Becky asked a question in response to my Be Brave post. I asked her if we could share her question, as I suspect many others have dealt with the issue she brings up. Thanks, Becky, for giving me permission to address this question publicly for the benefit of all. Here is Becky’s e-mail question:
A note to the editor, this is one of the most revealing and core touching
subjects I have dealt with along with resentment and fear of being
hurt or taken advantage of. Can this self guided positive imagery also help
with that too?
I believe Becky is referring to the section of my “Be Brave” e-mail that says this:
“Since dating often requires bold moves that bring up anxiety about what will happen next, you can bolster your “braveness factor” by simply envisioning positive outcomes. At the moment when you decide to act bravely, force your mind to remain focused on the best possible scenario.”
As Becky read these words, the personal meaning for her had to do with the fear of being hurt or taken advantage of. She’s wondering if positive visualization will help her to overcome the fear that prevents her from opening her heart to new relationships.
Becky, here’s my response. Visualization of a positive outcome for the situation you are about to face will not help you to overcome resentment and hurt from past relationships. The kind of visualization I referred to in my “Be Brave” e-mail has to do with the immediate situation you are facing, such as a decision to approach a man and strike up a conversation.
If you are a dog lover, and you see an attractive man walking a dog in a park, you might have the thought to strike up a conversation with him. If your mind then begins to project scenarios involving rejection, you might back down in fear of that rejection. By visualizing a positive outcome, you bolster your courage while lessening your anxiety. You will seem more natural, positive, and relaxed as you approach him, which increases the odds that he will feel comfortable and relaxed as he responds to you.
If you believe the spark of a new relationship is nothing but the beginning of another painful end with bitter resentment and emotional pain, your mind and body will be pulling against you on a far deeper level. You will benefit most by changing the nature of your relationship with your past hurts.
How does one go about healing from the pain of broken relationships or hurtful men who used and then abandoned? First of all, it is not easy. That said, healing is important enough that one should try even though it is not easy.
Here is how I recommend you go about trying to rise above the pain of the past. Start by aligning yourself with all things that are good. Nothing defines who we are more than our decisions and our motivations. Let your motivation arise from a determined will, the will to embrace and become a part of all forms of goodness you discover in this life.
Now consider the pain and hurt you have experienced from the past. Recognize it as a part of reality, but not a part of reality that will define you. Do not allow pain and heartache to define you. Do not allow the darkness you have found in men’s hearts to become a defining feature of your life.
Instead, use the power generated from those painful memories to strengthen your commitment to embracing all things beautiful and worthy of your life energy. Truly beautiful relationships are worthy aspects of a life well-lived. Living in fear causes you to cower and bow to fear. You can reject fear by taking the deep emotional energy it creates and channeling it toward a fierce commitment to do the very opposite of cowering. In so doing, you become brave.
Allow me to review the core concept. It is our decision to define our own life by the things we desire to embrace that allows us to conquer the fear we find within our mind. When fear attempts to become a tyrannical dictator, we must change our focus back to the things we choose as the defining characteristics of who we want to become.
As you embrace courage, you do not hide your head in the sand. You look problems square in the face and deal with them on a practical level. By embracing courage, you are quicker to walk away from a man who shows signs of being too selfish or too emotionally immature to satisfy your need for a positive relationship. However, you will also have the courage to bravely pursue a man who seems to be ready to co-create something beautiful.
I hope this was helpful to you, Becky. Live with courage!
thank you James…sometimes it pains to leave the one whom you love but everything that happens there is a reason behind it….i was once in a relationship with someone whom i never thought he would leave me…..but one day it happens that he left me without a good reason and took me years to forget about him…. but thanks to you James with your emails and videos that i have being watching ….im now ready to move on with my life ……..
ignore the past and move on even if it hurts one day you will forget all about it once you have found love once again
I don’t usually do comments and I’m not sure you’ll find it relevant. Perhaps I’m just dealing with my overwhelming emotions right now… Any way, an experience from a couple of years ago. I fell for a man, badly, and after some nice dates got rejected. At the same time my friend had a similar experience. While I was somehow able to move on, he turned into some serious drug and alcohol abuse, even considering suicide. We talked a lot back than considering what was so different between us. And it made me realize although it hurt like hell, I’ve never considered my experience totally negative. I have been able to somehow enjoy the feeling of being able to love. I have been able to enjoy taking care of my self better and trying to be a better person. I have been able to enjoy the butterflies in my stomach just knowing that once I get over this I’ll be able to let someone in my life again. And I really think this experience made me a better and more opened person. My friend, on the other hand, had a feeling his life was over. A feeling that this was somehow his last chance for happiness.
I suppose sometimes you just have to enjoy the trip even it doesn’t take you to the destination you’ve imagined at the start. Sure “scoring” feels great, but just “playing the game” should feel good to. Perhaps like in setbacks in sports there are times when you just need to consider why did you start to play in the first place. What was it about the game it self that just felt good without any pressure to win.
Good thinking. Enjoy the process, not just the goals or achievements you are aiming for. Thanks for sharing your wise thoughts here, Petra.
Oh James! Your intelligence and insight is breathtaking! As I’m sure you are aware, women are more mentally stimulated. A guy with emotional intelligence is a huge PLUS in my book. I would really like to know where that positive state of mind was derived from. Who has been your role model and inspiration? That person or persons have to be pretty awesome! I like to hear peoples’ inspiration and source of motivation, it is so moving for me. I am right at the point in my life where I want to embrace the Good and gain strength from the bad, so your comment really enlightened me and directed me! I feel I an truly on the right path….I am looking for a highly intuitive and intelligent man. I am awesome and it doesn’t hurt that I’m a total Babe inside out! Just saying 😉
Grace w/a beautiful Face
Those are very kind words, Grace. I appreciate the goodness you have brought into my life in the decision to share that particular thought.
I find inspiration from all people. I see goodness in people, and I focus my thoughts to learn from the good I see in others. Over time I find connections and basic truths that seem to tie things together and reveal a connection, something worth pursuing in this life.
What u did for me, really made me see how to have more courage. Life is just to short. I’m going to enjoy every new person, place and things that come to me.
Pain has always giving me, the chance to appreciate what I do have in my life.
Aren’t we all just learning more about ourselves, and isn’t that a great thing about living are lives one moment at a time.
Yes, discovering life and being open to new possibilities and personal growth has a way of taming the fear of change that otherwise permeates our lives. With your attitude, life becomes less of a burden and more of an adventurous game of limitless possibilities.
The only way I have found past the pain is to first accept that blaming the other or myself only traps me in the pain. Next is asking what is my lesson, what I can do differently in the future to support the positive outcome I desire. Expressing my grief and talking with friends about positive changes I can make helps empower me to try again. Doing the same will generate the same. What can I do differently? Being playful with it and accepting of myself allows more ideas to flow to me.
Dear James, I like the way you think, you
Dear James, You speak words of wisdom, I feel it is important for us to be emotionally mature if we are
expecting our potential/current partner to be the same, if not our fears will play out at some stage during the relationship. Confidence in our selves flourishes when we face and except the past hurts, (learn from them). If we live in fear from past hurts we limit our lifes potential. Thank you so much for your insights I feel more involved in my life and in a better place to meet the right man for me. My fear was based from the relationship I experienced with my parents, therefore my choices were men like my father.
Thanks for your excellent and timely advice, it’s so encouraging and true as it’s usual with all your great advices. The hardest part for me is dealing with the heartache and hurt and pain, but definitely healing is essential.
How does one get rid of the pain and hurt? You can’t entirely, I think. It’ll leave scars still.
That’s my question too Josephine – How do you get rid of the pain and hurt? I know that’s what been holding me back.
As much as I try, and as good as things are going, I always am waiting for the other shoe to drop and for things to go bad……..just because that’s how things have gone in the past.
Just for once, I would love to be able to get rid of all the negativity that swims around in my head, and not think the worst.
I know there will always be scars – but how do we move past the pain of what might happen again?