We may all be products of our past and our past relationships but this does not have to destroy or present and certainly not our future. The feelings we have had for someone in the past – especially if we have been hurt or betrayed, can poison an existing connection or prevent us from forming a new one. An example of this would be if you have been cheated on by a previous partner – or even more than one, you may believe that everyone you meet will do the same. You project the qualities of your old partner onto the new one. This is known as transference by psychologists or creating what you believe if you believe in the law of attraction. Our psychic senses can get confused by past patterns and make us insecure as our wounded soul expects to be let down.
Transference is an insidious and toxic mixture of mistrust and paranoia which can feel real even though it is an illusion. Say your new partner calls you to say they will be late because they are stuck at work. Instead of believing them you begin to look for evidence that they are lying. This can range from reading their text message and emails, subjecting them to interrogation, checking with others to confirm their whereabouts or direct confrontation that you believe they are not telling the truth. This lack of trust then paradoxically brings about the very situation you didn’t want in the first place – they withdraw from the relationship – thus reinforcing your belief once again that nobody can be trusted.
If you believe that transference is behind your inability to form the kind of connection you so desperately want, there are some simple steps you can take to exorcise those ghosts of relationships past which are causing the transference problem in the first place.
1: Turn Back Time: We remain prisoners of our past if we don’t re-frame it and heal the wounds from it. Carve out some serious ‘me’ time and ensure you won’t be disturbed. Write down all your relationships where you experienced mistrust or betrayal starting with the most recent one first. Write down everything you can think of – how you met the person, whether you thought they were trustworthy or not to begin with, when you first thought they might be lying and lastly whether or not your suspicions were correct. Did you love yourself and feel worthy of love? When you have finished with the most recent, move on to the one before that, and the one before that, and so on until you arrive at the first one which set this cycle in motion in the first place. Learn to trust your gut feelings and intuition but from a place of love not fear.
2: Where did it begin? The answer may surprise you. Very often this can be something that happened early in our lives and sometimes it does not even involve a romantic partner. We can carry toxic ghosts of mistrust with us because a parent or someone close to us abused their trust, abandoned us, abused us or let us down. Sometimes we can go far back and discover the issue is not ours at all. At a young age a parent or care-giver transferred their experiences of broken trust on to us and we took it as a given that this is what we could expect from our relationships. As this is our mindset we then go on to attract the same kind of people into our lives – those who may let us down, or we just feel we cannot trust people in general.
3: Take Your Power Back. Sometimes of course it is a romantic partner who started the whole thing. Perhaps they did cheat, were abusive or proved they were untrustworthy in others ways. Now you have arrived at the source of the transference, you can begin to take your power back. Write down everything you have learned from this – and this may include tarring others with the same brush or just being kind enough to yourself to acknowledge that they took advantage of you.
4: Make a List of People You DO Trust: Even if we have betrayed a number of times most of us have certain people in our lives who we trust implicitly. This does not have to be a partner – this can be a family member, a friend, a colleague, a teacher, a professional. What is it over time that has shown you that you can trust this person? Write about all the things that allow you to feel safe with them.
5: Mind the Gap! Now, armed with your list of people you DO trust and your past history of those you have not been able to trust for one reason or another, compare these two. Are there big discrepancies? Did you rush in too quickly with people you ended up not trusting? What kind of behaviours from others help you feel secure?
6: Trust Begins With You: Exorcising transference ghosts ultimately comes down to learning to trust yourself again. When we trust ourselves, we can trust another person. Remind yourself that if people have let you down in the past, you have now learned enough to trust your own judgement in the future. Look to the people you do trust and realise that these relationships are the model for building the kind of trust with a partner you need to ensure relationship success.
7: Trust in the Future: Stopping the toxic transference train also means allowing people time to prove they are trustworthy but once they have proved this, you do not require further proof! When getting to know someone, people usually show you early on if they are trustworthy or not. People who are trustworthy call when they say they will, show up on time or else let you know they are running late. If they have to break a date with you, they give you plenty of notice and will arrange another one quickly. They are open about their lives and back up what they say with the appropriate action. If they build a foundation of this kind of behaviour with you, you have no reason to doubt their trust later on.
You are the product of your past, but you are not the prisoner of it unless you choose to be – and continue taking those ghosts with you. Exorcise them once and for all and step into a future free to trust – yourself and others.
Sending so much love to you on your journey x
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