To My True Love,
Before we go on our first date,
I have a prior engagement that I must make
I am involved in a civil case
In which resolution must make haste
I must put someone on the stand
A person who blocks you and me
from becoming us
It is a part of me
that I am beginning to mistrust.
Signed, Defending My Right to Receive Love…
Imagine you have just moved into a brand new house. Your furniture has been moved in and arranged. It finally feels like home. As you go upstairs to retire for the night, you discover some unwanted guests in one of the rooms. Their presence changes the ambiance of the house and your demeanor. It is like a gush of wind has just burst in, bringing in all types of negative energy.
You try to make them leave, but they won’t vacate. Their exit relies on your entrance into the truth that you are the reason why they are there.
They are the ghosts of relationship pasts, limiting beliefs and automatic negative thoughts (ANTs). Your house is the new relationship you have just begun. If you do not get rid of them, you may end up losing your partner. These ghosts block you from really experiencing the love that you deserve.
Your past relationships become mirrors in your lives, reflecting the pain and baggage left behind. Instead of confronting them, learning their lessons and moving forward, you hold onto them and make your current relationship a crowded threesome: you, your lover and Mr./Mrs. Bones.
Buried under the skeletons of your past lie your limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are thoughts based on previous experiences that hold you back from being who you were destined to be. They can come from more than past relationships. Limiting beliefs can stem from childhood events. They can be rooted in something that happened on your job, in church or with your best friend. Limiting beliefs form a negative foundation that does not support the self-love you are trying to build inside.
Last, but not least, you have the remaining ghost. Automatic negative thoughts, or ANTs are a medley of thoughts that create an ongoing mental self-tape with the sole purpose of producing fear and anxiety in a situation. They are often triggered by what someone says or does. It may be a feeling of déjà vu. You enter a situation that breeds familiarity of the worse kind. Those thoughts start playing like a swan song, and you enter fight or flight mode.
ANTs are detrimental to you and your relationships. To get rid of them, you have to begin to identify them. According to Dr. Helen Nightingale, there are different kinds of ANTs. She identifies them on her website, www.cbtwellbeing.com. I have listed a few of them here for you.
Types of Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)
• Mind Reading–Assumptions on what other people are thinking without any evidence. She thinks that I am not marriage material.
• Catastrophizing—Beliefs that the worse will happen and you will not be able to handle it. Life is not worth living if I do not get this promotion.
• Labeling—Attribution of undesirable characteristics to you and others. He is just as selfish as his daddy. I will end up being a college dropout just like my mom.
• Discounting positives—Beliefs that positive things are trivial. It is no big deal when my grandmother does something nice for me. That is what she is supposed to do.
• Emotional reasoning— Feelings dictate your reality. I feel like I am worthless, so that explains why my husband is leaving me for another woman.
Past relationships, limiting beliefs and ANTs make up the spirit of error. They are a hierarchy of thought and emotional patterns that have no real basis in the present. They are robbing you of your joy and your chance for a healthy, loving relationship with yourself and your future mate. You have to confront them and cross examine them in the courtroom of your mind. Stop them from invading your private party of self-love.
How can you do this? Through the spiritual principle of insight.
Spiritual Principle: Insight
The dictionary defines insight as “an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing through intuitive understanding.” To understand the nature of a thing, you have to conduct a deep and thorough examination of it. It involves serious reflection and meditation on the issue or instance you are dealing with. You want to discover how it started, why it has so much power over you and how you can regain that power back.
For you, it is the limiting belief, past relationship or automatic negative thought that is dominating your life.
Once you gain insight, then you can replace the negative energy with a positive affirmation. Now is the time to clean out your house so love can take up permanent residence.
Self-Love in Action: Exercise
When you think about a new relationship or dating situation, think about the following and write down this exercise in your notepad or on a piece of paper.
• What am I feeling?
• What is causing me to feel this way?
• Is it a past relationship, a limiting belief or an automatic negative thought?
• What evidence do I have that makes the feeling real?
• What is my true, present reality?
And then, take another sheet of paper and answer the question:
• How can I change this feeling into positive energy? And keep the paper in a central location or tape it to your bathroom mirror so you’ll remember to think these thoughts that lift your energy and keep you happy. Becoming more conscious about your thoughts is the key to transforming your life!