Tuesday, December 31, 2013

5 Symptoms of Codependency

According to Pia Mellody, a renowned speaker on the topic of codependence, addictive relationships and spirituality and best selling author. I have copied the following text from Pia's work on the 5 Symptoms of Codependency because I think it's valuable for those of us who are learning to love ourselves more and more every day. The rest of this article is not my words, but from this PDF: 5 Symptoms of Codependency. Even if you've read this before, you may need to review it again. I find as I recover and grow in self love, that different truth impacts my heart in different ways--always for the better. Enjoy.

Pia’s understanding of codependence differs from many traditional definitions; she describes
it as the loss of self or an undeveloped relationship with self created by dysfunctional, less-than-nurturing, abusive family systems.

1. Difficulty experiencing appropriate levels of self esteem.

Healthy self-esteem is created within an individual who knows that he has inherent worth that is equal to others’. It cannot be altered by his failings or strengths, which I call a person’s humanity. Parents who are able to affirm, nurture and set limits for their children without disempowering or falsely empowering them create children who can functionally esteem themselves. 

The codependent individual relies on others to determine his worth or gets it from comparing himself to others, so his self-esteem fluctuates between feeling worthless and better than. When negative events occur, a person with healthy self-esteem does not question his or her own worth or value. Children reared in a loving, nurturing environment learn to esteem themselves by being functionally esteemed by their parents/caregivers. 

The other extreme is arrogance and grandiosity. The person believes that he or she is above or better than other people. In some family systems, children are taught to see others' mistakes and to find fault with oth- ers. They tend to believe that they are superior to oth- ers. They may also be excessively shamed by their caregivers but learn that feeling superior to others helps them to feel better about themselves. 

A third type of dysfunctional family that significantly affects self-esteem teaches children that they are superi- or to other people, giving them a false sense of power. The child feels like he or she can do no wrong.


Regardless of the type of esteem that codependents display, it is not self-esteem. It is better defined as other-esteem. It is based on external things how they look, who they know, how large their salary is, how well their children perform, the degrees they have earned or how well they per- form activities. The codependent person becomes a human doing rather than a human being. His or her esteem is not self-based. It is based on the opinions of others. 

The difficulty with other-esteem is that its source is outside of the person and thus vulnerable to changes beyond the codependent’s control. Other esteem is fragile and undependable.

2. Difficulty setting functional boundaries. 

A personal boundary system is an internal mechanism that both protects as well as contains an individual’s body, mind, emotions and behavior. It has three purposes:
  1. 1)  To help an individual prevent himself from being victimized
  2. 2)  To prevent an individual from being an offender
  3. 3)  To give an individual a sense of self
Boundary systems are both external and internal. Our external boundary is divided into two parts, physical and sexual. 

The physical part of our external boundary controls our distance from others and whether or not we choose to be touched. This is our personal space. As we ask others to acknowledge and respect our physical boundaries, we know to ask permission to touch other people. 

In a similar way, our sexual boundary controls sexual distance and touch. We are able to choose how, when, where and with whom we are sexual. 


Our internal boundary protects our thinking, feelings and behaviors and keeps them functional. When we are using our internal boundary, we take responsibility for our thoughts and actions. We stop blaming others for what we think, feel and do. 


Our internal boundary also allows us to stop taking responsibility for the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of others. Children are born without boundaries. They possess no internal way of protecting themselves from abuse or to avoid being abusive towards others. Boundaries must be taught. 

People with non-existent boundaries not only lack protection, but also have no ability to recognize another person's right to have boundaries. A codependent with nonexistent boundaries moves through other people's boundaries, unaware that he or she is doing something inappropriate. Damaged boundaries may cause a person to take responsibility for someone else's feelings, thoughts or behaviors.

3. Difficulty owning own reality.

People who are codependent do not know who they are. They have difficulty recognizing and defining their own reality. Reality is defined as the following four aspects: 
  1. The body - How we look and how our bodies are operating
  2. Thinking - How we give meaning to incoming data
  3. Feelings - Appropriate expression of our emotions
  4. Behavior - What we do or don't do
Not being able to own our reality is experienced on two levels: I know my reality and I won't share
it, or I don't know what my reality is. Codependents then must make up a personal identity and reality out of what they think they should be. Those who struggle with this core symptom have difficulty making decisions that positively impact their lives. They have an altered sense of appropriateness.

4. Difficulty acknowledging and meeting their own wants and needs.
Everyone has basic needs and individual wants. Children must have their needs met initially by their major caregiver. Then they must be taught to satisfy those needs themselves. Adults are responsible for addressing their own needs and asking for help when it is necessary. 

People who have difficulty with this core symptom can fall into these four categories: 

1) Too dependent: expect others to meet our needs completely 

2) Anti-dependent: I alone can meet my needs  

3) Needless/wantless: I am not aware of my needs or wants 

4) Confuses wants and needs: attempts to meet needs with wants (buying clothes instead of asking for physical intimacy) 

Parents who meet all of their children's needs and wants are not teaching the children to meet some of those needs themselves. The children may grow up expecting to have others meet all of their needs.
Children who are attacked for having any needs may grow up to be anti-dependent. They learn that it is unsafe to ask for any needs to be met. Children who are neglected and abandoned may grow up with issues of feeling needless/wantless. They learn at a young age to "turn off" their needs as they learn that they are not important enough to have them.


These people grow up to fill others’ needs without recognizing their own. When a need is met, they often feel guilty. And finally, children whose parents were very wealthy often experience confusion of want and need. Instead of getting the guidance and support they needed, perhaps they were bought something.

In adulthood they may be craving real relation- ships and intimacy, but instead they buy something to fill that void.


5. Difficulty expressing their reality moderately. 


This symptom is usually most visible to other people. Codependents usually have no middle ground and appear to be extreme with their bodies, thoughts and feelings. 

Codependents tend to care for their bodies in the extreme. They may dress very flamboyantly or very dowdily and blandly. They might be very thin or very fat. They may also have extreme habits for self-care or no habits at all. Codependents’ thinking is not in moderation. They may think "good/bad" or "black/white." They see only one answer, and it is either theirs or yours. 

People who live in extremes have witnessed their parents or major caregivers act out of moderation or, if they did not like their parents' behavior, they do the opposite. A child who was severely disciplined by his or her parents may grow up to not discipline his or her own children at all. 

Moderation is essentially a self-containment issue and is related to both boundary and reality issues. When an individual contains himself with a wall, he tends to shut down and wall others out. In this process, he loses control of being in control of himself and others. 

When an individual has no boundaries with which to contain himself, he will do whatever he wants to do, disregarding his impact on others. In this process, he will be in control of being out of control and others will have difficulty being rational with him. 

Like any path to recovery, rehabilitation from codependency is not easy, but the results are life- enhancing and sometimes even lifesaving.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Accentuate the Positive

By Jenna Ryan
 
Humans are problem solvers. We're evolving and advancing. When we see a circumstance or a person, our first inclination by default is to see what's wrong, to see what needs to be fixed. Most of what we see in others is what we don't like in ourselves. We can't bare to see junk in ourselves, so we project it onto others and hate them for it. The problem is, looking at the problems causes us to attract more problems into our lives. It's called a rut. Our attention/intention/focus is where we bear fruit. If you sow by looking at only the negative aspects, you will reap negative fruit. However, if you train your mind to focus on the positive in everyone and everything, with appreciation and gratitude, then you're not only loving yourself by not projecting gunk all over the place, but you're loving everyone else which boomarangs back to you--AND you are attracting more positive into your life. If you sow gratitude and appreciation, you will reap more of that which you're thankful for. So make lists of the positive things about others.... Bask in gratitude and greatfulness. This is what I'm remembering and focusing on today. It's going to be an AMAZING DAY!!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Theory of Mind


Emotional Scale








How To Pull Yourself Inside

One of the neatest things I learned along the way in my healing transformation from being a fear-based person to a love-based person is how to "Pull Yourself Inside." This is a process that I created myself, as a basis of healing, based on my extensive research. This is not a process you will find in any other book on the planet, unless someone decides to copy me.

This is one of the many things I learned along the way that helped me in the healing process, a tool, a process that was not available anywhere else, but that I discovered through research and soul searching. It's fascinating, it's amazing and I believe it has the potential to revolutionize Childhood Trauma Healing process as well as Codependency Recovery. This is powerful.

Learning to "Pull Yourself Inside" is a natural outflow of the healing process when you're on target and moving forward. I think it is akin to personal integration and it feels magnificent, although a bit awkward at first.

Pulling yourself inside is about capturing yourself, every part of yourself, parts you used to regularly, easily give away, and refunneling that good stuff back into yourself where it belongs. See how weird that sounds? I don't care. It's true! It's about taking your thoughts back. It's about taking your time back to use for yourself. It's about taking your energy back, your concern, your care and your compassion, it's about taking all that good stuff inside you that you used to give away to someone who wasn't emotionally available, or worse, who was abusive; and funneling those things back unto yourself where it always belongs.

This means that when you talk and connect with others, your focus is not on Sue Ellen, Bobby Sue or Bob Smith. No. Your focus is not external. You bring your focus back to you, no matter how awkward it feels.

There is a reason why so many of us in recovery focus externally... Firstly, you feel like your worth comes from the outside, not inside... and second, because it can be quite uncomfortable to focus on ourselves... It's because nobody ever focused on us before, not truly, not like this, and we don't know how to focus on ourselves.
  • It's because we don't know who we are or what we're supposed to focus on. 
  • It's because we don't want to be exposed and vulnerable, so we converse about other people's issues (or shall I say, we project our issues onto other people) so that our ego can keep its hands clean. 
  • It's because religion has taught us that to be humble we must never think of ourselves. 
  • It's because we're filled with shame and thinking of ourselves often triggers a bad feeling.
  • It's because as children, in order to get approval, we had to focus externally to survive. 
  • It's because we don't know any other way. 
  • It's because our brains were conditioned early-on to abandon ourselves and focus on others.
  • It's because we think that we focus on ourselves a lot, but in actuality, our primary focus is on others. 
The problem is, when we're focusing on other people, when we're blaming instead of taking ownership, then we are just delaying our own progress. We cannot get ahead if we stay stuck on the merry-go-round of denial, blame and projection. It's not possible. In order to heal, in order to transform, in order to grow, in order to get to the next level mentally and emotionally, we must deal with the truth. We must be friendly with the facts. We must focus on ourselves.

There are many ways to pull yourself inside. Any of the following techniques are extremely helpful and represent some ways I've discovered to pull myself inside. Perhaps you have your own way. Perhaps some of these ways that work for me won't work for you. That's okay. The point is, making a concentrated, FOCUSED EFFORT to pull your affect inward, toward yourself.

Focused Effort
  • Refocusing your thoughts ONTO YOURSELF.
  • Refocusing your conversations ONTO YOURSELF. (Not being selfish, just not talking about the problems of other people--you can do nothing about those people... also steering clear of too much data and 'intellectualizing.')
  • Refocusing your actions ONTO YOURSELF. (Not saying to disregard responsibility, but rather, take more time out to do things to your benefit, especially if you're over-concerned with doing for other people most of the time.) 
Focused effort means to catch yourself when you feel yourself slipping away toward external control.
  • This means, catching yourself when you're day dreaming about that awful relationship, telling yourself that it really wasn't so bad.
  • This means catching yourself when you're crying about a past relationship. (Shouldn't you be thinking about yourself?)
  • This means catching yourself and redirecting your thoughts when you find that you're focusing on someone elses issues.
  • This means catching yourself and redirecting your thoughts when you take too much time dwaddling when you promised yourself you would spend time on yourself.
  • This means catching yourself and redirecting your thoughts when you're worried about whether someone likes you or not, whether they approve of you.
  • This means catching yourself and redirecting your thoughts when you're working non-stop and not taking any breaks.
 The process of pulling yourself inside is just that. A process. It takes time to strengthen your neural pathways in your brain to make this process a habit, but eventually, it will become more natural for you to center on yourself than outside parties. The payoff is that you have a place from which to start to build your new identity, that of a "Healed Person," and write a new story for how your life will go from now on. Granted, your new space inside your own heart may feel bland and empty right now, but pretty soon I'm going to walk you through the process of decorating your inner life with things such as gratitude, compassion, beauty, knowledge, wisdom and love.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Unraveling: The 12 Steps to Healing From Childhood Trauma & Codependency


By Jenna Ryan

If you experienced trauma or abuse in childhood for any reason, you may realize that you have a mess on your hands. Hopefully there will come a time in your life when you are ready to heal. The following steps are of my own personal journey to healing, wholeness and self love. It is not easy, it is ongoing and must be conducted for each wound you hold in your heart. Steps 1-5 are the hardest and most painful, but once you get past these 5, you will be a different person.

It is within your own power to heal yourself. You have everything inside of YOU to get the job done. I hope these steps help you as they have changed my life.




1. Gain Self Awareness.

It is impossible to heal without a higher level of self awareness. This self awareness is gained through mindfulness. You must figure out your true feelings, wants, needs, desires, preferences and thoughts. You must get hold of who you are and why you do what you do. Self Awareness involves locating the toxic shame that holds you prisoner as well as getting in touch with your unresolved anger. The Self Awareness phase continues throughout the process. Step 1 also involves understanding that your life is a manifestation outside of what's going on with you inside. Like attracts like.

Hint: The tendency is to focus on other people, work, dating or anything else than getting to know yourself--this is the trauma speaking within you. You must resist the urge to abandon yourself and focus outside. You must pull yourself in and train your mind to concentrate on YOUR feelings, YOUR issues, YOUR needs, YOUR preferences. It's okay. It's not selfish. You have a deficit of self concern, even though you probably think you're the most selfish person in the world already. Don't listen to that voice. FOCUS ON YOU. Read: How to Pull Yourself Inside.

2. Come Out of the Fog.

The FOG is a child abuse recovery term for waking up to the truth of what happened to you as a child. This is common for Child Abuse Thrivers around 40 years of age. It's like a veil is lifted and you can see things as they really are for the first time. This process can be painful, but is also enlightening and ultimately one of the most freeing experiences you will encounter during the healing process. Prior to coming out of the FOG, you will most likely be in some state of misery, perpetual abuse and denial.

3. Locate ORIGINAL WOUND(S).

Figure out the real reason you are repeating the same emotional cycles. The answers are inside of you. Those of us who were abused as children, or who were neglected or otherwise failed to get our developmental needs met experience the same scenes over and over throughout our life, as if we're trying to right wrongs of the past. We must step outside of today and realize that what's happening now is actually a projection of your emotions from childhood. You are actually attracting the same abuse from others until you deal with the original source of the abuse.


4. Release ORIGINAL EMOTIONS.

Allow yourself to experience your repressed emotions that occurred as a result of the wound.  (See Healing Frozen Feelings & Blocked Emotions)


5. Grieve the Loss from the ORIGINAL WOUND.

You must allow yourself to fully grieve the losses from not receiving the time, attention, affection and direction you would have gotten had your family of origin been fully healed themselves. Grieving emotional losses is like grieving a death; it's the same process. Completing Step 5 is the Key to being able to easily and effortlessly complete Step 8.

6. Experience Healthy Connection.

Step 6 is done throughout each of these steps. It's important to stay connected to a trusted person throughout the healing process, though I've done a lot of my healing on my own, so it can be done. We humans are created to connect with one another. We are all connected, but when you experienced a traumatic childhood, you may have difficulty trusting, giving and receiving in a healthy relationship. In order to heal, you must share your pain and resolutions with an empathetic other, whether that is a therapist, sponsor or trusted friend. The importance of finding the right person for this job cannot be over-stressed. Step 6 also involves staying connected to mentors, writers, blogs, forums online and support groups. It's all about staying connected and sharing your inner world with another or others.

7. Reparent Yourself.

You must reparent your inner child through techniques such as self care, self talk and self soothing. Reparenting also occurs during the transference process of therapy. 

8. Detach from External Locus.

You must learn how to detach from external measures of worth. It is impossible to detach, however, if you have not completed Steps 2 and 3 related to each individual wound. If you find that you are having difficulty detaching from present circumstances and relationships, that is a sign that you need to use Step 1 to go back and do more work on Step 5. Step 8 includes resolving addictions to people, places or things. Once you DETACH, you will need something to ATTACH to inside your own heart, and that's where Step 12 comes in handy.

9. Re-Compute Negative Core Beliefs.

Step 9 is about rethinking the negative core beliefs, that is, the lies you believed about yourself as a result of the wounding. The truth is that you are pure love, your essence is truth. Anything that you believe contrary to the fact that you are pure love causes perpetual wounding. This is a gift of knowledge that I received on my own without the aid of another. You learn so much about your capabilities through the healing process, the wisdom you gain is almost worth the lifetime of pain you endured up until now... It's incredible, this journey!

10. Clear Away Resentment. 

 Clear away resentment through forgiveness, but only AFTER you have completed Steps 1-9. Doing this step too early can delay your progress big time.

11. Reprogram Your Mind.

You must reprogram your mind to think differently and take different actions than you've taken all your life in relation to the wounding. This is an ongoing process that can be painstaking and takes time, but is the way to get the best results. 

12. Create a New Story.

Anchor / Fortify Your Beingness - Having come full circle, you are now ready to anchor, attach and bond internally. During this step you will be able to fully connect with God, or your higher power. Visualization can be used at this stage to build a new identity, one that is weighted with your own love and which includes a recognition of your value. It's the most beautiful step as you are getting in touch with your truth, your beauty and your inner wisdom.

Once you complete these steps FOR EACH WOUND in your heart, you will be a completely different person. Your shame will be greatly reduced, you will be capable of living authentically, capable of intimacy, integrated with who you really are and you will love yourself like you never dreamed possible.

Leave me a comment to let me know how this article has helped you. I really love hearing from you!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Detach, Let Go and Fall

Detach let go and fall...

Detach let go and fall until the bottom catches you...

Detach let go and fall until the bottom catches you and you find yourself...

Detach let go and fall until the bottom catches you and you find yourself and learn...

Detach let go and fall until the bottom catches you and you find yourself and learn to give to yourself...

Detach let go and fall until the bottom catches you and you find yourself and you learn to give to yourself that which you're clinging to...

Jenna Ryan

Falling Deeply in Love with Yourself

I was taught that to love was to scoop yourself out, to give everything you have; to keep nothing for yourself. I didn't feel I deserved to keep my own love, my own respect, my own affection, my own admiration. I was taught that love is to give ALL OF YOU. Anything short of everything was nothing. I had nothing to offer, I had to give everything in order to pay the ransom for my existence.

When I met a man that I "loved," I would love whole-heartedly, with full abandon. Every waking moment was filled with thoughts of my beloved. This is different from the infactuation of a healthy person. No, granted, that's how it is labeled, but when you're a child of dysfunction, this stage is much more than limerance, though limerence is involved. This stage is total and complete giving over of self, esteem, worth, value--in essence, power. Your empty shell attaches to the fantasized version of another.

My boundaries would become nonexistent. The man's preferences would become my preferences, I would begin to mold myself around the man as if I were him, as if he were the center of me. If the man still stuck around after this level of my attachment, then, I would change as he preferred. If the man stayed an arms length away, which is what I always seemed to choose (must have preferred it that way...), then I would be in love-totally devoted beyond words--to a fantasy, a phantom person.

I gave myself up for free. I gave full, unabashed devotion, wishes, dreams, fantasies. I would then stay hung on this person for years, despite abusiveness. Nothing could stop me from longing, after all, without my love object, I was nothing. Without my love object, death was more welcoming because I did not exist.

No one is worth all this. No one in the world is worth this sort of devotion. No one. It is not until we wake up and realize what parts of ourselves we're giving away that we can begin to hold onto ourselves in relationship. At first, holding onto myself seemed like no fun. Holding onto myself seemed bland in comparison with the euphoria I felt when in fantasy-mode. The thought of holding onto myself, at first, felt like eating cardboard. No nourishment, no purpose, very depressing.

That's when I realized that the reason that holding onto myself was so bland is because I thought I had nothing to offer myself. Nothing. I didn't want to offer myself anything either. I found offering my love to myself was depressing, boring, senseless. Everything good and worthwhile was "out there." Just being present with myself took lots of practice.

Staying mindful of my feelings, emotions, sensations, thoughts, needs, wants, desires and preferences started opening the door to reconciliation with myself. I learned that I am a person inside. I have things going on inside my heart that needs tending to, screaming for none other's attention than my own. That I am not supposed to be looking outside myself for something to fill me up when all I've been doing is giving me away. 

In order to get this far, I had to learn a lot about psychology, and the way the ego works to protect the mind from emotional pain via cognitive defenses. I had to learn to look at scenarios in my life with my Wise Mind, the one that sees above my own defenses. I had to cultivate this aspect of my being, my very own inner-therapist to call me out on my own shit.

Tuning Into Your Emotional Originality

Another thing I had to do that was important for me to realize all this self-love stuff is to understand that the manifestations in my life were manifestations of what was inside of me. I had to stop living in the limited space of my limited consciousness, and start rising above to view my present emotional reality in terms of the original wounding. I had to understand that my longing for love, for the fulfillment of this fantasy-bond was wrought in childhood and had little to nothing to do with today. I had to learn to operate from the authentic place of originality. Anything less is a waste of time and energy, spinning your wheels, getting nowhere fast.

But when you understand how the emotional mind works, you understand that you are merely repeating patterns, like a software bug, or a record (remember record players) that has a scratch that keeps repeating the same verse over and over until you shut it off. That's how we are in our emotional lives, this especially extends to relationships. If, when you are growing up as a child, in development, and you do not get one of the developmental milestones accomplished, you will begin to repeat that milestone over and over until you get it right.

If you are experiencing a repetitive cycle of emotional turmoil and impossible relationship situations that are almost exactly the same, except with a different man or woman, then you can bet that there is a developmental milestone your psyche is trying to complete. Until you complete that milestone, you will be compelled to put yourself in situations that mirror the milestone you missed. (You know, the one that failed.)

Only you can help yourself now. The brain has been shown to be "plastic," that is, you can still learn until death. Brains can change. You can get your developmental needs met as an adult, in fact, the only person who can give you what you need is YOU.

There is a person on this earth who is better at meeting your needs than your mother and/or father. There is a person on this earth whose love you need more than anyone on the planet, even more than God.
There is a person on this earth who holds the power to heal your heart, mind and soul.

That person is YOU.


You hold the magic, the wisdom and the beauty of 100 lovers. There is not a love on earth that could surpass the magnificence of you. If you would take a moment to journey to this center, to this heart of you, through the pain, down the abyss, at the very bottom of it all, there you find the most magnificent glory, that which you've been missing all your life. That glory is you. You are pure love. A delight to behold. Precious.

No matter what happened to you, there is a part of you that still exists and is strong. It is a part of you that cannot be destroyed. It is a part of you that must be searched for and found in order for you to see it, but it is also a part of you that holds all your answers. It is a part of you that is deeper and more wise than all your present circumstances, than all your past mistakes. It is a love that surpasses anything you've ever known. Inside of your own heart there is reason to love. There is something left inside of you worthy of falling in love with that can never be given away.

It's yours, but you must journey to find it. The journey is long, hard, but well worth the trip. Once you find yourself and love yourself, nothing else will matter. Suddenly your boundaries will come into place, you won't allow yourself to be treated badly. You won't run after people who abuse you. You won't try to love others by fixing them.You won't hurt so badly anymore.

This treasure resides at the end of your rope. All the lies and false beliefs that are holding you together must come undone. You must fall into the abyss. Stop hanging onto the sides and hating yourself for feeling anxious about feeling bad for feeling worthless. Don't dip your toe in. Don't wait another day. Just let go!

You've got to fall, fall, fall, fall, feeling all the hurt, pain, shame and anguish all along the way. Picture two mountains in your heart--maybe the Grand Canyon. You've got to fall down it. You've got to feel the fear of falling, the terror of your impending death, you've got to endure it without running to give yourself away. Let the experience teach you.

On the way down you will learn so much!

You will learn in the falling that you never really die.
You will learn in the falling that you can endure the pain.
You will learn in the falling that which you fear.
You will learn in the falling that you can take care of yourself.
You will learn in the falling the feelings which you have repressed.
You will learn in the falling the ways you have abandoned your own heart.
You will learn in the falling how amazing you are.
You will learn in the falling that there is a bottom.

Yes, there is a bottom. There is a bottom! There is a bottom and that bottom is YOU. That bottom is you. When all your falling is done. When you reach the valley of the Grand Canyon in your heart, you will see that the cold hard ground that you land on is YOU. You are there at the bottom, you are the ground that supports yourself. You are there, but you've got to fall to realize it.

Then you've got to learn to live with you there. At first, you will be bored, like I mentioned earlier. You will feel like the world out there is steak and lobster, while all your left with is Ritz Crackers. You won't have any flavor. You'll be bland, but by golly, YOU GOT YOU. And that's a plus.

From here you must discover yourself, enrich yourself, strengthen yourself, give yourself the energy you used to give away. You used to infuse others with the fantasy of what you needed. Today, you must find out--here at the bottom--what you need and figure out how to get it on your own, without outside assistance.

I know, whah whah whah, we all want to stay stuck in our pain. We don't want to fall. We don't want to get to the bottom and have to figure out all by ourselves what it is about ourselves that makes us wonderful, and how to see ourselves as more wonderful without all that outside sauce and accutriments of addiction, dependency and mental illness.

What are you afraid of if you fall? What are you afraid of if you get in touch with that child you once were, lying in bed, fearing death of no connection? What are you afraid of if you admit your helplessness, experience your hopelessness, pass through layers of shame, releasing your tenacles to the world, are you afraid you might be stuck with just you? Why is that so scary? What are you getting from clinging to the sides? When you are ready to heal, let go and fall.

Remember Who You Are

If someone tries to devalue you or put you down, keep yourself detached. Other people's opinions are as reliable as the Dallas Cowboys this year. Keep your sparkle. Remember who you are. You deserve respect on every level. You're not beneath anyone--you are not rank-able. No one else can define you. Watch for subtle cues... If you feel offended--a tug of devaluation, insult or disregard--the other person could be a creep, or envious, shallow... or maybe just hungry & thirsty. Whatever the case, let their stuff be their own. You know who you are. You are fabulous!!! Don't let anyone trigger your past insecurities this holiday season. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Some of Them Want to Use You

Allowing yourself to be exploited is a tragedy. It hurts you in more ways than you realize. It damages your heart, kills your self esteem and sucks away precious energy that could be better used moving you forward. You are not an object, though being used makes you feel like one. If you've ever felt like people take advantage of you, then read this article. I think it may help you stop the destructive relationship patterns and choices that leave you feeling devalued.

When I say "exploited," I'm talking about allowing yourself to be treated in a manner that is undignified in any way by any person, group or entity. Undignified treatment is that which strips you of your dignity, devalues you, disrespects your feelings, your time, your resources or worse.

You know the song, "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics?

Some of them want to use you.
Some of them want to get used by you.
Some of them want to abuse you.
Some of them want to be abused.

If you were subjected to devaluing treatment growing up, then you were likely made vulnerable to abusers by being starved for emotional connection at home. 

Exploitation has parts

1. Lack of Self
2. Lack of Awareness
3. Lack of Validation
4. Lack of Assertion
5. Lack of Ability

These 5 Lacks

Exploitation occurs in the area of lack of the one being exploited. 

1. Lack of Self
Without a strong sense of self, it is difficult to know how you feel. If you don't know how you feel, your wires are crossed. You may feel upset about poor treatment, but not be able to express your feelings moderately. You may project your feelings, repress, deny or ignore what's really going on, all the while walking as a lamb to slaughter into the hands of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

2. Lack of Awareness 
You are unaware of the warning signs of abuse or mistreatment. Maybe devaluation is comfortable for you. Maybe you were devalued as a child. Maybe you continue to devalue yourself today with the help of your inner critic? Whatever the reason, when someone abuses you, you may not notice it as abuse, setting yourself up for further abuse. 

3. Lack of Validation
If you were not validated properly as a child, then you are probably not validating yourself properly now. Validation is very important, although many families are wholly invalidating. An atmosphere of invalidation of ones feelings and reality leads to a sense of worthlessness.

4. Lack of Assertion
If you were not validated and taught your value as a child, then you will not have the ability to stand up for yourself as an adult. You may not know your rights as a person and you may not even know how you feel. In order to prevent yourself from being used, you must set boundaries that are firm and certain. You must enforce consequences to those who do not respect your limitations.

5. Lack of Power
If you lack the ability to know how to get your needs met, you will end up being needy. A needy person is excellent prey for the exploitative person who wants to use you. The truth is that you don't have to be needy. You have the ability to get your needs met; you may just not realize that you do. If you feel you have needs that you cannot seem to get met on your own, go to a therapist and talk this out. Do whatever you have to do to come to terms with your own power.

You do not deserve to be used. You are a person who is valuable and worthy of respect. You deserve to be treated well. You are worthy of honor, and you owe it to yourself to keep your dignity and not allow yourself to be used and exploited for any reason. Take time to work on yourself. Take time to learn why it is that you're attracted to unscrupulous people (if you are), and get out of the cycle of abuse with mean people. You are beautiful--it's your time to shine.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Finding Yourself


God did not help me to repair my broken brain at all, not in the spiritual sense. My broken brain is repaired by sheer determination, will and effort. When I took the God route, it caused me to depend on an outside force, which was the seed of my problem in the first place. In order to repair my brain I had to start from the inside out, all alone in a cold dark void. It was only when I ventured there without any outside force to rescue me from the reality that I began to truly heal and understand my own power. It is from this place that I can choose God without obligation.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Do You Believe in Santa Clause?

I don't have children, but I love them madly. They easily believe everything you tell them. My girlfriend today was telling me about her beautiful 4 year old son. He's doing the Elf on a Shelf thing. She said she thought she would hate it, but he said that all the other kids in pre-school had it, so she ended up caving in. Anyway, so this elf does all these miraculous things each night. Last night, for example, her son planted jelly beans. In the morning these jelly beans were to turn into candy canes.

The next morning her son Jake (name changed) woke up and said, MOMMY!!! MOMMY!!! THE JELLY BEANS TURNED TO CANDY CANES!!! His expression was with wild abandon, amazement and complete certainty. Kids believe things. They believe what we tell them. Kids are amazing with their fabulous imaginations.

That struck me as profound. I thought back to myself as a 5 year old child, so impressionable in the hands of a tyrant. I'm not saying this so you'll feel sorry for me. I'm saying this because I want you to understand, as I am understanding, the power of belief. Anyway, I was thinking, WOW. If a child is THAT impressionable. If a child believes crazy things THAT easily, what crazy things did I accept as true as a little 4 and 5 year old???

Hmmmmmm...

I'm on a mission to discover all the lies in my heart that I've swallowed about my worth and my value. I know that somewhere inside of me there is something that is still not 100%. I want to find that place and do the work to heal it for once and for all...

Thus, I'm always on the lookout for insight. Ways to discover where the belief or beliefs first started, and ways to convince my logical brain of the fallacy of the conclusion. Our brains are just like computers, you know. If we can locate the bad programming, we can reprogram that part of our brains with the truth. Our brains are plastic (able to learn later in life) and we are capable of reprogramming parts of our minds that are thinking wrongly. I personally have made amazing progress...

So when my friend mentioned this situation with her adorable son, I started thinking of myself as a 4 or 5 year old. How impressionable I was. How mean my step father was. How his actions and words were such strong messages of my lack of value and worth as a person. I think about how I gulped down his interpretation of me completely, without any doubt. That's what children do!

Then I think about today. How I am able to make more informed decisions. I can re-believe those things that I once accepted as permanent. I am flexible. I am open. I am growing, and hopefully, with a little acceptance, time, patience and work, I can rethink the math. I can rethink the solution.

Hmmmmmmm....

Maybe he WAS wrong...

Maybe I believed a LIE...

Maybe I can think that through...

Maybe there is no Santa Clause...
By Melanie Tonia Evans

Why is it so important to enjoy being alone with ourselves.

1) If you are needy and lonely you are dependent on others to grant you good feelings.

2) If you feel empty you are at risk at tolerating abuse in order to try to receive love, attention or approval.

3) You will hold others responsible for not 'giving you yourself'.

4) You may cling to others when they don't 'give you yourself'.

5) You are not free to interact healthily and lovingly with people from a mature, developed, stable adult centre.

The bottom line…it is impossible to be in healthy relationship with anyone else until you have mastered relationship with yourself.

Much Love xo

Monday, December 16, 2013

Longing for You


This is da truth!!! Some of us learned it when we were little. Some of us didn't. Some of us hide that yearning with addictions or distractions, some of us count on an outside force while bashing ourselves for not being good enough to get what we need. Then there are those of us who choose to face 100 Proof Reality. The deepest longings in your heart can only be met by YOU. We have to stop running, stop hiding, stop evading our responsibility to really, truly value ourselves no matter how painful it is to face the lies blocking our way. Behind the longing is your answer--and that answer is only within YOU. <3

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Don't Give Yourself Away

Sylvia Plath

What are the Questions of your heart?

When I was little, my evil stepfather who forbade me to ask questions or to express my reality. He was an ass. Questions create identity. The questions you allow yourself to ask of others as well as yourself are the building blocks of your identity. Your soul wants to know! The more you squash the questions of your soul, the more you shrink your existence. Your soul is constantly asking questions, but are you attuned? Do you answer with dogma before your heart gets a chance to ask? It's not about knowing the answer to everything so much as it's about listening with anticipation to all the little questions of your heart. Don't discount your own authentic voice. Allow yourself to ask AND ANSWER your OWN QUESTIONS.

Don't discount your own authentic voice. Allow yourself to ask AND ANSWER your OWN QUESTIONS, even those you've been conditioned not to ask.

The understanding of your right to ask questions without being shamed or judged is the essence of finding out who you really are.


Validate the QUESTIONS of your heart by giving them room to roam, and wait for YOUR own answers.

I was prevented from asking questions as a 3 year old child... that screwed me up. Today I am relearning to listen.

Unless the pain for being there is so great, we have no choice but to search for answers, then we find the questions...

When you ask questions of others, prepare for them to misunderstand, and to many times give you an answer you don't agree with. That's okay. Keep asking anyway.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's the Little Things

It's the little things that matter. The little moments we think are least important that are actually the most important and should be infused with the same mindfulness & love you would give a special, anticipated day. If you can't find joy in the moments in between, you will always be looking to fill the empty spots that can't be filled. It's how you face your alone time, how you drive to work with grace, how you glance at the beautiful diversity of others while waiting in a line, it's how you brush your teeth and that 1000th kiss of your mate. It's the little things that need the most weight. ~ moi

Monday, December 9, 2013

Arms of the Angels

Today I Choose Me

There is a desire in my heart to be loved and appreciated. I could try my best to make you see. I could turn cartwheels, do back-flips, stand on my head to prove that I Am Somebody. That I am worth your precious thoughts, time and attention.

I could put on make-up, I could take a pretty picture, I could post on Instagram, I could get a thousand retweets and a million Likes on Facebook. I could sing a beautiful song. The whole world could agree that I am worthy, but you. You can't see it. You can't see me.

You are the one I want. You're the one I want to impress. If you don't acknowledge me, it's like I'm not even wearing this new dress. I've danced around, I've played the fool, I've done everything to show you that I'm worthy, but for you, it's like I don't even live.

You don't see me. You don't care. I could fly through the air with golden wings, you'd search for a flyswatter. The treasure that I am, you see as heaps of coal. Nothing. Worthless in your eyes. Exhausting, you say. You just don't have time for me.

Well, of course, there is a way. A way that I could be accepted and approved by you. There is one way, if I struggle and slide myself through this crack, I could get in--then you would like me. Then I would win. I would have you!

That would require me to lose who I am. To not burden you with my differences, to keep quiet when I feel like shouting, to swallow my tears, to pretend you're ignoring me is okay, to accept the crumbs of your attention, after you meet the needs of everyone else but me. But at least you would be mine. At least then you would see...

But is that worth it? To ignore all that is me? To lose myself to please you? To forget my needs so that I can feel accepted by you? You're the one I want, but you can't see me.

I say, nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. I refuse.

I refuse to disappear. I refuse to hide who I am. I refuse to go away. I refuse to pretend I am someone else just to get you to look at me. I've tried everything. Nothing has worked. I cannot prove myself to you. Besides, what have you done for me?

But you won't honor me. You want a doll that you can take off of the shelf. You want an object that will be quiet and will never yell. You want something that isn't me. I will not mold myself into nothing just to feel like something in your eyes.

Today I am straightening my back. I'm giving up my need. I don't need you to see. I can't fix your vision. If you can't see, that's your problem. I can see myself. I can see myself and that's all I need. It hurts. I wanted you so badly. I needed your approval to fix the broken seal in me. But now I see the truth. I can only fix myself. You can never give me that which I'd willingly to give myself up to gain.

This is to all the people whom I've tried to please. All the approvals I've tried to gain. All the cold people I've tried to convince. All the hearts in me that have broken. All the coldness that I've taken. To you I'm saying, adieu. 

Today I Choose Me.

How to Honor Yourself

If something in your life isn't honoring you, then it simple doesn't deserve a seat at your table. It is healthy to let go. Sherrie Campbell

This quote from Sherrie, Campbell, PhD got me thinking. What is "honor." How is honor shown? How do others honor us and how do we honor ourselves?

Wikipedia:

Honor: High respect, esteem. A privilege. To regard someone with great respect. To fulfill an obligation or keep an agreement. 

Honoring yourself is the place you must start. If you want to be honored by others in this life, it all starts with you honoring yourself first. Perhaps you weren't raised to honor yourself. Maybe you weren't honored as a child. If not, you have work to do in learning to honor yourself, starting with why you are worthy of honor.

Why You are Worthy of Honor

You are worthy of honor because you exist. If you have breath in you, you are a living being on this planet with inherent value. The gauge is--are you alive? If you are, then you have value. Nothing that you've done or didn't do in your life can ever diminish your value and worth as a human being. You can add nothing to your value and take nothing away. The only limiter of your own value is your own belief. If you BELIEVE you are not valuable, then you will not be valuable. If you do not believe you are worthy on honor, then you will not be worthy of honor. Your own belief is the gauge by which you see yourself and the world sees you.

What About You is Worthy of Honor

You are worthy of honor, but who are you? You are comprised of a body, a mind, a soul and a spirit. The essence of you is worthy of honor. What's more, your thoughts, feelings, needs and wants are also a part of you, and thus these intangible parts of you are worthy of honor. One who is worthy of honor is worthy to be esteemed. Your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, needs, wants, body, mind, soul and spirit are ALL WORTHY OF HONOR! This means the following:
  • Your ideas should be valued and given consideration.
  • Your thoughts are important and should be treated as such.
  • Your feelings matter and should be given space to be.
  • Your wants are important and should be considered.
  • Your needs are honorable and should be met. 
  • Your body is a treasure and should be treated very well.
  • Your mind, soul and spirit are worthwhile and precious. 
 This means that you should take heed to what you are thinking, feeling, believing, make sure you are thinking healthy thoughts, believing true things and that your feelings are being properly expressed. Honor your needing and wanting--don't deny yourself anything that you need. Reach out to get your needs met assertively. Take risks, treat yourself like royalty (without being self centered and while having compassion for others).

Honor Your Existence

It is an honor that you exist on this planet. You are valuable, like a precious jewel. You are unique and there is no other you. You deserve to be honored. You are a child of God. There is no need to take the seat of dishonor, as one who is disrespected, as one who is not living up to your own expectations.

Make Sure Others Honor You

You cannot make someone honor your existence. They will either honor you or they won't. You can never prove your worth to anyone. If a person does not honor their own existence, they will be closed off to honoring yours. If a person is self-centered and incapable of seeing your needs, thoughts and feelings as important, then there is nothing you can do. This is sad, but you cannot change them. They can only change themselves. You can only walk away, if you are to keep your dignity.

Others should honor you in the following ways:
  • Be respectful of your feelings.
  • Keep their word with you and honor their commitments to you.
  • Apologize and make amends to you if they hurt your feelings.
  • Treat your feelings as precious and try to not hurt you.
  • Listen to you when you speak.
  • Not insult you or belittle you.
  • Not send messages through actions that you are not important.
  • Praise you and make you feel special.
  • Support you in times of need.
  • Forgive you for wrongs when you apologize.
The list goes on and on. Honor is about not playing games; it's about giving space to another person as important, valuable, precious, worthy of respect. We must not only expect others to honor us, but we must first honor ourselves. Others will learn how they can treat us by how we treat ourselves and how we honor others. If we honor ourselves and honor those around us, this sends the greatest message. 

Not Used to Being Honored

What if you were raised by a family who didn't honor your existence. Maybe your birth was an accident, or the situations in your family were so bad that your parents were incapable of making you feel honored. If this is the case, you may have a dishonorable attitude. You may think that you are unworthy of honor. These feelings can be beneath the surface. In fact, some people who act like they're the greatest actually feel the worst about themselves. If you're not used to being honored, you may find it difficult to honor yourself, and receive honor from others.

There is no better time than RIGHT NOW to start honoring yourself. Start with how you talk to yourself. Say good, nice, encouraging things to yourself. Support yourself with healthy relationships, get counseling, join a support group--do whatever it takes to get yourself to the place where you honor everything about yourself. You deserve it!!! 




Don't Compromise

To be healthy we have to be discerning. We need to rid ourselves of all the things we have outgrown. If we hold onto what no longer is healthy the new things, opportunities and loves cannot track us down because we will be blocked. If we live holding on, our lives become unsettled, so we have to trust our instincts when choosing to set boundaries. When we become discerning we realize we are responsible for loving and protecting ourselves. No one else can do this for us. Our emotional safety is our business. To become discerning we must look at a confusing decision in this way: If it doesn't feel right, it's NOT right--at least not for you. If you don't feel right about something, pay attention. It is an easy habit to talk yourself into feeling right about something that is no longer right, or to talk yourself out of doing something self-protective due to the fear of loss or rejection. Your insides know. If it doesn't feel good, then it's not right. When we are discerning we are listening, looking, analyzing and paying close attention. Our hearts deserve this kind of love so we can rightfully protect them. If something in your life isn't honoring you, then it simple doesn't deserve a seat at your table. It is healthy to let go. There is no need to compromise your grace, your dignity and your hard fought for self-loving skills for someone or something that does not have your best interest at heart. Have a beautiful Monday.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

100 Things Self Love is Not

  1. Self love is not on the internet. 
  2. Self love is not in the approval of other people.
  3. Self love is not in an abusive relationship.
  4. Self love is not in caving to the whims of others.
  5. Self love is not bashing yourself.
  6. Self love is not criticizing yourself.
  7. Self love is not ignoring your intuition.
  8. Self love is not hiding your feelings.
  9. Self love is not being a doormat. 
  10. Self love is not giving more than you take.
  11. Self love is not sabotaging your success.
  12. Self love is not feeling ashamed.
  13. Self love is not ignoring your needs.
  14. Self love is not sacrificing your life.
  15. Self love is not trying to get people to like you.
  16. Self love is not arguing your truth with someone.
  17. Self love is not making light of abuse.
  18. Self love is not pretending not to care.
  19. Self love is not shutting yourself off from others.
  20. Self love is not manipulating others.
  21. Self love is not controlling to others.
  22. Self love is not being the victim.
  23. Self love is not being one-down or one-up 
  24. Self love is not allowing yourself to be abused.
  25. Self love is not keeping silent when you need to say something.
  26. Self love is not trying to prove that you're worthy.
  27. Self love is not looking good on the outside.
  28. Self love is not perfection.
  29. Self love is not obsessing about another person.
  30. Self love is not being addicted to substances.
  31. Self love is not clinging onto another person.
  32. Self love is not rejecting yourself for your flaws.
  33. Self love is not denying your feelings.
  34. Self love is not pretending to be happy all the time.
  35. Self love is not putting on a mask.
  36. Self love is not performing for others.
  37. Self love is not desiring someone who hurts you.
  38. Self love is not selling yourself short.
  39. Self love is not settling for crumbs for others.
  40. Self love is not falling in love with a fantasy.
  41. Self love is not ignoring your family to gain approval.
  42. Self love is not neglecting your children to feed your addictions.
  43. Self love is not considering yourself unworthy of care.
  44. Self love is not letting yourself go.
  45. Self love is not overeating.
  46. Self love is not over doing anything.
  47. Self love is not disconnecting from your truth.
  48. Self love is not ignoring red flags in others.
  49. Self love is not telling yourself you're not worthy.
  50. Self love is not going down a path that's unhealthy.
  51. Self love is not failing to stop yourself from being abused.
  52. Self love is not staying with someone who hurts you.
  53. Self love is not being addicted to a person.
  54. Self love is not treating other people badly.
  55. Self love is not isolating yourself from the world.
  56. Self love is not not trusting anyone. 
  57. Self love is not not reaching out for help when you need it.
  58. Self love is not forgetting who you are.
  59. Self love is not giving up yourself in your relationships.
  60. Self love is not being a victim.
  61. Self love is not giving up too soon.
  62. Self love is not using your anger to control others.
  63. Self love is not walking away from every conflict.
  64. Self love is not hiding from your problems.
  65. Self love is not living in chaos. 
  66. Self love is not being attracted to unavailable people.
  67. Self love is not staying when you should go.
  68. Self love is not being needy.
  69. Self love is not clinging to other people.
  70. Self love is not talking bad about others.
  71. Self love is not focusing on another person.
  72. Self love is not watching television.
  73. Self love is not being mean to your inner child.
  74. Self love is not hating your life so far.
  75. Self love is not looking back on your life with disdain.
  76. Self love is not thinking you don't need anyone.
  77. Self love is not destroying your relationships.
  78. Self love is not being addicted to shopping.
  79. Self love is not overspending.
  80. Self love is not being out-of-control.
  81. Self love is not using others.
  82. Self love is not being un-confident.
  83. Self love is not giving up too soon.
  84. Self love is not thinking you're not good enough.
  85. Self love is not being afraid of intimacy.
  86. Self love is not afraid of people you think are better than you.
  87. Self love is not ranking people.
  88. Self love is not comparing yourself to others.
  89. Self love is not thinking you're less than anyone.
  90. Self love is not thinking you're better than anyone.
  91. Self love is not thinking you cannot go on without someone.
  92. Self love is not harming yourself.
  93. Self love is not risky behaviors.
  94. Self love is not smoking.
  95. Self love is not avoiding yourself.
  96. Self love is not not asking for help.
  97. Self love is not not forgiving yourself.
  98. Self love is not beating yourself up.
  99. Self love is not ignoring people who love you.
  100. Self love is not denying yourself happiness.

Gather Yourself & Walk Away

 By: Sherrie Campbell, PhD
Change is the essence of life. When we are in a place of feeling lost, scared, rejected or left behind this is the Universe meddling so we don't settle into a place that is too small for us. We may not know our next destination and we may not feel as if we wanted to leave where we were but move on we must when we are called to do so. Stand tall to this challenge. It is worth your effort and growth. What we learn, if we are determined, is that we all have the power to get up and move on. Sometimes it may look or feel impossible but it is not. It is in us. There is not a better feeling than proving to yourself that you have the staying power and tough-mindedness to get up and keep walking. There is so much life out there and so many amazing people and opportunities waiting to enter to bring you love and new life..higher levels of love and life than what you have had before. As you love yourself and you find the elegance within you that will hold you strong, you can stand tall, know your worth and count on yourself to make it through. Giving up is an option but it will get you nowhere. To be tough-minded is to be deliberate about making your life the life YOU want and deserve to have! Love yourself.

Stand Your Ground

By:
Sherrie Campbell, PhD - Yorba Linda, CA

Sherrie Campbell, PhD

We have to love ourselves. This is the most important thing we can offer ourselves and others. Nothing outside of us is consistent and much of what is outside of us hurts. We have one life to live, and we need to choose wisely who we decide to live this life with. When we love ourselves we are more likely to find a loving world. And, when the world isn't loving then we can still go inside and love ourselves until whatever negativity is outside of us passes and changes form. We need to be protective of ourselves and take care of ourselves so we have the courage to let go of what and who brings us down. Never be a push-over. Be who you are bravely and with conviction. When we get pushed-over we are not being self-loving. Stand strong in who you are and in what is right for you. You have a right to say no. You have a right to walk away from those who do not treat you with respect. You have the right to love yourself. It isn't selfish. It is only selfish to be self-centered and to not care how you impact others. To be self-loving is fundamentally different. To be self-loving means you have choice and awareness...if something or someone in your life is making you feel horrible..you must stand your ground. Standing your ground is self-preservation. You have this right...it is your life.

Friday, December 6, 2013

I Do Not Like Green Eggs & Ham

I just had an epiphany as to what this book is really all about. This Dr. Seuss classic, "Green Eggs & Ham" symbolizes the right of every free human being to choose what they like or what they don't like. Growing up as a kid, I was unable to express my likes and my dislikes. I had to like everything that my stepfather gave to me, even if it was crumbs. I had to pretend to like stuff I really didn't like at all. When you grow up without owning your truth, your preferences, likes, wants and even needs get lost somewhere inside your own heart. You lose connection with yourself.

Part of my healing involves re-connecting with my inner truth. Figuring out my likes and dislikes, and being able to stand firm in my own feelings. It's not about caving to the desires of others, but about sticking to your own desires and learning to fight for your own happiness. Good parenting teaches a child that her desires are important. What she wants is important. She doesn't have to just "take what you give her and like it," but that she can ask for something else. She's allowed to protest. She's allowed to dislike.

It may sound simple to some people, but getting in touch with your likes and dislikes within the context of human relationship can be hard if you were not allowed to express your preferences in childhood. If you can't express what you like and what you do not, things get silly. You end up accepting things that are in nowise good for you, and you end up being hurt. A healthy person can assertively expresses when he doesn't like something and is able to stand by that conviction regardless of opposition.

Unfortunately, the book takes a turn for compliance in that the Cat ends up trying the Green Eggs and Ham and liking it. So the moral of the story is not the right to own up to your likes and dislikes, but rather, not to dislike something you've never tried. Oh well. For me and my life, I'll take the first half of the book. It's okay not to like something, it's okay to stick to your truth, it's okay to express your preferences. Be who you are and don't let anyone change you--unless you want to change.

I am Sam

I am Sam
Sam I am

That Sam-I-am
That Sam-I-am!
I do not like
that Sam-I-am

Do you like
green eggs and ham

I do not like them,
Sam-I-am.
I do not like
green eggs and ham.

Would you like them
Here or there?

I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them
anywhere.
I do not like
green eggs and ham.
I do not like them,
Sam-I-am

Would you like them
in a house?
Would you like them
with a mouse?

I do not like them
in a house.
I do not like them
with a mouse.
I do not like them
here or there.
I do not like them
anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.


Would you eat them
in a box?
Would you eat them
with a fox?

Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.
I would not eat them here or there.
I would not eat them anywhere.
I would not eat green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Would you? Could you?
in a car?
Eat them! Eat them!
Here they are.

I woould not ,
could not,
in a car

You may like them.
You will see.
You may like them
in a tree?
d not in a tree.
I would not, could not in a tree.
Not in a car! You let me be.

I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox
I do not like them in a house
I do mot like them with a mouse
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

A train! A train!
A train! A train!
Could you, would you
on a train?

Not on a train! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! Sam! Let me be!
I would not, could not, in a box.
I could not, would not, with a fox.
I will not eat them with a mouse
I will not eat them in a house.
I will not eat them here or there.
I will not eat them anywhere.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.


Say!
In the dark?
Here in the dark!
Would you, could you, in the dark?

I would not, could not,
in the dark.

Would you, could you,
in the rain?

I would not, could not, in the rain.
Not in the dark. Not on a train,
Not in a car, Not in a tree.
I do not like them, Sam, you see.
Not in a house. Not in a box.
Not with a mouse. Not with a fox.
I will not eat them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere!

You do not like
green eggs and ham?

I do not
like them,
Sam-I-am.

Could you, would you,
with a goat?

I would not,
could not.
with a goat!

Would you, could you,
on a boat?

I could not, would not, on a boat.
I will not, will not, with a goat.
I will not eat them in the rain.
I will not eat them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! You let me be!
I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I will not eat them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them ANYWHERE!

I do not like
green egss
and ham!

I do not like them,
Sam-I-am.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Let Go

To be healthy we need to not allow people who do so little for us occupy so much of our emotional and mental space. We cannot fly if we have relationship anchors holding us down. It is very easy to get stuck in wanting people to be the versions of them we think they can be, that they presented themselves to be, or who we think they should be or maybe who we even thought they were. 
 
Challenging times are the great indicator of if someone is in your life because they truly love you or if they are in your life to get what they need from you. If someone leaves when a difficult challenge arises you can be clear they were in your life to get what they needed from you for themselves. We can get stuck emotionally and mentally in grieving over these people not understanding how they could have turned out like this when we thought so deeply they were genuine in the love and intentions towards us. 
 
When this obsessing takes over emotionally and mentally is when we need to discipline and apply our self-loving skills to let go and persevere. Time brings the insight to see them clearly at which point you will be able to be grateful for the experience and lesson learned. You will see as you heal that the gaping hole they left in your life and heart will be filled to the brim with new people, experiences, loves and opportunities. If you stay stuck obsessing over the unfairness of these types of relationships you make no room for the new and you cannot fly. Let go, leap and spread your wings...you have higher places, people and opportunities waiting to fill you up.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Don't Force It

You can't force life. You are not in control. Trying to make something happen when it's not happening is a lesson in futility. Blaming yourself, wondering where you went wrong, blaming others, feeling like crap, feeling less-than because something didn't work as planned is taking on more responsibility than you have. Sometimes things happen. Sometimes things don't work out. Trying to force things to happen the way you want it to leads to a big, huge mess.

I know you want things to work out your way. I know you want to be in a relationship, or you want to succeed in that industry, or you want to get that job or make that friend, but sometimes the answer is no. You have zero control of the cause and effect of things outside of yourself. You only have control of you. The sooner you learn to let go and let life flow, the faster you'll be to your next good moment.

Realize when things are not going your way, sometimes that means that something better is out there for you. It doesn't mean that all is lost. Tune into the lesson in every situation. It is the lessons we learn when we stay open to life that take us higher and guide us to the next step.

Forcing things just screws your life up. When you stay longer than you're supposed to stay, when you mold yourself into something you're not, when you let go of your truth to fit into some scenario that's not your own, you become a fake person... just a flake of your true self.

When you try to get people to change, win people over, make the world realize that you're correct, try to get people to understand, get approval before you continue or do anything that involves manipulating and controlling how others think or feel about you or anything, you are forcing things that are not yours to force. You are weaving a web to trap yourself in. No need! Just release, let go, let things flow. Don't force. Trust that the God of your understanding is leading you to your Highest Good