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  • Writer's pictureJulia Gillis

How to Meet the Love of Your Life, Know You're Good Enough for Your Soul Mate & Keep Your Relationship Healthy (after a low nurture background)

There is a way to fulfill this dream WAY faster than you think. Hint: it's not feverishly speed dating through your online profile stack or travelling to Thailand for 4 months and talking to monks.

Finding your true love, soul mate, partner in crime, twin-star-dust particle pal... it is not EASY; but it's the oldest & most rewarding endeavor in the world.

The songs, the poems, the paintings, the movies, the smut books, even cults! We are creatures looking to match, connect & fall in love.

But how do we meet 'the one' when we are struggling with all of the sh*tty, toxic, maladaptive behaviors from being raised in a family or with a background that taught us to hate ourselves, hate life & we are triggered by every close relationship we have?

Even the bitter bachelors - believing a relationship 'just isn't for you' is one of many toxic ways we respond to not having the resilience to be with 'the one.'

I would know. I've been there.

My late teens to early 20s were a committed time of not looking for a soul mate after many young, fool hearted tragedies left me jaded with minimal lessons learned.

My mid 20s were spent with my now ex husband, believing I had 'found the one' only to uncover my trauma blueprints feeding the co-dependency & disfunction. We only matched because my damaged fit well with his damage. When I started recovery work, I had to walk that path alone.

Then it was 6 years of doing deep inner work while cycling through hatred of romantic relationships, then back over to craving the creation of a family unit. I spent these years flip-flopping between serial dating with clear intentions of not becoming too emotionally involved or connected, then hunting with clear intentions of finding 'the one' - only to have another heartbreak & go back to lick my wounds on the sidelines again. I could only laugh at the idea of cosmic connection for so long, brushing it off as a fairy tale, before tip-toeing into another fantasy of being in a rock star relationship with my true love...

It's that deep inner work that will get you where you want to go though...

I love cutting to the chase early in my blogs:

If you want to meet your soul mate, you HAVE to know your own soul.

If you want to KNOW that you're amazing & that you're ready, good enough or 'deserve' (I don't really like that word for this but a lot of people use it) to have an incredible relationship - you have to love yourself first.

If you want to keep that relationship healthy - YOU have to be a healthy person.

Which is SOOOOOOooooooOOOOOO hard if you have come from a developmental trauma background or were raised in a low nurture, toxic or abusive environment.

Not only do you have all these weird, malfunctioning internal parts; this screwy wiring causes all of these super dysfunctional behaviors & reactions to our environment & relationships. There is NO WAY to:

1) meet your soul mate or perfect partner

2) believe you're good enough/ready to commit, or

3) have a healthy, functional, ongoing relationship

if you're still swimming in your trauma.

My amazing partner & I met four years before we actually started dating.

When we met - the sparks & electricity were insane! The chemistry was at nuclear powerplant level.

We connected over our matching aggressive nature for self improvement, expanding our experiences, obsessive learning, a vibrant, passionate approach to life & loving challenge. We shared views on specific ethical standards like accountability & integrity. We had both walked a path of pushing the status quo (being weirdos) while still being able to blend into the mainstream if necessary for certain goals. We shared a love for heavy metal music & motorbikes.

We each had a few hang ups though. We lived at opposite ends of the continent. He was looking for someone without kids or baggage with an ex & his work had him tied to his location. I wasn't able to move because I had exactly those things: a kid & baggage with my ex...which tied me to my location...kind of.

Additionally - I was still exhibiting some low-brow behavior. I was accepting relationships (in dating & friendships & family) that were not healthy. I was still struggling with disordered eating. I still had really bad reactions to vulnerability & failure. My internal dialogue could still eat me alive sometimes. I still had difficulty setting boundaries & advocating for myself. I also had tons of shame about my living situation & finances as a single mom trying to 'figure it all out.' I also had a lot of tethers that I didn't feel I had control of & didn't feel smart enough to take ownership of them or create change.

I was on the path to becoming someone I was proud of. I could see the amount of developmental trauma & damage that I was brought up with & I knew I wanted better for myself, my daughter & the legacy I wanted to create on this planet. At the same time - I couldn't see that I was holding myself back from an incredible partner because I didn't feel good enough yet. I made all of the other excuses: that long distance would be too hard, I couldn't financially support myself if I uprooted myself & my daughter, there was no way to get to know him well enough to make a good choice, he might find all my damage & chuck me, I could have a break down & wreck everything...

I was at the stage of knowing myself, but not loving myself, yet.

Meanwhile he was dead certain I was 'the one.' He kept in consistent contact with me all 4 years. We built a great, flirtatious friendship & connection. We shared our dating lives, we have a giant data bank of Marco Polo videos chatting back & forth over the years, we shared our career advancements, exciting new challenges & events, we even shared our failures & bumps in the road.

I kept working on myself & he kept waiting for me.

He was one of the first people to purchase my book when I self published, Beyond Damage; Aggressive Recovery from the Toxic Mother Daughter Bond in October of 2018.

The book covered the tools that became the 13 Pillars of Resiliency for my free eBook & have now become the Pillars of Resiliency eBook series I'm releasing on Etsy as digital downloads.

On my path to recovery from my upbringing in a legacy of intergenerational dysfunction - these were the key life skills I identified as being needed to lead a healthy & highly functional (thriving) life:

  1. Have a purpose

  2. Fluid acceptance

  3. Growth focused learning

  4. Healthy internal voice

  5. Accountability & Ownership

  6. Healthy self soothing

  7. Vulnerability

  8. Conflict resolution

  9. Role modeling

  10. Perspective

  11. Forgiveness

  12. Boundaries

  13. Choose your tribe

By 2021 I felt really confident that I had stacked my deck with these life skills. I had one more heart break in the fall of 2021 & slipped into my old pattern of "I'm going to live the rest of my life as a barren, wine drinking, book reading, workaholic, single mum focused on building a business empire & not ever get emotionally involved again."

This attitude means you leave yourself available for fun but risqué (& risky) dating scenarios.

I had that 'one more experience' where I just thought, "I'm better than this. I want to be treated better, respected more & I want a loving relationship with clear goals that match what I already want when I'm by myself. I want transparency & commitment. Not because I 'deserve it' but because I'm not going to accept anything less than exactly what I want." I wanted what was BEST for me. I wanted what was BEST for my future.

And I knew EXACTLY what that looked like.

Because I had done the work. I knew what I wanted my life path to look like & I had collected a ton of advice, lessons & resiliency skills that allow me to have a very clear understanding of how I needed to show up as a person, to get where I need to go. (This is key!) When I visualized a perfect partner for me, someone who loved seeing me shine & rise above, as well as someone who knew what to say to get me to crawl out of a ditch I had dug for myself - I could see it crystal clear. And I knew what I needed to STOP participating in & STOP showing up for in order to maintain a relationship like that.

So I called him up. I said I was coming to his area. I was getting a hotel. I offered to meet for a date & talk through everything to figure out if this is right for us. We were both at a place in our lives that we would not settle for anything less than exactly what we wanted. We shared the phrase "I'm already happy by myself - so I will only be with someone who makes that experience better." The deal was that if each of our life paths required too much deviation or toxic compromise for us to both get to where we wanted to go, together - we would say 'thank you for the date' and move on.

That night is now our anniversary!

Was it smooth sailing the whole way? Of course not!

But after developing a deep knowing of myself, building the integrity to show up as the person I want to be, deciding that I'm awesome so I'm going to have nothing but the best in life - I was confident I could bring my healthy tools of resilience to a partnership with anyone I wanted to be with.

Tons of people can do the work 'solo' & become the best version of themselves. But it's a whole different ball game to team up, function with others, form bonds, be vulnerable & connect deep... while trying to keep up with 'the best version of yourself.'

It's actually really fucking hard.

Not only do you have to show up with your tool bag, you need to have humility that you might not be great at using all of your tools yet. The other person might be behind or ahead of you with some of those tools or skills (like conflict resolution, forgiveness, boundaries, healthy self soothing or internal dialogue.) The 2 of you will definitely have to commit & agree to building some new tools or new ways of using them...together.

All of which requires a hug step forward in vulnerability & fluid acceptance.

You also need to have a partner that sees eye to eye on growth & personal development with you. Because if you're on a growth path & they aren't - things are going to deteriorate at some point. If you're at least 'both' doing your best to be the healthiest most resilient people possible, you'll figure it out.

If you're ready to build your resiliency tool box, find yourself, learn to love yourself & have a healthy loving relationship - I coach that. Come find me.


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If you would like to start building your Core Resiliency Skills contact Coach Julia today. You will learn how to Thrive beyond your damage, become a Transitional Character, break abuse cycles in your family cycle & build the core resiliency skills most often missed when being raised in a low nurture environment.

Julia is a Holistic Health Consultant, holding a Double Diploma in Community Support & Addictions Work, is a Certified Transformation Specialist, Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach & a Lvl 2 Reiki Practitioner. She specializes in Trauma Informed Practice & Resiliency Coaching and Holistic Pregnancy & Postpartum Health Coaching. 

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