Don’t Bake Him Cookies

cookie-monster-michelle-oconnell

Yeah, so, I was in the middle of a session with a client and I searched for an example to illustrate a point.

The point I was making had to do with possessing absolutely no value in oneself; feeling a deep sense of attachment and fear of abandonment. I would describe it as people-pleasing on steroids.

We do it as a way to hold on, to make someone like us or love us, to manipulate so he or she owes us or to blot out the fear inside we don’t want to face.

As I sat with my client on the phone, an example slapped me upside the head. It was back when I thought it was all about holding onto this person, while really I was screwing myself over.

It was a time when my inner voice was a strangled whisper because I couldn’t hear myself. I wasn’t to be trusted.

It’s been a 360 degree journey away from the identity of pretending to have it together, logically thinking it’s what really mattered, to the present moment of living it from the inside out. My unraveling started back then, and now I was connecting with how lost I’d been.

Currently, my client is struggling with feeling she would be abandoned if she stopped pleasing others at her own expense. Her giving isn’t reciprocated and it’s not genuine, but it is how she learned to survive years ago.

I I told her about a guy I was seeing almost 10 years ago. As I relayed the details to her, it shook me. I understood in that moment how far I’d come and how much I really had believed I had no value unless I was doing something for someone else (i.e. pleasing) with a dude who’d already demonstrated his flakiness.

What happened?

I was deeply attached to this man with off-the-charts chemistry. I thought it was something special, but when you’re looking at someone through 3D glasses, reality is not to be seen!

He called on a Wednesday to let me know he may be tied up that evening, in effect sorta, kinda cancelling our date. I felt that rush of intense anxiety… “NO, NO, NO,” my insides screamed. And I tried to squelch it, but as it drew closer to him calling to let me know for sure, I could focus on nothing else. Time came and went.

Then I started texting. No response.

I called. No response.

Nothing. All night.

Until 1 a.m. when he said he was sorry he couldn’t have let me know sooner.

Told me he’d see me Friday.

As Friday drew closer I was freaking out. I couldn’t bear it if he cancelled again. I was gonna lose it. On Friday I was a bundle of anxiety. Pacing, wondering what to do. Oh! Of course. I need to bake him cookies so he thinks I am the best thing since Donna Reed. And get some champagne too. He’ll never leave. Sigh.

He showed up, but me he almost didn’t because he was suffering from anxiety. I figured cookies and sex, how could he resist?

But before we were actually undressed, he told me how he really thought I was great and felt his feelings would grow for me over time. But right now, he just felt blocked in his heart. He felt an old love was still in his heart and therefore, right now, there was no room.

And so I slept with him of course, why should that stop me? I was trying to prove something; show him how awesome I was so he wouldn’t leave. And of course totally pleasing him at my own expense. I mean WAY beyond my own expense, as though I had nothing in the bank!

I relayed this story to my client, and as I did, I felt how far I’d come and how it was crystal clear that all the people pleasing in the world could never make up for the lack inside of me, or keep anyone around.

My client felt it for herself, and so did the client I had after her… and many others I told that story to afterwards. Even though I wanted to cringe, there are so many others who have given themselves away in hopes of something in return.

Many of us have baked cookies for someone who we wanted to fulfill us, hoping that if we were perfect enough, like a trained seal, that person would love us in a way we couldn’t love ourselves.

It doesn’t work that way. Chasing down someone else’s love doesn’t make up for the lack of love inside. Doing for others in the hope of getting something in return (even if it is just them thinkin’ you’re awesome) is never fulfilling and saying yes, when you definitely should be saying no for your own care will never ever make you feel good. EVER.

Sacrificing to hold on to someone will never bring you the return you hope for and baking cookies for someone to win them, won’t fill that void inside you either

Bake cookies for yourself first. Then you can share them with someone else.

Break Up or Make Up? Be on YOUR own time!

man looking at watch

I was thinking about how we’re all in a rush to EMOTIONALLY move on from things.

We feel compelled to show our strength by making a premature decision when it comes to SO many things. 

  • We kick people to the curb prematurely.
  • We quickly end relationships and begin relationships without being emotionally present…we’re living in the past or future.
  • We’re stuck in a relationship and feel like a complete ass for why we can’t extricate ourselves on the timetable others’ expect.
  • We say and do things FAST, which show we’re strong, but not necessarily courageous (courage means strength of heart in Latin)
  • We want our fast food, our business, our soulmate, our vacation and everything else in a hurry and on our timetable too. (Thought I’d mention this last point, but in this post let’s just focus on our emotional speed)

Most of the reason we’re in such a HURRY, is not from the timetable within us, but the one outside of us. The expectations of others, be it society, friends or family. We feel like there’s something wrong with us emotionally, when we lag behind.

We watch other people who seem to handle their relationships and life quickly and easily. Friends who move on from relationship to relationship seemingly unscathed and here we’re feeling like we just performed HaraKiri on ourselves.

Of course, when we act without having an emotional connection to it, we run the danger of never understanding why we’re in the place we’ve chosen to be….

We do choose everything we do, but WHY do we?

It’s not about a deep analysis, it’s understanding our belief system. Our belief system is always operating, it creates the scenarios we need to keep proving it’s truth over and over.

We spend way too much time intellectually paying attention to what those around us do, and to what they tell us to do in our situation. We never have the full story, because as much as people can give advice they may have trouble following their own.

Even if they appear to have it all together…if we took a peek inside we’d find a different story.

When we’re so “outside of ourselves” as to the appropriate time to break up with someone, for example: “If I don’t have a ring on my finger after 18 months in a relationship, I need to dump him”….who’s happy with that outcome?

Why do we need to set these timetables and expectations around moving quickly in and out of relationships? Every time we do it, we hurt ourselves more. We DO IT to ourselves.

What also develops with each break up that doesn’t come from being emotionally complete, is a sense of LESS emotional presence (more protection and limited vulnerability). We want proof. We’re not living in the moment, we’re living in a fantasy of what each new relationship will bring.

We have an expectation that the next guy/gal is the cure-all, because it’s about finding the perfect person, not self-acceptance.

When they’re not perfect; we may find ourselves ACTING, BEING and EXPECTING in the same ways we have in all of our past relationships…what then?

We may either blame the other person or feel a deep sense of shame for not being able to get it right once again!

We may also be shamed when we tell others, because we feel they reflect back to us our inability to do it RIGHT. We’re just so inept, right?

Just get over it! Move on! Or stay put and work out that hopeless relationship…can we do a collective UGH?

When we give time, space and opportunity for our own growth in a bad, good or indifferent relationship, we can find out WHY we’re here.

When we’re in a hurry to show everyone that grass doesn’t grow under our feet or to please them by following their words of wisdom, the only person shortchanged is ourselves.(and perhaps the mate we’re affecting with our externally directed choice)

Relationships aren’t fast food and neither are our feelings.

Take the time to find our own speed.

Slow down enough to find out HOW WE FEEL AND WHY. Thank everyone around us for their opinion, but let them know it’s not necessary…we’ve everything just where it needs to be right now.

Place awareness inside rather than outside, make friends with the parts of us in painful spaces and honestly place awareness to find the origin of the belief.

Then it’s time to make a completely new choice, which can be scary, but it allows us to release the negative belief and takes us in the direction we authentically want to go…when we’re ready.

Can I have your approval…please?

Painting by Chagall

What would you be doing right now?

Or…

Who would be your partner?

Or…

Where would you be living, if you had listened to your heart?

Maybe you’d be here.

Life is never perfect, so why do our expectations reflect the desire for perfection from our decisions in the personal parts of our life?

Do we believe we’ll  finally make the magical decision, in which the stars align?

Maybe for a moment, but it’s usually followed by some unforeseen hardship or pain that we did not anticipate, which may have us thinking we made a bad decision. (Again)

No matter what way you choose, you’ll hit a RED LIGHT somewhere, a glitch in our perfect image of a spectacular outcome. It is life.

Find yourself making a decision with your head? You’re probably seeking approval.

When we make a decision from OUR heart, we’re more really connected to it and bear disapproval.

Yep! Approval, validation, I’m okay, smart, balanced, mature and not a f—k-up! It’s what we search from gaining a group consensus; follow the rules of others, do the right thing (according to who?), over-think, over-analyze, get stuck with indecision or fear, and second-guess ourselves.

Approval?

Do you approve of me?

It might be an invisible entity whose approval you seek?

Getting permission from people to approve of what you want to do, can feel like a matter of life and death. Sometimes we need to hear, “It’s not a crazy idea” or perhaps, we want to hear “Are you nuts?!!” 

We ask, even when we already know what we’re going to do, crazy or not!

In taking a poll though, we don’t trust ourselves, especially listening to our head, not our heart. Fear of ANOTHER bad decision, we can’t be trusted, so going along with what someone recommends, leads us to believe it’s a sure bet!

BUT….

Unless the decision agrees with our heart, we will regret that choice. If we went along to get along, chances are we needed approval.

It’s those pesky childhood beliefs; telling us we’re incapable, stupid, a loser, not to be trusted and always, always failing at something, it undermines the very life we want to live.

Recognize those old voices for exactly what they are, you can choose to ignore their command and make a decision for yourself, which “feels” right.

Approval from others is fickle, subjective and untrustworthy, it’s based on their experiences, opinions and perception.

Making a decision without consulting with your friends, family or the National Enquirer? Uh-oh!

Afraid to tell others, because someone will give you a hard time or make you feel bad? Ugh!

Can you stand behind your decision, your commitment and let it speak louder, so your peeps are supportive? YES?

In gaining a consensus, we my fear going against it to do what we really want. Can you recall times you DID the right thing only to realize it was a HUGE mistake? Yeah, me too.

It is not worth the price anymore.

I’d love everyone to agree with all of my decisions, but it’s not possible. I’d love to please the world, but only in taking care of my well-being.

It is just not possible to live happily and confidently, if I worry about approval. Worry means I won’t follow my heart when making a decision.

I have watched miracles happen in situations, where my head is telling me to be a jerk, close a door or be stubborn and instead, I opened my heart wider.

Some tough decisions originate from our heart.

Staying or going based on what we need to do can be tough. Dig deep, find your truth, even your hard decisions will become solid.

Self-love means doing what’s right for us without compromise. Make decisions with full confidence no matter what the result, because it’s your truth.

Results are related to our growth, it feeds our well-being. Second guessing means our head is searching for approval, and often when we live our truest, happiest existence it is way beyond the approval of others.

Interested in taking this a step further? Sign up for a free discovery session today.

 

It’s just a nightmare in your head…

The scariest place most of us live ….is in our head.

All sorts of B-movies, horror flicks and dastardly deeds keep playing themselves out with regularity. 

So, they must be true, right? After all we can spend an inordinate amount of time analyzing something or someone we perceive to be a problem or wrong. And if we invest that much energy in telling ourselves that a scenario we created in our mind from circumstantial evidence is true than it must be real!

Unfortunately, what is usually the “case” is we create all of this nightmarish drama about ideas in our OWN mind. Not reality. And if we really understood why, we could then stop creating these fantastical episodes (or at least create less of them).

Many of the nightmares are based on a very core (and untrue) belief we have on the level of what we believe we deserve, which makes us insecure and apt to sabotage something really great in our life.

The belief has to do with how worthy we feel of success, happiness, love, etc…and has more than likely been there since childhood. We have reinforced the belief over the years, because we tend to set up situations (first in our head) that reinforce the belief to be true. We have patterns that keep the belief intact and keep us from realizing what we truly want at a deeper level.

We create our reality.

So…why would we want a nightmare to be our reality? Intellectually, we don’t….emotionally we seem to repeat it over and over.

The triggering thoughts could even happen in a time of peace. As though it is the calm before the storm; and if that is how you see it, you will create just THAT scenario.

I had a client last week who came to see me. I hadn’t seen her in a few months and immediately noticed her energy was calmer and told her so…she said “yes” and that is what scared her.

She had a very stressful job, with a stressful boss when I met her a couple of years ago. The boss was removed last Summer (which should have been a huge relief) and she took on his workload. She never felt any sense of stress leaving her as she swore would happen when her boss left (so all the time we spend thinking “if” this would happen or that would happen, we’d feel better is really a crock) and was still overwhelmed until two weeks ago when she had a new boss come in and take a lot off her plate. She instantly liked him and they got along, which lead to her feeling that now that all was calm, they wouldn’t need her anymore.

She had started to imagine reasons they would let her go, instead of seeing it from a different perspective. She could have chosen to see it from it having been a dysfunctional environment becoming much more functional. She was too afraid to believe that something in her life could go well without a high degree of suffering, even though that is what she truly wants!

Most of us have some insecurities about ourselves and what we deserve. The key is to see the thoughts, which in turn lead to the downward spiral of creating nightmares in our head. It takes a bit of self-awareness to realize the thoughts you are having during the day. I notice them as a sort of “comfortable/uncomfortable” feeling of familiarity.

Sort of like an old pair of shoes, you know them and you may be attached to them, but they are no longer all that comfortable or good for you.

When you catch that feeling, look at the thought and do what you can to not allow the thought to manifest into a B-movie in your mind to later be played out with others.

Projection is what happens.

Haven’t you been in a situation in which you are having a perfectly normal conversation with someone and their reaction to something you have said is….WAY OUT THERE? Or have you been the person to completely overreact (the one who is way out there?)and imagine the person in front of you as the great evil doer in your nightmare?

Yeah… nobody in that scenario is living in the current moment. And it is made worse by the “dramatic scene” we have playing in our head, in which we are soooo sure we know what is really going on and in reality, we couldn’t have been more wrong.

Getting clear on where you are and what you are doing is key. When you stop focusing on someone or something and analyzing it, you free up the space to put that energy toward having self-awareness, which works much better at getting you to your desired outcome.

When those nightmares start up….ask where they come from and when you see that they are about as real as the boogeyman you have an opportunity to take different action NOW (as in you have a clean slate–this moment is new, treat it that way) and not give energy to fiction in your mind. It gets easier the more often you do it and you will find yourself being less reactive and that things in your life just sort of work themselves out…..its true!