Category Archives: Uncategorized

Relationship Boundaries and Ego-Mates

Why is it so hard to find a soulmate?

Most of us are actually searching for egomates instead. We place the most limited
and unloving aspect of our minds in charge of our search for love, and
then wonder why we aren’t succeeding. To the degree that we identify
with this false sense of self, and operate on the basis of its limited point
of view, we aren’t looking for someone to love so much as recruiting
fellow actors to take on supporting roles in a favorite melodrama.

 

 

Diamonds, Stress, and Response

“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.”

If there’s one major lesson I’ve learned, it’s that I can’t always control what happens to me. However, if I can cultivate the awareness that I can choose how I want to respond, then I can create personal freedom.

It came as a complete revelation to me when I realized that it is not necessary to be held hostage by uncomfortable feelings. Instead, I can choose to step aside from them, and relate with compassion from a place of curiosity and warmth. But before that I need to be aware that the feeling is there. In other words, I cannot create meaningful change if I do not know what it is that needs to be changed.

Practice connecting with your own inner wisdom, because there is real freedom in this. Let inner wisdom be your beacon to letting things be what they really are, not what you may want or need them to be. We all have the power to be aware and to break free from the habitual ways of living that bind us to fear and self defeating knee-jerk reactions. I wholeheartedly believe this.

How do your emotions run your life? Does fear hold you back from engaging in things that could make you happy? Are there moments in your life where you shut down from communication because you feel overwhelmed or angry? Does shame keep you stuck in the same addictive cycles?

  1.      Recognize the feeling – You might even want to be on the lookout for it, calling it out when it’s there. Catch yourself in your negative self-talk. This immediately disengages you from the narrative network in your brain and gives the choice to step into the next step. Get curious about the feeling Give yourself the chance to do something different. Imagine that this feeling wasn’t good or bad, but just an arising sensation in your body. What is the texture of the feeling, the shape, and the size, does it have a color? In doing this, you’re training your mind that it doesn’t have to be so reactive to this feeling.
  2.      Wrap it in compassion and give it a loving hug – Imagine surrounding this feeling in a pool of warmth, a loving presence. Imagine this feeling is a wounded child and then see how you would relate.
  3.      You have a choice in how you relate to your feelings, choose this different response, and start to recognize that even though you can’t control what happens to you, you can control how you respond to it and this is how the path to freedom is paved.

 

Seize the Moment

(DIM) Developmental Integration Malfunction, or, Distraction Gone Wild

Recently I have been developing something I call (DIM), Developmental Integration Malfunction.

This occurs when one’s main drives are fueled by fear of rejection and its twin, need for acceptance. When a person experiences powerful rejections such as a job termination, or death of a loved one I have observed that he or she will display a lack of any genuine positive emotion. Of course, if such a person experiences this at an early age, elaborate defense mechanisms become integrated within the developing ego, the survival mechanism.

Often this is noticeable when in spite of the fact that one’s life is in a mess, and the individual is not happy, he or she maintains an iron-clad rational for everything. Fear is highly motivating and almost always will castrate one chances for fulfillment and love. Ultimately, it can cause a person to self-sabotage as fear drives such a person to live by default. What I mean by that is one moves away from feeling experience to looking at the experience cognitively and intellectually. This is not the same as feeling. Many so called “do-gooders” are overly obsessed with how they are perceived and the need to feel accepted. They have dodged their paths or purpose in favor of external distractions. Even when one’s personal and professional life comes crashing down, he or she persists in sidestepping with worn-out behaviors. This is my definition for “Developmental Integration Malfunction.”

When one is hurt and or traumatized emotionally, the common reaction is to protect oneself from future attacks. Deep trauma causes dysfunction of awareness. If left unchecked, much of one’s subsequent developmental behavior is designed to avoid personal feelings. It is ironic to me that this defense mechanism will rob a person’s quality of life thus creating meaninglessness and no fulfillment. Additionally, it is highly insidious. However, and like addiction, it is very effective at creating a sense of safety… for a while. As emotions attempt to move towards awareness, which is what they are designed to do, the individual with DIM, Developmental Integration Malfunction, requires progressive and more effective external distractions. Ultimately, the inner self is unknowable. The fortress is defended by a host of behaviors such as aggression, anger, obsessive behavior, co-dependency, depression, manipulating behaviors and lying, thus pulling the body away from self-awareness.

The cost of this to the individual is huge. The need for acceptance is born out of a fear of rejection. Without the cultivation of awareness, this individual cannot see or change the pattern. This leads to years of living an inauthentic life which is the foundation for failure. As he or she is sinking and recoiling to the bottom of the little pond he or she once felt was theirs to control, he or she commonly thinks that it is temporary.

There is nothing sudden or temporary about it. It is the natural result of years of self deceit and pushing away behaviors. The flow of emotions is the mechanism by which we connect the physical body with the sense of self. Without this function, the individual sets up a vicious cycle resulting ultimately in failure.

The cause of fear of rejection can stem from a range of experiences such as being teased as a child to the death of a loved one. It wreaks havoc in a person’s life at some point. Unfortunately, it is often not until everything falls apart, combined with his or her ability to accept that this has happened, that answers are sought.

The more one understands their fears the better he or she can learn to unravel their tiers of defensive behaviors and live a healthy life. Recovery and a joyful life are possible. I am living proof that all the abundance of life is yours for the asking.

Synapse and the Art of Relationship

Before I post Joyce Marter’s article, I just want to remind you that:

Evil is boring.
Cynicism is idiotic.
Fear is a bad habit.
Joy is fascinating.
Love is an act of heroic genius.
Receptivity is a superpower.

…now for relationship wisdom…

25 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationships at Work & Home
By JOYCE MARTER, LCPC

Smile. Put a smile on your face and in your eyes, voice and heart as often as possible.
Make eye contact. Look people openly, warmly and squarely in the eye.

Open your body language. While facing the person with whom you are talking, open your chest, your heart and your arms.

Address people by name. Honor people by calling them by name as you greet them, give them thanks, ask a question or bid them farewell.

Speak with a friendly tone. Warm your tone of voice with love and kindness.

Be present. Give your complete and undivided attention to others when they are speaking to you.

Express gratitude. Focus your attention on the goodness in others, verbalize all that you appreciate and give thanks.

Slow down. Breathe and gift yourself and others with time to properly address situations and transition from them.

Reflect empathy and compassion. Honor people’s emotional experiences. Normalize and validate their feelings so they feel heard, known and understood.

Have integrity. Keep your word. Do what you say you are going to do. Live according to your values.

Have good manners. Be polite, conscientious and gracious.

Demonstrate thoughtfulness. Get out of your own head and be of service to others. Consider their feelings and experiences.

Give genuine compliments. Tell others their strengths, give positive feedback and express what you admire about them.

Give salutations. Make the effort to open and close verbal and email interactions with a nice greeting or closure, rather than abruptly asking for something with neither a hello nor goodbye.

Be generous. Give and share whatever you can, whenever you can.

Be kind. Be the bigger person. Kindness is a choice.

Show compassion. Demonstrate self-compassion by cutting yourself some slack extend this same compassion to others. Let go of criticism.

Be patient. Breathe and breathe out. Patience is a virtue. There is great value staying in the present moment and not hurrying our minds or bodies onto the next task.

Demonstrate self-awareness. Consider how what you are saying will feel to them and how it will impact them. Notice the impact you have on others by paying attention to their facial expressions, tone and body language. Make adjustments accordingly.

Be truthful. The truth has different layers and sometimes the deepest layer is hurtful or inappropriate. Speak the truth from the deepest layer that is appropriate. Speak from a place of kindness.

Be reliable. Follow through with responsibilities and commitments with competency and effective communication.

Be forgiving. Each time somebody else makes a mistake it is an opportunity for you to extend kindness and compassion. Let go of resentments that keep you tethered to the past.

Apologize. We are human and nobody is perfect. When you make a mistake, make an amend or extend a sincere and timely apology.

Take responsibility. Drop the defensiveness and the excuses and accept responsibility for yourself, your actions and your behaviors.

Express love. Be open-minded and non-judgemental. Extend love to yourself and to others. Choose to be loving whenever possible—it is always possible.