When I share my history of intimate relationships, people are usually shocked.

I’ve been stalked twice, was in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship with a live-in boyfriend, fell in love with a narcissist, and so, so much more.

However, each painful interaction became a rung on the ladder of my self-esteem. Determined not to make the same mistakes, I would be a little more cautious with each choice. But the reality was that no relationship was going to work until I understood my own value. 

I’m sharing this with you because ignorance of one’s own value is an epidemic among women. We’re taught to serve others before ourselves. We’re taught to be quiet, polite, and nice. As children we’re expected to wear dresses and shoes that make it impossible to play tag, climb trees, or ride bikes. Culture has told us that we’re unimportant except in relation to how we serve others.

While you may not have received these messages directly from your parents, we live in a culture that has perpetuated this feminine ideal. This is important to know, because these messages have informed your idea of self-worth, and self-worth is reflected in the people you choose as intimate partners, friends, and business colleagues. Self-worth also determines your boundaries, what you’re willing to ask for from others, and what you feel you deserve.

The irony is that Spirit (my term for God) adores you, and all of these mixed messages are a distraction from you receiving your divine inheritance. You are uniquely made and loved beyond reason (I can see my angels jumping up and down, and shouting “Yes!”).

There’s another key reason why you choose to stay in unhealthy relationships, like I did, once upon a time…