Do you find yourself repeatedly faced with the same problems? You always give too much, you usually get cheated on, you’re never satisfied by lovers or by friends or by family members. While it’s easy to search for someone or something external to blame, the key to changing your predicament isn’t in anyone else’s hands. The universe presents us with problems so we can learn from them. Until we do just that, altering our motivations and behaviors accordingly, we’re bound to stay in what you could call a lesson loop.
Unfortunately, that loop often renders us overwhelmed and blind to the roles we play in our own problems. But with just a little adjustment, you can cut through your own BS and get to the heart of the matter, where change begins.
1. Center yourself
With the constant connection of our current culture, it’s almost impossible to unplug from technology, and yet we’re all frequently disconnected from ourselves. This disconnection prevents us from achieving our own highest good.
To affect change, you’ll need to take some quiet time. Designate a (tech free) hour for yourself, even if it means asking for the house (or at least a room) to yourself. Take a bath or shower. Breathe deeply and absorb the silence. Focus on fostering positive change. Tonight is your night to reclaim the reins in your life. That choice alone should subtly soothe you.
2. Enumerate your issues
Now that you’re calm and collected, it’s time to make friends with your journal. Write in whatever form you feel: a list, a diatribe, bullet points. The idea is to name the problems that have been plaguing you, so you can address things head-on, rather than letting them overwhelm you.
Do you always feel like you’re drowning, with too much to do and all of it half done? Is there a lingering sense of dissatisfaction professionally, where you just can’t seem to get ahead, no matter where you go? Are you consistently let down by your lover and left feeling uninterested, clingy, or worse, always looking for a way out? Do you push people away?
Whatever your particular problems, enumerate them. You may feel spent afterward, or you may feel energized. Focus on the latter, reminding yourself that this is positive proactivity taking charge.
3. Analyze your issues
With your issues in front of you, look for common threads. For instance, are your work and love lives presenting you with similar dilemmas about not being recognized or giving too much? If so, is there a way to combine them into one overarching issue for which you take responsibility? Here are some samples:
* I select partners and friends who are damaged, because I, too, feel damaged.
* I expect people to abandon me, so I push them away (with demands or complaints or whatever) until they do.
* I bend over backwards, going above and beyond to make people love me, then resent them when they don’t do the same for me.
4. Map your alternative
Using each of your assessments above as a springboard for the way you want to feel in these situations, change your assessments to intentions.
* I want to be engaged in a loving, healthy relationship with a fulfilled, whole person.
* I want to experience intimacy with someone loving who stays.
* I want to stop feeling let down all the time.
Now, how can you achieve your goals? Be the change you seek.
* I will foster my own growth by taking time for myself and working on building my strengths and diminishing my weaknesses. This way, I will attract people who mirror the “me” I am striving to be.
* I will take a chance and be vulnerable instead of pushing people away.
* I will stop expecting so much and work on building my confidence so I don’t feel the need to try so hard or demand so much as proof of my worth.
Armed with your set of intentions, formed from the inside, you will make your first steps toward forming new, positive patterns. Change won’t happen overnight. It will require consistent engagement and the willingness to regularly reassess yourself. But if you commit, it will happen.
Why? Because only you can choose to feed your spiritual demons once you’ve learned to recognize them creeping up. And eventually, you will move past the stage of turning your critical eye on yourself and into a place where you easily absorb the instructions being so artfully offered by the natural order – where your highest good is always the goal.