Author: Kristen Brown

How to Break Unhealthy Relationship Patterns For Good!

How to Break Unhealthy Relationship Patterns For Good

The Sweet Empowerment Podcast

Episode #51  Show Notes

Link to Show

 

Are you tired of relationships not working out? Perhaps being cheated on, abandoned, disrespected or not being a priority?

 

In this episode, I’m going to share why our unhealthy relationship patterns persist and what we can do to break them once and for all.

 

How we think about ourselves and treat ourselves is what is reflected back to us in our relationships. Where we were hoping our person would fill the holes in our heart, we are left with even more when the relationship breaks.

 

If we don’t see our value, our person won’t see our value either.

 

Then we blame them for treating us badly and we try to change them.

 

Which never works.

 

So, we become frustrated upset and build up resentment. A chasm is inserted and eventually the relationship breaks. Or at the very least we stay in an unhappy, unfulfilling relationship.

 

All because we tried to change them, instead of changing ourselves. We tried to make them value us instead of us valuing ourselves.

 

Remember, how we think about and treat ourselves is what is reflected back to us.

 

The only true power we have in relationships and life is loving ourselves so much, we are willing to speak our truth, set boundaries and walk away if necessary.

 

It’s the defining moment. The moment we see whether our partner values the relationship enough to do the necessary work or not.

 

And whether they do or not, has nothing to do with your worth! No one has the power to determine our worth. That was determined by God, long before we even came here.

 

Their choice to grow will only depend on how motivated our boundaries make them combined with their level of humility and willingness to take responsibility for their behavior.

 

Are they blamers? Are they arrogant, spoiled and entitled? Are they willing to own their stuff?

 

Are they emotionally weak, emotionally immature and/or childish?

 

Or are they humble and willing to see truth and act on it?

 

Are they fearful of losing of you or willing to cash you in for someone who doesn’t challenge them to grow? Some people are just that stuck and it has nothing to do with you!

 

YOU did not create this.

 

You might ask yourself… If they are not fearful of losing the relationship and willing to cash you in, is this the type of person you want as your lifer? Is this someone who would make you a priority and be there for you no matter what?

 

I’ve had my share of lopsided relationships. Not once, but several times. In fact, it’s why I now teach what I teach. I learned how to break the pattern so I could attract and maintain a mutually loving and respectful relationship.

 

I learned that by setting limits, men who didn’t value me or were ready for the caliber of relationship I was, left. It’s never fun when someone leaves you, but in hindsight, I realized it was the best thing they could’ve done for me.

 

Have you ever considered that a person’s rejection is your protection? Yeah, that’s a good one isn’t it?

 

I also learned that the ones who valued me and the relationship, were willing to grow.

 

Here’s the deal, when we begin to see behaviors we don’t like (and this could take some months), it’s important to start setting the precedence of what you require by speaking up and setting and maintaining healthy boundaries if necessary.

 

Iyanla Vanzant says, “People violate you when you don’t have clear boundaries and they run amok!”

 

But setting clear boundaries is next to impossible if we are desperate or needy because we tend to overlook, ignore and deny what we’re seeing.

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We make excuses for what they do so that we don’t have to push the limits because we’re deathly afraid of losing them.

 

But the problem is, we don’t weed out people who are not good for us. People who will not treat us respectfully and honorably. And we end up with people who will continually cause us pain.

 

Who wants to live like that?  I sure don’t!

 

When we don’t question behavior and/or set limits when we start to see questionable or unacceptable behavior, we teach them their behavior is OK. I say when we “start” to see the behavior because many people wait to long.

 

And that’s on us, my friends, because we are responsible for how we let others treat us. It’s time to speak up!

 

Otherwise, their poor treatment eventually eats at us over time and we become attacking, blaming, angry and resentful or the contrary of distant, shut down, detached and uncommunicative.

 

When we wait too long, our person is not motivated to change. Because they’ve been getting away with it for so long. Have you ever had someone “change” for a week or two then go right back into the same crap? That’s because there was no motivation for long-term healing. They adjusted for a minute most likely to shut us up, but there was no real motivation for long-term healing because they know we’re not going anywhere.

 

Another point is we’ve also not deemed ourselves as valuable so we are often taken for granted or not made a priority. We don’t matter to ourselves, so why should we matter to another person?

 

To be honest, being a pushover is not an attractive quality either. In truth, it’s often seen as boring and weak.

 

So, let’s back up to when we are initially faced with bad treatment and behaviors.

 

Know that THIS is the magical opportunity to teach our person how to treat us by communicating what is okay and what is not. Learning to speak up from the start is how we demonstrate our value and teach others what’s required to be with us. It’s how we sort through who has the potential be an ideal partner and who does not.

 

At that point, if the person is open to personal growth and has deemed you/relationship valuable, the person will adjust his/her behavior in order to keep the relationship. Remember, any change or morphing based in love, respect, honor, ethics, morals or values, is always good thing!

 

So please know, your boundary is aiding your person in their spiritual development and growth. It is truly a win-win situation for both parties.

 

Keep in mind, we are not asking someone to change the essence of who they are or their unique individuality. In fact, we are not asking for change at all.

 

We are simply demonstrating that we will not stick around for crap behavior. If our boundary motivates them to heal or grow, then beautiful! If not, we can exit the relationship without deeper investment. Because we all know once we get further invested with sex, finances, children, property and in-laws, it becomes even more difficult to exit when necessary.

___________________________________

 

Unfortunately, there are millions of people who get caught in the excitement that someone might “complete” them and ignore potential warning signs.

 

So, what stops us from speaking up and setting and maintaining healthy boundaries?

 

We are unable and unwilling to set boundaries and speak up for ourselves when we are desperate for a relationship. And why are we desperate?

 

Because we think there is no one out there for us or this is our last chance.

 

We may also think I can’t get better than him/her or time is running out. Or maybe you think there’s something wrong with you because you are single, short, tall, old, young, black, white or rainbow. There’s many, many reasons we compromise our sacred self.

 

The bottom, bottom line is we want someone to love and accept us so we can feel better about ourselves.

 

Because deep down we don’t feel like we are enough. Since we don’t believe who we are, we believe someone or something outside of ourselves will make us feel enough.

 

Which is flawed thinking because that job is ours and ours alone.

 

Furthermore, when we enter any relationship with an energy of desperation, we are weak. We are so dependent for the relationship, we will not challenge our person’s bad behavior the way we should. Because there’s a possibility our person will leave us.

 

This is NOT gender specific by any means. This is true in males as well as females.

 

This desperation also masquerades as love because it feels powerful. It feels addicting and like we can’t live without the other person.

 

And calling it love gives us an excuse to stay. Because saying I am staying for love sounds more acceptable than I am staying because I am desperate and afraid.

 

But when we get radically honest and sort through our patterns, we clearly see the root of all we do and do not do in relationships is based on our level of self- worth.

 

The level to which we matter to ourselves is directly proportional to how willing we are to challenge poor behavior from others.

 

Let me say that again…

 

The level to which we matter to ourselves is directly proportional to how willing we are to challenge poor behavior form others.

 

It’s also a clear indicator how likely we will attract, create and maintain a reciprocally loving and respectful relationship.

 

Hence, the one true antidote to bad relationships is, “Clean up your self-worth, clean up your life!”

 

If you’re interested in the work I did to heal my self-worth and reclaim my personal power, you can buy my book HERE.

 

Or if you’d like to dive deeper, you can contact me for specialized coaching to help you reveal and heal your unhealthy relationship patterns.

 

I’m interested in specialized coaching.

 

It’s always good to speak and hear truth. I hope this episode landed in your heart in a way that sparks hope and inspires you to reclaim your personal power so you can end your dysfunctional relationship patterns for good!

 

 

 

How to Open Your Guarded Heart

The Sweet Empowerment Podcast Episode #48 show notes.

 Listen to Episode #48 on SoundCloud Here or on iTunes Here. 

 

Recognize your guarded heart – Own it. But don’t judge it. Recognize where your guarded heart is causing destruction or difficulties in your relationships and life.

 

Pinpoint the moment of lock down – It’s possible you might be open sometimes then close up when certain situations trigger it.

Identifying the moment or the “why” will aim you towards healing.

A person of my past said he would physically swallow anytime an unwanted emotion entered.

 

Change your story about feelings and an open heart – What was unsafe in childhood is often safe in adulthood because we are not at the mercy of superiors adults when we become an adult.

Use mantras –

I am safe to open my heart. I am in control of who I surround myself by and how I am treated.

 No one will die if I share my feelings – sounds dramatic but often the psyche cannot distinguish emotional fear from physical fear – it fears death. Soothe the fear.

 

Practice gratitude – Gratitude does wonders! It releases fear, promotes mindfulness, focuses on the positives in our life, centers us and balances emotions. Practice at least once a day for 5 full minutes. While driving, showering, eating breakfast, at night before sleep.

Become childlike – Lighten the heck up! Guarded hearts are often, but not always, serious and stoic. Counteract seriousness by acting silly! Sing, dance, talk in funny voice, make faces, play games, play in grass or dirt, examine it, be curious.

 

Heal old wounds – If you have trauma in your background, seek help. Find a conscious therapist or coach to work with you. Your best life is on the other side of your healing.

 

Forgive people whose behavior caused you to close your heart. If you’re not yet capable – that’s okay – at least be willing. Tell God you are “willing” to forgive. God can do for us what we are not capable of doing for ourselves.

 

Meditate! – I believe meditation is the great emotional cure all! Everyone should meditate as much as possible. Even if only 1 minute a day. It clears your mind and helps to break dysfunctional patterns by changing the chemistry of our brain. For more about this, check out Dr. Joe Dispenza.

Great ap called 10% Happier. I highly suggest you download it. Great blogs and short meditations for free!

*I receive no dividends from either Dr. Joe or 10% Happier. I simply love sharing great things with you!

 

Practice disclosing/sharing intimate details about self – Operative word here “practice”. As with any healing, it takes time. Start by sharing something small about yourself, work your way up to something bigger. As Brene’ Brown says, “Share your story with someone who has earned the right to hear it.” That means with someone who you believe has your back and your highest good at heart.

 

Cry – Yes, please cry. It releases built up emotion. It also releases endorphins that make us feel good. If you’re unable to cry for you, cry for another by watching a sad movie. Get the ball rolling. And don’t stop until you feel satisfied.

 

Physically touch others – Initiate a hug. Touch people’s arms when you’re talking. Give loved ones random back caresses or play with their hair. Start small and move up. When you see you are safe, you will retrain your brain that physical touch is not only okay, it feels amazing.

 

Be gentle with yourself while in process – There is nothing tragically wrong with you. You are not fatally flawed. Everyone has their shiz to work on. This just happens to be yours. It’s okay. YOU are okay!

When You Realize You’re Wrong

 

Sometimes we make very bad decisions. Decisions rooted in selfishness, a need to feel special, wanting to be someone we’re not or wanting something that’s not ours. A decision made out of greed, jealousy, unworthiness, lust or addiction.

A decision that hurt another person…

Initially, we convince ourselves we’re right. We find Yes Men to support our reasoning and we attempt to carry on as if all is well.

But it’s not.

Something is not right. If we’re real honest with ourselves, we notice shame, guilt and regret are eating us alive. Emotions pointing to the fact, we did something terribly wrong.

We push it down. Convince ourselves we are right. Call our Yes Men to gather more evidence. And for a moment, we feel justified again.

But our soul knows the truth. We feel it. We can’t escape it. We know we made a bad decision.

We might think, “But now what? Too much time has passed. I’m in too deep. I fought so hard. I can’t go backwards now! I’ll look like a fool!”

My friend, Yes. You. Can.

It’s never too late to make right.

Whether it’s a reparation of damages, monetary reimbursement or payment, leaving a situation you shouldn’t be in, backing out so the right thing can happen, shutting your mouth or dropping your attack.

But there is something that trumps ALL of that.

Something that will correct your course faster than anything else. And that’s…

Ownership.

Own what you did, where you went wrong. How you came to the conclusions/decisions you made. Why you thought it was okay. Why you now know it’s not.

Own the pain you caused your friend/coworker/family member. Humble your heart and ask him/her for forgiveness.

And in that moment, that Holy Instant, when you’ve reconnected with Source, you will be restored. You are not beyond redemption. You are a beautiful child of God.

Even if your person is still struggling with your behavior, you can rest knowing you’ve done YOUR part to make right.

I believe in you. I really and truly do.

Much Love,
KB

#DoTheRightThing

10 Things to Remember About Fighting Fairly 

 Podcast Episode #28 Show Notes

Listen on iTunes

Listen on SoundCloud 

or read the notes below!


It’s so beautiful to witness couples willing to break old habits and adopt new behaviors that support the relationship.

Whether you’ve been with your partner for 6 months or 30 years, the 10 principals below can shift the way you work through your issues in a respectful, faster and supportive way.

Even if you’re the only half of the relationship reading this blog, I’m positive you will walk away with some tidbit that you can put into action immediately. Never underestimate the power of being the only half to work on healing.

Your contribution may be all it takes to shift the dynamic of your arguments for good!

Seek to understand

Listen with an open heart. A huge issue within arguments is people not listening to understand the other person. Instead, they listen to rebut, defend or win. Opening our heart and mind allows for deep understanding and compassion of the other person’s experience. Agree ahead of time to take turns. Give your partner the respect of hearing them out even if you don’t initially agree with them. And expect the same in return.

Speak Truth and Hear Truth –

No one is a mind reader. Hinting, beating around the bush and not speaking up are not resolution behaviors. Keeping someone confused and/or guessing only confuses the situation more.

Be willing to share your observations, opinions, ideas, needs, feelings, forward movements etc. You are part of the equation and your part matters.

Secondly, we must be willing to hear the truth. There is no healing/resolution/forward movement if we deny what’s true – whether it’s our stuff to own or the facts of a situation.

Admitting the truth does not make you bad, wrong or unworthy. It makes you a responsible adult doing your part to build a healthy relationship.

Stick to Facts –

Its’ amazing what kind of mud gets slung when people are disagreeing. Sticking to the facts keeps the situation very clear and on task. Do your best to not get pulled into your person’s detouring, deflecting or projecting. Stick to facts only. Keep in mind “opinions” are not necessarily facts.

Facts are things like:

I saw the text on your phone

You said ____ blank to me.

I didn’t hear from you for 3 days.

You said you would and didn’t follow through.

Facts only.

Don’t interrupt –

Interrupting happens because (a) we don’t like what we are hearing or they have it all wrong or (b) we are afraid we will forget the point we want to make. Interrupting is disrespectful and rude. It is not a resolution behavior. You will get your chance to speak.

Secondly, (for the non-stop talkers) don’t go on and on and on because you will lose your listener. I promise you. When you continue to beat a point, they will zone out on something else because you are repeating yourself. Keep to a paragraph or two and let your partner respond.

Humility is Automatic Cease Fire! –

This is SO important. When you see the light go on in your partner’s eyes, the moment of A-Ha, or when they take ownership of their wrong… Stop. Right. There.

Your point has been taken and understood. More importantly, do not shame them when they finally take responsibility. It’s not easy for some people to take responsibility. Shaming them for their ownership will work against you in future disagreement. They will see the negative effect of what taking responsibility does and they will stop doing it. We don’t want that.

Now that doesn’t mean they’re immediately off the hook with a weak apology. That’s not what I’m saying. It means tune into your partner. Use your spidey senses. You will be able to see and feel when they finally “get it”.

When you or your partner takes full responsibility and apologizes, that’s a conversation shifter. At this point, the next step is resolution planning.

How can you/me catch ourselves from making this same mistake in the future?

No Name Calling/Degrading/Low Blows –

I would hope I wouldn’t have to state the obvious, but let’s face it, when things get hot, sometimes sh*t starts flying. I get it because I’ve been there too and it’s never helped a situation.

Name calling/demeaning/low blows is often a design of the ego to break someone down by attacking who they are. It is aimed at “winning” not at healthy resolution.

Any of the above can quickly override the initial issue because they often hurt far more than the initial offense. Now there are two issues that need tending.

There’s far better words to use to make a point than name calling, degrading and low blows.

Tone Matters –

We have the power to deliver a message with judgment and condemnation or with kindness and love. That doesn’t mean we have to whisper to our person. It means we check in with our hearts and motives FIRST and align ourselves with the intent to heal not to harm.

When we are in touch with delivering a message for healing, it comes out much better than when we deliver a message to hurt.

This doesn’t mean your honest, well-toned message won’t necessarily hurt. The truth hurts sometimes. What it does mean is you will do your part to stay within your higher self and integrity.

Your business is how you speak. Their business is how they respond.

Take a Time-out –

It’s is 100% okay to call a time-out if the situation is getting out of hand. Let your partner know you need a break, tell them where you’re going, what you’re doing and when you’ll be back. Make a plan to revisit the conversation when you are clearer.

And stick to it.

This is about respect and a commitment to resolution.

It’s not cool to walk out leaving things incomplete. That’s called emotional abandonment.

Your person cannot trust you if you continually ignore issues, brush them away or abandon conversations.

Healthy relationships require a solid foundation of trust. You have the right to take a break and it’s also your responsibility to revisit the conversation.

Commitment to healing –

Make a commitment with your partner that your intention for the conversation is to draw you both closer. Let them know it’s the behavior or situation you don’t love, not them.  Arguments can frighten people. Your person may view them as an indicator you don’t love them or you’re going to leave them. Be willing to say I Love You within an argument to ease your partner’s fear.

Provide a safe space –

Be willing to give your partner sacred space to share their truth without judgment. Allow them to have their own experience and opinion of the situation. Be vulnerable and open with your heart so your partner feels safe being vulnerable and open with theirs. Cultivate a “no topic off limits” culture within your home and relationship.

Miracles happen when we make the shift from fear to love, from lower self to higher self and from winning to grinning!

I believe in you all so much! 

Much Love,

KB

Why Can’t I Let Go of My Ex?

I’m just going to say it… break ups suck.

They are confusing, heart wrenching, explosive, sad and uncertain.

I’ve been through my share of breakups and each one had its own unique brand of suck-ness. But there was one that wins the award. I hung on to that guy post-break up for two anxiety-ridden years.

Although I didn’t see him in those two years, he was rooted in my psyche like a Kansas Chigger in July. It was so off character for me, people around me were shocked and frankly, tired of hearing about it. At some point, I couldn’t stand the suffering any longer and I begged God for help.

 Why am I hanging on to him? I can’t stand this any longer! Please help me let him go.

God responded.

It wasn’t what I expected, but I knew it was Truth. I was done betraying myself with illusion, so I looked to Truth instead. Shortly after, I was able to detach with peace and never look back.

Here’s what I learned:

Oftentimes, we interpret our inability to let a partner go as “love” when in fact, there’s an unhealthy attachment keeping us stuck. Those attachments can include: a need for belonging, connection, attention, validation and/or security. When we believe someone “out there” can fill our hollows and quell our fears, we naturally wouldn’t want to let them go. It appears like a quick easy fix!

But the problem is, it’s not Real Love we are feeling. It’s obsession. Real Love is compassion, understanding, forgiveness and freedom. Obsession is a preoccupation with something to a troubling extent. What may have started as love, became a hustle to fill our emptiness the minute our person left. If we’re super honest with ourselves, we will see it’s not the person we’re stuck on; it’s the deep need they were filling.

Awareness is always key to transcending emotional stuckness.

Once we’re clear what the problem is, we can seek for solution. Without awareness, we will continue the suffering cycle.

In my case, my unhealthy attachment was security.

I had gone through a horrific life situation and my security was rocked to the core. I had lost everything. I was not aware how deeply my security was affected until I examined it. The material world was showing me where I needed healing in my spiritual world. It became very clear why I had hung on so long. I was desperate to feel secure and somehow my psyche decided a partner was the cure.

Once I realized my desperation for security, it finally made sense. I could see the undercurrent of it in my behavior. It became clear love was not holding on to him, fear was. I healed my desperation by recognizing all the ways I was already secure. My unhealthy attachment began to dissolve.

Then my second epiphany came.

I was in my early 40’s, twice divorced, showing signs of age, had 3 kids, lived with my parent’s and more. I was cruelly judging my current situation and my worth. I didn’t see myself as valuable so I couldn’t believe a man would either. But somehow I managed to land this guy!

When he left, my mind hung onto him because I subconsciously believed he was my only chance. 

If I let him go, I’d be alone forever. Again, I healed this false belief by recognizing all the ways I am valuable. This time, my unhealthy attachment dissolved completely. I was finally able to release him with love.

I’d be remiss if I failed to mention how important it is to grieve a relationship’s end. A break up is the death of something we once saw as alive and thriving.

Give yourself ample time to grieve the relationship.

Endings can be difficult and sad. They need your love and attention.You need your love and attention. Do your best to refrain from filling the void with another relationship while grieving your previous one.

But hold on! Here’s the most ironic and fascinating part of the story!

After healing my destructive beliefs and grieving properly, I learned something that shocked the heck out of me. Are you ready for this?

He wasn’t the man of my dreams.

I couldn’t believe I had held on to him so tightly!

There were aspects of his personality and the way he lived his life that would not work for me long-term. When the filter of need was removed, I could see him clearly. His leaving and refusal to get back together was a blessing in disguise. I was just too blind to see it at the time. A partner’s rejection is often our protection. It’s Divine Intervention in action. I am so grateful God took care of me when I was unable to care for myself.

Relationships are designed to show us ourselves. They are a mirror of our unhealed wounds. An inability to let go of an ex is only an indicator we are looking to the outside world for acceptance and love. The key to transcending your stuckness is to be 100% honest with yourself.

Discover what’s really behind your inability to let go and do the work to heal it.

In closing, I’ll leave you with this beautiful quote from one of my favorite spiritual teachers.

“How do you let go of attachment to things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.” – Eckhart Tolle