If you’ve been there before you understand how torturous it is having another human consume your thoughts. The one that got away, the one you can’t stop thinking about, the one you try to move on from but he or she is always there, running laps in your head.
I’m going to start this with a reminder: relationships are our biggest teachers. Not all relationships are meant to have a happy ending, sometimes a relationship serves the purpose of teaching us a lesson or excelerate our growth.
For the past five years I’ve felt incomplete when I was alone. I wanted someone there to fill a void, to help me feel love. This is not something I realized at the time but in retrospect its blatantly obvious. After a long-term relationship ended about two years ago I felt discomfort being alone, not having someone to talk to, not having someone to love me. I turned to dating to avoid those emotions and fell hard for the first guy I stumbled across, within weeks I was pretty certain he was my future. There was all this chemistry and connection, but slowly I noticed him pulling back & we realized that we wanted very different things out of the relationship, we parted ways.
Logically I knew that we were not on the same page, I knew we didn’t have the same values & that there were on significantly different paths in life. Things that could not be ignored but still I wanted nothing more that to be with him. I thought it would pass after a few weeks, I had never become hung up on a guy in the past, I had always been able to move on & start dating shortly after. I felt certifiably insane his name was the first thing that popped into my head every single morning, I would be in the middle of a patient appointment and his name would be on a loop in my head, it was constant and I had no way of escaping it.
This went on for 6 months. Its a weird feeling logically knowing you’re not meant to be with someone and having your thoughts consumed by them. Finally I surrendered and begged the Universe to take this away from me. Three days later I had a call scheduled with life coach, Christine Hassler, who would crack me wide open on her podcast.
On the call she helped me understand two of my core limiting beliefs when it came to men:
“Guys will pretend the like you, don’t believe them.”
“You need someone else to love and validate you”
My first limiting belief came from a wound I acquired in the 6th grade. I had a huge crush on this guy, we flirted back and forth for weeks, then one day my hopes and dreams were crushed when he gave my stomach a gentle slap with the back of his hand, laughed and said “omg it jiggles like jello when you hit it.” I went home that night and vowed to never let another boy know I liked him & to never believe they could actually like me. That vulnerability was too scary.
Despite that belief I was constantly looking for external validation. I HATED that little girl, I HATED her body, I HATED that she was different & I vowed to change her. After I lost the weight, gained popularity and moved on with my life there was always this little girl inside of me crying out to be loved, I was ashamed of her as a 26 year old, embarrassed that I could have been that way. Because I could not possibly love and accept that title girl I had this constant void & constant need to feel loved by those outside of myself.
When we don’t fully love & accept who we are, ALL of who were are, even the parts we are ashamed of we will be constantly searching for love outside of us, constantly looking for something else to fill us up, to bandage our wounds. The voice inside my head that had his name on repeat had nothing to do with him or our relationship and everything to do with the love I was lacking within. He was my awakening to the parts of myself that I did not fully love and accept. I worked to love and accept that little girl for a long time & when I started to feel inner peace, that is when his name disappeared.
Has he returned since then? Yes, that ex still pops into my head from time to time but now I can recognize it as warning that something in my self love is out of alignment, that it is time to dive into more self work, time to give myself space to listen to what my intuition is telling me & time to listen to the little girl inside of me.
So if you’ve got an ex or a relationship on a pedestal or if you’re struggling to release someone from your past despite knowing you’re better apart maybe its time to ask yourself if you’re really craving something else. Maybe you’re craving your own love.
What was that relationship providing for me that I’m not currently getting without it?
Are there parts of myself that I’m ashamed of? Parts of myself I’m still judging?
What wounds are being triggered?
What lesson do I need to learn from this?