It’s Not Supposed to be This Hard
By Rachel Miller, See the Triumph Contributor
Most of us grow up being told that anything worth having requires hard work and is worth fighting for. This way of thinking is seriously problematic when you are in an abusive relationship. We are groomed to believe that we do not deserve, nor should we want, what comes easy. Parents, teachers, coaches and other adults tend to tell children that if something is easy to obtain, it isn’t worth having. While this may seem like good motivation for a child, in reality it can create a paradigm in our brains that is hard to shift out of and can prove extremely detrimental in our adult lives. When this is what we are taught, abusive relationships feel like they must be the most valuable commodities on the planet.
We put in so much work, so much effort and we are convinced that someday, all of that hard work and energy will pay off, big time. It has to, right? Anything worth having is worth fighting for. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it, right?
Love is not supposed to be this hard, people!
Can relationships be challenging? Yes, of course, but when you are losing yourself within a relationship, draining yourself to save the relationship, what are you really gaining?
A healthy, genuine, loving relationship should make you a better version of yourself, not a shell of who you once were. It should empower you to grow, reach for your dreams and achieve your goals. It should be the safe space you go to when you need to recharge. When a relationship puts you in place where you are continually giving more than you are receiving, the amount of energy it requires to maintain forces you to let go of activities and people who lift you up, then it is time to understand that life, and love, are just not supposed to be that difficult.
There is a simple phrase that was given to me by a mentor and friend a few years back that helped me shift this thought paradigm of “anything worth having had to be hard.” I repeated it to myself every day, multiple times a day, especially when I caught myself going to that place of believing that life was supposed to be difficult, that my own value was based solely on how hard I was willing to work, or how much of myself I was willing to sacrifice.
“It is okay for me to experience ease and joy in my life.”
This single sentence helped me change my life. Repeat it to yourself, often. Write it somewhere that you will see it all the time. Not everything in life needs to be hard. You do not have to struggle in order to consider yourself worthwhile. You are worthy of the life, love and relationships you desire, just the way you are, exactly where you are, at this very moment in time.
Are you like I was? Do you believe deep down that love, marriage and all relationships are supposed to be hard? That relationships require a commitment that you must follow through on? Do you feel like you made this bed, so now you must lie in it?
Let me challenge you then to stop and re-think those thought patterns.
You are worthy of a love that is genuine, safe and yes, easy. It is okay for you to experience ease and joy in your life. Once you are able to accept that simple statement as fact, you will no longer settle for constant struggle. You will begin to steer clear of relationships that drain you, make you feel less than or that require you give up pieces of yourself. You will find yourself being open to new, easy experiences that make you feel appreciated, worthy and empowered.
Retraining yourself to think this way takes some practice and you may find yourself falling back into old patterns of thinking, but the more you stay focused on real truths instead of old paradigms and beliefs, the more it becomes a natural way of thinking. I am not a big proponent of the “fake till you make it” methodology, but in this case your inner voice matters. Your inner dialogue has a huge impact on your thought processes and resulting behaviors. Unfortunately most of us engage in negative self-talk and carry around beliefs that are simply untrue. Much of it just below our consciousness and way too many of the things we say to ourselves and believe about ourselves are what others have convinced us to be truths, not our own truths.
If you are determined to invest time, energy and effort into a relationship, make it your relationship with yourself. Become committed to shifting old paradigms and thought processes that no longer serve you. Spend your time and energy learning new ideas and thought patterns that can benefit you and lead you towards the life you are worthy of. You do not have to struggle to be worthy of what you desire. It is okay to experience ease and joy in your life.