We all want love, and many of us will do whatever it takes to get it. We over deliver with the expectation others will reciprocate. When they don’t (over a long enough period of time), all hell has a tendency to break loose. We feel that we give and give and we don’t get the same in return.
Is this something you can relate to? This situation could be happening in any area of your life. You may be trying to make a boss, spouse, parent, child, or friend happy with your actions, but it will never be enough. We can’t make anyone do, be, or feel anything.
As an empath, I know of what I speak. Empaths can feel the energy of others. I can walk in to a room and if there has been an argument in that room, I feel the residual energy. This trait has served me well as an employment counsellor and Change facilitator. My bull crap meter at work is pretty keen. Where I used to get bowled over was in my personal life. I can feel the energies of those I love. I used to go about trying to make everything love and light…so I could stop feeling their icky energies, and begin to feel good energies.
I spent 20 years in a marriage with a man who had many good qualities. Unfortunately, our personalities were like oil and water trying to mix. He was a chemical engineer and a Colonel in the Army, and I am about as far away from that as you can get. (We were great teachers for one another though). We both tried to make the other happy and that just can’t be done. You end up giving all you’ve got, and you wake up one day and realize there’s nothing left to give. This is especially taxing for an empath. I got to feel both our feelings. It was time to take responsibility and learn another way to be and live.
Happiness is a personal responsibility and an inside job. When we expect others to make us happy, we are destined for heart ache. Leaving an unhappy relationship to find someone else who will make you happy is like running on a hamster wheel with the expectation you will get to your destination. If you want to get to your destination….which I assume is a happier life, then here’s the roadmap.
Understand this one truth. It will take you far Grasshoppa’.
There are NO VICTIMS!
You are not a victim. No one has done you wrong. We all have a sad story, but living in that story means living in your past and you can’t change your past. (Well, you can actually, but you might have to go down the rabbit hole first….check out this link for the directions, but I digress).
Begin to see those who you feel have harmed you, as precious teachers in your life. They are helping you learn a tough lesson. (Remember those teachers in school you really thought were mean. In retrospect, we usually come to realize they were the ones who taught us the most).
When you realize you are not a victim, you gift yourself with the ability to change your circumstances. You don’t have to wait for someone else to change your circumstances for you, or to make you happy….that can’t be done anyway!
These lyrics from an old country song written by Johnny Lee are worth contemplating:
“Looking for love in all the wrong places,
Looking for love in too many faces
Searchin’ their eyes, lookin’ for traces
Of what I’m dreamin’ of”
Real and lasting love and happiness begins with you. You are what you have been looking for. Start cultivating self love. Get to know the heart that beats inside your chest. Look in the bathroom mirror in the morning and search your eyes for what lives in your soul. Begin a wildly romantic relationship with you. It’s what you have been looking for anyway.
You cannot love another until you possess love for yourself. I couldn’t give you $10 if I didn’t have it….impossible. The same is true with love and happiness and compassion. If we don’t have these for ourselves, we sure don’t have it to give to anyone else.
In case you’re pondering….hmmmm…do I love myself enough? Could I love me more? Here’s an exercise to help you answer those questions.
1. Think about the people in your life. Are you expecting something from them? Are you expecting them to act a certain way, respond to you in a certain way or provide something for you? Once you’ve filled up a few journal pages with that one…
Answer this question:
2. Do you numb any aspect of your life? Do you use food, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, gambling, over-busyness or any other activity to feel better about your life? None of these things, in and of themselves, are necessarily negative activities. The alarm bells only go off when they become more than an enjoyable activity and become a way to numb or avoid sitting with yourself and really feeling.
(As an aside…this is a great TED talk by Brene Brown. She talk’s about the power in owning our vulnerabilities so we can stop numbing to life. It is one of the most influential talks I have heard and is worth a listen.)
If you answered yes to one or both of those questions, chances are you could use a little more self love.
You wouldn’t put an infant in a situation which was not healthy for them. If you are in a job or relationship that is taking more than it gives, and causing you grief, please take the time and energy to go within. Care for yourself as you would that infant. Take responsibility for the way you are feeling and find the ability to respond to what is happening in your life.
Sometimes we will come to the realization change is needed. We may be called to find the courage to leave jobs, relationships, life baggage which weighs us down, unhealthy choices and limiting mind-sets. Major life choices, such as these, should only be undertaken when you have done the inner work. If not, life has a way of gifting you with the exact same situation….again and again.
It took a lot of soul searching to own and accept my share of responsibility for the ending of my marriage. I realized that if I didn’t take ownership of my contribution for its demise and change who I was on the inner, I would be destined to have another relationship with the same dynamic. Remember…‘no matter where you go, there you are!’
You can only change you…so do the work and emerge from the cocoon a butterfly.
You will happily spend your days flitting about spreading awe, and doing your own heart connected love thing. Then, when someone asks, ‘who’s life are YOU living’, you can answer with a resounding…I’m living my life!
Bliss You All!
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