Monthly Archives: August 2015

Self-Doubt Cripples Us in Achieving Goals and Relationships. How Do We Overcome It?

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We all face it at some point, and some of us battle it constantly. I know I have fought against it most of my life, and have spent years working at re-wiring myself. Self-Doubt. It is easily one of the most prohibiting, damaging things when it comes to hindering ourselves in, well… everything. Happiness, reaching for our dreams, relationships, professional goals…..self-doubt can sneak in and hinder us from achieving what we most want and need, and literally can become crippling when it is present at high degrees.

Where does it come from? We do not seem to be born with it ( young children have to be monitored in part, because they do not know their own limitations). It is hard to know for sure what brings about all insecurities, but some possible sources could be things such as having experienced failure (and thus fear develops of repeating it), or it could be a natural side-affect of depression, and other mental illnesses. However, one of the largest sources that I have seen both in personal relations/experience, and through clients, is that it tends to get instilled by other people. Sometimes the source is from an unhealthy relationship where the significant other repetitively heavily criticized someone to the point that their sense of self-worth and confidence was wounded— and they then doubt themselves, their worth, and their abilities in ways they did not previously. For others (including myself), it can start at a very early age from the abusive words of a narcissistic parent who strives to belittle and hold the child down below them. Damaging words claiming stupidity, ugliness, inability to do things, and even telling a child that no one will ever want, or love them….can become deeply ingrained, especially when received at an early stage of development. Ultimately, the reason hearing these kind of things can have such a damaging impact (at any age) comes down to having them said by those we most love and trust….the people whose opinions we most value, respect, and crave…..as well as the desire to be able to control and fix things within our own selves (meaning we would like to believe that the problem in a relationship is our own selves, and thus something that can be solved if we manage to change/ correct the issue…. compared to accepting something is wrong that cannot be controlled or fixed—be it with the other person, or relationship dynamics/obstacles that do not work). So essentially, when loved ones repetitively say things that diminish our worth, it can over-time affect the way we think about, and see ourselves…..it can make us doubt our ability to achieve things, and to even be loved or wanted by others.

Insecurities hold us back from rising to become who we want to be. They tell us that we are not good enough, smart enough, talented enough. “Why bother trying, or putting the effort in, when it will all just turn to dust, and result in embarrassment when I fail.” So we sit, we agonize, we ache for things we think we cannot have…without even trying. One of my largest areas that I personally struggle with is singing. I love to sing, it brings me joy. In private I can sing things perfectly, nail it…. but when auditioning, or in a situation where I will be judged in some way…. that old self-doubt creeps in. That doubt has often resulted in extra vibrato and mistakes I otherwise would not have made…in fact, it has happened so much that I refer to it as, “The Delaney Choke”. There are some who likely have only heard me under those circumstances, and thus assume that is how I sing all of the time. However, on the flip side, when I have worked with those who heard me singing with confidence from the start… their resulting enthusiasm and trust in me always has resulted in me rising-up inside, and being able to respond likewise on my end— and produce more than I even realized I was capable of. Its amazing how that works. When we think someone assumes we cannot accomplish something we tend to falter and live-down to that expectation, but when met with someone who is positive and seems to have no doubt in our ability to accomplish what they ask for….we can shine. Its unfortunate that we can be so easily influenced in our abilities by the expectations we perceive that others have, but ultimately it is something to take consideration of when it comes to how we ourselves talk to, and treat others…especially if we are in any kind of leadership or teaching role, and of course, when it comes to interacting with children.

Something I have seen many times in others, and even experienced myself…is the inability to take credit for what we have achieved, even when we truly have done something wonderful. Those doubts whisper to us telling us it is a fluke, and that it won’t happen again. We may feel that we are some kind of impostor, and that we just somehow managed to trick everyone into thinking we could do something. “I am a fraud, because people didn’t notice the mistakes and issues that I know were there. Everyone is just trying to be nice to me, and are patting me on the back to make me feel good even though I really did not do that great of a job.” Essentially, we rob ourselves of our own light….we become scared of it, and it seems like it cannot be real, because it conflicts with everything else we normally think, and what maybe those voices of the past told us. It can become scary to think what you so desperately want is actually within reach…scary to let yourself hope. It may seem easier to down-talk to ourselves to avoid being crushed if it turns out that glimmer of hope does not become something more. We put ourselves back into the safety of the cage we are familiar with. For some people, they may fear if they do take credit, and if they do feel, and show happiness for what they have achieved… that they somehow will become like the narcissistic person who originally hurt them. They don’t want to be seen as bragging, or having a big ego of some kind, let alone to somehow develop into the person whose voice they maybe still hear in their heads…. so they shrink themselves via thinking it is bad to feel pride in something they have done, all the while not understanding that they are allowed to do so. There is a vast difference between having reasonable self-confidence and pride in oneself, and being someone who has delusional puffed-up grandiose views ( and obsessive self-love), and who strives to bring others down in order to make themselves feel bigger and better (even their own children and significant others).

Back to relationships. So many people stay in abusive relationship situations because they get trapped into thinking that no one else will love and want them, and that they are lucky that the person puts up with them despite all of their faults… because no one else would. Typically, they continue to try to change things on their end, re-make themselves etc… thinking that will be the solution to making things work in the relationship, and that it will create the love and happiness that they crave to develop in the situation. Once free of the original damaging relationship it can continue to haunt, and create issues with other attempts at relationships—often resulting in making similar choices. It is hard to break the habits of being obliging, and putting one’s own needs and desires aside in order to keep the other happy, and maintain the relationship—even if it comes at great personal costs. They may end-up in new relationships where the new person also dominates in some way, OR the complete opposite—select those who they feel are safe, non-intimidating, and whom they possibly see as someone that they can mold into being what they really want/ need in a romantic partner over time. Essentially they continue to try to “change” either themselves, or the other person in some way to make things “fit”, instead of seeking a balanced relationship pairing from the start that does not resonate on their self-doubts in some way—be it by choosing someone who pulls them into the familiar cycle, or by choosing those who they think they can completely avoid those issues with by “selecting down”. Neither works. The first situation will destruct via neither really being happy with each other (and create more inner damage/ self-doubts of not being able to succeed at having a healthy relationship), and the second will eventually destruct due to not being the right match to begin with, not to mention the fact that it can essentially inflict the same kind of inner damage onto a new person via the pressure placed on them to change, live-up to expectations that may not be possible for them, become someone else etc…to meet the true needs and desires of the other. It just starts the cycle in someone new (regardless if it is not intended to pass it on)—makes them doubt themselves based on not being what someone else wants, not being able to fulfill their expectations etc…and is not what truly loving someone is supposed to be about.

Ultimately the repeating of similar choices happens due to feeling and believing that the kind of person and relationship that they truly desire is out of their reach because that “type” of person would not have an interest in, nor would be able to love them. So… they settle. They instead grab for the wrong people, and hope that they can build them, and the relationship, into what they want and need instead of finding the right elements from the start. They end-up stuck in spirals of doubt, blaming themselves when things do not work-out (or when issues arise), instead of being able to look at things from a healthy perspective, and be truthful to themselves when situations simply are not the right match….or when the other person is pushing their agenda, or being out right abusive (typically they like to make excuses for that kind of behavior). It somehow is always twisted into being their own fault and lacking. They think it is their weakness for not feeling the same way, and try to force themselves further into the relationship because they believe that any qualms are false, and are due to the damage from past experiences and ingrained doubts… OR… they once again assume the other person is right, better than them, so great that something must be wrong with them to not feel/ want more… and thus they need to somehow change and correct things on their end yet again (I have been there myself, and made a very large mistake due to thinking I could somehow force myself into feeling more/ wanting the same things as the other person, and it would have been avoided had I listened to my doubts instead assuming I was “broken”). They do not trust themselves, and fear they will just end-up alone, so they have to make the situation they are in work somehow… regardless of what issues are there, even if it requires giving up part of who they are, or their own self-worth to achieve it. None of it is true. We all have worth. We innately have it. We were born with it. There are people out there who will love us for who we are without belittling us, or trying to change us into something else that they want, need, or envision in their heads. Its not a dream, it is reality, and we all deserve that, and can have it if we wait, believe, and allow it for ourselves. It may not seem possible, but it is.

It truly is about how we choose to see ourselves. Even though other people can have such an impact on our self-esteem… the real key is how we talk to, and perceive our own selves. When we believe we are capable, when we can see our own beauty, worth, and talents…and are strong in that knowledge….then no one can take it away from us, rock our inner boats, or cause us to settle for less than what we deserve, and are capable of. I say this as someone who knows, and has experienced both ends of the scale. I had a difficult childhood. I grew-up constantly hearing that I was “nothing”, and it became what I believed. I blamed myself when others treated me poorly, because I assumed they were correct… and I often felt the need to apologize in some way for what I perceived I was lacking in. I felt bad for making others have to put-up with me, and thus felt lucky/ grateful when they did, even if they did so in ways others would not have seen as being nice, or healthy. I worked constantly to try to please others, be what they wanted me to be, keep a smile on my face….and gave of myself in ways that resulted in being taken for granted… in attempts to make-up for perceived deficits. I went quiet whenever I feared someone would think what I had to say/ share would be “stupid” in some way, and hid so much of myself because I assumed others would just further criticize, and take yet more of my light/self away. I settled for scraps of affection, because I did not think I was worthy of anything better, or that anyone would ever truly love or want me. I put-up with outright being compared to other women in ways where the results were always that I was the one who was lacking/ the loser, and nodded my head in agreement when I heard that I was not attractive enough, not smart enough, talented enough, spiritual enough…. and I even thought that there was truth in being told others would somehow have a lesser opinion of the other if they were with meβ€”-all because I had already been raised to believe all of those things. It was normal to me, and I did not doubt any of it….in fact, I felt guilty for not being “more”. None of it was true, and it breaks my heart whenever I see anyone else stuck in these kind of patterns and beliefs, because I know full-well how soul-crushing it all can be.

It was not until the last decade that I started to see things…myself… differently. I have moments where I still slip (and I have discovered it is something I have to work to “upkeep” due to how heavy the past programing was), but ultimately I feel that inside I am completely a different person than I once was. I am strong now, I embrace my own light, my own worth…. I know that I am talented, beautiful, intelligent, and that I have a lot to offer to others. However, it all was hard-won, and took time. I did not gain it through the words of others, but instead, via my own self….and though it maybe took longer to achieve by that method, I know that it also is deeper rooted, and less likely to be shaken, or stolen by others. I promised myself that I would never again settle for anyone who treats me like I am less/ not good enough in some way, or anyone who attempts to change me… I would rather be on my own, and happy in my own self, than to settle for the wrong relationship—be it because I do not think I deserve better, or just out of fear of being alone because no one else would want me. I would rather wait for something real…. and even if it does not come, at least I know I can still be full, and happy on my own, without being pulled-down, or having to sacrifice anything of myself/ my light. As impossible as it may sound, we all can achieve that. When we truly are happy, and secure with our own selves, we are likely to make better, healthier choices for ourselves, and in our relationships. We will look for what complements, fits with, and improves us, rather than grabbing things out of desperation to fill the holes within us… even if they ultimately are not good for us, or even create more damage… both for our selves, and others. I feel like a broken record sometimes with my clients, constantly trying to counsel them in ways to help them see their own self-worth, and to nurture it…. to give themselves time to have relationships with, and nurture love for their own selves before reaching for the wrong things/ people again. It is always beautiful to see the results when people actually do that for themselves….and how drastically their lives change. On the other side of it, it is sad, ( and sometimes frustrating) to see those who repeat the same cycles, all because they do not believe they deserve, or are capable of having anything better for themselves.

Most everything comes down to what we BELIEVE. I know I have used the Dumbo Feather analogy before in a blog, and that I say it a lot when I work with people…. but it is so true. When we believe we can, when we believe we have worth, when we believe we deserve more, when we believe our true goals and dreams can be achieved, and when we believe we deserve true love ( meaning, loved for who we truly are)…..then it all becomes true, and available to us. The limitations lift. We can fly.

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We Do Not Have to Continue the Chain of Hate and Pain. Let Love Guide You.

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I see a lot of hurt people come through my chat rooms, and also a variety of different perspectives, reactions, and coping methods. Of them all, the most damaging is when people let how others treat them dictate not only who they are, but also how they in turn treat others. Sometimes people feel justified in being cruel in response to the actions of others, and feel it is somehow in their right to pay someone back. What’s more, people often defend their wrongful actions towards those who have not even hurt them ( by saying they are somehow excused, due to how others treated them in the past). These people often remain trapped, and held back by pain that does not really heal….and by the belief that causing the same pain in the person/ people that harmed them (and sometimes even in those who are innocent) will somehow take their pain away. It doesn’t. It does the opposite.

How other people treat us, what others give and do not give etc… does not need to define us, nor does it set any kind of standard (or rather, lack there of) that we must use in our own interactions with others. Yes, it hurts. Sometimes what others do and say can even be shattering, but the true way to rise above that pain, and to not let that person continue to affect you in negative ways…. is to not pass it on, or create a chain of harmful actions. Show them that they did not take away your light—that you can still love, and be kind to others.

We have all seen the verses from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (typically on cute home decor, pinterest memes etc…). Often they are reduced to just focus on the first words, or the first line…and the rest of it is lost, or ignored. The Kings James version is a little different ( charity is in place of the word love, and the wording is a bit different, but otherwise the same meaning), but I am going to use what most will be familiar with for the purposes of this blog.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.

Essentially, those verses not only define what love is… but also what it is not, and should not be. Love is not about feeling jealousy. It is not something to show-off, and brag to others about…. nor something to view as a means of gaining personal status and validation from others (outside of the relationship). Love most certainly is not about causing harm to others. Additionally, real love cannot be found in someone who is just seeking to have their own desires fulfilled, rather than truly loving the other person. When we truly have love in our hearts, (even when we have been hurt or wronged)….we should not lash out in anger, or bitterly cling to every mistake and bad deed someone has done. Love does not exist in anything that is vindictive, let alone feeling pleasure in hurting others—regardless of what they may have done. Love is supposed to be something that shields not just others, but our own hearts. We should continue to see the best in people, and strive to move forward. Not only should we seek to remain open to love….. but to give it generously as well. It is a recipe of sorts. It says not only what love is, and isn’t— but also how we should, and should not react when we have been hurt, or even betrayed… especially if there is truly love within us.

Often, a person’s true character and depth of feeling will be revealed not during periods where things are going as they want (or lovey, romantic etc…), but rather when there are trials, conflicts, or when pain has been inflicted (be it intentional, or not). We can hold our heads up and act with grace, show our strength and dignity…. or we can try to “get back” at that person, ridicule them, cause harm to them, make things difficult for them etc… Even if we have to leave a situation for our own best interest, it can still be done in a way that does not stoop down, or put focus on lashing at the other person (especially in public ways). Ultimately there is nothing to truly be gained in seeking revenge. It is not noble, it does not reflect truly having ever loved the person, and it will not change anything, or make it better for you. Revenge might bring a temporary flare of twisted glee, but once that has burned-out, you still will be left empty-handed and heart-broken… because it won’t take the pain away, or fill any holes within you. Hate cannot heal.

So what can heal? Love. When we show grace and forgiveness (even if it is with the understanding that we can no-longer have someone in our lives) it is not just about the other person. Forgiveness is also about freeing our own selves so that we can move forward, and be free to continue living and loving without the weight of pain, anger, and hate on our hearts. When we react in anger towards another person, it may serve to make them feel justified in their choices and actions. However, when we show forgiveness, compassion etc…that is what truly might make someone take pause, and see the contrast in how they themselves behaved. It is through responding to things with love and kindness that we can grow, as well as help others to learn via being an example, and breaking the chains of repeated acts of hate ( which so often can pass person to person, and even through generations).

What about what others do not give? Just because others have ignored suffering, rejected you, or not helped you when you held your hands out….does that mean it is right to deny them (or others) in the same way when they are in need? Will that make us feel better, or help us to grow to become someone compassionate and kind? Again, we do not need to let others dictate what we do, or who we are in this area either. To some it seems strange that the poorest people (and those who have been denied love) tend to be the most giving, and the most loving…. however it is not odd at all. Often it is those who have gone without, and who have been denied and hurt….that truly understand, are able to see, and thus are also the ones to feel strongly compelled to prevent others from feeling that kind of suffering.

I wish I could say that I have always responded to things in love. Years ago, when my mind was racing with confusion, heartbreak, and the sense of being thrown away…I did something that I now regret. I listened to others who told me that I needed to demand something back, and that I could not let anything more be taken from me. I did not even care about it, and would not have even thought about it on my own… but at that time I felt “stupid”, and did not trust my own instincts. I went against myself, and let myself be convinced it would somehow conclude things. I have wished ever-since that I had let it go, and just gone with my own heart on the matter. I tried to at least handle things better, and more respectfully after that… and the mistake taught me how not to “resolve” things. In the end, we still have to live with our own selves, and find our own ways to find inner resolution and peace…. and it is hard to achieve those things unless you truly let go and forgive. Sometimes we have to forgive our own selves as well.

So, whether you are hurting now, or find yourself facing a difficult situation in the future….try to resist that instinctive urge to slap back. It is not just about coming to peace with the person who has caused harm, but also about loving yourself enough to not be dragged-down, or to eventually experience guilt for actions that did not reflect the person you are, or want to be. Let love guide you, not pain or anger.

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Let Your Soul See Their Soul

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So, this is another “conversion” post. The following was pulled from my comments on a discussion this last weekend in a church chat group. I have actually thought of writing a blog post along these lines previously, so decided to just lift this content, and maybe edit/ add a bit more to it. πŸ™‚

The conversation started when a group member posted a picture showing a former model and her husband ( who had his arm around her). The woman had been severely disfigured from burns, and yet her husband remained with her because it was the contents, not the package that he loved. The conversation that followed largely discussed various angles of how people put importance on superficial elements when selecting their relationships/ marriage partners, and the complications that arise from that issue.

The reason I had personally already been thinking of a blog along these lines is because for some while I had been telling myself that I was going to wait until I was finished with my weight loss before I attempt dating, socializing more etc…and it finally dawned on me how backwards that was, and even the opposite of what I would advise someone! If anything, I think the extra squish that I currently have could serve the function of helping me to determine who is genuine, and who can truly see ME, and not just my packaging. I don’t want someone to desire me purely for my body, even if it seems like I have to perfect that element in order to be loved by someone. My body really has no part in who I truly am, and is only a temporary vehicle for my true self… and I know she is beautiful…scars and all. Yes, I am losing the weight for my health, and to achieve various other goals. It is not a matter of “if”, but rather “when”, that I will be down to a healthy weight and size. However, if I was to encounter a man who wanted to wait to pursue things until that day comes, or if someone were to brush me off, but then suddenly show-up and have interest once I am a smaller size….. that would be a huge red flag to me. It would indicate that they were putting importance on my appearance, and using that as the deciding factor instead of my heart, personality, intelligence, talents, passions, quirky humor… etc…So in a way, these pounds that I still have to lose perhaps are a little blessing in the form of helping me to truly see what a man places focus and importance on, and thus can assist in avoiding big mistakes.

Of course we all put some importance on whether we are attracted to someone we are considering for relationship potential, however the problem is when some people make it the number one factor…and then later seem confused when certain crucial elements do not fit, or are not even there. Physical lust creates the release of chemicals in the brain that manufacture a false sense of being in love—pretty much instantly, despite not even knowing the person. Oh those pesky chemicals ( which I wrote about in a previous blog!). They send people soaring, blind to reality, and make people over-look all the other missing elements because that chemical reaction convinces them it is all real, and it makes them feel sooo good. I personally advise clients to wait a good six months before making any crucial choices in their relationships for this very reason, it can sometimes take that long for those chemicals to die-off/reduce enough to determine if there is real connection, and if they truly love each other for who they are on the inside… and not just for the response to the physical, and image of what they want them to be. We would have drastically lower divorce rates if people were required to wait six months…heck, preferably a year.

Something that always causes me to scratch my head? People tend to worry about what OTHERS will think of them if they date/ marry someone deemed as less than perfect in appearance. So they put their aims on thinner, younger, prettier, taller, handsomer etc…. not understanding that often THAT is what will make other people roll their eyes, and see them as being superficial in their choices—the only people it impresses are other superficial people who we should not be concerned about, let alone emulating. The real truth, is that when others see a man with a woman who maybe is plump, has a handicap, or some kind of physical “imperfection”, THAT is when people think good thoughts about his character, see him as someone who truly loves the woman, and who is a good person who can look beyond the temporary package. People get it so backwards for petty reasons. Pretty faces can easily be found everywhere… but pretty faces can be deceptive and mask problematic content, and they are temporary. Good souls/ hearts are the true treasure, the elements that should truly be searched for… and are what will remain for eternity. It just does not make sense to put higher importance on having a few mortal years with a beautiful face/ body (before it ages/alters, no less), in trade for eternity with someone whose contents are not beautiful. Imagine choosing a pair of shoes and dismissing that they are too small, and that they chafe you raw….all because they are “really shiny and pretty”. Now imagine those as being the shoes that you will wear for eternity. I think most of us, if we were told we had to choose only one pair of shoes to wear for eternity…would want a nice comfy pair of sneakers that we know will fit us perfectly, will not pinch and rub, and that will truly last and allow us to move freely— go where we want to go, and do what we want to do. And yet, so often people reach for the six-inch shiny stilettos when looking for their mates.

I say all of this as someone who has heard (and read) the words, “I am worried others would think less of me if I was with you…..” No one should hear those words, let alone someone who is a good person ( who has not committed any crimes, or actively done something bad to legitimately cause concern in others)… simply because they are not considered physically beautiful enough to give the other some kind of perceived social-status gained by impressing others with what is holding their hand. Other people do not have to spend eternity with your choice, only you do.

Fortunately, I am older and wiser now…and know my own worth. Back then, it seemed natural to accept those words as true, and I even felt apologetic for not being more attractive. I blamed it on myself, saw it as my lacking…. when really it was his. Today, if someone were to say those words to me…..I would be out of the door before they could say anything else. It would be the ultimate display of true colors—not only putting their highest focus of value on the most superficial factor, but also putting higher importance on the assumed impressions others in passing “might” briefly have….instead of considering all the real factors and beauty that the person contains. What’s more, the people who make their choices of partners via those kind of criteria often end up with bad choice after bad choice, and can’t figure out why their relationships never last/ work. They do not understand that they need to choose a different type of person. Sometimes they don’t WANT to understand, and hope that eventually someone of “that type” will give them what they really need and crave. I go in circles with my clients who have this issue. Essentially….it is like eating a pretty cupcake that may initially give you a mouthful of sweet deceptive frosting, only the cake itself is made out of sawdust. Over, and over, you reach for the same cupcakes…and sputter and spit in bafflement, all the while ignoring the hearty muffins that actually would taste good, fill and sustain you etc…simply because they do not have the pretty frosting. Sawdust is not very digestible. Eventually it will make you sick, even if the frosting initially was sweet….but frosting won’t nourish, or fill you for very long.

Not long ago I saw a video of an experiment. Both a man and a woman made dating profiles, and set-up meetings with others. They then were made-up in “fat suits” for when they met those people. They were the same people as in their profiles and profile pictures, just they appeared heavier once they met with people in person. The experiment was to see if people could look past the physical/ the weight and to the real person, or if they would be superficial and ride the person off because they were over-weight. Most of the women were able to adjust, were understanding, and gave the man a chance….they laughed, danced with him, and even set-up future dates. Most of the men were downright rude to the woman, made outright comments about her appearance, and showed their obvious lack of interest in her beyond that. One left for the restroom, and never came back. The thing is, in real life, people live in fear of rejection due to physical imperfections…..they hold back from dating at all, or maybe only post pictures that are older, or only show their faces in the hopes that maybe someone will give them a chance, talk to them, and then like them enough to accept them when they reveal they are heavier. They do not want to deceive, but they have been hurt, and hope to find someone who can love them for who they truly are.. and who will look at them/value them as more than just a body. I counsel relationships. Over and over with online situations people express how worried they are that when they meet in-person the other will discard them due to not being happy with what they see…. regardless of how great their interactions have otherwise been. I can say, it is most typically the men who drop the women due to being disappointed with appearance. I rarely see scenarios of women passing on men for physical appearance reasons. Women are typically are more concerned if the guy was lying about being married, their age, criminal past, or some other type of scam—–things that truly do impact a relationship/ indicate a bad person. Being overweight does not make someone a bad, unworthy person.

Perhaps something to consider when we ourselves want to know whether we truly are in love with someone, just lusting/ riding the chemical high, or in love with the idea/ appearance of them? Truly picture them as being a hundred pounds heavier……and then ask if we still would want to spend eternity with them. It’s a visualization method to help us consider what is truly inside of a person, and if we love THAT, or if we are putting our focus on the external temporary factors of that individual. It has to be honestly done though to work, you truly have to consider it as something real, and try to focus on if the content and heart are truly the elements you would want if the body was different. Technically, people DO gain weight, lose hair, get wrinkles..so its not unreasonable to truly do that kind of visualization exercise.

The funny thing is? When we truly love someone for the beauty inside of them…it then transforms our complete view, and makes them beautiful on the outside as well. That is not a myth, it is very true. However, the same cannot be said in reverse. Once sour contents are discovered…what previously seemed so beautiful is transformed into something completely different for us. One of my favorite classic novels is “Jane Eyre”. The title character is not considered a beauty, but rather is seen by others as plain, solemn…something easily over-looked. However, hidden under the surface, Jane is a woman with keen intelligence, talent, strength…and a loving gentle soul despite a dark, lonely past. The leading male is not handsome, is not perfect….he broods, he is haunted, he is flawed…..and yet the two fall quietly in love via the resonating depth discovered within one another… and then see each other as being beautiful. Its not a dashing tale of gorgeous people having a mad passionate whirlwind of floaty, rushing, fantastical love… and heaving bosoms and throbbing loins…. but rather, it is a story that for once depicts what true love is, looks, and feels like. Time does not change that, it holds true.

For any who read this who may feel that others will not desire, or love them based on appearances/ superficial factors….try to instead tell yourself that you are blessed. When you find love, it will most likely be for real reasons, and for a true lasting bond based on the right factors….and anyone who rejects you, or passes-over you for surface-level reasons will be the ones who will truly experience loss, even if they are not able to understand that. Those who fall in “love” with outer-shells( and ignore what is missing, or wrong with the contents) are the ones who will experience the repetition of heartbreak in a long string of failed relationships, repeat the same mistakes with their choices, and will potentially spend their lives lonely and unfulfilled as they over, and over, again seek love from deceptive places where they will not be able to truly find it….unless they finally learn, see, and are able to change how they view others, and what their concept of love is. That may sound harsh, but that is what happens to most who do not learn to see (and value) what is truly important within people, most especially those they choose for romantic companionship. If that statement just offended anyone who read this, than maybe it would be a good thing to consider why you had that kind of reaction. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it is true nonetheless.

Close your eyes. Let your soul see their soul, and nothing else. That is what eternal choices should be based on.

High IQ + Anxiety + Spiritually-Minded= Intuitive/ Psychic Gifts, Not Disorders?

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I often have conversations and/or responses to articles etc… via facebook, forums, groups etc… that I intend to transfer over to my blog ( and often even state that intent once my responses/ thoughts on things evolve into length that is more appropriate for blog entries, lol). So, today I am going to try to convert a couple of things over with a few edits to help with the transition.

A few months ago a friend posted this article to my wall, and asked me for my thoughts on it.
http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/study-links-social-anxiety-to-high-iqs-empathetic-ability-sentinel-intelligence/

Essentially the article discusses studies done on the links between spirtually-minded people, anxiety/ mental disorders, and high levels of intelligence. The point of debate in the article was how mental illness links in—-whether having spiritual understanding makes you more susceptible to mental health issues ( and vice versa), or if it simply is a result of being more aware of the concerns and suffering in the world…. thus creating more worries, and being able to see/ understand things that others do not. Additionally, the article discusses the connection of high-intelligence with those who report having anxiety ( higher the IQ = higher level of anxiety), and whether it is possible that anxiety is actually an “evolutionary advantage” that serves to help to detect threats, danger, know when things are not right etc…. much akin to the instincts and awareness that animals have (studies found those with anxiety were able to detect threat while others could not). All three elements are then connected as the possibility of being psychic/ spiritual gifts, and not really mental disorders…. but rather common factors found in those who have extra-sensory abilities to see and receive information that others cannot—-be it emotional states of others, detecting danger, potential future outcomes and the like. It could be a case similar to how the symptoms/ components of an illness can be recognized, but seen incorrectly as the source, rather than the larger ailment that is missed. Spiritual gifts are not an “ailment”, however I just saw the correlation in how things are sometimes incorrectly labeled when the larger picture is not seen or understood.

So, now that I have summarized, I will transfer over my original posts/ thoughts on the article.

Okay, Lots of thoughts on all of this. I guess I am the right person to ask considering I typically score 142 or higher on IQ tests, am highly empathic/ psychic, and also have anxiety issues, lol. Bare with me, this may span a couple of posts. I can say there definitely are links between all three, but the article definitely is not exact, or true for all circumstances or people.

Firstly, the link between empathic sensitivity and anxiety is VERY real. I have seen this countless times over the years both with people who know they are empathic/ gifted in that way, as well as people who really have no clue that they are because its just a normal/automatic input that they use without really being aware of it. One of the largest signs, symptom whatever you want to call it….. is when people get really antsy/ pressed-in feeling when around a lot of people, even if they normally are an extrovert. It especially is true when around a lot of CRANKY or stressed people (sometimes its a feeling that can result even from being around a single person who gives off negativity, or who maybe poses as some kind of threat to us—-inner alarm bells). The reasons for this is, empaths are like sponges. I myself am VERY good at grounding/ blocking things out etc… however, little trickles get through none the less. So imagine being around a couple hundred stressed-out people ( such as stressed-out holiday shoppers)….that means all those little trickles get absorbed, and add-up. It then creates that pressed-on anxiety feel, even if you initially were fine being around all those people. In reverse, an empath can also pick-up those very same trickles when they are around a lot of happy people—say a performance, sporting event, happy event of some kind…and can gain a “high” of sorts, and be giddy and super happy in a way that is beyond the norm. If you are someone who experiences the obvious mood-response depending on what is around you, that is likely all the more reason to consider that you have empathy rather than anxiety. Warning, Disneyland is NOT the happiest place on earth for empaths ( I love it anyway!)…no matter how happy you are to be there, when you get in those long lines surrounded by tired, irritated, hot, foot-sore people, it just becomes a bit hard to tune-out. Its quite literally a sensory overload of sorts that happens—-imagine it as having high beams turned on right in front of your eyes, or standing right next to massive speakers that make your ears ring. Your body reacts to the over-stimulation, and struggles to process all of it —just as when any other sense is overwhelmed.

Typically, my advice to people who have the issue of anxiety-like responses when their “gifts”/ sensory abilities are overwhelmed….. is to find a place that is either alone, or even just has a greatly reduced number of people. This can be a bathroom, a changing room, a seat that is a bit removed etc…. and take just a few minutes to breathe, focus on letting it go etc…. and then typically it will ease-up/ lift etc….especially if it really was a reaction to receiving too much sensory information. When a light is too bright, or music too loud… you turn it down to ease the reactionary symptoms, right?

However, not all anxiety experienced by those who have spiritual gifts is linked to that sensitivity. My actual anxiety issues are not really connected to extra “sensory” ( for the most part)….for me it is two specific areas that have to do with some past experiences that have created self-protection mechanisms of sorts that are hard to get past even when I want to. Kind of like feeling tethered/ held back, clenching up tight and feeling locked down/ constricted….it can be hard to release it and step forward…even when I want to do so, and when I logically know that I am safe. I typically can differentiate between the sources—–BUT, I am pretty highly self-aware, and not everyone can recognize the source, in fact many people do not even know what it truly is/ where it is coming from etc… thus why some may be confusing generalized, or social anxiety with heightened sensory input/ gifts.

There are two things mentioned in the article as being common for those who have spiritual gifts. Neither of which I agree with (or have seen) and I know many who are in this category (of having gifts). There are a lot of misconceptions out there, which is why I think many people are quiet, or even scared to explore/ develop themselves in that area—meaning, because of fears of how others will react, what they will think of them etc…I know that I personally have received very negative responses from people throughout my life, often those who I could have helped had they been open to simply considering, rather than just labeling me as being “nuts” (even when things I have shared were revealed to be true). I have been professionally helping people with my gifts for years, been involved with psychic crime studies, and have thousands of five star ratings and feedback detailing accuracy, how I have helped them etc.. yet I still feel hesitant in sharing that part of myself with everyone due to the risk of negative reactions, and the assumption that I am lying or crazy. The same is true of everyone else like myself that I know, and its not fair that people cause us to doubt our own selves, and even feel ashamed of our gifts that help bring clarity and healing to others. It is backwards. These issues contribute to stigmas, confusion etc..and why sometimes those who are gifted get labeled as something else, struggle in the dark, and fear if they speak of certain things they are experiencing others will think they are crazy…. and sometimes they themselves even fear that they are.

I have not personally seen a link with mental disorders and those who are gifted (other than the connection with anxiety/ over-stimulation). In fact, its usually the complete opposite. Spiritual workers typically are people who are very loving, grounded, stable, highly intelligent, and have a greater understanding of how things, people etc.. tick…and thus why so many essentially become “healers”, and a help to others. I have however noticed a special “connection” via my own experiences and conversations. Many with gifts seem to have experienced hardships when very young, so I do think there could be a link there. It may be due to having had to develop and depend on extra sensory to determine threats, moods, bad people etc… to keep ourselves safe. Some people speculate that it could be a form of being “marked”, “blessed” etc… in some special way, and thus maybe the trials etc… were a training ground of some kind to help us develop the use of our gifts, and thus combined with what is learned from the hardships— the ability to in turn help others. Again, its only speculation, but… I can say that I have often discovered that the things I learned might not have appeared to result in a gain for my personal life, but rather gave me knowledge that has instead impacted/ helped with countless other lives…. and to me that is the larger blessing, and has given me immense comfort, and even peace regarding understanding the “why” behind things, as well as has strengthened my faith. Sorry if that is a bit left-field, but just sharing some personal experiences and insights regarding possible connections and reasons for those who have spiritual gifts…. really, there is no way to be sure, but for myself, even if people think that I am a string-short of a full lute, I know what is true, and I have seen how much those gifts have helped, and affected others in positive ways. I even feel kind of selfish and conceited in a way to take credit—it is just different than say, with singing, or drawing, even though I have spent years learning how to hone, be open, trust what comes to me etc…

Another misconception is that those who have gifts are a bit “out there”….believe in crazy things, surround themselves in incense and crystal balls, and are not really in touch with reality. Wrong. The only people I have seen do this were those who actually were not really genuinely gifted, but rather either wanting to make others think they were for whatever reason ( and thus thinking due to misconceptions that is how one acts/ pretends), or because they truly had some kind of mental condition that had them out of touch and believing nonsensical things. These are the types that make those in the spiritual community groan when they pop-up, because not only does it feed misconceptions, but it also typically means others will have to mop-up the damage they create in misleading people who turn to them for help. In general, most of the spiritually-gifted that I have interacted with actually feel deeper connections to their chosen religion/ beliefs due to their experiences, are well-grounded, and are otherwise just regular people…. your neighbor, that nice lady at church, your third-grade teacher….. it really is indiscriminate. Its usually not something people sought or created, it just happened.

Intelligence. Yes, it does link to both anxiety and gifts. Often those who are very intelligent have the need to debate, look at all angles, solve puzzles, prepare for all possibilities etc….I know I do. Sometimes the more we know, and the more we look at things…the harder it is to just leap. Instead, far more likely to have stress, feel held back, worry about a multitude of consequences that can be seen etc…. its part of the draw back of being able to see, and understand the larger picture, and the grinding wheels behind it all. I see these issues even with my very intelligent clients, they often are more likely to feel anxious about making their choices…. in part because they tend to put more weight/ importance on things, and over-think all of it. Thus comes the phrase, ” too smart for your own good”. It happens. It can have draw backs in personal lives–especially when people over-think, and complicate their own feelings, reactions, and communications with others ( *cough* guilty*cough*). As for those with gifts, they too often are very intelligent, and have the ability to see beyond, into, how and why things and people click, how to solve issues etc…. for me, I often feel like I am interpreting and untangling internal individual languages, and sorting through the multitude of layers people build-up within themselves. It essentially is code deciphering at times….. not sure how else to explain it…we all interpret our gifts in different ways. Additionally, interpreting dreams, and other messages that can come in the form of symbols, representations etc…requires a special understanding/ intelligence etc.. as well.

As for mental disorders other than anxiety linking to intelligence and having gifts….. I really cannot say. Though I had ptsd a decade ago, that was circumstantial and not due to natural wiring or chemistry ( and my two specific areas of anxiety stem from that in ways as well). I actually am a naturally calm person who leans towards being positive, cheerful ( I rarely get mad, do not like to fight/ raise voice) etc… and I do not have depression issues. I can see how for those who are deep thinkers though, it could be perhaps easier to get sucked down within. I personally think it just really depends on the individual, and various other factors that determine the pre-disposition for those kind of issues.

So, in closing I just want to add… Sometimes the anxiety-like tension ( for those who are gifted) can simply be because you are blocking-out gifts, information, messages etc… that are hammering and pressing away in muddled confusion…and when that is the case, typically what is needed is time alone to get in-touch with yourself…pray, meditate, whatever it is that you need to clear and open yourself into a better place of reception so that you can de-tangle it all, and let the messages through. Many report having anxiety-like experiences, headaches, inability to sleep…etc… when they were denying, and ignoring their gifts/ insights/ revelation ( however you prefer to term it). I have experienced that myself. It does not just go away, it builds-up, and keeps pressing at you until you look at it and accept it….its another one of those things that may sound crazy without having experienced it first hand. The main key to receiving insights/ connecting to your gifts? Trust. You have to be able to completely calm and silence everything else rattling in your head, and go with what initially comes to you without doubt, without twisting it etc….this is one of the reasons those who are gifted struggle with reading for their own selves, or those close to them ( maybe a mechanism to keep things fair?) It sounds so easy, but it is not… trusting ourselves is one of the hardest things to do. When I help people, I kind of step-away from my own self in a way, and try not to second-guess what comes to me…. its kind of like turning pages of a book, only instead its info that just pops in my head. Sometimes it can be hard for me to keep up with it. It never fails… when I am calm, trust, go with it etc.. things that otherwise may sound odd to me, ALWAYS mean something to the person that I am helping. It is the same for when we need to sort out what insights we do receive for our personal lives… have to try to be clear, and trust without layering it with our wants, doubts, desires, concerns etc….When you do receive clearly, you will know. The pressing stops/ lifts, and does not come back. Again, this demonstrates why gifts and anxieties seem so alike each other, connected.. or maybe even one and the same. It is up to the individual to explore and determine.