An Open Letter to My Ex.

Your love was like looking in a mirror: My soul reflected back to me. Only, I didn’t realize it. That is why it hurt so badly when you didn’t look back. I never chased myself, so why would you? Loving you was work.

When you disregarded my feelings it was just me overlooking myself. I always put others first so why wouldn’t you. You loved me like I loved myself: Not at all.

When you looked at me, I was seeing myself reflected in your eyes. I made it okay for you to devalue and belittle me. I wasn’t worth it in my own eyes, so why would you think differently?

I was merely a damsel for you to fuck and throw to the wayside. I didn’t respect me. Why would you?

I was living in a false mindset that if I led with sexuality everything else would fall into place. No wonder love was so gut wrenching.

Now I am raw and real. Loving myself.

Take it or leave it because I’ve got me and I am loving me.

I don’t need you to validate me. I don’t need you to complete me. I don’t need you to be the glue that holds me together.

I’ve got me.

If you want to disrespect me, ignore me, devalue me, then brace yourself. I’m not taking that shit anymore. I don’t do it to myself anymore so you surely won’t be allowed.

I am my own true love. I am everything I need all bundled into one fucking awesome package.

It all makes sense now that I’ve been awakened. I will be the one to heal myself. You can do whatever you like but it won’t be by my side.

I yearned to have you back in my life. Sobbed my eyes out hoping you would think of me and miss me. Ask me back. I begged you to talk to me so we could work it out.

Thank God you didn’t call me or text me. Thank God you told me to “move on.”

At first I moved on in the way I always told my girlfriends to: “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone.” I spread my legs and gave myself away to even more men who saw me for the reflection I was projecting: worthless, something to be used.

I drank myself into a stupor. Stopped eating and cried endlessly, longing for your validation.

I even thought about running my car off the side of the mountain. What was the point in living? I couldn’t see beyond the fog of my despair.

Then a sliver of light shined through my darkest of days. It pierced into my heart and soul and slowly started a fire.

Now an untamable flame burns deep inside.

It cannot be smoldered. I see me.

I see me in all my nakedness. I see me in my raw power. I love every scar on my flesh. I love every stretch mark on my thighs. I love every freckle on my body. I love me.

I won’t be tossed aside as a forgotten lover. I won’t tolerate disrespect. I won’t be ignored. I won’t react with hatred or even cause a scene. But when I disappear from your life, you will know why. If you don’t love me the way I love me, I don’t have time for you.

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I love me today, tomorrow and always. I am awesomely me.

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Rachel Johnson is a former journalist who has always found healing through words. She resides in North Carolina where she is rediscovering herself and opening up to love, joy and abundance.


How to Let Go, Forgive and Move On From the Past

So easy to say. Moving on. Letting go. Forgive and Forget. People tell us to do it all the time, like it’s nothing. It’s nothing, right? Ah, he/she/they didn’t mean to do that. Just forgive, forget and move on. Are you serious? It’s hard to deal after the trauma, amirite?

Right. What’s the big deal anyway?

Well, the big deal is that it really fucking hurts, our hearts are broken into a million trillion pieces and we’re still not sure how he/she/they could have done that to us when they told us they loved us.

Moving on with forgiveness

Well of course you can. It’s not easy to do. It’s also not impossible to do. It will take time, guts, determination, strength and courage. Oh, and a whole lot of practice. Practice and more practice.

But really, why should we forgive? I mean, why do these people or that person deserve my forgiveness anyway?

Why do they? They don’t. YOU do. WE do. WE deserve to forgive these people.

Let’s take mom and dad for example. They liked to hit. A lot. More than was necessary. Often brutal forces. Out of the blue. Whenever they thought I did something bad enough to deserve to be beat and whipped til I was screaming and begging for them to stop. Yup. So did I forgive them? Of course. Was it easy? Nope. And to be perfectly honest, it didn’t happen until just a few years ago.

And then there were all the ex boyfriends who cheated, lied, emotionally and verbally abused me. Yup, forgave all them too. And the guy, who was supposed to be my friend, who helped himself to $1000 of my money without telling me. Yup, you guessed it. Forgave him too.

But Why, Iva, Why?

So how do you forgive people like that? Moving on and letting go from people like that, how do you do it? People who claimed to love you, took care of you, kept a roof over your head, etc. How? And why? Why would you forgive monsters like that? (I would not call them monsters but some people might)

Because the pain and anger of carrying around the hate and resentment was too heavy a burden to carry. I carried it around for over 40 years. It ate at me and tore my heart and soul apart.

Because it robbed me of the happiness and peace I deserve.

Because there was such heaviness and blackness in my soul the only way to get rid of it was to release the hatred and the only way to do that was through forgiveness.

Can We Forget?

Well, unless you are some magical being or you had your whole history wiped out and erased from your hard drive, then I’d have to say no. We don’t forget. We never forget. It will always be there. Do you dredge it up and talk about it all the time or do you just leave it buried and only talk about it when necessary. Moving on is necessary.

Do you recount your trials to help people or to reclaim your victim status? That’s the difference right there. You see?

I used to bring it up all the time so I can hear people say “Oh poor you”. Yup, pretty pathetic really. Then the forgiveness kicked in. Now I bring it up to try to get people to see that forgiveness is possible.

Oh right, getting back to the *forget* part of this. Every now and then the guy who ripped me off crosses my mind, but I just send him healing love and prayers. He needs it. Then I let that go. Every now and then I think about my ex’s and all the shit they did to me. It’s so rare though I can practically say I hardly ever think of them anymore. And my parents? One dead, and one has their foot in the grave. I rarely even think of them anymore at all.

So do we forget? Nope. I don’t think so. But with forgiveness, when we think about it, it just doesn’t have the same poisonous effect it used to. Now it’s just a fleeting memory. It’s nothing, mostly.

The things I went through and lived through helped me to be the strong person that I am today. Strong, brave, courageous, accepting and loving, very loving.

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Because really, all the world needs is more love.

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Peace and Love



How the One True Love I Had Almost Destroyed Me-Ignoring Red Flags

I moved to a new town and fell in love. I mean, doesn’t that happen to everyone? I imagine it does. I fell in love, true love, and I fell hard. Really fucking hard. Days weeks and months went by and I fell deeper and deeper. My thoughts, most of the thoughts I had were consumed with this love. I went to bed and thought about it, it was on my mind first thing in the morning. Little did I know then, the sadness that was sure to follow.

Yup, I fell hard.

It was true love and it was so fucking beautiful.

You couldn’t help but see the beauty. SO much beauty. It almost intoxicated me, or maybe it did. Maybe I was love drunk by the beauty. I couldn’t help but feel almost an infatuation, a burning desire, an addiction if you will. I didn’t want to be without this. I couldn’t ever imagine my life without it. I was obsessed, clearly. Was it an unhealthy obsession? Probably. To be that consumed by beauty can’t be good. This had to be true love.

Stop my mind.

Why couldn’t I think of other things? Why couldn’t I just be happy with my life and what I already have? Why did I need more and have to have this love? Why couldn’t I just stop thinking about it and leave it be? I knew I was starting an unhealthy relationship and it had already proven to be completely unhealthy, but I ignored the red flags. This love is mine and will be mine forever. I just know. I figured if I kept this relationship and all these thoughts of love and possession on my mind all the time then surely it will be mine one day, no? Isn’t that how shit works? You know the Law of Attraction shit? I mean there was most definitely an attraction there and it was mutual, oh how it was mutual. I felt it all the time. The love I got back in return had to be true love, right?

Another shot please.

I was slipping, slowly slipping, into a vortex of self medication. I couldn’t handle the torment I was inflicting on myself anymore and I didn’t know how to handle it. Maybe I should just let this love go. Maybe it’s time to leave it, end it, walk away from it. Not all love is true love Iva, some love is harmful. Clearly.

Another shot of tequila please Cesar. Hell, just make that two more. Another nite out with friends. Another nite out without friends. I didn’t even need company to go out with anymore, I just needed to numb the pain this love was causing.

So I did. And I fell into a quiet depression and complete state of unhealthy stress that no one knew about. Even I didn’t see it was happening. No clue. Why does love hurt so much? I should know better, right?

Another red flag?

Why was this love so hard? Why does it keep pushing me away and further and further back? I know you love me back dammit! I can fucking feel it. Why are you pushing me away and making this so fucking hard? I don’t understand. It’s supposed to happen. Every ebook I read and every Abraham Hicks Rampage I listened to said this love is the right one!

You keep building walls and closing doors and I keep kicking them down. You are mine dammit. Why can’t you see that? Our love is true love! I know it!

But…why do I feel so heavy all the time? Why am I not well? Why am I drinking so much? What’s the matter Iva? I thought love was supposed to make you happy and  cheery and bubbly and all that glowing mushy love stuff people feel when they are head over heels in love. Why don’t you feel any of that Iva?

Boom! And then there was none. And the sadness kicked in fucking hard!!!

And suddenly, in a blink of an eye, my whole life changed and my whole world came down around me. My love was taken away from me. My love was gone. Ripped out from underneath me with no warning, no signs, nothing. Just pulled. Just like that. It was gone. And I was devastated. Completely and utterly fucking torn apart and devastated. The pain and grief I felt was unlike anything  I have ever felt in my life. Ever. It was shocking, debilitating, crippling and left me powerless and empty.

And for a split second, in all that grief, I felt relief. Relief that it was over. For almost 8 months I was sucked into this vortex of completely unhealthy love, littered with red flags that I continuously ignored because this love consumed ALL of me. I couldn’t see the bad for the rose coloured glasses I wore. I couldn’t see how I was hurting myself. I couldn’t see any of the negative. Not one shred of it.

We’re gonna be ok.

So many of my friends and family felt my pain and grief. They knew how deeply I was in love. They felt my pain alright. And everyone offered sweet words of *it’s going to be ok Iva*. I knew that. I didn’t see it immediately. I cursed Abraham Hicks and yelled at God and the Universe. What the fuck you guys? What’s up with this? Why are you doing this to me? I felt this love with every ounce of the blood that runs through my veins. Why are you doing this to me???

But I knew why. When my true love was gone and there was no hope left, I felt free. I felt almost alive again. I was light and happy and relieved and relaxed and chipper Iva again. The Universe knew exactly what it was doing. It was freeing me, unchaining me, helping me to live a life of joy again.

I will always keep that love deep in my heart as a part of my life that was so beautiful, even though it was hurting me deep down inside, there was still so much beauty to it. SO much beauty and love and I am totally blessed to have had that much love in my heart for……

Bartender, let’s have a shot in celebration of my new life por favor.

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My true love-The Treehouse of Hope

This blog is in memory of The Treehouse of Hope, the apartment building I lived in when I first moved to Guatemala. I had big beautiful dreams to buy it and turn it into a volunteer sanctuary. I will miss it with all my heart but I can look back now and see how it was tearing me apart. I look forward to new adventures and to see what the Universe has in store for me. I share this story with you now, like this, so you can see that red flags are there for a reason, no matter what you are going through. Pay attention to them.

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Peace and Love


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How to Pick Your Divorce Battles Without Going Crazy.

It came down to three things, all of which seem so silly right now: a nice car, new furniture, and when to drop off the dogs on the weekend. These things were my lines in the sand—what I had chosen to fight over during my divorce. I wasn’t as good at choosing my battles then as I am now. Most people going through a split are not.

When we are fighting during divorce, we feel like we are getting dragged through the mud for months, even years, wondering if it will ever end. We can expect to fight over almost everything—who is responsible for paying off the credit cards, who gets the children during Christmas—the list is infinite. So, it’s up to us to figure out what we want to do and how we want to approach the situation when the acrimony grows. In essence, we must learn how to pick our battles mindfully.

The first thing we must remember with divorce:

We should not beat ourselves up when we feel frustrated during the split. Divorce is a messy business transaction that collides with the types of emotions we wouldn’t even wish on our worst enemies. If we feel confused and panicked, even when we think we understand what’s going on, it is because we are human. It’s going to be confusing and weird for a while.

In spite of the chaos, there are ways in which we can choose our divorce battles mindfully, so that we are able to take a look at the big picture from a standpoint with less stress. Doing so requires us to dig deep and be honest with ourselves. When we are, we can answer these following questions.

Am I fighting over something I absolutely cannot live without? What are the things that my dependents and I need to ensure our security and well-being?

Answering these questions truthfully will give us a better understanding of the things we personally feel are non-negotiables when choosing which battles to fight. Everybody’s situation is different, and we must figure out what is truly worth the time and emotional energy battle over. These factors may include alimony, savings, child support, fair division of debt, temporary spousal support, and protection orders if there is any type of endangerment. But remember, not everything during a divorce is something we need to survive.

I like to think section as the bottom two parts on Maslowe’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. This pyramid takes me back to high school psychology class. The foundation of the pyramid represented survival–the same things that we need to advocate for during the split.

Am I Fighting Over Something Only Because I Really want it? Do I think I Deserve It?

Divorces drag sometimes due to division of assets that have nothing to do with money. Legal battles have gone on as couples fight for possession of the things that hold sentimental value to both of them (family photographs, heirlooms), that, although would not leave us destitute to lose, would wound us deeply if we lose because those thing may remind us of the happier times. We may make those demands for possession of those things, as a way of making demands on controlling the image of the lives we thought we knew, as it continues to dissipate.

We are all susceptible to this behavior. I remember arguing about the new Pier 1 furniture—for some reason I thought I deserved to have it. There was no logical basis for this thought—we purchased it jointly, but for some reason I thought I deserved it, and fought for it. Looking back, I realize it had nothing to do with the furniture—it was just my feeble attempt to make myself feel better.

It is important to understand the difference between the “nice to have” items and the “must have to survive” items, because that will help determine what we are willing to spend time and divorce dollars negotiating.

Am I Fighting Over this Because I’m Angry? Hurt?

There are times when we are angry during the divorce, and we choose to project feelings of anger at our spouse in the only way we thing we can—by “getting back” at them. We will find ourselves in our lawyers’ offices or soliciting advice on how we can “make the ex pay” for the hurt they have caused. Instead of processing those emotions and separating them legal aspects of divorce, we project them on tangential things.

If we find the spouse making unreasonable demands, understand they too may also be doing this, whether they know it or not—projecting their emotions onto something they think they can control—the ability to somehow hurt you or get back at us.

Although we cannot control how your spouse behaves during this process, if we find ourselves putting demands on the other side—things that we may be able to negotiable in a more rational manner—it might not hurt to reconsider the approach its ability to make the divorce go smoother or for us to feel better and heal faster.

How Will the Battles I am Fighting Impact my Future?

It is important to remember that nobody “wins” during a divorce—case can drag out for years and the only thing to show for it is a drained bank account, cashed-out 401ks, and stress inflicted on ourselves as well as our children that may never be reconciled.

That is not to say we should not stick up for ourselves. But before we begin a legal, emotional, and financial Battle Royale, we must be honest with ourselves and consider:

  • What we really need to survive
  • What is important and right for us
  • What is best for those who depend on us
  • What we won’t regret in the future

If we are drained and broke after fighting, how can we start the new chapter in our lives mindfully, without the weight of hurt and indignation? We must acknowledge the balance of advocating for ourselves but also having the wisdom to know when we are fighting to maintain the illusion of control that no longer exists.

The key is to be honest with ourselves, kind to ourselves, and mindful of the new chapter in our lives that we can look forward to once this divorce journey ends. Let those points be the guide on how to spend our time, money, and emotional energy. And who knows—we may not even care about the new furniture after all

Author Bio

Martha Bodyfelt is a certified Divorce Coach whose website, “Surviving Your Split,” helps divorced women find their voice, regain their confidence, and get their groove back.

For your free gift, “The Divorce Goddess Recovery Guide,” stop by today or say hello at [email protected]