Before I was Catherine Danieli, Radical Love + Relationship Coach, I was Catherine Hummel, love addict and wounded seeker of attention.
Nobody has a perfect childhood. Personally, I had a really imperfect one. One that set me up to be deeply confused about love and life. My childhood feelings of being unwanted, unloved and worthless led me to become obsessed with finding “the one.”
I looked to others for my own sense of worth.
I looked to others to define me.
I looked to others to make my decisions.
And, perhaps most painfully of all, I looked to others to give me the love I did not know how to give myself.
Every relationship I ever had ended with him saying, “I just don’t love you anymore,” and me spiraling into all-day benders and thinking “healing” from each break up would happen by sleeping with any guy that would take my pain away.
When I finally decided to get sober and give up alcohol for good, I found myself sucked into the rush of a 3-year, off-again-on-again relationship with a man who became my new drug of choice.
He loved me. He’d break up with me.
He’d disappear for a little while. He’d come back.
Eventually, I met a real-life angel who introduced me to a therapist who focused on love addiction. When I walked through that door, I was a shell of my former self, barely holding it together but unable to break the cycle on my own.
Twice a week, we would do inner child work together, where I grieved the love I had never — and could never — receive from my parents. I learned how to become a parent to myself.
I took up a yoga practice and began experimenting with energy work.
I studied A Course In Miracles like my life depended on it, because, in many ways, it did.
I threw myself into being of service to other people.
And I hired my own relationship coach to help me find a new partner.
As I began to heal in the depths of my soul, I started obsessively studying love, working with the top relationship experts in the country, participated in a relational life therapy training, studied the work of the Gottman Institute and began working with hundreds of women.
In May of 2014, I found myself sitting across the table from my ex-boyfriend when I heard him say the words he’d said 100 times before: “Catherine, let’s get back together.”
But the screen had been lifted, and for the first time ever, I could see him clearly.
“No. I don’t want you, and I don’t want this.”
I said it, and I meant it.
This was the day I chose love over pain, love over fear, my longing for my forever love versus the instant gratification of lust.
That same day, I hopped on a plane to Hawaii where I spent the next 3 weeks coming home to myself.
It was in Hawaii that I felt the pull of my forever partner. It was no longer a desire; it was an inevitability. And I was willing to do whatever it took to receive him into my life.
When I got back to Boston, I set up a Match.com profile. A few days later, Andrew Danieli sent me a message. Three weeks later, we were living together, and nine months after that we were engaged. The rest is history.
My husband Andrew is so loving, so devoted and so present that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s God’s love moving through his heart. Our partnership is the ground we’ve built our lives on. It gives me a soft place to land and to fly from, and it’s where I go to become all that I am meant to be. Because this is what true love does.
Love changes us. Heals us. Transforms us. Awakens us. Through true love we become our true self, the self that is fearless, open, generous, compassionate, powerful and magnetic.
For me, becoming a coach wasn’t a choice.
It was a calling.
I could tell you about the tens of thousands of dollars I’ve spent on relationship trainings, my Master’s in Public Health, or the hundreds of books I’ve read on the subjects of love, intimacy, marriage, consciousness and relationships. I could recount how I got 15 clients within 2 weeks of opening my doors, which has grown into the hundreds clients I’ve helped go from disconnected, disheartened and disembodied to connected, powerful and in partnership. I could name-drop the world-class love coaches I’ve studied under or the countless workshops I’ve attended.
But ultimately, becoming a Radical Love + Relationship Coach comes down to a single moment.
It was my 8th date with Andrew. He’d taken me to the beach, one of my favorite places in the world, and as he leaned in and our foreheads touched, I heard a voice say: “I want you to now help other women feel this, this love.”
This work is what gets me up in the morning. This work is what my soul came here to do. And this work is what gives me life.
I believe loving your partner helps us love the world, and that romantic relationships are the path to healing and the path to God.
We aren’t born seeking love. We’re created from it.
If you’ve forgotten this, you are not alone.
I healed from love addiction, from chasing men, from self-hatred, from constantly thinking there was something wrong with me and that I had to become who I thought men wanted.
Now I’m with a partner who is beyond my wildest dreams, and I thank God for him every single day.
This is possible for you too.