6 Steps to Getting What You Want
Does it seem like you are always ending up in a relationship with the same type of person? Do you seem to have a type that is constantly breaking your heart? Running away from you? Is hard to catch? Or is just plain and simple bad for you?
Have you spent hours and hours in therapy or reading self-help books trying to figure out what you are chasing? Why you keep getting hurt by the same type of individual? What is it that makes you keep attracting the same kind of individual, or in some cases the same individual, over and over again?
If so, you are probably familiar with, or your therapist may have imparted this knowledge onto you about attachment theory. Attachment theory suggests that based on our type of connection with our primary caregiver, generally a mother, but this could also be a father, stepmother, aunt, sibling or grandparent (you get the picture right?) someone who was prominent during your formative years, namely ages 5-12, we become accustomed to a certain type of relationship, a relationship in which we are comfortable with but in situations where the attachment was say ‘anxious’ (also known as anxious attachment) or ‘insecure’ (also known as insecure attachment) or finally insecure and avoidant (yup, also known as insecure-avoidant attachment) there may be something missing, something amiss in that primary relationship which we need to solve and in turn is something which we seek out and then try to work out in our current relationships. This is a common thread that we look at when trying to understand why we keep repeating patterns.
Knowing the root cause of something, why we pursue what we pursue can sometimes be the answer to solving the issue, however, not always. In some situations attachment theory won’t answer our question. Sometimes we seek out people who are attractive to us because they hold everything we wish we had but don’t have. In these cases, the chase can be attributed to low self-esteem, lack of self –confidence, a desire to be more accepted in society, or just plain desire. So, finding the root cause can be a maze, a riddle and sometimes there are many reasons we are choosing the person or persons who continue to elude us.
Elusion can be frustrating. And too much elusion can be downright disheartening, devastating and humiliating. Who cares what attachment theory or some other self help book says, the main reason you don’t get what you want, or who you want is because you are looking for someone else to complete you, and to solve your loneliness woes. Unfortunately this solution is only temporary and fleeting. The only person that can complete yourself is you.
For many people this is a hard concept to grasp, and even if you are in a relationship this is for you. Self-love, self acceptance and self forgiveness are at the root of what is required to be getting what you want, whether you are single, married or other. And, unfortunately until you are okay with yourself, what you desire is probably going to elude you, and there is nothing you can do to control it. So, instead of trying to control it, stop harping on it, and focus on bettering yourself.
Self-love and acceptance often elude us first because we tend to focus on our failures instead of our successes. By focusing on our failures we forget to appreciate ourselves first. When we don't accept ourselves first, life is a constant challenge. The key to self acceptance is forgiveness. Namely, forgiving ourselves for our past failures.
So, here are the steps to self forgiveness and thus, self acceptance:
1. Recognize that we often hold onto our past failures, which run over and over like a tape on replay in our minds, and then they sabotage our future success. Yes, we do it to ourselves. No one is holding onto these failures but ourself. The past is the past and the future is unwritten. You have many opportunities every day in which you can and probably already do succeed.
2. Stop judging your past experiences. The past has taught you a lot and has made you a stronger person today. Are you holding onto some little event in your past that only you remember?
3. Allow yourself to fail. Remember that failure is the first step to success and that every successful person has failed a bunch of times!
4. Don’t buy into the shame. This is basically Don't believe the hype. We choose to believe certain things, negative things, shameful things about ourselves, and by believing it we make it true.
5. Pinpoint the shame, remember a shameful event and write it down. This is the most important step. Just acknowledging an embarrassing shameful event can be healing.
6. Forgive and accept yourself. You can say it aloud, "I am now forgiven."
See if this works for you. And repeat this exercise often.
For more help with sex and relationship related issues please visit Moushumi Ghose, Sex Therapist.