Category: Healing and Personal Growth

Apology Letter to Myself


Dear Sweet Self:

I owe you my deepest apology. I allowed people to treat you as if you didn’t matter. I did not stop people from emotionally and physically abusing you. I ignored your pleas to be heard. Instead I kept seeking love outside of you and kept you in situations where you should have held your head high and walked out.

I didn’t believe there was better love out there. I believed whatever situation you were in was as good as it would get. I know better now.

I am deeply sorry for putting you through the hell of trying to make you into someone you are not. I could feel you urging me to stop, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t want people to disapprove of your silliness, intelligence, inner beauty and shyness, so I kept you small and hidden. I wanted you to blend in with the crowd so you wouldn’t be made fun of. I’m sorry I dishonored your heart and true essence.

I’m sorry I disrespected your emotions. I only allowed you to feel anger instead of the rainbow of emotions we humans are intended to feel. Emotions that would allow others to help you when you needed it.

I’m sorry I compromised your spirit by making you feel powerless to the world. I could feel there was so much more to you, but I was afraid to let the world see who you really are.

I’m sorry I disrespected your body. You clearly expressed your dislike of alcohol and I didn’t listen because I didn’t want you to stand out. I also gave away the sacredness of your body to men who didn’t deserve it. For this I am eternally sorry. I did not understand how precious you really are.

I’m truly sorry I compromised your value by failing to uphold healthy boundaries. I let others walk all over you. I let them hurt you and treat you as if you were nothing. You never ever deserved it. It was only a reflection of how little I regarded your worth.

Sweet self, I promise you, I will always, always do my best to protect and love you. You are my priority now. Thank you for unconditionally loving me and forgiving me before I even asked.
I want you to know I’m in charge now and everything is going to be okay! I have been reborn. I get it now! From this point forward you are my priority.

I love you.

Kristen

Taking Radical Responsibility for Our Lives

BuddhaPath

If we don’t own our stuff, we will never see our disempowered pattern nor will we grow and experience a better future.  As Buddha says, “Enlightenment comes from awareness.” In order for us to grow, we must first become aware.

I remember clearly the day I took radical personal responsibility for my life. It was about 7 years ago. I stopped dead in my tracks at the foot of my bed and looked back over my entire life. I steeled myself for what I was sure was going to be an onslaught of shame and regret. I remember cringing inside afraid of what I might see, but I went for it anyway.

I faced every disempowered behavior I could remember: bending and stretching to fit others’ ideas of who I should be, doing things I hated to please another, failing to hold much needed boundaries and playing small to be liked.

I kept going: one night stands, drinking alcohol or smoking weed to fit in, staying with partners who hit me, drove intoxicated or emotionally abused me and allowing disrespect from friends, family and partners. The list went on and on.

When I was finished, I just stood there unsure what was next. What I did know was the world did not end, I did not lose a limb, my children were still alive and…

I felt… free?

Holy Mother Earth, I felt FREE! I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. Everything that I had kept hidden, all the secrets, all the shame, was out in the open. I was free!

Yes, I did that. All of it. It was me. I am the one who is responsible for my choices and my life.

I understood for the first time how the unworthiness hidden inside of me manifested dangerous, reckless and unkind behaviors to myself.

I gave myself a big hug and said, “I am so sorry I did this to you. You deserve so much better! I will do better by you in the future. I promise.”

And I forgave myself.

Something radically shifted that day for me. I was reborn. My path to worthiness and empowerment had begun. I now always seek to recognize when I am acting out of shame or unworthiness instead of love. I catch myself sooner and I make choices that will lift my heart and life rather than perpetuate a defeating cycle.

And you can do the same.

Ownership Practice:

Pick a date and time to be alone with yourself where you will have no interruptions. Open your mind and heart. Allow yourself to remember and replay all the times you did not love yourself or protect your well-being. Recognize each one with neutrality and non-judgment. Allow the memories to come forward one at a time. No judgment, no condemnation. Just recognition. Own it all.

When you are finished, wrap your arms around yourself and say out loud: These were my behaviors driven by low self-worth. I recognize my old pattern. I did the best I could at the time. I’m sorry for putting you through that. I will do my best to love and protect you in the future.

And so it is. Amen.

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!

The Healing Power of Engaged Listening

Last weekend I was walking in the grocery store when I heard a patron ask how a store employee was doing. The employee’s response was, “I’m fine. No use complaining because no wants to listen anyway.”

At this point he was walking by me and I said with a big smile, “I’ll listen to you!”  He laughed, made a few jokes and continued walking by. Most likely he didn’t believe that I’d leave my basket, grab a drink from the in-store Starbucks and tell my partner Doug to come back and pick me up in an hour. But I would have.

All day I thought about the exchange in the store, because I, too, have felt at times that no one cares to listen. It inevitably created a profound feeling of aloneness, isolation and like I don’t matter to anyone. A feeling I don’t enjoy nor do I enjoy thinking someone else is feeling.

I’m going to disclaim that I understand that no one (including myself) wants to hunker down with a chronic complainer who only wants to discuss the problem and never the solution. Those types can be incredibly draining and are usually people we need to instill healthy boundaries with.

However, what about the people who truly need someone to talk to? The ones who are trying desperately to work through a problem, but have no one to bounce it off of? Or how about the ones who may not have many people in their lives and simply crave human companionship?

Would you be willing to show up for them? Could you put your own stuff down for an hour, pull up a chair and lend an engaged ear?

It has been said by many psychological and spiritual experts that engaged listening is one of the highest acts of love.

It says: You matter and I care.

Many of us love to think that we are compassionate and caring listeners, but our behavior proves differently. We zone out when the person is sharing his/her story and/or we can’t wait to switch the topic to us. We jump to conclusions to finish their sentences so we don’t have to listen longer than we want to. We don’t really care what they have to say. We don’t really care about their problem. And we don’t really want to know the dirty details of their life.

Believe it or not, you are doing both of you a grave disservice.

Because engaged listening is not only healing for the talker, it is healing for the listener as well.

When we open our hearts to listen…

We serve the betterment of humanity. By caring about what another has to say, we are literally healing the planet. Imagine how the person felt before you “cared” and how he/she feels now? By actively listening, you’ve lifted another’s spirit. You’ve made them feel like someone cares and when we know someone cares hope and inspiration arise. In turn, their lifted spirit will serve another and so on and so on. The ripple effect of love begins! Win!

We serve our soul. Our soul is comprised of all things high and loving. Our soul yearns for us to live in unity with its nature. Truly caring about another’s situation and giving them our time and attention is living within the bounty of our spirit! Stepping out of self and into service allows us to nurture the deepest part of our being. It restores our energy, invigorates our life path and builds our self-worth. Win!

We evolve while listening. The ego loves to convince us we are all-knowing to keep us in the dark in order to keep itself alive. When we open our minds to what others have to say, we begin undoing of the ego because it leaves us more knowledgeable and wise. Growth, advancement and learning do not happen by talking; they happen by listening.

listening

This morning I was at the full service carwash. I had two random ladies strike up conversations with me. The first told me all about being married for 57 years and how some days she wanted to take a dull knife to her husband.  (Chuckle, Chuckle) We laughed and chatted a bit more. When she turned to leave, I sincerely wished her a Happy Anniversary. She stopped and turned back to me with a perplexed look and quietly said, “Thank you… That was really kind of you.” I got the feeling she doesn’t receive much well-wishing in her life and was truly appreciative of my sentiment.

The second lady approached me outside and talked to me about her job, divorce, vitamins, hair, roommate situation, car, her sister and her hometown of Chicago! From her stories, I got the feeling she doesn’t have many people to talk to or who truly care about her thoughts and feelings.

When it was time for her to go she cupped my hand in both of hers and said, “I sure enjoyed talking to you. Thank you for listening.” She even gave me a spot of wisdom to take away:

The toes you step on now is the ass you will kiss later.  Ha! Got it!

I often ask God to help me be of service in the world. I ask to put me in the right place at the right time for the right people. As small as those two exchanges may seem, they felt divinely guided to me. Just by listening, I was able to let someone know I care and put a smile on their face. Those two brief encounters set a loving tone for the rest of my day.

Giving someone your full attention is one of the highest acts of love. It is serving to everyone – you and the other person. Even if you don’t get to see the results, rest knowing engaged listening is never in vain because you’ve let someone know they matter and you care.

I dedicate this piece to the beloved listeners in my life: Doug, Sue, Lisa, Ed, Ashley & Kelli. I appreciate you more than you know!  XO

Much Love,

Kristen

The First Step is Always the Hardest

The first step to healing is the hardest one. It is the time we feel the most afraid.

It’s the time we have decided that we don’t want to live as we have been living, but are unsure what to do.  We feel confused because we thought we knew what we were doing, but entertain the notion that maybe we don’t.

We frighten ourselves by thinking we’ve done it all wrong and furthermore, what if there is something critically wrong with us?! We might muster up a tidbit of courage and begin to see our defeating patterns and bad choices, but it is likely followed by a Mach 2 shame-filled shudder which tempts us to retreat once again.

It is here in this dark cave of the soul that we quite possibly make the most essential decision of our lives…

Do I withdraw back into my cave of self-doubt, shame and denial or do I take one more tiny step forward?

For some, the pain of staying the same begins to outweigh the fear of change and we start leaning in a direction we’ve never leaned into before. We feel a glimmer of hope and see a speck of light in the distance.

Our interest is piqued.

Our curiosity starts to expand and we tentatively move forward.

Then out of nowhere like a whispery, gentle breeze blowing across our cheeks, we notice something has changed…

__________________________________________________

I was in the dark cave.

I didn’t know my life was a manifestation of a hidden trunk full of self-lies, unworthy notions and false perceptions I had gained throughout my life. I didn’t know that I had taken information coming my way and spun it into a web of “Kristen sucks”.  I didn’t know I had been flying under the radar my entire life hoping someone would “see” who I truly am and give me permission to rise higher.

I was afraid to admit my mistakes and downfalls to anyone for fear they would be exploited as they had been in the past. I was already ashamed of who I was and certainly didn’t need someone else adding fuel to fire.

But the one thing I knew for sure was I couldn’t keep doing what I had always done.

It wasn’t working.

I looked high and low among my family and friends, but could not find someone to hold neutral, non-judgmental space for me through this most vulnerable time. I desperately wanted someone to guide me and encourage me while I waded through the swampy wasteland of my bad decisions and embarrassing moments.

It was difficult to take brave steps forward without someone holding my hand. I still craved approval and permission from those around me. I wanted to be a follower. I wanted desperately for someone to say, “Oh, yes! I know where you want to go. I’ve been there! Follow me!”

It didn’t happen, but the most fascinating part is…

I didn’t let it stop me.

I had determined if I wanted healing and peace bad enough, I’d have to do it alone. If I waited for someone to ride the train with me, I’d most likely still be waiting.

Then seemingly out of nowhere, I realized something else.

I really wasn’t alone – I had never been alone. I had God.

The same God I talked to as a child while riding my bike, walking to a friend’s house or belly down on my bedroom floor writing poems. The same God I turned to when I had no one else to talk to- my companion, my mentor. The same God who always has my best interest at heart and who speaks to me through intuitive whispers that never lead me astray.

And so my journey began.

I didn’t know what it would look like or how it would go. I just knew it was time to take the first, most difficult step.

As my beloved friend and soul sister, Sue Markovitch, often says, “Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.”

It’s important to remember we won’t heal our worth or attract our best life in one day.

It will take putting one foot in front of the other. It’s about viewing each new day as a brand new learning opportunity which will later morph into a brand new you.

We are not alone and we are not without guidance. The light we need to find our way is already here. It has always been here. All we have to do is invite It in and take the first step.

Dear God/Source/Universe: I am open to healing. I am open to a greater awareness and understanding of life. I am open to healing my false perceptions and disempowering ways. Please come. Please make your presence known in my life. I know you will not interfere for the law of free will, so I give you free entrance into my heart and mind. I know you know best and I’m fully open to your lead. Amen.

You have everything you need, my friend.

Let me be the one to say:

“Oh, yes! I know where you want to go. I’ve been there! Follow me!”

I believe in you.

~ Kristen