Life Coach, and Best Selling Author, Shelly Bullard wrote something recently that stuck with me. “We’re attracted to people who trigger our wounds because we need to work through them.” And when you haven’t done the work necessary, “….we continue to attract partners who evoke the same kind of pain we experienced when we were young.”
I don’t know about you, but this has been true for me most of my life. My father was my hero. We watched Basketball together, he sang to me, he took me on long walks around Harlem and told me stories of what the neighborhood was like before the 80’s crack frenzy hit. He was smart and kind and when I was 11 his girlfriend called on Thanksgiving and told me my family was a joke. That night my mother kicked him out and he never looked back.
In movies, and maybe in real life also but I wouldn’t know, your parents sit you down and explain that while your life is about to drastically come undone they still love you and will always take care of you. Not in this story. In this story, my mother and I threw his clothes in garbage bags and she had me write him a letter telling him how much I hated him.
During my teenage years as I discovered sex, and Mad Dog 20/ 20, my mother tried often to send me to live with my father. I would listen on the other line as he gave some ridiculous reason why that would never happen and she would cry that I was too much for her.
While brilliant, and successful and an incredible Educator my mother was less than the cuddly mom I saw in my friend’s homes. My father’s betrayal, and her own childhood, left her angry and bitter and totally incapable of sharing warm fuzzy moments with me. We fought like feral cats and most of those fights began when I would beg her to tell me she loved me. She simply couldn’t…
By my 30’s both of my parents had died. And it wasn’t until their deathbed that either were able to soften and hold me and tell me I was loved.
Let’s be clear, my mother was a wonderful provider and told everyone in her own life how much she loved me. I learned that after she passed. She just never told me to my face. And while my father was certainly not winning any awards for Father of the Year, millions of people have had it worse than I.
I’m expecting no sympathy. But when I look back at the years of failed relationships, drama and total fucking idiots I have attracted, is there really any doubt that every choice I made stemmed from wounds I hadn’t healed?
If I wasn’t dating the guy who made me chase him for attention, I was dating the one that needed me because he was a hot mess and was drawn to my own light (though dim at the time). Every relationship was painful and had an ending that one day I need to include in a book to entertain those who think “this shit doesn’t happen to actual people” 🙂
So how did I attract the healthy and happy relationship I’m in now?
I DID THE WORK. Plain and simple.
I could keep crying about my romantic life and how my daddy ain’t no good or ,I decided, I could take ownership and responsibility for my own future and fix my shit.
So what did I do?
- I stopped dating. Clearly I wasn’t attracting anyone worth it, so I took a break. No men. None. Not even the ones you keep on speed dial for lonely nights 🙂
- I used the time, usually spent crying over some man or fighting with one, and I focused on things I liked to do and I did it ALONE. Friends are wonderful, but I needed to learn what things and ideas were mine and mine only. I needed to remember what it was like to enjoy my own company.
- Once I figured out what those things were, I started focusing on being really good at them. Not to impress others, but because I wanted to impress myself. My boyfriend may be the famous Chef but I spent a lot of time before him impressing the hell out of myself in the kitchen! lol
- I wrote affirmations EVERYWHERE. There were notes to myself in my car, my wallet, on my bathroom mirror…. You name it, I had written on it. And who cares about the strange looks from friends?!? I was healing myself!
- And lastly, I read the book, You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. Every chapter included an action step to start loving myself more. Loving yourself more is the ONLY way to move forward.
And so here is my action step for YOU:
Write down your wounds.
Ex: My mother spent my life telling me how terrible men are.
Be honest about them. Don’t think. Just write. And keep writing until it feels like there is nothing left inside of you. On the back of your paper. Write, “Let It Go” and then throw it out and start working on the list I gave you above.
Face your pain. Face it, accept it, and choose to move forward. Spend every single day figuring out a way to love yourself, and accept yourself, more. It’s only through self- love that you can begin to attract the love you deserve. And believe me, you deserve the best!
What wounds are you letting go of? Leave your comments below.
And don’t forget! If you have a question or a topic you want addressed, email me at email@example.com