I was talking to a friend of mine recently and she revealed how unhappy she felt in her current relationship. While confiding in me some of the things she has endured during the span of the relationship I asked ”What happened to you in your life that made you believe you deserve this?”
That line has stayed with me for the past week and I think it is a line every individual should use to examine an unhealthy relationship. Ultimately, it gets us to delve into our past and to examine the behaviours that we learned to be acceptable. I say this from experience as I have had to examine the root of my own behaviour in order to change and grow.
I grew up in an abusive and what many would consider a toxic environment but I knew I wanted to break the cycle. The only way I could do that was to examine what those experiences taught me and how I had internalized it. Thankfully, I have a great circle of friends and we had a book club at the time that proved to be quite therapeutic. The book club helped because it was a safe space, where we talked about our childhood and many other topics. It was book club that helped me see how much anger I was holding on to and it was talking about those experiences that helped me let it go.
If you want to break a negative cycle in your life, you need to examine what it is in your past that has led you to believe that the current behaviour is normal or acceptable. It is like a light bulb moment once you can identify the root of the behaviour. Changing for the better takes time, focus and dedication.
‘To Love yourself is a never ending journey.” – Oprah Winfrey.
Here are some resources that can help you to love yourself and move past negative patterns.
The Four Agreements: A practical guide to personal freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
Living Beautifully with uncertainty and change Pema Chodron