How To Let Go Of An Unhealthy Relationship (With Booze, Food, Or Men)
I'll always remember the exercise on forgiveness I learned at a Tony Robbins event, since this taught me the most basic rules of self-healing; learning to let go of grudges and resentment towards situations and relationships with others. At the time, it felt a little uncomfortable because forgiving someone who'd hurt me was a way of letting them off the hook. Surely they had gotten away with it, and why should they get away with what THEY had done to me?
Too often in the past I didn’t take responsibility for my feelings, choosing to take on others people’s baggage as they tried to control how I felt. I did this in several ways:
- Putting up with emotional bullying and manipulation.
- Being influenced by the judgments people made about me.
- Taking on the feelings and opinions other people had about me and the person they perceived me to be.
As a result, I tried to change myself to please everyone else, which was rather exhausting!
When we judge other people in a negative way, we're judging ourselves. When we talk badly of people, we're shifting responsibility of the feelings we hold for ourselves on to others. When we feel the need to put other people down, we unconsciously see something in them that we don’t like in our self. We can choose whether to take on opinions, criticisms and judgments — or not.
The great news is that if we can take back control over how we feel and take appropriate action, we get to be in control our own life. WOW!
Having been overweight for the better part of 20 years (another thing people had an opinion about), I feel fortunate that I've been able to apply this valuable knowledge to my life, because it's been critical to my own evolution. I have been able to release the struggle I had about trying to be the perfect person to everyone else, when in fact it was them who needed to change. Knowing that I had control over my feelings allowed me to get to know myself and begin to love who I was. This had a positive impact on my self-esteem and self-worth, and the weight loss followed. The feeling of liberation after letting go is a precious gift for you to allow yourself any time.
If someone annoys or upsets you, do you smoke a cigarette, eat some chocolate, drink a bottle of wine, spend money on something expensive? No one can change the way you feel about yourself long term, so if you have low self-esteem and self-confidence you won't get long-term results immersing into people, food, drugs, alcohol. It only prolongs the problem or makes it worse.
This may sound easier said than done, since it’s so easy to blame everyone else for the way you feel! But when you learn to take control of your thoughts and emotions, you gain strength. People treat you differently and respect you more.
If you get caught up in other people’s stuff, remember these tips:
- You can walk away at any time.
- You can immerse yourself in doing something you love which gives you great pleasure.
- You can let go of the relationships with people who are no longer good for you.
- You can reframe your thoughts in to positive ones.
- You can say YES or NO to anyone at any time.
- You can read a book that's nourishing to your soul.
- You can take action.
Here's a technique for you to follow if you need to let go of an unhealthy relationship:
Write a list of all the reason you have to have this person in your life.
Write out all the things this person's done to upset or hurt you.
Close your eyes and imagine a movie screen in front of you.
One after the other, play out all the unpleasant memories you have of this person. Notice all the negative things she's said or done to you.
Keep on playing the memories over and over until you get bored.
To change the feelings you have against the memories, replay the memories backwards, one after the other.
Good luck with your new lease of life!