3 Simple ways to end the drama and shift to love

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 I love me some juicy drama. 

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I'm a creative type, so I tend to create dramas and stories in my head with elegance. They are elaborate, toxic, and they make me feel like sh*t. Yet, I still catch myself making up stories about why I'm not worthy, loved, or wanted.  I'm sure I'm not alone.

How familiar are these situations to you?
She is super distracted and short at work… Is she mad at me?!
He forgets to do the dishes…  I’m not important to him.
My friends haven’t called in a week… I’m probably annoying them with my problems.
The guy didn’t reply… I’m unworthy and will probably be single forever.

Well that escalated quickly, don’t you think? We love to tell ourselves stories about other people’s motives, how their actions are a reflection of our worth, and when they don’t meet our expectations, we take it way too personally.

All of our offense, our internalizing, our grudge holding, all of the stories are rooted in fear:
Fear of being alone.
Fear of being disliked.
Fear of not being enough.
Fear someone else could do it better.
Fear, fear, and more fear.
 

The truth:
People are generally more concerned with themselves than they are with you. When she looks at you wrong, when someone snaps at you, when you’re tempted to create a story about why something happened, STOP. Stop and shift from fear to love. Don’t allow your mind to create fear-based dramas. 
 

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Here are 3 simple ways to end the drama and shift from fear to love:
(AKA from drama to sanity.)
1-Drop the assumptions + don’t take everything personally. 

Trust me, it’s not personal. Remember other people’s actions are more about them than you. You don’t know why they are responding how they are. Let go of the need to internalize it, fix it, or take responsibility for other people. Choose to have a heart of non-offense, you never know what they are going through. 
2-Remind yourself that you are loved, whole, and worthy as you are.
No need for drama, offense, and panic when you feel stable in yourself. Life is so much more freeing this way! If you need a little help, repeat the mantra: I am safe to be myself. And screw the rest…. Just kidding...  (Heck, do whatever it takes!)
3-Review the scripts you already have playing. 
It’s a good time to reflect and see why you are jumping to conclusions. The stories you write say a lot more about you than others, and you're probably looking for ways to affirm the fear-based beliefs you already hold.  What do you believe to be true about yourself and the world?

P.S. Snag my FREE download on writing new stories here!

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How much is staying stuck costing you?

*** This article was originally published as an email sent to the Tribe in early 2016. If you want  fresh content delivered right to your inbox, >> join! <<

Staying stuck cost me my life.

Four years ago, I was one of the funnest, most vibrant people you'd meet. If you knew me, you'd know that I was the life of the party and always smiling. What you wouldn't know, is that I was completely insecure, did "good" things to give myself worth, was in constant need of affirmation, and was carrying around a TON of shame.

And I paid the price for my brokenness.

Nothing I did was ever good enough. I lost friendships because I lacked boundaries, suffered from anxiety-induced health problems, tried to become the people I admired instead of owning my uniqueness; I burnt myself out and beat myself up.

With help I slowly began to shift. I got to know myself. I set goals. I saw coaches and counselors. I read books. I gave my life to the real work of change.

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Looking back, I can see how clearly I paid the price for my stressful way of life: all the busyness, the shame, the fears and insecurities weren't serving me. They were billing me and I was paying the price I chose to pay until I stepped up and owned my life.


What payments are you unwilling to make any longer?

What are you paying for that you could release?

Free yourself up from the burden. Stop paying for things you don't deserve.

It's expensive to stay broken.


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4 Year Anniversary | What I wish I would have known before saying "I Do."

MARRIAGE LESSONS: YEAR 4

At our wedding we washed each other’s feet as a symbol of our devotion. We committed to love through good and bad, and committed to put each other first. This was a practice we adopted from Jesus, who washed his disciples feet, showing them he was willing to see and love the dirtiest parts of them, and sacrifice for them.  It was a beautiful symbol to us of marriage, and we felt strongly about the ritual… but we had no clue what the hell we were doing. 

THE WONKY RITUAL:

As we stood before 300 people, about to follow through with the foot washing, we realized that we forgotten the water. My brother in law quietly left the ceremony and brought water to us. As Phil started washing my feet, grass and dirt made the water a strange shade of brown. (We had been outside taking pictures in 107 degree heat.) It was disgusting and hilarious. By the end of the foot washing, we opted not to put our shoes back on because we hadn’t thought about how long it would take to complete the ritual, plus mine were filthy.

We were completely unprepared and caught off guard.

Our ritual of love and devotion was wonky, and it’s been the perfect symbol of growing into our marriage. We were in many ways unprepared for marriage. Our love tanks have been empty, our love tanks have been murky and toxic. We have been unconventional, and we have made it work.

So cute, so innocent, so clueless. Photo by Esther Ziegler

So cute, so innocent, so clueless. Photo by Esther Ziegler

WE GOT MARRIED YOUNG:

It was before my wellness journey began. Which means we have learned a lot about ourselves and being married since then. The past four years of life and marriage have been transformational.  Phil has been a witness to the growth, healing, and change in my life, as I have been in his. People always tell you marriage is hard; they tell you how selfish you’ll realize you are, that the passion ebbs and flows, that sex and finances will be the biggest strains, and that communication is key. I’ve learned about those things, but I’ve learned so much more.

The things I’ve learned which have helped me the most are not “marriage tools.” They are my own lessons in emotional, personal and relational wellness.

THE LESSONS:

My lessons are tools to become the most excellent person you can be, not just an excellent wife.

+ KNOW YOURSELF FIRST. THEN GET TO KNOW YOUR PARTNER

When I began on my journey to self awareness I had no clue how much this would impact my relationship. I learned how I “ticked,” I learned what made me happy, what triggered me, I learned areas where I needed healing, and I was better able to communicate my needs. Honestly, my self awareness was hard for my relationship at first because it caused a major shift in how our relationship functioned. We did not know healthy ways to understand ourselves or each other. But as I grew, I was able to communicate clearly, manage and own my own needs, and ultimately create a life-giving relationship of honesty, clarity, and fulfillment.

photo by Kinsey Mhire

photo by Kinsey Mhire

+ ALLOW OTHERS TO PROCESS LIFE IN THEIR OWN WAY

This one came from Phil. Through our journeys in counseling, healing, and personal development, we have come to seasons where one or the other was really hurting and processing. We have deconstructed our beliefs, grieved pains, and created new world-views together, yet we have done it with space and compassion. Everyone is processing  life through a different perspective and lens. Be present in the processing, but don’t try to understand everything. Give others space to process and come to peace in their own way.

Be a support, not a guide.

This requires trust, so much trust, and confidence in yourself and your relationship.

+ LEARN TO LISTEN

Like really listen. Dangit, this is a struggle for my mile and minute brain and mouth. I’m still practicing. Listen with the heart to understand. Be open to what they are saying and repeat back to them what you hear them saying. I like to call this “leaning in.” Lean in and be interested to people, make them feel like they matter more than anyone in the world. Trust me, listening is the greatest art. Learn more from the master of listening, Chris Lee.

+ LET GO OF CONTROL

Seems simple enough, yet, especially in our closest relationships we become emotionally entangled with the other person’s decisions. They reflect onto us. They affect us. If they make a mistake, it becomes personal or an attack. Learning that other people are completely separate from you, and they are responsible for their own actions is key. (The opposite of this is codependency).

There are so many things I've learned about marriage but those are the big ones from this year. Marriage tools are helpful, but I'm realizing becoming the best version of yourself will lead to your best relationships. 

TOOLS YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL:

The personality matrix: a podcast to help you understand yourself and others.

Know your love languages

My personal fav, The Boundaries Book

Robcast: A podcast about control in relationships.

Learn to listen by listening to this podcast.

8 TED talks that just might save your marriage.

 

**PHOTOS BY KINSEY MHIRE PHOTOGRAPHY


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My RAW STORY

WARNING!! PERSONAL POST AHEAD!!

Three years ago I was a college senior and a newlywed. I had a picture perfect life. I was vibrant and confident and knew who I was.  At least from the outside it seemed that way. If someone had peeked into my soul, what they would have really seen was fear, unworthiness, and a deep sense of shame, not for what I had done in my past, but literally for who I was.

If you had spent 5 minutes with me you may have left thinking I was funny, honest, and bold for being so sincerely myself. If you spent a few days with me you would realize that I was ashamed of my personality and was living with a lot of social anxiety.

June 2011 working with a church in mexico, &nbsp;living in need of approval and deep shame for my personality

June 2011 working with a church in mexico,  living in need of approval and deep shame for my personality

I used vulnerability to keep people from knowing who I really was. By being overly open about my life and my "issues" I would keep people at an emotional distance. I used religion to feel like I had finally achieved a sense of peace and order in my life. I belonged, I was living the "right" way, I had approval through my good actions.  I used relationships to fill the deep sense of unworthiness by collecting many acquaintances but no deep friendships. 

 "If they laugh I am enough. If they think I am amazing, I am enough. If they think I'm pretty I am enough. If they think I'm interesting, smart, talented, I am enough.”

Scary, right?! I was living through other's opinions of myself. And if someone had a wavering opinion of me, I crumbled. I did not know how to be confident in my own skin. I was certainly not proud of who I was. 

December 2013, graduating college with no plans, afraid of my future, and struggling to find my voice

December 2013, graduating college with no plans, afraid of my future, and struggling to find my voice

I share this with you because I know that my story, although unique in many ways, is not unique in the struggles.  Many of you, too, are overcoming the same fears, shame, and pain.  I want you to know you can overcome. I want you to know you can truly thrive.

Today I am still funny, vulnerable, and bold. It is the real, authentic me, and I am owning it. But, something changed in me the past 3 years that is obvious to anyone who knows me.

The frantic anxiety leaving the house to go to an event has if not completely gone away, almost never happens. The people who I felt the deepest shame around no longer have a strong place in my inner circle, and I am stronger than I ever have been. I am healthier in my marriage and I have healthy boundaries.  Plus as a bonus, I actually love people, and have given up controlling them and judging them.

I still struggle like any normal human, but I want to share my journey with you. It can be easy to assume the road was easy, or that there wasn't a road at all. But the road was freaking hard. It meant facing who I was. What I was doing to hide who I was, and learning for the first time to be truly vulnerable with the people I could trust most. It meant overhauling friend groups and forgiving my parents. It meant forgiving myself and forgiving God. It meant letting go of the religious legalism that kept me safe and embracing the uncertainty in my faith journey.

June 2015 in nyc for the beautiful you life coaching inspiration day. healthy, passionate, confident.&nbsp;

June 2015 in nyc for the beautiful you life coaching inspiration day. healthy, passionate, confident. 

It means moving forward. It means deciding who you want to be and taking action steps to get there. I went into 2014 with the mantra, "this is a year of freedom." And it was. I continue that tradition every year and revise my goals with my life coach quarterly. Today, set yourself an intention for this upcoming year. You don't have to wait until January! Do it today.

Who do you want to be in one year?

How do you want to feel every day?

What isn't working?

What needs to shift to make room for this vision?

Ask yourself these questions and really dig deep. Life is a gift, but it is yours to cultivate. Get to it my love. All that is waiting is your YES.


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