Falling for someone can be so exciting, but it can also be intensely crazy-making. Those of us who pride ourselves on being relatively sane, stable and independent can contort into obsessive maniacs with very little provocation. It’s a thrill, but if you are someone who enjoys being in full control of your essential faculties, it can also make you want to hurl yourself out a window.
Here’s the thing: no one is really immune to all this. It happens to everyone, no matter your age, gender, or level of cynicism. That’s why there are so many love songs — sometimes the object of your affection is literally all you can think about.
Allow yourself to get swept away! That’s part of the fun. But if you find yourself constantly daydreaming and twirling your hair around your finger when you should be working on, say, a proposal or thesis or doing your taxes, you might need to force yourself to change mental tracks. Here are a few ideas to help you do exactly that.
BURN IT DOWN
One of the things that cements our obsession with someone else is relentless future-tripping. We have elaborate fantasies of what they might do or say, how we want them to look at us, and how we want them to make us feel. But that isn’t exactly fair. As much as we might want to manifest a magical relationship, we cannot control another person. Their free will is absolute, and that’s where our desires start to become uncomfortable. When we rub up against our expectations, the gap between reality and our dream makes our skin ache.
Obviously then, the best thing to do is to release your expectations. But how can you do that? One of my favourite ways to release anything is to let it burn! I keep a huge stash of magic paper by White Magick Alchemy on my altar, and when you light it on fire, it sparkles and sizzles and lets off a tremendous plume of smoke. It’s majestic and you really feel the difference.
Write down all of your expectations: everything you want this person to do, say, or be. Make it as detailed or as simple as you want, just be sure to really feel it when you write it down. Then get centered, put the paper in a fireproof dish (I like my mini cauldron for this purpose), and set it alight. Feel the burden lift.
Hint: you can do this as often as you want or need. I know a woman who burns something every single morning. Righteous.
CLEAR THE SPACE
If your crush has been in your space recently, it’s time to help move out that energy. Be smart, too, about who you let into your home, because people bring energetic attachments and baggage wherever they go. Sometimes when I look at my living room, it feels like it’s full of tiny silver threads left behind by the people who have walked around it. Just like dead and dried flowers are bad Feng Shui — aka stagnant energy — so are the physical objects left behind.
Let’s say your crush came over last weekend, and you haven’t heard from her since. Understandably, you’re feeling a bit insane. One of the fastest ways to start making your space feel like your own again is to clear out anything she may have left behind. A sticker? A water bottle? Throw that stuff in the trash, and don’t just let it sit in a garbage bag. Instead, physically remove it from your house and put it outside on the street. If she left behind a glass or a plate, wash it and put it back in the cupboard. Just moving those objects and either washing the energy off them or physically removing them from your property will bring you more peace of mind.
If you want to take it a step further, clear your space energetically. Use sage or Palo Santo, ring bells, chant or clap in the corners. Reclaim your space. It’s yours, goddamnit! Get rid of those ghosts!
TAP IT OUT
Tapping, otherwise known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is an incredible way to shake off your obsessive thoughts and bring you back to a place of equilibrium. It’s almost always my first port of call when I’m struggling with something that is causing me grief or anxiety.
Tapping is a combination of acupressure and positive psychology, and it works by clearing out energy blockages within your body. You “tap” on various points of your body with a couple of fingers, while at the same time talking out loud about whatever you’re experiencing. It’s a fascinating technique that never fails to amaze me. If you’d like more information about how to tap, check out my (very very old) video about how to tap.
WASH IT AWAY
Getting into the tub is one of my favourite ways to enter ritual space. You don’t need to have a bath like Frances from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure to enjoy your time in it! My bathroom isn’t fancy, but once I hit the lights, spark some candles, and fill the tub with scented oils, Epsom salts, technicolour bubbles, etc., it’s like being in another world.
My version of a ritual bath is simple. I get in, ground myself, call in guides, and start talking. I talk and talk and talk until I come to some sense of peace. Sometimes this takes ten minutes, sometimes it takes forty, but it doesn’t matter to me as long as I get to the place I want to be. (You can also tap in the bath if you want to supercharge the process!)
Once I’m done, I do some verbal gratitude, then talk about the things I hope will happen for other people, and thank the universe. I let the water drain out of the tub while imagining it washing off anything that I want to let go of. You can do this same exact thing in a shower. Let the water swirl down around you and watch it disappear down the drain, visualising your attachments going with it. Feels goooooood.
As Madonna once sang, life is a mystery. (Everyone must stand alone…) It’s important to make peace with that and relinquish the need to control everything. It’s when we start gripping tightly onto things, people, even our own identity, that it all starts to fall apart. We mess with our own minds, we feel stressed, and we lose our way. The best way to live life is to step lightly and embrace synchronicity and serendipity. Surrender to the flow of life and enjoy the ride. There’s no other option, after all!
So why not surrender? Why not admit that you are never fully in control of anything? The thought of doing this terrified me for years. I was convinced that I was the master of my own ship… And I am, but the universe is a marvellous and miraculous thing. I find that when I let go of the need to manage every minute detail, magic happens. When I say “magic”, I really mean “incredible possibilities I could never have dreamed up in a million years”. I have finally come to a place where I realise that I am in constant co-creation with the universe. The universe is unlimited by preconceived notions. The universe can create some wicked shit. I’m pretty happy to partner up, plus, it takes a lot of the pressure off!
If you want to surrender, you can do it verbally. My friend Louise wakes up every morning and yells, “I surrender!” from her bed! Another option is to work the phrase into your meditation. On one particularly difficult day, I walked 2 miles down to the South Street Seaport, meditated for 40 minutes while reciting “I surrender” over and over again in my head, and then walked home again.
One of the most amazing things I’ve discovered is that when I surrender, that’s when my dreams come true, and I get what I wanted so desperately… It’s just that now I’ve surrendered, I no longer feel desperation. The dream feels like a gift, rather than a crust of bread after a month of starvation. Surrendering is primarily about your own peace of mind, but it works wonders for manifesting, too. In short, I recommend giving it a try!
I hope these five tricks will help you to stop freaking out over the object of your affections. Remember that if you’re hanging out with someone who makes you feel nuts (see: gaslighting), doesn’t fully return your fondness, or does the ever-seductive withholding dance, there are plenty of other cuties who are much more worthy of your attention. If you’d be embarrassed to introduce your crush to your family or friends, if you find yourself making excuses for their behaviour, or if you just feel sad about how things are going, cut your losses and spend some time working on your own radical self-love practice instead. It is such a better use of your time and energy.
I love you so much, and you deserve to be with someone who looks at you like you are magic.
Photos via Wildfox.