Putting our Trust into Ourselves.

Learning to trust other people in this world is a critical skill to learn for building healthy relationships. As well as for managing mental health.

But even more important is to learn to be trusting of ourselves. Let’s talk more about self-trust to find the difficulties and tips for a healthy path to doing so.

Trust and Vulnerability.

I found an interesting definition of trust which is to “give credit to a customer.” This definition is speaking of a transaction that of course would generally be for money, goods, or services. But this definition leads us to an interesting question. What are we giving away when we give our own trust in the non-business relationship sense, or even in that sense? The best answer that comes to mind is that to give our trust is to be vulnerable, it is to give of ourselves.

To trust someone or something takes a decision. So, essentially a decision to be vulnerable by offering up ourselves or property to the needs of the moment. This decision could be the very thing that allows someone to save us from great pain or death one day. Now being vulnerable is not a popular concept for most individuals, it is an even more unpopular feeling. But to have healthy relationships with the people around us, as well as ourselves it is something we must risk. Our lives and our livelihoods do actually depend on it.

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is in a sense to surrender ourselves to the unknown. We have a need to be filled and so we rely on others to take care of what we cannot. For us to trust we are allowing something or someone we cannot control to take care of their personal part of that unknown. The risk in this is, of course, being betrayed. Having an individual whom we have given our trust to, take advantage of our vulnerability.

There can be great risk in trusting, this is for sure. But in learning to trust ourselves we can find a better monitoring system for putting our trust in more trustworthy places.

More to Ourselves than We can Control.

We must learn to trust others, yes. The people around us may recognize certain problem areas that we may not see on our own. Though being able to give ourselves some of that very same trust is an absolute must. It is a must if we desire not just to live out a life, but to live our a life we can truly call our own.

It is an interesting thing to say we need to trust ourselves. Because the description seems to cut our selves, into multiple pieces. There is now the self we should be trusting, and there is now the self that gives trust. It makes sense though, there are an incredible amount of physical processes going on in each of our bodies at this very moment, that we don’t really have control over. We generally don’t have to think about our breathing, our hearts beating, or the blood rushing through our bodies.

Much like those processes “we” are also doing all sorts of other things behind our own backs. Such as the formulating and retrieving of knowledge and wisdom in our brains and the rest of our bodies. In fact, I have come to find many of my best ideas without even attempting to think about them. Many times ideas and moments of insight come completely out of the blue.

But in order to enlist the fullness of information of our own bodies, it needs our vulnerability. We need to ask the unknown in ourselves to help guide us.

To Trust the Unknown in Ourselves.

To trust ourselves is to be vulnerable to the unknown within ourselves to take care of ourselves. It is to trust our own internal processes, our intelligence, our ability to surprise ourselves.

The relationship that we develop with ourselves is the most important relationship we have. Nobody knows us better than ourselves. Or at least the information is here within ourselves, we just need to be open and willing to find it. Here are some ideas for allowing this process of coaxing out and trust the wisdom that is within us.

1. Trust in Healthy Relationships.

I feel that with the topic of learning to trust ourselves, we must not overlook the importance of having sufficient healthy relationships. Without these relationships, trusting ourselves too much may not be the best idea. The love from our relationships is life energy that should not be lived without. It is these connections with others that helps to ignite our own creative natures.

Now although having healthy relationships helps to fuel our own creativity, these relationships are no way more important than the one we have with ourselves. It is important to trust the information about our healthy relationships. But if the guidance of these relationships goes against our own healthy desires, we may have to blaze our own trails.

 

2. Surrendering to Ourselves.

In order to allow the pieces of ourselves we cannot control to work in our favor, we need to give them an entrance into our conscious awareness. Constantly stuffing our senses with information will make it difficult for the wisdom of our bodies to get through to us. A healthy relationship doesn’t happen with ourselves when obsessing about this thing and the next. Space needs to be created for new impulses from our bodies to speak to us.

We need to slow down, take breaks, and practice relaxation in some manner. Surrendering can be a difficult thing to do since some impulses may fight to maintain our attention. But trusting that the process of our bodies will work better by practicing surrender makes it easier. We may get the fear of missing out on something which makes it difficult to let go. But what is coming next in our lives will be much more enjoyable and fruitful with the healthy relationship we develop with ourselves.

3. Regularly Communicate with Self.

Communication is at the core of any healthy relationship. The relationship we have with our own bodies is no different.

To communicate with ourselves means both talking and listening. If there are impulses that we don’t understand asking for our awareness, we can ask what they are seeking. That isn’t to say these impulses will give us an immediate and definitive answer. But over time our openness and willingness to listen will foster a healthy relationship with them. They begin to learn that we are a safe place to become known.

We can communicate with that which we cannot control ourselves to gain understanding and guidance for living life as well. Asking ourselves questions can help coax our subconscious minds to seek the answers to our questions. Even after we have forgotten that we have asked them. Often times making these requests for help comes in times of distress. A willingness to trust and be vulnerable might be easier in desperate times. But we need not wait until times of great stress to have the support of this relationship. Regular respectful and sincere communication with ourselves ensures that a trusting relationship will develop over time.

In this relationship we develop with ourselves, we can find ourselves, as well as the most important guidance we may ever know.

 

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth on your path of learning to trust yourselves more deeply.

 

Negotiation with Our Bodies Impulses.

Living a healthy and respectable life is all about impulse negotiation. It is about getting our needs met. And, of course, not meeting the needs of our bodily impulses that will harm us.

Lets look more in depth in the topic of learning healthy negotiation skills with to get healthier expression for our emotional impulses. Learning how to see when these impulses point at our bodily needs that need fulfillment, or past energies that may just need some closure.

Negotiation With our Impulses?

To negotiate is to communicate with the purpose of reaching agreements. I generally hear the word in the realm of business and hostage retrieval. But we all negotiate terms many times a day with ourselves.

Of course we negotiate with other people as well, but here we are talking about our relationship with the constant flow of impulses that are coming from within our bodies.

In fact, the first negotiation I usually make in my day is whether or not I will hit my snooze button or simply wake up when the alarm goes off the first time. I generally do wake up right away because I enjoy money and making it to work on time. My desire for more sleep expresses itself, but at least most of the time I cannot accept its terms.

Then throughout the day I am nudged by many impulses to act. Many of the requests are clearly acceptable so I agree to them. Like putting my jacket on because it’s cold outside, or grabbing a bite to eat because of hunger.

Others impulses of mine can be pretty absurd and so I cannot. As in, sorry anger impulse it wouldn’t be appropriate to curse your client out at this moment. Some requests are in the middle and require a little extra thought for me to make a decision. We are pretty much constantly negotiating with ourselves.

This concept of continuous negotiation with ourselves may not be something that we think about often, or maybe ever. But it is happening all the time and getting the most out of it requires that we wake up to the process.

Waking up to the Negotiation.

To be awake to this process takes effort. It takes reminding ourselves that a healthy life is a process of allowing these impulses to find fulfillment in acceptable ways or even closure.

Staying awake to responsibly negotiate requires us to get to know ourselves and trust ourselves on much more than we have up to this point in our lives.

It requires us to be pay attention to our bodies requests, and be the compassionate but stern gatekeepers for how those requests are met.  Sometimes these impulses should not be given the time of day, and sometimes we better meet their needs, or else.

As addicts in recovery we at My Life Experiment have had to learn a great deal about negotiating successfully with our bodily impulses. Here are some ideas that we have developed over the years.

1. Regularly step away from the negotiation.

Our bodies are constantly sending us impulses to take care of all sorts of things. Some of these sane, others not so much. It is easy to become overwhelmed with all of their requests.

At times it is easy to keep up with these impulses. Other times there is a sort of paralyzed feeling, unaware of how to proceed with this backlog of energy.

Stepping away from the negotiating process is extremely important to do regularly. It is intensely beneficial to our minds and bodies to just sit, take deep breathes, and feel these impulses. In this time we should not think about how we should take care of our next impulse, just feel it.

Forget about dinner prep, work tomorrow, how the kids are doing, how the bills will get paid, etc… After sitting with these energies non-judgmentally you can go right back to all those thoughts, possibly with more clarity on how to handle them.

Negotiation Meditation
2. Goals are important.

It is important to have goals for our futures. We can use these goals to help guide us to the ways we should get our needs met. Take the need for food for example. If I have the goal of losing 10 pounds this month, I should probably get that need taken care of with food that will help that goal happen.

Without goals for the future it can be extremely difficult to negotiate healthy outcomes for our impulses. It can be much easier to take the “easy way out.” Seeking quick fixes, and not thinking enough about what we deeply desire for the direction of our lives.

If you want to learn more about setting these goals here is a nice WikiHow page on the subject of goal setting.

3. Learn to Differentiate an impulse that Needs Fulfillment or Needs Closure.

It is very true that not all of the impulses that come from our bodies are needs. We have plenty of wants that seek our attention as well. Some of these wants are reasonable, others not so much.

Meeting or needs and reasonable wants in healthy ways is very important. I would say that our lives depend on this. But those other impulses that are all wrapped up in energy from unmet needs long in the past need something different.

What these impulses need is closure. They need to be felt. Not acted upon since they are no longer connected to the realities that we are currently coping with.

Learning to discern a need and reasonable want from these no longer viable impulses requires us to get to know ourselves. And to develop a strong connection with ourselves.

When we get that feeling of confusion about where an impulse is coming from, there are some things that can be done. Such as doing some therapeutic writing, chatting with a trusted friend, or seeking some professional help.

Through these processes we can get to know whether we should go ahead and act on the impulse, or let it fade away into the background.

4. Do not Negotiate with but Love Impulse Terrorists.

There have been times in my recovery where I have had to navigate intense emotions that desired to act on in ways that would have had negative consequences for me.

When not acting on them, there is a feeling of an “internal temper tantrum.’ I get the feeling of a little child laying on the floor pounding and kicking away, when the impulse does not get its way. In a way, the impulse is trying to terrorize us into getting what it wants.

When dealing with energies like this I find it important to not give in to them. To not negotiate with them, but that doesn’t mean neglect them either.

This impulse needs closure, it is hurting, it needs some love, and possibly to be grieved. If I am not feeling that I can give it the loving attention it needs. Then I need to go to outside sources, such as trusted friends, or possibly for professional support.

Negotiation Needs

5. Track Progress of Pesky Impulses.

When struggling with acting on impulses in ways that benefit the healthy self we desire to be, tracking our progress can be beneficial. When noticing an impulse that we habitually meet in unhealthy ways, mark it down in a notebook.

Name the habit, talk about what that impulse feels like, thoughts that go with it, etc.. Then check back in with the notebook to report progress weekly or monthly, depending on how pesky the impulse is and how quickly change is desired.

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

Showing Compassion Responsibly.

When building solid personal relationships we must not be only interested in our own best interests. We must look out for the interests of others, we must show compassion.

Let’s look a little deeper into what compassion is, why it may be tough to practice, and some ideas for becoming more compassionate people.

What is Compassion.

So what is compassion? Here is what Webster has to say about it. Compassion is a “suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another.” Compassion arises out of a state of empathy, a state that allows us to connect with the emotional status of other individuals.

The feeling of compassion elicits a motivational driving force. A force that naturally seeks to alleviate the suffering of the individuals we are in contact with. Through empathy we are brought to meet another where they are at. With compassion we are brought to emotion to effect change on their lives for the better. It is a deeply human emotion that can alleviate suffering for those helped, as well as the helper.

Without a healthy dose of compassion healthy relationships are not possible. This emotion has a way of taking us out of our own mental and emotional worlds, giving a break from our own struggles. Doing this so that we can produce beneficial change for someone else. Maybe that individual is someone we have deep emotional bonds with, or maybe somebody that we have never met.

Compassion Hanging

Our Own Needs and the Difficulty of Showing Compassion.

We all have needs, I do, you do, we do. And compassion for others is about helping to take care of needs they have that are causing them suffering. There are times where this is easy while other times it is like pulling teeth. What makes showing it for others difficult can be that our own needs feel that they require more urgent attention.

Maybe we haven’t been sleeping or eating well, or are feeling some sort of sickness. We could also be grieving in some way, be busy with tasks, or having a rough patch to go through. Whatever the reason, the needs of others simply may not feel like any of our own responsibility. When feeling too needy myself the pain of other people can seem to be too much to handle.

But the problem is that too much pushing away of other people’s pain can become a habit. A habit that does lead away from showing our humanness to those that may need it. Research has showed that “feeling compassion our heart rates slow, we release oxytocin, and even areas registering pleasure in our brains light up.” Closing ourselves off from being compassionate people means that we will not get to experience its physiological benefits. Letting this feeling happen and showing it to others is one of our many needs.

Needs of ours that we don’t take care of, find ways to affect our lives negatively. What we need is to find a balance between taking care of enough of our others needs, as well as our need to be there for others.

How to Responsibly Show Compassion for Others.

Showing compassion is a human need. But it is only one of our many needs. For me, it feels good to help others with their difficulties. This good feeling only goes so far though. When doing too much for others while neglecting other needs that are not compassion related, trouble is being asked for. Responsibly showing compassion for others can be a difficult balancing act, but can be found.

Compassion Help

1.Compassion for Self.

This feeling is not just for other people. Putting ourselves out there too much for others while not taking care of ourselves, means we are not being compassionate with ourselves. There are many ways that we can show compassion for ourselves. One of those ways happens to be showing enough of it for others. But that is not enough.

I always have enjoyed the airplane oxygen mask analogy for self-care. Which means that we are supposed to make sure our own masks are on first before helping the person next us. Because if we cannot breathe we are not going to be much good to anyone else. No, that way I essentially turn myself into a liability. It can be difficult to let the world take care of itself, while we get our heads straight. While we get a nice workout in, meditate, nap or do some therapeutic writing. But we need to connect with our own neediness in these ways so that we are even more available to be there for others when the time comes.

2.Check in with Our Motives for Helping.

Our motivations for why we do what we do is a difficult thing to figure out. But I personally believe that us human beings do what we believe is in our own interests. Also, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that. It just so happens that helping others can also be in our own interests. We get rewarded from helping others. Maybe the reward happens to be external, like money or praise. The reward may be are own ability to light up our brains with very human feel good chemicals like oxytocin.

We need to check into the reason we feel the need to help. Not be overly critical or judgmental about these motives, but just to see what they might be. The reason this is important is because if our goal is to be compassionate to both ourselves and the other individuals, we will want to make sure we are coming from a place of compassion. Sometimes the motivations can be rooted in drastic codependence. Trying to do too much for others that can already do for themselves. Possibly coddling others in an unconscious grab for the feeling of control. If through investigation you come to realize relational codependence is a problem. Don’t judge it too harshly. But please do make an effort to change if that is what is desired.

3. Learn When to Say Yes and When to Say No.

There are times that we should be saying yes to being helpful. And there are times that we probably should be saying no. Each of our levels of empathy and compassion are different, as well as our levels of energy to show them. So I can’t tell any of you what is yours to handle and what is not. But for me if the help I am giving doesn’t overly interfere with the health of my family, and I know the individuals involved cannot take care of it themselves, then I can responsibly help. Otherwise I must surrender their needs to care of others.

There are countless areas to connect with the suffering of others. Look on the news, it is everywhere I look. I don’t have the time or emotional availability to handle all emotional pulls to alleviate this suffering. But I do what I can where I can. Where I can’t and where I shouldn’t get a no from me these days. That no isn’t always easy, but is necessary for being a stable support in the relationships (including myself) that I currently take responsibility for.

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

 

Maintaining Healthy Communication Through Differences.

Good communication in any relationship is essential for continued growth. As well as keeping problems from growing into something that could tear them apart.

I bet it isn’t a surprise for any of you to hear that communication is important for relationship health. Then why is that somewhere around 65% of divorcees site that communication problems were their biggest issue in bringing those marriages to an end?

My guess is that we all know that it is important, but either forget that in the heat of the relationship or never developed the proper skills to communicate healthily in the first place.

Lets talk about why healthy communication is important to the health of relationships, why it can be difficult, and some ideas for smoothing out the process. Not just for the romantic type of relationships like marriages, but for relationships of all sorts.

Communication Differences

Communication Through a Sea of Differences.

Communication can be extremely difficult because we are all so different. We have different beliefs, values, communication styles, expectations, trust issues, past traumas, and the list goes on and on. With so many differences to navigate, it is a surprise that us human beings can hold any relationship together. To create healthy relationships we need to learn to bridge the gap between all the differences we have. Now that gap is easier to bridge with some individuals more than others. Though I do believe that most individuals can find a way to close that gap and build healthy relationship with all those others that are also able.

The sea of differences between us breeds unpredictability. And I don’t know about you, but my brain loves being able to predict what is coming next. I like to know what the people around me are thinking, feeling and planning. But I also know that my brain likes shortcuts. So instead of starting a conversation with an individual, I may just come up with an idea in my own head and treat it as reality. Making the assumption that I know what this person is up to no good, when really they are just fine.

This doesn’t mean that some individuals are not dangerous and shouldn’t be trusted. But to know for sure we will need some direct evidence from outside of our own skulls. That is where learning how to communicate in a healthy way comes into play.

What is Healthy Communication?

Healthy communication is a balanced method for communicating. It is assertive, meaning that is neither too aggressive or passive. It is the sweet spot of connecting with the core energies of anyone we come across.

There is no relationship that will grow in a healthy way without consistent communication in this style. It binds our relationships together in a way that is informative, mainly enjoyable, and respects the personal boundaries of all involved. Allowing our relationships to live and let live, without letting them walk all over our dreams. It helps mesh our collective dreams, enhancing and not snuffing out the life long desires of others.

Communicating in a healthy way, often enough allows for a relationship to be strong, flexible, and unified. It keeps all parties on the same page, leaving less uncertainty to obsess about. Do this enough and it will be a formidable force to navigate through the world of differences that are both inside and outside the relationship.

Methods for Communicating Through Differences.

We will not be able to get rid of all the differences and unpredictability in our relationships. But relationships need equal life energy from all parties involved to be there best. What we need are methods to get by the barriers in ourselves and the others in our relationships to healthy communication happen. Here are some methods to ponder.

1. Get to Know and Respect The Others Beliefs.

We all have different beliefs. Many of our beliefs whether religious, ethical, or political conflict heavily with the beliefs of others. Learning about these beliefs and how to respect them is of great importance to building a relationship with them. To respect their beliefs is not to tip toe our own beliefs around them. No, in the process we also need to respect our own beliefs. Respecting their beliefs also doesn’t mean believing them, but we do not need to be rude or putting them down for having them.

I have had many respectful conversations about many controversial topics with those that deeply believe the opposite of me. What I have learned is that just because someone believes the opposite of me, doesn’t mean they are insane. They have something to teach me and I have something to teach them.

2. Respect Others Communication Styles.

There are many different communication styles. Some are very expressive, emotionally putting themselves out there openly unapologetically. Others, much like myself are more reserved unable and not wanting to express themselves in that same way. For communication to be balanced and healthy the different styles need to meet in the middle somehow to be equals. The more aggressive style may need to slow down for the passive to get a word in edgewise. And the more passive may need to speak up more so that the more aggressive doesn’t dominate the conversations.

To respect the styles of the others, we need to test the waters and make adjustments. These adjustments may be difficult to make since our communication styles are well established. But as painful and frustrating it may be, to get the most out of our relationships with these various styles the adjustments must be made.

3. Have a Growth Mindset when Learning to Communicate.

Developing Healthy Relationships has been one of the most difficult things for me to learn. I have put my foot in my mouth over and over again, disrespected people, been too aggressive, been too avoidant, assumed too much and listened too little. I believe the only way to develop healthy communication skills is to practice, make a fool of ourselves and learn.

I do believe that the art of communication is about getting to the place in which we are equals. Where we are not trapped in a game of superiority or inferiority. With all the issues we have, getting to equality with others can be feel like an impossible destination. It is possible though. With a lot of hard work and practice it is possible. With a mindset that is focused on learning from mistakes and growing from them over time the skills develop. This is what I have come to learn through my own experience.

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

The Struggle is Real?

They say that “The Struggle is Real.”

Urban Dictionary defines the statement as “The hardness and difficulties of everyday life being unbearable and apparent.”

It is usually used to describe fairly simple problems that the average “first world” human being goes through. Like having a tire get a flat, only getting a half nights sleep or the countless times where expectations are not met. Which are fairly simple problems compared to the number of people that are suffering greatly all over the world.

Hearing the statement lately I came to think of the statement at another angle. How much time do we spend struggling with problems that don’t really exist?

Homeless struggleOf Course, the Struggle is Real.

Yes, there is struggle in the world, there is pain and there is suffering. I would imagine that is something we can all agree on.

Honestly, I cannot imagine the horror that many “first world” citizens go through, as well as a much higher percentage that is found in the “third world.”

I live in Fargo, North Dakota. Compared to probably over 90% of the world’s population I exist in the spoiled zone. No, I don’t have loads of money or a flashy car. But I have a growing family in a nice house, running water, and a decent job. Considering that roughly 60% of the world doesn’t even have running water, I would say that I am in pretty damn good shape.

Though of course I do struggle, have pain, and yes the occasional suffering. It may not be as much as others struggle. Though even though I may not struggle as much as others, does not make mine less important. The obstacles that enter my path, whether big or small, must be negotiated none the less. I say the same goes for every one of you if there is struggle, it needs to be dealt with in some manner or another.

Real Struggles with Fantasized Problems?

There are real problems and of course many issues to find ourselves struggling with. But how much of the struggle is stemming from problems that aren’t really problems at all?

Let me ask you a few questions. Have you ever worked yourself up, worrying over a problem you were sure was going to harm you or others? Planning and plotting to respond, so sure that a messy situation that required swift action was going to take place? One more question. Have you ever had the time come when this problem was going to erupt and you realize nothing is happening? The problem that was expected, didn’t show up after all.

How much of our struggles do we bring onto ourselves by fantasizing problems that never show up? Or over-dramatizing something that could be a little struggle into a big one? Of course, I cannot answer this question for you. It is hard enough to answer this question for myself.

The process to Lessen the Amount that We Struggle.

Life, of course, brings about great amounts of pain. For example, we can’t control that loved ones pass away. We also can’t control all sorts of other curveballs the world throws at us. Many problems are ones that cannot be ignored, and if we do they will haunt our consciousness until we deal with them. I repeat. The real problems that we don’t deal with will haunt us until we deal with them. And inevitably will only bring more struggle than would have taken place had we dealt with them in the first place.

With all of the real problems life inevitably brings do you really want to waste all sorts of time and energy on those that aren’t even real? I know I don’t.

The trick to limiting the amount of fantasized problems, and taking care of the real is not a simple one.  It takes hard work and vigilance to keep ourselves in reality in this way. Though the years I have spent in recovery with this brain that is prone to worry and fantasy have learned a great deal. Here are some essential tips that I have come to live by.

1. Staying Emotionally Balanced.

Staying on our emotional A-game is so important to keep our problems and our struggles in reality. Past emotions have a way of creeping into the present. Leading us to believe that history is going to repeat itself. Thus projecting a fantasy of our own creation onto our future selves.

To keep problems and struggles in reality our emotions need to be in reality. Checking in to settle down our emotions in times of struggle can save a lot of suffering. For me, I generally do this through meditation, therapeutic writing, or chatting with healthy people I trust.

Struggle Friend2. Being Connected to Healthy People.

Being connected to these people that will not allow me to complain but will respect my emotions has been so important. Without the support of all the people around me from friends, family and colleagues I would spend an absurd amount of time with unnecessary struggles. The Philosopher Aristotle said that we “are by nature social animals.” I couldn’t agree more, we are not meant to do this life thing on our own.

When running our troubles by our trusted people we may be surprised or even pissed off when told we are wasting our time and energy. They can point out the real problem that we are not seeing, or emotion that is clouding our judgment. They could point out that we are obsessing about a situation that doesn’t exist. Hell, sometimes they even let us know that we aren’t crazy and they actually agree! Their insights are invaluable.

3. Deal with Real Problems as Soon as Possible.

As much as we might like them to go away, there is no amount of denying the real problems in our lives that will make them fantasies. If we feel we need to take care of a problem and the stakes don’t feel risky, then I am generally safe to go ahead and do it. But if the stakes seem a little risky and we are confused in any way about what we should be taking care of. Then I take some time out to go back to Steps 1 and 2.

As soon as I find out to the best of my and my trusted people’s abilities that my problem needs dealing with, I do it. Taking prompt actions with our real problems keep our struggles from growing unnecessarily. I also find that I find myself creating problems out of thin air, while I am procrastinating something else that actually needs my care

4. Let Fantasized Problems Fade Away

The more strongly convinced we are that our fantasized problems are real, the more difficult it is to let them go. But to quit wasting our time with them and get busy living in the real, we need to let them go. Or else we will just spend our time struggling with these problems in a fruitless attempt to make them a reality.

There is a grieving process that goes along with letting our fantasized problems fade away. Letting our belief in a fake problem go can actually be painful. We may think that we are putting ourselves in a dangerous situation. Dealing with the emotions that come out of this process has to happen to let them go. That emotion that may stem from who knows when can now get some much-needed attention. And we can move forward with a little less struggle in our lives and more energy on creative ways to bring success into our lives.

 

The Balanced Approach for Making Plans.

Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.

Quote originally by: Allen Saunders but popularized by John Lennon.

Life is always happening. It is happening in the present and will also be happening in a future present. Finding a way to stay present while still being prepared when that future present arrives can be difficult. But finding that balanced approach to planning is also important.

Plans Book

Why are Plans for the Future Needed?

I spent much of my life not expecting to live very long and I acted as such. I squandered resources, burned bridges, and developed a complete lack of healthy imagination. What I found through the process of irresponsibility is how important planning for the future is.

The amount of opportunity I missed out on is staggering as I continue to understand the ramifications of not being present for life all those years. Today even though I am a responsible and productive human being, there are still opportunities for success that I’m simply not present for. Or never dreamt up because I wasn’t aware of their possibility. Nothing like the way things used to be, but there is always room for improvement.

Having plans in place for our future lives is critically important. We may continue living for quite a long time. And to maintain a healthy and success filled life for as long as we are around we will need to make plans for the changes life brings.  Healthy and effective planning for our futures can help us see difficulties on our paths. It can also allow us to see where we should place our efforts to build the type of lives we desire to experience.

When future moments for success arrive we will want to be ready for them, or we will miss out. Maybe our lack of imagination and foresight will have us blind to what we are missing. Or maybe it will be clearly screaming in our faces, waiting to beat us down with regret for many years. Who wants to be blind to what is coming or loaded with regret over missing out?

It is a shame to waste the ambitious energy us human beings have at our cores. We need healthy plans to lead a healthy life. Being in the moment with no plans may feel good from time to time, but to me is not enough.

Staying Focused Solely on the Moment is Not the Best of Plans.

Living life in the moment is of course critically important to maintaining our own sanity and be successful. But a life lived solely in the moment without regard for the future will leave us ill-prepared to capitalize on future opportunities when they arrive.

The inner driving force of a human being is tremendous. And I don’t believe that driving force is meant to be solely for the present. If it was then why in the hell do we have the ability to imagine what we cannot already touch or see? Our brains developed the ability to do this for a productive reason. Whether it developed it for security purposes to bypass danger or whatever. It can just as easily be used to plan our ways into success beyond keeping our interests safe.

Of course, we need to stay grounded when making plans for the future. We need to be mindful of the inner workings of the present moment. Awake to the opportunities that are around us. When awake to the opportunities around us we are in a better place to see the opportunities that are off on the horizon.

Balanced Plans

Finding a Balanced Approach to Making Plans.

Having our future selves set up for success when the moment arrives is an absolute blessing. It helps me with being grateful for the baton being handed over smoothly from a past me that doesn’t exist anymore.

The type of plans I find best to make are those that are grounded in reality. But how do we go about doing this?

1. Staying Rooted in the Present Moment While Planning for the Future.

I find the opposite of rooted in the present moment is being lost in our minds. Lost in the process of thinking and imagining. Being lost in this process is a complete waste of energy. Though I suppose maybe we might obsess our ways into something productive. But there is much more evidence in my life that it will take me where I don’t desire to go. And fill me with fear and a body full of unproductive stress.

The way I stay rooted in my planning is to bounce ideas off of the healthy people I trust most. I also make sure that I meditate. Giving my brain the freedom to process the information I need to, without my interruption. After I do some talking and meditating, then I will do some planning.

But don’t get me wrong, I am going to obsess and find myself floating away from the moment. This is to be expected. The trick is to not judge ourselves too harshly, then get ourselves back into the moment ASAP.

2. Set Intentions for Future Success.

To attract the types of life we desire, we also need to have a little bit of a grasp on what we desire. Then we need to set the intentions that might open our minds to their possibilities. It is only at this point that we can set our plans and our lives to go in that direction.

Our healthy ambitions are important for having lives that we enjoy. All of the energy brewing up in a human being needs direction. Set the intention, do a little planning and allow that energy to create the path.

3. Make Flexible Plans.

Being flexible is one of the most important principles to healthy life experimentation. Just because we make plans that doesn’t mean that these plans are going to work. When they don’t work we might need to go with the flow and make small revisions to the plan as we feel our way through.

Having plans that are too rigid may end up causing unnecessary pain and frustration for ourselves and those around us. I agree that once in awhile opportunities might require us to bulldoze our way into them. But for the most part there are many ways to achieve a goal and be flexible. In the moment re-planning will work out even better than forcing results.

4. Trusting our Ability to Evolve.

We need to be able to practice self-trust. As well, put some trust in the world around us. Us human beings are resourceful creatures. We may desire something and not see the way to plan for it. That certainly doesn’t mean that it is not ours to desire. It also doesn’t mean that we won’t get it.

Our desires take us places, whether we know they do or not. They work in the background of our consciousness. I don’t know how many times in my recovery I have been struck with gratitude when I realized that unbeknownst to me, my life was guided exactly where It needed to be. Though while on the path to get there, I had no clue that is where I was going.

Life is much easier when I remind myself of my uncanny ability to adapt to my surroundings.

5. Keeping our Minds from projecting Emotion Onto the Future.

When planning for the future it can be easy to slip into many emotions. When anticipating what we will need to face we can feel, fear, humiliation, anger, gratitude, happiness or any other emotion. These emotions are important in the planning process. They help prepare us for what is to come.

Though it is also important to remember that we need to be careful with these emotions. Remembering that we cannot imagine exactly what will be on the path. We can shut ourselves down to a path just because we perceive things to be too difficult. All the while as we keep our minds in the present, our ability to evolve to meet the needs of the moment made life much easier than we could have ever imagined.

Closing Thoughts.

There is a balance to be found between staying in the moment and planning for the future. The more we find that sweet spot, I believe the more balanced and healthy we become.

The quote to begin the article can be interpreted in a couple different ways. First, it might be telling us to quit planning so much because life is passing us by. It also might be saying that while we are planning we end up with meaningful lives as life goes on and we have been meeting our goals.

My take is both. Balanced is best.

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

Managing Feelings of Rejection.

Any individual that is making an effort at building a life worth fighting for is going to have to face rejection.

We are going to have our efforts pushed back in our faces from time to time. Maybe in ways that are meant to hurt, possibly in gentle ways. The rejection could just be from simple misunderstandings.

Lets look a little closer at rejection and see if we can discover some ideas for how the feeling begins. As well as find some helpful solutions for moving through it as smoothly as possible.

Any Relationship Offers up a Good Deal of Rejection.

Whether the relationship is with family, lovers, children, co-workers or whatever form the relationship has, the feelings of rejection are going to happen. There is no way around it.

Life is always changing and that is the nature of relationships as well. Everybody has their own worlds of creative energy coming to the surface. The truth is that we won’t always have the same ideas in mind on how to move forward in our relationships.

Sometimes rejection is flat out rejection. Simply put, not everyone in this world wants our time, our thoughts, or our presence. We offer ourselves up, and individuals say “get out of here with that!” Other times the rejection may not be so simple.

Relationships are such a difficult thing to manage, they are complex. They require negotiation, compromise, hard work, and continuous communication. We agree on terms for the relationship, then the terms change.

Growth is needed to keep relationships alive. Boredom happens, making it necessary to leave some of the old behind. We may end up expressing ourselves in different ways, forcing others into the position to respond.

They may play along or they may decide not to play along. Not playing along can be a retreat to the old by the rejected, or a refusal to move into the new by the rejecter. Too much rejection and not enough growth can be the death of a relationship. In any relationship we are a part of this is the case.

Another time that rejection may occur in a relationship is when the other person or we are just not in the mood. In this case, even every day expected actions may not be acceptable. Most everything may be annoying and all others may need is the look on our faces to feel rejected.

A close friend told me that it’s okay for one person in a relationship to be in too sensitive state for a little bit, but not both. Probably because there ends up being too many rejections for a relationship to handle in a healthy way.

Rejection man

The Feelings of Rejection.

What it really comes down to is that anytime we introduce ourselves, speak our minds, offer or request support, give a gift or give a damn, there is the possibility of being rejected. So beware and remember that certain emotions may follow.

Powerful feelings may be triggered when we feel rejected. They can range from deep agony and loneliness to all-out blind rage. The feelings could also be as subtle as a little irritation, to really no problematic feeling at all. Some of these emotions can bring great pain. Especially if there was a great emotional investment in and great expectations for the relationship.

When we offer up our needs, desires, and assistance we are putting ourselves out on a limb of sorts. These efforts are an investment toward a way of life that we may want. As well as a bit of a lifeline at times to see that we aren’t alone in this world. It can suck to have our efforts rejected since other people are so important for our successful personal development and often times our survival.

The pain from rejection is very real. In this Psychology today article it talks about how feelings of rejection piggyback on physical pain pathways in the brain. Another hint at this is that pain relievers like Tylenol have actually been shown to dull the pain of rejection.

The feelings of rejection don’t seem to be just in our heads. They stem from somewhere. It’s very possible that a strong rejection I feel today could stem from a situation that happened in the past. It could have taken place many years ago and here I am feeling as if it is all has to do with this very moment. Or it could be that we just had a proverbial knife stabbed into our backs, or maybe right in our faces.

Risk personThe Importance of Risking Rejection.

In any relationship, in order for it to grow and ourselves to grow in it, we must risk rejection. We must confront issues that arise and offer new ideas and new efforts to continue adapting to the changing world.

If there are too many problems in a relationship eating up our conscious or unconscious energy we are missing out on further adaptation. The energy that would be better-used tackling issues heads on tends to fester into anger, worry, resentment. The relationship risks rotting from the inside out.

Problems in relationships need swift action to remedy them. But when confronting problems in a relationship there is always a risk of rejection. It is almost as if we need to be willing to risk losing the relationship at times when confronting tough issues. But I have found that it is the avoidance of the issues, that is even more damaging.

I have lost many relationships and great opportunities throughout my life because I was not willing and possibly not able to deal with rejection. I am truly grateful that over the years I have learned a great deal about this process.

Dealing With The Feelings of Rejection and Finding Healthy Ways to Risk.

1. Know What We are Risking Ahead of Time.

Taking risks in relationships is critical to their growth and personal growth. But we should try to understand the risks we are taking before we take them. This can help curb undesired consequences and maybe save some pain.

Of course, rejection can be felt any time new little risks are taken that we don’t even think about. If someone doesn’t laugh at a silly joke of mine I sometimes feel rejected. Though life wouldn’t be much fun if I constantly measured my risk of rejection before every time I opened my mouth.

What I am talking about here is not constant monitoring, but just having some awareness of the big moves that are coming up in life. Thinking about them in a healthy way and preparing accordingly. It is also important to have an awareness of when the fear of rejection comes up.

2. Understand the Level of Risk Aversion and Test for Balance.

Some people are completely cool with taking crazy risk after risk. Others like myself need to come out of the shell to balance out high-risk aversion. Some people may risk too much, and others are way too uptight.

If you are on the too risky side and are troubled with feeling a lot of rejection, maybe slow down a bit. And if you are too risk-averse, finding yourself feeling stuck in life, jump out there and get your feelings hurt a little bit. It’s going to be alright. It is entirely possible for people with both tendencies to find a balance.

Some individuals recommend going out and actively seeking opportunities for rejection to help squelch the fear of rejection. This is not something I have actively tried. But over the decade I have spent in recovery from addiction I understand the need to take risks and prove our fears of rejection wrong.

3. Have Healthy People Around Often.

Without healthy people around to talk to we are essentially swimming around in an ocean of uncertainty all alone. It is more difficult to see our personal strengths and weaknesses. They can help us see the pieces of our reality that we currently may be blinded from.

Having healthy people around to bounce ideas and emotions off of has many benefits. They can keep us in finding solutions instead of allowing us to complain. As well as build us up and remind us of how capable we are when we are doubting ourselves. And they may be able to point out when we are in way over our heads and don’t see it.

4. Timing is very Important.

Not every time we want to make a change in our lives and in our relationships is the right time. Sometimes striking when emotion is high is the answer. Other times waiting for the emotion to cool down can keep us from overwhelming those we wish to grow with. Acting too fast or too slow may snuff out the fire of a new opportunity.

I like to take time out to meditate, talk to my trusted people and then meditate some more. Then I generally find that balance I am looking for. But don’t get me wrong, sometimes decisions need to be made quickly and that’s why it’s important that my thoughts and emotions are in a good place as often as possible.

5. Keeping Our Thoughts and Emotions in Check.

Life is unpredictable and without keeping ourselves in healthy mental and emotional states we can get tossed around like ragdolls. The feelings of rejection are much easier to handle if we are in stable mood states. We will not be able to predict all of the times that people will not be emotionally, mentally or physically available to us. Nor can we predict when someone will decide to maliciously attack our characters.

Of course, even if we are mentally and emotionally stable, rejection can hurt. But maybe we can stop that hurt in its place, then feel the rejection responsibly. Allowing us to keep the rejection from hurting us more, or winding up hurting others.

Closing Thoughts.

So yes, rejection is unavoidable. But this is no reason to avoid living our lives. Life goes on after rejection, coming with many more opportunities for interpersonal connection and personal growth. Step up and take some of those upcoming risks everything is going to be okay.

I wish you well on your path of navigating the feelings of rejection. This article was written out of what was learned from personal struggle and growth. We truly believe that if you take what was written here that it will benefit you greatly.

 

 

 

 

 

Giving Up Complaining.

I’m sure if you are anything like me, then you find yourself complaining about this or that throughout your day. It comes easily when we are upset about how something played out. Or maybe the way that someone treated us at work or in any other of our relationships. We all do it from time to time and some complaining is normal and even healthy. But, with that being said there is a line that can be crossed that takes complaining from blowing off steam to using it as an unhealthy coping skill.

And just an FYI Complaining in this article is not just about any time we air grievances to people for the purpose of creating change. It is mainly for finding healthy ways to catch ourselves when stuck in a routine of complaining just for complaining’s sake

Why do We Complain and is there anything good about Complaining?

So why do we complain? It might seem like a complex question but I believe it is more simple than it seems. We complain when we are upset about something when something internally does not feel right. When upset, our inner tension seeks to find relief. So we discuss what is giving us displeasure about this, that, and the other thing. Not discussing what is bothering us is a recipe for bottled up stress and more dissatisfaction. But taking complaining too far can become like a drug in the wrong hands, giving instant personal gratification but long term undesired consequences.

There is a problem at hand when complaining and we may be looking for a solution. Granted there are those who complain all the time no matter what. But generally there is irritation and we either consciously or unconsciously seek to understand what is bothering us. Like if there are problems that need grievances aired to create change.

Is there anything good about complaining? I can think of only one good reason why complaining could potentially good. When we complain we may talk to several people or just a few and hopefully somewhere along the lines we are given what we needed to hear. Whoever is on the receiving end of our complaints just might be able to snap us out of it. Then we can get busy looking for creative ways to better our lives.

Grumpy ComplainingWays that complaining negatively impacts life.

There are numerous ways in which complaining impacts our lives. Whatever the situation may be, repeatedly complaining about the same thing increases negative feelings and adds more stress. When this takes place we are generally not looking for a solution from those who are listening to us, but rather to receive sympathy, attention, or validation.

And what happens to the people that we consistently complain to in order to find relief from what ails our minds? What we may not realize is that listening to complaints can be draining for the people we are unloading this on. It erodes happiness as well as the ability to feel good will towards others. And it certainly doesn’t bring any positivity to our peers.

Another way that complaining can impact us negatively is that it keeps us stuck and unable to move forward. Ruminating on the same situation harvests negative feelings over and over again. There is a certain amount of acceptance we need to have over certain situations we can’t do much about. Acceptance has taken the back seat when we don’t allow ourselves to move on from whatever it is that we are complaining about. It doesn’t matter if it happened two hours ago or two days ago, continuously talking about it will not help to let go.

My experience with complaining.

Now, I know that this is something that I struggle with at times. I find it easiest to complain and dive right in with coworkers complaints while I am working. Working in retail is not always the easiest thing and I encounter a variety of people in a day. As you can imagine not all of them are the nicest. Not having a positive experience with them makes complaining about them seem effortless. Going through our work day we end up sharing stories mostly of the things that went wrong or upset us. There are plenty of positive things that happen throughout the day but those stories are told less frequently.

Recently at work I was focusing on complaining less and a customer told me that my spirit was very refreshing. It was nice to hear and we both had a positive experience. But, I know for a fact that had I not been focusing on not complaining that our encounter would not have gone as it did. This got me thinking about some of the positive consequences that might continue to show up in my life as a result of less complaining. It also excited a new desire to stay more mindful about the ways I complain and finding ways to stop.

Stop Complaining

Stopping the process of complaining

1. Have People in Your Life that Stop You From Complaining.

Having someone to talk through issues with rather than fueling the complaint will get you better results. We recommend having close relationships that will not allow our complaining to control our conversation with them. This way you can reach needed solutions rather than spinning in circles, hyper-focused solely on the problem. These people can seem like complete pains in the ass but in the long run, the way they help us take responsibility for our current situation is priceless.

2. Practicing Acceptance.

Nothing will ever change if there is no acceptance for what is at hand. We complain because we have not accepted and moved on from whatever issue we can’t change. Again, this is what keeps us stuck. Once a level of acceptance has been reached then we can stop ourselves from continuing to complain about the same thing. Then maybe we can find a place to put in some productive action.

3. Positivity and Gratitude.

Focusing on gratitude and pulling out positive thoughts can stop complaining in its tracks. For instance, thinking about that one really nice customer instead of complaining about the bad one can help to keep negative feelings out. When we are practicing gratitude it becomes easy to let complaints go to the wayside.

4. Don’t Engage in the Complaining of Others.

When hearing others complain about something don’t dive in and add fuel to the fire. We can amp each other up while we complain. It may feel good in the moment but overall there are no positive feelings to bounce off of each other. Knowing that I do not have to participate in negative conversations allows me to choose gratitude versus other negative feelings.

5. Take Productive Action.

Putting energy into not complaining is not the easiest thing to do. But having put a stop to the complaining there is finally an opening to take productive action. Productive action is using that upset energy and putting it to work to take care of what is causing our problem. It definitely takes more work to take a productive action than it does to complain. But there is no better way to release our creative energy from focusing on the problem.

It is true that the more we complain the more hardwired the behavior becomes in our brains, the same as any other behavior we learn. It is also true that well worn habitual behaviors are able to be changed if we are willing to put in the work and feel the discomfort of not using them. For me, it has been challenging but I find that with practice I am getting better about not giving my complaints the light of day.

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

 

Developing Healthy Personal Boundaries.

pain to learn. As difficult as they can be to navigate, I need healthy relationships. But in order to have healthy relationships, personal boundaries need to be established.

In this article, we will discuss what healthy personal boundaries tend to look like. As well as discussing some manageable ways to develop them.

Personal Boundaries
Photo by Jules D. on Unsplash

What are Personal Boundaries?

A simple definition of a boundary is that it is a “dividing line.” Not surprising for you to hear, It is the place where one thing ends and another begins.

With relationships come boundaries, there is me and then there is the other. Sure we may share in a relationship. Though we are most certainly our own individuals.

Anyone of the many relationships I am a part of do not make me, me. I am not my marriage, my family, my job, or the recovery program I attend. These are relationships I am a part of, and though they are extremely important to my healthy world, they are only a part of my world.

Without personal boundaries, any relationship could turn into a distraction from the rest of life. Meaning that they will get way too much of our time, attention and effort. We can engulf them and they engulf us. Leaving other areas of our lives to suffer, which in turn causes suffering for ourselves. As well as harms the relationships we end up neglecting.

Why Our Personal Boundaries are Important.

Our personal boundaries set the parameters for the type of lives we are going to live. They decide what we do, who we do them with, where we do them, and how often. If we do not figure out the proper boundaries we need to live the types of lives we deep down desire, well then we are set for some disappointment in life.

To progress in the multitude of areas in our lives, we need balance and proper time management. We need to learn to say no when we need to say no, and yes when we need to say yes. Understanding that we are the only individual in control of our next moves is crucial in seeing the importance of personal boundaries. Only I can let my work know that I cannot pick up that extra shift. And I don’t think anyone else is going to let my wife know that I need that next recovery meeting.

Detaching from what we think, others think we should be taking care of, is a difficult thing. But it’s the only way to properly care for the dizzying amount of responsibilities all us productive folks human beings have.

Without personal boundaries, we may also end up with not enough personal time. Becoming resentful as people seek too much of our time and we don’t have the boundaries to say sorry but I can’t help with that. We also may end up allowing unhealthy people too much freedom to mingle in our worlds. And may end up taking advantage of us in return.

There are many reasons that personal boundaries are important. But where do we begin with creating the healthy version?

Developing Healthy Boundaries is On Ourselves.

First of all, when it comes to healthy personal boundaries, they are of course personal. They are our own. Nobody can set up our personal boundaries for us. That responsibility falls squarely on ourselves.

Since healthy boundaries are personal, I take that to mean that they may look very different from person to person. This is because we all have different values and beliefs, and different levels of comfortableness with stretching our boundaries. Nobody can tell us what is important to us or what is manageable for us. They are able to give us some hints, but ultimately we have to find all this out through our own trial and error.

Finding Boundary Balance.

To handle the responsibility of developing healthy boundaries it is important to understand a few things. It’s important to know whether our boundaries are currently too rigid and keep too many of our relationships shut out. Or do they seem to be nonexistent, not allowing ourselves to stand up for ourselves? If we can’t be sure on our own, then we can ask a handful of trusted friends and they should be able to help find valuable info.

Having too rigid boundaries may make us seem a little scary and ward off potential opportunities to grow. Whereas too loose of boundaries may have us all over the place, tossed around by the requests and attention of others. Both of them have their dangers and rewards. What we are looking for here is a balanced approach, one that neither makes us too scary to others. But also doesn’t leave us looking and feeling like pushovers. And of course, allows ourselves to have our own personal decision making space to feel in control of our lives.

Developing a balanced approach may not be easy if we are entrenched in a certain boundary pattern. It will require experimentation with new habits. As well as feeling all sorts of emotional energy that fuels the old habits.

What Healthy BoPersonal Spaceundaries May Look Like.

A lot of the time when my personal boundaries are on point, I don’t even need to let others know what they are. They just get a feel for them.

But that is not always the case so learning to communicate boundaries effectively is the only way to ensure that they will be respected. The assertive approach for letting others know we are busy and unavailable is best. This means respectfully but promptly letting requesters understand why we are unavailable.

But I feel even most people with already assertive natures will go a little too far in teaching others the lessons of their boundary-breaking. Or they may try to sneak off, avoiding requests they would rather not partake in. I am guilty of both of these. Honestly, though I think these tendencies are just part of being human. There is nothing wrong with them as long as they don’t become our primary approaches.

I feel the next important aspect is that they are set and shown consistently. This speaks to integrity. If I am going to tell people I have certain boundaries, then that is something people should be able to expect in the future. And if we are going to break them, then we better have a damn good reason. Because believe me, people are going to notice.

Of course, life changes often though, and as responsibilities change so do priorities and boundaries. I know this well since my wife and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world. Through the process, I have come to find that as long as my boundary changes are reasonable and well communicated, my relationships seem to be understanding.

Conclusion.

Setting healthy personal boundaries can be a difficult thing to do. Sometimes it feels like it would be easier to avoid relationships altogether. But having healthy relationships is very important in building a healthy life. Learning to develop healthy boundaries can ensure that we are able to balance out our relationship workloads. Getting the most out of them while still having our presence enjoyed.

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here

 

Trusting: Finding a Healthy Path for Giving Our Trust.

Trust and Being Actively Trusting.

Life without being able to give our trust to others is a lonely undertaking. Of course, trusting others can lead to painful situations when things go badly in relationships. But it also an ingredient that is entirely necessary to maintain healthy relationships.

Let’s take a little deeper look at this topic and see if we can find some ways to avoid some of the pain of trusting. And of course, find healthy ways to give it out.

A definition for trust I found describes it as a ” firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” Trust is so important to the health of our relationships and for maintaining our mental and emotional health.

But it is not enough to simply believe in the reliability, strength, etc, of this or that relationship. We must put our trust into action and be actively trusting to receive the full benefits.

To be trusting is to consistently show this belief to ourselves and to our trustworthy relationships through our actions. It is to push doubtful thoughts to the side when we are fed untruths. As well as to remind ourselves that the intentions of the other party are good unless clearly proven otherwise.

Trusting PainWhy Trusting can be Difficult.

Trusting others is not necessarily an easy thing to do. Why? The obvious answer that comes to my mind is pain.

To give our trust is to let our guards down, to be vulnerable. So the same essential element to maintaining a healthy relationship also leaves us open to the potential for great pain.

Most of us have no doubt had our trust disrespected. Trusted friends may have gossiped behind your back. Close romantic relationships may have shown themselves to be unfaithful or abandoned us. The business you work for may not have given you the raise you were expecting and deserve. Any of these examples and many more are a cause for disappointment and emotional pain. They may have us trusting that relationships are not worth trusting since all they bring is more pain.

Allowing ourselves to give our trust to someone and having them take advantage of our vulnerability is a real possibility. In fact, it is going to happen many times throughout our lives. So what just wander up into the hills and denounce all relationships?

Few of us will seriously think that is the answer. What is needed is a balanced approach to trusting others, one in which we still get healthy relationships and less chance of having our trust abused.

Actively Trusting and Healthy Relationship.

It is easy for me to see that without trusting others there is no foundation for a healthy relationship. Giving our trust is needed to be able to let our guards down, and let other people into our lives. It is also necessary to keep them in our lives and in our confidences.

Without trust, the mind tends to question the goodness of most intentions. It is left to wade around in an endless sea of mistrust. All of those past relationships that either betrayed us or where we perceived betrayal, can fuel suspicion in our current thoughts and perceptions. This is close to the death of any healthy relationship.

Being actively trusting in a relationship does not mean keeping our heads in fairytale land, thinking others will never betray our trust or hurt us. But it does require us to leave the pathway for communication open to allow others to make amends and correct the pain. And also to eventually leave the relationship if the behavior does not improve. It also means not expecting that all the things that went wrong in the past are destined to repeatedly happen again.

Trusting PathFinding the Healthy Path to Trusting.

Trusting others, of course, comes with its risks as well as it’s benefits. Though in my mind as long as some self-work is done a healthy path to trusting can be found.

1. Develop Self Trustworthiness.

All through my recovery, I have heard an important statement about trusting others. I was told that the way to trust others is to be trustworthy myself. But what does my own trustworthiness have to do with trusting others? The answer lies in the fact that when I am able to trust myself, then I will generally judge the trustworthiness of others more effectively.

This Psychology Today article outlines the problem of jealousy in relationships. It gives some evidence that jealous and overly suspicious partners in a relationship are much more likely to be the unfaithful ones. The article focuses on romantic relationships and cheating but there are many types of relationships in life. In any of these relationships, when we are trying to get one over on the other individuals involved, we are very likely going to be suspicious of their actions. Whether they are faithful to the relationship or not.

Our own lack of trustworthiness gets projected onto others, hurting relationships. When we feel deep down that we are trustworthy we are more likely to project the opposite, and give a healthy relationship a chance to grow.

Thankfully over the years I have learned many skills that have led me to develop self-trustworthiness. One of them is practicing forgiveness towards myself and others.

2. Forgiveness of Self and Others.

In order to develop self-trustworthiness and actively trust, we must also learn how to forgive. Working on forgiving ourselves of our past and present. As well as doing the same for the individuals surrounding me.

Throughout my recovery from addiction, I have had to dissect my past to recognize painful emotions coming from experiences where I felt wronged or wronged others. I have had to forgive myself and feel those emotions. This has allowed me to be more trusting, spending less of my creative energy reliving the pain of past emotions while trying to live in the moment.

To forgive is not necessarily to forget. Our pasts and our pain have a great deal to teach us, they are not to be forgotten. Though often times I have found that as healing happens, the unimportant tends to disappear from the memory anyway. Forgiveness tends to put our relationships into a healthy perspective. But all this forgiveness only works when we are living respectably.

3. Living Respectably.

Living respectably to me means simply living in ways that don’t cause ourselves unnecessary guilt. Ways that are in line with OUR OWN moral compasses.

As I said above when we live and think dirty, we tend to expect others to be doing the same. But when living respectably, we wind up projecting less of our own negative intentions onto others.  It frees our minds up to be less critical, more kind and better judges of the characters of others.

Also when by living respectably we tend to attract more trustworthy people into our lives. People that are more able to be trusted. But of course there are days where I am feeling tricky emotions and I may feel unsafe and more likely to not give my trust out. Though as long as I continue to live in a way that I won’t regret, the emotion will pass and I will return to a more trusting self.

Trusting LedgeConclusion

So yes, being trusting can be a complicated issue. But even though it has it’s risks, the rewards are incredible. It doesn’t really matter if you have been too trusting in the past or scared to trust at all there is a balanced way of giving out trust that can be learned. One that is backed up with boundaries with others and still isn’t isolationist. It may take work and it may require lots of healing from painful emotions, but it is entirely possible.

There are many amazing people out in the world to be met, and new depths to be discovered in already intimate relationships. Each of these requiring us to put our guards down a little bit more and allowing ourselves to trust.

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here