Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Trust Yourself

I love this post by Sherrie Campbell because it reiterates what I was thinking myself lately. You have to learn to trust your heart, no matter what. Sometimes that means going in the wrong direction, but the important thing is that you trusted you, and you can never practice if you don't start somewhere...
 By Sherrie Campbell, PhD
Why do we doubt ourselves so often? So often we don't use our own inner wisdom for our answers. We are always looking outside. We either want others to make decisions so we don't have to be responsible for them, or we are too afraid to make any decisions and so we wait. In either situation happiness is not likely because we are not in charge. Happiness comes from trusting ourselves. If we cannot trust ourselves to be deliberate about our own happiness then we cannot expect to cultivate it. Trusting ourselves may mean we take a few wrong turns until we set our compass straight. Mistakes can be extremely painful but if we take them and learn they are no longer mistakes but wisdom guides. Remember that most people outside of you have an agenda when they are advising and that agenda may have more to do with them then with you. Take the advice in, but check inside yourself if this is a decision that is in line with your authentic desires. What if their agenda isn't correct for you and you go off and make an ill advised decision which destroys your life...then how do you fix it? Most don't. Most avoid at this point and do nothing, not knowing how to take responsibility for their hastiness. The value of loving yourself is you must be brave enough to screw up your life now and again, take responsibility for it, re-set your compass and try again. Each time you have the courage to trust your own insights, the better the decisions in life you will make. It is well worth it to be brave and risk being wrong to learn how to be happy.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Anais Nin Quotes

We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.

She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
A man fell in love with Jeanne, and she tried to love him. But she complained that he uttered such ordinary words, that he could never say the magic phrase which would open her being.
I am like a snake who has already bitten. I retreat from a direct battle while knowing the slow effect of the poison.
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.
Truth is something which can't be told in a few words. Those who simplify the universe only reduce the expansion of its meaning.

Emotional Anorexia

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Your Feelings Matter

Your feelings matter. Your feelings are NEVER WRONG. FEELINGS just are. However you feel at a given moment should be expressible to those with whom you are in relationship, if you want to be happy, fulfilled and respected. Anything left than the FULL DISCLOSURE of how you feel renders you non-existent. You are your feelings; your feelings are you. Anytime you hold back speaking your truth to appease another person, you are becoming invisible.

What you feel, how you feel and the expression of your feelings are important. In any relationship, you need room to express who you are, which includes how you feel, at any given time. There are people in the world who respect your feelings, and there are people in this world who do not. There are people in this world who care about how their actions affect you, and there are those who are oblivious to how their actions or inaction may affect another person. Your goal in life should be to stay away from the latter type--stay away from those who do not recognize your unique identity and who do not make room for, and respect, and try not to step on, your feelings.

Relationships are all about two people interacting and engaging with one another. If one person in the relationship has bad feelings, but is afraid to acknowledge it, or afraid of speaking up for fear of rejection of the other party, then this is a HUGE problem. Not speaking up when you're hurt is the equivalent of disappearing, pretending to be invisible--all in effort to win the love of a person who you're afraid won't love you as you are. Why fish in these treacherous waters? Love, respect and security is right at your front door. There are many out there who care about you. Stick closely with those who care and give you room to feel.

People who don't care about you or your feelings are very good at manipulating you into believing that your feelings are the problem, not their lack of consideration. It is common for abusive personalities to place blame on others rather than taking responsibility for their own issues. If an abusive person disrespects you and you have a negative reaction, this avoidant type will blame your negative reaction rather than taking responsibility for his or her disrespect. Be aware, this is out there.

Your feelings are NOT THE PROBLEM. If someone does something to you that hurts, whether intentional or not, and you share that your feelings are hurt, a person with a healthy heart will allow you to express yourself openly, will hear you, and will, if possible, try to compromise for a solution to end your grievance. Healthy people seek win/win solutions that benefit everyone. Healthy people are not threatened by your feelings.

Negative, closed, emotionally immature people are more interested in power and control. They want to win at all costs. You winning in any way belittles them. You winning is not on their agenda. They just want to beat you, and come out right. These people are WRONG. Detach immediately.

You can determine the value of a relationship with another person by the way they respond to your feelings of any kind. If someone does not respond nicely when you express feelings of joy, or fails to respond at all, then you know that this person is not someone who can safely be by your side. They may have issues that make them envious because they don't believe in themselves. If they're envious of your peace and happiness, they will tear you down or withdraw from you when you're winning at life.

If someone does not want to hear, respond to or make room to your feelings of hurt, pain or displeasure, then it could mean that the person is not interested in your feelings at all. This person may want to treat you however and expect you to suck-it-up and pretend you're happy. Such a person is not interested in seeing you as a real person at all. He or she is only interested in you insomuch as you meet their needs, but as far as you are concerned, hang it up. You are nothing. This person will abuse you, use you and run over you. If you feel the need to express that what they are doing to you hurts, they will blame your feelings for their actions. It happens everyday, folks.

A truly caring, giving, open and healing relationship starts with two people who are empathetic to one another and willing to share power. Each party must not be insecure to the extent that they cannot allow another to be right. Each party must be emotionally capable of compromise, and able to admit their mistakes without blaming someone else (including you). A great relationship starts with two mature individuals who are empathetic to one another, and who have insight into their own issues, so that they can admit their faults and humble themselves appropriately. They must also be able to trust each other, and care enough to allow each other the full expression of their feelings.

A great litmus test into the heart of those you wish to connect with in a deeper way is to find out how they regard your feelings. Do your feelings offend them? Then they are looking at you as an extension of themselves. Do your feelings cause them to blame you for having such feelings? Then they are in denial of how their own behavior affects those around you, and have narcissistic tendencies. Are they dismissive of your feelings? They could be covered in so much toxic shame that they can't see where you end and they begin.

Do they stop, listen and respond to your feelings? This is a VERY GOOD SIGN. When you are hurt by the actions of another and you speak up about it, how the other person handles what you're saying is paramount. It gives you a vast amount of information as to whether this person can handle being in a healthy relationship. A healthy person will be concerned about your hurt. This may feel strange to someone who has been raised in an environment of invalidation. However, learn this whenever you can, no matter what the cost. A healthy person will care and he or she will do what they can to remedy the situation. That's just the human way.

You may not like the offer-in-compromise, but at least they're trying. You know you're involved with an unhealthy person when they refuse to acknowledge your hurt, or your right to be hurt, or their culpability in the hurt, and instead blame you for your hurt and continue to assert their correctness in the situation all the while. This is the sign of an extremely insecure person who is emotionally immature and incapable of caring for you like you need. You can't change this person, just walk away.

If you are attracted to people who are devaluing to your person or your feelings, or anything about you, it is a sign that you yourself are not fully valuing who you are. We attract who we are. Let any such relationship serve as a sign post in the journey to fully loving yourself. Realize that you need to accept yourself, love who you are, and respect YOUR OWN FEELINGS. Once you love who you are, respect who you are, and know who you are 100%, you will attract people who respect you too into your life. Those who disrespect your feelings will become less and less attractive when you know who you are and respect your own truth.

The End. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Self Love Embraces Reality

Self love is about facing reality and loving the mundane to pieces.

Self loathing is about deluding yourself with cognitive defenses as ego-protection.

Blame is an ego defense. It keeps you from facing your own issues and dissociates you from reality.    

How to Identify People Pleasing Behavior

Are you a people pleaser? People pleasing is a symptom of low self esteem. It occurs when you think other people are more important than you. People pleasing stems from a need to prove yourself to others, or to make up for some perceived inadequacy you believe you have.

A people pleaser has an unconscious notion that he or she has to work overtime, or over compensate for some flaw inside. Feeling inadequate, insecure and unworthy can lead you to bending over backwards to make others happy. A people pleaser is a doormat who doesn't consider her own well being while going the extra mile for others. People Pleasers allow others to take advantage of them, and to disrespect them in numerous ways.

Ways to Be a People Pleaser
  • You hang out with people you don't like just to have someone to hang out with.
  • You go to church just to please your parents. 
  • You play a sport you dislike just to be around cute guys (or girls).
  • You buy someone lunch regularly without expecting them to buy yours sometimes.
  • You fly across the US to go see them without them offering to come see you too.
  • You talk to them on the phone when you'd rather be doing something else. 
  • You go with them some place that you would rather not go.
  • You overlook your responsibilities to make sure they are comfortable.
  • You neglect your family to take care of the last minute whims of your boss. 
  • You never make posts on Facebook that reflect your truth but that others may not agree.
  • You continually call another person without getting reciprocation. 
  • You allow another person to hurt you without letting them know and asking them to stop.
  • You do things that are contrary to your values in order to make the other person like you. 
People who try to make everyone but themselves happy end up resentful, bitter and victimized. They are doing the work that belongs to other people, all the while cheating themselves of the energy they need to please themselves. 

It's one thing to be nice to others, to be generous and giving, but another to give everything you have away, be it time, money, resources, energy. Some may think that in order to be a "nice person," you have to make everyone happy. Others mistakenly believe they are bad when they can't make everyone happy, and this leads to guilt. You can never make everyone happy, so people pleasers tend to feel guilty most of the time.

Ask Yourself Why?

If you feel you are a people pleaser, you may need to take a step back and ask yourself why. What makes you feel you need to do so much for other people to make them happy? Why are you sacrificing your peace and happiness to give to other people in your life? Do you think that's your payment for being on planet earth? Do you not feel that you are worthy of just being who you are, expressing how you feel and taking care of yourself first? Do you think you're being noble? religious? Mother Teresa? Why are you so concerned that other people are happy without considering your own needs?

Next, you have to figure out how. How are you behaving in ways that are people pleasing? Here's a few questions to ask yourself when you're wondering if what you're doing is to please others or to please yourself.

1. Why am I doing this right now?
2. How do I feel about what this person is saying to me?
3. What am I trying to gain by doing what I'm doing right now?
4. What am I telling myself about why I'm doing what I'm doing?
5. What am I trying to get the other person to do by pleasing them?
6. What do I expect will happen if I succeed at pleasing this person?
7. What am I afraid will happen if this person is not pleased with me?
8. If the other person is pleased, how will I benefit?
9. Could I get what I want on my own without pleasing this person?
10. Am I in touch with my needs and wants enough to know that I'm sacrificing myself?
11. Is this person interested in reciprocal pleasing?
12. Do I resent what I'm doing to make this person happy while denying my own truth?
13. Am I compromising my values in order to be accepted and liked by this person?
14. Do I have the ability to say no and mean it?
15. What will happen if this person is unhappy with me? 

People pleasing is a form of manipulation. It's the process of trying to manage your image in the eyes of another person. Unfortunately, this indirect communication is sending the message that you feel unworthy of them and it causes them to disrespect you. It's impossible to respect a doormat.

You can't control what other people think of you, so give up. It's a lost cause. You will never win. Some people will always think you're crap and other people will love you. It's much easier to kick those who don't like you to the curb, and to hug those who love and respect you for who you are, without the fancy footwork.

People Pleasing Stems from Fear 

I think a big reason why people try so hard to make others happy at the expense of their own needs, wants, values and preferences is because of fear. People pleasers fear stuff like...

- Fear you're not good enough to assert yourself.
- Fear you'll be abandoned if you don't make the other person happy.
- Fear you might have to face the void in your own heart if you aren't accommodating to another.
- Fear you won't be liked and accepted.  (We all want and need that.)

The fact is that you are good enough to be who you are and to be loved at the same time. There is no need to pile on a bunch of extra stuff. Being nice is one thing, but over-giving is detrimental to your well being. You need the stuff that you give away in the people pleasing relational transaction.You need to keep some of you for you in order to have a fulfilling life. Trying to get other people to like you is not the path to peace, but rather, the path to pain. No one can give you the approval you need anyway; only you can give it to yourself.

Empower yourself! Think about what YOU want and what YOU need. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. It is not selfish to speak up for yourself. It is not selfish to say no to others. It is not selfish at all. You lose yourself when you try to make the whole world while ignoring your preferences, your values and your truth.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bounce Back

By: Sherrie Campbell, PhD
What is your ability to bounce back from life's harder realities? Bouncing back is that phenomenal strength we have within us to get up, find the positive and keep moving. Life is ultimately a circular process where we lose and then gain and then we lose and then gain. Every loss can be a gain if we are willing to look for the gifts. Every painful place is designed to take us to a better place but we have to be willing to bounce back. When we do this we will see every negative event, person, or relationship as a masterful teacher and life coach who taught us through the avenue of pain, loss and heartache to keep better boundaries and to stay true to ourselves. This is what bouncing back means. You have to hit the wall and get back up again. We also have to accept reality. If we argue with it we will suffer. We have to look at our current situation and figure out a way to make it livable...not tolerable but livable...find ways to make it meaningful. Pay attention to what you learned from smacking into that wall so you can create a better future for yourself. Never ever let any loss take away your life, your self-worth or your passions. Work hard to keep those in check. They are yours and belong to no one else. When you crash...get up! Let go and move on...there is freedom in this. Bounce back and find the gratitude.

Close to Closed

Seek to be with like-minded people. Your own growth is supported by being with others who are striving to become whole and loving. Love yourself enough to not force yourself to be around closed-hearted people, even if they are family or friends.

Dr. Margaret

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Be Who You Truly Are

I Am Love

You don't need to love yourself, YOU ARE LOVE. The task of living is to discover the essence of love that is already inside of you, to remove the barriers, the limitations and restrictions that keep you from seeing who you truly are.

~ Jenna Ryan

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Color Blind

Neurotic Attachment

Attachment to the reactions of others is a neurotic root of a giant weed.

Old Habits Die Hard

You learn much on the path to healing, awakening to truth and becoming whole and mature. You gain insight that helps you know what's really happening, to understand what life is doing to you, to wisely divide truth from fiction. You learn, you really do. As you venture out beyond your comfort zone to reach new heights in your life, you get the hard-to-reach truth that many can't grasp. You earned it. You get it--it being the power that comes with greater understanding... However, as you're learning and growing and becoming an enlightened being, able to experience the fullness that life has to offer, you will accidentally fall back into old modes of being, following out-dated schemas that no longer serve you--why? Because that's what you know. It's a habit to be where you were...

Have you ever learned something for a definite fact, but then fallen back into a way of being--how you were before you knew the truth? This is natural in the growth process. It's almost like we need to go back and see the scene before we can let it go, process it and move forward.

When you love yourself you don't need outside approval. When you operate from an internal Locus of Control, you don't need to control and manipulate others to get your needs met. When you know who you are, you don't need to do the things you used to do to make up for that lack of knowledge. All these things are true, but once you've learned to love yourself, you may find yourself acting in old ways in order to get old needs met that are no longer essential. Your behavior is a habit that is no longer serving you.

Once you love yourself, you have to find a whole new way of being, thinking, acting and reacting. Coming from brokenness, darkness and into the light of love and wholeness requires new modes of operating, new ways of thinking. You don't need the things you used to think you needed. You don't have to adjust yourself to fit the dimensions of other people. You don't have to comply with others who wish you to be something that you are not. You don't need what people who don't accept and love you have to offer. You don't need to fix anything outside of yourself once you've come to love who you are.

Loving yourself involves light, easy action that ebbs and flows spontaneously in the moment; it doesn't cling tightly to anything outside, but simply enjoys all that comes and goes. Loving yourself means that you accept reality for what it is, and you trust yourself to handle all that happens with grace, class and finesse. You no longer need to hang onto people, places or things in order to give yourself value.

So, here's to learning how to BE a person who loves yourself, who is strong enough to face the good and the bad without fear, and being open to new life. Learning to live in this new way takes practice, but soon the old ways of being will drift away, leaving room for greater fulfillment.

  (And repeating the patterns was not a sign that she had not grown.  This was a new opportunity for growth at a higher level of consciousness for her – a perfect part of her growth process, not some regression or slip into old behavior.  We make progress gradually.) Robert Burnley, Fear of Intimacy, The Wounded Heart of Codependency 

Open Your Heart

Here are my tweets for today:

Live your life in such a way that your heart is always OPEN.

A closed heart projects what it doesn't want to accept about itself onto others in order to gain a false sense of superiority.

You are light. You are love. You are truth. Anything less is a lie.

A closed heart is afraid of itself.

The closed heart leans on the lies it needs to feel safe.

Having to vie for power is a farce; it means you don't know the truth of who you are.

Closing your heart to others is the same as closing your heart to yourself; we are all connected.

Often, what people think is love and loving behavior is not. Love is open, accepting and tolerant of differences.

True love is accepting another and yourself just as you are, without conditions to change.

A closed heart expends energy on manipulation and control of its environment to prevent upsets. An open heart isn't afraid of pain.

Fear of pain causes your life to contract. Courage to face pain is the precursor to self expansion and personal growth.

Important parts of you are waiting to be discovered on the other side of the pain you're afraid to face.

Pain, hurt, heartbreak are part of life. You can't control what comes to you, but you can control your reaction when it arrives.

A closed heart is rigid, setting forth rules and regulations for what is acceptable. It is the lesson learned from lack of love.

A closed heart is held in place by what it thinks that it is; an open heart is set free by allowing itself to become.

A closed heart is rigid, setting forth rules and regulations for what is acceptable, a resistance to reality, and the shrinkage of life.

Life is becoming; flying is becoming; truth is becoming; you are becoming who you are.

You can't prevent pain by cutting yourself off from others.

Whatever you are manifesting in your life today is a mirror of what you believe you deserve inside your heart.

Better an open heart with pain and joy then a closed heart with just pain.

An open heart is able to tolerate the unknown with grace; it is at peace with itself.

Appreciating the deep thoughts of others and self without judgment or condemnation is the hallmark of an open heart and a mature spirit.

Refusing to think beyond the confines of any set of coordinates is to place limits on your own existence and potential.

Every relationship in your life teaches you something about yourself if you're open to learning.

Once your heart is open heart to truth, it can never be closed again.

A closed heart likes to think it has all the answers; an open heart knows otherwise.

A closed heart is set in place with scaffolding; an open heart flies free.

The open heart has the courage to face the truth, no matter the pain. It knows the life that comes after death.

An open heart has been to the other side and made friends with the giants.

Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? ~Rumi

A closed heart is like driving the same way to work every day and never going beyond a 10 mile radius from where you live. 

A closed heart seems comfortable; you know the rules, but your receptivity to wisdom, knowledge & understanding is diminished. 

A closed heart is overly concerned with rightness and wrongness in others.

Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. ~Rumi

Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape. ~Rumi

The freedom to become is the secret to flight.

Life is becoming; flying is becoming; truth is becoming; you are becoming who you are.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Pain Brings Growth

Life's pain invites us into developing ourselves into better, healthier, more realized people. That is the purpose of all pain. It is when we are in pain that we feel the most vulnerable and out of control. But, it is in our pain that we lose ourselves to find ourselves. The three most important things we need to be healthy are self-love, self-knowledge and self-control. Life's pain brings with it the opportunity for knowledge. We can gain knowledge through our painful times in ways that we could not gain it in any other way because when we are in pain we question ourselves, we question our choices, we question our relationships and the people we have chosen. It is easy to lose focus and resort to trying to control those outside of us to somehow ease our pain by having them feel responsible to fix it. We cannot control anyone outside of us and if we try we are not demonstrating self-control we are being manipulative. Being emotionally disciplined means keeping your stuff as your stuff. No one can really give you answers that will make you feel closure. Closure can only come from within when you decide to get deliberate and take control of fixing your own grief and your own sadness. Self-control is a way to emotional mastery. It doesn't mean you don't sob and cry, get angry or feel fear. It simply means that you have the self-control not to act these out on another person in an effort to make them responsible for you. You learn to take care of your own emotional business. This is maturity. This is self-loving. When you have self-control you begin to trust yourself and take care of yourself knowing you can get through whatever it is. The truth is always within you... so stick to you and love you and all your answers will come. They come in the silence.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Truth about the Truth

This is the truth about the truth.

You Can't Love Just Anybody

One of the most important decisions you'll ever make is who you choose to love. Who you choose to love will impact the quality of your life all the days that you live. Unfortunately, there is no class in public school which teaches how to choose the right mate, one that will love you right, remain faithful and care for you until death-do-you-part. But what is it? What qualities make up a person to be love-worthy. Why do we make so many mistakes when everything "feels" so right? Is it you? Is it me? Is there something wrong with our type of love? Or is the problem in who we choose to love?


I love Eric Fromm's book, "The Art of Loving," where he depicts the qualities that are necessary in a person to be a safe bet for loving. 

“Love isn't something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn't a feeling, it is a practice.”
Erich Fromm,
The Art of Loving