"No," terrified and oblivious to how my innocent decisions had led me to be naked in the back of some "nice guy's" truck at a remote lake, at night in northern Mexico. When we met that morning at the quaint bed and breakfast in Creel before the Copper Canyon tour, he was charming. Just like all the other Mexican men I'd dated over the past 5 months after my real Mexican boyfriend broke my heart.
He said he wanted to show me a cool place and because I loved the attention, I said yes. Because the pain in my heart far outweighed my screaming intuition, I blindly got into his truck.
Somehow on the 10'th time of resisting, moving his hands and saying no, he stopped. Somehow he safely drove me back and dropped me off.
It wasn't the first time either. All I wanted was love from a strong man who would cherish me AND build me up, and since that had shattered, I attracted, flirted with, dated and then rejected so many men when they wanted more. When they wanted sex. I didn't want sex. I wanted to fill the hole in my heart that just wouldn't fill.
Somehow no physical harm came to me that night, but on the inside of me, everything cracked. My heart opened and a flood of anger, pain and sadness burst out. I poured my most profound emotions out in a letter to my no-longer love that I didn't send just to get the words out of my body.
Suddenly, for the first time ever, the thought of a man loving me grossed me out. Suddenly, I felt sick about how empty and lonely I felt with all those random guys. Suddenly, all I wanted was to love myself.
So I did. I had fun with the girls. I went running every day. I started eating the greens that my body really craved. I loved what I felt inside and what I saw in the mirror.
Over the next seven months I got happy. I lost 30 pounds. I felt exuberant in my body and in this life. I was a single, 24 year old American teacher in Mexico City owning her radiance and worth for the very first time. I held my head higher and danced in the night clubs for me. It didn't matter how sexy I looked or confident I was, no man approached me. It's like I had an energetic shield surrounding me 360 degrees saying "Back off. This one's taken." But, I was only taken by my own quest to find meaning and love within myself. For myself.
Just like clockwork, when I healed to the degree that I felt better about myself than I had my entire life, the Universe gave me a new neighbor. I walked home from the gym skipping along, sweaty in my brother's huge college basketball T-shirt, red cheeks and scraggly hair. I walked up seven flights of stairs to avoid the slow elevator and heard unfamiliar voices as I approached the top. Panting, I took my last step and turned only to see my life flash before my eyes. There he was. Deep inside my heart, I felt a burst.
I didn't understand or consciously know in that moment that he would become my husband, but I felt something for a man again. My intuition, my heart, my soul knew that he was the one. This man was strong. This man would adore me, cherish me and support my greatness. This man wanted me to shine.
I smiled and asked if he needed help moving in his furniture. I was a strong woman who can pull couches up 7 flights of stairs, but he didn't know that at the time. So when he said no, I turned and entered my apartment. I closed the door with a smile of receiving loving energy from another man for the first time in almost a year and asked my roommate, "Who's the new cute neighbor?"
And just like that, I realized it was all divine timing. Loving myself allowed him to find me. All I had to do was fill the hole in my heart.