Tag: taking responsibility

Healing Starts With Ownership


As Buddha says, “Enlightenment comes from awareness.” Our healing starts with ownership. In order for us to grow, we must first become aware. If we don’t own our disempowered behaviors and patterns, we cannot grow and experience a better future.

I remember clearly the day I took radical personal responsibility for my life. It was about 7 years ago. I stopped dead in my tracks at the foot of my bed and looked back over my entire life. I steeled myself for what I was sure was going to be an onslaught of shame and regret. I remember cringing inside afraid of what I might see, but I went for it anyway.

I faced every disempowered behavior I could remember: bending and stretching to fit others’ ideas of who I should be, doing things I hated to please another, failing to hold much needed boundaries, and playing small to be liked.

I kept going: one night stands, drinking alcohol or smoking weed to fit in, staying with partners who hit me, drove intoxicated or emotionally abused me and allowing disrespect from friends, family and partners. The list went on and on.

When I was finished, I just stood there unsure what was next. I noticed the world did not end, I did not lose a limb, my children were still alive and…

I felt… free?

Holy Mother Earth, I felt FREE! I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. Everything that I had kept hidden, all the secrets, all the shame, was out in the open. I was free!

Yes, I did that. All of it. It was me. I am the one who is responsible for my choices and my life.

I understood for the first time how the shame and unworthiness hidden inside of me had manifested dangerous, reckless and unkind behaviors to myself.

I gave myself a big hug and said, “I am so sorry I did this to you. You deserve so much better! I will do better by you in the future. I promise.”

And I forgave myself.

Something radically shifted that day for me. I was reborn. My path to worthiness and empowerment had begun. I now always seek to recognize when I am acting out of shame or unworthiness instead of love. I catch myself sooner and I make choices that will lift my heart and life rather than perpetuate a defeating cycle.

And you can do the same.

Ownership Practice:

Pick a date and time to be alone with yourself where you will have no interruptions. Open your mind and heart.  Give yourself permission to review and remember all the times you did not love yourself or protect your well-being. Recognize each one with neutrality and non-judgment. Allow the memories to come forward one at a time. No judgment, no condemnation. Just recognition. Own it all.

When you are finished, wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a heart felt apology for putting your through that. Or even better, write yourself one.

Read My Apology Letter to Self here.


Caring for Yourself While Single- By Guest Author & Life Coach Sue Markovitch

Sue-Markovitch Sue Markovitch is the owner of Clear Rock Fitness in Westerville, OH.  She is the author of I Know What To Do, I Just Don’t Do It.  You can find Sue at:  www.clearrockfitness.com

I was married for seven years, and as I look back, I wish my wedding vows would have been radically honest. If they had been, here’s what they would have said.

Do you, Sue, understand that all your wounds are going to be brought to light as you and this man step into the sacred space of intimacy, vulnerability and commitment? Do you accept this Divine invitation to serve the larger process of healing, both yours and his? Do you promise to glorify the Divine healer, the Holy Spirit, in the process? Do you vow not to blame your partner for your pain, but instead to thank him for the gift of triggering it to the surface so perfectly? Will you own your fear and wounds, and take your pain to God?

I didn’t.

As I left my marriage in a shit-storm of blame, infidelity and drama, I was certain that he was awful and I was the victim. How could he treat me like I mattered so very little, all the time, day after day? I put him out of my mind and focused on my new relationship. He got me, he saw me. This guy understood.

Until my old wounds started coming to light again. Trigger, trigger, trigger!! What? I thought I left this horrific feeling behind me with the ex. Yet, here I was in pain, feeling like I didn’t matter, having a self-worth meltdown. Oh my God. It’s not them. It’s not him. It’s me. This crap came with me. It was ME.

When I experienced that empowering but horrifying epiphany on my bedroom floor one night, it did not feel like the greatest gift I could ever have been given. It felt more like getting kicked in the stomach several times. I saw myself clearly for the first time. I saw my brokenness without the projection of blame onto someone else. Ouch.

But I also saw a little glimmer of hope. If it was me, I could change. I never succeeded in changing them. But I could change me.

I made a new promise, new wedding vows. This time, to myself.

Do you, Sue, understand that your wounds have been brought to light for your healing? Do you accept this Divine invitation to serve the larger process of healing, for yourself and everyone around you? Do you promise to call on the Holy Spirit for help, and not rely on your own mind? [You cannot solve the problem with the same mind that created it.] Do you vow to own your projections, be grateful for your triggers, and commit to authenticity and healing in partnership with God for the rest of your life?

I do!

Once I had the bedroom floor epiphany, single life became this whole other thing. It is no longer a search for the next relationship. It is my sweet time with the Divine healer. It is learning who I am without the awful pull of trying to be someone else so that I could be loved and accepted. I turned fifty this year, and this is by far the best time of my life. I believe this is because I focus on these things, instead of continuing to search for another relationship.

  1. I got to know myself on the deepest level. I did things like re-read books I loved as a child, played piano for the first time in 30 years, and spent lots of time alone. I learned things about myself, such as what time I like to go to bed, what temperature I like the room, what music I love. And I grieved. A lot.
  2. I understood and owned my wounds. The night my father died, when I was 13, I was alone in my room. I could hear adults in the house, but they were not with me. A voice said to me, “You don’t matter to them.” I didn’t know any better, so I believed it, and translated it even further to, “I don’t matter at all. I am worthless.” That was my deepest wound. I understand now and I do not blame that 13 year old girl. She didn’t know any better. She was in pain.
  3. I created and committed to healing daily practices. I used to fill my days with every escape imaginable. I was an equal opportunity user. Drugs, cigarettes, shopping, work, alcohol, bad boys, food, approval addiction, people pleasing, you name it. If it got me away from me, I did it. Now, I invite daily practices that allow me to be WITH ME. Meditation, prayer, freestyle living room dancing, walks in the woods, journaling, blogging, running, etc. Find yours and commit to them.
  4. I keep believing in love. I know there are cynics and I understand why. Love seems like a pretty painful thing for some of us. But the truth is I am made for relationship, and the more I heal, the more hope I have that, although I haven’t experienced a healthy relationship yet, it’s probably because God’s not quite done healing my kind, incredibly handsome man yet. (Or perhaps me, too.) But let’s keep going, because I can’t wait to meet him.

Attracting The Ideal Mate


I’m sure by now most of you have heard the quote, “Stop looking for the right person and become the right person.” Pre-tsunami I would have had no clue what that meant. Going on the assumption some of you may have no clue what that means, I thought I’d delve into this more deeply.

Historically, I was always looking outside myself for someone to be perfect for me. I had no idea what this really meant; I just thought he’d magically show up and we’d ride into the sunset together. Little did I know that he couldn’t present himself until I had healed the blocks inside of myself that would change my energy from undeserving to deserving.


I had to endure one hell of a bomb in order to be reduced enough to open my heart to other possibilities. What I learned was this:

I did not know who I was, what I really wanted or that I was worthy of the partnership of my dreams. Somehow I kept repeating relationships and situations that were not reciprocally loving.

I remember after my first divorce, not even being able to explain what went wrong. I just knew the marriage wasn’t right and I had become bitter and angry. I later learned that I had attracted a mate that completely mirrored back the places in me that I was not respecting or honoring in myself. It wasn’t his fault; he was just being himself. It was my responsibility because if I wasn’t respecting and honoring myself, there was no possible way I could teach him how to. I had no boundaries because I had no worth to support those boundaries.

Instead of stating my feelings/truth and following it up with actions that supported my worth, I’d be nasty and spiteful. The “nice” had never worked, so I went to the extreme. And guess what… that didn’t work either! Instead, I just became a miserable asshole.

That was a hard realization to admit because from the outside, I wasn’t being reciprocally supported, loved or honored. Of course it was his fault. In my mind, I had every reason to be a jerk because HE wasn’t treating me right. It was all HIS fault.


Just because someone doesn’t treat us right, we don’t have license to lower ourselves to their level. In fact, that behavior only creates more friction and chaos!

Our BEST CHOICE ALWAYS is to empower ourselves. We must be willing to do the work to heal the unworthiness wounds inside ourselves that keep attracting partners that are meeting us at that lower energetic level. In order to attract a partner that respects and loves us wholly, we must respect and love ourselves wholly! When we change our energy from the inside out, our life naturally shifts to meet us at this new level.

In my book From Doormat To Sweet Empowerment, I go in depth into the 9 keys areas I shifted/healed in my life in order to attract reciprocally respectful relationships.

No longer will we be attracted to someone who doesn’t honor our worth. We will sense the lack of cohesiveness very early on and our worthiness will support our exit.

I remember always, always, ALWAYS second guessing my feeling/thoughts/actions. Maybe I’m not seeing this right? I’d attach excuses to the person’s behaviors and I’d convince myself to “Just stay a little longer. He’ll figure it out.” They never did because they never do. We’ve attracted the wrong partner and until we fully love and honor ourselves, we will continue to do so.

Taking full responsibility for our lives starts with recognizing our unworthiness wounds.

I remember my second husband (the tsunami husband) saying scornfully to me once, “You are now going to be divorced twice! See, something is wrong with YOU, not me. YOU are the common denominator!” The complete irony of this statement is this… He meant those words as a way to point the finger outward instead of owning his sh*t and I knew that then. However, somewhere along my healing path, I remember thinking, “Damn! He is so right! I AM the common denominator!” But not in the “you suck” way he was saying. It was ME that kept attracting disrespect. It was ME who made excuses for my partner’s bad behaviors. It was ME who stayed when I saw the warning signs early on. It was ME who didn’t love me enough to say ENOUGH. I always giggle when I tell this story, because it was just so perfect! Although his words were meant to hurt, they brought awareness instead! How ironic is that?

Freedom comes when we finally open our hearts to truth.

Now that I knew it was I that was repeating a pattern, I could actually do something about it! No more finger pointing! No more shame and blame! I had some work to do and I got busy doing it.

I made a vow to not even consider dating until I felt empowered enough to be able to hold my lines. I even constructed an “Unacceptable Treatment Guideline”, a list of deal breakers, to warn me when I was with someone of non-reciprocal quality. I used the guideline as a reminder until I was strong enough to spot and respond effectively to behaviors naturally. I needed a go-to check list at first as I was fine-tuning my worth and strengthening myself.

When I finally dated again, I was Divinely put into a situation where I had to demonstrate my worthiness. He didn’t have any huge flags about it him, but there were several small ones. I asked questions to clarify my thoughts and gratefully he was honest enough with me to confirm what I was seeing/feeling. We ended after 5 weeks. Thank you for that opportunity, Spirit! The mere experience of that solidified my worth even more because each time we act from our worthiness, we become stronger, more rooted.

Shortly thereafter, I did meet my equal. I have never before experienced such respect, love and devotion! I still shake my head in wonder sometimes… However, I could not have attracted him until I had deemed myself worthy of him.

No work done on self is ever in vain! Even though you might not see the immediate fruits of your labor, it is there behind the scenes aligning people and circumstance to help lead you to your best life! With each step toward self-love, you are getting closer and closer to your life’s dreams.

Take care of you.

Love you unconditionally

Cultivate your worth

And watch as miracles envelope your life.


Your thoughts?