?My Beautiful Tribe,
How are you all on this blessed Memorial Day Weekend??? I hope and pray your week has manifested into something bright and shiny! Sweet blessings to all my tribal members in hopes that whatever you seek, will become a reality for you. Being present in the moment, and realizing the resiliency of the human spirit is our freedom to pursue the joy of something whimsical that is just upon the horizon, offers us the light, hope, and new beginnings we are so longing for. These are just a few of the gifts that bring us closer to believing in the MAGIC ZONE…?
Memorial Day is a chance to say “Thank you” to our service men and women who have gifted us their lives daily over years of sacrifice so that our borders would be safe, our families and children could roam free, and our country would be “the home of the free and the brave.” During theses hard times, we take these things for granted, yet in truth, these are the greatest gifts on earth, and I am so grateful to be an American citizen. I am so thankful I live here in America and have the freedom I do to write what I do. I realize not everyone in this world has the opportunities we have that are open to us. I never want to oppress, disgrace, or abuse my privilege, because I know I am from privilege, not because I am an American, but because of the color of my skin. I did not come from money, nor class, nor anything other than the military. Yet, nonetheless, I hope in some small way, I can offer a small foot print of glow to take away the pain, shame, guilt, or negative mindset from trauma or abuse that someone, somewhere set in motion for you. Consequently, I try very hard to see the glass as overflowing, even if the circumstances dealt me are far from what I had hoped for.? It’s a daily choice and one I take very seriously. I want to share this loving gift with you, too…?
Always, it is with a grateful heart I am thankful for what I have and not for what I wish I had. It’s not easy to feel this way, yet, it is a choice I wish to pursue so I am open to the possibilities instead of the failures when I see what I have not accomplished in my life. If I focus on the door which is closed, I fail to see the one opened for me, which accomplishes nothing. It is truly a waste of time and energy. Being grateful has taught me how to forgive and let go, and that is like a light that glows in the dark for me. Even when it seems as if life has thrown us lemons, we must try to realize it is for our growth, for us to hone new skills, and to move forward with strength, poise, and grace. Making lemonade I’m sure is part of this formula as well! 🙂 Although, it is not an easy task to keep our woes at bay, it is still so important to glue our eyes upward towards our blessings. Regardless, if you feel as if no one cares or loves you, it is critical to believe in YOU and LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT! Because, believe it or not, Sweet one, YOU ARE LOVED…?
? This Memorial Day Weekend is a time to stretch our hearts and dig a little deeper into ourselves to see how our interactions with others might be connected to our childhood upbringing. We are social beings and may not realize just how much our behaviors impact our interrelations and the very people we love. Not everyone had such a pure and stable home life with loving parents who had realistic expectations, and role modeled loving relationships. Thus, in how we were treated as children plays a big role in how we see ourselves in the mirror, and may also be how we sabotage our own personal love for ourselves and our relationships with others. This is because people close to us “see” us as a mirror image of our upbringing. Unless, we unplug our parental mind tapes through thoughtful mind shifts and gentle therapy, we may never fully live up to our greatest potential. And, I want each of YOU to break the glass ceiling of what your parents “told” you who you could only become, and become who YOU were meant to BE….Unequivocally….YOU!!?
“NORMAL” IS A CYCLE ON THE WASHING MACHINE
The mind can play mean tricks on you, confusing you, leaving you with self-doubt, being self-critical, and anxious and paranoid when surrounded by people you once thought were your friends and loved ones. You wonder if they are gossiping about you because you no longer hang in their circles, or maybe someone has manipulated you to a point you feel confused, isolated, and defeated. Circumstances like these are when you least expect it, and more readily, when you are in pain, suffering from depression, illnesses, financial distress, and/or going through major transitions. This is when you must use positive self-talk and tell yourself, YOU ARE NORMAL! I must remind myself of this as well, because, people want you to think there is something wrong with you. THERE ISN’T!!
Having suffered two brain injuries, I realize I still have post concussive anomalies that may cause me to have memory loss, slow cognitive processing skills, panic attacks while driving and become lost, and brain overload from too much stimuli of loud music, shopping malls, or over concentration. There are also times when my brain just shuts down because I didn’t eat enough or I did too much exercising. I obviously have limits and should know my boundaries by now, yet even I still forget these important details in my life. SO WHAT? I’M HUMAN!! AND SO ARE YOU!
Everyone forgets things, misplaces items, has meltdowns, panic attacks, and lacks boundaries. Life is stressful, chaotic, and messy. If it weren’t, we would all be very bored and antiquated individuals. I have learned to be more flexible with my time, my presence, my passions, and my battles. I try to be more patient of others, listen more, offer more compassion, understanding, and less controlling of situations. After all, we really have no control over anything when you think about it. We only have control over ourselves and how we react to what other people spew at us. Even then, holding the tongue can be very challenging, yet priceless!!
People who tell you, you are mentally ill, crazy, or there’s something wrong with you, have a self-esteem complex. For them to say anything whatsoever about someone else echoes so much about them and nothing about you. Those individuals who choose to judge others and then, talk about you with their friends, have deep seated inferiority issues about themselves. They are unhappy people. They dislike themselves, cannot find the joy you have inside of you, and therefore, need to demean you to look good in front of others so they are liked. And, who, for heaven sake’s, even wants to like people who need to put others down in the first place, just to be liked? I certainly don’t. Gossiping is dirty business. DON’T DO IT!
Yet, in general, people have a way of hiding this dark side of themselves, because most people who demonstrate this type of negative behavior gravitate to those who do the same. They may have grown up with parents who taught them this type of bad behavior, and therefore, think it is “normal” to judge, gossip, and demean others from behind their friends’ back. IT IS NOT! If you participate in this type of bad behavior, catch yourself doing it, and put an end to it! It’s truly the worst type of self-sabotage you can do for yourself. You are guarding the inevitable about facing your own demons inside of you.
Those found to be most involved in this type of self-sabotage usually need to be liked, (people pleasers),and thus, must make themselves look good by demeaning, gas lighting, and/or manipulating others. These individuals usually play a leadership role in their community, at work, and/or at church, whereby they must control their environment and always be at the “top” of their game to show good face. Unfortunately, it seems the mind set of these individuals never deviates from work to home, and so the partitions continue whether at work or at play. Sad to think that way, yet I have seen it happen over and over again. Even Christian organizations, having their own personal agendas at times, and people being the “body of Christ”, with human flaws showing face in one place, even at their finest, are probably the worst in hypocrisy. If people could only look at themselves in the mirror and take the rock out of their eye first, before seeking to avenge others for their faults. If we could do so, it would be so much easier to share genuine conversation and transparency, so that intimacy could claim our minds and hearts in overcoming the broken pieces of shimmering glass from the past. That is when the healing can actually begin. People can truly never heal until they confront the root force of their demons, from which they choose to hurt others repeatedly with. Once they do, the glow finds its way into the cracks, which light the path for rest, renewal, and restoration.?
Even though God is my hero and rock of salvation in all things I have been through, I am not a big believer in organized religion. I have studied religion most of my life and have found that churches can play a huge role in condoning bad behavior in people and in society at large. Back in the day, 1915-1922, Protestant Christian religions actually condoned the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. This was done through church attendance, writings, speeches, and recruitment of ministers as members, as well as donations to the organization as proof of commitment to their cause. I can’t even imagine how they justified such unimaginable dark and demonic evil on African Americans. “Its popularity came from the combination of religion and nationalism it promoted, both of which appealed to white Protestant Americans who feared that immigration and changing social mores would overthrow their social dominance.” This quote by the author, Kelly J. Baker, is so surreal, in that I found it to be aligned with what is happening in today’s society in promoting our greatest fears. We, as humans, instead of coming together as a consortium of think tanks to offer ways of dealing with propaganda and demonic mentality, we react out of fear with hate, power, abuse, greed, and prejudice. Nothing has changed.
With that said, we truly are all the same with six degrees of separation. People are human and we are all flawed. That is no excuse in my book. Yet, many of us flock to church each Sunday to repent of our sins. However, in doing so, we choose not to change our behavior, nor do we choose to walk a different path when we leave. Why is that I wonder? So many people go to church as if by going they are by osmosis transforming themselves into a “new” person. Not all of us, of course, but many of the majority. I look to the pastors of the church to lead in good faith with the Bible as our instruction guide. If it is not used as such, our leaders, then, are not doing what God has set in motion, and therefore, their lambs will go astray.
Now, I’m not suggesting to anyone to join a church, preach the gospel, or become a Christian. Yet, these are my values and beliefs. I am a grounded Christian, and have always believed in “walking the talk”. My struggles with God and Christianity in the past were due to the abuse and traumas I had experienced, and I blamed Him with so much fury, I could not see anything but darkness. It became a dominant force in my life and overshadowed everything. I hated God and myself and everyone connected to my abusive and traumatic downfall. It was such a fast and dark spiral effect, that depression was my only saving grace. It protected me, my brain, and my body so I could sleep while my brain healed from its injuries. It’s amazing how the body knows how to heal itself when even medical doctors don’t.
With that said, I have done extensive research to understand the extraordinary complexities surrounding religions and where I fit into it all. I do know that God is my Salvation and has carried me throughout my lifetime when I had no wings to carry myself. He has blessed me with various angels who came as friends to support me, medically care for me, provide for me, and befriend me. I have even seen the angels in my mirror as bright blue luminous lights to tell me I would eventually heal to a point where I could live a quality of life. I believe in angels, and I believe in God. Yet, I do not know your tortured soul and what it needs to heal to find wholeness and to develop a source of spiritual divine holiness. I cannot do this for you. Only you can. That is your journey to seek for personal fulfillment of spiritual revelation.
What I do know is that God is bigger than organized religion! In His eminent wisdom, HE did not have His Disciples write the Bible to be left on the side table unread. It is only through your personal relationship with Christ that you are “reborn” into a new person. It is through His grace alone. NOT by going to church, NOT by your good works, NOT by your money, good deeds, or good looks will you ever enter the Kingdom of God. You must SURRENDER to HIM in order to be REBORN. That is the ONLY way your life will change for His Glory.? As with anything, change only happens if YOU CHOOSE to change your behaviors. Nothing more, nothing less. Forgiveness is only truly given by God’s saving grace. Don’t ever think that God is going to continue to forgive you for the same sin over and over again, because he won’t. He knows your heart and mind.? In the same breath, YOU ARE PURE LOVE IN HIS IMAGE…Don’t ever underestimate YOUR GLORY!? The spark of God is within YOU. DON’T WASTE IT!??
YOU ARE “PERFECT” JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!
Even the best of us from the most wonderful of homes who went to church on a daily basis, including myself, fell through the cracks of an abusive and controlling home life. I was confirmed every faith while growing up in a military family, was married in the Catholic church, sang in the choir, went to Bible Study, Bible Camp, vacation Bible School, was a Young Life Leader, and a Sunday School Teacher. And, yet, the hole in my heart was so large, the ocean could float in it. I felt so unloved growing up, I just wanted to die. Who knew? And, how tragic this mindset was for me. I thank God for the various sports, academics, close friends, and teachers who touched my life back then, because, if it were not for those unique connections, I would not be here today. Gratefulness is not for the faint of heart. It is for the meek souls who walk the earth and carry on with great hearts filled with scars, bold vision, and great courage. Those are the ones who change the world. 🙂
Thus, it comes as no surprise when I explain to you that many of us were abused as children in ways we may not even have realized, and has extended into our relationships today. I wanted to share these with you, because in doing so, I hope you might glean a more open dialogue with yourself and significant others. Consequently, you might be more loving and gentle with yourself as you move forward in finding ways to love yourself and express your feelings about your abuse, pain, shame, guilt, and love. This can open a dialogue, as well, about the disconnect you may have in loving yourself due to abandonment, perfectionism, and your lack of self-worth and value, etc. All these attributes about you make you uniquely special and “perfect” in your own way. We must each hold fast to what is uniquely our own and trust who we are when people make assumptions, generalities, and indignant remarks about us. Loving yourself first is the apex for you to be able to open yourself up to others, share your love, and have it received in return. For this is an accomplished art of knowing what love is all about. When you love yourself, you will shed the guilt, shame, and perfectionism mentality and finally realize how worthy a soul you are, just as you are.
CHOOSING TO LIVE WITH HEALTHY LIFE SKILLS VS SURVIVAL SKILLS
Perfectionism is growing up where you were expected to perform at a level or standard far beyond the norm, imprinted on you that you were never “good enough.” I remember coming home with a “B” on my report card and was yelled at and banned from certain activities I enjoyed until I received an “A.” And, if you had a sibling to compare yourself with, it made things that much worse during school, because your life, then, became very competitive in academics, sports, music, and theater. Growing up perfect is living in irony, as its living the self-fulfilling prophecy. You know in truth you can’t live up to that expectation, and in trying to do so, you fail miserably, losing self-confidence, self-esteem, and accomplished goals in the process. You see, “…the drawback of perfectionism isn’t just that it holds you back from being your most successful, productive self. Perfectionistic tendencies have been linked to a laundry list of clinical issues: depression and anxiety (even in children), self-harm, social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, binge eating, anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, hoarding, dyspepsia, chronic headaches, and, most damning of all, even early mortality and suicide.”
My entire life was built on the assumption of perfectionism. My low self-esteem kept me and my mindset disturbingly misunderstood, grappling with unhappiness and failure while in grade school, high school, and even college. The harder I tried, the further I would fall. Until one day, long after my divorce, something made sense to me when I was trying to harness some glow, wondering why my marriage had failed me. What had I done wrong? Ah, the age old question, right? WRONG! No one is truly ever wrong in a divorce. It takes two people to love and connect with each other soulfully, genuinely, and transparently. We choose this love. And love is not an emotion, but an action. We give it by showing it in ways of our giving, such as making dinners, cleaning, through romance, vacations, rearing the children, sacrifices, enduring hardships, celebrating new births, etc. Love is a choice. However, it only takes one person to start the chain reaction of mishap in losing the love connection with a significant other. Usually, someone in the partnership decides to leave the commitment they had made in the marriage through betrayal, abuse, addiction, etc. and chooses not to get help to reconcile the marriage.
Thus, now in my case, I turned inward, to reflect on myself and see what changes I could make inside of me to transform and evolve into a person of light, one with beauty, brains, and boldness. I soon realized it didn’t matter if anyone else out there loved me. It didn’t matter if I was perfect or not, because out of all the nonsense, chaos, hardships, abuse, suffering, abandonment, betrayal, and disappointments I have had to endure, I could love myself and accept myself just where I was. I didn’t have to change for others to like me. I could change for me. I chose to love ME FIRST. That was the first step in surrendering to a life of glow…?
And, that is the good news about perfectionism. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT FOR OTHERS TO LIKE YOU! Yet, you do need to understand that perfectionism is a survival skill that was used while growing up to be approved in your home by your parents who may have abused you, or whomever it was that had you meet their unreachable expectations without remorse. Somehow, you have lost sight of the fact that you’ve grown up and the child within you is still “dying” to be perfect. This perfectionism response system or cycle that exceeds all other norms in your head must be broken in order for you to heal from this mindset. Learning how to shift your mind into one of meditation and relaxation is a good starting point.
Being “number one” has its place, yet killing yourself to get there by choosing to spread yourself thin in making bad choices in one’s diet, poor sleep and fitness habits, and other destructive self-behaviors is not worth the perfect image. Letting go of one’s false pretense of being perfect can be exhilarating, yet scary. Keeping a journal to note down when behaviors get in the way of healthy choices is a great start. Also jot down good behaviors you notice, such as being more flexible in what you demand of yourself and others, how you spend your money and/or deny others of spending it on themselves for their needs or for pleasure, and how you intimidate others with berating remarks because they do not meet your standards, and/or start praising them to show they have met a goal or accomplishment. These are all part of the perfectionistic cycle you need to learn about in order to get help to assist in your growth and learning for eliminating the power perfection has over you.
Perfectionism is very controlling and operates at a subliminal level. This pattern of behavior will destroy the very loving relationships it touches, because perfectionism wants to make everyone mirror its standards, patterns, and expectations in all things. It exploits the very essence of what it loves. If not treated with therapy properly, perfectionism can lead to great unhappiness for the person who carries this burden. No one is perfect. No one. To try to reach for this ultimate goal is forever a journey to unhappiness.
2. UNDER THE RADAR
Living a life with parents who were controlling or abusive meant one had to be unseen and unheard. Pretty much, invisible. Much like that of my brain injuries, you couldn’t see them, yet they were there. It seemed like everything in my life was invisible. Even me.
Having no voice growing up, was a great disservice to me, because while in class, all the way through my undergraduate degree, I never asked a question of my professors. Heck, I didn’t even know how to navigate the college system, let alone figure out what my undergrad degree was in until they told me I was in Secondary Education and had to student teach for Health Ed. That was a bombshell! I thought I was still in some sort of Dietetics program. Far from it!
If truth be told, having a voice and getting involved in your own life is truly the greatest gift you can give yourself, besides loving it. It means, walking out of your comfort zone, choosing to be uncomfortable, and seeking a path for YOU. IT’S GLORIOUS! If you don’t, someone else will do it for you, and it won’t be your journey, nor will it be the one you had hoped for!
When we survive, we have to remain invisible, because we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves. If we do, people will know the secrets about us and our families. We are not allowed to have a voice in order to keep from sharing what is happening to us at home, and we are speechless in what is acceptable to share, so we share nothing. We walk around on eggshells not knowing what is the right way to do something, because we always seem to get it wrong. In our minds, everything we try to achieve is a manifestation out of guilt, rejection, shame, and blame. We are never good enough, pretty enough, lovable enough, worthy enough, and/or sweet enough to be loved by anyone, especially our parents.
Thus, being invisible is a typical survival skill for those who have been through abuse and suffer PTSD. If you are a nobody, why are you alive? In fact, being invisible disables you from learning how to have conversations, engaging in relationships, or nurturing friendships, because you didn’t speak at home, nor did you learn the complexities of how to start a conversation or develop healthy relationships. This was not role modeled to you at home, so you, therefore, have no memory to draw from when becoming an adult.
The GREAT NEWS, SWEET ONE, IS THAT YOU ARE LOVED! You don’t have to be invisible anymore. You now have a voice. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime!! So, use it. Develop it for helping others, teach, sing, act, and do whatever makes having a voice fun for YOU! Learning new vocal skills is a great tool and brings new self-awareness, increases one’s self-esteem, and self-confidence. By engaging in group sessions for something you are passionate about such as writing speeches, political speaking engagements, critical theory workshops, civic engagements for non-profits, service learning for students, social justice awareness, and/or abuse and homeless shelter fund raisers, you can begin a life where your voice can make a difference and you are heard.
Being present is also critical in establishing your space and voice. When you are invisible, your presence isn’t noticeable, whether in person or not. It comes as no surprise when people take no genuine interest if you attend a party, gathering, organizational meeting, or club meet, since you do not really participate actively due to your lack of enthusiasm and participation. Yet, when you get to choose to be somewhere that you are excited about actively engaging in, where your presence will matter and cause momentum in the group, then you will know it is time to move forward. Your presence is important and YOU MATTER! When you start loving yourself, you realize how important you really are in this world. Your radar goes up and hears the sounds of those listening for your voice and what matters to you, because you also have a place in this world. Your self-confidence will “rise like air” and you will begin to feel the benefits of what it means to be visible.
Being in survival mode also had no room for commitment. My parents never showed me any frame of reference to what a commitment looked like. I think my mom tried her best, not having any survival skills of her own after my father abandoned us. I was 12 years old, and my mom was left with four children, although two would be gone in three years and I in four. Thank goodness she didn’t have long to feed our faces. Only my younger brother would be there the longest, and he was in for a roller coaster ride of his own. I know down deep, my mom did her best for jobs, as she only had a high school degree, and I ended up taking over the household chores and watching my little brother, fixing dinners after school and cheer practice, and part-time employment. I grew up very fast, not understanding how other kids my age lived and thinking we were all a victim of our environment. My mother, being so angry and emotionally distraught after dad left, fearful, and confused, she basically left me to practically raise my brother and be the caretaker of her. I was the only commitment to myself and managed to control my out-of-control life with not eating, nor talking, nor being present at all except for school matters. I wore a masquerade of grace at school to hide the pain inside of me. I would never let anyone in except for a few close friends. I loved no one and no one loved me, because I didn’t know what that meant, and certainly didn’t know what it looked like, felt like, or even behaved like. Anything I found to be lovable was taken from me and destroyed, and any joy inside of me, was taken with it. I was like an empty vessel living like a robot and couldn’t wait for the next high school farm project, desert party, or ditch day to come so I could just get away from it all. Abandonment held its privileges and I had them all.
Making sense of this nonsense takes time to unravel when one has been abused or in bad relationship patterns most of their life, especially from traumatic events and experiences. Commitment has so many faces and comes in so many shapes and sizes for people. Those who suffer from commitment phobia, as it can be called, can sometimes be seen as having anxiety around those who wish to want a commitment in relationships. Deprogramming our brains from the tapes we learned when we were younger is possible. Yet, we must want it more than what we have now or it will never happen. It’s a mental choice and one you can make today! 🙂
Positive self-talk is a great way to start in approaching how to disarm the distorted mirror we see vs what is really looking back at us in the mirror. Our minds have been brainwashed and relearning how to control it is going to take time, yet it can be done with gentle, loving patience. Gentle therapy is important. If you have a significant other to support you in this endeavor, that would be best for maximum results. Trusting yourself in this process is a highly beneficial goal to establish. YOU are fully in CONTROL of YOU! Choose wisely…?
The Causes of Commitment Phobia (Psych Central)
The causes of commitment phobia are as varied as the people who suffer from it. Typically, however, many people with commitment issues have complained of having experienced poor romantic relationships, either first-hand or through observation of others (such as their parents’ acrimonious relationship or divorce while growing up). Other common causes of commitment phobia may include:
- Fear of, or having had, the relationship end without notice or signs
- Fear of not being in the “right” relationship
- Fear of, or having been in, an unhealthy relationship (characterized by abandonment, infidelity, abuse, etc.)
- Trust issues because of past hurts by those close to the person
- Childhood trauma or abuse
- Unmet childhood needs or attachment issues
- Complicated family dynamics while growing up
How to Help One’s Fear of Relationships
No matter what the specific cause of commitment phobia, it can be helped. A person who suffers from relationship anxiety doesn’t have to suffer from it their entire lives. There is help, but a person needs to want to change and find a way to overcome their relationship anxiety. It cannot be done by others.
There are many strategies to help someone with commitment phobia, depending on the severity of the anxiety. If it’s so severe it’s preventing one from even considering dating, much less finding the person of their dreams, then it may be time to seek out psychotherapy. A trained therapist who’s experienced in working with people with commitment issues can help a person understand the cognitive distortions they’re telling themselves, and how to turn them around.
4. LIVING ON THE EDGE
In living on the edge in an abusive household, I was always anxious, not knowing when I came home if I was going to be yelled at, beaten with the belt, or timed out outside under the carport with my arms above my head for hours in the Arizona heat. Usually, it was for something I had forgotten to do before I left that morning, or if there was something wrong with a chore that was not completed perfectly, or my bedroom wasn’t cleaned before leaving that day. It could be anything. Living in a place of abuse was very exhausting, draining, and a never ending drama. I hated dinner time because no one was allowed to talk unless we put a hand up and was called upon. And, if we spoke out of order, dad’s fists would come crashing down on the table and he would yell so loud at us and tell us to sit there until we were done with our food without saying a word. It was always silent at the table, and I was usually the last person to be excused, since I would never eat anything and wait for the dog to lick my plate clean.
Being hypervigilant around someone or many people where one lives is a constant source of drain on one’s emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and psychological chakras. The anatomy of the spirit is very interconnected, so when one is altered negatively, all of them are impacted in a negative way. Just as when someone experiences Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), being impacted over and over again by the same abuse causes the brain and body to experience certain triggers generated for survival. These triggers could be that of a loud object or squeaky door from the past, which causes the mind to go into a panic attack, become anxious or suddenly paralyzes them into flight or fight response due to the mind’s recall of some horrific memory. The body and mind responds in a synergistic pattern, as if it were there at the scene of the trauma once again, feeling the effects for the first time. These survival mechanisms were in place for a reason, yet can now be more controlled in order to live your life more abundantly.
When the body is in harmony, all chakras move fluidly together. Choosing ways to maintain control of anxiety and PTSD is possible. There is nothing wrong with you! That is the first thing you must tell yourself! People who have been through trauma or abuse tend to feel they have done something to deserve these powerful displays of negative response systems that interact with their body’s web and flow. When in truth, something was done TO YOU. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT!! AND, EVERYTHING TO BE HAPPY ABOUT!!
You are finally seeking a place of peace, tranquility, and joy, where boundaries for your life can be made. Before this, everything had been out-of-your control. If no one taught you boundaries, how to say “NO”, or, what it looked like to have a smooth transition when you moved, got divorced, had children, got married, or tried to develop a relationship. Nor, has any of these behaviors been role modeled to you. Thus, you stand to be awakened to a large amount of learning. Opening yourself up to growth, being in control of your life, risking with boundaries, and understanding what “no,” means, and how to say it, is truly an opportunity of a lifetime. It is a challenge to step up and choose to evolve and want to make change, especially when its uncomfortable, difficult, and time consuming. Yet, choosing this glowing path is choice only you can make . Some options to jump start this are beginning yoga and meditation classes, so your mind begins to relearn the process of relaxation, rejuvenation, and how to recharge itself with soft, kind, words. This is a gift to healing yourself. Only YOU can choose to begin this journey… I can help you get started if you seek this opportunity so you, too can feel the glow.?
5. PEOPLE PLEASERS
I used to call myself a people pleaser. I fit the label so perfectly, and modeled my mother’s behavior exactly, brilliantly, and perfectly. I never knew what this meant, a people pleaser until Kevin Lehman wrote
a book on it called, “The Pleasers: Women Who Can’t Say No.” Whoa! What an eye opener for me! That changed everything, until I got married, had two brain injuries, and then suffered through narcissistic employers and relationships. It seems when your luck is down, so is your self-esteem, self-confidence, and any self-respect. The energy signals you send out are neediness, and you lack the power you had when you were high on the mountain delegating orders to save planet earth. I was that person. God help me if it ever happens again…
You see, as children, we were conditioned to perform certain tasks at home and school for our parents. If we were from families of abusive, controlling parents and didn’t meet the standards expected of us, our parents would hold back love through excessive displays of unkind gestures, behaviors, physical, emotional or mental abuse. Thus, the only way to get love was to be obedient and meet their unachievable expectations…perfectionism! Eventually, as children, knowing our emotions were unacceptable, we began to repress them. Unfortunately, these feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety, guilt, shame, and rejection from this lack of love, eventually became feelings we could no longer recognize as feelings of our own accord. This lack of understanding is where it becomes rather complicated, because as we grew into adults, and the people pleasing behaviors grew with us.
These distorted behaviors blossomed in every aspect of our lives, during our working careers, personal friendships, and loving relationships. We struggled in all these areas in learning how to set boundaries, saying, “NO,” and being realistic in what we take on for work tasks, home chores, and community memberships. People pleasers fail miserably in these areas because they never learned their boundaries, their voice, their power, nor their space when growing up due to their parents’ abusive patterns of behavior.
In loving relationships, its quite easy for a people pleaser to connect and gravitate toward a narcissist because of the power they hold over them. Since people pleasers tend to want to glean approval from whomever their with, especially when they’re in a relationship, the union of a people pleaser with a narcissist seems to be perfect, but only on paper…
Commonalities Between People-Pleasers and Narcissists
Priorities. Narcissists think of themselves first and very little of others; people pleasers think of others and very little of themselves. Both however believe that their way of prioritizing is right. It is not. The neglect of others (narcissism) is selfish and causes unnecessary distance, confrontation and lack of intimacy. The neglect of self (people pleasing) creates unwanted exhaustion, increased anxiety and also contributes to a lack of intimacy. Without a balance of self and others, a person cannot be fully intimate.
Rescuing. Narcissists and people pleasers love to rescue others however, they do it for very different reasons. Narcissists gain a sense of superiority from saving others because they were able to solve something the other person could not do on their own. In exchange for the help, narcissists demand unending loyalty. People pleasers gain a natural high from the same act as they love to feel needed. This strokes their ego and impression of self as a selfless person. In exchange, people pleasers expect friendship.
Admiration. This is the key to both personalities: the need to be admired by others. Narcissists believe they should be adored because of their expertise, superiority, beauty, intelligence, or accomplishments. It does not matter if they have achieved anything special, narcissists believe they are above others and deserve constant admiration. The term people pleasers defines the essential need for satisfying others and seeking their approval. Without admiration, people pleasers and narcissists become starved usually resulting in an emotional explosion.
Affection. Affection is not intimacy. Sex is not intimacy. Affection is not sex. However, narcissists and people pleasers are unable to make these distinctions. They see all three as the same thing. Affection is showing tenderness, kindness, and gentleness towards another person. Sex is a physical act which is designed to bring pleasure to both parties. Intimacy is a deep connection between two people where they are equally transparent with one another. Narcissists and people pleasers crave affection but are frequently willing to settle for sex. Often the sex is one way: narcissists seek to satisfy themselves and aren’t concerned with pleasing others. People pleasers want to satisfy the other person and sacrifice themselves. Neither are comfortable being transparent with another person.
Control. Both parties have control issues. Narcissists control through demands, manipulation, and abuse. They are often very aggressive about insisting on their own way and expecting others to fall in line because they said so. Controlling others feeds their self righteous ego. Because people pleasers cannot be seen as aggressive or assertive, they often use others ways to control such as guilt trips, excessive kindness or passive-aggressive behavior. They are masters at concealing the need to control through niceness. But they must control others as well to feed the desire to be liked by everyone.
Unforgiveness. Narcissists won’t ask for forgiveness instead they expect others to make excuses for their poor behavior. They also don’t grant forgiveness to others, even for the same offense, and instead tend to be very vindictive. People pleasers grant forgiveness without being asked and ask for forgiveness even when it is not their fault. However, they are unwilling to forgive themselves for similar offenses. This unequal scale for both the narcissist and people pleaser stem from a belief that they are different then everyone else. The narcissist believes they are better and the people pleaser believes they not worthy.
Understanding the similarities between narcissism and people pleasing helps to comprehend the strong and powerful attraction. In each of the mentioned areas, they feed off each other in unhealthy ways and reinforce the dysfunction
Some people pleasers can benefit from working with therapists to break out of this pattern, whereas others prefer simply to break out of it on their own, or perhaps with the support of a trusted friend or a supportive partner. If you are serious about achieving this particular goal below are some steps you may want to take.
- Recognize and admit that excessive people pleasing is a problem in your life.
- Make a decision to start expressing your needs to everyone in your life in a clear, concise, articulate manner.
- Practice articulating your needs with someone who is non-threatening (a therapist, a trusted friend or colleague, an understanding partner).
- Understand that confrontation need not be a negative thing. Indeed, if it is handled well, and with a little finesse, a healthy confrontation can actually lead to better, more honest communication.
- If you currently gravitate toward friends, bosses, and/or romantic partners who have overly dominant, controlling personalities, consider befriending people who do not possess these personality traits, because such people are bound to trigger your old people-pleasing tendencies.
- Remind yourself that it is perfectly acceptable to disagree with other people. You don’t have to be anyone’s “Yes-man” or “Yes-woman.” In fact, you will command greater respect from just about everyone you know as soon as you start expressing your honest, heartfelt feelings and opinions, whether or not others agree with you.
- And speaking of your opinions, you will need to spend a considerable amount of time and energy actively exploring and learning how to fully experience and articulate your own thoughts and feelings. After all, you have worked very hard to suppress your true feelings all these years, so it will take a while to get reacquainted with them now that you are working on leaving your people-pleasing behavior behind you for good.
?My Beautiful Souls, this ends the relearning of new thriving skills to our old survival skills of the past. It is, after all, our destination of a lifetime to become new again. Some of us may have shorter time spans than others to renew our habits, behaviors, and mindsets. It is not an easy choice to change old habits, as they die hard. Childhood survival was for a purpose, and whenever anyone is abused or traumatized, the experience and memories takes time for healing to transpire, for forgiveness to be welcomed, and for the glow to enter in…? I am in no way an expert on any of these transformations, renewals, or revelations. I have, however, worked very hard in trying to change many of my negative behaviors learned from childhood experiences to ones that benefit me in positive directions during my work, my friendships, and in upcoming relationships. I wish all of you a time of healing as you move forward in surmounting these momentous revelations when choosing a life of health, peace, and glow.
Wishing you all a memorable Memorial Day Weekend. If you find yourself alone, and need to talk, please let me know so I can support you during your struggles. I am happy to assist in your journey as your life coach as you work to reach whatever goals you decide you wish to accomplish. No star is ever out of reach.? We can reach it together if you let me assist you…?
?In Love and Light,
Kimberly Lees, Ed.D.
- Religion and the Rise of the Second Ku Klux Klan 1915-1922
- Hypervigilance: A Symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- The 7 Chakras for Beginners
- The Dangerous Downsides of Perfectionism
- What is Commitment Phobia and Relationship Anxiety?
- How to Break Free From Self-Sabotaging People Pleasing Habits in Your Relationships
- What Narcissists and People Pleasers Have in Common
- The Narcissist and the People Pleaser (King Photo)