On the last round of Open Your Heart a participant asked:
“So if I don’t trust these anxious thoughts then what can I trust? If my truth was really that we are not right for each other then how would I know if I am teaching myself not to listen when doubts arise?”
And then she wisely responded to her own question with:
“But I can see that is probably another clever resistance pattern.”
Even though she named that the question was coming from resistance, the question itself is a valid and common one, and if you’re struggling with relationship anxiety and have found your way here, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the same thing. It’s really the million-dollar question that inspired much of my work with relationship anxiety, including the Break Free From Relationship Anxiety E-Course. Asked another way, the question is: Is my anxiety/doubt evidence that my … Click here to continue reading...
“I’m always comparing my relationship to other people’s relationships. Why does everyone else look like they’re so in love?”
“I have such a hard time making decisions. Sometimes I can’t even decide what to order at a restaurant!”
“I worry about whether or not my family likes my partner. I always care so much about what they think.”
“I believe every anxious thought that enters my brain. It’s exhausting.”
“What if I’m gay? What if I’m a pedophile? What if I have a terminal illness?”
All of these statements are symptoms of the same core issue: lack of self-knowledge and self-love which result in a lack of self-trust. In other words, when we’re filled up inside – when the waters of our well of Self are full – we have a strong and solid sense of ourselves and so we naturally stop caring what others think, stop comparing, stop needing … Click here to continue reading...
When my boys were learning how to write, they would freeze in their tracks for fear of making a spelling mistake. Their perfectionist tendencies were not a surprise to my husband and I – after all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – and it was both fascinating and painful to see how powerfully the perfectionist halted their creative and free expression. I would say to them over and over again, “Make mistakes! It’s how you learn. I don’t care about spelling mistakes. I just want you to be able to express your thoughts.” Eventually the message penetrated and they were able to move past their blocks and just write.
If you’re prone to perfectionism you know well of which I speak. The perfectionist is not only the voice that says, “You have to be perfect” but is also the voice of self-doubt that stems from the inner … Click here to continue reading...
As humans in an uncertain world, we seek certainty in a variety of ways. We ask questions that are fundamentally unanswerable. We ruminate and obsess on a single thought (otherwise known as intrusive thoughts). We Google and text and seek reassurance in a variety of increasingly technologically oriented ways. When I see someone falling into these common mental habits, the first question I encourage them to ask themselves is, “What are these thoughts/actions protecting me from feeling?”
We’re so identified with spending thousands of hours in the realm of thought that oftentimes this question doesn’t make any sense. What do you mean “protecting” me from feeling? What I mean is that somewhere along the road of growing up, somewhere between the innately healthy relationship that babies have to their emotional life and the disconnected relationship that most adults have, we learned that one way to manage the messy, amorphous, … Click here to continue reading...
Lake Phoksumdo, Dolpo, Nepal
Over and over again, the feedback I receive from my 30-day course participants is that one of the most impactful and life-changing aspects of my courses is hearing from and connecting with other people who are going through the exact same struggles. Despite the worldwide web, we live more isolated than we’ve ever lived, which leads to the sense that we’re the only one struggling with our particular brand of challenge. Because of the role I hold, I swim daily in the common notes that compose the pain of the human song, and I write about those themes as much as I can on this blog. But there’s something about hearing people’s stories on the live, group, weekly calls that transcends even the power of the written word.
Along these lines, I’d like to share an email interview I conducted with a Trust Yourself graduate a … Click here to continue reading...