Monday, August 5, 2013

Romance Re-Runs: Are You Sabotaging Your Love Life?

We are programmed from childhood how we want our relationships to be. Happily ever after, no doubt. Problem is, we wind up sabotaging ourselves and partners by comparing our present to the fantasy we created back then. By taking a good look at the movies of our minds, we can make our magical thinking history. Although men too have fantasy "women programming", that's another story. This article is written from a feminine perspective.
Remember reading Cinderella, and later on loving the TV series Sex in the City? These stories promised that one day the prince will come and save us from our mundane or lonely life. Then it happens! He appears. We gladly commit. We buy the dress and think we will live happily ever after... but as time and wishes pass, we find ourselves disappointed and downcast. You'd think we would give up our fairy-tales and chose a more realistic life story to live into. Yet so many of us still suffer over the soap opera we seem to be living. We keep our fantasy reruns playing to rival our reality. It's like having a split screen with two movies running at the same time. One is showing Prince Charming... the one he "should be". The other is The Disenchanting Frog... the one snoring on the sofa.
So Cinderella did NOT get to stay at the ball. And just like in Sex in the City, the pouting protagonist whines about the brevity of romance as she dreams of the "next one". We hardly realize our mind is stationed on an endless loop creating our dreary drama as our magical thinking drons on.
If we're depressed and disillusioned over our unrecognized dreams or romantic expectations, it helps to remember it's our own mind's movie. We're the protagonist, the storyteller and the script writer. We can even direct how to act and re-act in every scene. But it is easier to focus on the Frog. It seems everything we do has payoffs. Focusing on the relationship and our disappointment with the absent "Prince" is a distraction from us operating our own life. The attachment to old reruns keeps us irresponsible and dependent, just like when we were little and wishing for a magic wand or savior to change our life. When our magic wand fails to work, at least we have someone else to blame it on. Hardly a healthy payoff, as doing so prevents us from creating our happiness now.
When stuff happens and people don't behave, we need to write a new script for our mind's myths and stop the repeats of former fixed fantasies. If our Prince Charming is being a Total Toad, we can remember that everything has a shadow, and that it is our adherence to high hopes casting our darkness. We can feel pain or loss in the moment and still choose NOT TO SUFFER, remembering we make up the stories. Loss and pain are part of life, but suffering is optional.
Here are 3 ways to Refresh Romance:
1. Identify the emotions you have been experiencing regarding your relationship. Write them on the left side of the page. (Sad, Scared, Angry, Jealous, Happy, Joyful, etc.)
2. Our beliefs create our emotional states. Write the belief or expectation to the right of the feeling state. Then ask yourself does this belief serve me? If you cannot change your situation, change your mind.
3. We can choose a new story. Give a name/title to the story you are in now. Write it down. If it creates suffering, rewrite it! Make up a new, realistic and happier title.
It's easy to say that we need to change our thinking. It's the doing part that takes intentional effort and creates our experiential change. By becoming aware of our mind's make-beliefs, we can start to turn off the old re-runs, commit to becoming responsible for our mind-movies and become more accepting of what is. Our Prince-Frog might then awaken with us singing "Ding-Dong The Witch is Dead."

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