You took YOU with you

Why do I always get cheated on in relationships? Why do I always have trust issues in relationships? Why can’t I find a “good man”? Why can’t I find a woman who will just respect me for who I am and who I’m trying to be? Why are all bosses such bricks? This is a conspiracy. All the good men ARE taken.
Women are not from Mars, they are from Hell. Men are so disgusting! Bosses are such *^%$!%^!!. You stand there in front of the mirror after you’ve gathered yourself in the aftermath of this most recent break-up, heart ache or episode of mental/emotional frustration. Another one bites the dust.

Really, why does this happen to me? You ask. One relationship after the other, one person after the other seems to have so much to offer and then this happens. You break up…they cheat on you…or you lose interest and run away. You quit the job, they quit the relationship. You emotionally (hopefully not physically) hurl the glass vase at the wall.

You’re starting to see a trend and it doesn’t feel good in the pit of your stomach. You always seem to be frustrated with the things that are important in your life. Your relationships, your job, your education and so on, and one after the other, they seem to never just be good enough.

Over and over again, something comes up that can’t be resolved and you find yourself alone again, doing the secret cries we all do when we are hurting on the inside. Bathroom stalls, kitchens, on the pillow. We replay the scenario over and over in our minds. Why didn’t this one work out? Was it because of the same issues as the last one that didn’t work out?

Thank God for friends. They can be some real good band-aid when you need them to be. They tell us “it’s not you” “you’re a great person and anyone would be happy to have you” “You just need to get through the bad ones to get to the good one”. They tell us (Quite confidently too) that “we don’t need to change” and that “we deserve better anyway”.  Our support system tells us that there is a better person out there that will appreciate us for who we are. So, stuffed like thanksgiving turkey with some feel good girl talk or homeboy ego boost, we carry on, dust off and keep it moving. On to the next relationship….project…job…business venture…church. They try to help us heal. I admit…that does the soul some good. It’s great to have friends who stand by us and help us heal from the hurt.

Sometimes though these things we tell ourselves or hear from our friends are just band-aids to cover a deep cut. Could it be that that the real reason why your relationships keep failing or you keep getting bad bosses, is not an external one but an internal enemy? Here is what I’m saying:

YOU TOOK YOU WITH YOU

Think about what it’s like when you move. You pack all your crap into boxes and have them compartmentalized, labeled and taped up. You leave nothing behind. It’s hard to. So many things have a memory or the other. The picture frame you got on your first vacation 8 years ago, your favorite tape dispenser, the mug you won at the Christmas party at work 3 years ago…the list goes on. We pack them all and move into our new home. Then we cut open the boxes and hang up our old clothes and find a spot for our favorite picture frame and yes…our plastic tape dispenser. Our space has changed but our content hasn’t.

You ended the first relationship as the same person you were when you started it. You moved out with all your crap, and then you started the next relationship as the same person as you were when you ended the last one.

YOU didn’t change. You just simply moved into the next place with all your old stuff.

Your space changed but your content didn’t. You took YOU with you.

You ended the relationship, project, job or whatever, and folded the sweater of your personality and character neatly into your going-away suitcase, and moved out.  Then you whipped it out in the next place and hung it right back up.

We work so hard on becoming the good person that we are (at least so we think) that it’s so hard to take a hard look at ourselves and have honest conversations about changing. We are our own biggest fans and that fan club is strong with banners, theme songs painted faces and matching t-shirts.

So we have our hurrah talk with ourselves: No. It can’t be me. I’m not the problem. It’s the other person. It’s my boss…it’s my business partner. I’m not asking for much…only to be treated with more respect. I’m not a perfect person but I deserve someone who WANTS to be with me. After putting up with all his/her cow dung, I deserve some patience too. Why can’t people be a patient with me as I am with them?  Why can’t my boss appreciate what I do for once? We could go on for days.
Those thoughts are like a super cute puppy that we found at the dog pound and are emotionally tied to.

So we throw our nose in the air and forget that past relationship. We label it as the past and forge on to look for that better person who will treat us better, and we take our cute puppy of thoughts nicknamed “superiority complex” with us into our next relationship…job…business venture…church or wherever. No change from who we were before…just good old fashioned “looking at the next person to be the best person they could be …for us”.
Unfortunately, we find out that a cute puppy is still a puppy and comes with a headache. So that cute puppy of thoughts about ourselves follows us into the next relationship and it pees on the carpet, poops in the kitchen and sheds on the expensive couch of our new relationship…job…project…venture…church.

Dump the puppy of superiority complex thoughts and have a HARD, LONG conversation with yourself –about yourself. GENUINELY seek to take stock and improve as a person. Unless you’re Jesus there is always room for improvement in your character.

Here is the takeaway:
If you are seeing a negative trend that is consistent in your life even though your environment is changing, you have to look within: You have to change your content. It’s like moving to a new place. We always pack all our things and just restock our new place with old crap. Don’t do that from relationship to relationship. Whatever you do, don’t take the old YOU in its exact form, into the next relationship.
You have to start right: The REASON(S) you enter any relationship, job, venture etc, plays a crucial role in its success. Take a job just because you don’t have a job right now, (not because you actually have an interest in that position) ,and it will pay your bills just like you want but it will not satisfy you, hence you will not invest in it and because of that, you won’t grow in it. Start a relationship just because you don’t like being alone and this person “sort of” fits the bill (not because you were fine being alone but CHOSE to add value to someone else while they added value to you), and that relationship is on the highway to frustration.
-You have to die…a little: That’s a whole new article…coming soon

 

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  • Dena

    The article was great. I was so drawn in that it stole me away from a really great movie. Yes, Yes, Yes…relevant with great takeaways and I would share it with everyone I know. I feel like many people could relate

  • CheeringUon

    “….it will pay your bills just like you want but it will not satisfy you, hence you will not invest in it and because of that, you won’t grow in it”. This phrase struck a cord, funny how we take the value of time for granted. We waste time and energy in fruitfuless relationships, dead end jobs and the rest; finally we get sick and tired and of being sick and tired, and we quit. Guess what? your environment has changed/grown and you are still stuck in YOU…no change/growth.

  • ijustmetme

    @Dena- Glad you like it. You’re so right…many people can relate to that. The more we seek after a better version of ourselves, the better we will be for it!

    @CheeringUon- Yup. You hit it on the head. We take the value of time for granted and then we get sick and tired of being sick and tired…don’t forget to share it with friends!

  • caringissharing

    I truly enjoyed this and how you exposed the root of the problem!I call it the ego….

    At some point in our lives we enter into a compulsive pursuit of ego- gratification and things to identify with in order to fill the whole within…destructive in every way. (Hence we enter the vicious cycle of ultimate dissatisfaction…. it’s not me…. it’s them…they don’t appreciate me…I need someone who will treat me better…)

    Oh boy! I can’t wait for the next blog!

  • miamitrainer

    Insightful post! I think that we spend so much time with ourselves, that we get “too” comfortable with our own thoughts and feelings. This limits our ability to change and open ourselve to new experiences… and new possibilities. An important person in my life told me once, “Sometimes you can’t believe what you think!” If you’re thinking how wrong everyone is, maybe you need to change the tape.

  • Elle

    i love how you wrote the key takeaway, about if you keep seeing a negative trend, correction and change should start from within…Looking forward to the next article: “you have to die a little”.

  • Monique Faison

    “So many things have a memory or the other…Our space has changed, but our content hasn’t.” -About moving on from painful relationships…Very true Tobi Atte! :o) I’m still learning everyday how to press forward and leave the past alone. I think to a certain extent it does involve a superiority complex, but I think that this is a natural response to being hurt…and in some cases, it is healthy when we tell ourselves that we don’t deserve unjust mistreatment…it becomes a problem when we can’t acknowledge our own issues and yet we can tell our next boyfriend or girlfriend that he or she has so many problems; God knew that we do this, and that is why in Matthew 7:3-5, God tells us to look at ourselves before we judge others.

    I think your advice is great, that we have to evaluate ourselves when we have changed our circumstances and things are still the same. As Christians, we are instructed to die to ourselves in order to live, which seems to be a contradiction, but it’s actually a paradox, which Jesus seems to like to use in his teachings. Even if someone says…”Well, I’m not a Christian, so dying to myself doesn’t apply to me” …that’s not true…..Being selfless in a healthy way allows one to gain perspective about another person and the world when you are in relationships, and it is actually beneficial to not dwell on your problems, your desires, and your needs all the time.

    Motives is something that I can talk about for a long time…because many people do great things for the wrong reasons, and they wonder why things don’t work out well…I do believe that you reap what you sow, so you show always sow good thoughts and begin things with the mindset and a good heart if you seriously want something to work out…but it doesn’t guarantee that your life will be problem free, because we will all suffer in life.

    I hope that my comments help you gain an insight on what I think about this topic. I will remember this post and try not to bring my past issues from a past relationship into each day’s experiences. Thank you for the post! :o)

    • ijustmetme

      This is great stuff Monique. Love the insight on Motives and being selfless. Love your comments! keep sharing!

  • Ayodeji

    Awesome, cut straight down to the real issue…

  • rapfadoju

    Very thoughtful, deep and crucial points. Change what needs to be changed for a positive result, there is a limited impact the bandage can have when one is bleeding profusely. Some old stuffs have to leave as a sign of maturity and preparation for a better outcome in relationship, profession, ministry etc.

  • Dawn

    Good stuff dude. It is very important to take a lesson from every experience or situation we have in life; this is the only way progress and growth could come about. Sometimes it’s difficult because we always want to give the blame to external factors (people, environments..) but in oder to grow, we have to be able to look internally.

    Love it! keep ’em coming 🙂

  • mati

    Excellent article……….taking a moment to self reflect is good, it gives one a chance to find out what exactly they want in life and stops them from just settling for average. Settling for average in a relationship is the most selfish thing one can do to themselves and their partners. Its wasting time and is emotionally abusive.

  • Victor

    Everyone needs to read this. So blunt, so real, so true.

  • Yemi A.

    Can’t wait to read the others! Run with it Tobi. xoxo

  • Taiwo I

    Great Job and keep it up. In the bible, it states,”My people perish because of lack of understanding”. The more information we get out there, the more we can change our environments positively. I am so looking forward to more articles you will write and God will give you the strength to make a difference. Thumbs up

  • Sule S.

    Excellent article MF! I had the pleasure of reading it a few weeks ago and i can honesltly tell you that whenever i’m in a similar situation to the ones mentioned i stop and think about it and it truly helps to see things from another perspective. You truly have a given talent and is very admirable all the great things you do to help others! Keep up the great work!

  • Mommy Ogali

    Good job! Right move! I pray for you for divine accuracy and wisdom that will positively impact lives and stir people to stop and ponder.

  • I-met-u.com

    ok… some of us don’t want to hear this. And those of us who hear or read this, seriously don’t take action about it because it is easier, convenient and maybe cheaper to just carry old stuff with us into the next relationship, job or whatever. It behooves us to check ourselves when things are consistently not going right, retrace our steps and seek wisdom on how to be transformed. Not always easy but doable. Kudos again…hmmm

  • Fisayo A

    Great post. It’s very difficult to look within self when trying to analyze why something “bad” has happened. It’s a struggle that we continuously face. But its def tough to judge oneself free of judging others. I’ll def be checking in and ive shared w/ the girls. Keep it up!

  • Taiwo Durowade

    Wow, most times you don’t even realize it’s superiority complex when you think yourself blameless in the situation. Change in itself is difficult, now imagine trying to change yourself when you feel the other person is to blame. This brought about a lot of reflection for sure. Amazing work, you are anointed o. 😛

  • Wow! This post rang all the way home! It’s amazing how quick we are to look at other people’s problems, issues, baggage before we even take a look in the mirror.

    Great post Tobi, made me think. Thanks.

  • Gloria

    Beautiful Article… Its true that some people tend to carry the same mentality that they’ve had into various aspects of their lives and expect things to start working out for them the way they expect, whereas they need to change how they are…

    Like I said earlier, this article was very beautiful, people definitely need to read this and take time to reevaluate their lives.

  • Osas Agho

    Brother I love your post . Well said . Plz keep posting

  • Oluwatosin

    We are the right judge of our own character, and naturally we wouldn’t like to be hard on ourselves. Like you said, we’re our own #1 fan, nothing is wrong with us, the other party is ALWAYS wrong… You touched on every vital point, and the bottom line is our ego, like u rightly mentioned. We need a soul search, be hard on ourselves a little, apologize to our partners if there’s a need for it (it wouldn’t hurt if we’re humble enough), and move with friends that will tell us the “bitter” truth sometimes. Well written article Tobi.

  • Elizabeth

    Love the article, can’t wait to read the rest..well explained!

  • Kemi Animashaun

    So so true. Yup! Sometimes it just seems like the fault is from everyone and/or everything else but NEVER us.

    May God help us work on ourselves from inside out.

  • Wow, you had me hooked!!! You are so on point.

  • Barbie

    Awesome!!!

    When things are done for the wrong reasons, the outcome is always frustrating…we have to start right cos our reasons or motives go a long way.
    Its not easy being selfless all the time but its a good place to start the change!!!
    kudos,, lovely article.

  • True-talk

    I just read this article and it speaks to me in a very special way. Been wondering why I keep having the same issues in my relationships and I just started thinking that maybe I’m the problem. I sat down and I took stock of what the issues were and i realised that I keep ‘carrying the same baggage’ from one relationship to the next. Thanks for the insightful write-up, it’s just like a confirmation of what I have been battling with. God bless You.

  • ijustmetme

    Wow True-talk! I am glad. Isn’t it amazing when we realize that change in our environment can really truly occur once we change from the inside…suddenly the world looks different. Thanks for sharing!

  • Anoni

    AMAZINGGG!!!

  • beanie

    i learnt certain lessons the hard way such as starting a relationship for the wrong reasons/on a warped foundation full of all sorts of debris…right now, im going through the dying a little stage and boy!, does it hurt or what?..oh well

  • Momo

    Oh my, second comment today. This article is an article both men and women need to read, share and read again. It makes so much sense because there are too many damaged people looking for the comfort of a relationship to help heal their wounds. Too many people ready to push the blame to the other person and never taking the time to figure out if they had a part to play. The fact that too many people are also idealists instead of realists doesnt help too so if this man is not doing what a “boyfriend” is supposed to be doing, he must be the problem. The analogy of packing up all your crap, moving to the next apartment and unloading that same crap is an insighful way to picture exactly what happens. What this whole blog is about i.e. finding the better version of you is what everyone needs to be practicing before entering into relationships. People can’t understand why for the past 2 years, i did not want to date anyone. Whats the point if all i was going to do is drag that person down with all my issues. I still carried hurt from the past, my ego was brusied therefore I felt I was too good for all those men anyways so at the time it helped fuel my superiority complex. So much negative emotions that if it was not dealt with, my past would have no choice but to relive itself. Hurt people hurt people so the guy or girl you hurt today because youre insecure or whatever is going to carry that hurt into their next relationship if they dont deal with it and hurt more people.

    What people need to understand is that its not your partners job to help you find you, thats between you and God. Their Job is to compliment that better you with a better them.

    Find God, be honest with yourself in your journey to finding yourself and trust that when its time, the good type of relationship will happen. C’est Fini.

    • ijustmetme

      Momo you are so right! I love “Hurt people Hurt people” deep!

  • Great point!