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“When you no longer believe that eating will save your life when you feel exhausted or overwhelmed or lonely, you will stop. When you believe in yourself more than you believe in food, you will stop using food as if it were your only chance at not falling apart.” ~Geneen Roth

I used to eat because I was lonely.

Lunch hour at school would last nine billion years. I’d have no one to sit with—I was spotty and mega bossy, and my hobby was copying pages from anthropology books.

Everyone would put a sweater on the chair next to them, so I’d have to sit further away. Then, just as I’d pick up my fork, they’d up and leave anyway! “Oh well,” I’d think, “If I eat slowly I can make my fries last till the bell goes.”

I switched to packed lunches to avoid the dining hall. But I didn’t want to be spotted alone on a windowsill, so I’d eat my sandwiches in a toilet cubicle.

After, I’d feel full, but unsatisfied. And still have time to kill! So I’d go to the dinner hall and buy a meat pie. I felt sad and gross.

The truth was, I didn’t know how to be a friend, let alone make one. I was full of resentment toward other kids.

I acted superior but felt inferior. I was needy, or tried to impress them.

I didn’t think friendship was something people learned—I thought there was something wrong with me. That I’d be this way forever.

I also hated that I couldn’t resist overeating. Since my family was big on brown rice and organic vegetables, I felt guilty for buying junk food.

When I hit my teens, I became body-conscious. I panicked that comfort food would make me fat. I wasn’t! But I thought my thighs were big, and clenched my stomach in all day. All day!

I felt too embarrassed to ask anyone—especially my parents—for help. I thought they’d say I was greedy. Or lecture me about eating crap. Or take me to a doctor—humiliating!

I didn’t know it was called “emotional eating,” but I was pretty sure it was bad. So I kept quiet.

I thought: “I can fix this myself. I just need the self-discipline to eat less!”

Going on improvised diets made things a whole new level of worse: binge eating, bulimia, and feeling utterly obsessed and depressed about food.

It took seven years before I found a way to recover.

I wish I’d known how to deal with lonely emotional eating in the first place, instead of going off on an eating disorder tangent!

So if you’re dealing with a double-whammy of eating and loneliness yourself, here are eight simple steps. They will guide you through solving your emotional eating, and your loneliness, from the inside out.

1. Imagine your life without emotional eating, and shift focus away from guilt and shame.

You’re not greedy. You’re not gross. You’re not ill. You’re just trying to cope with a fear: abandonment.

It’s the emotional fear we’re born with. Outside the tribal circle, a baby would die. The primitive part of your brain thinks, “I’m alone—I’ll starve!”

It’s how you’re wired, so give yourself a break.

If you waste your energy wrestling with guilt and shame over eating, you’ll never tackle the real emotional challenge—loneliness.

So when guilt and shame come up, shift your focus.

Imagine a peaceful relationship with food. Imagine eating when you’re actually hungry. Visualize slowly nourishing yourself.

2. Loneliness is a self-worth issue, so become willing to work on your self-worth.

It’s like this: You’re by yourself. That’s not loneliness, that’s solitude.

Sometimes it’s nice, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. Uh-oh!

Mind games start: you imagine it’s because you’re unlovable.

That’s loneliness. Low self-worth, in disguise.

If you’re lonely, it’s easy to think you could earn your self-worth back by changing something external.

You think, “If I found a great partner, then I’d know I was lovable.”

Or you think, “I’ll be worth loving once I get a grip on my emotional eating and lose weight.”

But that’s not how it works! Self-worth isn’t something you earn. Or that drops in your lap either.

You choose to create it.

So ask yourself: How can I work on my self-worth?

(Don’t worry if you don’t know yet. Some ideas are coming up…)

3. Spend some quality time with yourself.

Are you enjoying your time by yourself? Or just watching TV?

Imagine you treated a child the way you treat yourself on a too-tired evening.

Browsing Facebook when they say, “Play with me.” Sending them to the fridge to scavenge instead of cooking dinner. Binge-watching Netflix instead of putting them to bed when they’re tired.

They’d feel hurt, and start believing they weren’t worth spending time with. They’d also start misbehaving wildly to get your attention!

The same is true for how you feel about yourself. When we ignore our inner selves, start to believe we are worthless, and an emotional eating crisis is a great way for our heart and soul to grab our attention.

Spend some quality time with yourself.

Take yourself on a date, just you and you.

Play (build a go-cart, paint your room), be in your body (move, bathe, meditate), or relax (read, whistle, sit in nature).

Self-worth grows as you self-connect, so every little counts.

4. Create thoughts that give an inkling of self-worth.

When I was rock bottom with food and loneliness, my thoughts were dominated by failure, being a victim, and believing change was impossible.

Stuff like “I’m gonna be lonely forever,” and “I hate my body, I hate myself for eating, and I’m too pathetic to stop.”

Three positive thoughts in particular helped me out of my pit.

They didn’t tell me directly I was worthy or fabulous—saying anything saccharine about my life would have felt like gloss painting a turd.

They just implied a basic level of self-worth.

They were: “I’m part of life unfolding.” (I’m not in a vacuum. Even though I feel totally dissociated and alone, I’m still participating in life on the planet.)

“I really care about my body.” (I’m upset I overate again. But I couldn’t get upset if I were indifferent… So on some level, I must care!)

And: “Things are already changing.” (Repeating this phrase is a positive action… So maybe I won’t always be like this).

Find one thought that implies you aren’t your worst fears. That makes you feel worthy-ish. Then repeat it like you’re being paid a piece rate to do so.

5. Explore how you’ve created loneliness.

Try this: It’s funny!

Imagine someone wants to master the art of loneliness. Lucky for them, you’ve honed the perfect system!

Write down what you’d teach them.

My own Perfect System for Staying Lonely says: “Don’t have a calendar for friends’ birthdays. Tell yourself that you’re too broke to buy gifts, cards, or book a babysitter.”

And: “Get hired for shift work, and rehearse theatre shows every weekend.” I disconnected from my relationship like that that for the first five years of my marriage! (Thankfully, the guy’s a legend.)

The point is, I thought loneliness happened to me.

But I make myself lonely, when I don’t need to be. Years after my schooldays are behind me, I lead myself back to that painful-yet-familiar place. It’s called a comfort zone.

It doesn’t mean it’s your fault you’re lonely—this isn’t about blame. This is actually good news: If you’re doing it, you can undo it.

6. List everything that your loneliness buys you.

An excuse not to face trust issues?

A reason to avoid intimacy?

A cover for social anxiety?

I know it’s not obvious that loneliness has advantages, but sometimes it’s a way to avoid something even more scary or painful.

Me? Loneliness excuses me from owning my introvert personality. Intimacy makes me feel vulnerable, and rejection scares the crap outta me.

These hidden benefits to your loneliness are called “payoffs.” It pays off to explore them!

Because they’re the reason you’re creating loneliness, even though it hurts.

7. Explore the ripple effect of loneliness in your life.

You’d expect loneliness to make you shy at parties, or reluctant to date.

But has it changed you in other ways?

Unhealthy self-reliance has made me a nightmare to cook with. And low self-worth has taken its toll on my financial outlook.

Clean out your worldview.

Defy your loneliness-inspired beliefs about what you can and can’t do (like, ask someone to chop the mushrooms while you stir the risotto, or ask your boss for a raise).

It’s a great way to un-victim yourself.

8. Finally, when you’ve done all that inner work, break up your emotional eating habit.

Habits weld to each other! Drinking and smoking. Driving and talking to yourself in a variety of accents. Lonely emotional eating and—?

Break the links.

Don’t just say to yourself “Stop eating toast.” Don’t make any rules about what you eat.

Instead, change how you eat. If you don’t know how you eat, slow down.

Notice what you do at each stage of your emotional eating habit—beforehand, during, after, where, when, with what planning.

Do any part of your habit differently.

Say you eat ten slices of buttered toast and jam in front of the TV each evening. Buy different butter that you don’t like so much. Put the TV (or the toaster) in the cellar. Create an eating area, keep the sofa for relaxing. Shop differently. Go out.

Keep disrupting your habit, and it will eventually dissipate.

Habit change takes patience, and sometimes repeated attempts too.

But break up your habit from enough angles, and you’ll eventually find you’ve replaced it with a way to enjoy food again.

The way I think of it, addressing loneliness is 88 percent of the solution for emotional eating from loneliness.

When I solved my eating struggles, I spent a couple of years of journaling and becoming aware of my beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. Then, only a month or two of habit change.

I know a couple of years sounds really long! Perhaps it will take less time for you. The point is, this isn’t a quick fix. Quick fixes rarely address the underlying issues.

It’s tempting to rush. To try to skip straight to solving the eating—out-of-control eating feels unbearable and you want it to stop, like, yesterday—but if that hasn’t been working for you, or you’ve even ended up binge eating like I did, give yourself permission and time to go deeper.

Trust me, changing an emotional eating habit is much easier when it’s just eating, and the compulsion part has had your loving attention.

So good luck, and don’t rush.

About Laura Lloyd

Laura Lloyd is a food sanity coach, as well as an illustrator. You can grab a FREE copy of her book, “How to Ditch Dieting, Love Your Body and Be Your Best Weight Always,” here!

This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.

Are you having a tough time moving on from a failed relationship? Feel down about yourself after a recent difficult connection? If so, reach out directly to any one of our talented psychic advisors. They can look into your past relationships and provide you with the guidance you need today for a better future.

The post How to Stop Feeling Lonely and Escape the Emotional Eating Cycle appeared first on PsychicTXT.

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“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

For some of us, like me, the question, “What is my purpose?” creates a ton of anxiety and a feeling that our self-worth is being undermined.

It’s hard to escape this question because everywhere we turn, finding our purpose and living on a large scale seem to be the main themes of the day. The mounting pressure created by social media and the need to have it all figured out by a certain date exacerbate this search.

I used to succumb to that pressure, until I said enough and changed my entire outlook on life.

During my moments of deep reflection, I have found that the answer to this question is as fluid and as complex as life itself.

Our purpose isn’t really one thing. I think our purpose is multi layered, rich and yet simple, and it should not be pigeonholed into one career or grand master plan, though some of us commit ourselves to one purposeful path. I also believe that our purpose can change throughout our lives.

I believe that our deepest purpose is to discover our true nature, to cherish our true selves, to listen to the call of our soul, to heal the wounds that keep us in the shadow, to become more compassionate, to love the ordinary as well as the extraordinary, to serve, and to enjoy doing nothing from time to time.

When we discover ourselves, our purpose reveals itself naturally.

How do we discover ourselves? We experiment every single day. We become our own scientists. We start to pay attention to what brings us nourishment and joy. We pay attention to what feels natural. Purpose is not one thing; it’s everything.

I like to call myself a lawyer by day and spiritual warrior by night, but the truth is that I am a light warrior all day.

Despite the fact that my current career may not be the highest expression of my true calling, which is to teach, my current career has undoubtedly taught me many lessons about helping people, having integrity (go ahead with the lawyer jokes, I will laugh along with you!), becoming a great listener, and also counseling others.

These are all virtues of a teacher, so even though I am not a full-time spiritual teacher yet, I still get to bring the energy of a teacher to my everyday life—not only in my job, but also in my home and family life.

I am an aunt, niece, spiritual seeker, friend, sister, daughter, partner, and so much more. I am not just a lawyer. And I am living my purpose every day by bringing the qualities of a spiritual teacher to everything that I do and everything that I am.

Our default thinking leads us to believe that having a purpose involves something on a grand stage or having a large audience with whom to share ideas, but that may not be your calling or your day-to-day purpose. Your purpose can be manifested in so many different ways.

Take being a parent, for example. It’s the greatest job and blessing in the world. I am not a parent, but I have happily been involved in my nephew’s and niece’s life since the day they were born. I can appreciate the enormous responsibility one undertakes when they say yes to becoming a parent.

Recently, I had this very conversation with my sister-in-law. She has a yearning desire to share a great message with the world and help others heal, but at the moment her hands are full because she is a super full-time mom. We came to the conclusion that her purpose right now, meaning today, is to raise four beautiful angels, which she is doing so beautifully.

I told her I could not think of a greater purpose. Giving endlessly, serving, giving your heart, time, and energy to the well-being of precious souls. Perhaps a few years down the road that will change when she has more time on her hands. In the meantime, motherhood is teaching her many things that one day she may use to help spread her message.

So even if you’re doing something you don’t want to be doing and you’re in the middle of transitioning to something else like me, your purpose is to be present to whatever is happening in your life right now. 

Being present helps us learn about ourselves, because the truth is that we are always preparing for the next step, which is sometimes a mystery. So don’t take one second for granted. Every minute of your life means something.

Another great piece to add to this discussion about purpose is patience. I never really understood divine timing until this year. I believe life unfolds perfectly for each of us. If we can stay present, our purpose will never evade us.

I also believe that we do not arrive at one single destination. So, today, and only today, your purpose is to find as much joy and magic in the little moments as possible, even if you are having a tough day. This day is here to teach you something too. Your purpose is to find and honor the lesson. Your purpose is to allow your life’s plan to unfold perfectly for you.

There’s no need to put more pressure on ourselves to think about our purpose because we can’t get there by obsessing about it anyway.

Life is multi-faceted. You are a rich, dynamic, beautiful spark of life. You are not just one thing, and your life is not just about one thing or one career. You are so much more than that.

So find your purpose in being a friend, daughter, son, partner, activist, or in being your own best friend. Find your purpose in loving who you are. You are an original creation and, I believe, here for a reason. You are here to do all the beautiful things that I just described, and to do them with intention and consciousness.

The world needs you just because you’re here. Do not worry about the limitations in your head about time or age. You are here to contribute. You have your own unique expression, your own way of thinking, your own preferences, and your own feelings. Honor all of who you are. Walk down the street and smile. That may be your purpose for today. I assure you there are people that need you, and you them.

Enjoy the mundane—the drive to work, the meal preparation, the chores. Connect with yourself daily, honor your feelings, and follow your inner guidance, your nudges. Life is always sending us messages.

We do not need to look anymore or find anything. We came here to experience the gift of being alive and that is truly our purpose.

About Christine Rodriguez

Christine Rodriguez is a spiritual life coach dedicated to helping others transform beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that no longer serve them so they can create a life that’s aligned with their true desires and capabilities. To work with her, please visit miraculousshifts.com. You can find her on Instagram @Miraculousshifts.

This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.

Are you having a tough time moving on from a failed relationship? Feel down about yourself after a recent difficult connection? If so, reach out directly to any one of our talented psychic advisors. They can look into your past relationships and provide you with the guidance you need today for a better future.

The post Why You Can End the Search for Your Purpose Now appeared first on PsychicTXT.

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By Psychic Jessica

“I need to understand my Life Purpose!” I have often heard this statement from clients asking me to help them in their life purpose. So, I thought about writing an article about how I could help you with making decisions about your life purpose and the direction to take. This information can also be used for coaching, soul finding, and heart desires.

When it comes to a Life Purpose Reading, I can read energy, auras, and even sense vibrations. I can guide you regarding what options/opportunities are coming your way and how/when things can work in your favor. Also, a Life Purpose Reading can help you in making decisions like whether you should follow your heart and soul desires, or it can help you figure out when it’s time to have children.  I have studied life purpose, soul coaching, and I am also a clutter coach.

Our life purpose really starts when we are children. As we grow up trying to figure out what we would love to do in different areas of our life such as career, romance etc. and other life choices that we make become a part of our Life Purpose. Most people do not remember what they wanted to be as a child, but as we grow we choose different paths in our lives, and the purpose can change. I have had people who wanted to be a healer, spiritual counselor, and help people with their hands. But as we grow our path can change dramatically.

Technology is going mainstream, and we need to understand computers, tablets and smartphones and their effect on our life purpose.  Maybe you are looking for help to understand what area of study to focus on, such as nursing or working on cars. I have the ability to understand what you could do career wise and where you should focus.

I can also sense what you need to do to continue your life purpose. I can determine what obstacles you may face while you’re trying to figure it out and the path you should be on.

Also, your current life purpose is a part of your past life, as we have lived so many lives. Understanding our past lives and their influence on our current one can also be a part of having a Life Purpose Reading.

Numerology influences are also part of a Life Purpose Reading. What number are you in this life time? It goes by your first and last name. I would not suggest getting this completed unless you do not mind someone knowing your full name. I have read people who are on their second life, and some are on their fifth.

As a child, you probably listened to your parents regarding what they wanted you to do in your life. Sometimes that is not the answer, as we all need help figuring out what and where we belong on this earth. I would say never give up. If you need help figuring it all out, talk to me today.

Blessings, Jessica

About Psychic Jessica

Psychic Jessica is a Psychic with PsychicTxt. If you are feeling unsure about your life path, reach out directly to her using our PsychicTxt App. She can see clearly into your future and provide you with information to ensure your success and happiness.

The post Understanding Your Life Purpose: How a Life Purpose Reading Can Help You appeared first on PsychicTXT.

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“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” ~Sam Keen

When we fall in love, we feel excited to experience some of the most joyful moments of our lives. Because love is supposed to be the source of the best feelings, right? But what about when that relationship churns up some hard stuff and leaves you feeling hurt, annoyed, sad, and irate?

For many of us, especially deep-feelers like me, when we start to experience these inevitable lows in our relationship, we may conclude that something is inherently wrong with it.

But what if that assumption is just smoke and mirrors? What if it is preventing you from truly experiencing the real love you crave?

Believing something is wrong with your relationship might, tragically, lead you to conclude that the relationship has failed and should be ended, even though it’s actually pretty healthy and promising.

“I’ve been annoyed with him a lot lately,” and, “We just haven’t been connecting much” are common complaints I hear from people I talk with. Followed frequently by the sentence of doom, “Maybe I made a mistake by marrying him.” “Maybe they aren’t meant for me.”

I’ve made that same jump of reason in the past. Multiple times in my twenties, I ended relationships full of potential because bad feelings were arising more often than I thought they should. I thought it meant something was wrong with him or with us.

Being someone who is highly attuned to what I feel, I have always taken my feelings really seriously. When I feel bad, I feel really bad. And when things feel, well, blah, I feel that deeply, too.

As had been my norm in past relationships, when my partner and I began to get over those hormone-stoked, bursting-with-love early months of our relationship, I started to feel moments when things didn’t feel “good” anymore. When it all felt “dull.” When he wasn’t behaving how I thought he ought to. When we weren’t “connecting” like I thought we should.

Like I had done in the past, I could have taken this as a sign that something was wrong with our relationship, and that he was the wrong man for me.

But I was gifted with a powerful secret that changed everything at a relationship workshop we had attended together to preemptively deal with the normal stuff that sabotages great relationships (we were committed to this relationship thriving): This dullness was normal and healthy.

What?

As I let the power of this one mental shift sink in, and marinated in the subtleties of what it meant, my relationship began to full-on thrive—and continues to years later.

My hope is that it can change your relationship for the better, too.

Let’s Investigate This Further

Imagine your emotional life as a spectrum from terrible to wonderful, with neutral in the middle. It is completely normal to spend one-third of the time on the negative side of the emotional spectrum, one-third on the positive, and one-third in a neutral state.

When we believe that love should always feel good, we often experience the neutral times as less-than good, which we interpret to mean bad. We turn “okay” into “bad” and “bad” into “terrible.”

This is especially true for sensitive souls like me, because we feel things so deeply: anything less than positive registers as uncomfortable, or negative.

When I realized that two-thirds of the time it is absolutely normal to not feel “good” when it comes to my love life, I felt immense relief.

It means that there is nothing wrong with my experience. It means I can stop feeling upset that I’m upset, or mad when things are just okay. I can stop feeling so disappointed when I feel unhappy, dull, irritated, sad, or confused.

I now see that it’s the measuring of my experience against some ideal and unrealistic standard that feels so extra bad. It’s my resistance to what I am actually experiencing that feels terrible.

So now I say, so what if I feel a bit of discomfort, or things are a little dull inside me, or between my man and me? So what if I am experiencing numbness or just okay-ness? I can just let it be what it is, knowing that it is normal and healthy, and it will change soon anyway.

I’m not suggesting we tolerate abuse or mistreatment for any percentage of time; just that it’s normal to not always feel head-over-heels in love and blissfully happy.

One of the biggest benefits of “embracing neutrality,” as I call it, is that my joy is amplified during the times my partner and I are really connecting well. How could I even know what good was if I never felt it’s opposite?

Contrast is the truth of life. Contrast is part of our humanity. To have a rich love life, embracing all our feelings is the only healthy path. Because, as we allow it all, we fall deeper in love with life, and everyone in it.

Though my life is filled with the same amount of sad, annoyed, frustrated, bland, and ho-hum moments as ever, the way I experience them has entirely changed: so much softer, so much less agonizing.

And as I have practiced being accepting of the neutral times, I’ve actually begun to appreciate them more. When I welcome neutrality, the ho-hum moments almost start to feel good, too. That means I now feel more good feelings than bad ones, by far.

If you’d like to recognize and get comfortable with feeling less-than-great so you can avoid ruining a good thing, here are a few tips:

1. Use gentle awareness and be really honest with yourself.

When you notice you are feeling less-than-great (just less-than-great for your first few times, not terrible), get curious about what you are really sensing. Feel your emotions. Notice what physical sensations are there. Do you feel constriction? Or openness? Or a vague sense of nothing?

2. Assess your feelings.

Rate this body-feeling on a scale from one to ten, ten being the best you could feel, five being neutral, one being terrible.

3. If you rate below a six, really investigate with curiosity how that feels in your body.

Allow it to be as it is. Notice that it isn’t a problem to not feel good. It’s just a bunch of interesting sensations. Even unhappiness isn’t so bad when you look at it with gentle curiosity. You are safe to experience what you feel.

When you do this a few times a day you will expand your capacity to tolerate discomfort. You may even realize that you can actually enjoy your significant other’s imperfect behaviors and human quirks that were bothersome in the past.

Like the nights he is mentally absorbed by a work issue and acts distant. The times he says, “uh-huh” before you even finished what you were saying, as if he wasn’t really paying attention. When he picks his nose in public…

Because most of us, let’s be honest here, are a far cry from perfect. No one will ever truly fulfill and delight you all the time.

That is actually your job, not your partner’s! It is your work to drop the expectations, comparisons, judgments, fears, and beliefs that are interfering with the health of your relationship and to learn to care for the normal, bland, day-to-day humanness of your sweetie.

Because if you don’t embrace the dull times, you are much more likely to lose the whole glorious package by rejecting your experience and your partner a majority of the time.

When I notice I’m resisting feeling dull or I’m a bit uncomfortable about something going on in my relationship, I now use this powerful affirmation to remind me that discomfort is simply part of being a human in love: “My relationship is most authentically and deeply loving when I allow the seasons of my heart to come and go, experiencing them all with presence and acceptance.”

If you embrace neutrality like I have, instead of believing it means something has gone wrong, the neutral times become like a glass half full (instead of half empty). The good times become rich and wonderful. And those truly hard moments? They are simply reminders of how delightful the good times actually are, and reinforce their joy.

About Hannah Brooks

Hannah Brooks is a Relationship Coach who helps caring, sensitive, deep-feeling women create the supportive, loving, and genuinely connected relationship they really want with their partner. For further tips and guidance check our her free toolkit, 3 Essential Steps to a More Loving Relationship, Even When You Feel Irritable, Resentful, or Disconnected. Find her at lifeisworthloving.com.

This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.

If you are currently dealing with a relationship that has flip flopped from wonderful to miserable and find yourself only complaining and feeling bad about it, reach out directly to any one of our trusted psychic advisors. They have the ability to tune into your partner and read actual intent. They can also provide you with invaluable spiritual advice to help you regain complete control over your life. 

The post When the Euphoria Fades: Dealing with the Highs and Lows of Love appeared first on PsychicTXT.

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“The body is a multilingual being. It speaks through its color and its temperature, the flush of recognition, the glow of love, the ash of pain, the heat of arousal, the coldness of nonconviction. It speaks through its constant tiny dance, sometimes swaying, sometimes a-jitter, sometimes trembling. It speaks through the leaping of the heart, the falling of the spirit, the pit at the center, and rising hope.” ~Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves

We read about all these things we “should” be doing for self-care, so we add them to our to-do list and rarely, if ever, cross them off.

Most of us have such busy schedules, we move on fast-forward without getting any closer to the end of our list. We end up running on autopilot to the point that we ignore most of what our body tries to tell us it needs in order to look and feel our best.

Just getting through our to-do list each day can take a toll on our body and mind. But what’s becoming more apparent is that not slowing down, not listening to our body, can be detrimental to our health—and our looks!

At some point, I realized that I was on autopilot so often that it felt physically impossible to fit healthy eating into my routine. I tried so hard to eat the “right” foods and would always end up binging on pizza or some other junk food when I thought no one was looking. I felt so much shame and distress from trying so hard, and yet nothing changed.

What I didn’t realize is that my body had been sending me signals all along to lead me in the right direction, but I was completely clueless. Autopilot had taken over my life, and not to mention, my body’s energy, luster, and shape. Not cool.

So how do you know if you’re running on autopilot and are disconnected from what your body needs to function and look its best? Read these signs and see if they sound familiar.

Sign #1: You don’t know if you have any food allergies or sensitivities.

Do you ever wonder if you’re one of the millions of people with a gluten sensitivity or a dairy intolerance? If it turns out that you are, your body has tried to tell you multiple times.

Common symptoms of gluten sensitivities are bloating, frequent headaches, constipation, diarrhea, skin issues, sluggishness, and so much more. Common symptoms of lactose intolerance are congestion, bloating, abdominal pain, acne, and migraines. If you’ve ever experienced any of these, your body is trying to tell you something.

I started birth control as a teenager, since it was the only thing I knew that actually worked to keep my acne under control. At times it was so bad, my mom let me skip school to avoid embarrassment.

When I became an adult, I tried many times to get off of it but each time I did, my skin broke out again. Adult acne felt even worse. It wasn’t until I limited wheat and dairy that I was able to get off birth control and my skin finally cleared up for good.

Contrary to what we tend to believe, symptoms like these aren’t normal! It’s your body’s way of telling you a serious change is needed. Seriously.

Sign #2: You frequently aren’t sure if you’re actually hungry or not.

How often do you find yourself staring blankly into your pantry wondering if you’re truly hungry or if you’re just bored?

In the past, I’d go to my fridge, open it up and give it a good hard stare, close it, and then walk away—only to find myself doing it again minutes later. Was I hungry? Was I craving something? I had no clue if my own body was hungry or not! I felt so frustrated and annoyed with myself for doing this time and time again.

It sounds counterintuitive, but many of us don’t have an appetite the majority of the day simply because we just don’t eat enough food. Our body ends up holding onto every morsel we feed it for dear life.

It’s a genuine a survival instinct. If your body doesn’t know if it’s going to get enough at its next meal, it sends mixed signals. But when your body is getting enough nutrients, you won’t have to question whether you’re hungry or not.

Sign #3: You swear to have zero willpower when it comes to processed food.

Does it seem like no matter how hard to try to eat healthy, you always end up choosing the food you know you’ll regret?

Whenever I’d go through one of my clean eating phases, I’d inevitably be the girl hiding in the corner stuffing her face with the muffin she never liked to begin with. I’d be so angry with myself for not having more self-control and then feel so ashamed. I’d repeat silently to myself over and over, “What’s wrong with you? Why do you keep doing this?”

A lack of willpower is our body’s way of telling you it needs specific nutrients (hello chocolate! magnesium needed), nostalgia (let’s recreate an old memory), or even yearnings (how alive will I feel if I eat this).

If you pay attention to what your body is feeling physically during these moments, you may notice your throat constricting or heaviness in your belly. I argue that there’s no such thing as willpower. Your body needs something and it’s not necessarily food related.

Sign #4: You have no idea why you’re so tired and craving junk food every afternoon like clockwork.

Do you feel sluggish at 2:00 to 3:00 pm on a daily basis? And then find yourself reaching for the first extra sweet or salty thing you can get your hands on?

When my afternoon slump came, all I knew is that I was so dang tired… and craving carbs and sugar like a fiend! Enter vending machine with salty chips and sweet candy bars to the rescue. I’d feel so lethargic and just awful. This vicious cycle had me exhausted and ultimately is what made realize I had to do something. I had to make a change.

Your body’s ravenous afternoon cravings are a message. They’re screaming at you, “I need nutrients! I need fuel!” Chances are, you haven’t fed it what it needs throughout the day and your body’s only way to get through to you is to intensify your cravings.

Sign #5: You feel extreme emotions without rhyme or reason.

Do you ever have days where you feel like you want to scream or cry for absolutely no reason at all?

Formerly, I sometimes experienced this during a TV show or movie. The characters would say or do something that wasn’t particularly scary or exciting, but it triggered something and I felt an urge to start bawling. It was really unnerving to realize I could cry my heart out for no apparent reason at all.

Our nature is to take the easy route—to push any heightened emotions aside and go on with our day. (We always have so much to do, right?!) But emotions need to be felt. Otherwise, they can manifest by coming out at unexpected moments or even physically in our bodies i.e. hair loss, skin rashes, weight gain/loss, etc.

Your body is a magical and wise teacher. Every ache, pain, symptom, and craving is a gift in its own way.

Think of how many chronic illnesses that are diet related. Here are some to name a few: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dental health, osteoporosis, asthma … The negative symptoms you’re experiencing today are your body’s way of doing what it can to help you prevent a disease from manifesting in your body tomorrow.

My mom found out she has breast cancer a couple years ago. Since then, she’s completely transformed her diet and lifestyle, and from what we can tell, the cancer has regressed.

She’s always struggled with extreme allergies and health issues. I can’t help but wonder, what if she had listened to her body and made these changes before the cancer progressed? How much less scared and stressed would our family be? (Now she’s feeling better than she did before her diagnosis!)

I’m not suggesting that anyone who has cancer is to blame for their diagnosis, or that dietary and lifestyle changes alone will cure it, but simply that our diet affects our health in more ways than we know.

I learned through her story and now I’m doing the best I can to take note of every little ache, pain, flush, color, craving, and emotion of my body… before I end up with the kind of life-changing hardship that’s far more than just gaining a few pounds or adult acne.

If your body is experiencing a persisting symptom, it’s telling you something. Listen.

If you’re feeling an extreme emotion, your body has something it needs to feel. Let it.

If any of these signs resonate with you, try this: Put one hand on your belly, the other on your heart and say this aloud, “Dear body, I’m sorry for not listening and not making you the priority. I really do want the best for you. I love you. I’m listening.”

Slow down and be mindful of the signs your body is sending. And instead of adding more things to your to-do list, you’ll gradually feel more confident about what your body needs to move naturally in a positive, healthier direction.

About Brittney daCosta

Brittney daCosta empowers women to embrace their true self through yoga and eating pleasurable, healthy foods. Through transformative food and lifestyle changes, she helps you eat naturally for your body and move with goddess level confidence. To learn how to align your emotions, body, and life with your relationship to food, download her free e-book, Freedom From Food here.

This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.

If you are having a difficult time pushing yourself forward or are still feeling unsure about your life path, reach out directly to any one of our talented psychic advisors today. They can see clearly into your future and provide you with information to ensure your success and happiness.

The post 5 Signs You Don’t Know What Your Body Needs appeared first on PsychicTXT.

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“You must love in such a way that the other person feels free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Conventional notions of what it means to love are populated with expectations for reciprocity, which often gets us into trouble. I know this personally, because whenever I have “freely” given my love and it has not been rewarded with reciprocity, I have often come face to face with my resentment.

This has been especially true of my intimate relationships. I want the people who fall into this category, in particular, to reciprocate my love. I expect them to. But, as Thich Nhat Hanh points out, love is expansive, not constrictive.

I had a boyfriend once, for example, who seemed to genuinely like spending time with me, but didn’t make our relationship a priority. This was a guy who was pretty laid back in general, and so I discounted his reserve and tried to be patient, thinking we’d eventually turn a corner.

What became clear, over the course of four years, is that my patience was thinly veiling a whole host of disappointed expectations for reciprocity. And in the end I felt angry and betrayed.

The question is: by whom really?

When some time had passed and I was able to look back on the situation with a little more objectivity, it became clear that I’d entered into the relationship with typical expectations for attention, time, comfort, and affection—in other words, an agenda.

I don’t mean to say there is anything wrong with wanting to be loved. There isn’t. It is a good and natural impulse.

We all deserve the love of our intimate others and should be careful to choose partners whose love for us is a natural, abundant outpouring of their feelings, and investment in us and our wellbeing.

The desire to be loved—to the extent that it is fueled by any underlying agendas or feelings of isolation and loneliness—can be very problematic. It often turns a relationship into some version of, “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine.” And love isn’t contractual.

However, bargaining is, and this, unfortunately, was the weak foundation on which my own compromised relationship stood and faltered. He failed to invest in the relationship while taking advantage of all the intimate benefits, and I failed to draw good boundaries; I settled for being used, rather than being loved.

Revealed in all this was the fact that I hadn’t exactly been looking after my own needs very well. I’d neglected and betrayed myself, in some sense, and needed to assume greater responsibility for my own personal happiness.

To that end I began a quest to locate the sense of inner contentment and satisfaction I so craved, but was not in possession of. I read books, magazines, watched films, and made note of what resonated with me and what did not—what stirred my enthusiasm, what made sense.

I became more curious about my inner life. An act of love in itself.

Later, I began a regular practice of journal writing and meditation. I’m a big believer in the contemplative arts, which, for me, can include things like painting, running, swimming, knitting—almost anything that helps you reach a more contemplative state of mind. For me this was huge.

What I have learned the hard way is that a robust love stands the best chance of materializing between people who have ripened sufficiently as individuals. And it is always a work in progress.

Love is never complete. Just as life is always moving and re-shaping itself, this is true with love.

Thus, loving in such a way that the person we love feels free is as simple and straightforward as it is complex and discursive.

Essentially, we need to practice being the love we wish to see in the world, and that requires a deeply rooted sense of reverence and respect for ourselves, our intimate others, and the wonderfully complex, exquisitely vulnerable, flawed humanity we share.

It requires making mistakes, making amends, and trying to manage matters with an increasing degree of skill and intelligence, not to mention forgiveness.

Here is a lovely quote by Rumi that really gets to the heart of the matter.

And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth

“You owe me.”

Look what happens with love like that.

It lights up the sky.

Which is to say, we need to be love. That is all there really is to it in the end—simple, but not easy, as with most things worth striving for in life. Then the love returned by others can be received as the gift that it is.

Ultimately, love is its own reward. Generous. Expansive. Inclusive. Receptive. Liberating.

Love well, live well!

Photo by mrhayata

About Audrey Meyer

Audrey Meyer lives in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. She is a writer, minimalist, and cultural anthropologist. If you like what you have read here, you can find more at: http://purpletrilliumpress.blogspot.ca/

This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.

If you have been feeling down on yourself or down on love in general, reach out to any one of our trusted psychic advisors. They can look deep into your energy and show you what areas need to be improved. They can also let you know how close one of your soulmates really is. 

The post Loving Others Without Expecting Them to Fill a Void appeared first on PsychicTXT.

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“Don’t hide from your feelings. Press into them. Learn from them. Grow from them.” ~Unknown

There have been times in my life when you could look at my cell phone call log and see back-to-back conversations for hours. I am blessed to have a large support system of loving friends and family, and there have been many times when that has saved me from facing my pain.

If you know anything about attachments styles or are one of millions who suffer from anxiety, you will relate when I tell you that I spent most of my life incredibly anxious. Most of my anxiety had to do with me dealing with people: going to parties where I didn’t know people, knowing someone was unhappy with me, feeling like my needs weren’t being met in relationships, etc.

I work with many sensitive people and, in more recent years, I have come to accept that I, too, am very sensitive. We are affected by words, punctuation, tone, and demeanor. We know that words say a lot and words combined with punctuation say even more and that we communicate in more ways than is accepted as normal.

If I had to cancel on a friend and she responded, “That’s fine,” I would start to get worried that she was mad at me. The response that would have appeased my anxiety would have looked more like this: “I totally understand! Look forward to seeing you another time!”

For many years I thought I had found the perfect solution to this situation: talk to my wise friends who would make me feel better. Client who was not thrilled with me? Ex-boyfriend who posted something insensitive on social media? Friend who was giving me attitude? I picked up the phone for that.

Because my community of friends was fairly vast, I was able to avoid overusing anyone (though my mom might tell you otherwise). I’d hurriedly vent my frustrations and wait to receive the compassion and wisdom from my loved ones.

I had the process down: feel hurt, pick up the phone, vent, talk about the problem a lot, hang up, and then call someone else if the wound hadn’t been totally clogged.

Analytical processing can be useful at times, but more often than not we use it as a crutch so we don’t have to feel our pain. Talking about how I was feeling made me feel productive, but it prevented me from really feeling what was under the anxiety.

Anxiety was showing me that there were some much bigger feelings underneath the surface that needed my attention, but they would be very uncomfortable to move through.

A couple years ago I went through an incredibly devastating breakup. I lost everything that mattered: my will for life, a few pounds I didn’t have to spare, and myself. Once the natural grieving process had commenced, I realized nothing had changed. I was not getting better, so I panicked and began my calling sprees again.

One morning, with tears pouring from my eyes and a deep hole in my chest, I called my mom and asked her to please fly across the country to stay with me. She was heartbroken, but wise enough to know that what I really needed was to get to the place inside myself that wanted to live. She knew she would leave, and I would not be any better off.

I hung up the phone with her that day and realized I had been using other people to avoid feeling. These feelings were so deep and dark that they felt terrifying to face, but only I could face what was living within me.

The next time the pain surfaced, instead of picking up the phone, I turned inward. I lay down to do breathwork and faced the painful emotions and fears that were keeping me stuck. Through this long and grueling process I began to transform.

I didn’t move on from this breakup like I had other times. In fact, this wasn’t even about the breakup—it was a reckoning with my soul. I used this opportunity to really get to know myself. I learned about the human condition, and I came out a different person with more wisdom and compassion.

I realized that every time I felt a twinge of pain from someone’s words or actions, I had an opportunity to investigate what that meant to me. My habit was to talk it through with people, but the talking always kept me out of really feeling and getting to know the wound it pointed to.

Through healing, I was able to accept and love the parts of myself that were wounded when others responded to me in ways that triggered pain. I was able to feel it, see where it was coming from, and love myself through it.

When I stopped talking about my “problems” so much and started to heal the unprocessed emotions causing them, they diminished. I’m able to let things slide off me more easily. When I am triggered, I can look inward to feel where it’s coming from and honor myself through it.

Instead of running from my pain by picking up the phone, I have found the strength to face my own demons so they no longer control me. Now there is more space in my relationships for interesting and uplifting conversations.

If you’re struggling with chronic anxiety and spend a lot of time talking about your problems, you can use this breathwork meditation to learn how to heal yourself. This is a practice you can use continuously and also in the moments you feel yourself wanting to avoid your pain by talking about it.

How To Breathe

This is a specific two-part inhale that moves stuck emotion from the lower chakras into the heart. Most of our repressed emotions are stored in this energetic center in our bodies. You’re going to be breathing in and out of the mouth, which connects you more deeply to your body and your emotions.

Most of us have years, if not lifetimes, of unprocessed emotions. This breathwork technique is designed to open up the energetic channels of your body and help the emotions release.

You’ll first breathe into your low belly, then you’ll take a second inhale into your heart, and you’ll exhale. This inhale and exhale are all done through the mouth. This will connect you to your body and help the energy flow. You do not need to force your exhale. Let it naturally fall out of your body like a sigh of relief.

  1. Get in a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed.
  2. Lay somewhere comfortable on your back.
  3. Put on a playlist with three of your favorite songs.
  4. Close your eyes (you can use an eye mask if you have one) and breathe as per the instructions above to the first two songs. This might feel like work, but just stick with it and focus on the breath. Feel your belly and chest rise. Feel the breath move in and out of the body.
  5. Pay attention to what your body is experiencing. After a few minutes you might feel your body tingling. That’s normal.
  6. If you feel tightness or tension place your awareness there and breathe into it. There is probably some emotion that wants to release.
  7. Once the third song begins release the breath and begin to breathe in and out of the nose. Let your body vibrate here for as long as you like.

Oftentimes people feel immediate relief after a breathwork practice, but it can also stir up some uncomfortable, deep emotions. This is a meditation you can work with daily to continue the healing process.

Many of us live in cultures that promote fast payoffs. Healing is a long-term game. If you’re willing to put in the work and be patient, you will begin to notice yourself changing. Sometimes you’ll notice it after one session and sometimes after several. Pay close attention and be very gentle with yourself post session, no matter how you’re feeling.

About Michelle D’Avella

Michelle D’Avella is an author, Breathwork teacher and mentor. Her memoir, The Bright Side of a Broken Heart is available here. Download her FREE guide to heal your heart and follow her on Instagram for daily doses of inspiration.

This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.

Have you been struggling with yourself? Feel down about yourself after a recent difficult connection? If you have been feeling down on yourself or down on love in general, reach out to any one of our trusted psychic advisors. They can look deep into your energy and show you what areas need to be improved. They can also let you know how close one of your soulmates really is. 

The post Stop Talking So You Can Start Feeling appeared first on PsychicTXT.

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Our thoughts create our beliefs, meaning if you think about yourself a certain way for a long enough period of time you will ultimately believe it.” ~Anonymous

You’re ugly. You’re stupid. You’re a loser.

Imagine thinking this way about yourself every day. No exaggeration. That was me.

When a girl didn’t want to go on a second date with me, I told myself I was ugly. When I didn’t know what someone was talking about, I told myself I was stupid. When my Instagram post only received two likes, I told myself I was loser.

I spoon-fed myself toxic thoughts like these on a daily basis for years. And what’s worse is I believed them.

But why? Where do these toxic thoughts and beliefs even come from? Well, for most of us they come from our childhoods, and they are largely based on experiences with our caregivers.

My belief system (which fuels those not-so-nice thoughts listed above) was formed by the tragic death of my mother when I was three-and-a-half years old and by my rageaholic cocaine-addict father. I internalized Mom’s death and Dad’s crazy behavior (trust me, it was bad) the only way I knew how to: I thought I was the problem.

You see, my dad never sat me down and apologized for bursting into my room in the middle of the night high on cocaine and torturing me. He never apologized for not allowing me to celebrate my birthdays. He never apologized for making me get in front of my soccer team and tell them that I was a bad boy and couldn’t play in that week’s game.

Since he never apologized to me, my growing little mind took it personally and figured I must be the problem. I thought I deserved to be punished and as such, a negative thought pattern was born.

Like a kid at school writing on a chalkboard because he did something wrong, my thoughts wrote in my mind over and over again: I did something wrong. I did something wrong.

This consistent negative self-talk eventually turned into a core belief: I am wrong. I am wrong.  

Imagine growing up believing that your very existence is wrong. That was me. I was hard-wired by my parents to believe this. It was like being sentenced for a crime that I didn’t commit.

As an adult I actively looked for validation in other people as a result of this belief. I became a people-pleaser, a yes man, a guy that would do anything for you to like me. Please like me, please tell me I’m okay.

If you liked me, I felt less broken, but one person liking me was never enough. If I was in a room with 100 people and all of them but one liked me I would worry and fret, wondering what I had done to upset that one person.

I also thought I had to be perfect in every area of my life. My hair had to be perfect. My clothes had to be perfect.

I had to say the right things. Do the right things. Be the right thing.

I also used each failed attempt for your validation as proof that I was broken. See!

I would go to bed at night saying I was done with that kind behavior, yet I would wake up in the morning and start it all over again. It was like the movie Groundhog Day. I was living the same day over and over again, and I couldn’t stop.

I hit what I’ll call my rock bottom eight years ago when I was thirty-seven-years old. I hated myself and the life I had created and desperately wanted change.

But how? How do we let go of deeply rooted false beliefs that no longer serve us? The same way we formed them.

You begin by detaching from the individual thoughts that reinforce the negative belief, then you let go of the belief all together. I’ve heard them called illusions, false beliefs, and even lies. It took time for me to believe these lies and it took time for me to undo them.

Henry David Thoreau said, “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

In order to let go of false beliefs, we have to practice observing our thoughts and recognize when we are acting on old stories about our worth. By repeatedly choosing not to get caught up in the old stories, we can begin to experience the world in a new way.

You don’t go to the gym once and suddenly you’re in the best shape of your life. No, you go five to six times a week, eat healthy, and get plenty of rest. And you do this over and over again.

The same goes for our minds. The more we work toward mindfulness and self-kindness, the quicker we will default to it. When you catch yourself having a negative thought, recognize that you don’t have to get attached to it and choose to let it pass. If you’re having trouble letting it go, tell yourself a new, more empowering story.

And above all else, just remember, it had nothing to do with you. You did nothing wrong. You are not flawed.

I didn’t commit a crime. I just absorbed the information given to me the only way my eight-year-old mind knew how to.

So where do we start? It’s different for all of us, but if you’re reading this and relating to any of it then that in it of itself is a start. That’s the beginning of self-awareness.

For me it was all about becoming self-aware. That was my first step toward personal change.

I knew I couldn’t do things on my own (been there, tried that), so I started with a twelve-step program. Liberation would never be possible if I kept reaching for validation from other people, so I took a deep breath and courageously stepped into my first meeting and admitted that I had a problem.

It was there that I opened up and allowed myself to be seen for who I was: a wounded man who sometimes still felt like a scared little boy. Eventually, little by little, I shared my childhood secrets and I was loved for doing so. It was an eye opening experience, which immediately changed my thought process to: I did nothing wrong.

For the last eight years I’ve been letting go of false thoughts and beliefs, which in turn has created new possibilities for how I think and feel in relationships. I hope you can do the same.

About Zachary Goodson

Zachary Goodson is inspired by intentional living. His writing focuses on his experiences around holistic health, inner child work, addiction, recovery and spirituality. He is currently writing his first book. You can connect with him more at zacharygoodson.com

This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.

If you are having a difficult time pushing yourself forward or are still feeling unsure about your life path, reach out directly to any one of our talented psychic advisors today. They can see clearly into your future and provide you with information to ensure your success and happiness.

The post Here’s Why I No Longer Believe There’s Something Wrong with Me appeared first on PsychicTXT.

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I’ve done a lot of things for attention that I’m not proud of. I’ve created drama. I’ve bragged. I’ve exaggerated. I’ve hurt people. I’ve hurt myself. I’ve lied and lied and lied.

No one wants to be labeled as an “attention seeker.” When people say, “She’s just doing it for attention,” they don’t mean it as a compliment. I knew this. And I knew that people said these things about me.

And still, I couldn’t stop.

I spend a lot of time around animals, especially cats. It’s easy to see which ones have experienced starvation. They have constant anxiety about food. They meow and meow when it’s feeding time. They scarf their portions down without breathing. If the bowl is left full, they’ll eat whatever’s there—even if it’s a week’s worth of food!

I was that cat with attention. I could never get enough.

But compulsive behaviors aren’t about what we’re consuming. Attention seeking isn’t about attention. Food addiction isn’t about food. Really, it’s about control.

When you’ve been starved of something, you develop a fear of losing it. You begin to cling to every morsel of what you’re desperately afraid to live without. Survival mode.

That’s what it was like for me: constant survival mode. I felt like, at any moment, I was going to be abandoned, left alone, forgotten. I fought to be noticed. Fought to be heard. Fought to be “loved.”

But despite my constant attention-seeking efforts, I never got what I truly wanted. I never felt loved for exactly who I was because I never showed her to anyone! I showed the world the person I thought it wanted to see, and I used other people as characters in my personal drama.

So that is the biggest irony: because I was so desperately hungry for love, I couldn’t have it. Because I so deeply craved attention, I repelled people away from me. Then, these experiences reaffirmed my biggest fear: there wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough. So I’d grasp more, cling more, lie more.

Too often, people talk about attention seeking like it’s a character flaw. I see it as an addiction.

When we’re trying to fill a love-sized hole, it doesn’t matter what we’re trying to stuff into it: drugs, money, alcohol, approval, sex. If it’s not love, it won’t truly satisfy us. We’ll keep wanting more and more.

My journey of healing my attention-seeking patterns has been long and painful. One of the most painful things has been realizing that most people weren’t reacting to me the way I thought they were.

I used to brag loudly in public, imagining people around me admiring and envying me. Now, I realize that most of them were either ignoring me or annoyed by my antics.

I used to stretch every accomplishment, imagining people respecting me. If it was two, I’d say five. If it was 100, I’d say 300. If it was one minute, I’d say an hour. Now, I realize that most people either didn’t believe me or used my lies to reinforce their own insecurities.

I used to make a tragedy out of every pain and a drama out of every inconvenience, imagining people pitying me. Now, I know that most people either felt stuck in the cloud of toxicity that surrounded me (because of their own unhealed traumas), or they avoided that cloud like the plague.

The world, I’ve discovered, isn’t quite the place I thought it was.

I was so busy talking and talking, lying and lying, that I never sat down just to listen. And that is what helped me heal: looking within myself, looking around me, and embracing reality.

Attention seeking, for me, was a kind of self-protection. On my journey of healing myself, I’ve found that self-love and self-protection aren’t the same thing. I had to remove my armor and my mask. I had to face the truth.

Beneath my defense mechanisms, I found a fragile, wounded part of me that was traumatized by childhood experiences—by emotional starvation. But this part of me wasn’t fragile because of the wounds I incurred as a kid. It was fragile because I tried to protect it.

After I got hurt, I tried to hide myself away. I tried to create an elaborate fantasy world to protect myself from rejection and abandonment. I piled layers and layers of bandages on top of my wounds, but wounds need air to heal. I tried to keep myself safe, but I ended up suffocating myself instead.

I wasn’t lying and creating drama “just for attention.” I was doing it to survive. I was grasping for scraps of approval to replace my desperate hunger for real love, for authenticity, for happiness.

On the outside, it seemed like I wanted other people’s attention. That’s what I thought I needed too. But what I really needed was to pay attention—to be able to just exist in each moment without struggling. To be able to look at myself without running away. To look at people without being afraid of them. To have peace of mind.

Maybe you know someone who’s stuck in these patterns. Maybe that someone is you. However this applies to you, I hope to communicate one important thing: attention seeking is a symptom of a bigger cause.

It’s not something to be dismissed. It’s also not something to be judged and criticized. It’s something to be accepted, understood, unraveled, and forgiven.

Healing these patterns takes time. Every step along the way, it’s been difficult for me to invite reality to replace my delusions. It’s been hard to allow myself to be raw and open instead of trying to protect myself from pain.

But this healing journey has also allowed me to enjoy real affection: from myself and from others. And that has been worth all the hard work.

About Vironika Tugaleva

Like every human being, Vironika Tugaleva is an ever-changing mystery. At the time of writing this, she was a life coach, digital nomad, and award-winning author of two books (The Love Mindset and The Art of Talking to Yourself). She spent her days writing, dancing, singing, running, doing yoga, going on adventures, and having long conversations. But that was then. Who knows what she’s doing now? Keep up at www.vironika.org.

This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.

If you are having a difficult time pushing yourself forward or are still feeling unsure about your life path, reach out directly to any one of our talented psychic advisors today. They can see clearly into your future and provide you with information to ensure your success and happiness.

The post Why I Was Addicted to Attention, Lies, and Drama appeared first on PsychicTXT.

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“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” ~Jon Kabat- Zinn

Over the years I’ve talked to a lot of people about that one love, the one who got away, the one who it didn’t work out with, the one with whom the timing was bad.

I’ve had these conversations with people from all age groups, including people in their seventies. I’ve had my own journey with all of the above as I traveled toward finding a life partner.

It seems whether you stay together or not you’ll likely be in each other’s minds for quite some time in the form of thoughts, memories, or dreams. If you’re lucky they’ll be sweet, but sometimes they’re sad, hurt, confused, or angry dreams.

Some people really struggle with this. They want their ex-lovers out of their heads forever, relegated to a dark and distant part of their minds.

It’s as though they want them stored away in a box in their mind that they never have to open again. And I get it. Who wouldn’t want to be able to mentally exorcise a person who is associated with a painful and confusing time of your life?

Some people are frightened or confused by the thoughts, memories, and dreams that occur, as they think remembering on old relationship means they’ve made a mistake in their current partner choice or that they haven’t moved on.

In my case, I had daily thoughts about a couple of old relationships for about eighteen years. Yes, you read correctly, eighteen years. The thoughts would often take the form of self-recrimination or sense-making.

“Why did that happen? Why did I do that? Why did I put up with that for so long? Why did I go back to him?”

Essentially, these thoughts seemed to be focused on the question “What was wrong with me?” Others would be about an ex and all his decisions and choices—essentially asking “What was wrong with him?”

Some thoughts would be re-doing the past—how I could have handled it, what I should have done, what could I have done better.

Sometimes they would just be memories, triggered by going to certain places or someone asking, “Have you ever been here, done that,” etc. Sometimes my mind would wonder what it would be like if it the relationship had worked out.

I’ve generally been accepting of thoughts, memories, or dreams of past relationships popping into my head. I’ve never seen it as a sign of not being ready to be with someone else, and rarely have I tried to get rid of the memories. Mostly I think it’s because I accepted that this is what minds do when something major happens.

Getting vulnerable, intimate, and allowing yourself to form an attachment to someone is a major event for your mind. When it doesn’t work out, your mind interprets it as threatening.

Your mind recognizes the hurt feelings associated with a breakup as a threat and then starts a plan to protect you from ever experiencing such a hurt again. So it throws it thoughts, memories, and dreams at you from time to time—in part to help you process the relationship but also to remind you to be careful to not get in the same situation again, in order to protect you from hurt.

Also, minds tend to believe that by thinking and worrying they can make sense or find a solution to the breakup, the “what went wrong” of it all. Again, the mind is always looking for the facts to protect you in the future. Sometimes it’s helpful, sometimes it’s just seems annoying and repetitive.

What can you do to handle thoughts and dreams about past relationships?

1. Accept that it is normal and natural to have thoughts, memories, and dreams about your exes.

Don’t read too much into it. Just see it as what minds do.

2. Avoid acting on thoughts, dreams, and impulses associated with exes.

Don’t call, message, or make a decision to get back together based on random thoughts or dreams. This is probably not a sign; it’s just your mind doing what minds do.

3. If you feel strong emotion with the thoughts, memories, or dreams, write it down.

Writing it down allows us to take one step back and defuses the emotion somewhat. Then engage yourself in something fun or interesting. Get busy.

4. Know that eventually you will think less and less about it.

In the acute stage of a breakup you almost can’t stop thinking about the relationship, but over time the thoughts become less prominent and less painful. Trust that this will continue to happen over time. This will happen more quickly if you don’t engage regularly with your ex. Let the distance help you disengage.

5. Avoid punishing yourself with self-critical thoughts.

Like “how could I not see that, I’m stupid,” etc. Remind yourself that it is normal to want to be loved.

6. Reflect on the positives the relationship gave you.

All relationships teach you something. Remind yourself it was not a waste of time; it was just time, it was just part of your story.

One of my significant relationships ended with a great deal of hurt because of cheating and lies, but I don’t regret it. I learned a lot in that experience—life lessons that I keep with me even today.

For example, I learned that I could survive betrayal and the emptiness that comes with the loss of love—that the pain lessens in time. I learned that when the cost is too great, you must let go of love, even if a part of you may not want to. And I learned that in addition to love and attraction, you need to have shared values.

Still, knowing that I’ve learned from all my relationships doesn’t make it any easier to stop thinking about them.

For example, I spent quite a bit of time wondering why someone said, in breaking up with me, that he needed to spend more time with his dog. (Yes, that really did happen.) That memory came with a special combination of disbelief and hurt for some time. These days I think that story is kind of funny in a “was that the best you could come up with?” kind of a way.

These thoughts, amongst others, are now faded memories that I take with me in life, the good and the bad. I see them each as just another chapter in my story. They are part of me, but they don’t define me.

Some relationships endings are particularly painful. If you are significantly troubled by an old relationship—if you have difficulty disengaging from an ex-partner or have been affected by serious relationship trauma such as domestic violence—it’s a good idea to see a psychologist or relationship counselor to help you work through the letting go and moving forward.

No matter how hard your breakup, one day it will be just another chapter in your story too.

About Nadene van der Linden

Nadene van der Linden is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Perth, Australia. Nadene has two books coming in 2017 Tales from the Parenting Trenches: A Clinical Psychologist vs. Motherhoodand Live Life to the Full: Your Guide to Feeling Better Sooner. Follow Nadene on instagram @nadenev.thepsychologist or facebook: Nadenev.thepsychologist and visit her at lindenclinicalpsychology.com.au

This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.

Are you having a tough time moving on from a failed relationship? Feel down about yourself after a recent difficult connection? If so, reach out directly to any one of our talented psychic advisors. They can look into your past relationships and provide you with the guidance you need today for a better future.

The post When You Can’t Stop Thinking About Your Past Relationships appeared first on PsychicTXT.

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