Are You the Ghost of Relationships Past?

Via Tracy Crossley
on May 7, 2012
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Photo: John Leech

Misery loves a party; a pity party.

We believe we are working toward happiness, when deep inside a voice holds us back.

What is the Richter scale of function in your current or recently past relationship?

An earthquake of resentment, frustration and a 9.0 of anger? Or a flood of presence, being here and now, recognizing only the moment?

When strong emotions come up, rarely are they about the current issue, it’s like a wayward trip in a confused time machine.

Right before you lost your calm veneer and provoked a fight, were you able to recognize the feeling that was inside of you?

And if you can single out that feeling, do you know how old is it?

Making decisions in the midst of a strong emotion usually doesn’t bode well for the preservation of connection.

How “do” you re-create the same issues again and again in your relationships?

Here’s an answer:

  • > Childhood conditioning
  • > Being unaware or disconnected from your emotions right now
  • > Clarity over what is really being provoked
  • > You want the relationship to fail, because you deserve it

What do all of your relationships have in common? You.

We get off on destroying our inner peace.

We’re human beings.

On some level we believe we deserve to suffer; we’re not good enough to receive the love and good from another.

Awareness changes that belief.

Oh, and thinking it’s the other person controlling our suffering and then trying to control them, makes it worse.

We say: “This always happens to me,” as though we’re unaware of what we create in our relationships.

It’s autopilot; we blame, cajole, force and withhold to manipulate the perfect outcome. And it’s never fulfilling, it leaves us wanting more.

Boundaries sound like a bad word, it’s not, it’s just a form of clarity.

Sometimes we work really hard for a reaction by traversing the boundaries of our partner.

It becomes a struggle for power outside of us rather than empowerment within us.

Boundaries are way better than battle lines.

Engaging in the struggle over who is right is ancient combat.

Like the Civil War re-enactments, we do this with our own history, except now with a different person.

We bring me to we and then think the new person is soooooo different, until certain commonalities erupt that are strikingly similar to our past relationships.

And what is the common denominator? Y-O-U.

You truly are the creator of your life. Watch how you interact with your partner; your anticipation of certain responses, actions and reactions from your partner.

Have you noticed when you feel insecure…you get a specific reaction from your partner? Either you have programmed them to treat you with disdain or love, whichever pattern you have lived by is what you create with them, now.

Photo: Friedman-Abeles

There are two of you here. Though, your partner could be a “stand in” instead of a real human being and vice versa. The same stale soap opera ensues, but we all want a different climax and result.

You both may seek a different outcome. So, who is right or wrong?

We may hold our partner accountable for their response to us without first seeing the dynamic we bring to the situation.

We build a case against them and if this relationship fails, we bring it to the next one.

As I said, when you think you know what your partner will do or say without them having done or said anything…you are building that future moment; you have the strategy and tools to make it happen.

Our body language, tone of voice and words we use all are aimed unconsciously at that consequence; one from the past.

We are creating what we think is beyond our control. Truly.

We don’t recognize the root of our feelings before we engage in the act of destruction, except “not getting our way.”

What it comes down to is I want my way!

In your desire to have exactly what you want; the will of another must bend.

You create the outcome that is familiar. And the bummer is, you never feel satisfied when this happens, instead you create more stories.

When you honor and respect yourself, you inspire that in another.

Photo: Wikimedia

Approaching a person as though you are a two-year-old having a temper tantrum with or without yelling, mimicking the unanswered needs of a small child is probably not where you want to live.

I am guessing, if you are like me—stumbling out of the vagueness of my patterns into clarity—you want more peace, happiness, joy and gushing love in your relationship.

Being unaware of our mental patterns can leave them distorted, self-sustaining and resurrecting the past into the present.

No matter what took place in a past relationship you have the power now to choose how you feel and act.

Awareness grows in the present moment and we make different choices.

Take a breath; relax when thoughts and physical sensations become intense…listen to their story.

When you sit with the intensity of your emotions, it can be overwhelming, but there is a gift.

Now you can create…as you grow relaxed. Peace and spaciousness show that you are not reacting to a present moment, but one from a story long ago.

Even if you don’t feel intense emotion and are simply anticipating words or behavior from your partner, you’re not predicting, you’re setting up a story line.

All of the storyline is from the past.

Again, switch from believing “I know” and allow a clean slate.

Don’t color it in yet. 

Treat it like the first time.

It’s all new with this person, situation or conversation.

You have the magical ability to create a completely different outcome now.

Life and love are about creating new experiences and opportunities now. Forget re-living the past.

What a gift to be the creator!

And to be a two-year-old, free, innocent, excited about the unknown and full of love.

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Editor: Lynn Hasselberger


About Tracy Crossley

Tracy Crossley is a hyphenate: female, writer, curiosity quencher, artist, poet, gardener of real gardens and existential ones, clairvoyant, and momma to grown ups. She owns Intuitive Reinvention Inc. She is currently speaking, writing and mentoring people on getting out of their heads and dysfunctional relationships and into living an authentic, anxiety-free, happy and loving existence. If you want to learn more about her and how she can help you, check out a complimentary discovery session with her click to learn and schedule., Or find her on social media, facebook page, blog and on twitter, she always follows back. She also has a free weekly podcast show on many topics she writes about here click here to listen.


5 Responses to “Are You the Ghost of Relationships Past?”

  1. Anita says:

    Wow!! This was EXACTLY what I needed at this moment, thank you. Here I was on the verge of a mental callapse and considering picking a fight and dramatizing a situation with my boyfriend. Of course it's happened many times before – in other relationships. I feel when it's about to happen, but I can't seem to stop. This, this, is what I needed, not to give into emotions that tell me that my world is crumbling around me and it's all doomed. Thank you.

  2. Tracy says:

    Hi Anita!!

    I love hearing that it was what you needed in the moment! Any time you can interrupt those old emotions that rule us without our knowing why is a pattern broken. I have found myself stopping mid-sentence and asking myself, what am I saying/feeling/or about to do? And then saying…do I love this person? And isn't that my goal? Hard to do, but so worth it. 🙂

  3. Eric says:

    Brilliant, Tracy!!! Every line is a golden nugget…you totally hit it out of the park.
    Sabotage is the main culprit for many people–and we're not even aware of it, "stumbling out of the vagueness of my patterns into clarity—you want more peace, happiness, joy and gushing love in your relationship."

    To co-create with someone, that's the ideal, to say, "Hey, let's both create a beautiful, loving, relationship…" but we are told that someone else will make us happy–and vice versa. I believe it was Chögyam Trungpa who once said, "Most of what we call love is actually neurotic passion."
    Thanks again!!

  4. Tracy says:

    Thank you Eric!!

    A neurotic passion is probably what I would describe as falling in lust. What I have come to know of love has taken me w-a-y beyond any prior limitations in my mind and what society dictates is the norm. It's hard to have a co-created relationship with someone, because you may have different ideas as to what that means, even though you both want the same outcome. I know I always have that little voice that pops up when I am confronted with rising intense emotions…the one that wants to punish and suffer, so its a human muddling through it, sometimes I am successful and other times I have to try again another day. : )

  5. cindy says:

    I have been dating the same guy for 6 yrs. Every time I get upset with him, he is ready to send me on down the road and he disappears for 3 to 7 days. I am suppose to always be happy with everything about our relationship. What am I to do when all I'm trying to do is communicate my desires and my partner gets real defensive and mad at me?