Obsession Re-visited (Part 2)

The following suggestions provide a therapeutic direction which can establish new ways of relating to yourself and others. Here are some possible ways to give the obsessive mind something else to do:

  1. Because obsession is a growth opportunity unlike any other, be curious and open-hearted about what it’s trying to tell you. Develop an inventory of past obsessive relationships dating back to childhood.
  • Practice Mindful Self-Compassion which will give you a space to observe the mind non-judgmentally. Listen to self-compassion guided meditations on YouTube such as Tara Brach and Chris Germer.
  • Ask for help from others. Who is emotionally-reliable in your life? Double up on your contact with these people.
  • Work with a psychotherapist who fully understands obsession, romantic idealization and love addiction.
  • Visit the SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) website which is www.slaafws.org. Go to a meeting and listen with an open heart.
  1. Ask yourself: What do I want from the other person? Once you’ve identified what you want, consider ways to bestow that upon yourself. Sense what’s missing in you based on what you want from them.
  1. How can I become more of a “giver” rather than a “taker”? Instead of getting stuck in wanting (i.e. not enough), what do I have to give? The Prayer of Saint Francis describes this internal shift. Recite the prayer out loud on a daily basis and see how it resonates for you.

The Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

(Note: Lord & Divine Master can be replaced with Universal Energy, Higher Power, Goddess, or whatever language fits for your belief system.)

  1. Practice this 5-step awareness process described below. Build it into a daily ritual possibly as a morning tonesetter:
  • Visualize the other person as happy.
  • Identify your expectations for this person.
  • Locate the longing or desire in yourself that sets up this expectation.
  • Ask for the willingness to do whatever is necessary to bring about change in your attitude or attitudes?

Repeat over and over to yourself:

  • I accept the other person exactly the way they are at any given moment.
  • I accept myself fully for exactly who I am at any given moment.

Obsession is not a life sentence. If you’re willing to illuminate the blind spots of the past, it will get easier. It may take some time to feel more like yourself again, but be patient. It will get better if you gently unlock the mind and build a larger, healing perspective over the course of time.

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