Why people ruin happy relationships

For those who can’t stop trying to convince themselves they’re bad with self-destructive actions.

This one is for Nikki.

If you prefer to listen, here’s the podcast version of this post on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Why do we destroy relationships with those who love us? Why do break our own trust, betray our dreams and rob ourselves of happiness and safety as soon as we get close to it. It’s a mystifying loop of behavior that has powerful effects on everything in life: a chain reaction that keeps us hiding or running from the ugly truth of what we’ve done. Just like an addict, you might live with a subconscious awareness that you will inevitably destroy whatever good you might have – and that anxiety is the backdrop of every moment. And so you self-medicate the fear, work harder, try new ways to become a different person and cling more tightly to what you desperately want. When you do inevitably self-sabotage and act out in ways that betray your values and destroy the hearts of those you love, the experience is laden with soul-crushing shame. Like you just woke up inside a nightmare. This is in part because you have no idea why you’re doing it. You have an almost separate self who is doing these things despite you. And because it hurts you and invokes intense guilt, this RESTARTS the cycle of badness. Your action creates the feeling which creates the action.

If you’re reading this and nodding your head, I want you to know there’s a simple reason behind your cycle of behavior that you must CHOOSE to confront and understand. It’s not who you are, it’s a tactic that you learned to cope with unrelated pain and anxiety. Without further ado, there are three parts: the what, the why, the how.

Part 1. The What

You might be in a long but noticeable pattern that makes you feel crappy about yourself and causes you to ruin a good thing as soon as you find it. Maybe you actually choose to avoid relationships that get serious, even if you like the other person – because you know that it’s going to cost you too much in the end. Better to get it over with, ahead of time.

Maybe you crave love and intimacy and you currently have a great partner! Someone who is more than you could ever ask for – the best and most tolerant accepting person, but despite that truth, you find yourself in situations that you know are wrong, and you usually realize you wanted to stop it way too late – when you wake up or you find yourself hiding the whole truth.  It’s like a ship that keeps veering off course when you’re not looking – but the ship is you. You might do things that don’t make sense to you – that upset you and make you feel horrified even as you’re doing them. You might feel outside your life as you’re living it – you have this dark secret identity and cannot be trusted. You might experience joy and love and intimacy and then immediately feel the sorrow of knowing that it could be taken away from you at any moment – that that moment is inevitable, because they will find out the truth eventually, so it’s almost like living as someone dead. You cannot figure out who you are or what motivates you and it takes a lot of energy just to start trying for something good, all over again.

Maybe your cycle of self-torture has become so abbreviated that you cannot distinguish the difference between you and the destructive acts anymore. You might have a faint awareness that the acts are not what you want – that they hurt you, make you feel worthless and disgusting, at times you cannot believe you are the one capable of enacting them – but yet, here you are – once again. Doing the same things, acting like the person you decided not to be.  Life is a thick and heavy fog of self hate and hopelessness: there’s no end in sight. Is this really my life? Can’t I promise myself I’ll stop? Don’t I mean it this time? Can’t I work even harder? Why doesn’t anything work for me? This must be who I am.

So if this sounds like you, take heart. You don’t make sense to you right now – but you make sense to m. I see in you – myself in a former stage of life. And here’s what I can see from my vantage point. Your problems are not “who you are” and they’re not your lot in life. They are tied to something specific from long ago. And this issue can be solved – forever – if you choose to look at the problem in detail and untangle the root. This will be the most “worth it” growth you’ve ever done.

I’d like you to treat this podcast as a reason for you do what I did: go to therapy. I know that word probably sends shivers down your spine – it’s a lot of work, money, and you don’t believe in therapy. Yeah, I didn’t either. But that’s all a big excuse for not trying everything and it’s coming from fear. Therapy is different when you go into it with a specific goal in mind and you find the right person to do it with. I’ll come back to that part. Let me give you a general overview on this topic – as I see it, from where I stand today.

Part 2: The Why

As you might know, the premise of my podcast is that the key to undoing all issues is in understanding the why.  Everything we do is very much based on our life experiences – so pretty much anything you do, everyone would do, if they lived your life and were placed within the same circumstances. The darkness you fight against is not something specific to you – it is in part created by your particular life experiences. So know that you are not alone, you’re not destined to suffer in this way, and you can and will find understanding of your issues if you pursue acceptance and healing with openness.

You didn’t arrive here by accident. Your actions are a manifestation of some feelings inside: shameful feelings and painful beliefs that don’t fit with who you want to be in your conscious values. Your actions are putting this inner feeling into active context. Just like PTSD sufferers will put themselves into danger so they can feel more comfortable with the overwhelming emotions of terror, your self-destructive actions are enacted in part to make sense of the feelings. Just like following the script for a role you feel bound to play.

Your old experiences have created this loop of self-destructive behaviors in you – that I’m sure another part of you is trying to rationalize. You’re likely trying to give the behavior a logical source: I am doing this because of x. The stress, the promotion I didn’t get, I was drunk, I didn’t really want it anyway, I’m just a screwed up person. All of these are logical reasons to assign to something that doesn’t make sense to you. You’re also likely conflicted and confused by your feelings: inner chaos resulting from polar opposite emotions about your own actions. No matter what source you assign it to, the behavior still doesn’t make sense and it seems totally outside of your control.

The why behind this loop of behavior, is in the denial of a feeling. A denial of what we are ashamed to feel, don’t want to feel, or are afraid to feel for a variety of reasons. Because they betray us, morally. Because they are intolerable to our loved ones. Because we cannot understand them fully. Because there’s nothing we can do about them. Because they don’t align with what we want. And so we ignore them, medicate them, bury them under other life busyness, cover them with things that prove we are good and powerful and different than the darkness. We run even faster and work harder to be better in all the other areas of our life.

It is HERE in this efforting where the shame monster thrives. When we’re running away with all our might.

With that suppression and disconnection, the feeling deep inside us takes on an unpredictable power. It grows bigger and darker, and it feeds itself. The more bad thoughts you push down, the more you’re trying to hold in, and pressure builds. Suddenly you’re holding onto a lot of fear, pain and darkness and it’s getting more and more difficult to ignore. Just to manage acting as your regular self suddenly takes a whole lot of self-control and hiding of anxiety. When you do finally slip up, it’s when stress or work taxes you to the point you cannot suppress the feelings anymore.  Suddenly the pressure explodes: the slip-ups are like wrecking balls that knock down everything else that was good. These slips cause so much harm to you and to innocent bystanders because they’re of an opposite truth. They wreak the havoc of an opposite life, an opposite being – one you tried to talk yourself out of. Like building up a tiny wad of clay each day – eventually that forms into the ugly other self: I call it the shame monster.

  • What is the shame from? Are these feelings mine? Why do I do things that I don’t want?

Everyone has good feelings and bad, all the time. The difference is that you lack the ability to confront them and deal with them in ways that align with the goals of your most rational thinking self. So your feelings are not confronted or dealt with, they’re immediately stuffed away.

Now these parts of you have become infected and exacerbated – like a zit that turns into an infected boil. Gross. Instead of confronting it and dealing with fear in a healthy way, you stuff it down and hide it from your awareness, and thus you have created a separate self. A duality that removes all of you from being here, in your present life. You are now living the lie that no one can know, including you. The duality then strengthens the divide between “you” and “the real you” more and more – and the shame grows. Because once it’s begun, the monster seeks more of itself. It wants to be fed with actions that voice its truth. And so this shame starts to take on a powerful role in your life, subconsciously guiding your actions – urging you from deep inside to act out. “You know it’s inevitable… it’s who you are.”

  • Why can’t I deal with the feelings in the first place?

That is the question you must solve with your therapist. I can tell you this without question: it’s a system that started up a long time ago. It’s old, it likely has something to do with your parents, your childhood, or an old trauma or series of traumas. Here’s what I can tell you about myself – because I was just like you are right now.

We take on coping tactics when we have to. We learn our tools from our upbringing – and we do what we need to for survival. Ironically, it’s healthy to do what you are doing. Your brain started doing this as a way to protect you from a breakdown. When we start stuffing feelings away, it’s because we’re incapable of looking at them – they are too much for us to cope with: too scary, too painful. Your method of dealing is called denial. Somewhere you know the feeling exists, but it’s being redirected away from your consciousness because you don’t know how to deal with it. Hence my belief that this is tied to young age.

When you’re young, you’re vulnerable and rely on a caregiver for survival. You need a confident base to stand on to confront what is overwhelming and scary. So when you feel overcome and helpless and you don’t have the help you need to deal with it or understand it, a healthy thing to do is employ a new coping mechanism – otherwise your brain will break. Like a system overload. You took on this habit because your brain was protecting you from breaking. Your way of managing something that feels too much for you, is to stuff it away.  That was helpful at one time, but it isn’t NOW. Now this system of self-protection is overriding your life.

What does “stuff” mean?

Hide, smother, swallow, ignore, distract from, numb with substances. A way to escape from anxious feelings, painful sad feelings and terror-like feelings. It means you are cut off from feeling the feelings just enough to continue to function. They’re always there, guiding your perception of yourself and the world around you, but they’re just out of range of your consciousness. They can also create a false definition of yourself because of the fact that you’ve internalized them. They can be things like, “I’m a bad person.” Or “I am a deviant.” Or “I need this other thing to feel okay.” “I’m damaged goods.” “Everyone hates me.” “The world is terrible and life will always bring me pain.”

When it comes to the particular kinds of dark feelings – here are some of the causes that create loops of self-destruction in romantic relationships:

  1. Fear of Abandonment

This is a common reason behind self-sabotage in relationships. If you had a caregiver who abandoned you permanently or on an irregular basis – or you lost someone vital to your survival, very young – the pain of the fear of potentially losing your life line will be similar to PTSD: it will overtake you and cause you an extreme amount of discomfort and anxiety as soon as you feel attached. Once the fear starts, any feelings of peace and intimacy are immediately overrun by the pain of the imminent loss.  And so to feel comfortable with this terror, you take it into your own hands and the feelings are at once manageable. You are going to wreck it or you’re going to make it so they do. However, this system doesn’t preclude you from WANTING the love and intimacy – so however it happens, you live in the feeling of mourning and that pain is much too great the closer you get.

If you have a childhood with abandonment this can also manifest as a loss of interest in someone as soon as they come too close to you or show you love. Your more comfortable in the longing and distant stage: as soon as things get close, they don’t fit what you like as a relationship. You immediately drop them or do something self-destructive as a way to immediately remove yourself from the relationship.

  1. PTSD from Repeated Traumas

If you grew up in a stressful environment and you had lots to be worried about, you likely live with a constant sense of, “When’s the other shoe gonna drop?”  If you had to manage a lot of overwhelming fear for a long period of time when you were you, you likely took up a habit of soothing just so you could survive and function. There are lots of different soothing tactics – among them, using substances so you don’t feel anything anymore, developing an eating disorder, self-mutilation. They’re either ways to point to a source of pain or disconnect from the pain entirely. A common tactic is disassociation: mentally leaving your body voluntarily – escaping to safe place in your mind. It’s a survival mechanism so that we can endure the suffering. Whether or not you disassociate or simply numb, if you’re cut off from your body, you’re also cut off from your instincts and therefore, you’ll be capable of a lot more self-harm. When you have no idea how you feel deep-down, you are going through life following the physical and external cues. Therefore, you lose a key point of logic that disable you from making the right decisions. Instead of having a gut instinct that says, “This feels wrong… I need to get out of here…” you’ll be filled with chaos. Instead, you follow whatever urges scream the loudest. You have no moral compass because you have no access to your truth.

When you are disconnected from your own feelings, your body becomes like a tool – an object that you pilot. When the connection is broken, you cannot predict your own behavior. Like you might find yourself saying things like, “I hope I don’t mess this up.” I HOPE? You should know. So if you cannot predict yourself, there’s a good chance you are disconnected from your body due to some overwhelming feelings inside. IT could be even that you are just employing the same disassociation because of HABIT. Like you used this as a way to cope when you were younger, and now it’s still happening when you don’t need it.  In this case, you must LEARN to listen to what is going on inside you and then learn to respect your own feelings and confront them when you have them.

This is also something that happens with sexuality: if you had a person in your life who sexually abused you, you might have taken control of the abuse by becoming sexual. By provoking the attacks. Because when you know when they’re going to happen, they’re way more manageable. This becomes your identity: I am sexual, seductive. People only love me for sex. Thus, if you are dating or trying to fall in love – you will believe this is still your identity: I am a seductor. And this role will also give you a sense of confidence. It will be where things make sense. Even if you HATE the sex you’re having, it will be the role that feels most natural to you – it’s only about the other person and their feelings – because you’re not paying attention to what’s going on inside you. It’s a catch-22 that removes you from ever wanting fulfillment: you only ever give it because this is where you feel right. If you find yourself giving yourself to others even when you don’t want it, or others have the power to make you play a role even when you don’t like them, this could be a starting point for your therapy.

  1. Undealt with Trauma

When we can’t make sense of an intensely upsetting experience, it disrupts how we view everything else in the world: it’s the one blip on our radar. If this trauma goes undealt with, it will continue to send your brain into an over-reactive threat response. The triggers can be anything – even totally unrelated to the original trauma. It’s like a machine that has an over-reactive alarm that’s telling you “run!” every other second. When it comes to love, every time you get too happy or comfortable, things feel wrong. Your brain starts hunting for the threat: it just doesn’t make sense: the calm, the happy, there’s something I can’t see – a danger coming. Things are never this good… So to control the anxiety, you destroy the relationship: this is now pain that you can see the source of.

So if you experienced an extremely loss of someone you cared about – or even a painful break-up when you weren’t expecting it, this might cause you to feel overwhelmingly uncomfortable when things are going well.  That anxiety in itself will be too much for many to cope with, so as a tool to control the pain, you keep things in your power. YOU are the one who breaks it. Because it relieves the pain and shuts off the broken alarm. “I see the danger now! I knew it was there.”

  1. A Childhood Full of Fighting and Chaos

In other words, you’re comfortable with discomfort: it’s what you’re used to. It’s where the world makes the most sense and you know how to deal with it. If we learn how to love (from our caregivers) in a state of turmoil and infidelity, then this is how we will unconsciously act out love for others. It’s what you can identify as love, and it’s where you know how to feel about yourself and the other person. “I need relationships to be tumultuous and volatile. I need to fight and break up, then come back together. This is how I feel safe and loved because I can orient myself.”

  1. Painful Feelings of Low Self Worth

This one is tricky because it can be completely INVISIBLE to you.  You might not even know your negative feelings about yourself exist– I didn’t. I had to trace them via my actions. I was acting as a person who didn’t love themselves but if you asked me, I’d say, “Of course I like myself – I’m awesome!” That’s because I was cut off from the darkness. So here’s a starting point for you to investigate. You might be simply acting as a person who doesn’t covet themselves despite being completely self-respecting in other areas of your life. If you’re not sure, ask yourself – what does my behavior tell me I am? If you destroy your relationships and hurt those who trust you, your behavior says, “I’m a liar and betrayer.” That’s your answer! You have a bad definition of yourself. Those painful feelings of low self worth can motivate a lot of very damaging behaviors.

Your marching orders for personal growth are to solve for WHERE those definitions began. WHO was it that made you feel like a bad person? HOW did that belief start? My guess would be that it’s likely tied to very old relationships like the one with your parents. It might be super subtle, too – or so layered into the relationship, so confusing and complex, that you can’t really identify what exactly it was that made you start believing this or that the belief is there at all. I would say try to get into a good therapist’s office and get this crap done! Untangle and look at that belief! Because it’s a painful feeling and it’s fighting against all the good you’re trying to do in your life, now.

  1. Bad Kid Syndrome

Feeling that you’re a terrible person and you deserve to be punished. If your family role was such that you took on the “black sheep” or bad kid role, or maybe you moved to a new place and felt so alone and vulnerable that you took on a new persona that was way tougher than you really were – you might be still living out that prophecy because you have now convinced yourself it’s who you are. If you currently live close to home, you also might have others in your life solidifying that role by constantly placing you back in your old emotional shoes. By ‘bad kid’ I mean the screw up with a bad record: a person who lies, cheats, is selfish, who will always disappoint others, who is always coming from a bad place, who “doesn’t get it,” who chose the wrong path in life. As this role, you’ll see yourself as the one living on the outside of the family, the one who isn’t “normal.”

Even if you’re a boss in other areas of your life, you might have a habit of being “the bad kid” in how you relate to others on a personal basis. Here’s a starting point to self-examine: When you talk about yourself, do you couch your stories in the good and positive? Or the extreme and negative? Do you remember all the good and happy things from your childhood and high school years? Or do you first recall the not-like-everyone-else things?

Regardless of your experiences, if you learn healthy coping tools – like with a therapist – you can manage the negative feelings and vent them or put them in order so they don’t overcome you. Think of emotional repression as a stuffing metaphor – eventually the pot is full and your feelings explode in a mass of sludge. What would have been a passing dark mood or thought is suddenly causing you to run off the rails. How do these parts of you take on so much power? They are validated every single time you hide something from yourself. The negative becomes MORE true when you find yourself lying and hiding things. It’s more food for the shame monster.

This comes out in moments of weakness, like when you’re stressed or low or intoxicated or triggered, because that’s when you lack the chemicals you need to enact self-control. When we’re tired or stressed, we’re acting from the less evolved part of the brain. The lower self is the less evolved threat system self. These feelings come from fear / selfishness / threat to ego / need / desire / impulse. Not reflective – not the intelligent you who knows what you truly want.

The higher you, the reflective brain that you evolved past all the other animals to have – helps you live guided by your values and what you know you want regardless of the emotions you feel. So your higher part of your brain will tell you “I know I need help. I know this isn’t who I am.” The lower and in this case more powerful emotion is fear, so it will tell you, “You’re screwed, just get wasted.”

Self-destruction is most often catalyzed when you’re emotionally triggered by something related to your secret truth. And because the shame is now overflowing, the trigger sets it off in an epic fashion – like the match to the powder keg.

So here’s a rough cycle of you vs. the shame monster:

Aspire to be good. Work hard. Get triggered or emotionally exhausted or both. Hear that whisper inside that says, “You know what to do.” Act on the shame, go all out, numb, indulge, block out the chaotic inner feeling of anxiety – which is often really a FEAR of the thing you’re doing, itself. Sober up in the aftermath in a paralyzing state of guilt. Guilt becomes self-hate. Self-hate becomes depression. You are now living as the true form of the shame you believe deep down, in the hidden truth. Thus the shame-monster feels at home.  And the shame monster grows mightier in its ability to control you. Repeat.

Overtime what happens is your shame monster has wreaked so much havoc on your life, you stop believing that you don’t want these things. You forget that you were struggling to stop yourself and you only see the shame monster in the mirror. It’s hiding who you are, in your truest and most capable self. Thus you lose hope that there is a possibility of change – why wouldn’t you? Nothing has changed so far in life, even though you’ve tried. You’ve bargained with yourself. Promised. Begged. But you have no control.

Which brings me to…

Part 3: The How: The tools…

I know I’ve been saying I want you to go to therapy. I also know that there is a lack of good care in a lot of countries and small towns. I’ve heard from many of you who have tried to get help and have had terrible experiences with therapists. I have been there myself – and that makes me very sad to know it happens to you, too. I believe there is someone who can help you – you must continue to seek it out. Don’t stop until you find that person. Even if it’s via Skype. I would say get even more aggressive about seeking out treatment – I wish I could bottle my therapist and give her to the world – she changed my life. I would say don’t stop looking, and keep reading books on the subject as a source of help in the mean time. Don’t give up hope. I want to give you a few tools to make some progress, but it’s only a start. Think of it as a way for you to begin to collect research FOR your starting point in your self-work. I want you to begin to ask yourself: What wound is this? What is crying out to be examined?

Tool 1. Know thy triggers

This set of actions is similar to a drug in that it comes about when you’re feeling overwhelming fear of the thing itself. Identify the times that you “use” your negative acts. What are the danger zones? Where are you when this happens most?

For example, I had my triggers during the day in an empty house, when I felt alone. A friend of mine had hers when it was dark out early in the day. It reminded her of when she had to go home afterschool and he dad would be there all crazy and drunk. Our muscle memory controls us without our awareness – and it will be so buried and faint you won’t even believe it’s tied to something old. So begin to mark down the details of when you are most triggered. Keep a detailed account and look for any consistent patterns. What time is it? Where are you? Is it a location? A type of situation? What emotion are you feeling? What does that feeling remind you of? What age does that feel like?

Tool 2. Greet the Feeling

In the moments you feel the tiny stirring inside of fear or guilt – the emotions that feed the shame monster – I want you to begin a practice of calling the feelings out – on paper. Don’t roll your eyes but I want you to write them in a journal or on your phone – you can delete them immediately or you can throw them away. But here’s how it works. Let the emotions and all the fears and the weird crazy stuff take on a physical form in black and white. Keep doing this. When you write about this feeling I want you to let it ramble – train of thought. It’s best with handwriting and not all of it has to be legible. It might just be scribble that you can barely tell make up words.

The purpose behind this is that when you write something, you remove its power – you bring it out of your insides and you put it into the present external world. It’s a weird thing but as soon as you see it on paper, you can see it. You can know it, and it’s pretty normal – it’s not as powerful. It can’t guide you because you are completely CONSCIOUS of it. It’s a great way to soothe anxiety problems as well. But as often as you possibly can – write down all the feelings you have when you begin to get fearful. As a general habit – regardless of the trigger moments, journal to yourself. Look at yourself in broad daylight. Describe what it feels like, what it looks like, what you’re afraid of. Reduce it to what it is: a thought.

  1. Hurting? Take Action!

Imagine this is me doing a super selly commercial for a miracle pill – it’s got big red asterisks all over the bottle and it’s free – right now! This miracle pill is the only thing you need to start helping yourself. Do it whenever you hurt and feel hopeless or powerless.

Instead of allowing your shame monster to bask in the Jacuzzi that is your pain, take ONE ACTION in the right direction and do not allow yourself to wallow. Take ACTION in any kind of positive direction. Even if it’s unrelated – like volunteer at a dog pound. Book yourself into a 12 step meeting. Go to an exercise class. Schedule a therapist appointment. Read the new book you bought on the personal issue you’re struggling to understand. Whatever you do – STOP the indulgence in the shame and self-loathing, because that validates it. Set up a list of these types of positive actions for yourself ahead of time so that you can just spring into action when your wits are not about you.

  1. PAUSE Reps

This is my work-out assignment for you! It’s a way to grow your reservoir for self-control so that you can more likely redirect yourself in future moments of acting-out.  This assignment is simple and should be done every day – what you’re practicing is the ability to PAUSE.

Before you do automatic habitual functions throughout your week, learn to take a moment and acknowledge that moment by saying, “PAUSE” or “One-One-Thousand” in your mind. What this does is enhance your ability to CHOOSE instead of REACT to emotions that tend to take the wheel of your body. Practice with anything that’s automatic – especially anything you do that’s motivated by an urge. So for example, before you take a bite of your lunch when you’re really hungry. PAUSE.

What you want to begin to know or identify, is that during the times when you feel triggered or upset – and you would normally act out or bury your feelings, you can instead WITNESS them going on inside you – just watch them yelling or thrashing inside, and do nothing about them. You are not your thoughts and feelings, but when you react, you allow them to control you. In those moments, step back from them and PAUSE.

Most of the time when we have powerful feelings we feel helpless against, we feel that we cannot change our reactions – when in reality, we just need to hone our ability to pause before doing anything. It’s all about getting yourself the right support and that one moment of inaction gives you a tiny bit more leverage in that process.

If you’re wondering what to do if your shame monster is so dark and scary, you don’t believe you can face it – I can relate. But no matter what it is, there are others who have faced the same thing and surpassed it – there are people who are weaker than you, less intelligent – with less resources.  You are already on your way. I know that because you’re still listening to me right now. You are not more broken than others or alone in your suffering.

And if you’re afraid to see your life after you heal and change, again – I can identify, but know the fear you feel is exaggerated and misplaced. YOU will be the author of how you choose to integrate your darkness with the higher self.  You get to choose how you want to address the feelings, and how they are allowed to change your life. And yes, it can be incredibly scary – not to know whether or not others will accept you or still love you through your growth. But that is their right – and it’s not your job to control how they feel. All you can do is start to work on yourself for them, and for you. This act comes from the best place possible.

The fear of the outcome is a thousand times worse than the outcome. And to be relieved of the pain and anguish of the hiding is the most amazing feeling – there’s a massive burden that lifts on your life. Things get a whole lot simpler – the path you’re walking becomes clear. And once you begin the process of accepting and owning your truth, you don’t have to bear the pain of the guilt anymore. It loses its bite. Everything in life becomes simple around that truth. It means integrating it into your life in the way that’s appropriate for YOU. You get to choose how you want to integrate each emotion or impulse into your life. Most importantly – you’ll actually have a CHOICE vs. that thing controlling you without you having a say in it.

You get to decide who you choose to be, from your highest self.  It can’t be dictated by anyone else. But once you are able to get to that point, you won’t be hurting anyone else – which is a HUGE part of the pain you cause yourself. The self-abuse of lying is like a stab through the heart of anything good you might have felt about yourself.  It is from the place of honesty and openness that new windows open for you to grow into a different person – a person you love. Who you are proud of. Who you can trust. So just begin this process for the sake of gaining inner peace – and at the very least – forgiving yourself.

In closing…

Before I close, I want to thank all of my monthly sponsors on Patreon and via my website – I appreciate you so much, thank you. And thank you so so much to my NEW sponsors Leah and Kelsey!! I am so excited to know I am helping and I will continue to invest myself into this work, especially because you invested in me.

The reason you arrived at this place is logical. The things you do come from a place inside you that make sense. You don’t understand them now, but you will. You just need to walk toward the healing that needs to take place and from there – you can align who you want to be with who you are. You can become all of yourself, once again. That new self can choose what to do despite the fears. Despite the urges. Despite the pain of any truth. Because you’ll know how to take care of yourself. You will know how to manage your anxieties in a healthy way. You will know what to do to process them. You will know the reality of your own power. Best of all, you will be recognize who you truly are – and what that self truly wants.

Our darkness holds the key to all our light. That sounds super touchy-feely, but truthfully – these areas are what unlock the most profound happiness and joy in your life, once you address the beliefs and let them go. It’s the kind of learning you’ll want to share with anyone who needs it – because it’s such a profound gift. When you’re in the soul dumps – hitting bottom, you’re in the window of opportunity to make the greatest growth. You can unlock the bonus levels of life if you choose now to explore the purpose of this experience in your life. You will grow faster, make more dramatic change – and it will blossom your capacity for love and happiness.

When I was in the darkest time of my life – I felt powerless against my own shame monster. The monster made me do terrible things to people I love, but mostly myself. What I want to tell you more than anything – is commit. COMMIT TO the work and the truth, and don’t give up. No matter how hard it is how long it takes or how scared you are to hold onto things in your life. Because it is only when you treat your inner peace and happiness as a true goal, that you suddenly – for the first time in your life – can hear the solutions. Accept the challenge before you. Take it on with all you’ve got. Don’t be afraid – this step is truly the hardest. Where you are right now – this managing of the pain and the fear and guilt and loss – this is the worst of it. Facing the battle is the scariest part. Once you’re in it – things get super simple because the path goes in one direction: up to the light that is you, without all this baggage. Don’t you want that for yourself? Say you do and mean it. And begin to take ANY step toward it right now. I literally mean right this second. Take one action toward giving yourself the support you need to heal. I am sending you much love, much support and all my well wishes. Smile.

I sincerely hope this helped you, and if you want to read more on the subject I have posted a reading list below. Smile lovely friends..

Recommended Reading:

Radical Acceptance

Why Good People Do Bad Things by Debbie Ford – this one’s AMAZEBALLS

Intimate Partners – this one’s all about how relationship patterns work.

My Own Worst Enemy

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