Chasing, Tripping And Falling Down

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Have you ever found yourself running after something? Literally or metaphorically? As in, wanting something so bad, whether it wants you or not?

It’s a single-minded attachment to having that person, place or thing, right?

Often we may hide it. No one really knows what we deeply desire and so we covertly chase after it; wishing, wanting, praying, hoping and putting immense energy to shoving it down, so we seem like we really don’t want it to the rest of the world.

But we do! We want it sooooo bad!

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we at times openly chase something, and at other times ‘act’ like its no big deal, even though we want it just as much?

Because we feel we cannot have it.

We don’t deserve it, aren’t good enough, haven’t proven ourselves, want to appear above it–not needing (or needy), and so these deeply held shiteous beliefs run our lives delivering exactly what that barren desert ending is… the one confirming our worst fears.

Rita felt like everything was always a struggle. Her marriage had been, her kids, work, maintaining the house and the financial responsibility. It always fell on her shoulders. She divorced, moved, and was sorta, kinda, speaking up at work, BUT she still felt stuck.

She also found herself hooked on someone from her past, totally impossible to let go of and it made her crazy!

She wanted a relationship, but nothing in her life reflected one coming to her without major struggle. She felt it was too hard, not enough good men and believed she possessed some deep flaw that kept okay ones at a distance! If you met her, you wouldn’t know any of this, because she appeared to have it together!

Her energy was focused on the past guy, while she longed for a real partnership, she would chase after the old one; send him text messages, call him, ask him out and so on. He would respond once in awhile, but her hard work just didn’t yield the results.

Why did she work so hard for nothing? Chasing, tripping and falling down….and then blaming herself for her fatal flaw.

Andrea is in a relationship with someone who does not share her lifestyle, or too much of her life. He is very attentive to his own life, squeezing her in when he has time. She drops everything when he calls and anytime she brings up the state of their relationship he gets angry that she doesn’t understand where he’s at.

To her, he is better than her ex, they have fun when they are together, but she comes up empty when viewing it as a true partnership. She doesn’t feel heard, or seen and has told herself to work harder, be more available and just be patient.

She has worked at it as though it’s her last hope, embodying everything she feels is expected of her and is afraid to let go.

Both women are committed to struggle, but couldn’t see the pattern clearly. They both didn’t feel they deserved better, even though both repeated the sentiment that they deserved so much more quite often!

What about Sheila? She works hard and is successful in her career; she’s never had a real committed relationship as an adult. To others she appears to not need or want one, but to her, no matter what it seems a relationship is elusive, leaving her feeling lonely, isolated and trying to fix other people. Her deepest desire is to get married and yet she chased after her greatest success: her career.

She only knows how to chase after what she wants and has found herself tripping into a bad ending each time she does it in her personal life.

Some of us are in total denial that we want something different than what our life looks life. Fear of wanting more, keeps us from relaxing by allowing ourselves to believe we will receive what we want. Fear makes us feel greedy or that our desires are unattainable.

Fear leads us to chase.

We chase for a variety of reasons:

  • To purposely fall down, proving to ourselves we really can’t have what we want.
  • Go after the wrong people, places and things: It looks acceptable from the judgment of others, but we don’t really want any of it and don’t trust we can have what we REALLY want. Interestingly enough, when chasing what we don’t want, somehow we find ways (unconsciously) to fail, or if outside validation is extremely important we’ll succeed only to suffer a lack of fulfillment.
  • To stay busy.
  • Thinking it will solve the problem of the void within us.

On top of it–it’s a narrow vision, and it can be exhausting to be wrapped up in the intellectual pursuit of the chase. Keeping it narrow, instead of appearing to want more, gives the impression of remaining stationary, so it doesn’t threaten our relationships.

Nature desires more life everyday–it grows. If humanity didn’t want more, we’d all still be living in a cave.

How do you get more into your life without chasing it?

  1. Admit you want more, perhaps different or scary, because it may mean loss.
  2. Become visible. Most of the time if we’re chasing, we don’t have a connection to our deepest desire (not the emptiness or belief something outside of us can solve the problem), because if we did, it means we’d have to stop hiding out.
  3. Time to be available. Many of us are shut down to wanting more or what seems impossible, so we’re unavailable to actually having it. Notice where you have a wall, shield or act in opposition to the deeper desire.
  4. Relax. It’s not time to eat bonbons, but to release going after things a full time job.
  5. Oh yeah, get rid of plan B, and start living Plan A, when you do take inspired action toward what you actually want–it’s never a chase. It is taking small steps forward, in alignment with your real goal. Totally different energy, totally different outcome.
  6. Give yourself validation by building trust that you can take appropriate action for your aspirations. You can do it!

Want some help in learning what you really want and how to have it without force? Schedule a discovery session to see if we would be a good fit!

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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.

 

When I hear, “Why Am I So Stupid”

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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.

 

 

You Can Speculate About Him Or Her….

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Until the cows come home.

Mind reading 101.

It is a complete and total waste of time.

Dealing with someone who doesn’t speak truth or who’s actions don’t match their words? So, tiring.

The entire situation, in which, we feel we’re always left scratching our head, when it comes to someone we love, who practices no consistency, shows up and ships out, or isn’t honest about their intentions….can make a person feel crazy!

Why do people come into our lives who say they love us to pieces, give us words as a lifeline, but then do a 180 degree turn and disappear for days/weeks/months or put major distance between us?

It’s called emotional unavailability.

FEAR is at the base, but it goes unrecognized, even with all the anxiety or panic brought on when someone gets too close … the person who is outwardly unavailable isn’t examining why they are pulling away…they just need to go!

You or me, we are inwardly unavailable. We feel this is as good as we can do, or this is our value…what we deserve based on fear related to a belief, which we’ve probably had for many years.

Whether it is someone who we have a revolving door relationship with, or a yo-yo, or some other toy description…this relationship feels toxic.

There are warning signs in the beginning, but we often miss them. We may not want to be alone, we may have low self-esteem or something, which makes us susceptible to the charms of a person who cannot emotionally commit.

We analyze the crap out of what the person says, what he or she must be thinking and of course the un-matching actions. We ask our friends, neighbors, relatives. We look online, pick up a ton of books and spend way too much time thinking about it.

We need help here, don’t we?

The issue in having a relationship with someone who is a yo-yo, they come close and then they back off, or out and we take it personally. We think there is something wrong with us.

And yes, there is something wrong with us (and it’s not what you think), we’re looking in the wrong direction or at the wrong characteristics to get to the root of the issue.

The place to look is in the mirror. When we focus on their doing or lack of doing, coming and going, saying words that sound like a commitment, but are only meant to keep us hanging in the balance…we can get caught up in it, so we stop looking at ourselves.

When this person returns (again) into our lives, after vacating the premises momentarily or for a long period of time, we may become easily convinced through their renewed presence that there is more meaning to it than actually is shown. We may be given breadcrumbs, but look for the deeper meaning, after all they keep showing back up!

The situation we’re in is not easy to break. We may romanticize the dysfunction and take responsibility for the fact that the relationship falls apart, but that is not the place to find out truth. The truth is in our “why,” we may be so convinced that no one will ever love of us more, or at all. We may be convinced our needs are excessive, because we weren’t valued when we were younger.

Now we must find our truth, and re-focus.

Take our focus off this person who rips our heart out each time they go, and learn what it is that keeps us attached. Sit with the anxiety, the unease–the auto-pilot thoughts which tell us we aren’t worthy…what is underneath it?

As we focus less on the other person, more on ourselves and opening our heart….truly moving away from the emotional unavailability within us and recognizing our fear, we start on a new journey leading us to having the relationship we truly want. It takes time, it takes effort–but it is all within us to change the trajectory.

You can email me at Tracy AT tracycrossley dot com or sign up for Complimentary Relationship Session. I am also having a free Teleseminar in August, you can get details and sign up here: FREE Teleseminar.