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Australian magazine “LivingNow” published Johanna Kern’s article “Relationship Crashers: the 7 Ghosts of our past and what to do about them” in their Christmas/Summer Edition (Australian summer: January / February / March 2019).

LivingNow” is Australia’s favorite long-running (30 years) health, wellness & personal development publication, with many thousands of readers of the print magazine throughout Australia – & hundreds of thousands more online.




They’re uninvited guests to our banquet of love. They will get us where they want us if we don’t deal with them.

We all want the same things: good health, fulfillment, a loving relationship/family, and comfort in life. While the details of how we see our needs fulfilled might vary – it all comes down to one thing: happiness. We all want happiness in life. No one on this planet would truthfully tell you that he/she wants to be unhappy.

The quest for happiness in life is a two-sided coin. On one hand, it requires us to let go of our expectations and appreciate life for what it is – a wonderful journey to becoming who we truly are. On the other side, we need to put some effort into arriving at the place where we can fully be the person we are meant to be.


A happy relationship, based on true Love, is built on the same principles. Happiness in a relationship is present because of our ability to let go of what weighs us down, and at the same time – because of what we are willing to do for our relationship to thrive. We want it to be a truly delightful feast, where the two of us can enjoy our time together, and celebrate what we have: Love.

But what if that feast we longed and planned for is interrupted by uninvited guests who appear at our beautifully set table with their own hidden, destructive agenda?

The Ghosts of Our Past are the relationship crashers.

Just as the wedding crashers can appear from either side: the bride’s or the groom’s – so do the relationship crashers. Often they can appear from both sides.

Common relationship crashers

These uninvited guests can present in many forms. Here are some of the most common:

  • THE FEAR OF CHANGE: It can stop us when we are about to move. It says it’s for our good.

  • THE FEAR OF GETTING EMOTIONALLY HURT: It wants to keep our Love at bay. It won’t trust it no matter what we say.

  • THE FEAR OF REFECTION: What it wants for us is to be seen. But it makes us hide – doing the opposite of it. 

  • THE FEAR OF LOSS OF FREEDOM: It tries to scare us with its ball and chain. Beware – it fastens us to itself with them.

  • THE FEAR OF INADEQUACY: Joined at the hip with the Fear of Rejection. Its twin brother feeds on our self-perception.

  • THE FEAR OF LONELINESS: It wants to always hold our hand. It won’t let go of it to the bitter end.

  • THE FEAR OF FAILURE: Becoming our helper is its thing. When it comes to forsaking our dreams.

Where do they come from?

The role of the shadow

Every wound that we have developed becomes a weakness that we tend to hide in our subconscious, “brushing it under the rug” – so to speak. That wound, when not dealt with and not healed, becomes a base for developing a subconscious Shadow which guards our weak spots with, one might say, “its own body”. Such a Shadow becomes ruthless at the same time. A dark-natured bully who begins to control our behavior and feelings. The more unresolved past trauma we have, the more Shadows reside in our subconscious. The Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung was the first one to talk about dark energy as the building material for our Shadows, that is everything that we reject in ourselves and others.

Our Shadows take over to protect us from any possible harm.

Whether there is a real danger or just some imagined possible threat, our Shadows come out and act on our behalf. As if someone pressed a button, we start behaving defensively, like robots on automatic pilot. In short: we keep sabotaging our relationships, our happiness, our right to success, abundance, and our right to love and be loved.


When we are beginning a relationship based on true Love, we are agreeing to take equal responsibility for sharing our Love. When any problems occur, we can’t just point our finger and say: “It’s all your fault”, or “You know that I’m screwed up. I can’t help it.”

Actually, we can help it. We can always help it if we want.

The Ghosts of Our Past let us know of their presence, sooner or later. Each of us knows their Shadows well. We know how we may react; we know what we have done, and what we might do. So let us not pretend that we are surprised by our Shadows’ existence when they crash our relationship. And let us be equally aware that the person we love will have his or her own Shadows as well.

Now, it doesn’t mean that we need to run away from Love, or a chance to have a loving relationship when we are not yet healed. And let us not dismiss the possibility of loving and being with someone whose wounds might go very deep. Yes, it is best to take care of our mess, before it becomes a deal breaker. But – the mere presence of the mess (the other person’s or ours) is not a problem that cannot be overcome. Unless it is.

Working with the ghosts of our past

When we decide to love each other and grow together, we naturally take the risk of facing and dealing with our human nature. 

As humans, we are both beautiful and complex. Whether it’s us, our partner, or both of us who need to do some healing – we need to be equally patient, supportive, and wise enough to know that the healing process takes some time. This is the most important thing to remember when the Ghosts of Our Past appear to divide us, and “put us in our place” – so that we won’t dwell in the darkness of our misery, so that we don’t lose sight of the loving light of our Love.

Our emotional wounds can easily sabotage our relationship, or our attempts to have one. But if we look the Ghosts of Our Past straight in the eye – we find out that they only growl so loud because they have no power over us, other than that which we grant them.

We need to make sure that both our partner/spouse and ourselves understand that we are equally responsible for the happiness of our relationship. Or – rather– that the two of us have the privilege to make our relationship filled with Love and happiness.

Changing our programming

Practicing positive thinking will cause a gradual transformation of our internal beliefs.

When we decide to monitor our thinking and focus on positive thoughts, we begin to replace our subconscious negative programming with that which is positive and beneficial for us.

Of course, dealing with our inner negative programming isn’t always easy. The thoughts that can do the most damage in our lives and relationships often are those we are not aware of, coming from our subconscious. As our subconscious is responsible for 90% of our behavior, responses, emotions, and beliefs – we tend to run our thinking on automatic pilot.

This can be helped, however, if we reach for appropriate tools.

It takes approximately six weeks of daily routine to change our subconscious programming. And only six months of following it further – to adopt the new way of perceiving and thinking as our lifestyle.  

Remember also, that when we are in a deep relaxation state – for instance, meditation – our subconscious can be reprogrammed more easily. Various tools can be very effective, and you can find what will suit your preferences and needs

The most successful relationships are those in which both partners have found all the Love they need within themselves. When we are filled with the joy of life, when we can accept ourselves as we are and enjoy our growth – we don’t need to be loved to feel good. Instead, we need to SHARE the Love that fills us up.

And that’s the best place to be when we want to have a truly loving and caring relationship.

The above article is based on excerpts from Johanna Kern’s book:


Johanna Kern

Johanna Kern

Johanna Kern, multiple award-winning author and transformational teacher, has extensive experience in counseling people on life and career paths, spirituality, health and emotional problems, relationships and family issues.

Drawing from her experience and knowledge from over 20 years as a successful professional and counselor, she has designed a special guide to unlocking the secrets of creating a deeply fulfilling, lasting, successful romantic relationship.  Her award-winning book Secrets Of Love: What You Need To Know To Have An Amazing Relationship” is written in an easy heartfelt style with charming graphic illustrations, and speaks to readers of all ages and relationship backgrounds.


Secrets of Love - Johanna Kern

Secrets of Love – Johanna Kern

“This delightful book covers so many dimensions that it is really a book that is all about ALL about love. It goes into more depth than similar books, and does so in a delightful, reader-friendly style, as Johanna Kern, the author, ranges from search for love, what to do when one finds it, how to nurture it, and what to do when it crashes – or survives! If someone has not found love when one reads this book, it will be a practical road map for the journey!”

– Stanley Krippner Ph.D. – Co-author of “Personal Mythology”; former President of the Association for Humanistic Psychology; a Charter Member of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation; a pioneer in the study of consciousness, having conducted research for over 50 years; recipient of the Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Development of Psychology and Professional Hypnosis

With these Secrets you can make your Love the best story of your life. 


E-Book (EPUB) regular price: US$ 14,99  

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Secrets of Love - Johanna Kern

Secrets of Love – Johanna Kern