Why Do We Hurt the Ones We Love?

My husband is a very good guy. He is responsible, cares deeply for me and my daughter. However, I seem to only feel, think, and act very negatively of him or I am just mean to him. I do love him and I want to feel that love. What can I do?

Perplexed

Dear Perplexed,

Sounds like you have a case of the “I don’t really love myself enough” syndrome. That is my non-medical diagnosis for the condition you have. I have often heard your question phrased this way, “Why do we hurt the ones we love the most?” Since you are trying to figure that one out, I first and foremost recommend taking inventory of how you treat yourself.

How do you feel about yourself? Are you wishing you were more, better, faster, and are frustrated because you’re not? Are you happy with your work, the way you’re raising your children and the example you are setting? Do you feel joyous and grateful to be alive?

If you don’t feel very good about yourself and you are not taking responsibility for that, then it can wind up coming out in relationships in several different forms which include (and are not limited to):

  1. You want him to change and be different; primarily so you can feel better. The truth is, even if he did change, he still wouldn’t be good enough because you are not feeling good enough and you’ll continue to project it out on him.
  2. You get upset at little things he does or that happen to you in your life. Your reaction is your soul trying to tell you I’m hurting and I need to express it.
  3. You say mean things. This is another way of your feelings trying to express themselves.
  4. You feel powerless because you have no idea what to do to deal with the feelings of fear, anger, grief, sadness, loneliness, worthiness, etc.

As you can see low self-esteem and poor self-image can be dangerous to both you and your loved ones. The first step is to acknowledge you’re hurting and let yourself know that is ok. Feelings, all feelings, are valid. What you do with those feelings is the way you make or break your results. Even if you have a high IQ your intelligence will not help you solve the problem. The logic of the brain needs to make way for the wisdom of the heart. Many people today have lost the connection to their heart wisdom. You will not be able to think your way to a healed and authentically joyous place.

You must face the darkness in your soul. Before you do this though, begin to practice saying nice things to yourself. You must become more compassionate (with yourself). There is no room for self-abuse. Then, be with your feelings. Know that they are real and they are not who you are, rather they are messages from your heart.  Feel it and channel it in positive healing ways. A great way to get on the road to healing is through a good psychotherapist who encourages you to get into your feelings. Make sure that your internal heart work does not stop there. Acknowledging and accepting your feelings is the first part. Channeling the energy of these emotions to serve you for the better is the next step.

Like the Feminine Power Card displayed on the right says on the pink side, “Anger is a
Pink-Anger-web message to understand your fears and take care of yourself.” And it encourages you to contemplate on the blue side, “How can I channel my anger such that the result is positive for myself and others?”

Take the energy and do good things. Take on the commitment to see this feeling through until it transforms. To be there for it like a good friend.

Here’s a simple story of how I did this. One day a friend visiting me talked me into seeing a movie that I knew was scary and would be hard to take, but I gave in trusting her that it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought. Well, it was really scary and hard and boy was I angry afterwards. I realized that taking it out on her or myself would not serve any purpose, so I was very quiet until we reached home. I didn’t know what else to do but I knew I was committed to not harming anyone. So I kept asking myself over and over on the way home the question, “What can I do with this energy?” I knew it had to be something that was not harmful and useful for dealing with the feeling. Then I proceeded to go into my bedroom and cry and get some of this pent up energy out. Crying was good but it wasn’t enough. Then I ripped out my journal and frantically started writing everything this feeling was feeling, thinking and upset about and wanted. That was good but it wasn’t enough. I took a really hot bath because that is something nurturing I love. That was helpful, but it still wasn’t enough. Then I cried some more and journaled some more. And then I was flooded with peace and a whole new perspective. This movie was a gift. It gave me the gift of addressing the pent up fears, anxieties and stressors that I had. They released all because my friend wanted to see this movie and I went. There was no more anger. I received the gift of the events of the day and the feelings inside me. I continued to enjoy a deeper appreciation and connection with my friend.

So I cannot tell you how to channel the energy. Rather I encourage you to explore it, honor it and do what you can that feels appropriate and you know is a positive step for you.

In Joy,

Laura

Personal Success Strategies – Beyond Integrity

Last week I was sent an email from my Facebook friend Marjorie where she asked what my Personal Success strategies are. What came to mind was revealing and may be somewhat contrary to what others have recommended. Please let me know what you think as you read this.

You’ve heard that integrity is important. I think so too. I used to think that having integrity, in other words, keeping my commitments and having things in life completed, was the key to having everything I wanted in life. Indeed life works and business flows when I keep my commitments. And I do so as a matter of practice. I do regularly operate by placing integrity in every area of my life as critical. Without integrity things fall apart. In the world of construction a building must have structural integrity otherwise it will fall apart. Likewise, this principle operates the same way in our lives.

Yes, integrity is powerful in and of itself. Here’s the kicker for me. In addition to integrity, I know that to truly have a life that feeds my soul, I must know myself deeply, be willing to acknowledge and honor my feelings and most importantly be honest about it. Furthermore, I must make decisions and commitments in alignment with my authentic truth.

When I realized the significance of my authenticity to my health and happiness, my whole world shifted. I was able to ease up on the inner critic within me and start listening to the gentler voice of my true feelings and desires. Then I could have integrity serve my authenticity. For example, if I know myself and that museums are exhausting for me and someone asks me to go, I know if I allot more than 2 hours for the visit, I will be grouchy and unhappy. So now I agree to go to exhibits that I know will take less than two hours to go through and ideally my companion doesn’t want to spend more than an hour. If he/she does, then I will let them know it’s not the right event for me to attend. This may sound like a minor thing to you. You may be saying, “Why not just go and sacrifice yourself so as not to hurt the others’ feelings?” I used to do this, but truly I was bummed out by the end of the day and no one was really happy to be there as a result. I guarantee you this, if you try to hide or deny your feelings it will come out some other way that won’t be positive.  Instead, when I am true to myself, I don’t wind up being in a bad mood anymore with the people I care about. They are happy too. On top of that there would then be time to do something I might enjoy that I could suggest.

Authenticity is not an excuse for lack of integrity by any means. Rather it’s a way to enrich and enjoy your life more fully.  I recommend knowing oneself deeply and making sure your commitments are in alignment. Though it sounds easy, I invite you to examine your life and the times you get cranky or are in a joy-less state and ask yourself, “What is it that I need that I’m not getting in this moment? and What did I do that was not authentic that may have gotten me here?” Be sure not to beat yourself up. This is a learning process and takes practice.

The Feminine Power Cards have a certain number of cards dedicated to principles centered around making conscious choices. These cards remind you to become an objective observer (without judgment) of your life and give up placing judgment on yourself. It is then when you are truly open to what is really going on inside and you have an extraordinary gateway  to new awarenesses, more tolerance of others while not compromising oneself. Here are a few of the cards that invite us to make these conscious choices.

FemininePowerCards.com FemininePowerCards.comFemininePowerCards.com

Each of these cards is your invitation to explore your authentic feminine nature. The deck contains suggested practices to implement each of these principles. For now I leave you with some questions to use as you contemplate how these principles can be used in your life:

  1. Where are you inconsistencies between what you say and what you do?
  2. Are you willing to say “no” to someone who asks you to do something and put yourself first instead?
  3. What are you feeling?

Wishing you every JOY,

Coach Laura

Want More Joy for the Holidays and Beyond?

Joy is a very popular word during the holidays. Many people associate it with the upbeat and hopeful music. Others with the opportunity to party. Kids especially get joy out of receiving gifts.  I am dedicated to joy throughout the year. It is my life’s purpose. To spread and inspire people to have more joy in their lives. So the holidays marks the time when I feel there is an opportunity to remind everyone that joy is accessible any time.

During this time of year, a significant amount of people experience the opposite of joy. It is understandable for there are a lot of stressors that people experience. I’d like to share two items for cultivating a sense of hope and joy during this time.

The first is a video that my colleague, Lisa Mininni, and I put together. We collaborated on this and had so much fun putting this together. I know it will inspire you to think about consciously creating joy. We’ve titled it Up Your Joy… just a little humor in alignment with the true nature of our message.

Embedded video coming soon. Click link to view.

Share the movie link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmZihZiJgK8

Feminine Power Card

The second is another card from the deck of Feminine Power Cards. The card reads, “When you don’t know where to go, go within.”

So what does going within mean to you? When you hear yourself saying negative responses to this. That is not going within. Rather that is an act of avoiding. So stay with me and let your inner critic keep babbling but take it with a grain of salt and go beyond this voice to the quieter more compassionate place. Ask this part of you some questions:

What am I feeling?
What do I need?
What’s important?
How can you get this for yourself with harming yourself or others?
What will bring me joy in this moment?
Practice cultivating joy (no matter what problems you have). Make a list of things that make you happy and bring you joy. I recommend doing this when you are in a positive frame of mind if possible. Do one nurturing, self-honoring, joy-creating thing for yourself.  Make it something that doesn’t seem like a burden; something that feels nurturing and soul nourishing.
Here are some ideas.
a. Take a walk in a beautiful place
b. Get a manicure and/or pedicure
c. Get a massage
d. Take a bath
e. Light a candle and spend 5 minutes in reflection
f. Sing in the shower
g. Go for a run
h. Go somewhere inspiring in your mind for 5 minutes
i.  List the things you are grateful for in your life
j. Create something
k. Prepare a nutritious meal for yourself
l.  Volunteer time at an elderly facility or other place
where people will be healed by your presence
m. Cry (it’s very cleansing and healing)
n. Rent a chick-flick or comedy
o. Take a sauna, Jacuzzi.
p. Take a nap
q. Go swimming
r. Do some stretching or yoga
s. Dance
t. Write your praises
u. Clean your kitchen
v. Listen to a hypnosis or guided mediation Tape or CD
(some available at www.SanDiegoHypnosisWorks.com)

What do you do that brings you joy? Please share your ideas and comment below. You never know when something you share makes a big difference in someone else’s life.

Wishing you a joy-filled holiday.

Coach Laura

Why Do I Hurt When I Left An Abusive Relationship?

Dear Coach Laura,

I was emotionally and physically abused in my last relationship of 8 years. I know I made the right choice to leave. Yet, I have some many questions… why did he even bother to come back all those times when he knew he didn’t want us? Why is he happy and I am not? Why do I feel I got the short end of the stick and never did anything to deserve it? If you can shed some light on this matter that would be great.

Signed, Hurting

Dear Hurting One,
Thank you so much for reaching out. It takes courage to share yourself with another and I want to acknowledge the tremendous strength you have.

First of all, I recommend bringing the focus completely to you and your healing. It no longer makes sense to focus on him – whether he’s happy or not. Whether he is happy or sad will not help you in your healing and recovery from this long and painful journey. He cannot help you and never has been capable of that. That being said, can you see how much strength you have? You have put up with so much in order love another. You are a power-full woman. You have an opportunity to live life much more fully and create your own happiness now that you are free from a destructive relationship.

By the way, your perception of getting the short end of the stick is just that, a perception. After all, he’s the one who no longer has you as an option. You are obviously intuitive, smart, and very caring. You have so much going for you and so much to be thankful for which you are gifted with.  Sure you’re in pain now. It’s called grieving. You are grieving a relationship that you relied upon as a familiar place to hang out. That’s ok. Explore your feelings here. Take responsibility by accepting the past and focusing on what you want going forward.

I also will warn you not to place him in the villain role because that then makes you a victim. Victims are powerless and can only stay hurt and stuck. Healing is the direction you can choose to go instead. So a change in perspective is warranted. He was in your life to teach you many lessons and make you stronger for it. If you can be so brave and self-compassionate, then explore what his presence in your life has gifted you with. I’m sure he did things that were wrong and very hurtful and as a result you’ve made a choice to leave. So don’t let him have any more power over you. Also, blaming yourself for not letting go sooner does not serve a positive purpose. Again, it puts you in a victim role to your fear. Rather, trust that the timing is fine and for the best. You may not have been ready prior to the time it happened.Trust

Be kind to yourself. Know that you deserve love that is honoring and harmonious. If you remain in a state of sadness and feeling like “why me,” then reach out for some therapeutic help. Lord knows I’ve done my share and with a good counselor I’ve made incredible breakthroughs.

Also, surrounding yourself with people who celebrate you, lift you up and admire your strengths is a great way to build your esteem at this time. Be careful not to play the victim around others. Give up complaining. You can share your feelings but do not blame anyone (not even yourself). Be with your feelings purely. Blaming is merely way of avoiding the truth. You are strong. You are a phenomenal woman. Imagine our community encircling you with love and adoration. We see you as a vital happy woman.

In Joy,
Coach Laura

PS: For some self-coaching, the Feminine Power Cards give tremendous support. Visit http://www.FemininePowerCards.com

Best Friends Don't Give Advice

Have you ever had a friend go on and on telling you about how you “should” approach a personal situation? How did you feel afterwords? Most likely you felt drained, unsupported and more worked up about your situation than before. Well, maybe you’re like me and you’ve been on both sides of that conversation. I admit it. Yes, I have done the unthinkable here. I was regretfully the cause of some rather uncomfortable feelings on the part of my dear friends.

The advice giving response is so automatic. You can relate right? A good friend comes to you and it seems like she wants your advice. She may even say the words, “what do you think,” “what advice do you have,” etc. So you dive right in and share your greatest wisdom. You feel like you’ve given her the keys to relieving her situation, only she sheepishly leaves this conversation feeling worse than she did when she “asked” you for your advice. Well, I have learned over the years to tread very carefully in the advice giving arena. I am nowhere near perfect. However, I am more aware than ever. And I have some really honest friends to thank for that.Give up giving advice.

What I realized is the underlying motivation for giving advice is to make myself  feel better about her situation. In other words, I was hoping that my advice would help her alleviate her pain so that I wouldn’t have to be subject to it. And on other occasions giving advice just made me feel smart.  Think about that this week or the next time you’re in conversation and you want to come to the rescue. Who’s pain are you really trying to lessen? Who do you really want to help feel better? Giving advice often becomes a selfish act.

During our virtual girl tele-gathering this month we will discus alternatives to advice giving. What does being supportive mean? How to be supportive and bring light and joy into your life and how to avoid the traps that will drain you and not help your friend.

This month appreciate your girlfriends and listen more than you talk and notice when you want to give advice. See if you can refrain from that. Join us on Oct 21st bring your stories and hear others. You’re not alone. Come to our safe nest and nurture yourself by being a safe place to learn, open up and receive the gift of having conscious girlfriends.

FREE Virtual Girl Time: Being Supportive & Joyous
In celebration of my 11th Year Anniversary of being on the Journey to Feminine Power, you and your girlfriends are invited to share this sacred time and space on this live tele-gathering for FREE. Come and let your hair down, open up and connect with other like-minded women. I will be doing a guided relaxation process and you will have an opportunity to cultivate your feminine energy in this supportive atmosphere.
Date:  October 21st
Time:  4:45 pm Pacific
Call Details when you Register at HeartCenteredWomen.com
Our topic this month is Being Supportive in Joy. Women tend to give a lot of support in every area of their lives. This can be wonderfully fulfilling and lead to much joy or it can be a draining activity that leads to resentment, disappointment and failed relationships. In this tele-gathering we will discuss

  • The traits of supportive girlfriends who create joy.
  • The top mistakes girlfriends make that will drain any relationship and how to avoid them.
  • How to identify why you are so hurt and heal this hurt.
Reserve your space today… visit http://www.HeartCenteredWomen.com

Are men put off by powerful women?

Many women over the years have commented to me or asked about being powerful and how men respond to a powerful woman. My response is it all depends on how you define powerful. Some women’s ideas of what a powerful woman is would be off putting to men. The characteristics of bullying, competing directly, trying to force or manipulate people or situations or using demeaning remarks that criticize are all traits that turn men off. A woman in her feminine power, however, is a magnetic force that most honorable men can’ get enough of.

These power traits that are compelling include:

  • A woman who knows how to make herself happy and expresses her joy.
  • A woman who takes responsibility for her life and financial well-being. This doesn’t mean you have to be rich (though you could be) Rather you come from a place of stability. The minute a man senses you “need” him, he’ll be running.
  • A woman who communicates her needs and desires directly.
  • A woman who honors her emotions and takes responsibility for having them. She never resorts to blame, shame or guilt.
  • A woman who makes choices that honor herself and her well-being.

Recently, a 60 year old extremely successful woman client of mine relayed to me that she has realized that over the years men have really appreciated her and been drawn to her work as a financial advisor because she is a woman who could match them intellectually and competently, and yet have a gracious quality to her client relationships and delivery of her work. Feminine Power Cards - Radiant Woman

The Feminine Power Card that says, “A Woman In Joy is a Radiant Woman” really says it all. A woman in joy makes herself a priority. She takes care of herself to the point where she consciously creates joy in her life. When you create joy in your life, and you freely express it you are living authentically. Most likely you have all the power traits that are compelling. So I urge you to create more joy and live power-fully. Please share how you live power-fully.

Here’s to power-full you.

Coach Laura

What’s important about your feminine energy?

PinkRight (Laura v1)I know that when women everywhere honor their feminine spirit, the internal struggle we feel will cease, a profound sense of enlightened confidence will rise and we will consciously rise to the occasion of lightening up our lives, radiating our light, and creating more loving relationships (first with ourselves then) with our loved ones, friends, neighbors, communities and beyond.

Can you see this future? Women pouring love into the world like never before. Loving what they do because they are doing what they love. Loving children everywhere and providing the nurturing needed for those who are in incredible pain and seemingly unlovable. Loving themselves so much that they only say “yes” to that which allows them to love more. They understand that saying “no” to anything else is imperative. As a result of this outpouring, can you see the influence we have on men in the world. Men feeling safe in relationship to express themselves and called to be more honorable, more caring for our earth and more creative in their solutions.

Women today are in touch with their masculine and as we bring that into balance with our essential feminine, our world will shift to value more peaceful sustainable choices.

Please join our community, share your voice. We will nurture your feminine soul and stand with you, and watch your feminine spirit rise to the celebration of your life, passion and relationships.
Pink-GatherTo support and inspire your feminine energy to come to the forefront, the Feminine Power Cards provide wise reminders. This makes for a great gift for yourself, your BFF or other special women in your life.

My Dream:

A world of women deeply connected and in love with their wonderful selves. A world where love flows and compassion is visible. Our world is filled with joy-filled, harmonious and passionate relationships between men and women that inspire the generations to come.

May joy-fill your heart and radiate into your life.

Coach Laura