“Nothing good ever happens to me!” You DO NOT want to think, say, or believe this!

Originally published on http://www.leannehalyburton.com

I have many faults (yes, really!), and I am likely to be a work in progress until I take my last breath… but I don’t believe I have ever uttered the cry, “nothing good ever happens to me!” And if I have, it would have been a long time ago, and I would have deserved a damned good shake from someone less entrenched in self-pity!

It is a phrase I have heard many, many times – and it is always a lie! Think about it: NOTHING good EVER happens to me. NothingEver? The last time this miserable phrase assaulted my ears was around 2 months ago, courtesy of someone who was having the kind of uncomfortable problems we all experience in life… someone in possession of reasonable health, with people on the planet who love her and whom she loves, enough money to live on, access to health care, technology, education, and transport… the precious things that are far too often taken for granted, especially by the habitually dissatisfied. This lady’s problem was a frustrating relationship issue, a situation that was being allowed to balloon out of perspective, overshadowing every other aspect of her life. And you might say, “oh, well, it’s just a phrase, something we all say at times – it doesn’t mean anything!” – and I would respond with, “Sorry – you are dead wrong there!”

Words are far more powerful than you might imagine, and although we all experience periodic dips (crashes, even) throughout our lives, it requires a certain kind of thinking to allow the offending statement to slip so guilt-free and easily from our lips. If we say it just once, without immediately thinking, “ouch, I really didn’t mean that, I do have so much to be grateful for, despite my problems – I am just feeling bad about this particular situation, right now, at this moment in time”, we are likely to think and say it again… and believe it. And that has the capacity to lead us to unconsciously seek out anything that validates the belief that… nothing-good-ever-happens-to-me. And who the hell wants to live under that miserable banner-heading (or associate too closely with anyone who does)?

Every aspect of our life has its own, individual energetic field, and we are always in the process of attracting and repelling. Our brain is aware of everything we think and feel, especially the stuff we repeat over and again, creating new neural connections accordingly… programming us to automatically replay and act out the old, familiar patterns. And our unconscious mind is continuously sucking it all up, even when our conscious mind has temporarily been distracted away from whatever the ongoing issue is… ready to bring it sharply to the fore every time we think about or experience something similar. It likes to match things, to join the dots; if we have unwittingly programmed our unconscious mind to accept that nothing good ever happens to us, it is duty bound to assist us in being right (survival instinct). It will cause us to be aware of, and even attracted by, circumstances that ‘prove’ our beliefs to be correct. Of course, that is not all that the unconscious mind is about, but its contents are all our own work – nothing gets in there that wasn’t generated by us, wittingly or unwittingly.

What are other examples of the kind of thinking we really need to avoid like the plague?

Why do bad things always happen to me?

Why does everyone let me down?

Bad things happen to good people.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Why am I so unlucky?

Why do I always attract the wrong people?

There is a tendency toward generalisation where destructive beliefs are concerned (another danger to be avoided), the biggest culprits being the words always/everyone/continuously. “I am ALWAYS unlucky!”, “you CONTINUOUSLY do things to hurt me!”, “EVERYONE lets me down!” Imagine being the person who is always and continuously kicked in the gut by everyone… whew, there is actually some kind of dubious power to be gained from that, I imagine!

So, when it is said that words don’t matter, maybe one-off or off-the-cuff remarks don’t carry too much weight… but never underestimate the potential cumulative effect of habitual negative thinking – the most insidious form of self-harm! We are all going to suffer at times throughout our lives; we are all going to want to howl at the moon, or stand on a mountain top and scream from the centre of our very being, or grab God/the universe by the short-and-curlies, throwing out our best possible punch… but if we retain even one ounce of awareness and gratitude, we won’t reduce the precious aspects of our lives to mere rubble. Whenever we take for granted the things that are a part of our everyday life (including the basic things that other human beings can only dream of), willingly buying into bitterness and resentment, we are signing up for the dark side!

11 causes of anxiety – an unavoidable part of life on planet Earth!

How is it possible to be alive on planet Earth and not experience anxiety? This is a question I have pondered over and again because it seems that the most common human condition of the modern age is… anxiety.

I have considered all of the people I associate with, many of whom are technically doing fairly well in life, and without obvious emotional issues – and they all experience anxiety to one degree or another. I experience anxiety on a daily basis, though someone recently expressed great surprise when I said as much: “what… you? I didn’t have you pegged as a person who suffers from anxiety!”. Their choice of the word ‘suffers’ interested me, but also irritated me! Is there an assumption that people who appear to be generally strong and resilient are immune to anxiety… that it is the exclusive domain of those who are openly struggling, and for obvious reasons? That the strong and resilient somehow have it easier; that they don’t have the right to experience anxiety?

Putting aside those people who have a clinical condition, I believe that for the rest of us anxiety is relative. A teenager will worry about different issues than those faced by an elderly person. A young mother will have certain pressures to face that will differ from those experienced by a middle-aged business woman. We are all affected, influenced and programmed by our childhood. Like many others, my early to teen years were pretty dysfunctional, and although I don’t drag it around with me like a ball and chain, it can’t have failed to have left its mark. On top of this (and maybe at least partially because of my past) I put myself through some ridiculous crap over the years, leaving myself with memories I’d prefer to forget, and a residue of underlying unease. And I don’t believe that I am any different to the billions of other human beings in the world who are living, loving and functioning… whilst being completely resigned to the inevitable anxiety that is a part of everyday life on planet Earth!

Untitled design (11)

So, let’s take a look at some of the causes of anxiety in the western world:

(as opposed to war-torn zones and/or repressive regimes in which people are surviving under obviously stressful conditions)

1) Inherited anxiety:

We were born into a family that habitually struggles, or focuses more on lack and hardship than on hope for the future. Happiness isn’t an automatic process; some poor young souls are never allowed, or taught, to be happy… and a habitually unhappy mind is an anxious mind.

2) Natural Sensitivity:

We are exceptionally sensitive to the world around us. I remember, as a child, crying over so many things, including the other kids digging ants out of the cracks in the paving stones with lollipop sticks, and then stamping on them; Disney films (especially the animals in the forest crying when they thought that Snow White had died, and when Bambi’s mother was killed!); any film in which an animal suffered, was lost or died (including the 10 Commandments, in which horses were drowned when Moses held his staff aloft, and God parted the Red Sea!); public disasters in which people died (I was devastated at the age of 10 when Robert Kennedy was shot, even though I didn’t really know who he was. The images of him with his family and the public outpouring of grief hit me like a punch to the heart… I just knew that something really bad had happened. My 10-year-old friends didn’t care a jot and thought I was crazy!); racial prejudice and vivisection (this was when I was a teenager). I didn’t associate with anyone who appeared to be affected in the same way that I was, and so I learned to keep it to myself, grieving in private.

3) Low self-worth:

We have a strong sense of low self-worth that probably has its roots in our childhood. We don’t believe that we are good enough, smart enough, attractive enough or interesting enough. This leads us into experiences that only serve to confirm our unworthiness… which in turn attracts criticism from onlookers who can’t understand why we are doing what we are doing… which in turn leads us to shut down and defend ourselves, believing that the rest of the world has it all sorted out.

4) Inertia:

We don’t have the will to work hard for a dream, immobilised by inertia; the people around us are scraping by, always complaining about life’s injustices and restrictions, always willing to rain on someone else’s parade. We either don’t know how to get out from underneath the deadweight or we are afraid to… scared of being ‘different’. We tell ourselves that we are depressed – and we are, but not in the accepted sense; we are DEEP-pressed, pushed down into the swamp of hopelessness, and what we probably need is inspiration, hope, and something to aspire too – not necessarily anti-depressants.

5) Social awkwardness:

We feel awkward and inept, socially speaking, and so avoid too much contact with the outside world, living within the same old bubble, following the same old routine.

6) Hypersensitivity:

We are hypersensitive to criticism and confrontation, taking everything personally. I used to know a lovely lady who was consistently having ‘issues’ with other people, and I would listen to her tales, responding with indignation and sympathy… until I saw her in action! There was a local public event that we both attended, and at one point she was engaged in conversation with a woman she often complained about, but whom I had never met. Some time later the woman was chatting with me, with my friend hovering in the background doing her best to listen in – and when I moved on, she grabbed my arm, hissing, “do you see what I mean about her? She’s a real piece of work, isn’t she?”. I had to say that no, I hadn’t picked up that vibe at all, and I began to wonder about all of the other ‘unreasonable’ individuals my friend seemed to encounter… and whether or not she was maybe taking some things a little too much to heart.

7) Awareness:

If we keep even half an eye on world events we are aware that every second of every day, somewhere on the planet, someone is inflicting something horrendous upon another human being or animal… and that we ourselves are largely helpless to do anything about it. We are also aware that random bad luck appears to suddenly and unexpectedly descend upon completely innocent individuals, and we cannot help but identify with them. I defy anyone to be able to live an anxiety-free life whilst in possession of a conscience and empathy and not living in an airtight bubble!

8) Survival mentality:

We have become programmed to survive life, rather than embrace and develop it. There could be many reasons for this, some of which will be thriving within the depths of our unconscious mind. We view everything as a potential threat to ourselves or our loved ones, and we are on constant guard-duty, batoning down the same hatches, again and again.

9) Fear of loss:

If we allow ourselves to love someone, they could leave us or die. We might crave being part of a loving relationship, but the moment that we are the anxiety kicks in. They might cheat on us or leave us; we aren’t good enough to keep them; we need more reassurance than they are able or willing to supply, and this leaves us feeling raw, insecure and stuck in a loop.

10) Fear of change:

No matter how uncomfortable the known and familiar is, it can feel a million times better than the ‘unknown’. However, this leaves us stuck between two stools, metaphorically speaking. The known is hurting us and holding us prisoner, whilst the unknown looms like a deep, dark ocean we really don’t want to have to navigate… and so we remain trapped, with a misery-inducing cell-mate called anxiety breathing down our neck.

11) Death (our own and other people’s):

We are all anxious about death, even those who claim to have no fear of it. It is the one thing we cannot possibly avoid, an unknown quantity we know for sure we will have to face up to one day, and probably several times throughout a lifetime. If it isn’t a fear of the act of dying itself, it is a fear of loss and abandonment, of wasted time, of too little time… of having lived an unfulfilled life. Can you imagine how different the world would be if we had no fear of death? Terrorism and intimidation would lose its power, as would illness and disease. We’d be braver, more adventurous… and so much happier. Of course, we are never actually going to lose our fear of death, but I am just saying – imagine how life would change if we did! I actively encourage others, wherever appropriate, to explore what they believe to be true about death, how it ties in with life, and what, if anything, they believe they are likely to experience beyond this physical world. Floating around in the sky, looking down on my still-living relatives, doesn’t cut any ice with me… I’d rather have oblivion!

Untitled design (13)

Anxiety home-truths!

There is something else I’d like to add, on the subject of anxiety… something that may very well make me unpopular! Anxiety is sometimes hijacked by the lazy, inept and self-entitled, as a ‘reason’ for their unwillingness to accept personal responsibility and get off their backside. It is also sometimes presented, in a conspiratorial tone, as a condition that is unique to the ‘sufferer’… and upon their confession, we are all supposed to throw up our hands in shock and pour pity upon them… as if no-one we know has ever been crushed by the weight of anxiety! I understand that some celebs feel that, by revealing the fact that they are as human as the rest of us, they are helping their followers to recognise that anxiety is not restricted to mere mortals. And in many cases they are helping.

However, anxiety now appears to have gained celebrity status all in its own right, which cannot possibly be a good thing – and the hijackers are only serving to turn people off to the subject, tired of hearing about it at every turn. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all brand of anxiety, and at different times we will be affected by different things… which need to be explored and understood.

I myself am anxious about some things that are always the same, and other things that come and go. I experience anxiety through my work and dealings with certain customers; I experience anxiety about my family, relationship and pets; I experience anxiety about my hopes and dreams, my finances, health and fitness, and how other people respond to me. I definitely regularly experience a great deal of anxiety where the world is concerned, and not even just anxiety; grief, fear, and rage are familiar companions! I don’t really want to switch off from the world, living in a bubble, pretending that everything is hunky-dory, but I do have to make a conscious effort to prevent it from taking over, every now and then.

Untitled design (12)

Oh… and I really worry about Formula 1: after every Grand Prix I am drained and exhausted, as if I have driven the race myself! I am anxious not just about the results and the points, but the drivers and the teams, the highs and the lows, the failures and the victories. I worry for Claire Williams and hope to God that the team’s drivers aren’t throwing their careers away. I worry that Carlos Sainz may be in a precarious position if McLaren don’t have a consistently better car this year; I worry that Esteban Ocon won’t be offered a seat with a team worthy of his skills next year, if Valtteri Bottas proves to be someone Mercedes really want to keep for 2020 (and I also worry that he won’t be, because what would happen to him then… where could he possibly go, that wouldn’t be a major step backward? Sigh).

The fact is, life on Earth is an amazing, wonderful and breathtaking experience, not to mention miraculous; it is also consistently anxiety-inducing for every last one of us, at different times, for different reasons, and to one degree or another.

Some people have stronger pain-barriers than others and can appear to be functioning in a ‘normal’ way, even when they have their own internal and external struggles going on. I believe that it is absolutely non-productive, destructive even, to fail to recognise that anxiety is a natural human condition, with many different components… and that it is actually okay to be anxious: life isn’t wrong or bad if we don’t feel continuously emotionally safe and reassured. Modern society has forcefully been selling us all (especially the younger generation) a myth: that everyone around us is doing great in life, coping beautifully, and with nothing much at all to be anxious about – apart from us and our tribe. Which both you and I know is absolutely not true!

photo-1505739679850-7adc7776516b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GETTING OVER YOUR EX: MAKING SENSE OF THE FEELINGS THAT ARE HOLDING YOU BACK.

Originally published on: https://leannehalyburton.com/2019/02/21/getting-over-your-ex-making-sense-of-the-feelings-that-are-holding-you-back/

Keira began by telling me that she was just waiting for her ex to move back in with her. He had broken her heart by leaving her for the woman he had been having an affair with… whilst continuing to come and go in her life, blowing hot and cold in his affections. She explained that she was trying to be fair, and had left the door completely open for him, allowing him 24 hour access to the home they once shared.

I expressed my intuitive sense that she had become ultra compliant and jelly-like, and that this appeared to be eliciting an aggressive, frustrated response from her ex… and suddenly, her demeanour changed: “Yes! He wants me to react, to become angry, and shout back at him – but I refuse to give him the satisfaction!”

I asked her why she thought he was doing that: my belief was that he recognised that his behaviour was incredibly unreasonable, and was experiencing feelings of guilt that he was struggling to handle, especially in the face of her passive and sorrowful acceptance; rather than deal with those feelings in a mature and honest way, he found it easier to revert to his default setting of anger and emotional bullying. I also felt that he was trying to maintain control over her, ‘gifting’ her with a loving hug and a ‘special’ smile, every time he believed he had gone too far. She said she believed that it was because he wanted an excuse to completely break up with her – but that she was absolutely not giving him the opportunity to do so.

I asked her what it was that she was actually hanging on for, where this relationship was concerned, and she confided that she feared no-one else would ever want her – he’d told her often enough that she was stupid and unattractive, and now she believed that it was true. And yet I just knew for sure that this woman was not broken; she was clearly intelligent and articulate, capable of taking care of herself financially, and fully able to rebuild her life… and that behind the soggy, flesh-without-bones outer persona, was real indignation and anger… which she was using every single time she entered into the tit-for-tat game they were playing! She didn’t truthfully want to be back in a relationship with this man, and there wasn’t any actual, genuine love involved, on either side – she just felt rejected and humiliated, and overwhelmed by an ‘unknown’ future.

Of course, there is so much more to Keira’s story than can or should be covered here, but sadly it is one, with variations, that I have heard again and again throughout my 25 year career as an intuitive consultant. ‘Ex’ pain can cut incredibly deeply, sometimes holding the sufferer hostage for years on end. I described to Keira some of the potentials and possibilities that I could see ahead for her, if she consistently took considered and productive action; I also advised her to begin putting some immediate boundaries in place, and to seek out proper, ongoing support. Her journey was not going to be an overnight one, and she was going to need determination (something she possessed in buckets, deep down inside!), and a huge belief in her own happier, more love-filled future. She would have good days and bad days, and for sure her ex was unlikely to let her go without a territorial fight (which is why she needed at least one solid ally)… but she could do it, and should do it… without a shadow of a doubt!

Other times, when customers come to me with ex partner issues/questions, they haven’t actually been in contact with one another for months, occasionally even years. Other occasions include an ex suddenly popping up out of the blue, hinting at possible reconciliation… without actually making any obvious movement in that direction. I have also had customers who have inexplicably found themselves brooding over an ex after years apart, wondering what went wrong… and if the ex still has feelings for them.

So, what is it that keeps us looking backwards, rather than forwards? What is it about the past that gives it such power over us? What is it about exes that is so emotionally seductive? Obviously, there are many different scenarios, and many different possible reasons – but, what if it all just boils down to the fact that we are struggling to come to terms with the break-up of a relationship, even years after the event? What is it all really about?

Mostly, and usually, it is the pain of rejection, and the feeling of being in the limbo state of unanswered questions. Below is an excerpt (that covers both), from my booklet/blog:

Attraction and Dating: How To Successfully Navigate The Honeytrap. (https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/leannehalyburton.com/14075).

However, before we read it, we also need to firmly remind ourselves that exes are usually exes for some pretty solid reasons… and that, more often than not, those reasons haven’t ceased to exist!

Pitfall number 6 – The pain of rejection!

Rejection hurts like hell, and has the capacity to lead us into some pretty self-destructive patterns of behaviour. There are those amongst us who are particularly susceptible, of course, but every last one of us will experience the gut-wrenching pain of rejection – not just once, but many, many times, throughout our lifetime. How much power we allow it to obtain will dictate how often, and how deeply, it cuts us. I believe that we ourselves can become so attuned to rejection that we actively seek it out, albeit unconsciously. I know for sure that I myself have fallen into this trap, and operated from there for years… as have many of the women I have worked with. But it isn’t all bad! A certain amount of rejection is necessary, if we are to define and refine our passions, expand our horizons, and live up to our own, unique potential. Every successful person on this planet has experienced failure and rejection, as an absolutely unavoidable part of their journey. We can choose to view rejection as an educator, or as evidence of our own powerlessness and lack of worth… and the choosing begins with awareness, and some critical thinking!

    I remember heading home from a women’s seminar in Liverpool, with two ladies I haven’t been in touch with for years, sobbing my heart out. My life was going through a massive transition, and emotionally speaking, I was bloodied, tattered and torn… but also relieved and hopeful! It was the end of one long, dark phase, and the beginning of something I had worked very hard for. I still had a long way to go, but I was definitely seeing the encouraging glow of the light at the end of the tunnel. The course was made available to me, free of charge (otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to attend!), and I was really looking forward to it. There were different sessions to choose from, with different speakers, but I chose to spend most of the day with one particular woman, and I was eager and keen to join in; to be part of the ‘sisterhood’; to feel ‘normal’ again. I responded wholeheartedly, arm shooting up to answer questions, filling in all the little test papers that were handed out… but when the audience were asked to offer up an example of an occasion on which they had been surprised by their own strength, I realised I had misjudged. I laughingly recounted how, not long before I left my now ex-husband (a very recent event, at that time), I had been so angry, so at the end of my tether, I had actually picked up an armchair, and thrown it across the living room. I tried to follow suit with the couch, but couldn’t quite manage it – and the room fell silent. The American lady stared down at me from the stage, and using her hands to demonstrate, she replied “You know, you’re kind of UP HERE, and maybe you really need to be DOWN THERE… you’re kind of FULL ON, and you need to STEP BACK…”. I was immediately whisked back in time, to the day my school history teacher slammed her hand against the table, screaming “STOP being so STUPID!”, when I laughed a little louder than I intended to at one of her jokes. I was 13 again, self conscious, idiotic, and lesser than ‘the others’ who always had the sense to recognise where the line should be drawn – and who would never publicly admit to morphing into the Incredible Hulk. And I realised that she was talking about emotional strength, not physical strength… but then, so was I. I left the hotel feeling lonelier than when I arrived, and it took a little time for me to understand that it was my problem, but also my opportunity: something life had put before me, to figure out. I certainly didn’t like it, and I really didn’t want it, but hey… when did medicine ever taste like chocolate fudge cake?

    So, what has this got to do with the Honeytrap, and the world of attraction and dating? Plenty, actually. Rejection has the power to shape and form the way we perceive ourselves, and what we allow ourselves to accept. By the time we enter into the Honeytrap, many of us will already be staggering under the weight of unexplored and unresolved rejection… and you can guess the rest. And those who are struggling with layers of old rejection don’t necessarily appear to the outside world as downtrodden and sad; they can just as easily present themselves as strong and feisty individuals. Repeated rejection can either lead us to keep focusing on the hurt, and all the times we have been let down, or to defiantly but defensively rise up, over and again, where dating and relationships are concerned.

    Looking back, I can see that my childhood was awash with genuine rejection, as was, and is, the same for billions of others. I have spent much of my life feeling ridiculous; too this, too that, and too the other. I was never a conformist, and somehow just didn’t feel as if I fitted in or truly belonged anywhere. Most of the pain I experienced emanated from within my inner world, and from my own perceptions… from the way in which I processed my experiences. I expected rejection, even though I didn’t relish it. I learned how to survive, and was often forceful, determined, headstrong, and unwise. I put myself through some real crap, almost seeking rejection out, as if to pre-empt it. I even chose to work in industries that were guaranteed to invite rejection. The world of advertising sales, the arena of intuitive consultancy, and now, self-published writing! I was good at selling; I put my heart and soul into it, and endeavoured to provide the best service I could, but it was always going to deliver a far higher number of no’s than yes’s! Intuitive consultancy is always going to produce some degree of conflict and disagreement, because it centres around and focuses on people’s problems, ego’s, emotions, disappointments, fears, hopes, wishes, and dreams. I have periodically been publicly dragged over the coals on the internet, as well as being accused of being a con artist and a charlatan (by people who don’t know me, and are unlikely to ever meet me). And as for writing and self-publishing, it is a highly competitive market that requires not only blood, sweat and tears, but also endless amounts of patience and self-belief… with a sky-high potential for being completely ignored or badly received! If youanalyse your own life, up to this point, you will be able to recognise some of the ways in which rejection has influenced your thinking, your beliefs about life, and your decision-making.       

    So, we can see that it is clear that feelings of rejection start in childhood, and continue to present themselves throughout our lives. Rejection can lead us to repeat the same old patterns again and again, or to close off to anything that could render us vulnerable. Or we could always choose to learn from it and grow. When I started to accept and appreciate myself more, I noticed that I felt the pain of rejection less. I reasoned that if I stopped automatically criticising myself, then maybe life would, too. Of course, that doesn’t mean I was saying to the world “hey, this is ME, take it or leave it!”, letting myself off the hook for everything. I still have a desire and a duty to continue to grow into the best possible version of myself. But I accept myself now more than I used to (my strong personality, my restless mind, my outspoken, expressive way of communicating, and my slight eccentricity), because I know that I am coming from a well- intentioned, positively-motivated place… well, most of the time, anyway! I still hurt, I still feel wounded when I know that I have given my absolute best, only to have it thrown back at me for being less than good enough, but there is no way of avoiding that – for any of us. Even the thickest skin has the odd weak spots!

    Going back to the subject of love and relationships, throughout the years, I allowed myself to become programmed to believe that I was responsible for another human being’s misery, lack of fulfilment or success. I wasn’t perfect, and I made mistakes and bad decisions; but I also tried my best, using the knowledge and the resources I had available to me at that time. Bearing the weight of blame for someone else’s dissatisfaction and frustration, year in and year out, created a set of beliefs that were hard to shake off. I carried them forward with me, allowing the pattern to repeat, jumping from the frying pan into the fire. But I can now see that the men I involved myself with, who found it so easy to dump the blame for their own inadequacies and perceived lack of personal achievement onto someone else’s shoulders (in this case, mine), were unconsciously reacting to their own past experience of rejection. We all blame, and we all accept blame for stuff that has nothing to do with us, and in an ideal world we’d all strive to find a healthy balance! Unfortunately, there are those who consistently refuse to accept any responsibility at all for their own beliefs, feelings, and actions – the ‘blamers’. And there are others who unhealthily accept more than their share of responsibility – the ‘blamees’. If we enter into the Honeytrap as a seasoned blamer, the odds are that the one we are to attracted will end up disappointing us, just as all the others have done. If we enter into the Honeytrap as a battle-scarred blamee, the chances are that the one we are attracted to will end up treating us badly, whilst assuring us that it’s all our own fault. The cycle continues, piling new layers of rejection onto the old, confirming our worst beliefs about ourselves, and others. The only thing we can do is to recognise that we have developed an unhealthy emotional habit, and consciously work on breaking it, bit by bit, step by step.

    The agony of rejection also has the capacity to turn a usually rational and sane individual into an illogical, emotional mess. There is a situation I come across again and again, often involving the slightly older woman (as opposed to those in their teens or early twenties), in which she has fallen for a man with ‘issues’ – usually anxiety, depression, and a fear of commitment or intimacy – who has pursued her with every ounce of his being, only to suddenly back off and close down, leaving her confused and devastated. She becomes fixated, trying to figure out what went wrong, what she did that was wrong, and what she can do to put it right. She convinces herself that this man is the only one for her, that no-one ever made her feel the way he did, and that if she just loves and understands him enough, she could be the one to fix him. She lets him know that she will always be there for him… and he either ignores her, or he tells her that he just needs a little time, and that he will get back to her – when he is ready (which he never will be).

    She gets up each day, and goes through the motions. She does what needs to be done, smiling for the benefit of the outside world, whilst sobbing silent tears inside. She believes that the cause of her pain is the loss of this emotionally damaged man, but I believe that she is wrong; the cause of her pain is rejection. To receive love and appreciation is heart-warming and uplifting; to then have it suddenly snatched away is heartbreaking. Intellectually, she knows better, but emotionally, she starts by blaming herself, and then progresses to feelings of resentment – bitterness even, if it is allowed to drag on for long enough. She feels as if she is existing in a kind of emotional limbo, and that is the illusion that rejection creates – it lies to us! It can persuade us to hang onto an attraction way beyond its sell-by date, and to yearn for someone we probably wouldn’t even want to be with, if we actually got to spend real time with them, in the everyday world. And most of its power comes from the fact that the rejector usually has the last word, leaving us with not only a sense of unfinished business… but also with one agonising, unanswered question: WHY?    

    And one ‘why’ can lead to another, especially if rejection has previously left its mark on us. Why did my mother love my sibling more than me? Why did my father abandon me? Why didn’t my schoolmates accept and include me? Why was I overlooked and unappreciated by my employer, failing to be given the promotion I deserved? Why did my ex let me down, so badly? Why did my new love interest appear to be so keen on me, only to dump me as if I’m nothing? Why, why, why?

    The frustrating fact is, there are questions to which we can never receive an answer or explanation that will make any sense to us. We can drive ourselves crazy, we can bang our sore and sorry head against every wall we can find… and still be none the wiser. People who reject others because they themselves are screwed up are never going to be able to explain their behaviour, and they certainly aren’t going to admit to being screwed up. We need to be able to recognise that what is often hurting us more than the loss of the affections of our rejector is the rejection itself – if that makes sense! We need to save our mental and emotional energy for our own healing, dust ourselves off, and move forward. It might not seem fair, and it certainly isn’t easy, but it makes more sense than allowing ourselves to remain trapped and alone within the sticky walls of the Honeytrap, watching as our unpredictable love interest slides away in the opposite direction.

  Almost everyone who enters into the Honeytrap has experienced rejection. Those who are particularly emotionally raw will either jump in with both feet, eager to prove to themselves that this time it really is love, OR enter with their protective force-field already firmly in place, ready and waiting for the ‘inevitable’ rejection! Thinking about it, the Honeytrap can actually present a valuable opportunity for self-learning and enlightenment, if we can be brave enough to view it that way. And in fact, it would be smart to view it that way, because then we would be guaranteed to get something productive out of it, whichever way things go!