Are You Losing All Hope of Finding Love?
When we haven't found lasting love, getting discouraged is natural, however losing all hope can turn our discouragement into an unwanted reality . . .
For many women, experiencing one devastating, heart-wrenching relationship is all it takes before they start telling themselves that they are doomed to never find love again. For others, this dreadful feeling might take several (or possibly multiple) heartbreaks before they finally feel like completely giving up. And then there are some women who have been single for a lot longer than they had hoped—causing immense doubt and discouragement of ever finding "the one." Regardless of what has brought you to the point of losing hope, don't.
When we lose all hope, having that defeated feeling can actually block love from finding us.
Often we forget how powerful discouragement can be. When hope is lost, our aura will change—the sparkle in our eyes will become dull, our skin won't radiate as much, and our energy levels will be lower—letting depression sink in. We might even fall short in how we take care of ourselves—excessive eating, drinking and/or drug use. And, by believing that we are doomed to never finding love (again) we end up creating an invisible shield around us that actually repels love.
Have you ever been around a friend who completely lost hope? She doesn't believe she will ever have a boyfriend, get engaged, married or have children? When you have any girls nights out with her she will be the first to acknowledge:
"There are no good men out tonight"
"The men here aren't attractive"
"These men aren't worth my time."
"Why aren't any guys talking to me?"
Your friend will tend to drink more to fade her sorrows and men will rarely talk to her—giving her another reason why she will forever be alone. Great. If any men try to talk to you or buy you a drink she will openly inform them (and remind you) that you are having a girl night out—which means no men. By the end of the night she will be an emotional intoxicated crying mess. So sad. But, let's keep it real, most of us have been "that" girl before—and it is not a fun position to be in.
Experiencing any relationship that has left you heartbroken—questioning if trust and genuine love does exists—can be difficult to just shake off and move on from. A broken, devastated heart needs time to heal. To not lose all hope during this self-patch-up, self-put-back-together stage, you need to remember all the great things you did experience in your last relationship(s) and be clear about what you want in your next one.
It can be easy to hold onto the negative experiences because they will keep us from moving forward...
I have been guilty of holding on tight to the negative outcome of a relationship longer than I should have. By harboring feelings of distrust, anger, lies, betrayal, disillusionment and deception, I was repelling love from getting anywhere near me. I have been that friend who sat in a bar believing that "forever" love was something that only happened in movies. Deep down inside I thought that by holding onto those negative feelings I would keep my heart safe.
Safe from anymore heartaches. Safe from feeling broken inside. Safe from never having to deal with another disappointing relationship. Safe from wanting love. Safe from believing that I was deserving of love. Basically, this safe zone was keeping me emotionally unattached due to losing all hope of finding genuine love again. Yikes!
Although keeping my heart protected from pain mad me feel more in control, it also created a lonely barrier. Thank God, there was still a tiny glimmered of hope still left inside of me which was unwilling to complete die out.
Faith is a powerful tool...
My hope was not refueled by getting in a new relationship—that's a rookie mistake. We can't expect a man to bring back hope for us; that's way too much pressure to put on anyone. We have to be willing to trust in God, work on ourselves, and keep our heart open—even if it's just a sliver—so that hope can find us again.
I read many self-help books, I prayed a lot, I took yoga classes daily—sometimes two to three times a day—to help center and ground me. When my anger finally subsided I started writing down all the things that I like and loved regarding my Ex and our relationship—turning the resentment into beauty and joy again.
This was not an easy task at first; it took several attempts before I could write down something positive without attaching a negative comment containing every swear word I knew.
When we realize a guy has cheated, lied and/or has deceived us, finding great qualities buried under pain can be hard to locate. But, by letting go of the anger and resentment, the things that did make us happy—when we were with him—can eventually be found.
I had to think about the good times we had together—remembering all the things that attracted me to him before the betrayal—as well as all the things I liked and even loved about him before the pain. Although these memories were painful, I needed to honor them to forgive (myself and him) so that I could emotionally move on.
My Ex made me laugh and we could talk about anything. He was witty and intelligent but not in an arrogant way. He was an incredible kisser. He was business savvy and successful. He had a sexy swagger. I loved the way he looked at me and made me feel safe and secure. He was supportive. He was financially secure. He was a planner. Our sex was mind-blowing. He made time and effort for me. He was romantic and chivalrous.
Although not letting the negative thoughts creep in (without a "but" after each positive thing) was hard, I reminded myself that these memories were not compliments to him, or condoning what he did, nor where they in any means a reflection of how great of a guy he was for me—because he wasn't. Also, these memories were not meant to keep me in the past or in any way convince me that I should be with my Ex again. Instead, jotting down all the things that made me happy put me in a place of empowerment.
I was empowered by knowing and understanding what I wanted in my next relationship, and if that one didn't work out I would be even wiser for whomever God intended to be in my life. I was empowered because I was finally able to releasing the negative grip that the relationship residue (and the very thought of my ex) had over my life—which was crushing my hope and frankly, holding me back from love. I was empowered to get my life back and focus on myself and not on the emotional damage my Ex did on my heart.
Negative emotions takes so much energy and I was tired of giving any more energy to my Ex.
Having a nemesis and hanging on to the thought of revenge—by waiting for karma to take care of him—was truly exhausting. By remembering the good, I was reminded that I was worthy of finding love again. If he gave me happy moments then there was hope that another man would one day give me a lifetime and that was worth staying optimistic for. This was a huge step in keeping me hopeful. This exercise changed my world!
I've been doing this exercise for so long that now when a relationship doesn't work out, I don't lose complete hope. I don't hang on so tightly to the stuff that can cause me to lose faith. I'm human so yes, I will still go through the eight steps of relationship grieving: (denial, blaming, anger bargaining, depression, acceptance, realization, forgiveness)—however, these steps do not take over my life or crush my belief in love.
Ladies, heartache sucks and the pain you are feeling can seem almost impossible to overcome. Believe me, you can and you will—the key is to stay hopeful that there is someone who wants to love and cherish you for a lifetime; not just temporarily.
Bottom line, it's important to remind yourself of all the great moments your past relationship(s) have brought you so that your heart will remain open and less fearful of love. Keep your heart unblocked block by continuing to believe and lasting love will find you.