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My Love Story

You are a woman ready to have faith in her love story.

To believe in the power of love as easily as you do in the gravity beneath your feet.
A woman ready to find the man that will add to your love, and NEVER take from it.

It might feel like your past — the failed relationships, the childhood traumas, and the long line of “jerks” — would beg to differ, but fact is, babydoll, that’s just act one of your fairytale.

YOU get to write the ending to your story.

How do I know? Because I wrote MY happily ever after…

My love story begins with an 8-year-old and a love song. Let’s call it “Beauty and the Beat.” Sorry, non-Beliebers, I had to do it; it’s a catchy title.

Back to the love story: Once upon a time, there was an 8-year-old girl–adorable, rosy cheeks, fierce attitude, and a smile that could light up a stadium. She was lovely, brilliant, beautiful and valuable. Trust me, I know it’s true because we all come into this world born out of the universe’s greatest source of love, and it lives in us from the moment we blink our eyes open.

Just like our eyes, we come into this world with hearts wide open, ready to give and receive all the love this world has to offer.

But sometimes, things take a wrong turn. Fear starts to creep in from those who maybe lost faith in love along the way. It might start with a teacher who silences your joy when you burst into song. Or maybe a babysitter who tells you that when a boy hits you, it means he likes you. Or, in my case, from parents whose entire relationship is rooted in emotional dysfunction.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m the adorable 8-year-old. (P.S. I’m just as adorable now as I was then! Heck yeah, self-love!) 😉

But back to little me. You see, Little Catherine, me, grew up in a household gripped by fear, anger, and hate. Mr. and Mrs. Catherine’s Parents, two people who should have modeled for her how to love in this world, were severely incapable of stepping up to their jobs. They fought constantly, tearing one another down as if they were worthless and undeserving of kindness.

And you know what happens when there’s a war? Innocent people get caught in the crossfire.

Their lack of self-love bled into all parts of my life. I was never good enough for them, and they would compare me to other little girls who were smarter, prettier, and more accomplished. God forbid another parent celebrate their children either. No one and nothing was EVER good enough for them.

The idea of spending quality time together was unheard of (no date nights here!), and what’s worse is I never once experienced my father expressing kindness to my mother. Not one word. In fact, every word that left his mouth was twisted with criticism and sleights that attacked her confidence and power. It was a breeding ground for losing faith in love.

But this story’s about a beauty AND a beat, remember? It’s only act one…

When I was 8 years old, I would “borrow” a handheld radio that belonged to my father. Late at night, I would create a fortress of protection under my bed covers and tune into my absolutely favorite radio show: “Late Night Love Songs.”

Know what? The best medicine for fear is love.

I listened to those songs like it was my religion. I would dissect every lyric, every smooth word that left the host’s mouth, and listen to the lovers–the deeply in love listeners who would call in to dedicate their love songs. They spoke from the very core of their hearts, trying to find a way to express the immense love that they felt for their partners. It was so novel to me, so fascinating, so moving–NOTHING like what I was experiencing at home.

That handheld radio was my secret door to Narnia. It was magic. It was an entrance to a world of love that I never knew existed. But it HAD to, right? Here they were, on the radio, people in love, sharing love, connecting with love, giving and receiving love. How could I not believe in something that was clearly real? If I believed in Santa Claus, why not love?

Yes. WHY NOT LOVE?

Those love songs rescued my little heart, and I decided that no matter what I was experiencing at home that I would believe in love, and that I would receive love one day.

But our childhood traumas have a funny way of making a home deep inside of us in unexpected ways. Little Catherine grew up, and somehow the demons of inadequacy came home to roost. They jabbed me with their little, pokey tails and insisted that I was not good enough. They dug deep into my heart and planted seeds of self-hate, painful reminders that my value was based on whether or not someone else approved.

Yes, on the outside everything looked Facebook picture-perfect: a Division 1 athlete with an incredible group of friends, an awesome boyfriend, and a woman on her way to grad school. But on the inside, it was turmoil. I never felt worthy of my life; miserable because I felt incapable of feeling happy.

“The not-good-enoughs” took hold, and I was soon addicted to alcohol and dysfunctional love.

My relationships were the biggest expression of my self-loathing. I struggled with wanting to feel loved by men who could care less. I would sleep with men only to guarantee that there would be some source, ANY source, of “love” in my life, because I didn’t have the tools to create a source within myself.

I was clingy, needy, jealous. I stayed in a relationship where we broke up 10 times. TEN TIMES!

The little girl inside of me who once believed in love all but disappeared. Accessing her again felt impossible. Of course, wouldn’t you retreat if everything around you was drenched in fear?

I was a girl looking for a savior, maybe a “prince charming” who would ride in on his white horse with a chalice of love that I could drink from. Until then, I would have to suffer with my burning thirst. I believed that love existed outside of myself, and that IT had to find ME.

But you know what? No prince ever showed up to save me from my wildest fears.

I was fading fast.
Sinking deeper into my alcoholism and misery.
I had to make a choice.
I had to choose courage.

I had to save myself.

It started slowly. One day at a time. One choice at a time. I chose to stop drinking. I chose to fearlessly search for the truth. The truth behind my shadows, and the truth behind my light. It was the most painful, most courageous, and most life-changing thing I would ever do.

I chose to fall in love with myself. With every side of this woman named Catherine.

That little girl that had to sustain the pain of her parents’ fighting matches.
The girl who fell in love with a radio show about love songs.
The young woman who smiled on the outside, but suffered on the inside…
And the woman who finally understood that the power within her was hers since birth.

I found the fountain of love at the very center of my being, and this fountain NEVER runs dry, baby. NEVER. This was a life-altering discovery!

But imagine how it felt when I found out this was the key to finding your true love?

Loving myself finally gave me the courage to ask for what I wanted and bravely receive it. On January 1, 2014, I made the very real choice to meet my true love. I literally sat down and said, “I’m going to meet my life partner this year.” I didn’t sugarcoat it. I didn’t excuse it. I didn’t apologize for it. I wasn’t seeking a boyfriend that would “complete me.” I didn’t need a savior or a “prince charming.” I had already done all the saving I needed. I was at home in my own skin, in love with the woman I’d built with hard work, self-reflection, and heartfelt intention. I was finally living in love.

I was ready to receive the love of my life, and in June of that very same year I met Andrew.

The man that I would go on to fall in love with. I didn’t settle for just any man.

I CHOSE the man I was destined for.

You see, that little 8-year-old who made a commitment to love? She never went away. No matter how many demons came to tear me down. There was no prince charming that would come and save her. There was only me, Catherine, a woman willing to take the risk to believe in her love story. I chose love and love won. 🙂 That was the real deal fairytale.

When I fall asleep at night holding his hand, I know with every fiber of my being that self-love and healthy relationships are what will change the world. I dream of a planet where EVERY woman feels this safe, this adored, and this celebrated.

A LOVE that YOU co-created.

I’m taking everything I learned, and every tool I crafted–the self-care rituals, affirmations, mantras, and workbooks–and helping you write your new love story.

I want to help you reclaim your power to love.
I want to help you heal your old wounds, so you can receive love.
I want to help you fall in love with YOU, so he can too.

Choosing to live in love can change your entire life, and I’m ready to walk that path with you. Are you ready to choose love?

Let’s go write your love story.