Let’s face it, from an early age, we’re taught to lie.

It’s not meant to be that way, but as kids, we were told to be polite, to not hurt other people’s feelings, to agree. We were trained to lie from the moment our mothers taught us the rhyme “sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of”

Standing in your truth means that you unapologetically state what is true for you or about you…no matter what.

Truth is about speaking your truth, telling the truth, being true…it is about genuine communication, and eliminating lies, especially the lies you tell yourself. It means that you are able to use your words to express yourself, even in difficult circumstances, it means never betraying yourself ever again.  Truth takes courage, and once you embrace it, you will discover your true power

 

What are your values?

“If you don’t know where you stand, you’ll fall for anything”

It’s an old quote from World War 2 believe it or not. At the time, the idea was to rally the nation so that we would present a unified front to the enemy . But…there was real wisdom there. The concept can now be transformed to the notion that if you don’t know what you truly value, it’s really hard to know what is true for you. If you don’t know what is true for you, you can be swayed and influenced in each and every moment.

Knowing your values gives you a solid foundation on which to stand.  It empowers you to say no to what you don’t want and yes to what you do.

It’s time to take your first step to identify your personal values.  The next step after that is to understand why they are important, and your final step is to LIVE them. (that’s coming later)

Look at the values listed on the form below. Read each word and see how it feels for you. If it feels good, highlight it. Once you’ve highlighted all the words that you like, make a list of the top 10 that feel like they fit.

If you have more than 10 highlighted, compare a few …”is this more important or is this one?”.  Remember to feel  into it, to come up with your list of 10. 

Download the GYJO Core Values worksheet

Evicting the People Pleaser Bug

A while back, when my kids were in school and I was in the middle of marriage #2, I discovered that my people pleasing habits had gone unnoticed for a bit.

Don’t get me wrong; it is totally ok to be kind to people and to help them when you can do so from a solid place of confidence. That’s called compassion; with compassion,  you are able to discern when it is time to help and when it is time to allow others to figure things out on their own.

People pleasing is not that, people pleasing comes from a place of insecurity and wanting others to like you. It’s an unquestioning acquiescence and helpfulness that is actually pretty toxic not only for you, but for others.

This blog is about that…

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 Evicting the People Pleaser Bug!

As I’ve been working on moving forward in my life for the last couple of weeks, there have been certain aspects of my personality that need…um…transformation. Most especially is the People Pleaser! Quick raise of hands, how many of you know this one?

Yeah…me  too.

I thought I had resolved this long ago, but recently, I discovered that there was another aspect of the People Pleaser that kind of hung around. It’s the dreaded “It’s ok” bug.

We all do it, someone asks us how we are, and we say “Fine” even if we have a 2 inch pipe sticking out of our head. What we would really like to say is “well, no, actually, I’m not fine, I have a 2 inch pipe sticking out of my head, but thanks very much for asking” But somehow, we….don’t.

Recently, it came to my attention that, for a while now, I’ve been letting things go on that actually bother me. I seem to do it most often with my kids and my husband.

I am a powerful woman, I am perfectly capable of saying “No”, I even understand that, as Oprah Winfrey says, “No can be a complete sentence”. What I have discovered is that instead of saying “no”…I just don’t say anything! When someone asks you a question, and you don’t answer, funnily enough, they tend to assume that you agree with them.

So, through a combination of circumstances, I figured this out and I decided that I need to fix it. My husband was lucky enough to get an explanation before it started. My kids, however, were caught by surprise.

The first one that got to experience my new “No” was the oldest. It was rather a delayed reaction. He came in, asked me a question, and then said that once he got his license he was going to use my car to get to work. Then he left. Right after that, my middle child came in and said something to me and in the middle of whatever he was saying, I suddenly thought…”no he is not going to use my car to get to work…that is MY car”. So I sent the middle child to get the oldest so that I could tell him “No”

Ya know how 18 year olds can say “Okay!” and make it sound like you are the biggest idiot in the world? It was that kind of reaction, but at least I said it! Yay me!

The next day, the reaction wasn’t quite as slow when the middle child asked me if I would drive him to a summer job 10 miles away (if and when he gets one). He was about 3 or 4 sentences past the question when I realized that I hadn’t answered.

Suddenly I said “No, I am not going to drive you to a summer job”

And he said “oh, ok, well I guess I’ll have to get a job closer to home then”

It suddenly occurred to me that there is a very profound principle at work here: When you tell the truth, people have something to work with. If you don’t, they think you agree with them and continue on as though you do…only to find out later that you never did! By saying up front, “no, not happening”, my kid found another solution. He wasn’t mad…he just changed his way of thinking.

I was getting better at this telling the truth thing. So the next day as I was driving my boys to school, I looked in my rear view mirror and discovered that the middle child was sitting in the center of the back seat. About 2 years ago, when he began to make it a habit to sit in the middle, I told him I couldn’t see and he said “well but I like sitting in the middle” Instead of telling him that I wanted him to move, I just thought “Oh, well he likes it, so I guess its ok”

I’m floored, absolutely floored I tell you! For two years, every time he sat in the back, I couldn’t see behind me, when I changed lanes on the freeway Every time!Yet, because I had told him it was OK at the beginning, I allowed it to continue.

Not now.

I realized that I used to have this philosophy that if you tell someone that something is OK, you have to make it ok. It came to me that I had missed a step and that step is really important …and get ready for this, cuz it was quite a revelation to me!

The first step in the process of telling someone “it’s OK” is to check in with yourself and MAKE SURE IT’S OK! Before you utter the words “its OK” make sure that is the truth. If it is true, go ahead and say it. If it is not true…then say that it’s not! And here’s an even better caveat…if you have said something is OK, and then find out later that it isn’t, you are perfectly within your rights to say so…and you probably should. Use your words  and just tell the truth as you see it.

So back to the car situation, I used my words and said “you know, Noah, I know that I’ve been letting you sit in the middle for a while, but I can’t see, so I would like you to move to the side.”

He said “Right now?”

I said “Yes please”

And he moved because I’m his mom and when I tell him to do something he does it.

I thought to myself “I told the truth and nobody died!” I survived and he survived! He grumbled a bit, but I said, “Well, let’s just figure that you got your way for two years, now we get to do it my way”

Another important lesson learned: If you tell the truth, people adapt and if not, you can always negotiate.

My poor oldest son, got the full brunt of it later that day.

He was at work and had forgotten his lunch. He sent me a text and asked me if I would bring him something to eat. After some careful consideration, I told him yes.

Oh my, the debate going on in my head was fast and furious! Was I doing the right thing? Why had I set my kids up to be this way? What ever happened to natural consequences? Well, I told him yes, and I was going to get his brother some food anyway, so why not?

I sent him a text and told him to meet me at the taco bell near where he works. When I got there, he wasn’t there. I placed an order for his brother for three tacos and a drink and pulled out of the drive through; still no oldest child. I turned and headed to his store while I dialed his number. When I asked him where he was, he said he was waiting at the store. I went from mildly irritated to insanely irritated in a flash!

I pulled up to the store and began to yell at him about being responsible and this was the last time I was bringing him lunch, if he did it again he would just have to starve. I handed him one of his brother’s tacos, a bag of cookies that were in the car and as I continued to lecture him, reached into my purse, and took out a dollar for him to buy a drink.

Remember that thing 18 year olds do? I got a lot of “okay”s

As I was driving away it suddenly occurred to me. The taco and the cookies would have been enough, yet in the middle of yelling at him about being responsible, I asked him if he needed money for a Coke and then gave it to him! This telling the truth thing is going to take some work! Sometimes it gets fuzzy with the mom/caretaker thing.

Later that day, as I got some distance from the situation, I realized that I felt bad for yelling at him. I didn’t feel bad for what I said, I just felt bad that I was mean.

I sent him a text and told him “I’m sorry for being cross with you today. What I said still stands, but I didn’t need to be mean about it”

Later, bless his heart, he asked me about the whole situation and I explained that I am learning to say no and the circumstances just hit me in a weird way. He said “ok” and this time it was a genuine ok, not the “you’re an idiot” kind.

You can tell the truth, you can negotiate and you can apologize if necessary. And as Shakespeare tells us in Hamlet:

 “This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

 

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Journal questions

  1. Is there something that you’ve been agreeing to for a while that you need to re-negotiate? Name it and write down your options for re-negotiating. What can you do in order to tell the truth about it?
  2. Is there a “no” that you need to verbalize? Review situations that seem to be bothering you, or don’t feel comfortable, did you ever say no? Do you need to now?
  3. Increase your awareness so that you are able to tell what it feels like whenever you say “yes” when you want to say no. Where do you feel it in your body? How do you justify it in your mind? What would you rather do instead?

What are you tolerating??

We humans tolerate a lot…we accommodate, we put up with, we ignore or think “I’ll get to that later…but then things pile up, we get busy, stuff happens…LIFE happens and before you know it, the things you are tolerating are dragging you down!

This is illustrated in the “Evicting the People Pleaser Bug” blog. It was awkward when i first started telling people the truth. There’s no getting around it, it is going to be!

Tolerations aren’t just about people and their behavior, you can tolerate things that may just take a minute to fix, but instead of doing so,  you just keep putting up with it!

Let’s take a look at things we can tolerate:

Some examples: 

  • The closet door that is too tight and doesn’t close right. 
  • My friend Jennifer always being late when we meet up. 
  • The condescending tone of voice Michael uses when he’s irritated. 
  • The parking ticket I’m ashamed of paying because it’s so overdue. 
  • The pocket of clutter that constantly accumulates on the side table by my bed. 
  • The mail for the old tenants at our house. 
  • The client that always schedules at the last minute, then reschedules, and throws off my whole day. 
  • Not having a spare charger in the car for Jon’s old iPhone. 
  • Dad’s anger and grumpiness.

Your assignment: make a list of at least 20 things that you have been tolerating. Better yet – go for the gusto and list out 50! Keep the list handy so that you can add to it as you go through your day!

Once you’ve gone through the list, pick 5 things that require you to tell the truth to someone, get some cooperation from someone, or change the way things are done. 

Speak your truth about it. 

Don’t forget to use the chat group if you need help or encouragement! You can do this!

Once you’ve chosen your 5 things, look at the rest of your list…

What can you just let go of and decide it just won’t bother you anymore?

What do you need to take care of?

Work on bringing your list to zero!

Be sure to record your thoughts in your journal to write down what you’ve discovered. 

And…If you need help…have a look at this List of 1001 tolerations.

 

 

Being Honest with Your Self Takes Courage

This is an excerpt from my book Living in the Layers. 

BB stands for “Bad Boy” a man I was with for about a year. It was a year in which I tried desperately to prove to him that he was boyfriend material, even though he had told me when we met that he wasn’t. It turned out he was right and the heartbreak that I suffered was of my own doing. 

And yes, this is another dimension of the truth…when people tell you truth about themselves, listen. 

We get to dip into some of the insanity that was my world back then. It’s a bit scary to share this part of myself, and yet, it is a clear illustration of the lengths we sometimes go to when we deny what is true for us. 

As I look back, that heartbreak led me to a 5 year marriage that was based entirely on a lie…and ultimately led me to a life in which I tell the absolute truth as often as I can. 

Notice I didn’t say I never lie, I’d be lying if I did. 😉 

 

7/15/07

 It’s been an interesting weekend.

 Funny how you think you’re completely healed when the reality is, you’ve only scratch the surface. I knew when I had my sudden realization that “I could be alone and be ok” that there was a possibility that I might not say in that place. It was a wonderful feeling and perhaps a vision of where I will be when the healing is done…and that I have a ways to go to get there.

 I’ve spent a lot of time convincing myself of certain things only to find later that I was just kidding. It’s a hell of a thing to be untrue to yourself when you are the only one who is capable of knowing what the real story is. And then the unwinding begins…you start to unravel the lies and half truths, realizing where the betrayal began. The question is…what will I find at the end of the unraveling? Will I be left with a big bunch of string? I guess at that point I will begin again…only this time re-winding very very carefully…this time I’ll make sure that I pay attention to the balance and condition of my ball of yarn, make sure it’s tight and solid and filled with true stories. No half truths, no “maybe things will change down the road”, no…no more.

 An amazingly enough, the stuff that has happened this weekend has been the Universe’s way of showing me the things I need to see; the results of my own self-betrayal. I found myself upset and confused and finally just cried “Angels Help!”

 The result was immediate…”slow down, breathe, care for yourself, wait”

 Um…damn, ok, does that mean I can take a nap? I did.

 I hardly ever dream…and I can’t recall dreaming when I nap ever. But I just woke up, having dreamed and realized…It’s all jumbled up…right now, is not the time to make decisions, because they’ll be based upon…injury. Any choice I make in this moment may well be an attempt to put a bandage on a wound that I’ve been ignoring for so long that surgery may be required. I may have to lance it, let out the infection and graft in new tissue, who knows?

 At least the chaos that was swirling in my head has stopped. I’m peaceful. Things have been put in the right order and it’s time to patiently and precisely unwind the string and wind it up again.

 I guess after all that I’ve been through, it’s time to turn the healing on myself. I deserve it more than anyone else who may happen across my path.

 

 

We do this…we really do, we lie to ourselves or we tell ourselves that we believe one thing because the guy that we’re with believes it…only to discover that we really didn’t buy it in the first place. 

And so, we have to go back and figure things out. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just the way life is. People come into our lives to teach us about ourselves and to assist us on our journey. Now, while that sounds all lovey dovey, you and I know the reality of the situation, sometimes it hurts like hell! 

I always loved Iyanla’s VanZant’s description….”my two ex-husbands were just angels disguised as idiots” 

I wrote this blog around the time that I broke up with BB the first time. I didn’t realize at the time, how truly insane I would become in the months that followed. As a matter of fact, I had completely forgotten until I read through my journals to put this all into context. 

When I got back together with BB I knew he was spending time on the adult chat lines and it hurt me. Instead of saying, “look, this hurts me and you’ll have to make a choice”, I asked him where he drew the line and when he said “everything but live sex is ok”, I decided to try it. 

And that was when the insanity began. 

I was amazed to see in my journals that I was talking about how happy I was to be back with BB and that we had a wonderful weekend together on the one hand and on the other hand, I had come home to have an online encounter with somebody named “Ray”. Worse still, as of this writing, I have no idea who “Ray” is! But Ray wasn’t the only one…there were others, some names that I recognize, others that I don’t. Some nights I would have individual encounters with two or three different men. 

The reality is that the pain of ‘the other woman” was just too much for me to bear. My 1st marriage ended because my best friend and my husband had a “close” relationship that I wasn’t a part of. So, finding myself in yet another relationship in which the sexual boundaries were seriously, seriously blurred, sent me right over the edge. 

I look back now and I just shake my head. The whole time I was pleading with God to help me, right after I wrote about the two or three online encounters I had that night and declaring how much fun I had. 

The really interesting thing is that I was cold and I was assertive. If someone wanted more than cyber-sex, it was not happening. And if things started to get weird or disrespectful, I was done, I walked away. I was cold and calculating, I was manipulative. I was toying with them as thought I had been toyed with. If I felt as though I was falling for someone, I backed off immediately. I was not going to get my heart broken again. 

According to the book “Women, Sex and Addiction” by Charlotte Davis Kasl, I had gone from Sexual Co-dependency to Sexual Addiction.  

“This shift frequently occurs when women leave devastating marriages or partnerships in which they had played a sexually codependent role, often to a sexually addicted partner… This switch may also occur when a woman discovers feminism and give herself permission to be more in control of her sexuality and relationships”

 I’ll be honest with you, when I read my journals I was shocked! I recalled that there had been a period of time in which I dabbled in cyber-sex, but I had conveniently forgotten what a frenzy it was! It threw me for a loop and it pained me to think that I could have ever been that way.

 I wasn’t the only one in pain here, BB had his own demons to deal with. He wasn’t an evil person and I wasn’t an evil person. Pain makes you do strange things and this was another instance of finding a “drug of choice” that worked.

 I had a moment of clarity in which I realized that I had forgotten myself and knew that I was asking for too much from a man who wasn’t capable of giving me what I needed. In that moment of clarity, I broke up with him and let him go gently. It hurt to do so, but it was the right thing to do.

 The problem came when I thought that I couldn’t handle the pain.

 Every choice I made after that was not coming from a place of empowerment, it was coming from a place of pain. These were not choices made in love, they were choices made from fear. I even managed to convince myself that God wanted me to be with BB because I was the only person who could heal him with my love.

 I’m not exactly sure what love I was thinking about because what I was doing was not anything near love…it wasn’t even in the same neighborhood!

 Our ego can fool us into a lot of things when we’re afraid. It can tell us that we’re doing what’s right for us and as long as it’s right for us, it’s ok. News flash here, if it involves using others to feel better, lying, hiding cheating…it’s not really ok.

 Years later, long after BB was a distant memory, what finally broke the addiction cycle for me was the realization that any kind of sexual “fix” wasn’t really bringing me what I wanted. There was guilt and shame afterwards. There was the possibility of hurting the man I loved if I was found out. I just didn’t want to feel that way anymore.

 The Law of Attraction tells us that we need to focus on what we want rather than what we don’t want. I realized that I wanted to be happy and I wanted a relationship that was built on a solid foundation. I realized that I had to deal with the pain rather than using a compulsion to escape it.

 Dealing with the pain meant that I had to tell myself the truth and once I did that, I had to be brave enough to share my truth with others. I had to learn to ask for what I needed and to be ok with needing it!

 What I’ve learned is that often we find ourselves unwilling to stand in our truth. We doubt ourselves, we think that if we just go along with someone else’s plan, things will be ok.

 There are a couple of things wrong with going along…

 Number one, if it isn’t right for you, eventually that truth is going to show up! You may say agree with the idea, but inside your heart is screaming “Nooooo, ouch, that hurts!” So you go along, but behind the scenes, you are going to do something completely different. That’s called passive-aggressive and it’s self-sabotaging

 Secondly, you become angry with the person you have agreed with for “making” you head down a path that you said was ok in the first place!

 All of this stuff wells up inside of you and one of two things happens: either you swallow it and begin living someone else’s idea of your life, or eventually, it all bubbles to the surface and you explode which surprises the heck out of the people you agreed with. Worse yet, you now look like a liar.

 There is nothing wrong with standing in your truth.

 If you stand in your truth, no matter what it is, you come from a place of integrity. People can deal with the truth, they really can. You have to give others a bit of credit for being able to handle it, your fear is what makes you think that they can’t or that they won’t like you if you tell them what you think.

 Sure, it’s always possible that someone won’t “like” you…but wouldn’t you rather that they draw their conclusion based upon who you really are rather than who you are pretending to be?

 Whose truth would you rather live; yours or someone else’s?

 

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It is imperative to be completely honest with yourself on your healing journey. As I’ve said before this is not a journey for the faint of heart, it requires courage and it can be hard.

 But more importantly, it’s essential to standing in your power. Believe me when I tell you, you are worthy of love, there is nothing to be ashamed of, you can do this.

 Your truth is simply waiting to be expressed, let’s love you through the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s face it, from an early age, we’re taught to lie.

It’s not meant to be that way, but as kids, we were told to be polite, to not hurt other people’s feelings, to agree. We were trained to lie from the moment our mothers taught us the rhyme “sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of”

Standing in your truth means that you unapologetically state what is true for you or about you…no matter what.

Truth is about speaking your truth, telling the truth, being true…it is about genuine communication, and eliminating lies, especially the lies you tell yourself. It means that you are able to use your words to express yourself, even in difficult circumstances, it means never betraying yourself ever again.  Truth takes courage, and once you embrace it, you will discover your true power

 

What are your values?

“If you don’t know where you stand, you’ll fall for anything”

It’s an old quote from World War 2 believe it or not. At the time, the idea was to rally the nation so that we would present a unified front to the enemy . But…there was real wisdom there. The concept can now be transformed to the notion that if you don’t know what you truly value, it’s really hard to know what is true for you. If you don’t know what is true for you, you can be swayed and influenced in each and every moment.

Knowing your values gives you a solid foundation on which to stand.  It empowers you to say no to what you don’t want and yes to what you do.

It’s time to take your first step to identify your personal values.  The next step after that is to understand why they are important, and your final step is to LIVE them. (that’s coming later)

Look at the values listed on the form below. Read each word and see how it feels for you. If it feels good, highlight it. Once you’ve highlighted all the words that you like, make a list of the top 10 that feel like they fit.

If you have more than 10 highlighted, compare a few …”is this more important or is this one?”.  Remember to feel  into it, to come up with your list of 10. 

Download the GYJO Core Values worksheet

Evicting the People Pleaser Bug

A while back, when my kids were in school and I was in the middle of marriage #2, I discovered that my people pleasing habits had gone unnoticed for a bit.

Don’t get me wrong; it is totally ok to be kind to people and to help them when you can do so from a solid place of confidence. That’s called compassion; with compassion,  you are able to discern when it is time to help and when it is time to allow others to figure things out on their own.

People pleasing is not that, people pleasing comes from a place of insecurity and wanting others to like you. It’s an unquestioning acquiescence and helpfulness that is actually pretty toxic not only for you, but for others.

This blog is about that…

 *****************************

 Evicting the People Pleaser Bug!

As I’ve been working on moving forward in my life for the last couple of weeks, there have been certain aspects of my personality that need…um…transformation. Most especially is the People Pleaser! Quick raise of hands, how many of you know this one?

Yeah…me  too.

I thought I had resolved this long ago, but recently, I discovered that there was another aspect of the People Pleaser that kind of hung around. It’s the dreaded “It’s ok” bug.

We all do it, someone asks us how we are, and we say “Fine” even if we have a 2 inch pipe sticking out of our head. What we would really like to say is “well, no, actually, I’m not fine, I have a 2 inch pipe sticking out of my head, but thanks very much for asking” But somehow, we….don’t.

Recently, it came to my attention that, for a while now, I’ve been letting things go on that actually bother me. I seem to do it most often with my kids and my husband.

I am a powerful woman, I am perfectly capable of saying “No”, I even understand that, as Oprah Winfrey says, “No can be a complete sentence”. What I have discovered is that instead of saying “no”…I just don’t say anything! When someone asks you a question, and you don’t answer, funnily enough, they tend to assume that you agree with them.

So, through a combination of circumstances, I figured this out and I decided that I need to fix it. My husband was lucky enough to get an explanation before it started. My kids, however, were caught by surprise.

The first one that got to experience my new “No” was the oldest. It was rather a delayed reaction. He came in, asked me a question, and then said that once he got his license he was going to use my car to get to work. Then he left. Right after that, my middle child came in and said something to me and in the middle of whatever he was saying, I suddenly thought…”no he is not going to use my car to get to work…that is MY car”. So I sent the middle child to get the oldest so that I could tell him “No”

Ya know how 18 year olds can say “Okay!” and make it sound like you are the biggest idiot in the world? It was that kind of reaction, but at least I said it! Yay me!

The next day, the reaction wasn’t quite as slow when the middle child asked me if I would drive him to a summer job 10 miles away (if and when he gets one). He was about 3 or 4 sentences past the question when I realized that I hadn’t answered.

Suddenly I said “No, I am not going to drive you to a summer job”

And he said “oh, ok, well I guess I’ll have to get a job closer to home then”

It suddenly occurred to me that there is a very profound principle at work here: When you tell the truth, people have something to work with. If you don’t, they think you agree with them and continue on as though you do…only to find out later that you never did! By saying up front, “no, not happening”, my kid found another solution. He wasn’t mad…he just changed his way of thinking.

I was getting better at this telling the truth thing. So the next day as I was driving my boys to school, I looked in my rear view mirror and discovered that the middle child was sitting in the center of the back seat. About 2 years ago, when he began to make it a habit to sit in the middle, I told him I couldn’t see and he said “well but I like sitting in the middle” Instead of telling him that I wanted him to move, I just thought “Oh, well he likes it, so I guess its ok”

I’m floored, absolutely floored I tell you! For two years, every time he sat in the back, I couldn’t see behind me, when I changed lanes on the freeway Every time!Yet, because I had told him it was OK at the beginning, I allowed it to continue.

Not now.

I realized that I used to have this philosophy that if you tell someone that something is OK, you have to make it ok. It came to me that I had missed a step and that step is really important …and get ready for this, cuz it was quite a revelation to me!

The first step in the process of telling someone “it’s OK” is to check in with yourself and MAKE SURE IT’S OK! Before you utter the words “its OK” make sure that is the truth. If it is true, go ahead and say it. If it is not true…then say that it’s not! And here’s an even better caveat…if you have said something is OK, and then find out later that it isn’t, you are perfectly within your rights to say so…and you probably should. Use your words  and just tell the truth as you see it.

So back to the car situation, I used my words and said “you know, Noah, I know that I’ve been letting you sit in the middle for a while, but I can’t see, so I would like you to move to the side.”

He said “Right now?”

I said “Yes please”

And he moved because I’m his mom and when I tell him to do something he does it.

I thought to myself “I told the truth and nobody died!” I survived and he survived! He grumbled a bit, but I said, “Well, let’s just figure that you got your way for two years, now we get to do it my way”

Another important lesson learned: If you tell the truth, people adapt and if not, you can always negotiate.

My poor oldest son, got the full brunt of it later that day.

He was at work and had forgotten his lunch. He sent me a text and asked me if I would bring him something to eat. After some careful consideration, I told him yes.

Oh my, the debate going on in my head was fast and furious! Was I doing the right thing? Why had I set my kids up to be this way? What ever happened to natural consequences? Well, I told him yes, and I was going to get his brother some food anyway, so why not?

I sent him a text and told him to meet me at the taco bell near where he works. When I got there, he wasn’t there. I placed an order for his brother for three tacos and a drink and pulled out of the drive through; still no oldest child. I turned and headed to his store while I dialed his number. When I asked him where he was, he said he was waiting at the store. I went from mildly irritated to insanely irritated in a flash!

I pulled up to the store and began to yell at him about being responsible and this was the last time I was bringing him lunch, if he did it again he would just have to starve. I handed him one of his brother’s tacos, a bag of cookies that were in the car and as I continued to lecture him, reached into my purse, and took out a dollar for him to buy a drink.

Remember that thing 18 year olds do? I got a lot of “okay”s

As I was driving away it suddenly occurred to me. The taco and the cookies would have been enough, yet in the middle of yelling at him about being responsible, I asked him if he needed money for a Coke and then gave it to him! This telling the truth thing is going to take some work! Sometimes it gets fuzzy with the mom/caretaker thing.

Later that day, as I got some distance from the situation, I realized that I felt bad for yelling at him. I didn’t feel bad for what I said, I just felt bad that I was mean.

I sent him a text and told him “I’m sorry for being cross with you today. What I said still stands, but I didn’t need to be mean about it”

Later, bless his heart, he asked me about the whole situation and I explained that I am learning to say no and the circumstances just hit me in a weird way. He said “ok” and this time it was a genuine ok, not the “you’re an idiot” kind.

You can tell the truth, you can negotiate and you can apologize if necessary. And as Shakespeare tells us in Hamlet:

 “This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

 

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Journal questions

  1. Is there something that you’ve been agreeing to for a while that you need to re-negotiate? Name it and write down your options for re-negotiating. What can you do in order to tell the truth about it?
  2. Is there a “no” that you need to verbalize? Review situations that seem to be bothering you, or don’t feel comfortable, did you ever say no? Do you need to now?
  3. Increase your awareness so that you are able to tell what it feels like whenever you say “yes” when you want to say no. Where do you feel it in your body? How do you justify it in your mind? What would you rather do instead?

What are you tolerating??

We humans tolerate a lot…we accommodate, we put up with, we ignore or think “I’ll get to that later…but then things pile up, we get busy, stuff happens…LIFE happens and before you know it, the things you are tolerating are dragging you down!

This is illustrated in the “Evicting the People Pleaser Bug” blog. It was awkward when i first started telling people the truth. There’s no getting around it, it is going to be!

Tolerations aren’t just about people and their behavior, you can tolerate things that may just take a minute to fix, but instead of doing so,  you just keep putting up with it!

Let’s take a look at things we can tolerate:

Some examples: 

  • The closet door that is too tight and doesn’t close right. 
  • My friend Jennifer always being late when we meet up. 
  • The condescending tone of voice Michael uses when he’s irritated. 
  • The parking ticket I’m ashamed of paying because it’s so overdue. 
  • The pocket of clutter that constantly accumulates on the side table by my bed. 
  • The mail for the old tenants at our house. 
  • The client that always schedules at the last minute, then reschedules, and throws off my whole day. 
  • Not having a spare charger in the car for Jon’s old iPhone. 
  • Dad’s anger and grumpiness.

Your assignment: make a list of at least 20 things that you have been tolerating. Better yet – go for the gusto and list out 50! Keep the list handy so that you can add to it as you go through your day!

Once you’ve gone through the list, pick 5 things that require you to tell the truth to someone, get some cooperation from someone, or change the way things are done. 

Speak your truth about it. 

Don’t forget to use the chat group if you need help or encouragement! You can do this!

Once you’ve chosen your 5 things, look at the rest of your list…

What can you just let go of and decide it just won’t bother you anymore?

What do you need to take care of?

Work on bringing your list to zero!

Be sure to record your thoughts in your journal to write down what you’ve discovered. 

And…If you need help…have a look at this List of 1001 tolerations.

 

 

Being Honest with Your Self Takes Courage

This is an excerpt from my book Living in the Layers. 

BB stands for “Bad Boy” a man I was with for about a year. It was a year in which I tried desperately to prove to him that he was boyfriend material, even though he had told me when we met that he wasn’t. It turned out he was right and the heartbreak that I suffered was of my own doing. 

And yes, this is another dimension of the truth…when people tell you truth about themselves, listen. 

We get to dip into some of the insanity that was my world back then. It’s a bit scary to share this part of myself, and yet, it is a clear illustration of the lengths we sometimes go to when we deny what is true for us. 

As I look back, that heartbreak led me to a 5 year marriage that was based entirely on a lie…and ultimately led me to a life in which I tell the absolute truth as often as I can. 

Notice I didn’t say I never lie, I’d be lying if I did. 😉 

 

7/15/07

 It’s been an interesting weekend.

 Funny how you think you’re completely healed when the reality is, you’ve only scratch the surface. I knew when I had my sudden realization that “I could be alone and be ok” that there was a possibility that I might not say in that place. It was a wonderful feeling and perhaps a vision of where I will be when the healing is done…and that I have a ways to go to get there.

 I’ve spent a lot of time convincing myself of certain things only to find later that I was just kidding. It’s a hell of a thing to be untrue to yourself when you are the only one who is capable of knowing what the real story is. And then the unwinding begins…you start to unravel the lies and half truths, realizing where the betrayal began. The question is…what will I find at the end of the unraveling? Will I be left with a big bunch of string? I guess at that point I will begin again…only this time re-winding very very carefully…this time I’ll make sure that I pay attention to the balance and condition of my ball of yarn, make sure it’s tight and solid and filled with true stories. No half truths, no “maybe things will change down the road”, no…no more.

 An amazingly enough, the stuff that has happened this weekend has been the Universe’s way of showing me the things I need to see; the results of my own self-betrayal. I found myself upset and confused and finally just cried “Angels Help!”

 The result was immediate…”slow down, breathe, care for yourself, wait”

 Um…damn, ok, does that mean I can take a nap? I did.

 I hardly ever dream…and I can’t recall dreaming when I nap ever. But I just woke up, having dreamed and realized…It’s all jumbled up…right now, is not the time to make decisions, because they’ll be based upon…injury. Any choice I make in this moment may well be an attempt to put a bandage on a wound that I’ve been ignoring for so long that surgery may be required. I may have to lance it, let out the infection and graft in new tissue, who knows?

 At least the chaos that was swirling in my head has stopped. I’m peaceful. Things have been put in the right order and it’s time to patiently and precisely unwind the string and wind it up again.

 I guess after all that I’ve been through, it’s time to turn the healing on myself. I deserve it more than anyone else who may happen across my path.

 

 

We do this…we really do, we lie to ourselves or we tell ourselves that we believe one thing because the guy that we’re with believes it…only to discover that we really didn’t buy it in the first place. 

And so, we have to go back and figure things out. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just the way life is. People come into our lives to teach us about ourselves and to assist us on our journey. Now, while that sounds all lovey dovey, you and I know the reality of the situation, sometimes it hurts like hell! 

I always loved Iyanla’s VanZant’s description….”my two ex-husbands were just angels disguised as idiots” 

I wrote this blog around the time that I broke up with BB the first time. I didn’t realize at the time, how truly insane I would become in the months that followed. As a matter of fact, I had completely forgotten until I read through my journals to put this all into context. 

When I got back together with BB I knew he was spending time on the adult chat lines and it hurt me. Instead of saying, “look, this hurts me and you’ll have to make a choice”, I asked him where he drew the line and when he said “everything but live sex is ok”, I decided to try it. 

And that was when the insanity began. 

I was amazed to see in my journals that I was talking about how happy I was to be back with BB and that we had a wonderful weekend together on the one hand and on the other hand, I had come home to have an online encounter with somebody named “Ray”. Worse still, as of this writing, I have no idea who “Ray” is! But Ray wasn’t the only one…there were others, some names that I recognize, others that I don’t. Some nights I would have individual encounters with two or three different men. 

The reality is that the pain of ‘the other woman” was just too much for me to bear. My 1st marriage ended because my best friend and my husband had a “close” relationship that I wasn’t a part of. So, finding myself in yet another relationship in which the sexual boundaries were seriously, seriously blurred, sent me right over the edge. 

I look back now and I just shake my head. The whole time I was pleading with God to help me, right after I wrote about the two or three online encounters I had that night and declaring how much fun I had. 

The really interesting thing is that I was cold and I was assertive. If someone wanted more than cyber-sex, it was not happening. And if things started to get weird or disrespectful, I was done, I walked away. I was cold and calculating, I was manipulative. I was toying with them as thought I had been toyed with. If I felt as though I was falling for someone, I backed off immediately. I was not going to get my heart broken again. 

According to the book “Women, Sex and Addiction” by Charlotte Davis Kasl, I had gone from Sexual Co-dependency to Sexual Addiction.  

“This shift frequently occurs when women leave devastating marriages or partnerships in which they had played a sexually codependent role, often to a sexually addicted partner… This switch may also occur when a woman discovers feminism and give herself permission to be more in control of her sexuality and relationships”

 I’ll be honest with you, when I read my journals I was shocked! I recalled that there had been a period of time in which I dabbled in cyber-sex, but I had conveniently forgotten what a frenzy it was! It threw me for a loop and it pained me to think that I could have ever been that way.

 I wasn’t the only one in pain here, BB had his own demons to deal with. He wasn’t an evil person and I wasn’t an evil person. Pain makes you do strange things and this was another instance of finding a “drug of choice” that worked.

 I had a moment of clarity in which I realized that I had forgotten myself and knew that I was asking for too much from a man who wasn’t capable of giving me what I needed. In that moment of clarity, I broke up with him and let him go gently. It hurt to do so, but it was the right thing to do.

 The problem came when I thought that I couldn’t handle the pain.

 Every choice I made after that was not coming from a place of empowerment, it was coming from a place of pain. These were not choices made in love, they were choices made from fear. I even managed to convince myself that God wanted me to be with BB because I was the only person who could heal him with my love.

 I’m not exactly sure what love I was thinking about because what I was doing was not anything near love…it wasn’t even in the same neighborhood!

 Our ego can fool us into a lot of things when we’re afraid. It can tell us that we’re doing what’s right for us and as long as it’s right for us, it’s ok. News flash here, if it involves using others to feel better, lying, hiding cheating…it’s not really ok.

 Years later, long after BB was a distant memory, what finally broke the addiction cycle for me was the realization that any kind of sexual “fix” wasn’t really bringing me what I wanted. There was guilt and shame afterwards. There was the possibility of hurting the man I loved if I was found out. I just didn’t want to feel that way anymore.

 The Law of Attraction tells us that we need to focus on what we want rather than what we don’t want. I realized that I wanted to be happy and I wanted a relationship that was built on a solid foundation. I realized that I had to deal with the pain rather than using a compulsion to escape it.

 Dealing with the pain meant that I had to tell myself the truth and once I did that, I had to be brave enough to share my truth with others. I had to learn to ask for what I needed and to be ok with needing it!

 What I’ve learned is that often we find ourselves unwilling to stand in our truth. We doubt ourselves, we think that if we just go along with someone else’s plan, things will be ok.

 There are a couple of things wrong with going along…

 Number one, if it isn’t right for you, eventually that truth is going to show up! You may say agree with the idea, but inside your heart is screaming “Nooooo, ouch, that hurts!” So you go along, but behind the scenes, you are going to do something completely different. That’s called passive-aggressive and it’s self-sabotaging

 Secondly, you become angry with the person you have agreed with for “making” you head down a path that you said was ok in the first place!

 All of this stuff wells up inside of you and one of two things happens: either you swallow it and begin living someone else’s idea of your life, or eventually, it all bubbles to the surface and you explode which surprises the heck out of the people you agreed with. Worse yet, you now look like a liar.

 There is nothing wrong with standing in your truth.

 If you stand in your truth, no matter what it is, you come from a place of integrity. People can deal with the truth, they really can. You have to give others a bit of credit for being able to handle it, your fear is what makes you think that they can’t or that they won’t like you if you tell them what you think.

 Sure, it’s always possible that someone won’t “like” you…but wouldn’t you rather that they draw their conclusion based upon who you really are rather than who you are pretending to be?

 Whose truth would you rather live; yours or someone else’s?

 

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It is imperative to be completely honest with yourself on your healing journey. As I’ve said before this is not a journey for the faint of heart, it requires courage and it can be hard.

 But more importantly, it’s essential to standing in your power. Believe me when I tell you, you are worthy of love, there is nothing to be ashamed of, you can do this.

 Your truth is simply waiting to be expressed, let’s love you through the process.