Do you know that person who is always jumping from one relationship to another? She (or he) is never happy by herself. She is never happy unless she is in a relationship and then never completely happy in the relationship. She seeks validation of herself in the other’s adoration but always seems to end up with the ‘jerks.’ And in the end, when things fall apart, she places blame and finds fault with the other. In the end, she wonders why she put up with the same disrespectful behavior only to move on to someone else who just might make her feel better about herself.
I am not an expert on relationships but there are some things that I do know for sure: If we love and respect ourselves enough, we would never let someone else disrespect us. If we love ourselves enough, we enjoy time spent alone and can be alone without being lonely. If we love ourselves enough, we would rather be alone than in any relationship that degrades our self-respect.
Being alone for an extended period of time is cathartic and healing. When we find ourselves repeating similar patterns in different relationships, we owe it to ourselves to take a hiatus and do some soul searching. There is a reason we are attracting the same type of situations into our lives. We do not attract what we want into our lives, but rather what we are. Our outside situations and interactions are a mirror of our internal states.
What is it that we need to heal? If we don’t figure it out and fix whatever part of us is broken, we will keep attracting the same situation into our lives. Life keeps giving us a test over and over again until we pass it. But the lesson that we need to learn cannot be learned during the test. The study session (healing) must take place out of the testing arena.
In my career, I kept finding myself in jobs with bosses who were sometimes demeaning and disrespectful. Since I was not good at facing confrontations, I never stood up for myself. When I finally realized my pattern and could no longer stand being bullied in the workplace, I decided to do the work to learn to stand up for myself. This involved role playing with a therapist to gain confidence. The day soon came for my next test and I was going to ace it. I stood up (my whole body shaking) and put my finger in his face and told him in a stern voice that I hardly recognized as my own, “you will never speak to me again in that manner.” It worked! Oddly, this earned his respect. I passed the test and that boss (or any other) never spoke to me that way again.
Learning to love ourselves is a process and sometimes painfully, hard work. Oftentimes, we have built so many protective layers that we get lost inside and completely forget who we are and what makes us happy. But the payoff is so magnificent and every bit worth the effort. Falling head over heals in love with yourself will bring you the greatest rewards imaginable. You will be able to project that love outward and in turn, attract the most amazing relationships back to you.