Do You Feel Bored in Your Life?

Do You Feel Bored in Your Life?

I felt so bored lately. Running again. The same old route. There is nothing new. My runs got shorter and shorter. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run. I tried to motivate myself. Hey, you love to run, you love nature. Why is it so hard to get you out of your chair? It’s not the running. It’s the direction. You are sick and tired of running the same route over and over again. You need a new direction, my inner voice whispered to me. A change? But where shall I go? I felt scared and chose to ignore it.

Boredom – A sign that you need a change?

During the next couple of weeks, my fearful voice tried hard to convince me that my current direction is perfect. It’s so convenient. You run through the parks, there are hardly any streets or cars. It is safe. Why bother to change it? And even worse, what if you get lost? What if the new route would be worse than the current route? What if you overestimated your capacity, ran too long and had trouble to go home again? My worst case scenario planning blocked me even more and I sat with my inner conflict for a few weeks. I felt stuck. However, my inner voice continued urging for a change.

Give it a try

Finally, I chose to challenge the voice of fear. I wanted at least to give it a try. Therefore, I allowed my inner voice to guide me and chose a new direction. I didn’t really have a plan where I wanted to go. I just ran without any pressure on how far I would get. I wanted to see how I would feel and enjoy the process. I passed by new streets and explored a new neighborhood. Finally, I entered a different park. There were beautiful, tall trees and I saw squirrels whose white fur on their tails looked like a bridal veil. I also saw different possibilities to vary my route in the future.

On my way home, I run up a hill where I’ve never been before and I saw the sunset from a new perspective. It was the most colorful sunset I have ever seen in Vancouver: Orange and purple clouds covered the sky above downtown and a dark violet glaze covered the mountains of the north shore. I took a breath and enjoyed its beauty. When I came home, I felt happy that I had listened to my inner voice.

Change is part of life

Life is about change, yet change is always scary. Fears can be powerful to hold us back, but does it really serve us well? I’ve made many changes in my life, from moving into a new country, leaving my romantic relationship to healing the effects of sexual and emotional violence. I never did them without fear. However, each time I followed my inner voice, it was worth it independent on how much fear I felt.

Today, I invite you to reflect on yourself:

  • Where do you feel bored in your life?
  • What does your fearful voice tell you? How does it keep you stuck?
  • What direction does your inner voice urge you to take?
  • What direction do you choose?

Do you need a change in your relationship?

Check out my program “Create Your Vision of a Fabulous Relationship.”

What’s your Secret Story about Childhood Abuse?

Abuse in Relationships

One hundred people – therapists, counsellors, social workers and clients – in a room. All is silent. What’s next? They are looking at her. She sits next to the therapist, her head down. What were the incidents in your relationship with your family?  The therapist asks. Sexual abuse and violence. Her voice breaks. A shocked murmur spreads.

Are You an Adult Survivor of Childhood Abuse?

How many years didn’t I dare to look into others people eyes due to the sexual and emotional violence of my past? For how many years did I feel stigmatized due to the generic judgment of being a hopeless case? For how long had I allowed other people’s opinion to define my worthiness? My answer is, for too long.

How about you?

How does this murmur make her feel? I look at her. She shrinks in her seat. You can never overcome the effects of abuse. Poor thing, she’ll never recover. The voice of my colleague – a counsellor – cuts through my thoughts.  I open my mouth, and I want to tell her, it is possible to heal abuse and violence. That is my experience. It is my truth. How to find words to express what can’t be described but only experimented? My rational mind never fully understood the transformation I went through. The more I was able to own my pain, the more I was able to experience joy. How can I express this to her?  I search for words. There is nothing. Silence. I shrink in my seat and feel small and powerless again. I lower my head and stay silent.

What is your secret story about childhood abuse?

The one I told – I called it A Brave, True Story – is mine. I wrote it for the woman on the chair. It is my intimate message to tell her that she is not alone. And it’s also for you if you feel like her.

Healing is beyond logical explanations. Meaning what? Healing is about becoming whole again. About reclaiming those parts of you that seemed to be lost in trauma and pain. A re-connection with your inner child to give them the love they have never received before. There will come this moment, when your inner child fully awake, full of joy, curiosity, innocence, dignity and intuition. Do you know how innocence feels like? I lost mine when I was three. I didn’t know what it was.

Recovery is about personal growth. While the trauma felt devastating, there is post-traumatic growth. Healing is about finding a safe space within yourself and take responsibility for your needs and dreams. Reclaiming your well-being is about letting go of the invisible barriers you have build around your heart and learn to love again, first of all yourself. Wholeness is also about finding empowering ways to deal with stigma.

What is essential for healing abuse?

Telling and owning your story makes the difference between merely surviving or really living. How does this feel? I don’t know what it will feel like for you but for me living means feeling. My image is that living is like a joyous dance to your favorite music, and you move and dance while you feel a sensation of deep joy in your body. Like looking at my cats and seeing their smiles and happiness. Like feeling the heat of the sun on my face, smelling the air after rainfall or seeing the fresh green leaves on the trees.  Simply, it’s a deep gratitude for being alive. A sensation of bliss that feels like exploding balloons filled with a multitude of bright colors. It’s feeling the embrace of a friend.

What can you do to heal the effects of childhood abuse?

No, I don’t want to force you to tell your story but I invite you to take your time, continuously taking small steps towards telling your story with full transparency. Rest assured that, however small, effects will be seen quickly and will empower you to keep moving.

Blame, criticism and judgment – both internal and external – can be powerful to silence your voice forever. And, if you are like me, you’re probably the one who gives yourself the harshest criticism. You perhaps try to adapt, to fit in, to be perfect and fulfill excessive demands about whom, how and what you should be. If you allow this to happen, you pay a price: you can never experience deep connection and true belonging in a relationship. If you try to fit in, you may end up with who you want to be and get some approval however they do not care about you but the illusion you play for them. Deep in your heart, you know that they don’t truly care for you.

What is genuine connection?

How can somebody truly connect with you if you don’t show them who you are – with your strength and weaknesses? How can you ever belong if you hide behind a mask, deeply afraid that somebody may find out about your secret?

How can I ask you to show up if I am not doing it? This is why I share these words with you, the reason why I wrote my memoir.

What is the healing power of telling your story?

Stories have the power to heal because they talk to your subconscious and can guide it gently into a new direction. They give you new pictures and perspectives for your situation you haven’t yet seen. They are like a protective cloak because they allow you to release painful emotions like shame and guilt without ever entering your story. And they show you that you are not alone in your situation. Aren’t we all human? What is so bad about being real? Why should we hide our imperfections and weaknesses when they make us human and our common humanity is our only hope to connect?

As a counsellor, I give to my clients what helped me during my own healing journey. I will not tell you what to do but I will collaborate with you so that you find the answers you need. You are the expert in your life and you have the power to transform your past.

Check out how I can help you.

Do You Say Yes When You Should Say No?

Say No

Learning to say no was one of my greatest obstacles for having a joyful and authentic relationship. My struggle originated from my childhood where I had experienced dysfunctional relationships. As an adult, I repeated these unhealthy patterns in my romantic relationships. I often said yes when I meant no and I gave in easily if my partner expressed different needs.

How often do you say yes when you should say no?

Initially, I thought that it was the only way to show my partner that I loved him. However, I paid a price for being nice and submissive: I abandoned myself and lived up to my partner’s expectations. I also felt increasingly resentful towards my partner and myself. The longer the relationship lasted, the more frustrated I became. I lost self-respect and my sense of worthiness and my partner lost respect for me.

Do you experience a similar dynamic in your relationship?

Over the years, I noticed the negative impact of my behavior and decided to change this. I set my intention to become assertive and to be authentic in my responses to my partner’s requests. Achieving this goal wasn’t always easy. There were many voices in my head that motivated me to say yes for the wrong reasons. It took me some time to understand the differences between saying a heartfelt yes and saying yes out of the wrong impulse.

Can you differentiate between a heartfelt yes and a yes out of a wrong reason?

If we grow up in dysfunctional families, we are likely to have learned a distorted truth about saying no and we tend to say yes due to the wrong reasons. To say no is often labeled as unloving, so we learn to deny us and put the other person first. This imbalance causes major problems in our relationship. The truth is that your needs and your partner’s needs are equally important. Here are five impulses that caused me to say yes when it would have been honest to say no.

  1. Saying yes because I wanted to receive more love.
    My inner child had learned that she would only receive love if she did what people asked her to do. She learned to say ‘yes’ to receive the love and attention she needed. As an adult, I learned to give my inner child the love she needed. I also understood that I can’t influence whether my partner loves me or not, I can just show up as I am and allow him to get to know the authentic me. Do you say yes because you want to be loved and accepted?
  2. Saying yes because I feared punishment.
    In my original family, there was a constant threat of being punished if I didn’t do what the adults wanted. As an adult, I had to use courage to say no despite my fear of punishment because it was deeply rooted in my inner child. Do you say yes out of fear of punishment?
  3. Saying yes because I wanted to avoid conflicts.
    In my childhood, I experienced conflicts that were perpetuating and unsolvable. As a result, I avoided any type of conflict and gave in immediately if my partner wanted something different. It seemed an impossible task to stand up for my needs and find a solution. The first times that I stood up for myself I did it with shaking knees… but once again, to respect myself I had to learn to go through a conflict and to trust that we would find a solution that fits us both. Do you say yes in order to avoid a conflict?
  4. Saying yes out of guilt and shame.
    My family relationships were manipulative and based on guilt and shame to keep the family functioning. It took me many years to get completely rid of this dynamic. Guilt and shame are destructive emotions. If we say yes based on guilt and shame, we tend to over-give and to deny ourselves by putting other people first. It took me some time to learn to say no instead of yes when I felt guilt or shame. However, it was an important step to fully reclaiming my power. Do you say yes out of shame and guilt?
  5. Saying yes out of any sense of duty or obligation.
    In my past relationship, I became a perfect cook even though I dislike cooking. I felt obliged to do. What do you say yes to out of duty and obligation?

All those times when I said yes out of the wrong reasons, I used to say no to being me. I used to say no to my power and my joy. I now say a heartfelt ‘yes’ for the joy of giving, and I say no whenever my inner voice tells me so.

How about you?

What if Your Partner Says, “I Don’t Love You”….?

I Don't Love You

He stood in front of me. He had brown eyes and an athletic body. It was six months since we had started our relationship. Now, he must say it. I waited for his words. I love you. I waited for these magical words. And then, he said, I like you, but I don’t love you. His words hurt me, deep in my heart. Part of me wanted to run away. My mind went crazy. It can’t be true, can it? How can he stay with me if he doesn’t love me? How can he have sex with me if he doesn’t love me? Another voice said, I just have to try harder. One day, he will love me.

Did you experience the same?

When he said that he liked me but wouldn’t love me, I was hurt, but it was the pain I knew. I stayed for the following nine years and found excuses. Poor guy, his ex-girlfriend has just left him. He doesn’t mean it this way. I secretly hoped that he would love me one day. He never did. I can’t remember how often he told me that he didn’t love me. Now, I know that I needed this experience to become aware of unconscious patterns that ruled my relationship. He was my first boyfriend. We had met shortly before my mother’s death. I was not yet an adult – and a product of a broken home.

How come that I stayed with him?

  • Repetition of the relationship with my father.
    The relationship with my father had always been conflictive. While one part of me rejected him, the other part yearned for my father’s love and appreciation. I tried hard to make him love me. And I did the same with my boyfriend. When I finally acknowledged that my father wasn’t able to give me the love I hoped for, I also left my boyfriend.
  • Negative beliefs I learned as a child.
    I considered myself of being unworthy of love. In a way, my boyfriend gave me the pain I expected. Who would ever love an abused child? I thought I didn’t deserve love. At this age, I was convinced that no man would ever love me. They were rooted in my identity. I never questioned their truth, and I had no idea that I had the power to change them.
  • Lack of knowledge about good relationships.
    I grew up in a manipulative and violent environment. Nobody had ever taught me how a good relationship looked like, and I didn’t know how to make a good choice. I was content that he wasn’t violent and didn’t beat me up. My childhood experiences shaped my reality. I didn’t know what to look for or ask for. I didn’t know that I could heal and change this. Sometimes, I wish they had taught me in school all I know now.

How come that you stay with him?

With all its pain, this relationship was a precious teacher in healing myself and defining a healthy and good vision of a relationship. It was an inner process that evolved over time.

What my most important learning was out of this relationship? A relationship needs two people who love each other. If my partner doesn’t love me, there is no reason to stay. I can’t make him love me, and it doesn’t make any sense to try. I can just be myself and show up as I am. Whether he loves me, is up to him.

What is your most important learning?

After this relationship, I defined a new rule for my romantic relationship: I leave my partner if he doesn’t love me. It doesn’t matter how much I love him. It doesn’t matter how he justifies it. I do this because I love myself. I do this because I deserve to be loved by a man.

How about you?

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What Does Your Soul Yearn For?

She is quite attractive and seems to have everything. She has a great job and a relationship. She lives in a nice apartment and has enough money to buy some luxuries but deep inside she is frustrated. Is this really all what life is about? She looks for a different job and improves her relationship. But it doesn’t matter what she does, she can’t find fulfillment.

Do you relate with this?

Some years ago, I was this type of woman. I lived the life I thought I was supposed to have but deep inside my soul was screaming. I felt like being stuck in swamp mud, and I sunk deeper and deeper each year. Was this the life I really want to live? Something felt wrong about it.

I knew I needed a change. Despite all my doubts, I decided to follow my intuition: I started yoga and nurtured my soul’s longing for creativity. I left my partner because our relationship didn’t have the connection my soul desired and started my journey to heal my heart and childhood wounds. The following years, I connected more deeply with my intuition. The more I listened to her voice, the more I connected with happiness and fulfillment.

I moved with my cats to Barcelona and rebuilt my life from the scratch. I only implemented what felt right, and I let go of all activities that didn’t. First, I went for long walks at the beach and spent hours sitting at the beach looking at the sea and the limitless sky. The waves seemed to whisper, “Open your eyes. The world is full of new opportunities. Allow yourself to see them.” A seagull flew above my head every once in a while, and her chirping seemed to tell me, “You are free to choose. You don’t have to re-live your parent’s life. You don’t need to live up to other people’s expectations. You can choose whatever you want and whatever makes you happy.

My soul yearned for so many things that my mind didn’t feel comfortable with, and he tried to talk me out of it. But my intuition told me to walk on this path.

What did my soul want?

She wanted to experience deep connection with other people and to belong. She needed creativity, growth and healing. She wanted to share true love and to give back. She desired to stay in nature and solitude. And so I took my awkward steps just like a child who learned to walk. Each step gave me a higher degree of fulfillment and happiness. One accomplishment let to a new desire – from healing myself to become a healer, from increasing my creativity to writing a book. I found that there were two types of intentions: If my mind wanted something, I had to put a lot of effort and fight against adversities. I felt bored, and my energy drained away. If I finally decided to let go of these intentions, I felt relieved. If my soul wanted something she went for it, no matter what challenges she had to face. Deep down in myself there was a power that gave me the strength to move forward, to learn new things and to achieve goals I considered impossible. If there were those moments of doubts, there always came this inner voice that told me: Don’t give up. Trust. Everything will be all right. Following these intentions expanded my life and gave me fulfillment and happiness.

What does your soul yearn for?

I’d love to read your comments below.

Do you want to read more? Check the post Do you have impossible dreams? Find out how you can realize them.

Do You Try to Fit In Or Do You Belong?

Behind the house, there were some hills covered with green grass and huge trees that gave shade when the sun was hot. The air was clean and fresh. I took a deep breath; it felt like a blessing after having spent all summer in Barcelona’s sticky and humid heat. I was in the south of France. My first holidays since three years. There were about ninety people, most of them were French; some Spanish or German. I would spend the next ten days with them to meditate. I had never seen them before and felt nervous and insecure. How would it be to stay together for such a long time? How will I manage to cope with this situation?

The bell was ringing. 6 am – it was time to get up and go for the first meditation. I awkwardly crawled out of my dormitory bunk, brushed my teeth and went downstairs to the temple where we meditated. I smiled at the people at the entrance. They returned a grim look. I sat down on my zafu – the meditation cushion – and meditated. Some bird’s song broke the silence every once in a while. Then, the sun rose as an amazing red ball shining directly into my face. It was a beautiful morning.

After the meditation, we went for a silent walk. I just felt happy and light. I could feel the smile on my face. The people around me walked with severe faces. For a moment, I thought whether it was inappropriate to smile. Nobody else seemed to do it. The following days, I always had a smile on my face while the others were distant and grim. I started to feel guilty and questioned myself. Was my smiling appropriate? Was there something wrong with me? Did I need to be serious because everyone else was it? One part of me feared to be criticized and rejected. What should I do? I went for a walk alone. From a distance, the people were small little dots. Why should I give up on smiling? I couldn’t find a reason. I was enjoying the meditation as I always did. What was the worst thing to happen? Maybe I’d stay alone for the retreat. I could cope with this. I decided to stay true to myself and to resist my urge to adapt.

Two days later, I sat down at a different table for breakfast. I looked at the people who surrounded me. The energy at the table was joyful. We couldn’t talk, yet we communicated with eye contact and smiled at each other. From that day, we spent each meal together. On the last day, a lovely elder lady from this table came to me. We hadn’t talked a lot because I couldn’t speak French, and she only spoke a little bit of Spanish. She gave me a flower and said, “Thank you for your smile.” Suddenly, I was very happy that I hadn’t listened to my fears. I didn’t connect with many people but with the right ones. And I had released my survival strategy to fit in that has accompanied me since my childhood.

What are your survival strategies to fit in?
Sometimes, we learn difficult lessons in life, and we try hard to fit in. We also live in a society that tells us that there is only one standardized way to be or live. I was used to adapting and fitting in. Many years, I believed that it was the only way to be accepted and appreciated. I feared to show up as I was. I gave in to the pressure of my family or partner and fulfilled their expectations. However, with this strategy, I didn’t allow myself to experience true belonging. I also didn’t allow me to be happy. Belonging requires showing your true self, even if your knees may be shaking at first. You can never control what the other person will do. They may like you or hate you. That’s up to them. But the people who like you as you are, are the ones you belong to.

This retreat also taught me another precious lesson. Maybe you can’t see the right people at first but if you stay true to yourselves and show up the right people will find you. The nice French lady stayed in contact with me and sent me a picture she had painted that showed my smile. I felt very grateful for this present. And we are all looking for lasting bonds that nurture and support us, aren’t we?

How about you?

  • Do you want to belong?
  • Where do you still work hard to fit in?
  • How could you change this?

Do you fit in or do you belong? I’d love to read your comments below.

Do you want to read more? Check the article Do you enjoy the beauty of the moment.

How Do You Relate With Beauty?

Beauty

Last week, one woman presented her new board in Pinterest in our virtual business coffee. It showed pictures of beautiful women in wonderful dresses. They looked like goddesses. At the moment I saw them, I felt small. A critical voice in my head told me, That’s how a woman is supposed to be! You’ll never be so beautiful. You’ll never be so elegant. It was just another time that this harsh voice told me that I wasn’t good enough.

What does your critical voice say about you as a woman?

I don’t know what your inner critique tells you, but I have met many women who have a harsh voice in their head telling every day that they aren’t good enough… What are the messages you are receiving? When I looked into the media or listened to friends, I heard the message that I wasn’t feminine enough. I tried everything to fit in. I experimented with long hair, sexy cloths and expensive high heels. I even became a great cook. Did it make me happy or more beautiful? No, it didn’t. One day, I gave up and just wanted to be me.

Who tells you how you are supposed to be?

Is it your inner voice or do they come from friends and family or the media? Does it make you happy? It is easy to be swept away by the many opinions that tell you how you should be as a woman. Society gives you a picture, the media another one. Your family and your partner may have different claims. Each day, you receive many messages that tell you that you aren’t good enough the way you are. It’s tempting to buy-in into these opinions and to consider yourself as not good enough. Last Monday, when the critical voice talked to me again, I took a breath, centered myself and told my inner critique firmly to go away. In the end, it’s my choice to which voices I listen to. And I’ve chosen to be beautiful and enough as I am. And so are you. You are good enough just as you are today. You are beautiful as you are. There is no need to change anything. Why do we all have to be of the same size or shape?  Aren’t we beautiful for who we are? Isn’t our diversity and difference in character, size, shape, or whatever else comes to your mind that what makes us amazing women? I will never reach perfection, and I’ve given up the need to search it. I listen to my inner voice, and I make my decisions based on what feels right for me. I have my daily routine to clear away the messages that tell me that I am not good enough. And I want to invite you to explore this option. You can focus on what you aren’t and judge you for that. You can listen to the messages that tell you that you are too thin, thick, tall, small, or whatever other message comes to your mind. But you’ll miss an important part: you won’t see the beauty that resides within you. I know that you have a beauty beyond belief. You just need to allow yourself to see it. Isn’t life more charming if we encourage each other to see our unique beauty?

What is your unique beauty? Please, tell me more about it.

If I look into a mirror, I see a woman with beautiful brown eyes and a short and fresh haircut. She loves to write and change. She isn’t unscarred but has overcome many battles and feels happy and fulfilled. And she puts her energy into having more laugh wrinkles each day. That’s my beauty. What is yours?

Whom do you choose to listen to in the future?

You are free to choose whom you listen to. You decide whose ideals or ideas you follow. I won’t tell you what you should do, but I want to invite you to explore your beauty for just a week. Here is a little game: How about looking at yourself as if you were an amazing goddess you never met before? Explore her with curiosity. Look at her with appreciation. Who is this goddess? What makes her awesome? What are her special gifts and talents? What is her unique beauty in her appearance? What are the specific traits that make her beautiful? Write this all down and stick it to your refrigerator. Extend this list when it feels right for you and read it every day. Enjoy this journey of self-discovery and allow your unique beauty to shine brightly in this world.

I’d love to hear from you. Just leave your comment below.

Do you want to read more? Check the post How to become a modern heroine in relationships.

Are You Hiding From Love?

Last year, when I was writing my book, a miracle happened. My friend – a man who had always meant a lot to me and who I fully trusted – told me that he had left his relationship. I had never dared to hope that this might happen. We knew each other for 13 years. He knew my secrets and what happened in my relationships. He knew that I valued honesty more than anything – and I counted on his honesty.

After his separation, he started to contact me frequently. He told me many nice things like that he always felt an emotional bond between us. His words sounded real and genuine to me. One day, I decided that I had to take the risk and dare to love again. I asked him whether he wanted to visit me. And he did. I spend the most wonderful week in my life with a man. It was fluent, just like a miracle.

Then, he flew home, and I was in heaven. Two weeks after his visit, he told me that he had visited me because he knew that he’d receive my love. I didn’t understand what he meant. Then, he started to give me many mixed messages and disappeared. He never called to tell me his truth. He just disappeared. I was shaking. It wasn’t so much about losing a relationship; it was also about losing a friend I had deeply trusted in the last 13 years. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why he did it. He was in pain, and he was weak at this moment, and he knew that I would give him love. Maybe this week helped him a bit through his crisis. I’ll never know, and it’s not important.

After his withdrawal, I started to heal my heart – from flower essences to Reiki, phone calls with my friends, and being shaken by sadness and anger. I wanted to forget this story as fast as possible. Just another love affair – a nice week… why should I care? That was the label I wanted to give it. After three months, I thought I was over it….

About a year later, I wrote a story. And I described a scene of a woman hiding from love, singing the song I am through with love. When I read it again, I suddenly knew it wasn’t about this woman. It was about me. My heart was still closed. I started to look for a reason. What made me hide in my apartment?

What makes you hide from love?

Some days later, I wrote about my book, and I said that my book was about my greatest defeat. The word hit my soul. Greatest defeat?! I rarely ever use this word. How was this possible? Why had I chosen this word? I have achieved great things in my life, and I have overcome many adversities. Why did I feel defeated? What was I really writing about? And suddenly, I remembered the final chapter – the story about my friend’s withdrawal. Tears ran down my face.

What pain do you need to acknowledge?

That day, I acknowledged my pain. I had wanted to ignore it. I had wanted to make it small. I had wanted to avoid it. And it was still there – I felt betrayed. Betrayed because he never told me what he was really after. Betrayed because he hadn’t been honest with me (at least, that’s how I read it). Betrayed because he never cared to give me a final call to say good-bye. If I’d hold on to this feeling, I’d hide forever. I didn’t want that to happen. He was just one experience, and there are many great men out there. I stopped working. I went to the harbor, sat down with my pain and cried. I felt relieved. Some days later, I felt how my heart started to open again. I’ll dare to love again. The right man will come when the time is right.

What is the pain are you ready to release?

If you have been deeply hurt in love, acknowledge your pain and let go of it when the time is right. Allow your heart to heal. I can’t tell you how long it will takes, but it is possible. To love means to take risks. To love means to let go of control. To love means to be vulnerable. In the beginning, you’ll never know how the story ends. However, if you never try you won’t find it out. Love is outside your comfort zone. And with all this risk, dare to love again. There is a man out there, who wants the same as you, who will give you the love you deserve. It will happen when the time right.

What do you need to dare to love again?

I’d love to hear from you. Just leave your comment below.

Do you want to read more? Check the article How to become a relationship heroine.

Do you know your rights in a relationship?

I see often that my clients aren’t aware of their relationship rights. We never learned about our relationship rights in school and our family may also not serve as a good role-model. If we grew up in a dysfunctional family, we are likely to have learned a misleading perception about love and relationships. I experienced abusive relationships in my childhood. As a result, I had a distorted perception about my relationship rights. I felt insecure and wasn’t able to set healthy boundaries. My lack of knowledge led to major conflicts in my past relationships. I disrespected my rights and my needs. Knowing my relationship rights gave me clarity and helped me take the right direction in my relationships.

Independent of what happened in your childhood, you are an adult now. You should know your rights and claim them.

Here is a list of your relationship rights:

  • You have the right to be the most important person in your life.
  • You have the right to be happy and happier than your partner.
  • You have the right to take care of yourself, no matter what.
  • You have the right to change your mind.
  • You have the right to say no, without further explanation.
  • You have the right to expect honesty from your partner.
  • You have the right to make mistakes.
  • You have the right to your personal space and time needs.
  • You have the right to be uniquely you, without feeling that you are not good enough.
  • You have the right that your needs are equally important as your partner’s needs.
  • You have the right to be treated with respect and kindness.
  • You have the right to receive emotional support.
  • You have the right to express your opinion and to be heard by your partner.
  • You have the right to have your own perspective, even if your partner has a different opinion.
  • You have the right to all your feelings.
  • You have the right to live free from criticism, judgment, accusation and blame.
  • You have the right to encouragement.
  • You have the right to be in a non-abusive environment.
  • You have the right to leave your partner.
  • You have the right to be playful and relaxed.
  • You have the right to forgive others and forgive yourself.
  • You have the right to give and receive unconditional love.
  • You have the right to change and grow.
  • You have the right to heal, to let go of fear, shame and guilt and to become whole.
  • You have the right not to be responsible for your partner’s problems, feelings and behaviours.

Sometimes, we don’t dare to claim our rights because our inner child is blocking us. Within ourselves, there is an inner child that doesn’t know what is right or wrong.  Her perception of love and relationships is shaped by her childhood and her past. She repeats these experiences because she is loyal to her past. You childhood was as it was. Your parents gave you what they were able to give you when you were a child. Now you are an adult and it is the time that you learn to take care of this child within yourself and that you teach her the truth about love and relationships. If she receives your love, she stops looking for love in the wrong places. Become a compassionate mother for your inner child and a courageous heroine in claiming your rights. This is an important step you can take today to create a fabulous relationship.

I’d love to hear from you. Just leave your comment below.

Do you want to read more? Check the post What if you always attract the wrong man?

How to Become a Modern Hero

Who is your favorite hero?

When I was a child, my favorite hero was Scaramouche, the hero in a movie that played during the French revolution. He has some love affairs with women who just weren’t a great match before he falls in love with the right woman for his live. The last scene showed him driving away in a coach just married to a beautiful noblewoman while people cheer to him.

What do you have in common with a hero or heroine?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a hero? I thought that it was something that only happened in movies. However, every one of us can be a modern hero. Maybe you are a survivor of childhood abuse and you feel as if you are broken. Maybe you are in an unhealthy relationship and feel is if the world is against you. Maybe you struggle with depression and stigma. Unfortunately, life isn’t fair or perfect, we all face struggles and obstacles but how we handle them makes a difference. And maybe the beginning of our hero’s journey.

Nobody is born as a hero, but we can become one

Don’t worry if you don’t have to feel like a hero today. When a hero starts their journey, they never feel like a hero. They are thrown into an adventure. They feel weak or unprepared. And with all this, they fights dragons and overcomes obstacles. They learn new skills and develops powerful resources. They find allies and defeats enemies. They get wounded, are reborn and now shine with a new, brilliant light. Suddenly, they feel like the hero we have already seen them at the beginning of the movie. The hero’s archetype resides within all of us. It is your choice to activate it.

What is your challenge?

I was a survivor of childhood abuse and started my healing journey many years ago. Your challenge might be completely different. Maybe you struggle with an unhealthy relationship or the loss of your lifetime partner. You may be single for far too long. You may have lost hope for your future.  You may be the outcast of your family or society. Whatever your challenge is, it is also a calling to start your hero’s journey. The merit is to transform yourself, become your true, genuine self and create the life you want to live. And, isn’t that worth it?

A modern hero’s journey – of what does it consist?

Accept your calling

Your journey starts when you sense a calling. It is likely to speak in a very low voice. If you read this article you have it: this inner knowing that the place where you are at doesn’t feel right, that you should seek for something else. Maybe it is a healthy relationship, maybe it is healing your childhood wounds. Whatever it is, it may scare you. You may want to look away. Your mind tells you that your goal is not possible. You fear your calling and its message. It urges you to change. You don’t feel ready, but you have a gnawing sense that it’s time to walk on a new path. Take a deep breath and accept your calling. It is a loving invitation to become whole again. You have all what it takes to get there. You are more courageous than you believe you are.

Enter an unknown world

On your hero’s journey, you have to leave behind the world you know. Whatever kind of relationship you experienced in the past, it’s time to learn something new. Now is the appointed time to become courageous, compassionate and conscious. This will lead you into a new direction.  You will make steps into a new direction, a direction towards being whole, and explore things you never did before. Follow this path, leave behind the old and explore the new.

Heal your shadow

For many years, I feared my shadow. Finally, I looked at it and it lost its power over me. I actually found wonderful treasures in it. Your shadow is different, your treasures will be different. However, if you don’t dare to look at it, it will subconsciously control you. As adults, it is our responsibility to heal and to become whole. Your shadows may seem overwhelming and deeply frightening, but you are stronger and more powerful than they are. Dare greatly, and illuminate them. The treasures you will find are worth the effort. Enter the unknown world of self-discovery and healing and become whole again. Dare greatly and you’ll realize a profound transformation you never believed possible.

Let go of your masks

My favorite mask was being “nice.” It was comfortable because it is socially well accepted.  It also protected me from harm and conflict. However, it also led me to abandon myself and hindered myself to show up.The masks you put on to relate with other people may seem comfortable, but they impede you to experience belonging. With your masks you can only fit in. Fitting in is not belonging. Behind your masks, there is a brilliant, genuine version of yourself that wants to show up. It is perfectly imperfect, and that’s great. Only you can uncover it. What are the masks you are using? Get to know them and explore them. Then, tear them off, bit-by-bit, and connect with your feelings, needs and boundaries. Show up and speak your truth. Each time you do so, you move forward on your hero’s journey.

Find your allies

My most powerful allies are nature, the sea, silence, breathing and my counselling groups. I met fascinating people, inspiring teachers, cheerful companions, great coaches and complete strangers who gave me the right hint during a short encounter. Who are your allies? Find them. Ask them for help. Connect with them. Listen to them. Evaluate whether their words correspond with your truth. If your gut feeling tells you that it is right, then take action.

Release your dragons

Your dragons are everything that hinders you from choosing what is best for you. Your dragons aren’t in the outside world. They are within yourself. My dragons were the wrong truth I learned about love in my family, low self-worth and self-compassion, shame and guilt. They also consisted of resisting the temptation to stay with the wrong partner out of convenience and fear. Not every person you fall in love with will be a good match for a healthy relationship. What are you dragons? Write them down. Observe them. Liberate them. Question the truth of their words. Learn tactics how you can let go of them. Don’t give in to them. Change focus and listen to their anti-pole. Become a motivational speaker for yourself. Ask your allies for help. Conquer your dragons gracefully, one after the other.

What merits will you gain?

You will become the most authentic self you can be. You will look at the world with new, bright eyes. You will see the beauty of life. Even if something deeply painful happened to you, its darkness will transform into light during your journey. This is likely to happen in stages, just like a spiral. You will re-visit some themes throughout your life. Each time you do so, you will gain more understanding, wisdom and freedom. You can’t save the world, but you can save yourself. And by doing this, you will save the world. You will become courageous, compassionate and conscious, and you’ll be greater version of yourself.  As a result, you will experience a deep connection with your partner, friends and the world. And aren’t healthy relationships all what life is about?

So, when do you start your hero’s journey?

Find out about my program “Break Free From Toxic Relationships.”

Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash