The importance of doing your inner work

Written by Amie on June 23, 2015 – 12:21 pm -

Today I will show myself love, I will nurture myself

I feel so good today! Yesterday I went back and forth with someone I have been estranged from for over two years. Each time I responded, I asked myself why I was engaging with her toxic words. I had to really process why I was allowing myself to get sucked into her nonsense. Today I figured it out, and I feel a weight has lifted from me. I am ready to move on again, another layer of old emotional baggage released. It makes me want to celebrate! I am not celebrating the loss of this person in my life, because I do wish we could have a healthy relationship. It just isn’t possible right now. Instead, I’m celebrating the release of old emotional energy that was stuck in my body. Actually, I will be doing my own little ceremony later today with a ritual of releasing. Rituals are so helpful for me. Today I will show myself love, I will nurture myself. I will be there for me.

I can’t stop their suffering, only they can

So, what did I learn from this unhealthy exchange? Many things. First, I learned that, I have truly absorbed the message that it is okay, in fact it is my right, to be happy, EVEN IF other people are not happy, even if they are miserable. I have a right to happiness. I do not owe anybody a piece of my life by trying to help them be happy. If someone close to me is unhappy, it is NOT my responsibility to try to fix them. Yesterdays exchange really solidified to me, that I am free from this burden! I feel it in my body, which tells me that place in me that used to take responsibility for others’ happiness is no longer there! WOOHOO!!!Every person is responsible for their own life. I can support them in their journey, but I can’t stop their suffering. Only they can.

They would rather blame, shame, accuse, bully,and give their toxic garbage to others

The second thing I learned is that there are so many people who refuse to take responsibility for their own behaviors, actions, beliefs,thoughts, and really own their life. They would rather blame, shame, accuse, bully,and give their toxic garbage to others. They will do everything in their power to avoid feeling their own truth.They might even hide behind their misplaced belief that if they just stay “positive”, or if they only focus on helping others, then this will make it so they don’t have to do their own inner work of looking at the sadness, the disappointment, the anger that lies underneath. They may even believe that if they were to look at their true feelings,then others might accuse them of focusing on the past. This isn’t true. In order to be free and happy and authentically emotional, we can’t skip the step of healing the wounds that linger within us. Some have more than others, some less. We are who we are because of our life experiences. I understand why many people avoid feeling their truth, they avoid going deeper within themselves.It can be a scary process. But in order to be free emotionally, which affects all aspects of who we are, we must look inside ourselves, and feel what is there.It is helpful to have a therapist if you have deep or traumatic wounds. Plus, it is helpful to have someone to process feelings with.

quote-what-you-think-of-me-is-none-of-my-business-terry-cole-whittaker-340604

Some people feel threatened when they see another person getting healthy

I learned that some people are afraid of therapy, or they have a warped idea of what therapy really is. Mainly I learned that therapy is threatening for some people. It is scary for them to consider getting in touch with their true inner feelings. It is too scary for them to imagine sharing their inner feelings with someone, so instead they condemn people who choose therapy. They even go as far as trying to bully a person to convince them therapy is bad, the therapist only wants your money, the therapist doesn’t care about you, etc.(a side note is that I feel it is extremely important to interview therapists and find one that has done their own emotional work. Therapists and counselors can truly only help a person if they too, have done their own work) It is quite obvious to see the real feelings beneath this dysfunctional behavior. Some people feel threatened when they see another person getting healthy. They may feel threatened by the person going to therapy because when a person or people in a group start getting healthy, all other group members feel the change, and they don’t like it. The dysfunctional way that has always worked is shifting, so when some members are not willing to grow, they don’t want others to grow either. It felt really good to be able to separate my truth from theirs. Reading their hate filled words made it so obvious to me that they are truly suffering, and I am not responsible for their suffering!

It is not my job to try to convince someone to help themselves

This is the most important thing I learned; that it is not my job to try to convince someone to help themselves. If they ask for my help, of course I would support them and help them. This isn’t what I’m talking about. Over the last few years, I have been learning how to separate myself from others feelings. I am a person who is able to feel others’ emotions, and before I knew this about myself, I would take on their emotions as if they were mine. Now that I know this about myself, I do things to protect myself from others’ emotions. In the past I would always see the pain and suffering underneath toxic behavior, and then I would excuse this behavior by telling myself, “but they are a good person underneath.” This may be a true statement, most people are good people underneath their unhealthy behaviors. HOWEVER, this does not ever excuse people who treat others badly. EVER. So, what finally sunk in after all of these toxic exchanges yesterday, is that it is not my job to help this person see the goodness in herself, (she doesn’t want help seeing that). It is not my job to show her the underlying pain she is avoiding feeling when she is spewing mean and hateful words at me. It is not my job to overlook her behavior by saying, “but shes a good person.” It is her job. It is her responsibility. It is her life. She has to do the work in order to heal the pain inside herself. I am free.

It also gives them a ticket to be a jerk

I will not excuse bad behavior on the premise that I feel sorry for her because she is in a lot of emotional pain. I felt sorry for her a small bit up until last night. And then the weight lifted. I no longer feel sorry for her because by feeling sorry for her, this gives away some of my own inner power. It also gives her a ticket to be a jerk. If I feel sorry for a person, it means I am not holding them accountable for their unhealthy behavior towards me, which in turn usually means I excuse the bad behavior, thus keeping the dysfunctional cycle going. I see now without a doubt that each of us has to do our own inner processing, and that deep wounds do not give us a free ticket to be mean and nasty to other people. If we want healthy relationships, we do the work to heal our wounds, without injuring others in the process. We may injure others because we are not perfect, but when this happens we acknowledge it and we take full responsibility. Take responsibility for your life, for your behavior, for your words. Be vulnerable. FEEL.

SO, please remember, your job is YOU. You take care of your emotional health, and don’t allow others to spew their emotional pain onto you in the form of telling you all of the things they think are wrong with you. (oftentimes the words they spew at you are actually the true words of how they feel about themselves) In order to heal our wounds, we have to take care of ourselves, protect ourselves from toxic behavior. You have a right to protect yourself from unhealthy people, even if they are blood related. It is your life, you get to choose how to live it. Nobody else. YOU.

 

 

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Healing & personal growth, Help with depression, Nurture yourself, Self-love | 2 Comments »

It is healthy to have wants and needs

Written by Amie on December 19, 2013 – 12:24 am -

being “picky” means I am alive and human and I have preferences!

I have written before about how we sometimes feel our needs are being dismissed. Since I am feeling this on a new level, I want to write about it in a deeper way. It hit me the other day that when a person is labeled “picky”, it is usually viewed as a negative trait. At least this is the way it has always felt to me. If someone called me picky, I felt a negative wave of energy or shame. (the same feeling as someone telling me I am too sensitive) As I began getting to know myself better, a clarity began to take shape. I began to feel annoyed rather than shame. Then I began to simply observe their words, knowing their words had more to do with their own feelings or wounds within themselves, than they did about me. I realized I am allowed to be “picky, AND being picky is a good thing! In fact, being picky means I am alive and human and I have preferences! This is normal!! It is healthy to express needs and preferences!!! When I was repressing my needs and preferences, I was not living!  I had no idea at the time!  All I knew was that if I didn’t express my needs, those around me seemed to be happier, so this made me feel safer. Meanwhile, I was sinking deeper and deeper into a black hole.  Being picky doesn’t mean I am a snob nor does it mean I am being unreasonable. Hearing the word “picky” the other day really opened up a new understanding inside me.

stop asking for “too much”

I quickly understood that the “definition” of  “picky” I was familiar with, was a very unhealthy definition. In my mind,  “picky” meant I was being a pain in the rear end, asking someone for far too much. To me, it meant that I thought I was more important than someone else, and that I was purposely trying to make someone else’s life more difficult. It meant that I actually thought I deserved to voice my opinion or preference about something! I quickly understood  that when a person living in a dysfunctional setting voices their needs, they are met with the message that tells them they are asking for too much or their needs are unreasonable . This message is meant to shut the person down so they will stop asking for “too much”.

I took back my power

This deep realization added a new perspective for me. A clear picture came to mind showing me how I learned to simply not have any needs! I associated having needs with being picky, asking for too much. When I started therapy years ago I didn’t even know I had needs! I knew I needed to eat, have clean clothes, a roof over my head etc, but other than that, I had no needs (that I was aware of). I truly did not allow myself to have needs other than the very basic needs. I shut off that part of me. The other day it really became clear as to how this pattern was set early in my life. As children we have the instinct to survive, and I wanted to survive! In order to survive in a dysfunctional setting, we must do whatever we can to cope and to survive. I learned that in order to survive, I had to become very low maintenance. The less I asked for and the less I needed, the easier things would be for me. This pattern stayed with me into adulthood. As an adult,  I began questioning everything about my life, and I began seeing how patterns such as this one, were no longer necessary. I took full responsibility for my life experiences, and I took back my power.  The minute I took responsibility for my life experiences, I was no longer a victim (this is probably another post about what exactly this means).

shaming my “pickiness”

Once I took responsibility, I began processing the patterns from childhood that were still affecting me as an adult, such as this pattern of repressing my needs, or shaming my “pickiness”. Once I began a deep introspection, I was able to see how I rarely asked anyone for help, I rarely showed that I was struggling, I rarely (probably never, actually) let on that I was miserable, I never showed  vulnerability. I went about my life telling myself I was “fine”. I am still amazed how deeply ingrained my belief was that I should not want or need anything. The way this manifested in my life was that I did a lot for other people, rarely allowing them to do anything for me. Also, when someone would ask me what I would like to do or what I prefer, my answer would almost always be, “I don’t care, whatever you want to do or whatever you prefer.” Inside myself I could *feel* the repercussions of my patented answers. I could feel anger and resentment starting to grow stronger, but it took awhile for me to really acknowledge and understand what was going on. It also took me awhile to *honor* my needs. I had to really begin to love myself so that I was able to *give* to myself. When I was living in self-hate, I turned the anger and resentment in on myself and blamed myself for being so “picky”. Now I clearly understand that being “picky” absolutely DOES NOT mean I am asking for too much and DOES NOT mean I am being unreasonable!

Getting to know the *real* me!

It has been quite a journey rediscovering my wants, my needs, and my preferences. I am learning new things about myself almost daily; music I had forgotten I loved, colors that make me feel happy that I learned to ignore, new foods I never tried because it was “easier” not to, activities I always wanted to try, new thoughts and beliefs about so many new things! It is like meeting a stranger some days! Getting to know the *real* me! I love when something really resonates in me and I cheer myself on to honor the need that arises. I listen to my needs, and I act on them! It feels so much better than just sitting back and letting life pass by. It feels so wonderful making room for all of my preferences! Go ahead…honor your needs, honor what is true for you. Take back your power and listen to that voice within that is guiding you! Trust, trust and trust again. It is hard sometimes, but it is so rewarding!

 

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Awareness, Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Nurture yourself, Self hate, Self-love | No Comments »
RSS