If when we are young we are shown a healthy form of love, our limbic systems encode this as the way to be in relationships, and we end up having a reliable guide for how to form and maintain a healthy relationship.

If when we are young we are shown unhealthy or dysfunctional love, our minds become outfitted with that way of being, and even when loving and healthy people come into our lives, our emotional experiences of them will remain limited by the world that was constructed when we were little.

Mark Twain (one of my favorite people) said it best :: a person cannot depend on the eyes when the imagination is out of focus.

We tend to respond emotionally to certain people as though they are people from the past {aka transference}.

Because of the way our neurons work, we see more of what we’ve seen, hear more of what we’ve already heard, and think more of what we have already thought.

What this means is that if you have a map of relationships being riddled with conflict, then even if you have a peaceful spouse, you will see the relationship as conflict-ridden or will create situations to bring out conflict.

The longer we live, the more ingrained these ways of being become. It can be super hard to see, feel, and think our way around the maps that have been established by personal history.

The solution? Deliberately and consciously rewire your brain.

It can be done, and your happiness is worth the effort, no matter how great it may be.