All About Obsessive Love Disorder

Love is a wonderful feeling, and the start of a relationship is such an exciting time of getting to know one another, mixed with the feeling of not being able to get enough of each other.

Wanting to spend time together is completely normal, but in a healthy relationship both parties need to be able to function and be happy, without having to be joined at the hip. When you become reliant on the other person for your own happiness, the situation starts to transform from a healthy love – to an obsessive love.

This obsession can present itself in many ways, and sometimes we may not be aware of it straight away.

  • Do you get jealous of your partner spending time with other people, when they could be spending time with you?
  • When you aren’t together, do you feel compelled to know exactly where they are, and who they are with?
  • Are you incapable of being happy or living a functional life when they aren’t around?
  • Have you ever accused your partner of infidelity with no evidence or reason, besides your own insecurity?
  • Do you live in a constant fear that the relationship is going to end?

These are classic feelings of anxiety and insecurity that manifest within people suffering from Obsessive Love Disorder. However, it’s not only when you are in a relationship that this disorder can be a problem.

Breakups are a painful part of life for everyone. It’s like a grieving process that we have to go through to heal, and move on. People who suffer from Obsessive Love Disorder struggle with letting go, and instead of accepting the fact the relationship is over, they obsess about getting the relationship back and truly believe that this person is their sole reason for living, and that life can’t go on without them.

  • Are you in denial about a breakup?
  • Do you constantly monitor your ex’s social media profiles to see changes to their status, profile picture or friends list?
  • Have you ever driven by your ex’s home, workplace or known hangouts just to see where they are and who they are with?

There can be many causes of Obsessive Love Disorder, with most of them stemming from childhood experiences of abuse, abandonment or feeling unworthy of love. Lack of self-esteem is a big contributor to the feelings of insecurity and dependency.

Whatever the underlying issue is, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Hypnosis, Life Coaching and NLP can have a huge impact on those negative emotions by allowing you to discover your true self-worth, while changing your destructive behaviors and beliefs.

Have you ever experienced any symptoms of Obsessive Love Disorder? How did you deal with it?

 

Why People Can Not Move On

Although one can have the desire to be with someone, they may find that they unable to take the next step. What this is likely to show, is that they are experiencing inner conflict.

And until the part of them that wants to start a relationship is stronger than the part of them that doesn’t, their life is unlikely to change. It is then going to be important for them to take a closer look into what is taking place.

The Hurdle

This could be a time where one will come to see that they are unsure as to whether another person would want to be with them. One could find it hard to believe that they have anything to offer in a relationship.

Thus, if they were to meet someone, it wound only be a matter of time before they realise this. It would then be necessary for them to put on an act in order to keep someone around.

Stuck

As a result of this, it is not going to be possible for them to move forward, and this could carry on for quite some time. Yet, if one is unable to take a step back from what is taking place within them, this is to be expected.

Now, there is always the chance that they will end up meeting someone and go along with it. They could find that they start to see themselves differently, and this experience is then going to be very healing.

Another Outcome

At the same time, it might not be long until the other person begins to treat them badly, and this is then going to validate how they see themselves. The relationship can begin to crumble and they might soon be back where they were.

Or, one could end up putting up with what is taking place, and they will end up feeling even worse. But if one doesn’t value themselves, there is going to be no reason for them to walk away.

It’s Comfortable

For example, if one had just been sitting by a fire and they were to go out into the snow, they would instantly feel the difference. This comes down to the fact that where they were was very hot and where they went was very cold.

In the same way, if one treats themselves badly, being treated badly by someone else is not going to be any different. This is not going to be something that gives them the urge to get away.

A Different Dynamic

This is then going to be no different to what would happen if one treated themselves well and ended up with someone who treated them badly. Being treated in this way would cause them to feel uncomfortable, and they would soon walk away.

If other people were to hear about this, they might say that this is how someone should behave. And if they were to come into contact with someone who stays in a relationship that is abusive, they could find it hard to understand what is going on.

Caught Up

On the other hand, one might not want to start a new relationship due to what they have recently been through. What this can show is that they have been through a breakup, and this has caused them to experience a lot of pain.

As while they are no longer with the other person, they might find it hard to stop thinking about them. Through being this way, they are naturally going to need to take a bit of time to settle down.

Patience

Part of them may want to find someone else to be with, but it could be said that it will be in their best interest to take a break. Once they are on their feet again, they will be ready to meet someone else.

And as to how long this will take can all depend on how they feel; there is not going to be a set time here. One could also find that they meet someone before they feel ready, and it will be down to them to decide if they should go along with it.

Too Soon

If they were to start a relationship even though they are not ready, they could end up using the other person. Having them in their life is then going to be a way for them to avoid how they feel.

Physically they will be with this person, but their mind and heart can be with the person they were with. Out of their desire to run away from their own pain; they will inflict pain onto someone else.

Further Back

But while they one could be still be attached to someone they were with a short while ago, it could relate to someone they were with many years ago. And this could be the very first person they were with.

When this took place, they could have been a teenager or in their early twenties, for instance. And if this wasn’t the first person they were with, it could be the first relationship that had a big impact on them.

Stuck In The Past

Perhaps the relationships they had before this didn’t last for very long, or just didn’t pull them in in the same way. Therefore, while one could be caught up with their first love, it might be more accurate to say that is was their second or third love.

A number of years may have passed since this took place and, while they may have been with people since then, they might have stayed single. There is also the chance that they are currently in a relationship.

Confusion

On one hand, one could look back on when they were with them and think about how great it was. It is then going to be more or less irrelevant as too how many years have passed since they were together.

But on the other hand, one could find that even though they still experience a strong emotional reaction when they think back, they might wonder why this is. Based on what they have been through since (or even if they haven’t had a lot of experiences), they might see that it wasn’t even that good.

The First Love

From a rational perspective, there is going to be no reason for them to be so caught up with what took place. Yet, when it comes to how they feel about the past, it will be as if this was unlike anything else.

One way of looking at this would be to say that the reason it had such a big effect on them is because it was the first of its kind, so to speak. It is then not necessarily about who they were with or what happened; it’s due to the fact that it was the first time they met someone who they got attached to.

Awareness

When one looks back, they can end up having an idealised view of what took place, as opposed to being able to see that it wasn’t perfect. Before this happened, they wouldn’t have had these experiences before, and person they were with would have been the person who they shared them with for the first time.

It could be said that it is not necessary for one to completely forget about their first love to be able to move on; they only need to get to a certain point. The Assistance of a therapist might be needed here.

 

Why You Do Not Find Love

The search for love is a universal one. Yet, when it is found, it is soon replaced with problems, such as the reality of the other person, our own issues or the interference of other people and life. If there is not outward conflict then there is usually conflict within ourselves. To follow the search for personal love is unsatisfactory, yet, to reject the search is more unsatisfactory. Relationships are, generally, the most meaningful and powerful learning experience we tend to have in life.

Search Party

The quest for love is not wrong. However, who we are putting in command of the search party is flawed. Given no other apparent guide, we put our ego in charge of the mission. That’s like putting a young child in charge of the household. He or she will oscillate between being a demanding tyrant and being overwhelmed with irrational terror. The ego asserts that it desperately wants love. Yet, it is structurally incapable of accepting it. It cannot thrive or even survive long-term in the presence of real love. Should we trust that it is going to lead us to the very thing that will destroy it? When the ego is our commander-in-chief, it will work against finding and aligning with love. Although it will claim that it is diligently seeking love, it is doing the opposite. Whenever it is in the territory of real love, it gets nervous and defensive and soon goes AWOL or defects to another team.

The companion we choose before choosing our human companions is what will determine the outcome. We choose either the ego or spirit as our initial companion. Both will be campaigning for our vote. The ego uses every trick it knows. It seduces with talk of our deservedness. Then it ignites our fear that we are actually worthless and should do all we can to hide this fact. It is the mother of all liars and will try and terrify us into accepting its guidance. Spiritual love and the ego are not compatible mates. If one is winning, the other will be losing. There are irreconcilable differences.

The Presence of Love

We don’t know what love is and so we, often, mistake it for something else and we cannot see when it is actually present. We hope, somehow, to get it from someone else. That doesn’t work. Love cannot be possessed, manipulated, threatened or tricked. It will not bow before anything which destroys the spirit. It waits for the quiet moments when the ego has finished talking, demanding, complaining, and scaring. It tries to reassure us that it can be trusted and that it truly has our best interest at heart. It tells us that even if we reject or insult it, it will not be offended. When love is present, the conflict within our being lessens. There is an assurance inside us which is invulnerable to the ego’s constant, defeating propaganda. The more space love is given, the less power the ego is allowed. We find that the ego is simply not needed in the same way anymore

 

Tips To Make Surprise During Valentine Day

Valentine Day is just around the corner. Men are very bad at giving surprises and this is reason that the day of romance leaves many men in the eyes of the storm. Every girl expects surprises from their partner on these special occasion. Modern women avoid expressing the cliche expectations and men fails to understand. However, you won’t find a girl who would not love to be treated in a special way on the auspicious occasion.

The write-up can be useful for all the men around who has not started preparing for the day yet. The article has compiled some of the quick tips to surprise your girl, this year. Have a look at them.

Organize a dinner date for her

Taking the girl to her favorite restaurant for a candle night dinner is a good idea, but you need to think differently this time. The best dinner for a woman is when the man cooks for her. So, instead of going out, stay at home. Spend some quality time together. Cook her favorite cuisine and bake a cake. Decorate the dinning table with flowers and candles. This will definitely make her day. Ladies generally find happiness in these small gestures.

Take her for a holiday

Valentine is on Tuesday this year. So, you can conveniently plan an extended weekend trip for her. Ask her to take a couple of days leave, but don’t reveal the plan. Keep it a secret and take her to the place that she has been planning to visit. Hill stations or sea side towns are the best places to spend the day. Avoid going to places that are crowded. Choose a quite venue where you get maximum time to spend with each other.

Take her out for a surprise date

In the days leading up to Valentine’s day, try to pretend like you have totally forgotten it. She will try her best to remind you, but you need to avoid it. Call her up at midnight and wish her. Then, take her for out the following day. Get dressed up in your best attire and impress her. Try to wear the shirt that she likes the most. Make yourself presentable in proper formals. You can even the exotic styles of men’s G-string underwear. This will add an extra flare of glamour to your date plans.
Spend the day in retro style

There is nothing as special as the vintage romance style. Organize a party for your girl and invite all her friends and loved ones. The retro theme is ideal for the get-together. The color code of black of the guys and red for girls is a perfect way to make the day memorable for the years to come. Get dressed in retro tuxedo. However, you can trigger your wild on the romantic evening by wearing men’s sheer underwear. Kneel down and propose her in front of every one. Present her with a bouquet of roses as well as Valentine card. This gesture of yours will give her the surprise of life.

Special treatment during Valentine week

You can give a special gift on the various days of the Valentine week. For instance, you can send flowers at her workplace. Give her hand made chocolates on the Chocolate Day. Similarly, you can plan out various activities to surprise her on the different days of the week. Amaze her everyday with your love confession and make the entire week memorable.

You plan one day for her and she will think of you glowingly for the entire month and year. However, before planning anything, make sure that you keep the nature of the girl into account. Keep a note of what she likes and then set the action plan of the day.

 

All About Valentine Day Card

Valentines Day Cards are a great way of maintaining your love relationship with your lover. Did you know that? Have you ever thought of giving a card to your sweetheart on the day of romance, every 14th February? By the way, do you recognize this Valentine’s Day? Is it really necessary to celebrate it?

Well, in Uganda, it’s not so long since people started celebrating Valentine’s Day as a day for lovers. It all started slowly with a few people in Kampala. At that time, people had mixed feelings about it. While some modern Ugandans welcomed it with open hearts, the majority saw it as a foreign practice that was only imported to destroy the Ugandan culture.

Destroying the Ugandan culture, true? Probably yes, they were right in one way at that time because in some of our cultures, love is implicitly exhibited. Most people shy away from showing their love publicly. The only public occasions people show love are introductions and weddings. When they see others romancing, they consider them to be spoiled. And Valentine’s Day is a day for romance, showing love to your lover.

But as time went on, more people got involved in celebrating Valentine’s Day. It’s much more noticeable and popular in urban places. However, in the rural setting, most Ugandans are still hesitant to embrace it fully. Those, who celebrate it, exchange gifts like flowers (red roses) and wear red and black clothes to show love for their sweethearts.

Although the history of the Valentine’s Day is mysterious, the intentions of celebrating this day are good. And I feel people should embrace it. From the Christian point of view, love strengthens our conjugal life and builds strong families, hence good societies. We make our Valentines Day Cards with personalized special messages for lovers that intend to strengthen their love.

The Catholic Church recognizes Valentine’s Day. Yes, it’s true. St. Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, Valentine saw some injustice to young men. He therefore defied the law and went ahead to perform marriages for young lovers secretly. When Claudius discovered it, he ordered for his death. That’s how he became a romantic figure and above all, a Saint.

Why should you use Laser-cut Valentines Day Cards to show Affection to your Lover?

#1: They make the occasion valuable
First, love is a valuable asset God gave to human beings. Without love, couples can never enjoy happy relationships in their life. Love strengthens our conjugal life. This is why we need to consider it important. And laser-cut Valentines Day Cards are suitable for showing your love for him or her because of their high perceived value. Besides, it takes a deep thought and time to come up with a beautiful personalized card for the occasion.

#2: They are the best and affordable way to show your love
Though there are several other ways of expressing your affection to someone, such as writing a letter, laser-cut Valentines Day Cards are one of the best modern ways of doing it. It’s relatively cheaper to express your emotions using these cards. Just customize your card with the messages that bring out all your love feelings. One simple card will play a very big role in strengthening your love.

#3: They are made with a lot of creativity
Thirdly, card makers produce every card with a creative mind. But through creativity, one is able to craft for our clients unique cards with the designs of your choice. You can have awesome designs suitable for husband, wife, fiancé / fiancée, boyfriend or girlfriend created.

#4: Engraved messages look unique and attractive
Lastly but not least, all the messages written on the cards are engraved. This is different from printing them with a digital printer, which is the common practice on many other cards. Engraving makes the cards look different and appealing to everyone.

Conclusion
Laser-cut Valentines Day Cards are a great way of showing your love to your sweetheart on 14th February. Express your affection to your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend and fiancé / fiancée by giving them a valuable laser-cut card.

 

Love Will Change Your Life

When I was young I did not have many friends. I had enough friends, just not many of them. For many years, I secretly wished to have more friends, to be more popular, to have more people like me. But that was when I “thought like a child, reasoned like a child” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Fortunately, I grew up. Like the Apostle Paul testified, “I became a man and put childish ways behind me” (IBID).

Not everyone does grow up, you know; some just grow older. Aging is imposed; maturity is a choice. When I became a man – a Christian man at that, I began to actually mature. I began to follow One who called me “friend,” and the path we have walked is one leading to maturity. We are still walking; I am still maturing. I have not arrived! Still, something happened along the way, something of profound importance happened to me.

As profound as it was, I cannot tell you when it happened. I suppose it happened while my eyes were “fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Somehow, somewhere, sometime along the way my orientation to life changed. I ceased seeing myself at the center of the universe with everything revolving around me, and everything being about me. Walking further with Christ, I eventually came to realize that neither others nor even the “center of the universe” was the true Center. Rather, the One who made the universe was the legitimate center, the rightful focus of my life, of our lives.

As I lived this way, I ceased trying to have friends. I began to earnestly try to be a friend. I stopped hoping to gain more friends numerically; I began to try to deepen friendships I had. That is, I began to care more deeply about others, or stated differently – to love others better.

In my immaturity, my orientation was completely self-centered. My concern was, “how well am I being loved?”. Even more deeply I worried that I might never be loved as deeply as I desired. As maturity has grown in me, however, I have been motivated by this concern, “How well am I loving?”. And sometimes in quite meditation before my Master, I wonder if I will ever love as deeply as I ought. And He has assured me that “He will carry to completion this work He has begun in me” (Philippians 1:6).

Many years ago God caused me to pause a moment and look around at my life. He wanted me to see something in particular. I saw lots of friends, people I really cared for and who genuinely cared about me. It was amazing the first time I saw it; I have marveled at the sight many times since. As enjoyable as that experience is, it is not my normal orientation to look at that. As faithfully as I can, I am living from the inside out, engaging the world before me, not living as one staring in a mirror to see myself (where you might even be in that reflection, too).

I would not want to leave the impression that being grounded in God’s love for me, living with a passion to be a friend, to really love others, has made me immune to rejection or hurt in relationships with people. It has not. It has, however, made these experiences bearable, and the worst of these thus far, survivable. Neither would I want to leave the impression that I never return to the self-focused life. I have many times. But this I know, that is not the way I was made to live. By the grace of God, I have continued to come to my senses and live in harmony with God and His plan for my life – a God-centered life.

Nowhere in the Bible have I found the command to go out and get love or to find someone to love me. It tells us we are loved by the One who matters most; and then, it tells us to go love others. According to Jesus, the two greatest commandments, which He deemed inseparable, and which He proposed were an adequate summary of the Bible’s whole message, were these: we are to love the Lord God with all our being, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). This is not natural. We, by nature, operate exactly the opposite of this. God is not our starting point; our neighbors are. And we are not trying to love our neighbors; we are trying to get them to love us. Furthermore, until we see this – and see it as wrong – we cannot turn from it.

In the 800 or so words you just read, there is potential hope and direction for living your life well. Jesus did not intend to be a mere spiritual addition to our lives; He came to be our lives (see Colossians 3:2-4). Do you need to change that orientation? Do you need to seriously begin following Jesus, our Friend who sticks closer than a brother? He is still extending His grand invitation: “Come, follow Me!” Remember, please, it is a journey of maturity! Everything will change when you really follow. You will change!

Note: All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version.

 

How To Keep The Relationship

“Marriage isn’t just about raising kids, splitting chores and making love. It can also have a spiritual dimension that has to do with creating an inner life together – a culture rich with rituals, and an appreciation for your roles and goals that link you…” Gottman, 7 Principals of Making a Marriage Work

There are different elements that help build and support a shared meaning, all of which should be established and then built on over time. Read through each element and answer the questions after each section, making note of any thoughts that pop up you want to share with your lover.

Four Elements that Build a Shared Meaning and Purpose

Tip 1. Rituals of Connection
Tip 2. Shared Views
Tip 3. Shared Goals and Dreams
Tip 4. Shared Values

Tip 1. Rituals of Connection:

A ritual of connection refers to the small things you do as a couple or a family which build and strengthen the emotional and spiritual connections between you all.

Ask yourself these questions:
• How do you and your partner connect with each other?
• Have you developed your own family rituals?
This could be a special meal on the weekend such as a takeaway on a Saturday or Sunday roast or movie night every Friday.
• In what unique ways do you celebrate religious holidays?
• Do you have a ritual for love making?
• Do you dedicate a day or night per week for family or romance?

Many couples find love and connection flourishes when they have an intimate ritual to look forward to. The key here is to find something that you do together regularly that you can look forward to.

Answer the above questions and think about the rituals of connection you have: do they work for you? Could you improve them to increase your connection or create some new ones?

Tip 2. Shared Views:

Support for Each Other’s Roles
When couples come to me a lot of the problems stem from the fall out of what they think their partner “should” be doing versus what they are actually doing. I often hear: “As a husband… ” he “should” be doing this, fixing that, paying for this or giving me that. Similarly I hear it the other way round too: “A wife “should” look after the home, stay in with the family and contribute to the finances.” The problem stems from the fact that these assumed roles are often never discussed so each person develops their own views on situations without taking the time to understand the perspective of their partner. This where resentment builds. The happiest couples agree on the roles they define for themselves and support each other with them. This is crucial as it helps to build a shared meaning.

Family and Parenting
Having similar views on parenting also adds to a strong sense of shared meaning, so does your views on the level of interaction you expect to have with your parents, siblings and cousins. For example, do you both consider extended family part of your daily family life or do you prefer distance and more of a nuclear family?

Work and Career
Even the views on what it means to work and the significance of work in your life is important to discuss. How much work is part of your life can be disputed, potentially causing friction, so having a shared outlook is crucial. Where you can talk about its importance in your life and share your experiences. Some individuals I work with get jealous and annoyed at their spouses involvement with work and staying late or socializing with colleagues on the weekends and this can cause tension for some couples. Compared to couples who agree that work comes first and encourage each other to be the best they can possibly be. Which couple are you?

The extent to which you feel similar about these issues, the stronger your marriage and connection becomes. This doesn’t mean you need to agree on everything but often it’s the couples that are more closely aligned in their views and approaches that are happier and more fulfilled.

What views do you share when it comes to living out your life? Are there any expectations that are a cause of frustration for you that you have not communicated? Could you benefit from some more support when it comes to your roles, family or career?

Tip 3. Shared Goals and Dreams:

Part of what creates a meaningful life are the goals that we strive to achieve. Many of us wouldn’t be where we are today without setting goals and going for it. Without a direction we become aimless, lifeless even. Imagine a ship in the ocean that has no route to follow, directionless, it will float aimlessly and get nowhere. Marriages are the same. The goal of a relationship is not to get married and that’s it. As with any area of life whether that be work, fitness or hobbies, having the next goal in mind ensures your progression, sense of purpose and prevents you from stagnating. Your marriage should be no different – you need positive goals for your shared time together.

Too often we don’t talk about our deepest desires and sometimes we haven’t even asked ourselves about what we want for our relationship, as we’re too busy with life to notice. When we start to explore and define our shared goals we increase intimacy, meaning and purpose. When united by a goal, we can let arguments and differences go more easily.

What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for your marriage? List them and create some more joint ones.

Tip 4. Shared Values:

Like with shared views, having shared values also help marriages flourish.

Ask yourself these questions:

What do you value most about being a part of the family you belong to?
What family stories do you consider with pride?
What does home mean to you?
What activities or objects symbolize a meaningful and well-lived life to you?
What symbols or objects demonstrate who you are in the world?

Analyse what you and your spouse value most by answering these questions and list anything that comes up that matters to you most in life.

Now Create Your Shared Meaning

I have heard many different rituals, views, goals and values because every couple has their own story. Here are some shared meanings:

“to heal and have a peaceful existence” (after a difficult previous relationship and childhood)

“to create a family filled with laughter & love”

“to enjoy life to the max: travel, explore, adventure and excitement”

“to step into parents footsteps and care for the whole family and business”

“to give our children the best education and watch them flourish together”

“to have our dream home on the beach and retire (early) in luxury”

“to live God’s mission together, wherever that may lead us”

“to set up our own business and leave a legacy”

Above all, it’s important throughout your journey to remember one thing: this is your journey. I have offered examples of other couples shared meaning to show that every couple is different.

Share your dreams with your partner and list your one-, five- and ten-year goals and come up with some ideas for a shared meaning that is personal to you and your partner.

 

Why True Love Endures

Memory carries a lot of heartaches, disappointments and broken promises of which we could hardly let go. Sometimes we are the enemy of our own selves. We want to forget but war arises between our minds and our hearts. It is a struggle to survive day by day forgetting the pain. The more we push away the person who hurt us, the more we will be deeply wounded inside.

We give up but the gravity inside us pulls back that loving feeling. We tend to escape from reality giving ourselves the false hope. But in the morning when we wake up the pain is still there killing us like a double-bladed sword squeezing our hearts up to the last drop of blood.

At night, our beds feel like graveyards where darkness swallow us while we are lying to sleep. The silence of the night is deafening, no music to be heard but only the howling noise of broken heart like wolves waiting to devour us. We looked unblemished but perfectly dying to death.

Painful as it can be, we strive hard to let go. No matter how it hurts, we choose to forget. We force ourselves to find a new love, someone better, someone who could put back the broken pieces back in shape. After a while we realize time provides us an exit from the dungeon of disappointments and heartaches, then we feel brand new.

Yes, time heals all wounds but true love only forgets the pain. It remembers the joy and the love. It reminds us how we felt when we are still together. It brings back time and it conquers all heartaches. The memory of true love holds us still where time machines exist, bringing us to the time when we were deeply in love.

They say true love has the habit of coming back. It keeps coming back to the one we once loved. Because the memory of our true love never fades it lingers like music in our thoughts and feelings. It never goes away, though it gives itself a break but it never dies.

The repetition of falling in love with the same person is allowing ourselves to be broken again. We know that loving with this special someone is giving him/her the authority to hurt us. But we rather embrace the pain while loving… than to let go and bury the feeling. Because true love always returns, true love endures.

 

Common Mistake During Marriage Proposal

It was Dan and Anastasia’s time. It was a gift from life or, perhaps, it was life’s little joke to itself. Yet, neither of them could bring themselves to laugh. It was too important and too promising.

It did not take long for Dan to turn to Ana one day, take her hand, and say, “If I asked you to marry me, would you say yes?” Ana was surprised. Such a serious question. Daniel’s eyes would not let hers turn away. They were tunnelling with the demand, Answer me, now.

Before her mind could manage to push forth some reasonable concerns, even objections, a smile jumped into the arena and smoothed itself over Ana’s mouth. The deal was sealed in the passing of a few seconds. For the shortest breathing space, Dan and Ana relaxed, as if before the storm. The moment was so piercingly innocent that both felt naked and embarrassed like too much of themselves had been shown to the other. Now, it was too late to take it back. Purity has its own power; not to be messed with.

In retrospect, the signs were clear but Ana didn’t want to believe them. From that purest of moments, the devil was released. The coming months grew more and more confusing until Ana could not remember if Dan even vaguely liked her. One final day, he casually announced to her as if it was of little relevance that he had been lately meeting up with an old friend from some years back. They had reignited their friendship and he was going to move to her city, start a relationship, and live with her. Ana was incredulous.

The sorrow would have been debilitating except that Daniel, in his guilt, had decided that the best approach was to act like there was no reason why Ana would be anything but happy for his new adventure. This brought the fire out in Anastasia. How dare he hurt her like that, ask for her love and trust, and then disregard it as if it never happened. Dan was much bigger than Ana. And he was a man not challenged lightly. She hit him and didn’t hold back. It was not the first time Ana had hit Dan. He hated it intensely because he could not hit her back. He seethed with fury and both stared at each other as if the world was about to explode. At least, it was an even match. Seeing that Dan meant to carry through his plan and do so with no remorse, Ana threw herself towards the door with disgust that knew no boundaries.

It was over. For a long time, every morning following on the heels of waking consciousness, Anastasia would hear the words, It’s over. Accept it. After a while, the anger faded but something worse took its place – grief. There was no stopping it. A thousand times she scolded herself, Why did you give him your heart? You knew it was a dreadful idea. But she did give him her heart. It was already done. Once the contract is signed, it can only be nullified by a painful untangling. Ana wondered how Dan was going in his new relationship. She felt that he must have adjusted by now. He must be happy. It was his decision, after all. Every day she wished him happiness and she would release him in her soul. She thought, How many times must one release the same person?

Sometimes, Anastasia would dream of a friend from another land. The friend had many disguises: male, female, young, old, friend, foe, human, spirit. However, she always recognised the friend by the way it talked, the advice it gave, and the energy field it left behind.

One night, the friend visited her. It explained to Ana, “If you didn’t give Daniel your heart, he could not heal. It’s the price you paid for healing.” Ana wondered if the price was worth it. Maybe, it was all for naught, anyway. The friend continued, “The devil has to first come out and be owned before its owner can learn to subdue it.”

“Will I see him again?” Ana asked.

“Yes, you will see him,” replied the friend. “He never went to live with his friend. He never even started the relationship. As soon as you left, there was no need of that relationship anymore and so it didn’t even get off the ground. He did not love her but he needed a reason to make you leave. If one cannot trust that one will be loved even at one’s worst, the healing cannot begin. One will always be lying about what is inside oneself. The devil inside must be let loose before it can be tamed.”

“Will it be tamed?” asked Ana.

“That, my dear Anastasia, is the enthralling story of life. We would not want to spoil it. It is written by the most brilliant of writers, you know. It is enough for you to know that love is its own reward.”

 

Why You Need To Love Yourself

Growing up, most of us had numerous experiences of being blamed. I was frequently blamed for things that I was too young to understand, or for things that I didn’t do ‘right’, or for things that, to me, didn’t seem worthy of blame.

Being blamed feels awful, and I learned to feel guilty even when I hadn’t actually done anything wrong. Looking back, I now understand that blaming and judging myself, which caused me to feel guilty, felt better and more empowering than feeling the depth of helplessness over being so unseen, unheard and misunderstood.

Today, I work with many clients who are very reactive to being blamed. They often get angry or defensive, rather than feeling the helplessness and heartbreak of being unseen, unheard and misunderstood. Of course, this creates problems in relationships, since their partner then also feels unseen and unheard at the other end of the anger and defensiveness.

Blame vs. Responsibility

One of the underlying issues is that there is often confusion between responsibility and blame.

What would happen in conflicts if partners and families accepted that everyone is responsible for their own behavior and choices, but that no one is actually to blame? What if we each chose to open to learning about our own responsibility in any conflict situation, without blaming ourselves or each other?

Loving yourself when being blamed means that you stop blaming yourself – stop judging yourself – and open to compassion for the pain of not being seen and understood. If you stop blaming and judging yourself, then you have a better chance of staying open to taking responsibility for your own choices. It’s so much easier to not get angry and defensive when you can accept responsibility without blaming. Loving yourself means remembering that everyone is responsible but no one is to blame.

Remembering this is also what creates relationship and family healing.

Of course, none of us has control over whether or not anyone else lets go of blame and accepts responsibility. But even if it’s just you, you can affect a change in your relationships. Just imagine how much easier it would be to stay compassionate with yourself and open to learning, during conflict, if you weren’t reactive to being blamed, because you were no longer getting triggered into anger or defensiveness.

Since I’ve let go of the whole concept of blame, I find it easy to accept responsibility. For me, taking responsibility goes along with learning about myself and about what choices have been loving to myself and others, and which haven’t. When blame is out of the picture, it’s easy for my love of learning to take over. I love the excitement of learning new things about myself and new things about what’s loving!

You will find that when others blame you, it will still hurt your heart – because others’ unloving behavior always hurts our heart when we are fully open to our feelings – but it’s easier to not take the blame personally when you are no longer judging yourself. It becomes less difficult as you practice either opening to learning with the other person, or lovingly disengaging when someone is blaming you, and being very compassionate with your heartache over others’ unloving behavior.

The challenge is that the wounded self loves to blame. Blaming makes our ego wounded self feel superior and in control, but it’s also the wounded self that is self-blaming and feels inferior. When you embrace the understanding that everyone is responsible but no one is to blame, you take the power away from your wounded self and put your loving adult in charge.

I hope you embrace the responsibility and let go of the blame. You will find yourself feeling truly empowered when you are able to do this.