Looking honestly at ourselves, our blocks, blind spots, and fears takes courage. Acknowledging that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are negatively impacting our relationships can plant the seeds for future change as we realize that our current behaviors can be stemming from past heartbreaks. We can get our hearts broken, and in response build defenses to protect ourselves, which in turn creates walls that can become barriers that prevent us from truly allowing others into our lives, hearts, and worlds. To develop strong relationships we need to first begin to look at ourselves and our behavior and start to see where our past hurts are impacting present decisions and future possibilities.
When I have decided at different times in my life that I wanted to start to change how I was navigating particular relationships it always involved looking at the role I was playing- how my thoughts and feelings were impacting my actions and reactions. Seeking help, guidance, and insight from my trusted therapist, I began to look at the blocks that were stopping me and I started to take steps to create change.
One of the areas that we focused on, in particular, was how I was navigating dating and fostering romantic relationships- I had a pattern of choosing people who were unavailable in some shape or form. Through our work together- I began to name and claim that from my experiences of my Dad who I adored dying when I was 15 years old and my own personal serious health challenges I had developed a debilitating fear of falling in love- as I paired deep love with death, fearing that the person I fell in love with would die like my beloved Dad had, or that I would die leaving them reeling like I was when my Dad died. This was a deep-seated fear that was layered and complex. It took a very long time to get to the place where I could be truly vulnerable in a romantic relationship. Each time I made steps to lean in rather than out, to practice, to get experience, to learn to trust myself and my intuition when it came to dating, I began to untangle the stories I was telling myself and reframe them. I began to be able to choose love over fear and become open to and eventually finding and falling in love with my soul mate.
How have your past hurtful experiences impacted your relationships? Are you ready to break through your barriers to create a path for healing to begin? By recognizing our courage we can start to acknowledge how our reactions are blocking us from moving forward and seek the necessary support so our past heartache does not prevent us from creating meaningful relationships and from having the life that we truly desire.