How The Cycle Begins (And ends)
I wanted to share some reflections on my inner journey this morning that might be helpful to you.
It’s for you if you ever wondered why your relationship patterns feel cyclical, always ending up in the same place.
Idealization of actors, celebrities, sports figures, mentors — — and people we are dating that we pedestalize (love-bombing phase) eventually end up turning into the monsters we resent, villainize, and cast into the pit (de-valuation phase).
The very thing we fall in love with about them becomes the very thing we feel victimized by.
(Example: “I love their sense of ambition” eventually turns into “they never have time for me”.)
This is an unconscious dance we all have experienced as both individuals and as a collective (think movie stars, famous athletes and politicians who are now in the tabloids).
We freaking eat that sh$@ up and LOVE the drama.
Initially when this is happening we are unaware of the dance — because we are at the effect of dopamine (which we are all addicted to in various degrees).
There’s a surge happening in the body that FEELS SO REAL that we lose consciousness and ability to control our impulses….
We mistake this surge of dopamine for “love”.
We place the person on a pedestal as the person who gives us “hope” to rescue us from our pain, our fear, and our insecurities.
The main problem with this is that no one can do that but us.
When that person we place on a pedestal ends up not living up to the expectation we unconsciously set up (that is — when they end up being human after all, shadows and all) we then villain-ize them and feel betrayed and harmed, not aware of how we participated in the entire set up.
This arrangement also has a flip side.
Think of the people who may resent you.
Those who have cast you as a villain in their life story.
Guaranteed, at some point, those people had you on a pedestal (and you freaking loved it).
This has been a dance with me many times in my career as a chiropractor, teacher and coach (hello rescuer-turned-villain?
Us mentors and coaches and leaders who do this work to satisfy parts of us that have felt insignificant — can easily fall flat on our faces if we aren’t doing “the work” which continually calls us forward to own our shame, integrate our shadows and stay connected to our “why”.
I can think of many times in my life when my sense of self worth was at a low, and I REALLY NEEDED and CRAVED to have someone (or many) sing my sweet praises and love-bomb me.
In those moments, I abandon my boundaries, say yes when I want to say no, and enmesh with the rescuer dynamic to save THEM — when the main motive behind my behavior is to avoid my own feelings of unworthiness.
When we don’t love ourselves and don’t have a grounded sense of our own worth, we are easy prey to relaxing our boundaries and self-interests in the pursuit of this type of praise and external validation.
Been there, done that.
HOW DO I BREAK THIS CYCLE (within myself)?
First my work is to recognize how insidious this cycle is. It’s embedded in our culture. In fairy tales and Disney movies and cultural folklore.
Social media highlights.
Even in religion.
My work is to recognize how conditioned I am to have “hope” for being saved and rescued externally.
Then my work is to continually practice the mastery of the art of Nervous System Regulation: not just the work I do on my daily triggers spinning me into “negative emotions” like unworthiness and rejection — but also the opposite — where I lose touch with myself because I’m high off the experience of being “in love/admiration”.
this is one seldom talked about and trained on that causes the whole cycle of dating to become catastrophic when it inevitably crashes (foundation of the trauma bond) and the main reason why I’m creating a new offer on how to avoid this from happening so that those committed can create secure relationships while dating and avoid the love bombing/devaluing cycle. My clients and students have spoken about this and I’m inspired to create tools to support that because it sucks and I’ve lived it).
The cycle gets broken when I recognize how often I’m putting someone on a pedestal. To acknowledge, look for, and appreciate that everyone is a two sided coin with a shadow.
It’s Impossible to put someone on a pedestal and put them in your heart at the same time.
Aren’t the people nearest and dearest to your heart the ones you see with a balanced perspective — warts and all, anyway?
(Sit with that one for a moment).
Next — my work is to demand a fair exchange for what I am worth and realize when I allow a boundary of time, energy, or money to be broken and to speak up when it has — and if it continually is overstepped, to consider putting my energy elsewhere.
Like seriously consider it.
This is a major issue with me and the work I do — and when I say this is a daily practice I’m not kidding.
Trauma work is often traumatizing.
“Secondary PTSD” with support workers in my industry is a thing and causes mental illness if not nipped in the bud. It’s no one’s fault — it just happens when you’re not watching and is a factor we are called to keep an eye on.
My inbox is visited weekly with people who watch my content and feel like they found their savior (my ego used to love that) and are horrified when they realize we aren’t a charity — feeling entitled to be receiving our guidance for free or a discount.
Setting boundaries is hard because when you set them with people who inherently don’t have them causes feelings of rejection in the person receiving them and they feel hurt by them or just ignore them completely.
this is an ongoing practice for us all — me included.
Rupture- repair…. Rupture — repair.
For the rest of our lives — it’s a skill and practice to rinse and repeat.
Lastly my work is to observe how I co-created the cycle and dynamic.
We are all victims and perpetrators.
In todays society and therapeutic models, the narrative is all surrounding victimhood.
While our pain must be acknowledged — we can often become stuck there with the wrong guidance.
The number 1 complaint my students and clients have shared with me in the past week as I’ve been interviewing them for support on our new offer is “my therapist was only keen on supporting and validating my victim story and while it felt good to be validated I wasn’t growing. This is the first place that taught me how to take ownership (not blame) and create power where I kept giving it away without knowing it.”
If I can’t own my part of the dance- then there’s a good chance that I’M THE FUCKING PROBLEM.
Twice in my chiropractic career I had to notify the police of stalkers who went nuts and threatened me — after professing they were in love with me and It wasn’t reciprocated.
Obviously it wasn’t my fault — but my work was to own how deeply I craved the attention, admiration, praise, and pedestalization with patients.
These lessons are painful but I’ve grown through each one.
We are here to grow.
We are here to learn how break the cycle that didn’t begin with us…
After all, WHY I felt so small and insignificant in the first place having to seek validation externally came from a program that started many generations before me.
And it’s my work to heal it.
It’s why we are all here.
If we don’t we are bound to repeat it over and over again, passing it to the next generation.
Healing this is only done through a DEDICATION to going inside when the collective is obsessed with pointing fingers outside to avoid the shame of being human.
The cycle begins with fantasy and idealization towards being rescued from our insecurities by another — and it ends by letting go of our victim story and being THE ONE to take ownership and rescue ourselves with compassion — and pass that along to others entangled in the unconscious dance with us.
By the way — Domzy says hi.
Him and Diana are the ones I do the work for (other than myself).
I want to break the cycle for him.
Who are you wanting to break the cycle for?