Monday, July 29, 2013

What does it really mean to value yourself?

By: Sherrie Campbell, PhD
What does it really mean to value yourself? What it means to me has nothing to do with ego or an inflated sense of self. When we value ourselves we accept ourselves as human but love ourselves enough to do our best to handle life's challenges with dignity. 
Dignity is an internal sense of who you are and what you mean in the world...what your value is. If you are accepting below value treatment by letting others treat you poorly or unfairly judge or scapegoat you then you are not valuing yourself
To have high value is to have a soft, sweet but powerful sense of who you are. You have a love and exuberance for what you have to offer and the quality of love you are capable of giving and receiving
You then have to be sure you are giving this love to people who can receive it and have a high enough value within themselves that they know they deserve it and are capable of giving it in return
Many of us have had to learn the hard way that there are truly people who are "love allergic." They see love and maybe they haven't ever seen it before and instead of that love making them feel good it makes them angry, empty and hateful. This is because they have never been taught they are lovable. This is something that love from another cannot fix for them. It will be their life's journey to try and mend that within themselves, to learn to love themselves. If you have high value and you love yourself you will be able to accept you cannot save those people, but you can wish them well on their journey and hope they can find the remedies to their "love allergies" on their own. In the meantime get out of there and Love Yourself...the good is always on its way and being self-loving is a powerful attractor for all that good.

Dignity

By Sherrie Campbell, PhD
 
What we all have ownership over, if we love ourselves, is our dignity. When we have our dignity in our hands and hearts we trust always in the abundance and goodness of the Universe. We know that there is always enough love to go around and therefore, we believe in solutions. We never settle for less than we deserve and we always walk in silence from situations in which we are not valued
 
We know when we are around those who do not love themselves because they believe completely in lack. They believe to have one thing they love they must give up other important loves. This is truly the sickness of not believing in love and abundance. This is the belief in negativity. This is the fear that we cannot have all we deserve, desire and want. 
 
Non-self loving people come from this place and create chaos in their lives and in the lives of others. In fact, if they experience true love they demean it, take it for granted and do whatever they can to destroy it because after all they must not deserve it. 
 
There is no peace in this thought system because it is ruled by the mind and not the heart. If the shutters are closed the light cannot come in. We must accept there are many like this and accept we cannot help them to see all the abundance which is there if they are unwilling to believe. Just take a moment...and embrace all the goodness and love available if we just simply...love ourselves.

Hurting is Healing



By Sherrie Campbell, PhD 
Life is about healing. When we are hurting we have to remind ourselves that we are not hurting...we are healing. 
 Life is about change and change almost always involves some type of loss. It is often hard to see this loss not as a loss but as a new beginning. This just takes time. 
Every loss is a new beginning but we cannot skip over the loss part of the equation so we must enter into a time of healing. Here is the thing about healing, we do not usually get to decide how long it will take and most of us would love to push the river. When we are healing we are on "healing's time" (I discuss this in my book in detail). 
Healing's time is Divine time. We should never want to cut our healing short because if we do we lose essential growth opportunities. However, we must also be mindful not to stay stuck and suffer needlessly over our own suffering. Healing is about growth and growth is about movement so as you heal and nurture yourself, do it actively so there is movement forward involved. 
Everything outside of us that we are attached to is temporary so when there has been a loss do not get in denial about it. Accept it. It is real. I has happened and you must deal with it. I see so many people who resists this process. We must not resist, but allow ourselves to surrender. The good is ALWAYS on it's way so as you are healing and growing keep this in mind. The Universe has a need to fill up all empty spaces and if you are focused on loving yourself your empty spaces will be filled up with more love. If you are focused on resisting the Universe will not be on your side and your empty spaces will be filled up with more pain to give you the opportunity to surrender. Doesn't this make loving yourself and accepting the reality of your healing to be the best choice in the direction of improving your self worth? Accept and surrender.

Real Love

Sherrie Campbell, PhD
No one can ever love us enough to fulfill us...not our children, not our partners, not our friends. When we have emptiness inside and we go looking for love we will only find more emptiness. 
What we create in our outside world is simply a reflection of what we feel on the inside about our worth, our rights to love and happiness and what we believe we deserve. 
When we can change and let go of any and all negative thoughts and stories about ourselves then our lives will change to reflect that. 
People who do not offer us love cannot offer it because they don't have it to give. If we are searching for them to give something they do not have then we will have emptiness. 
If you believe you deserve a higher level of love then you must become that within yourself. The value of loving yourself is immeasurable and the greatest gift of it is when losses come in life you will always have yourself to fall into. There is not a greater safety than that. 
Remember real love doesn't leave, real love doesn't lack. Real love is about solutions and patience. Real love must first start with loving yourself. Have a beautiful Sunday!
___

Get Your Own Advice

By Sherrie Campbell, PhD

If we love ourselves then we will know who we are and who we are not. When we do not have an inner connection to ourselves we are like a kite floating on the unpredictable weather of life. When we are not internally connected we are making fear based decisions, making decisions based upon what other people tell us what is right for us, and making decisions that we think will get us what we want. 
We can never get what we want out of fear. We can never get what we want by someone else telling us what to do. We can only get what we want when we check within. The power to run our lives effectively exists within all of us, but so many of us allow the outside world to dictate our direction and we often give up or get rid of the very things in our lives that we really need because they are healthy for us. 
Fear creates reactivity, impulsivity and regret. These are three things which then bring upon great loss, depression and self-doubt. When we love ourselves, we know ourselves. We can listen to and consider the advise of others but only after we check in with our own compass, weigh the options from a place of health compassion and self-love and then we will always know what is truly best for us. Like the good witch said "She had the strength within her all along." 
Check within before you make decisions and in doing this you will not risk making decisions which only serve to make your life more empty.

Seekers of Love & Approval

By Sherrie Campbell, PhD
 
Seeking love and approval can be one of the most devastating quests we go on if we are searching for it from others. Regardless of what someone shows to the world their emotional and mental states cannot be concealed. Each person is experienced directly and/or subliminally by the outside world. If we feel unworthy of love then people will pick up on that. Likewise, if we feel worthy of love, people will also pick up on that. This is why loving yourself is so vital. 
 
Loving ourselves can be easy to lose, hard to pick up some days but committing to it and trying again is always something you can return to. It really doesn't matter what people think of us, or what slander they put out in the world if we are ok with who we are and we know we have done our best in whatever sitatuation life has brought to us. 
 
Life isn't about being perfect or being what other people want or need us to be. It is about evolving personally. If we are stuck in needing the approval of others or needing them to like us we are out of alignment with the Universe. If we love ourselves then we are in alignment with our Universal evolutionary impulse to grow. In this way we can look at our mistakes and see them as opportunities to grow. When we see it this way, we can stop self-abusing. 
 
We are all human. Each of us. We are all doing our best. Love and approval need to come from within so we can shine that light out into the world to keep the darkness away.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Self Love Beyond Pain

If your SELF is filled with pain, you may reject that pain (not wanting to feel it) and along with it, you reject parts of yourself. Think about it. Your emotional pain is attached to--bound to--parts of YOU. Have you ever considered that the emotional pain you hide, deny and reject actually consists of some good stuff too? Like a dirty shirt that just needs a good washing...

Inner discomfort is attached to parts of you that you need. Parts of you that need you. When you run from pain, it's like refusing to clean your house. Pain is not as scary or bad as you imagine. Your feelings of hurt are often a signal that there is something you're ready to face, to heal from and to overcome.

You may try to medicate your pain with addictions. You may run to anything outside of yourself... drugs, alcohol, another person, love, sex, gambling, work, the internet.. Anything to distract you and to keep your mind off the nagging pain at the pit of your chest. The pain which is, in fact, your True Self crying out for attention, time and understanding.

Only YOU can answer the cry of your heart. It may feel like the pain will resolve once you fulfill your fantasy of wholeness that your pain has projected like an oasis in your heart, but that is a lie. The only way to stop the pain is by facing it, feeling it, processing it and letting it go. Once you do, you find pieces of you that the pain was holding onto. Pieces of you that are valuable. Pieces of you that you need. Pieces of you that deserve your own honor, attention, respect and love. Forgotten pieces of your very own self that you've left by the wayside because it was intertwined with pain.

Pain is anything other than complete Self Acceptance. Anything other than joy and jubilation at the thought of your existence, your day, your life. Pain is anything that interferes with fulness and wholeness. That pain must be cleared out, accepted, acknowledged and grieved. Stuffing your pain down only leads to depression and physical symptoms. It's only by being honest with ourselves, and brave enough to face the truth of our own discontent, that we can begin to reconcile ourselves inside.

Pain will not be denied.

J. Ryan
July 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Where Are You Stuck?


Ways to Abandon Yourself

What does it mean to abandon yourself? Many people who have issues with self love have a tendency to abandon themselves and give up who they are very easily. But what does that mean? You are you, so how can you abandon the person that you are? I thought it would be helpful to have a list to get started. In the coming months we will be delving into this theme continuously. It's time we bond and connect to our true selves and stop abandoning ourselves. We need to keep hold of who we are so we can live our best lives.

Ways to Abandon Yourself

  • Ignoring your inner voice.
  • Allowing opinions of others to change your mind and/or direction.
  • Allowing actions of others to make you feel guilty or ashamed. 
  • Denying or minimizing your feelings.
  • Not paying attention to yourself, your needs, your health.
  • Eating candy and junk when you're hungry for nutrients.
  • Smoking, drinking or taking drugs.
  • Not speaking up for yourself.
  • Not standing up for yourself.
  • Allowing your own defenses to block your progress.
  • Using your energies toward anything not conducive to your highest good.
  • Ignoring the cry of your heart to improve or change in any area.
  • Disregarding your qualities.
  • Judging yourself as less than another.
  • Doubting yourself.
  • Blaming yourself.
  • Dissociating from reality.
  • Denying your true feelings.
  • Dimming your sparkle to make another comfortable.
  • Putting up with disparaging treatment.
  • Ignoring yourself. 
  • Sabotaging your success.
  • Focusing on the feelings, actions of another person.
  • Trying to control the perceptions others have of you.
  • Trying to prove yourself or win approval.
  • Daydreaming too much; fantasizing.
  • Being obsessive, compulsive or delusional.
  • Being bombarded with excess shame.
  • Having an external locus of control.
  • Lacking in self care and self compassion.
  • Lacking boundaries. 
  • Chasing after someone who rejected you.
  • Expecting the worst.
  • Thinking the world is a bad place. 
  • Having to be in control.
  • Being perfectionistic.
  • Beating yourself up for mistakes. 
  • Negative thinking. 

Experience Your Own Goodness

We do not become "good" by trying to be "good" Often when we feel we need someone's love we become a slave for their love and approval. They shoot out a relationship frizbee and we run and catch it while doing a tripple-gainer with a half twist just to show how much we love them and this is still often not enough to have our goodness reflected back. 
We can only find the good in our relationships by nurturing the good inside ourselves because anyone outside of us is going to be temporary either by break up, death or some other form of an ending. There are many documented cases of people literally dying of broken hearts and we have probably all been there and thought that that would surely happen because love or the loss of love can be so painful. Let us be inspired by this because by finding the goodness that is within us this is the only way for that goodness to emerge to be shared with others and to be experienced as a stable state of being within us. 
We are capable of changing our state of being by focusing on being self-loving. When we operate this way, we may fall down from time to time but we will not break because we can find ourselves again, commit to ourselves again and open up to a new life. there are now so many people who need your love in many new ways. If a love falls away it opens up space for all those others who have been waiting for that vacancy in your life so that they may enter and offer you an even more meaningful love experience than the one that fell away. 
If we can love ourselves and nurture experiencing our own goodness life will reflect this back to us with more love. If you have the power to believe in this, you will manifest it.

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Often times we think the way to solve our problems is to jump into action and force our will. We may feel that if we give any situation too much time that there will be a loss. Sometimes we have to have the patience to wait until our mud settles and the waters are clear before we can be sure or about anything in life. 
When we are feeling at a loss it can feel nearly impossible to use patience--our ability to wait and not act out in a negative or impulsive manner. Whenever we act out impulsively or negatively we damage others and we damage ourselves. We create a mess that sometimes can be so damaging to someone else that we fear it can not be remedied. This is why it is often the best thing to remain unmoving until right action arises on its own. 
This is about faith that the right action will arise on its own. You can be sure that whatever is out of balance has a need to balance at some point and that means that right action will arise on it's own. Therefore, do nothing. Remain unmoving until that time with your only focus being You, Loving Yourself, rebuilding your life or improving your life and let he Universe do the rest. Then when right action arises you will know that you are doing the correct thing for yourself and all involved. love yourself.

----

If we love ourselves then we will know who we are and who we are not. When we do not have an inner connection to ourselves we are like a kite floating on the unpredictable weather of life. When we are not internally connected we are making fear based decisions, making decisions based upon what other people tell us what is right for us, and making decisions that we think will get us what we want. We can never get what we want out of fear. We can never get what we want by someone else telling us what to do. We can only get what we want when we check within. 
The power to run our lives effectively exists within all of us, but so many of us allow the outside world to dictate our direction and we often give up or get rid of the very things in our lives that we really need because they are healthy for us. Fear creates reactivity, impulsevty and regret. These are three things which then bring upon great loss, depression and self-doubt. 
When we love ourselves, we know ourselves. We can listen to and consider the advise of others but only after we check in with our own compass, weigh the options from a place of health compassion and self-love and then we will always know what is truly best for us. Like the good witch said "She had the strength within her all along." Check within before you make decisions and in doing this you will not risk making decisions which only serve to make your life more empty.
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The longing for love is in every person and especially in every child. If we did not get loved the way we needed to be loved as children we often grow up looking for love from others and often the wrong others. We can only recognize real love when we really love ourselves. We have to know what love feels like to be able to relate to it and accept it. 
If we fall in love with someone who does not love themselves the relationship will not be fulfilling because that person will have little love, adoration or true emotion to give. What they will do, however, is gladly receive your love and it will make them feel good. If you feel there is something vital missing in a love relationship it probably is. It is easy to get into to denial about this and think if you can just make this person happy and treat them well that they will become happy and treat you better. You then begin to lose yourself trying to love someone who really cannot love you back because they do not love themselves fully and the relationship will soon fracture. 
It is easy to think if you just change yourself enough that it will make someone else happier but this is never the case. The only person that can make anyone truly happy is that person him/herself. This is why loving yourself is so important. If you love yourself, the correct love will find you. 

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The most difficult thing to do as a person is to set the boundaries you need to set so you can maintain and nurture your sense of self and self-esteem. Sometimes we have to say no when it is really hard to do so. 
 
Sometimes we feel that our parents or other significant loves must approve of who we are and what we do in order for us to feel accepted and loved. But why should they? Sometimes people just aren't capable of understanding who we are and what we do with our lives but that has nothing do with us. It has more to do with who they are and the level of consciousness within which they operate. 
 
We may feel that we cannot feel happy or comfortable with who we are unless we have their approval but why is that? What difference does their approval really make to who we are? It really makes no difference. If you love who you are and you believe in what you are doing in your life then keep doing what brings you joy, love and happiness. if you are getting criticized endlessly by someone you love or they are intrusive to your life then you will have to set the correct boundaries on them so that you can continue on your path to self love...just keep in my mind that their approval isn't necessary for you to be fully who you are. Love yourself.
 
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The only way to truly love another is to first love yourself. If you do not love yourself you cannot have or create an equitable or enduring relationship. Some people think loving yourself is self-centered when in fact loving yourself is the starting place for being able to love others. The number one main reason you should be self-loving is that you embody the love from within you to offer to the world of your relationships. 
 
Each person has an inner light and if nurtured can be healing for those around them. If you love yourself you will protect that light from those who are like a moth to a flame just wanting to use it to get themselves out of their own darkness. You will know when you are being sucked dry when you are not being appreciated for your unique goodness
 
We do not want to be doing for others what they should be or could be doing for themselves. This is not about choosing to withhold help from someone you love it is the awareness that the best kinds of love are when you can accept and love a lover without having to manage his/her emotional baggage as well as your own. We all have to stand at ease within ourselves before we can stand to love another. If you want beautiful love...BE beautiful love.
 

Don't Be An "Order Taker"

One of our community members sent me this today. It is SO TRUE! You know I love it. We should all follow this lady and get refreshed with wisdom as we learn to LOVE OURSELVES more and more every day...

From Sherrie Campbell, PhD
Loving yourself is the key to learning to think for YOURSELF. If you do not love yourself you cannot think for yourself. If you cannot think for yourself you cannot possibly make healthy decisions. If you cannot think for yourself then you become someone who simply follows orders. You end up doing what other people tell you to do instead of doing what you know in your gut is the right thing to do. 
If you are an 'order-follower' you are constantly operating out of fear and self-doubt. You have become so alienated from your own self that you are not comfortable anywhere around anyone and you have not clarity on who you really are. 
It is fascinating that the greatest damage is never created by people who love themselves and are risk taking. The greatest damage is caused by those who take orders (do what they are told to do). They drop reckless bombs and create massacres destroying the most precious and innocent things. 
Loving ourselves connects us to our OWN answers and those come from within not without. You should always question advice from the outside by balancing it against your inside and the bigger picture not the short-sightedness of 'winning' something. We all have the power to find our own answers and answers that come from this are not dangerous or harmful to others. They may help set boundaries but solutions are always involved as is the highest good for all involved. 
If you are simply taking orders the Universe will not be in your favor because you are not using your naturally given internal guidance system. The gifts of being self-loving only benefit all those whose lives you touch.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

5 Reasons Why Abused People Trust Those Who Are Unworthy

Abused people are often most loyal to those who are least worthy of it. Steven Brownlow, PhD

Why is that? Why do abused people remain loyal to unworthy people? Well, as a formerly abused person, I can give the answers to the reasons why an abused person would remain loyal to an unworthy person.

1. Abused people don't have emotional sensors to help them define unworthy treatment. 

An abused person is used to being hurt, exploited, disappointed, abused and disregarded. Poor treatment is customary for one who was abused in childhood. When you've never experienced positive, loving interactions, it is difficult to know the difference. You don't know what you're missing. When all you've ever known is abuse, you are attracted to that same abusive behavior--conditioned, so to speak to the abuse.

Learning to trust your instincts is difficult for the formerly abused person because they were denied access to their own feelings in order to survive the abuse from childhood.  It's like being on a road with no directional signs. You have to learn from scratch how to decipher different feelings in your heart in order to know what you're experiencing, and then you have to learn new skills for expressing your needs and setting boundaries. This is a monumental task as an adult! It's hard to make-up for many years of maltreatment, but it can be done. You can get free from abusive relationship patterns.

2. Abused people can experience repetition compulsion.

When all you've ever known is mistreatment, you have a psychological desire to right the wrongs of the past, plus, if you've always been treated bad, you may have learned to enjoy being treated that way.  This is called repetition compulsion (Freud), where you get in a relationship with a person like your abusive parent in an attempt to make them love you. It's all subconscious and leads to further pain for the abused person. In some respects, however, it actually feels good to be treated badly making it very difficult to break free from the cycle.

3. Abused people may feel unworthy of proper, respectful treatment.

Someone who was harmed as a child likely has been given the message by caretakers, and others throughout life that he or she is not worthy. As such, that person may not feel worthy deep down at the core. If you don't feel worthy, you will tolerate disrespect. If you do not feel worthy you will try to PROVE your worth to another person in order to EARN their love. Or, you may mold your desires to suit their wishes and whims and totally lose yourself, your identity in the process.

4. Abused people desperately need someone to love and trust, but don't know what trust is.

Abused people were not given the basic training manual on how to develop trust. Without someone to trust to begin with, how can you learn to trust? It's difficult, but not impossible with much dedication and diligence. If the abused person is not completely healed, and if he or she does not know their worth, they may trust someone prematurely with their valuable heart and soul. What the abused person needs is a road map, and lots of practice in knowing who and how to trust others.

5. Abused people are easily fooled.

An abused person has parts of them that are as naive as a child when it comes to relating with other human beings. That's because abuse stunts the emotional development of a person. The abused person's need for love and lack of protective warning sensors in their emotions makes them a sitting duck for abusive others. An abuser who gets out of exploiting others can easily get past that person's defenses and close to their heart where they can take advantage like a fox in the hen house. Afterall, if abused as a child, it's like growing up with the fox (exploiter) as a caretaker. Without the proper guidance and conditioning, the abused person is like a sitting duck.

Abused people lack the natural defenses needed to guide and protect them from further abuse. They may also be prone to self-sabotage. Defenses to trusting someone who is untrustworthy include:
  • Self worth / Self love
  • Assertiveness
  • Emotional maturity
  • Clear boundaries
  • Internal Support
Solution...

What can be done? How can someone who was abused stop the cycle of abuse as an adult? How can he or she turn back time and re-program their mind so they can stop trusting the wrong people who will only end up breaking their hearts and leaving them in pain?

1. Mindfulness

It's important that we all know what is going on with our own body, mind and soul. Mindfulness is a technique to help the abused person become more aware of their inner world and get more in tune
with their thoughts, feelings, emotions, needs and desires.

2. Emotional Clarity

The abused person must heal from the emotional hurts that were inflicted as a child through the releasing of pent up sadness, shame, anger and rage. These e-motions are simply "energy-in-motion" that must be processed to be resolved. Once you become in touch with these deep emotions, you are more emotionally available to yourself and these emotions are accessible to you for inner guidance.

3. Assertiveness

An abused person needs a huge dose of assertiveness, which I have found comes naturally when you get in touch with any repressed anger you hold inside during the emotional clarity process. Rage is an infantile emotion that develops into assertiveness, if one is raised properly. If not raised properly, rage turns inward and you become a doormat. If you want to get assertive, you need to get mad. You need to get mad at people who are out to abuse you and turn away from poor treatment immediately.

4. Reprogram Your Mind

If an abused person wishes to stop being drawn to untrustworthy people, he or she must get out of their comfort zone. They must create new neurological synapses that rewire their brains so that they are capable of one day being comfortable with positive treatment. Your brain has plasticity, so this is possible. It's not easy, but it is possible.

5. Set Boundaries

You must set limits and boundaries within yourself and outside of yourself with others. Boundaries are not easy to set when you come from an abusive background where boundaries were not allowed. Abusers hate boundaries! You must, however, overcome your tendency to merge psychologically with others and to lay down like a door mat. Your boundaries protect your identity and keep you safe and free from harm. It is your job to learn to set boundaries. Practice makes perfect!

What do you think? Are there any other things a person should do? I would love to hear from you. Please comment...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fear or Love?

"Notice if your feelings & actions are coming from thoughts of fear or of love."
~ Dr. Margaret Paul 

If your actions are coming from a place of fear, then examine closely. you are likely feeling the need to control the perception that other people have of you. If you're operating from a place of fear, you are like an empty void, sucking up all that is around you. Fear is a place of need, a place of emptiness, hopelessness and insecurity. What are you afraid of? Examine:
  • Afraid the truth will come out that you are not worthy of love, that you are not enough?
  • Afraid that your relationship will end because there is no way you can ever be happy?
  • Afraid that your loved one will leave you?
  • Afraid you will be exposed in your weakness?
And if any of these fears form the core of your thoughts and feelings, you will have distinctly different actions and interactions than if you come from a place of love. What's more, you will likely end up getting the very thing you feared--rejection from the other person. This is because fear breeds rejection. Fear is the ultimate rejection of self; it is a lack of faith in your own efficacy in life. Fear breeds what it tries to hedge.

Fear Takes

Another issue alluded to above is the need to control. When you are in fear, instead of operating out of the purity and wholeness of love, you end up trying to control outcomes. This control takes on various manipulative forms. This control wreaks havoc on your relationships because it is indirect, non-authentic and a mask of who you really are and how you really feel. A person who is in fear may pretend to be super-strong, get super-angry, withdraw and/or hold affection. Fear causes you to engage indirectly, and may cause you to seek reassurance in those around you--the black hole effect.

Love Gives

But when you come from a place of love, it is a different story. Love offers up itself in truth and beauty. Love is not trying to GET anything in return--I learned this from Dr. Margaret Paul's teachings. Love doesn't need approval, doesn't need to make excuses for itself, doesn't need anything. Love is the opposite of fear because fear takes but love gives. Fear hides but love uncovers.

The key is being mindful during your interactions. Asking the right questions at the right moments can help you figure out where you're heart is and allow you to adjust your positioning in order to protect your precious relationships. Remember: Love builds, encourages and gives; fear destroys, rejects and takes.

Which will you choose this day?
 
Jenna R.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Non-Violence / Equality

Love This!!!


Equality in Dating Relationships Wheel


Power & Control Wheel


Relationship Rights

Relationship Bill of Rights 
by Divine Caroline

Have you ever thought about what a relationship should be … what a self-loving, self-respecting person is entitled to in a healthy relationship? Of course you have! I’ve addressed this in various dimensions in lots of other posts, but I thought it would be fun to draft a general relationship bill of rights. Mine can serve as a guide for you to begin one of your own, based on your particular experiences and ideals.

In my opinion, you are born with the inalienable right to a relationship that:

1. Lets you make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. Mistakes are human. Mistakes allow us to learn, to grow, and to become better as individuals and when done right as couples. In a healthy relationship, we must have the room to stumble and not be scorned for it.

2. Lets you be 100 percent yourself. A relationship worth staying in is one that you feel free to be all of the dimensions of you, all of the time. If a piece of is hibernating out of fear that it will not be accepted, then that piece will ultimately shrivel up and die, making you feel less than your complete worth.

3. Lets you to state your needs and have them met. Being assertive about your need-states is critical—how else can you get them met? By doing so you are honoring your rights and letting your partner know what it will take to make you satisfied. A proper partner will give you a stage to allow this to happen and work with you to ensure reasonable needs are fulfilled.

4. Lets you freely express your feelings. We are born to express our feelings. After all, we come out of the womb, crying … crying for warmth, attention, nourishment. And it never stops. We biologically need to express our feelings and we need to be felt/heard by the heart/ears that those feelings fall upon.

5. Makes you feel safe and secure. Another innate quality we do not outgrow from birth is our need for security. Security comes in different forms for different people, but once you identify what makes you feel safe and secure, it is critical that you have it in your relationship; it serves as a foundational element to grow on.

6. Gives you room to grow. Throughout your life, you will continue to evolve. As life throws you new challenges you will need room to meet them head- and heart-on, which often requires developing new life skills. This means that you will not be the same person a year from now, five years from now, and so on, that you are today (and that’s a good thing!). A healthy partner respects and encourages such a process.

7. Is not physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally or sexually abusive. Duh.

8. Lets you ask for help. Being able to ask for help is a sign of strength, not one of weakness. Despite many women’s desire to be able to leverage superwoman-like powers and handle it all, you can’t. You have the right to ask for help, and the right to get it.

9. Does not demand you take on responsibility for another’s problem. Sure, relationships are about helping one another through each other’s tough times, but they are not about becoming solely responsible for another person’s mess. When you enter a relationship, each member must be responsible for what they bring in and what they collect along the way.

10. Allows you to walk away, whenever you want, for whatever reason you choose. Relationships aren’t about control … not in the free society in which we choose to live. We should only be in a relationship if it is a healthy, prosperous one for us; if it is not, we should and must be able to depart it.

What else would you add to your relationship bill of rights? What should you get unequivocally from a relationship, no matter what?

Live and love largely,
Tristan

Basic Rights in a Relationship

  • The right to good will from the other
  • The right to emotional support
  • The right to be heard by the other and to be responded to with courtesy
  • The right to have your own view, even if your mate has a different view
  • The right to have your feelings and experience acknowledged as real
  • The right to receive a sincere apology for any jokes you find offensive
  • The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern what is
    legitimately your business
  • The right to live free from accusations and blame
  • The right to live free from criticism and judgment
  • The right to have your work and your interests spoken of with respect
  • The right to encouragement
  • The right to live free from emotional and physical threat
  • The right to live free from angry outbursts and rage
  • The right to be called by no name that devalues you
  • The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered


BASIC RIGHTS IN ANY RELATIONSHIP
The right to goodwill from the other.

The right to emotional support.

The right to be heard by the other and to be responded to with courtesy.

The right to have our feelings and experience acknowledged as real.

The right to receive a sincere apology.

The right to clear and informative answers to questions that concern what is legitimately your business.

The right to live free from accusation and blame.

The right to live free from criticism and judgment.

The right to have your work and your interests spoken of with respect.

The right to encouragement.

The right to live free from emotional and physical threat.

The right to live free from angry outbursts and rage.

The right to be called by no name that devalues you.

The right to be respectfully asked rather than ordered.

The right to protect own physical and emotional health.

The right to be treated with respect.

The right to express your own beliefs, feelings, opinions, convictions, values and traditions.

QUESTIONS BELOW PRESENT A CRITERIA BY WHICH TO EVALUATE WHEN STARTING ANY NEW RELATIONSHIP

Does he/she have a sense of joy in life?

Do I enjoy his/her ideas, and do I feel a rapport with him/her?

Do I feel a real connection, laughing together and catching meanings in the same way?

Is there a best-friend quality to my relationship?

Do I feel relaxed with him/her?

Can I really be myself without criticism?

Does he/her share his/her interests with me and express an interest in mine?

Does he/she speak openly and honestly about himself/herself?

Do I feel warmth and understanding from him/her?

Is his/her humour often at the expense of others, or is it bitter or intimidating, or does it make me uncomfortable?

Does he/she seem distrustful of a number of other people?

Does he/she argue against my thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences?

Is time spent with him/her not as pleasant as I usually anticipate?

Is his/her world composed of ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’?

Does he/she seem to understand or remember things differently from me?

Does he/she make assumptions about me based on anecdotal evidence?

Most important of all are your own feelings. If you experience the slightest feeling that something is wrong, it is.

It is time to move on to find someone that will love and respect you with all his/her heart.



 Human Rights For Those Involved in Intimate Relationships

This is an excerpt from:  Exit Support Network

Many in deceptive, controlling groups have been helplessly abused by those in authority. This article helps you to know what your human rights are.
  • The right to share equally with your partner all decisions and responsibilities related to your relationship, children, home and finances.
  • The right to share equally with your mate in all financial decisions.
  • The right to have friendships outside of your relationship as long as you do not violate the privacy of your relationship with your partner.
  • The right to have friendships outside of your relationship as long as you do not violate the privacy of your relationship with your partner.
  • The right to express your opinion and then be given the same respect and consideration as those of your mate.
  • The right to have and express your sexual needs and desires without feeling like you are selfish, demanding, or aggressive.
  • The right to have your emotional, physical and intellectual needs be as important as the needs of your mate.
  • The right to expect your mate to do his/her part to resolve difficulties to your relationship.
  • The right to hold your mate responsible for his behavior rather than assuming that responsibility yourself.
  • The right to seek professional help with your relationship.
  • The right never to be physically attacked or emotionally degraded by your mate and the right to end the relationship (and to seek safety), if either occurs.
  • The right to expect significant behavioral changes rather than apologies and promises from your partner if a single battering incident occurs.
  • The right to not blame yourself if the relationship in which you have invested so much love and effort ends.
NOTE: It stands to reason that if a husband and wife are abiding in Christ and love Him, having Him as the center of their life, they will be respecting "human rights in marriage." Unfortunately, too many in abusive religious groups have placed obedience to the "government of God" as the center of their marriage, rather than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Boundaries in Dating

When you are entering into a dating relationship, it's important to get clear with the other person just what is going on with you in your heart, where the two of you stand and where you are going. This is what boundaries are all about; clearly defining your own self relative to the other party.

Coming from a place of zero self love and boundaries, I simply did not have the skills to know my own boundary needs--much less assert my boundaries and set limits with my romantic partners. I wanted so much to be loved that I basically gave myself away for nothing. This is not sexually speaking, but everything. Rather than offend the person I wanted in my life, I would comply with their wishes and not say a word. Inside my heart would cry out, but I could barely hear what it needed. My relationships never quite worked out the way it should. I was a doormat.

This led to much frustration in my life and needless heartache. Finally, I started to understand what boundaries are all about, although, it's always a progressive endeavor to clarify my feelings and express my needs effectively. Having boundaries is a requirement for having a healthy relationship--the better your boundaries, the more of you there is to love and receive love. 

This article will discuss setting boundaries in a dating situation. Here are a few things I've learned about setting boundaries in dating that are crucial to success:

1. Don't be afraid of talking to the other party to define where you two stand at any time. You have a right to know! Don't hide yourself under a barrel and allow the relationship to ebb endlessly out of your control. You need to take the reigns and clarify exactly what is going on. Will boundaries spoil the mystery and romance? Perhaps, but it is more important that you're grounded in reality than mystery, in my opinion.
  • So, is this a date? 
  • Are we exclusive, or are we seeing other people?
  • Are you looking for a long-term relationship?
2. Set limits on behavior. Even if you really like the other person, you need to set limits in order to establish the boundaries of yourself. This is an act of self respect and it will earn you respect from the person you're dating. Setting pre-determined limits will give both of you an idea of expectations and will help prevent your emotional train from going off track.
  • I don't take phone calls after 10pm.
  • If you want to communicate with me, I prefer you call me on the phone than text all the time.
  • I am available after 6pm if you'd like to give me a call. 
  • I can only speak for a few moments. 
3. Express your needs and wants clearly. Don't be shy about explaining what you expect and what you need. If you don't explain who you are, the other person will never get the chance to really know you. Besides, you are a human being and you have the right to get your needs met. You must know what you need and express it assertively as you go to prevent a giant blow-up at an inopportune time that can potentially ruin your relationship.
  • I drink Pinot Grigio.
  • I prefer that we not drive around all evening. 
  • I'd prefer we date more in person before we get really involved in phone conversations.
 4. Stick to your boundaries. Setting boundaries is difficult, especially when you're just getting started. It is much easier to lay down on the ground and let people walk all over you. However, nobody likes a doormat, so you must get up, dust yourself off and stand your ground. Don't let the other person land blast you. Be firm in your resolve to keep your boundaries intact. Without boundaries, you cannot have a lasting relationship, so deal with the discomfort and be vigorous in protecting your personal, emotional identity and space. You train others how to treat you. They will only treat you as good as you treat yourself, so stick to your boundaries as a way of showing them that you're no pushover.
  • Don't give in, even if he or she insists.
  • Don't placate someone trying to override your boundaries. 
  • Remember, they are watching you! Train them right.
5. Take time to examine your own heart. It's difficult to know where you stand when you're getting involved in a great, new relationship. Your heart may be a'flutter and your hormones may be surging dramatically, however, you must--at all costs--take time to examine where you're at. Where is your heart? What is true and real? What is fantasy? What is really happening? What is he or she really saying? What do you really think about what they're saying? How do you feel? What do you need? What are you getting too much of? What is missing?
  • Take breaks no matter how much you like the person.
  • Step back and take the space you need to consider what is happening.
  • Pull yourself back to yourself rather than going into fantasy-land about your partner.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Relationships

If you want a good relationship, stop defending yourself and instead, try seeing through the eyes of the other person.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Detachment & Connection

This is a difficult one, to be connected yet to disconnect. There is a fine line. Knowing where to detach and having strength to do it without recoiling too far is an art form. Detach then bounce back to connection with equal vigor. That is what I'm learning... How to be connected, yet still me.

You must detach from anything in your life that you cannot control. You must detach from anything in your life that is not contributing to your highest good. This is loving yourself. 
~ J. Ryan

“To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness”
Erich Fromm 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to Know If You're Being Disregarded

Messages are sent and received during your interactions with others. The interactions you have with others, good or bad, send messages to your psyche that either validates, affirms, accepts and values your existence, or invalidates, questions, rejects and devalues who you are. It is your job as guardian of your own soul to ensure that you are being treated well by those around you so that you can grow to your full potential and live a peaceful, healthy life inside and out.

Only The Disregarded Care About Disregard

There are many who say that it is only those who feel less-than that are concerned with how they are regarded by others, and if that's the case, okay. I'll admit it. As an adult Child Abuse Survivor, I've had my moments of feeling lower than the rest of the world. My goal here is not to inspire you to be a weirdo checking to make sure everyone around you regards you rightly, but more, to help you discover ways you may be allowing yourself to be put in a subservient position without knowing it. Awareness is always better than being in the dark.

Relationships Fill or Deplete

We are all intricately connected through relationship. We need relationships with others to meet our emotional needs. The relationships that we have in our lives are either healthy and life-giving, or toxic and life-taking. People in our lives either support us by lifting us up and affirming our reality or not. Toxic relationships tear us down, exploit our energy, seek to control us, and may cause us to question our identity and worth. The quality of the connections we have with others greatly affects our overall well being.

Even small encounters with people you barely know end up sending messages to you about who you are and where you stand in the world. If you want to know the signals you're giving out, look at the way people are treating you. You train others how to treat you. 

Whether you feel valuable as a person or not reflects in your relationships because your relationships are a reflection of your own value towards yourself. If you want to know how you value yourself, take a look at how others treat you. They are following your lead, for the most part. Of course, there is the occasional creep, but I'm talking about the people who sustain you.

Messages About Self Worth

The messages we received growing up are the messages that form our self perception. If we were devalued as children, we will continue that pattern as adults by devaluing ourselves and letting others devalue us too. We simply don't know any other way. If we were devalued as children, we were "conditioned" to be devalued and expect to be treated badly, even if allowing such treatment is hurtful. Poor treatment becomes normal to those who are abused as children.

If you are not taught to protect yourself as a child against the adults who raise you, then you are inadequately prepared for the harsh realities of the world. If you were not valued as a child and treated with respect, then you are ill-prepared to face the world and its obstacles. When you come from an abusive upbringing, whether it was the fault of your parents or not, it can be very difficult for you to know who you are.

You can only perceive yourself rightly when you are raised in a respectful and loving environment. If you don't know your worth and value, your life can be very difficult and painful. You may blame yourself for situations that are not your fault, and you will likely be filled with shame for being yourself.

Pain is a Messenger

When you feel badly, hurt, sad or depressed, it all comes from the root of your own opinion of yourself deep, deep, deep down in your subconscious. Further, if you question your value as a person, chances are you have allowed other people into your inner-world who do not affirm your preciousness.
 
Pain serves as a signal to your mind that you have been wronged in some way, that something is amiss. It does not mean that you are bad or inherently flawed. It simply means that some aspect of your thinking or relating is damaging your soul. It's important to listen to the message that your pain is sending you. Pain is the catalyst to growth. It is only when you listen to your pain that you can solve the dilemma and grow as a person, mature emotionally and feel better.

We must become keenly attuned to our pain, the pinpricks of our heart in order to accurately gauge the worthiness not of ourselves, but of our interactions. If we've lived our lives avoiding pain, stuffing hurts down so as to make others happy (learned from improper childhood conditioning), we may not have immediate and direct access to the emotional triggers that signal improper treatment. It is only by becoming aware of our internal world, and understand our rights as human beings on this planet that we can begin to recognize when damage is taking place and take immediate steps to protect ourselves.

An example of this is a child who is taught to be nice to her abusers. A child is not going to argue with an adult, of course, as the adult is terrifying to her. Her very life hangs in the balance. She feels her survival depends on compliance. A child psychologically idealizes her caretakers, putting them on a pedestal. An abusive person who seeks power and control may exploit their power over the mind of the child. What happens is the child learns to mold herself around the needs and wishes of the abuser. As she gets older, she never loses that life schema, but continues to treat abusive people like they're better than her.

If we experienced maltreatment growing up, we may have a hard time recognizing it today. Some disregard of our person by others may pass by unnoticed unless it is blatant. While we may not be consciously aware of all the devaluation that takes place, subconsciously our mind records every misstep. We are constantly gauging our worth and value to others and to ourselves during our social interactions, and in our own minds in the form of self talk.

Now that you're an adult, you have responsibility for yourself. You are no longer a child, no longer at the mercy of your parents. You are now capable of making positive changes in your life, and setting boundaries against improper treatment. Understanding this truth is empowering. Depending on the level of devaluation that you received as a child, it may be hard to value yourself and recognize poor treatment. That means you may have to learn to value yourself manually since it will not come naturally to you. This is a very difficult process, but it is possible to learn how to love and value yourself and recognize improper treatment--IF you're willing to do the work of healing and unraveling the lies that keep you abandoning yourself and engaging in toxic relationships.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Emotion Quotes

All internal experience can be divided into two categories: genuine affect and defense against that affect.

Chronic emotional states defend against bypassed emotions that are even more painful.

Your defenses promise to keep you safe. Your defenses keep you stuck.

Whatever your ego is protecting probably isn’t worth the costs.

Habits are defensive.

Dr. Steven Brownlow

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Feelings are the language of the unconscious.

Dr. Steven Brownlow


___________________


Rage reduces empathy.


Dr. Steven Brownlow


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People’s narcissism is often most evident when they’re trying to act most noble and selfless.

Dr. Steven Brownlow


___________________


There is no particular technique for being real.


___________________

The most straightforward way to improve all aspects of your health is to master your bypassed emotions.

___________________


People are processes who want to see themselves (and others) as finished products.


You health and your environment both reflect your deeper psychology.

It’s easier for people to talk about their “heart” emotions, like sadness, than their “gut” emotions, like disgust.

Intense stress desynchronizes emotional from contextual memory. This is the trauma experience.

Nobody gets angrier or more self-righteous than they do when their favorite rationalizations are questioned.

Ninety percent of solving most problems is figuring out exactly what the problem is.

Once you bypass an emotion, your functioning will become increasingly erratic.

It's the therapist's role to help the client name & face the fear disguised as an acceptable/familiar self-deception.

Any excuse to remain stuck is a rationalization based on fear.

Don’t try to remove your emotions. Instead, master them.

Accept others, but remain true to yourself.

Attach to people and processes, not objects or outcomes.

Attachment to outcomes brings misery.

Perfectionism is a sure path to misery.

Few people are harder to help than the person whose mind constantly changes based on who talked to them last.

Pleasure and pain are universal. Learn to accept both without getting entangled by either.

Conditioning isn't destiny.

The most likely cause of a man’s depression is his failure to be the man he thinks he should be ~Frank Pittman

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. ~C.G. Jung

You can’t truly love someone unless you’re willing to set limits on their misconduct.

Very little is irreversible, and no single event is ever the end of the story.

People tend to discount their strengths and the growth they’ve made along their journeys.

Romantic crap tells people that to be fulfilled they need others to love them. Actually, we’re fulfilled by loving others.

It’s no use blaming people for doing what you allow them to get away with.

If you don’t set limits when others transgress your boundaries, it’s your boundary problem, not theirs.

The part of us that blocks our changing is trying to protect us. It will relent only when we ally ourselves with it.

Close relationships are what matters.

Control vs. Loving Action

Today, put two sticky notes wherever you are that say: "What am I trying to control or avoid?" and "What is the loving action toward myself - what is in my highest good?" Whenever you feel any stress, ask these questions and allow the answers to come through you from your higher Self.
Are you aware of how you treat yourself that causes some of your stress?


Dr. Margaret Paul, Inner Bonding

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This week, be on the lookout for the overt and subtle ways you try to control your feelings and control others feelings and actions. Take all judgment off being controlling so you can learn. How do you avoid your feelings? How do you try to get others to like you or do what you want? While the wounded self believes controlling bring safety, it actually causes much distress within yourself and within relationships, so noticing it gives you the opportunity to be loving to yourself and others rather than controlling.  

Dr. Margaret Paul, Inner Bonding

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Anger at others is often a projection of some way you are not taking loving care of yourself. Use your anger to learn, not to avoid.
 
Dr. Margaret Paul, Inner Bonding

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5 Keys to Attracting the Love of Your Life

We attract people at our common level of woundedness or our common level of emotional health. This means that if you want to attract a healthy, loving partner, you need to become that healthy person first. This does not mean that you need to have attained some imagined level of perfection, but it does mean that the kind of energy you project has everything to do with the kind of person you attract.
There are mainly two kinds of energy:
  • Insecure
  • Secure
 Read full article by Dr. Margaret

5 Keys to Attracting the Love of Your Life

Inner Bonding

I love the work of Dr. Margaret Paul of Inner Bonding. Her writing and insight are extraordinary and touch the center of those suffering from self worth deficits. Here are a few of her posts that speak to me today.

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Do not be dismayed when you find yourself facing the same issues over and over. We all experience this - it is just different levels of the same soul's lessons. Each time, embrace the issues with compassion.

Have you found the same issues coming up over and over?


Dr. Margaret Paul

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Open to learning about what your anxiety is telling you about your false beliefs & about trying to control what you can't control. Dr. Margaret Paul


______________________

You are a great gift, a child of God. Your soul is love. When you discover this, you will know who you are and why you are here. Dr. Margaret Paul
______________________
What is more important to you, safety or aliveness? What is more important to you, safety or intimacy? What is more important to you, safety or integrity? What is more important to you, safety or courage?

What is more important to you than safety?


______________________ 


One  of our biggest challenges is to let go of trying to control what we cannot control. Accepting what is, is what brings inner peace. Dr. Margaret Paul

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Anxiety and control are intricately linked. When our intent is to control that which we cannot control - others and outcomes - we will always feel anxious. Our anxiety is telling us that we are off base - that we need to take loving action for ourselves rather than continue to try to control.

By Dr. Margaret Paul
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One of the most important questions you can ask throughout a day is "What loving thought or action is in my highest good right now?"
 
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We all want connection, but we can't connect with others when we are  disconnected from ourselves. Love yourself, then share your love. DM


Inner Bonding Tag - Washington Post

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Uncovering Perfectionism


What a relief!!! Perfectionism seeps into the crevices of life, lurking in places you never realized. Some people are perfectly sloppy or perfectly messed-up... It's not just for those with clean houses and tight bodies. Look for it any time you find yourself feeling unworthy. Perfectionism is you striving to attain approval from an internal construct that lives in your mind from childhood somewhere; it's a negative core belief based on a lie you accidentally swallowed. Maybe it was passed-down? People deny it all the time. 
The need to be perfect may seem to benefit you, of course, or you wouldn't do it--but in the end, it ravages your life and leaves you destitute. Any time I'm feeling off, I search my thoughts for hidden perfectionism... What mistakes am I afraid to know about? What humiliation am I avoiding by hiding my weaknesses? You'd be surprised where you'll find it. Uncovering it and exposing your true self underneath is liberating, but takes work and practice. Every day I have to remind myself--"Face it, you're not perfect and you never ever will be, so stop holding yourself back and just be who you really are..." It takes A LOT more courage to be you than it does to be perfect.