Ditch those Toxic Friends!

Friendship_by_rebela_wanted

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

~ Wayne Dyer

A woman I’ve known since school rang me in tears yesterday, totally confused about who she is, and what she is capable of.  She’s depressed, lost and about to give up on a dream that once upon a time was the brightest star on her horizon. Something she’s really good at.  Something she used to be passionate about. Why the change? A ‘friend’ has been in her ear, and in the ear of others, talking this wonderful soul down, and instilling these deep doubts.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen this happen.  Other close friends have also battled with the pain they feel, and their sense of loyalty to the concept of friendship, when they’ve been in a relationship with a person who treats them badly.

One girlfriend, who helped another woman in their career, has had her ideas pinched and her relationship discarded when it no longer served the person she was ‘friends’ with. This person has become successful and precious, and the way she treats my friend is appalling.

Another had his tools trashed, and a substantive amount of money lost to a mate he’d been friends with since kindergarten.Not only that, the ‘friend’ did irreparable damage to this man’s business reputation with gossip and slander.

What kind of friend behaves like that?

A toxic friend.  And toxic friends aren’t really friends at all!

We’ve all had our share of unequal or downright damaging relationships, but I find that sensitive souls are at highest risk of exploitation in relationships. Sensitive souls are naturally trusting, they place a high value on loyalty and on the well-being of others, and they enjoy helping people. But they can be so busy being a friend, and a helpful friend at that, that they don’t take a moment to see if their friendship is truly reciprocated…

Image from www.themescompany.com

Image from www.themescompany.com

So what does a healthy friendship look like?

In a good friendship you may have shared interests or nothing in common, but you are interested in each other’s lives. There will be respect, trust, kindness, genuine enjoyment of each other’s company, a balance of giving and receiving, care and love, support, non-judgement, respected boundaries, laughter, tears and exchanges of wisdoms, worries, trivia and the deepest secrets of your heart. A friend is there for you, and when there are problems you can communicate and work them through. Friends lift each other up. Friends get us through the darkest hours.

There’s a chemistry to friendships, but then again so much of any healthy and happy relationship comes down to good manners and sound values. Treating people well, having consideration for their feelings and welfare, putting in effort to maintain and build on what you already have.

All friendships require work, and they take time and energy to maintain. A friend is someone to talk to, to share life with, and to be with without words too.

WiY4CC

Toxic relationships are not something anyone would willingly sign up for, so how do we end up in them?

  • we change and they don’t, or vice versa
  • their mask drops over time, and they reveal an aspect of themselves that wasn’t evident at the beginning
  • in a place of low self-worth we accept them in, grateful for their company and attention
  • we might have loyalty to them based on a shared time on our lives – ending up as friends due to circumstance; room mates, best friends at primary school, etc and it’s not actually enough to base a friendship on as we mature
  • in a dark or low place in our own lives, we attract people that mirror these unhealthy and unhappy aspects of ourselves
  • sometimes we feel like we don’t have a lot of choice – they are family members, or partners of friends and family
  • they can also be co-workers, where our relationship is based on daily connection and proximity

Here are some signs of a toxic friendship:

  • their needs are always more important than yours
  • they don’t respect significant people in your life such as your partner, children, family or other friendships
  • they steal your ideas, friends, time and money
  • they ingratiate themselves with friends and family and then erode your position with those people
  • you feel drained rather than supported
  • they lie to you, or play games
  • you begin to think that maybe it is you, and you spend a lot of time working on the relationship or ‘fixing’ things about yourself
  • they sabotage or derail your successes and otherwise stunt your growth
  • they manipulate and guilt-trip you
  • they are full of promises but never deliver, back out at the last minute, or change the rules without asking eg you organise a lunch together and they bring three friends you don’t know
  • oversteps boundaries and engages in inappropriate behaviour with yourself or others associated with you
  • borrow things and never return them, or treat your possessions with little respect eg car comes back dirty and empty after they use it, lose your stuff or loan it out to others without your permission
  • they are hot and cold with you and you never know where you stand
  • they can’t keep your confidences
  • they’re never there for you, but expect you to be there for them, day or night, 24/7
  • they speak badly about you to others
  • they use you to get something that they want, and when they have it they’re done with you
  • they put you down, or make compliments that actually are sweetly disguised insults, and if you call them on it somehow it’s actually your fault or your problem

Let’s face it, in a toxic relationship, it’s all about THEM!

It’s often harder for sensitive people in toxic relationships to end the friendship because they don’t have such clear-cut boundaries, and from a place of spiritual beliefs, empathy, love and compassion they’ll keep trying to help, keep trying to heal, and keep trying to make it better.

If you find yourself hurting and confused in a relationship where being with a person makes you feel worse rather than better, if the signs of a toxic friendship are there, then walk away. The energy you give to an unhealthy and unsatisfying friendship would be better spent on having a good relationship with yourself. Staying in toxic relationships does immense damage over time. Sensitive people can lose themselves entirely.

 

If the person is a family member, or other complicated relationship where it’s harder to walk away, minimise your time with them, stop sharing and do all you can to shield yourself from their energies.  Sometimes you even need to just sever the ties there too.

The world is full of wonderful people, and somewhere out there is a person who’ll be able to give back what you share with them – which is what true friendship is all about.

Above all, value yourself. We live in a reciprocal Universe, and the Universe gets its prompts from us about how we should be treated. If we let it be okay for others to treat us badly, the Universe will just keep delivering more of that energy to us.

EmbracingNewBeginnings

If it’s time to make some changes you’ll find these posts helpful:

Knowing When to Walk Away

Knowing When to Let Go

Speaking your Truth – Tips for the Throat Chakra

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Closing the Door on Abusive Relationships

The door is closing – Image courtesy of Brad Mongomery at Flickr

“You show others how to treat you.” ~ Dr Phil

This week I have seen two of the people I love most in the world finally end abusive relationships.  One walked away from a long-term love relationship.  One walked away from their ‘dream job’.

The woman who closed the door on an abusive relationship had been in that space for decades.  For many of those years she was blinded to just how abusive the relationship was.  There was never any physical abuse – it was all the sort of emotional and verbal behaviour that isolates, dis-empowers, controls and terrorises, mixed in with a few dashes of charming, and a few sincere-sounding apologies and cries for help.

Finally, with some help from good professionals, and by listening to the strong and determined voice inside her that had been pushed down for so long, she bravely ended things.

‘Joan of Arc’ by Howard David Johnson

I hope that she doesn’t spend her time grieving over what could have been.  I hope that she now grabs life with both hands and honours the beauty and vibrancy within her that was stifled by that man. There is still time to be all that she might have been.  There is still time for love and laughter and soul freedom.

My other dear friend is a man, who has suffered seven years of physical, emotional and verbal abuse as a regular part of his work day.  He was employed in his dream job, as an advisor to a woman in a powerful position.  He’d believed in her and helped grow her career. She’s a woman who is adored by many. It was strictly a work relationship.  My friend has had a few romances during this time, but life on the road with his work has usually ended them prematurely.  He’s given everything to his job.

The woman he advises and assists has ‘issues’.  But most people don’t know that, and the entourage around her work tirelessly and often thanklessly to make sure that the world doesn’t see that side of her.  In that time my friend has known bruises, cuts, scratches and broken bones.  When finally ended it was a large crystal ashtray to the mouth, which knocked out four of his front teeth. It took a doctor in an overseas ER to make my friend see that this level of abuse was unacceptable. The doctor, also a man, arranged for a police escort to go back to the hotel where the group had been staying so my friend could collect his things.

Despite the woman’s emotional pleading, apologies and offers of more money, he packed up his things, restored his dignity and closed the door on her.

2012 is really shaking relationships of all kinds up right now.  So take a moment and check in.  At home, at work, in love and friendships:

  • are you valued?
  • are you respected?
  • is there part of you that worries, modifies your behaviour, or spends time avoiding potential triggers?
  • does the relationship help you feel good about yourself?
  • do you question your worth and who you are, because of this relationship?

Life is precious.  Life is short.  You cannot be happy in an unhappy relationship.  You cannot know love when your lover gives theirs conditionally, or perhaps doesn’t even know how to love at all.

Take a moment and check in on the relationships in your life.  If they’re not what you need them to be, take action.  Happiness might be just around the next corner.

You might also find these posts helpful:

Knowing When to Let Go

What to Do When You’re Forced to Let Go

Don’t Play the Rescue Game

Oh, and my friend with the minced-up mouth?  He was offered a terrific job two days later, by someone who had admired his work for years and always wondered how long it would take before my friend left the position he’d been in. As soon as he’s had a decent holiday, my friend is stepping up into a whole new life. And I just know it’s going to work out well…

Image from www.pathtowellness.com.au

Don’t Play the Rescue Game!

Image from tamarika.typepad.com

I tried to carry you

And make you whole

But it was never enough

I must go

Lyrics from Watch Over You, Alter Bridge

Many of my friends and clients are kind-hearted and compassionate souls, who feel compelled to help people.  In fact many are healers, counsellors and lightworkers by trade. But no matter what occupation they are trained for, they have one thing in common – they care about others.

If you read my blog you’ll know I’m all for acts of compassion, kindness and humanity. We need each other in this life, and living from the heart helps us all to heal, change and grow.  Sometimes there won’t even be a thank you for an act of kindness or compassion, but that’s okay.  When we’re living life from our hearts, honouring our own values and heeding that call to help is all that matters.

Today, though, I want to talk about an insidious situation that can develop from an honest drive to help others. I like to call it ‘The Rescue Game, although it’s never a game the first time.  At least it won’t be for you…

Image from lovingyou.com

You’ll see a friend, family member or co-worker in distress.  Perhaps they will even seek you out.  You’ll notice that something is wrong, you’ll gently enquire, and then this person will pour their heart out to you.

You’re a fixer.  You’ll listen, and then you’ll try your best to help because this person has a fixable problem. You’ll offer advice.  Maybe even some assistance.  You might offer support, or hook this person up with other friends or colleagues who can provide some sort of help or guidance too.

The first time, it’s not a game.  At least to you.

The person you’re helping will appear genuine. They will tell you that things are terrible. They will tell you that they need your help to change.  And of course, because you have a kind heart, and helping is hard-wired into you, you will say ‘yes’.

So when does it turn into a game? Your gut will start to let you know. Pay attention.  You’ll get a niggling feeling of doubt, or frustration. No matter how much good guidance you’ve offered, no matter how much support you provide, there will be little evidence of any change in the situation.

Or you’ll find that the person has lurched from one disaster to another, one drama to another – and still they need your help.

They’ll be skilled at pulling on your heart-strings. They’ll cleverly call to all those hard-wired places in you that compel you to serve others, and to help where you can.

But be assured, my friend, that truly this IS a game.

You’re being played.

Perhaps this other person seeks attention, perhaps they thrive on the drama, or worse – they use this behaviour to get by in life.  For them it is a choice, or an ingrained pattern, to be an exploiter of the good nature, generosity and trusting kindness of others.

Image from suzieorman.com

They won’t respect your help, they won’t pay back loans when they say they will – and may even try to borrow more money.  They won’t look after the things you loan them, or will assume possession of them and never give them back.

They won’t be consistent with helping themselves.  In fact, they might never even take that first step.

And there will always be an excuse.  Or someone else to blame.

This is a dangerous game, this Rescue Game.  But the person in danger is you.

Don’t play the Rescue Game!  Keep your energy for the people who will genuinely benefit from your help. And don’t worry if you’ve somehow ended up as a player in this game unintentionally. You can step away at any time. The first time you help, you can never tell.  And how can you go against the hard-wiring of your soul?  But when this is a pattern, when there is no improvement despite your best efforts, when your gut is screaming that there’s something wrong, my advice to you is to disengage and walk away.

Live from love, and in that place of love, honour yourself first. Then help people who are ready and willing to help themselves. Everything else is just a massive waste of your time, energy and resources, and it may leave you so badly broken that you may no longer care to help others, even though this was your calling.

There is a freedom in disengaging from an exploitive situation. Maybe it’s time for you to rethink the help you give. Let go of the guilt, and that overblown sense of responsibility.  People who look for rescuers shall soon find another source of support.

Walking away from people who drain you gifts you back energy, positivity and hope.  And you’ll find that suddenly, you become magnetic to good relationships, new opportunities and inspiration. ♥ Bless xx

Image from tinybuddha.org

Other posts you may find helpful are:

Listen with your eyes…

How to deal with toxic people

When is it okay to break a promise?

Knowing when to walk away

How to deal with Toxic People

“Toxic relationships not only make us unhappy; they corrupt our attitudes and dispositions in ways that undermine healthier relationships and prevent us from realizing how much better things can be.” — Michael Josephson

What is a toxic relationship? It’s one that diminishes you, that erodes you, that defeats you.

We all experience conflicts, disagreements and difficulties in our interactions with others. That’s a normal part of relationships, and one of the things that helps us to grow, learn patience, acceptance and better communication skills.

Sometimes relationships cause us to feel bad because we have hurt someone, or let them down. Sometimes we just can’t see eye-to-eye on something. That’s normal too.

What’s not normal or healthy are the sort of relationships that are poisonous to you – the ones that inevitably leave you feeling upset, angry, unloved, despairing, stressed or drained. The ones that leave you doubting yourself, giving up on your dreams, feeling stupid and unworthy and changing or limiting yourself because of someone else.That’s a toxic relationship.

How do you recognise a toxic person? A good yardstick is to simply use your own feelings. But here are some personalities you may recognise:

  • Look at ME, Look at ME, Look at ME. These people are self-absorbed.  They thrive on drama and being the centre of attention. They have an ability to turn everything back to being about them. You could be telling them your husband has just been diagnosed with cancer and they’ll say, “Oh my God, how terrible. You know, I knew a woman once who was diagnosed with…” and suddenly your important sharing is lost as this person plays one-upmanship, offering no true compassion or empathy. Sometimes they suck you in with pleas of needing help, but you’ll find that they are never really interested in taking action on their problems.
  • Manipulators.  These people are usually narcissists.  They are skilled at using a combination of flattery or friendliness followed by anger, judgement and put-downs if they don’t get their own way.  They see themselves as better than/superior to you.  They are Masters of emotional blackmail. They disempower you with insidious put-downs (often in front of others), insults, belittling, shaming and embarrassing. They may threaten certain consequences or behaviours if you don’t conform to a certain way of behaving yourself. At the extreme end of the scale they may suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and you may get trapped thinking it’s your problem, and that there’s something wrong with YOU, when actually it’s them with the issues.
  • Criticisers and Comparers. These people assure you that they love you, and then they try and ‘fix’ you.  You are never good enough, and they always know how you should be doing it. They have a fixed idea of who you should be and how you should behave and it will make you feel devalued and misunderstood. No matter how you try to explain yourself they can’t accept your position or choices in life. They may be know-it-alls or bullies.
  • Perpetual Downers.  These people suck the joy out of life. They are often angry at the world and down on everything. They believe that the world is against them and they have a victim mentality.  They can’t keep their promises, and life never works for them, but it is never their fault because there is always something or someone else to blame.
  • Crazy Makers.  Crazy Makers are unstable. They may be emotionally immature,  suffer from mood swings, behavioural issues, undiagnosed or uncontrolled mental illness, or substance abuse. You can’t rely on them because from day to day you don’t know how they will react or behave.
  • If it suits me.  You’re their second best. If there’s a better option, you’re always dumped. They are in this for what you can give them. There is no respect. They are insincere. You want the relationship more than they do, and they know it, and take advantage of it.
  • Abusers.  Whether it’s physical, emotional or intellectual abuse, abuse is abuse, and no-one deserves that. Get help, or get out. Or both!

In almost every situation, the best thing to do with a toxic person is to remove them from your life, or to remove yourself from theirs. It’s not your job to save them, or fix them. And you sure can’t change them – that’s something they have to want for themselves, and do for themselves.  It’s your job to look after YOU. In the workplace, report bullying, and get support.  Here are some posts that can help you work out if moving on might be an option for you:

Using Your Internal Compass to Navigate Life

Writing Your Way Out of Stuckness

Knowing When to Walk Away

People Will Be Who They Are

Are You Too Nice?

Listen with your Eyes

But what if they are family? What if this is a situation where you can’t just unplug and walk away?

The truth is, sometimes even with family, we need to cut those ties. It might be for a short time, it might be for good. A skilled counsellor will be able to help you get clear about your options. In the end, this is YOUR life, and you deserve every chance at success and happiness.

If you need to stay, here are some strategies to help you cope better:

  1. Stop needing them to be something that they are not. One of the most important reasons that we feel unfulfilled in family relationships is because we needed the other person to be different. Accept them as they are, and come to grips with that. Grieve that loss if you need to, and then look for the guidance, love, acceptance and support you’re seeking elsewhere.  Once we let go of wanting our mother to be wise, or our father to be accepting of us, or our sister to share their emotions with us, or our brother to include us, we let go of being constantly disappointed. You can get to a place of grace with this, so that you can truly understand that this is just who they are, and sit without judgement on that. Acceptance is something we all want. You can love them without liking their behaviour.  Often by getting to this place of unconditional love, the dynamics of the relationship actually start to change.
  2. Limit your exposure.  Find reasons to stay a shorter time, to end the call sooner, to avoid one-on-one time.  Meet in public places if necessary.
  3. Put on your psychic raincoat. Visualise yourself surrounded by a shielding bubble of light before you connect with the other person.  Let it all wash over you – their words and behaviours. There’s no need to change them. There’s no need to engage. Just come from kindness and be polite. Listen a lot and talk little. Direct it all back to them so that they are the one talking. Maintain your privacy and create strong boundaries.
  4. Find a relationship counsellor.  Trained professionals can give us strategies for better handling conversations, confrontations and expectations. Instead of being ‘handled’ and manipulated by others, we can move back into a position of balance and empowerment.
  5. Bless them and release them.  This doesn’t mean walking away.  It means that mentally we bless them with love, and we let go of any and all expectations and responsibilities. They become like a stranger to us. We treat them with respect, and love, but not with intimacy and deeper connection.

Your life is YOURS to live. Life is too short to waste it being someone you’re not, doing things that don’t make you happy, and spending time with people who are posionous to your self-worth. By stepping away from unhealthy relationships we make room in our lives for new, better connections. We renew our hope, restore our freedom and open ourselves to fresh possibilities. Today I’m wishing you strength, real friendships, and true love.  Bless ♥ xx

Soul Mates – How to Recognise One

A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.
Thomas Carlyle

You might wonder what a Soul Mate relationship feels like, what it looks like, and how you’ll know…

Let’s start by looking at what a Soul Mate relationship is not.

Image from perpetualkid.com

A Soul Mate will not share every view, feel as you do about everything in the Universe, or be your clone.

A Soul Mate relationship will not be about never arguing.

It will not be about perfection.

Image from geekologie.com

A Soul Mate is not some strange sort of parasitic or unhealthy dependency where you simply can’t survive without them in your life, or where they love you all up and suck you dry, before discarding you to move onto someone fresh.

A Soul Mate relationship won’t be categorised by fear, relentless pain, uncertainty, a feeling of being trapped, or a sense of impending doom.

It won’t be an abusive relationship.

It won’t be a relationship that belittles you, puts you down, discredits or dishonours you. It won’t be a relationship that puts doubts in your head until you begin to question your own judgement, and where your confidence and esteem erode, little by little, until you are weak and frail – a shell of who you were before. You won’t need to keep earning the other person’s love, or proving yourself.

Image from contentinacottage.blogspot

So what does a Soul Mate relationship look like?

First and foremost, it is always categorised by love.  Not vain love or showy love – but the sort of enduring and deepening love that allows you to grow, together, into something stronger, better and wiser than you were before.

Soul Mate relationships endure – they allow us to suffer the pain, and find a way, together, to move forward. In the presence of love we learn forgiveness, acceptance, compassion.

They bring out the best in us.  They give us comfort, friendship, support, and (often at the most unexpected times) fireworks in our bellies. They help us know laughter, and tears, they help us find the strength in ourselves and in each other.

With a Soul Mate we feel safe, and that safety gives us courage to wander far from home, creating and exploring and enacting our dreams.

Soul Mates believe in us, they’ll fight for us, and they’ll call us on it when we’re mistaken, or heading in the wrong direction. They love us when we have done nothing to deserve it, and when we feel totally unworthy of love, and they remind us to take care of ourselves, while caring for us when we can’t.

And at times, they’ll annoy us or frustrate us so much that we’ll wonder why we didn’t choose the other person. We’ll wish they’d just take a hike and leave us well alone. But in the next breathe we’ll know how miserable we’d be without them in our lives.

The relationship, like yourself, will always be a work in progress, ever changing, ever evolving, at times difficult, sometimes even strained to the point where you momentarily  find it hard to recognise yourself or each other. But it will also have the familiarity and comfort of home. And in the arms of this relationship you’ll know two things – love and safety. More importantly, you’ll get to know your true self.

A Soul Mate will spilt your heart open and you won’t even mind the pain because of all the love and joy you find there.

Can they really be your Soul Mate if you argue?

I grew up in a house where I never heard my parents fight. Sadly, their marriage didn’t last, but it made me certain that arguing was not a part of anything to do with love.

After I had my very first major and quite vocal disagreement (yep, some people would call that a fight…) with my husband, just weeks after we’d been married, I sat on the internal staircase of our house and cried, while my husband went outside to wash the car.

My beautiful Guide, Rollo, spoke to me, and asked, ‘Do you know what a Soul Mate relationship is?’

‘Obviously not!’ I snivelled, feeling totally pathetic and like I’d just made the biggest mistake of my life in getting married. I was sure Rollo was going to confirm that for me too.

Instead he showed me a picture of an oyster. ‘Do you know what happens when a tiny grain of sand gets into that oyster?’ he asked.

‘No,’ I sniffed.

‘It irritates the hell out of the oyster’ my Guide boomed, laughter in his voice.

Exactly, I thought. Irritates the hell out of it.

‘And in the presence of love, the oyster wraps that irritation in a special substance and after a while the pain goes away.’

I felt my Guide smiling at me. ‘Then the tide turns, and that annoying grain of sand moves somewhere else in the oyster, and do you know what happens?’

‘No,’ I replied, slow on the uptake.

‘That grain of sand causes more irritation in a different spot. But if love is present, love keeps wrapping itself around the irritation. The oyster grows, and over time the oyster transforms that grain of sand, in the presence of love, into something of great value and lasting beauty.  That oyster grows a pearl.  Without the irritation and the need to grow, nothing extraordinary would have ever happened.  But when love is present, magical transformation is possible.’

Image from freewallpaper4me.com

I could have hugged Rollo. My wise Guide was absolutely right.  I stopped crying and went into the kitchen to make my husband a cup of tea.

It’s true.  Love transforms.  It helps us weather many storms.  It grows us.  It improves us. It comforts us and delights us. And at some stage it causes us pain (usually BECAUSE we love), and love helps us bear that pain. The pain doesn’t weaken us – it strengthens us.  And from that pain we grow into something beautiful.

Rumi, the great poet says it best:

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” 

Double love hearts at sunset by Pink Sherbet Photography

People will be who they are…

People will be who they are.

Sounds like a bit of a crazy statement doesn’t it, but if you ignore this truth it is often you who becomes crazy…

I have a friend who was in great emotional pain over her relationship with her mother. Each time they meet she came away upset, or disappointed. Her mother was always so critical. This had been going on for over fifty years. My friend kept hoping that just once her mother would be supportive, or approving.

Image from chocolate-fish.net

I have a friend who was in great emotional pain over their relationship with their partner. They went through a pattern of honeymoon and then abuse, honeymoon and then abuse, honeymoon and then abuse. My friend kept hoping their partner would change.

image from dhcs.act.gov.au

People can change.  And they can also, at times, act out of character, but…  mostly people will be who they are.

Each person is driven by their own beliefs, values, education, experiences. They will have their own pattern of behaviours and responses. Once you begin to understand this, life becomes easier. Relationships become easier. Why? Because when you accept what is, you can make choices based around truth rather than desire.

People will be who they are.  They will not be the way we hope they will be. They will not be the way we fear they will be. They will not be the way we want them to be, or expect them to be, or need them to be.

People will be who they are. This, of course, goes for us too, and this is the important bit.  We cannot change others but we can change ourselves.  We can change our responses, our expectations, our level of tolerance. We can also choose to walk away.

Knowing that someone behaves or thinks in a certain way, but wanting that to be different, sets us up for disappointment every time. Or perhaps worse.

If you are honest with yourself about the true nature of your relationship with another, you begin to create new freedoms around those old expectations.

My friend with the critical mother? She has accepted that her mother will never change.  She still spends time with her, and since she no longer waits for the approval or support, her relationship with her mother has actually improved.

My friend in the abusive relationship? Had some counselling, ended the relationship, and is now with a loving partner who treats them with kindness and respect.

image from phil-islands.com

Needing someone to be different, expecting them to change, also prevents us from loving and accepting the other person as they are, which is all anyone ever wants.

(How many times have you wished someone would love and accept you as you are?)

People will be who they are.  If this works for you, embrace it.  If it doesn’t change your expectations, or move on.

 

♥ Life is too short, and too precious, not to give yourself every chance at happiness. ♥

image from shutterstock.com

Attracting Love – Part 1

There is only one happiness in life—to love and be loved. ~ George Sands

(Image by Idea Go)

Love is one of the essential things that all humans need to sustain us, and to make life worthwhile. What is the heart chakra for, if not to give and receive love? We need to make ourselves magnetic to love.

Did you know that we attract what we energetically put out to the Universe, and we also receive love in direct correlation to the amount we feel that we deserve?

Today’s blog post is about getting ready to love – outlining the practical steps that you can take to attract or improve and keep real love within your life. Love for yourself, love for and from others.  Tomorrow we will look at how to attract new love relationships, soul mates and life partners.

Start with yourself

The World mirrors back to us what we energetically put out.  It is impossible for people to love you, help you or nurture you more than you will allow them to.  As you treat yourself, so will others treat you.  The most fundamental action that you can take to improve your love life is to love yourself first.

 (Image by Stuart Miles)

Self care.

Take time to really take care of yourself.  Look after your health, your fitness and your appearance.   This sends a message to the Universe, and all those within it, that you value yourself, and that you are worth taking care of, and pride in.  Self care also sends a strong message to others about how to treat you.  Self care is not about the ‘Cult of Youth’ portrayed by the media – all artificial appearances, cosmetic surgery and being something or someone you are not.  Self care is all about maintaining and caretaking your physical and emotional body, in the way that a good tenant takes care of their home and land.

Self nurture.

To nurture something is to shower it with love and care, to protect it from negative influences, and to give it the things that will help it to grow strong and healthy.  In some cases, self nurture is also about allowing yourself the time, space and resources to heal.  Self nurture keeps us interesting to ourselves and others, and is what makes our lives rich and fulfilled.  Following and developing our interests forges a strong sense of self, and that then acts like an internal compass which guides our direction and decisions.  Some tips on self nurture here.

(image by graur razvan ionut)

Self worth.

What you believe you are worth is what you will attract into your life.  If you constantly attract relationships that are not fulfilling, you need to go further in examining your own beliefs and motivations.  If you are in a relationship that started off well, but has since deteriorated in the quality of loving, look to how you behave – your input into the relationship, your level of self nurture and care, and your beliefs and actions.  Have you ended up putting yourself last, or settling for second best?  To improve your sense of self worth, practice self care and self nurture!

Sometimes when we move into a new relationship we move our own needs aside to focus our attention on the other person.  This sets a dangerous precedent for future action, where you are in a trap of constantly putting yourself last.  Even when you’re in a great relationship, maintaining self care and self nurture are what will help the great relationship remain great, without paying the ultimate price of sacrificing yourself and your identity in the process.

By practicing a higher level of self care and self nurture you can often rejuvenate an existing relationship and put it back on track.  As you change and raise your own vibration, you will also raise the vibrational level of those around you.

Remember that you cannot look to one relationship to satisfy every need in your life.  You need to take responsibility for choosing work, interests and friends that fulfill you too.  As your life broadens and you become more actively involved in pursuing joy, you may find that your relationship is the one you wanted all along!

Meditation:

Journalling:

Today, create a list of positive words and phrases that describe you.  Start with the words “I am”  and finish with the words “I am love, loving, and lovable.  All is well.” 

When things are going wrong….

When you’re at the bottom of the relationship barrel of life, the only way is up!

Remove yourself from harm:  If you’re in a dangerous or damaging relationship emotionally or physically, then find a safe space where you can regroup.  This does not mean having to leave the relationship, (although it ultimately may), but it does mean being adult in your thinking, and honestly examining where you are at.  If this is too hard to do at home, then take yourself off on your own for a walk or a coffee, or go away a few days.  You need to be truthful with yourself.  Parent yourself and ask, “If I were my child, would I be satisfied with this relationship for them?”  If not, think carefully about what to do next.  Perhaps it is something that is broken beyond repair, or that you have outgrown, but quite possibly it may be something you can work at.  Seek help if you find you cannot cope, don’t have the tools to fix the problems yourself, or are not in a space for making sound and safe decisions for yourself.  If the person you are with is involved in activities such as drug and alcohol abuse, or is violent, you must look realistically at the fact that no matter how much you try or how much you love that person, only THEY can change, and only if they want to.  Always put your personal safety and the safety of any children first.

Limit exposure to negative influences:  Clean up your act.  Let go of damaging friendships and demanding situations for which there is no positive trade-off.  Feel your pain rather than numbing it with food, sex, alcohol, drugs or negative company.  It is better to be lonely and with a loving attitude to yourself, than with people who say or do things that have a negative impact upon you and those around you.  Look at your past relationship patterns – do you use language such as “I always choose x,y,z” or “I’m just like my (mother, father, etc) I can never (keep a relationship, pick a good one etc).”  Do you subconsciously choose people who will fail to love or respect you in the way that you deserve, or that mirror damaging relationships from your past, such as other family, friends or parents?

Find positive support:  Seek out the company of positive and supportive relatives or friends.  Try new social circles and activities.  Use tools that uplift you, such as reading positive magazines and books, meditating, working with your Guides, and communicating often with Spirit, Angels and your Guides.  Find or make a spiritual space that is a refuge for you, even if it is a corner of a room or garden.  Bring beauty into your life so that the space around you reflects the changes you want to make within you.

Practice extreme self care:  You know what to do.  Look after yourself and treat yourself kindly and with patience.

♥  Sending YOU Love and Light, from my heart to yours, Nicole xx

PS – Remember to leave a comment, so you can be in the running to win my beautiful Heart Chakra healing necklace.  Details and picture here