Life can really throw you some curveballs.
You lose a job. Your partner leaves you. Your child gets a serious illness. Your parent starts to exhibit signs of dementia. You get into a car accident.
Sometimes you feel strong and can handle these challenges. You are pragmatic and develop a game plan. You’re disappointed or sad about what’s happening, but you’re not falling apart.
But maybe most of the time, like so many of us, you don’t feel so strong.
You’re freaked out and anxious. You can’t sleep through the night, you’re worrying so much.
You’re angry at the people you blame for what’s gone wrong. You plot revenge. You write bitter emails. The situation therefore becomes more tenuous and complicated.
Before you know it, it’s as if your life is falling apart. You’re an emotional wreck. You’re not taking care of yourself. Your relationships are suffering.
It becomes a downward spiral, and before you know it, you’re getting sucked in.
You cling to hope. You figure that things can get better and you can feel normal again. If only:
…that person who criticized you or argued with you saw the error of their ways. If only they’d admit they were wrong, you’d feel validated, and respected.
… your friend or partner backed you up, or told you that you’re absolutely right in feeling the way you do. Then you wouldn’t have such nagging self-doubts. You’d feel loved and supported.
… the people who caused you to…get fired/blow that red light/neglect your needs…would admit their own mistakes, you’d feel vindicated and less ashamed of yourself.
That’s your answer. You think that “if only” someone would make you feel validated, respected, accepted, and loved, then you’d be okay.
If you agree, then it’s a sign you’re emotionally dependent.
You’re dependent on someone to feel safe, lovable, and worthy. You need others’ approval to make you feel like you’re okay inside.
And if that’s true, then you’re never going to be able to feel truly strong and resilient, because you’ll always be dependent on others to feel safe.
That’s not a solid strategy. Why? Others may not always want to give you what you need, and if you try to control them into giving it to you through pouting, sarcasm, silent treatments, or “logical” arguments, or other methods, you’ll only create more conflict.
If you want to be strong, you need to take responsibility for managing your difficult and painful feelings by accessing your inner wisdom, NOT by relying on others to “make” you feel okay.
Only YOU can be your own endless source of lovability, acceptance, and respect. No one can do that for you, nor should you expect them to, because that causes a great deal of relationship dysfunction.
When you subconsciously rely on others to make you feel okay, you create an environment where a lot of relationship problems can germinate and sprout.
Why? Because you take on a “victim” mentality where everything that feels unpleasant is someone else’s fault.
You can’t seem to hold on to your personal integrity in the face of criticism or when someone challenges your “position” about a topic. You get defensive and shrill, losing your temper over things that don’t really matter that much.
When someone disagrees with you, you get self righteous and stubborn, needing to be “right” at all costs, even if it costs you a friendship, a job, or love.
Someone doesn’t call you for a while, or they withdraw their affection, and you become sarcastic or chastise them, accusing them of not caring. They withdraw even further.
In this way, you are creating your own pain.
No one is doing it to you.
You are doing it to yourself, because you’re emotionally dependent, and you’re taking on a victim mentality.
You’re putting forth a vibe that makes others retreat from you, emotionally, because they feel smothered, judged, or blamed by you.
On the other hand, if you were emotionally free, you would feel strong in the face of whatever challenges you had to face in life, because you would never have to be at the mercy of someone else’s approval.
You would know what to do to be loving to yourself and others.
You would know just the right things to say, to protect your boundaries and be kind.
You would know how to make yourself feel okay, and you would do it without apology and without guilt.
You wouldn’t need anyone to tell you that you are okay in order to feel confident, worthy, or valued. We all need support during the challenging times, but that’s different than making others responsible for you.
In summary, even when life throws you curveballs, there is a way to feel strong and resilient, no matter what.
It’s about knowing how to take loving care of yourself, or self love.
Now, most people have self love all wrong.
They think that it’s indulgent, that it’s “out there,” that it’s too hard, too vague, too self centered.
They think it means buying things, or being self indulgent.
Or they think it means accepting your body, personality, and quirks “as is” and not feeling self conscious.
What self love really means is valuing your soul essence and being devoted to getting to know yourself, and listening to what gives you joy. It means taking action to manifest that joy.
For the past 50 years (yes, 50!), I’ve been teaching individuals how to take action with regard to self love by listening to their inner guidance and taking responsibility for their feelings. When they do so, they are able to free themselves from emotional dependency.
Now I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible, since almost everyone can benefit from learning about how to take action on self love.
When you subscribe to our FREE Relationship Advice Newsletter, you get access to an accomplished community of carefully selected experts (like me!) giving you our best insights and strategies to overcome personal and emotional challenges. You’ll learn:
When you learn how to have self love, you’ll naturally stop taking on a victim mentality, because you’ll instead take full responsibility for your feelings.
You’ll learn how to stand up for yourself, stay centered in the face of chaos, and advocate for yourself or others who are dependent on your care.
You’ll feel strong, courageous, and free…
THIS is emotional freedom.
It’ll make all the difference in your life.
It can happen with the help of the excellent, expert insights you’ll get when you subscribe for FREE to Flourish.