As Conscious Girlfriend coaches, we hear so many stories about women breaking other womens’ hearts. For instance:
Jill broke up with Nadine just weeks before their wedding, with no explanation.
Felicity let Keisa support her through years in prison, then dumped her for someone else when she got out.
Laurie asked Evan to put their relationship “on hold” while she started a new job – and then never brought up the topic again. When Evan finally worked up her courage to approach Laurie, Laurie said she was too busy to be in a relationship. But as soon as Evan started dating someone new, Laurie had a change of heart and wanted to “try again”!
These stories sound pretty bad, no? But when I (Ruth) think back on my own past, and the women who broke my heart, I see what an active participant I was. Even though there were plenty of bad signs early on, I chose to ignore them. Rather than expressing my concerns, or ending the relationship when it became clear that it wasn’t going to work, I hung on and lived in a fantasy for as long as I could, until it became utterly impossible.
And when our coaching clients really look at what happened, they generally see it the same way. The truth is, we almost always break our own hearts.
OUCH! Why on earth do we do that?
Well, we certainly don’t do it on purpose. Mostly, it happens because we:
• Don’t love ourselves enough to put our own needs front and center.
• Feel afraid that no one better will ever come along.
• Stubbornly see only the best in people, even when they’re not giving that “best” to us.
• Mistrust our own perceptions and let other people manipulate or guilt-trip us.
That’s why self-love is the best remedy for heartbreak. We can never make someone else love us, or make her able to express her love in healthy ways. That’s simply not in our control. But we can learn to love ourselves, and to embody that self-love in ways that transform our love lives – and also the rest of our lives!
Now, you may be thinking that sounds too easy. “Sure, sure, I know it would be good if I loved myself. But I don’t. So how am I supposed to change that?” The truth is, many of us need to learn to love ourselves. It might not come naturally, at least at first – particularly if we were raised by critical parents. But self-love is a learnable skill. Day by day, moment by moment, we can choose to connect to ourselves with compassion… and bring that compassion into our hearts, bodies, and everyday actions.
So, stop breaking your own heart. It’s time.
If you need some self-love help, it’s one of Michelle’s specialties. As someone who spent years in abusive relationships, she really gets it. And if you’ve been breaking your own heart – or letting other people do it for you – she can help you turn that pattern around!