* (This post was originally published on 15 October, 2015). *
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hiding. I feel like I’ve spent lifetimes hiding, out of some weird loyalty to old systems and structures that might just implode if the truth were to come out.
What is this ‘awful’ truth that might topple nations and destroy everything the collective has worked so hard to support? The truth is just how beautiful I am.
I am a shining, delicious beacon of pure light, planted in this human realm to spread that shit around. I am an aspect of God, Source, The Universe, The Heart of Creation, All that is, whatever you want to call it. I am pure LOVE, in its unadulterated, unconditional form, just waiting to be unleashed. And so are you.
It’s high time you claimed your beauty.
It is not dependent on the way your life might appear on the outside, or what your hair looks like on a given day.
It is not diminished by your lack of monetary wealth or the twenty extra pounds you’ve tried so hard to lose.
It is in no way affected by your religion, your upbringing, or all the ‘horrible’ things you’ve done to other people.
I know what it’s like to feel less than perfect. I am not even close to that illusion, and I’ve done some shit that has at times caused me to feel great shame. But I’m human, and I’m also more. I’m intuitive, I’m magical, and most days I feel so fucking happy to be alive that I could burst. Some days I also feel angry, sad or completely frustrated. And in that way I AM perfect.
I’m tired of hiding my beauty and my joy, or masking the truth of what I feel because in some back corner of my mind I believe it makes others more comfortable. This is an illusion, perpetuated by years of collective adherence to the masks that define ‘good people’ or ‘responsible citizens.’
We all get ‘there’ in the end, wherever there happens to be. Death, I suppose, and as we weigh our souls at the gates of eternity, is it truly how well we followed the rules that counts, or is it how boldly we expressed our beautiful truth?
Every aspect of you is an aspect of that beautiful truth. The joy, the passion, the magic, and the love, along with the debt, the failed relationships, the ’embarrassing’ drunken sex stories, the lack of motivation at your job or in any aspect of your life. They’re all part of you, all human experiences that are leading to some pretty cool stories when we get ‘there.’ And what a party we’ll have watching the movies and clips of our lives as they played out in weird and wonderful ways.
Why wait until we get there?
This dimension is riddled with ways to judge and shame others who don’t adhere to some preconceived collective notion. The Shift that’s been talked about for so long is about acceptance, first of yourself, and then turning that compassionate, accepting eye outwards. Allow people to show up exactly as they are, you first.
Just because something has been an accepted ‘truth’ for generations doesn’t make it THE truth. There is no such thing – it differs from person to person. What is it to be a ‘good’ human? Maybe to stop talking about what it means to be a good human and just BE. There is no field guide or how-to manual.
Express yourself whole-heartedly. Don’t be afraid to fail. Show up in all your sobby gut-wrenching glory. Show up in your manic joy. Wear make up or don’t wear make up. Work or don’t work. Vote or don’t vote. Use whatever words align with your souls’ expression, no matter how they feel for others. Love with every fibre of your being, whether or not that love is returned to you in the way you might have hoped.
Whichever choices align with you and your most powerful Self are the only choices you need to consider. Whatever feels beautiful is right, because it’s right for you.
I’m tired of hiding, and I’m tired of the judgement. I choose acceptance and to love my beauty as a whole being, as an expression of the perfect star being I am. I honour my human self as a divine conduit for the experiences I desired to grow as a soul. I honour the choices of all beings who are also divine reflections of their souls’ essences.
Believe in your beautiful truth and live it boldly, each and every day.
Is it really as easy as ABC? Good relationships don’t just happen, they take attention, maturity and a willingness to learn and grow.
Relationships are the ultimate mirrors, so it’s never all about the other person, but about what they may be reflecting to you, from within you. And you can choose what you reflect, especially if what you’re seeing is not what you think you want to see.
As you read through the list, consider if you embody the things you’d most like in a partner, and if not, is it fair to expect them to meet those needs in you? Consider whether a person looking at you would find the things on the list you’re most drawn to, and if not, see if you can begin to nurture them in you.
Keep in mind this list is from my own experiences. Your list may look very different. The great thing about all relationships is that they offer you fodder for your own list. Where have you had experiences in the past that weren’t so great? Instead of focussing on the ‘wrongness’ of them, remember how they taught you what you’d prefer.
Look to relationships of all types to provide feedback – friendships, work, intimate partners – where are you being shown room for growth? Where are you feeling especially fulfilled? How can you create balance for yourself?
Align with your Bliss
Acceptance – what does it mean to be fully accepted, right here, right now? It’s not easy to give it to someone else (or ask for it) unless you’re willing to first offer it to yourself. No matter what flaws you might imagine yourself to have that are keeping you from ‘perfection,’ just accept what is. Start where you are.
Alignment – your first priority is your alignment with your truth, just as anyone you are in relationship with has their own alignment as their first priority. Be clear on your needs and how to meet them, and create space to connect with your inner knowing on a regular basis.
Authenticity – to be fully seen, heard and loved takes courage, and requires authenticity. Give yourself the gift of showing up soul-level naked in the world, committing to yourself to be true to you. Sometimes this means not choosing certain relationships or making choices that are contrary to your partner’s. You can happily co-exist even when making different choices, as long as they are authentic to your inner knowing.
Beautiful – believe and trust in your own beauty. Express it honestly and authentically and it will be mirrored back to you. No one else can ‘make’ you feel beautiful if you don’t believe it first.
Bliss – follow your heart to the bliss that exists in you, and share it with the world. Don’t look for the world to provide you with it if you can’t first connect to it within. Be your own bliss generator!
Boundaries –the importance of boundaries cannot be stressed enough. All healthy relationships need boundaries. Only you know where yours are and how you choose to express and honour them. Allow them to be flexible enough to incorporate growth, but not to compromise them to invite abuse.
Commit to Conscious Change
Change – this is HUGE in relationships. Life is not static, and humans are not meant to remain in one spot, whether physically or energetically. You must be willing to be changed by your relationships with others, and be open to the changes they undergo. When someone you love changes, try not to hold them to the story of the person they were before, just because it feels more comfortable, or familiar.
Commitment – this is an interesting one, because the commitment you seek is actually not to one another but to your own alignment. What if you entered into a relationship with the commitment to each honour your expansion, no matter what that meant? It could mean that you are together for some time and then you discover you’ve both grown beyond the bounds of that particular connection. If you are committed to your own alignment and expansion, you honour that above the container of the relationship (which is a construct). It is not unloving to end a relationship if it is established with this at its core.
Consciousness – staying conscious means not numbing out when challenges arise, or escaping into old patterns and behaviours that soothe your wounds without addressing them. It means being courageous and facing your crap when it arises, no matter what the outcome. It means accountability, responsibility and maturity of thought, belief and action. It’s not easy, but it’s vital.
Courage – it takes enormous courage to engage intimately with another human being. To open your heart to love, potential pain and to feel seen on every level is truly an act of courage. Vulnerability is an act of extreme bravery that is underrated in our adrenaline-fuelled world. Honour yourself for trying, and trying again, and for believing in love.
Desire to dream
Desire – it makes sense to feel desire for your partner. Some people complain that their desire wanes after some time, but if you both commit to staying healthy and are passionate about your own interests and needs, you can keep desire burning for many years. Be spontaneous, invite surprise and mystery into your life, and stay connected to your own heart and soul. Take personal time if you need it, and give one another the space to pursue your individual passions, coming together to celebrate and share when you’ve filled your own cups.
Detachment – this may sound counterintuitive, but it is important to remain somewhat detached in a healthy relationship. Taking on the other person’s wounds or needs as your own is a sure way to lose yourself in a connection. Trust that if you are each connected to your own higher wisdom, the connection you share will remain strong. Trust each other enough to ask for help when you need it, and to work through some things on your own.
Dreams – it’s important to dream. Make your dreams as big and as bold as you can. Dreaming together opens you up to deeper intimacy, as you share your desires and wishes and then create ways to make them happen. You can work towards them together, creating an action plan and designing fun, collaborative ways to complete each step. Your dreams don’t have to mesh with your partner; they are the whispers of your soul. That doesn’t mean you can’t share the joy of exploring and celebrating them with someone you love.
Empathy and Freedom
Ego – a healthy ego is a filter that provides your unique perspective on life. Unhealthy ego hijacks your inner knowing and tries to impose its desires (often rooted in fear) on everyone around you. Learn to work with your ego as an aspect of your whole being, not for your ego. You’ll find it easier to surrender to the flow of life and the beautiful surprises it presents.
Empathy – is the capacity to put yourself in another’s shoes, or feel what they might be feeling for a moment. It’s a great benefit in relationships, because it allows you to step out of your own stuff and meet another where they are. It doesn’t mean you lose yourself, because it can be easily accomplished while maintaining healthy boundaries. It does offer you an opportunity to see the others’ perspective from a place detached from your ego. You can disengage from any need to be ‘right’ and co-create solutions from a mutually-understood platform.
Fidelity – this will also vary from person to person, and within relationships. If you feel this is your top priority, be clear right from the start. You and your partner(s) may have different understandings of what the word means, so talk about it to decide what constitutes infidelity, if it’s important to you. Open and honest conversation is the place to start.
Flexibility – this goes along with compromise and openness. It helps to be willing to see and discuss different sides of every situation, and often contributes to enormous growth.
Freedom – this is one of the key elements of healthy relating. It means knowing that both you and your partner are free. It is about trusting your partner to honour and respect that freedom in a way that enhances and uplifts all involved.
Grow in Honesty and Humour
Genuine – are you courageous enough to be genuine? If you try to hide aspects of yourself from someone else, eventually the cracks will begin to show and it will cause distrust to grow. People can feel misalignments between words and actions, even if they’re not consciously aware of them.
Giving – it helps to be generous with giving your time and attention in a relationship. Love encompasses giving without expectations, with an open-heart and a desire to offer support. And it feels great!
Growth – expect to grow. Allow yourself to relinquish control to make room for the growth. Consider if there are any structures that exist in the container of your relationship that are inhibiting growth (as individuals and as a couple).
Happiness – if you learn to make yourself happy, your chances of a healthy relationship increase. If you’re looking for someone else to fulfil your needs or ease your pain, you’ll find the happiness fleeting and empty. It is a huge benefit for your whole life to do the work you need to do to find happiness in you.
Honesty – this may be the number 1 attribute to healthy relating. This means radical honesty, even when you fear hurting your partner; it means honesty to yourself first. If you can’t be vulnerable enough to express your heart’s truth, you may be denying a deep need in you to make changes that will enhance your well-being.
Humour – it definitely helps to have a sense of humour; not only because it’s fun to laugh together, but also in the sense of seeing things from a perspective of lightness. If you take things too seriously, they escalate into drama more easily. Laughing triggers the potential to create solutions and reminds you that we’re all human and fallible.
Interdependence deepens Intimacy
Imperfection – embrace it, love it, own it! There is no such thing as a perfect partner, a perfect romance or a perfect life. There will always be things that come up to test or challenge you; things you dislike (like the snoring, or the way they eat); and ways things could be better.
Independence – this is vital in a healthy relationship. Personal space helps you get familiar with your needs and energy levels and what you can do to nurture yourself. You won’t likely find someone who shares every single one of your interests and goals, and that doesn’t mean giving up the things you don’t share. Allow one another space to explore your own interests and you’ll grow closer as you share the stories of your adventures.
Interdependence – this is different from co-dependence, which involves neediness and insecurity. Interdependence is about knowing your partner is there for you when you really need them, not relying on them to fulfil your every need. Be there to support one another through decisions, challenges, celebrations and change, while allowing one another space to be.
Intimacy – what does this mean, exactly? Some people think immediately of physical intimacy, which is a nice benefit in relationships. If you want a healthy relationship, look deeper; to intimacy in the sense of ‘into-me-see.’ To be truly seen, heard and accepted for all of who you are. That means even on the sobby, puking-your-guts-out or screaming banshee days. If you’re not allowing those days to be seen, you’re hiding the truth from yourself and your partner. Intimacy means letting down your guard and allowing someone else to see your fallibility, and holding space for your partner to do the same, in every aspect of your relationship.
Joy leads to Love
Joyful – always follow your joy. The best relationships come from the meeting of two (or more) people who come together in connection with their joy. Remember that the joy doesn’t come from without, but is generated within you. If you are joyful, you will attract others who are in touch with their own joy. Together, you create more joy in the world.
Kissing – a delightful benefit of relationships and something in life that is difficult, if not impossible, to do by yourself. I would suggest thoroughly testing out kissability before committing to a relationship because it really does matter.
Leader – this is about allowing for leadership to be fluid. There is not one leader and one obeisant follower; there are two leaders who are aware enough to know when to step up and when to step back. Each partner has unique strengths and talents which will contribute in different ways to the relationship over time.
Listen – when you listen, do you truly hear? How do you begin to listen, and hear? With your heart. Pay attention, and release distractions. Allow yourself to receive the words being spoken. Drop any judgements. Feel into the situation – does your partner require a response or are they just needing space to express? Ask if you’re uncertain.
Love – one of the foundation stones of a healthy relationship. It is vital to love yourself first, in all your messy glory. When you invite another into your inner world, the unhealed wounds are exposed, and without a strong grounding in self-love, it can turn quickly into a mud-slinging match. Generate love outwards from your full well of healthy self-love and self-respect.
Mystery needs Originality
Maturity – this can be challenging, especially when wounds are triggered and you revert into childhood patterning. Being mature encompasses being accountable, honest and present. It means allowing yourself to parent and be parented when situations arise that send you spinning into denial or habitual soothing rituals. It means being willing to grow and learn and change consistently as life unfolds around you.
Mystery – maintaining some degree of mystery is definitely important. If things become routine, mundane or too familiar, apathy can set in. Keep some things a mystery, and introduce mystery consciously. This is not the same as keeping secrets or hiding your activities from your partner; it is knowing how and when to share.
Needs – what are yours? Are you clear on how to meet them? Do you actively work towards meeting them? Revisit this regularly and communicate your needs clearly.
No – get comfortable with this word and using it without guilt. This is a major part of establishing clear and healthy boundaries. Self-sacrifice can lead to resentment and feeling drained. Accept and respect your partner’s no’s as their boundaries.
Openness – can you remain open after the deep pain associated with situations like grief, betrayal, infidelity or divorce? Human nature is to close down, to wall off your heart to the tricky stuff. It doesn’t really work that way. If you wall off the bad, you also keep out the good. Openness is a sure way to growth and expansion within a relationship, and it takes consciousness and presence.
Originality – don’t try to solve problems in this relationship using methods you used in your last one. Be original. Bring awareness to what’s at hand and remember who your partner is. They are not your ex, your mother, father, or sister … .
Patience and Questions
Passion – the essence of passion encompasses connecting to the fullness of life with your whole being. It goes way beyond sexual, and connects you to the deep yearnings of your soul. What turns you on (in every aspect of life)? Where are you moved to tears? What awakens your rage? All of this is passion, and it can be harnessed to create beautiful things, including within relationships. Live into the fullness of you, and connect to others from that aliveness.
Patience – consider how you feel when you’re going through challenges or trapped in your own mental machinations. Extend patience to others when they’re having difficulties and find compassionate ways to support them. Have patience if a relationship doesn’t follow a preconceived idea of what you had hoped or wanted.
Playfulness – this is so key! Keep things young, fresh and FUN! Remember how many hours you could spend with a friend when you were young, completely immersed in whatever game was at hand? Bring that into your relationships. Lose yourself in something enjoyable together, forgetting all serious, adult responsibilities for a while.
Priority – your alignment is your top priority, followed by your connection with your partner. Does that sound selfish? That’s the whole idea. As you look after your own needs and care for your self, you are better able to share your energy and resources with another. Maintain your own well-being to the point that your cup is overflowing.
Question – don’t be afraid to question yourself if something doesn’t feel right. Ask questions to get clearer on others needs or desires. Question any patterns that show up to see if they’re inhibiting intimacy. Trust the questions that arise as indicators of resistance or discordance. Then find creative ways to learn the answers.
Responsibility of Surrender
Respect – if you don’t respect yourself, you’ll find relationships that reflect and perpetuate that lack of respect. Show your self respect by honouring your own boundaries, meeting your own needs, taking care of your self and home, and engaging in activities that inspire you.
Responsibility – this differs from accountability in that it can be shared. Responsibility means being willing to take ownership of your part in challenges, successes and everything in between. Be courageous enough to accept your role in disagreements, and be mature enough to face your feelings. Shifting responsibility results in blame, shame and guilt, which quickly undermine the foundations of a relationship.
Safety – do you feel safest with three months’ rent and grocery money in savings? Do you feel safest in your own home as opposed to a rental? Do you feel safe expressing your emotions? All of these things are within your power, without a partner. Design your own safety bubble so that it supports you on every level of your being. When your safety feels compromised, relationships can feel constricting and dysfunctional.
Space – know when you need space, and learn to honour your partner’s need for space. It’s not natural to spend every moment together, and it begins to erode the mystery. Create ways to spend time apart so that the coming together is a happy reunion. It doesn’t have to be long stretches of time, just enough to remember who you are, individually.
Surrender – this word frightens some people, because it feels like giving up. What it truly means is giving over and releasing your ego’s grip on control. Surrender to the potential that exists in the unknown and the uncharted. Surrender your need for a specific outcome or expectation. Allow the combined energy of your hearts to lead you instead.
Tenderness leads the way to Trust
Tenderness – in 1984, General Public sang ‘where is it? …it seems like without tenderness there’s something missing.’ Good advice, and pretty self-explanatory.
Time – a good relationship takes time. There is often a ‘honeymoon period’ at the beginning, where you feel overwhelmed by chemistry, but creating a lasting and healthy relationship takes time.
If you rush things, you might find after a while you don’t have much in common with your partner, or that their initially cute habits are actually a source of frustration. It’s natural to take time to develop true intimacy, revealing pieces of yourself over time as trust deepens.
Touch – this speaks to both physical touch and being touched on an emotional level. It is moving to be invited into someone’s inner world, as they open themselves to you and reveal their vulnerability. It’s touching to be extended trust and to feel your own trust being rewarded with gifts of deeper connection.
Transparency – we all have secrets, but if you feel guilt or shame around something you’re keeping from a partner, it’s likely you feel the truth would hurt them. If you’re doing things you are aware would hurt your partner and are keeping them from them, consider the why – what are you getting out of it? Put yourself in their position and how you might feel if the tables were turned.
Trust – this is a tricky one. Can you truly trust another, or is it a matter of trusting your own inner knowing so much that anything not resonant will trigger red flags for you? If you’re in alignment with your knowing, it’ll be obvious to you what and who you can trust. Once you surrender to it, it grows and is rewarded by evidence of your faith in it.
Unconditionality – means to incorporate the wholeness of an experience as aspects of it. In other words, unconditional love allows for you and others to show up as they are and to mess up, fall down and be human. It means that even in moments where you feel like you hate your partner, love exists in the same breath. This understanding opens up space for all the ups and downs that are inevitable as your life together continues.
Understood/understand – if you want to be understood, extend understanding. Be understandable. Find ways to bridge the gap, keeping channels of communication clear and leaving out judgement. Whenever there is a misunderstanding, remember that communication is a two-way street. Have the patience to find clarity.
Values – are you clear on what you value and why? Do you and your partner share the same values? It’s an added bonus if you do, but not necessary, as long as you can respect one another’s choices and reasoning. Be clear and firm on where you are flexible and what is non-negotiable.
Variety – the spice of life! A little variety never hurt anyone. Think of ways to incorporate healthy variety into different areas of your life. Routine can dull even the strongest connection. Be creative; brainstorm with your partner to find ways to vary your habits.
Vulnerability – this can seem challenging because it has been equated to weakness. It’s the opposite: showing your vulnerability is a great strength. It has the capacity to awaken and connect with compassion in others, and create a safe space for their own vulnerability. It is the core of who we are as humans, and a common thread we all share.
Wildness and Zest
Warmth – how does it feel to be loved? When you tap into that energy of feeling love, does it warm you from the depths of your belly to the tip of your toes and the top of your head? Do you glow with that warmth when you think about someone you love? Feelings of warmth, both physical and emotional, are a delightful benefit of loving. Bask in it and spread it around.
Wildness – we all have an inner wild creature that lusts after freedom and fearless vulnerability that wants to be enticed out to play. Can you handle the wildness in your partner or are you intimidated by it? Get comfortable with your own wild side, whatever it entails, and allow it the opportunity to express itself. Do you get a kick out of skinny-dipping in mountain pools or ecstatic dance? Let it out to play and see how it enhances your connections with others.
Yes – do you feel it with your whole heart and soul? Trust that, and follow it. If you feel red flags, or a part of you doesn’t feel right in some way, trust that, too. It’s not fair to either partner to be in a relationship that isn’t a yes on every level.
Zest – are you filled with zest for life, and enthusiasm at discovering new and exciting things? Can you generate that in yourself? It adds a lot to a relationship to feel excitement over mutual discoveries and celebrations. Find ways to encourage one another’s explorations and adventures, and create amazing joint ventures.
* I am the author of this post. You might find the original version, which was used with my permission without attribution, on Your Earth Angel (yourearthangel.com) *
(This post was originally published on 19 May, 2016)
When I forget I am a creature of magic forged in the diamond fires of stardust and sunshine…I feel confused and only partially alive.
When I forget that I can create moments of exquisite beauty in the blink of an eye… I get distracted by the noise of striving, pushing and competing, and I feel frustrated.
When I forget I can hear the gentle whispers of the trees, the wisdom of the whales and dolphins, and the loving messages of the Earth… I feel lonely and unsettled.
When I forget that my inner child is the most joyful, magical being I’ve ever met, and I forget to listen to her voice… I feel despondent and disconnected.
When I forget I am magic…I don’t breathe as deeply, see as clearly or live as vibrantly as my soul would have me do.
When I forget that every living being has a story to tell and love to share… I feel alone.
When I forget that my body and mind are made up of the same atoms that bind all of creation together… I feel unworthy.
When I forget to heed the knowing part of me that guides me towards my highest good… I feel broken and sometimes make poor choices.
When I forget the sweetness of the sound of a cat’s purr or the feel of a comforting touch… I feel empty.
When I forget the beauty of a sunset or the sound of waves gently kissing the shore… I feel less alive.
When I forget I am magic…I don’t wake up each morning yearning to see what fresh adventure the day will bring and how much love I will share.
When I forget the pleasure of a kiss that transports you to other dimensions and the taste of fresh raspberries… I feel lost.
When I forget how damned miraculous it is to wake up every day and be alive and open my eyes on this world of mystery and breathe the air that’s made up of millions of particles from dinosaurs and moondust… I feel separate.
When I forget to take the time to taste the food I make, and to feel its nutrients coursing through my every cell… I feel unfulfilled.
When I forget to look in someone’s eyes and say ‘I love you’… I feel the loss of that moment as if it were a death.
When I forget to bring my open heart to every person, place and situation… I feel resistance and exhaustion.
When I forget I am magic…I live only half a life, measuring myself against some perceived external goalpost that is just a distraction from that truth.
When I forget to listen with my heart… I don’t hear other’s hearts.
When I forget to spend time lying in the grass watching the clouds roll by… I miss the pretty stories they paint for me alone.
When I forget to love myself… I lose sight of the things that are important in a day, like laughter, moisturizing and ice cream.
When I forget to stop to smell the roses, talk to the cows and marvel at the insects… I lose sight of the moments that make life beautiful.
When I forget to thank people for the help they’ve provided, the friends they’ve been, the gifts they’ve given me, and their love… I feel hungry for something to fill the gaping hole in me.
When I forget to honour the parts of me that have shown me how to change the way I see the world, and shown me where my beauty lies… I still feel ugly and useless.
When I forget to spend my money with joy and pleasure… I feel destitute.
When I forget to dance… I feel sad and shut down.
When I forget I am magic…I forget to taste deeply all that life has to offer and allow it to transform me.
When I forget that I am free to be the most delightful, creative and abundant version of myself I can be… I feel imprisoned.
When I forget to be kind and compassionate to others… I feel that omission as a knife wound in my heart.
When I forget I can sing creations to life… I feel the silence as overwhelming.
When I forget that my fears are gifts that show me where I’m resisting beautiful truths… I believe them.
When I forget to express myself in creative ways… I feel constricted and dead inside.
When I forget that other’s opinions are only that and not the undeniable truth… I feel wrong and ashamed.
When I forget that sometimes I need to ask for help… I don’t get any.
* Also see last week’s post entitled ‘Defining Attachment,’ which explores varying levels of attachment, including enmeshment and entanglement *
Releasing attachments to old experiences can be challenging. Especially so when they’ve left you feeling hurt, betrayed or otherwise unsettled.
Perhaps you felt like you built your life around the thing, person or situation that’s no longer in your life, and the attachment is the only residual tie to the deep love you experienced.
It’s as if the loyalty to your pain is a distorted way of expressing the love you felt.
(This brings to mind the song ‘Landslide‘ by Fleetwood Mac).
This goes deeper than simply missing someone, which is a fleeting feeling of nostalgia which arises and leaves you with a sense of warmth at the memory of a shared connection. Attachment is accompanied by a sense of lack; a feeling you cannot be whole without the thing, person or situation that has gone. There’s an underlying energy of emotional dependence which may have deep roots in survival fears.
Attachments can leave you feeling like you’re unable to move forward in life, clinging to a hope that you’ll (one day) be reunited with what’s been lost. In doing so, you’re overlooking the fact that a connection to you is the thing you’ve been missing all along. It’s important to develop a sense of your own power and your capacity to support yourself in all ways, body, mind and spirit.
Whatever you’re attached to may or may not be healthy in and of itself, or it can be the attachment that’s unhealthy. Especially if you’ve given something outside of yourself the responsibility for your peace of mind, well-being and security. The key is to draw the threads back into yourself and take back your power.
Following are ten suggestions to begin releasing unhealthy attachments and reclaiming your self-esteem and integral authority.
1) Be honest with yourself
Are you resisting letting go of attachments? Look for areas in your life where you’re feeling stagnant or unfulfilled. It helps to look at how well you nurture your dreams and desires, and take the time to actively move towards them. If you feel reluctance about moving forward with your life goals, examine whether you’re unconsciously waiting for someone or something to return, or for some kind of closure.
Do you find yourself distracted by thoughts of a thing, person or situation that has gone? Are you obsessing over what went wrong or how you might have done things differently? If you find you spend an inordinate amount of your energy and time focussed on them, you’ve likely formed an unhealthy attachment.
2) What’s in it for you?
It may be hard to admit, but here’s where being honest with yourself helps. There is always a pay-off of some kind. It could be that you fear your own success, and by focussing on a recent ‘failure,’ you remain in a familiar, if slightly uncomfortable, state of stasis.
Perhaps you gain some satisfaction from going over just how ‘wrong’ another person was in their treatment of you, and languishing in the role of victim or martyr for a while. It can be comfortably satisfying in that it’s one way of having your needs met as others support and uplift you. It’s not sustainable, though, nor is it empowering for you or anyone around you.
Are you seeking closure, and hoping that if you focus on the situation, a solution will present itself? If you feel the ending lacked closure, it can be really difficult to move on. It’s important to find closure for yourself, in whatever way you can. Try creating a ritual to lay to rest any old tendrils of attachment: hold a memorial service or write down your feelings and burn them by the light of the moon.
Sometimes, especially in the case of dysfunctional or abusive relationships, you feel your dreams die with the end of the union. This can be doubly devastating, and the attachments may lie there. Have put your own needs and dreams aside to support someone else’s story? If this is the case, you may continue to look for your dreams where you believe you left them. Remember that they have always rested with you, and you can take them out to nurture them whenever you like.
3) What have you learned from your attachments?
Once you know where you’re attached, you can begin to look at what wisdom you’ve gained. When you detach from the emotion, what can you learn about yourself and any patterns of relating? Going back to the initial description of attachment, discern whether you have in any way tied your survival to what you’re leaving behind. Can you feel whole in yourself without it? If not, why not?
Examine whether you were trying to fill a perceived hole in yourself through the attachment to the person, situation or thing that’s now gone. Does the attachment point you to any early traumas or losses in your life that need healing? At one point, before this came into your life, you were whole and healthily independent (and interdependent). Examine where or when you may have traded that for perceived benefits or fulfillment you stopped giving to yourself.
4) Find ways to be grateful
Gratitude begins building the bridge to forgiveness and letting go. It’s not easy to feel grateful for things that feel so uncomfortable and even painful. Wherever you can bring gratitude in, begin there.
Use your feelings as a guide: perhaps you can feel grateful for the experience of having had this thing, person or situation in your life for as long as you did. Don’t force it if you don’t feel it. If you can’t stretch that far, start with gratitude for the people and things you have around you now that support you every day. Re-visit the attachment every once in a while and see if you feel any more gratitude surrounding it.
Start to examine ways this thing, person or situation enhanced your life. You must have experienced some emotional satisfaction or you wouldn’t have stayed as long as you did. Start there. Did the person have a good sense of humour? Be grateful for the laughs you shared. Did the situation provide you with an income? Be grateful that you weren’t starving.
As you find ways to hold it in positive regard, you’ll notice that the charge around the attachment gradually falls away. There will no longer be a need to hold onto the emotional ties if you’re finding them fulfilled elsewhere. Reclaim your power!
5) Don’t make it personal
This can be challenging, especially with relationships, or if you’ve been let go from your job. Try not to spiral into a state of self-blame or taking on responsibility where it’s not yours. Sometimes attachments stem from the idea that if we’d only done something differently or been ‘better’ somehow, things would have worked out. ‘If only’ keeps you stuck in false hope.
Depersonalize the situation and where possible remain an observer. Be conscious enough to express your emotions and detached enough to understand they’re simply a way to process grief and loss. Take responsibility for your role in the situation without taking on the blame, shame or guilt of others.
Have you in some way allowed for the person, situation or thing to define your worth? Look for ways to untangle the threads of attachment to that belief, and reclaim your worth on your own terms. It’s vital to not take a rejection or betrayal as a measure of your value.
6) Where do you let go easily and regularly?
Look around at the multitude of changes that happen on a moment to moment basis, and how easily you integrate them. One hour becomes the next. Night turns to day, and back to night. When the mail arrives, you recycle the envelopes without a second thought. Trees drop their leaves.
All these changes are taking place regularly, everywhere you look, and most likely you don’t attach to the way things were. It’s only your belief that whatever it is you’re feeling attached to contributed something to your emotional well-being that you’re not able to find on your own. You can find it, and in looking for it in creative and new ways, you might also have some fun.
7) There’s no time limit on your healing
This is so vital I’m going to repeat it: there’s no time limit on your healing.
It’s not easy to let go of attachments, and there’s no formula for grieving or loss. Others might express frustration over your inability to move on as quickly as they’d like for you. That’s not your concern. As you let go, more pieces will arise that lead to deeper healing, so approach it as and when you feel ready. If you need to take time away from certain people or situations, do it.
You might find some aspects of the attachment linger for years, and that’s natural. Events like weddings or births can trigger old grief or longing. As long as you’re aware that when it arises it’s pointing you towards something in yourself, you can face it when it happens. It will gradually shift as you continue to focus on your own well-being and what makes you happy.
8) Practice radical self-care
Since attachments often stem from some kind of emotional dependence and the expectation of your needs being met from without, it’s now key to focus on filling your own cup. Care for your self; body, mind and soul.
If you’ve attached your sense of self or value to whatever has gone, it’s time to show yourself that you’re worth your own attention and love. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest and exercise and pamper yourself in loving ways. Hot baths, massages, gifts for yourself; whatever brings you the most pleasure.
Give yourself what you were looking for in the attachment. Celebrate each step you take towards wholeness while treating yourself with reverence. Remember how it feels to be alone and love the person you’re with (you). Find the good in you that you might have forgotten or overlooked while you were busy seeking it elsewhere.
Find reasons to laugh and cry and feel whatever comes up. Create healthy boundaries so you don’t refill the attachment wound with a similar person, situation or thing. Try to be clear on what the underlying pattern is so that you don’t move into a repetition of the same energetic dance.
This takes practice, and consciousness. Every time you find yourself turning your focus to the attachment, or whatever you’re missing, try to make a different choice. What would make you feel slightly better in this moment? Can you think of something spontaneous that would make you laugh or something that would bring joy to someone else?
Every time you choose a different thought or focus, you send new messages about using your time and energy towards things you enjoy. Staying focussed on the attachment is akin to self-abuse. You’re revisiting the perceptions of your lack repeatedly, which drills them into your mind and consciousness, providing more evidence for the belief. It can be a vicious cycle. Focus instead on joy, pleasure, love and connection.
10) Ask for help and support
It may be difficult to open up to people about the level of attachment you feel, especially if it verges on obsession. Allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to explain it to people you trust and care about. Tell them if you don’t understand why you’re so tied to this experience, and let them know you want to move forward.
If you need to seek therapy, do so. There’s no shame in sharing your challenges with an objective listener who has experience reading through the lines. It might be easier than trying to navigate the well-meaning yet sometimes unhelpful advice of friends and family. A professional (whether a psychologist or an alternative therapy practitioner), is not emotionally connected to you; their views will provide a more detached, yet still compassionate perspective.
* I am the author of this post. You might find the original, which was used with my permission, without attribution on Your Earth Angel (yourearthangel.com) *
Your Inner Child is the part of you that keeps you tapped into the magic in life.
She’ll be distracted by squirrels and kittens and butterflies in the middle of a supposedly serious moment.
He connects you with the joy, enchantment and mystery at all times, and reminds you to look at life with innocence and freshness.
She’ll show you the way to play when life feels challenging and stagnant, and demonstrate that a little mischief can lighten even the darkest moods.
Your Inner Child helps you pinpoint your desires and the things that make your heart sing. He also guides you to what doesn’t feel good, because it hurts or frightens him. She teaches you to use your heart as a measure of resonance, and to Trust, with a capital T. He is the part of you that cries when he’s hurt and laughs when he’s happy, and doesn’t think about shutting down those feelings. She’s the part that loves whole-heartedly, with the purity of her big, open heart.
Your Inner Child knows how to throw himself into things without the fear and resistance that comes of being hurt or feeling jaded. Like The Fool of the tarot, she keeps on trusting, loving and exploring; expecting that life will be wonderful and offer her goodness in return.
Your Inner Child will play until he falls into a sleepy, spent heap on the floor, ready for a new adventure tomorrow. She knows she’s beautiful, never questions it for a moment, and she expresses that beauty in incredible and creative ways.
Your Inner Child wants so much to be seen, heard and acknowledged. He’ll lash out in ‘bad’ behaviour when he’s ignored; distractions and addictions are just a couple of indications of his discord. She wants you to heed her calls for fun, joy and excitement. He wants you to follow your heart despite your own fears of pain and rejection. She wants you to be in harmony with the world around you, feeling whatever arises simply as a taste of what the world has to offer.
Your Inner Child wants to Love You
Your Inner Child doesn’t want you to wallow in self-hatred, blame, shame, self-pity or victimhood. These aren’t natural states of being for a child’s heart and soul. He wants you to seek out the bliss you sense and follow the path to expansion. She wants you to walk away from people and situations that feel abusive or wrong in any way, and trust that something (so much) better is being lined up for you.
Whatever you do to hurt yourself hurts your inner child. It’s like locking him in a dark closet where he can’t express himself or offer you his wisdom. Being disconnected from you is a sense of great frustration and anguish for your Inner Child. She wants to guide you, play with you, and feel the world through you. He’ll lead you on the path to your deepest healing and most powerful connections.
All she wants is for you to acknowledge her, and integrate her fabulous wisdom into your life. He’s known all the pain you’ve known, and is still eager to forgive and enjoy life. She understands deeply that love is a gift to be given, no matter whether it’s returned to you or not. The act of giving so freely comes from his innate connection with the Source of all things, which is pure Love.
Let her connect with you. Let him teach you. Allow her to Love you. Your life will change in miraculous ways.
* I am the author of this post. You might find the original version, which was used with my permission (without attribution) on Your Earth Angel (yourearthangel.com) *
(13 January, 2016) Here’s something cool from my inner child. I was chatting with her last night in the bath, and wondered if anyone had ever loved her enough to ‘die for her’ (including me). She said, ‘that’s bullshit.’
Suddenly I felt the message loud and clear: Love yourself enough to be willing to LIVE for you! Really Live, with a capital L, out loud and completely! This gift of life we’ve been given is the most incredible gift imaginable, and the idea that it’s noble or an act of love to die for someone is part of the old distortions that we’re leaving behind.
It’s not noble, and it’s not loving. It’s self-defeating because the real test is to thrive beyond the challenges and say, ‘check me out, I have overcome!’ Huge learning lies in living to the fullest of your capacity. The idea of dying for someone is tied to the old victim/martyr dynamic, and there’s no room for that in the new. Self-sacrifice is SO old paradigm. Ha ha!
The idea of ‘being of service’ is changing/has already changed; it’s not servitude in exchange for feeling beneficent or altruistic, it’s joyful expression of your truth as a service to ALL, including yourself. And you know what? Dying is easy. You get to return immediately to Source. Living is the real test. So be willing to Live for you. Your life is the example, and the legacy you leave to the world! YOWZA!