Speaking My Truth: Question Your Beliefs

While relationships are a perfect environment for healing and evolving, there’s usually some growing pains that come before that due to our belief system.

I entered relationships with baggage, baggage from my childhood and baggage from previous relationships. That baggage included a distrust of people, a need to be wanted and approved of, a need to appear perfect, a need to be loved, and a need to be right.

When these things were questioned or not provided, I didn’t go within to question what it was about my belief system that led me to feel hurt, betrayed or powerless, rather I blamed others for not meeting my standards or having unresolved issues and therefore weren’t worthy of my time and affection.

It’s only through challenging my belief system that my growth began. Do not be afraid of what you might learn. Being triggered in relationships is an opportunity to heal and transform.

What behaviors in others or in your mate do you GATHER EVIDENCE TO PROVE?

Whenever I felt my partners losing interest, self-doubt turned to jealousy. My lack of self-confidence and self-esteem supported my belief that I was unlovable and not worthy. That belief then supported the belief that my partners didn’t love me or were cheating on me or no longer found me attractive.

I certainly didn’t have hard evidence but so sure was I in my belief that I was not enough that even words of reassurance couldn’t assuage my growing mistrust and malcontent.

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Speaking My Truth: I No Longer Give My Power Away

Relationships are the perfect environment to grow as a person when you are willing to hear your partner’s truth without taking offense and are also able to speak your truth without fear.

For many years, I was unwilling to recognize that I carried with me a lot of hurt and pain from my childhood that affected how I showed up in my intimate relationships. I was needy and controlling and both unsure and arrogant at the same time.

If I was ever at fault, I would blame the other. If anyone deigned to look below the surface and not only saw but pointed out my imperfection, that relationship was not long to last.

Becoming emotionally healthy requires you to look within at the roles you play in your relationships, intimate, platonic, familial and work. The responsibility for a successful relationship falls on both parties to show up consciously and fearlessly.

Do not be afraid to know yourself and allow others the wonderful opportunity to know themselves through relationship with you.

What things do you REACT to in communication and relationship with others? Where is your judgment? What kinds of behaviors and other stuff really trigger you with a partner, friend or family member?

In intimate relationships, whenever I felt less than perfect or when I had disappointed someone, I would go into panic mode and do anything to prove myself. I would get very defensive, unwilling to hear if I had done or said something that was unfair or incorrect or hurtful.

If the relationship was ending because I wasn’t right for someone, I carried around anger for that person, picking apart their words and behavior, making them the one with fault and imperfection.

I wanted to be wanted. I wanted to be my partner’s everything and in turn, they became my everything so much so that when I wasn’t enough, I became very jealous and controlling.

Speaking My Truth: I Am No Longer Burdened in My Heart

Do you shield your loved one from their own pain? How do you feel about this? How does your body feel about this?

As a people pleaser, this definitely rings true, for one person in particular, my mother. I grew up not knowing who my father was but there were moments as I grew up that I learned a few tidbits.

I knew the only person who could tell me what I needed to know was my mom but I didn’t want to cause trouble. When I moved away from home in my 20’s, similar to when I went away to college, I fell into depression.

Being on my own allowed me to feel my pain and I had a lot of it and part of it was not knowing my father. One Christmas I tried bringing up the topic with my mother but I sensed a hesitation and a discomfort so I didn’t press the issue.

A couple of years later, while living in Boston, I shared my story with a friend and she urged me to talk with my mom. The words promising that I would were just to close the subject since I didn’t feel I had built up enough courage to broach the topic.

My own hesitation stemmed from not wanting to force my mother to relive her painful past, some of which I knew about. I simply wanted to spare her any pain.

I finally learned who my dad was and met him for the first time 7 years ago but it wasn’t through a conversation with my mother but that’s a story for another time.

This experience of shielding someone else from feeling their hurt did both them and I a disservice; for me, losing years of a possible relationship with my father and for my mother, the chance to face her demons.

Now having found the courage to take responsibility for my feelings while allowing others that freedom as well, I am no longer burdened in my heart, soul, and body with regret and sorrow.

Speaking My Truth: I Am No Longer Afraid To Speak My Truth

Have you ever been afraid of someone’s reaction… and then did not speak your truth? Are you holding secrets from people in your life because you are afraid of their reactions? Did you know that you are hurting your body, mind, and spirit when you take this kind of responsibility? Are you willing to take the risk to speak your truth to the people you love?

Expressing my feelings about my childhood experiences especially concerning my upbringing with my mother was anathema. I could voice my feelings in intimate settings with people I trusted but a public revelation was the absolute worse thing I could subject my mother to. I recall not even being able to write her a letter even

I recall not even being able to write her a letter even though it wouldn’t actually be mailed or even pretend to talk to my therapist as if she were her. I felt responsible for any pain and suffering my telling would inflict on my mother and so I chose to suffer instead in silence, prolonging my healing until I felt ready or perhaps after she’d died.

After going through my alternative healing therapies training and experiencing the healing methods first hand, I felt miraculously lighter and freer and stronger. The burden of shame and guilt and responsibility for others’ feelings had been lifted.

When I decided to write a short ebook, I hadn’t really intended to bare my soul but that’s what I did in my introduction and I honestly hoped my mother would never read it but she did. She texted me one day say to say she’d read the book, loved it and was sorry for any pain she caused me growing up. It’s amazing the effect two simple words can have. I had taken a step to unburden my soul and I did it for me assuming no responsibility for another’s feelings and also with no expectations and in return was given a wondrous gift.

I am no longer afraid to speak my truth.

Speaking My Truth: I Alone Am Responsible For My Feelings

A couple of years ago I was in a very short but intense relationship. During those 3 months, not a day went by without an argument that left me questioning just what the hell I was doing with this person. It was 3 months of breaking up; she did the breaking up and I allowed her back in time and time again. Once I was able to extricate myself from the situation, I could not for the life of me, figure out WHY I let it go on for as long as it did and while granted 3 months seems a short period of time, it seemed like a lifetime.

Today’s lesson asked to draw a picture of what it looks like to take responsibility for someone else and then write a poem. The first thing that came to mind was what I consider a mental breakdown in this relationship where I witnessed myself, as if in an out of body experience completely hand over my power to this woman.

If I could draw a picture of what my taking responsibility for someone else’s feelings looks like, it would depict me down on my knees begging forgiveness for mouthing words that upset her, tears streaming down my face as I plead for her not to leave me.

How dare I have feelings
How dare I desire to want to express my feelings
How dare I expect that you hear and see me as a being with feelings separate from your own
How dare I desire to be heard by you
How dare I be affected by situations that evoke emotions that seek to be expressed only to evoke your venom instead of your empathy

How silly of me to believe you capable of listening to my feelings without feeling attacked by my words
How silly of me to believe you capable of offering support and consolation while I shared a moment of grief with you rather than seizing an opportunity to feel affronted and judged by an experience that had nothing to do with you

Thank you for bringing me to my knees
Thank you for the experience to witness my brokenness in action
Thank you for allowing me to see how completely I had given my power away
Thank you for that powerful moment of clarity that helped make the decision to take back control of my life and well-being

Healthy Relationship Checklist

These are just some of the things I believe are required to find, create and sustain mature, healthy intimate relationships:

  • Heal from past traumas

  • Practice forgiveness of self and of hurts inflicted upon you

  • Create a safe space for open and honest communication

  • Know your triggers

  • Set and respect clear boundaries

  • Set relationship expectations and intentions

  • Have a shared value system (total opposites may attract but may not be able to be sustained)

  • Be willing to be vulnerable

  • Continue your personal development work

  • Practice self-care

  • Practice active and compassionate listening

  • Understand that what people say, do, think and feel has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them

  • Practice unconditional love

  • Practice self-acceptance

  • Be humble (accept that you don’t know everything and that inherent in relationships is learning and growth)

  • Have a support system outside of the relationship

  • Honor your emotions

  • Commit to empowering your partner to be self-expressed

  • Be willing to understand and appreciate your partner’s perspectives, ideas, and opinions

  • Periodic evaluation of the relationship to ensure you both still both want the same things

  • Separate consciously and lovingly when you are no longer able or willing to fulfill the others’ needs