Consider these steps to reduce being tyrannized by humiliation or the fear of it:

  1. Realize that your feelings from the past are distorting and twisting your feelings about the present—putting an unfair spin on other’s responses to you.
  2. Look at your past and invite the Holy Spirit to sympathize with you in your struggles and offer wisdom in healing, and future choices—recognizing that you are no longer that person.
  3. Recognize your destructive choices and be determined to change your self-defeating patterns. Previous rejections reflect not on your adequacy or desirability but on your self-defeating need to put yourself in that position.
  4. Accept that you will make mistakes. It is part of the journey. Remember, the path to love is not for the faint-hearted.
  5. Recognize that love requires honesty and openness and is one of its greatest rewards. Be exactly who you are in a non-judgmental relationship, and seek to be with another who is committed to being open and honest as well.

From the moment you meet someone you care about, you risk the possibility that he or she may not return those feelings. That rejection can lead to relatively minor disappointment if it occurs early, or can cause profound feelings of pain and depression if you were deeply involved over a long period of time.

But, we take measured risks. If we keep things in perspective, we learn:

  • Being rejected does not make us worthless

  • Being embarrassed does not make us a fool

  • Unrequited love is not the worst thing in the world.

  • It is possible to love again.

Are you willing to be emotionally available to another special person? Are you willing to let them into your heart, in a cautious but vulnerable manner? If so, you may really be ready for love.

David Hawkins, Pd.D., has worked with couples and families to improve the quality of their lives by resolving personal issues for the last 30 years. 

He is the author of over 18 books, including
Love Lost: Living Beyond a Broken Marriage, Saying It So He'll Listen, and When Pleasing Others Is Hurting You. His book, When the Man in Your Life Can’t Commit, released in February 2006. Dr. Hawkins grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and lives on the South Puget Sound where he enjoys sailing, biking, and skiing. He has active practices in two Washington cities.