In one of my article's, “What’s Love Got to Do with It …. Everything” also “How Do I Learn to Love Myself”, we explored the concept that in order to begin to love yourself you must first have a healthy definition of what love is. To begin with, individuals can only love within the realm that they have been exposed too. People have been exposed to love by watching their parents, relationships on television, and watching other couples in their surroundings. Depending on what type of emotions displayed, ideas of what love is are shaped through thinly veiled experiences and observations. Without clarity you can be destined to repeat the very same bad habits witnessed throughout your life.
Here’s a test question: If you always seem to attract the same type of unhealthy mate, what would be the reason for such consistent choices? You must first identify the common denominator – and that common denominator is “YOU”. There is something about you that sends out radar, the vibe, the scent, that says “He or she likes to be treated the way I am getting ready to treat him or her.” You’re saying now, “really?” and I respond in kind, “Really!” I am not suggesting you like it - I am suggesting you are so used to it that you see it as the normal way of life, so why demand anything different.
Hence the statement “It’s Either You or Me”. Choose you this day who you are going to protect. Self-preservation is the first order of defense. In order for you to be healthy in a relationship:
· You must decide before you go any further, what type of mate you should
spend your time with.
· You must also understand that you are a valuable, wonderful human-being
deserving to be loved and to give love in return.
· You must see yourself as a good catch that deserves to be protected, respected, and
treated with dignity.
· You must expect that your mate will do you no harm and you must understand what harm is.
Ø Harm is hitting you
Ø Harm is raping you
Ø Harm is saying unkind things to you
Ø Harm is taking you for granted
Ø Harm is treating you like the scum under their shoe
Ø Harm is cheating on you
Ø Harm is abusing you physically and/or mentally
Ø Harm is unhealthy jealously. (unhealthy jealously is when it becomes
violent and you feel physically threatened by that anger.)
Ø Harm is disrespecting you in front of friends, family, or co-workers.
Ø Harm is controlling your every move.
Ø Harm is dictating who your friends are
Ø Harm is limiting access to family, friends, co-workers
Ø Harm is demanding that his or her way is the best and only way
Ø Harm is treating you as though you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Ø Harm is consistently putting everything and everyone before you.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but meant to give you a glimpse into an arena maybe never visited before. If the harmful identifiers have been present, persistent, pervasive, and part of your everyday life, then it is time for you to take stock into your life. It is time for you to protect yourself. It is time for you to clean house.
It is time for you to choose – You or Them? I know you will make the right decision and choose yourself, your sanity, your safety, and if you have children, doing for them what others didn’t do for you – show them a better way to live and a better way to value themselves.