authenticity 101

When The Vision Becomes Reality Part 1

Family in London

I call myself a Vision Coach, which is not always easy to explain. Basically, I support people to explore and connect to their values in order to create a vision for their life. Although I have actual coaching credentials, my true qualifications lie in the fact that I practice what I preach and am passionate about visioning.

I struggle with the idea of blogging, wanting to protect my personal life and the life of my family from public scrutiny. However, in order to practice authenticity, I want to share how having a vision in my own life has led to incredible moments of vulnerability, self-awareness and complete happiness. The photo you see here is one such moment of happiness. Chris and I had been separated for over 2 years when this photo was taken. I was dating a lovely English fellow and he and I took my girls to visit his family in England. Chris flew to London to meet us there after a week, spent the weekend with us and then returned to Toronto with the girls so I could spend an extra week travelling with my new partner. This photo was taken one evening in a pub and I remember how thrilled I was to have Chris there with us so that we could enjoy the experience as a family.

So how did we get to a place where my ex would fly to England to spend a weekend with me and our girls? By having a vision for a healthy relationship and putting our kids first, then taking the steps to make it a reality.

When Chris left in 2006, I was devastated. I truly believe he was too. I knew he had been unhappy for a while, but was completely unaware of the depth of his despair over the state of our relationship. He had not voiced it in a way that reached me, and it wasn’t until he said he needed to leave that I realized there was something seriously wrong. In hindsight, I had disconnected from my own feelings and was living on auto-pilot. Neither one of us had found a way to say to each other what we were really feeling and our intimacy and authenticity had become non-existent. In having the courage to leave (I say this knowing how incredibly difficult it was for him to come to the decision) he forced me to look at what wasn’t working anymore and why. I had to self-reflect and take a long look at my own behaviour in the breakdown of our marriage. In that moment of feeling hurt, angry and rejected it would have been easy to be a victim by blaming, punishing and speaking ill of the man who left me. But I didn’t, despite being in a tremendously painful period in our relationship, because it went against all of my values of trust, honesty, love and commitment. Thankfully, he had those same values which we could re-build on. We found a way to love and honour, respect and commit to our family and our children even if we weren’t husband and wife through therapy, long conversations and loads of patience ... with each other!

Our vision for the future was to create a new relationship that included healthy, happy parents raising beautiful daughters together. This would be a very long blog if I described how many times we took one step forward and two steps back to create the relationship we have today. But in the end, being honest with each other, saying the difficult things with love and having healthy boundaries all contribute to an amazing relationship that we are grateful for every day. I no longer have a husband in Chris, but I have a loving and dedicated partner who shares in the challenges and blessings of raising our girls together. We truly have attained the vision we had for our family, despite its non-traditional appearance. It doesn’t get any better than that.

February 2018
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