Tuesday 10 May 2022

Pop Thought: It Was Never You They Saw. You Have Always Been Perfect.

I sent a version of this message to a friend recently and they found it helpful. I was wondering if it might be helpful to someone else as well.


“So, what's clear to me is that, with that person –insert name of a person you feel incredibly attracted to but who hurts you with their behaviour or words or bad treatment and you know it’s unhealthy to maintain a relationship with them but feel like you can’t stop-, you are living out your infant self's experience. That infant sensed the love/potential love/lack of love of its mother/father/caregiver/etc. and then that mother/ father/ caregiver/etc., because of their own trauma and life experiences, acted in unloving ways. The infant, having no way to understand why this happened, assigned the blame to itself. The infant took on the belief: "It's because of something that I am or I do or that emanates from me that the person went away/treats me badly/won’t interact with me/harms me/speaks to me that way". 

If you can take that information deeply in, the truth that you (as that infant and, as an extension, the you of today) TRULY deserve the love, attraction, attention, warmth, care, etc. and NOT the abandonment/bad treatment, you will be able to explain to those people kindly that their behaviour and bad treatment of you is no longer allowed and walk away from the relationships where that is not respected.


The truth is, it never had anything to do with the qualities that that infant had or didn't have nor anything it did or it was or it emanated. This is where "I’m not worthy" (or insert your most damning belief about yourself here) comes from. It's simply not true. You may appear “not worthy” but only to people who have similar issues to that caregiver's. You are somehow the mirror for those issues in their own lives that they don't know how to deal with. 

Any other person who loved children and didn't have the particular emotional baggage that your caregiver had would have looked at that infant and loved it completely, accepted it entirely and never, ever abandoned it, always tried to fulfill its needs, always treated it well and you would never have believed that you are not worthy. The abandonment/bad treatment only happened because of your caregiver’s internal experience... we can't know what exactly but some combination of...  intense emotions (ex. shame, fear, anger, distrust, disgust, grief, etc. ad infinitum), beliefs about themselves or others, beliefs about the world and its safety and their past trauma and experiences.


I feel that seeing this type of intense, difficult, love relationship through a karmic lens instead of a psychological one might be detrimental. Through that lens, it might appear that you are somehow "responsible" for that person treating you the way they do. Some interpretations of “karma” permit or expect bad relationships or treatment from others as “the other side of the coin” for things you “did/said” in a past life or lives, something you have to learn, something you need to change or do. From the psychological view point, it was NEVER about you - the infant you. The only thing you need to do or change is your level of love for yourself. When there is true self-love, chronic bad treatment or abandonment are never attractive.


The problem of how those people your are attracted to see you is all theirs, the decisions are all theirs and relate only to their own past and inner experiences. What I'm trying to say is that what makes you seem not worthy to that person is not something that comes FROM YOU but rather something that comes FROM THEM, hits you (you are a mirror) and bounces back in their own face which causes them to have a negative reaction. There is a big difference.


I am... entirely worthy!It's important to understand that you cannot change their internal experience, you only have the power to change your own.

From the moment you can believe that, you will know in your heart that you can have the love without having to put up with the abandonment/bad treatment. When the truth of your worthiness becomes clear to you (if you had been welcomed by an emotionally and mentally healthy caregiver this would have been clear from the start), then that belief/issue of “unworthiness” (or whatever your personal painful belief is) will be truly healed. If not this time, then the next relationship or the one after that or the one after that.”


Wishing each and every one of you that deep healing!

Wednesday 23 March 2022

Pop Thought: Love does not excuse consistent bad behaviour.

It's not because I love you that I should allow you to consistently treat me in ways that are disrespectful of my time, my physical body, my energy, my feelings or my space.
A couple of years back, I was in a relationship with someone I loved very much and who loved me. I knew his love for me was real. However, when I would reach out to connect with him, he would consistently: not respond to my messages, ignore questions or requests, make no effort to contact me, give me "the silent treatment", etc. I always got the image of being a dog locked in a room with him on the other side of the door holding the door shut with his foot. Then, all of a sudden, when he decided it was time, he would reach out and open the door. We would then get together. When we were together, I knew he loved me and his love was enticing and delicious to me but his behaviour was unacceptable and I had to end the relationship. Not in anger, just with the knowledge that I deserve (and need) to be treated with respect. Even now, we love each other and we are not together and that feels right.

Recently, a friend was telling me about a budding friendship/possible relationship he was experiencing. It was both exciting and very painful and confusing. When he would just bump into the woman by accident, she was always incredibly enthusiastic about seeing him. Huge, warm hugs, giant smiles, deep eye contact, long conversations in hallways. He could see from her reactions that she sincerely enjoyed his company. However, as soon as they would make a plan to see each other (whether he initiated or she did, whether the next day or the next week) she would either not be there when he would go to meet her or she would send him a note to cancel with a feeble, implausible excuse. The distressing behaviour was very consistent and she is now locked out of his heart. Their relationship will go no further.

And then there are those who often hit their partners and truly regret what they've done. And those that often cheat on their partners and really wish they hadn't. Or those who simply don't or can't help their lover when help is requested. There are always two sides to any story and in most cases people deserve a second chance but when we're talking about 3rd, 4th and 5th chances something is very off and needs to be reassessed.

Often, it's emotional immaturity, childhood attachment styles, trauma or some other mental health issue that gets in the way of the love that is really there. These causes are sad and not necessarily the person's fault. However, the healing is absolutely that person's responsibility. 

Image by geralt on Pixabay.com
Love isn't always enough and, despite what rom-coms might try to tell us, it doesn't heal all wounds... unfortunately. Love can help, support and encourage but the person themselves are the only ones who can take the necessary action-steps to change. If they're not open to becoming aware of their issues or are not willing or able to broach the subject or make strides to adopt more healthy behaviours then we need to think of ourselves first. It is up to us to decide when love is and isn't enough and when the pain from the behaviour is not worth it. In most relationships, we get to choose how we allow ourselves to be treated. 

In a relationship of any kind, love and painful behaviours are two separate things. We need to measure both the love and the pain that the behaviour causes us and make our choices. Just begin to notice whether you want the person to change their behaviour more than they want it themselves and take that into account. 

If you leave the person, it doesn't necessarily mean you don't love them. It may just mean that their behaviours are no longer acceptable to you, not good for your well-being or your self-esteem/self-respect and those are very valid reasons. Your beloved partner is sometimes doing the best they can and sometimes it's still not enough for you and your needs. And that may be painful to understand but it's valid, too. 

Don't excuse consistent bad conduct because you love someone. Love would be horrified, I think, to be the reason someone would accept disrespectful or unacceptable behaviours. Love wants people to be and feel like their best and most satisfied selves, not distressed or abused in each others' company.

Tuesday 3 August 2021

Pop Thought: The point of creating is not the creation.

The point is the act, the verb, the movement of creative juices.

The "final product" (the thing that was created) doesn't matter.

It's like physical exercise. It's good for your body, your soul, good for all of you, whether you can see the difference on the outside or not. 

It's the inside and the doing of it that matters. 

AND it doesn't have to look anything like "art" or sound like music or smell like roses. 

Do it! Move those juices! Create!

Sunday 13 June 2021

Pop Thought: Love Is Not Enough

I realized this, that love is not enough, when I was in my early twenties. I was in love with a highly traumatized person who did a lot of drugs when I did none, hung out with people I didn't like to be with at all, lived a life I didn't connect with and did things for fun that I didn't find entertaining. At the time, I couldn't have articulated how I knew that love was not enough but I did. It didn't seem "fair" but I just knew that, however painful it was to admit it, it wasn't going to be enough to keep me with that person.

You can love a person with your whole heart and they can love you back the same way but if the actual relationship you are having with that person doesn't feed your needs, makes you feel small or insignificant, goes deeply against your (or his/her) personal grain, disrupts your nervous system, takes you too far away from your own life and desires, doesn't align with your most essential values, you have nothing in common, or it otherwise makes your life too difficult or uncomfortable, the love will very often not be enough. No matter how much love you start off with, incompatible relationship requirements can wear it down to nothing.

Hands reaching out
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
The relationship is the invisible third party in your love affair.

...and we're pretty much clueless that it exists as a separate thing.

I've recently started deeply considering what I want... not in a loving partner, I know that part, I have a bunch of vision boards on that topic and a long list of bullet points... but what do I want in the relationship itself

How would I like our days to be spent? What things do I need to share and which ones can I let go? Lots of togetherness, not too much togetherness? Lots of deep discussion, a little bit of everyday life discussion? Chatting while we do the dishes or throwing them in the dishwasher and going our own ways for the evening? Doing healing work, climbing mountains, visiting friends, watching movies, doing little things for each other? What kind of friends? Do we need to have lots of common friends or do I not care who he hangs out with, I'll never see them? How much time do each of us spend with our family? The other person might need to be comfortable with that. What are the things from past relationships that I really enjoyed and would like (or need) to have again? What are the experiences or behaviours from past relationships that I will never, ever put up with again?

This list I am building, all of the things on it can affect me, affect how I feel day-in-day-out. Having a guy who has a huge heart, cares for the homeless and acts like a superhero when there is a great need, being very kind and helpful, rushing in when there is a tragedy and drama is great but if he's always at work or always helping others and has little or no time for me or our life together... am I okay with that? And what if I love to spend time together learning new things and he loves to sit and watch sports a lot or work alone in his garage building things? Everyone's choices need to be respected! No one should have their needs, wants and desires denied to please the other person but some things, some people (even if they love each other deeply) are not compatible in close, intimate, everyday relationships.

It might simply come down to this: how do you want to behave and feel MOST days and how do you want the other person to behave and feel MOST days. How do you want your days to play out and what are your expectations and desires?

Sit down and write it out. Pay attention to what you are getting and not getting in all types of relationships that you presently have. What are you enjoying and not enjoying because it might actually be the real make or break. 

A relationship is not something that we can just order up and have it be perfect. As with our choice of partner, we need some flexibility depending on certain periods in our lives, exceptional events, etc. However, I think it's really important to become aware of our needs in this area. We need to start naming and defining what we want when choosing that invisible third party ...the relationship itself. It may be just as important as our choice of partner.

Sunday 10 January 2021

Pop Thought: You can choose to keep someone in your life

A lot is said these days about it being okay to remove people from your life that are toxic to you and I completely agree with that. However, what about those people that aren't toxic, that you actually love, that are actually assets in your life? Do you have to remove them from your life just because a relationship didn't turn out the way you wanted or expected?

New directions
Photo by Elio Santos on Unsplash

Sometimes, things don't work out with certain people the way you want them to but you still love them, still enjoy their company. Your expectations/needs or their expectations/needs were not met and you can't have the relationship that you both maybe wanted in the way you wanted it. Or maybe one of you needs to receive things that that other is not used to giving or able to give, or efforts are required that your or the other isn't used to or willing to make. 

Things not working out the way we wanted can be frustrating. It can feel hurtful. It often brings up childhood pain and wounds... AND if that person is worth it to you, if you love and enjoy being with them anyway, you can consciously choose to have another relationship with them, a different one, to keep them in your life. It doesn't have to be all or nothing... unless you feel it does.

It will take a few things (and I may forget some of them) and they may happen simultaneously and/or on and off throughout the process: 

* Consciously assess how you feel about the person: Looking consciously at how important that person is to you, how it makes you feel to be with them (preferably very positive! - N.B. obsession is not love or positivity, it is a childhood wound asking to be healed), what things connect you to this person. 

* Figure out what will actually be necessary to keep that person in your life: how often, how close, behaviour changes, physical needs, emotional stresses, mental requirements on both sides. 

* Weigh the "cost" (emotional, mental, physical, spiritual) to you of keeping this person: Sometimes you have to actually try it to find out whether it's worth it or not. Sometimes it's easier than you thought and other times it's more than you can manage. 

* Make a conscious decision: to make a new and different space for them, however different that may be from the original idea of what you thought/hoped it would be. Much adjustment of expectations will probably have to go on over time. 

* Define the new relationship and take concrete steps (communication? action?) to make it happen: Often that means stretching ourselves either emotionally or mentally. Sometimes it just means waiting until emotional storms calm themselves with time. It WILL be awkward at first. It WILL be uncomfortable at first. It MAY be painful at first. It MAY be irritating or frustrating, especially at first. When you start anew, it may not be possible to define how, exactly, the new relationship will be but if you set the direction, you can move toward it. It helps if you are both on board to make this change but it may only take one of you who is committed to it for it to actually get there. 

* Mourn and release the old idea to make room for the new experience: This will undoubtedly take time and conscious effort. Keep the new goal in mind.

None of this is easy, none of it comes without uncomfortable effort, but if you think this person means something to you, if you love them, if you want them in your life, it may be worth it to do all the conscious assessing you need to make that decision. Don't let them just slip away because you didn't take the time to fully consider what could be done. It might not be easy but it could be worth it. À toi de voir.

Wednesday 23 December 2020

Oh shit, I'm in a relationship with my body!

Photo by De'Andre Bush on Unsplash
I've been in an important relationship with my body my whole life and, for ages, I didn't even realize it. Don't get me wrong, I've known I "have" a body for quite a long time but I think I've treated it more like a possession that I wasn't sure I really wanted to own, rather than two co-existing "beings" that need to get along so that we can get the best out of our life together.

We have to share the same space, my body and I (my mind? my ego?), whether I like it or not, whether my body likes it or not. Changing from this perspective of ownership to one of relationship brings me hope and a feeling of expansion.

Treating my body as if it’s a thing I “own” (or that owns ME) is VERY different from treating it like an important relationship in my life. 

If we look at it as a relationship, it can be more difficult than our worst relative, boss or friend because we simply don’t have the power to end the relationship (barring suicide) no matter how much we may not like, appreciate or approve of the body we have.

Our bodies are like our prison cellmates! Haha - okay, or our soulmates... We won't be separated from them until we die but, if we can learn to know them, to negotiate with them, to make peace with them, to understand and respect their needs, the relationships can only get better with time. 

I know mine has. I have started taking my body’s wants and needs into account. I try to make sure that it gets good nutrients often, I do my best to “ask” it what it wants (a bath, a walk, to dance, some tai chi?) as often as I can remember. I am far from perfect and, yes, it’s a work in progress, but our relationship is becoming more harmonious with my efforts to include its preferences in my decisions.

Friday 18 December 2020

Pop Thought: Acceptance always helps everything.

So, what is acceptance, then? Hmmm. Good question.


To me, acceptance is … I suppose… surrendering to reality. Surrendering to what really IS. It usually takes me a while to get there with lots of fits and fuss and denial and resistance beforehand. I don’t go lightly or easily into acceptance. I’m a control freak at heart and acceptance, by its very nature, makes me squirm. 

Acceptance forces me to admit… I cannot control this. It implies that something larger than (or at least outside of) me is happening here, is in charge, and no matter what I do some essence of it will not be changed just because I work at it or whine about it or fuss about it or get pissed off about it or whack at it with a hammer… 

So, acceptance then is both a giving up of my (imagined) power and an experience of relief or peace at giving it up. When I release this idea that I will or can have an effect on the person, situation, experience, instead of being worse off which is what I always EXPECT, I experience a relieving type of letting go which makes everything somehow better.

This "surrendering" kind of sounds like powerlessness but my physical and emotional experience of it is NOT that. Where as the fighting, fussing, resisting and denial beforehand feel like contraction and discomfort, acceptance feels, in my body and even in my mind because it too lets go, like expansion and openness.

I suppose it’s something like when your hand is gripping something, you’ve got a very narrow contracted focus, not room for much else in there, whereas once you let go, your hand is open and anything can come into it.

What acceptance DOESN’T mean to me… It doesn’t mean that I have to like what I have accepted. What it does, though, is allow me to really feel my emotions about not liking it. It allows me to face and feel the pain, the anger, the fear… whatever… fully. Just by doing that, by not repressing them, not resisting them, I am inviting movement into the issue, into the situation. I’m allowing myself to know what’s true for me and, therefore, to keep it from stagnation, to keep flow happening. As long as there is movement in what is happening, I am not stuck in it and it keeps changing and evolving and always moving toward something better (just something I’ve noticed over my life). 

“Stuckness” and resistance and teeth grinding and not wanting to see the truth, these are the things that often cause us the most pain which is funny because usually we are doing these things to try and stop or avoid pain or painful situations. And when we stop trying to avoid the pain, discomfort, anger, etc., when we finally accept things as they are then we can just allow them, just feel them and move slowly on to the next thing we will be fighting, resisting, in denial or fussing about. Ah, the irritating paradoxes of life!

K. xo