Overcome Loneliness | Create Genuine and Lasting Friendships

Loneliness. Have you felt it? It's that ache inside you that longs to be known, that desires to connect, to share life in a meaningful way. When I went through what I like to call my "soul growth spurt" I felt distant from my close friends, and longed to connect with women who were running the same race as me. 

Loneliness is the secret struggle so many women are facing alone... and with heaps and heaps of shame. If you've ever struggled to find meaningful and open friendships, trust me, you are not alone.

Cultivating powerful female sisterhood is not something that comes easy to me. As an extrovert, you'd think I would be better at deeply connecting, maintaining friendships, and opening up to people. I have had to work to tear down the walls that kept people at a distance, work on my confidence in who I am, and work on actually showing up in my friendships. (You teach what you've had to learn, amIright?)

I've come to realize that the kind of connection I crave takes work.

If you're like me and desire close female friendship, but fumble your way through it most of the time, here are a few aha moments in my journey:

1. Being authentically you is the best way to attract people who "get" you.

It just makes sense, if you are showing up as someone else in your everyday life, or are a chronic people-pleaser, you're going to attract people you don't feel totally yourself around!  Start by getting comfortable with you. Be at home in your own skin. Learn to love yourself. When you see someone standing in their power, they are magnetic! Owning who you are will make you irresistible to "your people."

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2. Everyone, deep down, longs to be known.  

Yep. We are all a lot more alike than we are different. We all have a longing to connect and be known. You are not alone! Once you realize that, messaging the acquaintance from work and asking her for coffee won't be so scary. Opening up about the real stuff will be (a little more) easy! Being vulnerable and deeply loving in your friendships will eventually feel like home.

3. You've got to show up.

This is the one slapping me in my face at the moment. Friendships are built over time and with consistency. They take investment of time, love, care, and mutual understanding. If you're feeling lonely and you know you have friends who have your back, ask yourself, "how good of a friend have I been to them?" The state of your friendships has a lot to do with how you show up within them. Put a little effort in and watch them bloom.

You've got what it takes to create a life you love. From owning your story, to standing in your power, to cultivating meaningful friendships, you've got this.

Want to cultivate deep relationships with women who can support you, cheer you on, and hold space for you? 

I want to invite you to join me in my new group mentorship program! This 8-person virtual group coaching space will allow you to dive deep on your journey with women just like you. It's by application only and is priced so anyone can participate! I can't wait to have you. 

3 People-Pleasing Myths that Keep you Stuck

Over the past 4 years, I’ve learned to live my life from a place of authenticity, integrity, and loving boundaries. If you’d meet me, you might say I have a powerful presence, am chatty, and passionate about living a life aligned with my values… but that wasn’t always the case.

For years I let friends and family members walk on me. When I was a vegetarian, I went as far as to pretend I ate meat in front of certain people to avoid the confrontation and judgement I feared. You might laugh at the silliness of my choice, but it’s one small example of how I hid myself for the “benefit of others."

While hiding, I blamed other people for making me hide, for being insensitive, for taking advantage of my kindness. I tiptoed around relationships, held myself back, pretended to hold certain beliefs to fit in, and felt resentful when I would work hard to make others happy and was left feeling dry as a bone. 

The truth is, no one can make us behave in any certain way. My choice to hide myself, to put others first, and to deny my truth, that’s on me. What’s shocking is that even the most powerful, confident, self aware women still struggle with people-pleasing. 

Why is it that even the women you admire most still struggle with people-pleasing?

There are 3 myths about people-pleasing they have bought into, that’s why. 

The 3 Myths about people-pleasing that keep you stuck:

1. Your sweetness will gain you love.

We are trained from a young age that women are nice, sweet, and good-girls definitely don’t rock the boat. As much as we want to rebel, we have bought into the fact that unless we are “always loving and nice” we are not lovable or likable. 

Since I’ve lost my sweetness, I’ve felt more love than ever before.

2. Boundaries are selfish.

Someone along the way taught you that setting a boundary was unloving and selfish. True love meant putting others before yourself, and if you did otherwise, you were self-absorbed. This lie perpetuates your empty cup, because if you’re empty, you really can’t give. In reality, boundaries protect the love you have and provide you with more love to give!

Boundaries may not make everyone happy, but they will make you much more loving. 

3. If you show people who you really are, they won’t like you.

Sure, we have opinions, needs, and wants.. but how often do you say “yes” when your heart is screaming, “no no no!”? We fear being the bitch, being bossy, or being too abrasive, so we hide our opinions, hide our desires, don’t set boundaries, and play nice. (Often, only to have resentment build inside).

Showing people the real you allows you to receive love and actually feel it. 

I’m seeing a theme here, are you? When you don’t people-please and live for the happiness of others, you are able to give and receive love in it’s most genuine form.

People-pleasing is rooted in fear and is focused on earning love. Genuine love casts out fear. 

Choose to say NO today: no to living for others, no to putting their happiness before your own, no to earning love, no to fear. 

Say YES to shedding your sweetness and really living. 

If you enjoyed this and want to step out of people-pleasing and into better boundaries, join me in an online boundaries workshop 12/4!

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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