Category: Self-Sabotage

Apology Letter to Myself


Dear Sweet Self:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you.

Kristen

Are You Resilient and Don’t Even Know It?

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I have been called “strong” as long as I can remember; however, these remarks often perplexed me. What is it about me that appears so strong? I certainly don’t feel strong! If they only knew how afraid I was they wouldn’t be saying this at all. Inside, I am a frightened little girl waiting for the next traumatic event to befall my life. What is it about my behavior that compels people to speak this over me time and time again?

These thoughts and questions swirled in my head for decades. Always leaving me as perplexed as the time before. I just didn’t get it.

Then one day, it became clear.

By definition resiliency is:

the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness

Strong is just another word for resilient and resiliency was a definition I could identify with. Funny how a simple change in nomenclature made sense out of years of confusion.

I’ve written many articles on resiliency and each piece took on a life of its own. There are many ways to achieve resiliency just as there are many paths to God or spiritual enlightenment. But today I’m going to focus on one piece. It’s the piece that was modeled for me so distinctly by the most resilient woman I know, my mother. And that piece is:

To keep going no matter what.

No matter if it was my father’s adulterous affair, the tragic death of my brother at age 16, the illness’ and subsequent deaths of her parents, my parents’ divorce, her cancer diagnosis or her double knee replacement, she always responded the same way – with resiliency.

She kept going no… matter… what.  

I believe because resiliency was modeled so powerfully in my home, it became part of who I am. There were no words spoken to me about it, no cheerleading, it just was. This is how we handle times like this. This is how we do heavy. This is how we keep going when we are frightened, sad or shattered.

Even though I had a tremendous role model, it does not mean it came easy. Resiliency is a choice. A day to day and sometimes minute by minute choice.

The choice to rise up as a victor instead of adopting victimhood.

The choice to see the blessings in the mire instead of suffocating under its sludge.

The choice to reposition the heavy weight rather than giving up and quitting.

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This might come as a shock to some of you, but a couple years back when I was first asked to write a piece on resiliency, I had to look up the definition. Prior to that, I had no clear idea of what it really meant.

Simply by discovering the word and its definition, I was able to identify a force inside myself that I had not yet been able to label.

Resilient. I am resilient. I choose a forward path. I keep moving forward no matter what. I refuse to be anyone’s victim. A setback is not the end of my life. There is more life to live. Other’s bad choices are not a reflection of my goodness and worth. I get to choose how I view and handle my own life. This is my personal freedom and my right. Bad things are going to happen and I cannot stop them, but I can sure choose how I will respond to them and…

I will keep going no matter what!

Unfortunately, not many of us have resiliency modeled for us in our youths and even if we do, our personality may choose a different response to our situation.

What my mother didn’t speak, but probably understood was that no difficulty is forever. It passes eventually. Life is a series of events challenging us to step into our higher selves – to evolve into our richness and destiny. No “thing” out there can beat us unless we allow it.

By no means am I suggesting we emotionally bypass the pain that comes our way. That is not resiliency, it is rug sweeping and numbing. It is a grand gesture of avoidance that will only repress the pain and fear for a little while. Eventually we will have to meet it again face to face.

Resiliency is about feeling the feelings, letting them out, talking about the situation to a trusted friend, then choosing your next best step. It’s about releasing attachment to the future by funneling all your energy into the present moment knowing God is leading you one tiny step at a time.

Resiliency is to keep going no matter what.

How Jealousy Can Change the Trajectory of Your Life

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It was recently brought to my attention that some people delete their Facebook accounts because they hate to see other people’s happy lives. This notion took me by surprise as it was something I, personally, have not considered.

Naturally, it got me thinking.

Is it possible my Facebook posts piss people off? Is someone out there jealous of the happy times I share? Could I be the reason someone shuts down their Facebook?

If I knew this to be true, I would respond like this:

My family and I have gone through more tribulations than most people I know. I’ve shared quite a bit of it on Facebook and my blogs, although there is much more that I keep behind the scenes to protect the privacy of others.

But in spite of our trials, we’ve triumphed. I’m now watching the manifestation of my focal points taking form in the physical world. I find myself mesmerized as I watch one beautiful moment after another unfold around me. In awestruck wonder, I often ask myself:

Is this really happening? Do you see what I see? Is this really the beneficial reaping of my focus, determination and healing?

 Each sweet moment, every tiny victory and each step of spiritual growth has become super important to me. I cherish it. I roll around in it. I allow it to integrate into my spirit.

Posting on Facebook is my personal way of shouting from the mountaintops with outstretched arms, “Thank you, God! I see what I have, I’m receiving it and I’m so incredibly grateful!”

My hope would be for you to understand where I’ve been and how important celebrating my “good stuff” is for me.

One might be thinking,  You just don’t understand. My life is a mess. Nothing goes my way. It’s hard for me to be happy for anyone because I’m so miserable.

Oh, my dear… I understand more than you know. And you have the power to change that.

In my not-so-distant past, I was in the gutter so low I felt my life was over. I believed a happy life was only reserved for others. Depression, anxiety, self-loathing and negativity were oozing out of my pores.

In December of 2010 all my brothers and their families were gathered at our mother’s house for Christmas. Everyone was joyfully chatting and laughing with their spouses by their sides. I had just entered “my tsunami”. My husband had abandoned our family and left us homeless and incomeless. I couldn’t get past the belief that I was the “loser divorced child”. I desperately wanted what they had.

I could barely contain my depression, sadness and unworthiness. I wanted to hide out in my room until the holiday was over then slink back into my dreadful existence without anyone watching. It was a painfully lonely and shameful time.

However, after a couple days of my self-induced hell, I reminded myself of something…

Their lives aren’t perfect. No one’s is. They have their own trials and tribulations too. Their “stuff” just looks different than mine does. I’m not broken, flawed or beyond redemption! My life simply took a weird ass left turn and I have some grieving and healing to do. Nothing more. Nothing less.

In that moment, I chose a different perception and with no prompting, the density of my emotion began to ease up. I chose to view the happiness and well-being of others as a place I wanted to return to, not a place of jealousy and self-loathing.  

 I chose thoughts that would put me on the trajectory of victory rather than thoughts that kept me rooted in the ghastly hell of victimhood.

And you can too.

Pity parties are desperately unproductive. Sometimes we have to kick our own butt and get back in the game!

So I ask you, dear friend, do you see other people’s lives through the filter of regret, despair, loneliness, discouragement, jealousy and/or unworthiness?

If you answered Yes, you can change your path right now by focusing on these

3 Steps That Will Change Your Life Trajectory:

  1.  Focus on what is going right in your life instead of what is not. No matter what storm we are in, there are always blessings afoot. Take notice and practice gratitude.
  2. Celebrate others’ happiness and victories. Focusing on others’ “good stuff” creates an energetic change in you thus an energetic change in your direction. When we focus on better feeling emotions, we align ourselves for better experiences to come our way.
  3. View others’ “good stuff” as a point of reference. Instead of being jealous or resentful of their life, use their experience to inspire you to reach higher for yourself and your family. If they can have it, so can you! When we align ourselves with healing, healing will come.

Our experience of life is how we choose to perceive it. We can choose to see life through bitterness, resentment and jealousy or we can choose to recognize our blessings and others’ blessings as a point of attraction we want more of.

Just as wallowing in despair will give you more to despair about, basking in your blessings will bring you more to bask about!

Much Love,

KB

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.