Why We're Attracted To People Who Are Wrong For Us
I'm asked this question all the time: "Why am I attracted to people who are wrong for me?" And the answer is quite simple, actually:
Because your wounded self is doing the attracting.
Now, I know the term "wounded self" can sound a little intense, so let me explain. We all have two selves: the "little self" (or the wounded self, the ego) and the "Spiritual Self" (the higher self, adult self, or soul).
The wounded self is the part of you that feels incomplete. It questions your worth and value; it doesn't feel whole, or it feels flawed in some way. My wounded self is the "little me" who wonders if I'm truly lovable.
On the other hand, we also have a Spiritual Self. This is your higher self, your soul. It's the part of you that's connected to love, truth, wisdom and peace within. Your Spiritual Self knows, without a doubt, how lovable and valuable you are. In many ways, it's the opposite of the ego.
At any given time, we are operating from one of these two selves. Many of us, unfortunately, operate from the viewpoint of the ego most of the time. That is, we believe we're insignificant and powerless in some way, and we're trying to make up for this lack.
The ego looks for things on the outside to find validation and completion. It believes once it gets more (money, a better partner, a better job, a better house, more vacations, etc…) it will finally be happy.
But … it's never happy. Not for long, anyway. Because the ego's very nature is to feel incomplete. Therefore when you live through the perspective of your ego, you're destined to feel like something's missing. Life through this lens is not very fun.
The ego gets highly activated when it comes to romantic relationships, because relationships are where we hold the most wounding.
We've all felt disappointed or hurt by a relationship in the past; we carry the memory of this wound into adulthood (sometimes unconsciously). If a wound from childhood is still active within you, you'll attract people who are going to highlight the same feeling. For example, if your wounding is centered around feeling rejected or unseen, it's likely that you'll feel a similar way in your relationships as an adult.
Your unconscious is programmed to attract people who activate your wounds. The reason for this is so you'll grow.
This is a frustrating part of the growth process! But think of it this way: You're replaying your wounds so you can finally heal them. We cannot heal anything we don't feel or see; we can't heal things that are unconscious! The uncomfortable feeling has to come to the surface for you to grow beyond it.
And how do you grow beyond it?
By identifying with your higher self.
Remember, your higher self is the part of you that knows the truth about you. It knows that you are worthy, amazing, capable, and powerful. Through the lens of the higher self, you are whole. Yes, you're an imperfect human with flaws; but the larger truth is: you're a soul.
This is what the higher self knows about you — and it wants you to know it, too.
By identifying with your higher self (the love within you), your compulsion to play out wounds with other people dissipates and in some cases, disappears.
When you wake up to the higher self's truth, you suddenly realize that the "wrong" people were just teachers to nudge you into the "right"state-of-mind; a state-of-mind that does not question your value or worth. Unfortunately, nothing inspires us to grow more than a broken heart.
Your higher self wants you to identify with it; it wants you to own who you really are. Reclaim the love within you, and you'll heal your relationships from the inside-out.
Please leave a comment below telling us the qualities of your higher self and how you plan to be more connected to that part of you.
On October 1, I'm launching my exclusive eCourse, Manifest Your Love, to guide you in claiming who you really are, so you can create the relationship you want. To be the first to know about it, sign-up here.
Shelly Bullard, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist with a holistic and spiritual approach to relationships. She has worked with thousands of clients on improving their relationships with others and themselves, and she's also the instructor of the popular mindbodygreen courses How To Become The Most Attractive Version Of Yourself and How To Attract A Partner.