Practicing Vulnerability

Vulnerability is a moment in time when you let your walls down. It’s exposing our raw, unprotected self for others to see, leaving us open for critique, judgment and emotional harm. I’ve often compared it to standing out in the middle of the street bare naked. Sounds painful but I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be and I’ve learned that it can be painful but that it’s only temporary and always worth it.

The truth is, I’m not really interested in standing naked in the middle of the street. I don’t see the value, but when I see I’m not taking action on something that will move me forward I seem to visualize this scenario. Then I like to think about the result I would have I took this action I’m dreading. This allows me to embrace that feeling, remind myself that a feeling never killed anyone, remind myself of how awesome it will feel having the result and I dive in, head first. Sometimes the result is different than I anticipated but I always grow from the experience because it opens doors that I wouldn’t have known were there if I stayed stuck in fear.

Unwillingness to open up and expose your inner self – your true self – you in your full truth – is what keeps our marriages from connecting on a deep level.

As humans, we have an innate desire for connection, we are biologically wired for it. According to vulnerability expert, Brene Brown, it’s why we are here, it gives us purpose and adds meaning to our lives.

When we expose our fragile, tender inner selves, expose our hurts, our physical and emotional soft spots, it feels uncomfortable and dangerous. It’s even possible that we’ve experimented with being open and honest about ourselves but were completely unprepared for how another person might react. We possibly made their reaction mean something about who we are as a human thus making us less willing to do it again. This is where shame comes in. Shame really comes from the fear of being disconnected, that if we expose our inner self people might think we are somehow less than, flawed, unworthy of connection. When we build up our self confidence and practice vulnerability we get to let go of shame, knowing that connection is created from within ourselves, nothing outside of us creates our connection with someone else.

Vulnerability includes not pretending, not attempting to manipulate how someone views us. There is no game playing, no trying to be better than, no falseness. When we are most vulnerable we are at our most raw, true selves – no lying, no pretending, no faking, no game playing, manipulating or one upping.

So exactly how do we start becoming vulnerable, maybe even for the very first time? Maybe after trying but deciding it was too painful, deciding what someone else did in response to our vulnerability was painful enough that we’ll never open up again. What I want to do today is help you understand that the process of you opening up is all about you and your growth. I want to help teach you that someone else’s response to your vulnerability is their business and has absolutely nothing to do with you and your value.

Let’s look at five steps you can take to become more vulnerable so that you can open up to creating a more deep and intimate marriage:

Learn how to feel an emotion.

The process is simple yet deliberate, and often abstract for the beginner but one of the best things I have learned how to do in order to get out of a negative thought space. You have to take the time to do the work of allowing the emotion to run its course. You have to pause and be willing to feel the emotion you are experiencing so you can start recognizing it when it comes again.

A feeling is just a vibration in your body, a chemical response to something you are thinking. That’s all. I have taught here that all thoughts are optional so when you recognize the feeling or vibration in your body, you can then start searching for the thought causing it. You might think that their reaction means you’re unworthy, which could create a feeling of shame. When you recognize that it’s an optional thought you can start to explore the thought that their reaction has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

Build up your self confidence.

Self confidence is something you build by doing things that feel uncomfortable and not attaching any meaning about yourself to the outcome. It’s being willing to experience any emotion while moving forward with your relationship goals.

It’s different from confidence in that confidence is developed when you repeat something over and over. You become good at the thing because of the number of times you’ve taken action and now have confidence in being able to take the action again. Self confidence is doing something without knowing how and being willing to fail.

Self confidence is when you have your own back. You know you can do something and the result has nothing to do with who you are as a human being. Embarrassment, humiliation, rejection are all just temporary emotions that you feel, move through and move on, learning in the process.

Practice small steps of vulnerability.

Begin practicing with close friends, people who are open and vulnerable with you, and start small. Plan ahead of time what you will share and how you might comfortably weave it into the conversation. It might be as simple as being open and honest instead of embellishing or glamorizing your stories. Think about it like a dare to yourself, imagine feeling self confident, taking the action of opening up and not making the other person’s words or reactions not mean anything about you as a person. What if they never wanted to talk to you again? Would you make that mean that you’re unlovable? Remember, self confidence says you are fully lovable and worthy, no matter what another person thinks or does.

Maybe it’s even as simple as making a decision about date night. Maybe you always let him make the final decision because you’re afraid to commit to what you want to do. This small step of vulnerability would look like you deciding on purpose and sticking to it. What might you make it mean if he says he doesn’t like your idea? Watch what happens for you, maybe you give in and just do what he wants, telling yourself the story that you don’t really care anyway. Be curious. Be honest. Be you.

Let people be who they are.

Other people rejecting you or shaming you by trying to make you feel less connected, doesn’t change your worthiness. Learning how to feel what happens inside of you when people reject you takes lots of practice but it’s a skill that will build your armor of protection. This armor of protection is not to keep people from seeing in, from seeing your truth, it’s your self confidence shield that keeps you being all in on you.

The other view I’d like you to contemplate is who is shaming who? Are you making their response mean that they are telling you your opinion doesn’t matter? What if they are just being truthful, expressing their opinion and you’re just making it mean something different. This is where flavor and spice come into our relationships. If you’re always doing what others want to do then you’re not bringing your own flavor into the mix. I call that unfair to your relationship and to you! I say shake yourself all over and see what new recipe you come up with, who knows, your partner might even like this new flavor!

Find an accountability partner, a mentor or hire a professional.

Someone who’s done their own work of building their self confidence. Someone who has put themselves out into the world to help others can be a beautiful way to begin opening up with zero judgement. They’re all in on you and helping you become your true authentic self because they’ve done the work themselves and know the freedom that comes from it.

Hiding your true authentic self keeps us from blooming into our most beautifully created self. It limits us. Today you can shed that shell and start growing into someone who is solid in who she is and willing to put it out there, willing to shake her spice all over the world. This is the person your husband married, he married you and when he sees the raw, true you, he’s going to fall even deeper in love. He’s going to want more of your favorite dish served up on a daily menu plan!

Once you start exposing your inner spice, that’s when you open up to the love relationship of your dreams. Give this work a try and let me know how it goes, let me know what you’re struggling with so you can come closer to Awakening(YourTrue)You. If you think working together might be the next step you’d like to take, let’s talk about it. Scheduling a consult call will help you really decide if working with a coach is in your future and if it’s not, that’s ok because the conversation will be fun!

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

My Awaken(TheTrue)You program is for women who want to stop hurting in their most intimate relationship. I show you how to stop settling and bring back the love, connection and excitement you crave. Let’s re-ignite your love relationship today!

I’d love to offer a free call for you to work out whether or not my program and life changing promise is a fit for you. Either book your call now or send me an email with your availability, your future life is waiting for you.

Please share this message with anyone who you know who might benefit from hearing this message. Don’t forget to join my mailing list where I send out weekly tips on how to start building love and confidence within yourself.

If you’d like to get more empowering emails delivered straight to you and never miss another post please get yourself signed up for my newsletter!

Love Without Conditions

The dictionary definition of unconditional love is affection without any limitation or love without conditions.

This concept is something many of us struggle with. We think love is something we do for someone else. We think what someone does for us is love. Most of us have it wrong, we’ve been taught wrong. When we’re able to go from conceptual understanding to implementation of love without any limitations you’ll begin to understand the beauty of unconditional love.

Love by far, is the emotion that feels best, better than any other emotion. Think of memories that you have that feel amazing, past events that you LOVE visiting, those memories feel best because we’re remembering the emotion of love. We are feeling it again, in the present, by thinking of something, or someone, in our past and those thoughts are re-generating the feeling of love for us.

In our marriage, all we really want to feel is love.

I remember when the concept of love always being available in my marriage actually clicked for me. My coach had offered it up to me and that day I actually felt it could be true. This was definitely not the first time the concept had been presented to me, it was simply the first time I actually felt a flicker of possibility, of truth in that belief.

This was a magnificent moment for me. So beautiful that I wanted it more. Wanting it more allowed me to be more curious about when the feeling of love disappeared. It allowed me to more clearly see why I was allowing it to leave and to play with the idea of also being able to feel love in the same moment.

Before the concept of love without conditions became a reality for me in my marriage I had spent months doing working on the concept. I had some deeply seated beliefs that other people’s actions, inactions or words dictated whether I could feel love or not. To be able to shift from constantly being at the effect of other people to actually implementing personal control over how I felt was the shift that changed my life, forever. A shift I’ll never forget because the feeling of love is like an explosion of bright, open yumminess like no other!

Let’s take a look at some truths about unconditional love:

Unconditional love starts with you. The first person you need to learn how to love without conditions is yourself. When we are searching for our husbands to validate us in order to feel loved, we will never be able to freely give enduring, overflowing, unconditional love. Our ability to fully love someone else, without conditions, requires that we first understand that love. That understanding comes when we are able to express it for and within ourselves.

Loving someone unconditionally does not mean you have to accept how they treat, or have treated you, as being ok. You can love someone, even possibly sympathize with what may be happening, or has happened for them to take actions that hurt, but still choose to believe what they did was wrong. You still might choose to put boundaries on the relationship to protect yourself. Never seeing them, or talking to them, might be a choice you make while still loving them.

Choosing not to love someone ahead of time in order to keep yourself from getting hurt in the future, only hurts you ahead of time. Allow yourself to love fully, in the present moment, so that you can feel love now. If hurt or pain is to come in the future then feel it when it comes, there is no need to ruin your present to protect yourself from a possible bad outcome. I love thinking about training the brain to think about your future self as always winning. This allows us to live for a positive outcome now, to feel the emotion of creating that outcome. When the true outcome arrives, that’s when we can experience whatever emotion it brings to us.

Choosing love when it seems difficult or vulnerable, will allow you to take actions that will move you forward. Choosing love will keep you taking action from your higher self and keep you from taking action from an emotion that creates a result you may regret.

If you’re not feeling love then ask yourself why. Be honest. Don’t blame someone else for you not feeling love. Your feelings come from your thinking about what someone is doing. Own your feelings and then ask yourself if you like the reasons for your feeling.

Here is a fun and interesting exercise for you to try.

  • Ask yourself why you are choosing not to love.
  • Ask why you are choosing not to feel love.
  • List all of the conditions you are putting on loving and feeling love.
  • List the things you want them to do so you can feel love.
  • Ask yourself if you can do these things for yourself.
  • Now, close your eyes and imagine what it would be like to just feel love, all of the time, regardless of their actions. What would that feel like? Really sit in love and describe that love, embody that love.

This is true, real magic. From a place of love, you will show up differently and still be able to make choices that keep you in integrity with yourself and who you want to be. You’ll be able to follow through with what you will and won’t accept. Learning how to embrace the concept of love without conditions so you can start feeling love in your most intimate relationship is what we do in AwakenYou, my one on one coaching program. Taking this work deeper is exactly what we do so that you can start looking forward to going home to your husband with pure excitement and unconditional love! Want to try some work on your own? GREAT idea! I have the perfect free mini course for you, click here to get started now!

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

My Awaken(TheTrue)You program is for women who want to stop hurting in their most intimate relationship. I show you how to stop settling and bring back the love, connection and excitement you crave. Let’s re-ignite your love relationship today!

I’d love to offer a free call for you to work out whether or not my program and life changing promise is a fit for you. Either book your call now or send me an email with your availability, your future life is waiting for you.

Please share this message with anyone who you know who might benefit from hearing this message. Don’t forget to join my mailing list where I send out weekly tips on how to start building love and confidence within yourself.

If you’d like to get more empowering emails delivered straight to you and never miss another post please get yourself signed up for my newsletter!

How Long To Heal

So many people ask me how long it will take to heal their marriage and my quick answer is tough for most to swallow.

When we’re thinking that our marriage is broken, that it needs to heal, it’s really just our thoughts about our marriage, not the facts. We might have all sorts of, what I call evidence, to prove that it’s broken, but it all just comes down to how you’re thinking about it.

With that said, it could literally take a moment to decide, and believe, that your marriage is healed. This literally could be the end of this post, yet it is a bit more complicated than that, so let’s take a look.

Once you’ve decided that your marriage isn’t what you want it to be you may be thinking that it’s broken, unfixable, boring, disconnected or any combination of these and more. You have evidence like:

  • He never tells me he loves me
  • We never have meaningful conversations
  • We’re not having sex
  • He spends his free time with his friends instead of me

Yet these are strictly thoughts you are having, none of these are factual, even the one about sex. “We’re not having sex” is just a thought, even if you got factual, like it’s been 75 days since you had sex, how does that equate to a broken marriage?

Trust me, I completely understand and I’m here to listen to your story, but in the end, the truth is that you could be thinking something completely different and doing something completely different about the facts in your marriage. You could choose to believe that your relationship is exactly the way it ought to be, because it is.

Let me guess that you might even have days when you think something different, days when you think there’s hope. Days when you think:

  • He does a great job taking care of our family
  • That was a good night
  • He loves me in his own silly way
  • He choses me over someone else

With all of that said, the process of changing belief systems and habits takes time and persistence. Let’s compare it to a weight loss goal. Let’s say you’re on a food restriction diet to get to a goal weight. You achieve the goal weight but return back to old thought patterning around food so you gain your weight back. The goal of getting to your natural bodyweight, forever, will take more time that you think. You will be changing years of eating, body and food thought patterning. The process includes learning how to love yourself, envisioning your future self, learning why you eat foods you don’t want to eat at times you told yourself you wouldn’t eat them. Your mind will actually learn how to get there before your body.

It’s the same with relationship goals. You can start today thinking it’s fixed and choosing to believe in love. That might stick for a moment but you still have your old brain, your old beliefs that are going to tell you that you’re a fool for thinking that it’s fixed. You will have to do daily work to step towards the permanent changes you desire. These are all steps of changing you by changing your mind.

You will work on:

  • Changing belief patterning
  • Feeling and owning your feelings
  • Re-learning how to love your partner, exactly the way they are, unconditionally
  • Building self confidence
  • Learning how to create the connection you want
  • Letting go of your past
  • Creating a strong commitment to getting what you want

All of this work takes time. Time that is so worth the effort put in. As you do this work you will notice the evidence you once used against your marriage is now being used for growth and change in your marriage relationship.

I have a question for you: If you knew your future held the marriage of your dreams to the man you are now married to, would the work be worth it? My guess is your answer would be yes. My answer was yes and it has been some of the best work I have ever done in my life.

If your answer is yes, then does it matter how long it takes to get the result you want? You could believe every day you are one day closer to the marriage of your dreams. You could believe that every day is a new, exciting version of your best life together. What if you believed that once you reach that dream that you could keep doing this work and continue on into even more intimate bliss?

Would it matter if it took 1 day, 1 year, 5 years or 10? Is there a time limit to creating the love life of your dreams with your husband? You could make it mean it’s too much work or you could make it mean that it will be so very worth it. You get to decide what’s harder: slow, steady improvement, feeling better, becoming resilient, persevering or giving up, feeling awful and never feeling the love you want to feel.

The process of truly believing takes time, we want evidence that it’s working yet we are the ones who determine whether our “evidence” is for us or against us. Healing is a process of believing you’re healed and the process of truly believing, down to your core, takes time. Our minds want evidence that what we’re doing is working, but we get to decide what the evidence means.

We can make it mean that every day our love relationship is beautiful and moving forward, the good with the bad. We can also make it mean that it’s headed for disaster and will never be what we dreamt it to be.

The choice is 100% yours. I believe in you and your marriage but mostly I believe in you. You are the one who has complete control over how you feel in your love relationship, I want you to feel this magic and that’s why I love helping women “heal” their marriages.

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

MyΒ Awaken(TheTrue)YouΒ program is for women who want to stop hurting in their most intimate relationship. I show you how to stop settling and bring back the love, connection and excitement you crave. Let’s re-ignite your love relationship today!

I’d love to offer a free call for you to work out whether or not my program and life changing promise is a fit for you. EitherΒ book your call nowΒ orΒ send me an emailΒ with your availability, your future life is waiting for you.

Please share this message with anyone who you know who might benefit from hearing this message. Don’t forget to join myΒ mailing listΒ where I send out weekly tips on how to start building love and confidence within yourself.

If you’d like to get more empowering emails delivered straight to you and never miss another post please get yourself signed up for my newsletter!

Bring Sexy Back

Keeping your marriage thriving will require you to be intentional about nurturing and caring for your relationship. Often times the inner workings of what keeps a relationship healthy get set aside once a commitment is established. Unknowingly we prioritize other important aspects of our lives at this point, thinking something like that love song, “love will keep us together”. It often starts with our careers, our children, then we have our hobbies and outside friendships, church commitments and then years down the road we discover our relationship has “lost its sexy”.

I like to compare relationships to a life long project that we continually evaluate, decide on purpose what is working, what isn’t working and what we might do differently to get to our desired end goal. Compare it maybe to launching a business. We wouldn’t get licensed, register with the government, open our checking account, write our mission statement and then go on to other life goals hoping to come back every night with money in our bank account.

Whether you are just starting the journey with your love relationship and still madly in love, or you’re feeling like your marriage life is more like roommates with benefits. This post will help you be deliberate with what you want to create moving forward. If you’re still madly in love, it will teach you to prioritize your love relationship. If you’re feeling more like roommates with your spouse it will help you start moving towards where you want to be.

If you’re in the later scenario, thinking about bringing sexy back into your relationship might sound like some Disney fairy tale that you’ve resolved to believe is pure fantasy. Not knowing how to bring the sexy back is not the problem, the problem is getting over the uncomfortable feelings it might take to do the work of making fantasy your reality. The problem will be getting over your belief that you’re just roommates, that the flame has died, that there isn’t any hope so settling is good enough.

I believe your sexy is important, and however that looks for you, let’s start the process of bringing it back into your marriage!

First you have to desire to bring intimacy back into your relationship.

Having the desire to bring intimacy back means you care. Having the desire means you’re willing to come up with strategies to overcome the obstacles that are in the way of you having the intimate relationship you desire. Let’s look the definition of intimacy.

Intimacy: a close, familiar and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person.

So now that we know what intimacy means, I want you to ask yourself why you want a more intimate relationship? An excellent compelling reason to do this work is vital to creating your ideal marriage relationship, so get some paper, pen and start writing.

As you write, notice what your reasons are. Are you wanting more intimacy in your marriage for reasons that feel good to you or do you think more intimacy will make your husband love you more? Remember that we cannot control other people and how they feel, so as your write your list make sure they are all reasons that make you feel good.

Go back and look through your list and cross off any reasons that you can’t control:

  • The ones you can control are the thoughts in your own head like being able to express love in ways that are important to you, make you feel love. A reason could be just because you want to feel love and stop feeling empty.
  • The reasons you can’t control are ones that dictate how he acts or treats you so that you can feel good. You can’t control what he thinks about you taking massive action towards your intimacy goals and you can’t control what he does, or doesn’t, do.

Second, decide on purpose what you want “sexy” to look like for you.

Be very specific and make sure they are all actions that you create for yourself. This is going to require you to come up with another list.

They might look like:

  • dressing in a way that feels good to you
  • acting in ways that feel like love for you
  • losing that last 10 pounds
  • creating conversations that stimulate interest and deep thinking
  • planning long hand in hand walks through the woods
  • warm and embracing hugs

Third is your action plan for achieving the intimacy you desire.

Now take a look at your lists, what is coming up for you? Maybe it all looks like that Disney movie we discussed earlier and you feel very uncomfortable even thinking about doing some of the actions on your list. Totally ok. Start with the easy ones like how you take care of yourself, things you can do all by yourself to improve how you feel about yourself. Then move on to the less uncomfortable ones like sending him a friendly text during the work day or leaving a love note in his lunch bag. Make all of these less uncomfortable ones completely comfortable while you work on strategies to start implementing the more uncomfortable actions.

Creating your dream marriage is like any other goal you want to succeed at. You wouldn’t go about losing 50 pounds by writing up a plan, thinking about it but never taking the bold steps of learning how to allow the emotion of wanting to eat food that’s not on your plan. So while you are taking the smaller, easier steps, start thinking about how you might implement some of the less comfortable steps. As you make the easier steps more consistent, you’ll notice how good they feel, this will make you curious about how the success of the bigger actions will feel (much better I promise).

Start writing down all of the things that are in the way of you taking the actions you dream of taking. Most of obstacles are your feelings of fear and discomfort. Think about what you could do to make the action easier. Let’s look at your desire to hold hands during that walk through the woods. Before you tackle all of your thoughts and emotions around the action of holding hands, you’ll have to actually plan the walk, when will it be, where will you go, what else might you do on that trip? Plan the whole experience, start visualizing it and think about how you want to feel during that special time you’re creating.

The fourth step is to start building your self confidence.

Building self confidence is one of my favorite things to do. Building self confidence means practicing things that feel uncomfortable and learning to make the outcome not mean anything about who you are as a human. Self confidence comes from being able to experience any emotion and come out on the other side stronger.

Here is an exercise for you to try around the hand holding example that will help you build self confidence. Maybe you have a thought something like “we haven’t done this in years”, which makes you feel awkward. When we’re feeling awkward we will avoid taking the action of holding hands, getting us the result of not holding your spouses hand for even longer.

Now think about the walk while feeling self confident, what would you do? You would hold his hand, feel the emotion of awkward, your hand might sweat a bit while thinking something like “I want this in my marriage.” Giving you the result of doing what you want to do. This will give you the result of getting your sexy back. The feeling you have after will be one of elation, pure glory and joy for what you created. One time won’t be enough to make it a habit but you did it and you built up some self confidence. It will encourage you to plan another event where you hold his hand, you will still have to be deliberate until this new hand holding thing becomes normal, but that’s ok, you did it!

Now apply this technique to something else on your list. The more uncomfortable things you make yourself do the easier they will become, the more self confidence you will develop. I have a free worksheet available to help you through this self confidence exercise, reach out to me if you’re interested in using it, I’d love to share it with you.

Having your solid compelling reason of wanting your dream love relationship will keep you taking one step forward at a time. Don’t worry about how it looks, look at how it’s making you feel. Keep taking massive action every single day towards bringing your sexy back, keep creating, planning, evaluating, learning and believing in yourself and your dream. Soon enough, you will be living the life you had only previously been dreaming of.

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

My Awaken(TheTrue)You program is for women who want to stop hurting in their most intimate relationship. I show you how to stop settling and bring back the love, connection and excitement you crave. Let’s re-ignite your love relationship today!

I’d love to offer a free call for you to work out whether or not my program and life changing promise is a fit for you. Either book your call now or send me an email with your availability, your future life is waiting for you.

Please share this message with anyone who you know who might benefit from hearing this message. Don’t forget to join my mailing list where I send out weekly tips on how to start building love and confidence within yourself.

If you’d like to get more empowering emails delivered straight to you and never miss another post please get yourself signed up for my newsletter!

50/50 In Marriage

Maybe not what you want to hear on a Friday as you head into your weekend, but picture the following. We have this idea that every day in our love relationship should be like a dozen freshly picked roses, hand delivered to us by our spouses, on a white horse and then sweeping us off into a beautiful ride through the rolling grass fields. Now, you can finish this fantasy off exactly how you’d like it to end. You can even arrange to have it be fulfilled if you so choose, yet somewhere in the story there will be something that happens to sens you over to the other 50. The other 50 being you thinking something that has gone wrong.

It’s life my friends and I want to grant you full permission to having, and admitting to having, negative emotion in your marriage. It’s healthy in your relationship and it’s part of our human experience, it’s all about what you make the negative emotion mean. Today I’m going to show you how to break down the barriers of negative emotion.

The road to happiness in your marriage is the incredible joy you will feel as you work towards your dream relationship by overcoming obstacles along the way. Happiness is NOT the absence of negative emotion that we see played out on Instagram or on the big screen.

Reality is that as you work on creating the marriage of your dreams, you will not feel 100% positive all of the time. Some of the time it’s going to be hard, really hard, and very uncomfortable. Blasting through obstacles on the way to any goal is uncomfortable, don’t expect it to be any different with your relationship goals. Actually, plan on it being even more difficult and uncomfortable.

Honestly, the more alive your marriage, the more negative emotion you’re going to need to experience to get there. You might want to write that down and keep it as a screen saver as a constant reminder, let’s talk about about negative emotion!

So, what exactly is negative emotion?

Emotion is a vibration experienced inside your body. It is a biological state associated with your nervous system which is brought on by neurophysiological changes associated with your thoughts. You think a thought, your brain fires off some neurological responses which send a chemical cocktail into your body creating the emotion (vibration in your body) that thought generates. So in a nutshell, your emotion is all yours. The words your spouse speaks, or the true actions they take, do not cause your emotion. You do, with how you think.

Negative emotion does not need to mean that something has gone wrong. It might mean that something has gone terribly right, telling you it’s time to dig deep and to become conscious.

Contrast of emotions, contrast in the world.

I love to think of contrast as the spice in our life, and in our marriage. It’s what brings flavor into our lives. If we didn’t feel sadness, we wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate ecstasy. If we have never felt doubt then we wouldn’t be able to sink into faith. What about the stability we feel when we find our control after a period of feeling out of control? Without feeling deep shame we could never know what true compassion looks like.

In our marriages, I think this is a most beautiful thing. When we decide we’re tired of just accepting mediocracy and that it’s time to dig into creating a marriage that is on fire, we will experience this concept of contrast. We will feel vulnerable as we work through the process but come out feeling invincible, unshakeable and completely alive!

Resistance to negative emotion.

Resistance to negative emotion is simply our inability, or unwillingness, to accept the contrast. Resistance is our desire to make contrast and the beauty of it, untrue. Resistance will deny our experience of being alive. We are spending so much of our time running away from ourselves, and our true intimate love relationship, by becoming numb. We miss out on the experience of experiencing ourselves and what it’s like to be alive in this life.

What might you be doing in your relationship to resist the negative emotion? How are you relationship distracting (go read last week’s post)? Maybe you’re spending more time away from your loved one, maybe you’re over eating or over drinking, over working, over Netflixing? What numbing/escaping experience are you creating in your life to avoid and miss out on the true experience of the emotion?

Please hear me when I tell you that the way to enjoy your life, your marriage, is to not push negative emotion away, but the opposite. Enjoying your life by opening up and diving into the negative and fully experiencing what is happening so you can learn, grow and fully appreciate the other side (contrast).

Allowing and Feeling Negative Emotions

1. Learn how to feel your emotions

This is an exercise that takes practice, patience and consistency, sort of like training a muscle. You don’t do it once and expect to be the Ms. Olympia of emotional balance.

Take 10 minutes per day to sit and allow yourself to feel the negative emotion you are feeling. Take time to describe it, write it down, see it for what it is, notice how long the feeling actually lasts before it goes away.

What we discover is that we’ve been resisting emotions for so long that we don’t even know what it’s like to experience one. All we know is how to resist and avoid through buffering.

Feeling and allowing your emotions are different from reacting to them. Lashing out, snarling and being in a bad mood is happening because we’re trying so hard to keep the negative emotion at bay. There is the strength that we put into resisting and that’s what’s coming out of us, that is what we’re reacting to.

2. Get in the habit of writing thought downloads

A thought download is when you write down all of your thoughts. You get them out of your brain and onto a piece of paper, sort of like cleaning out that messy closet. You take EVERYTHING out, especially the ugly ones. Then you process what’s in your head, not judging it as something that shouldn’t be happening. You own it, you experience it, you process it so you can understand it and then let it go.

When we realize that marriage is going to be half negative emotion and half positive emotion, we realize that we will feel an incredible amount of love as well as an incredible amount of pain. That’s when we accept the negative as a part of our marriage, a part of our human experience, a part of the journey. We don’t resist it, we expect it and we work through it because what’s on the other side is so worth it.

The more alive your marriage, the more negative emotion you’re going to experience on the road to getting there. I even created a screen saver for you to download!

Learning how to experience this 50/50 before you enter your marriage relationship is definitely worth it. Starting wherever you are in your relationship is work worth doing for both you and your marriage relationship. This work will teach you how to become aware and process through the negative instead of ignoring it, pretending it’s not there, trying to be happy all of the time. Being happy all of the time is boring, it means you’re not fully experiencing your emotions and that means you’ll never experience true ecstasy in your marriage relationship or your life.

Learning how to feel your emotions means you’ll learn what true ecstasy feels like, now that’s some work worth doing!

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My Awaken(TheTrue)You program is for women who want to stop hurting in their most intimate relationship. I show you how to stop settling and bring back the love, connection and excitement you crave. Let’s re-ignite your love relationship today!

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