Don’t Leave Me

We hear so much talk about abandonment in relationships.  So what is it?  By my standards, its a deeply rooted fear that when you truly give someone your heart and allow complete vulnerability, that the person will reject you and run away.   The need for approval, the acceptance of being treated poorly, the craving for love then leads to holding on and making excuses for staying with someone who is, let’s call it, less than healthy.

Studies that I have read show that women who had poor connection, and lack of praise and involvement with one of their parents, consistently experience:

1) Intense craving for male attention
2) Acceptance of disrespectful and abusive treatment by men
3) Poor quality romantic relationships

Here is one interesting and short article: http://www.trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index-happiness-wellbeing/kortsch4.shtml

For me, at an early adult age, a discernible unhealthy relationship pattern started to bubble up…a repeated attraction to very unhealthy relationships, who were emotionally and physically unavailable. Some relationships were even all out abusive. It was often tempting to just swear off men.

But after reading Harville Hendrix’ book “Getting The Love You Want” it started to become apparent that I was trying to fill an emotional void that came from childhood.
As a result, I have craved a heightened level of attention, love and acceptance. According to Hendrix, we seek unconsciously certain traits that relate to our parents and caregivers so we can have a “do over,” and this time gain victory over the past hurts.

In my own history, relationships followed a predictable pattern. I searched for intense chemistry and stumbled quickly into a deep attraction and attachment. I saw no flaws, my man could do no wrong. Until…about 1 year in, once deep commitments had been made, I would realize the relationship was deeply unhealthy and seriously flawed. Like one man who threw a plate into the wall because he didn’t like broccoli and wanted to lock my cat in a tiny laundry room.  Then I would spend another year or two trying to “fix” things, and finally break up and start the process all over again…Each time thinking I had just picked badly and promising myself to do better the next time.

Other relationships weren’t as extreme but might have involved cruel jokes, or lack of physical closeness, or just isolation from me through T.V., going out with friends constantly and so forth.

I knew I had to look deeply into my own emotional mirror in order to ever have a chance at a healthy relationship. Fortunately it was not in my DNA to blame the men and say that men were all bad. After all, I was the common denominator.

I don’t know or understand why it took me decades of prayer, therapy or reading but I do finally feel that I am in a healthier place. The relationship “mirror” of the future will soon tell if that is the truth.

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In the beginning…there was counseling

  Counseling.  A word that connotes brokenness….craziness.  So we avoid it, sometimes at all costs.  We are taught, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  And of course who wants to, or even can, spend $150 per hour having someone try to fix us?

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Need Some Love?

  Do you ever feel SO alone that your heart aches?  Like there is no one you can count on, not a sole person left who’s worth dating, no family or friend who isn’t toxic?

The most important truth is to know that you are a beloved child of your Holy Father or however you envision God. He loves you, yes YOU, wholly, completely and without question. Rest in this knowledge and spend time in meditation allowing your heart to receive it and soak it in. Then repeat over and over until YOU also love YOU!

You might in addition try the CD by Kelly Howell called Attract Love, it’s a subliminal meditation. Can be found on brainsync.com.  It’s the bomb. Continue reading

Never Give Up. Never…

  There is so much pain in this world. Sometimes I just want to give a healing hug to those who need it.

I am in my 50s and have been on an intense life journey to become the best person I can be.

The main wisdom I can share is to never give up on happiness. Don’t make up your mind that things just are what they are and you have to accept pain and heartache. Read, journal, pray, meditate, go to therapy/coaching. Keep sifting and searching for healthy and supportive relationships, friends and family and purge those who aren’t.

The people in our lives are a mirror of who we are currently. If you don’t like who’s around you, ask yourself “how can I show up differently?” And then do something about it!

Ok. That’s good for now.

Second Half-Century Musings

  Most people who know me well know that I have been make a big hoopla about turning 50 this year.  Well, soooo…..what’s so wrong with that?  It’s half a century for Pete’s sake!  I’m heading into my second half-century after all.  To me that’s something to commemorate, memorialize, celebrate, and okay, mourn a little.

Let’s see, how have I celebrated:  trip to New Orleans, tattoo, photo shoot, completed two 10K runs. 

The funniest thing is that I have been taking extra good care of my skin, which has involved purchasing new creams and potions and gadgets of various kinds.  My girls particularly love this electric pulse thingy that is supposed to stimulate collagen and provide all kinds of skin improvements.  Every box that shows up on our doorstep receives scrutiny from the whole family, “so what’s THIS thing supposed to do mom?!!”

Let’s talk about the downside first, because if you have read any of my other writings, you realize I like ending on a happy note.

1) I’m closer to death. 

2) My skin is getting wrinkly.

3) Menopause is around the corner.

4) Did I mention death?

Okay, that’s about it for the negatives.  The truth is, I love it more than I thought I would.  I feel great physically (knock on wood), and I am hoping that the care and love I give my body will continue to help me to feel decades younger.   Here are some other great joys of reaching the 50 year mark:

1) I am more confident and comfortable to be the real me than ever before.

2) I feel like I’m starting to understand life and people and relationships better.

3) I’m still young and have a lot of life yet to live, with the knowledge and wisdom that living five decades has brought.

Most people may not want to live to 100, but I plan to give it a shot, and am hoping I’m youthful and mentally spry even then.  Here’s to taking care of that future old lady!!  Back on the treadmill…

Advocacy Equals Strength

  When the tennis bug bit me recently, I wondered how this passion could have been slow to show up in my life. Maybe it was the painful embarrassment of historical loss after loss. After all, tennis was my first exposure to athletics, in middle school.

As a girl in small town Texas in the 1970’s, sports were not at the top of our activity list. Rather, I spent time in piano lessons, ballet and cheerleading, the traditional “girlie” stuff. Then because of friendships with some tennis players, I was encouraged to join the junior high and then the high school teams.

My high school coach was not my advocate, instead, I think he saw me as a nuisance. MY interpretation? Maybe. But it sure seemed like I spent a lot more time jogging around the courts everyday while other everyone else played in matches. LOL!! In his defense, my game at that time probably did not show a lot of promise compared to my friends who had played most of their youth.

Fast forward to today. When I started playing again last year, our club’s tennis pro, Sally, was warm and encouraging. She focused on my strengths and gave me positive suggestions. My game and confidence ramped up quickly. Having her and other coaches as advocates led me to want to DO better, and to BE better. Someone believed in me!! It’s surprising how much I needed that, and how much it meant to me and to my performance. I guess we could all use a little advocacy and mentorship in our lives. Good stuff.

It’s Okay To Win

  One of the funny things I remember about playing tennis when I started playing in middle school is that I felt bad when I did well. Excuse me…what? Yes, that’s what I said. When…I…WON, I felt terreeeblay (that’s Spanish haha). Yep, there it is.  After all, that meant someone else was losing. Now looking back it seems silly, that winning felt bad. Yet, up until then I had no athletic experience, so going for a win did not come naturally. Guilt would well up inside of me as I slammed the serve over the net and they missed the return shot. I would unwittingly sabotage myself and end up losing.

After recently becoming hopelessly addicted to tennis, this old attitude at first made me underperform. Inevitably, after I started to win a game, on the next point I could feel myself easing up a little or maybe I would just lose some focus. My MIND was clearly my own worst enemy.

After returning to tennis, I noticed a funny thing. Winning felt GOOD!! No, it felt incredible!  It was comfortable and I did not shy away from it. I talked to a tennis pro about it and she encouraged me to never back away from doing my level best, because it pushes everyone in the game to higher performance.  Winning, when done ethically, is good for all concerned.

Confidence is a great thing. I guess it’s better to have it late than never, but I think about what a gift it will be for our girls to have this feeling of worthiness at a young age. That’s the plan.  So I’m a late bloomer.