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Are You Good Enough for a Healthy Relationship?
This is quite a confronting question, right?
This was the exact question my own therapist asked me whilst I was healing from a toxic relationship.
Initially, it triggered me. I was in a low place emotionally and thought she was questioning my worth and understandably this made me defensive.
If that triggered you too, there’s a high chance you should read on.
This was not her questioning my worth but her prompting me to question what I thought of my own worth and from that start to really sit with myself and rebuild my shattered self-esteem, value, self-worth, and self-trust.
And that is what I help women do.
The thing is toxic relationships whether romantically, professionally or familiar, drag our mental and physical health within an inch of its life. They keep us in a state of activation within our nervous system which you might have called fight or flight which have huge impacts on our health.
Whilst we’re in these relationships and environments, it is extremely hard to really see our self. I know that sounds silly, and you’re probably thinking I live with myself of course I see myself, but the reality is you are so consumed in the emotional cocktail of chemicals that are released in these trauma-bonded relationships you fall between people-pleasing or over-functioning to get your needs met you don’t even have the emotional bandwidth to see how detrimental the effects are to your health.
That IBS flare up – probably just due to something you ate. That chronic illness – probably just unlucky. The sleepless nights due to worrying, crying or arguing are fine, you’ll just grab an extra strong coffee on the way to work oh, and whilst we’re on the subject those small mistakes you keep making at work and can’t figure out ‘what is wrong with you’ is due to being emotionally exhausted.
Now we can sit here and blame the other person and think of 100 ways in which they could change or 100 reasons why they should but whilst we do that, we are still giving away our power. And when we give away our power, we become even more vulnerable to jump back into another toxic relationship and the cycle starts again.
But it does not have to be.
What if I told you that a safe and healthy relationship is available to you and is completely within your reach as long as you are willing to give your heart a break from relationships externally and really focus on the relationship you have with yourself?
Doesn’t seem too bad, does it? However, the vast majority won’t because it means sitting with yourself with some uncomfortable feelings for a while but with the reward of a healthy self-concept, being able to assert your boundaries, phenomenal self-worth, confidence and with an inherent knowingness of your worth so you can say no to anything less than you deserve.
The thing is everything starts and ends with us and that is a tricky thing to acknowledge and admit. I know I’ve been there.
Now whilst I am not saying you deserved or chose a toxic relationship you did play a part in the dynamic which whilst being problematic until this point also means you have a choice to make a change from this point forward. You have a choice to commit to yourself and take the steps necessary to ensure that you will not settle for the bare minimum, rejection or betrayal again because the truth is you DON’T have to!
When our own self-worth, self-respect and self-trust is on the floor, we aren’t operating from the best version of ourselves; we are making choices from our wounds which may have occurred from as early as childhood but up to as recent as yesterday. When we do the inner work around those and raise our awareness of them, we unlock the secret decision-making parts of us that have been working to protect us rather than in our best interests.
Studies have shown that our brain only cares about keeping us safe. It does not want you to be happy, it wants safety. For example, if you had a caregiver abandon you – you are more likely to choose the same dynamic in a healthy relationship as an adult thanks to a psychological phenomenon of repetitive compulsion first coined by Sigmund Freud. It does this because the traumatic event is familiar and our brain sees it as an attempt to change the ending. However, this rarely works and, in fact, keeps us stuck reliving the same traumatic experiences.
This logically makes sense as a primal animal however, things have evolved as have we and we no longer need to choose people, situations or environments that are unsafe just because they are familiar.
So, if you take nothing else away from this article, see it as your reminder that you are worthy even when you don’t feel like it, simply because you exist. You can change your relationships and you are more than good enough for a healthy relationship but the key to this starts with focusing and changing the relationship with yourself first and foremost.
About the Author
Name: Keyleigh Marie
Professional Title: Trauma Recovery Expert/ CEO of Keyleigh Marie
Bio: Keyleigh is a Trauma Recovery Expert supporting women to heal after toxic relationships. She focuses on helping women break the cycle, reclaim their power and step into the truest, most confident version of themselves. Keyleigh supports women with falling back in love with themselves, healing their emotional wounds, asserting their boundaries, and realising the end of a relationship isn’t really the end. In fact, the start of something beautiful – A healthy, safe, and whole relationship with themselves.
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