Hi, I’m Karen. I’m an entrepreneur, business owner, writer, speaker, activist, mom, student, life renovation expert.
In the past, people would often describe me as strong, ambitious, and opinionated. I’ve had several successful careers, and I believe in hard work and dedication. That was my “public” persona. My “private” persona was plagued with self-doubt and fear.
Being raised by an abusive mother, I never knew what it was like to have unconditional love so I continually sought out love and validation from others. I lived under the delusion that I was incomplete and that being in a relationship, even an abusive one, somehow completed me.
I was conditioned to believe that I didn’t deserve better, but when the abuse escalated towards my children, I ended my marriage. Finding the courage to say “enough” was the easy part. Healing from the psychological scars was much harder and an ongoing process.
Once the fog of devastation began to clear, the anger set in. Anger at my husband for the abuse, but also anger at myself for believing I didn’t deserve any better, and guilt, gut-wrenching guilt for believing that I had sheltered my children from the abuse. As warped as it sounds now, back then I accepted that I didn’t deserve to be treated better, but it was another thing to learn that I had not sheltered my children at all. They had been suffering silently for years. My husband had been abusing them as well and threatening them if they told me. My children had been living in fear. The reality of the extent of the abuse woke me up. I realized that my life had become a cycle of one abusive relationship after another. I knew that in order to break the cycle, I had to fix what was broken and it wasn’t just my “Mandar.”
I needed to know why I accepted being abused. Once I figured out that it was because I didn’t believe in myself, didn’t love myself, then I had something to work on.
Throughout my journey of healing, I met countless others who had similar life experiences. Not all of them were victims of domestic abuse. Some were bullied at work, or by family members. Some experienced devastating loss in their lives and didn’t believe they had the strength to pick up the pieces and start rebuilding, and some had just allowed chance to dictate their lives and lost themselves along the way. While everyone's story and situation are unique, the one commonality is a lack of unconditional love of self.
Unconditional love of self is the difference between surviving and living. Surviving is essential to breathing, but actual living is essential to true happiness. When we don’t love ourselves, value ourselves, and believe in ourselves, self-doubt creeps in. When we don’t believe we are “whole,” we look to outside sources to “complete” us and are always left feeling incomplete. People, careers, material possessions cannot complete our lives. They can and should complement our life, but they will never complete us because we are already complete.
No matter what life has thrown at you, no matter what your circumstances are, you have the ability to live a life of intentional choice instead of leaving things up to chance.
WholeSolo is not about being single or living a life of isolation, it’s about knowing that you alone are whole. You have worth. You have value. You are amazing!
I am so grateful that you took the time to visit KarenCrye.com. If you have a story to share, a question to ask, or a comment, please send me a message.
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All my best,