Barriers to Love: Part 5 Old Agreements

The forth barrier to love is OLD AGREEMENTS. All relationships have their agreements. Some are spoken out loud, others are unspoken. In doing the work of discovering my own old agreements, I felt disgusted when I realized I was living from two very old unspoken agreements in all of my relationships. The first was, other people’s needs were more important than mine. The second was, that it was my job to make people happy. What this looked like in my life was me almost always directing conversations away from focusing on me and toward focusing on the other person and how I could make them feel happy, heard or supported. Sure, these agreements worked sometimes.  More often than not, these agreements left me feeling unheard and unsupported.

What old agreements are you keeping that no longer serve you? It could be something as seemingly innocent as a spoken promise to your best friend in high school that if you weren’t both married by the time you turn thirty that you would find each other and get married. Maybe the pressure or fear of having to make good on the promise drove you to get married to someone you didn’t love.  Or could it be that you and a group of your best girlfriends were on a trip to celebrate someone’s divorce and the conversation turned to man-bashing and your collectively made a promise that you don’t need a man (or woman) to take care of you. Suddenly someone wonderful comes in to your life, yet you feel like allowing that person into your heart and vice versa is a betrayal of the pact you made with your friends. While neither of these scenarios are likely to be at the forefront of your mind, these old agreements will masquerade in the background of your non-conscious mind driving your actions.  

Other agreements may be front and center in your life like it was in Elloise’s life. For years she thought it was her job was to take care of everyone and all things once known as “women’s work.”  This was how her stay-at-home mom showed love. And, these were the things that her father always praised her mother for doing. Elloise consistently chose relationships where she did all the cooking, cleaning, and shopping along with her full-time job. Her partners were happy for her to do it and after a while it became an expectation.  Her first marriage ended in divorce because she allowed this unspoken agreement between her and her mate to throw her into overwhelm. Then when they had kids, it became more than she could bear. Her marriage ended in divorce leaving her feeling worn out, broken, confused and hopeless. In taking a look at her own agreements she realized that she thought taking care of all these things was how a woman was supposed to show love and that if she didn’t do them, she would not be worthy of the love she so desired. Once she was able to identify that this old agreement was also a pattern, she was able to consciously attract a new mate and make new spoken agreements that created more balance, love and peace in her life, which left her feeling strong, energized and complete.

Entirely too many of our agreements boil down to our perception of our worthiness to be loved. Such ideas can begin early in life. First ask yourself, “What are the agreements I have made with each parent?” Then, “What are the agreements (spoken and unspoken) I have made with ____ (step-parents, other relatives, significant others, siblings, friends and anyone important to you)?” And, “What agreements have I made with myself around love?”

After you make your lists and your old agreements become clear, remember that you are worthy of love and have just taken an important step forward in getting it!