So…you have some things, or circumstances, or people in your life that you hate. OK, maybe hate is a strong word, but even if you dislike these people, things or circumstances, you are faced with a conundrum:
On one hand, you know you create your own reality, and your very dislike of anything creates more things to dislike. On the other hand you can’t just hide your head in the sand, think happy thoughts and ignore an ongoing problem, expecting it to just disappear…or can you?
Such is the circumstance a Fellow Creator wrote to me about recently:
My boyfriend, who lives with me, flirts a lot with other women by email and on dating sites. I am constantly checking his email and Facebook to see if he is stopping. I realize I am sending out negative vibes by doing so, but it’s the only way I will know if he has stopped.
If I stop checking up on him, imagine that I’m in the perfect relationship, and look at everything in a positive way, how will I ever know if he has stopped? Wouldn’t I be misleading myself and simply ignoring his bad actions? What’s to stop him, and what’s to stop me from still wondering?
I tried this recently and didn’t check on him for a long time, thinking he’d stopped because we were happy at home—but I did finally check and he’s still doing it!
I’m lost and I feel like my head is going to explode from turning this over and over in my mind! Please help!!
And it is confusing!! How do you change what you don’t like in your life without giving more energy to it by focusing on what you don’t like—or worse, pretending it’s not happening and having nothing at all change?
Well, first, take a breath, and remember…everything is changeable. You can live a spectacularly wonderful life, with no exceptions.
And then realize, it’s OK to see what’s going on around you and admit you don’t like it. Actually it’s the only way you will change your reality—by recognizing what needs to change. But don’t sit around and complain without taking your power back and doing something about it. That will only keep you in a spiral of negativity.
So…how DO you change what you dislike? Here are some steps you can take which will change your world, if you really want it to change:
1. Let it (all) out.
If something isn’t going well, or someone has betrayed, disappointed or hurt you, give yourself some time to really let in, and then express, how it makes you feel. Actually feel the anger, hurt, sadness, rage, etc. Pound some pillows, write a letter (don’t mail it), or imagine an encounter in which you tell another exactly how you feel.
WARNING – do not skip this step! Confused, this means you (and anyone else who has emotion around this thing you hate (dislike) in your life). If you skip releasing your constricting emotions you will not be clear enough to complete the rest of the steps at the depth with which they need to be completed.
2. Discover why you are creating it.
Things don’t just happen—to anyone. If there is something in your life you do not like, it is because you put it there—consciously or not. Why would someone create something like their boyfriend flirting with others on dating sites? Well, as someone who created many men who had less than stellar behavior, I can tell you firsthand why.
Confused very likely has deep-seated beliefs that support her reality. What might they be? They might be one or several of these (or a thousand more I haven’t listed):
I don’t deserve to have a wonderful, loving and committed relationship.
I am not worthy of having a man make a deep and loving commitment to me.
I am not worthy of being loved.
I do not make good choices in relationships.
I must hold onto what I have because I may not find anything better.
Relationships are hard.
When I’m in a significant other relationship, I am not safe.
Men and their needs are more important than women and theirs.
Men always betray me.
Men keep secrets from me.
Men are not trustworthy.
Men are unfaithful.
I attract men who are emotionally immature.
Your sabotaging beliefs need to be discovered and changed. I know it does not seem possible to change a belief—because beliefs, by their very nature, just seem like “just the way it is”. But you can change beliefs. And believe me, it will change your world.
3. Ask “who else” is creating it?
There are other aspects of each of us who are not as advanced, emotionally, and oftentimes they are having significant impact on our creations. These are your child self, your adolescent self, and your young adult self.
If these selves have a negative view of men, women, relationships or the world, they will keep a pattern in place indefinitely…until you (the adult, conscious self) change it. How do you change it?
You go back and talk to each of them. In a visualization, imagine yourself in the place and time they lived. Find them in the house they lived in and tell them about your struggle (in this case, with relationships). They will tell you what they think, fear, hate, love…and these thoughts, feelings and underlying beliefs are creating your world.
Make note of the beliefs, give these younger selves happy, wonderful relationships and rich, beautiful lives, and then change the beliefs you just discovered!
4. Set your boundaries.
It is self-loving to have boundaries. You will find as you grow and change, your boundaries will change. At certain stages of life, strict boundaries are necessary to protect yourself, to love yourself and to develop healthy relationships. At later stages, few boundaries are necessary—because you will be creating such a loving world, few are needed.
But at every stage one must decide what it is you can, and can’t, live with. In Confused’s case, the question to ask is, “Can I live with my boyfriend’s flirting?”
5. Determine what you do want and flow energy to that desire.
When things happen in our lives we dislike, we tend to be reactive instead of proactive. We fight the reality instead of moving into a space of creating a new reality. But that won’t change anything. The only thing that will change a reality is putting out new energy that is in alignment with what you want.
So even though you may be deciding what to do about the reality you are in, you still need to be clear about the reality you want to live. Set your intentions. And begin to imagine yourself with your dreams coming true.
In Confused’s case, she could imagine the man in her life as her current boyfriend. Or she could imagine “a man” with her in a wonderful relationship, but not be specific about who it is. Either way, it will take her closer to her dream.
6. Take (appropriate and inspired) action.
Once you have changed the beliefs, and become clear on what you do want, this step becomes easy.
First, Confused needs to answer the question above about whether she is OK with her boyfriend’s behavior. If her answer is yes, then she needs to make peace with it and focus on what is right with the relationship. She should have as much fun as she can. Maybe he’ll change, and maybe he won’t, but she’ll be free from trying to control him (never fun and never productive).
If her answer is no, her action would be to work with him (and maybe a therapist) to end the behavior, but she needs to be prepared to exit the relationship within so much time if he can’t or won’t change the behavior.
7. Watch your world respond.
Your world will change, with this work. Be aware of the little “signs” around you that are signifying you are headed in the right direction.
And remember you cannot control whether another in your life will choose the reality you want. Yes, sometimes the changes do result in the end of a relationship, a job or a living situation.
I remember being in therapy with my first husband. The therapist said to me, “Your husband has said it in a number of ways…he is not willing to change. The question is, are you OK with that?”
He had made his choice. I needed to make mine, which was to leave the marriage. Even though my preference would have been to stay married, I knew I would never be happy or satisfied in it.
Faced with a similar issue with my current husband, he decided he wanted to change and grow. And he did. Neither choice was in my control—but what was in my control was my choice to be in a happy, healthy, loving and intimate partnership.
You won’t know how it will turn out. And you may feel that making strong choices for your own life will hurt another. But trust every time you choose more joy, freedom, love and expansion, ultimately you are making a positive impact on all the lives of those around you.
You can’t really love what you hate (or even dislike). You can only change what you hate into a reality you love.
Some would say it’s not easy to change what you hate (and sometimes it isn’t)—but it is your choice. You can always stay right where you are, for days, weeks, years or even lifetimes.