Relationships: Why you attract who you attract
Marty tells me in a phone session, "Susan is always criticizing me. How do I get her to stop?"
Fiona tells me in a Skype session, "Jeff is often withdrawn. I feel so angry about this."
It's always easy to see what your partner is doing that you don't like, but it's generally very challenging to see your end of a dysfunctional relationship system. However, your end of the system is equal to your partner's end, as we attract people at our common level of woundedness or our common level of health -- our common level of self-abandonment or our common level of self-care.
What Does This Mean?
This means that the degree to which you emotionally abandon yourself -- by judging yourself, ignoring your feelings, turning to addictions, and/or making others responsible for your feelings -- is the same degree to which your partner is emotionally abandoning himself or herself.
The minute Marty tells me about Susan criticizing him, I know that Marty is likely criticizing himself and may also be giving himself up to her to try to have control over getting her approval. Each is controlling in their own way, but Marty is aware only of how Susan is trying to control him.
When Fiona tells me about Jeff's withdrawal, she is also telling me about her anger -- two sides of their dysfunctional relationship system.
The problem is that Marty and Susan and Fiona and Jeff all got together wanting to get love, rather than knowing how to love themselves and share their love.
Do you really want to continue to do this in your life?
Attracting at Your Common Level of Emotional Health
Attracting at your common level of emotional health means that you have done the inner work necessary to heal your feelings of shame and insecurity. It means that you know how to fill yourself with love and share your love with others. It means that you have stopped abandoning yourself and have learned how to love yourself, which means that you take responsibility for your feelings, rather than avoiding your feelings or making another responsible for them.
When you learn to value yourself and take responsibility for your feelings, you are no longer attracted to someone who emotionally abandons themselves. You are drawn to people who also value themselves and want to share love rather than get love. So you will no longer end up with someone who blames, withdraws, judges or sees themself as a victim. You will just not find this person attractive, as they are not at your common level of emotional health.
The Frequency of Attraction
The law of attraction states that "like attracts like." This means that people with a low frequency -- people who are insecure and self-abandoning -- attract each other, while people with a high frequency -- people who love and value themselves -- also attract each other. People who are positive, open, secure, giving, caring and kind to themselves and others are not attracted to people who are closed, negative and needy of approval and attention.
While no one deliberately seeks out someone who is closed, negative and needy, if this is you, this is what you will attract into your life. If you want a loving relationship, then you need to do the work of learning how to take emotional responsibility. This means:
Learning to be present in your body rather than stuck in your mind avoiding your feelings
Being open to learning about what your feelings are telling you rather than protecting against them with various addictions and self-judgments
Learning to access a spiritual source of love, rather than expecting someone else to be your higher power
Learning to take loving action in your own behalf rather than expecting others to do this for you
If you are seeking a relationship, why not start today learning how to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself? If you are a in a relationship that is having problems, the most important thing you can do to help the relationship is learn how to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D.