When I found out the secret about relationships that no one told me, I could’ve skipped for joy.
If you are anything like me, you have had a relationship or two that you’ve wished in hindsight you had passed over from the start. There was a time when I wanted to erase the high-drama friendships with stormy endings, the unrequited love from Lotharios, and the abrupt workplace endings from my life. Each of these relationships was painful, and I was sure that pain was an unnecessary part of my personal evolution.
I was taught to not burn bridges, but I was burning them nonetheless. I knew that true love was much more than instant chemistry with charismatic and emotionally unavailable chaps, yet I kept choosing them. At work, I let myself become sick with stress until one day, I just walked out.
So much for the untarnished resume.
If making mistakes was a video game, I had the top score. And I was upset with myself for making poor choices. I knew better, so why wasn’t I doing better? This was a question I truthfully could not answer for a number of years.
I wanted to improve for my own sanity, so I learned to stop verbally beating myself up for making mistakes. It was a process. I wasn’t taught at home or at school that it’s okay to make mistakes. I have a feeling that this is true for many of us.
In a world in which we are expected to be likable, attractive, sweet, smart, and successful and are rewarded for checking off these boxes, it is easy to make a habit of mentally flogging ourselves when we screw up. In order to change this habit, I turned to a book on my bookshelf that I had only previously thumbed through. I was finally ready to read it: Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life inspired a breakthrough healing in me.
Instead of wishing that I could rewrite my past, I learned to accept it. Instead of viewing my choices as wrong, I learned to view them simply as choices I had made. Nothing more, nothing less. I did the best I could do at the time. Instead of attaching deep meaning to my mistakes, I simply forgave myself and moved on.
The secret that no one told me about relationships is that they are a reflection of us. My rocky relationships were not random potholes in the path of life. They were outward expressions of my inner belief system. I was attracted to dramatic relationships of all kinds because I internalized the drama I saw in my environment, then looked for more of it from the outside.
Once I changed my belief system, I attracted positive and healthy relationships.
The first time I practiced Louise Hay’s “mirror work”, or the act of stating positive affirmations in front of a mirror, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and laugh. It made me think of the Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley, whose famous line was, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”
I sat cross-legged on the ground in front of a full-length mirror, ready to recite affirmations that I wasn’t so sure about. I couldn’t get Stuart, with his poofy bleach blonde hair and lisp, out of my head. After a good chuckle, I began. Side note: It’s okay to laugh when you are creating new habits, and it was necessary for me at that time. I needed my experience of forming new habits to be zany and fun, and not feel like a chore.
A lot shifted during the first year of practicing my affirmations. I felt increasingly less at home with the previous version of myself—the one who had settled for less in a few areas of life. I outgrew the high drama that previously kept me in a tailspin. I was no longer attracted to the handsome and hopeless fellas. I also let go of an unsatisfying, high stress job.
Here are my top five favorite Louise Hay-isms:
1. I am surrounded by love. All is well.
2. I am safe in all my relationships, and I give and receive lots of love.
3. I attract only healthy relationships. I am always treated well.
4. I choose to see clearly with eyes of love. I love what I see.
5. I love you (insert your name). I really love you.
It turns out that my life was radically improved by saying my daily affirmations. Today, if I were given the option of magically erasing past relationships from my tender heart, I wouldn’t do it.
I have learned from my experiences of love, loss, and healing that each person’s journey is a work of art. I would instead use my magic wand to make a world in which we focus on creating healthy, loving, and safe environments from the start. Please join me for daily affirmations in front of the mirror if you feel that you can also benefit from healing words.
See you there.
Author: Lori Stitt
Apprentice Editor: Vanessa Mason / Editor: Callie Rushton