Love, lust and your inner demons

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I recently had the pleasure of attending an event by a renowned psychologist who is most revered for his work around relationships. I thought that with Valentines Day looming, I would share with you what I found most fascinating from the event.

I have always thought psychologists do incredible work, in fact a few years ago I was looking into studying to be one myself. As time has past, my view of them has changed slightly and so has my desire to become one. It is my personal opinion that sometimes when one is seeking out the services of a psychologist, it is a place where you go to rehash past pain and it becomes a place of blame where we point fingers at what others did to us in the past. This sets us up for being stuck in a victim head space and stops us from moving forward. I understand that the past often holds traumatic situations for many people and these need to be cleared but if we do not take steps to move past this, we will live a very negative existence. There are some incredible psychologists out there and we have several working closely with us at Beautiful Minds but the greatest results we see in individuals is often with people that work with Psychologists and look at a holistic way of healing past pain.

When we connect with people, whether romantically or in a friendship capacity, they bring out a range of emotions in us. Close friendships and romance are no different, they are variations of the same love, the desire to be close with the person who’s time you enjoy but with this sometimes comes a whole mixture of feelings. When we look at characteristics that we reject in ourselves often these are the same characteristics we reject in others. For example, as a young child, I had someone often refer to me as lazy. As an adult, this is something I reject in others. I cannot stand to be around people who I perceive as lazy as it triggers something in me. So in understanding this trigger, it allows me to be more forgiving of those with this characteristic. What traits do you reject in others?

At a time when our society promotes the day of love, it is really healthy for us all to take a look at what relationships mean to us and how healthy relationships are maintained. We all want equality, intimacy, passion, trust and a long list of traits to keep us ‘happy’ in our partnerships but what happens when the conflict starts and we stay stuck in this space. How do we move past this? When we take ownership of our involvement in a situation, it brings about a real sense of peace. Often, we are arguing because we desperately want to be right about something instead of taking an adult view on the situation and claiming 50% responsibility in whatever the conflict is over. A few things happen in conflict. One person takes the power and dominates the other person whilst often the other person gives their power away and allows the dominant person to walk all over them. This is when we see a power struggle. When we come from a place of 50% ownership, we approach conflict as equals and this is powerful stuff!

At this event we discussed the stages of relationships. First comes the romantic stage where it is all butterfly’s, hot sex and feeling consumed by another. I personally call this ‘The Couch Jumping’ stage, where adult, intelligent men like Tom Cruise are seen jumping on Oprah’s couch, gushing over their latest love…not to worry there is a female version of this too…then, as time passes and we get familiar with each other (honeymoon is over), the power struggle begins. Our final stage is called mature love. Most couples, around 85% according to the latest figures, never get to mature love because so much resentment has built up over the years of conflict that couples become stuck.

We are all walking this planet carrying guilt, shame or anger. If we do not shift this we will constantly make excuses for why we are unlovable and relationships with people will continue to test us. We will push great people away from our lives because we don’t value and trust ourselves enough to love and be loved back in return.

There is not a single person on earth who is perfect or unaffected by the past but the greatest gift we can give ourselves is putting in the time and work required to heal the past so we are able to be in healthy, loving relationships with others.

We invest money into personal trainers, yoga, gym, Pilates or whatever form of exercise we value but we do not put the same amount of effort into our mental health. It is an ongoing commitment that we make to ourselves as we constantly evolve through this lifetime. So this Valentines Day, I urge you to do something that demonstrates self-love, heals the past and propels you forward.