by Zoe Mendez for Woman to Woman
Recently, I have been doing some reflection on life and some of the relationships that I have encountered along the way. I was in amazement at what was brought to my attention. Have you ever noticed that every time a relationship ended the first thing we tend to do naturally is to blame ourselves, even though we know that it is not our fault. But yet we invest time regurgitating the scenarios over and over in our minds, exploring all the what-ifs, the what should, or could have been done differently, if we could change the result to swing it in our favour.
We beat ourselves up mercilessly for whatever it was that occur that caused the relationship to go sour, which is the last thing that we really deserve. In the time of bad situation, the first thing we should consider when self-blame plagues us is to be kind to self. I am not saying that we should not take our share of the responsibility for whatever went wrong. At the end of the day it takes two to tango.
How many times have you had situations that didn’t work out, and upon reflection you were able to conclude that the person you invested your time on did not deserve it? And clearly, you did not need psychic abilities to figure it out; Yes, I said it, and there is nothing cocky about this statement.
There are times when we cast our pearls to swine, without even realizing that we deserve a lot better in return. We get into relationships with people who are not deserving of us, and I am not just referring to male-female relationships. I have experienced friendships with other females who meant well, but there was something about their energy that caused me to sometimes feel nauseous and drained at the end of an encounter, whether we were talking on the telephone, or spending time in person. There are a those, who upon just hearing their names make me cringe at the very thought of spending time alone with them. Be honest, I am sure I am not alone with this experience.
I have come to realize that there is nothing wrong with me as a person. One of the things I have suffered from over the years was the inability to really say no and mean it, not that no meant yes. Unfortunately there are people out there who prey on the weaknesses of others, whether done intentionally or not; they don’t always respect the wishes of others. Having a compassionate heart is a blessing and sometimes a curse, because I was always aware of not wanting to hurt other people’s feelings. This works against me most of the times. It was really hard to say “NO”, when the other person would not take no for an answer. He/she may put you on a constant guilt trip until you succumb. I know you know what I am referring to. These are the people that you have to be wary of, as they are not good for your overall development.
Looking back, I saw that some of my relationships were forced upon me literally because of my character flaw. I tolerated a lot because of my fear of rejection and the want of being loved and appreciated. In the end all I did was caused myself unnecessary hurt. We tend to think that unattractive people are the ones who have this experience, but believe me this is not entirely true. Attractive women do experience bouts of low self-esteem also, and I believe that the opposite sex don’t always take us serious. Attractive women are often taken for granted. Men don’t always date us for love, we look good on their arms and we make a good brag when they are with their friends, and that’s about all that there is to it. I am sure you can identify with this. There are two reactions: people help you because of the way you look and the second is, because of the way you look, they ultimately set out to give you a hard time. This has nothing to do with the way we present ourselves. If we live in a small minded society there is nothing we can do about this phenomenon. This is just the way it is.
When it comes to other females, they size you up from the time you enter the room. They don’t know you from Adam but you bet there would be hate waves flying left right and center. As for the males, they will give you a hard time just because they are thinking that you would use your attractiveness to take advantage of the situation, when that may be the furthest thing from your mind. The way persons treat others sometimes has nothing to do with the individual; they react out of their own fear and insecurities.
I thank God that maturity comes with age, and with age, wisdom. I believe in, support and embrace the ideal of spending time alone. Challenge yourself to do this at the end of your next relationship. Take a break and develop an intimate relationship with yourself. A lot of times the biggest mistake made is that of moving on from one relationship to the next too quickly, even before getting a chance to breathe. You are doing more injustice to self than one can ever imagine.
Here is what I am working on, as I am myself no expert at this, but I believe it makes sense for my personal well being. I think it is important to first perform a ritual, whatever way you choose that you believe would work for you. Whether it’s writing in your journal, on a piece of paper you may want to discard after or in your prayer or meditation time. I believe it is important to include God in this as He would have already forgiven you for your misjudgment, and He is the only one that can undo the condemnation that you have inflicted on yourself. The ultimate goal behind the ritual is to FORGIVE yourself for every bad experience that you have encountered, for every relationship that you have submitted yourself to, willingly or unwillingly. Learn one thing, not everyone was meant to come into your life to stay. We all have lessons to receive and lessons to pass along to each other. The important thing is to be in tune with not just yourself but with the season, and at the end, learn to let go. It is for your own good. (Loneliness & Poor Self-Esteem: Understanding th Connection)
Even if you are in a relationship, I believe it is important to spend at least one day a week or a few hours of which ever day is best to be with just you. Rejuvenate, reflect, and explore your being. Self-reflection is just as important as the air we breathe. I once read that if you can honestly answer the question, “how would you like to be remembered most”, not just by your spouse, peers, friend or family members. If you can answer this question sincerely, without the need to people-please, then there would be a lot of things that would change allowing you to become the person you want to be remembered as.
There are a lot of things to discover about yourself if you can only take a break in between your next relationship. You don’t have to mope around and have pity parties. Explore your talents, what are some of the things you always wanted to do but never got a chance to do? For me painting helped through one of my worse break-ups. I used my time to nurture and discover other talents that I never knew I had. Learn to do things alone, go to the movies, take yourself to dinner, and go shopping alone every now and then. Spending time in solitude can help you to get clear on the things you need and don’t want in your life. When you are happy and content with you, it makes it easier to say no. It would not matter how sophisticated the guilty trip is, it could be taking you to Paris, you would have the courage to stand up for yourself and graciously say no with all the love you can muster in your heart. At the end of the day this accomplishment would be for your good. Make notes of what you would do differently in your next relationship. Don’t be afraid to pen the qualities you would like to have in your partner, and even your female friends. Be honest. And most importantly, be prepared to give to others the things you want for yourself. It’s the only way to experience the most fulfillment in self and your relationships.
Never again underestimate the power of forgiveness; it releases you from the bondage of anger and bitterness, setting you free to explore the ultimate. Forgive and be instantly empowered!
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