This month I had a pleasure of being invited to a beautiful wedding. This invitation came over just a few weeks after the one of my young clients showed up in my office with a huge uncertainty about herself, her future life and most importantly, a big confusion about her previous relationship. This is what she sent me after this session:
“A “happy bride” seems to be one of those statements that are oftentimes assumed to be true. After all, the ring is finally on the finger that was once empty and the gruesome search is over. I am very blessed, indeed, to fall into the blissfully “happy bride” category. This would not have been the case without you, my dear mentor, teacher, and friend.
You taught me to believe in myself, embrace life around me, and channel out negative energy effectively. I can picture my former self as a bride, and trust me, it’s not pretty. Your training and devotion to my progress has made me a stress free bride and allowed me to actually enjoy this absolutely fantastic process of planning my big day. My friends who always told me I’d be a bridezilla are now calling me bridezilla “wannabe” (which I take as a compliment).
But the most important thing I received from you was your gift of understanding and acceptance. I often think of you and feel your warmth and hear your words of wisdom whenever life throws me a curve, and that is the best gift of all, a timeless gift. My fiancé is eternally grateful to you, the woman who brought out aspects of my Being I never knew existed. He believes that without your guidance I just could miss out on a great love story, ours.”
This letter is not about being grateful for finally getting married. It is rather about being grateful for finding the true self and making a decision with confidence and joy of knowing you are choosing what is right for you. For me, this letter is about finding peace with your own Being and sharing your true essence with someone who can understand, appreciate and support what you respect and cherish about yourself.
Working with many couples who were planning to get married (www.themarriagepuzzle.com), married couples and those who were on the verge of separation, I had a unique opportunity to notice the common patterns that showed up again and again in every interaction I observed. These were common habits of “pleasing others” and resenting it at the same time mixed with the need “to be right” and the need to prove yourself. These behaviors were considered by at least one person in each couple to be a necessity for peaceful co-existence that naturally occurred at the beginning of the relationship. Yet as relationship progressed, the habit of not communicating transparently, keeping your truth to yourself and doing things that did not feel right in order to stay in relationship actually ruined the relationship or attracted the wrong person as a partner. This strategy did not work in a long run.
When you act out of pressure or out of the need verse acting according to your heart desires, love and understanding, you create a pile of resentment that is really hard to clean up as it keeps building a wall around your heart. Each of us is a inimitable Being who’s unique flavor really makes humanity more interesting and enlightened (in spite of what your parents told you). You are distinctively programmed to BE YOU and interact with the world in YOUR WAY. This is the biggest gift you can give to your family, your community and humanity as a whole.
As we interact with people in our environment (in order to fulfill our needs and desires), we hear some opinions and criticism that usually reflect these people’s emotional state and the state of mind. Unfortunately, we internalize some of these opinions and create habits that protect us or compensate for our feeling of being “inadequate”. When we unconsciously act from this internalized feeling, we often enter into unpleasant situations that reflect our fears and create unproductive relationships. Building relationships that thrive starts with consciously understanding and accepting your true nature and living accordingly. When your relationship with yourself is changed to loving and accepting, it begins to show up externally: you visit the right places at the right time and co-create synchronistic events with the right people who you attract easily.
Honoring yourself for your individuality is the most important and challenging task for most of us. If you would like to check in with yourself and see how your inner relationship affects your external life, I invite you to spend a few minutes contemplating the questions below. As you are reading these questions, please mark “yes” or “no” for each one of them to help you become more conscious about things you may unconsciously hide or compromise about.
Do you try to convince everyone that they are wrong?
Are you driven by the need to be right?
Are you staying involved in and holding onto relationships, jobs and places that are not good for you?
Are you manufacturing interpretations to avoid telling or facing the truth?
Are you avoiding confrontation or rocking the boat with another person?
Are you experiencing pressure to be able to answer everyone else’s questions?
Are you acting in a hurry and thinking that you can free yourself of the pressure by getting things done faster?
Are you depleting your energy by not knowing when “enough is enough”?
Do you feel enslaved and victimized?
Do you feel a need to prove yourself to others?
Do you have a tendency devalue yourself or your services?
Are you being disappointed by your love life or preoccupied with finding love?
Are you feeling doubtful and indecisive about your direction in life?
Are you trying to attract attention?
Are you anxious about the manifestation of your desires?
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, checking in with your most important values and seeing if your values are supported within your relationships will give you some deep insights about why you do what you do and feel what you feel. Just write down your 5-7 major values and check every relationship you feel off about against this list. Simple awareness and understanding how the need “to please others” or “prove yourself” influences your decisions and how this affects your life can help you eliminate resistance, minimize painful experiences and assists you in making decisions without relying on outside authorities. It can help you value yourself, be available to yourself and be able to do the best for others without damaging yourself and disregarding who you are and what you value.
I invite you to become aware of your unique place in the human puzzle and see that it is perfect for you and people you attract in your life. It is time to call your power back from every compromise and every resentment pile you’ve created. I invite you to take back your attention from everyone you are wanting to fix and everyone who is trying to fix you and put your attention on yourself. I invite you to open your heart to yourself and give the love that you are so eager to share, to yourself.
This holiday season give yourself a gift you want to send to others, allow yourself to receive all the love and attention you are so willingly send away and add the joy you are creating for others to every aspect of your own life Allow yourself to speak up, to wear what you want, to do what you care about and to be true to yourself while being truthful with others. This is the biggest gift you can share – the gift of HAPPY, HEALTHY, TRUTHFUL and TRANSPARENT YOU!