Are You A Happiness Saboteur? -Stephanie Bailey
If you find that when happiness comes knocking at your door—and your first reaction is to shut the door before it makes an entrance—you are probably a happiness saboteur.
Ok, so maybe a response does not happen quite this quickly, however, for many people there is an underlying fear that happiness will eventually bring heartbreak. Ultimately, causing them to sabotage a relationship before it actually has had a chance to begin.
When you don't believe you deserve to be loved, it can feel natural to sabotage any chance of letting it into your life. Love can be scary—especially if you have not felt it before, or have had your heart severely broken in the past or possibly several times. That's when you have to ask yourself, "is my fear allowing a wedge to be come between my chances for a happy relationship?
Fear can cause many relationships to end, even when there aren’t any surface level (or deep) problems; fear consumes positive thoughts and replaces them with negativity and doubt. If you fear a relationship won’t work out, then guess what…you will end up subconsciously willing it not to! If you feel you aren’t good enough—surprise, surprise…you won’t be. If you feel that the person you are dating is too good to be true...guess what? ...they will be! On the flip side, if you have confidence and always believe in yourself and the relationship you are involved in, your partner will know, feel and appreciate it—causing more stability in the relationship.
For many people, fear means stepping outside of their comfort zone; they believe that by fearing love, then they will have less of a chance of getting their heart broken. Fear then becomes an unconscious shield. Hmmm, do you really feel less heartbreak and pain when you've pushed someone you’ve cared about out of your life because of your insecurities? You fear what might be the end result (in your mind); i.e. breaking-up. The interesting thing is that the wasted time, negative energy and agony that is taken to sabotage the relationship causes more pain, insecurity, doubt, and regret. It’s mentally exhausting! Is that more important than letting someone love you and loving them back?
Love is an awesome feeling, even if the relationship isn’t meant to be. Unfortunately, you can’t predict the outcome…but isn’t that why love is so magical? When you open your heart to love and allow it inside, more love is waiting; you just have to trust the process—even if you are afraid. With love comes growth and with growth comes change.
Instead of sabotaging things, why not trust the process and see where the outcome could possibly take you? Even if the outcome doesn't end up being your happily-ever-after, at least you have a better idea of what ultimately didn't work this time, and what you want in your next relationship. Sabotaging will never give you full clarity.
I have been there; so scared to receive love due to fear of losing it. To prevent my heart from being broken I would look for attributes in my partner that I considered to be faults, giving me any reason at all not to give him the love and caring that he deserved. This brilliant plan always backfired because by the time it took me to come up with the entire “negative” list, I was already emotionally involved. By letting my fears and insecurity creep in and dictate how I felt, I found myself distraught. It’s not that I wanted the relationship to end, but it would come to an end anyway, proving that my fear was justified. I felt I didn't deserve love. Ultimately, this pattern became very dysfunctional and destructive.
Through therapy, self-help books, yoga, meditation and Mile Hi Church, I learned to love myself—completely. When this started happening, the types of men I started dating changed. I subconsciously dropped the idealistic expectation that the person I dated was expected to fill any lack of love I had for myself. The pressure I once placed on men lifted and my confidence grew. I stopped being a happiness saboteur because I found blissful happiness within myself. I was able to recognize the true red-flags instead of my own insecurities.
Recognizing that you have been sabotaging relationships is the biggest step. Understanding why will help you to not continue following this pattern with other relationships.
A close guy friend who has sabotaged relationship after relationship comes to mind. His patterns had become quite obvious. The second that he would announce how happy he was and that he "found the one"—the sabotaging would begin.
He would first start by getting overly drunk and accusing the girl he was dating of cheating—this came from the fact that he usually was the one doing the cheating. When she would still stick around he would then tell her that he doesn't believe that he's the type of guy who could be in a monogamous committed relationship. What he was really saying is that he was not mature and self-confident enough to be in a grown up relationship. If this subtle plan didn't work, he would look for various reasons to start an argument, by showing up late or simply not show up at all during holidays: her birthday, Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Hanukkah depending on what the girl he was dating at the time celebrated) or New Year’s Eve.
On the other hand, since my friend was great at wooing women he really liked—pulling out all the stops to show them he was interested and "supposedly" wanted a future, you can only imagine the shock when he would do a complete 180.
His actions came from a place of being emotionally connected and excited at the thought of finding a great woman, until his fear—which was stemmed from his parents’ divorce at a young age, took over—allowing him to believe that women would eventually end up leaving him. Since this made a lot of sense in his mind, he would speed up the process and sabotage the relationship.
Not only did my friend end up having one unsuccessful relationship after another, he also ended up regretting how he handled things. By the time he realized what he was losing, and why, it was always just a little too late.
When you find the person who makes you happy, it's natural to feel a little scared or worried at times, wondering if such a happiness will last. You must remember, part of keeping this happiness is working together—communicating, doing the little things that count, being supportive, etc.…in order to keep the happiness alive. When you can let down your guard, trust your intuition, and not live in fear, you can open yourself up to so many possibilities. First and foremost is to love yourself.
Bottom line, happiness is all around, but first you must find it within yourself. Once you do, fear will become less abundant, the sabotaging will cease, and love will inevitably surround you.
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