Troubled relationships & how to heal them

What’s an easy way to improve any relationship? Be it with your mom, your partner, your kids, your crazy coworker, or even yourself?

Unconditional love.

Yup, 100%.

While that might seem obvious, when it comes to actually practicing unconditional love, many of us don’t really do it.

That’s because we get attached to what other people say and do. We think they “should do” one thing, and “not do” another.

We have a constant inner dialogue that goes something like this:

“He/she/they should/shouldn’t _____{fill in the blank with anything }________.”

For example,

  • He shouldn’t have said that
  • She shouldn’t act like that
  • They shouldn’t do it that way
  • He should make better choices

And we back up our judgements with “perfectly good reasons” as to why we’re right. Sound familiar?

Also known as “shoulding” on yourself and others, these are all judgements and they are the opposite of love (hint: if the word “should” is in your sentence, you’re judging). 

Judgement closes the heart and causes you to dig your heels in, putting you at odds with the other person.

So, then, what does this create?

Drama.

Conflict. Separation. Attachment. Anxiety. Overwhelm. Self-doubt.

Often disguised as “normal”.

Our brains naturally want to solve this and get back to feeling good about the relationship in question. However, the answer that the brain comes up with is usually along the lines of “if the other person would change, then there would be no problem and I’d feel better”. 

In other words, as long as the other person is the way they are, doing the things they do, you won’t be satisfied.

Can you see the mess that this is creating?

You’re putting the responsibility for your happiness in the hands of someone else.

And you’re making your experience of the relationship dependent on the other person fulfilling your expectations.

This is normal – AND there is another way to do it.

Enter: unconditional love.

Unconditional love depends on nothing. The person doesn’t have to be, say or do anything to deserve it. They just deserve it. Always.

As do you.

You are worthy of unconditional love no matter how badly you’ve f***ed up.

These means you have to accept yourself, others and all the things AS THEY ARE. Stop the “shoulding”.

This is not the same thing as agreement. 

It’s simply accepting without getting caught up in needing the other person to change. It’s deciding to love them, regardless.

Then you no longer need them to follow your rules in order for you to feel better.

Yes, this can change the dynamic of the relationship. Most of the time it will transform it for the better. Sometimes, it will mean removing yourself from it. In both cases, you can still choose to love unconditionally.

Choosing unconditional love will feel SO much better for you. It’s something that YOU decide. 

So why not choose love?

Challenge: think about a relationship where you often find yourself “shoulding” and ask yourself:

  • How can I accept this person as they are?
  • What would change if I decided to love them unconditionally without needing them to do anything different?

Wishing you much love,

Heidi

P.S. Sometimes it can be hard to access unconditional love, both for others and for yourself. However, the capacity for love is always there. With healing and guidance, it’s possible to radically change how you show up in your relationships. Sign-up for a free consult to learn how the process works.  

Heidi

I am a holistic life coach, certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Insight Yoga Teacher and Mental Health 1st Aid provider. I love helping people heal and grow, so that they can move towards the greatest, most joyful expression of their lives - and share their gifts with others.