What’s Love Got To Do With It?
I used to be a door mat. Worse than a door mat. The mud under the door mat. Humiliation was part of my life, so much that I got so used to it, and when I “didn’t get enough of it” I would look for it from someone. I liked to be punished. I felt I deserved it. Physically, emotionally and mentally.
I was always a smart girl. I was actually declared part of the 3% of smartest people in my country, I was told to skip 2 years of school, I passed medical school exams when I was 16, won endless competitions and had grades so high I didn’t even need to study for exams… brains have absolutely nothing to do with it. Many smart women are abused. Abuse is a choice (I will write more about that in my next article)
I was beautiful and I was young. I was lifting weights from the age of 13, and trained Muay Thai with European champions from the age of 17- for 5 years! Strength has nothing to do with it.
I came from a good family. My father worked for the United Nations, my mother was a proud housewife dedicating her life to taking care of my brother and me. We were both “international children”, we got a lot of attention at home, we were highly educated, well behaved & well mannered; taken care of and healthy.
Yet, by the age of 26 I lived on the streets, I was kidnapped, almost raped, abused and in abusive relationships with different men in different countries for years! My sex life was a Sado-Mazo film, with absolutely no pleasure but that of “I got what I deserved” (my guilt & shame had vanished for a little while). So, what happened to me? Why did it happen to me?
Well, my life story is interesting, shocking, sad, surprising, happy and too long to tell right now (I will in my book ), but I will tell you one simple, basic fact, without going into the whys and wherefores: I didn’t love myself. In fact, I despised myself. I didn’t value my brains, looks or strength. All I saw was a little me who didn’t deserve to be loved. And I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Everyone, even the most lame, ugliest, stupidest, deserves to be loved. Everyone. But, as in my case, you could be “the cat’s pyjamas” and still feel like you are nothing. You go into a dangerous cycle of self-sabotage, punishment and suffering with a strange taste of pleasure attached to it. And the more you feel that way, the more others will treat you that way, and this is how it all relates to self-defense. When I felt unworthy, I was constantly attacked, abused, humiliated. It has to do with your energy field (see my article “Fatal Attraction”), with your confidence, and with your awareness. Some deliberately get themselves in certain situations to achieve the punishment, like I did in the past. Now, I am not saying in any way that anyone deserves to be abused, and that victims of violence “want” it. I am saying, you are responsible for what happens to you, ALL that happens to you, because you are responsible for how you feel about yourself, you are responsible for taking action and changing your life, changing your confidence,and of course- learning to defend yourself. Did you know that JUST BY LEARNING you already raise your confidence, raise your awareness and therefore are more immune to being attacked? The fact you “know something” already makes you feel safer and less clueless- and you are! And here is an interesting fact; most of the people that practise self-defense are never attacked! They are never chosen in the first place! But now, lets go back to me….
Like I said, I was a constant victim; of men, situations, circumstances. But then one day, something changed. Something that has changed my life forever. I got so fed up, so tired that I was ready to take action, a different kind of action. I decided I deserved love.
And “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”
I met Dario. Dario became my life coach (still is). He taught me, quite fast, how to love myself UNCONDITIONALLY. How to accept myself, forgive myself, recreate myself the way I wish, with no fear. In our first meeting, when I started complaining and crying about how sad and bad things are, he told me I have 15 minutes to talk about it all just one last time. When I finished he asked me“What is the most terrible thing that can happen to you, if you go for your dreams?” and I answered “I could fail. I could lose all my money” “So you will be back in square one” he replied, “just with much more experience. I fail every day. Every minute” he said, “I go to square one every morning. That’s what makes me a success”. Then he asked “You know what would happen to you if you never try to go for your dreams? You will stay in square one, all your life. With no chance to change. Now, I am asking you, would you rather try, or sit back and be a victim of your own choices?” There was no doubt in my mind any longer. Dario was in a happy and healthy relationship (unlike me), having a dream job (unlike me), a fantastic income (unlike me), happy, constantly joyful and satisfied (definitely unlike me) I had nothing to lose. I wanted to learn all I could from him. And so I did.
Going Forward with Love
The changes were immediate, positive, and very surprising.
I opened my self-defense school with my last 50 euros. It was quite a success and my students loved me and respected me, although I could hardly speak 5 words in their language 😀 I met a nice guy a few days later whom I moved to live with after a few months, I enlarged my social circle, I started enjoying my days, my work, my environment and …. myself. But most importantly- the abuse, the humiliation, the “chosen victim” stopped. My vibrations were too high. I loved myself too much! That’s what love has to do with it! If you love yourself enough, no one can really hate you.
Years later, Dario and I lost contact a little. I moved countries and I got too busy to invest in myself, in loving myself. So, things crept up on me. Things happened again. Abuse returned to my life, and then Dario and his methods returned too to “save me” 😀 but this is another story to be told maybe later.
What I really want you to remember from this article is that there is absolutely no separation between who you are, what you do and what happens to you, as there also no separation between your body, your soul and your mind. You are all that (and a bag of chips!). If you don’t invest in yourself, in loving yourself, loving your body, training yourself mentally and physically to defend yourself, a constant job- you are putting yourself at a higher risk of being chosen as a victim. And I am not just telling you that. I lived it. I am it.
Find whatever (healthy) way you can to fully accept and appreciate yourself, not for what you achieved in your life, or didn’t, but for who you are at your core. Do you love your children because of what they do, how they look or what they give you? Or do you just…love them? That is how you should love yourself. Just do. And that is the BEST self-defense system you can ever have.