So much in our lives is devoted to convincing us that we need a perfect partner.
Marketers want you to think that, if only you find the special someone, you’ll be happy forever.
But what marketers and salespeople don’t want you to know is that the best way to find joy in your life is to focus on one person in particular. You.
In fact, buying a product or service and expecting it to improve your life forever is a mirage in the desert.
I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that much of society hinges on you remaining a masochistic person.
If your tendencies to cause yourself emotional pain are enhanced, then more people can ask more things of you, more products can be sold to you, and more of your dreams can be deferred for the benefit of others.
Miserable people love it when others are miserable, too.
But fulfilled, joyful people are positive people. They know that there is a way out of masochism, and they are willing to experiment with their lives until they get there.
Remember, all healthy relationships start with self-relationships.
If you don’t know what you want and deserve to have, how can you expect others to give it to you?
The most fulfilling–and the most challenging–relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.
But that’s why you need to start there.
You need to start with the source of the abuse.
Now, I don’t mean to say that you enjoy abuse or that abuse should be taken lightly. It’s a serious, serious thing.
What I am saying is that abusive relationships have root causes, and one of them is deciding what you will and will not tolerate.
So, I need to ask you:
1. Do you feel like you’re in emotional pain most of the time?
2. Are you always on autopilot, just trying to get through the day?
3. Do you frequently find yourself shaking your head and wondering how you got into yet another bad situation?
If any of these are true, you might be a cruel partner to yourself.
You might be engaging in emotional masochism.
But awareness is the antidote.
Once you become aware of something that is causing you pain, you can then take action to change and extract yourself from painful situations.
If it’s true that your experiences define you, wouldn’t you want to improve their quality? Wouldn’t you want to increase the odds that you have pleasurable experiences?
You can, but you absolutely have to start with self-reflection.
Do whatever it takes to turn the candle in your direction and light up your internal experience.
There’s no one perfect way to do this, but the more you’re aware of self-inflicted pain, the more you will notice ways to remove it from your life.
Mental health issues can show up in our lives in all sorts of ways.
And emotional masochism is just one of many interlinked issues.
But it doesn’t need to be one of many unresolved issues.
If you are serious about feeling better emotionally, you will find a way forward.
You don’t deserve emotional pain.
No one does.
And now that you know that, you can do something about it.