While in the shower I was thinking about a couple of clients I had this week. They are smart and beautiful young women in the dating world but suffer from low self-esteem. They reminded me of dating in my 20's realizing how I seemed to be repeating a pattern of dating emotionally unavailable guys with closed down hearts and one foot outside the door.
I thought about what my client's angels said with such stern seriousness, "you don't owe someone who doesn't want to commit to you anything," and it sunk in deep. I thought about how I had been so foolish with my kindness and loyalty to people who didn't earn it. I gave my trust freely because I was honest and genuine, so everyone else is, right? No. Predators see that naivety as vulnerability and an easy target to take advantage of.
So how do we protect ourselves from being taken advantage of? How do we heal from being involved with a f*ck boy, narcissist, or psychopath?
#1: Build up your self-worth.
Have strong standards! Focus on learning how to observe your thoughts because they will tell you how you really feel. After a relationship with someone who is narcissist- who is so focused on them self only- that over time you forget whom you are. Or if growing up one of your parents was a narcissist then you may have never known whom you are. Having a strong sense of self- knowing your intentions, motivations, needs, desires, boundaries, and strong core values will strengthen your ability to deter negative or toxic people. They will see you as not easily malleable and want to move onto someone who that can easily mold and manipulate to feed their blackhole heart.
#2: Recalibrate Your Picker- how you interpret attraction and love.
Our Picker has been calibrated throughout our lifetime beginning from our relationships with our parents and siblings; outward to extended family, friends, school, workplace, dating etc. But it all begins with our relationship with our parents as those relationships become the model for which we interpret how to give and receive love. This extends to the dynamics of your relationships- how you feel, how you act (what autopilot archetype you fall into), if your standards fluctuate, if your boundaries fluctuate, how they treat you and what you are willing to tolerate. Sometimes we don't know any better because this has always been the dynamic but learning to recognize when our or another person's behavior is not healthy and wanting something better for yourself is the first step.
#3: Strengthen Your Bullsh*t Detector- stay grounded in your reality (perception and feelings) to avoid being gaslit and manipulated. If you find that you may view your partner as an authority figure to be trusted and catered to 24/7, take a step back and assess if your relationship is a true equal partnership. You may find yourself trying to justify, excuse, and reason negative behaviors.. That may mean that you're too deep in co-dependency, or worse - Stockholm Syndrome. Detecting when they are lying, cheating, and stealing will help you to pull away from the manipulation and gaslighting (getting you to question your perception of events). Staying grounded in your intentions, feelings, and motivations will protect you from these attempts.
The wisest words from your angels, "How they treat you matters more than how much you like them." You must except this truth. A truth so intensely painful to accept as we love the potential the honeymoon or drunken weekends show us. Acknowledging the red flags in the beginning will save you from more intense drama later. Breaking up over socks now may be what saves you from unnecessary heartache in the future.
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