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Breaking off the Engagement

Breaking off the Engagement

Originally published on 1-8-11

I was 24, engaged with a 6 carat diamond ring and had put the deposit down for a wedding dress; the envy of many.  Bridesmaids were chosen and the band had been booked.   It was a whirl wind romance, a story book fairy tale!  “What keeps fairy tales preserved in perfection in our ignorance of the rest of the story.” Lies at the Altar, Smith.

During our 6 month courtship, life was fast, fun and high energy; however, every once in a while, in between spa treatments and nights out on the town, I’d get a glimpse of what reality would eventually settle into.  In hind sight, I could see proverbial stop signs out of the corner of my eye, but I didn’t want to see them, so whizzed passed them and continued focusing on the fun stuff. I was doing the best I could at the time.

Time passed, reality started to set in and I figured out that this was NOT where I was supposed to be, or what I was supposed to be doing.  I was more preoccupied with the type of food that was going to be served at the wedding reception, than the teeny issue that my fiancé and I viewed life in polar opposite ways.  “Sometimes the bigger the event, the more there is to hide.” Lies at the Altar, Smith.

I would stay awake night after night, my heart racing, feeling deep shame and guilt, thinking “I put myself in this position, I said yes, this is the bed I made and now I have to sleep in it.”  I had dragged everyone on this ride with me, fooled them, fooled myself, remodeled a house, moved cities, changed careers, how could I have the audacity to say NO?!

The wedding train had left the station and it was going full speed ahead, but deep down inside, I knew that somehow, I had to stop the train.  There was a chance that calling off our wedding would kill me, but it was certain that going through with the wedding would kill my spirit. I knew I needed to break off the engagement. 

One time a friend relayed the following message to me, “You can always say NO, it’s NEVER too late to say NO.”  Maybe she knew that someday I would need to hear that ringing in my ear.

Well, I said no. I gave the big, shiny, diamond ring back, and over the course of the next few years, said goodbye to that life.  Some people thought I was crazy (and maybe still do) but I would have had to swallow my truth, and well…I just wasn’t cut from that cloth.

It hurt like hell to break off the engagement. It was so painful that one day while kneeling on the floor (I didn’t think I deserved furniture), sobbing in angst, my heart and organs feeling like they were going to explode, my entire face wet from tears, I said between gasps for air to my Dad, “I just wish I could crash my car, and glass would shatter all over me.”  I meant it.  At least then, the pain would be physical and I could focus on that instead of the madness that was going on inside my head.B

But, somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds do fly.  Years later, I can say that, in the end, it was all worth it, and I am a better person for it.  I learned a lot, grew a lot, and developed a deeper sense of empathy. 

I stopped the train and have the unused wedding dress to prove it. In my shame I told my parents that I’d pay off the balance of my wedding dress.  So, I paid $100 every Monday for 5 months, until it was officially mine to bring home. 

In your darkest moments when you’re faced with insurmountable obstacles, you have to remember, NOTHING is worth waking up in the morning and NOT being the person you wanted to be. You can always change your course of action, it is NEVER too late.  It may seem overwhelming, but you can handle it! I am here to support you. Reach deep down inside yourself and become more of who you were meant to be!!


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