A recent "Today" show segment focused on trying to understand a pecinar phenomenon in our culture: why some women just seem to attract "bad men." This morning talk show is not the first to consider this occurrence. In fact, one could look to movies, books, television, and even our own lives to potentially conclude that certain women just seem to get into one relationship after another with men who end up hurting them, sometimes in dramatic and cold-hearted ways.
STOP RIGHT THERE!
We understand how painful it can be for anyone – woman or man – to have his or her heart broken. We also understand how frustrating it is when you think you've started fresh with this new, exciting person in your life only to discover that, yet again, your new partner looks just as untrustworthy and mean-spirited as your past partners were.
It is completely understandable that, if any of these scenarios sound familiar, you and those around you may translate all of this to mean that you simply attract "bad" people.
Even given all of that, we're encouraging you to take a different look at your situation. As long as you continue to see yourself as doomed to attract partners who will break your heart, that is probably going to be your reality. And as long as you see yourself as powerless and at the mercy of the person you are in a relationship with, that will probably be your reality.
It may be uncomfortably true that, up until now, you have attracted relationships that ended up badly. We assert that this is not because the man or woman in your life is "bad." Yes, your mate may have done or said horrible things that left you feeling stunned and wounded. When you continue to focus on your partner or ex as "bad," however, you are not focusing on the future you want for yourself. When your attention is on how horribly you've been grateful and how broken your heart feet, you will only remain in that place of being a victim.
These may be difficult words to read. If you are currently in a relationship where you are being injured in any way, we urge you to do what you need to do so that you can be safe. It may feel important to you to acknowledge what happened in your relationship. This is part of the healing process for many people.
We appreciate that everyone needs to heal and start where they are. But do not remain pointed toward your past that was not happy, fulfilling or what you wanted! Take the time for healing AND move out of being a victim who heart was broken by a "bad" man or woman.
Be clear about what you want.
As you acknowledge what you've experienced and tune in to soothe yourself, start to inquire within. Ask yourself what you want right now in your life. Perhaps you want to feel good about yourself and feel more in control of your life. Or it could be that you want closure on your relationship that just ended. Sometimes creating a ritual about the relationship can help you make a completion and begin to let go of the past.
You may also start to make conscious choices about how to nurture yourself and feel empowered. For some exercise can help. This is not so much about "getting into shape" as it is treating yourself well and getting your energy revved up. Figure out what activities and thoughts feel self-affirming and continue to return to those.
As you make it your priority to treat yourself with increased care and love, keep asking yourself what you want. At a certain point, you might begin to make a list of aspects you'd like to experience in a new relationship. How you feel when you are with this person. How do you two treat each other? What types of activities do you share? How do you show your love for one another?
Do not limit your dreams and vision. They are the stuff of your future.
Part of your healing process can be to start appreciating more. You could start by appreciating your life and all of the things about it that feel good. Then, you might move on to appreciating yourself. For some people, this can be a difficult one. If so, start out small and make it your goal to appreciate one thing about yourself every day.
When you are ready, see if you can appreciate your past – even that "bad" man or woman or hurt you. This appreciation might involve you recognizing that your ex helped you become clearer about what you want in a healthy, connected relationship. We are not asking you to approve of or condone anything that this person did. We are encouraging you to see that even in what feels like the "worst" situations, there can indeed be aspects to appreciate.
The power of appreciation is that the more you can appreciate, the more you find that is pleasant to you. It's as if more and more "good" stuff magically appears as you notice what's going right in your life. No matter how small the morsel of "good" stuff is, when you appreciate it you almost always see more.
Be gentle with yourself as you heal your broken heart. You may not be able to jump right away and that's okay. Allow yourself to be where you are and continue to move toward what you want.