“We can become confined by the stories we tell ourselves, which can overpower our reality.”
When we feel triggered by others or an external circumstance, our central nervous system becomes activated. This can be a “fight or flight” response and it is very emotional. This means that we can intellectualize and even consciously justify why this is irrational, but in our BODIES we feel intensely that something is “off.” First, it is important to observe the thoughts or feelings as they occur.
What are the feelings? (emotional)
How may these feelings manifest in the body? (physiological)
lump in throat
What are the thoughts? (cognitive)
Am I safe?
Am I good enough?
Am I lovable?
An individual or outside circumstance may trigger our core fear around worthiness and how others or ourselves perceive our competence, intelligence, performance, accomplishments, etc. Once we observe our emotions, body’s response, and thoughts, we can better understand and identify the trigger as separate from our actual experience. A lot of times it is an external circumstance triggering this fear WITHIN us, rather than it being about the external “thing.”
This feeling may be inferiority, rejection, and lead to behaviors of comparing to others as a way to cope with the discomfort. It is important to remember that this feeling is really coming from WITHIN us. Are we rejecting ourselves for who we truly are for fear that this will not be okay for someone else? Then this leads to working toward accepting yourself for all of what you are and embracing the parts that you compare to others. What are you trying to prove to YOURSELF?
This is a process and it won’t change over night, but it CAN change and it CAN be worked through.
What do you notice happens when you become triggered and how have you coped?
When we first start dating someone new it can be easy to fall into the familiar trap of being blinded to the things we do not want to hear. Maybe the person says they do not want a relationship, maybe they say they do not know what they want, maybe they have a fear of commitment, but whatever the case may be, you need to HEAR IT. Rather than choosing to ignore a statement, it is important to hear it, listen to it, and remain mindful of our actions moving forward. It may feel as if the other person is now taking control of the outcome of your love life, but really you are the empowered one. Remember, that if you stay true to yourself, state what you want, and accept nothing less, you are the one in control of your own destiny. Do not let another person’s fears bring you down or get in the way of you having what your heart desires because it is really up to you. You have the power and you need to remain self-empowered to walk away from a situation that does not serve your highest good.
Lets back track…. What really is the fear of commitment?
Is the fear of commitment fundamentally the same as the fear of abandonment? I think they are similar variations of a deep-rooted fear of intimacy and vulnerability, but a fear of commitment may involve a fear of sacrifice or loss of freedom of self, whereas a fear of abandonment may come after a commitment has been made. For those with a fear of abandonment, the whole idea of commitment falls on shaky ground. Commitment does not ever feel secure enough to fulfill the deep-rooted desire to be loved unconditionally and accepted for our authentic selves.
Ask yourself these questions to assess and explore how to control your own ambivalence:
What are the ways you make inappropriate or unrealistic commitments?
What is the point in a relationship at which you are most likely to panic and run?
What ways do you scare yourself by moving ahead too quickly?
What are some expectations you have that will ultimately make you want to bolt and run away?
What are your commitment fantasies?
How do you respond to someone else’s fantasies?
What ways are your responses so immediate and so intense that they might make a potential mate feel trapped?
In what ways might you distance partners by constructing boundaries?
How do you fail to erect reasonable boundaries?
What are the ways your ambivalence may be acted out in the non-romantic areas of your life?
Let me know how the fear of commitment shows up for you in your life!
There may be a time when you meet another person and it feels as if you can see inside their soul. The connection you feel is full of energy, which feels somewhat familiar to you. Maybe you knew one another in a past life or are supposed to meet again for a purpose. It can feel like chemistry and a comfortable bond that may grow and turn into a romantic relationship. However, overtime, just like any other relationship you see their flaws. You love them anyway, even if you recognize they are not healthy flaws that add to your life. You keep going, but eventually it all comes crashing down…but in a good way. Your eyes are now open to what you chose to ignore before. Instead of a loving connection this was leading you to learning another important lesson. Even without knowing why, deep down in your gut you can understand what you learned from this person. Sometimes all we get is silence and ignorance from another person. The trick to dealing with that? Just accept it as the answer… There is no point in digging around when you can provide that answer for yourself through learning the lesson placed in front of you. Stay strong and move on. You may then reflect and ask yourself:
Why did you attract those flaws in the first place?
What benefit did this have on showing you how you choose partners?
When we further examine why we make some of the choices we do, we can better understand the patterns we continuously repeat. We are now even stronger than before because we see once more what we have done. We can confront ourselves and agree to make changes that will lead us to a healthy connection.
How may we do this?
You have to figure out what works for you. Can you imagine that things have reasons for why they happen the ways they do and view your life in an optimistic light? If you can truly feel happy by choosing it and knowing in your heart that there is a new healthier and better connection out there for you then allow that door to be open! Open your heart again.. Never give up. Do not let another person’s silence stop you from living out the life you desire. People who matter will fight to stay in your life and make any type of relationship work. It’s up to you to recognize a lesson in negative situations and strive to learn from what you created.
It can feel relieving when you finally work up the courage to be assertive. Being assertive is an act that can help define boundaries and voice things you are not ok with. There may be fears you have associated with being assertive:
Will I come off as mean?
Will I come off as being needy?
Will I come across as bossy?
These are crucial fears and they may create severe anxiety in voicing what you want and need. It is ok to be assertive and ask for what you want. It is also ok to say NO! when you know something doesn’t align with your values.
Being assertive helps to create healthy communication with others. If you communicate how you are feeling, others will know how you will and will not accept to be treated. Also, in revealing your true feelings (being vulnerable) you will expose your emotions for others to better see how their energy affects you as well.
Assertiveness is a two way street. It does not come off mean if you approach the other person in a calm way. The tricky part that takes long to establish is being calm and stern at the same time. When you can be stern and know you got your point across that’s true assertiveness.
Communicate your needs and create boundaries so you can always feel respected. If you love yourself enough it will come so natural because you want others to know what you are not ok with. Spread assertiveness around, add a little love and communication can flow freely and beautifully.
Sometimes when first getting to know someone, they seem to be showing you their true colors. You want to believe that certain actions they take and behaviors they portray are accurate and direct to their character. This can be difficult since we tend to look for red flags from the beginning to protect ourselves from bad treatment. However, people can be tricky and may put on a “true colors act” where they come across one way and given a week or few weeks they all the sudden really show you who they were hiding. This is extremely disappointing if you develop feelings for someone and they choose to charm you into believing they feel for you too. When this happens you must take a step back because you can only control how you react to this and how you deal with it.
Choose wisely, choose YOU. Live your life, and do things that make you happy.
Unfortunately that person did not care enough or respect you enough to want to continue having you in their life. There is nothing you can really do about this, but move forward. Life will always go on and it will go on the way you live it and feel. You control your own feeelings and you control your own happiness. Never look to another person to fill that void for you because they are just not that special.
Upon first meeting someone, it’s easy to want to quickly seek out their red flag traits and behaviors. While that is important and wise, people do unravel into a million different levels. Keep awareness and the traits you seek you will not be blinded to. After all, we are just trying to protect ourselves and be ready and strong to walk away when our gut feels something is not right for us. In this process, focus on your goal and the type of energy you wish to surround yourself with. If the person cannot at all provide you with what you deeply desire THEN you can question the situation and take proper actions toward making yourself happy. It’s ok to give people chances, but stay aware, open, optimistic and strong. We are all sensitive to this need of wanting to feel we got to show our authentic selves and must remember to allow others that gift. However, you must let go if you find that person is dragging you down and sucking away your positive energy. Spread your wings and fly far, far away… to a better place!
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” -Jon Kabat-Zin- founder, Mindfulness-based stress reduction program.
Mindfulness is quite a precious act- one that is acknowledged as being a positive way to bring consciousness to one’s mind in the present moment, and as a result, acting mindful toward others around you. There may be some who choose this practice with a different purpose in mind. They may be trying to increase their mindfulness, but in a way to only be mindful toward them selves.
They are extremists who need to feed compulsions and by increasing mindfulness directed at their own self it is a way they can continue to focus on the things they must do to feel in control.
Don’t be fooled by people who practice for this reason. They are not impressive or generous people who are trying to put you first. Instead, they are only teaching themselves how to put them selves first- more first than they ever have before. They may come off as confident and that they love themselves, but really they hate themselves and can’t even stand to look in the mirror at their own reflection. Mindfulness was not created for this purpose. When you are putting all of your attention in the present and really feeling the experience, that involves anyone around you in that moment. If you are only worried about yourself and doing what you think YOU need to do, you are missing the whole point.
Boundaries are created through a strong foundation of self-love.
First, we must be happy with who we are because we must first know how we wish to be treated by others. A lot of us may have “wishes” with how we feel we SHOULD be treated. The difference in this is when we truly respect ourselves we know that there are boundaries we WILL NOT accept and when crossed they become ourdeal breakers.
Looking back it can seem that things we used to accept from others are now number one deal breakers in our relationships.
Why is this?
Why do we now see that before we had self love we allowed others to just treat us how ever was convenient for them?
That it was ok not to have any hesitation or thought that there should be a boundary line drawn out?
It is important to know what behaviors you will and will not tolerate from others. If we love ourselves, we know what we deserve and what feels right versus wrong. Boundaries are very personal and vary from person to person. Knowing our boundaries can help us seek out healthy relationships we feel comfortable in. No one should ever feel that they have to force their partner to treat them how they want or with respect. If we know our boundaries and voice them we are one step closer to being treated how we desire.
“Tomorrow I will have no shame, and I will start again.”
It wasn’t long ago that you were hiding. You have been hiding behind your own skin and not allowing people to see you for who you really were.
When the time comes to be honest with someone about a certain identity you posses, it is one of the most liberating feelings you may experience. It is magical to be accepted by another loved one when you are ashamed of a certain identity you are hiding from. This can be about almost anything one is insecure about minoring from a physical feature all the way to a lifestyle, or past history. When you decide to be open and be your authentic self you win either way. Take that step and release what is holding you back. If you are rejected for that, then that person was not worthy of your special identity. On the bright side, a very negative thing can help you seek out others who treasure you and find you special with or without that and accept you for who you really are,your authentic self.
It is the most liberating and empowering feeling to be so aware of the types of mistakes you know you will no longer make. When you finally build up the courage to stand up for yourself and know when someone is crossing your boundary that it is not right and that it doesn’t sit well with you is how you know you are changing. Once you see the after effects of doing so, you will see how much greater value that action holds over allowing someone to take full advantage of you for instant and temporary satisfaction. It can feel safer and more “comfortable”- there is that term again- when you choose to go along with what someone else is ‘ok’ with.
However, it is only making things work for THEM and not you.
Since when are you not important too? When is it not enough for you to have your own voice and beliefs?
Once you establish what you know inside is how you will allow others to treat you, you can start having the utmost respect for yourself. There really is love all around. Love is always there lurking around and it is only when we can see clearly about who we are and what kind of life we want to lead that love can fully come welcomed through our door. The energy you create around you has an aura affect on others.