We are all on a quest to find love. Love is in my opinion, the single most healing energy there is on this planet. It can also be for many women, the most elusive. Often times, my female clients sit across from me, wide-eyed and filled with desperation, almost willing me to put an end to their loneliness and isolation. Their questions revolve around the following: Why can't I find love? Why do I meet all the wrong guys? How can I meet Mr. Right?
Sometimes I have to gently point out dysfunctional patterns that keep them in a loop; doing the same things over and over again with the same disastrous results accompanied by huge hurt and pain. And yet even though these patterns produce unfulfilling relationships that end up going nowhere, there is often a lot of resistance to make change. Why? Because change is not always easy and to delve a bit deeper, many times people don't want to make the effort to do things differently, they just want different results.
More from YourTango: Heroes And The Heat Of The Game
But even after all the exploration, re-direction, role-playing and homework assignments, where we ultimately end up is looking at the one core issue underlying all of this: self-love. There is a cliché that like attracts like, or that water seeks its own level. There is much truth here. If one is unable to see beauty in oneself, if one does not feel worthy of love then it will be very difficult if not impossible to attract it. If one is not willing to look at this, name it, grieve it and embark on a journey to heal, one will continue to attract partners who will validate this inner belief. If you can't love you…how is he going to? You will attract men who are emotionally unavailable to you because that is the level you are at. It is a sad, cold, heart breaking fact.
"But I gave him everything and it still wasn't enough!" Perhaps you did, but what you neglected to see was the fact that you were disconnected from yourself, something that speaks volumes about who you are and what you think you deserve. Is it that surprising that at the end of the day you got someone who gave you exactly what you truly believed? Probably not. As women we are raised to be nurturers and givers. That is not a bad thing if kept in balance. However we sometimes get to the point of giving ourselves away. That is going too far. It is also not attractive to men who want a woman who knows how good she is and knows her own value. This is a much more attractive place to come from and as a result, will attract a different kind of man; one who is confident enough in himself and wants a partner who mirrors that.
Our thoughts and beliefs are extremely powerful and are crucial in attracting everything into our lives. If we get up on the wrong side of the bed and decide it is going to be a lousy day, that's what we get. Our thoughts have just created our reality. If we have a penchant towards negative thinking then it becomes fodder for a very unfulfilling life. It is very important to notice our thoughts and begin giving ourselves positive thoughts versus negative ones. It takes practice but is worthwhile and in time you will see the results.
I encourage clients to visualize the lives they truly want, regardless of whether they believe in these thoughts at five percent or ninety percent. It doesn't matter. You just need a place to start. At first when doing this there will be the negative thoughts and doubts coming in. That's okay. Just push past them and anchor yourself in the positive. It will be like learning to ride a bike. You start with the training wheels and feel a bit wobbly at first, but over time you get better at it. Eventually the training wheels come off and you're riding with your arms up in the air. Like with acquiring any new skill, time and patience are needed and before long you have integrated it.
Once you are working with your thoughts and visualization, it helps you to tap into what it is that you truly want. Sometimes it can take a while to get to this place.
When I ask a client: What do you want in a partner? I can tell right away by her response where she is in this process. If the answer I get is an ambiguous: "Oh, I don't know…" then this is a woman who is living her life randomly and what will come to her will also be random. Random is not always good. It is important to live consciously. It's okay to not know what you want, but see this as an opportunity for growth. If you aren't sure what you want or what you deserve, then it's time to do some work on yourself. That relationship you have been longing for needs to become a relationship with you.
Embark on a love affair with yourself! Find out what makes you tick. Explore your life story: look at it all, good and bad and work on it. Get into therapy or speak with a pastor or rabbi, someone who can listen and provide a safe place in which to do your work. Rather than giving yourself away, direct your energy inward to your own loving heart. Learn maybe for the first time about the glorious person you are. See yourself through compassionate eyes and learn to value yourself.
Eventually it becomes contagious once you get the hang of it. Hopefully you will get to the point of falling madly in love with yourself. Yes, that's right. With time and commitment, you will know yourself and come to appreciate who you are: warts and all. Remember, self-knowledge is power. You will be a woman who knows who she is and as a result, also knows what she deserves. From this place of self-empowerment, you will be much more able to attract all the things you want, including that intimate relationship. It is an investment you make in yourself that will pay dividends for a lifetime. So, go ahead and get started in forming this connection with yourself and as you develop self-love, you will become a magnet for exactly the kind of loving relationship you long for in your life. Believe me it is out there waiting for you. Are you ready to do what it takes to call it in? It's all up to you.
More from YourTango: Finding Your Soulmate: Character Over Looks
More love advice from YourTango