From the first girl I kissed in fifth grade to the crazy relationship that brought me to my knees at the age of thirty, I was chronically attracted to unhealthy people. I adopted this as a way of life and made jokes about having a “broken picker” because I always seemed to pick liars, addicts and weirdos. It became my story that I retold, recreated and perpetuated for years… until the pain of not changing far surpassed the comfort I got from remaining a victim.
So I committed to staying single for a year and started my soul surgery. I saw a fantastic therapist, joined support groups, went to workshops, studies and conferences. All the while, I read books about shame, emotional neglect, codependency, love addiction, intimacy, relationships, love languages, erotic intelligence, etc. I took an honest inventory of my relationships – what worked, what didn’t work, what were my patterns, beliefs and habits. Then I had to ask myself, Why I was recreating the same kind of relationship over and over again? What were my fears and why did I have them? What was driving my behaviors? Where did I learn to act this way and what was my payoff for staying stuck in my story?
After a tremendous amount of introspection, therapy, reading and writing, a means of recovery emerged from the rubble. Having claimed to have a broken picker for most of my life, I decided to call it…
I honestly felt as though this work saved my life, so I was excited to share it with the world. I started presenting Fix Your Picker workshops in San Diego where I lived. Not only did I have a blast doing it, I received overwhelming positive feedback. People loved it! Eventually I was invited to present at an international conference that was held in Arizona. My dear friend Rebecca who lived in Dallas was suffering from a broken picker, and she decided to attend my workshop. After taking a close look at her relationship patterns and getting very specific about what she truly wanted in a partner, she discovered that I was a perfect match for the thirty-four characteristics she wrote down in her inventory!
Scared to jeopardize our friendship, she kept this to herself for a while, but her commitment to authenticity demanded she share her feelings with me. And so she did. I had always been fond of her, but the distance between us seemed insurmountable. Yet after reflecting on my own desires and ideals, I just knew she was worth risking it. And so I did. Rebecca and I had a surprisingly wonderful long-distance relationship for nine months before finally moving in together. After some time I popped the question and a year later we tied the knot. Six months later we got this crazy idea to quit our jobs and move to Panamá. And so we did!
Although none of the work that we have done (and continue to do) to create our beautiful lives has been easy, it’s all totally worth it. Now I’m blessed to be able to share Fix Your Picker with the world full-time and to help others recreate their lives. And one of the greatest benefits of helping others through this work is that I get to continue learning and growing in ways that enrich my life and strengthen my marriage. Every day is a new opportunity to rewrite my story. What a gift!