When we feel scared that we aren’t lovable, we protect ourselves by either fighting or fleeing. We do this because we’ve wrapped up our lovability in the words and actions of others, instead of focusing on ourselves. Bringing our love, worth and happiness back to ourselves helps us recognize that we are, indeed, worthy of love.
How do we let go of the fear and pain so we can experience more love and joy in our relationships?
1. Tune in. When you are feeling hurt, pain or fear in your relationship, tune in to what you are feeling, thinking, doing and saying to and about your partner. Are you starting fights? Are you pulling away? Are you being especially critical? Making unreasonable requests? What are you most afraid of? Being aware of what we are feeling (especially when we are in pain) is essential to understanding that we are in fight or flight mode. And knowing we are there helps us move out of that space.
2. When you feel that fight or flight place, recognize what it is and allow yourself to feel it, then consciously choose to work through it instead of reacting in that fear place. Addressing the fear often dissolves the fear. If you fear being alone, really sit with those thoughts for a moment. What would it really be like? Would it really be that bad? Often, it is the fear we are more afraid of than what we are fearing.
3. Whenever you catch yourself feeling unloved or hurt or in pain, bring it back to yourself. Acknowledge that you can make a difference right now in your life, simply by focusing a little on the goodness that you have inside of you. We have learned that we are only lovable because of what we do. But now that we know that is a myth, we have to keep undoing all those thoughts and replace them with ones that are true. You are lovable. You are worthy. You are love.
4. Make a habit of writing or telling yourself every day some of the good things about yourself. When we feel confident and strong, when we like ourselves and feel good about ourselves, we are more likely to feel good about our relationship. When we are taking care of ourselves, we are loving ourselves and that allows our relationships to thrive.