The Intentionally Emotive Podcast with Shaun Karim
Episode 24 - Use Your Toxic Suffering to Manifest a Loving Relationship
Many people want to understand how to get into “that” relationship that will stand the test of time, that will add to the fulfillment in your life, and will be the healthiest accomplishment you’ve ever made.
If you’re looking for a romantic relationship, we understand that you have to be “datable” to others, but before you do that, there is work that you must do on yourself first.
In this episode, Shaun goes into detail about how you can use the healing of your toxic past to transform into the person you were always meant to be, and for that version of you to find the last relationship you will ever need to be in.
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How's it going, everybody? Welcome to the Intentionally Emotive Podcast with Shaun Karim, part of the Mental Health News Radio Network.
New episodes are available every Wednesday, and If you haven’t already, please subscribe on any of the podcast platforms you use, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more.
You know, for the last decade or so I’ve been asked by all kinds of people what I did to get into a romantic relationship with someone. Back when I was in my early 20s, that was a hot topic with a lot of my friends. Some of them were already married when I met them; others were in relationships and about to get married; and everyone else was like me, single.
Almost all of my single friends, male and female, would ask the others how they met their partner, what they did to find them, how long before things got serious, and how they knew their partner was the one.
What was interesting to me about that is that almost all of them had different answers. I always thought it was odd that these people who were at various stages of relationships for the most part didn’t have a consistent answer about any of this. I thought for sure there would be some commonalities somewhere, but I didn’t give it too much thought back then.
Fast forward 15, 20 years later and all of those people who were in those relationships are no longer in them except for one. Even the married ones, they’re no longer married.
During that time, I went from being single, to being engaged, to being married, to getting a divorce, to being in my current relationship–and now, after all of these years, I finally understand the question, and I know–intimately–the answers to it.
It starts with you. Your relationship with yourself. If that relationship is not right, nothing else will be.
Now, for those friends of mine who are no longer in those relationships? The reasons they’re no longer in them are similar to the reasons I divorced my ex-wife. The reasons some of them are in the good relationships they’re in now are the same reasons I’m in my relationship with my person.
So with that, today’s episode is titled “Use Your Toxic Suffering to Manifest a Loving Relationship.”
Before you think about being in a relationship with someone, before thinking about the white picket fence, the number of kids you want, where you want to live, and everything else that comes with that, you need to go back and analyze your past.
What does that mean?
I don’t care who you are–every single one of us has a past that has issues that we need to resolve. Whether that was by your primary caregivers when you were really young or a teenager going into adulthood, there are surely some incidents that happened in your life that you potentially never resolved. You need to resolve them.
It may not sound like this can be connected to who you are today and who you will be tomorrow, but understand that everything is tied to each other on a single piece of string. All of it matters, and if there’s a knot there that needs to be untied, it’s your duty to do the untying. No one else is going to do that for you.
It’s important that you don’t cherry pick the things that you want to work on and leave the others behind because some things are more difficult to look at than others. You may not be able to unlock all of these things by yourself, so it’s important that you go to a professional to help you with that.
There are plenty of resources and services available for you to do this; you can either meet with someone face-to-face, video chat, text, whatever suits you. Do the one that resonates with you the most, but also be prepared to be uncomfortable because that’s where the growth starts.
One thing you can try doing is to close your eyes and think about the people in your past. It can be anyone. Then of all of the people you remember, the ones who hurt you, think about that tug and why it’s there. What happened between you and that person that is still eating at you?
Is it something that was left unfinished? Did your parents treat you a certain way? Did an ex do you wrong–or vice versa? Were there friends or colleagues who stabbed you in the back? Whatever it is, go through your list of people and keep that in your back pocket because we’re going to come back to that later.
Be comfortable with the discomfort that you’re going to experience. The things that are gnawing at you are the unresolved things in your life that are begging for your attention.
I want to be clear that it’s not enough to only analyze your past. You must also acknowledge the suffering you’ve experienced, no matter how big or small. Any unresolved suffering will manifest throughout your life unless you do something about it.
It’s not fair for your future person to be reprimanded for the things that other people in your life did to you, so it’s your responsibility to heal the parts of you that were harmed. It doesn’t make sense to look at this person through a lens full of the toxicity you went through. The lens you look at this person and the rest of the world through needs to be one that has you being the best version of yourself.
Go back to that list I mentioned earlier, then acknowledge all of that stuff that happened–the things that happened to you, the things that you did to them. A lot of people believe that it’s “strong” to go about your day, your life, and do the things that you would normally do in lieu of thinking back to your past and all of the suffering you went through.
That’s the last thing you want to do; and honestly, that’s one of the weakest things you can do. It’s not strong of you to avoid the pain in your life. That’s the coward’s way out. The courageous thing to do is to look through all of whatever hurt you’re going through and sit with it. Feel all of it. Stop bottling all of it up and let it out.
So that pain and all of those emotions that come up, experience all of it. Let all of it out. Obviously, you want to do this in a safe environment where you don’t have to worry about what people think; you need to do this unencumbered. If that means you cry, scream, laugh, talk through those incidents that keep pulling at you–whatever it is, now is the time to do it.
So those things that happened in your childhood, the triggers you developed because people didn’t treat you right, or the things about your personality you find undesirable–whatever these things are for you–don’t shame yourself for any of it. Instead, observe all of them without judgment of anyone, including yourself.
It’s your job to completely surrender to all of that, and accept that everything happened. Accept that those people did whatever they did. Accept that you did whatever you did. Don’t attack them or yourself. Be compassionate to yourself the way that no one else ever has been to you.
When those instances of lashing out, getting pissed off by someone’s words or actions against you or someone you care about, or just the mere tension of the existence you had back then, allow all of them to surface and reveal themselves.
All of those things you’re feeling and getting triggered by need to be out in the open so that you can completely dismantle their effects on you. You do this by forcing yourself to address those emotions and go through that dialog in your head. Those words, those actions, go through all of them.
Meditate on all of that, whichever way works for you. I mentioned that what worked for me was sitting in a quiet room for several hours each day for weeks so that I could go through all of those things in my head, not to let them go, but to let go of their negative effects on me.
Obviously, it’s not easy to go through those things that happened to you, but you need to do the work to heal from them.
When you go on a job interview, the interviewer does their best to understand how much you know, what value you can bring, and if you’re being honest about your skills and experience so that you can use them at that company.
To put it differently, you receive the best outcome for yourself when you know your capabilities, your strongpoints and weaknesses, how you’ve learned from your experiences so you can use those to your advantage today and in the future, and that you can present yourself to someone in the most authentic way possible; and that happens only when you know who you are.
Your methods and your mindset need to be aligned with the value that you have today and tomorrow. If you want to be in a successful relationship but you don’t know what you have to offer the other person, where do you think this can go and how long do you think it would last?
It’s not good enough to go around with the “woe is me” attitude, being directionless, thinking that anyone–not just your future romantic partner–can guess who you are when you don’t know who you are yourself, and not having the strength and belief in yourself that you can accomplish the things you’ve set out for yourself.
It can be easy for a lot of people to criticize others, but so incredibly difficult to criticize yourself–because inherent with that basically is an action plan on how to correct yourself. Like I said before, it’s not just understanding the wrongs that were done to you, but potentially the wrongs you did to others.
Admitting either of those things to yourself is a lot of work, but the bravery to go through that pain and know that you come out on the other side a completely better person is work that will change you for the rest of your life.
Own the fact that the discomfort you went through made you grow into the person you’ve become.
Now, just like you need to know what you bring to the table to someone, i.e., to be someone who wants to be pursued and locked down, you need to know exactly what you want, and maybe even more importantly, what you don’t want.
You might be thinking to yourself that you don’t know what you don’t want, but you’ve essentially created a cheat sheet for yourself by getting to this point. By analyzing your past and acknowledging the pain you suffered through, you’ve automatically identified the things that you don’t want in your future.
You can tie these into attributes of a person you will not tolerate being in a relationship with. Were your parents or was your ex a narcissist? Was someone influential in your past toxic to you and the people you cared about?
The toxicity you suffered through, then analyzed, then acknowledged, all the while being kind to yourself, can be used as a tool to help you come out of the suffering you’ve been in; and when you start living as the person you’re meant to be, the person you’re supposed to be with will appear in your life.
There isn’t a formula where you have to go on certain dating sites, or asking family or friends for help setting you up, or anything else like that. It all begins with you. You’re not doing this work for nothing. Yes, the episode title points you to manifesting the right relationship, but it’s imperative that you have the right relationship with yourself first.
It’s not just about being kind to yourself and no longer judging yourself for all of that stuff in your past. It’s also about seeing where you want to go as a person, as a professional, as a future husband or wife. Your past will always be there, but it doesn’t have to bring you down for the rest of your life.
The toxic people who were in your life essentially created a roadmap for you to be the person you should be. There is a point here on this roadmap that will define who you are. You have a moment where you can either go forward or you can give up.
The important thing here to understand is moving forward is a life full of possibilities. The growth you’ve experienced and will continue to experience are on this path.
But if you choose to give up, then you’ll end up repeating the patterns in your life that you have been repeating up until now.
The decision is yours on what you want to do and what you want to be.
The last thing here is you absolutely must be consistent. I wish I could properly express how important it is to be consistent. You need to be predictable to yourself–in your mind–that you have a healthy routine you follow, when certain things happen that you respond a certain way to move past that obstacle, that you take care of yourself, that the strength you have to continue to live your life and advance. All of these things define who you are.
There is a saying that goes something like, “Just because you blow someone else’s candlelight out doesn’t make your own candle light shine brighter.” Keep that in mind as you maneuver through your life and people try to make you stumble or put you down.
Don’t let someone else’s insecurities be the reason that you become insecure and inconsistent. Your healthy consistency is your superpower. The transformation that you undergo through the healing of your toxic past will reveal the person you were always meant to be, and that version of you will be the person who will find the last relationship you’ll ever need to be in.
All right, everyone. Thanks for listening to the Intentionally Emotive Podcast with Shaun Karim. Don’t forget to subscribe, and for past episodes and links to my socials, visit www.shaunkarim.com.