You can't control how people relate to and love you. Even if you are manipulative and abusive in a relationship, while you think you are controlling the situation, you are merely forcing someone to act a certain way despite how they feel towards you. I have very painfully learnt that the more you try to control a relationship or friendship, the more you push people away.
What you can control is how you conduct yourself in a relationship.
Here is an interesting thought... Are our expectations just another avenue to manipulate our relationships?
There are some environments that require healthy expectations in order for all involved to function properly. For example, the workplace would be a very unstable place if we didn't respect the expectations clearly outlined at our point of initiation. Even home life shared by two or more people requires a level of respect and understanding around expectations. But this has to do with things like chores, privacy, boundaries, communication and belongings. When it comes to intimacy and emotional stability, the lines get blurred and the grey areas are more prominent.
Expectations can be like a secret code that we carry around, in every relationship and if the code isn't cracked by our partner, we get disappointed. All of a sudden love is conditional. But it is our human nature to make things conditional. "You need to love me this way in order for me to be happy in this relationship"... But I have discovered that doesn't work!
There is a higher purpose for our relationships. There is a freedom that we can find through unconditional, and liberating connection where good intentions are more important than our own individual and often 'impossible to crack' secret codes. And I believe the way to embrace this freedom of unconditional love, is by forgetting about past wrongs, and forgiving the things that have hurt us and stopped us from entering into a more intimate and genuine relationship. Furthermore it is also about taking away the pressure for someone else to make you happy. You are responsible for your own happiness.
My husband lived on egg shells in our relationship for a long time. I had so many secret codes that I demanded he learn, understand, respect and uphold in order for me to feel loved. It was a bottomless pitt and he was constantly and hopelessly failing to satisfy my needs. That is no way to live!
Now I am working really hard on reversing that damage. But it means I have to daily let go of my expectations, clothe myself in good intentions and love him unconditionally. I chose him, so how can I spend the rest of my days complaining about how he isn't good enough? What sort of warped perspective is that?
I have lost count of the many times I have had to say to myself, forgive and forget Heidi, in a moment where fears or insecurities have been triggered. There is something beautiful in believing someone is good, wholesome, wonderful and worth loving despite their past or present mistakes. Being able to do that, is a good reflection of how we can think the best about ourselves too! It is about looking at the character and responding to that rather than nit picking at the behaviour. At the core of it all, is the ability to forgive. We are all human, we all make mistakes and most of the time we mean no harm. We are all just as frail yet important as each other. So we all deserve a chance to be forgiven and loved unconditionally.
What about the person who abused me when I was little? What about the people who do unspeakable things? There is a difference between condoning behaviour and forgiving behaviour for the sake of your own health and sanity.
Sometimes we get hurt and damaged beyond our wildest nightmares. It is in these situations that we need to understand a very important truth: We still have the opportunity to find freedom, by letting go of what they did, and choosing to live outside of that experience, rather than in reaction and chained to it. The longer we hold on to these things, the longer we let them ruin our future. We have the same chance as anybody else, to move on, learn from our experiences, forgive and forget in order to heal, be replenished and find love in life and other relationships that are healthy. The only person you are hurting by holding on to the pain, is yourself. Give yourself time to process, grieve or whatever it is you need to do in order to deal with your pain, but then give yourself time to recover by letting go!
At the end of the day, you hold the power to choose freedom despite your worst reality. Be the change in your world!
Love Heids Xx
Make your own commitment to freedom to pursue genuine, positive change no matter your circumstances!