“Perhaps, the problem is not the intensity of your love, but the quality of the people you are loving.” ~ Warsan Shire
I stopped dead in my tracks when I first read that quote.
I reflected on my own past and realized that there is an astounding truth in Warsan Shire’s words.
You see, I am someone who believes that we attract who we are. When I’m positive and happy, I attract positive and happy people. When I’m negative, I attract negative people. When it comes to relationships, I think the law of attraction is something we can never escape.
But I do believe we can do something about what comes next—and choice, my dear, is what comes next.
The truth is, we’ve all been in broken relationships. And when these relationships end, we beat ourselves up trying to speculate why we’re repeating the same destructive pattern with different partners.
The first excuse is usually, “I shouldn’t have given that much,” or “I shouldn’t have loved that much.” I gave myself such a hard time for the limitless love I showed my partner. We think that the reason we lost this person is because we chased them, wanting them to love us.
Then one day, I opened my eyes to the fact that the intensity of my love wasn’t the mistake. My biggest mistake was choosing to love the wrong people.
We’ve been trained to believe that we can never choose who we love—the heart wants what it wants, right? My heart had its share of wanting and as far as I’m concerned, my mind and intuition were shut out of that process. We dismiss warning signs, look at the good while closing our eyes to the bad. And even when our gut tells us to stay away, we choose to stay close.
Sometimes we see the quality of people before loving them, and choose to love anyway. But there are also times when we aren’t blessed with enough awareness to know who the wrong people are. The good news is that we can stop the cycle and quit repeating the same old patterns.
We deserve people who deserve us. As long as we accept loving the wrong people, we devalue our worth. We might not be able to stop the law of attraction, but we are absolutely able to accept or decline what it’s sending us. Once we decide to choose the right people, things begin to fall into place.
This is how I learned to stop accepting the wrong people into my heart:
1. Recognize the underlying reasons.
To stop falling in love with the wrong people, we need to find out the “whys” that are provoking us to accept this love. We might have some hidden psychological issues from our childhood that haven’t been resolved, some traumas from past relationships that we fear reliving or personal problems that need to be brought to the light. Have an honest conversation with yourself and scan your past to figure out the reasons.
2. Forgive yourself.
I believe that forgiving ourselves is utterly more important than forgiving the other person. Instead of hating ourselves for staying with the wrong person or remaining in a destructive relationship, we must understand our old self and recognize that we did the best we could with what we knew back then.
3. Extract the lessons.
The wrong person can often teach us way more than the right person because they push our buttons and bring out the worst in us. Extract the lessons and learn from them so we don’t repeat them once the right person comes along.
4. Don’t ignore what’s in your head.
The heart wants what it wants, but the head has something to say about it. Listen to what your mind is telling you because the mind wants to create balance for healthy choices and a healthy relationship. We must look beyond emotions and trust our gut.
5. Be willing to change.
Not one single step we take will be of benefit if we are not willing to stop the cycle of accepting the wrong people. We have to actively want happiness and comfort. Once we’ve had enough of being with the wrong person, we will stop and say, “I will no longer accept being with the wrong person.”
I say this to myself every day. Will you be joining me?
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Nad Renrel/Flickr