How I Finally Moved On From My “Non-Relationship”

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”I searched for years I found no love. I’m sure that love will never be a product of plasticity.”

Ending a relationship can be incredibly difficult no matter how toxic it is. Part of this is for simple biological reasons, as some scientific studies have shown that being in love activates the same areas of the brain as being high on cocaine.

Brain scans of lovers and people experiencing cocaine addiction both displays increased activity in the pleasure centers of the brain (most notably the dopamine centers) and decreased activity in the frontal lobe, which is the area responsible for cognition. This means that while falling in love can make us feel good, it can also profoundly affect our judgment.

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It is for this reason that love can sometimes be compared to an addiction. In love, much like an addiction, there may be negative side effects such as abuse or gaslighting. But despite all of those bad circumstances, it can still be difficult to kick the romantic attraction and feelings of love.

If you find yourself feeling trapped in a relationship you know is not healthy, consider these tips for letting go of it for good:

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1. Trust In Your Emotions: If you are feeling, more times than not, insecure and ill at ease about your relationship, you need to pay attention to this perception. You are not overly sensitive, insecure, needy, and irrational all of the time. People tend to tell themselves these things so as to push their negative emotions away and avoid confronting the possibility that a relationship may not be sustainable. Instead of criticizing yourself for your feelings, take them seriously and try to directly talk with your partner. If your partner habitually dismisses you, rejects you or turns the tables by blaming you for your feelings, this is an indicator that this relationship may simply not be workable. Manipulation through guilting you, telling you are overly sensitive, needy and turning the tables are key signs of a toxic union.

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2. Trust In Reliability: The basis of healthy love and friendship is believing people are going to do what they say they are going to do. It means something if your partner often leaves you hanging, shows up late or doesn’t show up at all. We all have off days or events come up that are out of our control, but most of the time your partner should be reliable. If you live with anxiety about what’s going to happen next or whether he/she is going to let you down, there is a major issue in your relationship. If you live off small crusts and crumbs of pleasure with your partner, then consider that this relationship may not have enough sustenance to keep you happy and healthy.

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3. Trust In Intuition: Have you ever had a hunch about someone but then talked yourself out of it, only to later have your original hunch confirmed? So often when partnering up we want so badly to believe in a person or in love that we dismiss our intuition. We know something is off or not quite right about our new partner but choose to ignore or push away these insights in favor of getting swept up in romantic love. Sometimes people push their intuition away for years or even marry, only to eventually have it all come crashing down when they can no longer ignore what they have always known to be true. When you have a hunch that something is off with your partner, talk with him or her about it, but when you continue to have the same sense that something’s not quite right, don’t push your instincts away. Your intuition is telling you that this particular person may be a lemon and that it is time to discard.

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4. Trust In Your Experiences: It means something important when most of the time you’re around your partner you feel ill at ease, uncomfortable or worried about tripping a switch to a fight. For things to be going well in your relationship, most of the time you should feel safe, at ease and comfortable with your partner and with bringing him/her around your friends and family. Remember when things start off poorly, they are unlikely to improve with time and hard work.

 

5. Trust Insecurity: Take full notice that you have a major issue if you feel insecure most of the time about how your romantic love feels about you or about what their level of commitment is to you. It’s not your fault when this insecurity wells up. Talk with your love about your feelings, your worries, your concerns and see if you feel better after this talk. You may have things you need to work on as an individual, but you should be able to talk with your partner about these things. Once your partner knows what the buttons are that make you insecure, he/she should not continue to push them. You should feel safe and secure with your love, not worried about if you are going to feel insecure in their presence.

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”Banish Your Guilt Demons”

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I feel like I don’t deserve to be here because I let everyone down. I just want to slink into a corner and keep my eyes on the floor…Or maybe just quit and go home? I even feel guilty about feeling guilty!

For many of us, guilt is like a certain kind of old friend — someone whom we willingly let in the door, and then can’t kick out.

Guilt shows up when we act in a way that doesn’t sync with our goals and values — whether procrastinating, or breaking a promise, or taking credit for someone else’s work. At its best, guilt acts like a moral compass, prompting us to reflect on what we’re doing (or not doing), and then make constructive change.

But when guilt settles in for the long haul, serving up daily helpings of blame and shame without adding anything constructive to the mix, we find ourselves living with a parasite. Guilt shadows the good things in our lives. It whittles down our energy and self-worth. That’s when we begin cheating ourselves of our personal dreams and needs. We make a habit of putting ourselves second, feeding our guilt, and starving our self-esteem — making it harder and harder to be our fullest, brightest, most creative selves.

There are three common forms of guilt that can rob us from living fully — if we let it. Instead, let’s kick out the guilt, rather than repeatedly kick ourselves. Here are some ways to start.

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THE GUILTY-PLEASURE PARADOX
“Guilt-free” is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot: guilt-free TV, guilt-free desserts, guilt-free shopping… It seems that wherever there’s pleasure involved, there’s guilt to be had. We often don’t allow ourselves to do what we want because we believe we haven’t earned it. And, even when we do say yes, that guilty little voice in our heads spoils the fun of a nightcap at the close of a hard day, or that beach getaway with friends.

Ironically, research shows that guilt is a pretty ineffective way to control behavior. In a 2013 study published in Appetite, psychologists found that people who linked chocolate cake with guilt rather than with celebration had more trouble losing and maintaining weight. Instead of acting as a positive motivating force, guilt actually leads to feelings of helplessness and lack of control.

While it’s healthy to have rules for responsible behavior — a glass of wine with dinner is one thing; a bottle of wine is another — unrealistic expectations of never ever indulging set you up for failure. And a dull life.

Try these tips:

1. Let go of borrowed beliefs. If you feel that something you want to do is undeserved, ask yourself who said so. Does society say that it’s wrong? Your mom? Your childhood baseball coach? Then ask yourself what you believe — and respect your own judgment.

2. Calculate the consequences. What’s the fallout if you indulge? And what can you do to mitigate it? For example, if the consequence of ordering dessert is falling off your diet wagon, how can you counterbalance it? A morning trip to the gym, perhaps? (Although you probably don’t want to make this a habit.)

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THE TRAP OF A GUILTY CONSCIENCE

A guilty conscience can be your personal Alcatraz — rocky, labyrinthine, and impossible to escape. But punishing yourself with thoughts of what a terrible person you are doesn’t help you make amends for that terrible (or perhaps not-so-terrible) thing you did. Instead, it makes you self-absorbed and self-protective. You stop putting your best foot forward — cheating not only yourself, but other people in your life.

The thing is, guilt without behavior change is a cop-out. If you did something wrong — even if the victim is no one but yourself — acknowledge it, try to repair the damage, and commit to not doing it again. Once you emancipate yourself from your guilty slammer, your world will get brighter and fuller with possibility.

3. Forgive yourself. Okay, so you did something you’re not proud of. That’s part of being human, but it doesn’t define who you are. Forgiving yourself requires new perspectives. Talking through your guilt with someone else often lightens the burden. When you speak your thoughts out loud it usually removes much of the sting — though it may not happen in a single conversation. You might also try talking to yourself as if you were another person. What would you say to someone else who is in your position?

4. Break up with your guilt. Once you’ve made honest efforts to make amends, box up your guilt up and get rid of it. Try creating some kind of ritual that helps you divorce your guilt — such as writing a positive affirmation or letter to yourself, or burning or throwing away a physical artifact that represents your feelings of shame.

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THE GUILT-INDUCING MYTH OF PERFECTION
The bogeyman of perfection plagues us throughout our lives, and guilt (perfection’s enfant terrible) rears its ugly head when we fall short of what we think we ought to be — whether it’s the woman who “has it all” or the straight-A student obsessed with the highest score.

Often, this guilt is shaped by fear of disappointing others: You’re a rotten parent because you missed a school play; you’re a bad friend because you forgot a birthday; you don’t deserve to be happy because your traditional-minded family says you make poor choices…Every time you fall short of the impossible, you beat yourself up a little more.

To lessen the loathing, try to shift your thinking to what’s truly achievable — the tips in last week’s Unstuck post “The secret to work-life balance” can help — and create tactical ways to juggle and prioritize life’s many demands. Because when guilt leads, you try to please everyone, ironically, you please no one — particularly yourself.

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5. Mute the peanut gallery. When you feel lessened by guilt because you couldn’t do everything perfectly, replace the negative voice with a positive one; for example, instead of “I served dinner 15 minutes late,” shift to “I spent extra time getting the sauce perfect, and I know my friends will really appreciate that.”

6. Own your failures. Mistakes only diminish us when we don’t learn from them. Use our Failure Analysis Checklistto reflect on what went wrong, and to surface important lessons that will help you prevent the situation from happening again. The mistakes we make can make us wiser, smarter, and more compassionate — but only when we stop palling around with guilt and embrace constructive change.

 

”Beauty Is Always In The Eye Of The Beholder”

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”Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself, that’s when you’re most beautiful.”
Zoe Kravitz
Go and tell yourself that you are beautiful. And that your life is so worth living. 
Take a fair look in the mirror. Just have a look at you for a little while. Look at you as if you
were another person. Just someone you never knew. And then go tell yourself in every honesty,
that you are lovely even when you’re blue. Just go and tell yourself that you are quite ok.
And please repeat these words in every single way.
Go and tell yourself that you are beautiful.
Every minute, every hour, and every brand-new day. Please have look at you,
you as a person are ok. With all the pros and cons you’ll see.
And if you’ll fail, just do not care, and start another day.
Just take it to step by step,
by repeating it as many times as you can say. Again, again and just again. 
So many times, each day, Until the final wake-up call
that makes you finally see, ‘I am the best one in the world. At least I am, to me’

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Why do we want to be perfect? What is it, perfection? Is it a beauty? Is it having a very balanced personality, without any negative emotion like anger or sadness? Like horrific things never will occur in one’s life? Would that be perfect?

Can we please just agree that beauty is a state of mind what has nothing in common with the outer appearance of someone or something. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. And the physical beauty itself will fade away as life goes on. When someone gets older, the inner beauty will become more and more visible. Beauty really has nothing to do with our physical appearance, but everything about the way we live and the way we maintain our relationships with the world around us.

Beauty has nothing to do with a required reaction to something nasty in your life. Your emotions are real and you have every reason to respect them and to feel them. And you have every reason to be respected in every way.  Repeat that you are beautiful until you are feeling better.

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I just want to support all people who are struggling with their bodies, struggling with their self-acceptance and self-esteem, and who are still believing the ridiculous demands of today’s society.

Just believe that only one thing is true: you are ok! And you deserve to feel beautiful. Because you are.

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“I’m Beautiful”

You are beautiful because beauty comes from within. You’re beautiful regardless of what everyone else thinks of you because it only matters what you think of yourself. You’re beautiful because you are made out of stardust and there’s nothing more beautiful than that. You’re beautiful because everything about you is beautiful its self. Your smile lights up the world, your kind heart
makes the world a better place and your mind is limitless.

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“I’m Intelligent”

You are smart because you know what truly matters in life. You are bright because you’re hopeful. You are sharp because you know when to draw the line. You are wise because you learn from your mistakes, you are always improving yourself. You take responsibility for your own actions and you are brave enough to apologize when you are wrong. You are intelligent
because you pick your battles. You are intelligent because you treat everyone as your equal.

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 “I’m Powerful”

You are stronger than you think you are. You grew up at a young age and that made you the person you are today. You know your worth and no one can take that away from you. And you fight for what you deserve, your standards and your dreams. You are powerful because you understand that real power relies on love and kindness, not in hate and violence. You are powerful because you use your voice softly. You are powerful because you know who you are and you know what you need to do so you can get where you want. You are powerful because you are unstoppable. And you are powerful because you don’t need anyone.

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“I’m Enough”

You are enough just the way you are. You don’t need to change who you are to please others. You don’t need to speak less so someone can like you more. You don’t need to change your interests or dreams to match someone else’s. The right people in life will not try to change you. They will love you for who you are and they will accept you with your flaws, imperfections, and shortcomings. You don’t need to alter your beliefs and lifestyle so you can be someone’s right match. You need to own who you are. And you need to always choose self-improvement because although you are enough, you are work in progress.

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“I’m Loved”

Whether you believe it or not, you are loved. Your parents love you even if they are not that good at showing it. Your friends adore you although sometimes you feel like they are critical of you or hard on you. But, they are like that because of how much they love you and how much they want you to succeed. Your partner loves you even if they don’t tell you or show you enough. Your coworkers enjoy your company and think that you are invaluable. Look around, because love is all around you.

It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly because we don’t really see ourselves.

We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with chests rising and falling with our own rhythm.

We don’t see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing.

You don’t see yourself looking at someone with love and care inside of your heart.

There’s no mirror in your way when you’re laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you.

You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments where you are truly yourself.

”Don’t Forget to Appreciate How Far You’ve Come”

”Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.”

– Rick Warren

Appreciate What You Have:-

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Why is it so hard to appreciate what we have? Why is it so difficult to be sated with everything in our lives in the here and now? We always seem to be chasing the next big thing. Constantly lusting and yearning after the newest and best I’ve-just-gotta-have-it object, we move from one point to the next on this Hedonic Treadmill that we call life, and we can’t seem to get off.

The funny thing is that, for the most part at least, everything in our lives was once just a wish. We wanted that car we drive today so badly just a few years ago. The house we live was once just a goal. The people or situations in our lives were once just a wish. So why is it that, today, we can’t appreciate all of those things? How come we’re not satisfied with the status quo?

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This conversation isn’t a new one. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly been unappreciative of the things I’ve had in my life. Although I once lusted and yearned for those things, attaining them seemed to remove their lustre and their shine. When I achieved my goals, I wanted the next best thing. I was never really happy with the things that I had attained.

It just goes to show you how little we appreciate in life. When we stop to think about it, we’re so blessed to even be alive that we fail to appreciate all of the things that are happening in our lives in the here and now. We look past the miracle and beauty of life and all the little things we have and instead focus our mind’s eye on the things we don’t have.

The food that we eat goes unappreciated until we can’t afford to buy a meal. Similarly, the roof over our heads is unappreciated until we can’t afford to have it and are effectively homeless. The clothes on our backs are similarly unappreciated. The point? We need to learn how to appreciate what we have right now because it can be gone in an instant.

Clearly, we’re not usually focused on what we have. We often focus on what we don’t have. And when we do focus on the things that we have, we zoom in on the problems, making them bigger and brighter. However, anytime we do that, those problems just take centre stage in our lives.

While there might be hundreds of ways that we can do simple little things to appreciate our lives just a bit more, there are few profound things that we can do today, right now, to harbour a bit more appreciation towards the things we have rather than the things we don’t have.

* Be Grateful:-

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Gratitude is the pathway to happiness and success in life. The more we’re grateful for the things we have, no matter how little they might be, the happier and stated we’ll be in life. Why do we have to wait until something is taken from us to appreciate it in the here and now? Learn to be grateful and count your blessings, because tomorrow it might all be gone.

Keep a journal and jot down your thoughts every single day. Write out everything that you’re grateful for. Even if it’s just for the air in your lungs and the heart beating continuously in your chest, write it down. If you can speak, read or write, then be grateful for that as well. Or, simply for the fact that you’re six feet above the ground.

* Be Present And Live In The Moment:-

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It’s important to be present and to quite literally live in the moment if you’re serious about appreciating what you have. There are so many miracles that are occurring all around us, that when we stop to actually pay attention, it a complete marvel and a wonder. The simple beauty of life and consciousness is so utterly astonishing that we have to be present and appreciate it.

Take a walk in the park and literally listen to the birds chirping or smell the roses. It’s hard to do when we’re so immersed in our problems, but also a very important step to take to appreciate life. The truth is that life is a beautiful gift. It’s here today, and can easily be gone tomorrow. Don’t take that for granted.

* Stop Comparing Yourself To Others:-

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Sure, it’s easy to compare ourselves to those who have more. It’s quite simple to look to that car or house that we want and allow it to ruin our mood. We beat ourselves up over not having certain things. Why do we need to constantly compare ourselves to other people in this world? Why do we allow that to eliminate our chances for happiness?

I’m not saying that I’ve never done it. But stop comparing yourself to others. There are far more people who have less than the people that have more. Appreciate what you have right now because those small things could also be gone tomorrow. Keep that in mind next time you longingly look at someone else and wildly diminish yourself compared to that person.

* Ask Yourself Different Questions:-

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Sometimes, the questions that we ask ourselves preclude us from appreciating what we have. When you ask a poor question, you often get a poor answer. Instead, we need to ask better questions in an effort to get better answers. Instead of saying, when will I ever have something so nice? We should ask, what can I do today to help someone less fortunate than myself?

We need to search for ways that we can improve our lives by first improving ourselves as human beings. Appreciation of things shouldn’t arise from some monetary metric. Rather, it should come from the values that we harbour and the things that we can do in this world to make it a better place.

* Let Go Of Hatred And Negativity:-

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Hatred and negativity won’t serve you whatsoever. You have to let go of it if you’re serious about any semblance of appreciation or happiness in life. Hatred and anger are negative emotions that heavily weigh on the mind, constantly causing us to replay events over and over again, driving us crazy internally.

There’s almost no way to appreciate the things we have in life when we’re so consumed by the ensuing negative energy created by things like hatred and animosity. There’s no room for it in your life. Let it go. You don’t need to forget. Just forgive. I know it’s hard, but it’s an important step in the healing and maturing process.

* Smile Even When You Don’t Feel Like It:-

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Studies prove that by simply smiling a genuine smile, also known as a Duchenne smile, we can lift ourselves out of depression and sadness, making us happier in life. It sounds like such a simple thing to do, but it’s truly integral to any life that harbours an appreciation for the simple little things.

Look in the mirror and smile for 20 minutes per day. Smile a genuine smile by placing a pencil between your lips and holding it there. Think about all the good things you have and all of the wonderful people in your life. Think about all the things you’ve been given that so many others would only dream to have.

* Focus On Your Faith And Belief:-

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If you’re a firm believer in God, Allah, Buddha or even the simplistic power and energy that binds us all, focus on your faith and your belief in that. If you can focus on your belief, you’ll understand that Creator doesn’t put things into your life that you can’t handle. All of it is meant to serve you, to allow you to grow and mature, and to eventually reach new understandings about life.

The importance of faith is second to none. Believe and it shall be given to you. Seek and ye shall find. Appreciate everything in your life, even the problems, because they were put there for a reason. You can’t have sunshine and rainbows all the time. But when you have faith and belief, eventually, good things will go to pass as long as you don’t give up hope.

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