I often hear women blaming their ex-boyfriend or partner for how they lost themselves in a relationship. They will sometimes blame the other person for taking advantage of them.
I confess that I have had that same experience more times than I would like to admit. I also know that in each and every case, I gradually gave myself away to the other person. I may not have been completely conscious of it at the time, but on some level I gave permission for that to occur.
At some point in each of these relationships, I decided to move away from myself…therefore making the other person more important than me. I gave my power away and I stopped being me in an effort to keep the ‘we’.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that there are three things that must be present and in balance for me to be happy in a relationship:
- Loving myself
- Feeling safe
- Being valued
The most powerful thing I can do for myself is to recognize that I’m the greatest source of love for myself. I must feel safe and value myself as well. And, no one else can do that for me.
Over time I’ve observed that when we expect another person to be our greatest source of love, safety, and value, we unknowingly set ourselves up for failure. When we give our power away to someone, it creates the need for us to control the person who we believe holds our love, safety, and worthiness. When we make the choice to possess all of those things within ourselves, there is no need for us to control another person.
To stop choosing to control others and to step into your own power, you have to ‘do the work’. The work may include increasing your self-worth, embracing self-confidence, loving for yourself, and so on. You can accomplish this by using a tool such as The Boyfriend Bonfire Box while working with a life coach, therapist, or licensed social worker – or you can use it on your own – to help you find the courage, insights, and the know-how to discontinue choosing away from yourself and focus on stepping into your own power.