Today I´m delving deep into the juicy stuff - my relationship patterns! How I´ve come to be aware of them and my journey to (hopefully) breaking them. Here we go...
Initially when I started writing this post there were 3 relationships in my mind where I´d clearly chosen to put myself in the same situation that triggered certain emotional reactions and beliefs that are not healthy or serving me in any way. But as I review more of my previous relationships (long/short/serious/casual) I can see how there are elements of this pattern in many of them. I have been perpetually abusing myself in this way because subconsciously, for some reason, I believe that I am unworthy of the love I desire.
It all started with Boy A. When I first met A he appeared to be glowing - I thought he was an angel! It didn´t take long for me to fall for him, as I´d never met anyone I could talk to like this before. I felt he understood me completely and I concluded that he had to be my soul mate. Alas, he quickly explained that he could only commit to friendship, offering consolation in the fact that 99% of relationships break up anyway. Friendships last longer, he said. Being a bit younger I accepted this as an action of true love and continued the friendship, despite the pain I felt everytime he flirted or got together with someone else. I was sure that if I just waited he would eventually realise how great we were together and stop messing around.
|Me in my younger days|
As you can probably guess, this never happened. It finally got to the point where it hurt too much, and I knew I had to put some distance between us so that I could give myself the space to get over him and move on.
When Boy B came along (okay, there may have been more of the alphabet in between but I´m focusing on these boys for the purpose of this post!) I thought I knew what I was doing. And I did to a certain extent... after all, I was older now and more confident in who I was. With B there was an instant connection too and I remember feeling so drawn to him. We were like magnets that didn´t want to be pulled apart.
However, not long into the relationship my intuition was telling me that something was wrong. I sensed an incompatibility and a strong desire to stand up for myself, rebalance and be in my own power. But my desire for intimacy and connection was stronger.
As time went on it became clear that B wanted the freedom to be intimate with other people too. I was deeply hurt and knew that I had to let him go. It brought up so many feelings of unworthiness - why wasn´t I enough? Once I had time to process it all, I realised that if I could love anyone that intensely, surely it makes sense to love myself that way first!
|The older and slightly wiser me|
If this was the lesson, then Boy C was the test! From day one I knew that we weren´t right for each other romantically and yet I allowed our connection to deepen. I opened up to C emotionally and energetically, enjoying being vulnerable and connecting on new levels. For some reason I struggled to stay away from this one. I was trying so hard to be in the moment, but I can now see how my emotions were in conflict with my intellect and intuition. Okay, I admit it. I´m an intimacy junkie. And when I find someone offering me my drug of choice its hard to turn down.
Sure enough I found myself in that familiar place of inadequacy. There were other ladies in C´s life and he wanted to explore those connections as well. Even the idea of this hurt me and I knew myself well enough by now that I couldn´t stand to witness this unfold... again! I was done.
I am finally ready to break this pattern. I am done with this feeling of unworthiness. I need to choose to love myself more. I should never have to beg for attention, for affection or for love. I´ve been consenting to arrangements that are exasperating, humiliating and disempowering.
The truth is I may not have even wanted something more from some of these boys, but I do want more from someone I am being intimate with. I just have to get better at choosing! I have a moral obligation to ask for what I want, and if its not on offer I need to walk away and not consent to an arrangement that is fundamentally unfair.
My friend Esther gave me an amazing gift the other day - she told me there is no such thing as rejection, it is only a redirection. Although I have come up against many challenges, I know that they have only accelerated my personal and spiritual growth. Awareness of this pattern has pushed me to start cultivating more conscious relationships, with others as well as myself. So I am grateful for all of them... every last one of the boy alphabet. John Welwood writes in his article on scienceandnonduality.com, "if our woundedness remains hidden, it cannot be healed; the best in us cannot come out unless the worst comes out as well."
The fabric of my life is woven by me.
My beliefs create the patterns.
My relationships are the colours I choose.
My reactions are the stitches used to make the costume I decided to wear.
The role I often choose to play is victim.
My beliefs allow me to continue to play this role.
So I must ASK for what I want, BELIEVE I deserve it, LOVE myself and be PATIENT.
With this as my new mantra, let´s see what unfolds...