Skip to main content

Tag: Love

Love IS the Answer – Part 2

Here are the facts:

kneejerkWhen you relapse into your negative feelings without seeking self-awareness and resolution, whether by choice or denial, the trigger and response, namely your pain, anger, resentment, the blame, etc. is ALWAYS, ALWAYS still there! Just because you sweep dirt under the rug doesn’t mean the dirt is gone. It’s just hidden from view. And so are your feelings. I call this reverting to your “knee-jerk” response. It’s your brain on by-pass.

As humans we are brilliant at being in denial and invoking our knee-jerk responses. They are survival skills, but not thriving skills. It likely feels  overwhelming and scary to think about changing this. So how do you start?

Easy peasy first step.

Pay attention. Feelings and emotions are there for a reason. They are full of information. The information in and of itself is neither good nor bad unless you place a value on it (e.g., right or wrong, good or bad), otherwise it’s simply information. When you choose to remove the value and see your feelings as information, you gain some perspective that you don’t have when you are sucked in by the knee-jerk response. When you pay attention to the feelings and take custody of them you take the first step toward identifying what triggers your response. It’s important to find the trigger, so you can develop a new response to it instead of your debilitating knee-jerk response.

Paying attention is my mantra. You do this by starting to notice your feelings and acknowledging them as yours. Acknowledgment sounds something like this: “Ok, I’m really pissed off.” You are not judging it, only observing it. Once you feel comfortable acknowledging your feelings, ask yourself the following questions:

What’s underneath the _________________?

How do I feel when I’m  ______________ or how do I act?

Here’s an example:

Acknowledging feeling angry.

Q.  What’s underneath the anger?

A.  frustration.

Q. What’s underneath the frustration?

A.  Anger?

Q.   What will you have if you have anger?

A. Frustration.

Q.  What will you have if you have frustration?

A. Lack of control.

Q. How will you feel if you have lack of control?

A.  Scared.

Q.  What’s underneath the fear?

A.  I don’t know.

Think about it and keep asking. You can ask it a slightly different way, such as:

Q.  How will you feel if you are fearful?

A.  scared.

Q. What are you scared of?

A.  Being hurt, rejected, feeling wrong, uncomfortable, in pain

Ok, you named it and acknowledged it.

Q.  What baby step can you take to feel the pain, etc. and not freak out?

A. I can do my breathing exercises, I can journal, I can discuss it in therapy, I can reflect on it. I can exhibit compassion for myself.

AHA! Keep asking yourself until your cry, shift, break down or get an epiphany. Be patient and stick with it. This is likely an  uncomfortable place. Stay there. You can do it. I know you can. The first time is the hardest. It get’s easier and the more you do it, the more you’ll want to do it because you’ll notice how light you feel.

What’s the benefit of taking custody of your triggered feelings when you can blame someone else for them? When you place the blame on someone else or emphatically state you have no choice, you eliminate all your possibilities for empowerment, movement, or healing. There is little room for love.

If you are like most humans you want to have choices. Isn’t this the very foundation of who we are and what we stand for? Blame, pride, resentment, anger and judgment are all stuck, stagnant, immovable feelings. When you take custody of your triggers and feelings you can then begin to change the way you look at something. Seeing things differently and choosing a new way to behave and respond means fewer and fewer knee-jerk responses. Better choices, fewer negative responses, more love and compassion.

Be patient with yourself and persevere. You can do it!


Love IS the answer – Part 1 of 2

HeartsWhen I was young I used to hear “love is the answer.” I heard this often, but didn’t fully understand how love could be the answer, especially when I didn’t feel so loved. Growing up I felt like I was an afterthought in my family. I have an older sister whom I felt my parents favored. My sister and I have talked about this and from her perspective she felt smothered.

Perception is a powerful shaping force in our lives.

As my life journey evolved and I had a child, I fully embodied that incredibly deep level of love for my child. As my journey continued I found a life partner who brought me a depth of unconditional love I’d never experienced before. I finally got “it”!

Yes, love is the answer. There is no better feeling. No more powerful place to live in and act from. It is the highest vibration in the universe and once you experience giving AND receiving unconditional love, you understand how it is the answer. For me it was a process and a lot of personal work to arrive at this perspective, especially when there have been so many major life challenges on my path.

For many people negative feelings like frustration, depression, anxiety, judgment, pride, stubbornness, self-righteousness, resentment, etc. can fill conscious and unconscious thoughts. They keep you from moving forward and having what you want in your life and can cause any number of ailments, distress, conditions, addictions and problems. You may want to turn away and ignore these feelings, pretend they don’t exist or blame someone else for them.

These negative feelings are coping mechanisms. They had a purpose in the past, which is likely not appropriate any longer, however, over time you’ve been conditioned to think them and you may even get unconsciously attached to them. They have now become blocks to success, acceptance, love and joy.

Regardless of how you spin it, the feelings are yours. Even if someone “triggers” you, the response is yours, and yours alone. Your responses (how you feel and act) are a product of your past experiences, emotions, behaviors, perceptions, physicality, memories, beliefs, values, judgments and attitudes (yes, you are complex!).

The good news is since the feelings are yours, what you do with them is yours as well. It’s ALL about you!

To manage and ultimately eliminate the negative feelings and experience the love, acceptance, joy, hope and the other powerful and positive feelings we were born to experience, takes some work. There is no getting around it. I’m a big supporter of energy work and clearing. I’ve practiced several different techniques myself, and what I’ve found is that no matter how much energy work you have done, you are a human and need to also do the conscious human work.

I’m a BIG believer in small, doable, “feel-the-accomplishment” steps. I know with certainty that if the step is too big or overwhelming, you won’t take it.

This first step then is about observation, awareness and noticing.

LEARN to observe, identify and acknowledge your feelings.

If you think you don’t need to do this step or if you are already doing it, then ask yourself this question: Am I getting the results I want in all the areas of my life? If you are, then keep doing what you are doing and congratulate yourself! IF NOT, THEN GET REAL WITH YOURSELF AND DO THE WORK! Work is action, that’s why it’s called work.

Start by noticing and identifying WHAT feelings are being triggered. Often identifying them is the hardest part. They are usually layered and often buried, so sometimes you have to peel back the layers to get to the heart (think of an artichoke) and if you are willing to dig in and do the work, then go deeper and you’ll get to the heart! If you are angry, ask yourself what’s underneath the anger? Here is where you must be vulnerable and willing to look at it.

This first step is for you and you alone to ponder. You don’t have to do anything else just yet. Practice observing, noticing and being aware of your feelings. Stretch yourself and go into the uncomfortable feelings. It’s only scary the first time.

Also, remember to acknowledge your successes, no matter how small they may seem!

If you are ready for the next step, then write down what you are noticing, observing and feeling. Just make it simple. It can be one sentence or even a few words. Remember, you must take action.

JUST DO IT! If you get stuck, go back and reread this piece from the beginning.

In part 2, I’ll introduce a few additional simple steps to help you keep moving toward what you’d always intended for yourself.