Learn how to eradicate the ghosts of your past!
Shadow: A phantom; a ghost.
Past: No longer current; gone by; over.
Love: An intense emotional attachment.
The past is something we should use to guide our future, not something that should control or direct it. When we allow our past to dictate what we do now, we are no longer in control of our person. Instead, it is our past that is in control. Unfortunately, many people are not aware that this is what is going on. They know the past is affecting them, but they are not aware to what degree or how it is changing them as a person and their outlook on life. How many times have you heard a person say they don't want to get involved because they don't want to get hurt again? While this seems like a reasonable outlook after dealing with such a "controlling, abusive, lying, or cheating" partner, it is really just a crutch. When a person compares everyone in their future with the people of their past who have hurt them, they are voluntarily letting them control their future as well. They are still attached to them in a way that is even worse than when they were together. Because now, it is isn't even a real person who controls them, but a shadow.
As they say, "Knowing is only half the battle." The other half is learning how to release your shadows. If you've found that you are unable to find a true commitment with someone, it is more than likely because you have a few shadows lurking around. The first step to releasing them is to find them. To do this you need to get in touch with yourself. Start a regime of a daily walking and journal writing. Both of these things are extremely important to achieving a complete recovery and should be done while alone; not in the company of other people! This is a time for personal discovery. You can't discover yourself when someone else is chatting in your ear. If you're wondering how in the world can you find time for this with your busy schedule, think again. You only need about 30 minutes each day to complete both exercises. Ten to fifteen minutes for your walk, and fifteen minutes for your journal writing.
While completing these exercises there are a few things to keep in mind. During the walk make sure you focus on the world around you. Take time to notice the flowers blooming, the trees swaying, the color of the houses, etc. The point of your walk is to take the focus off of you and to start paying attention to the things around you.
Your journal writing is the opposite. Here is where you will really delve into your "personal matters of the heart." The important thing to remember about your journal is that there is no right or wrong thing to write. Write whatever comes to mind. Do not show your journal to anyone, and only read what you've written every few months. The material in your journal is not something to read and digest; it is done just to get whatever it is you're feeling out in the open.
After even just a few days of doing these tasks you will notice an difference in your outlook towards many things, including love.
The next step to releasing your shadows will be to find out why they are there. This isn't figuring out what a person may have done to you, but rather working out why you feel the need to have the shadows there in the first place. Take a few minutes to answer these questions:
1. Can you only love one person?
2. Is it an equal relationship if only one partner is giving love? How can this negatively affect you?
3. What have you learned about yourself from your past relationships, starting with the first?
4. What traits did your last partner have that you would NOT want in a future partner?
5. What traits did your last partner have that you WOULD want in a future partner?
6. What things do you wish you had not done to previous romantic partners, starting with the first?
7. What things do you wish previous romantic partners had not done, starting with the first?
8. What changes do you feel you can make right now to make you happier?
Now that you have done this, go over it again and add more to each of your answers. Once you have completed that, go over it one more time. Make sure you include anything and everything you can think of. Just remember, don't get sidetracked onto other issues not related to your romantic life.
The last step is to finally, forgive and forget. You can't go forward if you're stuck on someone in the past. Agree that you were a great partner, you did the best you could and if it's not meant to be, then it's just not meant to be. Things work out the way they do for a reason. Sometimes the reasons are not always clear right away. Trust in yourself that the right decisions were made, and know that you don't need anyone else to make you happy. Only you can truly do that.