Just When You Least Expect It

Man walking in a lane on a foogy, spring morning.



I remember years ago, single again and hoping my therapist could “heal me” so that I could find a healthy man to love. Of course, I was healthy. It was going to be about his issues. Feeling a bit smug, dipped in a heavy dose of ignorance, I told my therapist I thought I was ready to find Mr. Right because I now finally had it all under control. She just smiled.


You deserve the moon for all the work you have done to heal and  become the kind of person who is ready to find someone to love. You may have read  books, attended seminars, worked with a coach or therapist, or just had faith that love was possible.


Here is something you need to know as you move forward, heart open and willing to do what it takes. You still have some places in you that have boo-boo’s and some that are big old scars. Those never “go away”, but over time you learn how to deal with them differently when they inevitably pop up in that next dating situation or new long-term relationship. He says something, does something, writes something and you react with fear, anger, or hurt. There it is! But this time, instead of blaming, reacting, feeling afraid or angry or confused, you take a deep breath, and put that reaction in your hand and look at it. Then, you take some time to ask these vital questions:

Is this old or new?

What am I really feeling?

Does it remind me of something or someone who is in my past?

What kind of history do I have with this person with whom I am sharing this relationship to affirm that he/she is indeed the culprit? Does it happen often? Do I feel this way a lot when we are together?


You don’t assume it isn’t about the other person, because it could be. But, before you make a beeline for the door because you are overwhelmed with feelings, you take a sidestep and give yourself the time to breathe and then, get a pad of paper and write, write, write about it, using those questions above as a guide. The answer will most often come. You will know more about what’s old, what’s current and then you can unravel the overwhelm and take care of yourself before you share it with your new partner. And if you are still confused, seek the help of a good therapist or coach. Sometimes we need guides to help us get out of the woods.


Many of us who have been hurt and even had a boatload of therapy find that relationships bring up so many things that are part of that hurtful past. It’s the way it is when we allow ourselves to love, to be vulnerable and to trust another human being. And we can have great relationships by learning how to manage the overwhelm. The first step, pay attention, trust yourself as you check things out, then have compassion for your sweet self and, perhaps for your partner as well.


Nobody gets out of this life unscathed. And you have the power to take care of yourself every single day. Begin now.

1 Comment

  1. kelly on March 29, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Thank you Donna.
    Your words really resonate in my heart.

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