The journey of growth is multifaceted and a journey where every new step reveals a new obstacle to overcome before you can expand to that next level in your life. The more obstacles you’re willing to work through the further down the path to your future self you will go. Today I’m going to share a bit about my healing journey, why I’m sharing it here on the podcast, and what this journey has to do with my relationship with myself and my relationship with Jeff. Then I am going to share how to do this process for yourself around a goal you are working towards where you find yourself self-sabotaging and trust me, my friends, if you aren’t reaching your goals one of the most important things to correct is how you are getting in your own way, this is where removing emotional barriers comes in.
The first step in your journey is recognizing that the path to your dream come true result, the result you dream of having in your life requires effort and understanding that not achieving those goals has nothing to do with being dealt a bad hand. It requires that you dig deep into yourself and the reasons why you aren’t progressing the way you want or to move forward more quickly. I’m calling it a “healing” journey because as adults we have established patterns that were often put in place as a way to survive but what I am not saying is that these patterns were established because you had an awful childhood. Even if you had a fairy tale childhood there are many responses that have been passed down to us genetically or the patterns we developed by watching the adults in our lives and then we have our brain which perceives harmless things as dangerous.
Our resistance to digging deep is typically an unwillingness to look within or even the lack of awareness that the solution to your problem isn’t waiting outside in the world but that you have the answer already, you just have to look inside for it. Once you realize that the obstacle you are currently facing is something you can breakthrough by looking inward then it is a matter of whether you’re willing to open that door and step inside.
Today I am going to share my own personal journey, which will possibly seem a bit raw at moments, but I share in an effort to help you see that you have your own solutions to your current problems. My story isn’t your story, it’s different, but what is the same is that we both have human brains that act in ways that are often not getting us where we want to go. It is often having us act in a way that is counter to the way we want to act, getting us results that are opposite of the results we want. When I talk about “getting raw” I simply mean that often when we uncover what is in our way it can get emotional, but the gift is on the other side of that emotion. If there are old wounds that we have been ignoring then that old way of dealing with those wounds is often affecting the way we are showing up in our lives right now and exposing the raw wound is what actually allows you to start the healing process.
Here we will talk about this work and then apply it first to our relationship with ourselves. After we do the work of understanding, accepting, and strengthening ourselves I’ll talk about how this work helps us in our relationship with our partners. The beautiful truth though is that this can be applied to any struggle you are seeking solutions for, listen in as I share my past week of daily dives into different modalities of processing emotions and emotional blocks. I have made a 20-day commitment to dig deep into two of my personal and business goals where I have discovered a wall between where I am and where I want to be. This laser-focused commitment has revealed much which has allowed me to start disintegrating those barriers and open up to a truer version of myself, for me first and then how I show up in my marriage, at work, and in all of my relationships.
Let’s take a peek into what I’m learned in the first nine days and then I’m going to share how you can do the same for yourself.
What I am discovering
Most of the following is a download I poured out after a session of digging into an emotion I was feeling but wasn’t recognizing. I was showing up in a way that I wasn’t understanding so I laid down and dug into what I was feeling in my body, what vibrations this unknown emotion was creating. (link)
I determined the emotion to be anxiety and then proceeded to process that emotion to understand why it was there. This process in total probably took about 20 minutes, I processed emotions for about 5 minutes and then I wrote for 10-15 minutes. As I wrote more and more wisdom, understanding and clarity came to me allowing me to create more understanding and peel back some of what was keeping me from showing up in a way that made me feel good.
I first felt this feeling of what I am calling anxiety after coming home from the airport after dropping my husband off for a twenty-day training. My mind was in a buzz, like I imagine a little child might feel while standing in front of the candy in the candy aisle. I’m a doer, I LOVE doing things and my mind had decided that I was going to be able to do so much more while Jeff was gone…I was in such a spin that when I came home I went directly to the kitchen and decided to eat something, no idea at this point what that something was. Then I noticed my mind spinning some more and I found myself looking through cupboards trying to find something to eat. This is when I paused and asked myself what was going on. I didn’t know the answer so I laid down on the living room floor and closed my eyes. I did a few sense prompts, listened to my breathing to get out of my head, and then I asked myself again what was going on. All of a sudden I thought my mind was going to explode! All of the things I wanted to do, all of the places I wanted to go, all of the people I wanted to spend time with, oh, and all of the time I wanted to enjoy during this time to myself. Hello anxiety! No wonder I wanted to find something to eat, eating would have momentarily slowed that spin right down, and if I had eaten more, it would have slowed me down for the day. After recognizing it for what it was, I gathered anxiety up in my hands and set it on the shelf, promising to come back to it later. Then I went off for a beautifully long bike ride, coming home to clean out the garage.
As the days went on I continued to take that anxiety off of the shelf and ask it questions, eventually discovering under that anxiety an old feeling of fear.
Here is what I wrote:
“Today I processed that feeling I feel when I want to eat the other day – when I want to escape through food – this was my only way to feel temporarily good as a child. I felt criticized and beat up, never being able to please the people who I believed (and believe they thought) had my best interest in mind. Now as an adult, as I unravel this flee to a false safety, a safety that seemed to work in the past, I’m feeling it. I’m talking to it. All of those immediate sources of escape made me feel good, adequate, able to do more, so possibly I would achieve that status of finally being good enough. As I sit here in it I see why it is there, its intention to find safety at the moment because I was afraid to run, to leave, and tackle life on my own. I was too afraid something even worse would happen so I stayed where it was ok, where I could survive and fake it, where I continued to reinforce that this was the best I could get. I didn’t deserve anything better, to see what I had and not stand up for what was wrong because I should be grateful for what I have.
Now I see this safety mechanism, pattern and see how unnecessary it is at this point in my life. I see how this is patterned conditioning and response, I see how I have done the work of forgiving my past, and the people who played a role in my own personally developed protection mechanisms. Now as an adult I can let go of these behaviors but it isn’t that easy. I have to be continually aware and conscious of them. I have to recognize them, love them for their intention, honor them for what they have done for me in the past and how they have allowed me to cope. Now I can say thank you and then let them go, no longer needed.
Now I get to see them for what they are and I get to let that little girl out, I get to let her shine, I get to let her explore the things she’s been afraid of but has been dying to experience. I get to take her by the hand and say ‘let’s go.” let’s go do that thing your brain is telling you is scary, I’ve got you and I won’t let anyone hurt you again.
No one’s words or actions can ever hurt you now. I know differently now, I can see what might be true for me and what isn’t, I get to see what might be true for them and let them keep it for themselves. I don’t have to believe their thoughts anymore.
I get to be me.
I get to run barefoot through the stream.
I get to climb the hills and explore the beauty they behold.
I get to jump for joy and dance like a child.
I get to notice when my brain is afraid of what I might want to do and recognize why. I can now recognize my fear and desire to escape and hide and give myself a big kind hug, reassure myself and take the plunge that will bring more true life exhilaration than any food, drug, person, or time-wasting activity could.
I’m stepping into my next self and she is going to start saying yes when her anxious, fear-based mind is telling her no.
This is the work, my friends, uncovering the enemy’s grip on you. One of those grips is conditioned responses to threats you perceived as a child, now holding you back from your best life. Looking at your partner as the enemy holding you back is an option but a better option in my opinion is using your partner as your conduit to growth. What is it you are waiting for them to do so you can be happy? Be the influencer in your relationship and do that thing, stop waiting.
That my friends was my download. What I took away from that session is that under my anxious mind was fear, fear that I won’t be good enough, that I won’t do things well enough, that I will never turn out the way I should. Once this lie was uncovered I recognized where it came from but that isn’t even important for this exercise. Just knowing that it is there and why, is what is important and once you have awareness you can start changing how you act. I was able to tie my running to food as a way to feel good and safe in the moment back to a response I developed in the past and then I got to decide on purpose that I now want to show up for that little girl. I gave her a big hug and gave her a promise that I will face fear in a whole new, different way, a way that moves me forward instead of putting me in hiding.
What this has to do with my relationship with myself
Again, the reason I am sharing this process is to help you see that we are all working on something and that most often the thing in the way is something inside of us that is keeping us from achieving our best life. What this process did for me was open me up to understanding something that often interrupts me from doing what I want to do. Now, don’t get me wrong, eating isn’t the only thing that gets in my way, but it has been something that I turn to when I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious, bored, nervous, excited, proud, name an emotion and I might try to numb it with food OR I might try to amplify it with food.
What I’m getting at is that food is one of the things that get between me doing some of my best work, my most exciting activities, my time to relax and get to know myself, it is my easiest distraction, business runs right alongside it. Now I see one of the reasons I run to these distractions and it allows me to see it when it is in action which then allows me to pause, understand and decide how I really want to proceed.
This allows me to love myself more, to show up for myself more authentically, and have my back more often.
The same will go for you when you start uncovering the reason behind some of the things you are doing that you don’t want to be doing.
What this has to do with my relationship with my husband
First, it opens up awareness around some of the ways I show up during our time together, it helps me see when I might be avoiding him, fearful that he might be judging me or might reject me. Secondly, the braver I get around doing the things that scare me in my relationship with myself, the more secure I become in who I am and the less often someone else can make me feel rejected. This allows me to show up with more vulnerability in my marriage which means that when Jeff says or does something I am less likely to take it in a way that makes me feel awful and defensive. I get to show up in my relationship as myself, with all of my imperfections, knowing that other people are dealing with their own stuff.
What this work does for you is it gets you closer and closer to understanding yourself which gets you more and more understanding of the person you are married to. You start to understand that their actions are about them and their insecurities and have nothing to do with you. As you get to this place you are better able to open up and do the work that will bring your relationship together instead of pushing it apart.
How to do this same process for yourself
First I want you to pick one goal in your life that you want to work on, maybe something less sensitive and close than your marriage.
Second, notice when circumstances come up that push you away from that goal. Examples: exercise – sleeping in, eating – not sticking to plan, relationship – not creating time together.
Third, set aside time to sort through the circumstance, to do this you will write about the circumstance for 5 minutes, I explain this process in the linked article that explains the thought download. Then pick an emotion that comes up for you and if you don’t know what the emotion is; then do the worksheet linked at the end of this article, then process the emotion. Next, write for ten minutes about what comes up for you, maybe nothing comes up for you the first few times, that’s ok. Trust the process.
Fourthly, commit to doing this at least five times per week for two weeks.
Fifth, trust the process.
If this is new for you it will take some time to discover and feel comfortable with the process but don’t give up, the more you practice the better you will be able to hear what that emotion is telling you.
We know that a fulfilling life isn’t an easy life. Fulfillment never comes from things being handed to us, it comes from getting our hands dirty while digging into the stone walls we hide behind, that we put between us and our dream life.
If you want help and guidance with this process of breaking down the barriers between you and your dream come true marital relationship then I’d love to chat with you about it and help you see for yourself how this process works.
I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.