Rachelle Chartrand is an award-winning screenwriter and past-president of Women in Film & Television Vancouver. She received a Bachelor of Education with a major in Physics and a minor in Math from the University of Alberta. Her eclectic teaching experience includes working with ESL students abroad as well as at-risk youth, young offenders and autistic children at home. Rachelle lives in Vancouver, British Columbia where she continues to emerge. On Last First Date Radio, we discussed her book, CHRYSALIS: A Dark and Delicious Diary of Emergence.
‘After decades of delinquency, promiscuity, bulimia, alcoholism and two failed marriages, Rachelle is eager to shed her caterpillar life for good. She buys a new diary and makes a new pact, dedicating the next year to her butterfly emergence and vowing to follow any guidance the Universe provides. It whispers back two words: Inspired Ideas.
CHRYSALIS: A Dark and Delicious Diary of Emergence chronicles Rachelle’s heart-wrenching, heart-healing metamorphic year. It is a profound and provocative memoir of forgiveness, acceptance and self-love.’
Following are loosely transcribed highlights of our radio interview, Healing Your Relationship With Men, where Rachelle and I discussed how healing your relationships with men and past pain can help you fall madly in love with yourself (which makes you magnetic to the right partner)!
Healing Your Relationships With Men
You vowed to tell the whole truth in the book. Were you ever afraid to be so open and honest?
I was exhausted with being a fraud my whole life. I was always trying to project ‘having it all together’. I was still pushing down my struggles with bulimia and alcoholism. The vow to tell the truth in the book was to be honest. The only things I left out were details about stories that had to do with someone else. I allude to a situation about the best friends of my parents and didn’t go into extreme detail about their marriage breaking up, because it was their story to tell.
What are the major themes in the book?
1. We have the power to heal ourselves. The more healing I did that year, magically the relationships around me changed. We project whatever we feel. I was projecting insecurity and defensiveness. In my relationship with my 2nd husband, I held him responsible for the majority of the problems. As I healed, he kept popping into my life in surprising ways.
2. In every situation, you can learn a life lesson. Don’t run away, experience the emotions and learn and grow. I learned to not just forgive, but appreciate the boys and men of my past, even those who sexually molested/abused me, for the role they played in discovering my self-worth.
3. Instead of going out to look for love, go inside and discover the most profound love, loving yourself. You can’t love anyone else unless you love yourself first.
4. Learn to let love in. Increase your love ‘bandwidth’ to receive the love around you.
You write about shame and guilt a lot in the book. Can you speak about the ‘shadow work’ you did, and how you go to the dark places and bring those shadows into the light?
The idea of shadow is that there are parts of ourselves that are shut down or labeled bad. Any time you say, “I would never steal, I’m a good person.” The things you hate most in others are your shadows. They are in you somewhere deep inside. When you do the shadow work, you realize this is a part of you that you shunned.
I did the work of Derek Rydall, a process of meditating and going deep down in an elevator. When I first did this, I was anxious. When the elevator opened and there was a beautiful sanctuary, it felt like a safe space. See what the shadow looks like, and engage it in a conversation. The answers may come to you later. When you’re really truthful, the answers are healing.
The parts of me, cheater, liar, loser, slut; I now have no problem talking about any of those parts of me.
Another part of my healing was Emotion Code. It’s based on the theory that we have trapped emotions throughout our life. They’re trapped in our bodies. These cause cellular damage and can hurt us. You do muscle testing to release the emotions.
This article originally appeared on Last First Date
Photo credit: Getty Images