“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.”― David Richo
Are you over all of the hurt from your past relationships? Do you think you have processed and dealt with the disappointment and the pain? Do you project your fears onto your partner even though they’ve given you no reason to doubt their sincerity or commitment? Do you constantly worry that they will cheat or they aren’t being honest or they don’t really care?
If so, you might be holding onto hurt and pain from previous relationships. What if you think you have moved on, but by holding onto your fears it’s keeping you from finding true love or connecting with the love that you have?
I speak from experience when I say this. I was with a man for two and a half years who would never fully commit to me, who was attached to me, but never loved me. We ended things amicably and a week after we broke up I called I said “you’re important to me and I would like to find a way for us to still be friends. His reply was, “You’re important to me too. I’ll call you later in the week.” That was four years ago.
It took me two years to get over what I felt was a complete betrayal of my love, devotion and friendship. I had done nothing but be there for this man and for him to completely cut me out so abruptly was unfathomable. How could he be so cold? Was I that worthless that he could treat me this way? Why had I chosen him? How do I make sure this doesn’t happen again?
I didn’t really date anyone for years after that. I thought I had processed and moved past it. Then, I met my current boyfriend who is nothing like that man and I slowly started to figure out that I wasn’t fully over it and I wasn’t fully over the pain it had caused.
I realized that I was continually projecting my fears onto him. I kept thinking about what my ex had done to me and I was always worried that my boyfriend would suddenly disappear or stop calling me or that he didn’t really care or that I wasn’t important. I had to accept that my fear of being hurt again was interfering with the truth of my relationship.
What is the Truth?
The truth is we all bring baggage into our relationships. Some people have a tiny carry-on, some a bigger duffel bag and others, like me have over-sized, won’t fit in the overhead compartment baggage.
Over the years I have processed and dealt with all of my relationship baggage, or so I thought. The truth is I was still holding onto what that man had done to me. The truth is his rejection was still living in the back of my mind, would invade my thoughts and was keeping me stuck.
When you think about the truth of your relationship what do you think is true versus what is real? The truth is that my boyfriend has never given me an indication that he would abandon me and has in fact done the opposite.
But, accepting this truth means I have to be vulnerable. I have to face my fears and I have to take a leap of faith and go all in and that is scarier than jumping out of a plane. When you have been hurt over the course of your life you begin to hold onto little crumbs of the pain. You bring them with you like a chipmunk storing acorns. At some point they become too heavy and burdensome and you have to swallow them or put them in the ground where they can grow into trees.
If you are unsure about whether you are projecting onto your partner think about the truth of your situation which means looking at the facts, not your beliefs. Think about behaviors, not thoughts. How does your partner treat you? Have they done anything to make you doubt them?
Do they treat you with respect and kindness? Do they do the best they can even if they aren’t perfect? Be careful not to interpret some of their behaviors as uncaring when in truth they are not.
For example, if my boyfriend gets quiet for a day or two I start to assume he doesn’t care. I start to believe he will suddenly stop talking to me. The fact of the matter is that he’s just a guy and doesn’t need as much connection as I do but I have to be careful not to interpret his behavior as uncaring based on my previous relationship.
Try to think of things objectively. What fears do you have that are unfounded? What are you projecting onto your relationship or in your love life when you meet someone?
But, How Do You Heal These Hurts?
Personally, I’ve been unknowingly carrying around this hurt for a long time and it has kept me from trusting anyone and I didn’t even realize it. The first thing you have to do is acknowledge your hurt and accept that you are afraid. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge
Think about how you were hurt in the past and by whom. What did it feel like at the time? What does it feel like now? Are these hurts living inside you somewhere whether as a body memory or an internalized fear?
Then, you have to decide if you are ready to let go of the fear and the hurt. Are you truly ready to open up and be vulnerable? Can you handle it if things don’t work out the way you want? Do you feel like you are enough just the way you are and that no relationship ending or mishap will change that?
If not, then you probably need to do some work on yourself to feel less insecure and gain more self-esteem before you try to let go. I would recommend therapy, workbooks, meditation and journaling. There are a number of resources on my resource page which you can find here: Resources.
Once you feel secure enough to face the future and whatever it brings then you might want to try some hypnotherapy which is what I did. Once your conscious might has brought all the fears, doubts and beliefs to light it is the subconscious that needs to release them.
Think of yourself as being in a prison. The hurts and fears of your past are keeping you locked in there. That relationship and that person are holding sway over the course of your life. If you want to be free you need to decide enough is enough.
For me, I laid down on my therapists couch and after she put me into a more suggestive stage I felt the block coming up. It was like I could feel the pressure of the old hurt wanting to invade me and keep me stuck. I wanted to release it, so I began to picture my current boyfriend’s face and his kindness and I began to feel like I was ready to let it go.
My therapist then asked me to picture what it would be like to let that fear go. I packaged the fear up and put it into a bunch of red helium balloons and I sent it flying back to Texas (where he lives). Slowly, my fears drifted away. They were no longer mine. I had given them back. I was healed.
If you want true, real, intimate love you have to let go of your hurt and heal from your past relationships or you will subconsciously sabotage or remain limited in your ability to give and receive love. There is a way. Go find it!