Clement McGrath

helping you create relationships that sizzle and sparkle


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Warning: 8 Signs that low self worth is weakening your relationship.

 Most of us were not taught how to conduct relationships effectively, harmoniously and happily. We learned in a haphazard way through the role modelling we experienced and as adults just do what we learned from our parents and other significant adults. If those relationships were unhappy and dysfunctional we come into our adult relationships with a recipe for unhappiness.

If we add low self worth to this mix then we are in trouble because the typical behaviours that go with low self worth will steadily poison and destroy the best of relationships. So here is a brief glance at 8 behaviours that get played out.

 1.Tolerance of Disrespect and Abuse

Low self-worth tells you that you do not deserve any better. This is the best you can expect so you have to make the most of it and get what happiness you can. If you are experiencing disrespect or abuse from a partner then this attitude gives them the message that they can continue with the behaviour. What’s worse, they may be so unaware that they do not even realise that they are disrespecting and abusing you.

 2. Acceptance of Weak Ineffective Boundaries

 We all need boundaries, even in intimate loving relationships. Each individual is the sacred presence of the Divine in human form, and clear effective boundaries acknowledge and respect that.

If you have low self-worth you will probably not see that in yourself, and may struggle to create boundaries that honour and respect you. And there may be fear about establishing boundaries because of real or imagined consequences. Many people are too scared to establish boundaries, and yet as they continue their journey of healing that is one of the things they end up having to do.

3. Seeking Approval and Validation

We all want to feel good about ourselves but if your sense of worth is low you will find it almost impossible to supply that validation from within. So the trap is becoming dependent on getting it from an outside source, such as your partner.

This is a weak position and you become vulnerable to being manipulated and dominated. Again you are tempted to tolerate unacceptable behaviours as a trade-off for the validation you hope to receive. Even if the other one does honour you and provides it in a healthy way, you are still dependent and in a weak position. This tends to lead to a number of compulsive dysfunctional patterns.

 4. Being Controlled by Fear

 Fear sabotages so many relationships, and the lower the self-worth the more prone you become to fear. Typical fears include the fear of rejection, fear of intimacy, fear of not measuring up, fear of being judged, fear of abandonment, fear of losing yourself, fear of expressing your feelings, and the fear of having your heart broken. Many relationship arguments are fuelled to some extent by these types of fears.

5. Blaming and Victim Thinking

 Listen to any argument and you will hear so much blaming from both sides. Blaming is one of the behaviours of victim thinking and every time you are tempted to blame your partner you are playing the victim.

The way to healing, freedom and mastery in our relationships involves self-responsibility but that requires high self-worth. High self-worth tells you that you have the right and the power to make a change or take charge right now. If you continue to point the finger you avoid the opportunity to stand tall and honour yourself, the other person, and the relationship itself.

 6. Lack of Authenticity

Authenticity and self-worth go hand-in-hand. I have asked many people what has been their biggest challenge in difficult relationships, and being truly authentic has usually come second. The first is almost always communication.

It is a basic psychological and spiritual need to feel authentic, and the lack of it can leave you feeling like an empty fraud – not a nice feeling. Once again, low authenticity can strongly tempt you to tolerate behaviours and conditions that do not serve you. We can see how they are all intertwined.

 7. Personalising and Defensiveness

Low self-worth may also mean fragile self-worth that can be riddled with sabotaging beliefs, such as I am not good enough, or I am a failure. This is a challenge in communication because everything that is said is taken as a personal insult or attack.  It becomes impossible for you to accept any constructive feedback or observations because it is always seen in this light.

Because you already feel bad about yourself, everything that is said reminds you of that. But instead of looking at your own self-beliefs you blame the other person for saying you are not good enough, or a failure. Up comes the defensiveness, followed very quickly by an argument.

 8. Baseless Hope

So many people endure unhappy relationships because they live in baseless hope. This means that they are always hoping it will get better someday. To remain in this illusion, they ignore, minimise, justify or deny the ongoing daily reality.

You see this when one person starts making excuses for unacceptable behaviour from the other. They say things like, “Well he/she is very stressed at the moment, but it will get better”, or “There’s a lot going on at present; he/she is not always like that.” Turning a blind eye to what is right in front of you in the hope that it will improve someday will never heal or transform the relationship.

Another example is the delusion that you will change him or her if only you persevere long enough. It takes courage to get real about what is going on and to take responsibility for changing it, and that courage comes from raising your sense of worth and knowing what you truly deserve.

It can be sobering and frightening to read through such a list and recognise the ways you may play out some of those patterns. It can make you doubt your ability to conduct a healthy relationship but there is very good news here.

Awareness is the key to growth and change because you become aware of what may have been unconscious then you know what to change. It may still feel daunting because the next question is how to change any or all of that. Once more the good news is that there are many resources available both online and offline and if you feel you need support to improve and heal your relationship I urge you to seek out whatever resources will help you.

Blessings


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How Safe do You Feel in Your Relationship?

We all need a minimum sense of safety and security to relax and get on with our life, whatever we are doing. That level will vary from person to person but the need is universal. It applies in our personal and professional lives, and a healthy business will promote safety, not only at the obvious physical level, but at the level of all the relationships that exist within the organisation.

The following story is typical and I believe scenarios similar to this get played out in many relationships.

Michael and Cynthia came to see me because their relationship was at an impasse where every two or three days they were having major arguments, usually about the same issue. Michael worked for 50 hours per week while Cynthia was taking time off work to look after their two children. The argument was almost always about the amount of time Michael spent with his mates, either at the pub, playing golf, or watching sport.

 Cynthia felt it was intensely unfair because she was working hard with the children and never got time off for herself. Michael felt justified because of the demanding work he did and he needed the relaxation after a full week.

 However, the real  problem was not the issue itself but what happened when they started to argue. Each of them was making it unsafe for the other one, and that feeling fuelled so much of the argument and they ended up arguing about the way each of them was communicating, rather than trying to solve the issue of how they could work together in their relationship.

 As soon as their tempers flared Michael threatened to leave and cut Cynthia off from any financial support. She would immediately feel unsafe and start to panic. She would then threaten to deprive him off access to their children, and threatened to report his tax evasion to the authorities. So he would feel unsafe and react. And so each argument would spiral out of control and nothing ever got resolved.

 This may read like a fairly dramatic example but the principles get played out in virtually most relationship arguments and conflict. When we are angry, or are reacting in some way, it is so easy to use words as weapons. We know that our words will hurt but we go ahead and say them, often with a very lame justification. We all fear being hurt, and when we know it is coming we feel unsafe, and react in whatever way we can to protect ourselves. That is why many of our patterns are called defence mechanisms.

A lack of safety and security leads to tension and fear which will then creep into all levels of the relationship. We need values such as consistency, trust and respect. It is difficult to feel secure with someone who is inconsistent, and may also be volatile and unpredictable. You simply do not know where you are with them, and I have heard many people say it is like walking on egg shells. You simply cannot relax because it feels it could all change in a heartbeat.

Safety and security give a feeling of reliability. You feel you can rely on the other person and the relationship; it feels stable and gives you the reassurance that you can relax and get on with your life. We often think of safety in relationships as to do with abuse and violence but it can exist at many levels. So I invite you to ask yourself the following question, referring them to each of you. Is it safe for you, and is it safe for your partner?

In your relationship –

How safe is it to express an opinion?

How safe is it to get emotional?

How safe is it to challenge your partner?

How safe is it to show your shadow side?

How safe is it to say no?

How safe is it to ask for some change?

How safe is it to express displeasure at something?

How safe is it to pursue your own interests?

How safe is it to make a mistake or mess up in some way?

If there is stress or conflict in your relationship then the first core need for safety may be missing. Go through each of the above questions slowly and carefully as you remain really aware of what each brings up for you. If there is a reaction or an emotion then it is very possible that there is a lack of safety for you in that area. If your partner is ready and willing invite him or her to go through it with you. That can be very revealing! But remember it must first of all be safe to involve them because if any feedback you offer triggers them into anger or defensive then straight away you are not safe.

For so many people the relationship is largely about me – how I feel, what I want, and how you are upsetting me. So the really sobering part of the exercise is to go through and honestly ask yourself how safe your partner feels in each of these areas. You are basically going to find out in what ways you are making him or her feel unsafe, and that can be challenging if you have been focusing on them as being the cause of the problems.

When I hear couples arguing I go through questions like these with each in turn and get them to say exactly how they feel unsafe. I then offer them a strong challenge using the following script.

“Without justifying yourself, without making excuses, without blaming, I want each of you to consider that you, by your actions, are making the relationship unsafe your partner. You have told me you love each other yet you are repeatedly making them feel unsafe. I am going to be quiet for 5 minutes as you think about how that feels.”

When I ask each of them how it feel about 90% say it feels awful. We need to courageously find that level of honesty if we are going to transform our relationships. And this is just the first core need! There are eight more.

That level of honesty can also be scary so please do not be afraid to reach out and get some good support if you feel caught in a situation like this in your relationships.

Blessings


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How Safe is Your Relationship from these Two Traps?

A basic cause of all relationship conflict is the gap between your beliefs of how relationships should be and the reality that exists right here, right now. Whenever you find yourself arguing or in conflict, look deeply at what is going on and you will find this gap. Every time you make the other person wrong about something, the gap is there. Whenever you blame them for something you will find the gap. Every time you try to get them to change in some way there is the gap. Whenever you feel that the relationship is not meeting your expectations, the gap is there.

So the first trap is resistance to the reality right in front of you and is the essence of all the arguments. You will find that you are resisting the reality right in front of you because it does not conform to what you imagine it should be like. Humans tend to confuse their beliefs with truth. When you hold a belief about how things should be that becomes your truth, and if reality does not conform to it, the temptation is to make the reality wrong and resist it.

Reality is never going to conform to all your beliefs and expectations. Life shows up just as it is, not as you think it is supposed to. And there is the gap. The bigger the gap the more likely you will be to feel stressed.

Trying to force reality to conform to your demands causes so much tension, struggle and frustration. There is usually fear caught up in all this. We will look at fear in a later chapter but for now we can identify two major fears that cause people to start forcing and resisting:

1. The fear of being out of control
2. The fear of not getting their needs met.

These are deep-seated fears and will tempt you into your own knee-jerk reaction, and so the key to resolving your conflict is to work creatively with fear, and there are ways of doing that which I do not have space to go into here. For now, can you see this whole pattern playing out, and are you prepared to challenge your beliefs and assumptions about how the relationship is supposed to be? But how many do that? Most people just try harder to bend the situation to their will and end up feeling stuck, frustrated and confused.

And then there is the second trap, which is universal belief that is so embedded in the collective psyche that it hardly ever gets exposed or questioned. It causes so much havoc and you need to discover how it may be sabotaging your relationships.

This is the belief that the other person exists in the relationship to make you happy. Put another way, it is the belief that happiness comes from the outside and so the other person is responsible for your happiness. Relationships are obviously about being happy, but the trap is believing that it is the other person’s responsibility to make you happy.

Whenever I listen to couples arguing, the words may be different but the underlying message is always the same, and it goes something like, “You are supposed to make me happy by being a certain way, and you are not, so therefore it is your fault this relationship is not working.” When you have both individuals giving out this message it does not take much imagination to guess what is going to happen.

If you believe this then you have been sold a crock. You have been sold the belief that someone else is going to make you happy, and that is simply not true. People suffer so much with this one. They enter a relationship full of hope that it is going to make them eternally happy, and then they meet the reality, and discover the other person often seems to be doing the opposite – doing everything to make them unhappy. The pain of this realisation is very real and can destroy your peace of mind, your self-esteem and your faith in relationships themselves.

Don’t be surprised if you feel some resistance to this. That limiting belief is so deeply ingrained in the collective psyche and has become such a basic assumption, that we often cannot imagine anything else. However if you have the courage to challenge yourself, I invite you to do the following exercise. Take plenty of time to go as deep as possible with your awareness and answers.

1. Bring to mind a challenging relationship and be aware of how it plays out in your life; e.g. significant patterns.

2. Be aware of all your feelings about the relationship.

3. Take some time to honestly answer the following questions.

4. How big is the gap between the reality and your belief of how it should be?

5. In what ways do you try and force this gap?

6. In what ways do you expect the other person to make you happy?

7. How deeply and honestly have you examined and questioned your beliefs about relationships?

8. What might the relationship be like if you could let go of some of those expectations?

Now consider what all that means to you. Take a pen and paper and journal your thoughts and feelings. Allow any so-called negative feelings such as fear or resentment to be there, but do not believe the conclusions that those feelings suggest.

If you can move into the open free state that exists beyond these traps then you will automatically start to transform your relationship. You will communicate better, you will respond more appropriately, your emotions will be more harmonious, and you will sustain great passion for the whole relationship. You will be ready to create a relationship that truly sizzles and sparkles.


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Do You Love You Fully and Passionately?

Our relationship with ourselves is our first and most fundamental relationship: all other relationships flow from that. So the most powerful thing you can do is to love yourself unconditionally and allow that to flow into your relationships.

Two of the core issues underlying all relationship conflict are a lack of self-love and low self-worth. Therefore, the absolute starting point for healing and transforming your relationships is to grow self-love and self-worth. However many struggle with this, and do so for three main reasons:

  1. The belief it is selfish to love yourself.
  2. Self-judgements that say you are not lovable.
  3. Not knowing how to do it.

Let’s look at each of these briefly:

 It is Selfish to Love Myself

 Many of us have been conditioned into believing that it is better to put others first and we are being selfish if we put ourselves first. And a lot of judgement goes along with being selfish. This conditioning can then be projected on to the idea of loving yourself. I have worked with so many who have wonderful loving hearts and yet almost shudder at the thought of loving themselves.

We were not told that our core relationship with ourselves is what we radiate out into the world. So what better energy to radiate to the world than love?  When you truly and passionately love yourself then you become more connected to the world, not disconnected as many fear. Love does not separate: it unites. Right through history so many of the great examples of compassion and love have been from those who also love themselves as magnificent expressions of Life.

Genuine self-love reveals that we are One. We are all waves on the one ocean and so often deep self-love prompts us to find a purpose that involves serving and loving others. How could hating or judging yourself ever help the world or your fellows, or your relationships?

 Self-Judgement

 The human mind survives on polarity which at its simplest says, “I like this, but I don’t like that.” When it comes to our inner qualities it says, “This is acceptable, but that is not.” What happens when you look inside and find qualities, thoughts, feelings and behaviours that you believe are unacceptable? You judge them and probably try and get rid of them, and show only the acceptable ones to yourself and to the world.

Judgement is one opposite of love. Where love unites, judgement divides; where love accepts, judgement condemns. However, polarity is the basic condition of existence which needs hot and cold, dark and light, night and day, male and female, expansion and contraction, and all sets of polarity.

The same is true for each of us. The wholeness of life gracefully contains all pairs of opposites united in harmony. This is graphically illustrated in the famous yin / yang symbol. You have the eternal play of opposites united in the greater wholeness of the circle that embraces them. It is not a mistake that you contain a shadow, made up of all those things you have suppressed, judged and disowned. They are part of the fullness and richness of your true nature.

However, most believe they are only lovable and acceptable if they are a certain way. So they spend huge amounts of energy, time and resources trying to sanitise themselves of those things they believe do not fit in. When you are encouraged to love yourself then you are brought face-to-face with that shadow and are asked to love and accept qualities and behaviours you believe are unacceptable. That is a huge challenge and it trips so many.

We have not been taught that when, as children, we acted out our anger or selfishness, or something else, we were simply trying to get our needs met in the only way we knew how. Unfortunately the adults in our live did not realise that either and often gave us the message that we were wrong, or bad, or naughty. So we grow up believing there is something wrong with us, and these unacceptable qualities and tendencies are the proof of that

 Not Knowing How

Not only is loving themselves a foreign concept for many people, but they simply do not know how. Our minds are focused almost exclusively outwards and this applies to love as much as to everything else. We know how to love another person, or a pet, but really struggle how to direct it inwards, so here is a little exercise you may wish to try.

Loving Your Self

Think of someone you love such as your partner, a family member, or even a pet.

Recognise how you show love to that person or animal, whether you hug them, use loving words, do things for them,             or whatever else you do.

Now do the same to yourself. Hug yourself, or speak loving encouraging words.

You may initially feel some resistance so keep doing it until it feels comfortable.

You learned to judge yourself as a child, so find where that child lives on inside you and give him or her love in the                same way.

Make it as real as though you were doing it to a physical living child.

Allow that child part of you to receive this love and relax into knowing that he or she is okay and lovable.

You are Pure, Innocent and Lovable

As I said above you only displayed certain qualities or behaviours as a child because you were trying to get your needs met. The same is true now. When you are tempted to be mean, selfish, critical, lazy, spiteful, and so on, you are simply trying to get some need met in that moment. Those qualities are not your true nature, which is pure love.

The truth is not that you are lovable but that you are love.

You cannot be anything else, but you can be ignorant of that, or forget it, and then act out in ways that do not serve you. The good news is that as an adult you have self awareness and can make choices, and understand the results of those choices. So when you are tempted to judge yourself, or find you are doing something that does not serve you, then try the following steps.

  • Catch the temptation to judge and stop it in its tracks.
  • Ask yourself what you truly need in this moment.
  • Imagine and feel that you are giving that to yourself right now.
  • Relax and breathe deeply.
  • Identify what feeling, thought or behaviour would feel better and start practising that.

Blessings, Clem


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Does This Describe Your Relationship?

You will have your own story and your own patterns that play out but see if you can recognise what is going on here and how the same patterns could be affecting your relationship.

“Karen and David (names changed) came for help because their marriage had been deteriorating since Karen started her business and David took more responsibility in raising their two children. When I saw them she was frustrated and accused him of not pulling his weight, not supporting her, and of being passive aggressive when she tried to get him to cooperate.

 David, on the other hand, was withdrawn and defensive, and avoided communicating directly about any of the issues Karen was raising.

 It soon became obvious that Karen was a perfectionist who had fixed ideas on how things should be, and was continually criticising him when he did various jobs. David, on the other hand, feared confrontation and would withdraw into himself and stop communicating. So they did exactly what most couples do. They focused on each other and were trying to force each other to change, and then getting stressed because it was not happening.

 It was a real challenge to turn away from blaming each other and take responsibility for changing their own patterns, but as they did so then the whole situation started to improve. Two simple yet powerful changes made the difference. Karen started to accept that her way of doing things was not the only way, and then healed the fear of losing control that was triggered by letting go. David learned that it was safe to express his feelings, and healed the fear of being rejected.

 This did not happen overnight but they did the work and learned new ways to support each other and within six months they were enjoying the relationship they had dreamed of but which had always eluded them.”

Now there are some key principles here which we need to understand if we want to improve our relationship and really make it sizzle and sparkle.

  1. Each of us brings our own patterns into a relationship and we just automatically act them out. This is what we have learned in life, and it is often all that we know. So whenever an issue arises we do what we have always done whether it works or not. The real problem is that most of us have blind spots when it comes to our patterns and we cannot see or feel what they are doing to our partner. It is so much easier to minimise or ignore our patterns and point the finger which takes us to the next issue.
  1. This is that we focus on the other person, and blame them, or their patterns, for the challenges we are facing. This is often clothed in a strong demand that he or she should be a certain way, and because they are not, then it is their fault. I have literally heard people say, “If only he (she) would do this …. then everything would be fine.” What we do not realise is that these demands can be experienced as an attack, and most people will get defensive when they feel they are being attacked or judged. They then go further into their patterns and the whole issue escalates.
  1. The third challenge is that there is usually fear operating and that will drive all your communication and reactions until you expose it and dissolve it. Nobody likes to feel fear, and the knee-jerk reaction is often to get angry at the person who triggers the fear. We tell ourselves subconsciously, “If he, or she, would only be like this then I would feel no fear, and everything would be fine.” You may not put it in those words but that is the subtle message you are giving yourself, and them.
  1. And the fourth issue is that the real needs on both sides do not get acknowledged or met, and you can be left feeling frustrated, confused, scared and stressed.

This question of needs is so important. If you think about any arguments or stress in your relationship you will find that all your reactions, feelings and behaviour will be driven by the sense that some need is not being met. It could be the need to feel safe, the need to be heard, to know you are loved, to feel you have value, the need for connection, the need to be taken seriously, the need to be treated as an equal, and many more.

When you feel your needs are not being met you will automatically feel stressed and will be strongly tempted to react in your usual ways, and they are doing the same. In the resulting conflict none of these needs get met and nothing gets resolved. It can start to feel like groundhog day and before long the sparkle has disappeared from the relationship.

What can you do about it?  Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Learn to take responsibility for the part your patterns are playing in the conflict, and decide what changes may be necessary.
  1. Acknowledge that there may be fear running for you and get some help, if necessary, to heal the fear.
  1. Identify what needs are not being met and how that makes you feel. This is often where the fear comes in.
  1. Learn how to express your feelings without blaming them. For example, saying something like, “You really make me mad,” does not help at all. They will immediately feel judged and attacked. It is much better to say something like, “I feel quite confused (scared, tense, upset, etc.) when I hear you say that.”
  1. In your calm times sit down with your partner and each of you acknowledge your needs, and share how you feel when they are not met. And remember you are just saying how you feel – you are not accusing them of anything.
  1. When you have both expressed and heard those needs then, if it feels right, make a plan on how you want to meet the needs for each other.
  1. Learn about the principles and methods of conflict resolution and see how they can be applied to your situation.

These are simple ideas that can and will help. They are not a magic bullet that will solve everything but they are a great place to start. And remember be prepared to get some good professional help if necessary.

Blessings


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Relationship Alert: How Low Self Love is Undermining your Relationship and Robbing You of Happiness

Our relationship with ourselves is our first and most fundamental relationship: all other relationships flow from that. So the most powerful thing you can do is to love yourself unconditionally and allow that to flow into your relationships.

Two of the core issues underlying relationship stress are a lack of self-love and low self-worth. Therefore, the absolute starting point for healing and transforming your relationships is to grow self-love and self-worth. However many struggle with this, and do so for three main reasons:

1. The belief it is selfish to love yourself.

2.  Self Judgements that say you are not lovable

3.  Not knowing how to do it.

Let’s look at each of these briefly:

 It is Selfish to Love Myself

 Many of us have been conditioned into believing that it is better to put others first and we are being selfish if we put ourselves first. And a lot of judgement goes along with being selfish. This conditioning can then be projected on to the idea of loving yourself. I have worked with so many who have wonderful loving hearts and yet almost shudder at the thought of loving themselves.

We were not told that our core relationship with ourselves is what we radiate out into the world. So what better energy to radiate to the world than love?  When you truly and passionately love yourself then you become more connected to the world, not disconnected as many fear. Love does not separate: it unites. Right through history so many of the great examples of compassion and love have been from those who also love themselves as magnificent expressions of Life.

Genuine self-love reveals that we are One. We are all waves on the one ocean and so often deep self-love prompts us to find a purpose that involves serving and loving others. How could hating or judging yourself ever help the world or your fellows, or your relationships?

 

Self-Judgement

 The human mind survives on polarity which at its simplest says, “I like this, but I don’t like that.” When it comes to our inner qualities it says, “This is acceptable, but that is not.” What happens when you look inside and find qualities, thoughts, feelings and behaviours that you believe are unacceptable? You judge them and probably try and get rid of them, and show only the acceptable ones to yourself and to the world.

Judgement is one opposite of love. Where love unites, judgement divides; where love accepts, judgement condemns. However, polarity is the basic condition of existence which needs hot and cold, dark and light, night and day, male and female, expansion and contraction, and all sets of polarity.

The same is true for each of us. The wholeness of life gracefully contains all pairs of opposites united in harmony, as graphically illustrated in the famous yin / yang symbol. You have the eternal play of opposites united in the greater wholeness of the circle that embraces them. It is not a mistake that you contain a shadow, made up of all those things you have suppressed, judged and disowned. They are part of the fullness and richness of your true nature.

However, most believe they are only lovable and acceptable if they are a certain way. So they spend huge amounts of energy, time and resources trying to sanitise themselves of those things they believe do not fit in. When you are encouraged to love yourself then you are brought face-to-face with your shadow and are asked to love and accept qualities and behaviours you believe are unacceptable. That is a huge challenge and it trips so many.

So much of the journey of healing and self transformation is about loving all of who you are. When we are unhealed we tend to either suppress or act those qualities we judfe about ourselves. Neither works, and true healing happens when we accept ourselves and integrate our shadow into a higher expression of our potential.

This is not a licence to indulge those things. If, for example, there is a challenge with anger, you can learn to accept yourself as lovable even while you are committed to dissolving the roots of anger within. The difference is in moving from judgement to acceptance.

 

Not Knowing How

 Not only is loving themselves a foreign concept for many people, but they simply do not know how. Our minds are focused almost exclusively outwards and this applies to love as much as to everything else. We know how to love another person, or a pet, but really struggle how to direct it inwards, so here is a little exercise you may wish to try.

  1. Think of someone or maybe a pet that you love.
  2. Identify how you express love to that person or animal.
  3. Do you hold them, or offer loving words, or do things for them?
  4. Now do the same to yourself.
  5. Hold yourself, or speak loving words, or anything else you do to show love.
  6. If you feel upset or stressed, think of the stressed part as a scared hurt child.
  7. Now love that child in the same way.

Love starts with you, so learn to love yourself unconditionally, and you will start to transform your world.

Blessings


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Four Ways Your Relationship is Mirroring You Back to You.

Relationships are relentless in mirroring back to us all that we need to be aware of, heal and transform. The common trap is to make the other person wrong and believe they need to change in some way for the relationship to improve. Truly transformational growth comes when we accept that they are a mirror to us and Life is inviting us to look at all those aspects of ourselves that are being reflected back. Here are four levels through which this mirroring works:

1. It reflects back what we are giving out, which is an expression of who we are in the moment. If you are holding anger somewhere then it will be mirrored back by your partner. If you are holding love that will be mirrored back. Communication is the response you get, so what are you giving out that is bringing back that response?

Remember, also, that up to 90% of communication is unconscious and non-verbal so you may not be consciously aware of what you are radiating, but the reflection back will be an accurate guide. Look at the nature of what is reflected back, and then ask yourself where that same quality may be hiding within you.

2. It mirrors what you judge and have an emotional charge about. For example, if you have an emotionally charged judgement about selfishness you will get that perfectly mirrored back to you. If you judge people who are over indulgent you will find your partner reflecting that back in some way. They may need to take responsibility for their behaviour but your opportunity is to see your judgement and move beyond it into understanding and acceptance. That includes accepting yourself for having that same quality while you honestly explore how to integrate and purify it into a redeemed wholeness.

3. Fear will be repeatedly mirrored back to you. We draw to us the very things we fear, so your unresolved fears in the relationship they will get mirrored back. For example, if you have a deep fear of empowering yourself you may experience repeated incidents where you need to empower yourself so you can move forward with the relationship. You are therefore being continually invited to confront your fear of self empowerment.

There are many psychological fears that get played out in relationships and they will all get mirrored back in some way or another. With fear it may be that the situation demands that you deal with the fear, rather than it being directly reflected back by the other person.

4. The other person will mirror back all the qualities and possibilities that you have denied within yourself. If you have compromised your honesty that will be mirrored back, maybe by your partner being very staunch about honesty as a value. If you have denied your own feelings you may have repeated scenarios that require you to get in touch with your true feelings.

The real journey of healing and transformation is about reclaiming and owning all the parts of you that have been denied. Two common issues are authenticity and personal power. So many of us have denied these in an effort to survive our upbringing and once more your relationship will mirror back exactly what you now need to do to reclaim them.

Try this:

Identify a pattern or quality that you find difficult with your partner.

Remember when and how it gets played out.

Become aware of your inner feelings, without blaming them.

Ask yourself if you exhibit the same pattern or quality, maybe in subtle ways that have gone unnoticed.

Explore what your relationship would be like if you could let go of that.

If that is not the mirror, then go through the other aspects and see if your judgement, fear or denial is being mirrored back.

Once more explore what it would be like to let go and get beyond that.

See if you can get a vision for how transformed the relationship could be.

Choose one significant thing you could do to bring that about.

Make a powerful unconditioned choice to do that.

Be gentle with yourself but persevere until real change occurs within.