I literally was watching a TV series the other day when I encountered a very relevant message. The program showed a scene with a man essentially professing his love to the mother of his child, in which he admitted to sabotaging their love (prior to that point), for fear of being hurt anticipating that the universe would eventually destroy it.
It certainly was to me. For one thing I recognized that it was very admirable that he could even rationalize his behavior, let alone confess to sabotaging their love and hurting the young lady in the process. But to top it off, he was able to rationalize his fear appropriately and committed to making it up to her for the rest of their lives. That of course being the best part.
I immediately begin to think of a time I sabotaged my own happiness. I was able to think of a couple at the very least.
But before I divulge into my shortcomings, let me ask if you are ready and willing to openly admit to sabotaging your own happiness at some point in your life?
It’s ok if you won’t, or if you are not ready yet.
I’ve been on both ends of this, so I can say with absolute certainty that it does not feel good either way. In the first situation, I was broken by a man whom I gave my entire heart to. He knowingly sabotaged our relationship out of fear or pride, that which ultimately led to him being unhappy, but I digress.
The second situation involved a man whom I opened up my entire heart to, after both of us had been patient with one another while mending hearts that were previously broken. It was only right that we'd love after being broken and supporting one another through our healing process. But as luck would have it, I would open up and he would push me away.
In fairness (with regard to the second scenario), it wasn't entirely his fault, as I am sure there were periods he was opening up to me but I refused to open up to him out of fear that I would be hurt again (self-sabotage).
That's when I realized that many of the men I come into contact with I had a habit of keeping at them at a safe distance, to ensure not being hurt. And thanks to situation number one, I had developed a habit of self-sabotage.
But I understood that for many it takes time (often years) to open yourself up to someone in that way. Typically when you have a history of opening up and being hurt, you tend to close the door and guard it with your life. Which is exactly what I did.
And when I was eventually ready to be open, it hurt worse when the one I wanted didn’t share the same readiness.
I found myself at a crossroads with someone who I cared a lot about, and even loved.
Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it didn't work...
Here are some things I learned that you need to know, in order to stop sabotaging your happiness.
Many of us know what makes us experience extreme emotions of worry or nervousness, we typically just refuse to properly analyze. But in order to address the anxiety, we have to be able to identify what exactly we are feeling, to determine the appropriate response.
I've learned that worry is a sign of anticipated disappointment, and nervousness is a sign of the unexpected.
Nervousness is not necessarily bad, it just simply tells us that we are unsure.
Worry, however, can be a sign of something bad if it is more intuitive. But if not, it's probably unnecessary and has created added stress due to fear of uncertainty.
I have discovered that if I am nervous about an outcome, it doesn't mean that I shouldn't follow through with something, it's just my natural desire to be in control saying "proceed with caution".
Because when I am nervous, it usually means it's new territory, and I have no idea what to anticipate.
When I am worried, I've learned that it means I'm apprehensive, and anticipating the worst. But depending on the situation, I may have no reason to feel that way.
I started asking myself "What do you think will happen?" and "What are you afraid of?" in order to figure out how to respond.
You may be surprised how well this works.
It essentially allows you to be able to identify the root of your fear.
Don’t I know how easy it is to walk in fear. But the easiest things are not always the best for us.
We are creatures of habit, thus we crave normalcy and stability, so when those are threatened or negatively impacted, like a turtle to his shell, we default to our safe place. A place where we don’t have to anticipate harm.
Because of this, we create an environment where we are allowed to be scared to move forward and experience new things (for fear of undesired outcomes).
In love, the scariest thing is heart break. No one want’s their heart broken.
Learning how to confront fear is the best way to learn how to accept the realities of your past, and help you see clearer the patterns of behavior in your future.
If you love someone but you know that your fears may hinder your growth, don’t assume that individual can read your mind. If you make that assumption, you are certainly sabotaging the relationship before it even begins.
Communication is KEY in relationships.
Some people think there is too much information you can share, but I will put it like this… many couples are already aware when they are on the same page.
If you all are not on the same page, you shouldn’t be wasting one another's time anyway.
It becomes very clear when you all are on the same page, that you can be vulnerable without consequence. And that vulnerability will not be viewed as a sign of weakness, but as courage.
Courage to give the relationship 100% of your effort, to identify the challenges, and the willingness to fix them!
Nothing good ever came to someone who wasn't willing to try.
In love, especially, we have to be willing to take the risk and make the sacrifices to ensure our happiness.
The biggest part of that is being willing to allow someone to support you, so that you can free yourself up to support that person the same in return. Because when you have the right person in your life, happiness it's effortless.
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