Category: Self-Love & Self-Worth

Drainers – Are You Helping or Enabling?

For the kind hearted it’s quite natural to want to help those in need. In fact, more often than not, we will hand over great gobs of our time, money and emotional resources to help someone in need achieve success in whatever area they are struggling with. With that being said, there comes a time when we might feel that all our efforts are in vain. We may feel like no matter how much we show up for them, nothing is changing. Our person remains stuck.

I’ve run across these situations many times in my life and I can confidently say I stayed in them far longer than was healthy for my well-being. I would find myself performing all kinds of gymnastics for them and even pondering their issues throughout my day rather than my own! At the time I thought this was my duty as a good human being because after all, didn’t I need help too sometimes? Yes, for sure. However, there is a vast difference between someone seeking for change and someone choosing stagnation and victimhood.

The Difference Between Seekers and Drainers:

  1. The Seekers – People who seek for knowledge and wisdom in order to promote themselves out of suffering. They are willing to get uncomfortable while reconstructing a new method of operation. They are grateful for what they receive and neither party feels drained after their interactions. Additionally, both parties feel happy and fulfilled when the seeker begins to see the light and takes necessary steps towards positive forward movement.

 

  1. The Drainers – These are folks who exploit your time and attention and continue to stay right…where…they…are. Conversations with them are repeating and energy draining. They are comfortable in their story of woe and as long as we’re giving, they’ll keep taking! There is little to no change happening and oftentimes the helper may feel like they are wasting their time.

It’s important to realize (and take personal responsibility) that the drainer did not waste your time – you gave your time freely. To blame the Drainer for your contempt is misplaced. You accepted the role and chose to stay in it indefinitely.

I applaud anyone who helps another and I applaud those in life who want to see the good and redeeming qualities in everyone. Because truth be known, there IS good in everyone and we all need a little TLC and help from time to time. Drainers are not “bad” people, they are stuck. However, there comes a point when we have to realize what stuck really looks like and that no matter what we do or say, we cannot make change happen for them.

A person has to want change in order to create change for themselves.

Giving to others at the expense of our energy does not create enormous growth in our people. Actually, it often promotes enabling and where there is enabling going on, both parties will inevitably be sucked into the suffering. At some point, we must recognize we are being an enabler and stop doing it by putting loving, but firm boundaries into place. If you’re not sure if you are helping or enabling a loved one, consult the list below.

6 Steps to Recognize if You’re Enabling Someone

  1. You are frustrated and unhappy with your stuck person because their strife appears never ending.

 

  1. You are aware that your “help” is not helping at all. In fact, no one’s help is helping.

 

  1. You feel drained in their company and are tired of dealing with them.

 

  1. You’ve heard their victimhood repertoire so much you can repeat it verbatim.

 

  1. Your person attempts to guilt or manipulate you if you try to change your strategy when dealing with them.

 

  1. You start to feel contempt for the person rather than compassion.

As I state in my book From Doormat to Sweet Empowerment, boundaries are beneficial to both parties involved. When we begin to set and maintain healthy boundaries, our person is “forced” to figure things out on their own. They must approach life from their own spiritual center rather than relying on yours (which is only temporary anyway). They will have to learn to become resourceful in their own life and find their own answers – answers that they are comfortable with and are willing to put into action.

Being a massively soft-hearted person, I had to really give boundary setting some serious thought. I had to know for sure that it was indeed the right thing to do before I could do it. I did my research and learned all about boundaries: what they are, what they meant and how to implement them. I was convinced that setting loving boundaries was the best thing for me AND my drainer.

I understand that setting boundaries may feel like turning your back on your person. So, I ask you this:

What if you knew for sure that boundary setting was serving to both parties?

What if you knew for sure that you were only harming them (and yourself) more by staying in something where there is no healthy forward movement or emotional advancement?

Would you be more willing to set a boundary with them?

I remember the first time I set a really difficult boundary with a loved one. It was a drainer situation that I had stayed in for over a year. I stayed because I felt it was my duty. After a year of the same dialogue between the two of us with zero change, I pulled out. I set a clear boundary that I was no longer going to be available to discuss the same situations over and over again. I explained that I had given her all the knowledge and wisdom I had and it was time for her to stand by her own power. It was scary and she did not like it, but it felt really good!

Within 36 hours, she came back to me with a dialogue full of awareness! I was stunned! By taking myself out of the situation, she only had herself to rely on. She pondered all that we had talked about and she took it to her center. She processed what felt Right and True for her and she began to act from that place. I observed my beloved transforming right before my eyes! It was fascinating and humbling to watch.

My role had been to hold loving space for her AND to remove myself when it was time.

You are not bad or wrong for needing to back up or out of a situation where a person is choosing stagnation and draining all your precious energy. Give yourself grace for being there in the first place and for offering your heart and wisdom for their becoming.

We can only do so much for others before we start sacrificing our sacred selves. It’s important for us to know when it is time to step out with love and give ourselves permission to do so.

The rest is up to them.

Caring for Yourself While Single- By Guest Author & Life Coach Sue Markovitch

Sue-Markovitch Sue Markovitch is the owner of Clear Rock Fitness in Westerville, OH.  She is the author of I Know What To Do, I Just Don’t Do It.  You can find Sue at:  www.clearrockfitness.com

I was married for seven years, and as I look back, I wish my wedding vows would have been radically honest. If they had been, here’s what they would have said.

Do you, Sue, understand that all your wounds are going to be brought to light as you and this man step into the sacred space of intimacy, vulnerability and commitment? Do you accept this Divine invitation to serve the larger process of healing, both yours and his? Do you promise to glorify the Divine healer, the Holy Spirit, in the process? Do you vow not to blame your partner for your pain, but instead to thank him for the gift of triggering it to the surface so perfectly? Will you own your fear and wounds, and take your pain to God?

I didn’t.

As I left my marriage in a shit-storm of blame, infidelity and drama, I was certain that he was awful and I was the victim. How could he treat me like I mattered so very little, all the time, day after day? I put him out of my mind and focused on my new relationship. He got me, he saw me. This guy understood.

Until my old wounds started coming to light again. Trigger, trigger, trigger!! What? I thought I left this horrific feeling behind me with the ex. Yet, here I was in pain, feeling like I didn’t matter, having a self-worth meltdown. Oh my God. It’s not them. It’s not him. It’s me. This crap came with me. It was ME.

When I experienced that empowering but horrifying epiphany on my bedroom floor one night, it did not feel like the greatest gift I could ever have been given. It felt more like getting kicked in the stomach several times. I saw myself clearly for the first time. I saw my brokenness without the projection of blame onto someone else. Ouch.

But I also saw a little glimmer of hope. If it was me, I could change. I never succeeded in changing them. But I could change me.

I made a new promise, new wedding vows. This time, to myself.

Do you, Sue, understand that your wounds have been brought to light for your healing? Do you accept this Divine invitation to serve the larger process of healing, for yourself and everyone around you? Do you promise to call on the Holy Spirit for help, and not rely on your own mind? [You cannot solve the problem with the same mind that created it.] Do you vow to own your projections, be grateful for your triggers, and commit to authenticity and healing in partnership with God for the rest of your life?

I do!

Once I had the bedroom floor epiphany, single life became this whole other thing. It is no longer a search for the next relationship. It is my sweet time with the Divine healer. It is learning who I am without the awful pull of trying to be someone else so that I could be loved and accepted. I turned fifty this year, and this is by far the best time of my life. I believe this is because I focus on these things, instead of continuing to search for another relationship.

  1. I got to know myself on the deepest level. I did things like re-read books I loved as a child, played piano for the first time in 30 years, and spent lots of time alone. I learned things about myself, such as what time I like to go to bed, what temperature I like the room, what music I love. And I grieved. A lot.
  2. I understood and owned my wounds. The night my father died, when I was 13, I was alone in my room. I could hear adults in the house, but they were not with me. A voice said to me, “You don’t matter to them.” I didn’t know any better, so I believed it, and translated it even further to, “I don’t matter at all. I am worthless.” That was my deepest wound. I understand now and I do not blame that 13 year old girl. She didn’t know any better. She was in pain.
  3. I created and committed to healing daily practices. I used to fill my days with every escape imaginable. I was an equal opportunity user. Drugs, cigarettes, shopping, work, alcohol, bad boys, food, approval addiction, people pleasing, you name it. If it got me away from me, I did it. Now, I invite daily practices that allow me to be WITH ME. Meditation, prayer, freestyle living room dancing, walks in the woods, journaling, blogging, running, etc. Find yours and commit to them.
  4. I keep believing in love. I know there are cynics and I understand why. Love seems like a pretty painful thing for some of us. But the truth is I am made for relationship, and the more I heal, the more hope I have that, although I haven’t experienced a healthy relationship yet, it’s probably because God’s not quite done healing my kind, incredibly handsome man yet. (Or perhaps me, too.) But let’s keep going, because I can’t wait to meet him.

Dating With Eyes WIDE OPEN

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Most of us set out into the dating world hoping to land our idea partner quickly and effortlessly. However, sometimes we crave this connection so badly; we lose sight of or ignore the truth of what boloney we are seeing in our partner and chose only to see the “good”. The desperation we have for companionship can often outweigh our logic and intuition. We end up denying or making excuses for behavior that is substandard to our worth in order not to be alone.

Although I honor the soul who focuses on the good in others; the dating world requires removing all veils and entering with eyes WIDE open.

Closing our eyes to truth not to be alone is the sure path to pain. When we are desperate for attention and love, we undermine our potential by ignoring the red flags coming our way. We seek to make him/her love US instead of deciding if we can love him/her!

I know this story well because it was me.

Here’s a thought…

How about if you viewed each dating experience as “practice” rather than a means to an end? An opportunity to practice your authenticity, morals, values and self-worth to see if who you truly are is cohesive with whom he/she truly is? We cannot attract someone who is ideal for us if we are not displaying our genuine nature or we are settling for less than what we deserve. Dating can give us the practice we so desperately need in order to strengthen our self-worth. With a good sense of self-worth, our energy shifts and we begin to attract better people to us.

By viewing dating as practice, we take the expectation and pressure out of the relationship from the start. Instead, we focus on getting to know ourselves and our potential partners before flying into the sack in a mad attempt to seal the deal. As we know, this only results in piles of regret and digs our lack of self-esteem pit even deeper.

Dating is the perfect classroom to discover more fully what we would enjoy in an ideal partner AND it gives us an opportunity to practice our self-worth until it becomes our new normal.

We can’t know what we want until we know what we don’t want.

I remember a time when I thought with every guy I dated, “This is it! He’s the one!” The only requirement for a date was whether I was physically attracted to him and then I’d allow his humor, attention, sex or whatever to take over. I would ignore any and all BS that was coming my way. I’d excuse his crap behavior with, “But we have such a great connection!”   Fooey on connection! Human beings can have connection with oodles of people. We don’t have to view every “connection” as our perfect partner. True connection and lasting companionship begins and ends with respect. If we are not looking any further than surface, every time we attempt to go deeper or feel more secure, we will experience disappointment.

“Connection” with a potential partner should only signal us to look a little closer and begin exploring more deeply who this person really is.

It took several ridiculous relationships for me to finally realize I had a pattern and that pattern was not knowing what I wanted and deserved and settling each time out of desperation.

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Relationships are designed to show us our patterns if we are willing to see them. They will show us precisely where we live our worth and where we do not.

“Wherever we are disempowered, someone will overpower.”  – Dr. John Demartini 

Furthermore, relationships will show us where we are compromising our sacred self not to be alone and just how much disrespect we are willing to take until we are broken once again.

It’s important to remember this little fact:

If we are not requiring anything better, we will not get anything better.

A healthy, reciprocal relationship requires a healthy you. By dating with eyes wide open, you are being given the perfect space to practice honoring yourself each and every time an opportunity arises. This is how we cultivate self-worth and this is how we attract our ideal mate!

Your thoughts?

Attracting The Ideal Mate

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I’m sure by now most of you have heard the quote, “Stop looking for the right person and become the right person.” Pre-tsunami I would have had no clue what that meant. Going on the assumption some of you may have no clue what that means, I thought I’d delve into this more deeply.

Historically, I was always looking outside myself for someone to be perfect for me. I had no idea what this really meant; I just thought he’d magically show up and we’d ride into the sunset together. Little did I know that he couldn’t present himself until I had healed the blocks inside of myself that would change my energy from undeserving to deserving.

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I had to endure one hell of a bomb in order to be reduced enough to open my heart to other possibilities. What I learned was this:

I did not know who I was, what I really wanted or that I was worthy of the partnership of my dreams. Somehow I kept repeating relationships and situations that were not reciprocally loving.

I remember after my first divorce, not even being able to explain what went wrong. I just knew the marriage wasn’t right and I had become bitter and angry. I later learned that I had attracted a mate that completely mirrored back the places in me that I was not respecting or honoring in myself. It wasn’t his fault; he was just being himself. It was my responsibility because if I wasn’t respecting and honoring myself, there was no possible way I could teach him how to. I had no boundaries because I had no worth to support those boundaries.

Instead of stating my feelings/truth and following it up with actions that supported my worth, I’d be nasty and spiteful. The “nice” had never worked, so I went to the extreme. And guess what… that didn’t work either! Instead, I just became a miserable asshole.

That was a hard realization to admit because from the outside, I wasn’t being reciprocally supported, loved or honored. Of course it was his fault. In my mind, I had every reason to be a jerk because HE wasn’t treating me right. It was all HIS fault.

Wrong.

Just because someone doesn’t treat us right, we don’t have license to lower ourselves to their level. In fact, that behavior only creates more friction and chaos!

Our BEST CHOICE ALWAYS is to empower ourselves. We must be willing to do the work to heal the unworthiness wounds inside ourselves that keep attracting partners that are meeting us at that lower energetic level. In order to attract a partner that respects and loves us wholly, we must respect and love ourselves wholly! When we change our energy from the inside out, our life naturally shifts to meet us at this new level.

In my book From Doormat To Sweet Empowerment, I go in depth into the 9 keys areas I shifted/healed in my life in order to attract reciprocally respectful relationships.

No longer will we be attracted to someone who doesn’t honor our worth. We will sense the lack of cohesiveness very early on and our worthiness will support our exit.

I remember always, always, ALWAYS second guessing my feeling/thoughts/actions. Maybe I’m not seeing this right? I’d attach excuses to the person’s behaviors and I’d convince myself to “Just stay a little longer. He’ll figure it out.” They never did because they never do. We’ve attracted the wrong partner and until we fully love and honor ourselves, we will continue to do so.

Taking full responsibility for our lives starts with recognizing our unworthiness wounds.

I remember my second husband (the tsunami husband) saying scornfully to me once, “You are now going to be divorced twice! See, something is wrong with YOU, not me. YOU are the common denominator!” The complete irony of this statement is this… He meant those words as a way to point the finger outward instead of owning his sh*t and I knew that then. However, somewhere along my healing path, I remember thinking, “Damn! He is so right! I AM the common denominator!” But not in the “you suck” way he was saying. It was ME that kept attracting disrespect. It was ME who made excuses for my partner’s bad behaviors. It was ME who stayed when I saw the warning signs early on. It was ME who didn’t love me enough to say ENOUGH. I always giggle when I tell this story, because it was just so perfect! Although his words were meant to hurt, they brought awareness instead! How ironic is that?

Freedom comes when we finally open our hearts to truth.

Now that I knew it was I that was repeating a pattern, I could actually do something about it! No more finger pointing! No more shame and blame! I had some work to do and I got busy doing it.

I made a vow to not even consider dating until I felt empowered enough to be able to hold my lines. I even constructed an “Unacceptable Treatment Guideline”, a list of deal breakers, to warn me when I was with someone of non-reciprocal quality. I used the guideline as a reminder until I was strong enough to spot and respond effectively to behaviors naturally. I needed a go-to check list at first as I was fine-tuning my worth and strengthening myself.

When I finally dated again, I was Divinely put into a situation where I had to demonstrate my worthiness. He didn’t have any huge flags about it him, but there were several small ones. I asked questions to clarify my thoughts and gratefully he was honest enough with me to confirm what I was seeing/feeling. We ended after 5 weeks. Thank you for that opportunity, Spirit! The mere experience of that solidified my worth even more because each time we act from our worthiness, we become stronger, more rooted.

Shortly thereafter, I did meet my equal. I have never before experienced such respect, love and devotion! I still shake my head in wonder sometimes… However, I could not have attracted him until I had deemed myself worthy of him.

No work done on self is ever in vain! Even though you might not see the immediate fruits of your labor, it is there behind the scenes aligning people and circumstance to help lead you to your best life! With each step toward self-love, you are getting closer and closer to your life’s dreams.

Take care of you.

Love you unconditionally

Cultivate your worth

And watch as miracles envelope your life.

 

Your thoughts?

The Point of Receiving

I’m sure you’ve all encountered a relationship situation where your person has finally owned up to his/her wrongs and apologized. It may even have been quite humble and very heart-centered; however, you simply were not at the point of receiving because the pain inflicted needed to run its course in order for you to be open to your person’s apology.

Just because someone finally sees his/her error, doesn’t always mean we have reached the point of returning to center. What mostly determines this is how often the offense has been committed and what came from the previous times. When we are repeatedly faced with the same disrespect or lack of compassion, care or respect, it can get more difficult to return to status quo because our limits are being reached and our patience is running out.

It’s important for both parties to know that sometimes the “offended” might need a minute. Not only is the “offender” learning in this situation, but the “offended” is learning too. Spiritual growth often takes processing time. All situations are designed for us to grow and learn from. What that looks like from person to person and situation to situation can vary greatly. Our job as an empowered (worthy) person is to take the time needed to feel our way through while staying connected to Source so we can come out of the situation better for having experienced it.

Relationships are so important and so incredibly relevant on our spiritual path of evolution. They are designed to show us ourselves. If we did not have them, we wouldn’t have the mirror so needed to reflect back our ways – good and not-so-good. How we handle and transcend what comes about is paramount to our personal growth, future empowerment and success of our relationships.

I’m not saying we have permission to hold grudges and stand in stubborn attitude.

I’m saying that giving yourself permission to return to center organically through process and connection is okay. This is about honoring your sacred self. If you are still hurting and can’t quite seem to meet your person at their apology (yet), you are only doing what is necessary to heal and return to the relationship whole. Returning as “half” isn’t going to cut it in the long-term. It would be like taking a short-cut that leads you in a circle.

With a deep understanding of this process by both parties, relationships can overcome some serious disconnection.

It’s all about respect and compassion for where your person is at.

I’m always so inspired and humbled when another accounts for his/her wrong doings. I see the Spirit in my beloved seeking higher, wanting more and desiring to overcome his/her fears and choosing differently next time. And even still sometimes it takes me a bit to process through my own emotions regarding the situation. The same goes when it’s the other way around. If I have offended and owned, I allow my person to return to his/her center on their own time as well. I do my best to give them the space and time needed to work through the emotion all the while trusting in the love between us.

Relationship offenses happen. They just happen. It does not mean our person is beyond redemption (nor are we), nor does it mean the world is going to end. It means we have come together in this relationship/situation as a means to evolve our sacred self to a higher level.

Standing in complete self-worth during these historic moments is a prime way to show our person that we love ourselves enough to not condone someone who does not honor us. When we are strong enough to say “enough”, we open the door for our beloveds to see their own darkness, their own fears and their own disconnection from Source as well.

A truly humble person standing in full responsibility understands this. He/she knows that trust was broken, pain was inflicted and time is needed. If your person attempts to manipulate or bully you into instant acceptance, there is most likely an alternate motive behind his/her apology. If this is true, it’s not your job to make him/her take ownership. It’s your job to stand in your self-worth and take care of you first no matter what. Your well-being is your responsibility and by making good choices rooted in your worth, most often your beloveds will see their error and make their amends.

Your thoughts?