How Your Childhood Dictates Your Experience in Love (And How To Overcome It)

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This post is part of a series by Shelly Bullard — a primer on raising your vibration and attracting your soul mate. For the next five days, we’ll post one article offering the foundational elements you need to go deeper in the search for self love, and the love of your life. When you’re ready to take the next step, check out Shelly’s course: How To Attract A Partner Who’s Ready For Deep, Devoted Love.

As a psychotherapist, spiritual guide and love coach who’s worked with hundreds of people, I can say without a doubt that your childhood plays a significant role in how your relationships unfold.

This can be incredibly frustrating.

We all want fresh, clean slates upon which to build our relationships — foundations that don’t carry the wounds from our past. But it’s not that easy.

We’re attracted to people who trigger our wounds because we need to work through them.

When you confront the wounds that surface in relationships, you have the opportunity to discover the truth of who you are. You get to see what you’re really made of. Pain viewed through this perspective becomes a gift. It’s a catalyst for your growth.

In this article, I’ll talk about how to work through this frustrating process so you can finally find peace, connection and fulfillment in love.

Let’s start at the beginning. As children, we internalize the energy that surrounds us. Our family dynamics naturally create an “energy imprint” within us, which is really just a belief system about relationships.

Because we create our realities internally, this imprint influences the relationships we create as adults, attracting partners who evoke the same kind of pain we experienced when we were young.

If you felt unseen or unheard in relationships in the past, you’ll be prone to attract partners who evoke that feeling as an adult. If you felt like you didn’t have the space to be yourself when you were young, you’ll create relationships where you feel smothered.

It’s important to acknowledge that no one had perfect parents or a perfect childhood. We all have wounds. While it’s normal and appropriate to grieve them, if you get stuck there (“I didn’t get what I wanted!”) it’s impossible to create a new reality.

You can transcend any hurt, disappointment or recurring pattern if you’re willing to learn the lesson it’s trying to teach you. This transformative process involves the following steps.

1. Turn your attention back to yourself.

When your emotions are triggered in a relationship, often a wound from your past is coming to the surface so you can become aware of it and heal it.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that the other person didn’t do something wrong, or that you don’t have a right to be upset. It just means that that is secondary information.

The primary information is that you feel powerless, unloved, unknown, or trapped — whatever your trigger is! And you wouldn’t be in that situation if you hadn’t created it.

Our realities are based on our beliefs from the past. Only when you take personal responsibility for this, can you shift the faulty belief system and move into a more rewarding reality.

Blame, on the other hand, keeps us stuck because it focuses our attention on the other person. So, to turn your attention back to yourself when you feel hurt. If you do, you can overcome any trigger you face.

In other words, this is the door to freedom. It’s your choice to walk through it.

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2. Ask yourself why it might be happening.

The way to heal wounds (and to ensure you don’t repeat them) is to bravely ask yourself how you got there in the first place. In other words, what belief (or imprint) is creating this experience for you?

What belief about myself or relationships is making this situation appear?

When we look deep enough, we learn that most of our hurt comes from a belief (or fear) of being separated from love.

If you are separated from love within yourself you’ll be separated from love with another person. It always comes down to that: When we hurt, we feel disconnected from love.

By asking why you feel hurt, you can uncover the place that feels separated from love. It may come in the form of a sense of unworthiness, but the root is this fear of disconnection. The next step is how you transform that.

3. Discover the truth of who you are.

All you have to do when you encounter the part that feels disconnected from love is be with it. Bring your presence, awareness, and compassion to that space within you.

Don’t push the experience into the corner, even though it hurts. Don’t try to make it go away. Sit with it (as you would with a child who was hurting) and a peculiar thing will happen: You’ll feel loved.

You’ll feel loved because you are love. It’s the ultimate truth of who you are.

Discovering the experience of love in your wounds is the biggest gift a person could ever receive. The only way you can receive it is if you’re brave enough to look at your wounds.

This process is intense and it will change your life. If you’re ready to overcome painful patterns in relationships, then gather your courage and take a look at what they’re trying to show you. A whole new reality in love is waiting for you on the other side.

Please share how you’re going to practice being with the parts of you that hurt.

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