Do all your relationships have a common theme? Maybe you give too much? Maybe you’re insecure? Maybe you don’t really trust and give yourself completely?
Do you feel like in all your romantic relationships you’re dating the same person over and over again? No matter who you’re with, you’re having the same arguments and are left feeling lonely and unsure?
Well, it’s time to choose differently––for real this time.
I know from my own experience how frustrating and lonely relationships can feel and how much angst bubbles up when you’re constantly searching for “the one.” You’re certain that he or she will finally be the one to make you happy. And then––they aren’t.
I also know after years of therapy to overcome my turbulent childhood, how much the past can affect your relationships. After having finally found love and being happily married for ten years, I’m here to tell you there’s real love and happiness out there for all of us. We just have to choose differently––for real this time.
How do we do it?
1. Practice self-love
Practicing self-love is the number one, most important thing you can do to choose differently and to have healthy, love-filled relationships. Why? Because loving ourselves means we respect ourselves. From that space we set emotional boundaries. We know who we are and what we need. We know what we’re willing to give.
If we don’t have that sense of self-love and respect for who we are and what we’ve been through, our relationships will be plagued with resentment and we won’t ever reach that pinnacle of the deepest, truest love.
2. Use your past to change your trajectory
When we have a difficult past, a rough childhood, a bad marriage, or an abusive relationship, we can be left feeling closed off or less than. We might believe, consciously or subconsciously, that we’re only worth some diminished, traumatized version of love.
But that’s not true.
It’s a lie we tell ourselves. The truth is we’re all worthy of grand love in relationships with family, friends, and lovers. So how do we use our turbulent pasts to change our relationship trajectory?
We get really honest with ourselves.
Oftentimes it’s shame that holds us back. We’re ashamed of what we’ve been through. Ashamed of what we did or didn’t do. And the longer we allow that shame to silence us, the longer we’ll be emotionally closed off from others.
To get really honest with ourselves, we have to be aware of what we’ve been through and how it affected us. We do this by journaling, talking to friends, or seeing a therapist. But here’s the key: this is about you, not the other person, not the bad boyfriend or the callous ex-husband. Focus on your feelings, all of them. Anger. Sadness. Betrayal. Resentment. Hatred.
And when we do this, don’t rehash who the person was and wasn’t. What they did and didn’t do. Focus on you and who you were in the relationship. Why did you choose that person? What were you looking for?
When we don’t embrace our past, learn from it, and show gratitude for what we’ve been through, we’re bound to bring that trauma, abandonment, or shame with us into our relationships. This is the cycle we must break if we want to find real love.
3. Stop being a victim
It’s so easy to blame others, isn’t it? The bad ones, the mean ones, the ones who lied, cheat, and stole. But all blaming others does is take the light off of us and what we can learn about ourselves.
There is a time to let it all out, but once that is done, let it go. Continuing to harp about the other person does nothing but create a negative emotional cycle in your body. That resentful energy blocks and harms your good energy flow and will enable you to choose the same type of person over and over again.
So write it out. Talk it out. And then, let it go. You’re worthy of so much more than festering in your past.
- Change your vibe
We all have a subtle energy, a vibe that we send out into the world. One that says we’re open or closed off. One that says we’re flirty or unavailable. One that says we’re worthy or not. What vibe are you sending out into the world? If it’s not one that says I’m smart, confident, fun, and worthy of grand love then change your vibe pronto!
You can do this by practicing self-love (see no.1) and by meditating. I meditated a lot when I was single and wanted to find a relationship filled with passion and unconditional love.
Here’s how to do it. Play music that feels warm and inviting. Light a candle. Sit or lie comfortably. And then, drift. Conjure images of beaches, faraway lands, or places that make you feel alive and happy. Then imagine someone is there with you. You can feel their soul dancing with yours. Try not to focus on how they might physically look but more about how you feel when you hold their hand or walk with them. Feel their unconditional love and their genuine goodness.
Sometimes I felt it all so powerfully that my heart swelled with gratitude and tears flowed down my cheeks. That’s what you want! That oh so powerful, spiritual shift inside you that changes your vibe. You want to come from a space of gratitude and spiritual knowing that a special person is out there who will love and cherish you unconditionally.
Breaking the cycle isn’t easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Facing your past, finding gratitude, and growing into a loving relationship with yourself will not only make you a better partner but will ensure that you choose your relationships differently––for real this time. Because the truth is, when you come from such unconditional, loving energy there really is no other choice.
With resilience, grace, and love,