I had a session with a coach recently about how I could better serve my tribe and something she said really landed with me. I was raving about how much you (and our whole generation) value authenticity and how badly I want to keep tearing back the veil to show you that you’re never alone when she said, “Well, they can’t read your mind Jae. Tell them what you want them to know.”
So I’m telling it. All of it. The raw, messy, ugly parts of my story. The heartbreaks, the low points, the stuff I’ve hinted at but never spoken about. The reason I’m sharing this stuff about my past is because I want you to know that no matter what you’ve done – or what has been done to you – there is no limit to the joy you can experience, the love you can receive or the kind of life you can create.
I’ll be releasing more detailed posts on each of these points over the next few months but for now, this is what happened…
I grew up with a father who had manic depression and bipolar. He didn’t receive a formal diagnosis until I was seventeen, so we always thought his erratic behaviour and periods of withdrawal were just ‘dad being dad’. On Boxing Day 2010, I was playing WII Dance with my sister when mum told me she was taking dad to hospital because he ‘wasn’t coping’. I hated the fact that his illness was this big ugly secret that no one in my family talked about, it’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about sharing my struggle with depression; this stuff needs to be hauled out into the blinding light of day.
I was the quintessential ‘good girl’ at school. Total teachers pet and over-achiever, I lived for praise and recognition. I didn’t have a lunch time for four years because I was running between SRC meetings, debating club and musical rehearsals. I always knew there was this other – much darker – side of me and around year nine I decided it was time for her to have the spotlight. I started cheating on tests, sneaking out of the house to meet up with guys and got caught drinking at school. I was addicted to the thrill of leading a double life – standing up at assembly during the week and riding in beat up VW’s with boys smoking pot out of pencil sharpeners on the week end, until…
When I was sixteen a series of naked photos of me got leaked around my school and several other local high schools. They made their way back to my workplace, my dance studio and my parents. My two worlds collided and any semblance of the good girl reputation I’d worked for was gone. I didn’t get school captain – a title I’d been waiting my whole life for – but got elected Senior Sacristan instead (white robes and all). The irony was almost funny.
Not long after, my parents dragged me to see a psychologist and I was diagnosed with depression. I saw her once a fortnight for the next two years and have been in and out of therapy ever since. As painful as it can be, I love the process and will probably keep going forever and ever because we were never meant to do this alone and the human mind fascinates me so much.
I’ve struggled with negative body image for as long as I can remember. I battled with bingeing, emotional eating, restrictive dieting and hating what I saw when I looked in the mirror for the better part of a decade. You can read about how I healed my relationship with food and my body here.
From the ages of 17-20, I was in and out of an abusive relationship. We went from having screaming matches one minute to declaring our undying love for one another the next. I put my dream of moving to Sydney on hold for the promise of a fantasy life and we moved in together after dating for three months. It wasn’t until my psychologist drew the cycle of domestic violence on a piece of paper in front of me and I saw the last year of my life flash before my eyes that I realised I needed an out. Leaving that relationship was – to this day – one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
I fell pregnant when I was eighteen. To the same boyfriend. My mum decided that we were completely ill-equipped to handle a child (she saw how toxic we were together) so on the 10th December 2010 I had an abortion. (I’m going to be writing more about this part of my story in the next few months. It’s an incredibly sensitive topic, but one that needs to be spoken about. I still feel my little boy around me and I know he’ll come through when the time is right).
I worked as a stripper and put myself on a sugar daddy dating website while I was at Uni to help pay the bills and because I thought it would be fun. By this stage, I was heavily invested in this idea of myself as a ‘party girl’ and obsessed with having experiences that would make great stories later on. I was shit-scared at the time but spurred on by my desire to experience everything this life had to offer, and my fear of ever being ‘average’. I credit that same desire for helping me start my own business and giving me the drive I need to get my message into the world.
I have been completely and totally addicted to sex. It took me a while to acknowledge that I wasn’t just exercising my freedom as an ’empowered woman’, I was actually in a lot of pain and this was my way of avoiding it. As part of my healing journey, in 2014 I read a book called ‘The Invisible Bond’ and decided to energetically cut the emotional and spiritual ties with all of my past partners. When I moved to Sydney, I put myself on a ‘man ban’ and didn’t date or sleep with anyone for a year. I’m still a sexual being but these days I’m focused more on learning everything I can about the link between sex and spirituality and using sacred sex as a way to deepen our connection with each other and the Divine.
I got friend-zoned by my soulmate. At the end of 2016 I met one of my soulmates and after a whirlwind romance (time means nothing when it comes to these kind of connections) he told me he thought we’d be better off as friends. Queue days of me sobbing on the floor in the foetal position as years of insecurity, self doubt and a desperate need for external validation were dredged up to be healed. I emerged lighter than ever before.
I know what it’s like to not be able to pay rent. Starting a business is scary as hell and while I fully believe the Universe supports us when we step out in faith and do what we are called to do, I also know what it feels like to walk around the supermarket with $10 to your name wondering how the hell you’re going to buy food that week. I’m currently working through a lot of my limiting beliefs around money and I can’t wait to share some of the breakthroughs I’ve had to help you create abundance doing what you love.
The reason I’m sharing all this is because I want you to know that this “happiness” stuff didn’t come naturally to me. I had to fight for it. There was a lot of darkness I had to work through before I could embody the light.
I also want you to know that your past has no bearing on the kind of future you can create for yourself. I used to think that what I’d done determined the kind of life I was worthy of experiencing – that because of the people I’d hurt, and pain I’d caused, I’d have to somehow ‘pay off my debts’ – and now I know nothing could be further from the truth. We are ALL worthy and deserving of a life beyond our wildest dreams. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
Now it’s your turn.
You have a choice (always); you can let your past limit who you become and what you achieve, or you can let it shape you, teach you and transform you into someone greater than you ever imagined yourself to be. Let nothing go to waste.
Your brave new ending starts now.
All my love,