• Karen Driscoll

My Musings: I Chose Me.

As y’all know, the premise of this blog is about choice. Individuals choosing each other and love for one reason or another. I’m still on my quest to choose and get chose. But, before getting there, I had to make a monumental decision first. To choose me. Each and every time. Let me explain...

Two years ago, I dated a man that gave me all the feels. I’m talking Tony Braxton - I Love Me Some Him feels. I connected with him the moment I laid eyes on him, literally. It was a feeling that I still can’t fully articulate. Things were wonderful...and then...life happened - as it usually does. We had to pull back from dating because he wanted to focus on building his dream of being an entrepreneur, a dream I believed in and still do.

The truth is that even when things are going well, relationships can still end. The abrupt yield in our relationship was a blow at first. Still emotional and whirling from this unexpected end, I decided to get a life coach. I needed guidance on how to move forward. I felt like I was replaying the same scenario with all the men that I dated. Karen meets man. Karen likes man. Karen wants a relationship with man. Man can’t commit to a relationship because (fill in the blank). I needed and wanted better. I wanted a different story. Coaching seemed like the right fit. I signed up for 10 sessions and hoped that by the end, I’d be able to solve my relationship conundrums.

Side note: Coaching is different from therapy. While therapy helps you unpack the experiences and trauma of your past, coaching focuses on forward movement. It presumes that you (as the client) have the answers you need inside you. Your coach helps to illuminate them. I’m an advocate for both coaching and therapy, depending on your needs.

During those 10 sessions, I talked about A LOT. Not just romantic relationships but also my career, my faith, and most importantly my core values. To start, my coach asked me to identify my top five values. They were authenticity, integrity, justice, love, and resilience. We talked at length about what those values mean and how I can leverage them in my choices. In one particular session, we talked about what I wanted dating to look like in my 30s. As I reflected on my 20s, I came into a new awareness. The reason that I felt like I kept reliving the same scenario with men is because I was more concerned with the idea of having a relationship than I was with the actual man I was dating. The man (while most of them were good/decent dudes) didn’t matter as much as the committed relationship itself. To me, a committed relationship signaled the ultimate validation. It was an external sign that someone chose me and validated my worth. WRONG!

I learned that, as long as I was searching for someone else to validate my worth, my sense of self would always be fleeting, tumultuous, and unstable. While I considered myself a confident woman, this revelation grew roots within me. I committed to choosing me first. To forming my sense of self based on my faith, my values, and my character. I committed to believing that I am more than enough. With or without a relationship. This affirmation is my highest expression of self-love. It is a choice that I make daily.

In the end, I hope you connect with my vulnerability. This post is not about the man I dated (who I still love and adore). Rather, it’s about the invaluable gem I discovered through coaching. I learned to chose me. Every time.

Have your past relationships helped you love yourself? What have you learned as a result?