Are You Chanel or Chanell?

Elizabeth Craig
4 min readApr 24


Photo by Author

There are a lot of reasons women seek me out within my career(s) but there are two that seem to be most popular. One, they’re either curious about something within themselves and they need a little help with a little courage to dig in. Or, two, they’re so confused about something, they can’t see the forest for the trees and they need someone to help them suss out the nugget of clarity that’s waiting to be found. Either way, it’s like digging and finding gold for me every single time.

So, when a client came to me trying to figure out why she kept attracting the wrong kind of men, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

She was clearly in a lot of pain. Relationship number…who knows because there had been so many…had just imploded and she was obviously in a place of abysmal hopelessness. My heart went out to her. At the same time, she had finally begun to realize that there must be something more to the path of wreckage that could be seen for miles than just bad luck.

We started pulling the strings on her barbed-wired-ball-of-yarn history with romance.

She began talking to me about everything her newly-ex partner did or didn’t do that she believed contributed to the inevitable downfall of their relationship. He was often dismissive of her wants and needs and most times supplanted them with this own. He was passive-aggressive and manipulative. At times, he could be downright disrespectful to her.

As she continued speaking, I would chime in and ask about these behaviors and she would confirm. I mean, these sound like pretty good reasons to leave a person, if you ask me, only she never left. It was always him that left her.

Then she asked how I believed she could get him back.

Wait. What?

Me: “I thought you were here to figure out why you choose the kind of men you choose and how it’s hurtful to you?”

Her: “Oh! Yeah…well, that too. I mean, yeah. Of course. But I just miss him so much.”

Me: “Wait. How many times have you broken up with and then gotten back together with this person?”

Her: “Hmm. I kinda lost count.”

Me: “OK. Is this something that occurred regularly in your past relationships as well?”

Her: “Well…yeah, come to think of it.”

I watched her eyes glaze over for a minute, and I waited. This is the best part. You see, when someone is on the cusp of an epiphany, my skin starts to tingle and I know to just sit back and let it happen.

The glaze slowly began to disappear and she saw it. She saw it all, and what was clear to me within minutes of our talk was, at that moment, revolutionary to her. She finally began to see a pattern of behavior, which, over time, created a war zone of rubble. This time, she had run out of new territory for her next battle.

Simply put, she had to confront her own participation in her own self-imposed war.

We talked about her past relationships and connected the dots. We drew the invisible string that linked it all together and before we knew it, we had a picture in front of us that was clear as day.

Her issue was a deep sense of low self-worth.

Sure, you can say, “Yeah…duh” but that’s not up to me to tell someone. They have to get there on their own. I can lead a shoe junkie to a designer shoe store but…you get it (yes, I could’ve said horse to water but that’s boring).

She saw the pattern. She saw her place in all of it and that’s when I asked her this:

Me: “Are you a Chanel purse or a Chanell purse knock-off that you got on Canal St. in New York City?” She was a fashion addict so I knew that she’d pick up what I was putting down quickly.

Her: “Chanel. Obviously”, she said as she waved her hand over the beautiful outfit she chose for her session with me that day.

Me: “Then why are you behaving like a Chanell purse? If you don’t take care of yourself, give yourself the attention you need, take yourself seriously, and treat yourself with respect, why in the world would anyone else? And guess what? A Chanel purse costs thousands of dollars. Being nice to yourself is free.”

Yep — there was that glaze again.

Simply put, there is no other relationship in your entire life that will take precedence over the relationship you have with yourself. Period. This is because every other relationship you will have in your lifetime will be built upon this foundation. If the foundation you build mainly consists of unworthiness, mistrust, loathing, and contempt, how could you possibly be surprised when your external relationships mirror those same things? If you have people in your life that treat you badly, my advice is to immediately consider how you treat yourself.

Take a moment and think about the relationships you have in your life. If you smile while pondering this, have a nice day. You’re free to go. If you frowned, it might be time to consider that the most significant relationship in your life is also your most toxic. Yep — that’s the relationship you have with yourself, just in case you’re wondering.

People will always treat you like you treat yourself. Will you be treated like a Chanel or a Chanell?

PS — she never took him back, even after he begged her for months.

High-mother-fucking-five, sister.

If you’re ready to be treated like the badass you are, reach out. I can help with that.



Elizabeth Craig

Author. Sellf-Love Photographer & Coach. Educator.