: 13 March 2013

My Personal Story: How I Woke-Up to Understand Love

I feel compelled to write a personal blog; one that gives you glimpse into my story–the path that has led me to where I am today.
As a Love Coach, I am someone who is dedicated to guiding people towards clarity and peace in relationships. So it seems appropriate for me to tell you how I gained the insight that I now share with others today. That is what this article is about–how I awakened to understanding love, and how this experience completely changed my life.

There I was in a yoga class in Bali. Two-weeks out of a passionate, loving, fiery, beautiful, intense, challenging relationship. My man and I had finally split.

There were a lot things I was feeling at that time, but in this particular moment what stood out was my anger.

Assuming a warrior pose, I pretended to challenge my ex (who, in my imagination, stood before me). The anger, frustration, entitlement, blame and rage surged through my system. I was pissed.

With my arm fiercely stretched in front of me, I imagined confronting him with all the things he did wrong in our relationship. “How dare you ____ and _____ and _____…” The list was long.

All of the sudden, in the middle of this fire-seething session, I was struck by something different. Something hit–something strong. Something I hadn’t considered of before.

In a flash, a voice of conviction rose up from within me. In a clear but compassionate, no-bullshit kind of way, it said, “Sweetheart, you aren’t up against anyone but yourself.”

My breath left me. The tension released. My arm dropped. I broke.

Tears flowed.

I knew exactly what the voice was saying, and I knew that it was true.

Just to clarify, this voice wasn’t coming from outside of me. It wasn’t something I heard with my ears; it was something I heard with my heart. It came from deep within; it was something that I desperately needed to hear.

I believe that this voice was the highest version of myself speaking to me (and more accurately, through me)–my Soul, if you will. And somehow, on that particular day, in that particular way, I got the message.

My heart cracked open.

The message was: I had to stop blaming the people around me–this man in particular, and others as well–for my experience in life. It was time for me to take responsibility for myself and my relationships; it was time for me to look in the mirror.

And that is what I did.

After the yoga class I rushed back to my bungalow. I immediately made an effort to search within; to evaluate if it was actually true. Had I really been up against myself this entire time? What role did I play in the pain that occurred in this relationship? What was my part?

What I found out changed my life forever. This is the truth that I discovered that day:

Every single thing I blamed my partner for, I had done too.

Now this may not seem that profound to you. In fact, it may seem pretty obvious. But as I went down the list of what had gone down in my relationship, I was stunned.

What did I blame him for? Well, for starters, he had withheld love from me!

But wait, had I withheld love from him?…Well, now that I’m thinking about it, I guess I did that too. In fact, I did that a lot. 

But he had played it safe, staying on the perimeter of our relationship!

Had I played it safe, too? Did I swim along the edge of our relationship? It only took a second for me to know the answer. Absolutely, I did. 

I continued down my list:

Was I critical? Yes.

Was I dishonest? Yes.

Did I play games? Yes.

Did I constantly back away? Yes.

Did I fail to show up fully and authentically? Yes.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

It was all there. All of it. Every single detail. Everything that I had blamed him for, I had done as well. This was all news to me (I’m telling you, the unconscious is a powerful thing).

Of course I had no problem seeing things he did “wrong.” But I had never, ever even realized that I had been doing the same things too! Until now.

I finally woke-up.

People who come into our lives are our teachers. They literally mirror us back to ourselves. Our partners are our most potent mirrors–this is why our relationships are extremely challenging. We get so caught up in what they are doing, that we miss the lesson that is meant for us. We blame the troubles in our relationship on them, instead of asking where we might be able to change.

But we cannot ask people to do things that we are not doing ourselves! We can’t expect them to be honest if we aren’t being completely honest. We can’t ask them to commit if we aren’t fully committing.

If you want to change your relationship, then you must change yourself first! 

This was big.

Today I can say that I am, and will forever be, so grateful to this man. For being my teacher, for being my soul mate, for shining me back to myself.

I am grateful for the beautiful moments we shared, and I am grateful for the pain I felt. I am grateful that I loved him so much that when we broke-up, my heart had no other choice but to break-open. Without a break that big, there’s no way I would be where I am today.

Today I get to live consciously in my relationships; and I get to teach others how to live consciously in theirs. This is all because of the lesson I learned from him. I am so grateful.

I urge you to take this lesson with you. Integrate it into your life. Learn from it. Let it be your wake up call.

Who are the people you are closest to? What do they do that makes you angry–the stuff you can’t stand? If you are feeling brave, then ask yourself, with courage and brutal honesty: how am I doing some version of the same thing?

The answer just might be enough to wake you up.

The amazing thing about a wake-up call is that then, you get to be awake. When you wake-up, your life, your relationships, your love, and your world gets to wake-up too.

All that I had to go through to get here–all the truths that were hard to look at, all of the pain, loss, and discomfort–it was all worth it. Because nothing compares to seeing the world through a new lens; everything is much brighter on the other side.



  1. Ileana on March 17, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Thanks for this article, Shelly. It’s very eye-opening. Your other article about us and our partners mirroring each other makes lots of sense too. I can’t get my head around the fact, though, that I keep attracting players and liars, although I don’t play game or lie in relationships. How’s that possible? And can the pattern be broken? Thanks xoxo

  2. Shelly Bullard on March 18, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Hi Ileana, Thank you for your comment and your question. Here is what I can say: if you don’t respect yourself/ if you don’t feel really worthy, then you will find that you’ll be in relationships that are lacking a sense of respect and worthiness, too? Make sense? So, your path is about establishing a real sense of self-worth internally, and then those qualities will make their way into your relationship too. Best wishes to you!! XOXO

  3. Ileana on March 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you, Shelly. It makes a lot of sense, and yes, I’m working on my self-worth lately. My mantra is “I’m good enough”! xoxo

  4. Caroline on April 5, 2013 at 3:16 am

    More fantastic truths and where I am at exactly, right now. Thank you for these wonderful insights and telling it like it is Shelly.. your honesty is refreshingly inspiring and thanks so much for the consultation today, you rock!
    warm wishes

  5. Anita on May 24, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Dear Shelly,
    It was interesting that you mentioned that you were in a yoga pose when you heard your Soul speak to you with conviction. I first heard of the concept of finding the edge in yoga, that point where you are growing in the pose, a balance between challenge and ease. I feel that exercise has taught me so much. It has given me a direction, helped me to authenticate whether I am pushing myself towards growth or towards harm/injury and I have copied this practice in my daily life. In some way it reconnected me to my soul. I spend all my waking hours supporting other people’s needs I therefore have a hard time discerning my own and if I get a bee in my bonnet about something, at times I am not sure whether I am feeding my Soul or implementing a long hidden societal agenda. Exercise has helped me identify, more clearly, my Soul’s voice and realize that through practice I can get better at hearing my Soul and supporting myself.

    • Shelly Bullard on May 24, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Yes! Thank you for sharing! XO

  6. Angelita Robles on September 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I would like to start by sending my gratitude to you for your light that you have chosen to share. I had a dream recently that I had remarried my ex-husband. For days I tried to reflect the spiritual meaning behind this dream, because I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a very important message. Let me add that my ex and I have not been together in over 7 years, and since that time I have repeated the same pattern of relationships that have not lasted. When I read this today, to say that ” I finally understood” would be an understatement. I like so many others blamed him for being insecure, distrusting, and not emotionally available in relationships since him. My truth, and what my dream (my higher self) was trying to tell me, I heard clearly as I read your words. They were my words. I forgave him, but had never forgiven myself. I know what I need to work on now from this day forward. I sincerely thank you.

    • Shelly Bullard on September 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing. xo

  7. Bayoumi on March 5, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I was trying to find any video on youtube explaining why do we need love, and when I’ve failed I googled “understanding love” I found most of articles demonstrating the love symptoms and eventually concluded that “love” is a kind of instinct sparked by the brain needs of producing the dopamine for it’s highest pleasure, and then your title got me curious and I read it, it’s true and beautiful what has been stated here, but when I saw your point a question jumped into my mind in fact it has always been there, you realized that “you aren’t up against anyone but yourself.” but you didn’t stop to ask! what was the reason for your negative behavior? and that would be the point that can’t be passed, to be completely honest to ourselves -yes- we shall forgive everybody because they also have reasons but eventually we don’t have to live with them as long as the reasons of not-to-stay remain.

Before you dive any deeper...

Hi, I’m Shelly!

I’m a relationship coach, licensed marriage & family therapist, wife, girl mom, world traveler and… a damn good manifesting teacher.

On any random Saturday, you could find me hiking in the Redwoods with my family during the day AND relaxing to all songs on 🎶the foggy jazz🎶 station on Spotify in the evening with my man…

I’ve helped 125,000+ expansive, beautiful humans manifest their desires through my YouTube channel.

Over the last decade, I transformed my love life… I went from feeling terrified that I may never find love or have a family of my own to manifesting marriage, my baby, our dream home, and so much more. Now, I want to help you do the same.

Hey love! Let’s manifest love, relationships & wealth together.

You with me?

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