If you have tried to bring about change and it hasn’t worked, it’s time to take on a more thorough approach. To get out of the pain cycle once and for all, it's important to get to the core of the problem.
Be Ready to Receive:
No matter how great the advice is or how effective the method is, unless you are truly sick of a situation, you are not going to do the hard work needed to change it. How do you know you are not ready? You’ll make excuses as to why you can’t do this (it’s not a good time, etc.), or find holes in a definite path to freedom being offered. If that’s the case, then the first thing to do is to address your motivation to change.
In your quest to eradicate this enemy, look for the resistance (excuses, skepticism, denial) that is definitely going to show up. Take a moment to understand what benefit you are getting out of keeping something that is hurting you. What is it allowing you to avoid, deny, or take comfort in? I know that this is a cruel question to ask someone who is suffering, but it is a very important one as it provides game-changing insight.
Your first answer will probably be a denial, “Of course I’m getting nothing out of it, I hate being in this situation.” Keep digging, because that’s not possible. There is always something we get out of a theme that keeps coming up in our lives. We may not have chosen the situation itself, but we did choose to stay in it. The question is "why?" We don’t have control over the cards we are dealt. Even though it’s hard to admit, we do have control over when we want to stop playing the game.
Resisting the Resistance:
If you are sick of being oppressed by these behaviors and are motivated to change, there is absolutely no reason you can’t. I see people changing their lives on a daily basis. It just can’t be a half-assed project. It needs motivation and commitment.
The biggest piece is to decide you don’t want it anymore. Everything else slowly starts falling into place.
Louise Hay gives a very important reminder as we let go of what’s harming us. The reason we bring about change is not because we are bad, but because the old situation is just not working for us anymore. What we are trying to get rid of gave us security and protection when we really needed it. It probably helped us survive. So as we move on, don’t be critical. Instead, respectfully say "thank you" and "goodbye" to it. No need to be cruel and harsh with yourself. It would encourage self-hate and take us farther away from our goal of feeling calm, satisfied and fulfilled.
Self-Love Is the Answer:
Self-love will make change possible for us by providing the security blanket and the defense system we'll need to drop the negative behaviors we've been trying to get rid of.
Developing self-love is like installing a secret GPS microchip; it will guide you to where you want to go. Once love starts to develop for our ‘self’, it will be the best guide because it will help us make decisions that are customized to who we are and what we want from our self. We are not going to need our team of girl or guy friends to vote on what to say or do next.
Self-love is Not Narcissism:
The most popular and disturbing myth about self-love is that it is like narcissism. Many believe you will become a mean, selfish, self-absorbed person if you start to love yourself. After all, we have been taught that it’s not humble to be loving yourself. That we should be loving others instead. We think if we are good enough, then others would love us and we won’t need to love ourselves. This popular concept makes us feel that the quest for developing self-love is for losers, that it is pathetic or desperate.
Self-love VS Narcissism:
Think of everything you know about narcissism and then reverse it to understand what self-love really is. Unlike narcissism, self-love comes from a content and secure place, not from insecurity and dissatisfaction.
They don’t get intimidated by other people’s success, they get inspired. It doesn’t bring them down, it motivates them to do better. Because of this non-competitive calm, self-loving people are able to do great even in competitive sports. This is because the competitive anxiety is not clouding their focus.
The best part is that they are able to enjoy the process as much as the result, which means they are happier people overall. They are more creative because they are not putting blocks by comparing themselves to anyone, they are finding their own path to success.
The fact is that when we get into a relationship before we have developed compassion and love for ourselves, we get into toxic relationships. When people are not okay with themselves, they get into relationships thinking they could change their partners, that their partners will complete them, and any other number of dependent misconceptions. With this mindset, they will be controlling, clingy, nagging, jealous, manipulative, critical, and demanding partners.
Developing self-love allows us to feel secure enough that we don’t need other people’s love to feel valid. We already feel valid and loved, our partners just add to that great situation and make it even better. These people don’t try to control others, as they realize the only control they have is over themselves. They choose their partners accordingly, not with the premise that they will change them later.
A person who has developed self-love does not overextend him/herself and get upset when they don’t get the same response back. They don’t do things for others to get love and acceptance because they are emotionally independent. They do for other because it makes them happy to serve the people they love. If the favor is sometimes not returned, they don’t feel as let down because they already got most of the satisfaction out of the act as they were doing it. They have learned how to make themselves happy and don’t give their partners the unrealistic responsibility of making them happy.
The Beauty of Self-Love:
The biggest benefit of loving yourself is how it simplifies your life. If you like who you are, you are not going to care too much about what others think of you. This frees you up for making all your daily life choices according to your authentic self. When a person operates like that, they don’t have to lie, be pretentious, or be who they are not. This gives you a really cool, calm and content existence. It lets you be real.
Self-Love Creates More Love:
On the other hand, when we experience the safety of self-love, we are able to put our guard down. We can trust that we'll be able to take care of ourselves if something goes wrong. This lets us be bold enough to make stronger bonds, take greater chances, and love more deeply.
When we take this secure, not needy and authentic persona into the relationship world, we end up happier and more fulfilled with the people we select. We are able to enjoy our partner for who they are rather than who we need them to be to make us happy. We are already able to take care our own happiness.
The person adds to who we are, instead of being someone who completes us. We are already complete before we start dating. It simplifies our lives by weeding out negativity and shows us how to lead a more happy, genuine, and peaceful life.
Like all great loves, developing self-love is a lifelong journey. However, once we get on it, it’s an organic process that naturally feeds itself. We are able to feel and enjoy its positive effects very quickly. There are many ways to get there, but I find using Louise Hay’s ‘Mirror Work’ to be the quickest and most effective one. If you have decided you want to change, then no matter how skeptical you are about "Mirror Work" and "Personal Compass", give them a real chance.
Look at my blog on “Mirror Work: Freedom from Pain.” Along with working on self-love, “DIRECTIONS FOR A PERSONAL REVAMP” will give you more clarity and direction.