When I was in the throes of a destructive relationship my life was unmanageable and out of control.    The more unmanageable it got, the more I tried to control it.  I was exhausted.  I couldn’t see a way out.  I was a bit like Jim Carrey in the film Bruce Almighty.    When I watched it and saw that scene in which he’s trying to kill himself by getting run over on the highway I thought ‘Oh my God, that’s me!!’.

He’s screaming at Morgan Freeman (aka God), blaming him for his shit life, his bad luck.   For not showing him the way.  But as the viewer, we can see trucks swerving past him all plastered with flashing neon signs: Go that way!  Follow me! – the trouble is, he just can’t see them.

I was the same. I was so immersed in chaos and drama.   I was so convinced about the direction I was pushing hard in.  And I was stubborn in my belief that the toxic relationship I was in was The One.  I was missing all those signs that were there right there in front of me, with lights blazing and warning alarms going off, because I was too immersed in chaos and drama.  I wasn’t still enough to see them.   The signs are these:

  • The person who comes into your life, at just the right moment, who tells you something that you need to hear. But you are deaf to it.
  • An opportunity that arises, which you ignore or don’t even notice.  It might have been the one to change your life.
  • And that thing you wanted more than ever, but missed out on? The one you thought was a disaster and the worst thing that could have ever happened to you?  That may have meant to be too.  Later you could discover it was the catalyst that led to something even greater.

Nowadays, if it feels like I’m ‘pushing shit uphill’ I know it’s not meant to happen and to let it go.  When it’s meant to be, it falls into place with little effort.    So, let go.  Stop trying to control the uncontrollable.

If your barometer is always to ask yourself:

  • ‘is this good enough for me?
  • Is this good enough for my self-esteem and my well-being?’

And you take heed of how you answer, then your gut instincts will soon develop.   They’ve been there in you since birth.   You’ve just ignored them for way too long.    I did.   That’s because, as a child I was given the impression my gut instincts were wrong.  Nothing dramatic happened to me.  But if I disagreed with my mother, I was told I was ‘too young to understand’; ‘you don’t have the benefit of history like I do, but I’m too busy to explain it to you now’ *slams the phone down*.  If I got upset about anything she did, I was ‘far too sensitive’ – you get the idea.  So, in the face of that, my perception as a child was this: either I was wrong to feel those feelings or the adult, in this case my mother, was wrong in what she told me.  She’s my mother, she can’t be wrong. It had to be me.  My gut feelings must be wrong.  Whether they were right or not, I no longer trusted them.

But once you allow them to develop again, you’ll soon learn you can.   It’s the same with relationships.   Stop projecting who you hope and want that person to be and see them for who they are.  A person shows you their true character in the early stages of a relationship and if they aren’t good for you, all the warning signs will be there.  You just need to be still enough to read them.   Still enough for your gut to scream at you to get out and to listen to it.

Then you can avoid those people and situations that are not good for you.  You can surround yourself with those who are.  You’ll also be open to the type of partner who is available to love you for who you are.    And your life will shift course.

It will send you in the direction you should be heading.   And there will be no reason to try to manage the unmanageable, control the uncontrollable.  No need to do a Bruce Almighty and blame the world and God for all your shitty problems.

What do you need to let go of?  Let me know in the Comments below.

Are your relationships – past or present – good enough for you?  Do you deserve better?  Try my FREE QUIZ to find out!

Written by Vivian McGrath

Vivian McGrath is a TV Executive Producer who makes documentaries for major US, UK and Australian broadcasters.  She is also a survivor of domestic violence.  Her book ‘Unbeatable (How I Left a Violent Man)’ – her story of surviving abuse to finding success in love and life – will be published soon.  She hopes this blog will help others to become strong, fearless and successful too.  Find out more about Vivian Here.

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