Categories
Abuse Relationships Self Help Trauma Wellness

18 THINGS THAT I WISH I KNEW ABOUT HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

Here are 18 things I wish I knew decades ago about healthy relationships.

1) Fanastising and being attracted to other people is normal.

YEP, I said it. I went there. You don’t need to beat yourself up if it ever happens to you. It doesn’t make you any less committed, any less in love, or any less respectful to your partner. Unless you are in fact not being committed, or respectful, or you are not in love with your partner of course. Only you know this. ON THE WHOLE THOUGH, totally normal thing to happen (especially in a long-term relationship) so you can stop feeling bad about it or thinking there is something wrong in your relationship. The difference is, in a healthy happy relationship, you don’t act on it unless you have a relationship that is nonmonogamous and you are both happy and agreed on that relationship dynamic. The thing to know is some people fantasize about others and some people don’t. Neither is wrong or more enlightened than the other. We are just all different in that way. I know some people are really gonna get their back up about this one and well, that kinda shaming and judgment towards people is why people don’t talk about it. They suppress it (cause it’s often not safe to admit it) and well that doesn’t work. If it did, infidelity wouldn’t be so high. We often say we want authenticity, but the truth is most people only want it if it doesn’t make them feel insecure or go against their beliefs and how things ‘should’  be according to them. I truly believe infidelity would not be so high if people could talk about this without fearing the raft of their partner or society. Rigid thinking is very convenient and it tends to hurt more than it helps. Also, I wanna make it very clear – I am not excusing when someone crosses a relationship boundary. I’m saying there is usually a lot more going on than is convenient to look at and accept. Rigid thinking is easy coz then we don’t have to look at how our thinking and how our beliefs and expectations might not be so enlightened, healthy, loving, or ‘right’ after all.

2) Your trauma shows up in your relationships and at some point (if you’d like healthy relationships) you have to face it.

Facing it doesn’t mean you have to talk about it (although many find that very helpful and also many don’t) – no, it means you acknowledge it’s showing up and face it in whatever way aligns for you. What you don’t address from your past lingers and impacts all your relationships. Your insecurities, wounds, past traumas, and fears come hella knocking in your relationships. And, FYI it’s way more than your attachment style.

3) Time is not a magic pill.

To follow on from the last one. You don’t need time. Okay so that’s not a complete truth, sometimes you absolutely do, but time doesn’t always heal. It’s not some magic trick. Sometimes what we actually need is the skills to process, accept and move beyond our trauma. We also need skills and tools so we can learn healthy ways of showing up in relationships after trauma. And, if trauma was caused in the relationship then they’ll need to be changes made for trust to be built and for repair to happen.

4) Under all your desires, fears and insecurities are needs.

You are worthy of getting them met. There are, of course, healthy are unhealthy ways to go about getting them met. Understanding your needs and not denying your humanness (the fact that you do actually have needs that go way before the obvious food and water etc, but emotional needs too) and learning to meet them in healthy ways is a game-changer for yourself, your well-being, and your relationships.

5) Great relationships don’t just happen. They are a skillset.

Like learning to communicate well, mindfulness, how to have healthy boundaries, emotionally regulate, etc etc.

6) No relationship that ends is a failure.

You always learn something. Sometimes its ending is a success although it can really just feel shit. It meant you were brave enough to end something that you knew was no longer aligned or healthy for you. Or if someone ended it with you, know that you didn’t fail. And whilst it may feel like that, that’s normal and valid to feel like that, again you didn’t fail. Some things don’t last and that’s hard. It’s important that we don’t make it mean something about ourselves that it doesn’t actually mean. Like somehow we are……not lovable, enough….insert the stories we tell about ourselves when things don’t work out as we would have hoped. These stories that we tell ourselves are simply not true.

Sidenote: also failure isn’t a dirty word. I think we’d all do well to own our ‘failures’ rather than instead make them mean something about ourselves and separate the two – to isolate the event from our innate worthiness and lovability. To our ego, it can definitely feel like something was a failure. So let’s own that so we can process it. Own that ‘failure’ is simply a part of being human and by ‘failure’ (coz I don’t really believe in it, it’s just a human concept, although, to the human us, it’s a VERY VERY real thing). So when I say failure I mean something not going as we would have hoped. The more we talk about it and not make it a dirty or taboo thing and validate to us it really feels like a failure/ is a failure to us, the more we can extract the lessons and allow ourselves to be fully human and process it.

7) You didn’t get into the next relationship too quickly.

Okay, sometimes people need to be on their own for a while and sometimes we enter another relationship quickly. It happens. This is often demonized in society. Truthfully though, there is no magic timeline. There is no one way that’s better than the other – no time is too long or too short, that’s simply society stigma. Sometimes we need to be on our own for a while to process things. Other times we find ourselves in another relationship and whilst it might be quicker than we planned it to be, we truthfully only learn about relationships and our patterns by being in them. There is no right way.

8) People do change (sometimes).

People just like you, fuck up and make mistakes. Everyone does at times. Nobody is so enlightened they never make mistakes or get things wrong. People DO change and some well, DON’T. What really matters is the overall pattern, not perfectionism. Only you can decide what you are and are not available for. Only you can honor that. If you wait for people to change then you hurt yourself. If someone says they are gonna change then the action will speak volumes for them. The big question to ask yourself is do their words and actions match? Now, nobody’s words and actions match all the time (if it does they probs hella stressed trying to maintain that coz stuff comes up), but on the whole, and for the most part, their words and actions need to match for trust to be built.

Things happen, and life throws curveballs, and we don’t need perfectionistic crap coz that hurts us all so we have to go one step further. Overall what is the pattern? See it’s easy for words and actions to match in the short term but what about over a longer period? Do their words have weight in general and overall? Do most of the time their words and actions match? Or are they simply just words and a week or a month (or insert a timeline here if there is a pattern) are you back to the same crap that hurt you before? Pay attention. Coz, if so then they most probably aren’t gonna change. Sometimes we fall for potential rather than reality and that will usually kick our arse. In the same respect, having such rigid expectations and perfectionist standards that we never allow people to be human is not good for anyone. So again, the overall pattern is where it’s at. And, also, people who honor the agreed relationship boundaries. You are not asking for too much here. That’s the bare minimum in a healthy relationship. 

9) A healthy sense of entitlement is a must.

Both a lack of entitlement and rampant entitlement create unhealthy relationships. Not feeling enough often means we don’t feel worthy of asking for what we want, then we struggle to receive it and we end up putting up with all kinds of crap. On the other end of the scale if we are so rampantly entitled then we expect from others without attuning to if that’s actually in their best interests. We can become ignorant and think we know best when really we can never truly know what’s best for another. People who are rampantly entitled also expect from others whilst they are being complacent as fuck and put virtually no effort into the relationship. I bet you can think of someone who just expects from others and feels very entitled to get whatever they want.

10) You have to learn to fight clean.

Conflict is inevitable and healthy (if you have a past of trauma you might avoid it like the plague coz you learned it was unsafe and thus you avoid confrontation at all costs. Which in essence costs you greatly – as hard conversations are required for healthy mature relationships).

Fighting clean means conflict without insulting, shaming, or hurting each other. Without putting the other down. Often people when feeling activated say or do all kinds of hurtful things. Not cool and yet human when we haven’t learned to fight clean. Take a breather and come back when you are regulated enough to not say something that you know will hurt the other (or that you’ll regret later). This includes not using snarky remarks or passive-aggressive comments. This requires a level of emotional maturity. Something many don’t have when they are feeling big feelings. Emotional regulation work is therefore called for or it will hurt your relationships.

11) Boundaries and good communication matters.

No healthy relationships exist without them.

12) Emotional regulation is a game-changer.

Back to point 10. Learn how to do it. It takes effort and it doesn’t happen overnight, but it will positively impact all areas of your life. Trauma work is usually key for this.

13) Accountability matters.

If you mess up, own it. Quickly. Most things can be repaired if we have enough humility to say “I was wrong” and if we can get out of the mindset we are always right or justified. And, if again our words have weight. If we actually change our behavior and the ways we show up. If we don’t keep repeating the action that hurt. If we actually learn from it.

14) If it’s not active, then it’s not loving.

Love is active. Not passive. Words without action quickly become just that, words. You can’t be complacent and expect amazing relationships. An effort is required. Put it this way. Have you ever felt really loved and appreciated by someone who puts in zero effort? Nah, me neither.

15) You have to honor your capacity.

You can’t give what you don’t have. You not taking care of yourself, doesn’t serve anyone. You taking care of yourself does however serve you and your relationships. Or shall I say it serves those relationships that want you well. If people benefit from your lack of taking care of yourself pay attention. Sometimes we have to choose better for ourselves and walk away from people who are benefiting from our self-neglect.

16) A loving attitude and appreciation will do more for your relationships than you’ll ever know.

It sounds obvious but people often forget to show a loving attitude to those they love or to show active appreciation. It goes a HELLA long way.

17) Compromise is overrated and often leads to resentment.

I know right. This one is tooted a lot AND it’s not as lovely as it sounds. Sometimes, yes, absolutely. Context applies. Most of the time though, it would make a LOT more sense if we instead learned how to create relationships built on a genuine win-win for both parties. Which is something most of us weren’t taught how to do. Again, it’s a skill set that can be learned.

18) Not all manipulation is the same and we all have ‘red’ flags.

Some forms of manipulation are abuse. Learn the difference. See, humans manipulate all the time without realising. People pleasing is a form of manipulation, for example (your trying to control how someone views you), only it’s seen as kind in society. It’s not though. It is something we learned to do to survive and it hurts us and creates inauthentic relationships which then sets us up to have lose-lose relationships. The more you see the ways you and all humans at times manipulate without demonising it and learn the difference between what is emotional/physical abuse and what is simply someone’s unhealthy way they learned to cope/do relationships the better.

Nearly all behavior and how we communicate is about trying to meet our needs that we are often not even aware of (coz consciously or unconsciously your ego will try to meet its needs, it can’t not – hello people pleasing, lack of boundaries, or violating someones) and this is what creates ‘red flags’ or unhealthy dynamics. The more you realise we all have our conditioning and we all have things that we do that are sometimes, not the healthiest then the more we can actually change it and create healthy relationships. The more we see it, create self-awareness and admit it the better. WE’D ALL BENEFIT FROM THAT. All humans have things they do that aren’t the healthiest when they are feeling activated. This is because fight-and-flight responses aren’t designed to be healthy or rational but to keep you alive which means everyone at times will do unhealthy shit when they feel dysregulated and every human gets dysregulated at times. There is a big difference between that and someone who is literally a ‘red flag’ or abusive. Also, if someone’s unhealthy dynamics are hurting you, even if they don’t mean to, it’s okay and essential to put boundaries in place (or walk away). Just because you understand why someone is the way they are, it doesn’t mean that you have to tolerate it. In fact, it often doesn’t serve anyone to do so. You can only support them to the degree that honors your limits and capacity or you are not actually helping – you are enabling unhealthy dynamics, and in doing that you’ll never have a healthy relationship. One of the most loving gifts you can give someone is to honor your boundaries.

Categories
Abuse Anxiety Parenting Raising Awareness Trauma Wellness

It Did Do Harm – An Open Letter To The Grandparents & Those With Adult Children

Dear those with adult children and grandparents,

It did do harm. Some of the things you did, did harm. We aren’t fine. Many, many of us struggle. This isn’t to blame or shame you. You did the best you knew and we all get it ‘wrong’. I have two kids, one who is now a teen and one who is still in primary. And, whilst there is no ‘right’ or perfect way to parent there are ways that are harmful and ways that are healthy and many of you parented in unhealthy ways. This I believe is through no fault of your own. I believe you did your best. Okay, there may be some exceptions, but on the whole, I believe 99% of you did your best with the tools you were given. Taking into account the circumstances you were in and the upbringing you had. I acknowledge it was not easy and whether you see it or not, I believe you all have your own trauma that society never had awareness around for you. This doesn’t excuse poor form, yet, if we don’t get to the root of things and offer each other compassion when we don’t know any different then nothing will ever change. Thankfully, these days we have much more awareness that trauma is not just the things you read about in the media. I DO NOT believe a single one of you managed to get through life without any trauma and so I acknowledge this, even if you or society still don’t.

I  wanna say, I too, get it ‘wrong’, often. By ‘get it wrong’, I mean (coz right and wrong are subjective), I catch myself doing things that I now realise are deeply unhealthy (and I didn’t know for so long they were coz it was my norm) and because they are so normalised in society. Coz it is normal and human to do these things, but it’s not healthy. It’s actually coping mechanisms that we learnt to survive and be safe, that long-term isn’t healthy for us and keeps us stuck in cycles that hurt.

It’s’ why I’m writing this so we can break patterns that whilst normal in society is unhealthy and damaging. I’m working hard to break the generational cycle that hurt me and many, many others and it’s no easy thing. It’s so ingrained in us. It’s hard to change decades of programming we didn’t even realise we had. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Nah, it’s way more convenient to pretend I don’t have my shit, insecurities or trauma and to blame my kids when they act in ways I find hard.

Anyway, I digress, let’s get back to it.

Some of the things you did had a lasting impact on us. Now, before I go on, I wanna make this very clear, coz I can’t say this enough. Nobody wants to tear you down. As I’ve said already, I don’t think the majority of harm done was your fault or that you didn’t do amazing things too. We see these good things too and I can completely see how some of the things you did that were harmful were well-meaning or the result of your upbringing and conditioning. You were raised by people who also didn’t know any better. Many of your parents/caregivers grew up in the war so they for sure had trauma. I think we all do the best with the tools we have. Me writing this isn’t to bring you down, it’s in the hope we can collaborate and make things better for our kids, grandkids, and future generations.

When you demanded respect but you were disrespectful, you taught us to disrespect ourselves. This narrative of “respect your elders no matter what” is ugly, damaging, and destroys people. There was a high price for it and many of us had to pay it. WE PAID FOR IT.

If I was paid for every person who struggles with their mental health and emotions coz they were taught and it was drilled into them that their big uncomfortable feelings were bad (rather than human and we can process them), I’d be a millionaire. I’m being serious. It did do harm.

So many of us were told as children “stop crying or you’ll be given something to cry about.” That taught us that not only was it bad to be sad and have big feelings, but it also taught us we’d be punished for them. That it was wrong to feel this way. We were taught if we were being human, and humans get sad, frustrated, have tantrums, feel irritated and children no less so, not only was it ‘bad’ to have these feelings but again, that we would be punished and many MANY times we were indeed punished. We had to stuff our feelings away. We had to basically not be human. To never learn to process them, coz you found them so uncomfortable and activating coz your parents probably did too. This is the generational trauma and cycle in action and many of society are still oblivious of it. Being upset, angry etc we quickly learnt was bad and inconvenient for others rather than it made us simply human and feelings are normal and healthy – not something that is good, bad or that EVER requires punishment – feelings don’t hurt anyone, actions do and your actions hurt us. It did do harm.

Many of us were told we were bad and social services would be called and come to get us if we “didn’t pack it in and behave” and behave meant “do as your dam well told”. And, we didn’t know how to “pack it in” coz we were distressed and hadn’t learnt to regulate our big feelings yet, we didn’t possess those skills yet so we had to learn to suppress or run away from them and never process them. (FYI you didn’t know how to “pack it in” either. You were hella angry. A LOT. Irony.). It did do harm.

Not only did we then fear social services, we believed we were genuinely bad (aka shame aka I am bad, not enough, unworthy, unlovable, a failure etc). Many of us still struggle to feel enough. Many of us, then feared social services and yes, understandable, but I was afraid of them when they were trying to help me coz I was being sexually abused. I was told they were coming to get me (like many of my friends were too) as we were repeatedly threatened that social services would be called to come and ‘get us’. Do you know how scary that is for a kid and the message it sends them? It did do harm.

Many of us got the message of I’m not good unless you are happy and therefore I’m bad. Many of us were told this “you MADE mammy sad, you MADE dad angry, YOU’LL upset grandad, uncle” *insert whoever we were told we were responsible for here*. Never were we told we weren’t responsible for the adults, we WERE TOLD repeatedly we were. Many of us were trained to be people pleasers AKA hypervigilant to the needs and feelings of others and became anxious wrecks who learnt to survive by worrying and over-analysing everything we do and say, being perfectionistic, overly critical of ourselves so we could stay safe by ensuring it pleased. Coz, we are responsible for other people’s feelings, right? Wrong. (others just rebelled and were branded the ‘bad child/trouble maker’ coz they realised it was impossible to please others and they couldn’t hide their feelings as well so why bother trying, you’ve already decided and labelled me as bad anyway).

We didn’t stop loving you, we stopped loving ourselves. We learnt disrespectful relationships were the norm and we should respect others even if we are being disrespected. As children, we were disrespected A LOT. We became your inconvenient minions that got blamed for everything. Told that we will be spanked/given a clip around the ear if we dare piss you off. Sometimes it was simply a threat, others time a reality. Many of you were angry a lot. Many of you could not handle your emotions but when we couldn’t handle ours, if we had big human feelings like you did, we were told we ‘MADE’ you mad. That we were responsible for your feelings. That, we, the children, were responsible for the grownup’s feelings and whether or not they were regulated or happy AKA NOT LOSING THEIR SHIT. WTF. It did do harm. We aren’t fine. 

I can not tell you how many adults I now know who either have really unhealthy relationships with themselves – they do not like themselves and give themselves an incredibly hard time or they have really unhealthy relationships in general. They believe if their partner is unhappy, it’s their fault. They screwed up. They aren’t enough. Many of us got taught this message so strongly – I am responsible for others’ feelings and other’s happiness. As we were constantly fed the message “if you displease me, you’ll get a clip around the ear” (or something else). IT DID DO HARM.

I know because people share their stories with me, about how they felt. Decades and decades later. Many cry and break down into floods of tears (healthy as they finally feel and process). They tell me how they are always worrying they are saying or doing the wrong thing constantly. They fear somehow they’ll be punished or cast aside if they are anything less than perfect. They constantly fear something awful will happen to them and wait for the shoe to drop. Sometimes the unhealthy ways and habits they learnt to cope and survive, ensure it does. They fear disapproval, they live with constant anxiety and the fear of what others think. Fearing what if my family disprove, society or some god will punish me for being ‘bad’ or ‘sinning’. It did do harm.

Many of you were rampantly entitled, you demanded respect from your kids, but never modelled it nor gave it to us. You were often abusive. Let’s put this into context, shall we? Say I displease my husband and he smacks me, what would you call that? I’d call that abuse. Or say, he doesn’t smack me, no he’s more covert than that, he instead tells me “I’m ungrateful and that I don’t realise how lucky I am”. He gets passive-aggressive. He might say something like this“someone else who was ‘being a good wife’ or grateful would do it”. Imagine he guilts me until I give in and comply, shames me and convinces me I’m somehow a terrible wife if I don’t do as he says. Many of us kids were parented like that.

There are starving kids in the world” you yelled. So my parents feeding me means I’m ungrateful now for not enjoying my dinner, an awful person who doesn’t appreciate anything – that’s the message you taught us. Your aim was to teach us gratitude or perspective I think. What you actually taught us was shame (we are bad to desire) and to live in fear (anxiety). Santa wouldn’t come if I’m ‘bad’, he may punish me with coal. Some of you were actually given coal and the trauma of that I can’t imagine, believing you were genuinely bad and that your goodness was based on complying, achieving and making others happy. For years we were taught we must please people. Even kiss the sleazy family member or neighbour when we don’t want to. Sit on Santa’s lap when our whole body screamed a hell fucking no. Coz, we wouldn’t want to upset a fucking grown-up, coz apparently we were responsible for their feelings. WTF. Rather than teach us that they are a grown adult and they’ll be okay. Rather than teach us “you do not have to kiss or do anything you don’t wish to with your body” (I’m not judging you, I did most of these things when my kids were younger too coz I didn’t know any better and was abused so it was the norm for me too). Coz I was taught we must please others and abandon ourselves and ignore our intuition and our bodies’ signals. We must not have boundaries to get love – this makes us ‘good’ was the narrative we were fed. It did do harm. And, it feeds and allows for rape culture. 

And, many, many people constantly live in their head of feeling never good enough, worried they will/have upset someone. So we become anxious. Will I displease you? Will you be disappointed in me? Am I enough? Will I ever be? We were praised only when we did ‘good’ achieved or complied. Never for our being, our being was not enough was the message we got. We were good when we got the grade. When you had something to brag about us achieving. When we made you look good. Our job became making you look good which meant the more we comply and disowned ourselves the better a human we were. It did do harm.

I don’t think you meant to do this though. I think it was learnt behaviour and you were a victim of the same too, maybe much worse treatment – I think as parents we aim to do better than those that raised us. Not to demonise those that raised us, but coz we know some of it hurt and left a scar.  I think you genuinely believed you were teaching respect, but you weren’t, you were teaching compliance out of fear. You were teaching disrespect. You were teaching blind obedience. You were teaching me “I do not deserve respect”, but you deserve blind respect even if your actions are harmful. It did do harm.

generaional trauma mum and son

And, many of you may be thinking but I didn’t hit my child. Or “I didn’t tell them to stop crying or they’ll be given something to cry about”. I didn’t tell them to stop being a baby or threaten to call social servies….no, maybe you didn’t BUT I BET you often stood by and watched others do it. I don’t blame you, It’s fucking scary to go against society (it can cause an automatic freeze trauma response), especially in a society where we have been taught to go against the grain makes you bad or wrong and so going against the grain is hard and creates fear. Some are even brainwashed to believe some god will punish us for not being “good” or for not living our life the way society deems as ‘good’ and ‘right’. Religious and spiritual trauma is a huge problem and many don’t talk about it coz they’ve been taught they’ll be punished by some god. It did do harm. 

So where do we go from here?

Forgive yourself for what you didn’t know. Then, do better. Stop telling us how to raise our kids, when your way was harmful. We too will make mistakes. Be there. Stop thinking you know what’s best and telling us what to do. Listen instead. Honour our boundaries. Stop expecting blind respect. In fact, teach kids if something feels off to trust that inner knowing rather than teaching them they are probably just being too sensitive and trivialising it. Teach them to be kind, by you being it, by you actually modelling it. Teach them to trust their intuition and to have discernment even with elders, especially elders.

Teach them not to blindly respect the older generation or anyone for that matter (teach them that you don’t require it coz you’re not so emotionally fragile that kids are responsible for your emotional wellbeing), and show them, how if they don’t please you, they need not fear physical or emotional harm. Teach them natural consequences instead. And, shaming and spanking are not natural consequences. A natural consequence is if I’m unkind to people they may not want to hang around me and then set an appropriate boundary that won’t harm but help them to thrive (if you don’t know how to do that, learn). An unnatural consequence is a punishment by being physically hit or emotionally shamed, again being told: “I’m a bad girl” and therefore I can never correct my behaviour, make a mistake, be accountable or learn cause I simply believe I am bad, not enough and can’t change this.

Everyone fucks up at times and kids/teens literally haven’t learnt yet how to go about things in healthy ways. In fact, the brain does not finish developing till our mid-tweenies. Those disrespectful teens you complain about? Well, their brain is going through a massive upgrade and it’s really hard on them (and yes, I know it was hard on you too – I’ve got a teen and raising a teen is hella hard). And your example of how to work through big feelings and role modelling IS everything. You can’t teach them kindness if you become unkind, shaming or abusive. So when you hear people say “in my day people respected their elders”. Question that narrative coz it’s bollocks. See, this idea of respect was seriously fucked up. It did do harm.

See, I treat others with respect and dignity, coz I want to. I think it matters if we wanna create change. Thankfully, I now don’t blindly respect people who ring alarm bells for me like I was taught to. I respect myself enough to have boundaries. As a child, I was told to respect my elders and in return, I was abused. I will not respect you if your behaviour is harmful or rampantly entitled. I will not blindly respect people coz they are elder than me. I quickly learnt many were unsafe and abusive but if I were to say it, I was rude. WTF. I woke up and realised it was convenient for you to keep his narrative running, but I will not. I will not keep it going. If people only comply out of fear THEN it’s not respect. It’s simply a way to screw us all up. And, many of us were taught that was respect. You only have to read a few stories about cover-ups to see how dangerous this narrative was and still is. It’s still a heavy narrative in society “respect your elders”. How about modelling it first? How about you respect children so they grow up to be respectful adults? Now, there is a radical idea.

So, if you ever wonder, why people no longer have respect? Well, maybe coz, you never ever had respect (rightly so). Maybe just maybe you had compliance out of fear and your version of respect was not actual respect. Maybe just maybe, you may have a thing or two to learn about what actual respect is yourself.

If you want genuine respect, be it, role model it. Respect kids. If you genuinely think they are disrespectful, question it. Are they actually being? Or have they simply not learnt a better way yet? What if they literally do not have the skills yet to process and communicate their frustration, big feelings and insecurities and fears in a healthy way? Coz, they don’t. Because their brain is still developing and let’s be honest they have very little role-modelling of safe adults who are able to regulate themselves and who behave and communicate their frustrations in healthy ways. Nope, many of us never learnt said skills. We look like adults, yet the majority of society is walking around with a wounded inner child and a shit ton of unprocessed crap that leaks out regularly coz having to learn to sit with hard emotions, regulate ourselves and be mindful is not the education we were given and so the pattern continues.

The problem isn’t being human and losing your shit, all humans do at times. The issue is if it’s your pattern and you never address it and instead take it out on someone else in the process (whether overtly or passive-aggressively). Then the unhealthy relationships with ourselves and others continue.

What if when each generation saw a behaviour they don’t like in the younger generation that they realised and had the self-awareness to pause and say “they are the generation I brought up.” They are my kids, my grandkids, my great-grandkids….or perhaps it’s my own generation and peers. Maybe just maybe, I have a LOT or at least something to do with it. Maybe just maybe, I am part of the problem if I don’t look at myself. And, to look at myself, I’ll need to give myself self-compassion, grieve and probably get support. We are all just doing our best. I don’t need to make myself bad or wrong. Instead, I can do us all a favour and break that pattern. I will however need to do the inner work for things to change and this actually benefits me. This is not about taking responsibility for what isn’t yours to take responsibility for anymore. It’s about recognising what we did had/has an impact and doing repair work when it’s needed so everyone can be well. You benefit from that. Unless you are one of the ones who benefit from others’ struggles then why wouldn’t you wanna do the work to create positive change for all?

See if look around and so many people are struggling with anxiety, low self-esteem, mental health struggles, can’t sleep, can’t emotionally regulate, have unhealthy relationships or unhealthy ways of communicating, maybe just maybe the generation that demands respect got it wrong. Maybe just maybe, we realise we screwed some things up and maybe it’s not fatal, maybe just maybe, we can repair. Do better. Have grace with ourselves coz we didn’t know any different and instead we can put our ego to the side and spend more time listening over judging and criticising – ourselves and others.

I know this letter won’t land with you all. Some will roll their eyes and refuse to look at themselves and will say what a look of crap (I know coz I’ve had some delightful comments on some of my reels shall we say #fun). They will blindly convince themselves “this is all a load of crap”. Convenient.

And, some, will read this and change the ways they show up. Some, will read this and think, fuck, no wonder I struggle and they’ll go to therapy and start to address the root of their personal or relationship struggles. Some will read this and parent differently and become a different grandparent. Some will read this and realise this isn’t just a bunch of woo-woo nonsense. They’ll realise that actually so many of our insecurities, patterns, family dynamics and struggles usually start in childhood – we know this, there is so much research into this now and so they’ll look into it. This is NOT new information but it’s inconvenient information for people who’d rather lie to themselves and pretend it didn’t do any harm and say, that they turned out just fine. Really? Your gonna still use that one? (some people even say that about themselves whilst they literally cannot regulate themselves and have really unhealthy relationships).

Many people will choose the convenience of believing it’s a load of nonsense coz then they don’t have to look at themselves. And, many won’t. They can’t. They tried it many times and it came to bite them in the fucking arse.

What we never address – past traumas, insecurities, our wounds etc leaks out in all areas of our lives and especially in our relationships until we finally face it.

And, if you decide to look at your stuff, you’ll still make mistakes too and I won’t pretend it’s easy (neither is the alternative though and one leads to positive change and one doesn’t, so you decide). The difference is that when we own our mistakes we can repair them. We stop being so rampantly entitled towards our kids and the younger generation. See, I often hear that the younger generation is entitled. It’s a lie. See, people can become entitled for sure, but people become that when they learnt unhealthy ways to deal with things. Maladaptive coping mechanisms. When they never learnt a better way to deal with challenges coz they only saw modelled to them unhealthy ways of managing their feels. Parents who demanded respect from kids when their behaviour was frankly shocking taught entitlement – this is entitlement in action. Parents who made others responsible for their feelings became entitled adults who blamed the world and often their partners when they didn’t or couldn’t meet their needs or satisfy them – when they couldn’t live up to their expectations. Rather than be willing to look at themselves and sit with themselves. Others learnt I’m a burden to have needs and not worthy of asking and found themselves in relationships with people who didn’t care about what’s in their best interest and would not think twice about using guilt trips or covert behaviour to get what they wanted. Rampant entitled people often attract people who have a lack of entitlement aka very low self-worth and so unhealthy relationships become the pattern and norm in society.

Entitlement is learnt and there is no greater rampant entitlement than a generation that has kids and disrespects them whilst making out they did them some huge favour “after all I’ve done for you” or the classic convert guilt trips, shaming and passive-aggressive behaviour.

Your children owe you nothing. NOTHING> They were not up in the cosmos begging to be born. You having kids was about YOU and you were not doing them a favour. Parenting them, and providing for them, does not mean they owe you a debt, it means you are being a parent. This is the bare minimum and yes, it’s fucking hard coz we don’t become parents and stop having needs or become magically regulated, calm and collected – if only (trust me, I know – parenting has kicked my arse many, MANY times). No, we have kids and realise how we don’t know how to regulate ourselves, meet our needs in healthy ways or know how to navigate our big feelings and challenges in healthy ways and so parenting is a huge awakening of everything we never dealt with and now can’t run away from coz parenting is a demanding role. It highlights all our biggest insecurities, fears and shortcomings. Coz, there is no hiding.

I believe the rage cycles many of us witnessed from our caregivers were their trauma (rage is a symptom of something WAY bigger going on – unprocessed undiagnosed trauma for example). We know now trauma gets passed down until someone breaks the cycle and it may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Most adults never learnt the emotional skills it takes to be well. So we become adults with unprocessed trauma and a lack of skills to show up and navigate the hard things and challenges in healthy ways. Many of us are so fucking harsh on ourselves and hyper-critical of ourselves or others.

If you wanna change things, then see your own rampant entitlement before you accuse the younger generation or others of being entitled and ungrateful. Entitlement is learnt. Let’s unlearn it. Let’s learn what healthy entitlement is and then live it. See, entitlement is not unhealthy nor destructive. We need a healthy level of entitlement (rampant entitlement/lack of entitlement are what’s unhealthy and destructive). See, when you teach kids, that they owe you for you providing them with their basic needs (aka parenting) then you teach them a lack of entitlement and so they can’t ask for what they want in direct healthy ways so they often become passive-aggressive people who sometimes aren’t even aware they are being.

Hyper independence whilst glorified in society is the result of trauma aka I’ll do everything myself, ignore my needs and burn out and become resentful in the process. We are designed to be interdependent aka we are wired for connection – not to do everything on our own.  In short we need each other. You need healthy safe relationships if you ever wanna thrive.

When we treat kids like they owe us, we teach them that “they are NOT worthy of healthy relationships, love, joy and respect.” We have a generation of people who either learnt to survive via learning a lack of entitlement (aka I am not enough or worthy) or rampant entitlement. You own me, you should please, life ‘should’ please me and I don’t have to put in the effort, I am OWED something (rampant entitlement) and I’ll bulldoze your boundaries or hurt others to get what I want, just like those who brought me up did. I’ll have no empathy for those that are impacted coz I’m rampantly entitled but I don’t see it (many people in high-up positions).

And, just so you know coz I hear this a lot, if you provided more than basic needs this doesn’t mean you provided an emotionally safe base for them to thrive. In fact, it’s not uncommon for those that apparently had/were given ‘everything’ to be the most emotionally depleted coz emotionally needs are something society is very neglectful of. We make out people who have needs that go beyond water, food and shelter (aka are human) are needy, too sensitive, a burden, too much, entitled (coz we don’t know what true healthy entitlement is so we project), too emotional, attention seeking, drama queen, a pussy etc and we wonder why so many people struggle. We wonder why we have such mental health struggles. Coz, it did do harm. And, no, it wasn’t your fault. You were a product of your upbringing too and your parents were the product of theirs. So let’s end this harmful generational cycle.

THIS is your opportunity to be the change. To look at yourself. It’s not easy. And, no you are not a bad human either. I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t think that. Just an imperfect one (thankfully, nobody wants a perfect human) and you have the power to create a change for the next generation. We will do it with or without you and again, I can’t speak for all, but I do know most of us wanna collab with you rather than US against YOU. I think we all want the same thing, to feel loved, respected (actual respect, not blind compliance out of fear), valued, and appreciated. To have healthy relationships and families. Be it. Be the change.

Do share this. May we heal together and create a much more loving world where less trauma is created which means less suicide, abuse, depression, corruption etc etc

Today and always I will take responsibility for moving beyond my trauma. I may not have been responsible for my trauma but I am responsible for healing it.  So as I end this letter, know I am not asking you to help me with my trauma, this is mine to do, my responsibility. Only I can do so. I am asking that you help prevent as much as possible more trauma from being caused for the next generation by not being so dismissive of the ripple impacts of your generation’s actions, that we are paying for. And until people take accountability and go “hey, I screwed up and I wanna do better” nothing will ever fucking change. If everyone goes “that was decades ago, get over it” (you don’t ‘just get over trauma) THEN it will continue and continue AND continue. I am not here to blame you,  I am asking you to take a slice of accountability for your part, like the hard pill we all have to if we wanna create change. I am asking that you listen and acknowledge any way you might have done harm AND to help me and many others who are now working hard to end this cycle. Not to shame, beat or guilt yourself for this (please don’t – it is not helpful to anybody, it’s just more self-indulgent crap and labour that I’ve retired from cleaning up for others). Instead, be the change.

Thank you to all the people breaking generational trauma and learning to create a healthy relationship with themselves and those they love.  Thank you to those of you who are now learning to regulate yourself so that you don’t take your shit out on those you love and own it when you do or act in ways that aren’t healthy (human) – so they don’t internalise it and blame themselves.

For those facing their own fears, anxieties, demons and trauma so it doesn’t bleed onto others and become the responsibility of your kids and relationships to manage – thank you! I see you, I appreciate you. It’s no easy thing. Yet, the alternative is fucking tragic and this, this, creates better lives. Not, just for you, but for all who come after you. Gah, we need you!

With all my love and gratitude,

Kirsty xxx

PS for those who wanna go on this journey with me, check out my free self-love and love challenge #OneLoveTober here to create a healthy relationship with yourself and those you love – it’s literally everything I do and live and it’s free coz I want it to be accessible for all.

#BreakTheGenerationalCYCLE #OneLoveTober

Categories
Happiness Health & Wellness Sisterhood Wellness Wellness & Wild Wild Woman

THE SISTERHOOD WOUND RUNS DEEP

I haven’t written a blog post in almost 2 years and it’s been 3-4 years since I blogged consistently, but this is something I felt called to share. The sisterhood wound runs deep. Real deep. Betrayal, heartbreak, very conditional love, humiliation, competing, jealously, judgment and rejection all leave a scar.

I remember being 17 and walking into a nightclub (back in the day when no one really cared all that much if you were underage. I’d been drinking alcohol and hitting clubs for years now) and my friends were no longer my friends. I was slut-shamed for sleeping with a guy who I haven’t actually slept with, in fact, I said “no” and as someone who found that difficult, not because I didn’t want to say no (many times), but because I thought I had no choice but to go along with what a man wanted. To be accused of something I hadn’t done by my own circle of friends and then to be thrown out of the friendship group was devastating.

I thought if a man wanted to have sex that you just had to. Maybe I’d lead him on or something or gave him the wrong impression? I cringe at this thinking now. That then I didn’t understand consent. Having a childhood of sexual trauma and abuse in my own home meant I didn’t know any different. I also had no idea what rape culture was or that it existed in our society. Yet, a part of me started to realise and rebel at times to all that I’d ever known. I realised on this occasion that I could say no and so I did, I said no. I felt empowered, I did it, I said no. Then I walked into the club that night and my friends called me a slut and refused to speak to me, saying we know you slept with him, he told us how you were easy and we don’t hang around with slags. I stood there all dressed up in the middle of the dancefloor feeling incredibly alone, rejected, intimated, broken, humiliated, betrayed, and devastated as they stood with the guy and he just smiled looking smug. I tried to tell them I didn’t sleep with him, that this didn’t happen but they wouldn’t even acknowledge me. They left me. They wouldn’t hang around with me after that. I wanted them so badly to know the truth, that I didn’t do it. Back then I didn’t know that actually, friends don’t do that, that whoever I choose to sleep with does not lead to shaming and rejection, AND if you haven’t actually done something or if something has happened to you, that they believe you, that not all woman turn on each other. 

At 19 I told a friend that I said no to the guy we both knew but that it happened anyway, she stopped speaking to me after that so maybe it was my fault? That’s what I told myself and so I told no one else. As you can probably tell I never used to think a lot of myself. I’m glad to no longer be that woman who doesn’t love herself (although I have so much love and compassion for her) and so I’ve brought the blog back to start having these powerful but vulnerable conversations again, no matter how difficult they may be, they matter.

Most of my old blog posts can still be found although I have to say after years of doing the self-love work that my opinions of many things have changed as well as many of my interests (I used to often blog on things like makeup and other things that I have no interest for blogging on now). My eyes are constantly being opened to things that I once over never questioned or even saw. We evolve, change, wake up and learn. It’s both harrowing and empowering. 

The sisterhood wound runs deep

In school, I remember the girl who would accuse me of staring at her every time I looked up. I became paranoid and so I just kept withdrawing more and more. I have struggled with eye contact ever since, or maybe I always did struggle with eye contact and it worsened. Sometimes I still do. Only years later did I realise she had to be looking at me to know I was looking at her. I’m not sure that I was ever even looking at her if I’m to be honest though. Let alone staring. In fact, if I had to guess, I was so intimated at school I doubt I stared at anyone. Although I did daydream a lot which I think was just an unconscious way to cope (I still do it now, not necessary as a way to cope anymore, my mind just wanders, but yes I do struggle with small talk, I’m not gonna lie) and perhaps sometimes when I was in a world of my own, perhaps it could have looked like I was staring. In reality, I was just probably somewhere else, in my own world just trying to make it through. Who knows. Regardless it was bullying, but instead of me really realising this, I just became insecure and self-conscious. I worked hard to try and do the right thing at school to fit in so I could just get through it as I struggled inside. School didn’t feel safe to be me nor did home living with a man who abused me. I often wouldn’t speak, I was painfully shy, and always in fear I’d do and say the wrong thing. 

At school, I remember having to walk in front of these two girls (because if I walked behind them they turn around and I couldn’t bear to look at them as they taunted me as I walked back to school after lunch). I remember this one time they threw rubbish off my back, but I was too shy or maybe embarrassed to tell anyone. To speak out. I blamed myself, what’s wrong with me?

Recently, last year, I came out as bi after hiding it for pretty much forever because my experience taught me, it’s not like it’s safe to be yourself, Kirsty. It’s certainly not like you can trust other women or people to have your back. I got put into the dog house with the silent treatment with one of my oldest friends until she finally said that she apparently knew anyway and how she was hurt with me (of course this was all done privately, online publicly, where people could see, she was proud of me). I thought what your hurt for me being bisexual? For me not telling you? For the way, you found out? Did I have to prepare you because my sexuality was clearly so difficult for you? Did I owe you my sexuality? Was I not allowed my privacy and to only share it if I wanted to? Was this all a condition of our friendship? I told her how I never told her because of her offensive homophobic comments that she’d made over the years whenever a woman liked women or a woman simply complimented a woman. She told me how it’s cruel not to do that otherwise they might think they have a chance with her. I couldn’t believe her words, I thought so this is why you make those comments? You think I’m gonna hit on you, that I can’t control myself? My heart felt broken. She even said that she realizes how hard it must be for me to bisexual and that’s why I was basically reacting this way, as in upset. Never seeming to realize that being bisexual is not hard, not for me anyway, it’s the discrimination and shaming from others that’s hard, that creates internal shame. It’s how people treat you when they know or you fear they will if they knew that’s hard. I wasn’t upset over being bi, I was hurt over her cruel treatment towards me which apparently was for my benefit (so I apparently knew she was off the cards as it would be cruel for me to think I had a chance with her). I’m beyond exhausted with the stigma that because I’m bi I fancy everyone. Not to mention how hideous this is when it doesn’t take a genius to work out I’m very much loved up and have been for a long time. That I did not fancy her, nor have I ever, not even slightly. Not that this should matter, but in this case, it does add to the ridiculousness of it.

I remember walking into the event where in front of everyone I was gonna find out my best friend at the time had gone behind my back to rival me and that’s how she choose to let me find out. In one of the hardest seasons in my life, when it felt like everything was falling apart this is how she decides she’ll go about it. 

And, it doesn’t end there. I could go on and on with countless stories in my life where other women have brought me on my knees with rejection, shaming, and mocking.

But, I want to wrap it up here and say, if you struggle to trust other women I see you and you aren’t alone. To this day I still struggle to let other women in, very few I do and I always worry when I do, it’s perhaps too much. Am I talking too much, taking up too much space? Am I listening enough? Being a good enough friend? Did I say and do the right thing? Do they actually like me, can I be myself? Can I trust them or are they just after something? Can I go there for support? 

I’m glad to say I don’t operate out of that anymore and whilst all these fears are still there and they indeed come up I actually have women in my life that actually I get to be imperfect around. Who really have healed so much for me and gosh I’m so grateful for these kind of women in my life. They truly make the world a better place and I hope if they read this that they know who they are (although I do try to tell them often because I think it matters to heal the sisterhood wound). Women who love me for me. Where we can both own our mistakes (if it happens, it’s rare). When if I’m talking online or in person about sexual trauma, sex, being bi, whatever it is on my heart, however, I’m expressing myself and being the wild woman I am, which is really just about being true to yourself, it’s celebrated, encouraged and when we feel triggered we work on our own shit and we imperfectly ask for support when we need and desire it. I talk openly about things like sex, sexual trauma, pain, being bi, self-love, the wild woman because these are things it took me years (and sometimes decades) to get to a really good place with. I wish I’d known someone who was so open to discussing these hard things.

These things are often difficult to talk about because to society they are just a bit too much, taboo, cause judgment, and take a lot of vulnerability and so we don’t talk about them and thus painful things just keep bloody happening because we are silent as we worry about the judgment of others. Often when someone does speak out we accuse them of attention-seeking. Ugh. The irony is these people tend to be those that say I’m here if you need someone to talk to.  So I’m either gonna talk about it or I’ll bloody support as many of those that do that I can whilst taking care of me. I can’t tell you how many people went radio silent on me when I came out as bi, those that said they’d always be there for me, went off the radar and I’ve barely heard from them since. It was eye-opening, painful but I’m grateful for it. 

The big thing I learned and I know this gets thrown around a lot so excuse the cliche but be yourself, so those who are gonna love the real you can find you. Being yourself is honestly I think the hardest thing, many of us don’t even know how to start with this, but it starts with self-love because no matter what you’re with yourself and without a level of love for yourself it doesn’t feel safe to be authentically expressed. Self-love is simply the relationship with yourself so you start there and you let what is no longer serving you, fall away. It’s messy and hard but it’s freeing and liberating. Healing and powerful. It takes a lot of self-compassion and courage but the alternative way to live is tiring, miserable, and unfulfilling. It feels like it’s been my life’s work and that’s why I teach it because gosh I needed it and the truth is I think we all do. So it’s why I keep doing it because whilst it’s hard, the alternative was killing me. That dark pit was deep and so I hope you know that you’re never alone, even though the journey is often lonely, messy, and challenging that there is a community of other women who feel you.

If you need, want, or desire a community and you vibe with me and all my woo because I won’t be someone else for you (that chapter has ended) then I have a free community on Facebook, click here to join. On the 6th of May we are doing the Wild Woman Rising Challenge, join us if that’s your jam. 

With all my love,

Kirsty xx

Categories
Achievements Choose To Rise Confidence Creativity Inspiration Lifestyle My Life Positive Thinking Purposeful Intentional Living Quotes Self Help Soulful Living Succeeding In Your Dreams Success Wellness Wellness Wednesday

Believing In Yourself – Impostor Syndrome

It’s so important to believe in yourself and know your worth. It’s an incredibly self-loving thing to do and it’s something nearly all of us need to work on. Impostor syndrome is something even the super successful deal with, where you doubt your abilities and think you’re going to be found out as a fraud. Believing in yourself isn’t just reserved for the super talented, we are all worthy and all have different skills and it’s time to start believing in you and seeing your worth from within. You don’t just magically cultivate self-belief because you’re ‘successful’.

Believe in Yourself & Choose To Rise

Your self-worth is an inside job. It can’t be based on a to-do list where you achieve x,y and z and then you believe in yourself. You have to work on knowing your self-worth now and work on believing in yourself otherwise you’ll be taken down with insecurities, comparison and you’ll probably never do the things that your heart truly desires from that space, instead you’ll tell yourself you’re not good enough. It’s not true. Stop telling yourself that lie and better still stop comparing yourself.

You aren’t here to live someone else’s life. You are here to be you and to believe in yourself. Not believing in yourself benefits no one but it hurts you. It blocks you from achieving fulfilment.

Kate Winslett said “Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this.  I’m a fraud.”

Maya Angelou said “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’ 

See it doesn’t matter what you achieve, self-worth and belief come from within. Here a few more. Emma Watson said “It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases because I’m just going, ‘Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved.’

Tom Hanks said “No matter what we’ve done, there comes a point where you think, ‘How did I get here? When are they going to discover that I am, in fact, a fraud and take everything away from me?’ and Jenifer Lopez said ‘Even though I had sold 70 million albums, there I was feeling like “I’m no good at this.” I can keep going with these.

So it’s time to put the I’m not talented, not good enough crap to bed. If you feel your skills aren’t up to par don’t let that be an excuse to not go after everything you want because most people feel like that. Leap anyway, you can do it afraid or at the very least, stop letting not knowing enough be an excuse to not go forward. Instead, dive into cultivating those skills. Sign up for the course, try the thing, send the email. Just do something to take yourself forward and know that one day you do just have to be courageous and take the leap afraid. Trust because doubt and impostor syndrome won’t vanish but they don’t have to own you. 

Every time you don’t step up you’re depriving the world of your uniqueness i.e your greatness. You will be able to do things and share things in a way that nobody else will be able to because the way you see and tell a story is exclusive to you. Nobody else can see, feel and experience the exact way you do, that is your superpower, reserved only for you and nobody else can have that. No one can be the best version of you, but you.  Someone is gonna really resonate with that and with you. If you keep what you have locked up because you’ve told yourself you’re not good enough you are literally rejecting yourself and you’re the one hurting you the most.

Start before you’re ready. I cringed at my 1st edition and even my 2nd edition audio series (no longer available lol). I sometimes cringe at FB lives I’ve done recently (we aren’t always on our A-game, whatever the f.ck that means, vulnerability hangovers are a real thing) and yet it still helps people, but for everything I’ve done, I had to start before I was ready. I had to literally Choose To Rise. You master skills by just doing it anyway. 

self worth and choosing to rise

Skills become mastered when you just show up, but you have to know to create and do anything that truly nourishes and expands you gotta start believing in yourself before you feel good enough. You do that by just showing up anyway afraid because success and achievement don’t lead to more self-worth and belief. It’s your responsibility to cultivate that, or should I say, decide you’re worthy because in reality only you can. It’s not outside of you. Every one of us is worthy and it’s not something anyone can give to you hence SELF-worth, you have to give it to yourself. You have to claim it and stop making others the god of your worth *eye roll* (I don’t give a crap how close to home they are either). It’s a crucial step in self-love journey and it needs your attention because it only works if you do. Loving yourself is being selfless enough to share with the world all that you have, whether you believe you have it yet or not.

And if your someone who worries about what others will think, remember something so important in loving yourself. What others think of you is none of your business, but your happiness is your business and that’s an inside job. Don’t die with your music still in because of fear of what others will think of you and to quote Brene Brown “if you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked then I’m not interested in your feedback”.

People who are truly fulfilled aren’t tearing others down. So do the thing you want too scared because you’ll have a hard being living with overall happiness long term if you ignore your dreams. If you don’t go after what you want and decide to stop hustling for worthiness you ain’t gonna find fulfilment. You decide on your worthiness. Period.

Choose you, choose that you are worthy by having the audacity to just go for it. Belief comes from having the audacity to just do it anyway and being kind to yourself through the highs and lows. The successes and failures. 

If you need an empowering boost, I highly recommend the Come Home To You audios. 

Be good to you and keep Choosing To Rise,

Kirsty xxx

Categories
Happiness Health & Wellness Inspiration My Life Purposeful Intentional Living Self Help Soulful Living Wellness

True Love Means You’ll Have Boundaries

I really came to realise in the last year how true love means you’ll have boundaries. In all my relationships that flourish there is a lot of respect there and the ones that don’t flourish there is either no respect or I simply haven’t put boundaries in place. It’s something I have really struggled with and in all honesty for the purpose of being really transparent with you, I’m still learning.

True Love Means You'll Have Boundaries

I guess for a long time I believed love had no boundaries, the biggest lie ever. I believe now we were told this so if we were treated badly we’d accept the poor behaviour because love has no boundaries right? Wrong. Boundaries are kind. A lot of us find boundaries difficult because for many of us we were taught being a ‘good girl’ and pleasing. That you have to please to get love and to be worthy. Ugh. For many of us, boundaries are new and scary. We don’t know how to go about it, nobody taught us this and it can feel unloving and selfish to have boundaries. Boundaries, however, are anything but. Without boundaries, you’ll probably get hurt. To put it frankly you will get your arsed kicked without boundaries.

I kept getting hurt because I didn’t have boundaries. I didn’t say or make it clear what is and isn’t OK. I kept quiet thinking maybe I’m just being unreasonable then I’d be left feeling broken and yet all the red flags were there. Only those red flags I didn’t communicate what those were for me. Now I will say some people won’t respect your boundaries no matter how much you communicate with them, in fact, they may even make you feel that you’re being unreasonable rather than listening, understanding and caring why this matters to you and how it makes you feel. In this case, with this kind of person, it’s probably not worth communicating them. It’s more about just upholding them which is an imperfect process and a learning curve. I know where I didn’t communicate boundaries that it probably wouldn’t have made a difference in my case, but having those boundaries would have saved me a lot of heartaches. I would have known very early on when a relationship or friendship wasn’t even worth starting. Self-respect is an essential part of self-love and no boundaries, no respect. If you don’t have boundaries then people will overstep the mark because they don’t know where the mark is. Side note this isn’t an excuse to justify people treating you badly, however, if you don’t tell them what is and isn’t OK behaviour for you then you do have to take responsibility if someone crosses the line. Boundaries create circumstances for relationships to flourish because everyone knows where they stand. No guessing, toxic games, tiptoeing around trying to do the right thing, but instead open communication done with love and honouring both parties needs.

soulful living with kirsty dee

It’s about a mutual respect. Boundaries can be summed up in one sentence and it’s this, boundaries are clear communication done often that you uphold. That’s really what it boils down to. I think most relationships fail because communication breaks down. Boundaries are about transparency. It’s honouring your needs because they matter. It’s never and I want to be very clear about this, it’s never about telling someone how they must be, it’s about loving yourself and someone else enough to create the space for the relationship to thrive by both knowing what matters to each other. Respecting each other. It creates space for compassion, love and solutions. It’s a way to go forward with love even after a difficult conversation or different points of views because you were brave enough to show up and not sit on what doesn’t feel right or healthy. It’s putting an end to toxicity and resentment. It’s prevents getting angry about a situation that could have been avoided if they had just been kept in the loop. What’s common sense or simply the right thing to do, to you, might not be to someone else. Or simply put sometimes people take the piss because they think you’ll accept that and that you’ll just be OK about it and aren’t being awful people they just don’t get it or know any better because you haven’t been totally clear. So be clear, communicate with grace and always have boundaries and above all and taken from a speech by Oprah “when people show you who they are, believe them, the first time”.

Be good to you and think about any relationships that aren’t thriving and how you can have some boundaries, it’s such a sacred act of self-care.

Keep Choosing To Rise, Namaste always,

Kirsty xxx

Categories
Achievements Challenges Choose To Rise Fulfilment Happiness Inspiration Living Your Dreams My Life Purposeful Intentional Living Self Help Soulful Living Spirituality Succeeding In Your Dreams Success The Secret Wellness

My Choose To Rise Story – Then To Now. The One Thing That Changed Everything.

My Choose To Rise journey has been anything but smooth. My Choose To Rise story is the same as most people’s. You realise sometimes you just have to Choose To Rise because you get so fed up with the shit, you get so tired of being sick and tired, you get bored on your own BS and what’s happens is you start to take matters into your own hands. You proactively choose to make your life the best it can be and if your anything like me then you don’t even know what that will look like. You don’t know where to begin but you decide you’re going to Choose To Rise anyway, that you’ll figure it out, because quite frankly what else are you gonna do? You can’t change the past, but going forward you can do something about that.

Work It Baby - My fitness business

For me, I consciously made the decision to Choose to Rise about a year ago, but honestly, I’ve actually been rising to that point since about 2012 when I read my first self-help book, the famous law of attraction book, The Secret. I started to realise things could be different, but that year was hard. We were living in Tony’s parent’s caravan and I was so ashamed that only close friends knew. We were broke, the flat we were supposed to be moving into the estate agents turned out to be another level of dodgy and took our money on a flat that we couldn’t move into (electricity fault and the flat failed its safety test). They refused to give us our money back, I went in and sobbed and pleaded with them. They didn’t care. She said “it’s nothing personal just business” and that if we wanted our money back to take them to court. They knew we had no money to do so and that our case wasn’t strong enough. Karma got them in the end as I’d find them in the local paper, the husband went to prison for fraud.

My aerobics business was struggling that year, I became depressed, my hormones were all over the place. I had polycystic ovaries and I was angry with my body, we were trying for a baby and my periods had stopped. I was trying so hard to be in great shape, to be a good role model for those that attended my class but I never felt good enough, I never felt fit enough, I compared my body to online fitness personalities and felt less than.

Despite people telling me how my class was the best they’d been to and the fact, I’d built a community where we’d all wanna hang out together – we’d have Christmas parties, Race for Life events and weekly coffee morning with the kids. Yet I never felt I’d done enough. I’d create such a bond with these women that when I did fall pregnant they’d throw me a surprise baby shower. The community was amazing and people would say amazing things, the problem was I never really believed their words, I thought they were just being nice.

Kirsty Dee Running Work it Baby

Despite me never really believing in my potential things started to change for me on a massive level. Now that I knew things could be different due to discovering self-help and spirituality things were. By the next year I’d fall pregnant, the wonderful Grace The Day would sponsor my business. I couldn’t believe my luck. I would be a semi-finalist for a business award and I had to do a video for this. I was supposed to ask people to vote for me but I couldn’t. So instead I said, “any votes would just be the icing on the cake”. Whilst that was so true and we are always more than needing some award, there was a big freaking issue here. I was scared to ask. I didn’t think I deserved it. I was worried about what people would think. I felt cheeky asking people to vote for me, I felt sick about the whole thing and couldn’t believe I was in the local paper up for an award for my business. I was scared people would think who is she to win an award.  I so didn’t see my worth, bless my shy little heart in that video, I want to go back and give myself a hug and say you deserve this. I didn’t believe I deserved a sponsor for my business. I never really believed I deserved a successful business.

It didn’t matter what I achieved, I would still focus on all my failures and anything slightly negative people would say would eat away at me. The small minority who had something critical to say, I’d believe them. People would pass comments on my body, not the amazing woman in the community but outside of the community people talked. From eye rolls, at a charity event about the fact, I was now running Cheer classes, to comments about how I must not eat and my size,  to an online comment about how I didn’t look anything special for a fitness instructor. It got to me. Every little slightly negative feedback or comment made me more determined to be better, not knowing I was already good enough.  I was plagued with insecurity about my lack of coordination. My struggles with grammar made me feel stupid and I felt even more stupid that I’d miss the beat of the music. I’d give myself a hard time with thoughts like “why can’t you just get it together and be like all the other instructors”.

I never realised at the time, those things I thought were flaws were my gifts.  It meant I could create classes that were super fun and got results. I knew how to create a routine that was easy to follow, but hard enough that you didn’t get bored. I’d create an atmosphere that would take your mind off the fact you were working so hard. I knew how to throw a badass playlist together that was gonna get everyone going. I knew these things because I wasn’t naturally gifted with coordination, academic abilities and I was insecure so I knew the importance of connection, making the women feel they truly mattered and that they belonged here.

Not finding things easy gifted me with the natural ability to connect with the woman on a deeper level because I knew how it felt to not be fit after having a child, to not be coordinated, and to be lacking in confidence.  The problem was I didn’t see the beauty, I just saw the ‘flaws’ in me. I didn’t love myself. At times over the years, I believed I did. As I started to rise, as my confidence grew, I’d do more things out of my comfort zone which led me to the false conclusion that I did love myself but in reality, I didn’t.

Fast forward a bit. After spending a lot of time in the personal development, self-help and spirituality scene and having two businesses under my belt I’d learnt a wealth of knowledge. I had times where I felt amazing, life felt wonderful and everything was great and my confidence definitely skyrocketed. I started doing things that I only ever dreamed about. That woman that was terrified doing that video and asking for votes started her own frigging YouTube channel in 2016. The girl that was insecure about her struggles to read, write and pronounce certain things became a blogger with brands wanting to work with her. All of this inner work I was doing was me unconsciously rising, going to the next level, achieving things a younger version of myself would have thought was insane.

Only there was one big fucking problem. I didn’t love myself. Even when I thought I did, I realised I didn’t. At the beginning of 2018, I finally realised that. That my love for myself was conditional. If I had a community around me, great friendships then I’d love myself. If my body was looking toned, then I’d love myself but if I dared to let myself go, which I never actually did, but believed I’d had for many years after giving up my fitness business and inevitably putting on weight then I wouldn’t love myself. I’d give myself a hard time and beat myself up.

My self-love was always on conditions. Things outside of me, from how I looked, to what others thought of me to whether I was deemed as successful by others. My whole self-worth was based on the external. At the beginning of January 2018, I felt amazing, on top of the world, I’d finally got my head around things or so I thought.  Everything was about to change. By the end of January 2018, I felt utter sadness. Something happened, something seemingly insignificant but that would change everything. At a blogger meetup, a comment was made about a friendship that had fallen apart for me and boy oh boy was I not cool about the comment. I felt this massive sense of shame, I couldn’t believe it had been brought up. The feeling of I’m not good enough reared its ugly head. I was worried about what others would think of the situation. In the weeks to follow I handled the situation badly, I didn’t have grace. I was jealous. I didn’t say anything at the event, I just brushed past the comment, but the weeks to follow were so hard.

Now living a soulful life kirsty dee

Things were made harder because only a few months before we had moved. We were now living in a tiny village, my friends were no longer on my doorstep, I felt cut off from everyone and my ego was bruised because we were back living with inlaws after another financial blow. To add salt to the wound not only were we living with inlaws we were living with random strangers. We were living in their B & B and so we could never just relax, I could never just sort my head out because there was always people around, whilst I knew we were lucky to be in this position to sort out finances, I was mad at the universe, why on earth had this happened?

I was pissed, I was sad and I still wasn’t over the friendship breakdown. That innocent little comment made me realise that I was totally not over it despite thinking I was. In my despair, I put on a Danielle Laporte audio for comfort and she said in this audio ‘sometimes you just have to Choose To Rise. I got all giddy and excited because I knew I couldn’t change the past, I couldn’t even understand it or why it had happened but I’d been doing this self-help stuff long enough to know when you just start where you’re at, in your current situation and you take action, things do change. I’d seen the evidence of that myself with all the stuff I’d achieved and all the things I’d been through over the years from sexual men shame to childhood abuse, there was nothing I’d hadn’t got through, but in my hour of despair I’d forgotten that and at that moment I remembered again. I remembered that I was my own bloody savior and not only that, but I also witnessed a pattern in my life that would change everything.

Throughout the whole time, I never believed I deserved it or believed in myself. I never felt good enough. My happiness was completely dependent on the things outside of me, the crap I wasn’t in control of for the most part. So whilst I didn’t know how to rise, I decided today I would anyway because sometimes you just gotta choose to rise. I got the memo. I decided to do the only thing I knew I had to do, the thing I’d been telling myself I was doing, the thing I’d heard about for the last 6 years and said I was doing, but in reality, I was studying it, kinda doing it but not fully doing it and that thing was self-love. To finally learn to love me. I made the decision to consciously Choose To Rise and the first step was loving myself and I had to go all in. The next steps would be revealed to me, but I had to play full out and learn what self-love meant on a whole new level before I could learn the other steps and that changed everything.

Within a few months, I’d go from realising I was totally unfulfilled to feeling super fulfilled, to launching my first audio programme and wellness box. From there, things have gone from strength to strength. It hasn’t been all plain sailing, there have been things that have hurt me, curveballs and failure but I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say my life is so soulful, so fulfilling and sometimes I have to pinch myself.

CHOOSE TO RISE WELLNESS DAY

This year I’m running my first ever event, once upon a time that was the dream (update, it was amazing). This year I started offering coaching which I never thought I’d ever do, but when you start rising the possibilities of what you can achieve is limitless. This year I’m writing my first ever book (update it’s been delayed, life was a bit crazy in 2020, I know you know and I’ve given myself permission to take a really effing long time with it, as long as I desire). That was a dream of mine, in fact, I started writing a book when I had my fitness business and at the beginning of my blog journey, but as per usual it never amounted to anything because I didn’t believe in myself and worried about what others would think. Now it’s happening. The book is becoming an actual reality. It’s insane what happens when you consciously choose to rise and you play full out. I want everyone to have that. I want everyone to have that life.

So if you ever feel like you want more from life then you can absolutely have it, but honestly, it’s not gonna happen until you consciously decide to rise. You gotta play full out and the first thing you gotta do is start with step 1,  loving yourself. I mean properly loving yourself. You do it half-arsed and you get half-arsed results. You can start right at the bottom of the self-love ladder, I did all those years ago when I was unconsciously rising, but when I committed to doing it full out last year then that’s when things shifted big time. So if you want fulfilment, if you want your dreams to be a reality, if you wanna be happier and live more soulfully then always choose to rise because no matter what you’re going through, rising will always make things better.

Namaste lovelies,

Kirsty xx

Categories
Choose To Rise Happiness Health & Wellness Inspiration Lifestyle My Life Self Help Wellness

It’s OK To Be Bitter

It’s OK to be bitter. I don’t want you to be bitter but I want you to know if you are it’s OK and to some degree- super healthy. Sometimes things happen that will leave a sour taste in our mouth and that’s OK. It’s OK to be angry, hurt or even jealous. These emotions are natural, normal and healthy. What’s hurts you is to stay that way. Nobody benefits from that and it doesn’t affect the other person or change things but it will gradually eat away at you. It’s toxic and leads to you suffering long-term, all the while not changing things.

Choose To Rise

At times in my life, I’ve found myself bitter, completely pissed, feeling totally used and rejected. That mother fucker hurts and sometimes that bitterness has then spiralled into jealousy and insecurity that was never there before. It’s OK to be pissed at the universe and think it’s unfair. If this has happened to you then know that’s quite normal and that’s OK too. Your human, those feelings and emotions happen. They are valid. What’s important to realise though is it doesn’t serve you long-term. Staying bitter and you are punishing yourself. Punishment is not OK.

You have a choice to do something about that. Will it be easy? No. Can you do it? Heck yeah. Will you come out the other end wiser and all the more beautiful for it? Absolutely. You can do this, but it starts with truly wanting to. When you’re so sick and tired of feeling bitter then you start to become free of it. Less owned by it. Frankly, you have to get so bored of it that you make the choice to do something about it.

You don’t need to accept what happened as OK, but you have to come to terms with the fact it has and accept it as part of your past.  You can acknowledge that it’s not OK, you never have to accept something that hurt you as OK but there comes a point when it’s time to deal with the pain so you can move on. No bypassing.

It starts with the willingness to no longer want to be a victim and at the mercy of our past pain, sometimes it becomes such an identity for us it’s hard to let go of. It’s become a story we are so addicted to talking about or replaying in our heads that sometimes letting it go can feel like we are saying it doesn’t matter.  It does matter, it very much matters but there comes a point where you have to free yourself from the pain and let it go for your own inner peace. That doesn’t mean forget, it simply means saying goodbye to what no longer serves you. It means accepting what’s happened because you can’t change it. Focus on yourself now and those who wanna love you because that’s the one thing you can do. It means being so frigging kind to yourself because the world needs kindness and kindness starts from our heart. Allowing yourself to let go of being angry by first allowing for it, not shaming yourself. Processing emotions and pain in healthy ways (if you struggle with this I have a masterclass on this in my membership). To truly start to heal and rise from all the past pain or whatever you feel bitter about because staying bitter is hardly the right motivation or mindset to move on or change what needs to change.

Change needs to come from wanting better for yourself and not a place of anger otherwise that can quickly turn into resentment. That’s what prompted me to make this video last year because I learnt one very important lesson.

To move through any pain self-compassion is required. To make the choice to start on the self-love journey even though at first you might not know where to begin or even like yourself. To start (no matter how hard you find it) to truly love yourself as you are right now. To love yourself with ‘flaws’ and to make a conscious effort to be a friend to yourself. To give yourself permission to be self-compassionate, self-forgiving and self-loving. To start climbing the self-love ladder and to become unapologetic about it because nobody else is in charge of your happiness but you. You take responsibility for your own happiness. You take the driver’s seat of your own life. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s so worth it.

That’s how you stop being bitter because you realise it’s nobody else’s job to make you happy. You can’t control other people or life but you can control how you treat yourself, so be kind to you.

Love yourself like it’s your full-time job – it is (plus overtime).

Namaste lovelies,

Kirsty xx

Categories
Choose To Rise Happiness Health & Wellness Inspiration My Life Self Help Success Wellness Wellness Wednesday

Realising You Can’t Avoid Not Meeting Everyone’s Expectations (The Blog Post That Was Never Posted)

The following post I wrote well over a year ago and I never published it because it was personal, it was about someone and I was in fear they’d know it was about them. I didn’t want to hurt them so I never published it and it stayed in my draft folder until now. Now the time is right because what followed was a lot of heartache, but unfortunately, this wasn’t going to be the only time I’d experience this. History repeated itself a few months ago and I found myself once again in this position. Different circumstances, different person but the same pain. The same foolish mistake.

The blog post you never saw

Trying to keep others happy and burning myself out in the process. Then when I can’t keep it up I start resenting them for it. They pick up on my change in behaviour and they dump me like I never mattered.

The pain of rejection from someone you love even if you know the relationship is toxic and all the red flags are there is always going to be painful. What I’ve learnt from this is that some people you’ll never be enough for and others you’ll be too much for, but those who love you are really gonna love you and that is all that matters.

We are all so loveable and sometimes we need to remember to focus on the people who see that with ease rather than trying to keep everyone happy.  When you know you’ve genuinely tried and you’ve given it you’re all in a relationship, you’ve gone out your way to be super supportive and yet it doesn’t seem to be enough then there is nothing you can do and it’s time to let go. It doesn’t mean the other person is a bad person and in some cases, it doesn’t mean they haven’t tried either, but it does mean that relationship isn’t healthy and you can’t keep watering dead plants.

The Blog Post That Was Never Posted:

You Can't Avoid Hurting People

Realising early on if you’re going to live a truly fulfilled life you will upset some people along the way will save you a lot of heartache. If you are too be successful you will create enemies. You can’t avoid hurting people and I’ve been slow to accept this.

I always tell people don’t be a people pleaser because you can’t keep everyone happy. You know you’ll run yourself ragged trying too.

You can’t set yourself on fire to keep other people warm. That quote always sticks with me and whilst I take my own advise I also struggle to let myself off the hook with it.

You can’t become prey to other people’s insecurities, a new quote I heard from Kayln Nicholson and it struck a chord with me because I know it’s true, but yet I still try to please people.

Recently with all the stress of moving, I found myself really struggling because I simply don’t have the time for it and as soon as I stopped trying to keep everyone happy and do my own thing I felt so much better. Lighter. Energised. Happy. The problem was it was only temporary.

Then guilt set in. What if people are upset with me? Gosh, I really don’t wanna hurt anyone. What if they think I don’t care? What if they don’t see I’m simply doing my best. What if they don’t recognise that I’m stressed and I need to put myself first?

I am in fact feeling the pressure and I simply can’t deal with the trying to please. Sometimes I just need to stop. Does that make me a bad person? I feel like a pretty shitty person right now.

Why is saying “no” so hard? Truthfully I’m a coward. I will say no, but I will end up apologising for it and feeling guilty and stressed about it. What if I make them sad or hurt their feelings?

Honestly, I feel guilty because it’s all my fault. I don’t do boundaries well, I let people take the p*ss because I just wanna keep everyone happy, the thought of hurting anyone kills me a little. I hate upsetting anyone. So I stay quiet, put up with it and then I snap and I’m done. They have no clue what the hell has happened.

The worse thing about it all is that it all could have been avoided if I’d just been a little braver and said “that’s not OK, you can’t-do that too me”, but instead I don’t wanna cause a fuss or upset so I bury it and make excuses as to why that behaviour is ok. All the while knowing it’s not ok to me but I don’t put boundaries in place. I don’t make it clear this is a big no and you can’t-do that to me.

All cried out

See, if you don’t have boundaries or make them clear you will get hurt and you will hurt other people. You have to take responsibility for your actions. I have to take responsibility for not being braver. For not having enough self-respect to simply not allow certain behaviour. For putting up with stuff.

See as you become more of who you truly are not everyone will like it. Not everyone will want to see you do well. Sometimes people will enjoy seeing you fail.  Let them because you should celebrate failure too.  Failure will always steer you in the right direction and as I write those words I realise this is all a gift.

I get to try again, but a little braver next time, to have boundaries that are really non-negotiable. To make them clear from the off and say “it’s not OK to treat me like that” and more importantly to have courage in my conviction.

I get to rise from this and choose again. I wish I could say I won’t make this mistake again, but I fear I will because I’m still not feeling brave. I’m still feeling like I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I also know I don’t have to feel brave to be brave. It’s time to have enough self-respect to stand up for myself.

Lastly, I want to end by saying I appreciate you may be reading this post thinking what on earth is she babbling on about. I guess all I really wanna say in my long-winded way is that if it’s OK to put yourself 1st and you will feel guilty, but that’s just because you’re a good person. Guilt stops us becoming psychopaths, but if you know if your heart that you really aren’t trying to hurt anyone but something is making you sad it’s absolutely OK to walk away or say no.

Be kind to yourself, but always take responsibility for your part to play too.  See I’m far from innocent because I did nothing, but it’s not what we’ve done in the past that matters, it’s what we do going forward.

Where I’m At Now:

Where I'm at now

Today as I read that post I have to laugh at myself. Like, Kirsty, seriously, how did you make so many of the same mistakes again? I didn’t practise what I preached in the post and yet I meant it. Here’s the thing, unless we actually witness our own behaviour and go to work on implementing it then history will sneak up on us when we aren’t paying attention and before we know it we’ve made the same mistakes again.

I said I’d put boundaries in place and when the red flags appeared I didn’t listen to my gut instinct. I told myself that it was my ego being negative. It’s a lesson in being honest with myself. If insecurities and trust issues come up because of something someone’s done, yes they are indeed red flags and proceed accordingly but also own your triggers that cause you to be upset. Nobody is innocent, myself included.

We have to learn to pay attention to the warning signs and know that sometimes intuition can look like ego because it doesn’t seem like a positive message, but actually it’s just because we don’t like the message. That’s the ego part, that’s the confusion. The red flags were never negative I just deemed them so because I didn’t like the reality. I desperately wanted to believe in the fairytale friendship and my heart was full out. When I love someone I really frigging love them. I meant all the things I said.

I still, have some pain from the most recent event, but I can honestly say I’m ok. In fact, I’m really good and what I’ve learnt from experience is if you honour your pain and learn from it something beautiful will blossom. The pain I experience today is more of a bruised ego saying you idiot how did you let this happen again? See deep down I knew. I even had a dream warning me, but I ignored the messages because I so desperately wanted to believe I was good enough for this person, but when you try to prove yourself you lose yourself.

It’s funny looking back on the blog post especially at the line ‘I get to rise from this and choose again.’ I wrote that line before my whole ethos of Choosing To Rise was even a thing! My soul knew. This was all part of a bigger plan.

The other line that follows also sticks out  ‘I wish I could say I won’t make this mistake again, but I fear I will because I’m still not feeling brave.’ I also knew whilst I wanted to not make the mistake again I probably would because I wasn’t loving myself enough to know being me was enough. It’s a bitter pill for my ego to swallow, but I read recently a quote that said “love the fool you were yesterday” and I chuckled at myself. Today as I write this post I’m in a really good place, stronger, wiser and loving myself. I no longer believe in enemies as I did when I wrote this post. I believe the only enemy is the story we make up about ourselves because of things like this happening.

I believe it’s our job to be the difference and to be more loving to ourselves and others, to never go bitter, but to simply learn. Action speaks louder than words and I’m paying more attention to my actions now. I still believe not everyone will like me, just like, not everyone will like you but I also know what people think of you is none of your business and so that’s my current motto when I find myself people pleasing.

So whilst we are being honest I have actually caught myself out a few times trying to people please in recent weeks. The beautiful thing about that is I’m learning to witness it and do things differently next time. To put down the people pleasing and if they don’t like it to remember it’s none of my business. See I had some issues with thinking if I could potentially dissatisfy someone I wasn’t being a good human. That somehow I wasn’t being the love. Now I know how ridiculous that is, love starts from within so you have to be kind to yourself. You have to let people own their own power which they won’t be able to if their happiness depends on people doing x,y and z for them.

Now I look back on the first pain that happened I smile and have so much gratitude for it. The person is doing really well for themselves and I can genuinely say I’m so happy and proud of them. The fall out needed to happen so we could both start fresh and stop playing small. I wouldn’t have done the things I have this past year if that hadn’t of happened. Having to pick myself up and literally Choose To Rise was the birthplace of everything I’ve done this year. I owe them a little thank you for that.

The most recent event is still a tad raw, but this may sound crazy I’m grateful for that too. The first time it happened it was because I didn’t love myself enough to honour my needs.  This time it happened because I didn’t listen to my intuition.  It was an important lesson to learn and I truly believe this person came into my life to teach me to listen to my intuition and secondly to get me into action. Once again so much got birthed from literally having to Choose To Rise and despite what’s happened I’m so grateful for it all.

So the message behind this long-winded blog post, don’t be people pleaser and always Choose To Rise,

Kirsty xx

Categories
#SelfLoveTember Body Image Happiness Health & Wellness Inspiration Lifestyle My Life Self Help Spirituality Success Wellness

11 Insights On Self-Love From #SelfLoveTember

As #SelfLoveTember draws to an end I’ve unexpectedly found myself feeling wow, I learnt a lot about self-love this month and it feels epic. I thought I knew a lot already but now I feel like I’ve been bulldozed over with new wisdom and guidance and it feels amazing. So here are the things I’ve learnt, now a lot of them I knew already but I wasn’t living them before and that’s the difference. I thought I was, but I really wasn’t. Only when we do something consciously, full out do we get to that next level and that’s what #SelfLoveTember was all about. Playing all out, no more messing around half-heartily doing something. You’re either in or you’re out.

Be a woman that loves herself

11 Insights on Self-Love

1) It doesn’t always feel good

Self-love doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll always feel amazing, it means when life throws you a curveball you’ll be stronger to handle it. It means doing the nitty-gritty work on realising why you don’t feel good in the first place. Then you can heal what needs to heal. Gamechanger. If you’re already in a good place then life will become even better.

2) There will be opportunities to rise

As you work on self-love sometimes life will present you with opportunities to rise. I had this happen to me this month and it hurt, but then I remembered I am my own saviour. That’s how much I get to love myself. I also realised sometimes the things that feel shitty, is divine intervention, clearing out what no longer serves us. Even if it feels a bit shit, trust and you will see.

3) Judgement hurts you

After said hurt, I found myself being judgemental. Then I realised this doesn’t feel good to me. It didn’t feel self-loving. It’s not, remember what other people do is none of your business. Let them be. Live and let live. Again. Choose to Rise. It’s one of the most loving things you can ever do for yourself. Judgement is toxic and it hurts you way more than it hurts them.

4) Less is more

I found when trying to do self-love we can overcomplicate it and give our selves a long to-do list. Self-love should feel loving. I planned to do loads of workouts, which didn’t happen because I found starting a new job meant my body was adapting to that. Exercise is of course very self-loving, but so is listening to your body. Less became more. I also found I didn’t create as much content for #SelfLoveTember as I planned to because of work, nobody minded. Your vibe is the most important thing, had I tried to do the same workload as I originally planned with the new job I’d of burnt out. Less is nearly always more. What your doing should feel good and not just be another to-do list. Liberation wins, so if your goals don’t free good or make you feel better after, give yourself permission to pass on them. That is a great act of self-love.

5) People pleasing is sneaky

A few times I had to catch myself out because I felt a bit off.  I’d break it down and realise it was because I was in some way worrying about what someone else thought of me without being aware straight away. We can tell ourselves we are just trying to make a good impression or keep the peace, but sometimes what we are really doing if we look closer is wanting everyone to like us. Love yourself enough to know when you’re trying to prove yourself. What your boss, neighbour, family members, kids teacher, etc think of you doesn’t matter. When you catch yourself feeling concerned, love yourself enough to say “I validate myself”. What someone thinks of you is also none of your business.

Nature girl embrace yourself

6) The beauty effect is messing us up

I thought I was pretty body confident, but #SelfLoveTember made me realise I still had work to do. I realised I was happy to share photos if I felt they flattered me, but actually, I lacked confidence when I found sometimes a photo was unflattering. Now I’m not saying you have to post unflattering photos of yourself online but what I am saying is you shouldn’t worry about those photos. You should be able to look at a photo and see the beauty and no when it’s just a bad photo or realise it’s not a bad photo but you are just finding faults. Not very self-loving.

I also now make a conscious effort to turn off the beauty effect on my phone camera. Now I do videos without it, I have many photos without the beauty effect but I also realised that I should proactively turn it off my phone every time – it legit takes one second, a press of a button. On my phone, you have to manually turn it off each time you take a photo and so I used to just leave it on because I didn’t see the harm in it. I still looked like me, but my skin just appeared a bit better. I never stopped to think about it before, but this month I realised how destructive that is. My skin needs no filter. I am worth that second it takes to turn it off. Love the body your in.

7) You’ll keep climbing

Self-love is an ever-climbing ladder. You can be in a good place, but you should still practise self-love because when we stop taking care of ourselves we don’t feel as good. Keep climbing. The journey is a fabulous neverending wonderful adventure that lasts a lifetime. Only when you wanna feel crap should you stop climbing the self-love ladder.

8) Good things will happen

When you feel good you attract great things into your life. My beautiful spiritual sister Selina has been doing and supporting #SelfLoveTember and her words were “I’m manifesting like a nutter”. If you pay attention and focus on all that is well in your life, you’ll see how many amazing things happen for you. As Wayne Dyer said, “we attract what we are”. Be a good human.

9) You might disappoint people

As you start taking care of your needs, some won’t like it. It’s a blessing. Don’t be afraid to disappoint people because those that really have your best interests at heart won’t be disappointed. Their disappointment is divine intel. Most people are super supportive, focus your attention on those that have your back rather than trying to please those who are making you feel crap. It’s a waste of your time, give yourself permission to disappoint them. It’s a real act of self-love. People-pleasing is totally overrated, addictive, toxic, pointless and impossible to do for everyone.

10) You don’t need to know it all

Whatever you want to do just know that you don’t need to know it all. Love yourself enough to do it anyway. You don’t need to be an expert, just believe in yourself, it’s ok to learn as you go. In fact, it’s very loving to be willing to do so. So many people don’t love themselves enough to just go for it, they’ll say they don’t know how to, but unless you try you never will. The pro was first an amateur.

11)It’s all practice

Self-love is like yoga, you get better at it the more you do it. You’ll feel better the more you do it and your life will become better the more you do it. It’s a practice and you need to show up every day for it. It doesn’t need to be anything grande, it doesn’t even need to take up any time, you can simply listen to something inspiring whilst driving or cooking. The point is every day you have to show up and do something consciously for yourself so that you feel good, it’s like saying, I matter and you do matter.

Always be the love, namaste,

Kirsty xxx

 

Categories
#SelfLoveTember Anxiety Choose To Rise Happiness Health & Wellness Inspiration My Life Raising Awareness Self Help Success Wellness Wellness Wednesday

When The Digital World Doesn’t Serve Us But Hurts Us

The digital world doesn’t always serve us, a lot of the time it’s actually hurting us. We compare ourselves to others, feel less than and use it as a place to seek validation. Please Instagram, give me a lotta likes on this post so I can feel good enough. Please somebody copy and paste my Facebook Status (not share) because I need to know you’ve read it all because only then will I know who actually cares. This isn’t healthy, this isn’t serving us. Social media depression has become a real thing and it’s time to make a change.

The reason I started #SelfLoveTember was that I noticed how toxic and unhealthy social media can be. I wanted to help to make it a place we can feel good. A place where we are inspired to love ourselves and not compare ourselves or seek validation. A place when we come online because it feels good and we’ve proactively decided to and not out of the habit of just mindlessly opening the app. Self-love matters, but we’ve forgotten that and become addicted to our phones and forgot that the best moments happen offline.

We use our phones to numb out. That dopamine fix is mighty good after all, but it’s so short-lived that we find ourselves constantly online. I do it too and I am slowly finding a balance that works for me. I haven’t quite got it yet so please don’t think I’m judging any of these addictive or self-validation behaviours. I can’t, I couldn’t possibly, I have my own online/offline balance not quite to my liking yet, but what I can say is I’m very aware of it and I’m working really hard to find a balance that feels good for me and already my progress feels great and very self-loving.

when the digital world stops serving us

These online tools are amazing. We can connect with people all around the world, we can get inspired, find the answers to things (my hubby changed the engine of this car from watching ‘How To YouTube videos’, saved us a fortune) and for that reason, I think it’s wonderful.  Sometimes it’s been something someone has said on an online video that has made all the difference that day, that nugget of wisdom from that Ted Talk or that self-help guru. Sometimes it’s simply just somebody sharing their story, that inspired me so much that I made a healthy change of habit.

It’s the place where I get to hold #SelfLoveTember and teach the power of self-love and I’m forever grateful for that. It’s the place I created the Choose To Rise Facebook group and I’m so proud of this community (updated, I moved on, things divinely evolved, it felt good, the new Self-Love & Fully Expressed group is here).  I love it and couldn’t do what I do without it. The online world can be a beautiful place, but only when we get the balance right.

It really is all about balance and balance is individual. For me, that balance is I get to enjoy it every day but I have to have an intention, which is usually checking the #SelfLoveTember hashtag or sharing something in the group.  Mindlessly scrolling Instagram doesn’t feel good to me and it’s a waste of my time and life. I could be doing so many more fun things or just relaxing. Relaxing is underrated but so powerful for our creativity and happiness.  I put my phone away when I’m with people I love and if it takes a little longer for me to reply to a message then that’s cool too. That’s my balance.

If someone we love is talking to us and we are scrolling our Facebook, we missed a moment that matters. At that moment, we say to them without saying it, my phone is more important than you (Simon Sinek quote). That pains me to say because I have done it and still catch myself doing it. Ugh. Addiction.

When we spend time trying to curate a great caption or get the perfect selfie to look better, we have forgotten feeling good is always from within. We live in a world where we go out with friends and go to the toilet and find ourselves having a quick scroll. I can remember a time when bathroom stops were quicker because the fun was there, not on the phone. The fun still is, but somehow we’ve forgotten.

We check our phones constantly because the fear of missing out is huge, but here’s the thing we are missing out. We are missing the moment all the time. If you do nothing else today, do watch the video below it’s only 4 minutes. If you still want to spend just as much time on your phone then be my guest, but be proactive and really think about how much time you spend online and if it’s serving you.

There are no hard and fast rules to social media and phone usage, but if you find yourself constantly checking, seeking validation, comparing yourself or simply numbing out or procrastinating with it then it’s time to take your power back. Last year, I took a week off because I’d got really addicted and it helped me so much. 3 years ago I took a whole month off and I loved it. I wasn’t a blogger then so it was more doable and I don’t feel the need to do that now anyway, my point is if your twitching having time offline then you’re addicted and that addiction like all addictions can have negative side effects on you and your relationships so love yourself enough to find a balance that feels healthy for you. If you miss an Instagram story or two, it really doesn’t matter, but your life does. I’m talking about this not to preach but actually because I found myself slipping back into addictive habits and I’m so much more fulfilled when I have a healthy balance so here’s to more fulfilment and a better life.

Have a wonderful day, love yourself and use social media because it feels good, not as a way to numb ou, fear of missing out or to combat boredom. You deserve so much more than to lose your power to your phone. Loving yourself means creating a life you love too and you can only create a good life by being there for it. Don’t lose it to your phone. More and more people are depressed due to our relationship with technology, don’t be one of them.

Be kind to you, Namaste,

Kirsty xx