Reflect

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  1. do you ever say yes when you mean noMost of us want to believe we are good people, honest at heart and a source of love and support for those important people in our lives. The truth we have to face when we start to look more deeply is that in many ways we aren’t as honest as we would like to be.

    Take it a step further…when I first began to look into my shadow I realized just how manipulative I could be. Now I am no professional trickster believe me you can read my facial expressions like a book, but I am the kind of person who wants to make people feel good. That means I used to go out of my way to help people, I wanted to be seen as the good girl, dependable and positive. It meant I would often say “yes” when inside I was saying “NO!” it meant I would often put other people’s needs first before my own…maybe this sounds familiar? Have you ever been a people pleaser too?

    Now there is nothing wrong with be being helpful but there is something wrong in overstepping boundaries, your own or other people’s and lying to ourselves and others about how we really feel about doing something. Let me explain the subtlety of why…

    When we help out of a need in us, perhaps it is the way we get love and appreciation in life, it means our intention is not totally pure and even if it is subconscious other people pick up on this and don’t receive your “help” so well. Quite often I noticed I used to attach subtle conditions to my help as well, I do this thing for a person and keep a score, they owed me, so my help wasn’t given unconditionally, it was never spoken about, but the energy meant the other person would feel it.

    sunset blossomWhen we help others, we are also assuming they can’t help themselves and even that they aren’t able to ask for help when they need it. This assumption, where we put ourselves in the role of the savior, disempowers people and means we can easily slip into a cycle of dependency. It isn’t healthy for either party in the long run, it is a short-term fix that makes everyone’s egos feel better until they need the next injection of love or appreciation.

    So how do we break the people pleasing cycle?

    Firstly, stop assuming people need help and you are the person to give it. Change your perspective to one of trust and respect for everyone around you. And I mean everyone, your kids, your parents, your friends and neighbors. When we put people in an empowered frame, just that shift in energy can help others move into a place of their own power. If you perceive someone might need help you can ask instead “what support do you need right now?”, then follow their request, it carries a totally different energy.

    Secondly listen to your own needs first.  You can’t fill the cup of others from a cup that is empty. It is ok to say “yes I can help you and I can do it on Wednesday” rather than dropping everything for someone instantly. When we drop our own plans what we are actually telling our inner child is you don’t matter, what you need is not important and it keeps us in a place of needing love from outside of ourselves. Check in first…do I have the energy to really give unconditionally to this person right now? If any part of you is doubt don’t do it right away give yourself space to consider your needs first. Fill your cup. Give as it spills over not before.

    Thirdly get honest with yourself about why you like helping others. We all lack love and appreciation in our lives sometimes, and that is ok. You can ask for what you really need, maybe it is a hug or a kind word or some admiration from someone. You can also acknowledge the f*ck out of yourself “I am utterly amazing I just got all this done and cooked a healthy dinner for my family, hell yes! Go me! I rock!”. The more you are your own saviour, your own source of love and appreciation the less you will feel the need to have others rely on you so you feel good.

    I am not saying these steps are easy but every time you break the people pleaser cycle you empower yourself and those around you. Your break the chains of ancestral neediness that bind us unhealthily to one another and mean our sovereign selves cannot be seen. Be brave today and please yourself, I promise you are not being selfish you are being honest and better still as all our cups start to overflow we all get to share in the happiness, empowerment and trust that creates between us.

  2. do you ever avoid how you really feel

    Don’t worry it is something many of us do! However, in that moment when something uncomfortable bubbles up for us, we often push it aside or deny it saying “no, no I’m fine” when our truth is very different and that is where the trouble can begin.

    Physiologically any emotion unexpressed stays trapped in the body. Emotions are “energy in motion” and when we stop them moving inside us, avoid and hold them in, we live with the consequences. Many ancient traditions recognise this fact, unexpressed emotion overtime grows into pain, stiffness and disease.

    Let me share with you how I found my way out of what I believe can become a destructive pattern…

    I realised about 10 years ago I had become a master of repressing how I felt and had actively chosen this for myself. It was triggered when my dad left home when I was 14 years old, as I was the oldest of four children, I felt I had to be strong, especially as my mum was devastated. I decided to bury my own feelings, it was all too much to handle and I built three rock solid allies to avoid how I truly felt.

    Firstly, I distracted myself with achieving, at the time it was school grades, but later it became the next promotion, the next pay rise, buying a house, a car, you get the idea!

    Secondly, I found escape when I wasn’t working in substances, chocolate and alcohol, which led to sex being added into that mix. The chemicals either masked or overcompensated for my emotions but overtime these sticking plaster responses stop working and pretty quickly gave me other problems to deal with.

    My third ally was taking care of others, always being the strong one, the advisor, the calm stable one who was there for everyone else. Nice distraction from what was really happening on the inside within me!

    Most people play out these avoidance patterns in some way and perhaps you recognise some of this in yourself?

    8uB5kFKWWkkThe difficulty we face of course is that these coping mechanisms, while getting you through the really tough bit, if you allow them to become how you live, start to bite back. Your health suffers, I certainly put on a ton of weight and needed physio for the injuries I caused myself using a laptop for too many hours a day for decades. I hit my physical low at 30, thankfully the wake up call I got then of my joints being under so much pressure walking was painful triggered me to seek out answers that no one was giving me at the time.

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    Now my path to healing took me down the long road but yours doesn’t have to. The biggest thing I wish someone had told me and I had really believed sooner was that saying exactly how you feel, being radically honest, is not only the key, it saves you and everyone around you, a hell load of time, energy and heartache!

    Imagine for one second just how liberating it would be if you dropped all your overly polite bs manners and just said what you felt. “I feel shit today because…” “I am feeling really fucking angry because…” “I feel really sad right now because…”. You can master how to do this as a way of authentically expressing yourself and make sure those you are expressing to don’t feel lashed out at. The difference is taking responsibility for those feelings and knowing while that energy in motion in our body is real how we put it out into the world is our choice.

    Dqx4XWuXu7wThe brilliant thing is once you get the hang of this your world starts shifting. Mine did. My old feeling avoidance allies started to hang out with me less frequently. I simply didn’t need them anymore and putting me and my feelings first gave other people the permission to do the same. And my body also started to respond because it wasn’t weighed down by old stuck emotions anymore. And yours will too.

    So today I invite you to get bold, and when someone asks you the question “How are you?” don’t brush it off with the usual reply. Take a deep breath and honour the question with a real answer.

    I promise you that you will be amazed how much better you will feel and how you will connect at a new level with the person asking.

    So, how are you today? Post below and be radically honest! Let’s hear your truth…