H ave you ever been in a relationship you knew wasn’t right but you stayed in it for longer than you should have? A toxic friendship? Romance that took the life out of you? I can now comfortably admit I have. And it only took thirty-eight years to figure out what was not suiting me and my happiness. That’s when I knew it was time for a relationship detox to restore my emotional energy and happiness. 

I recently read an interview with Diane Kruger who said her breakup with longtime beau Joshua Jackson was “liberating.” Which was my same stance on the relationships I ended last year. Harsh? Not at all. While a breakup is difficult no matter the relationship status, being honest with yourself can add years to your life and bring joy. I learned this lesson through tough love and a much-needed week with my family over the holiday’s. 

As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten in touch with myself and trust my intuition. I understand what makes me happy and the value of living a low stress lifestyle. Most of our stress is created from situations we allow ourselves to stay in such as toxic relationships. For nearly a decade I settled in relationships that consistently brought me pain and agony. Until I finally put my foot down and took care of me first.

Knowing your values is key to your happiness. I have been a people pleaser for so long accepting blame for others shortcomings. I punished myself meeting the demands of people who were hurting me in fear of losing them. After a long self-evaluation I realized what mattered most to me. It wasn’t the things I was prioritizing or people I allowed to control me. It was family and more of the things I love.

There isn’t time to waste catering to people who don’t appreciate you so stop making excuses for them. I cut people out of my life cold turkey. I knew for years the damage they had done and kept allowing it. That was until I opened myself up to new possibilities by removing negative bondage. When I allowed myself to detach from ideas, people and monetary possessions I found those things attracting me back more positively. They were fighting for my love and affection now. Could it be The Secret unfolding? I don’t know. But what I do know is once you take care of yourself first and follow your core values happiness will follow. And that is where you will find your best life. 

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is the CEO of www.monikafreeman.com. She also works as a Creative Director, Writer, Brand Strategist and Fashion Editor.

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