Here’s a question many men and women have at various times: Will I meet someone special? Will I have love in my life? Will someone love me?
If you are like me, you’re probably thinking of these things, yet dread repeating past mistakes. …no, I’m not dating or putting out an ask! I’m just mentally gearing up if you will, for the possibility!
When I wrote the book On Becoming a Lemonade Maker, I took a long time to decide to put the section about love first. In fact, through my many re-writes, I switched around the order of the different sections many times, yet I always seemed to feel that the book needed to start off with this one, since everything always seemed to stem from it, at least for me.
I’ve had to spend time thinking about the different kinds of love I’ve experienced, what effects they’ve had in my life in order to mentally prepare myself for my next possible future step.
What kind of love do you allow in your life? Have you thought about this in a way that will allow you to grow, and not just in a self-recriminating way? I ask this, because I’m sure we’ve all made mistakes, or have thought we were ready for a healthy love, but it just didn’t turn out the way we envisioned. Yet for many of us, we start to feel bound to attract the same things over and over, and wonder if we’ll ever get what we need and so desperately want!
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I have chosen to open first with this area, because we all require and desire love, but for many of us it is an area we struggle with very deeply, and which has also been the cause of a lot of the anguish we have gone through. In our quest to love and to be loved, we can end up following paths that don’t always lead us in good directions; in the name of love we can do many things, both to ourselves and to others. Likewise, a lack of love has also propelled (or hijacked) many of us down paths we may wish we had never walked.
There are many kinds of love; some good for you and some are downright destructive.
Healthy love helps each individual involved to feel confident, uplifted, supported, cared for, and helps each person to bring out the better parts of each other, and to face the issues that need to be worked on. People who have healthy love understand it takes work and is effectively a constant work in progress needing to be adapted to each of life’s challenges and mile-stones.
Unhealthy love can involve different issues that one or both people can’t or won’t face and deal with. It includes a lot of denial of what the real issues are, a lot of blame and results in arguments created to camouflage the realities.
This type of love, while not ideal, can be developed into healthy love, through work by both people. This work involves looking inwardly at the causes, and to see how it is being expressed outwardly to the other person. It means learning new tools to move forward, and not repeat over and over past habits and attitudes often learned in youth. When unhealthy love fails, it is because one or both people can’t or won’t face the issues and make the changes needed to keep things moving in an upward or forward direction.
Even when we deeply love and care about someone, we can still act in ways that are unhealthy for the relationship. This doesn’t mean we are bad or even abusive; it just means we may lack the tools to know how to love and live in ways that are healthy – both for us, and the other people.
At the other end of the spectrum is toxic love. Toxic love is not really love; it is control, manipulation and deep insecurity masquerading as love. Just because someone says to us “I love you”, or just because we have said it to someone else, doesn’t mean that relationship is healthy for us or the other person. The chances of the people involved in a toxic type of love changing and transforming the immense negativity into a healthy love are quite small. The healing of the soul results in a different person emerging out of the chaos, and even if both people are able to do the work, many find they don’t feel connected to the person who they see emerging.
Interestingly, as I was writing the “Boundaries section further along in the book (On Becoming a Lemonade Maker), I was very struck by what I wrote regarding toxic relationships, and was stunned to see that I have been in denial about the dynamics of my last marriage, refusing to see it as toxic, and yet it was, or at least had turned the corner from unhealthy to the beginnings of toxic.
I wrote, “The dominant person in a toxic relationship just doesn’t care about boundaries, and believes it is their right to treat the other badly, and expects to have their way at the expense of the other person.” When I add this together with the control and manipulation he tried to exert to have his way, I feel I can congratulate myself for leaving when I did, for the certainty of it getting worse with time would be 100% I would venture.
Leaving him was the healthiest thing I have done for myself in a long time, and for the many weeks following after I left him, he continued to try to exert his manipulation and control by trying to make me responsible for what was happening to him after I left. I refused to take the bait, instead further distanced myself from him emotionally and gave back to him the ownership of his actions and the consequences he went through. To paraphrase a Polish saying, he is ‘no longer my circus, and no longer my monkey’, i.e. not my problem anymore.
It is strange how toxic people can use subtle emotional manipulation over time to gradually make us feel responsible for all that happens in their lives and for their well being, to the point of not being able to leave them without worrying they might hold true to their threats or doing harm to themselves. The truth is, they are adults too, and are fully capable of caring for themselves, if they put a mind to it, and aren’t dependent on us for their survival, as their emotional blackmail had led us to believe.
“Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness,
and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want
others to realize our worth and value, but because we
finally realize our own. – Unkown
“Nobody wants to hear this,
but sometimes the person you want most,
is the person you’re best without.” – Unknown
Remember: We cannot make anyone love us, nor can we make them love us in a healthy way; and we all deserve to be loved in a respectful and whole manner which nourishes and helps us to grow!
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“Love” Art Journal Workbook: The Effects of Love in Our Lives, For Better or Worse and Learning to Love Ourselves (The Inner Works Journal Series) (Volume 1) Paperback
It’s a new style of workshop to journal for introspection, healing, and fun! This Series has been designed to work with the book “On Becoming a Lemonade Maker” by Tamara Kulish as a companion piece to help you explore the lessons and the inner knowledge you are building! By coloring, doodling, drawing while you think and write, you open up all the areas of your brain, allowing important connections to be made! So color outside of the lines! Allow yourself to be free! Surviving life just became so much more do-able!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
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