Relationships

Why Quitting Co-dependency Is Like A Bar Of Soap

Why Quitting Co-dependency Is Like A Bar Of Soap

There are some myths about co-dependency, the word itself gives off the wrong idea. The dependency part is driven by unconscious motivations, conditioned into us by controlling people (abusive or unhealthy) or socially conditioned by a broken system that wants to keep the oppressed oppressed so the power hierarchy is kept to status quo in the patriarchy. Co-dependency is the norm, the default, most people have some form of it, it's that when it doesn't escalate to dangerous levels like drug addiction or alcoholism, it often goes undetected. Leaving people feeling fundamentally flawed, out of place or just knowing they are somehow different, in a guilty as charge shameful way, a deep dark secret of difference yet no clue different in what way. 

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10 Signs You're A Free Therapist

10 Signs You're A Free Therapist

Sometimes the line between being a supportive friend or a partner and being a free therapist is a hazy one. We want to support the people around us, we also want to be our highest selves, be mentally and physically healthy. We are consciously or unconsciously influenced by negative energy, having healthy boundaries is imperative. This is especially important if you're an Empath who feels energy like none other. No one needs to be a therapist to anyone else for a genuine relationship to occur. A professional therapist bears the duty of support with education, knowledge, experience and skills. Boundaries of time and professionalism are in place to avoid draining even the professionals. 

Here are 10 signs to watch out for. 

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Day 25 of 365 Days of Being - Attaining Formless Unconditional Love

Day 25 of 365 Days of Being - Attaining Formless Unconditional Love

As you grow in unconditional self-love, you become love itself, a wholeness that doesn't involve someone else. You are separate in your human forms but together in a higher dimension that transcends distance, space and time. The other becomes a luxury that adds to your wholeness, generating more love throughout both beings. The circle of influence comes from within and spreads outwards, by me focusing on unconditional love within, I'm able to give more unconditional love externally, much healing has occurred for myself and others around me. It's human to have some missteps, to have a wounded inner child or even encounter a crisis. It's all part of the Soul Purification Cycle.
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Find & Send Twin Flame Spirit Animals

Find & Send Twin Flame Spirit Animals

Much about Twin Flame energy is sharing spiritual gifts, one way to quicken the union is to find and send healing guides including spirit animals. This is especially good if your Twin Flame isn't into spirituality and finds Ascended Masters too woo woo. 

The Twin Flame connection is such an amazing connection, you can meet in your dreams via lucid dreaming, you recognise each other to bring the ultimate gift of highest selves. It also can be rough going at times. Main thing is keep the interaction going but prioritise your own path, find and execute your purpose  with a heart of abundance. Our soul missions brings us a sense of purpose and meaning, an important part in rising vibrations. 

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Healing The Golden Child & Scapegoat Of Narcissistic Parents

Healing The Golden Child & Scapegoat Of Narcissistic Parents

The scapegoat is often the emotional support of the family, the mediator and peace maker, the person with most empathy and compassion. The golden child doesn't suffer from the abuse often heaped onto the scapegoat but also suffer from the manipulation. It's hard for the golden child to understand the scapegoat unless there's open communication without the involvement of parents. The golden child might even want to hold onto the converted position by putting the scapegoat down as being self-indulgent and having a victim mentality. Often, both are gaslighted so the confusion is multiplied between them as well. As they sort through their own abuse, recognise these roles cast on them, healing can begin and the connection can be rebuilt.
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Dunning-Kruger Effect, Dumb & Dumber Within One Person

Dunning-Kruger Effect, Dumb & Dumber Within One Person

I'm sure we have all wondered how someone can have such unwavering self confidence. Looked at them with equal parts curiosity and disgust. You want that self-confidence minus that demanding demeanour. Or maybe you have observed how the open-minded underestimate their abilities, even suffering from paralysing self-doubt. Humble is good, humility take too far is disrespect waiting to happen. 

The Dunning-Kruger research hypothesizes that the competent overestimate others’ skill levels. But the error is more complicated for the incompetent—they overestimate their own skill level AND they lack the metacognition to realize their error. In other words, they were too incompetent to recognize their own incompetence.

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The Day You Give Up on Love

The day you give up on love is also the day you will find the kind of love that works for you. It's the day you put aside your own perception of all that means anything to you. Your ego is humbled, wisdom is gain, appreciation increases.  

You now have a choice. A choice to live a jaded life, safely cocooned in a world of black and white or to find a balance that works for you, one that includes self-love and mutuality. 

Yes, you can continue to live in a world of self-denial that happiness is out of bounds, build fences that shelter you from the storm. But soon, you find yourself moving away from the very same thing you yearn for. 

We all get overwhelmed by chemistry, it sneaks up on you, promises to give you the world and then we feel disappointed when there isn't a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Doesn't love conquer all? Isn't love unconditional? Where did we go wrong? 

We are conditioned to believe in romanticised fairytales and to perceive otherwise is party pooper behaviour. We let one bad apple become a generalisation, conveniently making sweeping statements about the world when all it does is prevent someone new to sweep you off your feet. 

We go all hush-hush about our own relationships that don't hit the impossible mark and speak no evil about the relationships of others that don't fit into this erroneous narrow definition of what love is. Neglecting the aspect of soul connections, pretending it doesn't exist and knowing deep in our hearts that it does. 

We want to believe in the possibilities of love so much that we forget the realities of love. We set the bar according to love stories that inspire the world while forgetting the oh-so-very-human lessons that the same people go through. It's not that love cannot conquer all or it isn't unconditional.

It just doesn't conquer all or is unconditional all the time. 

Love, light and peace, 

Min

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SeriousLee

Part of my healing is understanding how trauma bonded I am to abusers and to work towards a new normal. When I first read that a good romantic relationship is an easy relationship, it was foreign to me. When people commented that they argued twice in a year or can count on one hand how many times they have argued versus marriages in the double digits, I was shocked. Every relationship I had was turbulent, save for the one when I was studying in Boston, away from my family's influence. I was a total pushover in every other relationship. I would choose people ranging from emotionally available, to self-centred and yes, narcissistic. It's gut wrenching looking back because I had the illusion of love to comfort me for a while and now I don't. I have also bought into the "be nice" rhetoric so absolutely that it meant me "being nice" and everyone looking to be themselves. 

I left every single one of them after they emptied me out and still asked for more. I would go into it fresh and optimistic, come out of it broken and a former shadow of myself. I would silently let things slide, big things, small things, little things, anything. To me, love meant enduring, the more I endured, the more I suffered, the more I was proving to myself and my partners that I did love them. I thought they got it, well yes, they did, they have no interest in reciprocating. Their respect for me declined as my insecurity grew exponentially. I no longer felt safe, I was completely out of sync, like a battered laptop running on an ancient OS. Glitches galore, feeling completely outside of myself. I am still surprised today that I didn't overheat and go up in smoke or drown under the crashing weight of a sudden tsunami. My only explanation is God looking over me. 

After I left, they would ask to reconcile. I would look at them mystifyingly and wonder if it took a break up to be together, was there anything worth salvaging? I walked away only after exhausting all avenues, so once I do, I do. One thing was for certain, their chronic problems would always stand in the way of the deep connection I wanted to nurture. Our level of awareness would never level up, as they grow, I will too. Certain exes would look for me repeatedly over a span of years and tell me I was the best they ever had. Then, I felt momentarily comforted that I have done my best, now I know better, I was the best because most people aren't pushovers which means they don't get their way as often. They were tools as much as I was a fool. That love, if you can call it that (insert epic eye roll), meant that I was to sacrifice myself at their altar. Zzzzzz. Not much to celebrate here other that I truly gave it my best, albeit misguided shot.

 

Recently, I have been questioning myself what could I have done differently? I was ALREADY a pushover, what more did you want from me? The sad truth is that I have inadvertently become an enabler to their persistent power struggles. Case in point was an ex whose default emotion is anger. She was a miniature Hulk in stature but BIG on temper, I could see the rage emerge in shallow breathes, puffing away like a bull on acid. While I was the reluctant Matador who didn't even get a consolatory blinged out costume to go with. 

It was so bad, it was almost comical. She would get mad over parking a car, over a dirty toothbrush she assumed was mine, over the fact that I hated driving. She would emotionally hold me hostage in a corner with my back against the wall. To her friends, she came across as understanding and even kind, she left all the "best" for me and took the best of me. The last straw came when she pounced on my moment of weakness to reveal a series of lies. 

It happened after an emergency wisdom tooth extraction, urgently required during the holidays. All the clinics I called were closed so my options were severely limited. The ragtag team of dentists were so incompetent, it took them 4 times longer than usual. I know this because I had the other 2 extracted subsequently, with zero pain and in record time. At several intervals, I could feel everything and it was excruciating. I had to repeatedly ask for more local anaesthetic. The equipment was so shady that it stopped repeatedly. It's quite a nightmare. I came out of the office, visually shaking. I told her about it in the car and she threw out some empty words of purported comfort, along the lines of "I'm sorry you had such a bad experience" and remained mostly distracted. 

When we got home, even before the bloody gauze was out of my mouth, she told me about how she was in debt and demanded that I help her pay it off. There were no apology about how I asked her about her finances repeatedly because I could always sense her anxiety. Or how is it that she chose to lie over a span of months. Brilliant. She chose a time when my mouth was still numb from anaesthetic and I was still drooling. I asked her what did she spend it on? I was surprised because she didn't come across as extravagant. Drinking, she replied. As we all know, alcohol cost a ton in restaurants and can really add up. I asked her why can't she pay it off herself? The amount wasn't impossible for her, she would be able to pay it off within half a year if she watched her finances. She became angry with me. Typical. Ask me to take responsibility for her problems when it was hers to shoulder. 

By the way, this was the alcohol that I purposefully pulled her away from because she had the habit of drinking 4-5 times a week before I met her. It was also the reason for one of our arguments, she asserted that I was trying to control her. WHAT? I didn't restrict who she went out with and when, I just didn't think it was healthy to drink so much. I even talked about choosing non-alcoholic drinks and still meeting up with her colleagues. She was picking a fight as usual, a chronic repetitive problem.

Come on, life is hard enough. To create a problem when there isn't one is just plain ridiculous, to be so unappreciative on top of it is just ??? Who the hell was she? I asked myself. Yes, so now I had another "child" when I was already a parent to a parent. Shit. 

I remember I asked her once, what are you so angry about? She was flabbergasted. She threw her anger at me because she could, ironically because she felt safe, she couldn't even articulate this. I do take my fair share of responsibility, I wanted so badly to contribute to their lives, to earn their love, to fill the hole inside of me. I would bend over backwards until I can't anymore and snap like a twig, be harsh with my words as a last resort to an unbearable situation. I was so guilt ridden and so shame driven that I was unable to address my discomfort immediately and negotiate without fear of reprisal. Even then, those moments are few and never quite as hurtful.

I was always much better at punishing myself. I was quick to apologise and make amends, something they all had difficulty doing. In part because I never did hold them accountable, thinking they would know when they have crossed the line, my mistake is overestimating her level of awareness and using self-denial as my shield. Also, my need for love trumped my knowledge about what is healthy love so from the get go, I would choose all the wrong people, it was set up to fail. It was an exquisite form of self-torture, all too familiar. 

So now I am slowly rebuilding trust in my choices, overturning everything on its head while grieving the lost of time wasted on incompatible choices. It's mind-blowing how abuse has creeped its gnarly fingers in the pockets of my life and came up with long forgotten lint, leaving no Kleenex for my tears. Still, at the core of me, lays a seed of resilience. A seed that during days I feel too weak, uses my tears to flourish. I know I will get past this, I have to go through the motions of healing. I am a survivor, always have been. The only way is through and I am coming! I am thankful that I never did compromise my morals along the way, not once. I was capable of doing far more damage or at least throw back the same amount. There have been times when I have been tempted, but I never did. 

For all those who are rebuilding their lives, take heart that you have all you need inside. You don't feel like it all the time and its OK. It doesn't go away. You are powerful beyond belief, you just might not know it yet.

You are deserving of a mutually loving partner, someone who protects all the fragile bits of you with a gentle hand and a warm heart. Someone who believes in you, listens to you. Someone who stands in the eye of the storm with you and never say die. This is my wish for you. 

To love, light and peace, 

Min

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Anger - The Ultimate Disconnection

I recently went to a talk entitled Kintsugi: Embracing Our Brokenness, it's part 1 of a 3 part series about healing the brokenness in relationships and embracing the idea of living comfortably with brokenness. Other than enjoying the talk, what stood out to me is what one of the participants mentioned. She expressed her struggle of dealing with lifelong anger issues in the midst of tears. 

As a reformed magnet for angry emotionally unavailable people (ahem) and then as someone who experienced not just anger but 23 years of justifiable rage in one full swop, I had to do the necessary deep healing work. Living whole was a possibility, now it's a reality. Post-awakening life is crazy good, it's so good, its hard to put into words and not sound boastful.

My conclusion is out of the 3 main components of healing - mind, body and spirit, while all do contribute to well-being, the last one is the most important and often the most neglected. Healing is best done holistically.

As mentioned during the talk, anger is a secondary "emotion", it's an umbrella for many primary emotions like disappointment, worry, etc. Some don't call it an emotion at all. I'm a huge believer in honouring all of your being, sitting with them and finding your own truths. Instead of putting them in boxes and labelling them with Rah Rah or Blah, which works against you. To fully accept self, you have to embrace the light as well as the darkness. Absolute freedom is acceptance of self and others. 

Anger is a reminder to self-care, it's a call to be centred again. It's particularly destructive because of the lack of information. Anger expressed often causes the other person to shut down and do the mannequin challenge. Anger internalised is self-punishment. Both feed reciprocal disconnection, escalating into resentment if left untouched. 

As a woman and/or a lesbian, there are many things to be justifiably angry about, discrimination, stigma, misogyny, etc. There's no doubt that the list is long. Understanding the roots of oppression gives you a clearer idea of what is your scope of responsibility and what isn't. Once you understand how you lose your voice daily to these societal forces, it will alleviate the guilt, shame and blame that often stands in the way of change. 

Also, your worth is innate, born into, not earned. You might not recognise it yet and it's OK, life is a journey of continuous learning, we are all teachers and students. If you are ready for change, you have already taken a huge leap towards a breakthrough. Force yourself out of your comfort zone too much, too soon and it will be unbearable, you might even give up. Keep checking in with your inner voice, you have all you need inside. Healing work isn't linear, it can be 2 steps forward and 1 step back, it's normal, it's human. As long as you are moving forward, you will enjoy the fruits of your labour. 

Be gentle, be kind to yourself, everyone is perfectly imperfect, that's the beauty of it.

To love, light and peace, 

Min 

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5 Things Women Don't Discuss About Love

Couples often celebrate their relationships in public. They know it's only politically correct to mention all the good stuff or risk looking like an indiscriminate moaner. Look at how well-loved I am! Look how happy we are! I got it all! Wwweeee, let's ride off into the sunset together under a rainbow bridge! 

Talking about love can quickly become a field of land mines buried under all kinds of insecurities. Between the societal pressure of women "being nice" and the need to be a superwoman, the bubbly shiny woman is the safest. This is practiced not just in public but between private groups of friends where the same pressures abound. While there is a certain amount of genuine celebration in doing so, it creates an often unachievable narrative for others. The problem comes in when women buy into it and yearn the good stuff without the awareness that it isn't the full story. 

Kill The Messenger Syndrome

It's true that most women are looking for comfort when they tell their sisters about a romantic crisis. Our default responses are "You're too good for him", "You deserve better", we jump up to defend our sisters out of loyalty. This serves its purpose of temporary comfort but doesn't provide much in terms of self-awareness or awareness of their partner.

I'm not talking about a casual vent or 2 about minor misunderstandings. I'm talking about the chronic issues that lead to a diminished sense of wellbeing. 

We want to escape what I call the Kill The Messenger Syndrome where well-intentional suggestions are taken as lack of kindness and trigger a highly defensive response from an utterly blinded woman. You know what I mean, that girl whose boyfriend treats her like dirt and she is in massive self-denial. Anyone who has been at the end of this, knows it's no fun. 

Nonetheless, we do need to be authentic. That's what friends are for. The best ones are the ones who bother to risk your friendship and tell you the truth because they care enough.
Being an Enabler 
Even if she disagrees with you, your concern is always appreciated. If it's unappreciated, you would have to squelch your want to help her and let her be, until she is ready for change. When she is, she will be at rock bottom and that is when she needs you most. In the meantime, to avoid being an enabler, the default responses aren't enough. When you recognise that there is a chronic problem with her partner. Be upfront that you genuinely think this is a deal breaker and at some point she would have to take her power back. Remind her what it is doing to her then tell her she deserves better. 

More To Love

There is more to love in a marriage. It's often not so clearly laid out, it's all mixed up in a bundle. You see bits and pieces here and there. There's passion, friendship, attachment, companionship and much more. Deepak Chopra describes it best in The Path To Love. He writes about how attachment is within 2 people when you are tied together in a mutually benecifical way. True love is when you connect on a level above 2 selves and are inspired to share it outside of the inner circle. This is what we commonly call unconditional love where we expect romantic love to reside. Look around you and you will understand that not many move pass the infatuation or attachment phase into constant unconditional love. There are times you can't stand the sight of each other, there are times you feel exhausted and there are times you are present. To expect so much of romantic love is a recipe for disappointment. 

Meeting The One is A Luxury 

What if you don't meet The One in this lifetime? Anyone who even dare to suggest this will have to deal with narrowed dagger squints, along with screams of being negative. You come dangerously close to Thou Who Should Not Be Named and die by the wand of fake optimism.

The idea of The One is set up to fail anyway. For the sake of discussion, let's say the usual timeline of getting to know each other is 4 months, being in the infatuation phase for 2 years and then 2 more years to really know someone, that is 4.4 years in total. All this is to be done within our optimal childbearing years of 20-35, that is a span of 15 years. So you will have to decide between approximately 3.5 relationships, who is The One.

Come on! Have a relationship that spans across 2 out of the 3 and you are pretty much a goner. This is not factoring in time spent dating casually, healing or couple time in a marriage before kids. Or juggling a career and knowing yourself enough to know what truly matters to you. Even with the most emotionally healthy person, relationship is mostly experiential. You have to take a leap into the unknown to gain experience and decide along the way what is important for you. So if you have had some misses, be gentle with yourself, everyone has been there. We all live and learn. 

Settling Isn't An Ugly Word 

In the hearts of many, settling is where romance comes to die, the evil twin of compromise. The romantics are adamant that it doesn't happen, the realists are nodding silently in a corner. I don't think there's anything wrong with settling. The women who do settle, do it knowingly. It's not that they chose absolutely unsuitable partners or are unusually desperate. But rather that they understand at some point that holding out for The One stands in the way of a possibly great Mr. Right Now. They understand just how deeply ingrained the romantic fairytale is in them and how different reality is. At some point, settling seems a far better option than exhaustive dating or repeated disappointment. 

They know that much of what makes a marriage is a learned skill, such as effective communication, conflict resolution and awareness. They know that someone with integrity and values trumps someone who is attractive and passionate any day. The looks and passion will fade, integrity and values will make life much easier. Even then, many married couples often stay together for many reasons outside of a relationship, it could be the kids, it could be familiarity, it could be fear of moving on. It's not surprising, it's human. 

To love, light and peace, 

Min

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