Once you figure that out... Do IT!
Everything else will fall into place.
After a few moments she peered at me from the corner of her startling green eyes and sighed, turning her gaze back to the ocean she said, "Why do I keep making the same mistakes?" I could feel the weight of each word as it left her mouth. Each word spoken heavy with defeat, wrought with self-loathing, and laced with a sadness that went straight to my heart. "If it is not abusive men then it is my drinking and if it is not my drinking then it is spending all the money I have saved and not being able to pay my bills," she forced these words out of her mouth, biting each one of them off as she said them. Her jaw clenched tight as she fought the barrage of emotions threatening to overwhelm her, looking me straight in the eyes she said, "Why do I sabotage everything good, why do I keep making the same mistakes over-and-over again?"
"Why can't I get it right?"
I know exactly how she is feeling as I am there myself with a situation I find myself in. A repeat of a life lesson that I was sure I had fully mastered but apparently didn't. Took me awhile to realize that I was repeating some old habits and when I did - holy epiphany batman! I was shocked and furious at myself. How could I find myself in a situation so close to one I had already been through? How could I have not seen it sooner? How could I have let myself so easily slip back into a pattern that I swore never to find myself in again?
Apparently life decided that it needed to test my resolve. A sudden pop-quiz to see if I had fully embraced the life lesson. Did I make it a part of my soul? Did I fully absorb the knowledge? Could I put what I had learned to use? Well, it appears maybe I didn't. My friend hadn't either. Because if we had - we wouldn't be facing the same things over-and-over again and still not getting it right.
Why are we sabotaging ourselves and setting ourselves up to always fail?
We don't trust in ourselves. We don't trust in our instincts or our guts and for some - we do not believe we deserve to be happy or content for any myriad of bullshit reasons. We convince ourselves that we deserve it. We go in circles because it is a pattern that we are comfortable with – unhealthy or bad doesn’t seem to matter. Why should things be any different? Why should I be happy? We ignore the warning signs and jump right in because at least we know what is coming and we won’t be surprised. We got this because we had it in the past. It is a viscous cycle.
We need to stop.
Look for that which repeats again-and again in your life. Certain situations that you find yourself in, lovers you choose, your coping mechanisms be they drinking, bouts of depression, or moments of undeniable rage. Look to that which repeats for this is the lesson you most need to absorb into your soul once and for all. It keeps happening because it is what you are bringing into your life by not getting it all the times before.
For my friend and for me too - the repeating circumstances are ones that we have faced more than once. Each time falling into old habits and pulling the shield of old fears around ourselves like a cloak. We handle it over-and-over again because we know that we can - we did before right? It is a bad that is known. It is a bad that we beat before. It is kind of like stacking a deck of cards - if you always know what is coming next, you will always know how to play them but in doing so you limit yourself to doing better. You limit the highest possible levels in life that you could reach.
Trust that the lessons of the past will prepare you for whatever the future holds and when faced with someone you know isn't right for you or when something you have faced before and conquered comes around again - do not sell yourself out because you feel like you deserve it. You don't.
"When will I get it right?" she asked.
When you weave the lessons you have learned into your very being and trust in yourself. When you trust in the happy and when you release the comfort of the bad. I replied. When you stop making the same mistakes over-and-over again because you do not feel like you deserve better. When you learn to take care of yourself. When you learn that it is better to be alone and sure of your heart then it is to be with someone who hurts you. When you see that your destructive behavior is only caused by one thing, the one lesson you still haven't gotten yet, and that is this...
You have to learn to trust in yourself. You have to believe in yourself. Screw the rest of the world and what it wants from you. What do YOU want from you? Once you figure that out... Do IT!
Everything else will fall into place.