Listen to Your Heart

Love yourself enough to know when its time to walk away…

I know a woman who wanted to be in a relationship. The pressure from those around her was getting too deep. Friends questioned why she was still single and why she didn’t give dating a chance. Their judgment pierced her heart. She didn’t let them know, but it hurt. She felt perfectly fine discovering who she was spiritually, mentally, and professionally. She was making great strides in her life and she took pride in working her way up the success ladder. But all of that didn’t matter to them because she didn’t have a man to validate her.

One day, when she least expected it she met a guy. He saw her in the midst of a sea of women and wanted her. She was flattered. He wasn’t the type of guy she normally went for, but she was open-minded and his persistence was admirable. Turns out, he was exactly who she was looking for. He was educated, ambitious, and he understood her. It took a certain type of man to understand the type of woman she was but he did. Within a few months of talking, they knew a relationship was the next step and made it official. She was on cloud nine. Could this be her husband? Things were great until things weren’t great.

This relationship became a problem when she realized that he struggled with a problem. She went to his house one evening and his overzealousness was an indication that he had been drinking. When she picked up his phone because the deliveryman for their takeout was downstairs, she noticed he was still trying to reach out to his ex and was sending suspicious text messages to another woman. She was heartbroken and confronted him immediately. He denied it and flipped it on her “Why were you looking through my phone?” They argued for the rest of the night and a few days later he apologized. She forgave him and they acted like nothing happened. But it happened again. Three times to be exact. He would drink, get himself in a ridiculous situation and call on her to help him out. She, in turn, helped him out. She knew he was a good person. They had a good relationship. When he was good, he was good and when he had an off-day he just did. We all have struggles right? So she stayed. She ignored her spirit, which was screaming out for her to leave this situation. Sometimes when she was with him she felt an unsettling feeling internally but maybe it wasn’t her spirit talking she reasoned, maybe it’s something else. Maybe you’re not supposed to fall in love immediately, maybe it takes time, Maybe, Maybe, Maybe. She rationalized her reasons for staying in this relationship constantly. She also kept her friends away from him. She didn’t want them to judge him, because deep down inside she knew something wasn’t right. She wasn’t in danger or anything, she was never around when he drank himself into oblivion, but she was there to pick up the pieces. She encouraged him to move on from the past that was bringing him so much hurt and pain. She tried to be his rock. She listened to him and she tried to teach him compassion and selflessness through her own kindness. She wanted the relationship to work, but she knew it wasn’t going to. They were unequally yolked as the bible says.

They say the third times a charm. Weeks leading up to this time, she thought she was falling in love with him. When she would fall asleep he would take the glasses off her face and put it on the nightstand. If he knew he had a busy schedule coming up, he would call her to figure out ways they would still be able to communicate so that the component of the relationship was never lost. When she launched a series on her website, he was the first one to call her at work and read her words just to give positive feedback on her prose. He encouraged her and he believed in her talents. They decided to spend the weekend in a new city. It was an exciting experience for them. They chose not to stay at a hotel but an Airbnb apartment with the host sharing a room next door. It was the start of a great weekend. That night she went to sleep early because she was feeling a bit under the weather. He went to get breakfast for the following morning. This city, unlike theirs, sold liquor at the grocery store. Unbeknownst to her, he picked up a bottle of vodka and spent the rest of the night drinking. When she woke up the next morning he was drunk. She probably underestimated just how drunk he was but realized soon enough. She went back into the room as he started to cook breakfast. When she came back out, the kitchen was completely covered in blood. Blood smeared on the walls, the floors, and the fridge. He cut himself and was so drunk he continued to cook, ignoring that he was surrounded by a pool of blood. She was mortified and tried to clean up everything before the host came out of his room. Too late. They rushed him to the hospital. While at the hospital her soon to be ex-boyfriend made a scene. At this point, he wanted to go home. He packed his things and did not want to be in the ER (he didn’t want to have to pay for it either). Once the doctors said there was not much else they could do for him because of his unruly and inebriated behavior she walked out of the hospital until she couldn’t walk anymore. She had enough. He called after her screaming, and hissing curse words but she didn’t care. She would be able to outwalk him soon enough and that’s what she did. When she realized he was out of sight she took a bus back to the apartment only to find out she would have to find another place to stay for the rest of the weekend. They had been kicked out of their lodging and for good reason. She asked the host for an hour to gather her things and find a hotel. Once at the hotel, she ignored all of his phone calls and decided to make the best of her holiday getaway. She was alone. On her own, solo in a new city. On the first day of solitude, she was just in shock. She did all the tourist things she could do but often found herself just staring into the distance. She had a lot of time to herself to reflect. Reflect on the relationship as a whole, all the things she’d done and how she would move forward. She realized the relationship was doing more harm than good. When she called the airline that day, she found out he got on a plane and went back home. Her heart dropped. What a coward he was to leave his so-called girlfriend in an unknown city by herself. He was far from a protector, a provider, a husband. He was a scared little boy and that’s the nicest thing she could say. She hasn’t talked to him since.

She has never been in such a situation in her life. After doing so much personal and spiritual work on herself she felt like she was stepping back and that hurt her. Yet, in the midst of the adversity that weekend she spent a lot of time with God. She depended on him to cover her while in this new city and to guide her steps. She read her bible and prayed for the same boyfriend that wronged her. He needed her prayers more than her resentment. He was an alcoholic that was haunted by his past demons. She knew his vulnerabilities and hoped for the best for him.

That time alone turned out to be just what she needed. It gave her the strength to move forward with her life, despite being with him for 9-months. It gave her just the boost she needed to start a new beginning as a single gal again. She was so excited. She finally reclaimed her life. She was back and better than ever. With much prayer and forgiveness, she is able to move forward and to live life again unapologetically for herself.

I know this woman so well because this woman is me. I am being completely transparent with my life because it’s a form of healing for me to write. After this happened I wasn’t able to write at all. I didn’t want to. I lost my passion to do anything for about 3-weeks because I was so traumatized. I also didn’t share my experience with many people because I was embarrassed and ashamed of my choices in this relationship; rationalizing and not being strong enough to move on from the first red flag. I blamed myself for still not being able to pick the right men that were going to do right by me. I made myself feel guilty and questioned my self-esteem. Maybe I was still insecure.

I write this all to say, follow your spirit and follow your heart. Don’t let other people’s perceptions of how your life should be dictate how you live your life. Never feel like you need a relationship to validate your greatness because the wrong type of relationship can dim your light. Always be true to yourself and put God first in your life. His spirit was so strong in me, it was practically jumping out of my body but I chose to ignore it and I know at the end of all of this, God gets all the glory. He protected me when my man could not. He watched out for me and blessed me throughout the rest of the trip, giving me the motivation and independence to eat dinner at a restaurant that we were supposed to have a date night at or finishing everything on our planned itinerary for the weekend solo. I was liberated that weekend. I got a taste of what life would be like going forward, being single and after what I’ve been through I am completely okay with that. I believe Jesus will bless me with the person I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with when the time is right. The love will be instant, there will be no questioning or doubt, I will just know and one of the many lessons I took away from this situation is the warning of the holy spirit. I know how it feels now and hopefully, in the future I will be more inclined to listen to his voice.



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