When Your Family Hurts You & It’s Time to Let Go

“At some point, you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.”

Blood is thicker than water or so they say.  All my life I’ve been taught that no matter what happens you will always have your family and to never turn your back on your own blood.

However, what if the people we call “family” end up hurting us more than loving us? Do we hold on and forget our feelings? Or do we let go and realize that sometimes we have to love even our family at a distance?

Recently, my brother who I haven’t spoken to in two years (of his own doing) sent me a series of hateful text messages. Mind you, the last memory I have with him is hugging and wishing him a safe deployment.

Upon his arrival home from Iraq, he dropped off the grid with his wife and isolated himself from me and all of our close cousins. We tried numerous times to contact and connect with him but he was adamant on cutting ties with all of us.  We had no idea why and couldn’t understand what could have possibly happened. So you can imagine when I woke up to hateful text messages two days before my birthday, I was in shock, appalled and hurt.

These messages were filled with hate, anger and curse words calling me every name under the sun and disowning me as a sister. I couldn’t believe he was okay with talking not just to his sister but a woman in such an abusive way. It was a wake up call about the relationship I have and tolerate from my parents and brother.

Through some sleepless nights of crying and feeling sorry for myself, I realized I had to let go and really say goodbye. It’s never an easy decision to close the door between you and your own blood. In the end, I realized the only person who I could change is me and that my family had been only bringing me unhappiness and toxicity.

I couldn’t allow them to drag me into their own dysfunction and abuse again. I had to reclaim my power as a person with feelings and boundaries.

Often times in situations with family, we tend to feel guilty or shame if we decide to cut ties or lessen communication. However, if the relationship is becoming extremely unhealthy, abusive or toxic it is necessary to place some space between you and them for your own well-being. Someone once told me that sometimes you have to teach people how you want to be treated.

If you are in a similar predicament with family or close loved one, here are some tips to help you cope with the loss of saying goodbye:

1. Set boundaries- I have always had trouble expressing my boundaries with my family. I always feel like they never understand my perspective. However through the years I have learned boundaries aren’t for them, they are for me. Whether they choose to listen or respect my concerns is on them, I know I have voiced it. I can then decide how to move forward with the relationship and evaluate whether it is healthy to be in communication or not.

Don’t be afraid to set boundaries with your family and express them many times if need be. If they aren’t listening or understanding your concerns then you may have to reassess what type of family dynamic is healthy for you.

2. The Funeral- This is an intense and powerful exercise if you are faced with the decision of possibly saying goodbye to your family or cutting all ties.

Write down letters to the family members who have hurt you. Make sure you to do this in a quiet and undisturbed space where you are most clear and at ease. Write from the heart and don’t be afraid to share how you feel. These letters won’t actually be read by those family members.

Imagine that they have passed and you are attending their funeral. What would you want to say to them? After you finish writing your letters, burn them and find a place to hold a memorial or ceremony with their “ashes”.

3. Release Guilt & Blame- If you are feeling guilty about putting space between you and your family, don’t. You are a person with feelings and don’t deserve to be treated less than. Don’t blame yourself or start thinking if you were a certain way or behaved differently perhaps they wouldn’t be the way they are. You are not in the wrong. Whenever anyone treats with you disrespect or abuse, you are never in the wrong. Let go of your guilt and don’t blame yourself for their actions or dysfunction.

Lastly, love yourself and start the journey to heal from the wounds of the past. You deserve it. You are stronger and braver than you know and no one can take away your power unless you give it to them. Trust in your decision to take your space and love your family from a distance. You are giving yourself the best gift of all, true self-love.

How to Heal from a Breakup

heartbreakYou are probably reading this because like me you’ve experienced some form of loss or heartbreak either in the past or right now. Heartbreak doesn’t have to just come from intimate partners but from our parents, friends, pets, etc. Loss is loss even if it’s not romantic. I’ve written about this many times before but working as a psychic medium and from general experience I have spoken with so many people who have lost someone or something including myself.

Breakups are like a shock to the system. Our worlds are turned upside down and it’s almost as if we have been knocked down to rock bottom. Sometimes there are warning signs and we may expect it to end soon and other times we are completely blind-sided. In my case with my own recent breakup, it was a mixture of both. We had our flare-ups and there were definitely issues of concern but I didn’t think it was impossible to work through. However in the end, those issues became larger and larger and eventually led to an abrupt ending which left me wondering if it had been all my fault.

Not only did it bring a variety of mixed emotions but the pain that remained was the worst most gut-wrenching feeling ever. I wondered if I’d be able to breathe again or if I could just get through one work day without taking bathroom breaks to cry.  Let me tell you that tissue box became my best friend! Most days were a roller coaster of emotions for me. In just 5 minutes I would feel angry, sad, destroyed, happy, hopeful, angry, relieved and then hopeful all over again and that cycle would repeat all day.

After enough days of crying myself to sleep, loss of appetite and lack of motivation to do anything I finally came to terms that I needed to start taking care of myself. I had to accept it was over and there weren’t going to be any second chances, not because I wanted one but because I realized I didn’t want that relationship anymore.

After seeing someone you loved so deeply walk away from you and give up fighting for something they once believed in, you sort of have to just accept things and let it go. I couldn’t force it and I wasn’t going to prove that I was worth it, that we were worth it.

I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and I’m definitely not a weak person by nature so I decided I would start the healing process and force myself to move on and let that relationship go.

I found in the process people were so quick to tell me: 1. You’re strong, you’ll get through this, 2. Time heals all wounds (my personal not favorite), 3. You’ll get over it, something better is to come. There were so many cliche responses and so many of them that just didn’t help in my healing process. I personally feel the last thing someone wants to hear is any of those. When you’re hurting, you’re hurting and time nor space nor a million affirmations are going are going to heal you, at least not right away.

So how did I move on? And more importantly, how we can move on from a break up? How can we heal from the loss of someone we shared a life with? Will the pain ever subside and just plain go away?

Here are some ways that helped me and I hope they help you in your journey towards healing and happiness.

1. Create a strong support group.

The biggest thing for me was having strong reliable friends and family to be there whether it was just to listen to me rant or have a fun outing to take my mind off everything.  I can’t be more grateful for everyone who picked me up and reminded me of who I really am and what I’m worthy and deserving of.   Having a strong support network is a top priority in the healing process. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help or just some relationship advice. They will be your backbone and your foundation when you feel like you’re losing sight of the bigger picture.

2. Find a confidant, mentor or therapist to guide you.

After breakups, our emotional state is so raw. We are wounded and sometimes need someone who is a neutral party to guide us on our way to recovery. I have an amazing therapist who helped me connect with my emotions in a positive way and understand that relationship and breakup in a wiser perspective. If you aren’t someone who does therapy, then find a teacher/coach/confidant or mentor who can push  and encourage you along your path. It seriously is some of the best medicine emotionally and mentally! I always leave my session feeling lighter and happier and more confident in my life decisions.

3. Focus on physical and mental health.

After we ended, I decided to focus and channel all my energy on running my first half marathon race. I’m definitely no experienced runner but physical health has always been important to me so what better way to channel all those mixed emotions than get in shape and focus on an end goal. You may not want to run a half marathon but perhaps there are physical fitness goals you’ve been wanting to work on. Get a fitness coach or attend a class and set a goal to those pounds you’ve been wanting to shed or just get back into shape and feel good about yourself again! Not only is physical fitness healthy but it makes us feel good about yourself and releases that emotional distress you’re going through.

It’s important to have a mind-body connection and  feel overall balanced in every aspect of our life, so don’t forget your mental and emotional health. Every week focus on short-term goals by exercising x amount of times, eating healthier and making yourself happier by doing something nice for yourself. Writing helped me a lot to connect to my emotions as well as meditation. I also purchased books on grief and healing from a breakup to connect to other people stories and help me in my own.

4. Do what you always wanted to do but never did in that relationship.

Often times, people say they lost themselves in their relationship or compromised so much of their own interests and happiness for the sake of their partner’s. Well you’re single now and it’s all about you! Make a list of all of the things you wanted to do but couldn’t do or didn’t when you were in the relationship and make it a goal to do some of them now! We don’t always need our partners to share experiences with. Reach out to friends and family and ask them to join you in any adventure whether its simply to check out a new restaurant you’ve been dying to try or catch a movie.

5. Disconnect from any social media with your ex. 

Some people remain friends with their exes on social media after their breakups which I personally never understand why. Its like opening an fresh wound over and over again and not letting it heal properly. Social media can be difficult to disconnect from because it’s the last thing that keeps that person alive and fresh in our memory and its also a way for us to still be close to him/her but let’s face it, it really ends up doing more harm than good. Unless you are able to be acquaintances or friends right away, it’s best to cut the cord until you and the person are on the same page emotionally.

6. Put any reminders of them away.

It’s hard to box away sentimental things connected to our exes but for the time being while you are healing it’s often said to put away any reminders. I’m not saying burn it or throw away the items but simply just put it all in a box and come back to it another time when you’re in a stronger place and no longer have an emotional attachment to the items. When you are able to look back at the relationship and have a neutral feeling or sense of gratitude and acceptance then you’ve made great progress.

7. Self-talks. 

You may look back and realized you made a huge mistake or think it was all your fault. However, remind yourself of all the reasons why the relationship wasn’t right for you and what wasn’t working in it. Make a list of all the positives and the negatives and remind yourself every day the reasons why it didn’t or couldn’t work.

I constantly had these inner dialogues with myself and went through a cycle of thoughts of everything I had loved about the relationship to then everything that wasn’t right for me and eventually it really push me to move on and reinforced so many things for me. I still experienced a variety of mixed emotions but In the end, I came to a place of acceptance, peace and understanding that it wasn’t the right relationship for me.

Self-talks will be a huge part of the healing process and honestly are dynamic moving forward. You will always value something about that person and the relationship but also remember the things you were looking for that were unfulfilled and what you’d like in the future with someone new.

8. Love yourself.

Lastly, always remember to love yourself. It’s so easy to beat ourselves up after a break up. Go through all the qualities you love about yourself and that you offer in a relationship. Be around people who also love and adore you. Be compassionate and forgiving of yourself and any mistakes you made in that relationship. Be open to experiencing love from the world through new friendships, opportunities and experiences.

One of my favorite quotes that I will leave with you.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”

 

 

 

Breaking out of our Comfort Zone & Fears

freedom  Regardless of where we are at in life, there is always an aspect that we are extremely comfortable in whether it’s a relationship, career, location, dietary habits, etc. The reasons behind this may be because we are truly happy with being comfortable, safety, stability or whatever else drives us to be there in that place of comfort.

Is comfort necessarily a bad thing? No. However it is when you are no longer growing, when you remain stagnant in this place, your “comfort zone”.  Some of us grow accustomed to the predictable, the known and unwavering energy that this has provided. So then what happens? What if we are miserable yet comfortable in the misery? This can relate to many things, i.e. career choice/fear of relationships/fear of leaving a relationship, location, health habits, exercise, spiritual choices.

Are we really creatures of habit? Perhaps. I’d like to think we are capable of so much more though. All my life I have been trying to break past that mold of comfort. Lately I have hit a wall in some areas and know that in order for me to step into my true power I must let go of some things, including those I surround myself with. It’s hard to leave that place that served to be a source of something stable or comfort for so long.

I recently read somewhere that behind all of our fears is love. Love is limitless. Now this has nothing to do with romantic love, this is just love for life, love for yourself, for what makes you happy and for those you care about. So if we could somehow channel this love into our lives more I think we could break past the molds we create, the prisons we live in and the burdens we carry all out of comfort.

So what’s it going to be? How has this first month of 2014 treated you? Have you shown up for yourself and your success? What steps are you taking to break out of that comfort zone? We truly are capable of so much more than where we are standing. I’ve manage to channel a lifetime of abuse into a successful career and used it as my motivation to help others.

Perhaps you can also channel your experiences, your place of comfort or discomfort and excel beyond your own expectations. I’m not saying we all need to be like me. I’m only encouraging you to consider your options. Looking at your life right now, what are you comfortable yet uncomfortable with in your life? What can you do today, at this very moment to make changes to break out of that mold?

Every tiny step counts. Whatever we can do to start activating the energy to move is when we begin to grow and to move outside of our comfort zone into the new path for our life. Yes, it can be scary but I swear it’s worth it and never  ever once think it’s too late.

 

 

Master Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality

mariannewilliamsonq2Buddha once said your thoughts become your reality. Once we change our thoughts and way of thinking can we begin to change our reality.

Spiritual authors and leaders have shared this ancient-rooted philosophy with us. Books like The Secret and How to Heal Your Life emphasize the importance of changing our thoughts by using affirmations, gratitude and various exercises to begin the process of manifesting the life we so want and desire.

With any new habit it takes discipline, focus and commitment. For example, you don’t see results from physical exercise or changing your diet unless you commit to a consistent and frequent routine or practice. This is the same with our minds. For us to learn how to change our realities and master a new way to be, we must become aware of how we think and what we focus all of our thoughts on.

Positive thoughts bring about positive experiences and negative thoughts only bring negative experiences. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of how negative our thought process is. It takes a lot of mind concentration and awareness to change our thoughts from negative to positive.

Optimism, passion, self-affirmations and gratitude will help to change the way you think. It may be useful to keep a gratitude journal or repeat affirmations throughout your day to maintain a new attitude and way of thinking.

You can also master a new reality and way of being by taking action. Ask yourself what you would like change or manifest in your life. Then see what possible solutions arise and focus your energy on making those solutions a part of your reality.  What baby steps can you take right now to start making those goals an actual reality?

Commit to changing your thought process and begin to see the results manifest soon after! Gratitude and love go a long way in the manifesting process and in our discover to true happiness.

Suicide Prevention: Being the Light for Others

suicideprevention“Suicide sometimes proceeds from cowardice, but not always; for cowardice sometimes prevents it; since as many live because they are afraid to die, as die because they are afraid to live.” – Charles Caleb Colton

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a person dies by suicide about every 14 minutes in the United States. Just recently a famous country music star Mindy McCready shot and killed herself days after posting a video on suicide prevention to fans.  Suicide isn’t an easy topic to discuss and especially in our society, a very isolated topic of discussion.

Often times when people hear of someone attempting or committing suicide, they are at a loss for words. Our minds enter a slight state of shock processing how could someone possibly want to take their own life. We don’t really know what to say or fear that we may say the wrong thing.

I know because it happened to me. My mother has suffered with clinical depression and schizophrenia for as long as I can remember. In the past 6 months she has attempted suicide twice, first time by overdose and the second by razor and recently almost succeeded.

I have shared this story with some people and usually the responses are the same, “Wow. I’m so sorry, I don’t know what to say, I’m at a loss for words.” It’s something I’ve decided to share openly today because in a sense not only do I want to honor my mother but I want to bring awareness to such a sensitive topic.

Being the loved one of someone who has a mental illness and has been committed several times for suicide is difficult to say the least. There are moments when I don’t even know what to say or process how I’m feeling. I have to experience my emotions in bits and pieces at times because it’s so intense.

Sometimes people assume that once someone is on medication that they instantly are better. Medication is not like a magic pill that fixes someone instantly. It takes time and proper treatment for people with psychiatric illnesses to show improvement.

Tips on how to help your loved one:

1. Show Love & Support

2. Show kindness & be patient

3. Remind them they have a purpose and of their accomplishments

4. Bring them something to cheer them up, i.e. favorite food/item/flower

5. Encourage them to follow up with treatment

 

It will only take time before you start to see any results with their emotional and mental state.

If you are a friend of someone whose loved one is ill and has attempted suicide, one of the best things you can do is listen and ask how you can help. Sometimes just a conversation can help heal a lot of the pain surrounding the experience.

If you aren’t sure about reaching out to your friends or family about your loved one who has attempted or committed suicide, don’t hesitate any longer. Reach out and build a support system for yourself. Seek therapy if necessary. Go out and bring positive experiences into your life. It will be too easy to fall into a rut and stay emotionally isolated from those around you.

Take one day at a time, be easy on yourself and on your loved one.  Be the light for that person and remind them that someone out there cares and loves them and that person is you.

Painful Endings & New Beginnings

ImageEverything comes to an end and our lives go through a series of cycles. You will meet people who are going to touch you on a deeper level and potentially turn your “normal” world upside down. We’ve all been there. Personally, I have a hard time with endings. It’s difficult for me to release, let go and be present during heartbreak. I struggle with clinging to all the possibilities, what ifs, and how I could have done something to change the outcome.

But one thing I have learned in this process of letting go and moving forward is that my soul has already begun to open up to the possibility of a new beginning. It’s painful to let go of something that once was. Yet at the same time, there is a reason it ended and for now, maybe you need this time for yourself. I’m a spiritual person and believe we need these experiences to not only teach ourselves but to teach others.

So how can we cope effectively with these painful endings in our lives? We could cry, scream and hurt for a while. We could turn to our friends and family for support and understanding. Or we could do a lot of soul-searching and self-work and see what it is that we need to change about ourselves to attract something or someone better.

Endings are never easy to process or deal with. There will be pain, tears, anger and resentment. The best way to approach it really is to just feel all the emotions and understand that you don’t need to OVER anything by a specific time. I sometimes feel that there is too much pressure to move forward so quickly and forget about what has happened. That’s no way to deal with anything. We need to experience these emotions and to go through them. It’s the only way to truly understand yourself and what you need in your life in the future.

Be easy on yourself. Be compassionate and show yourself a lot of LOVE. Feel free to ask your friends and family for support and to just be there. You would be surprised as to how many people are willing to just listen. Find out what makes you happy again and most importantly, understand that this is also a new beginning for you. Be open to what the Universe will present to you, opportunities and encounters that could lead you to something better.

Chaos: One of Our Most Powerful Teachers.

Image There are going to be moments where everything will feel completely chaotic. In these moments it will feel as if everything that can go wrong has going wrong. Perhaps this is you right now or maybe you can remember a time in your life when your world was turned upside-down.

When our lives shift so suddenly many times we can feel as though we are being punished. We may will feel the urge to blame something, anything outside of us. I know I have been there. It was as if anything I tried to make happen would just hit a wall and manifest into something completely unexpected. It could be anything from losing the someone via relationship, death, career concerns, family, friends.

Have you ever experienced this? It’s in these moments where sometimes it could feel as if our very world is ending. It’s hard to look at the situation from the outside and try to see if there is something deeper happening.

Our experiences will always be a part of us unless of course we have a sudden case of amnesia. It can be hard to deal with life especially when everything feels so chaotic and nothing right is happening.

Recently I heard someone say that these moments of chaos sometimes bring about the greatest changes in our lives and also teach us some very powerful lessons. It can be the very thing we needed to wake us up from remaining stagnant. It can also lead us to learning about ourselves and closer to our life purpose.

For example, the loss of a loved one via a relationship can be very devastating and emotionally-crippling. However, there may be a reason as to why the relationship needed to end. The loss of the relationship may have taught you something powerful about yourself or what you really are looking for in future relationships.

Whatever chaos you may have faced at the time was and is not enjoyable but sometimes chaos can bring forth great changes in ourselves and our lives. These changes may lead us closer to the essence of who we are and what our truths are as individuals.

Try to see it as an opportunity to learn something that may help you and those around you.