Compassion: a gift for you, a gift for the world!

A friend of mine posted on Facebook “What breeds compassion?”  I love this question.  If we are looking for compassion in our lives one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is what can I do to offer compassion.  First let’s define what compassion is and isn’t.  Compassion is empathy, listening, support, asking what you can do to help the person through action, words, touch or time.  Compassion is not feeling bad for someone, asking what they are doing wrong, trying to fix it for them or judging them.  When we show someone compassion we create a space for them to be in their truth without judgement and when we are shown compassion we can come to the table without defensiveness and can show compassion in return.

So many of us are feeling a lot of negative emotions right now- fear, loss, confusion and uncertainty.  How can we “breed compassion” in the midst of these emotions?  One step at a time!  Take the time to offer yourself compassion first, then others, then compassion to the thing or person that you are having difficulty with.

When we feel that we are receiving compassion when we feel seen, heard and loved.  So how do you feel those things?  Acknowledge what you are feeling and going through.  See yourself in your dynamic, full paradoxical self.  Ask yourself what you need to feel held and seen.  Do for yourself what will fill your cup and/ or seek out the people who support that for you.  When we are able to show ourselves compassion the compassion we show others becomes more authentic.  It can be hardest to show ourselves compassion because we often judge ourselves harder than anyone else can judge us.  Compassion is not loving someone because they are without fault, it is loving them in the full spectrum of who they are.  The wounded pieces of ourselves that can create our shortcomings are the pieces that need compassion the most.  How can you love your “unlovable” parts?  Compassion.

For many of us, showing others compassion is easier than showing compassion to ourselves.  Being compassionate to others gives them the platform to show up in an authentic and honest way.  Having compassion is not saying that they are perfect or that some unacceptable behaviors are ok. Rather, it is saying “I see you in your complex humanity and you are lovable, you are worthy”.  Imagine how this can transform shame.  When I am in a shame place I am not showing up to express my love or passion.  When I am in shame, I am judging myself so harshly that I fear being seen. When I am shown compassion in this place I become comfortable enough to look at this piece of me and transform it into something that can serve me and others.  I believe we are born love, out of love and into our expression of love.  This love is at the root of our desire for connection and when we show others compassion we are inviting a human connection as opposed to judgements that separate us.  Connection says we are alike; this is compassion.sunSHINE

The hardest things/people to show compassion to can be the things/people that we fear or possibly even hate.  How do we show compassion to the person who so completely lives in disregard to everything around them?  How do we show compassion to the things or people that do things that directly cause us harm?  Now this is a touchy subject.  I by no means believe that people should ever accept abuse or harmful behavior from someone under the guise of forgiveness or compassion.  For my own spirit and mental balance, I may hold compassion for that person.  In my early 20’s I spent 1 ½ years in an abusive relationship. For most of that time I held myself in shame which made excuses for my abuser.  Today I hold compassion for him in my heart.  I have not seen or spoken to him in 12 years but I know he is a wounded soul.  My compassion shows me that because he was raised in an extremely physically and sexually violent home he had no choice to learn these things as a child (which does not excuse him for not learning a different thing as an adult).  I have heard that he is still living the same life he was when I was with him.  He is miserable, self-hating, self-destructive and lost.  I don’t know if he will ever find love for or from others, yet I pray he will because just as you are part of me, he is part of me, we are all connected.  Through seeing the connections of everything we can find compassion for everything.  Through this compassion, I can look at my abuser and know that he acted out of fear and when I am in a place of fear I can also present from a place of anger.  The seeds are within all of us- we are all human.

When we are compassionate to ourselves, our loved ones and our “enemies” we open a healing within us that promotes healing and humanity in our relationships and the world.  I think of the saying “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” and I think humanity is that chain.  Every link I help make stronger, the chain becomes stronger.  Every link I make weaker, the chain becomes weaker.  What do I want to do with my tools and abilities?  What differences can I make in my family, my relationships, the world, this chain of humanity?  What changes can I make within myself by using compassion?    My hope for the world is that you have compassion for yourself, that is the starting place of a true revolution!

 

Finding Balance

The holiday season has passed.  Hopefully you had a wonderful time with friends and family.  For so many of us the holidays can also come with stress and difficulty.  Whether this time has been wonderful or difficult, maybe even a little of both, a new year has begun.  This is a great time to let go of what doesn’t serve you and reach for new goals.  It is time to re-balance your life to come back to the center of who you are.

Last year I wrote a blog about what steps you can take to resolve to change your life instead of just making a New Year’s resolution.  This year I want to write about the resolve to return to yourself.  With so much going on in the world it is easy to become off center and live from a place that doesn’t reflect where your heart lives.  Introspection, self-care, and acting from the place of your highest self is the way to return to your center.

First is introspection because it can be hard to know what you need for self-care or what your best self is if you haven’t looked inside to know what your personal truth is.  Look inside.  What things are important to you?  What things do you love?  What values to you hold?  What is sacred to you?  What changes do you want to make?  What things do you want to stay the same?  Sometimes we can be so busy in life we don’t notice that we are living a life that is not reflective of who we are.  Do you know the answers to the above questions?  At one point in your life you may have defined the answers to these questions for yourself, it is important to remember that the answers can change.  These things are not set in stone.1397097868219

Taking care of yourself is always a good idea and after the holiday season where we can spend so much time taking care of others, it is a great time to re-establish self-care.  Ask yourself what it is that you need right now.  In my last blog, I talked about the 5 love languages, this is a great time to figure out your love language and practice loving yourself.  If you receive love through touch, maybe you could get a massage.  If it is through words of affirmation maybe having a great conversation would be useful.  I find it very beneficial to stop and ask myself, what is it that I want right now?  What do I want to do to make ME happy?  Then I follow though and do it.  Even if it is for only 15 minutes, that time can have ripple effects through the rest of your day.

Acting from a place of your highest self is the outward expression of the internal work you have done on yourself.  In life, we have a choice between acting out of the place of our highest self (which I believe is a place of love) or acting from a place of fear (which I believe can manifest as avoidance).  To act from the place of our highest self means that we integrate or values, beliefs and loves and we show up in the world in that way.  This can sometimes be challenging, there is no space for playing small, avoiding or coming from fear.  This takes courage and I think you have that courage within you.

Through introspection, self-care, and your highest self you can find balance.  Living in in balance makes all areas of life easier.  From this place, you support yourself and when supporting yourself there is a sense of support from the universe.  It can be truly astounding when you make the decision to follow through with these things.  Finally, you have the ability to live passionately from the core of who you are.  There may be times where you do not practice this perfectly and this is where you have the opportunity to begin again with more information about works for you!  If you need help following through with this let me know.  Sometimes we all need someone to work with to make this easier.

What Love Language Do You Speak?

We all have our own way in which we love others and how we feel love from others.  It is so easy to assume that the way we naturally are compelled to love someone is the how we should go about it.  But what happens when the way they receive love is different?

In Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages he lists the love languages as words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service and physical touch.  My natural way of giving love is acts of service and sometimes words of affirmation.  My husband’s way in which he receives love is physical touch.  This can cause problems.  My acts of service are not always physical, sometimes it is about being there to emotionally support someone.  I do a lot of this type of thing for my husband but all he wants is for me to play with his hair, hold his hand, rest my hand on his knee or something like that.  This leaves him not fully feeling the love I have for him.  He can logically understand and see my love for him but that is not the same as feeling it.  It is my job, as someone who loves him to be aware of loving him the way he needs to be loved.

I feel love from words of affirmation, my husband shows love through physical touch.  Again, this can be difficult.  We have both come a long way in learning to love each other the way that we each can feel it and in learning to ask for what we need when we need it.  I have found that when you have relationships where you are given love in the way you can receive it, not only is their deeper intimacy and a greater sense of well being, there is also a sense of being supported on a deep level.0810141255

What better gift could you give to someone than meeting them where they are and loving them in a way they can really feel loved.  Through learning how to love someone and learning how you want to be loved you dramatically increase the intimacy in your relationships and you can also be loved in a way you can feel love more deeply than you have before.  It takes vulnerability and presence to follow through with this.

Do you know how you want to be loved?  Do the people in your life know how you want to be loved?  This is wonderful tool to have in your toolbox.  It is not just for your romantic partner, it is useful with your children, friends, and work relations.  The 5 love languages web site has a quiz you can take to learn which love language is yours.  This knowledge is a great gift for you and your loved ones.  What better time of year is there to give and receive love in a language that you can understand.

Intentional Acts of Kindness

My friend posted on Facebook about being in a grocery store when a woman approached her and told her about being verbally attacked by an anti-Semitic woman in the parking lot.  My friend hugged the woman and showed her some much-needed kindness.  My friend asked which of her friends would have stood up to say/do something if they had witnessed this incident in the parking lot.  I would hope that everyone would say or do something but too often we remain silent in the face of hateful acts.  This got me thinking of acts of kindness and all the opportunities we pass up to act on our love for humanity.

This will mean different things to different people.  We don’t all have the same passions for the same issues but this does not mean that we can’t find a way to spread the love in our own way.  Whether you help someone cross the street, buy a stranger a coffee, smile and say hello to strangers on the street, volunteer for a charitable organization or stand up for someone who has been done wrong, when you practice and INTENTIONAL act of kindness toward a stranger you are putting powerful energy into the universe.

Right now, in the United States, there are many people acting from a place of fear.  This is understandable and it is ok to spend time in that space, it is also just as important to remember there is another place you can come from.  Whatever your fear may be, social, financial, racial, when you stay in a place of fear you are in a place of powerlessness.  Ask yourself what you can do to turn that around.  What action can you take to “be the change”?  There is always something you can do to empower yourself with love.

When you come from love, not fear, and do intentional acts of kindness you are changing someone else’s life in a positive way AND you are also changing your life in a positive way.  It feels good to know you have put something good out into the world.  It can give you a sense of empowerment bringing you from fear/victim-hood into love/purpose/power.  So, today is your day!  Today you get to practice intentional acts of kindness!  What will you do with your time?0911151500

Vulnerability: Self Love In Action.

Being vulnerable can be really, REALLY hard.  It is about deep honesty, taking risks and being seen in the areas where we feel weak and raw.  When we come from a place of vulnerability we frequently fear that we may be hurt or rejected, yet when we are coming from a place a vulnerability we are truly operating in our strength and practicing self-care in an authentic way.

Vulnerability can come up in personal relationships, work and family, among other places.  We continually have the choice to open up to that deeper place of honesty and transparency or we can choose to close ourselves off from it.  Part of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is taking responsibility for our feelings. In relationship, being vulnerable may look like admitting feelings and reactions to things we would rather keep hidden and to ourselves, as well as asking for the support and love that we need.  Being vulnerable can also include admitting something you have done that you don’t feel very good about.  Either way when you are vulnerable, you give others the opportunity to see you for who you are and that leads to the ability to get the support you are seeking and truly deserve.

I am not always good at being vulnerable (blogging makes me feel very vulnerable).  It means that I am putting myself out there to people in a real way and when I am vulnerable and asking for something? It feels even more dangerous.  What if I am rejected, what if I am not supported, what if the person just doesn’t care? What if I am criticized?

Even in my marriage I am not always great at being vulnerable.  We have been married for 14 years and sometimes my walls are too high to let my husband see over them.  Because of this there are times when we are not as connected as we would like to be. Even so, I remain steadfast in my own commitment to this process and was intimately reminded of its importance and beauty just the other day,

A long-term friend of mine called me recently and explained that she had put herself in a situation where she needed to “fess up” to something she had done.  She was wracked with guilt and fear yet she knew the right thing to do and she knew she would need to be vulnerable to do it.  So she came to my house, we talked, hugged and she got the support that she needed.  She was off to her work to let them know what she had done.  Scared and shaking she owned her behaviors and was vulnerable with her bosses.  She told them what she did, why she did it, how she felt, made reparations and a new plan for moving forward.  She was a bright shining example of vulnerability and humility.  She could have been fired and belittled or shown compassion and supported.  Thankfully she was shown compassion and grace.  By making the choice to be vulnerable she was able to put down the heavy weight of guilt and allow the support to come in.

 

When we choose NOT to be vulnerable we:

–          Isolate ourselves from others

–          Carry the burden alone

–          Spend energy hiding our truth

–          Prevent growth

–          Carry guilt/shame etc.

–          Remain stuck

–          Perpetuate old stories

When we choose to be vulnerable we:

–          Allow ourselves to be seen authentically

–          Allow others to support us

–          Connect with others more deeply

–          See others more clearly

–          Feel more fulfilled in our lives

–          Practice self-care

–          Know ourselves more deeply

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Vulnerability is not easy but is a worthwhile process that we can practice.  Being vulnerable calls on us to be open to others, whether that means being open to receiving support or possibly being open to not getting the support that we need.  Being authentically vulnerable with others is a real risk but it is one worth taking! Remember it can be easier to begin being vulnerable with people you love and trust and know being vulnerable is acting on your own power and you can do it any time.  Either way, you are worth every step you can take toward your true authenticity! For, when we show up in our vulnerability we can be assured that we will be seen, and that we will be clear in our authenticity, which ultimately leads to our ability to support ourselves, others and to evolve. Vulnerability is the opening that allows us to practice radical self-care, and it is a worthy endeavor!

Contact me to begin your journey into true vulnerability and authenticity!

 

Change the Story

We all have stories that we live by.  These stories are based on our perspectives of what we have been told and what we have learned through all of our experiences in life.  Sometimes these stories support us in becoming all that we want to be and chasing our dreams.  Sometimes these stories hold us down and prevent us from fulfilling our life purpose. However, our stories are written we have the ability to shift them to tell a tale that will support us in creating what we want in our lives.

Our stories can wreak havoc on our lives.  As humans we have a tendency to fall into patterns and frequently recreate the same situations over and over.  These situations can reinforce our stories and keep us trapped.  Identifying our patterns, behaviors and stories, makes it easier for us to identify our part in things so that we can begin to change these things that do not serve us.

If your story supports, you in doing what you want to do and being who you want to be CONGRATULATIONS!!!!    Some are raised that way, some come to this naturally, while many need to consciously rewrite this story over time.  We receive messages from our parents, society, teachers, bosses and media., telling us what box we need to fit in and in what way the world to accept us.  Don’t be too big, Don’t shine too bright, go along to get along.  Or there are the messages that not only limit us but push us down.  You have nothing to offer, the world won’t accept you, you are not enough, you are not lovable.

What is your story?  Do you have a deep inner calling?  Do you have a dream?  When you think about taking steps toward your dream (calling/goal) is there a thought process that gets in your way?  This is your story, your limiting belief.  Dissecting this story is the key to finding freedom from it.  Where did the story come from?  Why were you told this story?  Is this story true?  Chances are this story is not and never has been true, yet still, you may be sitting there right now thinking it is true.  Are you holding on to the story that you are not worthy?  Somewhere within you, you know that you are even though this story gets in the way.

Dissect some more. How has this story effected your life?  What areas, what results, what ripples and waves have been created from this story?  WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF PERPETUATING THIS STORY?  There is a safety in playing small.  Is it worth it?  Or are you ready to make the changes and do the work to have the life you want?

Create your own story!  Create your dream!  What is the story that goes with your dream life?  Create a story and visualization of every part of your life.  What would your job, relationships, home, everything look like?  Paint the picture.  How would the new story support you?  What would you be capable of with the new story that you weren’t capable of before?  Changing old patterns and stories can change everything in your life.  It is not simple but it is possible.  The old story will continue to try to hold you back and it is up to you to process these snares you encounter along the way.  Create a story that can defeat the old one with one swift kick.  This is your life!

Look Within, that is where your wisdom is.

Lately I have noticed that all my blogs are intertwined.  I have written about making boundaries, loving yourself, healing the inner child, looking at cleaning up your side of the street among other things.  There is so much to write about these topics and so many perspectives from which to view them.   Today I again want to talk about looking within, but this time I want to talk to you about looking within in order to find your own wisdom.  Recently someone asked me if there were any books or YouTube videos I could recommend that would fix their issues and problems.  Nope, sorry, there are no simple fixes to healing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many books, teachers and videos that can inspire you and spark a flame with in.  These things do not heal you.  You heal you.  My most influential teacher is Alisa Starkweather and going through her program Priestess Path (a women’s mystery school) has helped me grow into the person I am.  Through my interactions with her and going through the process of her program I was given the opportunity to learn tools and models to integrate into my healing.  She is an amazing facilitator but I had to do the healing.  I had to look at my beauty and my ugly, my present, past and future, my dishonesty and my shortcomings; only through doing this was I able to heal.

Yes, find a teacher, a life coach, a therapist, these people can help you process your healing, they can help point out healing that needs to take place.  Remember, when it comes down to it, it is only you who can heal you.

Make the choice – Decide you are ready to change your life.  Healing will change your perspective, change your story and
change your dynamics with yourself and others.  Making this choice means you no longer accept excuses from yourself, you let go of limiting thinking that hinders your progress and you take one step at a time towards your future.

Allow the fear and release it – Is this withinpicscary? YES!!!!!  Anytime we step out of our comfort zone it is scary.  This is the fear that stops us from healing and stops us from changing.  Remember there is always choice.  Take one step forward, take one step back and then take a step forward again.    Ask yourself, is it worth walking through this fear in order to get to your healing?  If it is worth it (I always think it is) then allow yourself to feel the fear and keep walking forward anyway.  After walking through your fear you find your truest self.

Be committed to your process – As I stated above you may take one step forward and one step back but keep stepping anyway.  There are times along the road where a lot of your issues get stirred up and you may find yourself acting out on behaviors that do not serve your greatest good, keep going.  All the gunk may be getting stirred up, this can serve to show you what needs to be cleaned up.  This is a sign you are heading in the right direction.

Own your stuff –   Ok, this can be a touchy area.  If you were abused, I am not saying to own that.  I am saying that it is up to you, to heal from the abuse.  Sometimes victims get stuck in the abuse paradigm, waiting for the abuser to heal you is not beneficial.  The abuser may make amends or go away but it is still your job to take care of yourself and give yourself the healing you deserve.

More owning your stuff – frequently because of our past we develop coping mechanisms and behaviors which are detrimental to ourselves and people in our lives.  Own your stuff, admit where you are wrong, look at changing behaviors in order to live a happier life.

Heal – This is where the real change comes.  Looking at your past, the reality of what has happened and how it has affected you is where you shift the things that are limiting you and holding you back.

I get that this is easier said than done.  I have cried countless tears though healing and there have been times where I have stopped dead in my tracks not wanting to take one more step forward on the journey.  Then I remember that I am responsible for my future and off I go again.  This is your path, your map and your choice.  As you go through your healing process and you look with in you will find that under all stuff that was needing healing your wisdom has been waiting there for you all along.   This is your journey, head in the direction of your wise one.

Take Responsibility and Take Your Power Back

Responsibility is not a four letter word.  Really, it isn’t.  Taking responsibility means owning your power and stepping away from victim hood.  We all of ways of being that get in our way of making the choices that will help us get there, yet we are responsible for healing those parts of us in order to live the life we want.  If we want to take our power back it is up to us to do the work, to take the steps that will heal us, free us, and empower us to live the life we want.

It is important to identify the patterns we have created and the purposes they serve in our lives.  Sometimes we find ourselves continually “triggered” by someone’s actions.  This can be a wonderful opportunity to look at what is going on within us that is causing this reaction.  In all honesty, we do not create these patterns with the intention of being stuck.  Rather, they are created to keep us safe and in a familiar situation where we can be surrounded by the known instead of the unknown.  What are the patterns and what purpose do they serve?  Frequently, we find that these patterns do not serve the purpose for which they were intended. I use to always feel alone and I would never reach out for support when I needed it.  I continually found myself feeling rejected and unlovable.  When I did the work to look at this dynamic I discovered I kept myself isolated to not feel rejected or unlovable but there I was feeling that way.  This was self-defeating and a self-fulfilling paradigm that kept me stuck.  There I was in victim hood, struggling to find someone blame.  When we develop a way of being in order to keep us safe we find that we are not, in fact, safe.  We are simply in an unsafe situation that we have become accustomed to.

The next thing that will help us find our freedom is to take steps to heal the pain/trauma that prompted us to create the patterns in the first place.  This is not always easy.  Identifying these patterns and their root causes can be enough to make the changes that will transform our lives.  Other times there is deep long-term core work that we need to undergo in order to achieve the changes we are seeking.springofferwebsite

Long-term work does not mean postponing changes.  We ask ourselves, “What do I want to do differently?”  If you want freedom from a job or relationship or if you are seeking more fulfillment and connection in your life you need to create small steps.  This can feel risky!  Thoughts of failure, worthiness and ability can come up and block us from the path we have created.  This is where the old patterns emerge, trying to keep us in the rut we have been living in.

If you find yourself blocked, it is important to look at what emotions are blocking you and what behaviors are preventing you from moving forward.  Working through these blocks and behaviors are part of working through the trauma.  Keep working on it.  Freedom is just around the corner.

Through this healing process (I recommend working with a professional if you find you are having difficulty doing it on your own) you will find your power, you will find your ability to take responsibility for your actions, behaviors and emotions.  Your reactions to other people’s behaviors will no longer have the same effect on your well being.  You will find that your inner balance will be determined by you while other people’s actions will not influence your actions.  You will learn to detach from others and trust in your own inner knowledge.  One small step at a time you will find you can create the life that you have been striving for.

Begin today!  You are the one with all the power in your life.  You can choose now to take it back.  You can take responsibility for the dreams you have been wanting to achieve all your life.

Detaching With Love, Is Love

I was talking with a friend the other day and she mentioned how I love fiercely.  I love that!  Yes, I love fiercely.  I will fight, emotionally, spiritually, energetically for anyone I love.  Do you need someone to have your back?  I am there.  Do you need holding?  Got it!  I will love you fiercely!  Sometimes, when helping support someone they may choose to walk away.  At these times I still love fiercely but from a distance.  Sometimes I just need to let go of a person and their situation so they can follow the path that is meant for them.  Sometimes I just need to detach…with love.

My son, who I referred to in a blog recently, has chosen a path away from me.  I want to save him, I want to love him fiercely, I want to help him see how detrimental his choices are to the life he wants to lead.  In the other blog I talked about holding space for him and his process and being present for what is happening.  Since then he has made different and more detrimental choices and all I can do is let him know I am here and I love him.

It can be so hard to detach from someone.  We naturally want to fix the situation, love the person and get them to see things our way.  It is not your job to fix anyone, no matter how broken you may think they are.   I like to think of it as letting the person know that I love them and I need to love myself more.  So as I watch him from a distance I remind him I am here and I love him and I allow myself to not be enmeshed in his dysfunction.

One of the important things of detaching with love is detachto remember that you have needs separate from the other person.  There may be times that detaching means you need to choose yourself over the other person.  Even though you may need to make that hard decision it does not mean that you don’t love them.  Detaching with love gives you the ability to love the person, not their behavior and allow them to take responsibility for their actions.

Sometimes the way you support the person you are detaching from may have financial and physical ramifications.  Remember, this is not your responsibility.  Your first responsibility is to yourself and whatever additional struggle the person may encounter is a direct result of their actions.  Separating yourself emotionally can help you recognize where their responsibility begins and yours ends.

I will not tell you that this is easy.  With my son, MY SON, I find myself wanting to save him from himself.  I continually remind myself that he is an individual with his own life and I know the lessons he learns from taking ownership of his actions will help him throughout his life.  As he walks away from his family I remind him that his family is here and he can choose something different whenever he chooses.

It is also important to remember that you cannot control anyone else’s behavior.  We all make our own choices and to change, an individual needs to make the choice to change for themselves otherwise a core change will not take place. Therefore, you need to know that you can only change yourself and the lessons you can learn through the process can be as transformative as the lessons the person you are detaching from has to learn.

If you are going through a situation that is challenging your ability to love yourself above others and get your own needs met, I encourage you to seek support that will help you find the tools to detach with love.

What can I do differently?

Recently I have been making a turn around a corner in my marriage.  Things aren’t perfect, I am not perfect, he IS NOT perfect. I have found that I am not getting all that I want out of the relationship and I have been focused on what he is not doing and what I want him to do differently.  It has been a few months of this and, in a way, I have felt lost in my focusing on what HE needs to do to make things better.  Suddenly, I realized that it is not him that I need to worry about changing, it is me1415821786232 that needs to find a new way to do things.

Almost 20 years ago after too many relationships with people that really did not have what I wanted I wrote a list of “prerequisites”, this list was 87 things that I wanted out of a person that I was with in a relationship.  After completing the list and reading it over I realized that these are the same things that I expected of myself and what I expected of friends.  It was an interesting thing to notice and I came to find that if I am coming to the table with these “prerequisites” I could ask for them in return and if I wasn’t offering those things then how could I expect someone else to offer them to me.  When I met my husband I was amazed at how easily, willingly and wonderfully he met all of my “prerequisites” and I came to find that he offered me so much more than what I had asked for.

After 13 years of marriage life has become more routine and we both have fallen into taking each other for granted.  Don’t get me wrong, there are things that he could change.  There are ways he can act sometimes that I am not ok with.  His side of the street is not clean and I have come to see that I need to worry about cleaning my side of the street before telling him about his side of the street.

So I am asking myself “What can I do different?”, “Am I offering the same things I am asking for?”.  You can’t force someone else to change and you can’t really make them do something they don’t want to do.  Each individual needs to make the choice to change.  So if I can’t make my husband change I need to look at what I can do.  I can take the first step.  I can reach out to him.  I can take the initiative to fix what isn’t working.  If I want more connection with him and I leave it to him then I may never get what I want.  If I take steps to increase connection I can reach my goal and both him and I will benefit from the connection.

I have also been asking myself how often I push myself out of my comfort zone to do something for him or for the relationship.  The answer (don’t tell anyone) is not very often.  As time has gone by I find myself being complacent in the upkeep and growing of the relationship.  I am luckier today than I was the day I met my husband and as we both insist on being human we will have struggles and every time I ask myself what I can do I am taking steps to our future and my own personal growth.

Here are 6 steps we can take to change dynamics in relationships:

  • Ask what can I do differently
  • Allow the other person to be their own individual.
  • Stretch out of my comfort zone.
  • Allow myself to be vulnerable.
  • Take ownership of my mistakes.
  • Always remember to come back to the center of love.

I want to be sure that I am clear that I am not talking about accepting and overlooking truly unacceptable behaviors.  I am talking about a relationship where there is a solid foundation of respect and love.   Also I apply this to all of my relationships and friendships.

What can you do differently today?  How can you be the change you want to see?  Take the leap, your happiness is waiting!