ConneXions teaches people to live honest, responsible, and humble lives. We believe that everyone can overcome their shame and addictions in order to live happy, fulfilling lives and use these necessary tools to liberate themselves of fear and disconnection.
The fear of being misunderstood. The agony of your loved one choosing sin. The heartbreak of others choices. Being disappointed. Not getting what you want. Attempting to control your children and realizing you can’t. A lack of confidence, losing a competition. Feeling anger and sadness. Believing a lie, a distortion. Losing a friend, loved one, spouse. Missed a fly ball/someone tells an off colored joke. Someone comparing you.
All of these are opportunities to enter into inevitable pain which pain invites you into distortion.
Inevitable pain is pain you can’t control and it’s literally inevitable. You can only control three things in life:
Your thoughts and perceptions.
All else is out of your control and you are susceptible to pain because you aren’t in control of anything else.
How do you identify the distorted thoughts that hold you captive? You use a slick little phrase/question that goes like this… …And if that (distorted thought) were true what would that mean about you?
For example: I could never do that… And if you could “never do that” what would that mean about you? Well that would mean I was inept… …And if you were “inept”, what would that mean about you? That would mean I was ‘stupid…and if you were “stupid” what would that mean about you? It would mean no one would like me. And if no one “liked you” what would that mean about you? That would mean, “I am not enough”.
Bam! You hit the core, the mother lode of all lies, “I’m not enough”. Every distorted thought can be traced back to the FEAR of not being enough. Stay tuned to find out how to retrace your distorted thoughts and reform them into truth and face yourself.
Distorted Thoughts = Captivity Truth Declarations = Freedom
Have you ever thought, “What in the world am I responsible for?”
You probably would come up with a list of tangible items such as:
Feeding the dog.
Cleaning the kitchen.
Going to school.
Paying the mortgage.
Washing my clothes etc…
AND have you ever thought of being responsible for:
Actions/behaviors and their outcomes.
Guess what? Those three areas you ARE responsible for and if you choose to ignore them it doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for them, it just means you have a distorted view of your responsibility and it will lead to you becoming vulnerable, emotionally and / or spiritually ill. Yes, your unwillingness to BE responsible creates emotional, mental sickness such as depression, anxiety, and addictions of all types! If you’re curious about this correlation listen to the podcasts and webinar and come get educated. https://connexionslearn.com/webinar
Connection is human need - and because most of us don’t know we need it we accept it’s deceptive counterfeit disconnection, to fulfill its space. The problem is disconnection feels connecting yet its whole goal/outcome is to drive a wedge between people to separate them. Or invite both parties to participate and create an outcome of disconnect / numb / enabling / distraction / denial / self-denigration / self-adulation / entitlement / blame / control / isolation / resentment / lack of boundaries / addiction / and a slew of other destructive behavior patterns. True connection DOES NOT create or participate in any of the characteristics listed alone. So if you’re in a relationship where you or the other person is engaging in these – you ARE NOT CONNECTED! You're deceived – and caught in an illusion – come listen to connection podcast and come to webinar to learn how to recognize disconnect and choose truth/connection. connexionslearn.com/webinar
A vital part of every healthy relationship is safety and trust. Without either the relationship becomes toxic and harmful. In order to build relationships that exist in connection you must start by living a life of honesty, responsibility, and humility.
To the left you can see the connections building blocks. The foundation of connection is living life in honesty, responsibility, and humility. This is why ConneXions focuses on the importance of honesty, responsibility, and humility (HRH). Living a life that incorporates all three of those requires effort and rigor. But, as you can see, living in honesty, responsibility, and humility allows you to build safety and trust. The natural outcome of safety and trust is connection.
When we choose to live in distortion, we are not living honestly, responsibly, or humbly. This means that we cannot have safety, trust, or connection—not with self, others, nor God. This week we will focus on the second building block of the diagram: safety and trust.
Safety is the foundation which trust is built on. Creating emotional safety is a solo act. It is your responsibility is to create safety for yourself, and others are the beneficiaries of the safety you have created. You create emotional safety by embodying characteristics of attention, validation, vulnerability, awareness, empathy, respect, honor, openness, responsibility, and honesty. As you apply these characteristics in your life you will create safety within yourself and others will feel safe around you. However, things like neglect, abuse, cynicism, acrimony, ridicule, lies, deceit, secrets, manipulation, drama, “victim,” lust, irresponsibility, and dishonesty violate safety.
Emotional safety can be easily recognized! It means that both people in a relationship are 1) aware of their own emotions, 2) honest with themselves and each other about their emotions, and 3) do not behave in ways that are aggressive—emotionally or physically. Emotional safety means both people in the relationship are honest with one another, and do not do anything to intentionally harm, hurt, undercut, belittle, disparage, deride, ridicule, slander, manipulate, or aggress against the other. Safety means knowing that your emotions and vulnerability will be held with respect.
Trust is not a free gift. Trust is an outcome that is earned by consistent honesty, responsibility, and humility (which creates safety). Trust is powerful, connecting, beautiful, God-like, and fragile. Once broken through dishonesty, selfishness, neglect, or abuse it is very challenging to rebuild and, depending upon the degree of the infraction, the person may never choose to trust you again.
We each are responsible to consciously choose whom we will and will not trust. While we do “give” trust to ourselves and others, trust should not be given where trust is not earned or evidenced that it can be managed. You would never give an eight-year-old a “gift” of a brand-new Lamborghini sports car and say, “Here are the keys. Do whatever you want with it. Just be responsible,” even if you “trust” that eight-year-old. You are aware that a child is unable to appreciate or be responsible with such a gift. To give them such a thing would hurt them and set you up for offense as well. When we choose to give our trust to someone who has not earned or evidenced that they can manage it, or they have not demonstrated their trustworthiness, comprehension, appreciation, and respect for our trust; we are setting both ourselves and the other person up for optional pain.
Validation is a need. Just like we need air, water, and food to survive, we need connection and validation. A baby will literally die if not given validation, connection, and love.
In this week's blog, we are going to talk about what validation means and how you can apply it in your relationships.
Remember that you are responsible for yourself and that you cannot force another to provide you with validation. That is why it is important to 1) have a connection with God and receive validation from that relationship, 2) validate yourself, and 3) find safe, validating, and connected people.
Truths About Validation:
Validation is confirmation that your worth is independent of anything you think, feel or do, or anything that has been done unto you!
Validation from another creates safety to explore your distorted thoughts and the false beliefs that nourish them. Validation creates the safety you need to expose distorted thoughts & false beliefs to Truth that replaces them.
When you feel deeply validated, you will invite others to support you in your choice to be humble, impeccably honest and rigorously responsible.
Resistance to validation is evidence of distorted thoughts & false beliefs.
Validation is not permission for what you did. It is confirmation of who you are.
When you validate, you acknowledge that others’ feelings exist, and you stand compassionately with the person who is experiencing them.
The only way to close the gap between how you really feel and how you wish you felt is to seek validation of who you really are.
This video shows the power and impact of validation. Enjoy and apply!
Validation - YouTube
As you can see from the video above a great way to validate is to provide truthful compliments to people. Another powerful way to validate is to be curious about another person, their experiences, and their emotions. Showing others that you care about their life is a great way to validate. An easy way to do that is to ask questions and make validating statements.
Examples of Validating Statements:
“Help me understand what you mean / think / how you feel.”
“What I heard you say was...” (use their language and their meaning—not yours; don’t paraphrase it).
“I’m not sure what you mean. Tell me again.”
“I want to hear you. You matter to me.”
“You are so... talented at what you do.”
“I didn’t hear you and I want to.”
“I’m struggling because I don’t agree AND I understand and want you to know I’m here.”
“How can I support you?”
“What can I do to let you know I’m present?”
“How did you do that? What happened? How did/do you feel about it? What are you going to do? Do you want some suggestions? Feedback?”
“I know when I think / feel / experience...”
“It’s uncomfortable to share with you because you appear to...”
“I want to tell you the Truth AND are you willing to hear me?”
“I get scared and overreact too.”
“I totally appreciate why you...”
“It makes sense when you...”
“Aww, that is so upsetting when... that happens.”
“Tell me more about it.”
“What an opportunity...”
“You are so fortunate to...”
“It’s important that I understand you.”
Conclusion: How are you validating? How are you invalidating? What do your relationships think and how to they feel around you? How do you feel around them?
Always ask yourself how you can improve and how you can choose to receive more validation, both are your responsibility. Stay connected my friends.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about when you think about emotional honesty and dishonesty?
Is manipulating a form of deceitfulness or emotionally dishonest?
Is pride a form of being lying or emotional dishonesty?
Is procrastination a method of being deceptive or dishonest?
Is entitlement a form of emotional dishonesty?
Is denial a usage of dishonesty or emotional dishonesty?
Is agreeing with shame messages a form of emotional dishonesty or misleading oneself from the Truth?
Is selfishness a method of untruthfulness and deceit?
To become emotionally honest I need to also be humble and responsible. Futhermore, I cannot be in any one of these three place (honest, humble, or responsible) without also choosing all three simultaneously. They are indivisible. Moreover, for this post I want to specifically hone in on emotional honesty.
What would it mean to you if these statements were true? What would you be willing to do to test these propositions?
Choosing to be emotionally honest brings peace. Peace (not pain) can become your normal condition. At any point in time you can immediately shift from pain to peace.
Self-Love & Self-Care
Only a few left!
The concept of self-care is foreign to many. In this busy world of responsibilities of family, work, school, and the external demands of being “connected” through technology (social media, email, texting, blogging, tweeting, etc.), many of us struggle to care for the one person whom we need to connect to, and whom only we can care for … ourselves. We oftentimes overlook our own physical, nutritional, spiritual, emotional, financial, social and other needs, which disconnects us from ourselves. Not caring or being responsible for our own needs (being disconnected from self) creates a propensity for addictions of all kinds, distorted expectations & perceptions, co-dependency, fear, drama, anger reactions, and entitlements. When you experience these outcomes of disconnection (co-dependency), Co-dependency means being dependent on another person or item to “make me okay” or to fulfill and/or complete me.
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Do I relate to or attempt to relate to people in a controlling manner?
Am I controlling with myself?
Do I use control as a way to manage my discomfort?
Do I control out of habit?
Do I control when I am afraid?
Who do I allow to control me?
Do I use controlling behavior or language when I am hurt?
How long have I engaged in controlling behavior in my life?
Do I control (manipulate) to get what I want?
Am I controlling when I get angry?
Do I use anger to control myself and/or others?
Control & Childhood
The mechanism of control originates in childhood. We used controlling thoughts and behaviors to cope. Though they were not healthy coping strategies, we still used them to “get by.” The mechanism of control is not a destructive behavior; however, it can become such because of the reasons why we begin to use it. We begin to be manipulative and indirect with those we love, and those who love us do the same towards us. We use control to hide our feelings and intentions or motives. We begin to lie about what we want or what we need, and we cover-up our inappropriate behaviors that we feel shame around. We use control to feel entitled to anything we want, to the exclusion or detriment of others. We employ control in order to use people and tell ourselves that they are there for our benefit and use.
Control is an Emotional Cancer
The damaging effects of controlling thoughts and behaviors are never-ending and too numerous to list. To control someone or to be controlled by someone is a spiritual and emotional cancer that has such far-reaching effects that few people can accurately describe the damage that is done to them psychologically, mentally, financial, spiritually, etc. It affects every area of their life and ravages their soul to the point that they have no peace. This destruction is happening to the controller and to the one being controlled. The frightening thing is that many people don’t even know what is happening to them until they are so sucked into the cycle of control that they either need professional help to get out or they feel helpless and hopeless to escape. Some even believe that death is their only way out.
The Process of Surrender is to:
Articulate what “needs” surrendering: For example, “I need to surrender my rent going up.”
Feel the emotions attached to the thing I can’t control: For example, “I feel anger, confusion and feelings of being out of control, because my rent is going up and I’m on a fixed income.”
Verbalize your emotions to another person who can witness your experience and validate you and how out of control you feel (or how not in control you are): For example, “It makes sense that you feel the way you do about your rent going up.”
Think about what you can do (within reason) and follow through with all that you can do: For example, “I could talk to the landlords and let them know that it will be difficult for us to make our rent payment and that we might need to move if our rent goes up.”
Make sure you feel seen and heard (validated)—others need not agree with you in order for you to be validated: For example, “I understand why you feel the way you do and how frustrating it is when all you can do does not change the uncomfortable Reality.”
Surrender/Let Go: For example, “I need to let go of the outcome that my rent is going to rise. I’ve done all I can do, and I will make other choices if my rent rises.”
These concepts are explained in great detail in our Control vs Surrender Workbook and DVD. Over 60 pages of information and over 120 pages in exercises which will transform your life!
Learn more about how you and all of us control and the secret to feeling and being at peace with yourself.
Try an exercise from the workbook! Exercise 12: Surrendering in Detail (Pg. 191 in Workbook)
Surrendering is an active process. It means you:
Trust the process.
Recognize you are you are out of control (not in control) and need to surrender.
Articulate what you need to let go of, that you are not in control of.
Imagine surrendering to God or a Higher Power.
Say to self, “I can’t hold this. I can’t change this and I need to let it go. Will you (God / Higher Power) please take it?”
Breathe and consciously let it go.
Repeat the steps again and again until it (the issue) is released and stays away.
List 5 things, situations, areas, experiences, etc. that you have taken personal. Write them down. For Example: I did not make the cheerleading squad and I took it personal by thinking that I was cut because I was not as cute as the other girls.
Exercise continued in the workbook . . .
I enjoy seeing people come into the Truth and expose the lies that distortion has been telling them for years and choose to become free from it's bonds.
Denial is the deceptive companion of distortion. Distortion is a plague that lies to us, and denial legitimizes, cloaks, and covers the distortion, until we believe the distortion! If you let denial reinforce your distorted thoughts you are choosing to believe falsehoods about yourself. These falsehoods claim that you are either better than or worse than you actually are.
Denial occurs when you avoid, push away, neglect, or hide from Reality. Choosing to live in denial brings many destructive consequences, including physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological symptoms. The silent emotional killer of denial disconnects us emotionally and annihilates intimacy, compassion, love, and self-care in all of our relationships. Justification is one of many strategies used to remain in denial. So what is Justification? Keep reading to find out!
Justifying: A Denial Strategy
Justification occurs when you give yourself “evidence” in order to have permission to do what you want. Justifying makes everything “okay.” Justification is often used to help you feel good about an act that you shouldn't have done. An example of how this might occur is included in the video below.
Justifying - Doggie Heaven - YouTube
When you justify an action or experience and go into denial you will drag that experience around with you throughout your life. Until you are willing to acknowledge, be honest with, take responsibility for, feel, validate, and surrender the outcomes of those painful experiences, they will affect, plague, and contaminate every experience you have moving forward. Not feeling emotions and not being willing to be responsible for all of your experiences is an illusive experience which significantly affects you and teaches you that you don’t have to feel and invites you to emotionally shut down in all of your relationships.
Every human being has the impulse to use denial at times. Using denial does not make you “bad”—it only accentuates your vulnerability to not want to experience pain or anything that may feel unpleasant to you. Fortunately or unfortunately, discomfort and pain are necessary parts/experiences in life and no one is void of experiencing them.
Overcoming denial is a conscious choice to leave distortion and enter Truth. By paying attention to when you use justification you can stop yourself from entering denial and reinforcing your distorted thoughts. Be honest and responsible with yourself about your thoughts, actions, and motives and you can find peace.