This week's question comes from Susan
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
Thanks so much for all the work you do and for your optimism and support.
At the moment I feel like I have just completely and totally given up hope at all, and even decided I'd be better off on my own, so much to the point that I am now so isolated that I'm scared to go anywhere. I've never been the most social of people anyway and have social anxiety which doesn't help, but this is now ridiculous. I haven't even been seeing my friends.
My last relationship was with a full-blown narcissist who was only with me to get his needs met. It was so horribly hurtful, confusing and draining. It was also very painful to realize that I was worth nothing to him other than what I could provide him with.
My previous boyfriend before him was a selfish addict who I totally lost myself for trying to help him. This all points to one thing for me – that I'm codependent. I don't even know where to begin trying to heal from that other than never getting into a relationship again. Yet here I am emailing you because deep down I do want a man, a good man.
I have read your eBook and thought it was great. Really helpful and insightful. Though for some reason I am so stuck that I can't seem to implement any of it. I feel stuck in mud, worthless and exhausted by life. I have done counseling, CBT, and psychotherapy over the years but none of it seems to help.
Where on earth do I begin?”
Thank you for reaching out to us, and we agree that a part of you very much wants a great love relationship and has not given up… we’re sorry to hear that you are in so much pain.
One thing we’d like to point out is that diagnosing yourself and your past boyfriends won’t actually get you the results that you are looking for. The labels of narcissist, and codependent are helpful in understanding why someone may behave the way that they do, however, knowing WHY will never change anything – particularly behavior.
It seems clear to us that you are really looking for how to create change and the reality is that the only person you can change is YOU.
The first step is taking full responsibility for where you are, right now today.
When you are able to take this first grand step – that will put you in the driver’s seat to create the change you are looking for.
Now being in the driver’s seat is not actually driving down the road, so it’s only through taking new action that you begin to travel from where you are now to where you want to be.
In a co-dependent relationship, one person is the “Hero” and the other the “Zero.”
Sadly, from what you’ve shared, you have cast yourself in the role of the Zero. Changing your relationship with yourself will shift this at the root of the problem.
Start noticing your inner dialog. How do you speak with yourself? What about when you make a mistake – are you kind and compassionate with yourself? Or do you berate yourself expecting that you be super-human and perfect?
Your relationship with yourself is what will be mirrored back to you through your intimate relationship.
The anxiety that you feel is keeping you from connecting with others, and even from connecting with yourself. You need not make every change all at once, just pick one regular action you can take. Maybe make plans with a girlfriend at least once a week to get out and be with and among people.
Start highlighting the people in your life that you can count on. Make a point of taking notice when someone does something nice for you. Take notice of what you can count on – the sun rising each day, your favorite meal from a nearby restaurant, a friend who will return your call promptly.
It’s easy to focus on what is going wrong and we want you to start making a concerted effort to notice and highlight what is going right. Start a Gratitude Journal and write down 5 things each night before bed that you are grateful for.
Some of these suggestions may seem insignificant, however, they are the foundation of building a new kind of relationship with yourself and not frivolous.
It seems you have spent a lot of time in some kind of “talk therapy” and we suggest that you stop talking about the past and rather work with a practitioner on healing the past so you can create a glorious future – one where you feel loved and safe.
If you think we might be the coaches for you to do the deep dive to transform your relationship with yourself so you can Bring In Your Beloved™ then submit your application for a Your Love Imprint® Session with us.
This will allow us to diagnose Your Love Imprint® on the phone and share with you our coaching packages and opportunities available for you.
Whether or not you decide to coach with us we want to encourage you to stop the re-telling of this limiting story about yourself – the truth is that You Are Worth Loving and there is nothing wrong with you. You simply learned some bad strategies about how to feel loved and safe. You can always learn something new!
We hope to connect with you for a Your Love Imprint® Session so we can speak directly with you and show you the road to real transformation.
Love and Abundance,