“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”
~ Bob Marley
I’ve had my fair share of misadventures, bad advice and foul decisions, but I’ve always known that I wanted true love.
I moved away from the wreckage I had created for myself with failed relationships in California, and headed to the Bible belt in Houston, TX for a year of celibacy, sobriety, and focus on my music and career.
That space gave me a lot of time to deeply reflect on my inner personal challenges, and address them one by one. I learned a lot about my mistakes in my relationships, who and what I was still holding onto, and began shedding layers of transgressions to reach a place where I was ready to receive the love I had always wanted.
My new boyfriend and I have just celebrated our one-year anniversary, and things are different. As I find my center, I see the reel of my past failed relationships aren’t playing over and over again like a broken record in my life, my consciousness, or my stories.
I don’t have “bad relationship” stories to tell anymore. I’ve healed.
Here are some signs the we’re breaking our bad relationship cycle:
1. We let the crazy show, and we’re honest and upfront about it.
We all are flawed and have been broken. But, too often, we date people on a surface level so we can tiptoe around that seamier part of ourselves. We don’t let our core flaws show, and try to hide them, or purposefully suppress them for fear of our partner judging or rejecting us. We are even willing to fight to deflect them.
The fact of the matter is, eventually we realize that lying is lying, whether it’s to ourselves or to our partner, and nothing good will come from a relationship that’s built on suppressed truth. We begin to see it’s about letting it all hang out.
2. Our open heart is not contingent on our partner never screwing up.
One of my favorite Bob Marley quotes (which is both ironic and perfect, because he had multiple partners) was, “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” In “breaking the mold,” we begin to realize that we are taking space to level our hearts and emotions, instead of closing them off and being reactive.
We can handle screw-ups in our partner, and dare I say, treat them with love like the flawed human they are, and that we all have the right to be. This could take some time, and may not happen right away…which brings me to the next point.
3. If we do the first two things, we notice our partner (if we have one) is still sticking around and being understanding.
We’ve let the crazy show. And we’ve slipped up by reacting to our partner like we would your our “bad relationship” partners (or anyone else who left marks) who always let us down. Our new mold-breaker cycle means we see our partner seeing our truths, seeing our slip-ups, and still being there in the morning to love us anyway.
Our partner shows faith in a future together, and understands the fundamentals of needing to deal with Number one and two. Don’t take this for granted.
4. We begin to see the beauty in people and ourselves, instead of incessantly finding the need to change things.
This speaks for itself. We’ve all been that person who has tried to change our partner, or who have been the person someone has tried to change. Breaking the mold means we’ve tapped into the universality of love, and how we all have a place in it. We realize that we are wasting our time trying to “fix” people, and wasting our time with people who are trying to “fix” us.
5. We know that we are no doormats, and we mark our boundaries clearly. But we are still willing to feel the pain necessary to change and let go of the past to fully embrace the present.
Life is hard. We’ve all had our fair share. We’ve broken the mold of bad relationships when you realize that the pain we’re feeling is not because of our current relationship. Our partner has only been there a few months. A year. A few years. They are not the ones who put deep-seated pains there. Realizing that means we are reaching a maturity level where we are ready to give and receive true love in the present, and not play the blame game.
6. We have made genuine, authentic, emotional, clear-cut closure with our past failed relationships. (No cutting corners!)
A week before I met my current boyfriend, I wrote a long drawn out message to the man I first loved. I wrote it to him because I realized I had still been holding on to him energetically and emotionally, from six years prior. I spoke openly from my heart to his, about how I realized I was still holding on, and that it was causing me pain. I then said, with love, it was time to let him go. “That must have felt good to get off your chest,” he said.
I felt breath fill my life again. A cord, an old cord, with old dark stories and sadness and negative cyclical thinking, had been cut. Not everyone can talk with his or her exes, but whatever way it takes, we need to be as genuine as possible with our closure. It truly needs to be on a heart-soul level, to make room for what’s coming.
7. Before we went into a mold-breaking relationship, we had some serious time to get to know ourselves.
We took the time needed away from “life.” We know ourselves better than ever now. We didn’t jump into a relationship right away, and all our failed relationships, and negative cyclical patterns, we notice now are lessons; what we will and will not tolerate, our standards, and what we stand for, what loving ourselves means, and how we were failing ourselves before.
If we use those tools, and it will guide and help us along the way in finding the new mold breaking relationship. We begin to shift out of a victim mentality, and into a powerful trail paver, and we put the power back into our hands through self-awareness.
8. This next one may sound corny, but we become a little more spiritual, and a little less shallow.
This one should be taken loosely. Simply speaking, we start believing in the faith of love and bond more than the chances of breaking up or being rejected, especially over things like whether our partner won’t like our doggy style, or not like our new hair color, or they think we’re just too overweight.
Don’t get me wrong. We should take pride in our beautiful attributes and ourselves. But faith plays a vital role in sustaining a mold-breaking relationship, where we are looking for the positive instead of the negative.
9. We begin to realize that love is a choice, and it’s hard work.
Simple enough. There’s no happy ending unless we deal with the thunder. Mold-breaking relationships mean we’re willing to put in some serious man-hours. Reminding ourselves that love is a choice, and not a fairy tale, helps us keep our feet on the ground.
It’s about waking up every day and saying, “I’m going to love this person.” Also in doing so, it helps us weed out the people who are not on that mold-breaking level with us, which is nothing to cry about.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: ekelly89 at Flickr