and lucky for me, he’s also my best friend. Granted, he’s not perfect (nor am I) but he’s perfect for me.
Before I met him, I had gone through a series of bad “first dates”, very few of which resulted in second dates for various reasons. Sometimes, I’ll admit, the reasons were silly. For example, one time, a guy had lettuce in his teeth for the entire meal, and I just couldn’t handle it. Shallow? Oh yes, but if you knew how I feel about teeth, you’d understand. (:
But I digress…
Prior to meeting Bill, I sat down and wrote myself a list of qualities I’d like to have in a man. I included things like “he must have his own opinions” and “he should challenge me intellectually” and “he should be totally faithful to me”. There were many, many more things, but you get the idea.
At any rate, I think that without knowing it, I put the law of attraction to work. I made my list, wrote it in a special journal. I wrote it out, thoroughly, and left no point unturned (I thought). After that, I took a few minutes to meditate on what I’d done, and then I just quite literally let it go, gave it up to the universe to handle.
Within a couple of weeks, I met him. At first, I wasn’t sure he was “the one”, but soon I realized he was. I fell in love with him long before I admitted it, and when I finally did acknowledge my feelings, it felt so good. And, as I always say, feeling good is where it’s at.
Over the years, we’ve had our ups and downs, like every couple, but we have stuck it out through all of it. Some days, he makes me crazy, and he is certainly aware of how to push each and every one of my buttons–but when it counts, he’s there, loving me and supporting me. (Not to mention, we’re extremely compatible in OTHER ways!)
And while I’m sure that I am an absolute joy to live with every single day of my life (yes, a touch of sarcasm should be detected here), I know that I do some things to annoy him at times. But here’s the thing…we’re in this thing for the long haul, together, for ourselves and our family. We work through our issues, and yes, sometimes it takes a few tries, but we always get there eventually.
We love our kids, we love each other, and we love our extended family too. I feel very blessed and grateful to have such a wonderful family, and even more grateful that our foundation is built on love.
Love is what gets us through the tough times, love is what holds us together when things sometimes feel like they’re falling apart. Love is what helps us to forgive one another and what helps us to move past petty issues together.
It’s funny, though, how as a young person you fall in love again and again. But then, one day, true love shows you its face, and you’re never the same. You realize that you didn’t even know what love was. Both my husband and my children have evoked a kind of love within me that I never knew existed, and there’s another reason to be grateful.
So, I ask you to look around your life at those you’re closest to, and recognize what you’ve got there. And if you’re still searching for your love, I have one tip for you.
Love yourself first. It will make all the difference, recognizing that YOU are lovable. Doing this alone will make you so much more attractive to everyone around you, and will make you that much happier.
Learn it, live it, love it.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.