How To Heal The Wounds Of A Past Relationship And Find PEACE

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How To Heal The Wounds Of A Past Relationship And Find PEACE

Most people struggle in relationships because of misunderstanding. They project what they desire to experience to the other person. Then, when they discover that what they want in that person is not there, they become angry and disillusioned.   

What follows is pain and disappointment. This phenomenon happens in romantic relationships, friendships, and even at work.   

Everyone has done this, but why? There is a belief that if I don’t fully accept myself, I can find acceptance in another person. They will accept and love me. They will desire me and recognize my beauty and I will feel loved. 

The problem is that you are asking from another that which you won’t give yourself.

That is to say that if you don’t see your own grace and beauty, you will attract others that won’t see it also. 

It's called transference. What you see or don’t see in yourself is transferred to others. Or you magnetize those people who reflect your own self-belief. That means if you are highly critical of yourself, you will find others who are critical as well. 

Of course, the opposite is true as well. As you realize your magnificence, others mirror that awareness. Thus, it can be said that if we don’t heal our relationship wounds, they are repeated again and again. In other words, we continue to draw in people who hold the same tendencies as before and inflict the same wounds. 

Or, to be fair, you are the one that set up the wound in the first place. It all started with the mental construct of dismissing yourself. Mental put-downs keep you stuck in a negative pattern that repeats and repeats. 

The good/bad news is that it is your job to recognize your beauty and magnificence. No one else can see it until you do.  This is good because it puts the power in your hands. 

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For example, Lynette is married to Dan and she discovers that he has been philandering with other women for a long time. She has had "funny" feelings along these lines for a while but was afraid to say anything. So, Lynette and Dan lived in the quandary of dishonesty for years.  

The energy of their relationship was toxic. Neither was happy but they were used to it.  A lot of people will say this: "I wasn’t happy, but what was I to do?" This indicates they had no options (wrong!).

Meanwhile, the toxic energy of their relationship seeped into their lives and they dealt with each other with suspicion and deception, which ultimately turned to hatred. 

The tension grew until Lynette couldn’t take it anymore and finally confronted Dan. The usual rationalization, promises, and lies were told and they continued on. If either of them were honest they would have admitted that the situation was untenable. 

But they didn’t. So they continued living with a wall between them. The wall was distrust and fear. Love could not pass through it.

The biggest problem with this type relationship is that the toxicity and dishonesty grow until one or both get sick. We were not meant to live like this. It is harmful to body, mind, and spirit.

Lynette and Dan eventually parted and neither person was honest about what happened. Both left their marriage with unresolved guilt, blame, and anger, which they carried on to other people and situations. 

So now when Lynette, is faced with circumstances at work or friends where there is deception, fraud, or dishonest, she triggers all the old feelings and she is a mess.

The same thing is true for Dan. He spends his life looking over his shoulder lest someone suspect him of wrongdoing. He continually covers his tracks because he has developed a learned behavior of doing so. He is not comfortable because deep down, he believes he has done something wrong.

The deception with Dan and Lynette was that neither individual was able to meet the needs of the other and they couldn’t’ admit it. They set up their marriage on the premise that they were to make each other happy but that was not possible. 

Neither could supply the love and affirmation the other needed because they didn’t have it. Both were lacking and both were wounded.

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Most people are wounded in some way or other.  They don’t feel valued, hugged, reinforced, or affirmed. And they weren’t taught to supply this to themselves either. In fact, it is the opposite. Don’t be immodest or have a swelled head. Don’t think too much of yourself or give yourself credit. 

This is the edict they live by and the result is neediness: "I need you to make me feel good."

Of course, that is impossible.  No one can do that for another because it isn’t his job.  He can only support his partner’s willingness to love himself.

It is like Pavlovian conditioning. You remember the dog that is given something to eat when a bell is rung. Soon the dog starts to salivate when the bell rings whether there is food or not. The dog has associated one stimulus with the other. 

That is why women will say they don’t trust men and vice versa because they decide that every man (or woman) will carry the same behaviors as the first one. The truth is that the woman (or man) is still trudging around with the wound from their last relationship. 

Thus, if you don’t seek healing, you will constantly hear the bell ring even when it isn’t. You'll never know how to learn from your past relationship.

Relationships are our great teachers. They are the way we learn about ourselves. By stepping back and objectively viewing our relationship history, we can see how we let being "in love" distort our perception. 

We see a handsome man or woman and attach other qualities to that person that don’t exist. We assume because they acted out of their best behavior when we met them, they will continue to do so. Did we continue demonstrating our best behavior? 

Thus most people are bundles of conditioned reflexes and are continually being triggered by individuals and circumstances into predictable outcomes of behavior.

There are no perfect partners, parents, or children. So we come into an imperfect world where love is often lacking. Yet we search for it. We want to be loved and yet we do not love and accept ourselves. It is a crazy, upside down dilemma.

Our quandary is that we search for what we believe we need in the external world, where it often does not exist. We look out there when the love we seek we already have. It is the love that is inherent in our being and in our connection to the Universe. 

It is actually the only thing that is real in life. All the other dramas are made up out of ego insecurities. Yet, we continue to seek it in the material world because we have bought into the idea that love looks like sex or gifts or fidelity or affirmative word, or time spent together.  

Love can be all of these things and it is much more too. 

We will not attract love from other people until we love ourselves and that means warts and all. As spirits, we are magnificent beings. To recognize this you must look beyond the illusory world that is here today and gone tomorrow. 

Who we are is truly amazing because we are made of Divine energy. We are love and light and our job is to figure out how to express it — without conditions or being perfect. 

People talk about protecting themselves from being hurt but they don’t understand how they were hurt in the first place. People experience pain because they have been taking personally the words and actions of others.

Maybe your parent, in a bad moment, proclaimed, "You will never amount to anything" does not mean that they knew what they were talking about. People project their feelings about themselves on to others. Your parent was not feeling good about himself on that occasion. You got the brunt of it. 

Forgive them for the crass words. They didn't know what they were doing. That is what love is about…forgiveness. We forgive people — their warts and their wounds too. This is the only way love can be discovered. Everyone has wounds. 

Love is everywhere. It is in the smile of a friend and the giggle of a baby. It is in the wagging tail of a puppy and the helpful stranger giving directions, plowing your snow, or carrying your groceries. 

Look for it and accept it wherever it appears. Your heart will open and you will feel safer. 

See what people are all about. Where is this person’s wound? Where is yours? Can we encourage and support each other? In what way? When you look past the wound, you see beauty and possibility. Did we forget that relationships are not about ownership, but enrichment?

Ask yourself, "What is it I want or expect from this person? Do they have it to give and do they want to?"

Most often we are unreasonable in our requests because we ask others to fill in our holes and fix the parts that feel broken and they have no ability to do that. You know how it goes, physician heal thy self.  

We are to heal ourselves and that means to forgive our disillusionment. We are always loved. It comes from the inside and the outside (material world) can only reinforce it. It cannot supply to you what you will not admit. That means to be openhearted and receive love the way it is expressed. 

There is a powerful exercise that converts memories of pain into redemption. It works by listing the people you have felt wronged or hurt you in some way and remembering the good times and the fun you had with each one. You essentially drop the rage or hurt (negativity) and hold only the parts that were joyful and loving.  

The "bad" elements were concoctions of the ego and they lure you to frame these individuals as evil or mean spirited. This assertion keeps your mind trapped in misperception and low energy. 

Clearly at there were times when you saw something good in each person or you would not have invested time and energy into that relationship.   

By remembering the fun times we merge with the lightness of spirit. Go through each relationship and recognize the good and let it go. This is not about reuniting with that person. 

It is about making each relationship a holy relationship. You join with truth and not illusion and you are free. You are learning how to see with purity and innocence.

Choose truth over illusion — the real world or the world of guilt and fear, truth or illusion. All that follows reflects your wholeness. Let love enter and bring peace.

Jean Walters is a St. Louis-based Transformational Coach.

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Watch this video from The School of Life about the phenomena of Transference.