Category: Courage

Be Open to the Truthtellers in Your Life

We’ve all encountered those moments when someone attempts to tell us about ourselves and we just don’t want to hear it. Somewhere deep inside a mechanism kicks in telling us their words are not relevant to what we are going through and we kick the idea to the curb shortly after word three.

If this sounds familiar, this article is for you.

First, I’d like to state up front, this article is not designed to shame or attack you. It’s designed to get you started on your healing path so you can release your self-sabotaging behaviors for good.

All throughout our lives we encounter others’ opinions – some resonate and some not so much. However, there are those “special” times when we hear what someone is saying and immediately disclaim their insight because, truth be told, they are touching a place inside us we have worked diligently to ignore – our shadow side.

The problem with this mechanism is unless we are willing to hear the truth, we will forever wash, rinse, repeat the same situations over and over again. We then return to the same friends with the same problems and hear the same thing! At this point we begin to convince ourselves that our friends have no idea what they are talking about. They just don’t get it! Instead, we go find someone who we can fool and get the validation we are craving. However, if your friends or “truth tellers” have walked in your shoes and healed those same places, they mostly likely DO know exactly what you are talking about and are trying to help you. To continue to push away their wisdom is to perpetuate your story of pain and suffering.

After having experienced an awakening some years back, I learned this valuable truth:

We cannot do it alone and the truth will indeed set us free!

We need others to shine light on our darkness when we are blind – to love us enough to tell us the truth. And believe me when I say, it’s not any easier to be the truth teller! Truth tellers often get yelled at, shunned and even ignored after sharing the truth. They become the “bad guy” when in fact, they are the good guy!

Let’s face it, some people are not so easy to talk to (and this could be you). However, ironically, the truth tellers are the people in our lives that have the courage to at least try. They often know that they are risking the friendship and/or connection by doing so, yet they desperately want peace for their friend so they keep trying. It’s difficult to go up against the ego in a blind person. The ego don’t take kindly to truth! However, by altering your perception of your truth teller from “mean and hurtful” to “loving and caring”, you will hear them differently than you have before and shift can begin.

Healing one’s wounds and disempowered places begins with truth. Just like in Alcoholics Anonymous where the alcoholic stands up and declares, “Hello, I’m John. I’m an alcoholic”, the wounded needs to own their behaviors and begin to take responsibility. Ownership is Step One.

Hello, I’m Kristen and I’m a recovering doormat.

We cannot move forward towards a solution until we are ready to recognize the problem.

I remember the precise moment I took responsibility for my self-defeating behaviors. I was standing in my bedroom some time midday and I decided to try to locate the places I did not act from my highest self and the places where I was wanting another to fill my void. Of course, my ego told me there would only be a few… Wrong! To be completely honest, out came a torrent of all my needy and disempowered places! Picture a family of hungry monkeys clamoring for the zookeeper holding a bunch of bananas. It was mayhem! It was gross, appalling and embarrassing! Even though no one was around, I squirmed and cringed as each memory came to the forefront.

And then the miracle happened…

The torrent stopped as quickly as it started. Silence. I looked around quizzically and wondered, “Is that it? Am I done?”

After noticing lightning didn’t strike me dead nor did I didn’t shrivel up into a warted troll, I felt the weight of the world lift off of me. Whoaaaa… What? I felt free… Finally free! I didn’t know what to do with all this, so I layed down on my bed to let it sink in. I observed there was no shame. There was no regret. There really wasn’t anything, but peace. My truth had set me free. Nothing more, nothing less. My shadow had finally been heard and it was now at rest.

THAT was the day my life changed forever. From that point forward, I set course to work on my self-worth and self-esteem. I finally realized I had created this whole frenetic scene and I could equally and successfully un-create it.

I occasionally wondered why no one ever brought my behavior to my attention. I considered myself an open book and knowing there is a lot of wisdom in the world, I was perplexed as to why no one had ever shed light on my darkness. Then the answer came. I had kept the really shameful parts to myself. I only shared parts of my story that would gain the oooohs and ahhhhhs from my cohorts. I never told the entire truth about the things I did because my ego convinced me those parts didn’t matter. My lower-self wanted so badly to be right; it subconsciously undermined my truth in the just perfect way to keep me stuck. Instead, I received all the appropriate statements like, What an a**hole! and You deserve so much better! My ego was validated, but my soul was not. Sound familiar?

When we are truly suffering and truly wanting for change, we must be willing to take radical responsibility for our behavior and if possible share it with a trusted friend. It’s important we share the uncut, unedited and raw version in lieu of some manipulated version that will only gain you the validation your ego so desperately wants.

I promise you, your ownership will not magically turn you into a warted troll, nor will lightning strike you down. Only healing and grace comes from radical self-honesty.

And one more thing… Always remember, there is nothing exclusively wrong with you! You are spirit having a human experience like the rest of us on this planet. You are fallible, forgivable and healable!

Show us what you got!

 

Overcoming Self-Limiting Labels

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Anytime we label ourselves anything negative, we are cutting off our potential growth and our capacity to thrive. Using terms that label you unlovable, small, unable, victim, incapable or weak are mind-altering, debilitating words that if you let them, will inhibit all that you desire or secretly wish to achieve in this life.

The power a label has is in direct proportion to the disabling energy we assign to them. Their potency and meaning are only derived from our beliefs about them.

When I am out in my neighborhood on my walks and bike rides, I often see a certain gentleman. He jogs along at a fast pace with his devoted, leash-less black Labrador keeping pace with his stride. Both of them smiling as largely and beautifully as they can. Every time I see him I think, Damn. Look at him go! He’s so fit! AND he’s wearing a prosthetic leg! I can only imagine how losing a partial limb could wreak much havoc on one’s psyche and additionally, the pain involved in recovery I imagine can be quite mind effing. Dang, that had to have taken so much tenacity and courage. Just LOOK at him go!!

I think often of my dear friend whose MS has left her legally blind and no longer able to drive a car or see most any writing out in the world. She has also been an avid reader her entire life. Again, the label of “blind” could be very mind blowing and limiting. However, she found ways to maneuver around her sight limitations by not attaching to her label. She had special glasses made, adjusted her electronics to have large writing, found a phone that speaks her texts out loud, gives herself permission to take breaks when her eyes fatigue and if needed, she orders audio books! She refrained from labeling herself “incapable” and instead found a way to thrive in her circumstance by doing what inspires her most!

Disclaimer moment: I am not saying that disabilities are not real or deserve the attention that they require. I’m speaking about the energy we attach to our labels and how we live our lives in union with them.

Labels are like manacles slowly squeezing the color out of our souls until we are but a mere shadow of what we were intended to be.

The same holds true in relationships. If we label ourselves unworthy of love by such statements as: I’m old, I’m fat, I’m skinny, I’m ugly, No one wants me, There are no good men/women, I’m stupid, I will always be alone, I suck at relationships etcetera, we will never find what we would so desire.

Overcoming self-limits is the key to achieving anything we desire in life!

I’ve seen remarkably loving and reciprocal relationships that span the board of what one could perceive as a limitation in oneself or their partner. In each of these beautiful relationships, neither partner saw the limitation in themselves or their partner. Because the truth is, there never was one!

I have a semi-illiterate client (born in a low economic country) who married a wheelchair bound man when she was 17 years old. They have been together for over 42 years!

Label: I’m not worthy of a relationship because I cannot read well.

Label true? NOPE.

Label: I’m not lovable or worthy of a relationship because I am in a wheelchair.

Label true? NOPE.

Our minds are incredibly powerful! What we think, we manifest. Life can undoubtedly suck at times. I have experienced many life traumas and dramas and the one’s I didn’t experience myself, I stood witness in close proximity to as someone I love experienced those.

Hands down, the people who chose not to be a victim of life are the ones who are thriving today! They saw their setbacks as opportunities for comebacks and they made it happen.

I have a hard time these days listening to someone cry a river over a thought they are repeatedly replaying over and over in their mind. Yes, I know the thing that happened to you sucked and sucked BADLY. I understand completely. I have compassion for you and I love you. I also know we have choices in life – a choice to thrive or a choice to merely get by.

I believe the reason we are so inspired by others who overcome tremendous life obstacles is because we know how incredibly tough it is to break through the limiting beliefs and push oneself to greatness even though we have no contract ensuring our victory. It is almost as if we are running a race in fog imagining a finish line even though we were not informed where it is! We just keep going. Left foot, right foot. Left foot, right foot.

This is where faith in a power greater than ourselves, comes into play.

Opening our hearts and minds to a power so great that it holds galaxies together, unlocks the door of abundance and healing! When we say Yes to life, the Universe steps in to help us. This is the place where we pick ourselves up and fight for a great life or we continue to ignore the pleading of our souls and quit. We may try to believe no one has ever had it as bad as we do, and I beg to differ. Somewhere out there, someone has experienced worse AND still chose to thrive.

I remember during “my tsunami” I felt like it was the end of my life. That it would never get better. This was it. My life is over. It’s just going to suck from here on out! And then… I would witness my friend, who had lost his wife and daughter to a drunk-driving incident, pressing forward each and every day and I would think to myself: Are you freaking kidding me, Kristen?! He lost his family and you’re blubbering over this?!

I later saw a show where a woman lost her mother and her children (I think there were 3) in a house fire.

Omg! What?!

The show was covering how a person experiences tragedy and chooses healing no matter what. I had to fight against myself to not change the channel because my chest literally hurt and my breathing became labored. I stayed in it, because I knew to run from it was to avoid a piece of healing in myself. I witnessed her pain, her strength, her faith, her hope, her inspiration, her good days, her bad days and her drive to reclaim her life. She had made a choice to thrive no matter how grim it looked or how long it took. She is a true warrior. ((sigh))

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Each one of us on this planet is put here to thrive. Yes, we have obstacles to overcome and I agree it ain’t easy! I also know where there is Will, a way will be presented. The key is to remove the blocks we have built around our perceived limitation and find another way! What we are led to, we will be led through if we open our minds and hearts to a new way, a different way.

Let us always watch out for how we label ourselves and our circumstance. We were not put here to merely survive; we were put here to THRIVE. We have tools available to help us, but we must be willing to open our hearts and look for them.

In the middle of all of this, let us always remember to be gentle with ourselves on our journeys. One step at a time.

You got this.

I believe in you.

Truth Telling vs. Judgement

Truth tellers are the people in our lives who support us on our journey. They are the ones who truly love us enough to say the hard truths. Hard truths are the parts of ourselves that we are not yet recognizing for ourselves that others on the outside may see more clearly. They are oftentimes the hidden clues that once recognized and acted upon, could heal us of our self-sabotaging behaviors.

For a sensitive person or a recovering doormat, it is oftentimes extremely difficult to hear the truth about our behaviors and choices because it ignites the inner shame we already feel regarding the subject at hand. Our soul and inner guidance has been quietly urging us in the right direction, but we have not yet been courageous enough to follow it. Subconsciously, we know we haven’t treated ourselves well and we feel ashamed for it. When someone points this out to us, we oftentimes want to lash out because the shame becomes unbearable. We already feel bad enough and we misconstrue their words as attack rather than love.

We tend to use excuses as to why our behavior is okay and sometimes those excuses are finger-pointing at the person who is trying to shed light for us. We may excuse their observations as “this person is just judging me” Or “he/she isn’t accepting me as I am.” Or “why is he/she trying to control my life!

Regarding a genuine truth teller, this could not be further from the truth.

It is possible that we do indeed have “judgers” in our lives. I will not disclaim that! Most likely, they are the ones who are dealing with the same weaknesses we are (and are in hiding themselves) so they point at us in attempt to keep the focus off of what they, too, are doing. They are most often the low vibrating individuals in our lives that seek to hide their own lack of self-love by projecting that onto us. It can be a fine line discovering who we are dealing with unless we do some serious introspection.

However, the tragedy happens when we completely discount what is being said to us and we immediately barrel into our excuses with loaded guns of defense. Poor listening and immediately firing shots back at the person, never gets anyone anywhere.

For a person who has truly set course for healing their unworthy behaviors, examining the words spoken to us is crucial. We cannot and should not accept all that is coming our way; however, we should take some time to process the information effectively. During this time, we must stay in touch with what we already know for sure.

Inquiry questions:

  1. What is this person’s character? We know who people are whether we want to admit it or not. As sentient beings, we are privy to far more information than we allow ourselves to admit. A person’s character will tell you if their observation was coming from judgement or coming from love.

 

  1. Does this person function from a high level of awareness? Chances are you’ve had more than one conversation with said person. Does he/she live the words they speak? Is it possible they possess some wisdom that you have not yet learned? Are their words resonating in/for you? Based on past observations, is this someone whom I can trust?

 

  1. Am I hiding from the truth? As human beings we come equipped with a higher-self and a lower-self. We always have the choice to which self we listen to. The lower-self (ego) can oftentimes be the first voice heard. It’s loud, it’s disruptive, it’s disclaiming and it’s obnoxious. After the ego declares its position, it is the quiet, powerful voice afterward that will speak the truth. At this point, we have a decision to make. Do we listen to the truth? Or do we fall back into our distracting, egoic behaviors that we are used to?

Our distracting/egoic behaviors can feel verrrrry comfortable. In essence, we like it here because it is something we know very well. It’s the place where we stay rooted in our same ol’ perceptions and patterns of yesterday and keep repeating the same un-serving behaviors over and over again.

On the same note, truth can feel verrrry UNcomfortable. Oh, God! This means there is something wrong with me! I’m going to have to step outside my comfort zone to make change happen. I don’t like that! I’m going to find reasons why what I am doing is okay. And we keep on keepin’ on with no real change that could literally alter the course of our experience.

But remember, when we are uncomfortable, we are learning.

The truth tellers in our lives are a blessing from the Universe! I know they don’t feel that way when they ignite our egos and challenge us to be and do better; however, only Love would want better for you than what you have been giving yourself.

All great change starts with a change in perception.

And sometimes that new perception will come via a loving, individual who truly cares about your well-being and your life! It’s a choice to keep our hearts open and it is always our choice as to what we believe or not believe. I will never say, listen to all that comes your way. I will say when someone has the courage to speak openly to you, consider their words. Discover for yourself if they resonate in your soul and be courageous enough to do better for yourself.

Always remember… you matter!

Your thoughts?

Boundaries: What Are They And How Do I Set Them? Audio Interview With Kristen Brown

Boundaries are a topic near and dear to my heart both as a recovering doormat and an empowerment coach/mentor.  Boundaries are essentially where we find the courage to express to others what are limits are, what is not acceptable and how to treat us with honor and respect.

Boundaries are essential to healthy, reciprocal relationships as equally as they preserve and foster our self-worth.

What we don’t often know is, boundaries serve both parties involved.  Where we think we are “being mean”, we are actually leading another to his/her healing as well.

If you are having trouble understanding what your boundaries are, how to set them or how to maintain them, this audio is for you!

I would love to hear your thoughts and/or questions!

Much Love,

Kristen Brown

How To Have Difficult Conversations – Audio Interview With Kristen Brown

It has almost become a societal norm to avoid topics that could potentially make our person uncomfortable or squirmy and instead of forging through the discomfort to gain clarity and a deeper connection, we oftentimes choose silence.

As most of you may know, this doesn’t work. Silence only causes additional drama, deeper discomfort and even greater confusion.

One of the hardest things we face in new relationships is venturing into the world of difficult topics; however, by forming a plan and honoring our worth first, we can make this venture a whole lot easier!

If you’d like to learn more about having difficult conversations, take a few minutes to absorb the interview between myself and a popular website I frequently contribute written articles to.

There is a lot of information jam packed into this ten minutes! Enjoy!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Much Love,

Kristen Brown