Being in a healthy and committed relationship can feel like the finish line, however, there is still plenty of work to be done after we have found our great love. When a couple begins to settle happily into a relationship, their lives begin to merge in beautiful and unexpected ways. Along the way, some core parts of ourselves can be left behind.

Today I talk about cues to look out for in your own life that could signal that you are losing yourself. I also share practical steps that you can take to reclaim your power, your heart, and your self-love.

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Show Notes:

 

  • What can self-love look like
  • How to reclaim your heart in a relationship
  • What are self states
  • How to know when you are losing your power
  • What steps can we take when we lose our power

 

Important Links:

 

 

6 month coaching and mentorship intensive with Ken Page

 

How to Reclaim Your Power, Your Heart and Your Self-Love in Relationships

 

In life, it’s so easy to lose our connection to our sense of self-love, our personal power, and our heart. What do we do in our relationships to reclaim that when we lose the feeling of that precious, precious connection with self? Stay tuned to this episode to learn more about this essential skill of reclaiming our heart in relationships.

Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Deeper Dating® Podcast. I’m Ken Page and I’m a psychotherapist. I’m the author of the bestselling book, Deeper Dating®, and the creator of The Deeper Dating® Intensive. And today, I’m going to be talking about how to reclaim your heart, your power, and your self-love in your relationships.

And in this and every episode, I’m committed to sharing with you the greatest tools and insights that I know to help you find healthy, real love, and keep that love flourishing and heal your life in the process. Because the skills of dating are nothing more than the skills of real intimacy, and those are the greatest skills of all for a rich and meaningful life.

And if you want to learn more about the Deeper Dating® approach to finding and keeping love, just go to deeperdatingpodcast.com. You’ll get free gifts and resources from me there, some wonderful tools for your intimacy journey, and you’ll also be able to find transcripts of every episode. So without further ado, let me jump in.

 

When we become a more reduced version of ourselves, we become a more prickly and defensive and self-sabotaging version of ourselves. Share on X

 

This is a subject that has a lot of meaning for me, personally, because I have really tried to become a student of when I lose my heart, when I lose my self-love, and when I lose my sense of personal power in relationships and to understand what causes that, because I love having those things so much that it’s a loss, it’s a kind of grief each time that goes away, and it goes away for lots of different reasons.

And in my intensives, this is something that we’ve been talking about a lot recently too, and I’ve gained some very, very deep insights from members of the intensives as they’ve talked about that. So grateful to all of my students as well.

That experience of losing our power, our heart, our sense of love, our sense of self-love, those kind of things, when they happen, that’s such a human experience. It’s almost like the fine-tuning that has to happen with that is just one of the great and deep human skills. “Oh, I’m losing myself. I lost myself. This is who I become when I start to lose myself.”

And we can feel that. I think this is so important that each of us recognizes the signs of when we’re losing ourselves. For me, one way that I lose my sense of personal power is that I go back to a childhood place of being the one who gets in trouble for saying things or the one who doesn’t know as much or is the one who’s dreamy and scatterbrained, and I lose my power. My sense of connection to self-love. I know when I lose that and I know what that feels like. I know the emptiness that that feels.

 

How to Reclaim Your Power, Your Heart and Your Self-Love in Relationships

Don’t pass over your feelings: it is so important that each of us recognizes the signs of when we’re losing ourselves.

 

And I want to really encourage each of you to think about this, and you can pause the recording if you want, just to think “when in my intimate relationships do I have that experience of losing my power”?

And one way that we know that we’re feeling like we’re losing our power is that there’s a striving to gain it, to get power or to have power over or to reclaim it. When that’s happening, it’s better to go inside for a moment and say, “Where did I lose this treasure along the way? Where did I drop it? Where was I frightened out of it?” The same with our heart, with our passion, with our truth, when we lose these pieces of ourselves. And I’m going to talk about this a little bit now about what happens and what to do about it.

 

How to know if you are losing yourself

 

But when we lose these pieces of ourselves, it’s like losing ourselves. It’s actually literally losing a certain sense of self. It’s like we’re missing. People have described it as just stopping existing or feeling annihilated.

And this happens most often around our Core Gifts, our most treasured parts, the parts where we feel the most passion, the places where we feel the deepest sensitivity and vulnerability, which are the places where people have taken advantage of us, have stepped on us, have stepped over us, and not seen our contribution.

All of these places, when it comes to the most authentic parts of ourselves, when these things happen, we experience some degree of trauma. Whether it’s small T trauma or large T Trauma, there’s a trauma that happens. And what happens in trauma is we freeze. There’s a freezing that happens.

So we lose our heart, we lose our sense of self. We are in a relationship and we feel overshadowed or we feel unseen or something happens and we don’t feel treasured and don’t feel valued. What needs to happen then? Well, the first thing that needs to happen, and I’m going to talk about the sequence of steps to take when that happens and some key insights around it. But so when that happens, when that happens to you, when that happens to me, the first step is to actually notice it instead of passing over it.

Because what we do is we say, “Ouch,” and then we think ouch is a really bad place to be and I don’t want to be there. The people-pleaser in us engages, the self-critic engages, and maybe we think, I don’t want to lose this person’s love. I don’t want to lose the good moment with this person. I don’t want them to think I’m too much. I don’t want them to think I’m not enough, so that happens.

And then all of the old echoes of the ways that the world has told us that these deep and intimate parts of ourselves are not okay, they haunt us. Those echoes haunt us.

And it’s easy at that point to want to run away from the pain or to just tell ourselves, “Well, I got to be stronger. I just got to not do this. I have to fight back. I have to pick myself up by my bootstraps. This is not okay. I got to be more resilient. I got to be less sensitive.” And these things rarely work.

 

Healing has to happen usually on a relational level, and that means a place of self-love with us and/or an experience of being witnessed, seen, and understood by the other. Share on X

 

Healing has to happen usually on a relational level, and that means a place of self-love with us and/or an experience of being witnessed, seen, and understood by the other.

The thing about that is, it’s hard and it’s scary, and this is one of the insights that I’ve seen so deeply in my own life and then have seen reflected as a teacher in the students that I work with and in deep and very powerful ways, is that it is so hard to do that.

It’s so hard with someone you love, someone you care about to say, “I felt,” whatever it is. “I felt diminished by what you said. I felt sad when you said that because it wasn’t what I needed to hear. This is more what I wanted to hear. When you said that, it triggered a lot of shame.” All these different things. It is hard to say that stuff. And then the fear is that the other person is not going to get it.

So just another area where it’s really hard is in sex; things you want more of, things you want less of, ways in which you subtly don’t feel safe or dramatically don’t feel safe. Ways in which that if you were touched, you would be emotionally moved, you would feel more connected.

Ways in which when you are touched, it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel right to you. All of these things are really, really, really hard to talk about. They’re really hard to talk about. I just can’t underestimate that, and they’re good to talk about when you are with a partner who’s not going to shame you, gaslight you or blame you. Even though they might get a little defensive at first, they’re not going to do those things.

 

 
How to Reclaim Your Power, Your Heart and Your Self-Love in Relationships

Find out where you lost yourself: we want to know and remember that taste of when we lose our love, our self-love.

 

So that’s the first thing I want to say is that what we need to do first is to recognize when we’re losing ourselves and actually feel the pain and the discomfort. We want to know the taste of what it’s like when we lose our power.

We want to know and remember that taste of when we lose our love, our self-love, when we lose connection to our heart or our truth. It’s a bitter taste and we want to run away from it, but it’s a taste that we give ourselves such a gift when we get to know it.

Why? Because then we start becoming really allergic to it. Our alarm bells go off. We say, “Oh, this isn’t good. This is not okay. I need to do something here. I’ve lost myself along the way.” When we can say those words, it’s a really big deal.

So that’s why it’s so important to move past the tendency to just not feel it, to tell ourselves we’re being too sensitive, but instead to say, “Oh, I know that feeling.” Yes, to recognize that we may be being triggered and we can’t put all of that on our partner.

That’s a really important thing, but it doesn’t mean something didn’t hurt. It doesn’t mean that something didn’t feel wrong. It doesn’t mean that we don’t need to ask for what we need, which like I said, is the second step and is really, really hard to do.

 

How to ask for what we need

 

But when you are in an attraction of inspiration and you can find the words to say what you mean, mean what you say and not say it mean, to do this beautiful, beautiful, gorgeous instruction that Harville Hendrix teaches, which is to turn your anger into an ask.

Because people are a lot more willing to respond to an ask than to shift or change when they’re hit by anger. People want to do the right thing in most cases, whether they will or they can’t, that’s another story. But turning our anger into an ask is an incredible thing, and it’s a self-honoring thing as well because it means we’re dignifying our ask, which, as we’ve said, is hard to do.

But when we do that and our partner hears us, it’s an incredible experience. When we don’t do it, when we either can’t access the part of ourselves that we lost or how we lost it or where we lost it, if we can’t access that, there’s going to be a sense of invisibility, of not existing, of not mattering, of being reduced, of being small.

These are what are called “self states”, experiences of self that are so deep that they’re just etched into our very being, and they feel like our identity. There is a way that when we cannot champion our Core Gifts, which means naming them, knowing when we lose them, getting a glimpse of how we can get them back, and then speaking that to the world or acting on that for ourselves.

That is the process of championing our Core Gifts. When we can’t do that, there’s a way that we feel extinguished, that we have a bone-deep sense of less than, which sucks, and feels so horrible.

When we can do this though, and especially when we can ask for what we want and have it be seen and have it be met, we blossom into existing. It’s actually an experience of existing and existing in a much more full-hearted way, which is why those people who can hear what we have to say are treasures, are gold.

 

Being able to interact with an environment that makes you feel loved, or a friend who can help you see what's going on will save such vast amounts of time because trauma freezes us. Share on X

 

So there’s another piece here, and that’s this piece of thinking, so how did I lose myself? Where did I lose myself? Some examples. I’ll give you some examples from my life of where I lose myself.

I can meditate in the morning, which I do, and have a meditation that is so touching and so beautiful and so healing and so wonderful, come out into the world and start to feel dwarfed by expectations and demands on myself, or all the things that have to be done in the day or the consequences of my ADHD and the things that didn’t get done.

 

How to Reclaim Your Power, Your Heart and Your Self-Love in Relationships

Understand how you lost yourself: one way that we know that we’re feeling like we’re losing our power is that there’s a striving to gain it…or to reclaim it.

 

And when that happens, my glorious, glorious expanded state disappears. And when this happens, when we lose these parts of ourselves, we become a more reduced version of ourselves. And when we become a more reduced version of ourselves, we become a more prickly and defensive, and self-sabotaging version of ourselves.

 

How to reclaim your heart

 

This is why it’s so important that we recognize when we lose our heart, when we lose our power, when we lose our self-love in a relationship. So what I want to just remind you of is the different steps of this. The first step is to notice and remember the taste of that, when you lose these parts of yourself.

To really become familiar with it, and it tastes bad. It tastes bad, but when that taste becomes conscious, we are empowered. The next step is to think, how did I lose it? Where did I lose it? What is the Core Gift? What is the treasured part of me that got shut down? How did that happen? And I think you could see how asking these questions are acts of self-love.

And the next question is, what can I do about this? And I just want to say that I think an error as human beings that we make all the time is to exaggerate the effect of self-talk.

Self-talk is really good. It’s really helpful. Affirmations are really great, but pulling yourself up by your bootstrap, you could do that for a second, and then you land again. When I run retreats, usually on a three-day retreat, there are different phases, and by the end of the second day or the middle of the second day, people usually experience echoes of pain, of self-sabotage.

The high wears off. They’re in the middle of their retreat and they lose their heart, their personal power, their sense of self-love. And I tell them at that point, “Try, absolutely try through self-talk, to shift that. If it doesn’t work, give up trying to do it on your own and find a loving, caring friend.”

Or maybe for you, being in nature is healing, or maybe both. But being able to interact with an environment that makes you feel loved or a friend who can help you see what’s going on, I promise you, you will save such vast amounts of time because trauma freezes us.

And these self states where we lose connection to those parts of ourselves are at the very least mild trauma, so we become frozen and the tools we have don’t work well enough. But the tool of talking to a loved one who knows you and sees you and cares about you is powerful.

And what I want to say to all of you as I move toward closing this episode, the people who can do this for you are your gold. They are the beings to be treasured. You want a relationship with someone who can do that for you, and you do that for them. It is a holy and sacred feeling. One of the things that I love about my relationship is how heard I felt.

And as someone who was not heard a lot, even though I was loved as a child, I wasn’t heard. A lot of things I had to say as a gay kid, et cetera, et cetera, weren’t really heard. And as a deeply sensitive person, to have somebody who, when I say those things, I feel met with what I call cupped hands, open hands, open arms, is an experience of being able to be warmed back unto the earth, warmed back to having a place.

And I want to ask you all right now to take a minute and think about someone who gives that to you. Just remember what that feels like. That’s what we want to look for.

And I also, just in closing, want to say that the act of saying, “Oh man, I think I’m losing my self-love, I’m losing my heart, I’m losing my sense of personal power at the moment in a relationship,” is self-love. Thinking how we lost that is self-love. Turning our anger into an ask with the right person is scary as hell, but it is real self-love.

And self-love is what we experience afterwards, as well as love for the other, when we do that and we’re met and seen and heard. I’d love to hear your stories of your adventures, recognizing when you’ve lost these things in a relationship, finding what was lost, championing it, honoring it, asking for what you need, and hopefully being met. Maybe not being met and learning some lessons from that, but I’d love to hear your story, so feel free to write back and tell me your stories.

Thank you so much for listening. Please subscribe. Please leave me a review, if this work touches you, and you can always go to deeperdatinggifts.com to receive a whole package of beautiful resources for you. Thanks so much for listening.

 

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