If we believe that our inner world manifests our outer world, then our thoughts, beliefs and emotions play a huge role in the development of our lives, including our relationships. All our lives we are being fed messages from our surroundings, our families, our teachers and role models, from advertising, from society at large. These messages program our subconscious mind to believe certain things, and for many of us, this programming leads us to develop limiting beliefs about ourselves and the world. A common limiting belief we share as humans is that we are unlovable. Many of us grew to feel this way because we experienced some form of trauma in our lives, such as our families being separated by divorce, violence or death.
Feeling abandoned, or even just the fear of being abandoned, can cause children to believe they are unworthy of being loved. A child’s mind might think, “If I’m lovable, my father would never have left. If I were good enough, my family never would have split up.” Some children blame themselves for their family’s circumstances, and then grow up to be quick to be self-blaming and self-deprecating. Others develop an inadequacy complex, never feeling good enough no matter what, and constantly trying to measure up against the people around them.
When we are deeply unhappy within ourselves, we naturally attract the relationships and circumstances that reflect that unhappiness. When we abuse ourselves inwardly, we attract partners who abuse us. When we are filled with insecurity, we might attract partners who insult us and harp on our insecurities, thereby exacerbating them. We attract partners who tell us we’re not good enough, who abuse us, because we have been conditioned to believe we are inherently unworthy. We choose abuse because subconsciously we feel that is what we deserve.
Our responses to fear and trauma are not usually rational; instead, they manifest out of all the pain we’ve stored within us but haven’t healed from. We might logically think “I would never allow myself to be abused, I would never stay in an abusive relationship” but then find ourselves in the vicious cycles of self-destruction because deep down we don’t genuinely love ourselves. We manifest what we believe we deserve, and when we don’t feel worthy and deserving of love, we attract more people and experiences to prove and compound that sense of unworthiness.
To set ourselves free, to heal, we must choose unconditional self-love. If we want to experience loving relationships, we must first and foremost love ourselves.
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