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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE 30 minute coaching session to get your started!
I believe in you!
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.
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
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.
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.
Being a mommy doormat is not serving to our children or to us.
So let’s get off the problem and onto the solution.
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!
Here’s to guilt-free (if there is such a thing) parenting!
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
When you first meet someone that you feel chemistry and connection with, how are you supposed to act?
You are supposed to act 100% yourself. Period. If we wear a mask of any kind portraying ourselves as something we are not, we run the risk of duping our partner into “liking” us.
Short-term we “win” the man, but long-term we’ve signed up for a partnership that was not built on truth. This is often where disharmony, affairs and/or divorce stem from. (Disclaimer: But by far not the only reason)
It is much better to be ourselves from Go rather than bob and weave between the lines of who we think our potential partner wants us to be. In doing that, we are dishonoring ourselves first and our partner second. Not a great way to start out a relationship.
100 % authenticity, baby!
I’m myself but I sense men still play games. I grew up with the concept that if a man wants you in his life he will make it happen.
I do believe if a man truly sees your value and wants to secure you (and he is commitment ready), he will make sure you know it. He will want to seal the deal so to speak so he does not have to worry about you being “out there”.
If a man is not securing his position with you there is reason to pause, rethink what the relationship is actually built on, what is acceptable to you and what you are truly desiring in a relationship.
You are responsible for your own happiness regardless what he decides.
But I’m a bit older now and my dating pool of men are divorced with children. So that white night drives a minivan now. :) I just met someone who I am very attracted to, but he is not only divorced with two kids but his ex-wife recently moved across the country with their children. And to top it off he is a high ranking military man. I have never dated a military guy before and that is a whole other topic.
I invite you to release the need to attach labels, excuses and/or stigmas onto him. He’s a man and soul first before anything else. Deal with the person, his personality and behavior, not an imposed belief or stigma attached to his situation and current status.
We handle our relationships best when we believe what we are seeing through a clear filter, not the filter of an attached label or excuse attached to a label.
Until then, pay attention to how he treats you. Are you being respected? Do you feel his interest? Are you high up on his priority list?
This is super new and I really like him but need to get to know him better.
Great idea! Although there are those moments “jumping in” works, it is a rarity in long-term success! When we release the need to rush, we allow for graceful unfolding – a true blending of energies and personalities. That is where the magic is.
I do want to show him I care and want him in my life but don’t want to scare him away. How would you advise in this type of situation?
A courageous and open heart will show care naturally. A heart that is “afraid” of scaring him away will give off energy incongruent with your true essence. Instead he might feel: neediness, insecurity or a “scripted behavior” which is not attractive to pursuers male or female.
Appreciation, light touches and your happiness and inner glow with him is encouragement enough for him to continue pursuing you.
When I think of him, I’ll send him a quick text. He has confided in me a little about his ex but I’m not sure if I should allow that or ask that he not discuss her with me. Isn’t it too soon to go there? Or is it?
My personal philosophy is there are no topics off limits.
We cannot get to know our person or anyone else for that matter, if we only discuss superficial topics. Getting to know someone on the core level requires open-hearted conversation around everything!
We can’t know what or who we are dealing with (and decide if it works for us or not) if we don’t enter into unknown space. Furthermore, if he’s not far out of the relationship, talking about it and processing space will be vital to his healing.
I fear I am going to mess this up even if he is the one with the heavier baggage.
Carrying fears into a relationship has the capacity to “mess it up” depending where both parties are at. Fear brings with it a dank energy. You might want to explore your shadow to see if your fear stems from an unworthiness associated with men or a sense of urgency or neediness that does indeed have the capacity to push him away.
My advice is to continually work on yourself. Fear dissipates when we know and love ourselves. This is the pathway to a mutual loving and respectful relationship. If you are unable to do this alone, contact a good coach or therapist to assist you.
I want to get to know him because I sense this could be really great. Call it intuition, but I feel there is something really special about him.
There is something special about him – he is God’s child just as you are. All relationships serve us in some capacity or another. Our person may be here for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Whatever the purpose may be, may we open our hearts to follow Spirit’s guidance and open our eyes to see the shadows this relationship will bring to the forefront for healing.
Everything is purposeful.
Beloved Sister, I’m honored you called upon me to hold space for you while you navigate through your confusion. I hope I interpreted your email correctly and this tidbit helps you in the highest way. Sending you much love on your journey!
After dealing with one unhealthy relationship after another, I finally decided I was the common denominator in all of this chaos and I set course to figure out once and for all the culprit causing all the upheaval. What I learned later became the topic of my first book- From Doormat to Sweet Empowerment – A Spiritual Guide To Reclaiming Your Personal Power in Relationships and Life.
Below I outline the quickie version of how to attract a healthy relationship!
Our level of self-worth is directly proportional to the relationships we attract. In other words, how we treat ourselves is almost always how our partner will treat us.
In order to attract a healthy, reciprocally loving and respectful relationship, it is vital that we do our inner work and heal our unworthiness.
Below is a list that is near and dear to my heart as it is the exact format I used to heal my unworthiness in order to attract the loving relationship I enjoy today.
4 Steps to Healing Self-Worth
1. The Discovery Phase – Similar to court cases, this is the time information is gathered. It about becoming radically honest with ourselves about our past relationship’s demise. In essence we are exploring what went wrong.
The discovery phase has the propensity to feel shameful as we explore the “ugly” associated with our relationship’s end. I invite you to do your best to stay neutral during this time. The walk of shame never leads to empowerment – it only perpetuates stuckness.
2. The Sorting Phase – In this step we sort through our partner’s wrongs and our own. Again, we release the need for blame while we openly put our findings into categories. Theirs and Ours.
Yours– Neediness, trust issues, lack of boundaries etc.
Theirs – Lying, disrespectful, substance abuse etc.
It can be very difficult to separate our wrongs from our partners especially when our partner’s bad behavior far outweighs ours. Remember, just because he/she was a jerk, doesn’t mean you didn’t contribute in some way.
Hang with me now! I understand you might be feeling the urge to run! This really works I promise!
3. Responsibility Phase – In this phase we take 100% responsibility for what is ours and ours alone. There may be a lot or there may be very little. No matter what you discover, own it, bring it to the surface and allow it to be seen! In fact, shout “Hallelujah! I’m on my way!”
We only have the power to change ourselves. Any behavior we recognize and own begins to change immediately. What we bring to consciousness is easier to spot and now gives us the opportunity to heal it.
4. The Work Phase – Now that we have taken responsibility for our part, we can begin to heal the underlying wounds that have caused our unhealthy behaviors. This is the phase in which we formulate an Action Plan for Healing by researching our topics, joining support groups, empowerment talks and/or hiring an expert in the field.
Unless or until we do the work to heal ourselves, we will always be approaching relationships from the same energetic level as the past, hence, repeatedly attracting partners who mirror that back to us.
You have all it takes to attract a loving relationship. The only thing stopping you is healing your self-worth and being willing to stand up for it!
*If you desire more information on this topic or are ready to heal your unhealthy behaviors for good, Contact Me Here!
Copyright 2018 Sweet Empowerment with Kristen Brown. All rights reserved.