This blog is the first of two parts. It will introduce you to what I have found to be the single most important factor in truly healing and transforming your love life from what you have known it to be to what you want it to be – 100 % accountability. The next blog will discuss your Love Code – that which can fully explain to you why your love life has turned out the way it has to date. Your Love Code is the almost totally unconscious blueprint or formula that you are operating with (see it as an unconscious and broken compass in your mind) that you have been employing from your earliest years for finding and receiving love or, at least what you have thought love to be. If you would like to understand your Love Code more fully read my upcoming blog and go to my YouTube video entitled Your Selection Process.
Have you ever felt baffled, righteous or victimized by how your love life has turned out? Perplexed beyond belief by how a relationship that began with such enthusiasm and excitement as a constant source of love and understanding devolved into a pale shadow of its former self or, worse yet, a hostile mess? It is in times when our seemingly best intentions have yet again crashed on the rocks of another failed relationship that we may be most open to learning a very deep and humbling lesson about love. And one of the most difficult, initially unflattering but ultimately liberating lessons in the domain of human relations that I know of is that each of us, as individuals, is 100% accountable for everything that has happened in our love lives.
What does it mean to be 100% accountable for everything that has happened in your love life? Please let me start by emphasizing what responsibility is not. Responsibility is not about making yourself feel guilty that what has happened is all your fault. When we look in part two of this blog at the unconscious factors that have determined your selection process of a mate – a term I will call your Love Code – you will see forces at work that have determined how your love life has unfolded from the time that you were seven, or nine or, at the oldest, twelve years of age. Should a seven or nine or twelve year old child be found guilty for what he has come to believe and conclude (on the basis of what he has experienced and how he has felt treated) about how lovable he really is? About what love actually is? About how she can expect to have love treat her? No, to make her feel guilty about what she has learned from her earliest, most vulnerable and most impressionable years about these matters would be the real crime.
So being 100% accountable for how your love life has turned out is not about your feeling guilt, or its next-of-kin shame, or blame or bad. It is just about seeing that what has happened to date couldn’t have happened without you. That you have been an active and extremely influential (albeit ignorant or unconscious) player in it. And that you unknowingly have been following your Love Code to a tee, with the drama and heartbreaking results being identical to that which the emotional climate of your family of origin generated many years ago.
A wonderful depiction of personal accountability, without judgment or blame, for what has happened in our love lives came from a battle-scarred but increasingly enlightened male client in his fifties who was on the verge of the painful ending of his third marriage. This is a very close paraphrasing of the words he spoke to me in his opening session: ” You know Joel, I am now in the death throes of my third marriage and my umpteenth relationship with a woman. And I’ve noticed several recurring patterns in all of them. The first is that they start out like gangbusters, full of ecstasy and passion, wonder and excitement. Then I find in them or they in me one or more faults or negative character traits that would simply be too hard to overcome and live with permanently. There is then a slow, unspoken decline and ultimately a loveless or even hostile breakup. But I’ve noticed one more pattern about each and every one of those numerous relationships: “I’ve been in them!”
That is what I mean by 100% accountability. Accountability means that, without self-judgement and self-recrimination, that you are willing to acknowledge yourself as cause and not just as effect of what has happened in your love life. As effect, you will inevitably see yourself only as a helpless, fallible, powerless victim, “done to” again and again by men or women or love or fate. As cause, you elect to see yourself as having agency, power, choice, and freedom. Though it may be initially confusing, embarrassing or painful to 100 % own what you have created in your primary relationships to date, with some emotional healing work, you can start to determine what else you can cause. Seeing yourself as cause puts you behind the steering wheel in life. Seeing yourself as effect or victim puts you in the back seat.
With this understanding of what 100% personal accountability means, have you noticed as my client deduced, that you have been in every relationship in your love life that hasn’t worked out? That awareness as well as the sincere and deep willingness to get to the bottom of it is the requirement for not just becoming aware of repetitive, exasperatingly painful and self-defeating patterns in your love life but truly transforming those patterns and leaving them behind for good. Being a “blame-thrower” will spell only the continuation of your darkness and the failure to learn difficult, unflattering but potentially liberating and transforming lessons.
Having only awareness of this concept is the booby prize. But being willing to embody and practice 100% accountability fosters your becoming truly open, available, humble and discerning in your relationships and experiencing a qualitatively different love life. This is the real achievement and reward for taking 100% ownership of what has happened in your love life to date.