Over parts one and two of this post, I have explained about how in order to be happy as a result of external factors, we need to look a little closer to home first and be happy with ourselves personally. I also suggested some ways to kickstart getting back in touch with yourself so that you can learn to articulate what makes you happy, but also let go of people and behaviours that hold you back in misery. In the final part of this series, I have some more suggestions for helping to build your self-esteem and find happiness and some final thoughts…
One of the key issues that I explained in part two was our resistance to accepting the reality of what is happening in our lives.
Don’t be mistaken and believe that I am asking you to accept a bad situation; I am saying that you need to accept the reality rather than engage in the illusion so that you can take action.
A lot of our unhappiness is tied up in fighting.
We’re fighting against our gut instincts, we’re fighting against trusting, distrusting, loving, not loving, letting go, accepting, believing and in essence, it’s almost like we put up a resistance to everything engaging in a game of opposites. When we should let go we cling harder, when we should hold on, we push it away. When we should trust, we’re suspicious, when we should distrust, we ignore our gut and project our own version of things on it.
We refuse to accept and the funny thing is that none of this makes things any better – it’s not like in the medium or long term you end up being any happier clinging to the illusion because it doesn’t change the reality – it just puts you in limbo.
One of the biggest things that you can do for yourself right now is to stop expecting things and people who have showed you the way of the land, to be different.
Like I’ve said before, relationship insanity is about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
You keep throwing yourself into oncoming traffic and wondering why you keep getting run over.
Stop expecting more from people than they are capable of delivering.
You can’t ‘expect’ from them just because you love them or you think that you could have a future with them; they may not be on board with your expectations. It may not be that there is anything wrong with your expectations but that doesn’t mean that you should keep plugging at someone in the hope that they’ll deliver.
We all have a right to expect to be treated decently in our relationships but that doesn’t give us a divine right to expect that from someone who has no intention of doing this and has consistently shown that they cannot meet our expectations. It’s redundant.
The unhappiness keeps on coming when we put ourselves in the hotseat of disappointment but if you stopped expecting from people like this, you’d take yourself out of the hotseat and focus your energies in more appropriate places.
Stop projecting your version of love and events on them in the hope that they will be reflected into reality.
The unhappiness arises because it’s a bit like having a script in your head and expecting someone to know what that script is without seeing it. It also keeps you out of reality and sometimes we sabotage our potential for happiness because we’re too busy trying to control what will happen and chasing a predetermined feeling and ideal of what we want. Maybe your projection isn’t healthy?
Stop throwing your love at people who are unworthy of it in the hope that by you loving unconditionally and without boundaries that you will reap the rewards and be loved back.
The unhappiness stems from expecting people to give you what you are unable to give yourself. It also arises because you keep throwing your version of love at a bad investment and wondering why it doesn’t come good. Love yourself and trust me when I say you will choose better partners who will yield better, quality relationships.
Stop expecting a quality relationship with love, trust, respect, and care from someone who is disconnected and doesn’t have you and the relationship at the centre of his interests.
Choosing an assclown or Mr Unavailable is an assurance of engaging with a man who serves his own interests first and foremost and invariably has one foot (at least) out of the relationship. If someone has no clue what these things are and no interest in giving you what you want, you’re effectively flogging a dead horse by persisting in trying to extract emotions and behaviour that they are either incapable of, or they just plain don’t want to give it to you.
Stop chasing commitment from people who are the least likely candidates for commitment and then tying yourself up in knots about why they haven’t committed.
You will find yourself at the gates of unhappiness if you stake your love on an uncommitted party and then commit yourself to the painstaking act of trying to get them to commit. Never force your love on someone and certainly never try to persuade someone to love you because you will never trust that what you have is real, wholesome, and committed. When someone makes you work so hard for their affections, you’re permanently on the backfoot because deep down you know you shouldn’t have to prove yourself to someone in this way.
Stop being words focused and be action focused.
This means that even a man told you he loved you a million times in the first three months but has been different for the last year, you process that information and realise that talk is cheap – It doesn’t matter what they’ve said before – either something has changed or it wasn’t real, and either way, they are not giving you what you want. There is this part of us that can be oversimplified and it comes down to this:
Just because someone told you something, doesn’t make it so. Harsh, but true. Yes it’s shitty, yes it hurts, yes it’s disappointing, but how much of your time do you want to allocate to someone analysing why he said something, how he said it, and why it isn’t so anymore?
And there lies the crux of the matter because, how much of your life are you willing to expend on trying to force someone to SEE you, to LOVE you, to VALUE you, to RESPECT you, to CARE for you, and do some bare basics in the quest for happiness?
How much misery does it cost you to gain your drop of happiness?
Isn’t there a cut off point where you have to recognise that you are unhappy and that your quest to be happy with that particular someone is actually making you unhappy?
If you can accept the situation, be accountable for your part, let go and recognise that you are human and make mistakes, and use your experience to empower yourself to recognise poor relationship behaviour and also to arm yourself with better self-love such as boundaries, you can and will be happy.
Having boundaries, treating yourself with love, care, respect, and trust, is self love.
Boundaries teach people how to treat you and ensure that even though you may falter at times, your boundaries will protect you from engaging with people and in situations that will harm you and ultimately cause you to dislike yourself.
Unconditional love of yourself means that even though there will be tough times, you won’t internalise other peoples poor behaviour and allow that to change your fundamental love of yourself or your ability to enforce your boundaries.
Caring for yourself means that you look out for you and don’t rely on other people to be your sole source of care. At the same time as me changing my love habits, I also addressed my health and my non romantic relationships. Act like someone who values herself and values the fact that they’re here. You are never powerless and you define your value by how you treat yourself, the situations you place yourself in, and how much you let the company you keep affect you.
Remember that the men you engage in poor relationships with often take the fact that you say you love them, or allow poor behaviour or have no boundaries as a cue to mistreat you. Nuff said.
Without trust you have nothing in relationships, so trust yourself in your relationship with you. Stop disregarding how you feel, your gut, your instincts, and your judgements because you need you and if you use these inbuilt tools, you’ll build your self-confidence because you will be happier from trusting yourself because you recognise poor situations and opt out, which in term builds your self-esteem.
So, what do you want? If it’s happiness, I suggest that you quit trying to achieve happiness with the same actions, and take a different route that starts with you.