Today’s post is my response, as a life & love coach, to a reader’s question regarding shame and insecurity during and after a relationship. Though it speaks directly to a romantic relationship, the same principles apply to any relationship and any situation where you’re holding on to feelings of worthlessness.
The tools below will teach you how to deal with insecurity and will empower you to restore your confidence and self-compassion.
Dear D: My Boyfriend Makes Me Feel Insecure
I was in a relationship with a man for three years that ended a year ago. It was a healthy relationship for the first two years, but we grew apart, and stayed together six months longer than we should have. Instead of getting out of the relationship, he stopped including me in his life. I’m almost certain he started dating his current girlfriend before our relationship ended.
I’m struggling with the fact that he was lazy and cowardly about ending our relationship. We had conversations that it wasn’t working, but he said he cared about me, and wanted to make it work. Nothing he did reflected that. Finally I told him it was done, and he then took six weeks to get his things out of our house.
In the dark place in my heart, I can’t conquer this feeling of worthlessness. It was easy for him to stop including me in his life, and he didn’t care enough about me to say ‘it’s over’. Why am I experiencing shame, and how can I move through this insecurity?
Thank you for reaching out, and I am so sorry for the pain and the sense of worthlessness and insecurity that you are feeling.
It hurts to be disappointed by someone you have made yourself vulnerable to. In the ideal world, you would tell him what you need, and he would give it to you. He would try to make the relationship work. (If it couldn’t, he’d respect you, and move out quickly.) He wouldn’t start a new relationship before exiting the existing one with you!
He did not live up to your expectations.
I invite you to think about the “possible future”, and the possible YOU of that future…
Are you willing to be bold and believe that honest, happy, wholehearted love is waiting for you?
Are you willing to stand, fully committed to creating this radiant future, no matter what?
I hope so! Because when you do, you begin to be defined by the future more than the past.
What’s the first step in doing that, exactly?
YOU TAKE 100% RESPONSIBILITY.
You need to take FULL ownership for your love life in the past, AND the present –
the good, bad, and the ugly.
Right now, you’re probably thinking,
“But Danielle, it’s not MY FAULT…
I’ve done everything right…
I tried to make it work….
I even told him to finally leave….
Why should I take 100% responsibility?”
First, let me explain that accepting “100% responsibility” is NOT:
X Negating or EXCUSING a wrongdoing by someone else.
X Taking the place of feeling REAL emotions like pain, anger, sadness, frustration, etc…
X Taking on 100% of the “fault”.
√ It IS about taking ownership of the role that YOU’VE played in your love life…
…including all the choices that YOU’VE made, and all of the events that YOU’VE contributed to.
If you continue to let yourself stew in feeling “wronged” (even if that other person was 95% at fault), you become blinded, and cannot see how you may have contributed to this circumstance.
When you have a strong, compassionate self-reflection practice, you can ask:
How did I co-create this?
In what ways did I allow this?
What red flags did I ignore because I didn’t want to rock the boat?
Who was I being that I stayed with a man who showed me he was unavailable and insensitive to me for over 6 months?
No matter what has happened in the past…today, YOU get to create a new story for yourself.
Tools to Overcome Feeling Worthless, Insecure or Ashamed
So…how can you take 100% responsibility for your circumstances around love? What can you do to banish feelings of shame and worthlessness?
It’s a PROCESS.
But it starts with an exercise that you can do TODAY:
How did I contribute to these circumstances?
What can I be responsible for in this situation?
What am I willing to try to appreciate about this relationship?
Write 3 times:
“I am willing to take 100% responsibility for all I create in love and life.
I realize that, while others may play a ROLE in my life, I am the CREATOR of my circumstance. I am in charge, and I am that powerful.”
All my love,