It’s that time of year when either we may be thinking of getting out of relationships or finding a new one. With Valentines’ Day on the horizon, it always brings up that longing… the longing for that relationship with someone who can truly love you and fill that emptiness. Finding one that can fill in the gaps of what was missing in our upbringing or from past partners that failed to meet up to our expectations.
Many I encounter have had shattered souls that resulted from relationships that violated their sense of worthiness. It might have been by partners that were emotionally shaming, degrading, or controlling to the point where their sense of dignity was whittled down leaving one feeling stuck in a constant state of anguish. Some have even experienced physical or sexual violations that have left them quite scarred. These traumas don’t just disappear overnight and may show up in unpleasant symptoms down the road such as anxiety, depression and unworthiness.
Everyone enters a relationship hoping that they have found that partner that will usher them into a blissful life, but many times finding themselves feeling imprisoned by someone who is unable to meet those desires. They may turn to other partners, alcohol, or food as a way to cope. Many aren’t aware of how these hurts get so deeper rooted in the cellular memory that causes us to be stagnant from living a life of joy and peace.
As our love needs get neglected and hearts grow cold. We may find ourselves wondering how to escape from the entrapment and questioning if ever we will be truly loved…the longing that each of us inherently carries.
I personally believe that the best lover of our soul is a relationship with Christ. He meets my need for intimacy, identity, and most importantly a sense of connection with what the world fails to meet. In addition, learning to have a rich relationship with ourselves can also bring us to a place of contentment. When the outside world fails us, that internal connection with our true, authentic self can supply the needs that we are seeking externally.
I like to celebrate Valentines’ Day as a time to nurture a love relationship with ourselves. How many spend time doing that? Some don’t even know what that looks like. It starts by putting ourselves first…getting out of the mode of being a people pleaser for everyone else. Affirming YOURSELF instead of being quick to condemn yourself. Knowing how to live connected to ourselves requires getting the clogs out of our system that get in the way of collecting feelings we have held onto that get splattered on the partner. It might show up as unforgiveness, resentments, hurts, anger and shame that is a carryover from feeling violated from someone in the past.
Someone connected me to a video called the Angry Therapist on Facebook and I thought he had some good things to say about toxic relationships vs. a separation from the relationship with yourself. What you have to decide is whether your relationship is toxic due to YOU not showing up strong with boundaries and love for yourself, or your partner continuing to splatter his unresolved pain on you without any way of protecting yourself.
Take responsibility to capture how you want to show up and treating yourself with the kindness that you deserve. Being a friend to yourself instead of expecting others to give you something is vital. People can fall short of being that person you are longing to fill up that void.
I say this from one who has experienced this firsthand. Much of my despair hasn’t been because others necessarily hurt me as much as I lost that vital connection with loving myself. Whether you are single or partnered up, make this Valentine’s Day a time of restoring what was lost and get back in the sheepfold. Finding that true connection with the Shepherd who can usher you back on track to regaining parts of yourself that have been neglected.
Some may need sessions that bring about this change internally so you can identify what you may be holding onto. The subconscious is very powerful and overrides some of our conscious affirmative thoughts. For those who want a resource, my book Lost & Restored is a Biblical guide to finding your way back to the heart of the Father. The new updated version will be officially on Amazon in July, with Ebook out in April.
Happy Valentines to recapturing that love for yourself!