Browsing all articles tagged with codependency

I was shocked when my friend said I was defensive

Posted Posted by admin in Blog (Weekly), Blogs     Comments No comments
May
9

I am so grateful for my daily “awakenings” because I get to witness what I had backwards for much of my life. I thought if I loved someone deeply and completely, they would love me back and I would be able to RECEIVE their love.

My focus for many years was on the “outside” and taking care of YOU (whoever you were at the time) because I needed you desperately to love me back. I was empty inside and experienced self-hatred, inadequacy and “not enoughness” in everything.  This led to my people pleasing behaviors and approval addiction.  Like many of us, I wasn’t taught how to love and appreciate myself because it was considered selfish and conceited. Instead of selfishness, think of “SELF is ness” which means noticing, accepting, loving, cherishing and appreciating yourself.  It is the grace Of God to the accept ourselves and that allows us to accept others.

It is my belief that the more I love and appreciate myself, the more I can RECEIVE love from another. We are not CAPABLE of receiving love from another if we haven’t learned to love ourselves. Sure, I have experienced love from another when I didn’t love myself, but it was never enough.  It wasn’t until I gave myself self-love that I was capable of RECEIVING the deep love I craved from another.  It all begins and ends with me as I awaken and come home to myself in my body, mind and spirit.  As women, we know how to give. We know how to over-give. But we have no idea how to RECEIVE. We have a serious crimp in our receiving hose.

When my focus and attention is on YOU whether that be caretaking, fixing, controlling or judging you, I don’t see ME and my behaviors until you mirror them back to me.  We know that what we spot in others, positive or negative is a part of us that we have disowned. It can also be called our shadow or blind spots.

It is humbling when God shines His light into my heart and shows me behaviors that I didn’t know were there. It is not always pleasant, but I am grateful because if I don’t see it, I can’t change it.  Years ago, a good friend told me that I was defensive. I was shocked and guess what I did? I defended myself!  I have worked very hard at not being defensive over the years so I was surprised what came up for me recently.

I shared with a friend something I noticed that she was saying about herself that I thought was negative. She became defensive. As I walked away, I realized that is how I used to be a lot when someone tried to point something out to me.  What a mirror she was. I learned a big lesson about the importance of just listening and not saying anything to defend myself.

After I shared the incident with Larry and what I learned, I asked him, “Do you think I am defensive?”  Silly me! He said, “YES,  A LOT.” I was shocked and then he laughed and said, “I’m only kidding.”  I said, “OUCH – please be serious because I really want to know the truth.”  He thought about it and said, “Not much.” I asked, “Where am I defensive?” He said, “Your driving.” I really wanted to defend myself and say, “Sure you wouldn’t like it if I told you what lane to drive in” but kept my mouth shut.

He was RIGHT because I have been defensive about my driving. The truth is that I don’t like to be told what to do. If I was totally confident in my driving, I could let his remarks just float by me, detach and not pay any attention to them.  Instead, my mouth goes on and on.  NO MORE. He can say whatever he wants to. I have kindly said to him, “Honey, if you don’t like how I drive, I would be happy to have you drive.”

Since this incident, I am noticing my “defensive behaviors” in the kitchen when Larry suggests that I do something that I already know how to do.  I think to myself he must think I am stupid. I sometimes react with a smart remark instead of just saying O.K.  I think he is just trying to be helpful and I don’t need to take it personally and think he is judging me.

As I am awakening and my “stuff” comes to the light to be healed and transformed, it is crucial that I continue to love myself and not beat up on myself as I did for so many years.  It’s another opportunity to embrace all of me the positive and the negative because it’s all GOOD.

Larry

I was remembering the other day that when people ask me, “How do you feel today?” My reply is usually an automatic “Magnificent.”  When someone says to me, “Enjoy your day” my reply is, “Thank you, I am” and I really mean what I say.   

I don’t live in a dream world and have challenges just like we all do. I have gray times, times of fear and uncertainty.  I’m traveling this journey just like anyone else but I have this core belief and at that level I feel magnificent.  My question to myself is, “How did I reach this place and why do I feel this way?” 

As I think about it, there are many reasons that I can share.  

I start enjoying each day immediately as I awaken.   

I see each day as a gift. 

I live with an attitude of gratitude. 

I have made it a habit of deleting negative thoughts and negative energy in my life. 

I take the time to enjoy the many gifts that are offered to me each day; the morning sunrise, the sweetness of the morning air, the beautiful aroma of a pulmeria bloom, the birds singing, the sun shining, beautiful flowers all around us, the ocean, the mountains, the sky, etc. 

I have become more accepting and flexible about people and situations in my life. 

I am learning not to judge and have learned how to forgive.  I understand how unforgiveness is like a lead weight that we carry around, we will never be truly happy or at peace until we learn to forgive. 

 I consciously make decisions to eliminate stress in my life. 

I take full responsibility for my actions and with the help of grace make conscious decisions. 

I try to consciously face my fears and eliminate them with help from the energy and light of love. 

I associate with loving people who are actively seeking their truth, as they discover their ways to become vessels of love. 

I give myself permission to just BE. No planned time, open time, time to relax, inhale and let it out slowly, rest, listen to the silence voice of God.  Take a walk in nature, by the ocean or mountains. 

I live with a partner who is loving, caring, supportive, kind, beautiful inside and out, generous and funny. I’m so fortunate to share my journey with her. 

Thank you for allowing me to share with you why I feel so MAGNIFICENT.  Participating in this sharing has helped me to understand how I arrived at this place.  Perhaps reading this may be beneficial to someone else who is seeking to find their MAGNIFICENCE.

 

 

 

 

“Why it’s difficult to say NO and set boundaries

Posted Posted by admin in Blog (Weekly), Blogs     Comments No comments
Mar
27

 “I am guided by the wisdom of God in everything I THINK, SAY OR DO. I know how to plan my life and direct my path because God is doing this FOR ME by doing it THROUGH ME. There is no uncertainty or confusion. The divine Spirit always knows what to do and how to do it.” Creative Ideas, Ernest Holmes

Thank you all for writing and thanking me for my “list” of how I kept myself peaceful in last week’s blog. I have followed it and its working. I would like to add a few more things that I have practiced and learned this week. One of them is that I have the right to change my mind – and not feel guilty or apologetic. I am not responsible for another person’s reactions or feelings. I have to do what is right for me by going within and getting in touch with my feelings. My feelings are a gift from God and they will guide me to the next right thing for me to do or be.

I was sharing with my friend, Kati, what I learned about asking for what I wanted and being willing to accept a NO or a YES from the person I asked to do something for me. She immediately said, “Please share what you wrote to me when I said no to your request because it felt so good.” She sent me a text saying, “Apologies for not jumping in today loved one. Needed an unwind day for body, mind and spirit. I will be there with bells on toes for the yard sale. Thanks for understanding.” I knew that she felt badly that she couldn’t help me so here is what I wrote back to her. “Sweetheart, no apologies necessary. Saying YES to yourself is just as important, perhaps more important, than saying YES to me. I respect your NO.”

A NO uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a YES uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.” Gandhi

There was a time in my life that I didn’t know how to say NO to others because I wanted to be loved and wanted to please others. I didn’t know how to ask for what I wanted – because I didn’t know what I wanted or what my feelings were. I was passive and expected others to read my mind and know what I wanted. And then I was resentful and angry when they didn’t do what I wanted them to do. I often said YES to a request when I really wanted to say NO because I was afraid of hurting other people’s feelings.

Over the years, I have learned and now teach others how to be assertive and the positive goals of saying no and to say no in a way that doesn’t destroy a relationship. By saying no to demands for your time and energy and inappropriate behaviors, you create the space to the YESES in your life that really matter. You cannot truly say YES until you can truly say NO and stand in your power. Saying NO is saying YES to yourself and protecting what is important to you.

Here are some reasons why it is hard to say NO, speak up, set boundaries and say YES to what really matters:

Fear of not being liked or loved.

Fear of retaliation – if I don’t do this for you, you won’t help me.

Easier to just go along and pretend nothing is wrong.

Don’t want to offend someone or hurt someone.

Don’t want someone to be angry with you.

Don’t want to rock the boat and stir things up – peace at any price (at the expense of your own needs).

You don’t know what you want– fear of facing self and the truth.

You are more comfortable with others making decisions.

You don’t trust yourself that it’s ok to have wants and needs.

You never learned the skills of how to say no.

You are afraid of standing up for yourself.

You are unconsciously attached to being the martyr or victim.

It is easier to stay in denial about a problem because then you won’t have to take responsibility for yourself and what you want.

You don’t want to feel guilty and look selfish.

You don’t deserve to say no. You tell yourself “I should be more loving, available…”

You imagine in advance their reaction, so you say nothing.

Things are good enough as they are and you feel a measure of security in the relationship.

You don’t deserve any better.

The security of the relationship is more important than your own personal fulfillment.

You may feel responsible or made to feel responsible for the failure or unhappiness of others.

Communication is essential to healthy relationships, whether that be with a partner, spouse, child, friend or employer. We need to know how to ask for what we want, how to receive, how to speak up, say no and set appropriate boundaries. Saying YES to ourselves is healthy and self-caring. We not only help ourselves, but we teach others, especially our children how to do this.

If you are struggling with any of the above, don’t know what you want, don’t know how to be assertive and ask for what you want and want help to say YES to what is important in your life, I can help you.

I am offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching session. Call me and we will discuss the special package I am offering this month. As a Spiritual Life Coach, I have assisted people deal with issues regarding addictions, grief, transitions, relationships and trauma.

Is it time for you to say YES to yourself and move forward in your life? If not now, when?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF

Posted Posted by admin in Blog (Weekly), Blogs     Comments No comments
Mar
14

Loving yourself is a process and a life long journey. I choose to love myself daily.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t always like that and I had to learn to love myself.  The truth be known, I hated myself and felt inadequate most of the time.

As the captain of the cheerleading squad at East Meadow High School in New York, I loved cheering for the football and basketball teams. I also “cheered for” my friends who often came to me with their problems. They knew I would listen and wouldn’t judge them.  But what about me?  Did I cheer for myself?

I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know how to cheer for myself. I looked outside of myself for others to approve of me and tell me I was okay.  My self-esteem was like a yo-yo.  If you liked me, I felt good about myself and if you didn’t like me, I didn’t feel good about myself.  Instead of loving myself, I judged and beat up on myself.  I didn’t know how to love myself and I didn’t have a “self”.  I became a people pleaser and was loved starved.  I wasn’t in touch with my feelings (especially anger), what I wanted or who I was.  But, I looked good on the outside-like I had it all together.

About twenty five years ago, I learned about Codependency and it changed my life. I gradually learned to like myself and then to love myself. Codependency can be called “other-addiction.” Codependents have a long history of focusing their thoughts and behaviors on other people, often at the expense of themselves. They “people please” and will do almost anything to get the approval of others.  People pleasers are full of anger because their needs are rarely met because they are so busy taking care of everyone else. They look very competent on the outside but on the inside they feel quite needy, inadequate, helpless, or perhaps nothing at all. They may have experienced abuse or emotional neglect as a child. They are outwardly focused on others, and know very little about how to direct their own life from their own sense of self.  Sound familiar?

We cannot change until we are aware of our behaviors and what needs to be changed. I needed to change. I learned to stop beating up on myself and looking outside for my answers and self esteem. I began to affirm myself, “I like and approve of the person I am becoming.”  I said it constantly and after awhile, I started to believe it.  This was the beginning of self-love.  Nobody can love you like you can love yourself.  When you love yourself, you learn to love others.  Love is the answer. The bible says “love your neighbor as yourself.”  We often forget about loving ourselves first.

My journey has been one of self-discovery, self-love, self-confidence and self-trust. I started to say NO and stopped “shoulding” on myself.  I put a sticky on my phone that said, “I will not should on myself.” At first, my children and family weren’t happy when I set boundaries and said no. They thought I was being selfish. I told them it was self-care!  Today, I say no easily when I want to and so do my children.  And the best part is – I don’t feel guilty and neither do they!

Loving myself means I stop acting like a victim, blaming and judging others. I take responsibility for my feelings, actions and behaviors.  It means I forgive myself for years of not loving myself, beating up on myself and having to be perfect.  Today, if I make a mistake, I quickly forgive myself and see what I can learn from it.  If others do something that I don’t like, I choose to forgive and see the perfection in it – that I attracted it into my life for my highest good and healing. I believe everything happens for a reason and that it’s for my highest good.

                                                            MORE TIPS ON LOVING YOURSELF

1.  STOP ALL CRITICISM– Criticism never changes a thing.  Refuse to criticize yourself.  Accept and love yourself exactly as you are – knowing you are doing the best you can.

2.  DON’T SCARE YOURSELF – Stop terrorizing yourself with your negative thoughts.  Find a mental image that brings you pleasure and switch your scary thoughts to pleasurable thoughts.  Remember the good things that have happened in the past.

3.  SPEND TIME ALONE IN MEDITATION AND PRAYER-  Plug into the Power within on a daily basis. Allow yourself to receive Divine Love and healing.  Journal your feelings and focus on what you have, rather than what’s missing.  

4.  BE KIND TO YOUR MIND – Self hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts.  Change your thinking and focus on the positive things in your life.  Start a gratitude journal.

5.  PRAISE YOURSELF – Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing. Stop looking for others to validate you. Be patient with yourself and treat yourself as you would your best friend. Look into your eyes often and tell yourself the truth of who you are as a child of God.  

6.   SUPPORT YOURSELF – Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you.  Asking for help and being vulnerable when you need it is sign of strength and courage. It gives others permission to ask for help when they need it. 

7.  TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY – Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality?  Exercise.  Cherish and revere the temple you live in.  

8.  ACCEPT YOUR GIFTS – Step into your greatness and magnificence. Stop hiding and let your light shine.  Find your passion and live it. Live your dreams.

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU: TIPS ON HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF

Posted Posted by admin in Blog (Weekly), Blogs     Comments No comments
Jan
14

Loving yourself is a process and a life long journey. I choose to love myself daily.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t always like that and I had to learn to love myself.  The truth be known, I hated myself and felt inadequate most of the time.

As the captain of the cheerleading squad at East Meadow High School in New York, I loved cheering for the football and basketball teams. I also “cheered for” my friends who often came to me with their problems. They knew I would listen and wouldn’t judge them.  But what about me?  Did I cheer for myself?

I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know how to cheer for myself. I looked outside of myself for others to approve of me and tell me I was okay.  My self-esteem was like a yo-yo.  If you liked me, I felt good about myself and if you didn’t like me, I didn’t feel good about myself.  Instead of loving myself, I judged and beat up on myself.  I didn’t know how to love myself and I didn’t have a “self”.  I became a people pleaser and was loved starved.  I wasn’t in touch with my feelings (especially anger), what I wanted or who I was.  But, I looked good on the outside-like I had it all together.

About twenty five years ago, I learned about Codependency and it changed my life. I gradually learned to like myself and then to love myself. Codependency can be called “other-addiction.” Codependents have a long history of focusing their thoughts and behaviors on other people, often at the expense of themselves. They “people please” and will do almost anything to get the approval of others.  People pleasers are full of anger because their needs are rarely met because they are so busy taking care of everyone else. They look very competent on the outside but on the inside they feel quite needy, inadequate, helpless, or perhaps nothing at all. They may have experienced abuse or emotional neglect as a child. They are outwardly focused on others, and know very little about how to direct their own life from their own sense of self.  Sound familiar?

We cannot change until we are aware of our behaviors and what needs to be changed. I needed to change. I learned to stop beating up on myself and looking outside for my answers and self esteem. I began to affirm myself, “I like and approve of the person I am becoming.”  I said it constantly and after awhile, I started to believe it.  This was the beginning of self-love.  Nobody can love you like you can love yourself.  When you love yourself, you learn to love others.  Love is the answer. The bible says “love your neighbor as yourself.”  We often forget about loving ourselves first.

My journey has been one of self-discovery, self-love, self-confidence and self-trust. I started to say NO and stopped “shoulding” on myself.  I put a sticky on my phone that said, “I will not should on myself.” At first, my children and family weren’t happy when I set boundaries and said no. They thought I was being selfish. I told them it was self-care!  Today, I say no easily when I want to and so do my children.  And the best part is – I don’t feel guilty and neither do they!

Loving myself means I stop acting like a victim, blaming and judging others. I take responsibility for my feelings, actions and behaviors.  It means I forgive myself for years of not loving myself, beating up on myself and having to be perfect.  Today, if I make a mistake, I quickly forgive myself and see what I can learn from it.  If others do something that I don’t like, I choose to forgive and see the perfection in it – that I attracted it into my life for my highest good and healing. I believe everything happens for a reason and that it’s for my highest goo

                                                       TIPS ON LOVING YOURSELF

1.  STOP ALL CRITICISM– Criticism never changes a thing.  Refuse to criticize yourself.  Accept and love yourself exactly as you are – knowing you are doing the best you can.

2.  DON’T SCARE YOURSELF – Stop terrorizing yourself with your negative thoughts.  Find a mental image that brings you pleasure and switch your scary thoughts to pleasurable thoughts.  Remember the good things that have happened in the past.

3.  SPEND TIME ALONE IN MEDITATION AND PRAYER-  Plug into the Power within on a daily basis. Allow yourself to receive Divine Love and healing.  Journal your feelings and focus on what you have, rather than what’s missing.  

4.  BE KIND TO YOUR MIND – Self hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts.  Change your thinking and focus on the positive things in your life.  Start a gratitude journal.

5.  PRAISE YOURSELF – Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing. Stop looking for others to validate you. Be patient with yourself and treat yourself as you would your best friend. Look into your eyes often and tell yourself the truth of who you are as a child of God.  

6.   SUPPORT YOURSELF – Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you.  Asking for help and being vulnerable when you need it is sign of strength and courage. It gives others permission to ask for help when they need it. 

7.  TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY – Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need to have optimum energy and vitality?  Exercise.  Cherish and revere the temple you live in.  

8.  ACCEPT YOUR GIFTS – Step into your greatness and magnificence. Stop hiding and let your light shine.  Find your passion and live it. Live your dreams.

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