Tag Archive | Receiving

Bullied as a Child: How Can I Trust in Intimate Relationships?

Dear JoyDiva,

As a child, from ages 6-12, I was bullied first physically and then mentally.  My parents never openly advocated for me, and teachers turned a blind eye.  As a result, I advocated for myself, and have learned to be strong in that sense.

However, as I grow older, my childhood haunts me.  I feel like I will be left holding all the bags at any moment.  I have issues with trust and intimacy, and this wrecks havoc for relationships that I am in.  I question all the good things that come to me because I was told by everyone that I did not deserve it.  I feel hardwired to think this way, and it feels terrible.  I feel that it would be irresponsible to find someone who could handle all of this baggage, so I desperately try to solve my own problems.  However, this drives a wedge between my partners and myself as I will seem moody and distant simply because I cannot express my feelings in a constructive way.

What can I do to get rid of this ‘baggage’ that prevents me from becoming intimate with another person?

Thank you for your time.

The Bullied & The Beautiful

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Dear, “The Bullied & The Beautiful,”

Thank you for your heartfelt note. I’m going to do my best to give you something concrete to work with through what I offer here, and at the same time, it is clear to me that these thought patterns that feel “hardwired” to you at this point are going to take time and TLC to re-wire, and the most effective way to get clear on and release the blocks and blind-spots keeping you from deeper intimacy is for you to partner with a coach or therapist to help. I can absolutely help you unpack that emotional baggage and support you in taking the scary and ultimately, rewarding steps on the path to trust. I can help you gain the confidence to ask for what you want, believe you are worthy of having what you want, and to open up your emotional world to someone and allow yourself to be supported.

Some resources: I highly recommend the Work of Byron Katie as a simple set of tools to help you question the thoughts and stories that are creating your suffering and open you up to your life NOW, rather than being led by your past. Another experience that could be quite powerful for you might be to participate in the Landmark Forum—the experiential learning there would also support you in the breakthroughs your are wanting. Psychodrama group therapy could be a powerful experience to help you process, re-frame and let go. Brené Brown’s latest book, Daring Greatly would also be a helpful resource in helping you strengthen your shame resilience so that you can open yourself to being vulnerable in all of your relationships.

The work that I encourage you to start moving through is to start differentiating between what happened in your past and the stories that you created around those experiences that are now shaping your future. The past is truly in the past. As painful as it was, it is now over, gone, never to be as it was. Even the terrible, nasty things that people said to you are in the past, over and done with. What is living NOW is the story you created, the meaning  that you added to those experiences in your life. Stories like, “I don’t deserve to be loved.” “I can’t trust anyone but myself.” “Love isn’t safe.” “If I’m vulnerable you will hurt me.” “I’m a victim and you are the perpetrator,” “I will be left holding all of the bags at any moment.” As a small child, you couldn’t help but buy into these stories. You were doing the best that you could to protect yourself and survive. As scary as it is as an adult, you don’t ACTUALLY need these stories to protect you, anymore, and the most powerful place to be is in the heart of your vulnerability, rather than gripped by the fear that these thoughts of mistrust create for you.

And if you were to go back and get really clear on what actually happened in your past, (ie. My classmate called me fat, ugly and stupid) and then the story you may have created around what happened (ie. My classmate hates me, she said that because there’s something wrong with me, everyone hates me, I really AM fat, ugly and stupid, people think I’m undeserving of love, etc.)…the more you separate out the story from what happened, the more you will be able to take responsibility for the meaning you added to those experiences, and set yourself free. The wonderful thing about life is that all kinds of stuff happens, and WE get to be the ones who make meaning of it. At any time you can choose to shift your reality based on how you are choosing to perceive it. At anytime, you could choose to open up your heart and know that no matter what the other person does or does not do, you will never leave you, you will always be there to love and support you. (another one of my posts that has great wisdom in it for you: http://askthejoydiva.com/2012/01/18/why-is-it-so-hard-to-accept-that-my-boyfriend-loves-me/)

So, my love, like I said above, this kind of letting go and thought-shifting may not happen over night and will best be addressed via the support of a professional to hold up the mirror and help you with this process of differentiation. You most certainly do not have to do this growth work on your own, and truth-be-told, as someone who has also built quite a wall of self-reliance through the years due to former abuse and bullying—it doesn’t really work to do that kind of growth work on your own.

I’m always here if you should want to take your healing to the next level and you don’t want to go it alone.

Much love to you. dear heart.

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2013 Melissa Simonson

My Husband Left and I’m Devastated…What Do I Do Now?

Dear JoyDiva,

I’m in a relationship for 13 years. My common law husband migrated to Canada and though he is far, our communication is constant. We have a daughter and allowance and support was never a problem. And we agreed that after he saves up enough money, he’ll come home and marry me so that we’ll be together as family in Canada. For no reason at all, last December 2012, supposed to be our 13th anniversary, he suddenly stopped replying to my calls and texts. Then, two weeks after, I saw a picture in his Skype account with another woman. And my world crashed. I have no idea what happened. I never saw it coming. There’s no indication that he already had found someone new. Now, I’m so depressed and down. I don’t know what to do. He was my world and my future. I love him more than myself up to now. What should I do? How long do you think can I move on? What’s the best thing to do for me to move on cause I’m really having a hard time to let go? I still don’t want to burn my bridges with him and his family. Should I still hope that there’s still hope for us even just for our daughter cause I really want her to have a complete family? Please help me. Thanks.

Rose

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Dearest Rose,

Hi, Sweetheart. I’m sending love to your tender heart, right now. I’m so sorry that you are in so much pain as you try to make sense of this confusing situation and scramble to pick up the pieces of your shattered dreams. I know this pain very, very well, and there is no other pain like it. Let’s take some deep breaths together, right now. Take a nice deep breath in, and let it out. Though it may seem simple, remembering to pause and take deep breaths is going to be an important part of moving through this transformational journey.

I can’t speak of him or your relationship, what he is or isn’t doing because there are too many gaps in information for me—I hope that if it hasn’t happened yet, that you are able to address what you saw and receive an honest answer from him. Whether he has or has not been in communication with you at this point in time, what I can speak of is how you can nurture your relationship with yourself, and support you in picking up the pieces. What I’m going to say is not going to take away the pain—grief is a fire that has to burn a new path through your life right now, and there will be days that seem unbearable, and then, day by day, as you take gentle care of yourself, the pain will start to diminish, and freedom will be born in its place.

I want you to know that you are loved by every process unfolding in your life. Even this time that has you raw and on your knees is being offered up as an opportunity for you to discover what it means to really love yourself and pursue a life that fills you up and makes you come alive. Your statement that you “loved him more than [yourself] up to now” is telling me that you have not been pursuing yourself and your own life with the passion you deserve. Sweet Rose, despite the false messages we ladies receive through the years, it is not noble or even healthy to love another more than ourselves, to be so consumed in our loving that we neglect ourselves and our own unique expression in the world. Know that your loving is a tremendous and beautiful gift to the world that has not been in vain. It’s just time to focus that tremendous loving on yourself and your daughter now.

There is no magic formula to make your grief go away, and there is no set amount of time for the process, either. Ways to nurture yourself right now:

1) There are 5 stages of loss that are a natural part of your journey right now: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. You will find yourself swinging among these with each day that passes. Allow yourself to feel it all—journal, cry it out, purge, write down everything that you feel you have lost and are losing—revisit this process as often as you need to and make good friends with those intense feelings, as hard as that may be. I’d encourage you to be aware that you may want to lash out on the days that the anger phase comes up and you may also be incredibly angry at yourself, at times. These are days when it’s important that you write, and do not send letters to your former partner because, as you wisely mentioned, burning bridges may not be what you want in the long term. That doesn’t mean that there may not be a moment of clarity when you need to speak your mind with him—by all means, you have a right to be pissed off and hurting! It just means that those intensely emotional days are going to be days when you want something from him that he may not be able to give.  Be aware that the bargaining phase is often one of the most difficult—this is the phase that I call “I’ll send you my left arm if you just take me back” phase. In your devastation and the deep sense of rejection that you feel it can be so easy to be willing to sacrifice all to make the pain go away. Those are the days when you need to keep yourself busy—take good care of your body, as hard as it is–pursue things that you normally enjoy, pour your heart into being present for your daughter, and my next point:

2) Surround yourself with friends and loved ones as much as possible, right now. Reach out—go out to lunch/dinner or have them over. Make sure that you don’t have too many days to get trapped in your head and that you get out into the world. Allow yourself to receive support as much as possible, to feel uplifted and surrounded in love. This means being honest with yourself and your loved ones about what you are feeling and experiencing day-to-day and having support systems to uplift you with words, time, deeds when you cannot do it yourself. One of the greatest gifts of grief is its ability to bring us close to the people who truly matter in our lives. There is so much magic there—allow yourself to rest within that as much as possible.

3) I don’t know how old that your daughter is, but it’s going to be really important that you are also being real with her about your tender heart on a level that she can understand, right now. This does not mean bad-mouthing her father or making her responsible for your happiness—you can share your feelings without making him wrong or making her feel like she needs to make it better. This means showing her the strength that lies in vulnerability by sharing your feelings and communicating with her the ways that you are taking care of yourself, right now. This means letting her know why you might be cranky or sad or needing some alone time. No matter how old or young she is, this is a wonderful opportunity for her to learn about how to cope with life’s inevitable loss and what it looks like for a woman to love herself. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it weren’t for my mother sharing her growth journey with me and being so real with her feelings and what she needed following my parents divorce when I was 7 years old. I remember thinking that she was so beautiful and strong when she let herself cry, and it was a great gift to me as she shared her learning.

4) When you have a reprieve from the bring-you-to-your-knees level of pain, when you’ve really purged and come face to face with the weight of what you’ve lost, I want you to start thinking about what you want your life to look like (beyond your partner). What are some things that you couldn’t do before that you now have the opportunity to do? If you could craft any life for yourself from this point forward what would you like it to look like? Do not rush yourself to this point before you are ready—it’s important that you be with the experience of loss as it arises. With that said, many people spend so much time looking at the closed door that they intensify their suffering and ignore the abundance of opportunities that lie before them. When you start to feel ready, I want you to start exploring what kinds of seeds you want to plant in your new garden. This chance to build a whole new beautiful life will ultimately be the extraordinary gift of this great loss.

As far as whether or not you should hope for the relationship: Now is a time to focus on you and your daughter and not on your relationship with him. I would absolutely hope that he will continue to be a father to his daughter, but that does not mean that you should or need to be in relationship with him in order for him to be in her life.  Also, as I mentioned above, you now have the opportunity to show her a strong woman who loves herself and a NEW kind of completeness. I understand that you want her to grow up with her parents being together, and that may not be possible or a healthy choice for any of you in the long run. It is not healthy for her to witness her mother pursuing a man who is not acting in integrity. You, my dear, deserve a man who will cherish you for all that you are, and abandoning yourself and chasing after a man who is not cherishing you is not teaching your daughter how to be the strong woman that you want her to be someday. Now is the time to start pursuing yourself, your own dreams, your own beauty with the passion that you were pursuing your relationship with him. Cherish yourself in all of the ways that he could not, and you will feel loved in a way that you may have never before.

You deserve to have  and to give yourself everything that you’ve ever wanted in life—I know that you thought he would be part of that picture, but there is a much better life awaiting you on the other side of this grief. One foot in front of the other, right now, and know that you are so very loved every step of the way.

All my love,

Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2013 Melissa Simonson

I’m Afraid to be Naked in Front of My Boyfriend…What Should I Do?

Hello Joy Diva. I am 23 years old and I am still insecure of many things I used to be insecure when I was a teen. I am short and fat and I have stretch marks all over my body. I used to have zits and now the marks are all over my face. But this young man, 19, who’s been my friend for over a year now confessed he had feelings for me. And now, we’ve been in love for a couple of months now, but we haven’t been so intimate yet. I know there will come a time when he’ll finally get to see the ugly skin I have I kept hidden underneath my clothes. I’m really afraid my insecurities would ruin up our intimacy and worse our relationship. What should I do?

Ugly Duckling

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Hi Beautiful,

I simply cannot call you the Ugly Duckling because the last thing that you need from me right now is to reinforce this painful image of yourself. You may think that calling you “Beautiful” is taking things too far in the other direction, and I know better. I am confident (and I imagine your boyfriend is, too) that there is exquisite beauty pouring from every aspect of who you are.

Dear, sweet girl—my heart broke a little when I read this post and it was filled with so much love and compassion for you that I can only hope that you feel me wrapping my arms around you with my words. I feel your fear—how real it seems to you that you could be rejected, that you could lose love, that you are not worthy to receive it in the first place because of the way that you look. You’ve gotten pretty good at rejecting yourself, withholding love from yourself, and deeming yourself unworthy through the years, haven’t you? Food itself has probably become both a tool of comfort and punishment as you try to fill those unloved spaces and simultaneously punish yourself for adding to this state of being somehow “unlovable.”

First things first: Fat or thin, tall or short, outgoing or shy, lighthearted or serious, brain surgeon or high school drop-out, etc., etc. you will ALWAYS be worthy of the same amount of love as everyone else—the same love that you feel and wish for your boyfriend, or anyone else who crosses your path. You were born inherently lovable and inherently worthy of being loved. Period. Nothing will ever, ever change that. Being inherently lovable is one of the gifts we get to have for being human.

So, I’m going to give you some tools to love yourself up right now:

1) I want you to honor your fears and insecurities by communicating them to your boyfriend. Right now, you are feeling ashamed about your body, ashamed that you feel insecure about your body, ashamed that you might “ruin” your relationship with this insecurity…and then you’re even feeling ashamed about feeling ashamed. The best way to rid yourself of this shame is to speak it out loud—shame evaporates when we speak it out loud. I know that you’re afraid to let him know that you are anything less than confident, and the truth is that you’re not feeling confident right now—far from it, and what you are feeling is 100% OK and needs your attention and acknowledgment. Let him know how nervous that you are, afraid of pushing him away, afraid that he might not like what he sees…lay it all out there. Honesty is sexy. That’s right…downright I-want-to-make-sweet-love-to-this-woman sexy. :) Chances are really good that he is just going to fall more in love with you through your vulnerability, and if he doesn’t, then he is not a right fit. Any guy who doesn’t embrace you in your vulnerable honesty is not a man worth your time.

2) I want you to start exploring your body as the extraordinary pleasure center that it is. You are a WOMAN! A curvy, soft, sensuous, nurturing, exquisite, radiant flower in your own right. Unlike a man, you have an organ on your body whose sole purpose is for pleasure! How awesome is that?! (Yes…I’m talking about your clitoris…if you haven’t visited it yet or often, I encourage you to get to know it and make it your best friend… :) ) Your body isn’t for your boyfriend! It’s for YOUR pleasure, your enjoyment, your love. Give yourself the gift of exploring all of the ways that you can give yourself pleasure. I want you to enjoy taking showers and feeling the water on your skin, enjoy making yourself smell good, wearing beautiful fabrics…giving yourself all of the time that you need to be fully present in nurturing your body. Dance to music around your house, feel your body flowing with the music. Enjoy the food that you eat—take time to savor it on your tongue. Your body is magnificent. It is the house for your beautiful soul and it is made for you to enjoy what it means to be alive. Women who love their bodies through self-care and pleasure…bodies of all shapes and sizes, are irresistibly sexy.

3) Beyond your body, I want you to explore your inherent fabulousness. Take 5 minutes and make a non-stop list of all of the reasons why any man would be blessed to call you his girlfriend. You were born as a unique expression of the divine, equipped with wonderful strengths. You were born to be a blessing by simply being who you are. So who are you, Gorgeous? Now is not the time to be humble. Go nuts, fill up the page and brag about yourself like there’s no tomorrow.

4) What do you LOVE to do? What do you love about being alive? Make a list and pick 3 things that you can bring into your life daily/weekly/monthly that fill you with joy…and then create time to do those things.

I get that some, if not all, of my assignments for you probably make you super uncomfortable…and that’s the point. You are safe. You are in your own loving hands with every one of these steps, and you deserve to allow yourself to get uncomfortable for the sake of your growth. You deserve to feel sexy and sassy and worthy of all of the love in the world…because you are. Consistently practicing these actions will increase your sense of confidence and love for yourself and begin the process of setting you free. AND you will start to discover that taking care of yourself in these ways just feels damn good…and you so deserve to feel damn good, my dear.

Picturing you happy, healthy, and free.

:) Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2013 Melissa Simonson

 

My Boyfriend No Longer Appreciates Me…What Should I Do?

Hi Melissa,

 I am currently dating a guy for 3.5 years and he lives with me in my mothers house.  He pays rent and splits the  bills 50/50 with me.  I worry that he doesn’t know the difference between being in love with someone and loving them.  He doesn’t really ever seem to do anything spontaneous and kinda takes a back seat to things. Like planning and doing things for me.  It’s simple and yet complicated because we live together.  I used to feel so appreciated by him and that he would do anything and help me in anyway, but he has started to change.  He doesn’t realize that he barely gives me any affectionate anymore.  He has gotten a new job and we both are very busy, but I continuously feel like I wish he would do more.  The problem is ..well… I love him and we have been friends and dated in high school.  He is 25 and I am 26.  I think this is when we should be passionate about each other and go wild with each other still and go out and he just seems so comfortable with things the way they are and I’m not.  I have the best time with him, we joke and laugh and are so happy with each other when it’s just us.  But I feel like he doesn’t show me off or just never wants to do anything.

I feel like he should realize how lucky he is that I got him to stay at my mom’s house with me and how lucky he is, but he never seems to show it.

Joanne

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Dear Joanne,

Hello, Lovely. I hear that you want to feel pursued and fully cherished, and I love that. You absolutely deserve to have that experience in all arenas of your life! I hear that your boyfriend is not behaving in ways toward you that feed your experience of feeling cherished. I also see that you are giving your power away every time you believe that it’s his job to pursue and cherish you rather than your own job. You cannot control his actions, and there is no advice that I can give you that will make him love you the way you want him to, that will make him be in love with you the way that you want him to be. What I can help you with is to gently nudge you back in the direction of the relationship that is in your control: the one that you have with yourself. I can definitely help you fall in love with yourself again, and when you do that, whether or not he’s in love with you and in the way that you want him to be is just not going to matter to you nearly as much.

In fact, it’s possible that once you start focusing on how to give yourself the love that you are longing for, once you start pursuing your own passions, your own life with your whole being, you may actually find yourself appreciating what he does offer in his own way—you might actually recognize that his love has been enough the whole time. You might also discover that when you remove the focus from him and put it on yourself that he may feel less pressure to be who you want him to be and start pursuing you more. You may also discover that he’s not a right fit, that you continue to feel unsatisfied in your relationship and need to walk away, and that will be ok, too. Whatever the outcome, the answer lies fully in your turning your focus back to you. While you’ve been focusing all of your precious energy on all of the ways that your boyfriend is not being who you want him to be, you have flat out been ignoring you, and isn’t that sorta kinda what you’re accusing him of doing? Yeppers. It’s not his loving attention and presence that you are so needing, its yours.

Here’s your assignment: I want you to do a little journaling about your dream life. How are you spending your time in your dream life—both professionally and recreationally? How does money flow in? What kind of people are you spending time with in your dream life? How do they treat you and how do you treat them? What are you experiencing in your relationships that makes them so fulfilling? What qualities are present in your dream partner and how do those qualities make you feel? Where are you living, etc, etc? Really have fun with this and explore to your hearts content. Next, I want you to take a look at where your life is right now and ask yourself: What are three things you could do right away to bring you closer to this reality, three small steps that would make you feel more alive? This, my dear, is the beginning of a beautiful path of pursuing yourself as the irresistibly lovable, worthy-of-your-precious-time-and-attention, woman that you are. Do this simple assignment and you will already feel loved up in the way that you are longing for—I guarantee it. (And then, keep taking those juicy action steps, and keep on taking them…:)

Your next assignment: Share your dream life scenario with your boyfriend, and if you haven’t already, communicate with him what you’ve written to me. Communicating honestly from your heart in all of your relationships is the most powerful way that you can cherish yourself and build the necessary intimacy that makes relationships thrive. Does he know what you want? Have you fully communicated what you want, owning that you deserve it? You cannot control his response, and you only sell yourself, him and the relationship short by withholding what is true in your heart for fear of losing the relationship. By keeping silent, you lose yourself. By communicating from your heart, you can create the opportunity for both of you to discover more about yourselves and your relationship. You can create the opening for him to step up and pursue you the way you want to be pursued. He may not want to do that—by communicating honestly with him, you give both of you the opportunity to see that truth and to know whether it’s time to continue forward in your relationship or to move on.

Your sweet soul is just screaming for your attention—she’s feeling pretty darn abandoned in your focused pursuit of your relationship with your boyfriend. She longs to feel desired and cherished and recognized as the irresistible love kitten that she is. :) You can give that to her by shifting your focus from what is outside of your control and bringing it back to the calling of your own heart. Make plans with yourself. Spontaneously surprise yourself by taking a step outside of your comfort zone and seeing how capable that you are. Take a step that your future self will thank you for, and then appreciate yourself for it. Speak your truth. Get wild and passionate about your life  and who you are and show yourself off—these are all simple ways that you can give yourself all that you are longing for, and let me tell you, when you start radiating that love from the inside out, there is nothing that compares to the completeness and joy of that experience. Plus, you will be so irresistible to everyone around you that that they’ll start to form a line outside your door. ;)

Thanks for sharing this with me–I’m honored to support you in your shining.

Much love to you and your boyfriend,

:)Melissa A.K.A the JoyDiva

©2013 Melissa Simonson

I’m Afraid to Show My Boyfriend I Love Him…Can You Help?

Hello JoyDiva,

Let me tell you how thankful I am for finding you, even though I don’t know you :’) My question is, well is more my issue, is that you see I do not know how to love my boyfriend, I feel like if I show him how much in love I am for him he’s gonna get tired of me :( Please help me!

StarstruckbyWatermelons

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Dear StarstruckbyWatermelons, (You could make a hit record with a name like that! ;))

Without knowing a lot of back story (i.e. how long you’ve been with your boyfriend, your relationship history, what it means for you to “show” your love, etc.), I’m not going to focus on any or those sorts of specifics here.

What I can say is this: There is nothing that you have to do or be other than exactly who you are to be worthy of a deeply nourishing and unconditionally loving relationship. Your fears of rejection are completely normal, and it’s 100% OK for you to take baby steps when it comes to revealing your vulnerability in your relationship—there is no need to put all of your emotions on the table at once if that is something you are not ready for. Building a foundation for a lasting relationship happens step by step—it takes time to build intimacy, to reveal piece by piece if your relationship has what it takes to flourish and endure, and taking things slowly is a most excellent way to ensure that you’ve got yourself a good one. If he’s the right guy for you, then he’s gonna relish in taking his sweet time and in building something true and lasting with you, too.

I hear that you really like this guy and are afraid to make a wrong move. As really, super-duper, incredibly scary and vulnerable that it may feel, the thing is that when you choose to express your truth—whether that means that you gush all over him with love or express your need to take your sweet time in sharing your love for him or simply just let him know that you’re kind of freaking out—you always win, he wins and the relationship wins, too. Here’s the deal: you actually don’t need your boyfriend’s love or approval—as scary as it seems in your mind to experience him disapproving of you and/or walking away, you have everything that you need within you to pick up your life and create insane amounts of joy. By choosing to express yourself honestly, you are not only loving him, you are creating the opportunity for you to be TRULY loved for completely who you are. If he isn’t ok with how you share your love, then let him go, darlin'; because that means that you aren’t a right fit for one another, and there is another man out there who is gonna be THRILLED to receive love just the way you know how to give it. Hiding yourself so that you can keep a relationship that may or may not be right? Well, that is selling you, your boyfriend and your relationship way, way short of all of the goodness that could exist in your lives. When you speak your truth, everyone wins—you and your boyfriend both get to see if your relationship has what it takes to serve you both to the fullest and then choose accordingly for your lives. It may sound cliche, but the truth really does set us free—free to be who we really are, have what we really want and deserve, and it opens us to all of the joy that can come with that freedom.

So, I want to ask you: What is it that you really want in a relationship? What does your dream partnership look like? What do you need in order to feel cherished in your relationships? Your homeplay: Go ahead and make a really long, juicy list in answering these questions—really go all out with this one. I have a strong feeling that a core piece of your dream relationship includes you getting to be COMPLETELY yourself and being loved for it. (At least I hope so!) Some other things that you might want to include are: “I can express myself fully and it only makes him love me more.” “I can take my precious time, and my partner will not only understand, but respect and cherish the choices that I need to make for myself.” Have fun with this—it’s so important that you get really clear on what you want to be experiencing so that you can build a relationship from that awareness. The world needs you to be fully YOU, and any relationship that doesn’t support you in your “you-ness” isn’t doing any of us justice.

So, make your list, and then I want you to explore some of the ways that you can ensure that you have all of those pieces that you want. One clear way right off the bat is in choosing to share all of yourself—your boyfriend may or may not choose you in the end, but by choosing to share your truth, you are being your best partner, you are choosing yourself. There is a deep and lasting joy that can be discovered when you realize that you will always have your own back.

I want to close with sharing a video of me performing my upcoming single, “I’m Free”–it’s all about the joy and freedom that we discover when we choose ourselves. May this song serve as a loving reminder of your inherent worth and power.

Much love to you and your boyfriend, Dear One.

:) Melissa, A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson

Why Is It So Hard for Me to Accept That My Boyfriend Loves Me?

Dear JoyDiva,

Why is it so hard for me to accept that my boyfriend loves me? I have met the perfect man. He is kind, smart, sexy, loving, funny and generous. He tells me that he loves me, that I’m beautiful and that I make him smile every day. My problem is that I don’t believe him. There’s absolutely nothing that he has done to make me feel that his love is not true. Why can’t I accept that he loves me? Why do I have to question it? Why can’t I be comfortable knowing that he loves me? Of course, that leads me to me next dilemma. When is he going to stop loving me? I have a feeling it may be when I begin to annoy him with all these insecurities! Thanks for your help.

Julie

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Dearest Julie,

I’m so happy to hear that you have found someone who is so good at loving you up–it sounds like he is a wonderful mirror for you right now of your own kind, smart, sexy, loving, funny, and generous self. You, of course, wouldn’t appreciate these qualities about HIM so much if they weren’t values living inside of you, as well. He is no more or less perfect that you are, my dear.

His love is also a wonderful mirror for you to take a look at the beliefs you have about yourself that are keeping you from experiencing the love that you long for. You are right, Dear Heart in recognizing that it’s nothing to do with him and everything to do with your thoughts. I want to turn your question around on you and have you think on this for a moment–When he tells you he loves you and whispers all of the sweet nothings that you’ve longed to hear, what are the thoughts that come up that keep you from accepting it? Somewhere underneath there I would imagine are some thoughts along the lines of: you need his love in order to be happy, that you can’t trust love to be there–that you cannot trust him, or anyone for that matter, and that oh yes, you might not actually be worthy of receiving the love that you believe you need so much in the first place. What did you DO to make him love you so much, and uh oh, what are you going to DO to screw it up? How could you, all by yourself, without doing anything other than being you, possibly be worthy of such kindness? I realize that it can hurt to own some of these thoughts, but the more honest you can be with these thoughts, the more healing…and love can start to flow in their place.

The truth is that love has nothing to do with what we do or how worthy we are or not–and it never comes from “that person” or “out there.” Right now, the idea of losing his love feels so scary because your mind has pulled you away from one very essential truth: You source your own love. You feel afraid of losing his love because you are putting all of your love-generating capacity outside of yourself and onto him. When we fall in love, we aren’t just falling in love with the other person, we are falling in love with who we are in the other person’s eyes. We are falling in love with our own reflection. Of course that feels good! The cool thing is that underneath all of these thoughts that make you feel badly about yourself, you have the full capacity to simply look within and decide to fall in love–other people are just icing on that cake. I want you to look at the following thoughts and list at least 3 ways that they are true with regard to this relationship and beyond:

“I need MY love.”
“I do not trust MYSELF.”
“I could leave MYSELF.”

Your trust for him and your ability to receive his love will grow in relationship to your ability to trust and love yourself. Look at all of the wonderful juiciness in your life that you are creating ALL BY YOURSELF. In what ways do you step away from yourself and all of the juiciness in your life when you start believing that he might leave and that you can’t live without his love? Those are moments to come back to yourself, to spend some really juicy YOU time, to remind yourself that YOU will never leave you, that you will always be there to provide all that you need. In what ways can you become the most loving and reliable lover that you can ever possibly imagine…to yourself? I want to share a poem with you that I think is good medicine for you, right now. It is called “I Don’t Trust You” and was written by a lovely woman named Natalie Chalmers.

I don’t trust you.
I relieve you of all burden to meet my expectations.
To be anyone I need you to be in order to feel safe.
I don’t trust you and I don’t expect you to trust me.
I relieve myself of all burden to be who you think I am.

And I open my heart as wide as I feel I can.
And that part of me still behind the curtain of
old paradigm beliefs and thoughts
looks to see if you have too.

And I feel happy when I think you have.
And sad when I think you haven’t.
And I tremble with anxiety when I think I have and you haven’t.

And then I remember.
I don’t trust you.
I don’t need to trust you.
My heart is not a fragile thing made of glass.
It is strong beyond all knowing.
It can open wide enough for the whole world to flow through it.
And it takes nothing from me, even when I give it all.

Because Love flows through my heart.
A stream of energy that I can’t keep.
Can’t hold tight onto it.
It moves
Emotion.
Energy in motion.

And every break it has ever had
has only been there to tear it wider.
To open it more.
To expand it so that even more Love can flow through it.

I don’t trust you.
I relieve you of the burden to approve of me,
because I am already Accepted.
I relieve you of the burden to love me,
because I am already Loved.
But I invite you in to share my love.
Share in my sharing.
To play with this flow that bounces between people
As they wax and wane in connection.

I don’t trust you and you needn’t trust me.
Only share what is True for you
And I will do the same.

I don’t trust you.
But I trust myself wholly
to be able to handle anything that
Life can ever bring to me.

Anything.
Through anyone.

Even you.

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Be patient with this process–you deserve the utmost gentleness from yourself as you slowly release your grip around these thoughts that have caused you such fear and pain. I celebrate you as you open yourself bit by bit to discover how infinite that love truly is.

My love to you and that sweet man in your life,

:)Melissa A.K.A the JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson