“The art of living lies not in eliminating but in growing with troubles.” ~ Bernard M. Baruch
“How can I get this pain to go away?”
This is often what clients who seek my help ask me in a first session. Because they have never learned to manage and learn from their pain, they want to avoid it, eliminate it – find a way to hide from it.
The problem is that they have been unsuccessfully hiding from their pain for years by abandoning themselves – by staying focused in their head rather than their body, hoping that if they avoid feeling their feelings, the feelings will go away. They have been judging their feelings and turning to various addictions for the same reason.
When trouble comes, which it inevitably does, they intensify their avoidance of their feelings. Continue reading Are You Hiding?
Do you believe that feelings of abandonment are coming from others abandoning you – or do they come from self-abandonment?
When we think about abandonment, we generally think about being left by someone. But abandonment is about leaving someone we are responsible
for – a child or an old or sick person who cannot take care of themselves and whom we have agreed to take care of.
As a healthy adult, another adult can leave you, but they cannot abandon you, since they likely have not agreed to be responsible for you.
It might seem strange to you, but, as a healthy adult, when you feel abandoned by someone, it is not actually about them. It is about having abandoned yourself.
Most people don’t think about how they abandon themselves because they don’t recognize that they are responsible for themselves – physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, relationally and organizationally. Continue reading Are You Abandoning Yourself?
Breaking down keeps you stuck, while breaking open allows you to discover the power within yourself.
“Something I didn’t want to happen, happens. I feel the resistance build within. I feel the pressure to control what is obviously out of my control. I become aware of what I’m doing—I become aware of the choice either to break down or to break open.”
Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open,
How aware are you that when bad things happen or something that you didn’t want to happen, happens, you have a choice of whether to break down or break open? This is what Elizabeth Lesser’s book, Broken Open, is about. It’s about using all our challenging life situations to open, on deeper and deeper levels, to our true, core essential selves. Unfortunately, many people do the opposite when deeply challenged—they numb and hide and avoid. They are afraid that if they let themselves break open to their deeper, spiritual selves, they will not be able to handle the painful feelings of heartbreak, loneliness, grief and helplessness over others and circumstances. Continue reading Breaking Down or Breaking Open
Do you want to experience intimacy and connection with others, and the joy and aliveness that this offers? You need to start by learning how to love yourself, rather than abandon yourself.
“Intimacy begins with oneself. It does no good to try to find intimacy with friends, lovers, and family if you are starting out from alienation and division within yourself.” – Thomas Moore, author, Care of the Soul
Most of us would love to have intimacy and connection in our lives, yet we often find this elusive. Why?
Thomas Moore puts it in a nutshell. Until we are intimate and connected with ourselves, we cannot experience the greatest joy in life – intimacy and connection with others.
The question becomes: what causes alienation and division within yourself? Just one thing – self-abandonment.
To understand self-abandonment, let’s take an analogy. Let’s say you have a small child who comes to you upset or crying. There are four major ways you can abandon this child: Continue reading Intimacy and Connection – The Aliveness of Life
A member of our website asked this question in our advice section:
I’ve read several of the articles on the site, but have not seen anything mentioned about “chasing” after someone who is pulling away in a relationship. That has to be a form of protection against deeper feelings, though, right? If someone is pulling away and the urge to chase after them comes up, what is the best thing to do in this situation? Thanks!
I know exactly what this woman is going through, as I used to go through the same thing. When a man I felt connected to would withdraw, shut down, or pull away in any way, I would feel a sense of panic. In my panic, I would convince myself that by being a certain way – attractive enough, sexy enough, nice enough, right enough, or convincing enough – I could get him to reconnect with me. Continue reading Do You Chase When Someone Withdraws?