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Terri Simmons – April 2009 Grad

Learning to love myself was the key to the life of my dreams…

When I think about love my mind goes in so many different directions. I think of my first love, my years of solitude and loneliness, my family, the people that I’ve lost over the years, my relationship with myself. I spent many years feeling desperate for love… hoping unendingly for someone to love me.

Terri-and-Jeromy

My wedding day in Hawaii with my husband Jeromy.

Even though I longed for love, I thought I was completely unlovable. That meant that even when there was evidence to the contrary, I dismissed it. My parents could tell me that they loved me and I was always welcome and I would dismiss their sentiments because I thought they had to love me. When my first love wanted to marry me, I was certain that one day he would realize how awful I was and ultimately leave me. In order to avoid the eventual pain of losing my partner, I performed a preemptive strike and broke up with him before he could leave me.

Eventually my belief that I was unlovable led to a lonely existence. I wouldn’t take risks to connect with people. I was afraid of being rejected and that fear drove my interactions with the world except for a few close friends. I spent my time in the world attempting to be who I thought people wanted me to be rather than showing up as my authentic self. This affected all aspects of my life from personal relationships to a work life where I refused to share my opinion for fear of losing my job… I thought I was that disposable.

When I found Wings I was depressed, anxious, unemployed, and lonely. I started to change my life immediately. I realized that I had created my experience. I realized that I was hiding behind my fears of rejection, keeping silent about my thoughts and feelings to everyone around me from strangers to those I cared about. No one really knew me because I wasn’t showing up. Worse, I didn’t know myself and I didn’t love myself.

From PES, to CrossOver, to LifeWorks, I got to know myself. Slowly I blossomed and started showing up. I practiced showing up in the seminar room and followed those successes with being my authentic self  out in the world. As I began to show up authentically and know myself I grew to like myself and then love myself. I realized that I am loveable just as I am and that it wasn’t necessary to prove to others that I was worth loving as long as I love myself. After all, I had learned that if I didn’t love myself there was no way I could believe anyone else who told me they loved me.

I went through the core seminars in 2009. At the time I had been single for 15 years and I was 37. After the core seminars I continued to stay involved with Wings through assist teams. In 2011 I took a leap and embarked on the journey of the Internship. During our orientation we did goal setting, creating intentions for what we wanted to create during our year of the internship. This was in March of 2011 and I told the group that I wanted to meet a man and get married. It seemed such an ambitious goal, especially when it would involve another person. Yet, two weeks later, a lovely man told me I was beautiful and asked me to go out with him.

Terri-and-Baby

My sweet baby Sam.

At first I let my fears overtake me once again and on our third date I told him that it wasn’t going to work out. And then I missed him… missed his sense of humor and his kindness. So I called him and asked if we could try again. And we did. We moved in together in August and got engaged in October. I had found the man that I was going to marry. I was the happiest I had been in my life. The following September we got married on a beach in Hawaii.

That’s not the end of the story though. I turned 40 shortly after we got married and I wanted to have a family. For so long I had believed it wasn’t possible. Now though I believed that anything was possible. In March of 2013 I found out I was pregnant. I felt overjoyed and scared at the same time. My son, Sam, was born in November. I love him so very much and once again I am happier than I’ve ever been. Somehow the joy in my life continues to expand.
What I know for sure is that learning to love myself was the key to the life of my dreams.  When I act from love I create the most amazing results.

Now, as a mother, my intention is to raise a little boy who knows for sure how lovable he is. Every day I tell him that he is lovable, capable, whole and magnificent. When I look into his eyes I can see the love radiating from his being. I want to honor that and nurture it in the hopes that I can support him in creating the life of his dreams much sooner than I created mine.

I am in awe of what I can create when I act from a place of love and intend to grow my capacity for love in each moment.
– Terri Simmons