The topic of love is probably a subject that speaks to everyone. Whether it be a Valentine’s Day gift retailer, or TV and movie plots, love is something all of us have or want to experience; it changes us and makes us do the dumbest things, and sometimes we look for it so much that we lose ourselves in the process.
For certified life coach and Contagious Love author Carla Romo, the field of Love isn’t as pretty as Hollywood makes it and often it requires a lot of self-work. To find it, one needs to not only “get over” emotional scars but also be empowered in loving themselves.
Learning from experience, she now empowers lots of hopeful romantics to put themselves first and not go down this path of self-sabotage in hopes of being loved. Carla shares with us three tips that we can use to start loving ourselves more and not settle for toxic relationships.
1. Know the story you’re telling yourself.
Carla advises that one should give themselves a moment of quiet and “Listen to your damn gut.”
It’s in this crucial silent space that one tends to feel lonely but this is also an opportunity to ask yourself how you really feel and what are the fears underneath that thought.
She encourages the use of positive vocal affirmations either in front of a mirror or random sticky notes around our homes that remind us to say positive “I am” statements.
“Practicing these little interruptions through our everyday hamster wheel spins can start to get you into a place of self-love,” Carla stresses, “and fair warning, it might feel really cheesy at first but psychologists have proven through studies that the more you practice affirmations, your brain rewires and starts to believe them.”
2. Create Space for your feelings.
It’s not easy balancing work and your personal life, especially now with the pandemic forcing us to stay indoors and work from home, but Carla encourages us to “feel our feelings” and not distract ourselves from the emotional pain. She says to clearly define our intentions and not deny ourselves that space to grieve.
“What kind of screws people over, is when you don’t allow that space, so actually, you bring those feelings with you to your next relationship,” she says, “if you don’t allow yourself to process that, you still have a ball of yarn tangled up inside of you that is trying to tease itself in the next relationship.”
She advises that one should at least give themselves 3 or 4 months to go through all the stages of grieving before attempting love.
3. Don’t paint Red Flags green.
Often, we know the traits in a partner we are looking for, but it’s our personal feelings that cloud our judgments, this is what Romo referred to as self-sabotage—choosing someone out of insecurity and our desperation for love.
Carla encourages us to listen to that guiding voice and not ignore the signs of a toxic relationship.
“It was so easy to do before in the past,” Carla shares, “but the reason that I didn’t paint them green [now] is because I’m okay with myself. I didn’t need that validation; I didn’t need to force a relationship because I felt okay just being single.”
Romo told that a codependent toxic relationship from childhood led her down a path of self-sabotage that she hadn’t realized until she was 24. It was during a stressful time in her life that she decided to travel to Ireland on her own to find some peace, and it was in the quiet that she came to understand something.
“I saw two paths in front of me,” Romo said, “and I knew that I’d be okay no matter what I chose, but the two paths were: One, continue self-sabotage continue to be with this type of person—even if you broke up with them and just keep going and not doing that inner work, or two, break-up with that person, do that inner work, love myself, learn how to communicate what my needs are, and heal.
“So, I got back to Los Angeles and I ended that relationship because I realized the most important relationship I had was with myself.”
More from Carla
Podcast: The Love Fix
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Carla will be giving away a coaching session worth $250 for free and can be done virtually anywhere around the world.