For as long as I could remember I was a truth seeker. I wanted to know the “why?” behind everything. However, dealing with mental & emotional abuse by my father, led me to isolate & silence myself at school. Kids and teachers would call me “shy” and I believed it. I was afraid of opening up.
I got bullied in school because English was my second language, I had curly hair, & was quiet. I felt different and alone. Girls would make fun of me and tell me I was weird.
In middle school, a guy started a rumor that I was a lesbian because I didn’t want to tell him who I had a crush on. I was mortified that others would write my narrative.
As a Latina, I embraced purity culture as a badge of honor so I didn’t start dating until I was 23.
I was labeled as different & weird for choosing to wait until marriage to be intimate with a man, and my pride soon turned into insecurity.
When I first started dating, I fell into pressure of having to be physical with men, and on a first date, I ended up playing “Never Have I Ever” at a stranger’s place. He pressured me into telling him I was a virgin, and although we didn’t cross any lines, I felt ashamed for being ridiculed for my choices.
Since then, I vowed to only do things that were out of my comfort zone that would make me “better than I was yesterday” and aligned with my values. I even started a YouTube series called “Never Have I Ever” where I would do things out of my comfort zone that I had never done.
The series went viral and my confidence skyrocketed. I finally had control over my narrative. I was courageous, bold Karla.
However, I carried so much self-doubt and self-limiting beliefs & was stuck working as a film & television production assistant for many years. I was working 12-16 hour days making $11 bucks an hour & quickly burnt out. I became a people pleaser, had no boundaries and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.
At 27 years old, I ended up losing my dream job as a producer in Hollywood, moved back to my hometown and started my life over to focus on reconnecting with myself. I knew I could stay a victim or go after what I wanted: I started a business.
I went all in my business ignoring my past: shame, guilt and self-doubt. I continued to work 12-16 hour days which led me to burn out and return to old patterns of self sabotage and lack of self worth.
At the time, I didn’t know how to manage my emotions so I started distracting myself through dating. This time, I crossed boundaries that were out of alignment to my values, morals and my purity badge of honor had been taken away. I was convinced that the only way I would find love is if I conformed to society’s pressures on intimacy.
My anxiety and depression went through the roof. I had lost my dream job, started a business I wasn’t passionate about, moved back home with my mom, was in thousands of credit card debt, had no spiritual and Christian community, labeled myself a tainted virgin, did not know my purpose and had lost myself due to dating the wrong men.
One day, my mom’s words broke me and empowered me to invest into my personal growth: “Mija, you lost your light. I lost my daughter.”I felt like I had hit rock bottom and thought to myself, “Who am I?”
So in summer of 2019, I made a decision that changed my life: learn to forgive, love myself and create the ideal version of myself I wanted to become. I meditated & danced everyday, connected with my creator through prayer, fellowship and reading my bible, surrounded myself with kind people who loved God, reconnected with my truest self, discovered my purpose and focused on my healing.
While in my healing journey, my dad moved in with my mom and I. I had not lived with him in over nine years and having to relive childhood trauma really tested me. I had to not only learn to forgive myself but learn to live with and truly forgive my dad. It was not easy living with him and many times, I fell back to my old self sabotaging ways but always leaned on God and trusted in the life vision I desired.
One day, when I was feeling defeated, in a public restroom, I got on my knees and started crying. In that moment, I whole heartedly surrendered to God about who I wanted to become and the relationship I wanted with myself and life partner. I wrote down all the qualities of myself I wanted to embody and also wrote a list of the partner I wanted to attract. I had full clarity on the life story I wanted to write.
A week later, I matched with my now fiancé. We instantly fell in love and vowed to wait until marriage to be intimate. He is everything I prayed for. I realized I had the power to change my story.
A month of being in a relationship with my dream man, I went on a 4-day mindset and empowerment training. There, I fell in love with the power of the subconscious mind so I ended up signing up to a 2-week training in San Diego to get a certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming, Mental and Emotional Release and Hypnosis. I learned how to work with the subconscious mind and release our negative emotions & thoughts and truly live in aligment with my highest self.
I became a personal growth & empowerment coach to guide women in releasing self doubt, fears and negative emotions and reprogram their subconscious minds to reconnect to their truest selves and create their dream life.
My mom and boyfriend were supper supportive about my decision and I have never felt so supported and seen in my life.
I can honestly say, I would never trade the pain I experienced because it led me to discover my true self and life’s purpose. Life isn’t happening to us, it’s happening for us!