It’s Tiring To Write People Off…

its-crazy-how-someone-can-say-all-the-right-things-but-do-all-the-wrong-things-quote-1

I get tired of people writing other people off.

I listen as they speak volumes on the negative qualities possessed by the person who apparently tortures them.

Why can’t he or she act right?

If he or she would just do the right thing, then everything would be okay!

As though this is somehow a solution to anything. We may get to a point where we write them off, as just badly damaged, beyond repair or broken…and I say, “Why do we speak of people as though they are a non-functioning old TV set?”

Who are we to place the responsibility of any situation entirely on the shoulders of someone who has clearly shown they’re not capable of carrying the world on their shoulders?

Did we select them? Did they choose to be responsible for our happiness? Our success? Our anything?

How does one go about making sure they are chosen for the job of most shamed?

And on the other side of the coin, we don’t want our issues resolved, because then we’d have to take responsibility.

Could it be that…

We want to be disappointed.

We want to be victimized, we like having no power–so then there is nothing, which happens, which is our fault.

Our issues have nothing to do with anybody, but ourselves.

We are our own issue.

And every single person has value. Even people who we keep trying to devalue, blame and place responsibility for things falling apart onto….it has to be someone’s fault, right?

When it comes to people who seem to consistently disappoint, it’s really a matter of how they see their own value.

How they see themselves may be skewed–so they don’t see their truth, and instead, act in ways to support their belief that they’re unworthy, et al.  Often, we see these as the people we want to write off, because of their inconsistency, withdrawal, laziness, stonewalling or any sort of negative mood or attitude that pushes other people away.

I know, because I’ve been that person. I’ve also been on the receiving end of it. Most people who show up that way, are not horrible people (excluding abusive individuals).

They want love as much as the next person.

They may lack the awareness about their core belief in believing they deserve love,  goodness and acceptance. They just stand in their own way.

Can we fix them?

Convince them?

Give them self-help reading materials?

Paint an arrow on the road, leading this way?

No. Not really.

First, all any of us can do, is to take care of ourselves.

Second, if someone wants to open up and recognize their value, it’s not an overnight thing. It wasn’t for me or anyone else I know who believed they were unworthy of love. I had to stop setting up the situations, which would leave me abandoned or feeling bad, so that the crappy belief I had about myself was proven true.

It takes a lot of awareness and actively getting uncomfortable by taking action, which we’d normally never take in a ‘given’ situation.

Third, it’s really about taking emotional risks, which create an emotional experience (which is the language of our subconscious) to change lives. It’s their choice, not ours.

Many of us feel like we’re not good enough. Our actions support it–think about when we feel bad–do we withdraw? Act in an off-putting way?  So, it’s the same for others too.

If we make someone else’s actions about us, then we’ve become a victim….we want something from them to make up for what we feel they ‘did’ to us.

An apology or acknowledgement or something to say they screwed up, they’re mean, etc…and while we ‘wait’ in resentment, because they have our power until they give us back what we think is missing…all it shows is we aren’t taking care of ourselves.

We may get so pissed off, we want to write that person off. We build a case against them; we tell stories of their savagery–gaining sympathy for our victimized state and in the end, if we have enough ammunition and kick this person to the curb…what did we win?

We still haven’t resolved our original issue.

The one we’re avoiding by blaming someone else for our problems, or focusing on why they show up the way they do….or anything we give our power to showing us how little we value ourselves.

Next time you want to write someone off, ask what “you’re” taking personally, that they do.

Find out why you are there, what did you allow when you should’ve had boundaries and what are you trying to get? What validation do you think you need?

Keep asking yourself questions and when you have clarity–start admitting YOUR truth to yourself and then others…it is freeing and it will stop you from wondering if you should write people off.

Why?

Because, your focus will shift to your happiness, and making choices for yourself for your fulfillment.

Giving To Get; A Self-Destructive Way to Validate

givingredclothheart

One of my favorite terms to use in my work is “giving to get.”

It’s when we give with strings attached to someone or something else.

It’s not always an item, money or something tangible; we often give our time, do favors (people please), allow behavior we don’t like and other forms of anything, which places us in position to receive our validation this way.

Personally, I’ve come to a ton of awareness over the years, in how I have operated in this way, but lately, my epiphanies have been around, how some people I attracted to my life would give to get with me.

This pattern usually starts in our family of origin.

We find by acting or giving in a certain way, we get what we THINK we want, which is some form of love or validation. In essence, someone says, “we’re okay” and then we feel accepted into the tribe. This often leads to some form of over-achievement, or having no boundaries or self-acceptance of our own feelings.

What’s the difference between giving to get, and just plain giving without expectation?

We feel someone owes us or we need to be recognized in some way (some celebs give money for publicity), this is not altruistic nor is it actually meaningful; it’s a form of trying to get validation.

When we give, as let’s say a friend who helps without being asked, by sharing their oxygen mask, the expectation is on the act of helping, not on the future accolades or gratitude that must be given in return.

When we give of ourselves over and over to someone hoping for a reward for putting up with their nasty behavior, we are giving to get. We blame the other person for holding our happiness in their hands. No one’s happiness belongs in the possession of another. Yet, I’ve heard from individuals in my professional and personal life all about how “someone has done something to me,” which creates a victimized mentality.

Where can anyone find power in themselves when they are giving it away to get validation that never lasts anyway?

I think of people I’ve thanked a bazillion times for their help, including my parents, but it’s never enough. They want to abuse the right, they feel they earned by giving in either how they believe I should treat them, or what I should give to them.

And people who give in this way, sabotage not only the relationship, but validate their belief of their own worth. It’s a painful cycle.

Whether it’s money or something mimicking love (love is free without attachment), we give so much of ourselves or our bank account, we create a deficit that must be filled…and yet we create situations, which make it impossible to be re-filled, on purpose.

It happens all the time, if we don’t pay attention to the signs; we allow people into our lives, based off the familiarity of our initial relationships.

Some of us think (I was one for a very long time) that if someone believes we shit gold bricks, then they must recognize something in us, which we don’t see in ourselves.

And if it’s extreme, as though we’re to be convinced that the feelings we’re receiving are genuine, they’re not. It’s not to say someone can’t like us and put us on a pedestal, it’s to say they’re giving to get. Whether it’s in complements, words of adoration, listening to us vent, money, gifts, or crossing over their personal boundaries….it’s all to receive some validation.

For the receiver, we may think it’s assuring us we’re okay…even when we feel somewhat funky with all that attention. I had this cycle for years, until I really started to lay down some boundaries, which meant I attracted very few who were giving to get with me.

And on the other hand, I gave to get in my romantic relationships….all the time.

I was the perfect housewife, mother, lover, friend, etc…giving, giving, giving and it was never enough…and I never felt good when I’d be proving my wonderfulness….I’d become resentful, angry and tired. I’d assume and personalize everyone else, all the time.

It’s not just an imbalance, it’s a call to see where we’re begging for validation, for love…to receive the outcome we want.

Our opportunity lies in giving love and validation to ourselves; this is where many cannot shift their focus from the other person to themselves.

Awareness of our patterns, asking why we allow ourselves to act in an extreme way, will usually give an opening to old wounds, beliefs and the patterns we’ve created to stay in this self-destructive place. We believe we deserve to destruct, that our value is minimal, when we give all of ourselves away to receive anything in return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turning Fifty, is the New 30 and Other Fallacies

cucamonga

I wasn’t going to write this piece, but since I am hellbent on more authenticity in my life, here goes.

I am turning 50 in 13 days. EEEEEK!

Well it was more of a “Holy Crap” for the past 6 months with an “Oh well–I am alive and I am grateful” sort of statement mixed in there….and a little Hell yeah M.F**kers!

The past few months have included an “accelerated version” of the past almost 50 years in terms of change, love, crisis, and realizations.

I decided to write a list.

A personal list.

If you can relate…cool…and if not, that’s cool too.

What 50 Actually Means To Me (truly what any age can mean)

1. Comparison to others brings no joy. Don’t steal your own joy–love who you are fully. Yeah baby!

2. Giving two shits about pleasing others, so they are happy and you are miserable is a waste of time. Totally.

I realized when my dad had a heart attack last month (and now has congestive heart failure), and my mother acted in such an overly dramatic way without me even seeing her (I hadn’t spoken to them since May, because I was really spending time with myself trying to figure out how to have a relationship with them that wouldn’t have to do with me throwing away my own feelings in favor of my mother’s feelings) that it confirmed a HUGE cycle in my life.

It always came to a dramatic crisis with her, no matter how I tried or didn’t, always, always…she would be the victim (or the martyr and I would be the perpetrator) and my dad would always stand for her inappropriate behavior–and criticize me.

I realized after all these years, it had little to do with me and my trying to do anything to change HER cycle.  I allowed it to be at the root of so much shit, which I in turn spent years beating myself up about…that in the end all I could be is who I am.

So, if you can stop kicking yourself, you can change your life.

3. Being in the present moment–connected to yourself–not pulled by what is going on around you is the most awesome place to live!

Even better–having crisis around you, slowing it down emotionally and checking in with yourself to ask how you want to feel. Then following that confirmation with action.

4. Blaming others and the world is truly an excuse for whatever you don’t want responsibility for…

Even though there was a HUGE amount of drama last month, I looked at it objectively–I didn’t personalize it, even though a lot of it was thrown at me. Again, I asked how I could show up for me authentically and with that, I felt good. And honey, that is what matters!

4. Assuming, personalizing, talking shit, and being an asshole for no reason–DO NOT MAKE YOU HAPPY—EVER.

5. Change is not just taking yoga, meditating, going on walks or getting a massage (they feel good and I love all those things)…

It’s about moving through the inertia, the stuff that says NO when a voice inside wants it to be YES…its about creating an emotional experience that is more than likely counter-intuitive and will shake your shit up a bit! Or a lot!

6. It’s a choice to stay stuck in a painful relationship.

I have heard every reason and excuse known to mankind, from who will mow the lawn to I’m afraid to be alone. If you’re stuck its not about the other person–it’s you. Get awareness on YOUR why, look into your beliefs and why you need the validation from this source and start to do #5.

7. Life isn’t perfect and no one else is either.

I mentor people for a living, so being authentic is truly important, right?

I had a shitty day and another shitty day, this week and it’s only Wednesday, LOL! By saying it, it doesn’t mean I wallow in it or color the whole day ugly and sign off from living.

Instead, I try to see if there’s a theme…then I can take action to change it if I WANT. And if it’s random, then I accept it as such…no one has a charmed life–I’m not perfect. You still have to wake up with yourself everyday…and some days are easier–so be kind to your imperfect self..and all the other imperfect peeps out there.

8. You get to choose if you engage with others or not.

I’m one of those people that is approachable–it’s not unusual for me to learn someone’s life story on an airplane…or even a bar. :) BUT, it’s my choice. Just because people want to talk about themselves or even throw their crap all over you, doesn’t mean you have to take it…you can again ask yourself what you are available for and stand by it. It’s easier than you think.

9. It’s okay if people leave your life. And you can still love them.

10. Talk to strangers, it’s fun! Smile at people–it connects you.

11. Always break out of your comfort zone, especially as you get older.

12. Abundance is a state of living and so is scarcity–living in fear of the WHAT IFS or HOLDING ON TIGHT is a waste of time.

13. So what….if something doesn’t happen, perhaps a better outcome is headed your way. Being unattached to an outcome, means there’s opportunity for all sorts of good stuff.

14. Hard times are temporary.

Unless you like it that way–then being a victim is where you’ll stay. Until you take self-responsibility for your life–hard times will remain. When you start seeing how you show up, based on what you believe about yourself and the world, then you can move out of this small, small, place you live and take control of your emotions…thereby making HAPPIER different choices for YOU.

15. Controlling others and the outside is a waste of energy, because it doesn’t work anyway.

Remember life is short…30 seems like yesterday and so does 18, which means if they flew by at lightening speed–I better live the heck out of this life to get the full experience!

And nope, I wouldn’t want to be 30 at 50, I am a much kinder, gentler, more abundant and peaceful…completely happier soul now than I ever was in my younger days.

blog-signature1

This relationship just isn’t fun!

_MG_8169

This relationship just isn’t fun!

My adult daughter uttered that statement to me, as she was describing a text conversation with her ex-boyfriend. I thought about what she said, as much as she loved him and he still loved her, what he was doing at the moment was not fun.

She hit the magic word, “fun.”

Not to get in to the whole story, but he had been remiss in mentioning he was in a relationship when he reached out to her. He actually had reached out to her several times since their initial break up with words of love,  reminiscing about how amazing their relationship had been and missing her….and had actually seen her too.

My daughter was looking at the entire situation and his current relationship, which he had admitted he was settling for and exclaimed, it was not fun! Her whole perspective had changed. Sure, she remembered the great times, BUT to her, how he had changed was not appealing to her.

How many people are decisive in this way when it comes to their happiness? So many of us struggle to stay where it is not fun!

He was allowing his girlfriend to force him into sending messages to my daughter, because she clearly perceived her as a threat. Unfortunately, it’s a way to delude oneself into a sense of control. As most of us know, this is not fun, because she will be faced with the loss again at some point in the future. Remember folks, when we force our control on someone else, we are trying to hold onto something and not suffer a loss. And inevitably, we do lose, whether it is now or 20 years in the future.

Meanwhile, the awesome state of mind my daughter was holding is that she wanted nothing to do with the drama. Even with the barrage of text messages, which were meant to make her feel bad; she wasn’t taking it personally. Her only response at this point was one word, “okay.” No argument, just acknowledgement that his message was received.

I asked her if she felt like saying anything else. She said “no, I’ve stated things several times and he is going to do whatever he chooses to do,” she had let go. And she felt her ex wasn’t any fun anymore, that whatever fun there had been was gone.

Now, I am not placing judgment of right or wrong in this situation, just stating the obvious. What got me was the “fun.” How many of us get caught up in trying to win or have what we think we want, and there is no fun in it, only pain? Why do we want to hold onto someone when they clearly are not heart and soul in the relationship with us? Is this fun?

We can become so afraid of loss, that we act in ways, which constrict rather than expand. Love is expansive, attachment is to shrink. And a great indicator of where we are at between love and attachment is how much fun we’re having!

I receive emails everyday from people who are trying to let go of attachment to someone where there is not fun and pain is the overriding feeling, and they still hold on tightly. It is not that they are crazy or something is wrong with them, it is where they are placing a need for validation.

To also be clear, it is not that we need to have an expectation of fun as a  24/7 thing. In a healthy relationship, even when things are challenging, we can still be friends and have the goal of not allowing obstacles to destroy all the fun.

The need for validation, to fill an empty place in us or to be rescued can keep us in a relationship where fun is a rarity or completely missing, or it can keep us pining over someone we are no longer with…

And so, if we want to have fun in a relationship and on our own, we have to get clear in how we consistently support our own actions, which are not about fun.

Where do we control? Do we seek the answers inside or on the outside?

Do we want others to bend to our will, so we feel better?

These are questions to ask ourselves when our actions support our pain. Everyone deserves to have fun, in and out of a relationship…if you need help getting there, please let me know, info@tracycrossley.com

Power of Letting Go

how-to-get-over-break-up

Anyone heard the term “Conscious Uncoupling?”

The first time I heard the statement was from my original coaching mentor. She had been interviewed about the concept, which she had developed a program based on her own experience. It’s an interesting idea, in terms of how we can learn and grow through our separation from someone we love.

Most people either learn and grow through letting go, or become bitter and angry in the process. No matter what, we have a choice in where we direct our anger or hurt. In conscious uncoupling, depending on what definition someone subscribes to, we can keep a person in our life that we are now no longer with while we both evolve in a less dramatic (loving) fashion by recognizing our patterns that create toxic or unloving situations.

In my book this is not entirely letting go.

Meaning, all of that is fine and dandy, except the part about keeping the person we’ve just broken up with and no doubt have strong emotions for in our lives.

To let go in terms of it’s power is so much more than walking away, or shutting a door, or saying “I give up.”

The power in letting go is to turn toward a new paradigm for the self. To free up space, allow a flow where it was stopped, understand attachment vs. love, and to give oneself time to heal.

The danger in conscious uncoupling is to not give it the time, and also to not honor our own feelings.

I’ve watched it happen, where both parties agree to it, and show everyone they are still loving friends. Unfortunately, at the same time one or both of them are not really done, and are struggling to move on in one or both of their lives. Their behavior and actions on their own do not support the image that all is well. And if one moves onto a new relationship too soon, while the other is still pining for their old relationship—that is just asking for a plate full of pain.

This isn’t healthy and it’d be far less hurtful, respectful and loving to be authentic and state how it doesn’t actually work with the ex-mate to have a continuing presence (aside from kids with shared custody) in each other’s personal lives. Giving space and shifting focus away from the past (since this relationship is over) is to be in the present.

Letting go comes in stages.

Raising of consciousness can come as awareness steps in to light. Let’s face it, when we have old beliefs about our self-worth and relationships, snapping our fingers and saying poof those are gone is just not that simple! It doesn’t happen that way.

Letting go is surrendering to the greater love, pain, conflicting emotions and the unknown.

Conscious uncoupling if used correctly, is about separately opening up oneself to a deeper understanding of how we show up in relationships and why we have the needs we do. It is not something done as a team, together. It’s to step up, let go, accept, wish the other one well and truly embark on a different leg in our journey.

This becomes a huge quandary for many of my clients.

They find themselves months and even years after a relationship has ended in just as much pain as if it happened yesterday. I often find, as long as they’re also in a state of resistance to their true feelings, “I don’t want to feel anything about him/her!” they find the letting go process extremely difficult.

Whatever we resist, persists and when we don’t want to feel something for someone we are no longer with, we have a battle inside of us, having nothing to do with the other person.

When we can feel our feelings of love for them, and realize we actually generate those good feelings, it’s an opportunity to shift and learn how to create those feelings without the object of our desire. When we can do that, we’ve found the answer to letting go and conscious uncoupling; we’ve found the space of unconditional love to pay ourselves respect, as we grow. Not only can we become a better partner, we also fall more in love with ourselves too.

When I hear, “Why Am I So Stupid”

IsTextingGettingYouInTrouble

I say, “It’s because you want to be.”

I’m not trying to sound jerky. The truth is, WE look for situations to fulfill our rather unhealthy beliefs about ourselves, when WE choose not to practice self-awareness.

It’s a choice, because when I hear this statement, it means the ENTIRE focus of my client is clearly on someone else; a person they more than likely care about, in a situation, in which their needs either aren’t met, or their head is played with…not just once or twice, but repetitively.

It comes from believing the opposite of what is actually being shown to them in reality.

When an axe-murderer shows up with an axe….we know that’s an axe-murderer. When the axe-murderer shows up without an axe and roses instead….we may think, “Hmmm…I know this person is an axe-murderer, but gee…they have a dozen roses! Perhaps they’ve changed overnight and are no longer an axe-murderer? Or maybe I’m the only who loves this person enough to change them from killing people to loving people?”

Or whatever crap we feed ourselves.

None of us are really stupid in these instances. We just have some really crappy beliefs about WHO WE ARE that we wanted validated. It’s like saying to the axe-murderer–“Please show me how bad you are, so I know how stupid I am…and at the same time I can blame you for being an axe-murderer, BUT I want you to tell me I’m the only one you’ve ever loved, because I wanna continue to ignore my own axe-murdering tendencies.”

Huh?

When we are attracted to an axe-murderer–perhaps we’re attracted to the numbness in this person which matches our own numbness? Or how about the self-loathing one must feel to be an axe-murderer…..how much self-loathing would we be feeling dating this person?

Now I am using a really far-fetched example, but the truth is when we state how stupid we are…we are looking for validation that we are stupid!

We purposely make the decisions based on this belief and our patterns (which have been years and years in the making) take over keeping us in a cycle with someone that makes us want to scream!

It is not the axe-murderer’s fault. We CHOOSE to keep allowing this person in our lives, because we won’t look inside of ourselves to figure out the connection. We refuse to learn anything, which would help us grow and feel better…we look to this individual who’s clearly incapable of helping us, as our savior.

I hear so often, ” I heard from him/he, after months of no word, what do I do?” or “I heard from him/her, and I answered–why does he/she always do this–why doesn’t he or she just go away?”

 

In the first instance….there’s nothing to do outwardly unless we choose. Meaning, what does it feel like to hear from a person either we’ve put into damnation or placed on a pedestal? It was the other person’s choice to take action by contacting us. We didn’t make the choice….and therefore, unless we feel a need to respond, we don’t have to….we’re not being mean or ignoring them we’re making a choice to not engage, because we weren’t engaging with them before they made contact. Whatever we do–we should always kindly honor ourselves.

And usually…when I hear the second statement…there is no honoring of anyone in it.

In the second instance…..we are playing the game again. The one of strategy. The one to get the crappy belief we have about ourselves validated by someone who clearly cannot even validate their own existence. We have now engaged as the reactor. The person who sent us a message took action they wanted to…and because of that, we feel we must respond….and usually it is calculated. It’s because…. if we don’t we’ll become anxious, obsess about it and doubt ourselves; our value.

If we don’t respond, somehow the value this person is giving us by reaching out, has now vanished. We feel we’re being jerky. Or we still want something that this person refuses to give to us.

None of these statements will ALLOW us to respond in an authentic way…we will manipulate and strategize to get our way. We’ve fallen right back into the cycle again. Nothing has changed. We find the same false hope leading us, which has to do with the other person changing, not us.

If you have uttered “Why Am I SO Stupid,” to yourself this week….email me for a quick 10 minute evaluation consultation–so you can get a few tools to help you to NOT fulfill this cycle again.

 

 

Dismissing Red Flags

Redflag

What is a red flag when we start dating someone?

I’ve heard people say, “Watch how he or she treats the waitress. Or their Mother….or a stranger, etc.”

Does it really tell the story? Perhaps, the actual place to pay attention to a red flag is within us.

Most of us are so enthralled with the possibility of what may or may not happen with the person in front of us, we tend to be outside of the moment. We’re not in what is happening, and if we are, more than likely our attention is on the other person making sure we are impressing them with who are showing up as for the date.

If it feels familiar, it probably is.

Sometimes we feel a spark of something, we may not be able to put our finger on it, but it feels familiar. It may be a feeling of bonding to someone in the first few date, or a sense of anxiety (I’ve had that happen). It may not be clear as to why the bonding or anxiety would appear, but if we can get clearer with ourselves, we might just make a different choice.

People in long term relationships, happy or not, can tell in hindsight some of the characteristics that drew them to their partner. Some of the characteristics, depending on the state of the relationship were red flags…and are still present in the current state of relating.

If we think someone has some quirks that we can somehow fix or change, we’re in for a long painful road. Many of us think those things when we meet someone, perhaps we can clean them up with our love and understanding. The problem here is two-fold, one if we’re looking to change someone else–we’re ignoring ourselves and the things we may need to grow on and secondly–the things that bug us about the other person can be mirrored back to us, and it doesn’t necessarily mean we should jump into something with them.

I have met people in the past and thought, “Okay this is better than being alone. Perhaps, after having spent some time with them, I won’t be so lonely and can move on.” In other words, I purposely looked to settle.  And, I would find these situations never, ever gave me what I wanted, except more lessons about myself….and my unavailability.

Fear comes in many packages. When we purposely choose to go with red flags, we’re choosing fear. We’re settling for something we know on a deeper level will confirm exactly what we’re afraid of happening. We are then “pros,” at assessing how relationships are always painful, or start out good and end badly, or whatever it is we think.

Going for the red flag tells us we better not go beyond our limited thinking and what we believe is impossible to stay with the familiarity of what we’ve learned about life, relationships and maybe even ourselves up to this point.

I read something recently, which basically stated, as an adult, we find that our parents were right. Here’s the deal with that statement, it can be a great thing, such as: “Boy oh boy, when you put your hand in an open flame it does get burnt.” Or it can also be a LIMITING statement: “your spouse is your old ball and chain.”

Now…in the first statement it seems practical, but what about those of us who heard words from our parents, but their follow-through in action was actually opposite? And what about statements like an old ball and chain…..and that’s how they treated their partner?

What did WE learn? We learned limitation and we learned what was different could be or should be feared.

Soooooooo…when we are dating and looking for the familiar–sometimes those statements of characteristics are what we know…and someone different who is not equipped with red flags, may feel foreign or strange to us. We may be looking to meet someone and try to change them, just as mom tried with dad for 30 years…and because we’re so outwardly focused, we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

Pay attention to the red flags, they have a lot to teach us, about ourselves and what we want—and what we’ll settle for too.