Are you feeling weighed down? Perhaps its stress? Fear? Overwhelm? Pressure? Expectations? Conflict? The weight of the world can be heavy at times pulling us down to a breaking point. It’s a form of imprisonment, a sense of suffocation looming over us. It’s exhausting and it’s no way to live.

Through an influx of signs and whispers in my life recently, I’ve realized my work stems from a passion for the freedom that comes with letting go. And by letting go, I’m talking about the things that don’t serve us. See, you can’t teach what you don’t know; let me share with you a painful lesson I learned 4 years ago…

She was what I considered a best friend and I couldn’t, at the time, fathom my life without her. We laughed, had great conversations and related to one another in a way I felt was unique. Beneath the surface, however, the foundation was never solid. Cracks were evident but I chose to ignore them. I wanted desperately to believe that I had an overactive imagination; that my intuition was really paranoia in disguise.

In hindsight, I realize I was afraid. I couldn’t say no. I struggled to instil boundaries. I reached out to help this friend to the point that it was hurting my marriage. My entire focus was on helping her get through a difficult period. I was naïve, believing I could save her. I could help her come out stronger and I could watch her develop her independence and stand her ground. My idyllic hopes were mine to own – I had a presumptuous spirit and it was my own fault for being sucked into the drama.

The betrayal shattered me as the friendship came to an abrupt halt. Suddenly, everything was turned against me and I became the bad guy. I was trying to break up a marriage and have the children taken away – these and many more accusations felt like knives shredding my heart. My deepest and most heart-felt intentions, built purely on love, were twisted into something treacherous and mean-spirited. The intense pain of this experience is difficult, even now, to talk about.

Imagine my agony in knowing I had to carry on with this so-called best friend living right next door. The feeling of imprisonment in my own home was unbearable. I couldn’t eat a meal at my own kitchen table without seeing her deliberately snub me. I cried daily. I grieved the loss of something significant in my life. It took many, many months to heal and I walked through the many stages of a “death” – grief, anger, denial…all of it.

I tell you these things not to seek pity but to share the very real human emotions and hard lessons that we can all relate to. Ten long months after everything fell apart, our family moved to a new neighbourhood. My days of hell were over and the liberation I felt was utterly indescribable.

But here’s the kicker: what I realized much later was that even in the midst of the friendship, I was a prisoner. I was friends with a talented manipulator. I was fearful of saying or doing the wrong thing knowing the tongue this person was capable of using. Her words were weapons of mass destruction.

All these years later, I look back in gratitude. I am so FREE! Freedom means cutting ties. Freedom means making a conscious decision about who and what we’re willing to accept in our lives.

In fact this person made many, many attempts to rekindle the friendship. Her ‘apologies’ came in the form of blame on everything and everyone but herself; it was her ‘state of mind’ or her ‘bad marriage’ that caused her to hurt me. That’s hardly an apology; it’s another face of manipulation. You know the saying… “hurt me once, shame on you – hurt me twice, shame on me”.

Today, I am so grateful for this painful lesson. And it’s one that translates into all facets of my life. I am a person of dignity and strength. I will choose who and what comes into my life. I am strong. I love myself enough that I will not tolerate anything less than what I deserve.

What or who are you holding onto that is preventing your freedom? Why do you hold on and how does this serve you? Ask yourself: is it/he/she contributing value to your life or is it/he/she robbing your life of value and joy?

Working with me is all about stripping away the weight of imprisonment. It’s about living from the inside-out and choosing to co-create a life that is meaningful, rich and built upon a foundation of love, not lies. You deserve nothing less. Let’s chat.