Relationship Discord? Shift your focus from the “other” to yourself!
Many clients come to me with relationship concerns. Messages from Spirit are consistent: focus on self-love and creating a life where body, mind, and spirit are aligned with your highest and best good; in so doing, your relationships will be harmonious.
Although I channel sage and loving advice from Spirit – for many years, I did not apply these valuable insights to my own life. I am sharing my personal story to underscore the validity of this important message: the power of self-love and taking care of one’s own spirit has an immediate effect on creating relationship harmony.
It is my hope that most of you readers have not experienced the level of dysfunction that you will read about here. But, no matter where you are on the spectrum of relationship health, I believe that one shift – giving attention to who you came here to be – will transform all of your relationships as well as the overall quality of your life.
I was that girl who always chose the wrong guy – literally. And, I don’t just mean wrong for me. During a break up with one of these guys, the man of my dreams walked up to me, or more like into me, looked into my eyes and said “I am your man.” It may sound corny, but for me, it was one of those surreal moments. A moment that could change a girls life for the better, if only she let it. He was a good friend, an amazing human being, he had beautiful and loving energy…and of course, I was already in love with him. Part of me wanted to walk down this road and took those first steps along that path. But, rather than continue forward, I clumsily stumbled back into the toxic relationship that I clearly had not yet left, hurting everyone in the process. For some reason (okay, fear and perhaps a bit of self-loathing), it was easier to stay than to leave, even though my sensitive spirit had long been tired of the negative energy that surrounded this particular union.
When this relationship ended, I was subject to abuses worse than what had transpired while in the relationship. After what was perhaps the most most painful and violating of his acts, he smugly pronounced, “I should go to prison for what I just did to you.” Indeed, he should have. I won’t recount the specifics of these actions, suffice it to say that several hours in, I completely dissociated from my body. The sexual harassment that followed, via any avenue possible, was exhausting. I did not report either the incident or the subsequent harassment. At the time, there were many justifications that I gave to myself for doing nothing, but when I look back…I see that I was terrified to do so, so I didn’t. In fact, I tried to pretend it didn’t happen but PTSD didn’t allow me such a luxury.
Like many people in toxic relationships, I was not my own friend. By always focusing on the chaos of the other person in the relationship and trying to get them “help”, rather than looking within and helping myself, I avoided the pain of seeing who I had become. I was not comfortable in my own skin. I subordinated my dreams for those of someone else. Even though that relationship finally ended, I remained in an energetic state of being that would continue to attract the same type of person.
I had neglected my dreams, needs, and passions for so long that I didn’t remember what they were. What I did know was that I was afraid to be alone. After Mr. Toxic, I entered into another relationship, and as you can expect of someone perpetually in relationship dysfunction, chose another hot mess of a man. I had known and loved him when I was younger but some 17 years later neither of us were those kids. Homeless. Alcoholic. Alcohol induced schizophrenic. Yet, oddly, he made me feel safe. Perhaps part of it was that I didn’t have to engage at the same level, therefore didn’t make myself as vulnerable. And, by this time I was an addict….or do they call it co-dependent? Whatever. I was energetically sick and shot myself up with my drug of choice: relationship chaos. Amidst one of my partners “absence due to alcohol” binges, I was asking spirit for guidance, trying to figure out how to let go of this guy. I really could think of no reason not to. It was time to let go and heal, yet I struggled with just doing it.
I asked my spirit guides why I was having such a hard time reconciling what I knew to be necessary with what I was doing. I asked them why I had this man in my life when I knew better than to be in yet another relationship with someone so screwed up. They lovingly reminded me that everything and everyone I bring into my life is a mirror. They had given me a lot of guidance before, but at that moment, I was actually ready and willing to hear it. This was the spark that stoked the fire that was my guiding light back to myself. My guides asked me to look at how this man was my mirror. Reflecting on this, I was like WTF? On the surface, we are so very different. But, diving deeper…I. Saw. Myself.
Like my partner, I treated myself like shit. Like him, I had created an image that wasn’t truly aligned with who I am. Like him, I kept people at a distance because I didn’t want to be vulnerable and I also did not want anyone to see what I thought was a broken and ugly me. Like him, I needed help with healing. I couldn’t go it alone, even with my amazing guides ever present. Before my “aha” moment of clarity while peering into this mirror, I did not allow myself to see the need for support, healing, advocacy, or self-love. With my newfound clarity, I found great motivation to shift my energy, to reclaim my spirit.
I decided that I needed to spend time with the version of me that I liked the most (other than the mama me, who was my saving grace through all kinds of hell). It was hard to remember this younger me who loved being alive but I was determined to find a grown-up version of her. I re-read my journals and poetry, read books by authors that had inspired me, began to write again, spent time in nature. I bonded with the most adorable cat in a dog body. I wandered around neighborhoods that I used to love. I renewed my love for the library. I put energy into building my business. I got myself into therapy. Heck, I even indulged in chick flicks and tear-jerkers which honestly helped me feel again. I began to align all aspects of myself with my life path and passion and recommitted to my life’s work. I also spent a lot of time in gratitude for all that was good in my life and in the world around me. As well, I spent time each day finding joy and appreciation for other people’s successes and happiness. I finally honored the life I came here to live by intentionally focusing on that which brought me joy, knowing that my thoughts and actions are what attract my opportunities and experiences.
The moment I shifted my relationship focus from the “other” to myself is the moment I shifted the energy of all of my relationships and the overall quality of my life. Once I looked in the mirror, and could honestly say that I loved myself, I realized that without focusing on them…my relationships were changing. They either fell out of my life or improved without me directing any energy to that improvement.
So, how did all this glorious self-love impact my relationship with my partner?
I finally realized that I owed him enough respect to believe that he had as much power to change his own life as I did mine. I also released that part of me that felt responsible for helping him heal. And, I made the decision to let him go. I did not focus on him. Did not allow myself to wallow in thoughts of worry for his well-being. I lovingly detached. What happened afterward was not what I had expected. My relationship did not end, though I did “let go.” It was not because I was afraid to leave, or because I relapsed into my pattern of dysfunction, but because he found his own strength. While I was busy focusing on finding myself, he improved his own life without me directing any energy toward him. So, as my guides said, “when you are in harmony with yourself, all of your other relationships will be in harmony, too. Some will fall away, and others shift to match your vibration.”
If you transform yourself, you transform all of your relationships. We truly do have the power to manifest that which we ask for. If we are willing to do the work. You don’t have to be as screwed up as I was to apply this mirror exercise or to shift your energy to a more positive vibration, and honestly, I hope you are not! But, you do have to be willing to look within. You have to give yourself the same attention and love you give to others, even if it feels awkward to do so. We all deserve to live joyfully, and we can!
P.S. For those of you who are in abusive relationships (or if you are like I was, in complete denial of being in an abusive relationship, but you are living in fear of how your partner will treat you or react to something)…please, seek support and advocacy. Your safety and well-being are important, as are your dreams and your joy. It is damn hard work to look within and find your strength, but please know that it is worth it.
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