“Sweetheart, don’t let anyone put you in a cage and clip your wings. You were meant to fly. So fly.”
This sage advice was gifted to me by my Dad during one of the darkest times of my life. Years ago I found myself in the midst of an abusive relationship. Emotional. Physical. Psychological. And Sexual. One moment I was getting swept off my feet and falling in love, and a moment later that same man I loved was trying to push me out of a moving car. I was a confident young woman rising through the ranks of Corporate America and in a blink of an eye I became meek, filled with fear and began believing that I was the undeserving unworthy soul he titled me.
I remember feeling as though I was standing in quick sand. Early on I felt something was off, sensed manipulation and even began seeing glimpses of abusive behavior behind “romantic gestures”. I saw it, I felt it and yet I couldn’t stop it. I just kept sinking deeper into the sand until I lost…me.
How could a young woman so strong and confident find herself in an abusive relationship?
On the outside I was strong and confident. On the inside I was hurt, angry, lonely, sad; still carrying feelings of abandonment from my Dad “leaving me”. I desperately wanted to cover up all those feelings and fill the empty space inside me with love. I remember just wanting to feel loved. And yet, at the same time I only knew “physical love” – attention, sex, affection, words of affirmation, external acknowledgement and all the fancy things in life. I became addicted to the pursuit of experiencing this physical love in order to fill the void and cover up the sadness. So when the man showed up with an ample supply of physical love I said yes, give me more! And when the man started to abuse me I stayed, because I was scared to death that if I left I wouldn’t be loved again.
Thankfully, with the help of family and a lot of Divine intervention I got out of that abusive relationship…not absent of scars and therapy. Years later I’m so thankful for the experience because that relationship was the beginning of my journey inward. Twenty years later, I now know what love is…physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. And I have learned that you can only love another person as deeply as you love yourself.
“Sweetheart, don’t let anyone put you in a cage and clip your wings. You were meant to fly. So fly.” The only way out of the cage is through absolute forgiveness and self-love. It took twenty years Dad, but I’m flying.
Love and light.