Tag Archives: breakup

Nobody Really Wants Intimacy

The other day a few colleagues of mine were discussing intimacy on a lunch break.  The one had his own therapy group that was focused on the topic of intimacy and he was expressing his distress in how often people sign up for the groups on topics like “anxiety”, “depression” and “grief” but few wanted to sign up for the intimacy group.

“People don’t want to be intimate anymore”, one of my colleagues said in response to his distress, “We’re living in a separate individualistic culture”.

“Yeah, a lot of people are just focused on their phones and technology now,” said another, “Nobody really wants intimacy”.

Up until this point in the discussion I was merely an observer, like a bird looking in through the window, but I felt an urge to say something to add my own two cents.  “Well, I think the problem is that people don’t like conflict,” I said, “and you need to be able to work through conflict in order to be more intimate”. 

Now, of course, when I say this I don’t mean that we need to have conflict in order to be intimate.  There are plenty of relationships out there that are full of conflict and the intimacy is severely lacking.  However, what I do mean is that by avoiding conflict, we are also avoiding more intimacy.

Contrary to what some may think, intimacy is far more than just sex.  Sex is just a mere expression of physical intimacy.  But there’s also intimacy on an emotional level.

When we’re emotionally intimate with someone, we are then able to share someone our true emotions.  Our sadness.  Our fears.  Our worries.  And even our anger.

By becoming emotionally intimate, we allow ourselves to slowly and gradually be more and more seen by another person. It creates more love and deepens the relationship.  The other person is better able to know us for who we truly are and we are then better able to know the other person.

This process isn’t easy. In fact, it’s terrifying because it requires us to be incredibly vulnerable.  To be intimate requires us to take down our defenses and expose ourselves with another person with the hope that this other person is going to react with acceptance and love.

And for most of us we haven’t had that reflected to us in our childhood.  We’re used to being judged and shamed.  We’re used to feeling guilty.  We’re used to not being accepted.

We’re not used to other people giving us a safe and loving space for us to express our emotions and to simply say something like, “I know that’s tough.  I’m here for you and I love you no matter what”.

I think this is where dealing with conflict makes things tough.  Because while we want to be accepted and loved by another person, conflict can feel like the exact opposite of that.

Depending on how we were raised, conflict can feel very rejecting.  We may have come to believe that conflict means separation or that fighting leads to the ending of the relationship.

However, the reality is that — and some people have grown up knowing this already — is that conflict is simply a discussion of differences and that it’s naturally a part of being in a relationship.

The reality is that through conflict, if we can communicate in a way where both people take responsibility for themselves and both are able to share their own genuine internal experience, we can actually become much more intimate.

Through conflict we have the opportunity to see another persons’s deep inner wounds, so we can better understand what makes them who they are.  We then have the opportunity to give them assurance that all is okay and that they are loved and accepted no matter what regardless.

ConflictWounds

Click to Tweet: Through conflict we can see a persons’s deep inner wounds, which can allow love to deepen. @jenilyn8705 

So how can we better deal with conflict so that we can become more intimate?  Here’s a few tips:

#1 – Be aware of your own relationship to conflict

Are you one who avoids conflict at all cost?  Do you tend to believe that a happy relationship means no arguing?  Do you have difficulty holding the idea that a debate can be healthy and free of anger and resentment?

#2 – Track yourself

When a discussion starts to turn a bit sour, be sure to check in with yourself.  How are you feeling?  Are you angry or anxious?  Are you tense?

When we’re triggered and become angry, anxious, tense, or upset, this is when we are unable to think clearly.  We literally can’t process information the way we can otherwise because our nervous system is outside of our normal window of tolerance.  So it’s important to stop, breath and recognize that you’re triggered.

#3 – Recognize where the other person is and focus on the discussion

Does the other person appear tense and angry?  Are they saying things like “you always” or “you never”?  If so, then it’s likely that they’re triggered.

Remember how I said we can’t process information clearly when we’re outside our window of tolerance?  Well, when you can’t then the other person can’t either.  So its important to recognize that and know when to walk away and cool off. 

When both are cooled off, then a real discussion can happen.

#4 – Be mindful about language

If you want to be loved and respected then know that the other person deserves to be loved and respected as well.  So be mindful about your language by avoiding saying things like “childish” or “selfish”.  Avoid saying things that may imply trying to place all the blame on the other person because, realistically, it takes two to tango anyway.

So, do I really think people don’t want intimacy?  No, not at all.  I think deep down in our core we really truly do want intimacy it’s just that our own wounds and fear get in the way.

How do some of your wounds block you from intimacy?  What’s your relationship with conflict?  Share in the comments below!

3 Lessons I’ve Learned from a Bad Breakup

It was December 26, 2011.

My bags were packed and I was ready to go.  I was sitting in my studio apartment waiting for him to text me to let me know he was here to drive me to the train station.

And I was the most nervous I had ever been in my life.

More nervous than when I got my first dorm room for college.

More nervous than taking my first 747 by myself to move halfway across the world.

More nervous than moving to a foreign country where I didn’t know any of the native language.

All because I knew that this was it.  It was officially over.

No more fights.  No more miscommunication.  No more apologies and making up over and over again.

The dust was settling and the chapter was coming to a close.

He picked me up, put my luggage in the trunk and drove me over to the train station.

As we rode over to the train station we mostly sat in silence.  What more was there to say?, I thought to myself, I had depleted my entire heart and soul trying to make this relationship work.  What could I even say at this point to make any of this better?

When we got to the train station he walked me into the station and walked with me all the way to the escalator that led to the boarding terminal.

At that point I completely broke down knowing that this was the last time I was ever going to see this person in my entire life.

I went through breakups before, but not where it completely ends with one person leaving the country.  So this situation was taking it to a whole new level for me.

We hugged and he said, “We’ll meet again someday”.

As I stood at the boarding terminal waiting for the train admiring Korea’s countryside with tears rolling down my cheeks, I knew in my head that it was over but in my heart I didn’t want to let it go.  I wanted a resolution.  I wanted to feel like there was some kind of actual “closure”.

I didn’t realize it then, but there are a few lessons that I know now that I didn’t know then…

#1 – We may never receive the closure we think we should get. 

Alright so you wrote a letter, sent a letter to him, tried to talk about it but he was totally avoidant about talking about any of his feelings, and so on but it still doesn’t feel like enough (I did all of these, by the way).

And you know why it doesn’t feel like enough?

Because deep down, secretly, we just want him to confess his love to us so then everything can work out and we can ride in the back of a carriage together into the sunset and live happily ever after.

It’s not realistic.  In fact, it’s totally insane.

Look, let’s be real here: When you were with him he showed you who he was.  He showed you his personality, his interests, and his quirks.  He was totally honest and upfront with you.  And, so, maybe he didn’t quite express his feelings to the degree that you wish he did, but there’s also another lesson you gotta remember…

#2 – We can’t force someone to change.

You can’t force a guy to express his feelings for you if he doesn’t want to.  Sure, maybe you got that sense that he has stronger feelings for you than what he’s willing to admit to (trust me, I know), but, honestly, if he’s not expressing it then he doesn’t feel comfortable doing it. 

Now that could be because he doesn’t really feel comfortable expressing his feelings to you in particular for whatever reason.  Or, it could be that he just has his own issue that he has to work on when it comes to expressing his feelings.

Either way, the bottom line is that you can’t force someone to change or do something.  In fact, men are hardwired to pull away when they are being forced to do something.  So take a deep breath and let it go, ‘cause the only person that you have the power to change is yourself.

ChangeYourself

Click to Tweet: The only person that you have the power to change is yourself. via @jenilyn8705

#3 – When we feel complete and whole within ourselves, then we can create a real and lasting relationship.

When we experience any kind of “neediness” — a need for closure, a need for him to express his feelings, and so on — it’s not because we really “need” that from the other person, but because we ourselves are not feeling whole and complete within ourselves.  Why?  Because we are not connected to spirit — the Divine, God, the Universe or whatever you want to call it.  We are lacking in our own inner connection to divine unconditional love.

Now when I say this I don’t mean that every relationship is going to work just because you’re connecting to pure divine love within yourself — but it will help you see things more clearly. 

You better know when the relationship is no longer in your highest good so it’s time to walk away.  It’s easier to forgive and let go of past wounds because you’re allowing yourself to be guided by what is in your highest good.  And you are better able to create and maintain a relationship that has more balance and is filled with the real love that you truly desire.

This is why I’ve created Ignite Love from Within: Meditations for Creating Relationships and a Life Filled with Loveto help you connect to divine love deep within yourself so that you can start creating relationships filled with love.  You can start meditating today with a free meditation from the album called Healing Blocks to Love.  Click here to get your copy!

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What is one lesson that you have learned from a breakup?  Share it in the comments below!

5 Steps To Forgiveness

Forgiveness.  It is one of those things that can sound so challenging and difficult to do, yet not doing it can be detrimental our growth and overall well-being.  When we don’t forgive and hold on to bitter resentments, we can find ourselves feeling stressed, miserable, angry, or sad for years after an event happened.

Maybe it’s that ex boyfriend who seemed to always take more from you then give.  Or maybe it’s that friend who rarely told the truth.  Or — maybe — the person you’re struggling to forgive is yourself — for doing something that hurt someone else.

Regardless of who it is that we need to forgive, the act of forgiving is equally beneficial.  When we forgive, we free ourselves and others from the binds of pain and hurt and open ourselves to true healing and love.  Through the power of forgiveness, we open ourselves to the a new way of being, which allows us to attract and create more loving relationships in our lives.

Here are the 5 steps to forgiveness:

#1 – Identify why you have been struggling to forgive.

Have you been making yourself the victim?  Have you been putting the other person up on a pedestal?  Have you been putting yourself down?  Have you been putting yourself up on a pedestal?  Have you been feeling guilty for the things that had happened in a past relationship?  Have you been blaming the other person?

#2 – Be willing to forgive.

Though we often see forgiveness as a challenging task to do, the reality is that, really, the most important thing that we need to do is to be willing to forgive.  When there is a willingness for a change to occur then it is much more likely to happen.  If we are holding on to our past hurts and unwilling to forgive for whatever reason, then we will continue to find ourselves stuck in a place of suffering.

#3 – Release it.

Once you have identified why you struggle to forgive and have a willingness to forgive, the only thing you have to do is to simply let it go — just like that popular song from “Frozen”.  Release it to the universe.

#4 – Trust that healing will occur.

Once we release it, we may find ourselves going into a bit of a panic in our minds.  We may start having thoughts of “What if this doesn’t work?” “How is this going to work?” or “But I don’t feel any different!”  These are merely fear-based thoughts created from our ego, which is the cause of our struggle to experience happiness, joy and love to begin with.  So trust and have faith that a shift will happen.

#5 – Be open for healing.

Once we are in a place of trusting that a shift in our perception will happen, we must be open to receive.  What I mean by this is to be an observer.  Pay close attention to the things that come up for you in your day to day life.  Make note of the people you see, the things that people say, the songs you hear on the radio, the ideas that pop up in your mind, how you feel emotionally throughout your day and so on.  By being an observer of ourselves and our own experience, we are able to be aware when healing does occur.

So if you are in place where you need to forgive someone or yourself, go through these steps.  These guidelines are not meant to be a “do it one time only and everything changes”.  Rather, it’s something that we may need to do every day or a couple times a day for several days or a week or so before we can begin to notice ourselves feeling lighter, happier, and more free.

Be committed to this process of forgiveness. It is by being committed that we will be able to truly forgive and create relationships and a life filled with love.

CommitToForgiveness

Click to Tweet: Being committed to practicing forgiveness is key to creating relationships and a life filled with love. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

In the comments below, we’re going to do Step #1.  So, share why you have been struggling to forgive either someone or yourself.

How to Let Go of Trying to Fix the Relationship When He Doesn’t

I used to be, what I like to call, a “Little Miss Fix-It”.

Whenever there were problems with the guy I was dating at the time, I always tried to just “fix” everything on my own.  I’d try to find some neat and easy way that would fix the problem and put us back together again.

Needless to say, this method didn’t really work too well.  In fact, it seemed that whenever it got to the point where I would try to “fix” problems, the relationship was already going down hill.

I just couldn’t figure out how to keep these relationships together — and I was so incredibly sad and — honestly — ashamed about that.  Why was I always the only one who really tried to work things out?  Why was I always the one putting work and effort into relationship issues but the guy rarely reciprocated?  All I ever wanted was to find peace, be together, and, simply, love each other as we had both wanted to.  Why did it always have to be so difficult?

This was a very difficult place to be in and, because of it, I would find myself struggling to really let go, heal, and move on.  I would feel like there was no closure.  And it was as if that lack of closure was continuing to keep me stuck in this place of sadness, heartbreak, and disappointment.

Fortunately, we don’t have to be stuck in this state of sadness and feeling a lack of closure for months or years post-breakup.  If we allow ourselves to be open to healing, letting go is very possible.  Here’s how:

#1 – Be really honest with yourself.

Was the relationship really that good?  Was he really that good to you?  Was he really that supportive?  Is it really realistic that you won’t be able to find anyone better?

Sometimes after we breakup with someone — or even while we are dating someone — we can tend to put them up “on a pedestal”.  In other words, our minds can kind of imagine them to be better than they really are.

So be completely honest with yourself — and here’s a little hint: If he wasn’t willing to work out problems with you, then he probably wasn’t going to be that good for you in the long-term anyway.  Sure, there were good times, but it’s how two people work through problems together that really defines the strength and stability of the relationship.

#2 – Accept your reality.

We can recognize the reality for what it is all we want, but if we are not willing to fully accept that as the reality then we are going to continue to struggle.

So there are a number of things we may need to really focus on accepting: how they treated us, how they acted during conflicts, how supportive they were, and so on.  We may also need to accept the reality that we have broken up and that this person does not want to work things out.

#3 – Make the intention to let it go.

Once you have been completely honest with yourself and chosen to accept your reality, just let it go.  This can be easier said than done, but when we make a strong intention to do so then it can happen.

To clarify, letting go does not necessarily mean that all of the heartbreak is going to magically go away overnight.  However, making the intention to let go will give you the opportunity to heal.

So once you have recognized and accepted the reality about this relationship, take a moment to set the intention for yourself to let go.  You can do this simply by stating out loud, “[NAME] I release you” or you could make the statement and then do some kind of action like light a candle then meditate for a couple minutes.

Another alternative would be to write a letter to the person or a letter reflecting on your relationship with that person.  In doing this, even though you may not have had the opportunity to say a verbal “goodbye”, you are giving yourself the chance to give the person a goodbye energetically.

And you know what?  That person may feel the “goodbye” and release even more that way than if you were to ever say it in person anyway.

#4 – Trust and have faith.

Even after we have let go of a past love, we can still be dealing with a series of painful emotions.  Be easy on yourself.  Trust and have faith that you will heal and things will get better.

#5 – Make you your #1 priority.

Probably the most crucial step out of all of this is to focus on taking care of you.  What do you do to take care of yourself on a regular basis?  Do you meditate?  Do you eat healthy?  Do you exercise?  What activities do you do that you love to do?  Are you sleeping well?

If you are not doing these things already, look into how you can start doing these things for yourself.  Be dedicated to becoming the master of your own self care.  Post-breakup is the absolute most crucial time to be your own best friend.

DedicateMasterSelfCare

Click to Tweet: Post-breakup is the most crucial time to be your own best friend. So be dedicated in becoming the master of self-care. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

If you’ve recently gone through a breakup, how have you not been completely honest with yourself about your ex?  What are some realities that you need to accept?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

6 Signs It May Be Time to Breakup With Your Friend

In my experience, I’ve learned that friendships can have a natural tendency to go into different stages.  At one moment you’re both super close and telling each other everything, but then a few years later you just chat and see each other once in a great while.

There are many reasons for these changes in the friendship dynamics… one getting married while the other is still single, one taking on a totally different career path from the other, one having children while the other has no children, and so on.

Even though these changes can be upsetting for one or both people, it is a natural and healthy change in the friendship.  We are all growing and evolving as individuals, so what we may have been interested in before may not be what we are interested in now.

However, putting all of that aside, there are a few moments in life where a breakup with a friend may be in order.  When we find ourselves questioning whether we need to breakup with a friend, it can be very difficult decision to make.  So here I have outlined 5 signs where it may be time to breakup with your friend:

#1 – They’re critical of you.

Do they criticize the way you dress?  Do they put you down for not doing something “perfect”?  That being said, do they talk badly about you to other people?

#2 – They seem to want to “compete” with you rather than support.

Do they make comments to you that highlight how they “did that better”?  Did they manage to accomplish something but then put you down for not doing the same?  Do they try to take up your interests or hobbies in a way to try to “beat you” in some way?

#3 – They’re users.

Are they always asking you to do them a favor?  Do they owe you quite a bit of money but keep making excuses to not pay you back?  Are they always coming to you looking for help but they are never there for you when you need help?

#4 – They try to make moves on your partner — or they start dating your ex without discussing it with you first.

Actions like this are a reflection of how much they truly value your friendship.

#5 – They lie to you — a lot.

A few little lies is one thing, but when there are many it can really negatively effect the genuineness of the friendship.  If you are the type of person that values honesty, vulnerability and creating depth in your relationships then having a friend that chronically lies isn’t going to support you in that.

#6 – They don’t really support you.

When you are going through a difficult time, are they there for you?  Do they provide you with a good listening ear?  Do they support you in your goals?  Do they “cheer you on” in your endeavors and ask you how you’ve been doing?

Finally, ask yourself the following questions: Why am I friends with this person?  What do I gain by being friends with this person?  What do I enjoy when being friends with this person?

If you can’t really answer those questions and a few or all of these 6 signs are true for you, then a legitimate breakup may be in order.

Ultimately, remember this:  Our friendships are a reflection of who we are.  As we are growing and evolving as human beings we may realize that some aspect of ourselves is no longer serving us.  As a result, we may find ourselves needing to let friends go as well.  It may involve creating some distance to give ourselves space to grow or it may involve needing to set boundaries for ourselves and “breaking up” with that friend.  Either way, both are a natural aspect to our growth.

FriendshipsReflectionOfUs

Click to Tweet: Our friendships are a reflection of who we are. via @jenilyn8705

In the comments below, share if you have ever had to breakup with a friend.  What was the cause?  What happened?  What did you learn from it?  How has it impacted your life?