Change and Recovering: The Power of Choice
Jim Hall MS, Love Addiction Specialist
The incredible irony of being stuck in love and relationship addiction-- is that you (if you are a love addict) and many like you have a profound desire for genuine connection and a partner who can 'show-up'.
Nevertheless, I can honestly tell you, it will not happen unless you choose to change.
As long you choose to con yourself and do nothing to change the toxic "love" pattern, you will continue to get what you have always 'gotten'... that's right, toxic love.
But you don't have to stay on this course .
I believe you deserve so much better. Improvement (Change, Recovery, Progress, Correction, Expansion, and Transformation) is possible! In some cases, our lives can improve without doing a whole lot. We can win the lottery, and our lives improve financially.
When it comes to this issue (love addiction), however, change happens, and only happens, with a Choice... a choice to take action: to learn, grow, and desire something different, something better.
You can’t gamble for change.
You cannot simply hope things will get better for you. You can’t simply “wish” the problem away.
Change will not happen when you find the “perfect” partner; or when “he/she” becomes the “potential” person you wish he/she to be. You cannot play with the odds of overcoming this problem, or else, you will lose... And be where you are today … in coming months, years, and even decades down the road.
When we want our life, our toxic relationship patterns to improve -- We must have the Intention to CHANGE.
There are many people so entangled and entrenched in this toxic love pattern that to them, change "is impossible" or seems impossible. People often believe that things just happen to them. That situations and circumstances are out of their control.
Yes, it is true in life that there are situations/circumstances that happen to which are out of our control.
YET -- Just as many situations and occurrences happen in our life because, and only because, we make choices that set up an occurrence or place in our life. Our choices have consequences (good or bad).
If we choose to pick a selfish, arrogant, and controlling person to have a relationship with, then we choose a high probability of experiencing a whole lot of anguish and damage to our self-esteem at some point in the future.
Most of the pain and anguish and sense of betrayal does not just happen, it happens because of a CHOICE to get involved with an individual who is toxic.
The direction of our lives, more often than not, does not happen by chance. What determines the direction in our life more so—are choices we make (whether positive or negative).
We are not victims to a whole lot of what happens in our lives.
If we stay stuck in a victim mentality -- if we are stuck in a believing for example, "I'm in pain because of him/her" ... then we lie to ourselves; and we choose to be a victim to a situation or occurrence.
You are not a victim to your love addiction patterns.
You are not powerless of the type of individuals you in relationships. You have more power than you realize –you have the power of choice.
Choice is a powerful thing. And given you have the power to choose, then guess what? You do have the power to change, of course that is, if you so desire.
If you choose NOT to change negative patterns, no matter how big or small... then you CHOOSE ‘NOT’ to alter your life for the better, to fully recover from unhealthy relationship patterns... And so you must "OWN" it (no blaming another).
On the other hand:
if you CHOOSE to CHANGE for the better… no matter how big or how small...
You then create the opportunity to alter the direction of your life for the BETTER-- which makes recovering and healing possible.
Profound gratifying change is possible when you choose to change… meaningful change through practiced recovery… learning to love and establish and create intimate-healthy-fulfilling love relationships in your life and establish a healthy /strong loving relationship with yourself.
Why do some people so readily resist change; resist a better path in love and life, rather than continue to sulk and shame themselves as they encounter relationships that are destructive to our health and wellbeing?
Like most who struggle in love addiction, you have tried to stop or quit the obsessive relationship patterns.
Perhaps at one time or another you have convinced yourself that the “next relationship will be different,” or “I will find the right man/women and then things will be different,” or “I will love and give more and more to make our relationship work”.
You convince yourself that in time, “this relationship will get better and all my needs will be met.” Once again, the so-called solutions have not worked; and as love addicts often make up, “It is my fault he/she couldn’t love me enough; I just need to be, give, do more.” Oh my, the lies we tell ourselves.
“Things do not change; we change.”
Henry David Thoreau
Despite these efforts, you repeatedly draw painful relationships with a person who cannot reciprocate, and of course, who are emotional unavailable or downright narcissistic. So the pattern continues.
The relational dynamics may change from time to time- yet somehow, things end up all messed up- again, leaving you distressed, depressed, and still baffled.
TWO THINGS ARE CONSTANT IN LIFE…CHANGE AND CHOICE.
WHAT YOU DO WITH THEM DETERMINES THE OUTCOME OF YOUR LIFE.
Some have been aware of the problem of the ongoing dysfunctional, obsessive, and ultra-dependency patterns in relationships at one level or another- but have tried to stuff it, ignore it, or hide from it in hopes that that the problem goes away on its own— and find it doesn‘t go away.
Nevertheless, denial stays alive and on we go! It is a choice.
Some people hit their ”bottom,” forced out of hiding and finally face the problem when their turmoil is discovered in depth- and finally make the choice that change is worth pursuing.
A number of people hit their “bottom” repeatedly, and at some point, they decide enough is enough, then completely give up on any possibility of a romantic relationship, becoming an anorexic love addict- detaching from any possibility of intimacy.
Others, tired of their destructive relational patterns, come forward seeking help and guidance and change before they hit an agonizing bottom in their lives.
What we choose to do, or do not do in life can have profound consequences (negatively or positively).
Regardless of the catalyst for wanting to change, wanting to break free from addictive love patterns and recovers—the decision to change; to attain long lasting recovery ultimately depends on you.
Only you can want change, only you can want the way things have been to be much better.
Only you can make the choice to break your love addiction.
With a simple choice, you can attain happy and healthy change; and given time, a very fulfilling and rewarding journey you will never regret.
I can sincerely promise you; by choosing to change, you will never say to yourself, “darn, I wish I just continued that old pattern of my love addiction”.
When we choose change – we choose to make changes in our lives away from toxic things (namely relationships) that have caused anxiety, pain, or heartache.
When we choose to change, we choose to do whatever it takes.
To make positive changes happen means we choose to start doing things that are good for us, even if we do not want to - including both outer modifications of behavior and an inner shift in values and thinking patterns.
In 20 years, you will be more disappointed by what you didn’t do than by what you did.
To stop the dysfunction, to have your relationship patterns and personal life transform for the good (which both go hand in hand), you must simply choose to change.
Unquestionably, you are responsible for this choice.
No longer, will it help you to deflect or blame negative circumstances or bad relationships on others—that includes your partner or ex-partner, the object of affection.
You are not a victim of these circumstances/relationships. Entering an addictive relationship does not just happen to you. It is not, nor ever has been, out of your control.
The Responsibility For Creating The Life I Want To Lead Is… MINE ALONE!
Your relationships have not happened to you because you are somehow bad, less-than, flawed, or it is in your DNA (I use to think that one!) or any of the sort—but they have happened because you and only you chose to engage in them; they were yours.
You are not helpless in what you choose in life.
If you can own that, then you can own that you have the power to choose positive, healthy change- the power to choose healthier more satisfying love relationships by choosing to change the way you love.
When you choose a positive path and give the recovery process a chance— you can and will achieve a real consciousness of self-love, freedom, fulfillment, and peace-of-mind in relationships and your life.
Change happens to many people; many love addicts change and recover, and their lives are more fulfilling than ever. But their change only occurred because they chose it. This sort of change can certainly can happen for you as well.
When You Choose To Change The Way You Love… You End The Self-Abandonment… and You Embrace Yourself … You Embrace Your Life. What A Gift!
Simply choose to change the toxic patterns– and you can change your outcomes in your relationships and your life for good. You and only you can choose to make this change.
If you choose to do nothing about your addictive loving ways, you choose to stay where you are at— which means you also then choose to expect the same or similar outcomes you’ve had in the past.
Our choices have consequences, good or bad. From today forward, what consequences do you choose to set up in your life?
You have the right to choose – You have the right to change-- You have the right to want better. You are worth it!
The 3 C’s of Life:
There is Hope – Change Is Possible!