“As you think, so shall you be.” Wayne W. Dyer
Samantha is a new client whose ex is ruining her life. She bravely shared with me the story of her life with her ex-husband of more than seven years. It was absolutely heartbreaking:
He was verbally abusive, calling her every name in the book, except her given name or anything endearing. One Saturday, she counted 30 names she had been called by him before 9:30 am.
He was emotionally abusive, telling her she needed to lose weight or that her successful career was a fluke. She bought him everything he wanted and gave him everything she knew how to give, but it was never enough.
He was psychologically abusive, acting charming and loving in public, but mean and hateful in private. This made other people not believe her when she would voice her concerns and actually made her begin to believe that maybe she was going crazy.
When I asked her if there was physical abuse, her response was, rarely.
No one can come through that experience unscathed and Samantha is no exception. Clearly there is some healing that needs to be done so that she doesn’t carry those traumatic wounds into subsequent relationships.
But in the short time I’ve been working with her, I have heard about her experience with her ex numerous times and she tells me about how she shares it with lots of different friends in conversations. I understand why she feels it’s important to tell and re-tell that experience, as it’s a way for her to justify why she’s struggling now in her life.
What’s helpful about sharing that experience is that she’s able to see it more clearly now and it helps her to know that, in fact, she wasn’t going crazy – she was being abused.
What’s not helpful about sharing that experience is that the telling and re-telling of that story is keeping her past very present in her current experience.
When we talk about a painful ex and our experience with them over and over again, even though he’s not physically present in our lives anymore, he’s absolutely energetically present in our lives now. This means he not only made our respective past experiences incredibly painful, but by giving him life now, he’s making our current experiences more painful than it needs to be.
This is how you can unintentionally have your ex ruining your life…the life you have now…the life you’re trying to create for yourself.
Reliving those experiences is emotionally draining, it brings back the feelings of shame, worthlessness and even humiliation – and none of that will ever feel good.
It will draw to you more hurtful experiences with people who will continue to attempt to ruin your life in a myriad of ways.
And it will make coming back home to who you really are a longer road with far more detours than is necessary.
If you feel like your ex is ruining your life, for now, just notice how much you think about or talk about past painful experiences – from an ex-lover or husband, with your mother, with an old boss – just notice. Noticing is enough to create massive change and to help empower you to create a future experience that looks and feels dramatically different than your past. And after a while, you won’t want to tell or hear that story anymore yourself.
With much love & light –
PS – When I ask you to consider not telling the story over and over again, I’m not asking you to pretend it never happened or that it was okay; it wasn’t. But what I am saying is that by keeping it alive, it only gives your ex and that painful experience more power over you in your present. And I know that’s not what you want.