Who Is My Reader?

When I was asked in the marketing meeting about who I wanted to read my book, I thought every woman could get something out of it, since it covers romantic relationships, family, parenting, career, spirituality, addiction, unhealthy belief systems, and all things self. I also thought men could gain a lot of understanding and get a lot from it too, because it would not only give them tools, but help to better communication and empower themselves to make positive change in their lives.

For those who struggle in any unhealthy belief patterns, it gives tools to get out. For those who are healthy, it may help them see how their belief systems help them and give them a better understanding of those who struggle.

The book celebrates authentic empowerment. “Empower Yourself, Change the World!” When we see our own value, we lift others up and don’t tear them down. Authentic empowerment comes from love not fear. It’s about representing what we stand for and not putting our energy into what we are against (VERY IMPORTANT in today’s climate).

The marketing team said I needed to narrow it down to the one reader. Who was the one person I wanted to get through to with my book? I had the picture of the exact person in my mind. I want to get to the woman who is stuck in patterns of abuse, whether it be self-abuse or abuse from others, because self-abuse tends to lead to abuse (mental, emotional, or physical) from either bosses, partners, children, etc. We can accept from others the level of abuse that we give to ourselves.Some unhealthy patterns were passed down so unconsciously that we have to dig down to see them.

The book deals with what belief systems got us into the patterns that get us to act against ourselves in our lives and how to change them. There are so many reasons a person can choose to pick up the book, but if I can help that one person see their value and give them the tools to lift themselves out of living a life they are not passionately in love with, I’ve helped to make the world better.

When we help others see their best selves, it creates an unstoppable ripple effect. I would have never been able to write this book, if I didn’t have every experience I did, read every book that I did, and believe everything that I did. I’m continuously learning how to better myself, and I will until my journey here is done. With that, I’m able to continually give others seeds to help lift them as I get lifted.

At the time of this post, March 3, 2020, it’s been two weeks since Letters from a Better Me has been out and a little over that for the audiobook, and the audiobook is still in the Top 100 for Domestic Partner Abuse (link). My heart feels full knowing that people are getting the seeds I’m giving. I hope they choose to plant them and that they flourish into beautiful flowers. Life is precious, we each deserve to live lives we love.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

You can choose from one of your favorite book retailers here: http://FromALovingPlace.com/Book/

Amazon has the book on sale at the time of this post, and it’s the only place to get the audiobook (Audible).You can see a preview of the book and a sample of the audiobook when you click on the link below.

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 26 -Questioning Beliefs on Why My Foundation Continues to Crumble

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 26: Questioning Beliefs on Why My Foundation Continues to Crumble

Letters from A Better Me

Dear Self,

As I look deeply in the mirror past all my walls of fear and judgment, I question what lies underneath it all. How did I get to the place that I look through life with a vision of fear? What must I believe underneath all these thoughts that keep me from love? Do I believe people are out to get me? WHY? Do I believe I’m being punished? WHY? Do I believe that I don’t deserve to be here? WHY? What created this prison of the mind? Why do I feel it necessary to numb myself? Am I scared of what lies beneath?

There are so many questions. I know I’m following many beliefs blindly without considering how the beliefs are affecting my peace, joy, and well-being.  My beliefs tell me that is not important. WHY??? The unhealthier I am, the unhealthier the environment I create around me is. I lash out at others for my lack of peace inside. The two belief systems don’t line up. No wonder there is a constant battle going on inside of me. I can’t believe that I don’t matter and expect the world to treat me like I do.  I can’t expect do something that matters if I have no personal value in myself.

I’m committed to becoming aware of the belief systems that are causing my foundation to crumble. I need to consciously choose, embrace, and practice living according to beliefs that will make me the best version of myself. I’m ready to become aware of when I’m sabotaging myself by the beliefs that I hold out of fear. I’m ready to investigate my thoughts and work on re-framing them to carry the messages that are beneficial to me and my growth. I know by being better, I can do better for others. I want to put my energy where it matters most and stop wasting it on beliefs that are dragging me down and keeping me trapped.

I’m ready to set myself free! I don’t need anybody else to do anything in order for me to do this for myself. My journey starts in the mirror going deep down into the beliefs that keep me from living my life from a loving place. I can and will live better today!

With Love and Gratitude,

A Better Me


Rachael Wolff ©2019


Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece, “The Crumbling Foundation in the Mirror” posted earlier today.





90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 26 – The Crumbling Foundation in the Mirror

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 26: The Crumbling Foundation in the Mirror

“Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs.”

-Jen Sincero

So far in the 90-Day A Better Me Serieswe’ve been working on becoming aware of our unstable foundations. We’ve covered: fear, shame, blame, judgment, and hate. Now, we are getting to the heart of all of it—Ourselves and our beliefs.  Our focus will be on the perceptions of ourselves and the reality we create that keeps our foundations unstable.

Today, I’m not going to be talking about the cruelty that can come out of the mirror. I’m going beyond the cruelty and get deep down into the roots—Our unquestioned beliefs about ourselves, life, and how we live it. Each one of us is programmed with a series of belief systems that goes back generation after generation. These beliefs dictate how we live our lives if they go unquestioned.

In today’s world things can get even more confusing with so many different people, opinions, and belief systems of their own weighing in. Our ability to be involved with a global community at the touch of a finger can be very overwhelming. People are fighting harder to hold onto belief systems that were passed down. The fight AGAINST the unknown has grown more intense. If you’ve been reading, you know just how dangerous the fight AGAINST is (Day 23).

Our foundations we have built on are being questioned, and sometimes we are solid in our beliefs. We may choose to fight and defend them, once again going to war, which is an act against ourselves. If the belief is something that brings us love and light, we will share them, but without trying to insist on our own way. Sometimes we question them and will feel a sense of shame, guilt, and betrayal towards our families or ourselves. Other times we completely freeze and try to numb ourselves from the overload.  There are plenty more reactions, feelings, thoughts, and actions that come from the questioning of the core beliefs that make up our foundations. Each individual person is going to react a little differently. Just because we react or think one way, it doesn’t mean someone else will. We each have our own path; it’s not our business to judge someone else’s. If we focus on our own, it not only benefits ourselves, it benefits the people around us.

Self-care is selfish is one of the beliefs that can really mess with a person’s head. Many who belief this will completely give themselves away time and time again then wonder why they are tired, exhausted, and drained. When we belief self-care is selfish, we are in a constant fight with ourselves anytime we try to take time or do something to show that we value ourselves. Let’s take a battle, which I know many people struggle with—Weight loss. If a person believes self-care is selfish losing weight will be a fight, because you have to care for yourself to lose and keep the weight off. You have to make your health a priority. We only make time for what we value. Hmmm… So unconscious sabotage of losing weight takes hold and our mind gets really confused because if we don’t lose the weight, we’re honoring the belief that self-care is selfish and if we do lose the weight, we feel a sense of selfishness for doing it. Some people will feel guilt and shame for spending time to focus on their own needs.

Now some people may take this belief to the other extreme. They will lose weight to try to serve someone else. We can teach health and live an unhealthy inner life because of this belief system is working against us. So we may be so physically fit, but it’s not for ourselves. It may be for someone we love or to serve a community. We still are going to have to deal with the war inside of us. It may come out as resentment for our loved ones wanting us to be healthy, so we go into war with them.  We might get digestive problems due to stress, because  the manifestation of stress can be our inner battle against ourselves. Our minds operate how our bodies work. If we go to war with our minds, our bodies pay the price. Toxic build-up in our bodies turns into sickness and disease.

If you believe in some form of a Higher Power, Creator, God, Allah, Buddha, etc., I can’t believe for one second that we were created to torture ourselves. We have just as much value as everyone else who was created. You don’t deserve to treat yourself as less than. If love is not what you feel from the Creator of your beliefs—It’s time to question your beliefs.

Self-care is our oxygen. If we don’t put our oxygen masks on ourselves first—WE DIE. Fear, blame, shame, judgment, and hate will do their best to keep us from taking care of ourselves, because they can’t survive if we take care of ourselves. Self-care is an action of love. Once we embrace the love within ourselves, we are unstoppable to help ourselves and the world we serve. We will get more into that more in the months to come.

Belief systems that consist of fear and hate of or for others are destructive to all foundations of life. I literally just let out the biggest sigh as the tears welled up in my eyes. If we are run by fear and hate, we are incapable of knowing what love REALLY is. We confuse our messages and we interlink the two. They don’t go together! People who intentionally hurt others don’t know love. They know all the elements of fear: jealousy, judgment, blame, rage, resentment, passive-aggressiveness, shame, guilt (except sociopaths and malignant narcissists), manipulation, war, sabotage, emotional traps, abuse, and/or attempts to control others feelings, thoughts, and actions. None of those are love!! If we are using any of these tools to live, we aren’t operating from a loving place. We are operating out of fear. The more we love ourselves, the more we are able to recognize love in someone else. When I start fearing, I start questioning my beliefs that put me there. The internet can be a great source of investigation, but it can also be a great tool for fear. It’s about how we use it and what our focus is. We can see whatever we want to see. My story about the alligator on Day 5 was a prime example. Fears unquestioned can keep us from living. Fear separates us and love unites us, but if we don’t know the difference between the two we go to war.

Our belief systems are a series of perspectives of truth. They come from stories, thoughts, and ideas that turned into a belief. Have you ever played the game Telephone? A group of people sit in a line or a circle. The person at one end whispers a secret to the person sitting next to them. Then the secret moves down the line and gets interpreted by every person as it’s whispered from person to person. By the end, the secret is nowhere close to the original message. We have to remember that each person who passes down a story puts his or her own interpretations into it. Many parents use fearful stories to try to get their kids to do something. Those messages can turn into beliefs very quickly and unconsciously. If you look at religious organizations even within the same religious belief system will have different interpretations. NO two people are going to view things the exact same way. Neither can any group of people. The best thing we can do for ourselves and others is to learn about each other as individuals. We ALL have love and we ALL have fear. How does the person you are connecting to live their life? How does she/he show her love? How does he/she show her fear? Is what they are telling me project love or fear?

Someone who is raised with love around them may interpret life differently than someone who is raised surrounded by fear. Yet, if a person who was raised around fear finds the meaning of love within him, the fear bounces off of him and inspires him expand out of that fear-filled life. A person raised around love can be touched with fear and if she turns that fear against herself and chooses not to love herself, the trajectory of unconscious fear-based living gets ignited. The circumstances around our lives don’t matter as much as the messages and beliefs we form within ourselves and who we are as individuals.

This installment is just scratching the surface of this topic. I’ve dropped pieces throughout the series and will continue to do so, but it will still only scratch the surface. The quest to question our belief systems that keep our foundations unstable is a HUGE undertaking. Many of us need help going through this piece if we’ve reached living in the throws of fear. I know I have! I’ve gotten help in many areas of my life to help me reveal beliefs that were holding me back. I didn’t find the way through this in one place. When you take the journey of awareness, the doors will open as you are ready for them. Just be patient. We can only get to the path of freedom by taking one step at a time.

Just for Today

Look at what beliefs of yourself and others keep you from seeing love in the mirror. How are you interpreting perspectives of truth that keep your foundation weak and unstable?

If you notice messages being repeated through out this series, GOOD! That means the information is sticking. If it didn’t stick, you wouldn’t notice. The farther we are from noticing, the deeper our fears are keeping us trapped.  We are building our awareness by taking steps. Each time the material may hit us a little differently. The process isn’t different for me. By writing it, the ideas sink in more and more and I start living from a loving place on a more consistent basis. That’s why I ABSOLUTELY love the journey of awareness.

I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to write and share my perspectives with the people who choose to read this. I don’t believe there are any mistakes in the Universe, so I welcome you because I know you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Whether you choose to read this one piece, a few pieces, or the entire series, you are on the journey you are meant to be on, so trust the process. It’s time to break-free from the prison of our minds.

Thank you for reading!

With Love and Gratitude,


Rachael Wolff ©2019


Companion letter: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 26 -Questioning Beliefs on Why My Foundation Continues to Crumble

If you want to get posts right away you can choose to follow by scrolling down to “Follow via Email”. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or on the WordPress app. All links are available on this site.










90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 12 – The Layers of Shame

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 12: The Layers of Shame

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”

-Brené Brown

We have spent from Day 7 until today on shame. We have looked at the subject of shame on a variety of levels essential to our understanding of shame’s position in our lives. Now, we go into the layers of shame. Facing our shame and releasing it is NOT a linear journey where we go from A to B and we are done. We are going to go through the whole alphabet and it won’t be in any kind of specific order.

The layers of shame come with generation after generation of belief systems that we have bought into telling us we aren’t enough. There is so much undoing that this process takes time. Each time we become aware of our shame, in order to heal it, we have to figure out the belief system that got us believing that way in the first place. Then we have to be aware enough to know that every belief system is just a perception of truth, which many of us like to fight tooth and nail. We have to see the possibilities in other perceptions of truth. Finally the belief system will lose it’s hold on the way we are living in the moment. The beauty of the layers coming off is that we not only accepting ourselves more and more—We accept others for being who they are. Our compassion and love increase exponentially.

However, that doesn’t mean that some event or person down the line won’t test how strong we hold our new belief. Some of us will call this a setback, but it’s not. It’s just another opportunity to go deeper down and work out the roots of this belief. Think of it as those smothering vines. We can’t just clip them to get them to stop growing. We have to dig up the roots in order for them to stop causing damage.

Dealing with shame will continue to come up throughout our journeys. We will think we have dealt with our crap, and all the sudden a new lesson will be right there to meet us. The good news is, the more we are honest with ourselves about these human thoughts, beliefs, feelings, reactions, and actions the faster we will learn the lesson from it. Our shame from our pasts won’t have the ability to affect our lives like it did before.

The key to facing the layers as we move on is to not add to them by self-abusing because we aren’t where we want to be or we feel like we really messed up. A perception that helps me to keep going is that life is a classroom. When I’m finished with the lessons I’m meant to learn here, I will move on. This perception keeps me from awe-fulizing situations to the point I make them into a reason to give up. It also helps me be more accepting of whatever comes next. Another perception I changed was when I feel a downward spiral coming I say, I’m ready for another breakthrough. This keeps me from engaging in beliefs that would make me freeze like I’m hitting an emotional bottom or I’m having a breakdown. I used to feel the shame of feeling not enough when I had those thoughts. They made me want to go run to my cave and not come out.

I wasn’t always the person I am now. I have a past just like everyone else; mine was actually a pretty wild one. My actions have caused people to feel pain and I’ve felt hurt by plenty of other people’s actions too. What I realized is that shame was behind many of my misguided ways.  My feeling of lack contributed to me chasing things and people that weren’t good for me. I experimented with highs to cover the pain. I was self-centered and selfish while I was consumed in living in my shame.

Each thing I’ve experienced was a necessary piece of my journey, even being raped, molested, and verbally abused along with losing important people in my life, had their lessons to teach me. If it weren’t for my hardest lessons, I wouldn’t have seen the power of shame and what believing its messages did to my identity. When I learned the lesson about being as sick as the people I was continuing to have relationships with (revealed earlier in the series), I dove deep and fast into facing my shame. I read book after book on shame and codependency, because I found the two played off one another. I did the work! I got in the mirror and got honest. Even with years of working on my shame to the point I am now, feeling free at this moment, I know the next layer will come. It was this part of my journey that I put together my own personal boot camp. It’s how I know my 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP can and will work for people who do the work.

The layers will be exposed, as we are ready to face them. If we continue in patterns where we actively live in our shame, we will actively be apart of the shame cycle. We will hurt ourselves and others until we are ready to look at ourselves honestly. Even if we don’t share the fear, hate, and judgment out loud, we are still carrying the shame with us, we are just continuing to suppress it. I promise you, it’s leaking out and it will be what keeps you from the life you really want to be living.

I find it is important to have a person to share our humanness with in these kinds of situations. If we don’t have a person who we truly trust not to engage us in these shameful thoughts, or to use them against us; than writing it out is a great tool. Whatever you do, be gentle with yourself. I also have the 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP if you’re ready to dive into the work to free yourself from shameful living.

None of us are perfect! Each person does the best with what they have. The ones who are struggling the most with shame are the ones who are out there hurting themselves and others. They don’t hurt people because they like what is going on inside of them. They are in an internal conflict and they act it out externally. Just like we are when we do it. Shame is the most unstable part of our foundations. This is one of the areas that will take the longest to clean up, but it is possible. Just don’t give up and don’t hold it in.

Just for Today

Write a letter to yourself as a contract to become aware of your shame. Commit to being ready to learn from how you’ve lived in your past and be open to see how your past has kept you in the shame cycle with your reality now. Read 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 12 – Learning from My Layers of Shame for the companion piece to give you inspiration to write your own letter.

With Love and Gratitude,


Rachael Wolff ©2019


Are you ready to dive into BLAME? Read tomorrow’s post and take the next step in our journey to clean up our unstable foundations and uncover the blocks that keep us from living a love-filled and love-projecting life.

Don’t forget to scroll down and follow the 90-Day A Better Me Series if you haven’t already. I look forward to seeing you back tomorrow.


In the Chaos of Change

We should be grateful for all situations that make us the most uncomfortable, because without them we would not know there is something unhealed in us.

-Ken Wapnick

We all have our own truths. They come from further back than our own lives take us. Many of them are created before we’re even born. They are based on what our families passed down from generation to generation. Was there a lot of love, fear, joy, sadness, athletes, artists, addictions, scholars, prejudices, etc.? As we grow and experience world, our beliefs can shift and change, sometimes with quite a bit of chaos as we fight our history with the person we want to become. Sometimes it takes a moment in time to make us realize change is necessary, other times the lesson can go on for years as we suffer through what we are resisting to learn.

Take this experience: Years ago, I was at my dad’s townhouse. I was in the upstairs bedroom doing something. The window looks at one of the community’s dumpsters. It’s fenced in, so it’s not an eye sore. I see a man pull up fast in a dark car with dark tinted windows. The man has gloves on, we live in Florida so this isn’t common. He gets a small bag out of the car and takes it to the dumpster. He seems to look around then quickly put the bag in the dumpster and drive off. I’m frantic. My heart is racing. Is that a gun he’s putting in there? Did he kill someone? What do I do? I run to my dad. My fear has me physically shaking as I tell him what I saw. He goes down to the dumpster and searches it. Lucky for him, not much is in there since they had recently emptied it. He found the bag…Dog shit. Yes, you heard me.

My present moment and history told me that the world was a scary place. By this time, I experienced the fear and horror of 9/11; watched countless shows about real life murders; and watched the news. I put my focus on my negative beliefs: I was in an unhealthy relationship; focused on the villains of humanity; and was a victim of my own personal universe. The world was against me. I kept these beliefs alive and spreading as I spewed my negativity to whoever would listen.


At the time, I was watching those shows about real life murders every night. I didn’t even think of the possibility that it could be someone home on his lunch break to walk his dog. That day was an instant wake up call for me. How could I have let my thinking get so dark? After that day, I stopped watching shows about what’s messed up in the world, and I tried to make sure I watched or listened to something positive before I shut my eyes. That was my first step to finding a way out of my negativity. I was tired of being what is wrong with the world. I wanted to be what is right.

After a few years of being in a really good place, I’ve felt the negativity crawling back in. The negativity started with the year and half of watching people attack each other leading up to the U.S. Presidential election. The negativity slowly started feeding into my every day life. I became more negative in all my relationships and in my perception of current circumstances. I snapped more while driving. Though, that can be easy living in a coastal town in Florida during tourist season. In the meantime, I’ve experienced two great losses in my life. I also realized, I was attached to certain plans for my future that are now gone because of the losses and the timing.

All the ways I usually use to lift my spirits back up are not working. I know logically that this isn’t a good place to be and I’m aware of when I’m being negative. Currently, I’m reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Using some of the tools that she mentions in the book has opened me up to seeing all the areas in my life where I’m being judgmental and how it’s affecting my life. The book is helping me to stay focused on prayer, and through prayer and the help of others I’m getting the signs of where I need to take my next step.


Here’s an example: when I was questioning whether or not to go to therapy, I got a call from a counseling center saying that my doctor had referred me to them. Now this meeting with my doctor took place more than a month ago after losing my grandmother, which was the second person within two months to die. I knew I needed help but I didn’t want meds. He wrote me a referral, but then his office called me saying I didn’t need the referral, I could just go on my own. I put it off and even forgot about it. Then when I questioned going, they called. I set up an appointment and went in for the evaluation. They were so backed up they couldn’t fit me in. It was ok because just knowing I took a step in the right direction and listened to the signs was making me feel better. I even told my friends and family that when I really need the therapy, they would be available. A couple weeks go by, and all the sudden I start letting life knock me down again. I start crying in prayer to God to help me. I’m fighting an anxiety attack, trying to calm myself by talking to my mom, and the phone rings. It’s the therapist office saying they have a last minute cancellation. Would I be able to make it in by 1:00PM? I know my power comes from connecting to Source energy and that will get me through all of life’s curve balls.

I went to counseling and discovered grief was having a larger effect on me than I thought. Then we mix in the weight of being a single mom, while going through a number of challenges no parent ever wishes to go through. My patience level with my kids became almost non-existent. I started feeling like a fraud. How can I write about living from a loving place when I don’t know which way is up? My whole world feels like it’s spinning, and I’m waiting for it to stop in order to fall down and find my stability. Then I know I can get back up and start walking in a straight line again. Instead, I feel all wobbly and like I’m walking on unstable ground.

Why am I telling you this? Because I know I will get out of it. I know I will find my footing and be stronger, better, and braver than I was before. I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be because when I call for help, the Divine always shows up. I know this is all part of the process and I’m learning exactly what I need to get to the next place. I’m telling you this, because I know I’m not alone in feeling like no matter how much work I do on myself, sometimes life becomes a challenge. I’m not perfect, and don’t belong on any pedestal. No matter how much I look like I’m together, I still have times where I am just struggling to get through the day.

Thank you Universe for transforming limitation and doubt into creative possibilities.

 -Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back

What’s different for me now, I’m aware that this situation is temporary. I’ve come so far since I felt like I was an unlovable waste of space. I’m not turning to self-abuse anymore. I question, I pray, and I feel my way through.

I keep getting signs that I’m being taken care of and my prayers are being heard. I’m reminded that I’m looking through a straw-hole view of my life. I can’t see the big picture, but the Divine can and I’m being led exactly where I’m supposed to be going. I also have been reminded multiple times to stay within my 24 hours (See link by clicking)   Doing this makes my life manageable. I’m not reaching back to the past or out to some unknown future. What do I need to get done today?


I’m in the midst of change. Everything is stirred up around me. One of my spiritual growth spurts is upon me. The chaos of change is opening me up to see where old beliefs aren’t working for me anymore. I don’t know how long this growth spurt will take, but I know it will be for the better and help me live my life from a more loving place. I just need to take a step daily that directs me to the life I want, and pray that I remain open to all the lessons and signs  from the Universe.  Today,  I stop resisting the lessons, and I choose to be better.

With Love & Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

11 Ways to Better ANY Relationship

IMG_93231.  Get Rid of “Right and Wrong” Mentality

Right and wrong mentality is about power. Healthy relationships are about each person seeing the other’s perspectives, being able to agree or disagree, and doing it all without engaging in a power battle. Each person in a relationship has different belief systems. If we keep finding a solution as the goal, and get rid of figuring out who’s right and wrong, we keep our minds open to creativity. We have reasons for making the choices we do. In order to communicate with compassion and make choices from a loving place, we have to stay open to other perspectives. When we do this, we engage in wonderful relationships with all kinds of new and interesting people. Choosing to see our beliefs as just one of many perspectives, improves our life and all our relationships.

2.  Find the Good

We prepare our defenses when someone’s actions trigger a vulnerable spot in us. We tune them out as we formulate our counter-attack. Stop at that moment and consider:

  • Why are you in a relationship with this person in the first place?
  • What do you like about him/her?
  • What are some of their better qualities?

When we focus on the love, respect, or interest we have in the person, communication get easier and solutions are apparent without any emotional or physical harm to each other.

3.  Ask Questions

Too often arguments start because we make assumptions without asking enough questions. We assume we know where the other person is coming from. For the health of our relationship, we need to ask:

  • “How did that (situations, look, tone) make you feel?”
  • “Am I understanding this/you correctly?”
  • “What did you mean when you said_______?”
  • “How do you think we can make this better?”
  • “Did I say something that is causing some confusion?”

Continue to ask questions until you reach an understanding. It shows the other person that you are willing to hear them. When we value a relationship, we need to invest in peaceful resolutions. We all have our own stories. Our responsibility is to make sure we are looking at the person in front of us, and not the ones from our past.

 4.  Listen Carefully

The truth is in the details. People who are not hurting do not hurt others. If someone is calling you or someone else a name, imagine they are calling themselves that name. When people are giving others fear, hate, and/or anger, those feelings are circulating inside them. People who feel worthy don’t attack others. Try to see them with compassion and not your ego. The ego makes the situation about you. When we truly listen, we get to the heart of the problem. From there, solutions are uncovered.

5.  Give Space to Respond

Healthy relationships are about responding, not reacting when we are having trouble communicating. Sometimes we say the first thing on our mind and risk of hurting an important relationship. If we take three deep breaths, we may gain a little perspective on the situation. Other times we need to walk away before we respond in order to process the information. Either way, take the space you need to choose the best response. Keep the goals of your relationship in mind. If you are looking for a loving, compassionate, productive, and/or effective relationship, make sure your response is contributes to that.

6.  Take Your Power Back

Why are you reacting with anger, fear, and hurt? Why do you choose to give the person you are with the power to stir up these feelings inside you? Many times we are reacting to past hurts that can be traced all the way back to childhood. Our negative reactions to the current situation are opportunities to heal the past. When we take our power back and investigate where these hurt feelings came from, we can release a lot of pain that is only hurting our current relationships. Empower yourself by knowing your feelings and actions are your choice. You can change them by gaining a little perspective about why what is happening is making you feel the way it does. What other way can you look at the current situation to strengthen your own personal power?

 7.  Investigate Your Belief Systems

 We all come with the baggage of belief systems. Some are useful, but others are destructive. It is our job to investigate them and see they are helping or hurting our relationships. Are the following “truths” for you:

  • Relationships are hard work! Are they? Do they have to be? Are we making them that way?
  • Men should/Women should/Children should/Bosses should/Co-workers should… Do we shove people into categories of what we think they should and shouldn’t do or be? Is this hurting our current relationships?
  • I don’t like being told what to do! Does this create issues when dealing with colleagues, teachers, friends, intimate partners, and/or family?
  • What I say goes! This is a power play. Is this what you are looking for in your relationships?

 8.  Find Peace Within

If we don’t know what it feels like to be peaceful inside, we won’t be able to have it in our relationships. Internal chaos comes from unhealed shame and guilt from the past. By facing the darkest parts of ourselves and forgiving all that needs to be forgiven, we create peace within. Our relationships improve and people who were attracted to our chaos will fall away. When we find peace within we present with the people in our lives. We can talk to them with love and compassion, without our past getting in our way. When we get triggered, our peace within slows us down to respond appropriately.

9.  Love Yourself More 

We demonstrate how we want to be treated by the way we treat ourselves. We allow others to walk on us if we lay down in front of them. When we love ourselves, we don’t do that. We stand as equals. If we want respect, we have to show ourselves respect. If we want love, we have to give it to ourselves. This is not selfish. We can only truly give what we have inside. When we don’t care for ourselves first we take on martyr and victim roles. We will get physically and emotionally ill. How does that better ANY relationship? Learn to say, “I love you, but I love me more.” All your relationships benefit from treating yourself with the love and respect that you deserve.

10.  Stop Taking Things Personally

 What they do and say is their stuff. How we react or respond is ours. When we make it about us, that’s when we are being self-involved. We only hurt people when we are wounded. If someone raises their voice, says hurtful things, or even uses physical violence, it comes from an internal battle inside. Knowing it is not about us, we can respond in the most compassionate way possible. Does this mean we should ever accept any form of verbal, emotional, and or physical abuse? No, but you will if you don’t reconcile your own beliefs, forgive, and love yourself more.

11.  Respect Each Other’s Differences

We are all different and have wonderful contributions to give to the world. But if we think we know a better way to live someone else’s life, we are hurting everyone. We are telling the person that we don’t respect them enough to let them live their life. We miss great opportunities to express love, compassion, and acceptance. The world needs people to be different to survive. We all have strengths and diverse paths. If we want to improve our relationships, we need to focus on what we can do, how we can work together and what will make us stronger. We all learn what we are meant to learn. We will all experience lessons to make us the person we want to become. It’s great to share your experiences, strength, and hope. Just don’t expect others to do anything with them. If it feels right to their journey, they will act on those ideas. If it doesn’t, they won’t. It’s just that simple. When we respect each other we don’t have to take each other’s actions personally. We can love and accept the person for who they are, instead of who we want them to be.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff