By Mary Kate O Flanagan
A new approach to looking for love, based on the philosophy of Louise L Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life.
Q: I am trying to recover from a broken relationship. When I was younger I was always looking for a boyfriend but I usually ended up alone after having drunken one-night stands. This year, I was (finally) with someone I really loved and at first it was great. We had a wonderful time for months and I couldn’t believe that he really wanted me – but he did. Then I started to act awkward and clingy and even though I knew it was off-putting, I couldn’t stop. This man I loved more than anyone I ever met gradually became critical and cold and eventually broke up with me. I cannot believe that I finally found love and lost it. Although the relationship didn’t last that long (just under a year) I don’t see how I could ever love anyone more. Even though he hurt me, I would take him back now if he would have me.
A: Firstly, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for having lost this apparently ideal relationship and for looking for love at almost any price. In fact, forgive yourself completely and unconditionally for the past. You can’t create a happy present out of guilt. Forgive yourself for settling for less (like one-night stands) when you really wanted something more (like lasting love and affection). We all want love and we do all sorts of undignified things while we are seeking it outside of ourselves. That’s part of the human experience and the divine comedy.
When we lack love within, we long for someone to come along and love us and “complete” us. And when we don’t really love ourselves but we meet someone and fall in love, the intensity of that experience is more about our feeling of relief from loneliness than about having created love in our lives.
But the reality is, until we are healed, we attract people and experiences that ultimately mirror our negative beliefs. Relationships start like a fairytale and yet, as you experienced, criticism and conditional love creep in and we end up in an unfulfilling relationship, or experiencing abandonment and rejection. This will keep happening until you learn that you are lovable – that’s the lesson that has come up for you and it will keep coming up until it is learned. Here’s the most important bit: it isn’t anyone else’s job to change how you feel. You have to do that yourself.
To attract a truly loving relationship, you need to replace your thoughts of unworthiness with the truth of who you really are, a work in progress, sure, flawed, sure – and a wonderful human being who is completely lovable.
When you love yourself so much that another person’s opinion of you is almost irrelevant, when you take responsibility for your own happiness and well being, you make yourself safe because you can never abandon you. You leave your prospective lovers free to delight in you, enjoy you, share pleasure and sorrows and work with you, without giving them the burden of your pain and asking them to fix it.
Stranger things have happened than you two meeting again and him seeing you in a new light when you have done this work. Another possibility is that you will meet someone else and your feelings for this man will fade as you create a more fulfilling love. And another possibility is that you will have an absolutely marvellous time with yourself and the longing for a partner will not be so urgent and painful.
For now, your only job is to think good thoughts about yourself and thereby attract people who reflect that thinking. I invite you to make it a habit to write 5 Things I Like About Me every day in your notebook. You can repeat things if you like, e.g. “I have a lovely smile” can be on the list every day. You can choose things that are as trivial and fleeting as you like, e.g. “I look damn good in these jeans” or you can remind yourself of big truths that are at the foundation of your being, e.g. “I am a good friend; I have good friends”
It will all change so fast your head will spin. I don’t mean perfection, but proof that it is working will come. Soon.
For more info, visit www.healyourlifeworkshops.com