By Guest Nicole
Diamond tells her old friend Lynn about what happened with Blue. Lynn thinks she should get revenge. Diamond strongly disagrees. (Lynn is from Diamond's old congregation @bow_tie_bros_comics or see #bowtiebroscar) Proverbs 14:17 "The one who is quick to anger acts foolishly..." Ecclesiastes 7:22 "for you well know in your heart that many times you yourself have called down evil on others. Psalms 103:10 "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor has he repaid us what our errors deserve." How do we react when faced with rejection or when a brother or sister may do something thoughtless or hurtful? (This is an example of a courtship stopping before it really gets started but what if you were in a longer relationship that ends? Awake 7/15 p.10 "When a Courtship Ends" has great advice.)
By Guest Nicole SG
1. Practice gratitude.
Sounds simple, but the act of practicing gratitude helps put an end to anxious thoughts by forcing your brain to focus on the positive. Anxiety can often make you feel cut off from the world around you, and cultivating gratitude actively fights against that feeling. Plus, it works: Studies have shown that practicing gratitude daily positively affects mental health, reducing anxiety and stress and even making you a bit happier.
2. Start each day with intention.
Whether you're meditating, stating affirmations, or setting a daily intention, this short and sweet practice has one goal: to stop thoughts that lead to anxiety dead in their tracks.
Here are some suggestions:
Whatever I do today, it's enough. And so am I. I have the power to make changes. I decide how my story is told. Today, I choose joy. 3. Get CBD involved.
Ever heard of the endocannabinoid system? It's a network of cannabinoid receptors in the cells of our nervous system, immune system, digestive system, and many of the body's major organs. These receptors interact with the natural cannabinoid-like chemicals our bodies produce—and yes, the cannabinoid content from the cannabis plant—to help our systems keep calm and carry on under stress.
4. Move a little.
Walk, run, burpee, cat/cow—do whatever your body likes to do, and make it a habit: Research proves over and over that exercise can help your brain cope with stress because physically active people have lower rates of anxiety than more sedentary people.
5. Get your internal dialogue on paper.
Keeping a bedside journal or thought diary is another useful way to manage stress and anxiety. Writing can be a healing practice, especially if you find it a bit difficult to talk about your anxious thoughts or are facing a new challenge or big decision that's causing overwhelm. Jotting down your thoughts on paper can give you clarity and a heightened view of your internal dialogue and release pent-up feelings and negative thoughts.
By Guest Nicole
Letting go of someone you truly love is one of the most difficult things in the world. Unfortunately, sometimes…it’s necessary.
1. Cut contact
Before you do anything, and I mean anything else, you need to cut contact with the person. This is less a step and more of a critically important prerequisite.
You’ll never be able to heal if you keep the person who hurt you so close at hand. Remove phone numbers, discard contact information, pictures, and anything else directly connected with them.
You’re not erasing your memory, just removing your ability to potentially contact that person the next time you’re in a moment of weakness and might think of reaching out.
2. Be with what you’re feeling
Possibly the worst thing you can do is to ignore what you’re feeling and start looking for means to either bottle those feelings down or hide from them. The longer you do this, the worse you’ll get, so you need to take an entirely different approach if you hope to heal this wound.
Face the pain head on and don’t run from it. Allow yourself to simply be with whatever you’re feeling, even if it’s uncomfortable. Over time, the mind has a way of settling itself if you allow it to focus in on the pain.
3. Stop fantasizing
Next, stop fantasizing. As you begin to experience the gradual process of internal healing and reflect on past memories, you’ll be motivated to fantasize that maybe, just maybe, they’ll change. Maybe things could work out this time, if such and such was different. Things won’t workout — and they won’t change.
This process is your brain trying to keep you away from the pain again. Be present for these feelings so that you maintain clarity. But it’s important to then give yourself a reality check and remember that this is a natural part of the process of healing.
It’s the same thing as binge-drinking after a breakup or some other loss. You’re not really healing, just attempting to put a band-aid over the issue. Eventually, that band-aid will come off. And, when it does, it’s going to hurt like hell. The only way to heal is to be with what is (reality) and move on, so stop fantasizing.
4. Practice forgiveness
Now is when you really begin to dig deep and get to the heart of the issue. Whatever happened has left an internal wound that needs to be sewn up. And, to do that, you need to practice forgiveness.
It’s not always the other person’s fault. Sometimes it’s our own. Whatever the case, you need to either practice visualizing the other person and repeating a simple mantra such as “I forgive you. My pain is my own” or imagine yourself apologizing and searching for those feelings of sincerity within you. When you can recognize this, the process has started working.
Depending on what happened, it will take time to heal. However, in every case, if you invest the time to be with yourself, listening to what goes within you and being kind and compassionate with yourself, you’ll heal the wound.
5. Get out there and live
Now that you’ve created a nourishing foundation you can use to heal internally, once you feel ready (don’t wait too long) it’s important to get out and into the world and start living.
Get to work, pursue a passion, meet new people, or go on an adventure. Whatever it is, start creating new experiences, memories, and connections to replace the old memories. The more you do this, the easier it will be to move on.
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Stashing, as the Metro reports, is that thing where you’re in a new relationship and everything seems great, except for one thing — you’ve never met any of your new love’s friends or family.
You’ve let this person fully into your life, but they haven’t even so much as acknowledged your existence on social media or introduced you to one of their pals. Uh oh, you’ve been stashed.
Basically you're being kept a secret for one reason or another, like a little treasure stashed away in an underwear drawer. Ugh.
Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/21/stashing-dating-slang/#UFb53n8wEaq6
By Guest Nicole
Relationships are not static because people are not static. We change all the time, which means our relationship changes all the time. How we handle this change, however, greatly influences the quality of the partnership—and eventually can mean the difference between one that lasts and one that doesn't.
If we’re actively working on our relationship, this dynamism creates opportunities for personal growth, excitement, playfulness, and new layers of connection. But if we’re passive about our most important relationship—if partnership is a box we check before moving on to the next goal—this constant change opens the door to numerous threats that can ultimately kill the partnership.
We want relationships filled with love, connection, security, and joy. So, here are five of the top relationship killers—and how to beat them:
1. Emotional triggers and recurring fights:
Nobody goes into a relationship with the intention of making the other person miserable. Yet many of us have recurring fights with our partner that can, over time, make the partnership unbearable.
Gal Szekely, psychotherapist and founder of the Couples Center in San Francisco, says not understanding emotional triggers is the problem.
"Relationships really evoke some of our deepest longings and needs, such as wanting to feel loved, wanting to feel safe, wanting to feel on the same team," he says. "So when our partner says something that for us feels like they're not doing those things—loving us, appreciating us, supporting us, sharing with us, making space for us—then we have a strong reaction."
These are our emotional triggers, says Szekely, and usually we only have a couple of these hot-button issues that set us off.
Handling this relationship killer starts with recognizing when we have stumbled across an emotional trigger in our partner and not responding to their emotions defensively. Once we’ve paused and identified the deeper need that our partner feels is under threat, we can address the real issue and defuse the situation relatively easily.
2. Giving up:
Relationships take two, but sometimes one of us gives up and stops working on the partnership. The root cause of emotionally checking out is not having our needs met. When we feel disconnected long enough and feel like our partner is not listening, when there are issues and tensions that never get resolved, we eventually disconnect from the relationship and handle our issues and our emotions ourselves. We work around the problems in our relationship because we struggle to resolve them.
Addressing our needs and the needs of our partner is the antidote to a zombie relationship, suggests Kim Bowen, relationship counselor and founder of Dallas-based the Marriage Place. It starts with turning our complaints into wishes.
"Learn how to communicate what you want and need without it sounding like a criticism," Bowen recommends. "Drop the complaint and focus on the wish."
Instead of complaining that our partner always comes home late, for instance, we might tell them that we love them and really wish they would come home and spend more time with us.
"You just need to tweak one little thing to turn the whole thing around," she says.
3. Different values and needs:
What do issues with money, sex, and kids all have in common? These challenges all stem from differences in values and needs.
"The big challenge that couples bump into is often their value systems from their childhood or growing up," notes psychotherapist Jeremi McManus.
With money, for instance, we might be a little bit more of a spender and like to enjoy the money we earn, while our partner is more of a saver and tends to be more conservative about money.
The trick for avoiding this relationship killer is getting on the same team, according to McManus. We start by listening to our partner for a couple minutes without responding, then verbalize what they said so we get their emotions and perspective right. When we’ve heard our partner, we can challenge ourselves to recall a similar situation in our own life until we can relate and see where they are coming from.
Once we and our partner have done that, we can more easily harmonize our differences or at least accept our partner’s different take on the matter. Having trust in our partner’s fundamental goodness also goes a long way.
"If we can look at what our partner is doing from an altruistic perspective—in other words, we believe what they are doing is coming from a place of good and not a place of harm—it really shifts how we perceive what’s happening in the situation," McManus says.
4. Not understanding ourselves:
Communication is a huge issue, as all relationship experts tell us.
"But people are looking at communication in the wrong way," says Debi Maldonado, life coach and co-founder of the Academy of Jungian Spiritual Psychology. "They are thinking the problem is with the partner instead of the reflection of themselves."
That’s because we give our partner the script to play out, and we interpret their response through the lens of our own issues. If we worry about abandonment, we find abandonment in our partner. If our partner isn’t working with us, it might be because we’re not working with our partner.
The best defense against this negative projection is understanding ourselves, according to Maldonado.
"Look at the theme in your relationship. What is your top complaint about your partner? Explore where that issue is showing up in other areas of your life," she says. "When you start to see the pattern, you'll be better equipped to take responsibility for the issue. Because other people aren't all putting the same idea into your mind: The common denominator is you."
5. Growing apart:
Finally, one of the most pernicious relationship killers is slowly growing apart as a couple. This comes back to the idea that our relationship is changing all the time; one morning we wake up and realize there is no spark, no connection, no shared journey. We have grown apart from our spouse, and now we’re moving in different directions.
Drifting apart is a result of failing to allow the relationship to evolve the relationship as we do. Because we grow, our relationship also must grow, or the bonds that connect us will weaken over time.
What I’ve found in my relationship coaching practice is that protecting against gradual drift requires renewing the relationship periodically. This is done by reviewing expectations and shared plans as we evolve, and adjusting roles over time. This review and adjustment should be a conscious activity we do with our partner several times per year.
We also must maintain our journey together by centering our planning and decision-making on the couple as a whole, not just us as individuals. Are we making plans for ourselves alone or for the couple as a unit? Are we including our partner’s current needs or are we ignoring them? The more we focus on the couple when we make decisions, the better we will make the journey together.
Relationships are anything but static. Strong couples understand this, and they stay strong through proactive maintenance. It is not a question of if but when we will encounter these relationship challenges. What we do next makes all the difference.
By: Peter Kowalke
Opposers like to quote this reply to a comment “From our Readers” implying that although Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that “Any organization that assumes that position should be willing to submit to scrutiny and criticism” they themselves do not tolerate any scrutiny or criticism and therefore are being hypocritical.
Is that accusation true?
Awake 1984 8/22
“You all loved it, didn’t you? You couldn’t resist taking a shot at the Catholic Church, could you? I will never forgive the way you mercilessly tore down the Pope. If Jehovah’s Witnesses must refer to cheap shots in attempting to bring down other religions, they’re in more trouble than the Catholics”. - Florda
"We surely were not trying to take cheap shots at the pope or the Catholic Church, nor were we criticizing Catholics. The Catholic Church occupies a very significant position in the world and claims to be the way of salvation for hundreds of millions of people. Any organization that assumes that position should be willing to submit to scrutiny and criticism. All who criticize have the obligation to be truthful in presenting the facts and fair and objective in assessing such. In both respects we try to live up to that obligation.—ED.
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
We've all felt the sting of being let down, frustrated, unfulfilled, or not quite good enough in our lives and relationships. I have been guilty of having unrealistic expectations of others, wanting them to shower me with compliments, approval, and validation, sometimes even trying to control situations or outcomes in an attempt to get what I thought would make me feel good. It was a painful, exhausting way to live.
Studies show that basing our self-worth on external factors is actually harmful to our mental health. One study at the University of Michigan found that college students who base their self-worth on external sources (including academic performance, appearance, and approval from others) reported more stress, anger, academic problems, and relationship conflicts. They also had higher levels of alcohol and drug use, as well as more symptoms of eating disorders. The same study found that students who based their self-worth on internal sources not only felt better, but also received higher grades and were less likely to use drugs and alcohol or to develop eating disorders.
Through the consistent practices of self-compassion and meditation, I've discovered a few perspective shifts that have transformed my sense of self-worth. I've found that when I base my self-worth on who I am and my inherent value as a human being rather than what others think or how much I achieve, my confidence soars and my inner critic quiets.
1. Develop self-sufficiency.
For the majority of my life, I got my self-worth from the outside world—someone else's approval or validation dictated how I felt about myself. What a setup that is! I've learned that when we place our worth outside of ourselves (career, money, material possessions, relationship, appearance), we can never have enough or be enough.
Being independent from someone else's thoughts of me (both positive and negative), and instead trusting in God/Spirit/Universe for my value, I have become more self-sufficient and as a result, experience more peace, freedom, and material success.
Sure, compliments are very nice to hear, but my mood and mental and physical health and worth are no longer dependent on another's approval of me. As long as we are basing our worth on another's opinion of us or how people choose to treat us, we will never be able to live up to our full potential and experience true joy.
2. Let people off the hook.
Instead of looking to others for validation to make us feel worthy or enough, how about reframing to the notion that nobody owes us anything?
When we are truly anchored in our own self-love and get our self-worth from the unique qualities that make us one-of-a-kind, we become self-sufficient. We don't need to go to our partners, friends, work, food, alcohol, or social media for a quick ego boost. We can turn inward and look to a higher power for our value, knowing we are enough simply because we are alive.
3. Accept that people can't give you what they don't have.
I've looked to significant others, bosses, parents, or friends to tell me something to make me feel better or treat me a certain way so I could feel valued, respected, and loved. But if a client simply doesn't have any more money in their budget to pay me, they can't give it to me, and perhaps the solution is to find an opportunity where the compensation matches the value, skills, and experience I bring to the table. Maybe our partner isn't respecting us because he or she lacks self-respect. If a customer service representative is frustrating us because they can't help us with our request, maybe that person hasn't been properly trained and is simply doing the best they can.
I've learned that the people who have cheated us, hurt us, or done us wrong cannot necessarily make amends—either they are unwilling or unable. Waiting for and expecting others to apologize, make it up to us, or even admit they were wrong implies a belief that their actions can make us feel whole again. But when we are dependent on others to make us happy or behave a certain way, we will always be disappointed on some level.
The good news is if we put our faith in our own understanding, we will never be let down. The universe is self-organizing and self-correcting.
4. It's not about keeping everyone happy; it's about fulfilling your life's purpose.
As long as we are doing our best, honoring ourselves and our purpose, we will feel less and less inclined to seek the approval of others. Instead of feeling offended when people fail to acknowledge us, what if we could see it as an opportunity to expand and grow? What if we embraced the fact that we are being prepared to take our lives to the next level and start fulfilling our mission?
The less I depend on people to validate me, the stronger my emotional muscles become, and in turn, the stronger my sense of self-worth. I have accomplished more both personally and professionally in less time and need fewer compliments to keep me going simply because of my faith in myself and in the Universe. Focusing on the special characteristics that make me ME is much easier and more rewarding than waiting for someone to say or do something that will make me feel good for only a matter of minutes before I need my next "fix."
Our lives truly become more full when we turn our attention inward to the miracle that we are, release expectations, and stay detached from outcomes and other people's opinions. Try it out for yourself, and let me know how it goes!
By Guest Nicole
By Bible Speaks
No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share an umbrella and survive the storm together.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. With all humility and mildness, with patience, putting up with one another in love."
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
You would know if you were in an abusive relationship, right? It would be obvious. Well, maybe not. Most women who experience abuse from a male partner spend months or even years thinking the relationship problem is something other than abuse. It's a "communication issue" or "a failure to set boundaries." Maybe you've thought your partner has a bad temper or a problem with anger management. Perhaps you think that you are doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with you. In our society, we aren't very good at talking about abuse, so women are often left wondering.
A common myth is that abuse means only physical abuse. But, actually, there are many different types of abuse, including emotional, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse. These can be just as damaging as physical abuse. For example, abusive partners can attempt to isolate you or cut you off from sources of support, use sarcasm or threats to put you down, change moods to intimidate you, express jealousy, and become emotionally distant.
They can also refuse to allow you to practice your faith, devalue your knowledge or education, control the finances, or threaten to have an affair if you don't do what they ask. These and many other examples are not generally thought of as abuse. You may know there is something "wrong" but may not label it as abuse. Here's a list of seven things that abusive partners often do in their relationships. Ask yourself if your partner does any of these things:
1. Takes away your freedom to choose what you want or need
Abusive partners are controlling and often do not allow their significant others to make choices for themselves. You may find yourself unable to ask for what you need or want without your partner becoming aggressive, angry, or reactive.
2. Demeans you
Abusers are very critical. Everything—your ideas, your beliefs, your body, even your feelings—are "stupid" or wrong. You may find that you second-guess yourself—what to wear, what to prepare for a meal, who you can be friends with—because you are worried about your partner's reaction.
3. Is unpredictable and volatile
While abusers can behave in acceptable or even positive ways some of the time, they are also unpredictable and even explosive in their behavior. This leaves women feeling like they are "walking on eggshells" because they are not sure what their partners will do next. If this is happening for you, you may find yourself exhausted and confused as you try to anticipate your partner's next move.
4. Blames you or others for their abusive behavior
Abusers rarely take responsibility for their behavior. Rather, it is everyone else's fault. The boss is causing him stress. The kids are making noise. You are "pushing his buttons." The abuse is not your fault, but he may leave you feeling like it is.
5. Uses the "silent treatment" to punish or frighten you
Abused partners find that they are punished in many ways when they do things that their partner does not like. The "silent treatment" is just one such punishment. The "silent treatment" can be terrifying for women because they do not know what will happen next.
6. Limits your access to money
Abusive partners are often very controlling when it comes to money. Since we need money to do just about anything, it is a powerful way to control someone. If your partner controls your access to money or other necessary resources such as a car, the computer, or the phone, you are being abused.
7. Apologizes for their behavior and promises to change but never does
Part of the pattern of abusive behavior includes periods of behavior that appears positive—times when he might seem caring and helpful. During these "honeymoon periods," he might even apologize for hurtful behavior and promise to change. But abuse is cyclical, and although he might promise to change or appear to be changing for a while, he will not be able to sustain it. His behavior will deteriorate again, and he will revert to controlling, frightening, or explosive behavior.
If you have experienced some of these behaviors from a current or past partner, you have likely experienced abuse. That is a hard reality to face. If you are with your partner, it may be hard to think of them as abusive. Your partner might not fit the stereotype of an abuser any more than you fit the stereotype of an "abused partner," but that doesn't matter. People who experience abuse come from all economic, racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. Abuse is not just reserved for the poor or weak—it can happen to anyone.
By Jill Cory/MBG
By Guest Nicole
It’s been close to 3 years since I separated and later on, divorced from my husband.
We were only officially married for 1 year and half but unofficially together for 7 years. He was my best friend. I looked up to him and secretly felt I could not keep up to his ability to be successful.
Three years ago, l lost sight of everything meaningful in my life, and spiraled into self- sabotage and rebellion. When we broke up, I took it upon myself to change as a person, because I thought that was partly the reason my marriage had deteriorated. What I came to realize is it was the marriage with myself that I never allowed to heal properly. Before we can love someone wholeheartedly, we need to love and accept ourselves first.
Year one taught me survival through various avenues of meditations, traveling, one-on-one coaching, researching topics of interest (self-help), and continuous self-introspective writing. Year two opened the doors towards discovering who I am, my true self and layers of my mind that contributed to my years of “unconscious” living (along with the help of therapy.) Year three helped me accept that I am already in the place I need to be and learning to accept myself as I am as well as being more compassionate with myself. It is also more of a “free” year, where I am living day by day and just being with myself not doing anything in particular as previous years – I am actively watching myself “just being me.” (As weird as that sounds!) I am very clear about the mistakes I made back then.
Marriage is when two imperfect souls can accept each other just as they are and grow as persons and as a unit simultaneously. Marriage is compromise, love, empathy, understanding, strength, vulnerability and maturity amongst the obstacles and difficulties thrown at us by the universe.
Divorce is just another new beginning to look at yourself and reflect on what went wrong.
It’s an opportunity to learn about yourself and to appreciate your previous partner as another teacher in your life (once you move past the anger phase, because you do experience it – and it’s totally normal!)
I learned more about me, then I did after any other difficult time period of my life.
It was hard for me in the first few months, as I am a sensitive individual. Time went so slow, my loved ones spent hours calling me, inviting me over for dinner, and sharing countless words of wisdom. I felt I was experiencing an outer body experience.
Surprisingly, work became more interesting because I drowned myself to avoid feeling pain. I often woke up earlier and fell asleep earlier than usual. I started experiencing anxiety attacks and I started praying frequently again. This only reaffirmed my desire to create change for myself. I am eternally grateful for the spiritual coach who guided me during this time and opened up doorways for my self-improvement (my healing).
Here are my tips to work on healing from your heartache while improving yourself and loving yourself:
1. Don’t lock yourself up indoors.
When we feel down, we feel lifeless, we are walking zombies and we do not want to get out of bed. My godfather told me, “When you feel sad: get up, grab your purse, open the door, and hear it slam. Then, come straight over to our house. No matter how many times. Get up and get out.” You have no idea, how much I have listened to this. Once you are out, you won’t suddenly feel thrilled but after 2hours of engaging with others, laughing or in-depth conversations of moral support, you will feel better.
2. Set intentions and be compassionate with yourself.
If you have no other options, because we tend to close up, then set an intention to be compassionate with yourself. For example, I have very few intimate friends, so I did often stay at home, in bed with the lights off. But, I knew I couldn’t stay there forever. I set a realistic intention to give myself a minimum of 3 days at home. Day 3 came and I would get up to go out or do an activity such as writing, visiting loved ones, going for a walk or seeing a movie.
3. Allow yourself to feel.
Do not avoid it. If you need to talk to someone (you trust) for hours to get things off your chest, do so. We are creatures of service; another person will listen to you and help you feel relaxed. If you don’t have someone, I recommend writing down every thought going through your mind. If you suddenly feel the need to cry or laugh, don’t hold it back. Feel it, watch it, and release it – whatever feeling it is, will go away on its own. Don’t avoid thinking or feeling by working overtime or going out every chance you get as an escape. In the long run, this will bring more harm because pain gets buried and will resurface when a new relationship or situation comes around.
4. Get help from a professional outsider: a coach or therapist.
I met a wonderful life coach through a mutual friend. She guided me in every session, hearing me out, giving exercises, written homework assignments and insight. Sometimes we need another’s eye and expertise to comprehend what we are going through and provide you tools to move forward. There were so many topics and tools I would have never thought of without her. She opened my mind to study myself and be understanding that this new life experience would allow me to reach my goals of healing, true love and self-acceptance.
5. Take a seminar or a class.
When you find yourself as a student again engaging in adding skills to yourself professionally and/or as a hobby – you are left with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, giddiness and success. It will make you feel so much better and you will begin to notice you forget about your sadness because you are doing something loving such as an exercise dance class, meet up group, meditation or yoga seminar.
6. Don’t do rebound relationships.
I have done these in the past, though I didn’t do it after my divorce from my last partner. I have found that you are still in a tender phase and you need to work on those feelings of hurt, discomfort and loss. Sometimes, we think we are ready and what we really need is to meet new people and be friends first. If the right partner comes along, you will know it. Don’t rush, take your time.
7. Don’t stay in contact with your ex/exes.
My last ex found it annoying I stayed friends with previous exes. He use to say, “Exes can’t be friends.” I use to debate this all the time. I found it brought me more harm than good, even affecting my marriage. Growing up as an only child with little or no family, we tend to make our friends our family. I couldn’t let go of certain relationships because I was scared to be alone. In past relationships, I had keep my exes as friends but by doing so I only kept it as “yellow” light just in case the flame would revive. In order to move on, we need to keep a distance. Otherwise, we are prolonging pain or in some cases, engaging in relationships with no ties – where there is always one person that gets attached and gets hurt. No matter how much we love or loved that person, we need to let go and accept the one relationship worth keeping is the one with ourselves.
8. Do pray or meditate.
Religion and spirituality continue to be the most contributing part of this healing and self-transformation equation. If you belong to a particular religion, prayer is universal – give it to God. If you are not part of any religion, being spiritual is another tool. Spirituality isn’t all about a religion. It is also about belief in yourself, your inner center, the universe and the stars. I went to free meditation seminars on Sundays during year one and even pulled up some good mediattions and mantras from YouTube. Meditation frees you to – give it to the universe. For me, giving myself to God and the universe through prayer and meditation allowed me to feel peace again, especially in those sad or anxious moments during and after my divorce.
By Guest Nicole
It has been a decade since I married my cheating husband. I was madly in love when the man of my dreams dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife. That was the happiest day of my life. Everything I had planned for my future was falling seamlessly into place, and the only thing I had to do was say, "Yes!" There wasn't anything in my life I had ever been more sure of.
It was a few months before our wedding was going to take place, and he called and asked me to come over. I knew by the sound of his voice that something was terribly wrong. I jumped in the car and headed straight for his place in a panic, my mind spinning profusely out of control. When I arrived he sat me down on the bed and told me there was something he had to be honest about if I was going to take his hand in marriage.
He continued on to tell me that for the last four years of our relationship he had been unfaithful. Not with only one woman but with many. My entire world fell apart in just a few short breaths, and my hopes and dreams went with it. On top of the thought of losing my happily ever after fairy tale I was overwhelmed by a massive burden of shame at the thought of, what will everyone think?
He promised that he had made a mistake and he loved me too much to ever hurt me like that again. And so I stayed. One year into our marriage, history repeated itself and while he was away for a friend's bachelor party he found himself in another woman's bed—not just once but five times that weekend. When he got home my gut told me something was wrong, so I confronted him, and he told me the truth.
He begged and pleaded for my forgiveness, once again promising that he had made a mistake and he loved me too much to ever hurt me like that again. This time there was even more at stake—he was my husband. Overcome by the oh-so-familiar burden of shame, this time I found it harder to process the thought of leaving. And so I stayed.
If I could go back and talk to that innocent girl, this is what I would tell her:
1. Don't believe in empty his promises.
I was in love with this man. He had come to me and was honest and promised he would never do it again, and I couldn't help but convince myself that I needed to believe him. Watching him beg and plead over and over broke my heart, and I felt convinced I needed stay. I held onto every ounce of those promises, but they were empty. He said those things so I would believe that we could move past it and things would be different, but he never took serious action to change anything.
2. It's not you; it's him.
Cheating is not a mistake. Cheating is a choice. You're never going to have all the answers or fully understand why someone you love is capable of stepping out on you. What is important to understand is that when someone cheats, it is because there is a void in their life they are trying to fill. Until they address this void, the foundation of the relationship cannot be rebuilt.
3. You'll never really get over it.
Once my husband and I had our endless conversations where I tried to understand and he begged for forgiveness, I would tell him I forgave him and we would get right back into normal routines. We would go on vacation and buy new things to cover up this emptiness. The saying that "you can forgive but you'll never forget" is so true. It doesn't matter what you do; you will never forget it.
4. It will never be the same again.
There is something in that split-second moment when you find out about infidelity that changes your relationship. Yes you can work on it, but you will never have the purity, the trust, the confidence, and the faith that you had before. A lot of relationships go through ups and downs that change their dynamics, but that is not what I am referring to. There is a significant difference between the day before you found out and the day after.
5. Staying is a reflection of your self-worth.
From the outside, my relationship was picture perfect. And looking back I realize that I was so concerned with my image that I ended up sacrificing my own value and happiness to protect it. I didn't love myself enough to stand up for what I truly deserved. I believed that staying made me strong, when really I found my strength the day I left him.
6. You deserve better.
I would tell that wounded girl that she deserved better. She deserved to be with someone who was faithful, who valued loyalty and commitment just as much as she did. She deserved someone who acted with the utmost integrity and respect, someone who loved her despite her faults and wanted to cherish her for the rest of her life. She deserved someone who loved her the way she loved him.
Infidelity is a prevalent issue in many relationships today. Since my divorce, I've learned that other people are going to make choices that change your life—but you have control over how you respond. Now that I know this, I can approach my current marriage with the experience and wisdom necessary to build a healthy, lasting relationship.
By: Sarah Cline
By Guest Nicole
How long would you wait to meet a person you have been knowing/dating on line?
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
It took 5 years after my divorce for me to start meeting people again.
For many years I couldn’t imagine ever meeting anyone new because I was still stuck on my past relationship. I enjoyed marinating in the past, feeling sorry for myself, guilty for what had happened, and fearful of what could happen in another relationship.
I had no desire to meet someone new. As time passed and I did the work of grieving and healing, things changed. In a more grounded and healed space, I am open to meeting new people in my life.
Having met a few women of late, I’m beginning to wonder if another relationship is even possible. Is the “one” person out there for me? Will I find love again? Will I find another relationship?
I know that if you’re divorced, broken up, or single for a long time, it can feel like you’ll never meet someone again. You might feel like you’ve done everything you can to meet that special someone but it doesn’t seem to be working.
Here are 7 things to keep in mind if you feel like you will never be with someone again.
You are enough by yourself.
Before you can meet someone and find a relationship, you must do inner work. Some of us have a lot of inner work to do. You might not know how to love yourself. Others might have a bad relationship with themselves. You might not feel complete or enough. Before seeking a relationship, you have to learn to be enough by just being you. This means accepting yourself for who you are. It’s realizing that you don’t need anyone but yourself. It’s realizing that you are complete. To realize that you are enough, look for ways to honor and appreciate yourself. Think about your loving and generous nature. Affirm daily that you are enough, you are loving and you are complete.
How you treat yourself is more important than any relationship.
You want a relationship filled with kisses, kind words, shared memories, and support, but can you receive love from someone else if you can’t accept it from yourself? Before trying to love someone else, love yourself. Do for yourself what you would do for someone else. Be considerate to yourself. Be patient to yourself. Be positive to yourself. Be gentle with yourself in the words you use and the way you treat yourself. Treat yourself to what you would enjoy. Splurge on yourself so you feel pampered and taken care of. Get enough sleep, rest, exercise, nutritious food and self-care. Treat yourself as you would treat your most devoted and passionate lover. If you’re seeking more ideas, check out my self-romance book here.
Visualize the relationship you want in your life.
It is important to know what kind of person you want in your life, so visualize them. Think of the person’s characteristics, values and world perspective. I try to focus on the internal qualities that I am looking for instead of the external ones. I’m not as preoccupied with someone’s career, looks or credentials. I’m not hiring someone to work for me or someone to show off to others. I’m looking for someone who is compatible with me, someone I can live with for the long term. So, visualize this person, but focus on what matters. What qualities in a partner do you desire? How would those qualities make you feel? Imagine the sensations and feelings of being with the person you adore and who fits the picture you’re looking for.
Let go of your attachment to having a relationship.
While it is good to have a picture of the person you want, you have to balance that with the need to let go of that picture as well. Don’t obsessively focus on that person in your visions. Worst of all, don’t focus on the fact that this person is not yet in your life. Engage in moments of visualization daily, but then let go. Learn to be comfortable with yourself and without that person in your life. Let go of the “needy” or “lack” energy in your life. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on the fact that the universe is doing its work to bring you that person. You do your part (living your life) and surrender to the rest.
Your beliefs rule your life.
Your beliefs affect your thoughts. Your thoughts affect your actions and your words. All of this ultimately affects your reality. Your belief system rules your life more than anything else, yet it’s the one thing you can’t see. If you feel hopeless about love or frustrated that you won’t ever meet anyone, you’re likely right. You cannot have self-sabotaging beliefs and expect life to give you something better than what you’re thinking about all the time. If you want a relationship, it’s essential that you shift your belief to a more empowering one. Visualize that person coming into your life. Affirm that you’ll meet someone. Trust that you’ll do it at the right time. Continue to see a picture of what’s possible and believe that you’ll meet the right person. Affirm and commit yourself to a positive picture of love each day. No matter what the past has held, believe your time for love is right around the corner.
Live your life to the fullest.
Regardless of what’s happening in your love life, the way to propel it forward is to live your best life every day. Many people are waiting to live until they meet their partner. You don’t need a partner to live the life you want to have. Sitting at home, refusing to go out with friends and being allergic to doing those things that bring you joy are not helping you find love. If you’re doing those things you’re passionate about and enjoying life every day, you’re more likely to see love coming your way. Raise the vibrations in your life to what it is you want to experience. If you fill yourself with happiness, joy, friendship and companionship each day, even without a partner, you will draw more of that into your life.
Be open to meeting people.
You have to mentally be open to meeting people wherever you are. You also have to open your heart to meeting people. Are your mind and heart open to relationships or closed like a castle door? If you’re avoiding social events, staying away from group activities and refusing to engage with bigger groups of people, you’re preventing yourself from finding the person you’re looking for. Instead of hiding in your cubicle or in your tiny space in the world, take small steps to come out of your shell. Get comfortable being around a couple of people and build yourself up to being in bigger groups. You may not like to be in bigger crowds, but challenge yourself each time. Your best life (and your dream partner) are waiting for you outside of your comfort zone.