Ep. 201: How Is This My Life Right Now

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Content Warning: This week’s episode involves a personal story about intimate partner violence. 


In this week’s episode, we talk about the times in life when we find ourselves far from where we thought our life would be, and wonder, “How the hell is this my life right now?”  


One time, a long time ago, I was sitting in a car next to an empty beach in a foreign country, holding my face in my hands, sobbing and in pain. I didn’t know what to do, because after a heated argument, my partner at the time punched me three times. I thought my arm was broken. 


I had lost a beloved family member only weeks before. I was grieving, vulnerable, and feeling helpless and alone. And now, I also felt shame. 


The one person whom I was supposed to trust most at this incredibly intense time had just punched me. I wondered, “How is this my life right now?” 


I never imagined this would happen to me, and certainly not with this partner. I had experienced beatings as a child with my mom, but I had sworn to never let anyone lay hands on me again. I thought he was safe. I thought I was safe. 


I was a strong, powerful, confident international climbing guide with degrees from so many badass schools. Was I not smart enough and strong enough to avoid ending up here? 


My partner and I lived together back in the States, and for weeks I didn’t talk to him. I was livid. He was regretful, tail between his legs. 


Deep down I knew I couldn’t ever completely forgive him, but there I was, wondering what to DO. And I couldn’t decide ANYTHING. 


All I could think was, “How is this my life right now?” All day, every day. 


I felt like a failure. I felt shame. Like I had let down anyone who I had helped set a boundary or see red flags in their own relationships. 


I felt like a fraud. 


How is this my life right now? 


The reality is, with the gift of hindsight, I realized it wasn’t much of a surprise that I found myself in this position.  


I had been beaten by my mother – the one person who was (even just biologically) supposed to take care of me more than anyone else. So I was used to that feeling of not being safe and used to tolerating questionable behavior. 


In hindsight, I believe that it was precisely because I had been beaten by my mother that this moment with my partner was inevitable. 


I would inevitably replay this act so that I could somehow try to write a different story. To heal. 


When we are in a moment like this, we have so many “should haves” as we replay our entire lives. It’s a slow and painful revisiting of every choice, every lapse in judgment. 


For me, it was all the times he showed subtle signs of aggression and I didn’t question it (like slamming his fists down on a table, making the glasses on it jump up). Or the strange things he said about relationship dynamics that didn’t really make sense…and that I didn’t inquire about further. 


I should have questioned what he said. I should have seen his physical anger as a warning sign. 


But the reality is, we ended up here, and this is OUR life at this moment because, for some reason, we needed to do this thing again.  


It’s our chance to do it differently. 


As a child, I begged for forgiveness after being beaten. I took the silent treatment and fawned at my mother, asking her to please love me again. 


This time? FUCK OFF. I reclaimed my power and stepped into my sovereignty. 


It took time to get to this point. I spent months feeling ashamed, powerless, sad, and doubtful. 


But I DID get there. And now I realize that this is just what we crazy humans do – repeat the cycle of healing until we finally GET it. 


So when we ask, “How is this my life right now?” we can consider the possibility that it’s because we’re meant to do things differently this time.  


We will create opportunity upon opportunity until we finally get it. 


To not tolerate abuse. 


To not buy into some BS story about our worth or loveability. 


My friend, if you’re wondering, “How the hell is this my life right now?” (and I say this with the most tender heart), it’s highly likely because it’s supposed to be. I don’t know why; only you do. 


So what is the story we want to make of this moment? How are we going to do things differently? How can we come out the victorious, compassionate one? The one who sees others AND ourselves with loving awareness and has the wisdom to take the most compassionate, effective action? 


Growth and healing…that’s why we’re here. That’s why this is our life right now. 


Yes, it’s hard AF. 


AND you know what to do. It’s in there somewhere, deep down. You have the wisdom. And you get to reclaim that. Right now. 


You will learn: 

// Why we end up in the difficult life situations we do 

// How veering off our path doesn’t mean we are weak or naive 

// How we can end the loop and begin healing 

// Two tools we need to bring change and growth 



// Episode 51: Self-Compassion 

// Episode 100: How to Know You’re Making Progress 

// Episode 175: The Two Wings of Freedom – Wisdom & Compassion 

// I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a review on the Rebel Buddhist Podcast on iTunes by clicking here. 

// Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out. Plus, we have entire months devoted to wisdom and compassion. Learn more at JoinFreedomSchool.com. I can’t wait to see you there!  

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