What is your relationship pattern and how does it show up? Keep reading because I’m about to go deep on how I discovered my own negative relationship patterns.
I am a process person. I love processes that make sense and help me to understand the point of something.
Probably why I like writing. There is a process to it that allows for expression and healing at the same time.
Tara Nicholle Nelson illustrates this process so well in her daily exercises. A few months ago I joined her program to help me really understand the block I was having around expressing myself.
One exercise in particular that stood out was a writing exercise that asked about unwanted patterns that keep coming up. This was so awesome to me because she was asking the question I needed to hear and answer. But what I discovered went way deeper.
I am a divorced mother of two. I’ve been divorced for 14 years or so. But when I answered this question I realized that for quite some time after my divorce I was holding on to something negative. I had a list. A list of traits, requirements, and characteristics mostly superficial, that I thought were meaningful, about what a man had to have to be worthy of my time.
Break down the wall
What I discovered while answering this question is that this list was my wall. It was some sort of armor for protection not be hurt again like I was in my marriage.
The list represented what I thought would protect me from men taking advantage of me or better yet, getting me back to that place of feeling sad, hurt, in pain and discouraged.
After my divorce, I didn’t feel worthy. I was not impressed with myself. But this list of worthy traits that I expected some guy to have when he approached me would prove me to be worthy.
Here’s the kicker, this damn list attracted me to men that were not impressive. Maybe they were superficially impressive but character-wise….hell no, not impressive. This created an unwanted relationship pattern for years to come and consequently, I had no clue.
Finally, I realized after years of doing this to let the list go and let God direct me to the right person for this phase of my life. That’s another thing, understanding what phase you’re at in life helps you to understand the why of what you’re going through, but that’s a whole other discussion. You can download my free guide How to go from dependent to INDEPENDENT without your spouse for help around letting go
Anyway, it finally clicked. Actually, I asked God for help. Like I literally said out loud one night while laying in bed…”God, I need help. I want someone that’s right for me.” Not just someone that is “right”. Not right looking, not with the right job, or right address or right salary. I wanted someone RIGHT FOR ME.
Once I said that out loud I let go of the list and the expectation of the list I forgot about looks, cars, jobs, how many kids they had, all because I knew that God would lead me where I needed to be. HE always had so why would this time be different?
It wouldn’t. My higher power has never presented me less than stellar for what I need in my life.
Don’t make decisions based on emotions that don’t feel good
I, on the other hand, have chosen less than stellar for myself based on my emotions and lies I told to myself. But my higher power has NEVER presented anything less than wow to me.
So why did I need this list? I didn’t! My list kept reaffirming my negative automatic thoughts around myself, men and relationships, which stemmed from my past marriage. That list had nothing to do with what I really wanted or needed or who I was.
I had to let go of the belief that I knew more than my maker and I could outsmart the universe.
I can’t and I don’t want to. In reality, I was getting what I was stewing in. I-n-s-e-c-u-r-i-t-y.
When I think back I was attracting insecure men because I was insecure. My insecure energy was seeping out of me and attracting exactly the same right back to me. That was my love pattern. The list only echoed my insecurity.
Thank goodness I got rid of that list and the behavior that went along with it.
Transition after a divorce can be scary and to mitigate that fear we create certain processes for protection. It’s natural. We have to be mindful of the behavior we are creating and how we are using it to create relationship patterns and what the real intent is.
Unknowingly I had created a wall that even if the right person came along they wouldn’t be able to connect with me because who would have had everything on my list?
What if the right person didn’t meet the requirements of my list? And who am I to make a list of requirements? I wasn’t perfect!
In the end, we don’t want to be hurt again. We want love and we want to love somebody. That’s what my list should have said. That would have allowed me to be open and accepting much sooner, and saved me 10 years. But everything happens for a reason.
Can you identify with any behaviors that are causing repeating relationship patterns? Tell me about it, I’d love to hear from you.
Need a little daily inspiration download my 7 Mantras for Empowerment after Divorce