Let’s be clear love is a wonderful thing. I enjoy being in love and the state of euphoria that it brings. A strong relationship can enhance the quality of life in so many ways. Imagine having a partner to vent to when your boss is being a jackass. Or having a permanent travel partner who will never cancel plans on you at the last minute. A healthy love inspires you to be the best you.
On the flipside, ego driven relationships bring about insecurity, jealousy, hatred and other disgruntlement. Staying in toxic relationships is NOT an indication of a “ride or die” loyalty. In fact, staying in an unhealthy relationship may be a sign of low self-esteem.
Now I’m not certified in anything but life experience — the best teacher in my opinion. The unfortunate occurrence of habitually attracting unhealthy relationships and being sick and tired of being sick and tired is what brought me here today. In order to attract genuine, unconditional love, I would have to fall out of love with being in love.
Yep, I was once in love with being in love. I didn’t care if the guy I was in love with treated me like shit. I allowed my ego to make me think that a relationship would somehow heal all the pain. When, in fact, the very thing that would heal the pain was changing the behaviors that caused the pain. Genuine love for myself would help heal the pain. So I set a goal to heal from toxic relationships and behaviors. And I’m still healing, one day at a time. Here’s a list of ways that I am doing it, they may be helpful to you as well:
Change of wallpaper
A therapist once told me that I needed “a change of wallpaper”. I was confused for a moment because I honestly thought she was giving me home decor advice. Then I realized that she was saying that I am a Fixer Upper. I still have good bones, I just need to spruce up a few things. Watch out Chip and Joanna Gaines, you ain’t got nothing on my therapist though!
Imagine all of the layers of pain that have built up out of what we believed to be love. So for example, an absentee parent, shady friends and most definitely toxic intimate relationships all define how we have viewed love. We can liken those layers to strips of wallpaper. Sometimes we need to change our environments (wallpaper) in an effort to inspire a change in how we view things — especially love. After living in the same place for 35 years, I decided it was time to go. I packed up all of my shit and headed two and half hours north. It’ll do for now. I am able to see life differently than before so it’s been cathartic.
I’m steadily stripping away all of those layers of wallpaper and it feels good.
Delete, Delete, Delete
This one is simple and really self-explanatory. I started deleting and blocking the phone numbers and social media accounts of people who I previously allowed to hurt me in some way. I didn’t want any reminders of the pain I once accepted in my life. I wasn’t angry with them, I was angry with myself for accepting the behavior.
I keep myself busy by doing all kinds of shit. Traveling, crafting, blogging, reading, hiking, vinyl record hunting and the list goes on. I have to keep myself busy or else I will go into a dark place. My personality type can be a bit obsessive with certain things. Worrying is one of those things. I worried myself sick about why relationships ended. Some things I cannot control. Alas, I’m human and I quickly bring myself back by getting busy with my life.
Which brings me to meditation. I haven’t done this lately; but, writing this has inspired me to pick it back up again. When I was really deep into the healing process I got into meditation. I downloaded the app Headspace on my phone and used it incessantly for the first few months. It was super helpful. Realizing how much control my thoughts had over me was life changing. Now if only I could be consistent enough to be a spiritually, centered goddess. I’m confident that I’m on the cusp of that breakthrough!
Go See a Psych
This one is pretty simple and self-explanatory as well. Sometimes we just need help figuring out the healing process. In my opinion, seeing a mental health provider is just as important as seeing a family physician for routine check-ups. People who still stigmatize the need to see a mental health professional are, in fact, the actual disgrace. There’s no shame in needing help and it’s easy. Plus if you have insurance through your job you probably have access to EAP services for free and there are also tons of other free resources out there. You just have to do a little research to find them.
I recommend trying out multiple mental health providers until you find one that you feel comfortable with.
Work it Out
Exercise produces those “feel good” endorphins that help us get on with life. It’s as easy as taking a walk, joining an exercise class or buying a gym membership. Professionals recommend 30 minutes of exercise per day. This one is always a struggle for me. Success always comes when I find a dedicated workout partner. Accountability and consistency is key; but, I will not give up!
Don’t Spend the Night: Refrain from Sex
For me, having sex with people who don’t respect and cherish me is an invitation for hurt. I don’t want that type of energy in my space.
Too many times I have confused sex and love. That’s when things got crazy. Pay close attention to how someone treats you. Actions speak louder than words is no cliché. Understand that it’s a big, flashing, red alarm if your interactions with a lover leaves you feeling insecure. Letting them spend the night or you spending the night with them will most likely lead to sex. Stay away from the self-destructive behavior of inviting unscrupulous energies into your life.
Abstaining from sex while I heal was key in understanding myself more. Plus, the self-control abstinence requires was surprisingly fulfilling.
Every morning while getting ready for work or preparing breakfast, I listen to affirmations on YouTube. For example, repeat the following phrase ten times, slowly and I promise you that if you’re feeling down you’ll feel a little or a lot better:
“Today I will align myself with pure, fun and positive energy.”
Did you repeat it? If it doesn’t make you a little feel better then you might need to skip back to bullet #5 above. Affirmations literally change my whole day, I am able to manage stress more easily. Through affirmations I am reminded that I am the shiznit!
Forever a Work in Progress
Finally, I constantly remind myself that I will forever be a work in progress. If I ever stop and say I don’t need help anymore it’s probably because I’ve died and gone to heaven. I am vulnerable and I am ready to fully heal from past pain in an effort to live a loving, fearless life. No one is perfect and no matter the amount of preaching, clout chasing, Facebook inspirational self quotes posted and perceived perfectionism someone portrays, they are still human. Which means that whether they embrace their vulnerabilities or not, they are still there. It is when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable that we begin to find our true strength.
I call this time in my life a renewal. I’m healing from traumatic experiences and it takes time. Allowing myself that time with no rush has been the key to my success. And that, ladies and gentleman, is how not to fall in love!
Does this post relate to you or do you have advice for me as I continue to heal? Let me know by commenting below.
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