In an extended management training we were taught about the concept of risk vs. reward. At the time this concept blew my mind wide open. It was so simple but I could see how this would play out into every life decision I could ever struggle with. On some level I know we all do this but for me this was better than a pro-con list because lists seem to trivialize and over-intellectualize things that usually need the heart and maybe even the spirit involved in the decision making process.
Risk vs. reward is rolling around in my awareness again because sometimes we are faced with the opportunity to handle a familiar situation the same way you always have or to decide to handle it differently. As we grow, evolve, heal, learn to fall in love with ourselves, our risk vs. reward ratio changes. There was a time I willingly jumped on a carousel (for lack of a more appropriate metaphor). The carousel was something I had longed for since I was a teenager and it opened up when I needed it most, it mixed up my world, shook things up, and helped me connect with the deepest part of myself again, the inner child in me was once again acknowledged and embraced; I was found, I was seen and I discovered a carefree love. My rewards were far beyond the risks so I took the risk and jumped on the spinning carousel and embraced the joy as my heart burst open.
Over the years however, after the power would unpredictably go off an on over and over again I took the time to get to know myself and do the work I needed to do for myself. Now when the carousel lights up I stand next to it and the risk is now greater than the reward. I have everything I need within me and the risks have become far greater than the rewards I once received. Maybe it's maturity, maybe it's just fear of getting motion sickness from years of spinning around and around, up and down, off and on for years but it feels good to love the carousel but have no need to get caught up in it's whirlwind again.
Next time you're faced with a difficult decision, personally or professionally try this tactic. Weigh the risks vs. the potential rewards. Include everything you can think of to measure, money, time, energy, emotions, lessons... there can be an ROI (return of investment) on any risk we take. Remember too, that sometimes you can be someone else's risk. Are you worth the risk for another person? Or are they stuck in old patterns, never really proving the reward of you is worth the risk of opening themselves up?
"The cure for the pain is in the pain." ~Rumi
How can I attract emotionally available people if I don't first learn how to be emotionally available for myself? This question has nagged at me for days after a friend / therapist / psychic prompted this question in me. I exhaust so much energy trying to understand the 'why' of something I don't allow myself the space to feel something, no matter how old or painful. I know I do this and have worked hard at it but sometimes something old that I once thought was resolved creeps back in to my subconscious and I get all frustrated and judgey of myself, reprimanding myself for 'not being over it already'.
It's easy to not feel safe in our emotions. Sometimes it feels as though our emotions have the better of us whether it's sadness, anger or even joy - because constant joy can be a sign of an imbalance or be used as an avoidance tactic as much as constant anger can. There was a time when understanding offered a sense of safety for me. Understanding something (or someone) on a deeper level helped me make important and compassionate decisions remaining an observer of my experience. However, this mentality, this belief of the value of remaining detached to a specific outcome, remaining an observer, almost got to the point (and probably more often than I realize) of disassociation. Logic allowed me the space to forgive, to let go of pain, to survive. Logic made me a warrior and a victor. Somehow I got lost in logic, almost as though I believed that my emotions would make me a victim again, so I would stuff them down or judge them in fear of wallowing. Wallowing makes me frustrated and angry so if I found myself moving into wallowing I would call myself out on it. After knowing abuse, it's not uncommon to fall into unhealthy, even self-abusive patterns you've adopted from others.
The thing is though, some emotions return because we haven't given them enough space to be processed. Certainly we can be swallowed by imbalanced emotions and getting professional help in balancing our minds and bodies is critical but we also need to give ourselves permission to feel. Stifling our own emotions only causes them to become imbalanced and subsequently "rule our lives" later on, forcing us to address them anyway. It's easier to do it in the moment but sometimes we don't have (or make) time. Sometimes it isn't safe yet...
Now I reflect on the people I was drawn to when I didn't feel safe. I was drawn to people who were familiar even though familiar doesn't necessarily mean 'safe' but those people who remain a sort of constant offer a sense of stability, of safeness so we cling to them when everything feels like it's spinning. Why though would I cling to people that are always the same if I am intent on evolving? Why would I cling to people who were once drawn to me because of the chaos that was my life, because we resonated with one another at the time but as I strive to transmute everything I can they remain in old chaos... Chaos has its place, it's important for new beginnings but I'm talking about constantly digging and clawing their way into looking for reasons to be a victim, to complain, to pretend they have no power, no divinity. These people are emotionally unavailable for themselves and now they can no longer be emotionally available for me.
I feel great empathy for people in pain, who struggle, who are trapped in their own shame, patterns, etc. This is why I have had so many people like this around me. My reflex, my ego's reflex, is to help but after a year, or two or three go by and the cycles remain the same I have to look at my own unhealthy patterns or trying to rescue people who don't actually want help (and no one really needs rescuing), they want to complain, they want to stay addicted and trapped in their own drama, their stories, always looking for new ways to justify their chosen path of self-torment. People who want help ask for it and take what is offered and run with it, you can see them evolve, learn, grow and even begin to do their own alchemical process, whether they realize it or not.
Last night I dreamt I intentionally consumed parasites with the goal that I could purge things I needed to let go of physically and all it did was make me sick with the parasites AND what I was wanting to eliminate. If that isn't telling of my past patterns demanding to be recognized now I don't know what is. I don't NEED anyone else to help me purge my past, not anymore. I have grown into having the resources within that I need and I have a solid support system of people who do not become overly attached to me or their own dramas. I have people who refuse to become enmeshed in the past but instead fight to learn and grow, seeing pain as an opportunity to see what it can become with some TLC. If I am to truly become emotionally available for myself I need to not get distracted by the "woe is me" stories that come at me from those who seem to almost beg the universe for the next opportunity to reach out with another story of woe. I need to end my pattern of falling in love with potential regardless of whether it's a friendship or romantic encounter or the potential of a relationship of any kind. That isn't remaining present which is one of the keys to emotional availability. The most important thing I realized *for me* is that safeness includes emotional availability. Healthy vulnerability creates beautiful bonds and opportunities for growth. Healthy vulnerability allows... free of control, judgments, attachments, agendas. Healthy vulnerability holds space for the uncomfortableness to move and evolve into whatever it's meant to. If one or both parties doesn't feel comfortable being open and vulnerable in a healthy and productive way, free of criticism or judgment from one's self or another how can that truly be a safe relationship?
I found this excellent article that explains how to spot emotional unavailability early as well as to check in with yourself to make sure you aren't also the one that's emotionally unavailable: 10 TIPS TO SPOT EMOTIONAL UNAVAILABILITY
For nearly eight years I have done everything I could think of to release someone I loved deeply; someone who had helped me find myself again and let go of a dangerous relationship pattern. The caveat was that I created another unhealthy relationship pattern with this man to get out of the dangerous one. I learned, and continue to learn that "better" isn't always right... or best for that matter. There was an intoxicating pull between us, strong enough to be a factor in his relocation.
After confessing and repenting my sins to church elders I begun my healing journey and began my YouTube channel documenting my awareness and recovery around Love Addiction. I studied Psychology focusing on Somatics and Trauma as I became a Body and Energy Worker. My spirituality grew and this one thing continued to haunt me. Just when I thought I was free of it dreams would remind me I was not free. I had created an archetype of what I believed love should be and feel around this person. I faced that and worked at creating a new archetype but the dreams still haunted me.
Then I discovered the idea of Soul Ties. I prayed as I performed a ritual around unbinding my soul from this person after first acknowledging the sinful, toxic way we came together (regardless of how much it helped me). This helped but the dreams started returning. I burned Mugwort essential oil with a candle last night before bed and after vivid dreams I woke up completely clear. I realized that the reason my unconscious and/or subconscious clung to this person, this idea that solidified him as an archetype for me was because of my own shame I refused to acknowledge. The more I think about it, the more I can see how pride blinded me from seeing my own shame. I did what I believed needed to be done and refused to feel shame in order to do it. After it was over pride kept me avoiding and/or denying that shame was an important piece I would need to reconcile. I had convinced myself on some level that if our love worked out, if we ended up together (regardless of how much my conscious mind knew we were all wrong for each other), it would make my choices "ok". It would fix any damage I had done by my actions, regardless of how necessary they seemed at a time when I was out of options (that I could see anyway). It's embarrassing how obvious it is to me now but it's not uncommon to push down unpleasant feelings, especially when life is testing you in so many other ways you just don't have time to do the work until it gets to the point that it refuses to be ignored.
Healing the spirit is vital in any healing process. I had healed my psyche, I continue to work on healing my body but have released these traumas and experiences from my body and heart but my spirit needed healing too. Working with essential oils, creating custom blends for myself and others brings me so much joy. It connects nature to our spirit, offering a potent, concentrated piece of nature in healing our spirit and even our bodies. It's important to remember though, that first, something must be acknowledged. A wrong we have done, a wrong that has been done to us and most importantly, our shame, our self-judgement, our self-abuse, our self-loathing, our choice to remain a victim, succumbing to something that has ended. You have a choice to do the work. The moment you begin the work you are a Warrior, fighting to move from victim to victor.
My ex-boyfriend Andrew and I made a video together about how to love unconditionally and how we learned how to do that after breaking up. I broke it up into parts (mostly based on topic) for the sake of time and because the recording got split somehow anyway. Even without fancy editing software that I don't have, I hope you appreciate the content. I believe it helps answer a lot of common questions I get. Feel free to comment and share!
There are five total videos. I will update this blog as I post each video.
Andrew and I broke up over three years ago but we remained committed to our own personal growth which kept our established friendship alive and taught us new ways to look at and experience love. This first portion is about what we have learned from failed relationships and how unconditional love can be developed.
In this clip, we discuss how confusing different types of love can create expectations that our partner may not be able to live up to.
Andrew and I discuss when it's necessary to cut ties and how creating a foundation in a relationship is vital to its continued success.
This clip discusses learning boundaries as well as the difference between enabling and helping a loved one. We also discuss how curiosity with acceptance and compassion instead of expecting something helps build a healthier bond in any relationship.
In our final clip Andrew and I discuss how we learned to handle when someone else is accusing, blaming or projecting as well as what to do when we feel triggered by someone else.
I get asked this question a lot so I thought I would make videos to help answer this question since I can't answer for each individual situation. Please let me know if you would like me to dig deeper because I would be happy to!
Part One: A common question I get is related to whether or not someone who has left a relationship will return. Some thoughts on when the 'players' in your life experience show certain patterns. This video addresses that question as well as the meaning behind the question.
Part 2: Adding some tools to help you after a breakup or separation following my previous video (linked below) addressing the common question, "How do I know if they will come back?"
Micah's confessions and lessons that have helped with self-forgiveness, healing and acceptance.