Use These Daily To Feel The Love

I thought I would create a slightly different blog post. It’s not about a holiday, it’s about a year-round commitment to loving yourself.

  • Surrender the struggle. We stay in a state of resistance to what is in our lives and wonder why we feel bad, instead just surrendering can open us to a deeper wider space to connect and be creative with seeing opportunity where there once was none.

Surrender the struggle.

  • Take time to connect with what you really want to feel inside of yourself before you respond, react or take inspired action. Often we’re in autopilot and this leads to the same results over and over again. Getting clear will help you make decisions, which feel good (once you get past the fear), but also move you out of your comfort zone and into a deeper connection with love and life.

Take a step back to choose differently it creates better results.

  • Boundaries are not rules for others, they’re affirmations of how we treat ourselves. When we take care of our needs, we respect ourselves, we’re kind loving, giving, forgiving and our own best friend, we exude this to the outside world and they respond in kind. If not, then we make a choice for ourselves, not for or about the other person. To maintain our boundaries is to choose to feel good not because or in spite of another.

Boundaries are not rules for others, they're affirmations of how we treat ourselves.

Anger is a great indicator that all is not well and that these three things aren’t being practiced. Start today and do all three daily this week and see if it makes a difference by the end of the week in how you feel……and in how others treat you too.

Please post in the comments below to let me know how it went for you!

 

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The Breadcrumb Relationship

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Have you ever taken breadcrumbs and tried to make a piece of bread?

I have, perhaps not literally, but those little pieces of bread would just crumble in my fingers while gluing them together, making it messy, sticky, and giving me crouton hands.

I, literally spent years trying to put breadcrumbs together everywhere in my life, give me a little and I would make it seem bigger, better and more amazing than it really was…at least in my mind.

You see, I didn’t know any better….I thought everyone did it, especially in relationships. Weren’t they supposed to be a struggle? Wasn’t it where one partner gave more than the other? Sort of a victim/martyr situation?

And let me also throw in the low self-esteem I had as an extra set of luggage since childhood. No one, not a single person could make a difference in how I saw myself and therefore, because I also had a blind eye toward me; I had breadcrumb everything!

Why do some allow themselves to accept so little and make it seem as though it’s fulfilling? You may do this by saying:

  • I don’t need so much, why would I want to see him or her more than once a week? I don’t want to be connected at the hip.
  • A long-distance relationship? Sign me up!
  • Married or in a relationship? Sounds like I can have my own life too.
  • Struggle and drama, doesn’t everyone have it? At least I know they care.
  • Tells me he or she has never felt this way before, but has to leave me? I will never get over him or her–they will come back.
  • I hear what he or she says, it sounds like a promising future? It doesn’t matter that there’s no action, just listen to those magical words.

And so on.

Anything sound familiar?

If so, welcome to the breadcrumb relationship! You’re on board this sinking ship, while telling yourself this is enough, it’s okay….and the fact that you’re wearing a life-vest is no big deal.

It’s painful, your insides resemble spaghetti–anxiety, stress, over-giving, not receiving, fear, and so on, it’s torture! If you share any relationship details and your friends or family cringe or look at you, like they want to save you….then you know you’re in the grips of hell.

Some of you may think this is your person, your soulmate. There are many wonderful things to connect over, but the relationship (if it exists) itself and how it operates, is one big dysfunction!

If your daily mantra, includes painfully talking yourself into staying put, because you can’t let go, or if instead, you cut it off, only to be emotionally tied up in knots over him or her still, you have to look within.

It’s not the other person.

It’s your thoughts and feelings about what you truly deserve based on what you’ve gotten so far!

If you were raised without emotional intimacy from your parents, you will be seeking it and repelling it, until you wake up to yourself.

If you were treated poorly as a child; your self-esteem stomped on by not having your voice heard, criticized with no positive reinforcement, your feelings not accepted, or experienced no support for who you were and your endeavors, then you don’t know your value or worth as an adult, until you treat yourself as someone worthy.

All of us yearn for connection, to belong, it’s physiology. Anything else we tell ourselves is meant to protect us from disappointment and because we don’t believe we can have what we really want; we weren’t created to be alone.

What can you do if you’re in a breadcrumb relationship?

  1. Get honest with yourself.
  2. Re-connect to your emotions, about you. Feel your feelings, don’t make it about anyone else.
  3. Look at how you de-value your own existence, start taking care of yourself.
  4. Set standards for what you want and the boundaries necessary to uphold them.
  5. Understand that numbers 1-4 are about you, this isn’t about what other people do or say, it’s about what you will allow for you.

 

How To Change Your Life Forever.

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For most of us, it can be pretty exhilarating to start a new job, a new relationship, find a new place to live, make new friends, join in new activities and take off on new adventures. All of this can play in shaping our perspective of possibilities, which some believe determines ‘who they are as a person.’

So, when these outside events change–we make a judgment, which alters our perception of our possibilities.

Julie thought her new job would be the answer to her unhappy home life. She saw herself enjoying the perks this company offered, including travel to other countries. It was her dream job!

At first, she was caught up in the excitement of the ‘new’ and the ability to be removed from her home life on a semi-regular basis. About three months into her job, she noticed she felt pretty much the same as she did, before she took the job…in fact, she felt worse.

Julie hated going home. It meant dealing with the circumstances that she put aside when she took the job, she thought this type of change equaled a shift in her power, and her control over her life. It didn’t.

Our circumstances are a direct reflection of our relationship with ourselves, but don’t ‘define’ who we are and our possibilities. True change, causes a shift in our inner world, supported by loving action to the outer world.

We stand in the way of change by remaining focused on believing things around us must first change. This keeps possibilities limited. We may talk to our therapist or coach, vomiting our drama, feeling temporarily better, but achieving nothing new inside.

To change and perceive our lives without limitations, we must take an honest look within to understand how we don’t really act in our own best interest.

True change comes from the inside to the outside.

George came to his last session stating he wanted the key to change by the end of the session. He was frustrated and angry at his life. In the past, we discussed all the ways George could change his life, but those idea of boundaries overwhelmed him. Those options meant he might lose control of the stalemate he held in his relationship and his business, or it might offend or place him in a position of possible loss.

Change always includes loss, even if it’s an image of ‘what’s possible’ that we’re losing.

If we want change we must be willing to give up our PERCEIVED control of others and our unhappy circumstances. Expectations of keeping the status quo will influence our ability to set a new precedence.

Mark has been married for 30 years. His wife is his roommate, they haven’t had sex for 15 years. He desires an opportunity to fall in love with someone else. Mark’s afraid to leave the comfort of his situation, for the unknown…at least here he’s appreciated for mowing the lawn, cooking dinner and taking out the trash. If he creates boundaries or leaves, what will become of his life?

We need to take a risk, and get honest with ourselves. What’s the benefit to our current unhappiness and keeping the focus on everyone, but ourselves?  What are we afraid of losing if we change? Why does having a limited picture of possibilities suit us? Why do we seek struggle?

Three things that need to happen to create change forever:

  1. Consistent Honesty With Yourself.
  2. Boundaries That You Live By First.
  3. Action To Support Who You Are And What You TRULY Want.

Why sound like you’re offering me a choice, when you’re going to do what you want anyway?

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Standards, boundaries, rules…whatever we wanna call them. Ever notice when we are trying to uphold some new ways of being, allowing and saying okay to certain things, that a backlash occurs?

Our relationships where we’ve been a doormat, accommodating or not having a strong sense of sticking to what feels good to us, all of a sudden are put to the test.

We have someone who wants us to do it their way, for their good, but try to dress it up, as though there is a choice in there for us, when there’s none!

It happens.

This person is used to getting their way, once we have shown some vulnerability. Let’s say Joe Shmoe (or Julie Shmoe) has turned up on our doorstep. They pledge their undying love, saying things will be different and proposing a future filled with candy hearts and chocolate boxes!

We still have feelings for this person, we’re hearing words we wanted to for so long, but we look to the past, when it was more like we received an empty box of chocolates.

We look to how we’ve grown, we’ve set some standards in our life and we’re really starting to embrace them. There’s some self-esteem, some confidence, some self-love and all sorts of other self-caring goodies there….and it is all at risk.

Risk is good when it is related to taking a chance on being open, vulnerable, changing the stale status quo, etc. But what about when it comes to something that has been a proven disaster, which has more than likely not changed?

If this Joe or Julie, shows up in the same way–pleading their undying love that they have 20 other times in the past, do we really think, anything besides their words have changed? And if they have changed, how do we proceed?

It’s a tough one, but if we look at the giving and receiving part of the past….how much of a flow was it? How many blockades stood in the way?

So, when the puppy dog eyes are offering a new proposal…and we cave in, saying, “Okay, I feel the same way too.” What happens next?

If Joe or Julie are the same, we can be assured that they’ll now not be in fear of losing us….no. They’re back in the driver’s seat. And when we approach them to discuss how things will proceed, they can sound like we have a choice, but in actuality we don’t. They are still doing what they want anyway, which means running over our boundaries and having a relationship based solely on their terms.

All the work we have put in, we can see it being overtaken by anxiety. We don’t know what to do, but depending on how strongly we feel about how we want our life to look, we will try to hang onto our self-respect and please this runaway partner.

I speak to both men and women who experience partners such as this in their lives. It’s a hit and run, once they know they have us back where they want us, they bring out the big guns and aim it at us, knowing in the past they would get it their way.

The key in a situation where we are threatened with losing our esteem for ourselves, is to take a step back.

Stop all action, all momentum, all words and go within.

Spend as much time as is necessary there.

Getting clear on how our lives look, what we truly want and may feel we don’t deserve (a really great relationship with someone who respects our boundaries in a positive and loving way) is pivotal to understanding why we lose our power to this person who wants to give us no choice.

We can love someone, but we don’t have to make a choice to lose ourselves. We don’t have to give up on us, to not be alone or to keep someone around who can’t give us what we need. We can maintain and observe. We can watch and learn. When we feel educated enough, we can make a decision, which feels right, “to us.”

 

The Power of Balance II

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I want to say that the “power of balance,” out of all the titles in this series may be the most difficult to maintain in life….but I think that may just be, because it is the most difficult for me. 

When we are in balance, it feels like we’re in the flow, right? Our energy is in a good place, we’re giving and receiving without depletion or overwhelm. We have time for what really matters and feel rested in our daily life.

On those days, in those moments, we probably say something like, “Life is good.” We feel a sense of all being complete in the world and then the next moment or perhaps, the next day we lose our balance again.

Life throws many curveballs and it’s so easy to slip off into the commotion or being caught up in deadlines, commitments, stress or the fear of, “what if,” that our ability to stay connected to ourselves and life is greatly diminished.

Maintaining balance, like all true power is an inside job. Whatever is going on around us doesn’t have to control us. We can be actively engaged in creating our own world, at our own pace and setting the standards for what that looks like.

When we start to create boundaries WE respect for ourselves, first and foremost, we then set the tone for the rest of the world to respect them too. It becomes easier to create balance when we develop a list of standards that we invest in and abide by for our well-being.

I realized awhile back that it was okay to leave things undone for another day.

I used to live off my to-do lists.

Whatever was written on it, big or small, I chose to do it all, every day. I always felt depleted and until I woke up, and asked myself what validation was I looking for, I kept this cycle of imbalance up….for years.

It can be scary to create daily balance, but once we get clear on what’s really important to us and how we want to maintain it, we actually make our lives W-A-Y easier.

My standards state how I want to spend my free time, who I want to surround myself with and how much time I want to give to this part of my life, I have clarity. I also know my chances of being depleted by people who I don’t enjoy being around is minimal, because now I am placing a value on my time.

Our time is our greatest value.

Balance takes awareness. We must be checked into how we feel when we are doing an activity to see if we’re overdoing it, under-doing it or just being in the flow.

When I get caught up in something I love, like writing or painting, hours can go by, perhaps it knocks something else off my plate that I was going to do, BUT if I’m in a state of joy with my activity then I am still in my flow. Balance doesn’t always mean equal parts, it means to not be at extremes.

It’s important to have flexibility and know that circumstances outside of us shouldn’t influence us to the point where we over-do or hide away. To be  in balance is to let life be as it is, accepting it and doing what we want anyway. We can change our lives by living in our standards, by being open to possibilities and being checked in with ourselves to make sure the state we are in reflects the balance we really want to feel at all times.

The road to true health and creative wealth is to have balance. We are in the flow and whatever goes out from us, will come back to us.

Part III will be on the Power of Abundance.

If you missed Part I, The Power Of Presence, please click here. 

If you’d like some tools on creating balance in your life:

Please click here: Tracy@Tracycrossley.com 

50 Lashings, please!

(You can check my article out on elephant journal too)

Yeah, you were thinking in the physical. I’m speaking from the emotional. Punishment of others and ourselves can be a full time hobby.

When we feel wronged, what do most people do?

One or two things.

They strike back venomously, they feel self-righteous and a sense of power coming from diminishing the offender. Or they suck it up, privately hating the person or even wishing them pain.

Does either of these stances ever make us feel better? Maybe for a moment, but then we start to feel bad for one reason or another, which brings me back to emotional punishment.

We punish ourselves when we do it to someone else. We also kick and beat ourselves, not only for how we allow someone to treat us, but we do it when we make a mistake, fail BIG time, or put ourselves into circumstances that create ongoing suffering.

Sounds like a party, right?

Some are so used to living this way that they don’t know the heaviness, pain or sadness they carry isn’t normal.

When we feel hurt, wronged or we don’t get our way, it may lead to us blaming the other party. If we don’t stop and ask ourselves how we allowed someone to trample right over our feelings, then we are doing ourselves no favors.

Expecting someone to have ESP or wake-up and smell the blueberry muffins ain’t gonna happen by pouting, yelling, freaking out or anything resembling a punishment.

I love when we feel insecure and instead of speaking up, we act like we’re two and punish the other person.

It doesn’t work. Does it?

Coercing someone to see what you believe is their wrongdoing isn’t satisfying and usually builds resentment from the offending party.

Not to mention once again, punishing others is punishing yourself.

And most of us are not purposely trying to hurt someone; many times we are just trying to deal with our own crap, and the side effect may be harm to another. It’s a vicious cycle.

Sucking it up and pretending nothing is wrong is not the answer.

Really, does sucking it up EVER feel good? Hell no!

What about other forms of punishment?

My personal favorite is to punish myself by committing to “the right thing to do,” not right for me, but for some invisible entity, society or for people I love. And when I commit to a situation that goes against my gut, heart and soul…I’m then engaged in long term suffering and punishment created by “me.”

Self-sacrificing means you are the one sacrificing your wants, needs and desires for some reason you believe is the only way to eventually get where you want to go. Except, you never get there. You get stuck in the martyr/victim role and never release the chains that bind you to a crazy ideal.

Someday never comes, its just yesterday over and over. And one day it’s all over and when that comes, will you be satisfied with the punishing limitations you lived?

What about punishment you give to yourself when you screw up? Fail? What does that look and sound like?

You may have served well during the Spanish Inquisition or some other dark time in history. You may be both the Inquisitor and the Victim. We know how to punish ourselves best. We wouldn’t treat anyone as bad as those voices in our heads can be….for sure.

Punishment operates in a slanted altruistic place, because it never feels good. I’m not saying be a selfish, self-absorbed jerk. No, that helps no one either, because then you are wallowing in your own juices.

So, what about all this self-inflicted emotional torture chamber type of punishment?

What is the point?

Is there a reward that’s ever worth the time lost to beating yourself up?

Or what about the years and years of resentment that can build toward someone very close to you, because of their perceived actions?

There is an escape route from this painful war zone.

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First, take control of YOU. Stop giving away your power to others. This is not easy, but when you start saying “no” to things, which make your gut clench up, it’s a start.

When you feel dread about something, get clear on “why.” Where does it come from inside of you? Is it a past event? When you see why something makes you suffer, then you can change it…it’s not easy, but it’s the way to well-being and happiness.

Second, you create boundaries.

Remember, with children you teach them what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior; we do the same things with adults. We don’t offend; we speak clearly, succinctly and from our power place of vulnerability (true strength). It may take people time to respect your boundaries, but when you stick to em’, either it’ll change or they’ll be gone.

Third, if you are doing the right thing, it’s a daily punishment creating suffering and keeping you from happiness. There’s no greater cost at all, which you can control. Stop. Just stop; tell the people it affects how you are living in a purgatory of your own creation. Communicate what you really need and see what happens. You may start over with new people to support you or others may surprise you.  Communication is the pot o’ gold!

Fourth, when you make a mistake, please realize you are human. Not a super hero. If someone besides you punishes you for a mistake then you need to evaluate the importance of the situation, because it’s at a cost to your emotional health.

Fifth, don’t suck it up. This is surely the way to ill physical health. Communicate, even if you’re hyperventilating with that frog in your throat. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

There are quite a few things you can do to stop the dungeon of emotional horrors, these suggestions are just a start on the road to living your life on your own terms.

Feel free to email me or check out my website.