A client wrote to me:
My ex-husband and I divorced after sixteen years of marriage. It wasn’t an awful marriage but I never really loved him. He knew this although we never really talked about it. When he started to drink a few years after our daughter was born,
I really felt even more distant from him. We divorced six years ago without much discussion, like distant strangers.
Now I’ve met a wonderful man whom I love deeply. It seems that my ex suddenly can’t stand that I’m happy. (He heard about it from our daughter; I wouldn’t have rubbed his nose in it.)
He started calling me every few days, haranguing me that it’s my fault that he drank, that I ruined his self-esteem, and that he wasted the best years of his life on me. I want to know what I should feel guilty about. What should I apologize for?
While we bring all our hopes and dreams into marriage, we also bring all our limiting beliefs, self-judgments, and fears, most of which surface only after the routine of daily life sets in. When your ex-husband agreed to marry you knowing you
didn’t really love him, he unconsciously used you to reinforce a prior belief that he wasn’t lovable. (Perhaps you had the same unconscious limiting belief or why would you have chosen him?) This baggage of feeling unworthy
of love is what drove him to drink, not you. All you provided was a mirror of a belief he already held. That’s what people do:
they mirror back what we
already believe about ourselves.
Now, once again,
he’s using your current happiness to mirror his belief that he’s unworthy. It’s not your intention to hurt him. He’s hurting himself and he’s the only one who can stop hurting himself by healing his thoughts about his worthiness instead of wasting any more time resenting you. The most harmful thing you could do is to reinforce his unworthiness belief by taking on inappropriate guilt. If you say, “You’re right to resent me. It’s all my fault that you’re miserable and alcoholic,” you are encouraging him to stay blind to what your relationship mirrored within him. If you don’t want to reinforce the belief that he is a “broken cookie” who is unlovable and unworthy, don’t apologize for his unconscious beliefs. Clearly, that won’t help him.
As I write about
in my book, "Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life," underneath every resentment we hold is an underlying personal regret. Deep down, doesn’t your ex probably really regret not loving himself enough to have created a loving relationship with a partner or even with himself?
So what can you do? Tell him
that you hope that he heals the thought that he’s unworthy so that he can have the love he deserves. Tell him that you hope he gets underneath his resentment to his real regret:
Forgive yourself for what your part was given whatever baggage you brought to the relationship. Then encourage him to forgive himself. After that, see him as a whole, deserving, empowered, and healed being. This is the most loving and compassionate thing you can do for both of you.
Author's Bio Author, life coach, relationship expert, and
media guest, Jane Straus works her magic "live" with individuals and couples on air, on the phone, or in the privacy of her
office. She is the author of the popular "Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life," written
after being diagnosed and treated for a brain tumor when she was 48. Her philosophy of thriving is based on her 25 years of
experience helping people overcome fears, self-judgments, and limiting beliefs. Her wise, compassionate, and witty approach
is uniquely inspiring. For more information, visit AskJaneNow.com.
Jane lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter.
The Meaning of Failureby Dr. Annette Colby, RD
Failure is one of those life experiences most of us would rather not encounter. Generally we tend to connect failure with intense self-judgment and inner criticism. The fear of failure is so strong, we often become hesitant to focus on inner dreams because of past failures. We would rather not fail again. It’s easier to say, “Oh well, I tried.” then to view failure as what it really is:
Failures are so difficult because they trigger and initially reinforce limiting beliefs that we already hold about ourselves. Beliefs which may include:
I’m not good enough to have what I want. (unlovable, undeserving, unworthy) Related life issue of love.
I’m can’t have what I want (different,
an outsider, alone, nothing, should not be on earth at all). Related life issue of belonging and acceptance.
I’m not good enough. I am basically a bad person and this is the reason for
my failure. (defective, flawed, imperfect, bad, fat, guilty, imperfect, failure) Related life issue of esteem.
powerless to effect change. (hopeless, useless, defeated) Related life
issue of survival, self, empowerment, perseverance.
My needs and desires will not
ever be met. (vulnerable, helpless, afraid) Related life issue of security.
Failure in itself isn’t so bad, it’s the belief that gets triggered along with the associated uncomfortable emotions that we wish to avoid. It’s often painful to face
a belief rising to the surface that suggests we are unworthy or unacceptable. Somewhere in our lifetimes,
the word failure became synonymous with the word “loser.”
often great embarrassment and even shame for grownups to have this experience of failure. Yet as children we repeatedly allowed ourselves to fail. Without failure none of us would have learned how to walk, talk, write, or even ride a bicycle. As adults, we shy away from new experiences
to avoid risking failure.
Truth about Failure
rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.” Carl Jung (1875-1961 Swiss Psychiatrist)
Failure is not bad. Actually, it’s probably the only way to become successful. The obstacles, setbacks, and stumbling blocks are an anticipated aspect of any journey. Failure is really just feedback telling us to adjust the plan or to try a new approach. It is essential to success. While it’s certainly a giant leap to welcome failure with open arms, perhaps we can begin with acceptance that failure is a natural aspect of every ultimately successful journey.
The only true failure is when we concede defeat and absolutely give up. Failure is when we beat ourselves up and learn nothing from our setbacks. Confucius is quoted as saying,
“Our greatest glory
is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”
If we embrace
our failures along with our successes, learning from each, we will grow and achieve. The only people who do not fail are those who fail to try.
A little known formula for success is that success happens because of failure. Legend has it that Thomas Edison attempted 10,000 different filaments before successfully creating the electric light bulb. When asked if he ever felt discouraged with so many failures, he answered none of his attempts were failures. They were each successful experiments in finding what didn't work!
Henry Ford went bankrupt 3 times before
he created a car that worked. Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he tried to sell his chicken recipe. He took this recipe
to over 1000 restaurants before he found a buyer. Walt Disney spoke with over 297 banks before he was able to attain a loan
for his successful dream.
The National Weight Control Registry is a research study established in 1994
that seeks to gather information from people who have successfully lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year. They investigate long-term successful body weight-loss maintenance. They report that everyone who successfully loses and maintains this loss has tried to achieve success before. Part of their success was what they had learned from past failures.
The Lesson of Failure What’s the lesson in this? Successful people fail more often than unsuccessful people. In fact, they fail over and over and over again. It’s the failure's themselves that provide learning experiences. Wisdom and enlightenment to succeed come from failure. Successful people don’t give up because they’ve failed. Instead they sit back and view these experiences as learning opportunities.
we go about the process of achieving a goal or dream, we will run into all sorts of obstacles, limitations and setbacks. Why?
Because we don’t know how to do whatever it is we are trying to do. On top of that, we don’t believe we can actually have what is wanted.
even a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, doesn’t prove we can’t have what is wanted. We’ve simply reached
the edge of a boundary. Not knowing how to do something can threaten self-esteem and confidence. This is where expansion of
the spirit is possible. What do we tell ourselves when find ourselves facing a failure?
This is the point where
we teach ourselves new leadership skills of converting threats into opportunities. We can learn how to allow support from above and below. Admitting we don’t know the next step (but we’ll
know soon) demonstrates faith in ourselves and faith in being supported.
To be successful, we need to design an alternative paradigm for failure. In other words, redefine failure in a manner allowing ourselves to see whatever happens not as failure, but as “information.” From there, it becomes possible to gather and access this new information and include
it in a revised plan.
During the momentary failure, we must be able to recall the excitement of the long-term big picture vision while intentionally choosing to listen to the
supportive inner voices. Then we can stand strong once again in our original desire and dream, while determining how to best
adjust the plan and the next action step.
Failure can be used as another tool on the continuous journey to a deeper appreciation of self and love for self.
We have choices:
- Failure can be utilized either as a way to close our heart down even more to ourselves and others
- The experience can be a stepping
stone to opening our heart even further
- We can view failure as evidence of our inherent internal flaws as a human being
- We can look to find the emotional
and spiritual lessons embedded within the failure.
To be human is to experience
failure. Nothing is, or ever was, wrong with who we are.
Failure can guide us toward a leap of faith. We are capable, ultimately, of overcoming any obstacle, any problem or any situation
connected with our dream. Why else would we have a particular dream unless it was ours to manifest? From within we can find the courage
to walk toward what we really want in life. We can learn to encourage and support ourselves through the good times and especially the bad times.
Love that you are overcoming fear and attempting something new - no matter what the outcome. Of course there will be failures along the way. An entire new set of skills is being learned. When an occasional failure is experienced — get up, dust yourself off, access the new information, believe in yourself, and begin again.
Helping people let go of self-destructive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors has been the
life work of Dr. Annette Colby. Her fascination with the power of the mind, emotions, spirituality, and physicality has led
her to become a leader in the field of personal growth and consciousness. She is a valued counselor, and an inspiring teacher,
as well as an independent writer, mentor, and guide. She is a highly sought-after trainer with a unique ability to inform
and inspire individuals to open their hearts, love more openly, and pursue their dreams.
Dr. Annette Colby, RD Nutrition
Therapist & Master Energy Therapist
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http://www.LovingMiracles.com Miracles@AnnetteColby.com 972.985.8750 "Opening Creative Portals to Success"
Oh, I Know That Ain’t Mine!
by Layne Schmidt
Have you ever wanted someone
to be different so that you could feel better? When a boss is impatient, a lover unkind or a salesperson is rude – do you find yourself retreating into a bad mood as a result of their words or attitude or can you navigate those situations and stay happy?
Most of us have grown accustomed to thinking that if someone else changed we’d have an easier life.
Have you ever stopped to notice how much you count
on others for how you feel? Do any of these statements sound at all familiar?
• I’d enjoy work if only…
relationship would be better if…
• If only my friend would…then I’d…
Would your expectations change if you understood that EVERYONE is doing EVERYTHING for the sole/soul purpose of trying to feel better?
true you know? Some people who are more disconnected from source energy (inner being, collective consciousness, God, Goddess - whatever you’re
comfortable with) will try to find their “power” or self worth by making someone else feel unworthy or insignificant, but they are NEVER doing those things because their target actually is unworthy or insignificant.
In that moment they
are doing it because they believe they are unworthy or insignificant and in their (unaware) attempt at coming into their own power they – yell at the worker who in turn is mean to her spouse who overreacts to the kids who kick the dog who chases the cat…and so on.
So, a question you can ask yourself in that moment is; do I buy into the chain reaction or do I stand in my
own power and recognize their stuff as their stuff? Do I consciously choose to pursue my own happiness in spite of their responses?
Oh, it’ll take some practice but other people’s
behavior doesn’t actually have the power to alter your life in anyway – unless of course you allow it to.
If you want to get better at not buying into
other people’s stuff, www.RubyShuze.com has some information that can help.
Author's Bio Layne Schmidt is the creator of RubyShuze.com, an on-line course for individuals interested in creating a better life for themselves and the ones they love. Course
work covers Self Esteem, Love, Health and Financial Security. Students can download a Self Study Guide and learn at their
own pace or have their lessons come in the form of daily emails. All course work is practical and simple but the discoveries
will be profound. Students can take their journey as deep as they wish as the site offers all kinds of additional resources.
The course is 100% Guaranteed and RubyShuze offers a Free Monthly Newsletter.
How to get through a heartbreak
by Sonya Green
Loving someone requires exposing our most sensitive and vulnerable self. We allow ourselves to give the best of ourselves – the fragile, secret, private parts of ourselves. We expose and
offer the most valuable part of ourselves. To have this rejected is to have ourselves deemed unworthy and unlovable.
Often, we convince ourselves
that the pain of heartbreak is about the loss of our lover, but the reality is that we are in pain because someone declared
that, ‘Our love was not valuable’. At a core level we are love, and our ability to love and be loved is who and what we really are. To be dismissed on this level is interpreted as, ‘I am nothing, I do not exist and most
painfully, I am not worthy of love.’
We may not make this connection right away, we may not want to look at it
at all. If it comes down to this, then there is one glaring reality, and that is that we must believe this is true. Could it be that it is not our lovers rejection of us that destroys us, but our own belief that we are unlovable – unworthy – nothing?
At first we
may want to focus on the behaviour and feel victimized by a betrayal or lies. We may go through many stages like anger, revenge,
guilt, violence, depression or jealousy or we might feel unattractive, sexually inadequate, boring or stupid. For many people
it comes down to insisting that the lover must come back. If he comes back, everything can be reversed, it can be a big mistake
and you can be put back together again.
If we peel away the layers and keep asking
ourselves where the pain is coming from, we will find that it is not the opinion of another person that causes the pain, it
is within our acceptance of the opinion.
People have been coming and going throughout
your life. You have probably been in love before and you have probably been hurt by love before. People leave, you leave, and sometimes it goes smoothly and easily and sometimes it’s painful or heartbreaking.
Love comes in many ways and many degrees; it can subside and fade away or it can end abruptly and traumatically. People may have
loved you more than you loved them, and you may have even been loved by someone who you didn’t even like very much.
I don’t know why it is
that we can’t comprehend that:
‘Love is not gathered it is self generated.’
People do not
give you love, and they do not take love away from you. You choose the degree of flow between yourself and another. Someone else’s love will mean nothing to you unless you choose to accept it. Love is inspired to radiate from you, but you are the source of that love. It is an infinite supply and its circulation is governed by your choice to give or receive.
other great misunderstanding is the belief in a ‘One and only’. This is a man-made concept, not a natural law. Love is a natural state of being, if we peel away conditioning and fears and a lifetime of accumulated emotional baggage than
we would be operating more freely from a place of love most of the time. The idea that love is only real or valid when it is a partnership relationship is very, very limited and downright damaging. We become tunnel
visioned and grossly restricted in a belief that there is only one person or one love available to us. Not only do we expect all of our love to come from only one person, but we also expect that they must love us exclusively and forever.
We change, they change and life changes, but we still
insist that love will never change. We insist on an impossible promise and self-destruct when the promise is broken. When friends move on
we accept it because we did not have unrealistic expectations to begin with. Our children grow up and move on and we encourage it, we don’t take it as a betrayal nor do we interpret
it as rejection of ourselves.
Divorce or separation is devastating for sure, and
if it is initiated by a cruel act then it’s natural to feel a great range of negative emotions. If it comes suddenly
or unexpectedly then it will be a shock and it will take time to come to terms with it and work through it. It is very confusing
and difficult to accept when you are still there, still in love and still committed, but they are not.
Your life may be impacted right across the
board, and you will grieve, and all of your emotions are valid and you will need time to work through them. You will need
to do whatever you need to do to get through it. You will grieve and you will cry, you may be scared and angry, and you will
probably go through many months of extreme emotional ranges. It will level out, and it will become manageable and at some
point it will just be a sad melancholy that floats past on occasion.
it lasts forever. If you can’t let go or you won’t let go, it can overtake your life and leave you cold and bitter
- it will destroy you. No one does this to you, this is a choice and it is a decision to live a tragic life based on your
inability to acknowledge your own beauty and value. The irony here of course is that your rage is still directed at your partner for treating you the way you now continue to
One person’s ability or inability to love you does not make you any more or any less than you are. Your value as a loveable and worthwhile person is not determined by the opinion of only one other person. Your supply of love, and your ability to love, is not in the control of another person. And your love was never meant to be restricted, to be exchanged with only one other person.
heartbreak will require reclaiming your energy. As tempting as revenge is and as comforting as hate may appear, it all keeps
your energy attached to someone else. You may need to begin by reclaiming your physical energy; eat well, breathe and move.
If you are physically exhausted your mind and emotions are harder to control. The mind, body and spirit are all connected
and one will rob the other if one is energy deplete.
Only love can replenish love, even if you feel you are faking it at first, it is most important to get back your flow. Be loving with yourself, treat yourself the way he should have treated you, and treat yourself the way you wanted to treat him
Acknowledge the love you share with family and friends, and allow that to expand. Try and stretch loving moments and experiences – take compliments and kindnesses, imbibe beauty and extend pleasure. Recall your energy and
bring it back into yourself. Love the lovabled and love the worthy, and if you really do believe there is only one love and you are capable of loving that one person forever – then make that one person yourself.
Excerpt form reinventingmyself.com
Copyright Sonya Green
Sonya Green is the author of Reinventing Myself. Writer and Personal Growth
workshop facilitator. Meditation teacher and lecturer.