“You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart. Then people are going to treat you better. You’re going to find, yes you will, that you’re beautiful as you feel.” ~Carole King
After enjoying a wonderful holiday with my family and friends, I find myself reflecting on the many loves in my life–my wonderful husband, our beautiful children, my cherished friends and extended family members. My life is literally full of love, and I feel grateful for it every single day.
It wasn’t always this way, though. Back in my late teens and early twenties, I felt very alone in the world. Sure, I had friends. And I had family, though the nearest members were nearly three hours away by car. I even had boyfriends–but none worth writing home about.
I lived alone most of the time, and most of the time I didn’t mind it. I did the roommate thing twice, but found that I could feel utterly alone even in a room full of people–and that I didn’t really like living with people I didn’t love.
So how did I go from feeling utterly alone and miserable to being happy and living a life full of love?
I got clear on what I really wanted.
Whether you realize it or not, every single thought you have is helping to shape your reality. In my case, I was always thinking about how alone I felt. I often thought that no one understood me and that people in general weren’t all that great. I found fault in the people around me and found reasons to feel negatively toward some of them.
So, while I thought I wanted happiness and love in my life, I was asking the Universe to let me be alone and unhappy, simply by focusing on how alone and unhappy I felt. When I began to understand that, I sat down and made a list of my true intentions, and then I began to focus on those instead of the feelings of being alone and unhappy.
I stopped searching for love.
I know it may seem counter-intuitive, but when you spend your life thinking “I’m looking for love, I need to find love, why can’t I find love?,” that’s what the Universe will deliver–a never-ending search for love. In my case, after I wrote down what I wanted, I released the need to search and I started living my life. I decided to be happy and satisfied with who I was and the situation I was living in, right then.
I started saying “thank you” more often.
After seeing an episode of Oprah in which she said something to the effect of “want what you have and you’ll have what you want,” I took a look around my world with fresh eyes. Though I didn’t initially realize it, I had plenty to be grateful for–a home, good friends and loving family, my health, a job–the list went on and on. So I began to make a point of noticing those things, people and situation in my life that were good and feeling grateful for them. That set me on the path to receiving more good things that I wanted.
I opened my mind and my heart.
I was limited because I had limiting beliefs. Even though I didn’t verbalize it, I thought I wasn’t really worthy of being loved. I thought that the people I was attracted to couldn’t possibly be attracted to me. I believed that all single men were single for a reason and that all the good ones were either married or gay and therefore unavailable to me. As I unconsciously held on to those beliefs, I kept reinforcing that type of situation in my life.
When I began to recognize and dismiss these negative beliefs, I was able to let love flow into my life.
I loved myself first.
Once I realized that I was feeling alone and unlovable because of my limiting beliefs and started to release them, the only logical thing I could do was to start loving myself. I made a point of treating myself like someone I loved, because if I couldn’t treat myself that way, why should anyone else?
And then I met him.
I started looking better and feeling better, and within weeks of making my list of intentions, I met the man I eventually married. It truly was all in my perception–when I perceived that my life was empty and devoid of love, it was that way. But when I began to notice all the love I already had and started to feel grateful for all the wonderful things, people and situations in my life, I found the love of my life.
So, how about you? If you want more love in your life, do you think a change in perception might be in order? And if you’re happy and loved in your life, will you share the secret to your success? Tell me in the comments!
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.
She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.