Breaking Free From My Unhealthy Relationships: Finding Love through the Darkness

I am no master. I have survived some horrible situations and lost much of my innocence way too young. I still fight, cry, and struggle through some of life’s twists and turns. Here is what I know, life is full of lessons and I have survived them all. Some of my deepest scars have helped others through their darkest days. At seventeen, I was lucky to survive an attempt at ending my journey. I didn’t think my life was worth living. I felt like all I brought people was pain. I thought I would be doing my family a favor by not being here. At the core of it all, I felt unlovable and not worth loving at all. My failed attempt changed the trajectory of many lives, not only my family and friends at the time, but the two amazing lives I’ve brought into the world.

The lessons showed me that I needed to keep learning and expanding. I have to keep going deeper into my inner core to see what I really need to be learning from all these experiences in my life. Some lessons I can figure out with a little distance, but others may take years or a lifetime to figure out. All I know is that if I learn the lesson, I can stop repeating it. The lesson won’t get harder, but I will be able to spot the problem before it starts.

One of my most challenging lessons has been with my romantic relationships. I had the patterns of behavior that kept attracting the wrong men. The lessons would get worse and worse as the years went by until it escalated to verbal and emotional abuse. I became a person I didn’t even recognize at the height of the toxicity. I didn’t like the untrusting, unloving, and emotionally unavailable person I had become. Since my mom taught me very young that no one can make me feel anything, and that my perception chooses my feelings and reactions, I knew only I could fix the darkness that stirred inside me.

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Since that is where my mind focused those were the lessons that would present themselves to me. If I focused my mind in a dark place, like I had chosen to do many times, I would dig myself deeper into the problem. I used to focus on the guy I was in the relationship with instead of me. I learned I can’t fix the problem there, because I can’t change him. I can only change me. I found all the books and teachers I needed to help me change my perception and patterns. This didn’t happen overnight, and I’m still a work in progress, but through reflection and watching some of the people I love follow similar paths to what I was on, I see how far I have come.

Now, I’m in a relationship where I love, trust, and respect myself. Since I feel that way about me, I can love, trust and respect him equally. I acknowledge and see where I’m putting past relationship stresses on him and I work through them. No need for dramatic fights and false exits. Does this mean we don’t argue, of course not. We are not going to agree about everything. We do fight fair and know when each other need just enough space to process the information so we can discuss it reasonably.

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Giving and accepting space is new for me. I remember not trusting the space at all in past relationships and thinking that those big dramatic fights were essential. With some, I felt like the end of the world was happening if we couldn’t talk reasonably in the very second a problem occurred. I would panic and get super clingy. With others, I remember walking away and having a man follow me around yelling and calling me names to try to make me feel as small as he was feeling about himself. The knot in my stomach and all my fight or flight senses would be going off. For a period of time before kids, I would try to use alcohol or depression medication to cover up my feelings, but that was not what got me out.

Facing my feelings fully and changing MY behavior towards, number one, myself was the catalyst for breaking free from the pain that these unhealthy relationships brought to the surface. If I abuse and belittle myself, I bring people who will reflect it back to me. The worse I abuse myself, the worse the abuse will be. Abusers can spot our weaknesses from a mile away. There are little signs from the moment we meet them that create a dinging in their ears knowing we are a match. We look for our equals. If we want better, we have to be better. I had to learn to be the person towards myself that I wanted to attract. For instance, I love nature and adventure, but I wasn’t doing that for myself. I was waiting for someone else to take me. Well, screw that! I started taking myself on adventures in nature and what did I attract, someone who enjoyed the same things. We go on some adventures together, but I keep adding more of my own adventures. I expand my adventures every year. This past summer I took my kids on  camping with another single mom for 5 days in Asheville, NC. It was amazing. The adventure didn’t start or stop there, we saw friends, family, and added wonderful experiences to our memory books.

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Before, I kept going above and beyond for men who I hoped would one day give back the same amount of effort. I thought that the more I helped them, maybe they would feel like they needed me and fight for me to stay. I was the rescuer! A superpower I thought I had, but really that was my codependency. I just felt depleted and frustrated and the relationships didn’t work. I finally understood the message from the Bible about treating others as I treat myself. I used to think this just meant treat others, as I wanted to be treated. I kept getting walked on. I now see it as, if I treat others with the same respect and love that I show myself, I will attract people who will reflect that back to me. I will attract people who really want to get out of their misery (if that is where they are). I won’t attract the men who want to be stuck in the victim of the world role and want to take me down with them. I realized the the Bible wasn’t telling me to give myself away, it was telling me to show the world my inner beauty and strength. I have read many books that have the same message, and it took me reading all of them and experiencing everything I did to finally make it sink in. There is no one book, person, place, or being that is capable of showing us everything we need to see. We are human, we have to experience many lessons to get the messages to sink in. At least, I do.

As I grow in love and respect for myself, my relationships gets better. My life gets better. I no longer feel like I need another person to complete me. I am complete. I get to enjoy the man I’m with for being the person he is and what he contributes to the life I want to live. I keep growing and getting stronger. This is the example I want to show my kids. I want my son to see that it is good to be with a woman who loves, trusts, and respects herself. I want my daughter to become a woman who loves, trusts, and respects herself. My job is to be the example.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2017

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How I Grew From My Toxic Relationships

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If you are reading this, you probably either have been involved in or had a front row seat to watch someone else’s toxic relationship unfold. I have had the privilege of experiencing both, and yes I meant privilege. My toxic relationships are what got me healthy. It was like a boot camp for emotional/mental health. Does it work that way for all people? No, but it works that way for the people who ask to be better, stronger, braver, and more compassionate. Toxic relationships show us our darkest shadows and our biggest attributes. When we take the relationship by the reigns and start seeing it as an opportunity to look at ourselves, we come out shining!

(If you are involved in a physically abusive relationship, PLEASE consult with a professional who specializes in domestic violence. There are safety precautions that may be necessary. When we start getting healthier, an abuser can get more violent in the transition. Sick people like to keep us sick. They will do their best to keep us down. PLEASE, first and foremost always keep yourself safe. This doesn’t mean stay, it just means you have to use more caution.)

Awareness is Key

First, we must see our part in our unhealthy relationship. This wasn’t easy for me. There were many realities I avoided facing when I was involved in these relationships. I wish I could say that it only took one bad relationship to figure out my stuff, but I will just say, even in a healthy relationship, I still get faced with some of the darker sides of me. The difference is awareness and using healthy tools to not let darkness cast a shadow on my joy. Here is what I picked up along the way:

1. Law of Attraction is always at play

If we are in a toxic relationship, we attracted it to us. The question is why? My self-worth was part of that answer for me. I had no idea how cruel I was to myself. Over time, I  learned I could only accept the amount of abuse that I gave to myself. If it went over the cruelty of how I treated myself, I would leave. When I realized I attracted the relationships,  I saw that they acted as a mirror of how I was treating myself. I had to start to dig deep to figure out what it was that I didn’t like about myself. I will tell you, it wasn’t pretty. There was a lot of tears and layers of shame and guilt that went all the way back to childhood. OUCH! I didn’t realize how much I avoided looking at myself until I learned from a college professor that we are as sick as our partners. It may present differently, but if we are in the relationship we are responsible for our part of the sickness.

Another big piece of my attraction to these chaotic relationships  was codependency. I was attracting unhealthy partners because I needed to be assigned a savior role…YIKES! I don’t like admitting it, but I wanted to rescue someone from the trenches. Really, anything to avoid looking at what was holding me back.

After facing the darkest parts of me, I had to figure out what I did want in a relationship, so I made a VERY long list. I kept it positive and used language such as, I want someone who lives a healthy lifestyle. Instead of saying, I don’t want a smoker. I learned the hard way that when we focus on the don’t, we get it! If I love and respect myself, I will attract the same qualities in a partner.

2. If I’m reacting, I’m triggered

If I am engaging in the very behavior I’m condoning, I’m just as much at fault for the results. Here’s a lesson I needed to learn, there doesn’t have to be a screaming match. When two people are screaming at each other no one gets heard. We are not listening, we are fighting to be right.

When I’m hurt by my partner’s behavior, it’s usually because of some unhealed part of me from the past. I may be reacting to their defense mechanisms that were familiar to me from a previous relationship. I might be reacting to my old defense mechanisms. What I realized is that even just a silly word can throw everything off. The word may not even have the same meaning for the person in front of me, yet because I’m reacting to an unhealed hurt, I react out of fear.

3. I Can’t Hide from My Insecurities

We can’t hide from our insecurities. They will find us!! We need to deal with them instead of covering them up or masking them. All we will do is create problems that don’t need to be there. If we have jealousy issues, it is our job to look at ourselves before taking them out on our partners. If I don’t trust my partner to be loyal, I obviously have trust issues. Is  it because I chose a man who is not ready to commit? Have I lied to myself about how ready I am to be in this relationship? The truth is, when we are healthy we realize we don’t HAVE to trust the person we are with, we have to trust ourselves. We NEED to trust our intuition, guts, and instincts. When we are healthy, we are not carrying around all the hurts of our past. We aren’t held hostage by old relationships. When we are loyal to ourselves, we attract loyal people.

Any relationship, toxic or not is a great place to see where our insecurities are holding us back. My thoughts about my relationships show me so much about how my own internal dialog is getting in my way. As I get healthier, I have watched the dialog change. I have learned more efficient ways of communicating without taking my insecurities out on my partner.

4. If I Don’t Love Myself, I Won’t Attract A Healthy Partner

How can we recognize something we don’t know at our own core? My toxic relationships really pointed out how much I didn’t know about what love is. I would make excuses for abuse. I held onto empty words and promises. I allowed them to be disrespectful to me in private and in public, yet I would defend their love for me, or what I thought was love. The truth is, until I learned to love myself, I didn’t know what peace was. I had no idea how much I perpetuated my self-hate by the relationships I was choosing.

5. Giving Too Much is NOT Healthy

When I give to others to the point where I’m not taking care of myself, I’m not acting in a healthy manner. Self-care is essential. When I became resentful of what I was contributing to the relationship, because they weren’t giving back, I was putting their needs before mine. Not only does the law of attraction always work for me, but it always works for them too. If my partner wants someone who will take care of them and put them first. They put that out there. Maybe that is what they are used to, it may be what their mom did for them. The vicious cycle continues and we are now the caretaker they attracted. I attracted them, because I wanted to feel needed.

Now, I realize that my self-care is important. If I’m giving too much, I stop taking it out on my partner and I start putting the attention I was putting into them into taking care of myself. This can be hard getting used to, but I can tell you it makes for much healthier relationships. We both get the best of me, and I am able to receive and recognize the best in return.

6. I’m Responsible for My Happiness or Unhappiness

No other person can control my feelings. I choose how I feel. I choose the actions that lead me to feeling better our worse. I choose to perceive situations that feed the direction I’m subconsciously or consciously going. Learning that I’m not responsible for other people’s thoughts and feelings helps me continue to grow. My job is to do the best I can at whatever I’m investing my time in. If that is not enough for someone, then maybe we are not the right fit. I need to hold myself accountable for what energy I’m putting into a relationship. If I don’t want a toxic relationship, I can’t put out toxic energy. I need to watch where I’m focusing my thoughts and feelings. Am I getting caught up in other people’s drama? Am I watching television that makes me feel anxious and angry all the time? Can I see more solutions or more problems?

After figuring those things out, I need to figure out what actions I need to take in order to engage in a more loving energy. Do I need to volunteer my time to a cause? Do I need to spend more quality time with loved ones? Do I need to invest more time and effort into self-care?

Overall, I grew by understand that I had to change in order to change the relationship. Leaving toxic relationships behind was a true achievement for me. They taught me SO much and made me the loving person I am today. I’m grateful for the lessons and the awareness. Life is now what I hoped it would be. Even my darkest days have light, because I know I’m growing stronger, braver, and more loving with each passing day.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

If you liked this piece, check out the rest of my work by exploring my past work. You can also choose to follow this blog via e-mail. Just keep scrolling down. Whatever you choose, I hope you are working your way to a better tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Break-Up Playlist

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Introduction

I wrote this piece in April 2014. In a Creative Non-Fiction Workshop at Eckerd College, I was surrounded by a group of amazing writers. Me, a Human Development major who was NOT used to writing creatively. My college experience was full of technical writing and was pretty stiff. This piece came from a VERY constructively criticized piece about cathartic writing. After getting a C- on the paper (I had never even gotten a B on a college paper before), I had the chance to re-vamp my paper and took it in a different direction following excessive notes. I was very happy that the professor liked the new direction. Here was the end result.

The Break-Up Playlist

Sitting in my car at a stoplight, my ears tune in to the song on the radio. I reach over to turn the music up to the point where it is louder than I can sing. I start belting it out. My hands are motioning as if I’m telling someone off; my facial expressions reflect my utter disdain, annoyance, and anger then go to complete joy when the line says. “We are never ever ever getting back together. We are never ever ever getting back together…”; my eyes open wide and then squint on the verse; and my left leg is stomping along to the beat with the power of a drummer pounding the base petal. Every nerve in my body reacts to the release of emotions emanating from Taylor Swift’s lyrics saying she has had enough. The song ends, I turn the music down to a relaxing decibel and move on as if nothing happened, catharsis. This song was number one on my playlist for about six months after leaving my husband. I reached empowerment through a pop star.

Music can be a powerful tool when going through a break-up. There are songs for every feeling of the five stages of grief. A person can pick songs to reflect the denial/fear of the relationship being over, the anger of getting screwed over, the bargaining to win the relationship back, the depression left from the empty space, and the acceptance/empowerment from moving on. There are some songs that engage all the different stages at once. I know where I’m at in the grieving process by the music that triggers my emotions.

After my next break up, I am back at that stoplight, but the song changed. This time “Roar” by Katy Perry blared through the speakers. “You held me down, but I got up, get ready ‘cause I had enough. I see it all, I see it now…” The lyrics bring me to the point of acceptance by moving me through my anger. The message that I will persevere and come out stronger has a lasting effect. The song even brings in the visual of having “the eye of the tiger.” Now, whenever I see a tiger, I connect it to being a champion of my life. It is amazing what a song can do. This song even made it to my ringtone for about a year. Every time the song comes on, I feel empowered and ready to prove something to myself and to all the people who hurt me.

IMG_1886Katy Perry has mastered the art of creating empowerment anthems for the broken heart. “Roar” and “Dark Horse” reached number one the Billboard charts and “Wide Awake” was number two. These are songs that are playing somewhere in radio land all the time.   Her creative team has it down. The second any of these songs come on the radio, the volume goes up and I am physically, psychologically, and energetically moved.

I know this isn’t just me that this happens to. Facebook links to YouTube videos are a popular past time for some. Others choose to share their songs with friends who are currently going through the break-up process. One of my friends made me a CD of her favorites. Since heartbreak is a common thread through humanity, there are break-up songs in every genre of music. Nobody is left out.

Taylor Swift, has crossed multiple genres and age groups. She can touch listener from early childhood with her catchy melodies to mature adults with her authentic experiences. Many fans are intrigued to know who she is referring to in her songs about love and break-ups. This fascination always brings me back to Carly Simon’s song “You’re So Vain.” Questions pondering who it is about still appear in random conversations. Though, some may find Swift whiny, she is honest. She is vulnerable, and she uses her writing as a form of catharsis. For these reasons, her music will continue to touch people during those emotional times.

When I’m going through break-ups, I have a reoccurring conversation in my head. It starts with statements, which include “Do you really think…”, “How was I so stupid to trust you…”, and “You made the biggest mistake by letting me go…” My body tightens up and my eyes squeeze shut with anger, as I use my hands as an outlet for my rage. If I’m having the conversation in a public place, the only thing that’s seen is my hands tightening into fists or my leg zipping back and forth like it is a helicopter trying to lift off. Swift and Perry play out the conversations. Music is the acceptable way to express my reaction publicly.

The break-up playlist is an important tool for dealing with a broken heart. It can remind a person that he/she is not alone. Playlists are the new mixed tape. They are much easier to change, edit, and/or delete. A person can pick songs that fit their mood best. They also can find a place to work through their emotional turmoil in the privacy of their own ear buds, car, or home. Break-up playlists are great for working out. Cardio is a good place to work through the denial, bargaining, and depression stages, while weights are a powerful place to work through anger and acceptance. Each person is different. People need to find the playlist and environment that best suits their processing strategies.

I had a lapse in sanity (more than once) and kept trying to fix an unhealthy relationship. My friends had no option, but to sit back and watch this train wreck over and over. After watching the same event three times, my friend asked me, “What is on your playlist to help you stay away from him?” I created an empowerment playlist. “Roar”, “Wide Awake”, and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” were the top three songs. I listened to the playlist while I deleted all his pictures and his phone number. When I reach the point of being done, I’m completely done!

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Katy Perry rides along side me as I move into a different phase of my journey. This time it is about knowing who I am and what I want in my next relationship. I realized how different people are and for a while I thought that something was wrong with me because I can’t casually date. I tried, but it doesn’t work. I’m either a man’s friend or I’m completely involved. I don’t like kissing men I have no emotional connection to, and I don’t want to go any further with someone who isn’t committed to me. So, when “Dark Horse” started playing on the radio, I turned it up and started belting it out. Juicy J has a line in the song, “If you get the chance you better keep her. She’s sweet as pie but if you break her heart, she’ll turn cold as a freezer…” a reminder that I don’t have to settle and there is nothing wrong with being an all or nothing woman.

 

I hope you enjoyed seeing my beginning attempts at creative writing.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Breaking the Cycle of Toxic Relationships

  
I followed the cycle of my parents and married into an unhealthy relationship. I remember the anger, yelling, fear, and eggshells. Trust was constantly questioned and life was in upheaval. This was no way to live, but what was worse, I was showing my son how to treat women and my daughter how to be treated by men.

I don’t blame my ex for this. We both were apart of setting up these toxic roles. We both had to accept the roles in order for the relationship to last as long as it did. I found myself treating him in ways I would never treat my partner now. I was just as much a contributor to the toxicity. It is never one-sided. I did it differently then he did, but if I was healthier than he was, I wouldn’t be in the relationship. I know this part may be hard to read, at least it was for me when the concept came into my life. So much so, that I didn’t even realize the seed was given to me over and over, said in different ways, in different arenas, and with different purposes. It was never spoken directly to me about my situation. It was something that would take a lot of time to digest. 

If I didn’t play the part assigned there would have been no relationship.In order to break free of the cycle, I had to find peace inside me and know that change was possible. I saw examples in my relationships with my mom and dad. They both did a lot of healing, and their lives both changed for the better. They both developed healthy relationships with themselves and their new partners. I knew, I had to be strong enough to apply it to my relationship with my significant other. 

When I was ready, things started to change. It was as simple as that. The changes didn’t happen as quick as I would have liked while I was in it, but looking back the timing was perfect. I learned everything I needed to learn in order to grow.

As I am preparing to layout my first book, so many memories of my process of recovery are coming to the surface. I have been reading my past writings and all I want to to is share my path to freedom from my own personal prison. Realizing that I had the key all along is what set me free. 

I used to be scared to leave. What would happen to me? What would happen to my kids? I would be completely alone. No one was going to want a single woman with two small children. I was a pre-school teacher who worked part-time. I didn’t have the means of supporting two kids on my own. I was a failure in my mind; trapped! 

I lived that way for too long. I didn’t even realize how long I was in my own prison until years after I was out of it. Being able to look back, I see how the process went. I see the seeds that were given to me and the ones I planted. 

One of the seeds came from reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Mastery of Love. I’m actually re-reading the book now for the second part of my series “Learning from Don Miguel Ruiz”. 

“You are no longer a child, and if you have an abusive relationship, it is because you accept that abuse, because you believe you deserve it.”

Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love p. 41

In order to stop the abuse, I had to know from the core of my being that I deserved better. Not better of him, better of me. I started taking actions to find peace within me. I found friends, Al-Anon, and a spiritual base. When I started doing the next right thing to take care of me, the Universe opened up and miracles started happening all over the place. Some of them were disguised in struggle, but I get tears in my eyes thinking about how it all worked out so much better than I could have ever imagined. 

The trick was not to focus on the fear. When I focused on the fears it kept leading me to take more fearful actions. When I focused on self-care and love…

My life changed! 

  • My living situation presented itself in a way I would not have considered before. 
  • The time to leave revealed itself without me trying to force it. 
  • I went to college and got my degree. 
  • My kids are in a safe and positive environment. 
  • We go on lots of adventures.
  • We have an amazing community of support around us.
  • I am mentally,spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthier than I have ever been.
  • My kids are surrounded by examples of what true love all around them. People communicating without name-calling, be-littling, or shaming. People who support each other’s dreams and don’t tear each other down. 

I was lucky enough to see early on change is possible. That seed has helped me in so many situations. When I chose to water it and let it grow, it became like the Ficus tree; forever growing and changing. Sometimes the branches need to be thinned out so it has the energy to spread and lay down more roots.

I’m getting excited to see what the Universe has in store for me now. I hope you come on the journey with me! 

With Love and Graitude, 

Rachael Wolff

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When Do I Know When it is Time to Leave?

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“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; What matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”

-Paulo Coelho

I wasn’t planning on writing today, but I kept seeing messages that I couldn’t let slip by. One of the hardest decisions in a toxic relationship is knowing when and/or if to leave.

Years ago, I received a message well before I would ever need it. I wasn’t married and/or dating at the time. I don’t have a clue where the message came from or who, but the message stayed solid in my brain: You are only ready to leave a marriage when you can walk away without anger. I took that to mean all relationships. The point was, if we walk away before we are truly ready, we will repeat the pattern in the next relationship.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I certainly DO NOT like repeating unhealthy patterns. If I am going to end something, I want to make sure that I’m ending it.  These 7 steps are not all in order, because the order changes. Here is what I learned from my experience:

1. Seeing the Problems Starts with Questions

  • Am I supposed to be here?
  • Is this the right relationship for me?
  • Is there trust?
  • Is there loyalty?
  • Is there betrayal?
  • Do I love him/her?
  • Do I fear him/her?
  • Are we compatible?
  • Do I like the person they are?
  • Do I want to change who they are?
  • Is being with her/him destructive to my well-being?
  • Do I feel safe communicating with him/her?
  • Do we have the same morals and values?
  • Do we respect each other?
  • Why is he/her treating me like this?

The list goes on and on, but these are an indicator that something needs to change. The question is what? These questions can be created by our own inner drama and until we work through that, we won’t see the answers to any question clearly.

2. Am I Expecting Him/Her to Be Someone They Are Not?

Unrealistic expectations on others have the power to destroy any relationship. When we expect people to be any person other than who they are we create a relationship nightmare. The key is observing the person we are with. Let him/her be themselves, then figure out if that is the person we want to be with. If he is doing things that I don’t like, the question is can I accept the behavior. I can’t change the other person. Here is what we can do:

  • Be aware of our reaction to the behavior
  • Look at the situation from other perspectives
  • How would I need to change my behavior to change my perspective? Is that an acceptable choice to me?

3. Communicate with My Partner

Healthy relationships have healthy communications. There is no name-calling and/or belittling. We need to accept our part in any communication. It is important to know we have done everything in our power to work through the issues at hand. Communication is key.

  • Take responsibility for our feelings. Speak to the other person from a loving place: I feel _________ when you do _____________. This is not saying, he/she made you feel something. They don’t have the power to do that. They can’t make you happy, sad, or angry. Our feelings our our choice. Communicating feelings in this way can help take the defensiveness out of the situation. If we are not blaming our partners, they may be able to see how their behaviors are effecting us. Many times, we don’t mean to hurt each other. It happens because we don’t know how our behaviors look to the other person. Most times, if not all, our extreme reactions come from past circumstances. It can go as far back as childhood.
  • Get help if the patterns have become so bad that communication is destructive.
  • Research and try different forms of healthy communication.

4. Make a List of What I Want in the Relationship

Keep the list positive! Read my article, 3 Amazing Jewels: Important Lessons in Understanding the Law of Attraction and see why it is important to be clear about what we want. We have to be the person we want to see on our list. How are we contributing to the relationship we want to have with our partners?

5. Pray for Answers!!

When we pray we will get answers. We might not understand them, and they may be different than what we expected, but they will be there. I know this first hand.

Here are some suggested prayers:

  • Please, give me signs if I should stay or go. Make them clear and impossible to miss because I want to make sure I understand.
  • Please help me see the lesson so that I can move on.
  • How do I find peace with this relationship?
  • What can I change about myself to help me do what I need to do?

Pay attention for the answers! Meditation is a great way to help to slow down. Even if it is 3 long deep breaths, it helps.

6. Work on ME

“If you cannot be at ease with yourself when you are alone, you will seek a relationship to cover up your unease. You can be sure that the unease will then reappear in some other form within the relationship, and you will probably hold your partner responsible for it.”

-Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now p. 174

If things aren’t changing, it is because we aren’t getting better. Dive in and dive deep! Does this mean we are responsible for the other person’s behavior? Heck no! When we are ready, doors gently shut and all the right doors begin opening. We will no longer accept unacceptable behaviors. Our energy will change so much that the person will either change with us or the relationship will end.

7. Forgive Myself

I’m not a person who blames other people, but I definitely used to love blaming myself. What I found, blame is toxic to everybody; including me. If there is resentment against someone else, forgive them. That is toxic energy that is carried around and it gets uglier the longer it hangs on. The greatest act of forgiveness is a changing the way we treat ourselves and others. It’s time to let go of what we have done and become the beautiful person we were meant to be.

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This process takes time, for me, it took about three years. I made sure without a doubt in my mind that leaving was the best choice. The signs I prayed for, couldn’t be clearer. My mom had told me, “When you are ready to leave, you will know it.” When I did leave, I was at peace and didn’t look back. I was able to move on with my life. There were a few issues I didn’t see clearly in that relationship that I worked out in the next, but it didn’t take long to work through them. Little things will always come up, but the more clear we are with ourselves, we will know it is our lesson to work on. When we face it head on, some doors will close while others will open wide.

All of my articles come from my journey through the darkness into a loving place. If this one helped you, you might also like:

Why Did I Choose Him?

5 Steps to Being Treated the Way You Deserve

10 Positive Lessons I Learned From my Parents

Discovering the Meaning of Love

5 Lessons in Personal Growth

Give Yourself the Love You Deserve

Lessons in the Drama

There are plenty more… Please feel free to send e a message on my Facebook Page: From a Loving Place!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff