Patricia didn't want to give up her son, but then again, it was the leader of her church, a person of power and authority. She had been taught his word was law, so she put aside what she wanted and felt was right, and she agreed to the adoption. For the next 18 years, Patricia threw herself into work and perfectionism. She started and grew successful multimillion-dollar businesses. She owned and operated a nationally recognized and award-winning exclusive boutique spa in Utah that was eventually acquired. Believe in who you are. Then, you give your children the gift of example they so long to receive.Who cares if I'm right, wrong, good, or bad? Who cares if I'm honest or corrupt? In the long run, who will remember anyway? The only answer that makes any sense is that you chose to be here and, therefore, you are the one who cares. Why must there be a deep, dark, mysterious reason for being? Why isn't your desire to be here enough? Why wouldn't you want this journey if the reward is so spectacular? Why wouldn't you want expansion if growth is so delicious? Why wouldn't you want challenges if they empower you to grow? University of Chicago professor Chris Hsee writes about a related concept called evaluability: The easier it is to compare certain traits, the more important those traits seem. Imagine this scenario (and for the sake of this thought experiment, imagine you're interested in men). I walk up to you on the street and say: You can go on a date with one of these two single men. One guy is five-nine and one is five-ten, but the shorter one makes more money. Who do you want to go out with?

Most likely, you'd walk away slowly, confused why a stranger was asking you such a weird question. If you decided to stick around, I'd follow up with another question: How much more money per year would a shorter guy have to make for you to find him as attractive as a taller man? At that point, you might laugh awkwardly and tell me it was impossible to come up with such a number. But thanks to research from Dan Ariely, we know it's not. He discovered that there is, in fact, a quantifiable correlation between height, income, and finding success on the dating apps. If you met Patricia, on the outside, she looked like she had everything put together, the picture-perfect image of being fit and healthy and successful. Not once did she tell anyone about her son. She carried so much shame and embarrassment. According to her faith, Patricia was wrong and had sinned when she got pregnant. For almost two decades, she had buried her trauma, trying her best to forget all about the son she gave birth to and gave up for adoption. Sitting across from him in her living room, she couldn't ignore the pain, and seeing him had cracked open something deeper and darker within her. Every night, her dreams were filled with horrifying images of her as a child being beaten, sexually abused, and shaken so violently that she would pass out. They were so disturbing that she drank and popped pills to numb herself. At 40 years old, she didn't understand what was happening to her. One night, it got so intense that she fell to her knees in her bedroom and for the first time prayed to God to take her life or show her a path to healing. This journey offers you the beautification of your soul. And aren't you a fascinating subject worthy of lots of time and attention? Souls that are living out-of-body don't think of your journey as miserable. They don't see survival as iffy. They don't search for worthiness.

They don't practice elitism since every encounter is known to be with God. They don't make war against one another since peace is known as a feeling found within. They don't experience dis-ease since ease is found from releasing any judgment. They don't ask for support since the only support of substance is the love they give to others. More importantly, after they drop their bodies, they realize that infinite wisdom could have been theirs had they cherished the bodies they had. And it's not small. Using data from a popular dating website, Ariely found that a man has to earn $40,000 more each year to be as desirable as a man one inch taller. Yes: $40,000. Evaluability helps us understand why. In real life, you may meet guys who are five-nine and five-ten and barely notice their height difference. Apps make it easy to compare height. While women have long favored tall men, the digital world exacerbates this preference. Because of the explicit height comparison across online dating profiles, shorter men are at a much greater disadvantage than they would be in the real world. No wonder Jonathan was so focused on the height of his potential husband! You may be asking yourselves, how much does a woman's income affect her desirability? The thought came that she should call a trauma center, so at 2 A. Call it serendipity, luck, or divine intervention, but someone answered one of her calls, and they happened to have a bed available. I'm coming, Patricia told them. In the early-morning hours, before daylight even broke, she checked herself in and from there began the slow and excruciating process of unpacking the terrible truth that she had suppressed. For 13 years, Patricia had endured extreme physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at the hands of her family.

Resolving this deep pain did not come easily. Once she was out of treatment, she often thought, Oh my God, who will love me now? How will I ever meet someone who could love me knowing what had happened to me? What will people think of me now? The shame and fear were almost too much for Patricia to take. What God, who knows you as of part of its own heart, would abandon you without support. Impossible! God is always available because God is in you and everyone around you. Then why don't I feel God's support? You feel it. In fact, God is so supportive that God gives you the gift of your autonomy. Autonomy allows you to feel whatever you please. You express that autonomy every time you interact with others. God makes it easy for you to recognize your use of that autonomy by giving you back whatever you have offered. You only get confused about this autonomy when you define your gift as a thing you give to others instead of an emotion you give to others. Turns out it doesn't. High earners don't inspire single men on that dating website the way they inspire single women. Instead, the quality that men cared about most when evaluating attractiveness was body mass index (BMI). They preferred a woman whose BMI was 18. Again, it's not that men actually value thinness in potential life partners above all else--they're just stuck working with a limited set of comparable qualities.

Which brings me back to why I swiped left on Scott on Tinder. I was selecting potential partners based on the superficial traits featured on the dating apps, and I'd created an image of an ideal partner that he just didn't fit. If you'd asked me when I was swiping what I'd wanted in a partner, do you think I would've said five-eight redheaded vegan engineer? No, probably not. I easily could have set a height minimum of five-nine and never even seen Scott. But the pull for life was equally strong, and in her darkest moments, she would ask the Universe for a way to be open to healing. Again, she was given an answer in a dream: plant medicine. On blind faith, Patricia ventured into the Costa Rican jungle to experience an iboga ceremony, which uses a psychedelic plant. It took her on a brutal journey into her past that took days to complete. She wasn't prepared for so many repressed memories to become unblocked, but now her life made sense in a way it hadn't before. This one experience would become the gateway for deep, profound healing that would change her life forever. Patricia became very intentional with seeking treatments and support systems, including trauma and sexual abuse therapists. She eliminated caffeine and alcohol from her diet, and anything else that would get in the way of her processing and releasing all of this stored pain. She did meditation and yoga, and eventually earned a degree in spiritual psychology and became a shaman. Patricia's road to recovery hasn't always been easy. If God lives in a world where everything manifests as soon as it is helpful, God believes that your powers are equal. How could God think differently when God knows that you are the same energy it is? If you knew that your only aspiration was to appreciate your journey, would you honor your path more fully? If you knew that your only hope was to recognize growth, would you find it in your experience? If you knew that self-love--and your desire to embrace more of it--was your motivation for coming here in the first place, would you delight in your body, respect your talents, and believe in your caring essence?