Tag Archives: pain

Teaching is a hard b’ness

Never a dull moment. What is it to have lunch to myself or with a colleague? Every free moment spent with students who have no access to resources many of us take for granted. Internet. A computer. You assume it. They look for the chance to access it. I work with some very poor students. These students need help getting meals. These students have been removed from their families by child services. I sometimes want to check out from the pain they are forced to feel….ALL THE TIME. I am there at lunch, at free periods, after school. I show them there is an adult who gives a shit about their success. I give up my life to make sure they have a future. I had my shot. Whatever I can do, I will. They cry to me. HELP ME! I find a way to help. I am more than a teacher. I am a parent, a counselor, a friend. All the people they never had. I have always fought for the underdog. I continue that fight. ALL my kids will have a voice. I AM FEARLESS. I know what it is to have no one listen. I have ears. I hear you. I will make sure your voice is heard. I am your advocate. I am a soldier. I am hope. You matter. I believe in you. Even when the darkness falls, look to me and you will find a lighted pathway. You are NOT alone.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

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Fly into the Light, Butterfly

Like a worm in a cocoon we are unaware of the transformation taking place until the moment we emerge a butterfly.

As the season that represents the hopes and dreams of the world is upon us once again, I find myself ¬†filled with a hope and joy in my life I haven’t felt since 2003. 12 years in the making. I nearly gave up many times. It has been a long journey; at times very painful. Nonetheless, I have finally arrived. Today, I realized it all at once.

I haven’t been on a solo travel adventure ¬†in some time. ¬†As I left my house this morning my luggage lightly packed to leave room for possibilities, I stood on my front porch and taking a deep breath I thought – you’re really happy aren’t you?

I am at peace. ¬†I finally care about something again. ¬†In my teaching, I have purpose. ¬†They help me be a better person and I help them too. I have great friends. I haven’t found that one special guy yet, but I’m enjoying dating 4 different men¬†of interest in the meanwhile ūüôā ¬†I make a good salary finally and found a way to make extra money and paid off all my student loans. ¬†I am debt free. ¬†In 3 months I took my 7th graders to great success in an engineering competition where they were 5 of only 12 students in two counties to be awarded “outstanding engineers” and have lunch with the Chief Scientist of NASA. My life is on the rise again after fighting in the trenches so long. 12 long years.

I’m estranged from my mother who left me on Mother’s day, yet to return again. I have made peace with her choice and learned there are some things you cannot control. ¬†One of those things is how people choose to behave and interact with the world. ¬†Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is to let them go. Many times she asked me to leave her life. I wasn’t listening. ¬†Now I hear loud and clear. ¬†At about the same time my ex-boyfriend had left and my pet of 16 years died. ¬†The timing of those two relationships ending was the peak of the tragedy over these 12 years. I spent much of the summer recovering from two big blows. I was really alone with myself once again.

After I came out of it all, I began to map out how I wanted the future to look. I became very clear on what I would and would not accept into my life. I thought a lot about what I wanted to focus on. ¬†I made a plan. I stayed focused. ¬†And you know what? I’ve been knocking it out of the park. ¬†My goals are from my soul so working towards them feels in harmony with who I am. ¬†When I FEEL that connection, I know I’m on the right path.

I also made the choice to have a serious talk with my doctor to manage a debilitating health concern when I finally couldn’t continue to have any quality of life¬†without beginning medication. It is something that no one knows about and I’ve kept private for a very long time.

“Coming out”, if you will, freed my soul and allowed me to accept the whole me. Walking into the sunlight helped me love myself better. ¬†In the end seeking treatment instead of suffering all these years was a great act of self-love. ¬†Everyday I am happy I made the choice and my only wish is that I had made it sooner. That conversation with my doctor saved my life.

So, now I head to the red rocks and sunshine of health-conscious Sedona to introduce myself to¬†the world of butterflies. ¬†A new beginning; surrounded by some of the best of natures’ creation, I will spread my¬†newborn¬†wings and fly towards that which brings joy, peace, and health. ¬†I look forward to witnessing¬†the vastness of the Grand Canyon and drinking in the elixer of possibility seeing both my smallness and my greatness at once.

As  I go into the new year, I have but one resolution Рto keep flying towards the light.

—- With love this holiday season from¬†aneternaltraveler ‚̧

Be Nice, dammit!

Being honest with yourself can be one of the hardest things you can do. The ability to see who you are and sit with it in peace is something I believe few of us acheive in our lifetimes. Most of us who do not sit on mountain tops, get glimpses now and then generally try to avoid the less than ideal stuff that comes up.wpid-img_991120245608510.jpeg

Recently, I was thinking about how difficult I find people. I really want to play well with others, but sometimes I am so completely overwhelmed by how toxic people can be. How much they are willing to hurt others for some perceived gain. It disheartens me. It is not as though we can walk away from every person like this. We have to work with them, live with them if they are family, associate with them if they are in an organization we volunteer.

I find myself often very depressed and anxious around these people. They suck the life out of everything and seriously decrease my creativity and joy. To make matters worse, they aren’t responsive to communicating about the problem and often try to blame it on you. It’s a real cespool of our worst human traits.

Personally, I have a hard time letting go of the feelings that arise from this because I feel trapped and uncomfortable. I don’t trust them and feel treated during our interactions. It plain sucks. To make a bad situation worse, it takes a hit on my self-esteem because I feel like a failure for not being able to handle the situation and create peace and harmony. I feel like the other person is saying, I don’t think you’re worth it to make things work. I feel resentful and angry then on top of helpless to advocate for change. A recipe for depression.

I’m curious to know if others have had similar experiences and at what they did.

For me, this one of the most challenging aspects of myself. I feel deeply, my skin is far thinner than people realize, and I have a hard time finding a way to positively interact with those who are unkind in this way. It eats me alive and I obsess over the “why!?!”

So I wondered if there are fellow empaths out there who have advice for me on not having it consume me.frustration

I suppose because it is considered unfashionable to “need” anyone nowadays, I have even tried to divorce myself from my own needs inside in romantic relationships. Fact is I’d like to have someone to take care of me. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one looking out for myself. I have tried to make due with unloving men telling myself I can give that to myself and I don’t need that. That’s bullshit! You need to have both if you’re in a relationship. I miss feeling the safety of another person I can count on besides myself.

Nowadays it seems like everyone considers the other disposable. It is as if people try to pretend they need less connection than they really do. We all try to act like we’re ok when we’re lonely as hell and desperate for connection. Fewer and fewer people want to risk their own vulnerability. They keep people at arms length with texting and chatting electronically, but won’t expect themselves to act with courage towards one another.

Once upon a time, before technology became our life line to others, people actually faced challenges and people head on. Yeah it was tough, but it built character. You learned, by doing, what you could handle and as time went on you actually grew as a person. We talked things out and took for granted we’d be together, so the only two options were to be miserable together or work it out together.

The problem now is that now people don’t make that assumption and so their relationship is always on the line. You CANNOT build a relationship with someone when you are always willing walk away during challenges. No one could relax in this situation. With the constant threat of it ending, both people are not all in or committed. It is like being in a relationship that doesn’t exist.

Maybe it is nostalgia clouding my memories, but I remember it being easier to be in a relationship and to work things out with people. Now I just find myself digusted most of the time with how people treat one another.

Thoughts? Advice?

The Hardest Thing

Sometimes you don’t get closure in the way that works best for you. ¬†Sometimes other people withhold it¬†because their bitterness¬†is their last connection to you. ¬†In the end, all heartbreaks are really personal journeys aren’t they? Even when you have your answers, you’re on your own to sort it out.

Blue Footed Boobies. Isla de Plata.
Blue Footed Boobies. Isla de Plata. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† “He sent you a text breakup and he’s still creepin’ on you?” ¬† “Guuuurl…that’s cold.”

After my boyfriend broke up our 1 year relationship via text message, I couldn’t bring myself to even respond for about 1 month. There are no words to describe the range of emotions I was feeling. As a result of a misunderstanding, I reached out to him to thank him for something I, mistakenly, thought he sent to me as an apology. That is when I realized I was blocked — from everything.

I was in shock and disbelief.  Did he send me the text and go balls against the wall total def-con 5 NO CONTACT? Did he really want to even keep me from responding?  And still after a whole month?

I’m not going to lie. ¬†I kind of lost it. ¬†I tried every form of communication I knew of to reach him. Multiple times. I couldn’t believe it was for real. ¬†I thought surely he would return a call or a message. Nope. Instead he found new places to block me. Nice. Who is this man? ¬†Then I find out he’s creepin’ my Facebook page and even tried to hack into it. ¬†Yet he refuses direct contact. Again I ask, Who is this man?

So there I was making a fool out of myself. All. By. Myself.

I’m a “why” person. Curious. Investigative. There is no surprise I became a scientist ūüôā I like to know answers to questions. I like to unravel cognitive dissonances. ¬†With this I got nothin’. ¬†Sure I have my theories, but ultimately I couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t bring himself to have even a conversation with me.

Basically, I have been making myself crazy with constant – Why? Why? Why?

It had to stop.  So today I did the hardest thing.  I left my last voicemail with the ball in his court to call. I walked away without answers.  This is my personal living hell. But I had to do it for me.

Even if a relationship needs to end, do yourself and your lover a favor, end it while preserving one another’s dignity.

Still seeking everlasting love
– aneternaltraveler

Crazy Bitch

This article was so good I had to pass it on. I wish I could take credit for writing it, because I seriously couldn’t have put into better words the damage that many men cause themselves and the women they hope to have in their lives. Please read, learn, do better and pass it on.
Thanks Dr. Nerdlove.

http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2012/07/labeling-women-crazy/all/1/

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Waiting for Closure: Don’t Put Your Life on Hold

When things end differently than we expect, especially when we’ve invested a lot, it can be really hard to move past the outcome. ¬†The phrase most often heard to describe this is “needing closure”. ¬†In some situations I believe closure can be achieved, in others not so much. Hanging on to getting it in these situations can put your whole life on hold. ¬†And you deserve better than that, don’t you think? ¬†I think you do ūüôā

I’ve recently extricategood intentions vs characterd myself out of a really bad relationship that I’ve been hanging onto for about 1 year. It was one of those situations where you keep thinking it will get better because it is “not so hard to fix”. You believe that he will move beyond making promises and finally take action. You think the meanness will stop. I began to hold on to the few moments of happiness in between the pain thinking that the 10% could become 90% if we talked enough. You start asking yourself what you’re doing to cause it or if you’re imagining things because it seems so unreal. I’ve never done such mental gymnastics to be in a relationship in all my life.

it's not personalHe claimed he was¬†here for me, but sabotaged every important moment in my life. He badmouthed me to his¬†family to the point that they hated me and then invited me to drive 6 hrs. to spend Thanksgiving with them. He caused drama in an attempt to come between my best friend. Then, he’d buy me expensive”I’m sorry” gifts¬†as if that should make it all better. He’d tell me how much he wanted to spend his life with me, but¬†could never manage to get past his selfishness to actually include someone else. ¬†As he often reminded me – “I just don’t think about you when you’re not around”. Nice. So, yeah he was here for me, but not in any way that you’d want to have someone around.

I just couldn’t understand how someone could be so consistently hurtful. ¬†It is, after all, so easy to be nice and kind. ¬†The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. ¬†Particularly if you really want to spend your life with someone. I took so much crap from this man. ¬†I didn’t like who I was around him. ¬† He put on a good show in front of friends and family, but in private, I rarely smiled, cried a lot, ¬†didn’t want to be intimate with him in any way. ¬†I was completely unclear why I stayed or invited him back again and again. ¬†Somehow he would always find a way back and it would always be worse the next time.

Finally he had done something so horrible to me while I was heavily turn the page or close the bookmedicated and sleeping, that I was done with giving out chances. But my mind still wanted answers for how someone could behave in such horrific ways. Why, why, why?

So, I wanted to share some thoughts with you that have been helping me move forward even though I have not gotten any answers or asked him to make sense of it for me.

First Lesson: Who Cares?wpid-20140625_161727.jpg
If¬†a person cares about you they¬†would never disrespect and humiliate you – EVER. If they do and you tell them and they don’t do better or feel remorse, this is a reflection of their¬†shitty character. ¬†It is not a judgement of who you are. People who care take care of you especially when you’re weak.

Second Lesson:  Invest Wisely
Sometimes we invest so heavily in someone that we feel we are owed a return on investment. But in fact, it is a lot like the stock market, there is NO guarantee. ¬†Also, there are some “stocks”, like men, that are simply better performers. ¬†They have shown what they’re made of over time. If I had taken his “portfolio” to¬†heart, I’d have walked away from a man who was a serial cheater during his entire marriage, who blamed his ex-wife for his unhappiness, and also bad-mouthed her to his family while never revealing his misdeeds at any time. ¬†After all he started to do the same things to me. ¬†Every time we’d have a fight he was out on the online dating websites trolling for new women to stroke his ego, he’d bad mouth me to his family, and told me that if he ever killed himself, it would be my fault because I make him so unhappy. ¬†Yeah. ¬†Sometimes, you have to cut your losses ladies and admit that you put your trust, time and energy in an undeserving man. Just walk away and learn something that will make you invest more wisely next time.

Third Lesson:¬† Where’s the Apology…the Explanation?
Waiting for the apology that never comes can be infuriating. It is kind of a waste¬†how much faith and belief I put into a man who has shown no integrity in his thoughts or deeds. ¬†Even though he’s let you down more times than you have fingers and toes to count on, frustrationyou hold out hope that he will care enough about you to¬†suddenly realize how “worth it” you are and rush in like a knight to prevent losing you. I assure you that you ARE worth it. He just is lacking the integrity present in decent human beings.¬†Think of yourself like a placeholder more than a significant person to him and it will make a lot more sense. Anyone who stands in that spot gets that treatment. Trust me, I wanted an explanation for his despicable behavior towards me. An account of how he could bring himself to commit a crime against me. An apology. I didn’t get any of that. Not for days after. Not now. Nothing except complete denial as he walked out and slammed the door at me crying in a heap on the floor. Used and discarded like trash. Good men just don’t do this. Period. ¬†


mean what you promiseIt takes time to get past all this sludge ¬†because we want our hurt, our experience to matter to the one who does the hurting. We want them to feel bad about making us feel bad. We want them to make good on their promises. It is normal and healthy for people to interact in a caring way about people they care about and most people are decent. ¬†For example, I hurt you. I apologize sincerely. I don’t do it again. ¬†You accept. ¬†We move on stronger and deeper. But some people really don’t give a shit about you or your needs or the fact that you are a person with feelings, let alone that you were in a relationship with them.

The thing is that the longer we hold on to our desire for “admission of wrongdoing” from the one who hurt us, the longer they are left in charge of our personal power. ¬†And nobody should have access to that wheel except you should they? No. They shouldn’t. So, let’s just take that back, shall we?

What we really want is to just feel better. We want all the yuckiness to clear out so that we can feel good again. It is more of an internal/emotional shift that we are looking for from another person.turning point

Luckily that is a gift we can give ourselves, much like forgiveness. We have to do it all the time really when you think about it. ¬† We know that the rest of the world, our coworkers, strangers, etc are not responsible for our feelings, right? So, if we apply that to relationship “closure” we don’t really need the other person to help us move on do we? No. We don’t ūüôā

I would say instead of trying to deny it or drink, drug, or shop your way out of it……

Do this instead: 

  • Just acknowledge that something sucky happened. Don’t pretend you’re not hurt just so you look all “together”. ¬†That’s just gonna mess you up for interacting with other humans. It doesn’t mean your weak, it means you’re human.
  • Get real about the feelings you have – name them. Are you sad, hurt, humiliated, betrayed, violated*. You get to decide what’s important and significant to you. ¬†Nobody else can tell you what’s real for you or how bad it hurts. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Resist the need for outside approval. You don’t need others to validate your feelings. ¬†Learn to accept and acknowledge your own state of being and consider it valuable. This way you can trust what you want and need for yourself. Use your own voice!
  • Learn something as you process¬†this¬†life moment. It¬†will help you make different decisions next time. Nobody’s perfect or has all the answers and that’s ok because we’re designed that way.
  • Finally, give yourself the gift of closure by honoring yourself, remembering you are awesome, and that sometimes other people really suck and that’s not got a darn thing to do with you.

-with love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

*If you feel that a crime has been committed against you, I would add to the list that you consider contacting authorities and taking appropriate legal action.

Think of Your Fear Like a Wet Suit

2013-2014As I go into the new year I’ve committed myself to an attitude of gratitude. However, that also means that there is a transitional phase from negative attitudes and mindsets that have to be managed. It’s a little like a corporate takeover. A lot of sorting out to do before it all settles down again. Oh how nice it would be to have my very own “Easy Button”!!

Today I noticed that I was feeling really tight in my chest and down in mood. I tried telling myself to stop it, but that didn’t work. Then, I tried closing my eyes and breathing, that didn’t work either. What gives??

As I searched for answers, I remembered what I wrote yesterday about using “LAG” as my new conflict management style and I thought, maybe this will work for conflict within me as well.

LAG is an acronym for a conflict management style I created to help me create the life I want to be living. It stands for these three steps in the process: “Lean-in”, “Accept”, “Go on”. I’ve started applying it to situations where I am in conflict with others and today I learned it could also be applied to internal conflict.

LAG: Step 1: When I “Leaned-in” to the feeling, my mind fought very hard to run away. It did not want to focus on the ill-feeling at all. I kept saying to myself, “Stay with it”. “You are safe”. I kept breathing in and out to stay calm. When I breathed in I said, “breathe in”. When I exhaled, I said, “breathe out”. That kept me better focused.

When I felt less flooded, I asked myself, “What are you feeling?” “How would you describe it in one word?” The answer came – “I feel rejected”.

I thought, ok. Now we’re on to something. The feeling has been identified. I had no idea until this moment how often I actually never knew what I was specifically feeling. It was just “bad” and I wanted to avoid it and get as quickly as possible to good. That’s all I knew.

It makes sense now why my internal conflict never got resolved as it arose. Negative feelings just kept building up until I began to feel helpless and hopeless in my life. I felt like a prisoner who was put on this earth to do her time. As if I were chosen to be unhappy, while others were chosen to have a fulfilling life. I have felt powerless in my own life for a really long time.

LAG: Step 2: “Acceptance” – I said to myself, “thank you for sharing that. I accept that you feel rejected. That must be very painful. How can I help?” Much nicer ūüôā

??????????????????????????????????????????????I waited a bit for an answer and then seemingly out of nowhere, an image of myself on a beach wearing a zippered wet suit popped into my head. The suit felt tight and constricting. My skin felt clammy. I could smell the salty air, hear the waves lapping onto the shoreline and felt the warmth of the sun on my face. I just stood there and took it all in for awhile.

A few moments later, a guiding voice spoke to me over my shoulder.

“What if I told you your pain of rejection could be removed at any time you chose?”I said, “Shoot. I’m all ears”. He said, “Unzip your wet suit and let it fall to the ground. Walk forward and feel the warm grains of sand between your toes. Look behind you and see your pain balled up and lying on the ground. You can pick it up anytime you want and suit back up or you can leave it there and go for a swim in the ocean and clean off all the residue that it left behind”.

LAG: Step 3: “Go On” – I decided to walk into the ocean and swim. It felt good to get the suit off. I kept swimming until all the residue was gone and I felt refreshed. I found myself smiling and laughing again. I felt lighter.

After taking myself through the process, I now understand why my initial attempts to deal with the feeling that arose didn’t calm me down. By flat out telling the feeling to STOP, I was completely ignoring and avoiding it. Then, with zero tolerance or acceptance, I wanted to flush it out with my breath without taking a moment to understand its purpose for being there. Very rude of me actually!

I looked back at the wet suit on the shore and thought about how I don’t have to wear outfits just because someone else thinks they suit me well and I can take them off at any time.

In more practical terms. Let’s say you are in fact being rejected by someone or a group of people. Do you have to feel ashamed of yourself and wear your feeling of rejection like a full body wet suit sponsored by, “THEY REJECT ME”? No, not really.

And here’s the kicker. You can still acknowledge to yourself that they reject you because they very likely may not like you or want you around. It happens.

You don’t have to treat yourself like a reject.

That’s where most of us end up in major pain. When we agree with another persons opinion of us, we are subconsciously feeling that other people know us better than we know ourselves. We give them permission to change us to become what they say we are, what they limit us to. This is the express lane to pain, depression & loss of self.

it's not personal

Instead, you can just accept that they do reject you and that it sucks.

Remind yourself that other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.¬†¬†YOU are not a failure because of this.

You are still that same awesome, talented, special person with so much to offer this world no matter what other people say.

People who try to make you feel bad about yourself are really unhappy people. Believe it or not, it is NOT personal at all. They are just showing you how bad they feel inside. Something in you reminds them of a quality they wish they had inside but they don’t know how to achieve it.

Pray for them. Acknowledge that they are in pain. But under no circumstances do you let what’s going on in them define who you are. It’s separate.

Instead of carrying their load as if it were your own, bless and release them.

You just may not currently be with a person or a group that honors your gifts in the best way. It’s just not a good fit. Focus your energy and talents on honoring yourself and surrounding yourself by people who do honor you.

You’re already good enough as yourself.

Happy New Year and lots of love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

In Search Of: Authenticity

 

There is such a vast outer world to discover that sometimes we can forget that so many of the great travel destinations are right inside of us in our inner world. In our search for answers, we should leave no stone unturned.

If we want to know our purpose, we have to get in touch with our authentic self.  Inside Out: Travel the World, Find Your Way Back is as much a journey to the see sights and wonders of the terra firma as it is the world within.

Sometimes the people we trust the most in our lives are the ones that keep us from staying in contact with our true selves.

Most of us feel insecure about something, but some people work so hard at hiding it that they create a false projection of themselves to hide behind. ¬†They “disown” the less¬†desirable¬†parts of themselves.

If you get too close to exposing the truth, they’ll flip the script and start accusing you of being all the ugly things that they feel about themselves inside.

It’s a bit like the “All Powerful Wizard” in the Wizard of Oz. A lot of smoke and mirrors and projections. ¬†But when you pull back the curtain you see that there is just a scared insecure little man.

Before we expose the “Great Oz” in our lives ¬†we can waste a lot of time trusting that someone else knows better than we do about our true nature. ¬†If these people happened to be your parents or romantic partners, it can be as devastating to reveal the truth as it is to endure the pain of being caught in this web of deceit.

As children we create dreams without boundaries.  We are innocent and unfiltered.  That kind of authenticity can make some adults feel threatened, even those who raise us.

Your beauty is like a constant spotlight on their shame and insecurity. Your¬†authenticity¬†reminds them that the¬†closest¬†they’ve ever come to that is a¬†projected¬†image (false self) and they want nothing more than to have the real thing.

So instead of facing their own pain they spend a lot of time insulting you in attempt to level the playing field.  They try to tear you down and transfer the ownership of their disowned parts onto you.

If you are a¬†sensitive¬†and empathetic person you’re even more likely to be targeted because you’ll actually seriously consider what people tell you and ¬†reflect on whether it may be true. ¬†Especially if you hear it from those you trust the most.

When you become convinced by their¬†opinion¬†of you, it can leave you feeling as though you’re deficient, broken, and unworthy, well into adulthood.

Your life becomes more about attempting to be good enough for others in hopes that someday you’ll get enough approval and confirmation that you are a successful person despite your inherent unworthiness. ¬†Unfortunately, this is a journey with no destination.

As a child we can’t just leave. ¬†We have to find a way to cope. ¬†Unfortunately, when we grow up we tend to keep coping the same way. ¬†So that even when we could walk away we don’t because we’ve learned how to stay, how to take the hits, how to second guess ourselves.

We’re often left with no clue about who we actually are since we’ve spent our lives being told instead of being given the freedom and the safety to explore that. As a result we find ourselves in friendships, work or romantic relationships that allow us to play a familiar role.

One of the biggest challenges for many people is coming to terms with the fact that they are playing a role in this.  Fact is, this dynamic can only exist with your participation.

For example, if we’re fighting their accusations, it says that we believe it enough on some level to defend ourselves. ¬†Otherwise, we wouldn’t even entertain it. ¬†We’d walk away or say goodbye.

As children we participate to survive, but as adults we have a choice. ¬†It is tough to even realize this if you’ve been raised with the mindset of a victim. You may not even know you’re allowed to take the wheel and choose the direction because no one taught you how to trust yourself and drive.

The good news is that the authentic you never really disappears, it just becomes hidden from view by a thick coat of other people’s disowned parts.

If you feel like you frequently experience a lot of inner conflict as if two parts of you are battling to the death it likely because you hold contradictory beliefs about yourself.  For example, you alternate between believing that you are a worthy person one minute and an unworthy one the next.

These contradictions cannot co-exist in you forever. At some point the internal pressure starts building up and it’s decision time. Something has got to give.

You’ll either give up and be convinced that you are worthless and live your life as a servant to the whims of others hoping to get in their good graces or you’ll ¬†unburden yourself from the emotional baggage you’ve carried for others, give it back to them, and live an authentic life in the driver’s seat as YOU!

In order to define success on our own terms and live an authentic life we must let go of what was never our burden to bear.  When we release that, our authentic self begins bubbling to the surface.

Get to know her/him again in all her/his awesomeness!  You may also find that you will stop participating in these toxic relationships in the same way.

Very often , people notice that when they stop complying to the whims of the toxic person, there are a lot more insults and/or silent treatment, bad-mouthing and smearing flying their way.

Believe it or not this is a good sign.  It means that the toxic person feels threatened that they may really lose you as a supply for their ego.  Remember in the past when they used these tactics, it worked and always brought you back to them.

Hold tight, you’ll make it through. ¬†And if at the end of it all the person no longer wishes to have you in their life, then you will have learned a lot of valuable lessons.

Authenticity will remove the people from your life that do not truly love you or have your best interests in mind. ¬†In healthy¬†relationships¬†each person is important. ¬†It is not parasitic; one person does not exist to feed/sustain the other. ¬†You’ll also make room for other loving and authentic people to come into your life.

Ultimately, you can continue being your sensitive and empathetic self, but with boundaries that don’t allow people who mistreat you the¬†privilege¬†of being a part of your life.

Authenticity means knowing, loving and accepting your true self.  When you respect your authentic self, other people will no longer define who you are.  You already know.

It has taken me a long time to realize this and as I break free and unburden myself, I find myself traveling more lightly through this world.