Daily Aligning with Love, Abundance, and Peace #19

In order to align ourselves with love, abundance, and peace we have to stop taking what other people say and do personally. If their energy is aligned with fear, lack, and separation, that is what they will project onto whoever will listen and/or align with their energy. My mom has been telling me, “It’s none of your business what other people think of you” since I was thirteen years old. What people think of us and others is based on what beliefs (perspectives of truth) they are attaching to within themselves and the SAME is true for us. We have choices in how we respond to others through acquiring new ways to look at things and that is something to be VERY grateful for.

I have a choice to internalize what someone says, or I can be grateful that I can come up with other ways to look at it that trigger my compassion. The things I choose don’t have to be true for someone else, I’m only responsible and accountable for how my thoughts make me feel and what energy I project out. If it helps me feel better by not taking it personally and seeing other possibilities that help me to align me with love, abundance, and peace—I’m okay with that. I’m grateful for my choice Not to take others personally by seeing seeing these options in perspectives instead:

  • Others are only every projecting what is inside them.
  • Someone who says hurtful things to others is really saying those things to themselves (They are their own mirror).
  • Some people who are supporting abusive people or are abusive see abuse as normal, so they don’t even see what they or another person are doing doing as abusive. Possibly because they have been abusing themselves on an unconscious level or they have suppressed verbal, mental, emotional or physical abuse from someone else it’s not my job to CHANGE them, just be aware that I don’t have to align or agree with any energy I don’t want to be apart of and make the healthiest choice for me and my energy.

Today’s challenge is one I love doing as I scroll social media looking at posts and comments. I choose to see what anyone is saying and doing as a projection of what is going on inside of them.I love figuring out if a person is coming from a place of love, abundance, and peace OR fear, lack, and separation. Focusing my energy on seeing through this lens also helps me to look at what I’m saying and doing more clearly.

If someone in my family or any of my other relationships interacts with me in any other way than loving, respectful, and considerate, I take my ego out of it (making how they are acting about me), and try to ask questions that help me to see what is going on inside of them. I find questions are so much more productive than any statements I make, not saying I don’t do it sometimes (LOL). I find that making statements doesn’t tend to get me to the heart of the issue, and it also doesn’t help the person I care about figure out why they are projecting their energy of fear, lack, and separation onto me. I really hope you will try today’s challenge and see what a difference it makes in your energy. I get a natural high when I do it, which is how I know my energy is aligned with love, abundance, and peace.

With Love, Gratitude, and Peace,

©Rachael Wolff 2020

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This section will be updated with the latest articles, interviews, events, and videos about Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World.

7/30/20 Seek the Joy Podcast—Joy Corner featured author

https://www.seekthejoypodcast.com/joy-corner/rachaelwolff

7/1/20 Heart Wisdom Panel #2

6/18/20 Contribution to an Article about Apology Writing

UpJourney—How to Write an Apology Letter to a Friend

6/4/2020 Contribution to Article about Controlling Men in UpjourneY

UpJourney- Signs of a Controlling Man and How to Deal with Him

5/29/2020 Conversation about Interpretation, Perspective and Purpose with Author Madeline Dyer

5/21/20 diving into Self-Abuse

5/16/20 Audio CD Release

5/16/20 Choices and Perspectives Facebook Live and Youtube

5/11/20 Ravishly.com

As a reader of this wonderful on-line magazine, I dreamed about having a piece featured here. I feel the adrenaline pumping through me as another dream has come true! Learn more about the Letters from A Better Me Journey in this question and answer piece with Erin Khar.

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5/7/20 Facebook Live Consciously Defining Love and Not Accepting Less

4/29/20 Author Panel: Heart Wisdom in the Coronavirus Crisis

4/29/20 Twitter Interview with Laura Zam #BookPartyChat

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4/23/20 A Reading from Letters: Accepting Who and Where We Are

4/3/20 Mango Publishing Facebook Live

3/26/2020 Reading recorded from Phoenix & Dragon BookStore on 3/15/20: Finding Our Center

Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore in Atlanta, GA was the first stop on what was supposed to be the Letters from A Better Me Book Tour, but the coronavirus took me on a much different journey from home.

2/18/20 Book Launch Day

Letters from A Better Me was released to the world on February 18, 2020. This piece talks about that AMAZING day.

https://fromalovingplace.com/2020/02/20/book-launch-day-letters-from-a-better-me/

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3 Ways to Remove the Clutter that Self-Abuse Creates

3 Ways to Remove the Clutter that Self-Abuse Creates

Self-abuse is one of the many ways our self-hate, low self-esteem, lack of worth, and negative self-image manifest themselves. We create clutter both inwardly and outwardly when we don’t become self-aware of how we are treating ourselves. This doesn’t help us lead productive lives. This doesn’t help us stay away from the chaos and drama that surrounds us. The more we hate ourselves and treat ourselves with disrespect, the more chaos and drama we will attract to our lives. The clutter in our minds is fuel for the fear, hate, shame, guilt, and violence that is spreading in and around us.

If we want things to get better around us, we have to start within us. Our energy that we put into the world comes from the energy we are feeding ourselves daily. If we want to stop the abuse, we have to stop creating a space where we are apart of the problem. Self-abuse is not helping us or anyone else! When we self-abuse we are showing others that it’s okay to disrespect us, walk on us, and treat us as if we have no value. Many times people don’t even know that that is the way we feel, because our own behaviors have led them to believe that what they are doing is acceptable.

For years, I wanted to be the victim of my own thinking. I found a sick pleasure in being the doormat, but what I didn’t want to see is that I laid down in front of the person who chose to walk across my back. I was trying to find my value because I hated myself so much that I just gave myself away over and over expecting someone to see what I couldn’t. Our lack of value clutters our minds and distorts our realities into believing that we are trapped and that we can’t stop what is happening to us. Just the thought is self-sabotaging and attracts more of what we don’t want.

When my mind is cluttered, it spreads into my personal spaces. I’ve had my bed so covered in stuff that I have barely been able to fit on it to sleep. That’s when I know I have some real cleaning to do. The last time my bed was like that I dove head-first into figuring out how and why I kept sabotaging myself. It was time for me to look at how I was treating myself.

Here are three ways you can help yourself:

1. Become Aware of the Clutter —INVENTORY NEGATIVE MESSAGES

  • How do you talk to yourself when you are looking in the mirror?
  • What do you think about all your features?
  • What do you think about the person you are?
  • How do you feel about how your life looks to you when you look in the mirror?
  • How do you talk to yourself when you make a mistake for the first time?
  • How do you talk to yourself when you’ve repeated a mistake?

This inventory won’t be done in one sitting. As life situations come up, see how you are talking to yourself:

  • Are you calling yourself names?
  • Are you criticizing yourself?
  • Are you beating yourself with an emotional 2×4?

Just to give you an idea, life situations can still hit me off-guard from time to time and I go back through these steps in order to keep my headspace clean and clutter free.

2. Cleaning out the Clutter—INSIDE AND OUT

  • Start a self-love Journal —Pick a number of days you will commit 35, 45, and/or 90 days. Each day write a minimum of three things you like about yourself. Here’s a hint, if you spot certain positive qualities in others it’s usually because you have them yourself. Do your best not to repeat, especially in the beginning. As you see more and more things you like about yourself, then you can start reusing ones that you are really connecting to.
  • Clean up your physical clutter—Start with a drawer and just keep going. Throw away what you don’t need. Pitch, sell, or donate the things that are just taking up space in your life. Make space for what you want more of in your life. Remember, clear space is peaceful space.

3. Keep the Space Clean—STAY AWARE OF WHERE YOUR MIND GOES

  • Living in gratitude is the best way to keep your space clean. Anytime our minds go to lack, deprivation, fear, hate, blame, etc. we are creating more clutter.
  • Watch your reactions to people. I find this one entertaining. If  a person’s actions work you up: First question your own thinking about what is happening to see if you are fully aware of where your reaction is coming from. Second, I imagine the person saying or doing whatever it is to themselves. Our negative behaviors start from how we are treating ourselves, so we can gain clarity about the situation if we are not taking the person personally. This doesn’t mean we have to accept unacceptable behavior. We just don’t add our own clutter. How someone treats us shows us their love or fear that they are internally dealing with. How we respond to them shows us where we are.
  • Stop the Cycle of abuse. If you see, hear, or feel abusive thoughts about yourself come up, correct them and clean up your self-talk. Treat yourself with love, respect, loyalty, honesty, and compassion. We have to have it inside us before we have a chance of cleaning up what’s around us.
  • Give from a Loving Place. This means you are giving because you want to, not because you think it will make you worthy of someone else’s time, affection, love, respect, etc.

Side effects of these steps are: sleep better, eat healthier, enjoy self-care, kinder thoughts, less judgmental towards others, more compassionate, attract healthier people to our personal and professional lives, more opportunities to do good in the world, appreciate peace, and so many more. 

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

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Social Media: A Narcissist’s Playground

How did we get here?

How did we become easy targets to allow narcissists to abuse their victims?

How is it possible for good people to become perpetrators of narcissist abuse?

How do we open the door unknowingly to be the next victim of narcissist abuse?

Come on, most of us are good people. We are not capable of being perfect. We don’t want to believe that we are capable of perpetuating the abuse of another person. We want to believe what we read. We want to believe that no one would post or say something harmful about someone else if it wasn’t true. We struggle to put ourselves in a narcissist’s mind because we can’t possibly think of calculating such a horrible attack on a person if it wasn’t (in our own minds) deserved.

Rule number one of a malignant narcissist is that they NEVER do ANYTHING wrong. They are the victims of their families, friends, romantic partners, business associates, and communities. You would think that we would be able to spot narcissists easily. Yet, according to the professionals who specialize in the field of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), it’s not as easy as one would hope.  That being said: There can be narcissists in all forms of business (even non-profits), in our communities, on our friend lists, in politics, and sometimes even in our homes.

What Makes Social Media a Narcissist’s Playground?

We are trained to focus on hate, fear, shame, blame, and overall judgment. Of course, a narcissist would love this playground. If you have ever read anything about how a narcissist operates, you know that they calculate turning people against their victim. They attempt to isolate their victim to make the victim become the alleged perpetrator. Social media makes this so easy. We can’t put it past a narcissist to record sections of an argument where the victim is reacting to their abuse, so it comes off sounding like the victim is the crazy one. They find pictures that show the victim not in a good light and without social media knowing the background of that particular moment, get people to engage in commentary bashing the actual victim of the abuse. They can say how innocent they are and how a “CRAZY” mom, dad, sister, brother, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, ex-lover, child, friend, co-worker, boss, employee, and the list goes on an on, DID THIS TO THEM! Wait, you may be thinking we have all done this at some point. The difference, a narcissist has done it to everyone on that list that pertains to his or her lifestyle. Everyex is the crazy one. Everyemployer is in the wrong. Everyemployee is to blame.  Everyfriend has abandoned them or used them. I think you get the point.

Narcissists also use social media to hunt for their next victim. The instant they break up with someone, lose a job, have a fall-out with family, etc. they come to social media to prowl. You might start seeing them everywhere when before the interaction was limited. They look for people to comment on their “poor me” posts and all the sudden instant messages start popping up from them because you understand them and “nobody else understands them.” You are the only one who can rescue them and all the sudden you are on a giant super hero sized pedestal. Then they systematically will destroy your relationships with others and then—

Bang! THEY ARE IN! They prey on people-pleasers, empaths, and caring individuals who have problems with self-worth, self-image, self-esteem, and self-respect. The people who do things for others to gain their own personal value are their perfect targets. We may think we are helping or rescuing them. They act like they care and try to get you to reveal as much personal information as possible so they will be able to use it against you later. A narcissist will attack using anything you possibly have guilt or shame around. If you are a people-pleaser, social media is the perfect grounds for attack because their victim is mortified that people could think that they are anything like the image the narcissist is portraying.

Don’t forget, narcissists can be VERY charming. They act one way when they want something from you and a whole other way when you aren’t there. The question becomes how do we see through this and know when we are contributing to a narcissist’s abuse and/or opening the door to become their next victim?

The answer is we have to become vigilant and really aware of what we are doing on social media. We have to INVESTIGATE! If you don’t have enough time to investigate:

  • Don’t engage
  • Don’t perpetuate in hate, fear, or negative commentary when you don’t know the whole story
  • Don’t JUDGE based on a simple post
  • Don’t like or comment before you know facts
  • If a person is ALWAYS blaming other people…question your connection with the person.
  • If you don’t want to be involved in any potential hate, abuse, or fear tactics edit your friend list and LIKE and FOLLOW pages that don’t engage in it. Only have friends on your list that you truly want IN your life.
  • If you lack self-worth, self-respect, self-esteem, and/or are a people-pleaser, work on you so that you don’t become a victim.

Let’s not contribute to letting narcissists use us to hurt others. If you see abuses that can be reported—report them. If you see someone endlessly blaming and shaming others—block them. If you don’t want to perpetuate the hate—stop contributing to it. Be self-aware and vigilant. We are all capable of being fooled on social media. Research before you post or comment.

I hope you will read the companion piece to this one on https://lettersfromabetterme.blogspot.com. Let’s start spreading more love and stop contributing to the energy that gives narcissists a perfect playground.

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With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

 

#NarcissisticAbuse

#Abuse

#SocialMedia

#TAKEACTION

 

 

How Researching Narcissistic Personality Disorder Opened My Eyes

I was once asked to write a piece on Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) by another website. My stomach instantly got tied up in knots. A numbing feeling permeated through me. I didn’t promise, but I figured I would try. I didn’t know what the research on the topic would bring to the surface; too close to home. I read article after article trying to figure out how to write a piece that would be different from what was already out there.

I used the research library from the college I attended and read countless peer-reviewed literature and research. When I would sit down to write; nothing flowed. This is not like me. Usually by the time I have done this amount of research, the words fly out onto the computer.

At one point, I decided to approach the NPD with a compassionate eye. Truthfully, the disorder completely sucks! All the people around a person with this disorder pay a steep price. The sad part, we have no idea how calculated it all is when we are in it. The really sad part is if people don’t get a lot, and I mean a lot, of help after being abused by someone with this disorder, it can lead to so many psychological long-term psychoses. Not all people with NPD are abusers, but the ones that are do more damage than any layman could ever understand.img_2901

If the person with NPD has a genuine intent not to hurt a person and does the work to fight the internal urges, it is possible they will have areas of trouble, but they won’t abuse. Others will go so far into it, then actually brag about their accomplishment to their next partner, yet the ex is not off the hook. No, an abuser with NPD will try to get the ex’s involved in triangles with the current love interest. The outreach is not genuine, it is about power and control.

As more and more information about NPD and NPD abusers kept coming in, I realized that I couldn’t write the kind of piece that one of these bigger established websites would want. I couldn’t five or ten step this one away. This one is too complex for that. The research alone stirred something very uncomfortable inside of me. The verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse that this disorder exhibits is the scariest I’ve ever seen. It defies all my thoughts about people and their ability to be better.

I’m not saying there are not people who make this work for them in a productive way without hurting anyone. My focus is on the ones who do; the ones that decide that they like the feeling of power over someone else. This is about the NPD abusers that keep people hostage. They strip them down until the person doesn’t even recognize what is going on anymore. Men and women can be played with in ways that an average human never could have thought of. The psychological scars can be and most times are long term. A fear lies right under the surface waiting to be ignited.

Even as self-aware as I am, I still get caught up in the anxiety and fear sometimes, but it is less and less as I work on bettering myself and my self-worth. I know what is happening now, so I can face it. I don’t do this alone. I have a team of people that help me to face truth about being faced with this kind of abuse. NPD abusers stop at nothing and they don’t care who they hurt in order to get to their targets. There are a lot of signs, but NPD abusers are very good at their game. They often fool talk therapists and others to believe their games. Here is a list of red flags that you could be dealing with an abusive person with NPD or worse. A person having one or a few might not be one. A Malignant narcissist has all of them:

  • Like the game of turning people against each other
  • Say phrases similar too: “You won’t believe what she/he did to me”, “My ex is psycho”, and “You’re the only one who can…”
  • Puts people on pedestals then enjoys tearing them down
  • Romantic partners/victims have to walk on egg shells in the relationship
  • Constantly caught in lies, but defends them to the end
  • Blames everyone and everything other than themselves (No personal responsibility)
  • Goes from being full of love to emotionally and verbally abusive
  • Brags about how they have hurt others.
  • Feels superior to others
  • Keeps their ex-girlfriends/boyfriends around and makes triangles with current romantic victim
  • They go into a relationship strong and needs instant reciprocation
  • Doesn’t like to be interrupted but will interrupt constantly
  • The world revolves around them
  • They use people around them as a means to an end
  • Expresses great interest in accomplishments then tears them down
  • Uses people’s insecurities against them
  • Their ex-partners were always the crazy ones
  • Competes with everyone all the time and is a sore loser
  • Lots of promises and little follow through
  • SOOOOO much manipulation and lies

Here’s the worst part about Narcissistic abuse, the victim gets sucked into this tornado and it is very hard to get out. People around them will have no idea why they are staying and they have no idea why they can’t leave, but there are so many psychological components going on inside that keep the person hostage in the relationship. Plus, they are getting threats of being destroyed. Some Abusers will even start a fight then video tape the victim reacting to the abuse and sell it as they were the ones being abused. It is all just a giant game to win in their sick minds. Victims are told how different they were, and how they are the only ones who could help abuser be the person they want to be (can I puke now?). I know how real it feels because I’ve been there. Even with all the research I’ve done on the subject, I am still wounded. I still am traumatized by the memories and fight for control of my life.

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I’m reading a book now called, Power: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi (click here for book info). All the research I’ve done in the past is finally getting put together. All the mixed feelings I’ve had over the years are making sense now. I had no idea I was using many of the tools to get out of the relationship without looking back. I couldn’t see before how all my hard work on building myself back up has taken me through countless obstacles with the abuser. I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks they were or are victim of narcissistic abuse or loves someone who is being abused. The great thing about this book is it is available in audiobook that you can listen to on a phone or tablet. I remember having to hide everything good I did for myself or it would be thrown in my face. He would even say I was being brainwashed. I say, yes, my brain needed washing. NPD is thrown around pretty heavily now days. The information out there can be confusing, believe me, I know. Some articles out there aren’t written by people who understand the whole picture. They may know a piece of the puzzle, but unless you truly invest the time in reading books by professionals and doing true research, you still won’t fully understand what happens during the abusive process and the after affects.

Narcissistic abusers will do their best to get people on their side. Don’t do it! They will use anyone on their path to hurt their intended victim. Sometimes we unknowingly become apart of the abuse cycle by engaging the abuser. The best professional advice given to people who have suffered this kind of the abuse is no contact or as little as possible.

This piece doesn’t even scratch the surface of what it is like for the victim and how incredibly calculated the abuser is during the courtship and afterwards. If you want to see the whole picture, read the book listed above. I will warn you if you are being or have been abused by someone with NPD, you will be baffled at how calculated these games are. The fact that a book would say exact quotes and tell exact stories says more than I could possibly ever imagined possible. If you are a friend or family member reading the book, whether you know the victim or the abuser, it will be eye opening and help you reach a better understanding of what it’s like to live under these circumstances. Hopefully it will help victims not feel so alone, and help outsiders to be more compassionate and less judgmental to the person staying in this abusive relationship.

To the victims: There is a lot of help out there. It is possible to lead an amazing life even after being verbally, emotionally, psychologically, and sometimes physically abused like this. I learned a lot from my experiences and I got the help I needed to lead a life I love. This doesn’t have to take you down.

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From A Loving Place,

Rachael Wolff

Breaking Free From My Unhealthy Relationships: Finding Love through the Darkness

I am no master. I have survived some horrible situations and lost much of my innocence way too young. I still fight, cry, and struggle through some of life’s twists and turns. Here is what I know, life is full of lessons and I have survived them all. Some of my deepest scars have helped others through their darkest days. At seventeen, I was lucky to survive an attempt at ending my journey. I didn’t think my life was worth living. I felt like all I brought people was pain. I thought I would be doing my family a favor by not being here. At the core of it all, I felt unlovable and not worth loving at all. My failed attempt changed the trajectory of many lives, not only my family and friends at the time, but the two amazing lives I’ve brought into the world.

The lessons showed me that I needed to keep learning and expanding. I have to keep going deeper into my inner core to see what I really need to be learning from all these experiences in my life. Some lessons I can figure out with a little distance, but others may take years or a lifetime to figure out. All I know is that if I learn the lesson, I can stop repeating it. The lesson won’t get harder, but I will be able to spot the problem before it starts.

One of my most challenging lessons has been with my romantic relationships. I had the patterns of behavior that kept attracting the wrong men. The lessons would get worse and worse as the years went by until it escalated to verbal and emotional abuse. I became a person I didn’t even recognize at the height of the toxicity. I didn’t like the untrusting, unloving, and emotionally unavailable person I had become. Since my mom taught me very young that no one can make me feel anything, and that my perception chooses my feelings and reactions, I knew only I could fix the darkness that stirred inside me.

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Since that is where my mind focused those were the lessons that would present themselves to me. If I focused my mind in a dark place, like I had chosen to do many times, I would dig myself deeper into the problem. I used to focus on the guy I was in the relationship with instead of me. I learned I can’t fix the problem there, because I can’t change him. I can only change me. I found all the books and teachers I needed to help me change my perception and patterns. This didn’t happen overnight, and I’m still a work in progress, but through reflection and watching some of the people I love follow similar paths to what I was on, I see how far I have come.

Now, I’m in a relationship where I love, trust, and respect myself. Since I feel that way about me, I can love, trust and respect him equally. I acknowledge and see where I’m putting past relationship stresses on him and I work through them. No need for dramatic fights and false exits. Does this mean we don’t argue, of course not. We are not going to agree about everything. We do fight fair and know when each other need just enough space to process the information so we can discuss it reasonably.

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Giving and accepting space is new for me. I remember not trusting the space at all in past relationships and thinking that those big dramatic fights were essential. With some, I felt like the end of the world was happening if we couldn’t talk reasonably in the very second a problem occurred. I would panic and get super clingy. With others, I remember walking away and having a man follow me around yelling and calling me names to try to make me feel as small as he was feeling about himself. The knot in my stomach and all my fight or flight senses would be going off. For a period of time before kids, I would try to use alcohol or depression medication to cover up my feelings, but that was not what got me out.

Facing my feelings fully and changing MY behavior towards, number one, myself was the catalyst for breaking free from the pain that these unhealthy relationships brought to the surface. If I abuse and belittle myself, I bring people who will reflect it back to me. The worse I abuse myself, the worse the abuse will be. Abusers can spot our weaknesses from a mile away. There are little signs from the moment we meet them that create a dinging in their ears knowing we are a match. We look for our equals. If we want better, we have to be better. I had to learn to be the person towards myself that I wanted to attract. For instance, I love nature and adventure, but I wasn’t doing that for myself. I was waiting for someone else to take me. Well, screw that! I started taking myself on adventures in nature and what did I attract, someone who enjoyed the same things. We go on some adventures together, but I keep adding more of my own adventures. I expand my adventures every year. This past summer I took my kids on  camping with another single mom for 5 days in Asheville, NC. It was amazing. The adventure didn’t start or stop there, we saw friends, family, and added wonderful experiences to our memory books.

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Before, I kept going above and beyond for men who I hoped would one day give back the same amount of effort. I thought that the more I helped them, maybe they would feel like they needed me and fight for me to stay. I was the rescuer! A superpower I thought I had, but really that was my codependency. I just felt depleted and frustrated and the relationships didn’t work. I finally understood the message from the Bible about treating others as I treat myself. I used to think this just meant treat others, as I wanted to be treated. I kept getting walked on. I now see it as, if I treat others with the same respect and love that I show myself, I will attract people who will reflect that back to me. I will attract people who really want to get out of their misery (if that is where they are). I won’t attract the men who want to be stuck in the victim of the world role and want to take me down with them. I realized the the Bible wasn’t telling me to give myself away, it was telling me to show the world my inner beauty and strength. I have read many books that have the same message, and it took me reading all of them and experiencing everything I did to finally make it sink in. There is no one book, person, place, or being that is capable of showing us everything we need to see. We are human, we have to experience many lessons to get the messages to sink in. At least, I do.

As I grow in love and respect for myself, my relationships gets better. My life gets better. I no longer feel like I need another person to complete me. I am complete. I get to enjoy the man I’m with for being the person he is and what he contributes to the life I want to live. I keep growing and getting stronger. This is the example I want to show my kids. I want my son to see that it is good to be with a woman who loves, trusts, and respects herself. I want my daughter to become a woman who loves, trusts, and respects herself. My job is to be the example.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2017

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Breaking the Cycle of Toxic Relationships

  
I followed the cycle of my parents and married into an unhealthy relationship. I remember the anger, yelling, fear, and eggshells. Trust was constantly questioned and life was in upheaval. This was no way to live, but what was worse, I was showing my son how to treat women and my daughter how to be treated by men.

I don’t blame my ex for this. We both were apart of setting up these toxic roles. We both had to accept the roles in order for the relationship to last as long as it did. I found myself treating him in ways I would never treat my partner now. I was just as much a contributor to the toxicity. It is never one-sided. I did it differently then he did, but if I was healthier than he was, I wouldn’t be in the relationship. I know this part may be hard to read, at least it was for me when the concept came into my life. So much so, that I didn’t even realize the seed was given to me over and over, said in different ways, in different arenas, and with different purposes. It was never spoken directly to me about my situation. It was something that would take a lot of time to digest. 

If I didn’t play the part assigned there would have been no relationship.In order to break free of the cycle, I had to find peace inside me and know that change was possible. I saw examples in my relationships with my mom and dad. They both did a lot of healing, and their lives both changed for the better. They both developed healthy relationships with themselves and their new partners. I knew, I had to be strong enough to apply it to my relationship with my significant other. 

When I was ready, things started to change. It was as simple as that. The changes didn’t happen as quick as I would have liked while I was in it, but looking back the timing was perfect. I learned everything I needed to learn in order to grow.

As I am preparing to layout my first book, so many memories of my process of recovery are coming to the surface. I have been reading my past writings and all I want to to is share my path to freedom from my own personal prison. Realizing that I had the key all along is what set me free. 

I used to be scared to leave. What would happen to me? What would happen to my kids? I would be completely alone. No one was going to want a single woman with two small children. I was a pre-school teacher who worked part-time. I didn’t have the means of supporting two kids on my own. I was a failure in my mind; trapped! 

I lived that way for too long. I didn’t even realize how long I was in my own prison until years after I was out of it. Being able to look back, I see how the process went. I see the seeds that were given to me and the ones I planted. 

One of the seeds came from reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Mastery of Love. I’m actually re-reading the book now for the second part of my series “Learning from Don Miguel Ruiz”. 

“You are no longer a child, and if you have an abusive relationship, it is because you accept that abuse, because you believe you deserve it.”

Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love p. 41

In order to stop the abuse, I had to know from the core of my being that I deserved better. Not better of him, better of me. I started taking actions to find peace within me. I found friends, Al-Anon, and a spiritual base. When I started doing the next right thing to take care of me, the Universe opened up and miracles started happening all over the place. Some of them were disguised in struggle, but I get tears in my eyes thinking about how it all worked out so much better than I could have ever imagined. 

The trick was not to focus on the fear. When I focused on the fears it kept leading me to take more fearful actions. When I focused on self-care and love…

My life changed! 

  • My living situation presented itself in a way I would not have considered before. 
  • The time to leave revealed itself without me trying to force it. 
  • I went to college and got my degree. 
  • My kids are in a safe and positive environment. 
  • We go on lots of adventures.
  • We have an amazing community of support around us.
  • I am mentally,spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthier than I have ever been.
  • My kids are surrounded by examples of what true love all around them. People communicating without name-calling, be-littling, or shaming. People who support each other’s dreams and don’t tear each other down. 

I was lucky enough to see early on change is possible. That seed has helped me in so many situations. When I chose to water it and let it grow, it became like the Ficus tree; forever growing and changing. Sometimes the branches need to be thinned out so it has the energy to spread and lay down more roots.

I’m getting excited to see what the Universe has in store for me now. I hope you come on the journey with me! 

With Love and Graitude, 

Rachael Wolff

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Photo credit: Rachael Wolff