Love Is Not Blind

My friend shared this quote with me:

Love is not blind

It sees more, not less

But because it sees more

It is willing to see less

-Julius Gordon

Isn’t that how it is with people when we really feel love for them? Sometimes we don’t feel love with the people most important to us. We start to nit-pick. We see everything they’re doing wrong. We FOCUS on the 20% we don’t like, and DIMINISH the 80% we do like.

My mom told me another quote: Have your eyes fully open before marriage, and half-closed after marriage.

Of course, this can be applied to any important relationship. Just be sure when you’re eyes are half-closed that you direct your gaze at the positive. You can see it all and you know it’s all there, just choose to focus on what you do like. There are more steps to this. But this one step can make a huge difference.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Struggling with a Transition? Read on…

This is a picture of my Grandma and me just before I left on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This was one of the times I remember really struggling with a transition to something new. The day I entered the Missionary Training Center, I thought I felt good, but looking back I realize I just didn’t feel bad. I actually didn’t feel anything. Feeling nothing was better than feeling scared, right?

That first night all of the new missionaries came together for a special meeting with the Mission President. The closing song was “Lord, I Would Follow Thee”. During the hymn I started crying, which was fine until I realized it was becoming uncontrollable. I was in the second row to the front, right where I felt like everyone sitting at the front of the meeting could see me. As we were dismissed, I hurried into the hall, but I wasn’t alone. The Mission President’s wife followed me and hurried me into the first door she could find, which happened to be the custodial closet. She put her arm around me and asked, “Is everything in your life in order?” I was mortified. She thought I was crying because I had done something that I needed to repent of. I don’t blame her. Why else would I be crying so uncontrollably in a public place?

What I didn’t know then, but that I know now, is that big transitions are really hard for me because I have a lot of practiced thoughts about doing new things. I think  thoughts such as: I should know how to do this; Mistakes are bad; Everyone else knows what they’re doing; Others won’t like me if I do this wrong; I’m the only one that doesn’t know what’s going on; I have to do this right.

I’ve never really even articulated those thoughts as what causes my pain. But when I write them down, I can see why they would create so much fear. Thoughts I’m practicing now during transitions are: I don’t need to know how to do this yet, that’s what I’m figuring out; If I already knew how to do this, I would have already done it; Everyone has to figure this out for themselves; No one is born knowing how to do this; I’m willing to do it wrong; There’s probably someone else who would benefit by me asking a question or getting clarification. If you’re struggling through something new, notice what you’re thinking, and try on some of these thoughts.

If you would like some one-on-one help, sign-up for a free coaching session with me. I’ll help you understand what’s so hard, and how to help yourself through it.

 

Thursday Thought: How do I choose to think about that time of my life?

I tend to think about my life in chunks of experiences. There were my childhood years, my teenage years, my years in university, my time on my mission, my working years, my time being married without kids, my time being married with kids at home. What chunks of time do you break your life into? What do you think about these different periods of time in your life?

Some ways I think about these different times in my life are: That was a really hard time in my life. I had a happy childhood. I was more spiritual then. I thought I was doing well, but really I didn’t realize what was really going on.

Did you know that everything you think about these times of your life are optional? AND the way you think about different experiences or times of your life can be helpful or hindering?

For example, if you think, “That was a really hard time in my life.” That could give you a feeling of accomplishment, or it could give you a feeling that something is wrong with you.

Think about how you want to think about different experiences you’ve had. Does it make you feel shame, broken, unaccomplished, unmotivated? Or does it make you feel proud, humble, grateful, empowered?

As always, if you want help exploring how you’re viewing your past, sign-up for a free coaching session. I will help you see how the way you view your past is helping your hindering you, and how frame it all so that it will help you get to where you want to be.

 

 

How to Improve Any Relationship

I’ve talked about The Manual before and the gist is that we all have detailed instructions for how we think other people in our lives should act and be and feel. The problem is the people in our lives don’t have copies of these manuals, and even if they did, they wouldn’t follow them because it’s like trying to get a refrigerator to be a microwave. It could probably do a few of the same things, but it’s a refrigerator not a microwave.

Today when I was writing down my manual for someone else, so I could take a look at it, I realized that the main problem in that relationship was my manual for myself in that relationship. Did you know we also have manuals for ourselves? What? Well, of course we would follow our own manuals, right?

If we’ve never really sat down and written out our manuals, we don’t really know what’s in them. I had things in my manual like, “I should be calm all of the time.” “I should want to hang out with everyone who wants to hang out with me.” “I should never disappoint my husband.”

Obviously, those instructions aren’t helpful, realistic, or even healthy. What’s in your manual? Write down 10 things right now. Then for each one ask yourself how it makes you feel. Is it useful?

Thursday Thought: He Loves Me and I Love Him

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today I wanted to give a thought that may be helpful if you’ve struggled with Valentine’s Day. A lot of marital relationship advice given is to tell each other your needs and then to try to meet each other’s needs. The only problem is that no one can quite meet your needs the way you want them to, even when you tell them exactly what to say or do.

We think we feel loved by our husband when he does something thoughtful, or loving like brings us the perfect gift, writes us a nice note, or says something loving. But has he ever done these things and you still didn’t feel loved? Maybe you had thoughts like, “He just did it because I asked him to.” or “He doesn’t really mean it.”

What if no matter what he did or didn’t do you thought, “He loves me and I love him”? Then how would you feel? I promise, it doesn’t matter what he does or doesn’t say or do. The only thing that will make you feel loved is to think the thought, “He loves me and I love him.” Only thoughts create our emotions, and they’re all optional. You get to believe whatever you want. Tell me how it’s true that he loves you, even if he didn’t get you the perfect gift/date/card/anything.

If you want to feel more love, sign-up for a free mini-session with me to figure out why you’re not feeling loved, or any other emotion you want to feel.

Thursday Thought: I Always Have A Choice

This thought caught a hold of me when I was reading one of Susanna Kearsley’s novels. I don’t even remember which story it came from, but in the story whenever the girl is scared and wants to just give up she remembers her mother telling her, “You always have a choice.” At one point, she says, “But this time I really didn’t have a choice.” However, as she thinks about it she realizes that she really still did have a choice.

We have lived here in Ontario for 8 years. During those 8 years I have gone back and forth of trying to think positively about living here and wanting to move back to where I grew up in Utah. The problem is that my husband doesn’t want to live in the States. Not that he’s not willing, but he feels the same way about living in the States as I feel about living in Ontario. Remember that line in EverAfter, “A bird can love a fish, but where would they live?” That’s kind of what it feels like for us. I’m not just talking about disappointment here. I’m talking real physical sharp pain in my heart. I knew the problem was in my thoughts, I just couldn’t seem to figure out what the thoughts were. Want to know the most painful thought I would think over and over and over? It was, “I have no choice.” I knew I had a choice. I would go over different choices all of the time, but I never liked any of my choices, so I kept telling myself I had no choice. The thought that I had no choice, or even that those were my only choices have caused me SO MUCH pain.

I tried on the thought, “I always have a choice.” I realized the choice I was making was to not like it here and live here anyway. That’s the choice I had been making all along, but it felt like it was just happening to me. When I decided to choose it intentionally I went from feeling like I had no power to feeling completely empowered. It feels so much better to make a choice consciously than passively. Which are the only choices.

Where do you feel like you have no choice? Leave a comment and let me know what you think of this thought.

 

Thursday Thought: It’s possible…

I love this thought and have been using it quite a bit recently. It’s similar to ….and it’s okay, in that you can add it onto any other thought. I like this one because you add it on to a thought you want to believe but don’t yet believe. Here are some ideas:

It’s possible I could love winter this year.

It’s possible I can lose weight.

It’s possible everything is as it should be.

It’s possible I can make money in a way I enjoy.

It’s possible I’m attractive to my husband.

It’s possible I could love living here.

What thought do you want to believe, but is just not sticking? Try adding “It’s possible…” to front of it and see what happens.

Word to the Why’s?

My friend told me about this concept called The 7 Layers of Why. It’s super helpful to figure out what you’re thinking. If you want to bring to light thoughts that you didn’t even know you had, that may be causing you problems, just ask, “Why?”.

Here’s an example from my experience:

  1. I don’t want to work on my program. Why?
  2. Because I don’t know where to start. Why?
  3. Because I’m waiting for someone to tell me how to do it. Why?
  4. Because I don’t want to waste time doing it wrong and then having to re-do it. Why?
  5. Because I don’t want to fail. Why?
  6. Because then I’ll feel bad about myself. Why?
  7. Because I’ll think that I should have known better.

Well, I can see that that last thought is ridiculous. I may have that thought, but it doesn’t even make sense. How would I know better if I’ve never written a program before and no one is telling me how to do it. The only reason I’ll feel bad is if I think that thought. I know thoughts are optional, and that was seems ridiculous to me, so I’ll just choose to think, “Good for me for trying!” If I know that’s the thought I’ll have no matter the result, then it’s easier to get started writing my program.

Give it a try! Let me know your 7 Layers of “Why?”.

 

 

Wanting Other People To Feel Better

When I was learning to speak Spanish, my trainer would correct me. every.single.time. That was her job right? One day I finally told her, “I want to learn Spanish. I want to know when I’m getting it wrong, but not all of the time. Sometimes I just want you to listen to my story.”

Can you relate? You know you have a problem, and you DO want to solve it, but sometimes you just want to talk about it. Sometimes you just want to complain about it. Sometimes you want to feel bad. You may not realize that you want to feel bad, because that’s crazy, right?? But we do. We WANT to feel all of the range of emotions. Talking about it can help us process the emotion, and understand the thoughts creating it.

However, sometimes we have a huge intolerance for negative emotion. We don’t even want other people to feel negative emotion. They’re crying and we say, “Don’t cry!” They’re mad and we say, “Don’t be mad!” We want to fix the “problem” that’s making them feel bad. We give advice so they can get over it.

We think we’re just trying to be kind and help them feel better, but what we’re saying is, “You’re feeling wrong.” What if they need to feel bad? What if the best thing for them is to feel a negative emotion? If we try to stop their pain instead of just listening to them talk about it, it could be like giving them a pain killer when something is really wrong. They won’t realize there’s something they need to pay attention to.

What if you were just there to help them feel their feelings instead of change them? What would that be like?

Thursday Thought: …And It’s Okay

Have you ever felt like you don’t fit in? I think that’s a thought I’ve had a lot of my life. It’s not all of the time, but it’s kind of a go-to thought that hasn’t served me well, and doesn’t feel very good. While getting coached on it, I realized that when I think I don’t fit in, I then decide there must be something wrong with me.

As I was getting coached, I was having a really hard time letting go of the thoughts that I’m different and there might be something wrong with me, so instead of changing it, my coach offered to just add on “…and it’s okay.”

Now when I have that thought come up, I add on “…and it’s okay.” “There might be something wrong with me, and it’s okay.” That thought makes me feel so relieved, instead of sad and desperate. So what if I’m different? So what if there are social skills I could improve on? It’s okay! We’re all different and quirky and have skills in different areas, and it’s okay! It’s nice that we’re not all robots.

What thoughts could you add this onto? Try it, and leave a comment to let me know!