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Fall in Love with Yourself!

by bevbarnes on October 18, 2010

I recently went to a wedding and had a conversation with Natalie one of the guests.  She is 35 and a relationship that she had hoped would give her life meaning and children had just ended.  She was distraught about the breakup.  As I listened to her, I realized that every sentence she started began with ‘he’.  Natalie had analysed all ‘his’ needs, ‘his’ upbringing and how it affected his relationships, where ‘he’ needed to grow, what ‘he’ was unable to accept from her.  She was totally stuck on why ‘he’ hadn’t embraced the life she had imagined for them, why ‘he’ wasn’t doing the things that she knew ‘he’ was capable of, why ‘he’ was falling back into his dysfunctional ways of coping.  
 
After about 15 minutes I said to her.  Do you notice that you keep talking about him?  It’s almost like you’ve jumped out of your own body and now you’re in his.  What about you?
 
Natalie looked at me like a deer in headlights.  This meant she was in a blind spot, unable to see what she was doing.  Her brain was short-circuiting and she could not understand my question.  She could not see that she had made his experience of the relationship more significant than her own. 
 
If you have spent much of your life focusing on other people and not on yourself, then you can probably relate to Natalie’s confusion.  Do you, like Nathalie, find it so easy to walk in someone else’s shoes that you forget to walk in your own?

 Byron Katie, a modern age spiritual mentor says there are three kinds of business:  your business; someone else’s business and God’s business.  Natalie was in someone else’s business, her ex-boyfriends and she needed to get back into hers.
 
I have a pretty radical prescription to help Natalie step back into her own shoes.  If you relate to her, you can follow it too, even if you didn’t just get dumped.  Just replace the references to ‘him’ with your boss, your children, your co-workers, your mother-in-law or any other relationships that you obsessively try to fix.
 
1.  Stop concentrating on ‘him’ and start concentrating on you.
 

Don’t spend one more minute agonizing about what went wrong, what you can do, how you can help him, what he needs or how limited your options are without him in your life.  (p.s.  That’s not true).
 
Nathalie actually had to look at the relationship from her own perspective.  What was her experience of the relationship?  My hunch is that she probably felt lonely and misunderstood for much of the time and she avoided feeling that sadness by overanalysing him. 
 
Nathalie needs to grieve the dream she had for the relationship which was a lot more wonderful that the real relationship actually was. 
 
2.  Fall in love with yourself.
 
Nathalie claimed that she felt good about herself.  So I asked her what she would be doing if she had no limitations.  She teared up and said she’d be working for the Cirque du Soleil. She said that the Cirque du Soleil represented the artistic part of her.  She wanted to create with her hands and be around other artists and creative people.  Her face lit up.  This reaction, the tears and the spontaneous smile was a route marker, a clue from her heart that told her which direction to take. 
 
Falling in love with yourself means making a commitment to discover your passions and to follow them. 
 
Following your passions will always lead you to your purpose in life…..which has nothing to do with finding a man (even though on the way you’ll probably find one who is inspired by your own passion for life).
 
If you want to start leading your life and stop obsessing about other peoples’ business, fall in love with yourself, follow your passions and find your purpose.
 
It works.

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