Lean in closely as I share
my personal story with you.
The story of my rise out of the darkness
into the light.
I'm breathing heavily and my hands are trembling as I push the botton to go down.
For a moment I pauze and look at myself in the mirror.
Although the light in the elevator is weak, it can't hide how hollow and fearful my eyes look.
I'm shocked to see myself this way.
It's early spring of 2000 and I've just stumbled out of my apartment into the elevator across the hallway of my apartment.
As I go down, I can still hear my boyfriend rage upstairs.
And then suddenly, the voice that had been there somewhere far in the back of my mind, now speaks up loud and clear.
RUN, Els Marie, RUN.
The endless emotional violence and gaslighting of the abusive relationship I had been in for nearly two years by that time, were seriously taking their toll on my life.
I barely weighed 48 kilos, suffered from anxiety and depression, had lost lots of money to his lies and manipulations, was cut off from friends and family
and forced to give up my newly begun career as a tv presenter, because I was 24/7 in the grip of my abuser.
My every minute of everyday revolved around trying to figure out what I needed to do to keep him pleased,
to the point there was no 'ME' left and I had become a MERE SHELL OF MYSELF.
Yet I had never had the strength to leave.
Until that moment in the elevator. In a flash I realized my very life was in danger.
I knew I needed to get myself to safety immediately.
The next two weeks I cleverly plot my escape behind his back. I clear out the apartment when he is gone for a few days and move away to another city like a thief in the night.
The road ahead isn't easy though.
The low self-esteem and lack of boundaries that I kept from my childhood – which made me an easy prey to this man in the first place – caused that I had gotten addicted to the abuse.
Waking up every morning in my new place, being all alone,
experiencing what feels like proper withdrawal symptoms,
and continuing to resist the intense urge to pick up the phone
and contact him, so I could get my 'fix'?
It was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.
Fast forward a couple of months.
I find myself in Rome, Italy, at Anthony Robbins' UPW seminar.
Again I'm breathing heavily, this time at the sight of the path of burning hot coals in front of me.
Are you ready, the helper aside me asks loudly. He looks straight into my eyes.
Yes! I call out.
I start walking.
And I walk with CONVICTION.
To anker in the YES I said to myself the moment I left the abusive relationship.
To say YES to going all in on my healing journey and to finding myself again.
Cause I was so far removed from myself in my childhood and as a young adult!
I was only 9 when my depressions and mood swings started. I had an intense inner critical voice and basically hated myself. My sense of self-worth was very low.
I often thought of suicide, cause it felt like the only way out of the desperation and hopelessness I was feeling inside.
I was hiding how I felt inside behind a thick mask of perfectionisme and relentlessly tried to please others, in hopes of getting approval or just a bit of love to fill the emptiness I felt inside.
But most painful of all? That was the LONELINESS.
There was such a deep sense of FEELING SEPARATED from my own core, from others and from life itself, that crushed me on the inside.
There was so much inside of me that wanted to be expressed, but I was so afraid of rejection I kept it all locked inside.
It shouldn't come as a surprise it took me quite some years after that firewalk
to bounce back from the darkness I was in.
Bit by bit I started to break down the walls I had built around myself and open up to let life and love back in.
Bit by bit I brought more of what was truly inside of me out into connection with others and dared to be and show myself. I found the light within and started to let it shine through.
Bit by bit I allowed God to touch me again (it turned out that the biggest yes I had to say was to God).
I discovered two things in this journey that I believe are so so important:
1) True CONNECTION is our birthright and our medicine.
That's why supporting others to come into connection again and be themselves authentically is now my biggest passion and gift.
2) Contrary to the saying 'All roads lead to Rome', in the end
ALL ROADS LEAD TO GOD, to the eternal relationship we have with our Creator, who heals and sustains everything.
That's why supporting people to reconcile with God, is my great joy. It sure is the best thing that ever happened to me.
The reason I'm sharing my story with you, is to let you know that you are not alone.
That no matter how separated you feel inside,
that no matter the situation you're in – whether it's a downright dangerous one or just an everyday situation in which need to claim back your energy back,
if you are truly longing to come back to yourself and the truth of who you are?
I'm here to tell you you can.
It starts with your YES.
Always here to support,
Love, Els Marie