Category: Boundaries

Why Your Boundaries are Not Working

boundarycartoon

“I keep setting boundaries and they are not working!” Said the distraught and frustrated person.

Boundaries are often misunderstood and therefore, improperly used. Thus, having little to no effect on the disrespectful or hurtful situation you are trying to remedy. So, let’s have a little Boundary 101 lesson on what boundaries are, why they are not working and how to set them effectively.

Step One – Setting a Word Boundary  

This will look something akin to…

“I feel disrespected when you often make me the butt of your jokes in social settings. I’m requesting that you please stop doing it.”

Your person will respond in one of two ways:

(a.) Understand and honor your request which allows both parties to continue forward happily. Or…

(b.) Disregard your request and continue to do it.

With response (a.) you’re good to go!

With response (b.), unfortunately, you’re not finished yet…

Many people think a boundary is set only with words and if you’re lucky, it will be. But if our person chooses to disrespect our Word Boundary, we must be prepared to back up our words with action.

Step Two – Setting an Action Boundary

The difficult part about Action Boundaries is oftentimes the most effective action/boundary we could choose may be the hardest or scariest one to set. We are terrified what might happen or what we’ll lose if we stand behind our words with action. Thus, we repeatedly use words over action in a feeble attempt to feel “safe” by disrupting as little status quo as possible. This is where we become the most frustrated.

Ugh… I don’t want to go further with this. Why can’t my person just heed my [word] boundary?!

The answer is simple. Because your person is not motivated or has reason to introspect or adjust him/herself. (Self-reflection is something many people avoid like the plague unless motivated or inspired to do so) Additionally, you have shown your person over time that your worn-out words mean nothing. They can continue to say and do as they please because there are no consequences.

what you allow

By providing a “consequence” or action behind your boundary, you will provide the necessary motivation and inspiration to introspect because they will lose something of value if they continue with the same behavior.

Setting healthy Action Boundaries is in direct proportion to our level of self-worth. When we have a healthy self-worth in place, a firm boundary is easy-er because our joy, worth and value are not reliant on another person.

Healthy self-worth says: I understand my value and won’t allow another person to minimize it no matter what. My job is to take care of me.

When we are continually hurt or disrespected, we have two choices only:

Put up with the crap. Yay, I get to live with this for eternity.

Or

Remove yourself or something from the relationship/situation until your person acquiesces to your respect request. There is hope this situation will change!

Action Boundary Sample:

 “I will no longer attend _______ with you because I will not put myself in position to be disrespected by being the butt of your jokes.”

And don’t attend again.

Ever.

Unless or until Mr. or Mrs. Disrespectful stops making you the butt of his/her jokes.

Are you getting the picture here?

For a Boundary to reign success, the offender must feel a consequence of their action. Otherwise, they will have no reason to introspect into why he/she is being a shit in the first place.

Boundaries Serve Both Parties

The best and most awesome part about boundary setting is it can serve both parties. Our boundaries and clear sense of self-worth can shine light on our person’s dependencies, controlling tendencies or disrespectful behaviors and potentially start them on their own healing path.

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It’s important to remember what others are doing is oftentimes a pattern set in place long ago and they may not even be aware how detrimental their behavior is. When they begin to receive the message enough, they will eventually have little choice but to take a good hard look at themselves.

Above all else, remember this…

If words are not working, back them with action.

 You matter.

You always have.

They will not respect you until you respect you by setting a boundary that says: I’m worth more than that!

Get it?

I knew you would.

Your Failed Relationships Can Change Your Life

The days, weeks and months post break-up are the most important part of our recovery process. Why? Because it is the time we are the most raw and do the most reflecting. During this time, we tend to replay conversations and scenarios in our head and examine all aspects of the relationship.

It is also the time we tend to assign blame to our ex and stand righteously behind why we were done so wrong.

He did me so wrong! I was so abused and mistreated. What a jerk/bitch! How dare she!

Short-term it feels great to the ego to point the finger outward; however, long-term it serves nothing.

When we place 100% blame on our partner and are unwilling to see the part we played (no matter how minute it seems) we will continue to bring our own dysfunctional relationship patterns into every future relationship we have.

Let me explain further…

Each relationship we experience is a classroom for us to grow in. If we look only at the places our ex needs to grow, we will never learn what is intended for us and we will continue to attract relationships that will attempt to show us ourselves.

Do you want to experience another dysfunctional relationship, another breakup? Do you really think you played no part? Does the need to be right and place total blame on your ex really trump your own emotional growth and wellness?

It wasn’t until I experienced the worst betrayal of my life did I finally open my mind to the idea that I had played a part in the downfall of my failed relationships.

I finally recognized I was the common denominator. I was the who allowed my partners to dishonor and disrespect me. That was my contribution. It didn’t matter if my part was only 10% or not as destructive as his; I still had to take complete responsibility for what part was mine. My relationships served to show me that I was not honoring or respecting myself.

Recognize the Common Theme

If we truly open our minds and look close enough, we will see the common theme that runs through all our failed relationships. Here is a few examples of common themes.

I invite you to keep an open mind as one or several of the following may look familiar to you:

• You are fearful of communication
• You are too walled off to allow someone close
• You let your partners walk all over you then resent them for it
• You choose people who are exciting (i.e. Bad boys) rather than partners who are rich in character
• You attract commitment phobes or are one yourself
• You think nothing of yourself therefore you partners treat you like nothing
• You lie to avoid confrontation
• You avoid difficult subjects
• You allow your partner to get away with bad behavior
• You fail to set and maintain healthy boundaries
• You fail to take care of yourself for fear of losing their love
• You have high expectations that no “human” could ever meet

Discovering your common theme is…

The First Step

This is when the magic happens!

We cannot heal what we do not know exists. Once you become clear on your part of the equation, celebrate it!

I am so grateful I discovered my pattern of _______! I will focus on doing the work to heal this disempowered pattern so I may dissolve it for good!

Friends, I could not maintain appropriate boundaries with my partners when they were clearly wrong. I’d pout, cry, talk, talk, talk, and talk, threaten and yell, but nothing would ever change. I couldn’t set boundaries because I was afraid I would lose their love or the relationship would end. I was weak and afraid. I banked my self-worth on how they thought of me and fell short of empowerment every time it mattered most.

I had no idea I was a doormat and repeatedly attracted men who treated me the way I treated myself.

When I recognized my common theme, focused on my healing and learned to transcend my disempowered places, my boundaries became unwavering because I was no longer afraid of losing the love. My emotional health and well-being had become more important to me than anything.

Not long after doing the work, as if by magic, I attracted a man who reciprocally loves and respects me. A man who works with me, grows with me and complements my personality beautifully.

And the same can happen for you!

Open Your Mind and Be Gentle With You

Please understand you are a work in progress just like everyone else. Give yourself grace for the points of healing you discover within yourself. Beating yourself up will only strengthen and perpetuate the unworthiness behind your fearful and disempowered behavior.

Rest knowing your healing will change the dynamic of all your relationships for the better and forever!

Allow a sense of freedom to wash over you as you now have been released from a hidden place inside yourself that has dictated the theme in your relationships. You are now on path to attracting the relationship of your dreams!

Contact me at sweetempowement@gmail.com for a FREE 30 minute coaching session to get your started!

I believe in you!

Stop Feeling Guilty for ‘Me Time’ – It’s Actually Benefiting Your Children

I woke up the other day feeling a bit antsy and irritable. Since that is not typical Kristen character, I checked in with myself by asking:

What’s missing? What do I need right now?

The answer was emphatically clear. I need more me time.

me-time1

I knew immediately I had fallen into the guilt trap a-gain! Because guilt is the only reason I refrain from taking me time. Straight up, no chaser.

Six years post tsunami, two years rockin’ a new book, a successful coaching practice and multitudes of self-empowerment blogs and articles in my portfolio and I still fall prey to the guilt monster. ((sigh))

Here’s what the despicable beast sounds like:

You need to be available for your family all of the time.

You cannot take care of yourself until everyone else is set.

You’re last on the list.

Everyone’s needs trump yours.

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar to you? If yes, read on, my friend!

Yesterday I had a fabulous conversation with my dear friend, Sherry. I shared how guilt stops me from doing the things I want to do for me. Things that expand my soul, grow my spirit, fill my life and make me feel good. Sherry understood far too well as she too experiences the same voices in her head and allows them to control her actions as well.

In fact, Sherry suffers from a chronic illness right now that oftentimes puts her to bed for days. She expressed to me how she often pushes past the needs of her body to alleviate guilt she would feel for taking care of herself. Which only then exacerbates her weakened state and categorically adds days to her down time.

Sherry and I agreed we both would have benefitted from more quality attention in our youths and due to our desire to do things “better”, we’ve overcompensated in a bad way.

Mommies, what are we doing to ourselves?!

Here’s what I know for sure.

Over-correcting is not the way to do it.

Giving ourselves away at the expense of our own well-being and self-care never serves anyone. It runs us ragged while it may enable our children to be self-serving, demanding, unable to work out their own problems, unable to keep themselves occupied and/or keep them locked in a state of instant gratification.

Keep in mind they don’t have to act like Veruca Salt to be exhibiting these behaviors. They can be subtle and manipulative as well. Believe me, our kid’s got our number!

Disclaimer: This does not mean we have horrible children. They aren’t purposefully trying to drain the life out of us. They’ve been tended to from birth and unless we set boundaries, they will continue to seek our tending because they won’t know any better.

You see, when we compromise our sacred self, we sacrifice our self-worth and we simply will not show up as the lightest and brightest version of ourselves.

It’s impossible because we are not tending to ourselves as a whole. It’s like washing, waxing and polishing only half of a filthy car. We only show up a fraction of our full potential.

The first sign I recognize when I’ve been putting myself last is irritability. Then I notice a deep internal pull to be doing something else. I feel empty, antsy, half-interested, detached, going through motions, pretending I’m listening but zoning out and the worst part is the feelings of resentment that sometimes come. The very thing I’m trying to avoid, I actually create!

Which then begs the questions:

Is it really better to give all of me away?

Are my beloveds getting the best  version of me when I’m not tending to my soul?

Are my children really getting a better experience than I had?

Am I teaching them patience, boundaries and self-care by running myself ragged?

When put like that, the answer becomes emphatically clear.

No.

Being a mommy doormat is not serving to our children or to us.

So let’s get off the problem and onto the solution. 

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What does it look like when we do carve out more me time?

For me, I’m more centered, engaged and relaxed. I don’t feel rushed or harried. I am better focused, happier, more patient and definitely more present. Hands down, I’m a better version of me when I take care of myself and stop putting everyone’s needs above my own.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that I understand everyone’s situations are different. I’ve seen a lot in my 26 years working closely with the public and I understand it’s not always easy to etch out the space we desperately need.

I want to encourage those of you who do have extenuating circumstance to do your best to whittle out some me time. If there is a will, there is a way! It might be uncomfortable at first as you work through your limiting beliefs and guilt, but I implore you to keep at it!

You cannot  be your best self if you are not treating yourself as valuable.

To all the mommas out there who find yourself pinched up and beginning to begrudge your role as mother, I implore you to heed the words herein. Do you want to be an average momma or do you want to be an exemplary momma?

Remember we are the greatest role models for our children. We have the choice to model doormathood or to model loving self-care.

Trust in knowing your self-care will benefit your children as much as it will benefit you!

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Here’s to guilt-free (if there is such a thing) parenting!

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Much Love,

Kristen

How to Know When It’s Time to End a Friendship- A Collaborative Column

kristen-bio Kristen Brown

In my not-so-distant-past I had a terrible habit of staying in friendships long after the person had repeatedly shown me who they were or more importantly, who they were not.

I’m fantastic at seeing below the surface of others’ behaviors and extending unending grace, compassion and acceptance. Although those traits make me a good friend to others, they don’t make me a good friend to myself, because I had often let others’ bad behaviors go unchecked at the expense of my own well-being.

Good Friend Trait #1–

Be a good friend to yourself first.

The times I did have the courage to speak my feelings or experiences of them, it was often met with minimization or deference and I would allow them to convince me I was being too sensitive or moreover it was no big deal.

Good Friend Trait #2–

Good friends take responsibility for their wrongs.

The truth is I was a doormat. I simply didn’t know at the time what I was worthy of or how to hold that line.

As I progressed on my healing journey, it became glaringly obvious how I had continually accepted unacceptable treatment from people I called “friends”. It is almost embarrassing what I had allowed (some stories would blow your hair back!).

Good Friend Trait #3–

Good friends don’t do things that blow your hair back. :)

I gave myself a heartfelt apology for compromising my sacred self and made a steadfast decision to not let it happen again. I finally took responsibility for my own care and well-being.

Good Friend Trait #4–

Good friends have your back and care about your well-being.

By January 2011, I had grown tired of lop-sided friendships, so I set this intention:

I only attract people of high integrity and character into my life.

I didn’t just say the words everyday, I embodied them with every cell of my being.

Good Friend Trait #5–

Good friends mirror back your character and integrity. They don’t exploit it.

Soon thereafter, the questionable characters in my life began falling away and wonderful new friends of outstanding character and quality began coming in (three of which are collaborating on this column with me!).

I believe with all my heart that when I finally knew I was worthy of solid, reciprocal friendships, my energy shifted to something higher and I was no longer attracting friends who were jealous, disrespectful or backstabbing.

Good Friend Trait #6–

Good friends support and encourage your accomplishments.

What I have learned thus far on my journey is when we grow spiritually, we might lose vibrational connection with certain “friends”, thus creating misalignment in the friendship.  This does not mean we are better than anyone; it only means we are at different places on our journeys.

The few times in my life this happened to me I did not have to do anything.  The Universe took care of it for me.

My only job was to forgive them and myself and walk away with love.

~Kristen Brown- Site Admin and Loving Friend!

 

KelliHeadshot Kelli Davies

As someone who’s spent most of my life as a single person, I always prided myself on being a good friend. I am that friend who gets called in a crisis for words of advice.  Not only do I serve as counselor, but also confidant, fashion consultant, & ride or die chick!

Unfortunately for me, because I am always there for my friends, I had an expectation that I would get that same effort in return.  That expectation not being met has left me feeling very disappointed and unimportant on more than one occasion.

How do you know when it’s time to unfriend someone? When the friendship bank account is empty.

Two of Gary Chapman’s five love languages that I express are quality time and acts of service.  I realize now that they have a great impact on how I evaluate friendships.  Do they hold space for me? Do they make time for me? Am I the only one making deposits into this friendship while they keep making withdrawals?

This lead me to my next question.  Why aren’t they making any deposits? Don’t they care about our friendship?

My spiritual growth has helped me to realize that there is always a deeper issue going on that can explain people’s behavior.  When I got quiet, God spoke to me about three different situations; life circumstances, unhealed wounds, and perpetual self-involvement.

Life Circumstances: This one may require you to extend some grace.  Life happens!  Marriage, children, divorce, and death all can cause your friend to go M.I.A.  Sometimes it’s not because they don’t care, they just don’t have anything left to make a deposit.

Unhealed Wounds: If you are someone who is full of positivity, light, and has a generous spirit, it may cause people to latch onto you. Part of their self-medication is to feed off of you and the friendship until there is a zero balance.

Perpetual Self-involvement: These people are so self-absorbed that they will make any and everything about them because they are stuck in their story.  Making a deposit of emotional currency doesn’t even cross their mind!

When it comes to your bestie, your go to person, invest wisely .  Give to relationships that value you, and that you can withdraw from as well.

If you are going out of your way to make deposits into your friendship bank account while the other person is on a spending spree, it’s time to invest your emotional currency elsewhere!

It’s not an easy decision.  Once you are away from the friendship, you’ll be surprised at the weight that is lifted from your shoulders. You can then put that energy into a friendship that is balanced.

Kelli Davies has spent the last 20 years working closely with the public as an aesthetician /makeup artist. (She is truly THE best!) Kelli’s current employment home is Prova Salon in Scottsdale Arizona. Kelli is a church going,  self-empowerment loving, spiritual gangster!  Kelli’s spiritual journey has invoked a deep passion in her to encourage and speak life into others as they travel through life challenges. I am honored to call Kelli one of my dearest friends!

20160617_131442-1_resized Lisa Marquis

Wouldn’t it be great if unfriending someone was as easy as clicking that little button on Facebook?

No confrontation, no hassle. Click! No more stories, no more reminders of them or their family and friends. Easy, right?

But what about letting go of a friendship outside of cyber space?

How do we know when to call it quits?

The simple answer would be, when we feel we don’t have that real friend connection anymore. Perhaps, if we are only friends through technology. But wait, we can’t just go dumping all our friends because we don’t see them every day.

It’s not that simple is it? We all have friends that we love but don’t see regularly.  We’re busy. It’s harder to maintain friendships as we get older. We’d like to see them more, but life gets in the way.

When we were in school, it was easy; we knew we’d see our friends every day. Just show up. As adults we have to make an effort to keep friendships alive. It takes both sides to keep things going. Do you have friends that aren’t making the effort anymore?

We all do! So, how do we decide which friends to let go of and which ones to keep working for?

Not the easiest question to answer, but here’s an idea.

Maybe you’ve got a friend that doesn’t feel like the right ‘fit’ anymore. They don’t get in touch with you as much as you’d like, but it goes further than that.

Do they respect and hold space for you when you need them?

Will they tell you the truth (in a loving way) even when it’s hard or may hurt you?

Can you enjoy being with them without working at it?

To go a little further, does this friend act as though your stories and experiences don’t matter? Do they disrespect you? Does it always seem to be about them? Are they too much drama?

While no one is perfect, we need friends around us who accept our imperfections, and we theirs. It’s not always pretty; maybe we need to humble ourselves and admit that we haven’t been the best of friends either. Apologize, and mean it. Make the effort to really listen to their story. Forgive their faults and be willing to tell them the difficult truths in a loving and productive way.

One way to decide whether to end a friendship is to turn it around and ask yourself, “If I were them, would I be my friend? Am I being the friend I’d like to have?” If the answer is no, it’s time to let them go for their sake as well!

Life is too short to maintain half-assed friendships. Go all in or let them go, make more time for the real ones.

In the end, it doesn’t come down to hours spent in the same room, but quality of time we spend together that makes a true friendship.

Lisa Marquis is a practicing Hair Stylist, Truth Seeker , aspiring Author and one helluva Space Holder! Lisa’s divine gifts of logic and compassion coupled with her articulate, sweet, but oh-s0-witty demeanor, make her one of my favorite people! If you would like to follow Lisa on her Facebook biz page, click here: Straight Up Hair

Sue BIO Sue Markovitch

Friendship can mean anything from companion to soulmate. Now we also have Facebook friends; lots of them. With so many connections, how do we know when it’s time to unfriend someone?

I consider the level of commitment.

With hundreds of Facebook friends, some I haven’t seen since high school, my level of commitment is low. If they are not adding light and love to my news feed, it’s not difficult to either hide them or unfriend.

They probably don’t know or care.

With acquaintances, it gets more difficult. These might be people I work with, work out with, friends of friends, that type of thing. Here I have to have my boundaries in check, and know it’s OK to decline invitations without explanation. Again, the level of commitment is low.

My work is to be myself and not worry about approval.

A closer circle of friends, my tribe, is a group of people that were friends before I came along. They included me in their lives. My work here is accepting each member of the tribe, if I want to belong. I don’t have to be soulmates with each person, but I must love and respect each member. There is no unfriending, because the tribe is a package deal.

If I find I am not treated well or just no longer vibe with this tribe, it is my job to leave peacefully.

Solo friends, the ones we make time for, trust and share our hearts with, come and go. This was hard for me to accept. Not every friendship, even if it dives deep, is meant to last. If my instincts tell me a friendship has run its course, I have to be brave and talk about it, and if needed, bid it farewell. Learning this is like learning to lovingly break up with someone.

My job is to wish them well, while honoring me. There might be backlash, but that’s better than committing to friendships that don’t fit.

Sister/brother soulmate friendships are the ones I want to spend my time on. The ones I go to when I need someone to tell me the truth, encourage me, love me no matter what. When I look back, I see who was there for me at my worst. I see who listened to the same problem for years, and never said, “OMG, just get over it already.” I see who literally loves me no matter what.

My work here is to not ever take these souls for granted, and learn to be that rock solid in return.

The work is always about me. My vibe attracts my tribe. So…am I being authentic? Do I recognize my worth? Am I approval seeking? Am I practicing healthy boundaries? Am I being loving and respectful? When I approach relationships like that, broken friendships seem to fall away. What’s left is freedom to love my sister soul friends wholeheartedly, and be loved back.

Sue Markovitch is a Fitness Coach, Author, Speaker, Spiritual Leader and my beloved Soul Sister! If you would like to discover more about Sue’s awesomeness check out her website Clear Rock Fitness!

When Friends Unfriend Us- A Collaborative Column

kristen-bio Kristen Brown

Losing a friend can make us feel like there is something wrong with us.

After all, if there wasn’t wouldn’t they still be our friend?

I used to think this way, but not anymore.

Having gone through this situation/feeling a few times, I began to notice there was a common denominator that ran congruent with my “unfriending friends”.

The common denominator wasn’t that there was something wrong with me, it was that there was something “Light” with me.

In my most recent unfriending episode, I was randomly and without notice unfriended and blocked from Facebook by a woman I considered a dear friend.

Before I mentioned anything to her, I decided to do a little personal introspection first.

Was there something that I had changed about myself that affected her?

The answer was yes, but not in a way you might be thinking.

Historically, when this friend would talk to me about situations in her life, I would play small and dumb with her. I would say very little and be very careful not to disagree with her.

I was her walking-on-eggshells-yes-man.

What’s more I did this for almost the entire duration of our relationship out of fear.

Fear of moving up to the #1 position on her Shit List, fear of becoming the anonymous subject of one of her Facebook assaults or worse, fear of being bad-mouthed to our community behind my back.

It was exhausting.

A few months ago while in the midst of a personal growth spurt, I decided that playing small and dumb with her was not living in connection with my authenticity. I decided I had to face the fear of literally being myself with her and no longer allow my fears to mangle my true nature.

It’s almost laughable how quickly I was removed after doing so; however, it did validate what I always knew in my heart to be true – she did to me exactly what I had witnessed her do to many people before me.

I was no different.

had-one

Our friendship was conditional on how long I was willing to keep up the charade and wear a mask to keep her happy.

The next time someone unfriends you and you are absolutely clear you have not disrespected, hurt or defamed them in some way rest knowing it wasn’t because you are bad, wrong, inadequate or unworthy.

It’s most likely because you are amazing, beautiful and brilliant!

Rest knowing your Light (awesomeness) was shining on their unhealed places and it was difficult for them to be around a constant reminder of what they have not yet become.

I invite you today to stop playing small in your life.

Be willing to be 100% yourself!

If you lose a “friend” because you let your Light shine, so be it.

Be confident knowing your beautiful, authentic nature is a beacon calling forth new friends who will cherish and value all that you are!

Kristen Brown – Page Admin and Wonderful Friend to Many!

 

Sue BIO    Sue Markovitch

What I’ve Learned About Losing Someone I Thought Was a Friend

I had a friend named Tami, who I shared my heart and soul with. She introduced me to two really cool women, Sherry and Carla. At no time during our years of friendship were all four of us friends. One was always on the outs, rejected for unacceptable behavior, as judged by Tami.

When it was my turn to be ousted for speaking out of turn, I was completely shocked.

I had a friend named Amanda. For a decade we travelled, hiked and hung out. She often spoke horribly about other people; friends, her boyfriend, everyone. She had a strained relationship with her family. She held incredible grudges and forgave no one. In flurries of judgment, she would block and unfriend people on social media.

When it was my turn to be blocked for saying the wrong thing, I was completely shocked.

Both of these experiences hurt so much, and I had a hard time letting them go. I tried to fix, tried to forget, but they kept coming back up in my mind. What had I said or done that was so wrong? So utterly unforgiveable?

“What you can’t be with, won’t let you be.” Debbie Ford

These experiences were trying to tell me something, because they certainly weren’t letting me be. I felt myself get angry over and over, blaming each of them in my mind for how I got dumped. Then, I saw it.

I saw my finger pointing at them. I saw my blaming, and I know if I have a finger pointing out there, it is time to look in here – inside my own heart. What was the truth? What wasn’t I owning? What was my responsibility in all this?

The truth was, they each showed me exactly who they were, right from the beginning. I chose to look the other way and not believe them. Instead, I subconsciously thought, I would work hard, I would be rock solid, I would earn their acceptance.

But that doesn’t work.

You see, it is not about them. It is about me.

Maya Angelou reminds us, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

My fear of being alone kept me from acting on all the red flags I’d seen. My unworthiness kept me from setting healthy boundaries with these “friends” the moment I saw their character in how they treated others.

I don’t need to be forgiven by them. I don’t need to fix these broken relationships. I need to take radical responsibility. I chose them!

To heal, I need to remember who I am, and what I am worth.

From that place of worthiness, I can walk away and love them from afar. It was me, after all, not them. They are completely forgiven and so am I.

I’m moving on.

In the future, I am empowered to choose better.

I am empowered to honor my boundaries and my heart.

From there, I can make room for the rock solid grace-filled friendships that show up when I let my light shine from this radically empowered place of healing, worthiness and most of all, love.

Sue Markovitch is a Fitness Coach, Author, Speaker and All-Around Kick Ass Friend! If you would like to discover more about Sue’s awesomeness check out Sue’s website Clear Rock Fitness!

 

20160617_131442-1_resized Lisa Marquis

Have you ever lost a friend due to a major life event?

If so, you know how painful it can be. When it happened to me, I was surprised and greatly saddened.

The event was my divorce. My ex and I had been friends with this couple for twenty years. We’d done all the things you do with good friends: dinners, movies, trips, just hanging out. You get the picture.

After I decided to end our eighteen year marriage, she and I went to lunch and she just didn’t want to accept the fact that it was over. “Have you done everything?” “Are you sure you can’t just make it work?”

Truth was, our marriage had been to the brink before and this was simply the end of our journey. It was as amicable as it could be, and I didn’t understand why she couldn’t get on board. I tried to make her understand my reasons, but like many conversations with many other people over the next few months, I was subconsciously needing her approval. I wasn’t getting it.

As a friend I expected her to support me no matter what. After all, I had good reasons for leaving my marriage: money issues, anger issues, etc.

I had done all I could. Weren’t my reasons valid? If the roles were reversed, I would have supported her hands down. Why couldn’t she just be on my side?

Over the next three months while we sold our house, I packed up my life to move back home to Arizona. No calls from either of them, no texts, no reaching out to support my transition. I felt the sadness and frustration you feel when you realize another person has willfully cut you off.

After I moved and was getting settled into my new life, I sent a few text messages in an attempt to keep up communication, only one of which was answered. The response was curt at best.

My greatest dilemma while trying to get through this was:

What happened?

Weren’t we good friends?

Why can’t she see past her own discomfort with my divorce?

I needed to get past this to get on with my life. So I sent them an email that basically said, “I wish you the best, but I’ve realized that our friendship wasn’t real.” That made me feel better for a minute, but with no response and having not resolved it in my mind, I realized I hadn’t truly dealt with the rejection and disapproval.

So I brought it to my real tribe – the authentic friends who truly do have my back.

It wasn’t just the discussion that followed about having a new perspective, but the fact that they really listened to my story, felt my pain and did not judge me. Instead they helped me own my piece in it.

And that was the hurdle to jump: my piece was needing the approval of someone, that when I really thought about it, had been a very shallow pal.

My peace came with knowing that I didn’t need their approval about my divorce.

I only needed my own.

Lisa Marquis is a practicing Hair Stylist, Truth Seeker , aspiring Author and one helluva Space Holder! Lisa’s divine gifts of logic and compassion coupled with her articulate, sweet, but oh-s0-witty demeanor, make her one of my favorite people! If you would like to follow Lisa on her Facebook biz page, click here: Straight Up Hair