Speaking My Truth: Question Your Beliefs

While relationships are a perfect environment for healing and evolving, there’s usually some growing pains that come before that due to our belief system.

I entered relationships with baggage, baggage from my childhood and baggage from previous relationships. That baggage included a distrust of people, a need to be wanted and approved of, a need to appear perfect, a need to be loved, and a need to be right.

When these things were questioned or not provided, I didn’t go within to question what it was about my belief system that led me to feel hurt, betrayed or powerless, rather I blamed others for not meeting my standards or having unresolved issues and therefore weren’t worthy of my time and affection.

It’s only through challenging my belief system that my growth began. Do not be afraid of what you might learn. Being triggered in relationships is an opportunity to heal and transform.

What behaviors in others or in your mate do you GATHER EVIDENCE TO PROVE?

Whenever I felt my partners losing interest, self-doubt turned to jealousy. My lack of self-confidence and self-esteem supported my belief that I was unlovable and not worthy. That belief then supported the belief that my partners didn’t love me or were cheating on me or no longer found me attractive.

I certainly didn’t have hard evidence but so sure was I in my belief that I was not enough that even words of reassurance couldn’t assuage my growing mistrust and malcontent.

Speaking My Truth: I No Longer Give My Power Away

Relationships are the perfect environment to grow as a person when you are willing to hear your partner’s truth without taking offense and are also able to speak your truth without fear.

For many years, I was unwilling to recognize that I carried with me a lot of hurt and pain from my childhood that affected how I showed up in my intimate relationships. I was needy and controlling and both unsure and arrogant at the same time.

If I was ever at fault, I would blame the other. If anyone deigned to look below the surface and not only saw but pointed out my imperfection, that relationship was not long to last.

Becoming emotionally healthy requires you to look within at the roles you play in your relationships, intimate, platonic, familial and work. The responsibility for a successful relationship falls on both parties to show up consciously and fearlessly.

Do not be afraid to know yourself and allow others the wonderful opportunity to know themselves through relationship with you.

What things do you REACT to in communication and relationship with others? Where is your judgment? What kinds of behaviors and other stuff really trigger you with a partner, friend or family member?

In intimate relationships, whenever I felt less than perfect or when I had disappointed someone, I would go into panic mode and do anything to prove myself. I would get very defensive, unwilling to hear if I had done or said something that was unfair or incorrect or hurtful.

If the relationship was ending because I wasn’t right for someone, I carried around anger for that person, picking apart their words and behavior, making them the one with fault and imperfection.

I wanted to be wanted. I wanted to be my partner’s everything and in turn, they became my everything so much so that when I wasn’t enough, I became very jealous and controlling.

Speaking My Truth: I Am No Longer Burdened in My Heart

Do you shield your loved one from their own pain? How do you feel about this? How does your body feel about this?

As a people pleaser, this definitely rings true, for one person in particular, my mother. I grew up not knowing who my father was but there were moments as I grew up that I learned a few tidbits.

I knew the only person who could tell me what I needed to know was my mom but I didn’t want to cause trouble. When I moved away from home in my 20’s, similar to when I went away to college, I fell into depression.

Being on my own allowed me to feel my pain and I had a lot of it and part of it was not knowing my father. One Christmas I tried bringing up the topic with my mother but I sensed a hesitation and a discomfort so I didn’t press the issue.

A couple of years later, while living in Boston, I shared my story with a friend and she urged me to talk with my mom. The words promising that I would were just to close the subject since I didn’t feel I had built up enough courage to broach the topic.

My own hesitation stemmed from not wanting to force my mother to relive her painful past, some of which I knew about. I simply wanted to spare her any pain.

I finally learned who my dad was and met him for the first time 7 years ago but it wasn’t through a conversation with my mother but that’s a story for another time.

This experience of shielding someone else from feeling their hurt did both them and I a disservice; for me, losing years of a possible relationship with my father and for my mother, the chance to face her demons.

Now having found the courage to take responsibility for my feelings while allowing others that freedom as well, I am no longer burdened in my heart, soul, and body with regret and sorrow.

Wandering Generality vs Meaningful Specific

Seth Godin said these words in an interview with Marie Forleo this morning and it instantly caught my attention. This pique in interest was self-directed as I wondered, what am I? Could what I’ve been doing be classified under a wandering generality or a meaningful specific? Of course, none of you are in my head but I’m there all the time, it’s actually my favorite past time and because of this I know when I’m not being in integrity with myself. There are no small or large measures of personal integrity. When you fall out of integrity with yourself, the effect is the same and that is, a loss of self-trust, which leads to a loss of self-confidence.

Why am I bringing this all up and why do I sound like I’m being hard on myself? It’s because there’s a part of my “mission” that I waiver on time and time again. I start and stop endeavors. I get wishy-washy on living or speaking my truth. And why? In truth, because I haven’t figured out what it is. I’m just on this journey of life, like many of you are, trying to figure it out while staying true to myself and my values.

I’ve been trying so hard and failing at having a “mission”, a mission to bring wisdom and healing to other’s who’ve suffered with abuse like I did in childhood. Perhaps this “mission” is too large. Perhaps, I’m just not that invested. Perhaps the form I’ve been trying to have this “mission” take is not the right one. I have many questions and many ideas but there is one thing I am sure of and that is, I want to be a Meaningful Specific and not a Wandering Generality. So I promise to be patient and loving with myself as I figure out where I’m going and how I get there.

p.s. I arrived home Friday night after my trip, attended a lovely wedding on Saturday and started feeling ill Saturday night. I haven’t written because I haven’t been feeling up to it. I’ve had the flu only once before, not fun. This I consider a cold but I do have aches, a headache, I have vomited but I’m getting better and sleeping many hours. Cheers to taking time out when you need it.

Meet yourself

As I sit in JFK awaiting my connecting flight to Istanbul and thinking about what to write about today, I turn to Google Keep, my trusted thought-keeper. I saved a quote I saw on instagram several days ago and chose that as my inspiration.

The essence of this quote is at the center of my deeply held belief that self-awareness is key to a happy, emotionally-healthy life.

“Despite how open, peaceful, and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you, as deeply as they’ve met themselves. This is the heart of clarity.” –Matt Kahn

How deeply have you met yourself? Do you like how you show up in your relationships? Do you leave your interactions feeling better or worse than when you began them and have you considered why that is? Do you surround yourself with a supportive and uplifting network of friends and family? How do you feel your upbringing has affected your beliefs about your potential to impact your world? What things set you off as you go about your daily life?

There are a million and one questions to begin to build your self-awareness practice. The level of your ability to know, love and accept yourself can serve as a clue to the quality and success of your relationships.

Healing comes in unexpected packages

How vulnerable do I give myself permission to be? That was the question that opened the floodgates. I was on my ½ hour scheduled call with my wealth coach and I was discussing my next steps around putting myself out there to deliver value to my future clients and the subject of perfectionism came up in the last 15 minutes of our call.

I’ll be 38 in January and never once have I allowed myself to be anything less than capable. I strive for excellence in everything I do. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again has been an unwritten rule I’ve lived by and it’s clearly seen in my work product. Anyone who’s worked with me expects no less than the best possible outcome on any product or project I work on.

So, for the past year, I’ve been confounded by why I haven’t been able to get my coaching business off the ground. I’ve gone through countless training programs and acquired an amazing amount of knowledge and have ample personal experience to support why I’m good enough to help people gain self-awareness, heal from trauma, and create healthy intimate relationships and yet, something was holding me back.

In speaking with my coach, it began to dawn on me that I’d assigned different meaning to my ability to succeed intellectually than emotionally. Success in connecting emotionally, aka, in being vulnerable was alien to me and so I protected myself by building sky high fortresses against attack. Questions like “How would I be seen if this didn’t work out?” and “How would I feel about myself?” and “What would I make that mean about me?” sprung to mind and that’s when through all my mind chatter, I heard my coach ask “How vulnerable do I give myself permission to be?”.

All the air suddenly left my body in a sign of relief and unburdening. I vibrated with the realization that no one had placed any expectations on me and that it was all me and all I needed to do was let go and allow, give myself permission to be vulnerable. I’m stronger than the seven year old little girl who couldn’t fight off her rapist and I’m stronger than the nine year old little girl who desperately needed love and couldn’t say no to her molester and I’m stronger than the fourteen year child who ran from her attacker believing that in order to survive she had to be closed off and watchful, untrusting and afraid.

I built my fortress to shield and protect me but it became my prison, disconnecting me from my essence, a loving, giving, compassionate being, distancing me from experiencing true connection with other loving beings. I believe I stepped outside my prison in that moment and in doing so, the floodgates of pent up sadness, isolation, and burden of unnecessary expectations was opened up and released.

I am a wise and strong woman. I gently and tenderly care for my wounded inner child. I am freedom expressed. In my vulnerability, I find my voice and my strength. I am love calling out to you who are wounded, living in the world in isolation, desperately seeking love and validation and security from others telling you that joy and peace can be had from within.

Wonderful things can happen when someone holds space for you to safely step outside your self-constructed emotional prison. I will hold space for you.

You are your own competitor

I admit, I like to waste time playing games, sometimes thoughtful, sometimes silly games. There’s a game on FB games called Piano Bricks. It’s the familiar brick breaking game with a couple of differences, one being the sound of the breaking bricks are piano keys. It’s very soothing, if you like piano, which I do. I’ve become quite addicted to it over the past few days.

I not only play for the music but to improve my score. I’m up to 104 and I just realized there was a leader board and the best score so far is 150 and I think I can do it.

I bring this game up because my tenacity is playing it over and over again can also be applied to how I play the game of life. While I don’t consider there to be winners and losers in life, I do believe the quality of your life can be attributed to how well you ‘play the game’ and because I believe your only competitor in the game of life is yourself, the quality of your life improves as you learn better strategies for dealing with the curveballs life can throw at you.

I play the game of life in this way:

  • Have no expectations of anyone or anything except improving how I ‘play the game’
  • Play the game with fairness, respect, and compassion for others
  • Seek to know myself and grow from every experience and encounter
  • Be a positive, encouraging and supportive example to others in the game of life
  • Focus on the present moment rather than the outcome or expected result
  • Be open to learning new strategies for ‘playing the game’
  • Be open to challenges to expand my perspective

How do you ‘play the game of life’?