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Posts Tagged ‘lonely’

What Is It About Holidays That Tug at Our Abandonment Strings?

December 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Maybe it’s the smells. A few whiffs of cinnamon, butter cooking, turkeys roasting, chocolate melting, and pine needles and we are brought right back to earlier times — times when we were nestled into our families and their traditions. The holidays are just around the corner and soon we will be inundated by those familiar tastes, smells, sounds and sights that tug at our heartstrings. This helps to enhance the spirit for the folks who are happily tucked in with their mates and families. But for those of us who are alone, the holidays can arouse a sense of longing for deep connection. This can inspire creative change or trigger a kind of seasonal depression.

There are so many people out there who face the holiday season without a special someone to share it with. We may have a family to visit, but may feel emotionally alone. Maybe we are going though a breakup, grieving the death of a loved one, having trouble finding someone to love, or involved in a relationship where we feel a loss of love. We may show up at family gatherings attempting to put the best face on it, but somewhere inside we may feel some isolation, apathy, or disconnection, all the while surrounded by reminders of earlier times when we felt connected to people we loved and belonged to.

People ask me how to cope. Drawing from an old list, I’d like to pose a challenge: Allow your holiday emotions to inspire creative change. Choose Change over Depression. Here’s how:
1) Don’t underestimate these feelings. Embrace them as part of being human and be extra gentle with yourself. Don’t try to push them away. Ignoring them just drives them underground where they drain your energy and mood from within. Instead be prepared for nostalgic feelings. Validate your vulnerability and give yourself extra care. In short, be your own physician: Tend to your own wound caringly.
2) Share your feelings whenever you can with people you trust. In some cases, this may have to be a professional counselor. Sharing helps to soothe the primal abandonment feelings that underlie the depression and also helps you feel less alone.
3) Create new hope in your life. Take initiatives designed to reap some benefits later on. At the very least buy a lottery ticket, but also initiate new undertakings that will help you reach your goals, such as joining a dating service, sending out an application to get a degree, signing up for an exercise program, or rewriting your resume so that later you can take advantage of new job opportunities. You have to really get creative here. And you have to follow through.
4) Create events that you can look forward to in the future such as planning a trip to visit a friend.
5) Reach out to people. Create a connection with new people and reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with. Spend time with someone you love who makes you smile. Talk to people who have been through abandonment and have come out the other side – positively. These connections often times involve taking positive risks. Now is the time to take them!
6) Approach people with the spirit of giving – not with gifts (necessarily) but with your interest and caring for them. Being generous means being in the moment with them, being fully present. Demonstrate an earnest desire to listen to them. Be in empathy with their lives. Make them feel their special importance in your life.
7) Do some community outreach to help others. Now that you’re feeling lonely, you can appreciate how difficult it is for folks who are isolated within hospitals, prisons, shelters, nursing homes, or on the streets. Help them feel a little less lonely by letting them know someone cares. Come bearing gifts or just your company. Lend a helping hand.
8) Nurture yourself. Put a lot of thought in what little things might feel pampering and luxurious to you. Probe yourself by asking, “What do I want?” Watch inspiring movies – go to net flicks or spiritual cinema.com. Visit a new place (that you have not been to before), one that has special holiday spirit or a transporting ambience. Give yourself as many indulgences as you can afford, and remember, self-indulgence is not the same as self-nurturance. We don’t want a credit card debt to have to repay later.
9) Don’t depend solely upon being invited to other people’s parties, plan your own gatherings. Be ready to laugh and enjoy. This is another positive risk that is worth taking!
10) This one is the most important: Recognize the temporary nature of all things. As for your loneliness, remind yourself, “This is only a feeling and this too shall pass.”

I’m Insecure, but It’s About Me

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Someone wrote in that his girlfriend has just pulled away after experiencing an emotional crisis in her family. The day before, they’d been like love-birds, but she’s suddenly stopped showing affection and now wants her space.

He writes, “I have been supportive and try to give her space, but I am fearful and alone and feel rejected. I fear losing her and miss her terribly.”

He asks how he can be supportive while at the same time convincing her to come back to him — without driving her away. He ends with “I feel so lost. ”

There are millions of people out there in these torturous tangles. Once someone pulls away, the balance of a relationship tips, destroying the security and mutuality. The one who feels rejected automatically feels clingy and needy — and this further tips the balance out of control.

Most people who get into this just feel hopeless. It is demoralizing to find yourself groveling for someone’s love. The desperation and neediness make you feel make you feel weak and unworthy. You feel ashamed of having become an emotional beggar.

Just a reminder: We are all capable of feeling these insecure feelings — they are not a sign of weakness, they are a sign of being in a very specific and very challenging situation.

Most importantly, no matter how hopeless it seems, there is a way out of this vicious cycle. The abandonee must recognize what an absolutely fabulous opportunity this is, since the only real solution must come from within. The opportunity is to become emotionally self-assured.

Self-assured. How many people wouldn’t want to become self-assured? Well this is the best opportunity to learn how to do so.

This guy’s only other option is to lose his power to this woman. The minute he lays his emotional needs upon her, he loses ground.

So he must begin by taking full responsibility for creating his own emotional security – from within himself – by standing on his own two feet. He must immediately cease and desist from looking to her to make him feel secure.

Granted, all she’d have to do is call him and tell him how much she loves and needs him, and he’d feel secure again (depending upon many variables). But this is because she has magic power over him — she has the power to make or break his emotional well-being (not that this is her intention).

Well this is what he has to change. He cannot afford to look to her to restore his sense of security.

If she experiences him as a rock — as a self-assured rock — she will be more likely to re-attach. But his motivation must be for his own sake.

He must take 100% responsibility for making himself secure. And boy is it ever a challenge! It’s the hardest work he’ll ever do. But it’s doable. And the rewards are amazing!

Taking responsibility involves reassuring himself (this is why it’s called SELF-assurance) millions of times that he can (and must) stand on his own two feet. He can go out and look for highly nurturing activities that distract him from the anxiety. He can get into the moment by doing things that are highly stimulating and life-sustaining. This doesn’t mean that he will feel very happy doing them; the anxiety might still be running through his stomach, but he will be breaking new ground.

Think of how well this will play when he speaks with his girlfriend as she watches him going on about his independent life, fulfilling himself. He doesn’t have to pretend to be okay. He can even admit that he’s feeling somewhat lost and insecure, but that he’s using the opportunity to discover wonderful new things about himself.

Read more: http://www.thirdage.com/today/dating/im-insecure-but-its-about-me#ixzz10qC5b59q

Stuck in Relationship Patterns

We all know people who are stuck in patterns. They’re alone and unfulfilled because they keep pursuing unavailable partners. When someone comes along who is genuinely interested, they push him or her away because they feel no attraction. Their lives are caught up in cycles of abandonment.

Why do we keep repeating the same patterns over and over and what can we do about them?

Step 1: Admit that you have the problem. This is an enormous step because it’s so easy to disguise it by telling yourself that you “just haven’t met the right person.” The truth is that even if the right person came along, unless he or she made you feel that old emotional hunger, you wouldn’t be attracted to him or her.

Step 2: Accept how futile it is to go through life being attracted only to unavailable people and running away from people who are genuinely available. Owning up to your pattern will create a turning point in your life.

Step 3: Recognize that you’re not alone. Millions of people like you are caught up in these patterns and don’t know how to get out.

Step 4: Be determined to break this pattern. Determination is absolutely necessary because this is a very hard problem to break. There is a way out, but insight alone won’t change it. You have to actively work on it.

Step 5: To keep you on track, consider seeking help from a counselor, trusted friend, or sponsor. Writing in a journal also helps. Be rigorously honest with yourself and others.

Step 6: Re-evaluate your old belief system about who is a “good catch” and what love is. Many of your values are undoubtedly left over from high school or from growing up with your parents.

Step 7: Once you identify faulty values, discard them. They have become bad emotional habits, so you must challenge them actively in your journal, in discussions with others, and in your everyday life.

Step 8: Redefine what love is all about. Mature love involves not constantly pursuing hard-to-get lovers, but mutual caring, trust, respect, sharing, and commitment. Seek a relationship instead of romance.

Step 9: Be realistic. Change won’t happen overnight. Your body is conditioned to feel turned on only when you feel insecure; otherwise you sexually and romantically shut down. You (and your body) have temporarily lost your capacity to appreciate mutual attachment. It takes time to retrain yourself to respond to new cues.

Step 10: To guide your journey, remain open to your own truth. Being rigorously honest with yourself and significant others helps your higher self to emerge — a higher self no longer stuck in patterns.

Step 11: Take positive risks. Reach out to activities and people beyond your usual circle to practice your hidden interests and capabilities. Become your higher self by sharing your changing values with others.

Step 12: What do you do when you slip back into the pattern? Understand what causes you to be attracted to the unavailable and summon the will to change it.

Why are you love-challenged? Because past heartbreaks have caused your wires to cross. You’ve come to confuse insecurity and longing with love. Your emotional pendulum swings between fear of engulfment and fear of abandonment. Insecurity has become your favorite aphrodisiac. Only you can uncross those wires. Re-examine your values, challenge your old beliefs and relearn how to love.

Taming Your Outer Child: Overcoming Self-Defeating Patterns can now be preordered.

Do you have an outer child?  Go to www.outer-child.com to see the checklist and learn more about self-sabotaging your *relationships *diets and *finances *etc. and what to do about it.