Monthly Archives: May 2018

You’ve Got To Feel It To Heal It

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That’s right, there is nothing worse than hiding from your feelings because until you feel them they will come out in unhealthy ways.

Depression is sadness turned inward. Are you avoiding happiness because you have unresolved sadness?

Then feel it to heal it.

Got some rage going on and you took out in a road rage incident?

Then feel it to heal it.

Shame running the show in your life?

Then feel it to heal it.

Feeling scared, lonely, disgusted, left out, jealous, embarrassed, disappointed, frustrated, shy, uncomfortable or guilty?

Then feel it to heal it.

There is no way around it, we must resolve, process and look at what we feel, even it’s really uncomfortable.

You will come out on the other side feeling joy,hopeful, friendly, brave, silly, grateful, loved, kind, secure, curious,proud, and confident.

After all, who wants to be stuck in misery.

Happy exploring your feelings.

 

 

 

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Thoughtful Thursday #214 – Abandonment Continued

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Susan Anderson’s book The Journey from Abandonment to Healing is a wealth of information about the devastating effects of abandonment and that real miraculous recovery that is possible.

I am paraphrasing the five stages of abandonment.

  1. Shattering-devastating pain and hitting bottom.
  2. Withdrawal-the intense craving for the love you had.
  3. Internalizing-beating up on your self esteem.
  4. Rage-fighting back by expressing your rage and anger.
  5. Lifting-your life gets back on track.

These are not linear steps but as the author states they are stages that are circular, like a cyclone. We go through each stage at one time or together. It may take days, weeks, months or years to resolve but worth the effort.

Abandonment is one of the worst betrayals a person can experience. Recovery is more than possible, with some self care and self compassion you will come out on the other side changed, wiser and more resilient.

Read Susan Anderson’s book and be amazed at how recover from abandonment is possible.

You Can’t Change People by Blogger Jenna Ryan of Self Love U

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So True.

You Can’t Change People

When you realize that you can’t change other people, and you accept that they are who they are and it’s not your job, or your place to change them, you can learn to let go of people who are not giving you what you need; or requiring you to do all the work; or are causing you to be less-than. You can let go of these people and begin to embrace new relationships that are more healthy. New relationships where you are valued, validated and respected.

It’s a great indicator of your path. When you’re able to determine what is good for you and what is not, your path lights up and you get out of old negative patterns of relating onto new nourishing experiences. You are no longer stuck. You build new neural pathways in your mind towards your own betterment. It’s a beautiful process of learning to love yourself by saying no to the bad stuff and yes to the good stuff.

This will feel uncomfortable at first. It will feel “off” because maybe you’ve been habituated to following patterns of self loathing and self harm. But if you trust your path, and persevere towards the good, then you will say goodbye to that old identity (in a loving way) and hello to the new, true identity which was yours all along.

You may be afraid to walk away from your old way of relating because you may be afraid of the unknown–also, your brain may be trained to go towards your current comfort zone. You have to retrain your brain. You have to learn to listen to your intuition which will tell you when you feel mistreated, and even if that mistreatment feels most comfortable, you listen to your truth. You take a leap of faith–trusting yourself.

You can also learn to love others who are close to you for who they are… especially those you must deal with in life, like parents. When you know what’s right and wrong for you, you can set boundaries externally and emotional limits internally in a way that lets you stay safe and meet them where they are. You only do this with close family–new relationships need to adhere to your new levels–or remain acquaintances. The key is you stay neutral, not clinging to or pushing away negative people.

There are so many mental and emotional processes that can get in the way of this healing, but it’s worth it to learn about everything. It’s worth the effort to pull yourself out of the pit and to heal. You deserve a happy life.

Here’s the Reason People Grow Up Idealizing Their Childhood and Parents

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An unexamined life is a gray life. You miss the explosions of insight and groundedness of maturity. Here is a wonderful article by Darius Cikanavicius of the Facebook page: Self Archaeology. He explains the realities of the survival skills children need to survive in precarious situations.

Why People Grow Up Idealizing Their Parents and Upbringing

“With nothing and no one to judge them against, we assume them to be perfect parents. As our world broadens beyond our crib, we develop a need to maintain this image of perfection as a defense against the great unknowns we increasingly encounter. As long as we believe our parents are perfect, we feel protected.”
— Susan Forward, Toxic Parents
Babies and small children are new to the world and their brains and minds are still developing. The biggest influence on a child’s development is their primary caregivers and their immediate environment. That’s where we get our understanding of concepts like love, care, empathy, trust, healthiness, goodness, worth, value, and so on.

Inherently, children believe and trust their caregivers. A child’s parents, other family members, teachers, and similar authority figures shape the child’s beliefs about the world and about themselves. This is how a child learns about self-worth and self-esteem, and about estimating others.The problem is that children have no objective ability to evaluate what they are taught.

As I write in my book Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults, “Children do not have a healthy frame of reference regarding their family environment and their treatment by their caregivers. Children have only experienced what they have experienced and have nothing to compare it to.” And so the smaller the children, the more likely they are to accept the teachings of their caregivers without questioning. This includes explicit teaching and implicit or non-verbal messages. Since children see their parents as all-knowing, all-powerful, and infallible, they also tend to blame themselves for how they are treated. Often they actually are blamed – and actively or passively punished – for disagreeing, being disobedient, or “acting badly.”

The truth behind this is children need their caregivers to survive. The child will die without their caregiver. Therefore, children are extremely sensitive to rejection and have no other choice but to ultimately be as their primary caregivers want them to be. So idealizing them is vital for their survival.

This dependency on a caregiver for survival follows people long into their adulthood. It manifests in different irrational beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. People grow up with a lot of accumulated pain and chronic psychological trauma. For the most part, even as adults most people remain psychologically dependent on their primary caregivers, unable to feel free and happy.

The beliefs people developed and internalized growing up haunt them throughout their lives. Most people idealize their parents even as adults because they have never truly examined their childhood and their early relationships and resolved the root issues, or at least not to the degree where they would feel safe and secure enough to let go of all their illusions and fantasies about an ever-loving parent.

It is extremely difficult to accept that perhaps how you were treated as a child was not normal even when you are a self-sufficient adult; it is impossible to accept when you’re a child. It is so hard because, for most people, it is unbearable to even contemplate risking their bond with their caregiver, no matter how toxic or downright abusive that dynamic may be.

Healing from all of it and growing is a long and complicated process. It often involves feeling emotional pain and discomfort. But it is necessary in order to finally set yourself free and live a happy and authentic life.


For more on these and other topics, check out the author’s books: Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults and Self-Work Starter Kit.

Darius Cikanavicius

Darius is the founder of Self-Archeology. He is a writer, educator, mental health advocate, and traveler. Darius has worked professionally with people from all over the world as a psychological consultant and a certified life coach. His main areas of expertise and interest are inner work, childhood trauma, social anxiety, self-esteem, self-care, perfectionism, emotional well-being, narcissism, belief systems, and relationships.

Darius is an author of two books: Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults and Self-Work Starter Kit.

For more information about Darius and his work, please visit selfarcheology.com. If you consider Darius for online consulting/coaching, you can find his contact information here or email him.

 

It Makes Sense We Sabotage Ourselves and Why It’s OK.

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Self sabotage comes in many forms.

We can become hyper aware because we have been dealing with unreliable people for a long time and we expect things to go wrong.

We can get in the habit of not making commitments because those we trusted thwarted all that we loved.

We may want to be unseen because any attention means possible abuse.

We may people please to keep us safe at the expense of our own needs.

We may want to control everything just to feel safe enough to exist.

There are many more ways to self sabotage but the reason why we do that is because there are unresolved issues just under the surface of our awareness and our self sabotage keeps us distracted enough not to feel those feelings.

Self sabotage is a coping method and that is OK until you are in a place to look at those feelings and release them.

It’s not easy but with some kindness and compassion for yourself you will gradually let go of self sabotaging behavior.

Betrayal

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One of the worst experiences one can have is to be betrayed. What is betrayal? It’s disloyalty, stabbed in the back, unfaithful, double crossed, tricked, given false information, or no information, misled, abandoned, let down, and deserted. You get the idea.

It’s that crushing feeling of shock, disbelief, anger, shame, and you want retribution and fight hard against denial of the betrayal because it hurts so much.

This is no easy feeling to deal with, it may take some time to process what is going on. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Have some detachment.
  2. Talk it out with a trusted friend.
  3. Feel the emptiness and grieve.
  4. Don’t act out irrationally.
  5. Make a recovery plan.
  6. Be really good to yourself.

The key to healing betrayal is to be self-aware and really good to yourself. Know that it is only a matter of time before you feel better.

Coping With The Loss Of A Loved One.

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My father passed away a few days ago. We had a challenging relationship. So as I go to the viewing today I will leave you all with this lovely article about grief from the American Psychological Association.

Grief: Coping with the loss of your loved one

Coping with the loss of your loved one

Coping with the loss of a close friend or family member may be one of the hardest challenges that many of us face. When we lose a spouse, sibling or parent our grief can be particularly intense. Loss is understood as a natural part of life, but we can still be overcome by shock and confusion, leading to prolonged periods of sadness or depression. The sadness typically diminishes in intensity as time passes, but grieving is an important process in order to overcome these feelings and continue to embrace the time you had with your loved one.

Everyone reacts differently to death and employs personal coping mechanisms for grief. Research shows that most people can recover from loss on their own through the passage of time if they have social support and healthy habits. It may take months or a year to come to terms with a loss. There is no “normal” time period for someone to grieve. Don’t expect to pass through phases of grief either, as new research suggests that most people do not go through stages as progressive steps.

If your relationship with the deceased was difficult, this will also add another dimension to the grieving process. It may take some time and thought before you are able to look back on the relationship and adjust to the loss.

Human beings are naturally resilient, considering most of us can endure loss and then continue on with our own lives. But some people may struggle with grief for longer periods of time and feel unable to carry out daily activities. Those with severe grief may be experiencing complicated grief. These individuals could benefit from the help of a psychologist or another licensed mental health professional with a specialization in grief.

Moving on with life

Mourning the loss of a close friend or relative takes time, but research tells us that it can also be the catalyst for a renewed sense of meaning that offers purpose and direction to life.

Grieving individuals may find it useful to use some of the following strategies to help come to terms with loss:

  • Talk about the death of your loved one with friends and colleagues in order to understand what happened and remember your friend or family member. Denying the death is an easy way to isolate yourself, and will frustrate your support system in the process.
  • Accept your feelings. People experience all kinds of emotions after the death of someone close. Sadness, anger, frustration and even exhaustion are all normal.
  • Take care of yourself and your family. Eating well, exercising and getting plenty of rest help us get through each day and move forward.
  • Reach out and help others dealing with the lossHelping others has the added benefit of making you feel better as well. Sharing stories of the deceased can help everyone cope.
  • Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones. Possibilities include donating to a favorite charity of the deceased, framing photos of fun times, passing on a family name to a baby or planting a garden in memory. What you choose is up to you, as long as it allows you honor that unique relationship in a way that feels right to you. If you feel stuck or overwhelmed by your emotions, it may be helpful to talk with a licensed psychologist or other mental health professional who can help you cope with your feelings and find ways to get back on track.

How psychologists can help

Psychologists are trained to help people better handle the fear, guilt or anxiety that can be associated with the death of a loved one. If you need help dealing with your grief or managing a loss, consult with a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional.

Psychologists can help people build their resilience and develop strategies to get through their sadness. Practicing psychologists use a variety of evidence-based treatments — most commonly psychotherapy — to help people improve their lives. Psychologists, who have doctoral degrees, receive one of the highest levels of education of any health care professional.

Use the Psychologist Locator to find a psychologist in your area.

This Help Center article was adapted from a March 2011 post by Katherine C. Nordal, PhD on APA’s Your Mind Your Body Blog.

Mental Disorder and Mental Health Problem

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Mental Health Disorder is an illness that is diagnosable. The illness affects a person’s thinking, emotional state and behavior and disrupts their lives. Examples are depression and anxiety which is common and the not so common schizophrenia and bipolar disorder which can lead to a disability.

Mental Health Problem is a much broader term that included both mental health disorders and symptoms of mental disorders that may not be  severe enough to warrant a diagnosis of a mental disorder.

Slang terms used for mental health issues are crazy, psycho, mad, loony, nuts, cracked up and wacko. None of these terms are helpful for give much information on the subject.

Helpful Resources for your mental health and if you are assisting others.

National Institute of Mental Health – http://www.nimh.nih.gov

World Health Organization – http://www.who.int/topics/global_burden_of_disease/en/

 

 

From: Chapter 1 of Mental Health First Aid USA ISBN:978-00692-60748-0

 

Thoughtful Thursday #213 – 45 Life Lessons by Regina Brett

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People often tell Regina Brett how great she looks for her age. Turns out, she is actually 54 years old — not 90. She wrote down these life lessons the night before her 45th birthday after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Over that past decade, these lessons have gone viral on the Internet amid claims that she is 90 years old. Luckily, she finds humor in this misrepresentation, knowing how many lives she has touched.

Whatever her age might be, these universal lessons are relatable to anyone who needs a little reminder of what’s important in life.

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.

9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

22. The most important sex organ is the brain.

23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

25. Forgive everyone everything.

26. What other people think of you is none of your business.

27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

30. Believe in miracles.

31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

40. The best is yet to come.

41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Beating Trauma with Elisabeth Corey

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I have worked with Elisabeth Corey for quite some time. Along with a trauma therapist  and  Elisabeth I have made great strides in working through years of trauma. Working with her was the missing link in my recovery. I am adding her most recent blog post here in the hopes it may help you.

Most of us have been on this journey for a long time.  We have been searching for peace and healing for years.  We have sought out the answers to our pain for years.  We would most certainly call ourselves seekers.  We are driven by something deep inside that won’t leave us alone.  Even when we spend time in denial, we always come back.  But the resistance to our journey is strong and coming from all directions.  Society tells us to plan for the future, to ignore the past, to be as productive as possible, and to pretend we are fine, even perfect.  Our family wants us to stay in denial and keep the secrets.  Our friends wonder why we won’t stop thinking and talking about the past. All of these pressures can set us back on our journey.

But society has the wrong idea.  We think we can leave the past behind by ignoring it, denying it and focusing on the future.  But we cannot create what we want this way.  It is like building a house of cards in an earthquake zone.  It is only a matter of time before our past patterns, cycles, beliefs and emotions come rising up and shake everything to the ground.  We cannot build a new life on this shaky foundation.  We must dig deep and unearth the unconscious residue from our traumatic past.  We must pull it up and out.  Until that happens, we are not making a new life for ourselves.  There is no room for it.  The space to manifest is already full.  And it is manifesting what we don’t want.  To bring in the new, we must let go of the old.  But what does it mean to let go of the old?  Here are some examples I have found in my own life.

Letting Go of the Savior.  If we grew up with childhood trauma, we almost always have inner children hoping for a savior.  This savior might be modeled after someone who existed in real life or an imaginary person.  But these hopes sit in our unconscious and drive most of what we do.  They tell us things like, “Don’t be too successful or our savior might not feel the need to come.”  Inner children are very opposed to the idea that we can save ourselves.  They don’t understand we have an adult self now and can actually make empowered change in our lives.  And if they are too strong in our unconscious, they might have us convinced we cannot save ourselves.  They live in a state of helplessness and hopelessness.  We must come to understand this as an emotional flashback so we can live our lives without the constant search for a savior.

Letting Go of the Parental Relationship.  I am going to start by saying this isn’t always necessary in the most literal sense.  We might not need to completely let go of the parental relationship to bring in the new.  But I will guarantee we need to let go of the dysfunction and lack of boundaries.  Parents will likely fight us on this, but this needs to be done for us to manifest our best life.  These parental relationships in their current form are clouding our energy.  We have contracts with them left over from childhood.  These contracts might obligate us to take care of our parents’ emotional or physical needs.  These contracts might obligate us to take part in their traditions.  They may even obligate us to financially support our parents.  These contracts are upheld by guilt and societal duty, but they are not in our best interest.  These contracts mean we are not free.  We are slaves to our past relationships.  And new, more fulfilling relationships cannot enter our space while we uphold these contracts with our parents.

Letting Go of Dead People.  This concept might be a stretch for you.  I get that.  Depending on your beliefs, this may or may not resonate with you.  And feel free to take it or leave it.  But for me, I have sensed some aspects of my energy being held up by dead people.  My ancestors are most certainly hanging around and I used to think this was a good thing.  I do believe we transmute and transform energy for the generations before us as we heal ourselves.  And when we are on a deep healing path, this might give us quite a bit of spiritual company.  It might feel comforting for a while.  But I am starting to realize there is a point in this journey where I have to send them away.  As long as my traumatic past is living in my energy, I am not completely free to bring in the new.  But there is one significant dead person who I am particularly focused on at the moment: my ex-husband and children’s father.  He needs to go.  I have recently realized I have spent the past 7 years married to a ghost.  He is deeply and energetically tied into my needs for a savior.  And on some very unconscious level, my inner children were still expecting a return.  But a return would only give me a heart attack.  My adult self sincerely doesn’t want that for a couple of reasons.  1) He’s dead.  2) He’s deeply traumatized.  So I have to let go of that relationship in my conscious mind, my unconscious mind and on a cellular level.  There is nothing left to gain from continuing to hold on.  It is time to bring in the new.

So in this time of bringing in the new (yes this is the time), check in with what you are holding on to from the past.  It might be something glaring and obvious.  It might make logical sense and it might not.  It might be something so obscure you have to search through the depths of your unconscious.  But if you aren’t manifesting what you want in life, there is something blocking it.  Find it.  It is your life and you get to remove anything that is not serving you.  You get to say what stays and what goes.  This is your time to grieve and let go of the past.  This is your time to live your new life.