Honoring Self

By: Gabriela Yareliz

That image above is the image the world associates with the Nikki Bella-John Cena breakup. She is crying in that photo.

Nikki Bella (and Brie Bella) announced her (their) pregnancy (Brie’s second child; Nikki’s first), this week. It brought me back to this moment that changed everything.

Nikki’s breakup with John Cena was empowering. It was devastating because it was the rupture of a couple that was adored by many fans, but also, it was a moment that showed a self respect seldom seen among women.

Here was a woman who was done sacrificing herself and the things she so dearly desired for herself. She was done letting a man control her life (his timeline and lack of desire to marry her or give her children), and she did something a lot of women have said shouldn’t be done. She walked away. They called off the wedding he had sworn he would never have (guess he was right).

Her twin sister, Brie Bella, said something in the past to her that was memorable, along the lines of, “You have already sacrificed so much, and I don’t want to see you give up everything just because you are grateful.” (Nikki had expressed that she was grateful that he had finally proposed after several years of dating; she was tiptoeing around issues to not do anything to screw up the chance of marrying him finally).

Now, Nikki Bella has found the love of her life, and now, she will experience two joys she never thought would be possible in the past (marriage and motherhood). Things she would have felt she was forcing her former partner into. She found someone who wants these things as much as she does.

Regardless of whether you find what you are looking for or get what others think of as a happy ending, her story and courage are important. They demonstrate the ultimate happy ending– honoring yourself. She shows women that it’s important to respect yourself.

She says that what you don’t say for fear of f—ing something up, f’s you up inside. She shows women that you can love someone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is the best choice for you. She shows what it means to choose a life of joy over a life of settling. She exemplifies a woman who wasn’t trying to manipulate someone, but someone who was fair, and took someone’s communication and inaction for what it was worth. She gave someone else the freedom to be themselves, and importantly, she chose the freedom to be herself.

We can all rip a page out of Nikki Bella’s book. What is the life you dream of? What are your biggest desires? Are you settling? Are you truly listening to people around you and how their actions speak louder than words? Do you respect yourself enough to choose yourself?

She made the toughest choice. She made the best choice. She is living life in a way that honors what she knew to be her purpose. There is no greater satisfaction. It starts with you. If others have the freedom to be themselves and honor themselves, so do you.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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