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August 23, 2021

Hey Christina, I’ve had success in my career and have great friends. I have passions and adventure in my life. I have had some short and long term relationships and have recently broken up with another. I cannot seem to find the right person for me. This break up has me wanting to move to a new city and start all over. Maybe then I will find what I’m looking for?

– Searching

Dear Searching,

Oh, the desire to run… you are so not alone in this feeling. I’ve heard many people express their desire to run, leave, move… and in all honesty, I get it. I’ve been a runner and come from a lineage of runners. I can wholeheartedly say that a relocation will unfortunately not be the magic pill you are looking for. Both the curse (an unseen pattern) and the cure (loving the shit out of yourself) lie within, no matter where you live.

I have learned that we have patterns at play in all relationships. Let’s take a pause and remember that patterns get us the opposite of what we desire, and with every pattern comes a story. The questions to ask yourself are, “What is the story that is playing in your head?”; “What does the tape sound like when you think about why things ended?”; “Is this storyline true?” These are big questions, and when we suddenly see the effects a pattern has had on our lives, it can be rather monumental.

Along with understanding our patterns, I can’t help but put one more thing on the table. Understanding your relationship intention is a good topic to mull around. What kind of relationship do you desire? Are you dating women who are aligned with this intention? Are you aligned with your own intention?

I can’t help but think that relocating in an attempt to “start over” is a reaction that will likely result in a similar outcome. There may be new things to see and do, which will be fresh and exciting, but I can’t help but think after some time you will find that you are once again living with the same person.

When it comes to letting go of previous hurts, aka “baggage”, I have learned that it is all about forgiveness. There is space and a need to forgive the person, but more importantly there is a need to forgive ourselves. If we can’t forgive ourselves, it will be darn near impossible to truly forgive others. If we can’t forgive others, we may find ourselves sitting in anger. From what I’ve seen, this forgiveness tends to stem from the need to forgive ourselves for not seeing the relationship for what it truly was. I often hear from clients; men and women alike, “Why the hell did I stay for so long?” or “Why did I accept this for so long?” or “How did I not see what I was doing?” There is a layer of guilt and even shame that resides here and this truly needs to be set free. If you are holding yourself in contempt, this is sure to show up towards your partner in your relationship. This line of questioning around, “Why did I accept or stay for so long?” is something I hear from almost every client. Self-compassion is foreign to us, as many of us have been raised to believe that it is best to put others’ happiness ahead of our own… to stick it out, to accept and persevere.

In regards to baggage, I’d say there’s one super power that you can try on. When you get poked/triggered/activated/annoyed in your relationship, I encourage you to spin it back to self. We so often go to a place and focus on how we were wronged, when it should be about how we could have showed up better for self. Take this one step further and look at what it was that triggered you. Take a breath and hear the story that you weave around it… and then ask yourself, “Is this true?” A great way to execute this is to capture the following four things:

  1. The incident – Pick a moment that poked you and capture the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” kind of details.
  2. The head – This is what you think about the moment. This is often the loud voice that speaks up for you and yearns to protect, defend and support you.
  3. The heart – This is what you feel about the moment. This is where the unlovable, “I am not worthy” has a tendency to live.
  4. The body – This is what you physically felt in your body when the moment happened.

While each of these areas are helpful to get a handle on, the head is what you really want to tap into. The story that lives here is so often untrue and this story is behind what is holding you ransom. As you write, ask yourself, “Is this true?” Ask this until you crack it, because our stories have long legs and add more and more content to the “baggage”.

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