This week's question comes from Madeline:
My goodness you two are the best! I’ve been following you for years and I admit I’ve learned so much about myself and my current state by how I respond to whatever you put out in the world.
Because you encourage people to be authentic I’m going to give it to you straight:
On my good days I revel in your advice and admire your relationship.
On my bad days I notice how angry I get at the two of you and I want to argue with you (plus, I secretly hope to find out that you’ve given up on each other and are splitting up).
So either you’re really helping me figure myself out or I’m schizophrenic. LOL
Here’s my long overdue question (because I’ve never asked one before now because I’m a bit on the shy side), how is my unresolved emotional baggage (and I know I have a lot of it) holding me back from finding true love?
I’m not even sure true love exists so that’s a tough one for me to ask. You’re always asking me to discover what I REALLY want so I guess I want to know if I’m destined to F it all up or if I can overcome the mess that I’ve been.
Oh, and please don’t ever split up, I seriously don’t think I’d be able to handle that. You are the model for what I want to have with my soulmate.”
Thank you for your question, overdue or not it’s a really great one! We imagine many in our community are wondering if their unresolved emotional baggage holds them back from finding their soulmate.
Here’s the deal – what you believe is true is true for you.
So if you believe all the good ones are taken, they will be.
Or that there are no quality men.
Or that you’re too ________.
Or not ________ enough.
Yes, you are that powerful and abdicating your power by thinking there is something or someone micromanaging your life besides you, it’s time to face the fact that if things aren’t going your way that you are the one responsible for keeping things the same, or changing them.
Since you shared authentically, we’re doing the same – with love of course!
So if you’re still reading and have decided you want things to change let us help you take a look at how your unresolved emotional baggage holds you back from finding true love.
You can change your mindset and think positively all day and night, unfortunately, that won’t change your results if you have not dealt with underlying strategies that are blocking you from the love you want. So without further adieu we present to you:
5 Ways Your Unresolved Emotional Baggage Holds You Back From Finding True Love
You Can’t Manage Your Emotional Triggers
Unresolved emotional baggage can sit in your brain like landmines and the next thing you know you’ve gone from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds.
When you’re triggered your big prefrontal cortex is offline and you are responding from your reptilian brain. Essentially you are on autopilot.
Think of it as the fight/flight/freeze response. When you are triggered you are reacting from past events. You are not in the present moment and you are not responding from your logical brain. Your survival instincts have taken over and they are here to protect you no matter what.
Emotional triggers are on a dial switch so some things can be very triggering, and others can be mildly triggering. Knowing you’re triggered is the key so you can calm your own nervous system and come back to being present in the moment.
Dealing with your unresolved emotional baggage is like disarming the landmines so that you are dealing with the event in the moment rather than connecting all the past events where you were triggered into this emotional pattern.
You can think of these past events like links in a chain. They all hold the same emotional charge and your brain connects them by saying, “This is like that.”
In reality, your child is not your mother, and your boyfriend or your boss is not your father even though the emotional trigger has you responding as if the person standing in front of you is someone else from your past.
Being triggered into past behaviors and old strategies keeps you from connecting with the person in front of you in the moment – and this is how your unresolved emotional baggage blocks you the love you want.
You Are Standing In Blame Instead Of Responsibility
The most difficult part of self-realization is taking responsibility rather than placing blame. Unresolved emotional baggage can cloud your perception and limit your ability to honor your obligations, or conversely, you can take responsibility for the other person’s behavior.
Your mental/emotional patterns are at play here regardless of which side of the equation you stand. When it comes to intimate relationships the boundary lines are blurred more than any other part of your life.
You are the only person responsible for your emotions. They belong to you and you alone. Own them, and take responsibility for how you feel, and every single one of your relationships will benefit from it – particularly the one you have with yourself.
We say things like, “You make me so ____[angry, sad, etc.]____!” as if the other person put a gun to your head and said, “Feel this feeling or I’ll shoot!”
Imagine a street with a concrete barrier down the center divide. You are responsible for everything on your side of the street and nothing more.
You are responsible for what you think, feel, and do (or choose not to do) and nothing more. This is on your side of the street and 100% your responsibility.
You are not responsible for what someone else thinks, feels, or does. That is on the other side of the street and nothing over there on the other side of the concrete barrier is your responsibility.
Your unresolved emotional baggage can fool you into believing you are responsible when you are not, and vice-versa. The skill of learning to take responsibility for your own emotions and not to take responsibility for the reactions and emotions of others requires practice.
Cleaning up the past and stepping into forgiveness rather than placing blame clears the path to create a deep connection with your partner.
Your Heart Is Unavailable Or Covered With Armor
Creating the love you want demands that you are available and open to receive the love you desire. Unresolved emotional baggage isolates you, limits your ability to connect with others, and blocks you from the love you want.
It’s appropriate after a breakup to take some time to heal your heart. Unfortunately, many people close off their heart after a breakup. They are afraid to let in someone new and have a hard time being vulnerable.
Dealing with emotions of sadness and grief is an important part of life. Avoiding them can create armor around your heart.
If you’ve locked your heart up in the castle tower with the drawbridge up surrounded by a moat with alligators – you may feel safe but your knight in shining armor will never pierce those defenses.
Loving someone requires risk and we want you to know that the rewards are so great!
When you connect deeply with a life partner and you continue to choose each other day after day, year after year, your life is exponentially better.
There’s a Swedish proverb that sums this up beautifully:
“Shared joy is double joy.
Shared sorry is half sorrow.”
When you are able to keep your heart open (despite the betrayals and heartache you’ve experienced) your desire is the homing device for your match to find you.
Shine your light brightly. Let your freak-flag fly high so your beloved can find you. Part of recognizing your Mr. Right is to be unapologetically you.
Your beloved will love that thing that all the others left you over.
You Aren’t Crystal Clear On What You Want
When it comes to love the majority of people are in reaction to the past.
If the last guy was a cheater you want someone faithful.
Last relationship was with an addict, now you want someone sober.
The ex who didn’t communicate leaves you looking for a guy who will share how he feels with you.
This places a huge emphasis on what you do not want.
Unfortunately, focusing on what you do not want simply attracts more of those experiences into your life, and brings you no closer to having your desires realized.
The basic rules of manifestation require you to be crystal clear on the kind of relationship you are looking for – not the person.
Most people get this wrong as they make a detailed list of the qualities of a human being as if a witchy spell will somehow conjure this person into reality.
The vision of what you desire IN A RELATIONSHIP must be clear.
This allows you to cultivate discernment through the dating process. Take your time and don’t rush into a commitment so you experience how this new person in your life behaves. Pay close attention to the response you get when things don’t go particularly well.
Most people want to brush off and excuse bad behavior early on and get caught up in the emotional rush of discovering someone new. Do not do this!
Instead, simply evaluate their behavior by how you feel – instead of how you think. When you’ve gathered enough data that this is someone who matches your vision you can proceed to exclusivity to discover more.
Unresolved emotional baggage clouds the vision of what you desire by leaving your focus on what you do not want. Redirect your mind to create a clear vision of how you want your relationship to function and the qualities of the relationship.
Your Expectations Are Unrealistic
Unresolved emotional baggage can create unrealistic expectations making it impossible for any partner to measure up.
You will be in a relationship with another human being (not some mythical perfect partner) – one that is completely different than you. He/she will have their own strategies, mental/emotional patterns, and past experiences that will be unlike your own.
Most people tend to date backwards – they give a stranger the benefit of the doubt and see their new lover through rose-colored glasses.
Once the romance stage wears off then the rose-colored glasses come off too. And now you see the person as they are – warts and all. You start to judge, criticize, and evaluate everything about them.
Judgment is the most common block to long-lasting love. Your unresolved emotional baggage leaves you thinking you’ve made a bad choice, that this relationship doesn’t have what it takes to last.
The 2nd stage of relationship is the Power Struggle Stage and no couple will skip this crucial individuation phase.
If you have the unrealistic expectation that you will live happily ever after in the Romance Stage with some idealized perfect person it’s time to release this fantasy and understand what it takes to create long-lasting, soul-satisfying love.
The person who is perfect for you will stand by you no matter what. The bumps in the road will make your relationship stronger, you’ll heal your wounds one triggering event at a time, and conflict becomes a doorway to a deeper connection.
It’s not about whether or not there are conflicts – it’s how you each respond to the friction that occurs that makes the difference.
Lasting love is where two people continue to choose each other over and over and over again. This is where best efforts are made, and kindness reigns over the majority of days together.
Learning how to evaluate an ideal match through the dating process and maneuvering through the power struggle stage are skills that you can learn.
Perhaps you are good at some of the points we’ve shared above and not others. If you want direction from us on how to deal with your unique unresolved emotional baggage set up a Soulmate Strategy Call with us. We’re here to be your guides to the long-lasting love you desire.
Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.