Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Post Estrangement: what lies beyond judgement?

We can only judge actions. Trying to fathom intentions behind the action is always just about making a guess or making assumptions. 

One of the problems with labels based on assumptions occurs when we take them one step further and use these assumptions to justify actions taken or to explain actions experienced.  Neither is helpful beyond a certain point because they are based on conjecture without fact, suppositions without knowledge.

The challenges with such justifications and explanations are that they are simply a hypotheses based on what we think we know. 

A world wide problem is that our whole way of communication is structured around judgmental-ism and accusations.  We tend to talk in terms of who did what to whom, or who did what to me and try to explain it in terms of judgmental expressions.

I am researching another area lately; looking at "what needs are not being met".  This is a fascinating way of approaching human relationships.  When someone acts in a way that we perceive as being without empathy, I am now choosing to ask; "what needs have not been met for this person to treat others this way?"

Are there answers from this point of view?  I don't know, because this is a new concept / point of view for me. However it would seem to be a healthier way, for me at least, to view the actions of others as coming from a place of lack, a lashing out because of an unmet emotional need.

I think if I had a do over I would ask my estranged daughter; “what emotional need have I not been able to fulfill for you in the past and how can I fulfill that need now”?

Would that open up dialogue?   I really do not know. 
What I do know is that explaining, apologizing, begging etc. did not work.
Anger and blaming also have not helped me in my own healing journey.  Can I extrapolate that to mean that her anger and blaming me is not helping her to heal either? 

Self-compassion is a way of looking at myself that is helping me to heal.
Does that mean that compassion toward estranging offspring is a viable path on the road to acceptance or even reconciliation? I do not know the answer but I am willing to struggle with this different perspective and allow time to show me the possibilities. 

Trying to justify and explain away the behaviour; the action of rejecting, distancing, non communication and abandoning does give me a sense of closure yes.  But does it heal?  

That is the question that I am facing right now in my own personal healing journey.  In trying to find my path forward I have to move beyond closure to a new perspective, a different outlook based on what I am learning about myself, human interactions, relationships.

Where previously I wanted to understood from the view point of making a judgement and finding an explanation, I now want to go beyond into a new frontier.  I want to look at what was / is missing that gives rise to a person exhibiting certain personality and character behaviours.  

I especially want to discover the correlation between what my personal "unmet needs are" and my responses to certain actions.  

I hope that in doing, so I will offer myself the opportunity to gain a better understanding of myself.  And my hope is that in getting to understand myself better, I will also be better able to see similar co-relationships in others when they act badly towards me. 

  • To be able to see beyond the action and the judgement to unmet need causality.  
  • To discover if there is indeed a relationship between unmet needs, internal pain and actions that cause pain towards others.  
And if there is indeed a relationship then I will be in a better position / better equipped to protect myself from further pain by the structuring of more effective and yet at the same time more compassionate personal boundaries. 

Renate Dundys Marrello 
2016 - 06 - 21

Link to my Facebook Reflections Page

photo credit - as marked or unknown

My journal blog entries are copyright.
I love when you share my page to spread the word.
If you want to quote me I kindly ask that you please provide a link back to my page. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Daily Reflection: the Role of Healing in changing Self talk


We all do it, our own inner voice is the one that we hear the most. It has the most to teach us and it is also the one most likely to harm us. 

It is the voice we try to drown out with distractions and self-medication to not face the hurtful things we say to ourselves.  

It is also the voice that can be the instrument of our inner healing.  Our inner voice comes from our unconscious minds that store all the memories and impressions.  When we react to a hurtful event, our response comes from the depths of our unconscious mind. When we talk to ourselves that message also come from submerged messages and memories that we hold about our past. 

Healing from our childhood wounding is learning how to put those now no longer pertinent messages to rest.  How can we do that when we suppress them?  We can’t.  

What we suppress comes out in other areas of our lives and our relationships.  When we suppress feelings of inadequacy that comes out in how we behave, how we interact with other people.  Whether that suppressed feeling is transposed into anger and negativity toward our self or toward others does not really matter.  The fat remains that we act in response to suppressed memories and when they get triggered we unconsciously respond in ways that are not really in our best interests. 

Healing requires that we honestly face those of our messages that come from our unconscious mind.  To draw them voluntarily to the surface, to look at them, examine them.  Find out the truth of them and then reorder and restock our unconscious mind with the corrected version of those same messages.

Wherever that journey takes us is how we come to know who we really are.  When we are no longer relying on an unconscious response to negative triggers but rather creating a life built on our own personal well thought out convictions, we become true to ourselves and the messages we send to ourselves in times of difficulty or even trauma are reflections of the values we hold dear not the triggered responses from our childhood self that are no longer relevant.

When we heal we develop a keen awareness of our own personal demons.  Oddly enough that also changes the way we see the key players in our lives.  When we start to see our own demons, we start to see which demons are speaking (or were speaking) for those others in our lives.  

As we get to know ourselves better, we start to see others in relationship to their own inner demons.  

As we show ourselves compassion as we strive to have better self talk, we see how others have either learned or have not learned, faced or denied themselves the opportunity to heal. 

And in the process we become more compassionate toward those who have not yet discovered the power of inner healing.

Often those who hurt us the most have the most need for inner healing.  And sadly often those in the most need of inner healing are the most in denial of needing inner healing.  The very actions that hurt us the most we discover come from the very wounds that they are unwilling to face.

Those of us brave enough to face our inner demons change from the inside out.  We don’t just adopt a different outlook; we consciously make choices to change deep down to our core values.  The work is hard but rewarding.  In the process we go from damaging negative self-talk, to strong empowering self-talk. 

Here is however where I have a word of caution.  To just decide to employ positive self talk without first doing the inner healing is like putting a bandage on a gaping wound.  If the wound is infected and filled with pus first it needs to be disinfected and healed, maybe even some stitches applied to close the wound.  Just covering it up would allow infection and rot to remain and fester.

By all means build a better more positive self talk vocabulary, but first investigate the source of the negative self talk, heal the old emotional wounds, scour the unconscious mind for hidden messages that have been buried and lain unresolved and yet trigger behaviour in us that we struggle to reconcile. 

Heal all those inner demons and walk toward a future where you truly are the source of your conscious choices and actions and reactions.

Then if you are really brave, take that healing and use it to show compassion towards those who have not yet healed, toward those that continue to hurt and hurt others because of their unresolved inner demons.  Become a beacon of light as you change and show others that change is possible.  Maybe even open up old conversations from a new perspective, from a place of kindness and compassion and growth rather than from anger and fear and retaliation.

How would that change your relationships, your connections, and your corner of the world?

Renate Dundys Marrello 

2016 - 06 - 17

Link to my Facebook Reflections Page

photo credit - as marked or unknown

My journal blog entries are copyright.
I love when you share my page to spread the word.
If you want to quote me I kindly ask that you please provide a link back to my page. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Daily Reflection: where do we learn values?

I had a dream last night.  

In my dream a child grows up with no positive role models.  They see greed, and anger, they see hatred and revenge, the see love used for control and power, they see greed and ruthless desire for more.  In the midst of this they create a list. 

On that list are the characteristics the child imagines are the good characteristics, honesty, trust, kindness and generosity, gratitude, compassion, empathy.  

The list grows as the child learns about values that mark a good person.  

As the child grows up they face situations where the easy answer is that which they are familiar with.  

And every challenge the child faces they handle the same way, they pull out their list and ask “what would a good person do?”.  This child bases all their actions on a list of qualities that they never experienced.  This child never doubts what it takes to have good moral values even though those values are the exact opposite to which they have been exposed. 

As I woke up I wondered; is it possible to grow up to be a kind empathetic compassionate person growing up in a home where being right is more important that love, where being in control is more important than compromise, where winning above all else is what matters? 

Where do we learn our values?

Is it true that we only learn what we live?

That the home environment that we grow up in determines the kind of person we become?

Or do we have choices to make in growing up? Can we see wrong and recognize it as wrong and decide to do differently?  Or are we doomed to become and repeat that which we experienced? 

Are our reactions, our safety strategies as a child doomed to become the very character traits in the adult us that we fought against as the child us?

The psychologists would have us believe that our childhood determines what kind of adults we become.  If this is true, are we all doomed? 

Renate Dundys Marrello 
2016 - 06 - 16

Link to my Facebook Reflections Page

photo credit - as marked or unknown

My journal blog entries are copyright.
I love when you share my page to spread the word.
If you want to quote me I kindly ask that you please provide a link back to my page. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Post Estrangement: Leaning to create equality in relationships

In estrangement, various stories all have the same underlying content; a power play gone wrong.  Love and kindness is seen as a weakness to be exploited.  The kindhearted person is used as a supply for love, attention, financial gain etc. Controlling and manipulative tactics are used to keep the submissive “doormat” personality in check while feeding the needs of the dominant, power seeking personality.

Healing, in life after estrangement, has a lot to do with working on the underlying content, recognizing the imbalance in the relationship, which has the dynamic between abuser and victim, or between bully and target.  The second phase of healing is then to look deep within to discover the source of the imbalance and to take steps to change those personality traits that allow the submissive personality to be exploited.

Learning about this relationship imbalance is the first step to recognizing it.

In the first place we must become able to look back in hindsight and to see where we were being used, taken for granted etc.  We have to learn how our actions of caring and peacekeeping were seen as weaknesses to be exploited.

Then in the second phase we have to develop a different way to see and evaluate new relationships with awareness so we can take steps to stop exploitative relationships from forming or to extricate from them sooner.

For the most part when kind people become "doormats" in an effort to "keep the peace" the users and abusers of that kindness get too much power in the relationship. 

Healing is learning how to continue to be kind without having that kindness be abused or taken for granted.  Healing is learning how to “stand up for oneself” and learning that “peace” is about equality not about backing down.

Learning about how to take steps to not "act like a doormat" empowers us to find and maintain relationships where we are among equals and limit relationships where we are not seen as equals.

We need to internalize that as important as it is to give respect to others we deserve equally to be respected in return.

We need to recognize and truly believe that being treated with dignity and kindness is our right not something we have to earn through submissive behaviour.

Learning to correct the balance is changing how we think of ourselves, how we talk to ourselves and how we treat ourselves. When we start to expect better treatment, when we truly believe we deserve better treatment we send out different vibrations to the universe.  Most importantly, we become less useful to the users and takers when we don't offer them an easy target.  

Renate Dundys Marrello

Link to my Facebook Reflections Page

photo credit - as marked or unknown

My journal blog entries are copyright.
I love when you share my page to spread the word.
If you want to quote me I kindly ask that you please provide a link back to my page. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

My Daily Reflection: Who loses when you heal?

When a demeaning action of another person brings you down, you have to work very hard to establish once again in your own mind that you do have value and that there is nothing inherently wrong with you. 

It is a very hard journey to return to that pace where you KNOW you are worthy even when others don’t appreciate your worthiness.

It is all too easy to allow a critique (whether by word or by action) to wormhole its way into your subconscious mind and before you know it you are demeaning yourself!  You start questioning your value because someone else did not take the time to understand you and rather found it easier to point out what they consider to be a fault in you. 

A healing journey is really a way of discovering / or rediscovering your worthiness in the face of criticism and others finding fault with you, often simply because you had the audacity to have a different point of view.

Some people will feel threatened by this healing journey of yours and will even go so far as to criticize you for the energy you spend on your own healing.  Can you imagine this, being called a selfish for spending time and effort on personal empowerment through healing.

What do they really fear? 
I believe they fear that in coming to believe in your own worthiness you will no longer be such an easy target. 
They fear you will now stand up for yourself. 
They fear the personal power you are gaining.

And who really has the most to lose? 
Those who like being in control. 
Those who bully their way through life pointing out other people’s faults. 
Those who get a secret pleasure seeing others diminished. 

No wonder they resent your spending so much time on your own healing.  They know that your healing means they have been exposed and they no longer have the power to control and manipulate you.

I have come to believe that those who protest the most against the time you spend healing yourself are the ones with the most to lose by your victory.

Renate Dundys Marrello
2016 - 06 - 10

Link to my Facebook Reflections Page

photo credit - as marked or unknown

My journal blog entries are copyright.
I love when you share my page to spread the word.
If you want to quote me I kindly ask that you please provide a link back to my page. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Post Estrangement: Emotional changes in Healing

Our feelings are often used as a way to judge the events in our lives.  Naturally we all want to avoid the emotions that feel painful; sorrow, sadness, distress, anger.  At the same time we strive to feel more of the emotions that feel pleasurable; happiness, excitement, exuberance.  When we feel more of the first group we recognize that events in our life aren’t unfolding in the way we want whereas when we feel more of the later we feel confident that things are going well. 

When we grieve we spend almost all of our time with the painful emotions and we dream of those times when we had pleasant emotions and we start to wonder if we will ever feel them again. Negative emotions I find are overwhelming, they give me the sensations of sinking or drowning or being smothered.  They resonate with deep throbbing vibrations and I visualize them as deep valleys or chasms which I have to climb out of.  Maybe that is why healing feels like such hard work, it is the emotional equivalent of hard physical labour, climbing out of the depths of despair.

Even in the depths of those valleys I could recall what it used to feel like to be happy.  I remembered what it felt like to smile so hard that my cheeks hurt, to laugh until my sides ached, being so thrilled with a sense of accomplishment as to feel untouchable.  Those peaks don’t last long, they are fleeting examples of the peaks in my life.  They exemplify the euphoria of feeling on top of the world. 

One stage of healing is what I call the “flat line” of numbness.  When I got to that place where I didn’t feel much of anything, when I turned off, tuned out, and when nothing mattered anymore because nothing was worth caring about.  This is a despairing place to be, the whole body shuts down, nothing is interesting, nothing generates excitement, and it is living inside a mind and body that is just waiting to die.  I think this numb stage is essential when recovering from extreme sorrow.  The danger is that if nothing happens to shake us up we might never escape.

I was lucky; I was given a life event that shocked me out of that mindlessness.  It challenged me to find a way to begin wanting feelings again, of wanting to reconnect with joy and enthusiasm and accepting that living requires me to face also disappointments and challenges, change and loss.

What I found interesting though was that as I worked on various healing strategies to rediscover joy I found something even more valuable!  I discovered that I was starting to connect with what I have chosen to call “Neutral Feelings”.  The gentler ebb and flow of life; where in reality we spend most of our lives.  Most of our living actually takes place when we are neither in the ache of despair nor in euphoria joy.  But because these neutral feelings are not as strong therefore we tend to not connect with them as consciously.

I found that I started to be more cognizant of feelings like peace and contentment.    When there was neither the “flat line” of numbness, nor the peaks and valleys of extreme emotions, I started to discover these rather gentle undulations.  I became aware of greater and lesser levels of contentment, more intense and less intense feelings of peace, and different increments of happiness.

I am starting to love the gentle ebb and flow of these mid-range emotions. There is contentment, and acceptance, optimism and awareness of possibilities, and even resignation and tolerance of change.

I am starting to feel that with these gentler feelings as my conscious base line I can handle the unpleasantness of the painful feelings with greater inner strength and not despair when triggering memories erupt. 

From this more secure pathway I can take risks; striving to reconnect with those opportunities that hold for me the intensely joyful, the out of bounds exuberance and the risk of failure.

And most important of all, I am learning that connecting with the comfort of these very important and satisfying “neutral emotions” I can face the inevitable loss when the high intensity joyful moments pass too quickly.  I am starting to learn that I also have greater control over these mid-range emotions.  Simpler things trigger a moment of happiness, a moment of peace, a moment of contentment.  And finally, and maybe most importantly, sorrow is more quickly transformed into acceptance of change and toleration of loss.

Renate Dundys Marrello 
2016 - 06 - 04 

Link to my Facebook Reflections Page

photo credit - as marked or unknown

My journal blog entries are copyright.
I love when you share my page to spread the word.
If you want to quote me I kindly ask that you please provide a link back to my page.