Do you have relationship problems or a reoccurring theme that follows you in every relationship? I always realise, quite soon into a relationship that things aren’t right but instead of moving on I stick with the relationship, hoping that he’ll change, that things will improve or that I’ll change. I usually try to fit a round peg into a square hole. I’m very good at giving up what I enjoy doing in order to suit him and then I get frustrated. With those patterns of behaviours, formed over many years I decided to sign up for a one day relationship intensive course with relationship coach, Anna Garcia, in London. I found out about the course through a sponsored ad on Facebook. I hoped to get to the bottom of why I am as I am.
Anna strode onto the stage like a celebrity; confident, beautiful, sophisticated in a long flowing pink dress, before an audience of around two hundred. This was to be an Oprah Winfrey style show. She was dynamic, hard hitting, pulled no punches and throughout the day women from the audience, me included were invited to come up and tell our personal story. ‘When you are grounded and rooted,’ she began, ‘you blossom and the bee will come to you, so today is about learning to be confident, honouring yourself and loving yourself.’ ‘Be true to yourself, don’t live according to others expectations,’ she told the Asian woman who was experiencing family pressures not to marry a younger man because this wasn’t culturally acceptable. ‘The more comfortable you can be with you, the simpler your life will be,’ she told another woman. ‘You are the Chief Energy Officer of your life,’ she told us all. There were women from all walks of life, every background and every faith. I learned so much about different faiths and cultures and how culture can impact on relationships. This was a truly inspirational day, heartbreaking, heartfelt and deeply emotional for each of us as we explored the patterns of our behaviour. ‘Let go of the past, let go of missed opportunities,’ she told a black woman who had missed marrying her childhood sweetheart but still regretted it thirty years later. To the social rescuer, a Swedish lady, she said ‘don’t carry their problems, address your own. You are not responsible for someone else’s life.
Anna’s advice was common sense. Maybe we don’t need a coach to state the obvious: ‘be true to yourself,’you want to be loved…it doesn’t happen until it’s meant to happen,’don’t apologise for who you are, be who you are,’ but hearing such moving stories from other women, knowing that we are all in the same boat navigating our way through a minefield of relationships certainly helped. Relationships have changed, Anna argued. ‘You don’t see your mother in here do you? That’s because the average person now has three long term relationships across their life, no longer one.’ ‘Relationships can have a sell by date and that’s ok.’ ‘Humans have finally awoken. Today anything not authentic we let go of, it becomes painful to hold onto something that doesn’t work.’ And the biggest news Anna imparted was ‘ladies, I’ve news for you, Mr Right does not exist but Mr Right Now does.’ A relationship can end at any point and we need to grieve, we must let go. ‘What are you getting from holding onto him?’ she asked one woman. ‘Better to be on your own.’
The biggest statement for me was: ‘Whatever we choose in life – our jobs, house, holiday everything comes with a bag of problems and somehow we accept the pros and cons, the pain, the downside but when it comes to relationships suddenly we don’t want problems, we expect only perfection.’ In life pain is mandatory, suffering isn’t and that’s what we carry. We need to get back to our grounded centre.
Very often we don’t trust ourself in relationships and we become addicted to certain emotions. They become habit forming. With any addiction the advice is to just stop. It’s a choice that only we can make. We need to honour who we really are and stop our sabotaging habits. ‘We repeat what we don’t repair.’ Very true. We need to take an action we wouldn’t normally take, feel the fear. That’s scary. Addiction is a low vibration. When we are addicted to something we are holding onto a set of emotions. It’s those emotions we need to tackle.
‘Life biggest gifts come with the greatest pain. Don’t expect to get into a relationship and not get hurt.’
Anna stirred up a great feeling in the audience, a driver for change, ‘are you ready to peel off the layers,’ she shouted. ‘We need to take whatever it is that’s preventing you from finding love away.’ Now that’s where, to my mind the snag lay. It was towards the end of the day and Anna asked ‘who here would love to be loved?’ Shrieks of yes rang out across the audience. And how much is that worth to you? Put a price on it in your head. A screen then appeared with a picture of a yacht and a figure of £995 for a two day intensive programme. Food is not included in that price by the way or accommodation overnight! At that point I switched off because I found it a hard sell. We had shed tears, hugged shared intimate stories and now we were offered a solution but at a high price. ‘You can’t put a price on love,’ Anna shouted. ‘Are you ready to change?’
Did I find the course worthwhile? Yes. But will I change my behaviour patterns? I’ll try but it’s going to be hard.