We’re All Shades Of Grey.

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All of us can be hypocritical, tell untruths, hurt other people and basically fail when it comes to doing the right thing (whatever that is).

And honestly, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it, as long as you accept yourself and your intentions in the process. I’ve struggled just like anyone else with doing things I didn’t want to do, but when I still needed to be accepted by others (before myself), I went along with it. Didn’t want to disappoint.

Until I realized every time I went against myself it wasn’t pretty. I could be downright weird when all I wanted to do was escape from circumstances. I could act like a complete ass. And yet NOW I accept it when I find myself stuck where I don’t want to be, or I just say “NO” to the invitation.

I hiked with friends this last weekend and found myself not wanting to make friends with strangers, or even have much conversation with my own peeps. I hiked a majority of the trail alone.

I’m not a good group person most of the time. I can be when I feel connected, and sometimes I absolutely love it! I love it when I relate or in some way connect with others (not small talk–my eyes glaze over and I think of knitting scarves for mice or something). But when I don’t and I’m disconnected, there’s a yellow tape with the word ‘CAUTION’ across my forehead.

Having self-awareness helps; I recognize when I’m out of sorts and instead of berating myself, like the old days, I accept myself.

We’re All Hypocrites and it’s OK

This is where most of us struggle: Self-acceptance of our odd parts. The things we feel weird about or how we don’t quite fit. We may hide those traits or disappear from situations where it’s too difficult to be anything other than… weird.

Thankfully my friend who I hiked with knows this about me and didn’t take it personally (I also share my feelings with her so there’s no doubt–it’s ME). Does it make me crazy, hypocritical or end up hurting other people? Perhaps.

We as human beings are hypocrites and it’s okay, because our feelings change.

The determination of always, never or ever should be stricken from our language. We can say yes to something 20 times in a row and then say no to it the 21st time. We can dislike something 5 minutes ago, and something changes in us and now we love it! We feel one way, then it changes… so what?

Surround yourself with other hypocrites–people who own their thousand shades of grey–and accept it. Just freakin’ accept that you’re weird, awesome, unaware or whatever. Or berate the crap out of yourself for all the ways you’re imperfect. Just be prepared to never really grow or be all of who you truly are. That’s where it counts. How you feel about YOU matters.

Accepting Our Shades of Grey

Wanting to live a black and white existence from the inside out is not possible, and if you stay focused on it, you never move off the dime. You never get to really rock the journey or be who you are. I did it for years and it sucks!

If you want to feel good about being weird, hypocritical, going against the flow, making mistakes and not doing the right thing, here are a few pointers to start:

  1. Forget the voices in your head from other people who want something from you. Whether it’s to act a certain way or show up when you don’t want to be present. It’s time to put your feelings first and do what FEELS GOOD to you. Take baby steps ’til you can jump!
  2. Become playful with life. When you play, there’s a level of self-acceptance that happens for being your weird self. It happens naturally so pay attention  and apply it when you’re not playing.
  3. Review expectations. Do your expectations work for you? Who do they belong to? If you like them, keep them. If they are a way of getting validation, trash ’em. If you use them to judge yourself or others, please just stop. Let the inner critic grow to be an inner cheerleader!
  4. The right thing to do? It’s not what you learned as a kid; it’s what actually feeds you. Start paying attention to your gut. Don’t go against it and see what happens. Become a hypocrite, change your beliefs, show yourself a damn good time, even if you choose to sit in a dark room by yourself.

In what ways are you a hypocrite? What actions or feelings do you own one minute, and then change because of situation or state of mind? Name your ‘weirdness’ in the comments. Chances are you’re in good company.

 

Holding Back and Depriving Your Joy

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I don’t know about you, but I find the source of most of my issues start and end with me. 

If I have fear and chicken out, I will definitely regret it.

If I fail and kick my own butt, I will feel worse.

If I am empty whether I am alone or not, I am cut off from myself.

All three statements also show me where I am unavailable in my own life. I am cut off from the joy or pain of an experience because anything that stands in the way of my emotional experience means I’m unavailable in some capacity–even though I may feel something, like torture or fleeting joy.

The problem when I say yes to some activity or action is that everything emotionally turns off inside of me. Do you know what I mean? You promise to do something. It could be fun like going on vacation, attending an event or being with someone you love or like. BUT there’s a part of you missing. The part which holds back from the full experience.

The reasons vary, but there’s a withholding of emotional connection just in case it doesn’t work, something goes wrong and it is necessary to remain invulnerable.

Have you experienced this in your own life?

Not Being Present

Look back at times when you were present somewhere, but the memory is a blur; you were emotionally unavailable to the experience. Now bring it forward and see where you won’t allow yourself to feel your feelings during some activity, especially with other people. Where are you guarded?

It took me a long time to see all the ways I could numb out or duck and hide from an experience, and for the most part it was from a lack of clarity. Making commitments I didn’t want to make, but feeling compelled to do it because of some expectation.

Commitments run the gamut in life. Even if we state a commitment, how much of us emotionally actually shows up?

Are you 100% together when you show up for your job, or is it just a part of you, similar to a robot, devoid of emotions? We often do this when we don’t want to make a decision to change something in our life. We emotionally check out!

We intellectualize all the different parts of our lives, including our relationships with other people. We only allow a part of ourselves to show up, keeping some aspect held back. And then we wonder how we draw other emotionally unavailable people to our lives! How is it we don’t see ourselves in that light? Well, for most of us, we think we are fine. Our self-perception is that we have love to offer, but in reality, we have as much junk in the way as the next person.

Being emotionally unavailable means we cannot experience fulfillment, not only through our relationships, but anywhere.

I knew a guy who was performing in triathlons. It gave him the opportunity to check out emotionally from his life and just focus on training. After each race he would do okay–not winning, but not at the bottom of the cellar. He felt empty, alone and not sure what to do with himself. He had given everything ‘he felt he had’ to the race, but in reality, he only gave the part that was available within him.

Had he been fully present to the experience, he would’ve proceeded to connect himself openly and readily to this endeavor, feel his feelings, which would’ve been fulfilling whether he won or lost. Instead he had just invested in avoiding other parts of his life he didn’t want to change.

Deprivation and Distraction

Think about all the times you’ve said no to something, which you’ve deeply longed for yourself. Perhaps even to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but fear took over and shut down your emotional aspiration. All the intellectual rationale kept you from being available to what you really fancied.

Or how about the fear of failure? Most of us put cushioning or something in between us and the possibility of failure. We don’t want to feel it, so we try to protect ourselves, only to find we can’t let go of that loss as times goes on.

We may keep ourselves eternally busy with crazy schedules and no time to do what we want. Or even if we have time, perhaps we’re tired or feel guilty doing something that would make us happy. We end up settling for activities that will numb us out, keep us distracted from feeling our lives.

All of these examples of emotional unavailability don’t include the true pain we feel when we let fear lead, pushing our heart into a cage, hoping someone or something will break it free. Except it doesn’t work that way.

When we don’t allow ourselves to truly feel, to truly experience, to say yes to having courage, we stay unavailable to the fruits that life has to offer.

How do we become emotionally available?

  1. Get honest about what you do to avoid your true feelings and start connecting to yourself.
  2. Look for where fear resides and what belief you have that tells you that you cannot have what you truly want. Once you understand what drives you to keep yourself cut off, you can make steps to challenge those walls.
  3. Say yes to what you really want. Don’t allow the excuses derived from fear to rule you. Life is just an experience, so go out and live it!
  4. Trust yourself, even if something is a disappointment and you feel hurt. Allowing yourself to feel your feelings and go in the direction of vulnerability will steer you clear of regrets. Even if you fail, at least you did it!
  5. Check into what is important to you emotionally. Find the time for it, whatever form that self-care is, it will lead you to living a more fulfilling life from the inside out.

How do you distance yourself emotionally and short-change your joy? We all have our tactics. I’d love to hear what you’re willing to share in the comments.

Half A Relationship– Who Would Choose That?

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A client I had not seen in a long time came in for a session. She had recently gone through a break up which wasn’t an official break-up.

Ever heard of it?

She had been dating someone for the past nine months, where effort from him and intimacy hit its peak two months into the relationship. Then what was left were a lot of words… promises.

It was a long distance relationship, but she met his family and it was a love-fest with them. He was pleased, but his inability to ‘enjoy’ talking on the phone and seeing her too often continued to grow.

A month ago they went on a 10-day vacation where he presented the possibility that it was time to level up to boyfriend/girlfriend status. They shared a special connection and it seemed destined to move forth. After all, they were similar in many ways—even sending the same cards to each other. And as a bonus there was great chemistry! But back at home after the vacation, it started to unravel slowly. He was less available and more ‘put out’ to make time to see her, yet declared he didn’t want to lose her.

Sound familiar?

As she hung by a string, trying to figure out what exactly was going on, he brought a third party into the relationship, but still declared he wanted her in his life.

I share this because it is not uncommon, at least in my line of work. These half in/half out relationships, non-committal with action but can’t let go with their words, seem to affect generations of folks following the sexual revolution. WTF?

My client is a very intelligent, attractive, business woman; a Type A personality who knows what she wants and does not usually justify bad behavior or find herself unable to make a decision that would make her happier. But the fear of loss and abandonment, coupled with what she felt was a real connection, made it difficult for her to stop accepting breadcrumbs.

As the generations of people who did not get married at 19 and stay married their entire lives has expanded, so have the types of relationships many people find themselves in. All of these experiences take their toll on our self-esteem and self-confidence, dramatically increasing the fear factor. So as we get older, this phenomenon makes for some unusual situations.

It’s not to say that people who find themselves in these ‘sorta, kinda’ relationships have a fatal flaw or something is tragically wrong with them. On the contrary, many of these individuals are successful, stable, capable and want love as much as anyone. But wanting it and being available for it are two different things.

Many years ago I went this route myself.

I got divorced and went to therapy. After doing therapy for a few years, I thought I was in pretty good shape. I wasn’t. I possessed no clue as to what it meant to be anxiety-free, connected to myself, truly confident, whole, happy and not seeking outside validation to tell me I was lovable. I was still looking for someone to fix what was wrong with me or fill up the gaping hole inside of me.

On top of it, dating gave me extreme anxiety.

Either the process of dating or being in a ‘sorta kinda’ relationship, or even a dysfunctional one. I had a couple of connections, just like my client, and thought each one was THE one. Instead they were both my greatest mirrors and lessons.

Commitment?

Who needed one while suspended like a yo-yo between closeness and distance? Being caught up in the intensity of having someone who understood me superseded the lack of time together and all the other red flags. My fantasy of what I wanted it to be would slowly fall apart. I was a mess, finding myself in situations that seemed inexplicable to myself, let alone to others.

I hear these words from so many people who contact me. They look for psychic readings, books and other people to tell them it’s okay to hope this shitty situation has a silver lining. It can have a great outcome, but not in the way most of us think.

We attract what we’re capable of dealing with, so in these symbolic relationships, as much as we want love, we have to look at how unavailable we are to its full commitment.

Many of us don’t want to give up because of the mind-blowing connection. Plus, for most who are time-constrained with their busy careers, the idea of not investing many hours together has appeal. That is until we recognize that instead of an increasing connection over time, as we seemingly get closer, there’s a decrease. We can have the most amazing connection to people who just aren’t available to meet us at the heart.

Who are these people?

They are married or in another half-assed relationship or perhaps even single, but entwined in their own past pain. They come fully loaded with an instruction manual as thick as a dictionary of terms and conditions, so we’re lucky to get any of their time or affection at all.

For some, the longer we’ve been at the relationship game, the more entrenched we may become in believing we deserve less.

We make excuses for the lack.

We say the few moments of attention are worth all the hours of heartache. We break it off and somehow find ourselves back in this dance with this person, over and over again.
Some wonder where the strength and decision-making skills we had when we were younger went. We used to be more discerning and, perhaps, we were always the ones who left the relationship. Now we find ourselves unable to move on or unravel these ties that bind.

I see it often, and I’ve been there.

If we want change, it’s up to us. We have to take the focus off the other person and place it squarely on ourselves. If we think getting over this person and moving on means to focus on their flaws, all we’re doing is prepping ourselves for another relationship that will cause us heartache.

We have to believe that we deserve the whole enchilada, but first we need to see why we believe deep down inside that we don’t. From there we start to create changes within ourselves. Once we gain clarity and start to treat ourselves with value, our confidence will grow and then we make better decisions.

Connect the dots. Where does the anxiety of abandonment begin? Go back to childhood. Where did you feel alone, misunderstood or unloved? What did we put up with and where did we wall ourselves off from being vulnerable to this same pain again? When we’re walled off, we’re emotionally unavailable too. If that’s the case, then of course it isn’t the person we point the finger at as commitment-phobic or damaged beyond belief. It’s the one pointing the finger.

We attract where we are with ourselves.

Most of us who are on the ladder to success–Type A and going after what we want–aren’t even aware of the underlying drive to prove ourselves that can skew us to be cut-off emotionally in our relationships… until…

We meet the person who wakes us up, even if it is waking up to a cup of cold water on the fantasy we have about our willingness to be vulnerable.

As long as we stay invulnerable or cut off from our truth, we will not move forth, grow or be happy.

Once we decide that our current lot in life is no longer an option, we can commit to ourselves and transforming the beliefs we have, which kept us stuck in these half relationships.

 

Choosing Sides. Who Wins?

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No one.

My daughter was texting me about a problem with her friend. Apparently, there were two ‘different sides’ to the same scenario and the inclusion of a third party (my other daughter), who wasn’t there…but who possesses an opinion.

What’s the point of choosing sides, when as we all know…the truth lies somewhere in the middle or way out beyond the perceptions of all involved (including opinionated observers) in the situation.

We’re all responsible for what happens in our lives, period.

Anger? Time to look within.

You don’t win by being self-righteousness, shaming and justifying your position.

Defending oneself or someone else; no winner there. Blaming? Hypocritical and energy wasted.

The real problem is not addressed when sides are taken (so we feel better about our position). Others who have a chip on their shoulder regarding the offending party (depending on who’s side you choose) can make it messier and more ridiculous than the original issue.

My daughter wanted my input on how to respond to her friend’s long, emotional text messages. It was just heavy, like too many ornaments on the tree.

Reminded me of a conversation with my mother, which involved some ‘old’ stuff. She asked if I really thought she didn’t love her grandkids (uh…yeah, this was from an old argument, which of course did nothing to better anything)…and I said, I didn’t know, but the way she spoke about them at times was disparaging and I didn’t like it.

She replied with “I was just defending you,” as I listened, all I thought was “No.” I told her, “I don’t want you to defend me against them, I don’t ever want to be defended….in any part of my life–it implies a totality that I’m right, they’re wrong.”

It’s draining to think of my story, your story or anyone’s story, in supporting the position we each take in a disagreement or in choosing a side.

All those gyrations serve are in avoiding the real issue, the deeper truth.

Communication in these instances by all parties is problematic.

Whether it’s lying to ourselves first or lying to others to maintain a facade….many people don’t realize they do it, because their intention is to NOT lose.

All human beings are hypocrites. Welcome to being human.

In my daughter’s situation, her and her friend both had justified POV’s about the situation that occurred. They did agree there was a misunderstanding and miscommunication. My daughter apologized and her friend kept going…

She wanted validation in blaming my daughter for the current situation.

How could this end well?

I reflected on my own life, my refusal to defend myself when the circumstances are skewed, because it isn’t the real issue. Choosing sides, right versus wrong, and so on are all…. perceptions meant to validate feelings. Most people don’t purposely set out to do something wrong, but depending on who’s observing … it can become blown way out of proportion to the actual issue.

When we go against ourselves–denying how we really feel, doing what doesn’t serve us, which includes allowing people to walk on our boundaries (cuz we didn’t honor them for ourselves), people please, be the rescuer, insecure and acted in ways to support those patterns…eventually it comes falling down.

That’s the real issue.

It’s inauthentic.

As humans we all seek to be understood, loved and connected.

Choosing sides, shaming another or being self-righteous, will never serve to bring us closer together (personally that’s my cue to exit stage left). Taking responsibility for how YOU put yourself in the position to have had a misunderstanding will lead you to real empowerment and clarity.

It’s hard to be authentic, all the time, but true authenticity is not perfection, it’s owning your shit.

Own where you sold yourself short to create the untenable situation and move on. Staying stuck in the problem, defending yourself, dragging the neighborhood in to decide who’s a better character is useless, you still don’t win.

Seek to be understood when you can, but make sure you’re connected to your own truth, in support of your own boundaries and be kind, as often as possible. No one is a loser or a winner, we’re all just different perspectives depending on our experiences….

And please remember, we’re all human.

 

5 Ways We Avoid Pleasure And 5 Ways To Stop

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I’ve asked myself the following questions:

Do you ever notice what you put up with in your life? And if you do, what is your next move? Do you just fall back into the same ol’ pattern, the rut, waiting for something to change outside of you?

I’ve done it, especially when I’ve been so attached to not losing something or someone. I just quiet the voice screaming at me in my head to move on, get out or do something about my situation. Even going so far as to believe no one else notices my misery or disconnect.

People can tell all is not well when we try to hide it; fear can keep us bound in chains, never really experiencing life at the visceral level. Instead we have small pleasantries, escapes, or ways of just not dealing, which also keep us from experiencing real pleasure.

Who avoids pleasure?

Most people who think they have to earn it, wait for it, be given it, settle for less, or believe it’s elusive, fall into the category of avoiders.

How about you, do you know how you avoid pleasure? Check out the following to see if this might just be you.

  1. Attachment- Not knowing why you need a person, place or thing that causes you pain while doling out tiny increments of pleasure can keep you in a bad relationship, job, friendship, car, living situation and so on. You wish with all of your being that you weren’t in the situation because you feel helpless to get out… so you miss out on real pleasure, joy and invest further in pain.
  2. Sacrifice and suffering- Another opportunity to cut off from pleasure is by seeking sacrifice for the good of others (who don’t usually appreciate it) and at a cost to yourself. Suffering goes hand in hand because you feel it is the only option–the way you learned that life is always a struggle.
  3. Distrust- It’s not just distrusting another person, its a basic distrust that life is good. You may feel unsafe or wondering what shoe will drop next and when you live that way, it’s all you see. You may even try to keep a step ahead by anticipating the next issue or loss. This keeps you in a constant cycle where there’s no positive change.
  4. Limitations and impossibilities- If you believe that all that’s possible for you in this life is right where you are, then you find little to no pleasure in life. You don’t believe it can be more or that you have the ability to make it happen. Your self-worth is low and what you may have wanted for yourself seems to have passed you by. Limited thinking means limited opportunities. Your perception keeps you in this prison with no key.
  5. Giving up on what you always wanted- Perhaps you wanted that relationship with someone who gets you, or you wanted that career, but didn’t believe you were good enough and so you gave up. You said ‘no’ to risk, to going for it and decided to settle for less rather than moving forth and believing you deserved to have what you deeply desired. Where’s the pleasure in living this way?

Any of those scenarios fit you?

If so, here’s a short list on ways to wake up out of your painful slumber and immediately be on the road to having some pleasure in your life.

  1. Learn about yourself- Develop your self-awareness so you can understand what keeps you attached, stuck and suffering. Dig deep. Learn where these patterns of attachment started and why you fear loss enough to keep pleasure at bay. Once you start understanding yourself better, you will have opened up a new path which leads to having more pleasure.
  2. Make different choices- Many decisions are made on auto-pilot; you may not realize why you make the decisions you do or how your old feelings influence a current situation. When you’re faced with a choice, ask if it is pain-producing decision or a pleasure-inducing one.
  3. Trust yourself- It’s never really about what’s outside of you that you need to trust. You need to learn to trust your own emotional resilience in the face of disappointment. It’s to understand that you choose how you perceive events outside of you and that you can handle when things don’t go your way. In the end, coming from trust within leads you to trusting what is outside of you too. And with that you open to more pleasure in your world.
  4. Get out of your own way- Watch how your mind limits you. It’s trying to protect you and not allow you to experience anything outside of your comfort zone. Getting uncomfortable with taking action that you would never normally do can lead to unlimited, expansive thoughts in your head. As you say ‘yes’ to life and living, being uncomfortable becomes the norm and pleasure is found in those moments when you realize you got out of the way and possibilities abound!
  5. Stop playing it safe- Risk it! You can always change your mind, but it really is about living from your heart. Where’s your passion? When you live this daily, pleasure courses through you and the contrast you experience when you look back at how you said yes to misery will assure you that you’re on the right path now with every risk you take. Even when things don’t go your way you’ll know it is temporary and automatically shift your focus to what turns you on rather than what weighs you down.

Want more on avoiding pleasure and inviting pain? Please check out my radio show.

People pleasing is the opposite of real love

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People pleasing is a strategy; it’s not love.

Love is genuine; people pleasing is manipulation.

I was having lunch with a friend the other day and she told me, while rolling her eyes, how much she hated sex with her boyfriend.

In fact, they didn’t really have much sex, and hadn’t for years.

Instead of telling him, she told me how much she despised and disrespected him for his withholding. She ‘pretended’ this was enough when with him. As I munched on my sandwich, she delved into her adventures with a much younger guy who she felt in control of, emotionally and sexually, while creating an image that wasn’t true either.

People pleasing is a form of control:

“You’ll like me or love me if I do this for you.”

“I need to feel okay, so I will give in and do what you want, even though I resent you.”

“If I take this action, you will owe me and you won’t return the favor, but I’ll keep score of the points and use it against you someday (or wait for the day you wake up!).”

“I expect the same in return.”

“I’m doing this so you’ll think I’m nice and when I ask you to do something distasteful, you’ll feel obligated to do so.”

“I have to do it. If I don’t, who else will?”

“I must sacrifice, otherwise I can’t make up for my childhood… or I’ll be thought of as selfish or a jerk.”

Any of these phrases sound familiar?

Like my friend, some of us do it to be liked, to get along to go along, to score points or because we feel obligated. It’s a way of trying to get validation in some capacity.

Most of us aren’t even aware we are doing it!!

It’s tiring to be dishonest with our intentions. We blame someone or something else for how we feel and for why we’re stuck as the ‘pleaser on steroids.’

We’re trying to control, but there is no love in control; it’s a false perception. We can never command the feelings of others like we think we do. If we really saw ourselves through the eyes of others, we would have a mixed bag… and then what would we do? Be a chameleon?

Ever felt like a fake or phony? Try to masquerade as a perfect example to others? How disconnected do you actually feel from who you truly are when you do? How insecure?

Believing we control others through an image (true or not) that we feel is acceptable can be a lifelong pursuit. It’s a prison of limitation, by living into this ‘image’ and not being true to ourselves; often we don’t know how we really feel because we’re afraid to go there.

People pleasing is a form of lying. It doesn’t make us happy. It’s a huge effort with no pay off… leaving us to feel frustration, resentment and non-fulfillment.

Real love requires authenticity. We have to connect to ourselves and do what we genuinely feel. Our relationships will definitely change, some for the better and some will become nonexistent.

Many of us lack a sense of self if we separate from the validation of others. It’s scary and it feels out of control! Digging into our feelings, we’ll find some pretty jacked up beliefs we have of ourselves and this world. This is where the journey begins.

Moving from fear to real love

In embodying real love we come to find true connection, trust in ourselves and life to give us what we need. It ceases to be a dance of control. Real love experienced through self-acceptance creates the foundation for it to show up with others.

Real love requires awareness and connection.

The next time you take an action or say words causing a physical reaction, STOP! Break through the autopilot pattern and ask why you’re going against yourself?

Get honest.

What do you really want to do? How do you really feel?

Get bold.

State it out loud. It may come out wonky or abrupt, but do this often and you’ll get into your deeper truth. Again, your REAL truth is about YOU–your beliefs, your patterns and connecting to the love within. It has nothing to do with the other person.

For more on this topic, please join me for my weekly radio show: People Pleasing and Why You’ll Never Win!

 

The Choices We Make

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My year of reinvention continues, how about you? 

Recently, I met with a woman who helped me with a few things regarding my subconscious beliefs. She told me that my relationships would be affected. People coming; people going.

It’s been wild to watch!

Before I met with her, I already made different choices in my relationships.

This just accelerated things. As I continued to magnetize individuals sharing a similar perspective of reality, while accepting myself (finally) and understanding, we’re all f*cked up…other people disappeared!

I decided to choose love even while letting go.

It’s been rough. 

I’ve lost a relationship that was of value to me. A lot of love, amazing memories, and at one point we were kindred spirits, but alas, too many misunderstandings, judgment and change had taken place. It’s a funky place to be, when you can see the deeper picture of how it took two to get there. We either go thru thick n’ thin communicating honestly or crap expands (including others) pushing us apart.

On the other hand many who disappeared, were not ‘authentic’ and frankly we never were truly friends. As I felt a sense of relief… I asked myself, how did I get here.

Junior high school?

Funny, right?

We all have our jr. high story, don’t we?

Not only were parts of it happening again, BUT my issue of belonging and how I go about valuing myself really started back then!

At the time, I was cast out of my group without any interest in my truth–as only a 13 year old could be a victim, but who knows this at 13?

From that point forth, I felt inadequate in most relationships, waiting for the other shoe to drop–to be found out and told I sucked. I left a lot of relationships up to the other person to choose me; to tell me I was okay or not. I never really felt worthy; I’d always feel something was wrong with me and thank God they’re willing to overlook it!

It wasn’t til I started choosing me, accepting me (warts and all), being kinder, gentler and happier with me LOVING MYSELF….in other words taking off my mask and being who I really am, that something profoundly shifted.

It’s been hard at times, but I had no choice…I had to choose me. (If I tried to suck it up and fit my square peg self into a round hole–I’d experience a weird anxiety–I couldn’t pretend) I took responsibility where I saw my part, but stopped worrying how others perceived me.

This was the most AMAZING discovery…..I finally realized I value myself not based on the opinions or assumptions of others, NOPE…I value me, based on me.

And it leads me to how choosing OURSELVES (not as victims), but in loving what is….we can choose the others in our lives, with love too.

Someone recently sent me Choose Her Everyday or Leave Her…wanting me to talk about it on my radio show. In a perfect world it’s great to put the onus of responsibility on one person. We can all be destructive, but you have to catch yourself and at least know why….so if you have relationships, whether intimate or not….who (or what) do you choose?

From the article:

I was too focused on the anger, insecurities, demands, and other aspects of her strong personality that grated on me. The more I focused on her worst, the more I saw of it, and the more I mirrored it back to her by offering my own worst behavior.

In any relationship, we do this when we want to victimize ourselves and hold someone else responsible: place blame. The focus for this man was not on himself, it was on his partner and her negative aspects (not as a whole person).

By focusing on what you cannot control (another person), and ignoring what is going on within yourself–you remain unfulfilled–wanting–needing–and usually angry.

My personal journey is to remain connected, choosing myself, so I can be authentic and love others from that place, whether they are in my life or not.

Why?

Because it feels good! Isn’t that the point of life….to feel good?

What about you? Where will you focus?