Stop blaming yourself for every failed relationship.
I was talking to my therapist today and I expressed to her that I have been feeling down lately. Specifically, I have been battling with the feeling of loneliness. Maybe it's because of this quarantining business. Or maybe it's because God is trying to tell me something. I don't know. But what I do know is...this isn't a great feeling and I didn't want to feel this way anymore.
My therapist began to help me identify any more feelings that I might be experiencing so that we can come to some sort of resolution. [Side note: May is mental health awareness month. If you need to talk to someone, don't be afraid to find a therapist in your area! Check out psychologytoday.com and find yourself a local therapist]. Anyways, I began to reflect on past relationships, both platonic and romantic. I don't know y'all, relationships have been on my heart lately and I really think God is doing some Spring cleaning. Also, Mike Todd's "Relationship Goals Reloaded" series has been revealing some thangs to me!
I told my therapist that whenever a relationship with someone does not work out, I quickly internalize it as there being something wrong with me. I ask questions like, "How could I have been a better friend? Could I have handled that situation differently? What was it that he did not like about me?" All these questions that pop up in my head causes me to blame myself whenever I lose someone who was very important to me. Then, my therapist said something good. Like sermon good. It's like every time she counsels me, I leave the session feeling empowered and eager to change my situation.
She said, "Nicole, first of all I want you to stop thinking those thoughts. Those thoughts are lies and you need to send them back down to the pit of hell where they belong. Second, you have a habit of protecting people and because of that, you don't share your truth. However, in the end, you end up hurting yourself while they are walking around with no worries."
I was like...
"You have to practice speaking your truth for the sake of protecting yourself. You aren't always honest with others because you are afraid of how they might handle what you have to say. But you can't control their reaction; how they handle your truth is on them. You're not responsible for that."
I was quiet, y'all. Like...shook. She was 100% spot on. I am so afraid of abandonment and losing people that when a friend or partner does or say something that I don't like, I brush it aside to protect them and protect what we have. There were folks in my life who didn't like my truth and became very angry with me. As a result of that, I hold onto things that should have been addressed right then and there. And this might stem from childhood trauma, but that story is for another day.
This is easier said than done, but I am learning how to not blame myself for every failed relationship. For every person who walked out of my life. For every person who felt like I wasn't a good person to them. Because hey, maybe I wasn't. I can't change how that person feels about me. But what I can change are character flaws; any bad habits that were revealed to me.
We can't control who walks out of our lives but we can probably control who walks in. That is why it is important that we set boundaries in every relationship. These boundaries are to protect ourselves from disappointment. Not everyone deserves access to you! You are a gem. And these are things that I have to remind myself of daily whenever the spirit of self-blame comes to corrupt my positive thoughts. So what if they cut you off? So what if he chose her over you? It does not mean you are not capable of being in relationship with others because that is what we were created for. We were created to be in relationship with others. What you need to start focusing on is how to be a better version of yourself. Once you start focusing more on yourself, everything else will start falling into its rightful place.
You gotta trust the process! Thanks for coming to my TED talk :)