Saying No To Mr. Wrong Lead To Saying YES To Mr. Rightadmin
Ways unworthiness has shown up in my life are numerous: jobs, wonderful opportunities and the most painful of all: relationships!
Over a period of about four years, I struggled with romantic partnerships. So much so, that I had stopped dating for two years so I could unravel the knot I felt I had gotten myself into. After many failed partnerships, I felt I was to blame.
Somehow I was attracting partners that perpetuated feelings of unworthiness and that I wasn’t loveable. After all, I was the only variable in the equation that kept showing up in failed relationship after failed relationship. The emotional beliefs I had were part of the reason why I kept attracting partners whose actions (and sometimes words) validated a core belief that I wasn’t enough.
How did I believe I wasn’t enough and how did that show up in my relationships? I believed that it was my job to make my partner happy, feel good about themselves and serve them. What do they need? How can I do better? Maybe I am the one to blame. Maybe I am asking too much. I was so disconnected with my own needs and desires and overly focused on their needs and desires. In addition to being disconnected to myself I also had a core fear that my needs and inner knowing doesn’t have a place in a relationship. When you grow up with emotional neglect it’s easy to perpetuate patterns of relating that are unbalanced and don’t really leave a lot of room for you. And by you, I mean, the real you. All of you. Flaws, imperfections, needs, desires, history, intuition, life purpose…
I was settling for less than I deserved in a committed partnership. I was enabling dysfunction and I had resigned to the fact that emotional abuse and abandonment were the norm. This was just how love was supposed to be because it was what kept showing up in my life. I thought I was being too idealistic and that maybe I needed to be more flexible. I felt lonely, isolated and confused. Love hurt. I hurt. And people I loved had hurt me.
I blamed myself for choosing partners that hurt me. I believed there was something fundamentally flawed and wrong with me. I just didn’t understand why I was so strongly attracted to people who were not compatible over and over again. In hindsight there were always red flags.
I was eternally optimistic that they could grow, come to model love in a healthy way and would in fact see their beauty the way I saw their beauty. Why didn’t I take heed and pay attention to those red flags until after I had gotten myself in too deep?
Then, I did something radical. I decided, no more relationships for me until I could figure out why I was attracting red flag partners.
As I took a step back and began to reflect on what had compelled me to choose those partners from the past a few themes began to emerge.
There was nothing wrong with me. I was not asking for too much in a partnership. I needed to make room for all of me to come home to myself, to love myself and honor myself. From that place I realized there was nothing wrong with the partners I had chosen. They were not the ones to blame. This was a huge revelation. In discovering my own hidden pain, I could see that their actions stemmed from the same place. And, I felt compassion though I wasn’t willing to continue relating in that way because I was hurting myself, this time knowingly.
My focus shifted from blaming them and becoming a victim to their poor treatment. Yes, their behavior was not in alignment with healthy fulfilling and sustainable love. And yes, I chose them as partners. I had to look at why I was attracted to them in the first place.
This is where the unraveling of deep-seated childhood trauma illuminated the inner core beliefs that perpetuated the patterns of partnership that I learned at an early age were acceptable. Essentially, I was attracted to the same dysfunction that I learned was love in childhood from my early caregivers. And, they were clueless about unconditional love. How could I be expected to know that if it hadn’t been modeled or I hadn’t received that kind of love from the get-go.
You see, the people I was choosing reflected my idea of “love”, (what was familiar to me) was them acting out their own core beliefs and wounding around love. We were two people reenacting what needed to be healed by reliving it and re-playing it. Because it was all we knew. From that perspective, I can now have compassion for the hurt that was caused.
Finally, it made sense that my unprocessed pain was a perfect match for another’s unprocessed pain. Neither of us could see our own pain until we had a partner on the outside evoke and trigger that which wasn’t healed on the inside. Once I began to heal from the inside, I no longer needed to play out those dysfunctional partnerships in my life.
It took time to self reflect, learn and heal. It took tremendous persistence, self-compassion and radical self-honesty (sometimes painfully honest). It took me discovering my true self and leading towards love from a genuine place of desire and yearning not from a needing or desire to fulfill a void or to somehow feel worthy and loveable.
I came to know I was worthy and loveable unto myself. So much so that the need to have it reflected from the outside would be a bonus but not a need. Because I found I could generate that love from the inside and I no longer needed to find it on the outside.
After roughly 2 years of celibacy, something in me grew, my inner knowing. A trust in myself and a love so deep that no amount of “maybe” or “almost a good fit” could penetrate the healthy boundaries of my heart. I was so full of my true self that I became unwilling to allow anything less than healthy, whole and unconditional love into my life. Even my friendships shifted as I began to know and love myself more deeply.
Now, I didn’t find Mr. Right right away. In fact, I had two very short dating experiences that served as reflections of partners I used to choose. They had all of the similar patterns only they were slightly better than what I was choosing before and some of the unconscious dysfunction was hard to detect at first. But, I stayed true to my commitment and I trusted my discernment. And you know what? I walked away from two beautiful humans who probably would have been good enough partners.
I walked away because even though there wasn’t anything glaringly wrong, there was this voice inside of me, a whisper, that I came to know and trust.
This voice wasn’t willful, judgemental or loud. It was a voice that emanated from the deeper part of my heart. It said softly and sweetly, “you get to choose”. And when you make a choice, know why you are choosing, what you are choosing and from which part of you is saying yes.
Is it the wounded part that wants to fix and get it right this time? Is this just the price of the love part? Is it the voice that sees the potential in this human and is hopeful he can become what you need over time?
Or is it the voice that knows that by saying yes to this person, you are saying no to this inner voice. Because when this voice gets denied you have to also deny your truth, your inner knowing and defend that which is the most precious to you, your beautiful heart.
In saying no to those initial tests of my new yes, my true YES was revealed. It was worth the wait, the hard work, the lonely nights and all of the healing that unfolded. Because, I was ready to say yes to a love that honored my heart, a love that revealed my goodness and is unconditionally supportive.
Sometimes we have to say NO and assert boundaries in order to get to our wholehearted FUCK yes. And a wholehearted YES is always worth the work and the wait.
Written by: Sara S. / Spiritual Coach