I have been speaking to so many amazing women over the course of the last few weeks all in the name of research. I want to have the fullest possible picture to give you and to share with my clients.
I am always willing to learn and be open to changing my view, being humble (though not easily) admitting my mistakes and making good where I can.
It is part of how I live my life now — these are but some of the changes I have had to implement in my life in order to have a happy healthy loving marriage, in order to be a good friend, in order to be able to raise the bar and put healthy boundaries in place, in order to be able to say no to people when we don’t agree on how I should be treated (not matter how difficult it is). In other words to live life on it’s terms and not mine.
I’m not perfect — absolutely not — nor would I want to be — because I grow with my mistakes and I am a better teacher when I am learning how I deal with the tough times, the hurts and the disappointments and yes how to best celebrate life.
Sometimes I’m no good at “practicing what I preach” but I own that too — because that is where I see how my desire to take control and step out of the flow makes a mess of everything. It makes me miserable, it makes me fearful and it can make my interaction with others difficult at best. It is where I begin to look for others to fill that hole inside me with their love, validation and respect, I start having expectations, I begin judging, gossiping and being mean-minded. The world seems like a difficult place to live in, though the amazing thing about it is I now have a choice — it is in my control to continue on this path or I can make a decision to step out of fear and back into love.
That is our choice at any given moment.
That is what came from me hitting emotional bankruptcy — but I wanted to hear from others what led them to not only survive toxic and unhealthy relationships but to move on and thrive in love and life.
So what did I learn during the course of these interviews?
Well here it is: the one rule to having a successful relationship, the one single thing that each of these women had in common — They made a decision to work on themselves. Whatever the motivation each of these women they all realized that the only way to succeed in life and in love was to make themselves fully accountable for their own happiness, decisions and well-being.
Furthermore they realized that they must take ownership of their own behavior in their relationships. Every single one understood that no matter the situation she was currently in, she had in some way contributed to the difficulties, not knowingly, not maliciously even — but in every instance her beliefs and expectations of what should be had contributed to the breakdown or even simply getting into that relationship in the first instance.
For example if you believe that you are no good at relationships and you always attract the losers / cheats / abusers then guess what — you will attract just that and in the meantime repel any of the good guys.
So take responsibility for your part — it is the biggest gift you can offer yourself. You can’t change your partner’s behavior but when yo have awareness of your patterns — you surely can change yours.
I discovered that none of these women were trying to change anyone else, they were trying to live the best life they could and no matter the situation the one thing they all had in common was they wanted to live better and were working on themselves to achieve this. For some it was a very conscious decision to resolve a particular problem for others is was a defensive action:
Here are a range of situations:
“I am not emotionally strong enough to leave this marriage so I need to work on me in order to make that shift”.
“I am unhappy and dissatisfied so I must find a way to change this for me.”
“I realize no one else is going to fight my battle for me — I need to be strong and fight for my own happiness — and hopefully lead by example.”
“I had no choice but to leave — but I had a choice on whether I stayed down and out emotionally or I built a life for myself.”
I didn’t understand why he was treating me this way but at a certain point I understood that I needed boundaries — though I didn’t know at the time — it was just survival.”
So what is the single transformation point?
Irrespective of the situation it is that knowledge that each one of us must take responsibility for our own lives, loves and happiness — otherwise we have gifted control to those who don’t deserve it and may even abuse it.
The only successful way is to focus on yourself and begin to dig down deep, get to know who you are, what they were capable of and how you arrived at this point.
What thoughts and beliefs drove your decisions, how can you change them and what are you prepared to do.
Other people’s lives / happiness are their responsibility.
I am a little nosy so I asked what had been the most shocking revelation for them and it was this : we stay stuck because we take on the pain of someone else — we don’t leave or set boundaries for fear that it may cause that other person to harm themselves in some way and this attitude is often perpetrated my society as a whole — family members, friends etc.
The antidote — the knowledge that you are no more responsible for another persons’ life than they are for yours. The ball is firmly in your court to step out of supposition and expectation and do what you know is right for you. That is a truly courageous act.
So are you ready to step up and thrive in life and love, take control and be empowered? If you are still doubting then close your eyes imagine sitting two years from now — you have taken no action — what will life be like? How will you be feeling? How does it differ from the life you want?
To know more on how Allison Reiner works and how she can help you, email her at [email protected]. Or to get working immediately, why not download her 5 step worksheet to help identify where you can begin to make changes? Click http://eepurl.com/b_6tTb
Originally published at medium.com