The Invisible Elephant found in all Relationships; can you see yours?

When a thought hits me I am compelled to dissect it. I love when my friends share their thoughts and insights, it opens up my mind to ponder on a deeper level. My friend wrote, "If we're not enablers, it's easier to walk away from narcissists and abuse." Thank you, Kristen! 

I found this photo to offer a visual understanding of sorts that we do things unknowingly and out of habit; without awareness, negative behavior remains invisible. My title of the invisible elephant in a relationship speaks of either a healthy one or a broken one. What I know from my life experience is that a healthy relationship IS a process, but so is a broken one. The choice is yours.  I have come to believe a good relationship is when two people choose the importance of figuring out how to be emotionally healthy first aka ownership of self. This can be done together.  Meaning, the relationship doesn't have to be put on hold until one or the other party has been deemed enlightened.  It's a beautiful gift you give a relationship when it shows up as acceptance, love, and the space to evolve how it's designed to evolve. 

I've used this blog as a therapy of sorts to sift through and understand my thinking process ~ who knows, maybe one of you reading this blog analyses like me. First, a word usually stimulates my brain so I go to the word and process the definition. Second, I liken it to what I know as truth. How that shows up for me is much like an algebra equation. Silly as that sounds but what I like about algebra is you take an equation like 2+5=7, you can reverse it to receive the same answer like 7-5=2 or 7-2=5. Or 2x5=10 to 10/5=2 or 10/2=5 .... either way you process it, it remains constant. That is how I view consistency as truth.

Another example would be taking the number 6 - when you look at all angels you get a number 9 or 6, both are correct. What determines the outcome is the same, all are looking at a number. A 'number' in this case is the truth, the 9 or 6 is a perspective of that truth. 

Using this example with numbers and seeing the perspective side, some may believe by the end enabler and co-dependency is a good thing and feel grateful because when a person doesn't feel strong enough, they seek out someone to help them. This is why believing YOU ARE ENOUGH is powerful! Why? Because you are enough, you just may not feel like enough right now. 

FIRST: enabler | iˈnāblər, eˈnāblər | noun- person or thing that makes something possible • a person who encourages or enables negative or self-destructive behavior in another

codependency | ˌkōdəˈpendənsē | (also codependence) noun-excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction. 

SECOND: Reading the definition of what an enabler is, I go to the thought that we teach others how to treat us. That leads me to the Arbinger Principles, the collusion diagram.

If you haven't read the book, "The Anatomy of Peace" I'd highly recommend it. It reveals the power of ownership, the removal of blame, and the empowerment when one does that. Any challenging relationships you enter into, if you sort out disagreements with this one diagram, it's a game-changer. 

Now to offer a little bit of an explanation if you haven't read the book. Find in the picture above...

 #1 - They do. Write down what and how the other person is frustrating you and how they're doing it. Are they rude, do they ignore you, do they badger or complain as in the example? Write it all down. 

#2 - I see. Now write down all the things you see in that rudeness, when they ignore you, how do you describe their negative behaviors, what do you see.

#3 - I do. What do you do when you see this behavior, how do you react to it? 

#4 - They see. How does your partner describe your reactive behavior? Do they say you're being unreasonable? Do they call you bitchy? 

I'm going to add a #5 and #6 to this. My addition helped me see this diagram clearer. 

#5 - Go back to #1. What do you want them to do? Instead of them being rude, what would you see them doing to create happiness? What would you like to see them do instead of ignoring you? 

#6 - Do #5. Why? Because we get what we give and life is a mirror not a movie screen. 

By completing this exercise, you are identifying the behaviors you dislike. NOW let's add in the words above. 

By not communicating clearly and honestly, it means you are reacting - YOU are enabling this negative behavior i.e. Enabler! 

Can you see where ownership is a bitch sometimes? Our human nature wants to blame so much because it's easier and if the other person would change, you wouldn't have to be so frustrated or hurt by their negative behavior. 

At we have empowered exercises to teach positive relationship tools. But first, YOU must be committed to understanding what taking ownership is about and the power it holds. It's ok if you don't right now, it's a learning process. And that's what we do, it's like we hold a positive emotional boot camp to get you started. 

#RestoredSoul5 fully understands that Family trauma SUCKS! Negative relationships HURT! Obligation & Expectation are suffocating! 

Co-Dependency takes it to another whole level. When you dissect this word you see it holds emotional attachments. This again doesn't take on ownership because you depend on the other person to give you what you emotionally need. 

Here are a few emotional needs we require: 

1. Being validated - if you were co-dependent you require the other person to be responsible to validate you. This is where you find a person doing things out of obligation. Some examples that may resonate with you: A young woman feels obligated to give of herself sexually to be validated. A young woman feels obligated to be the 'good one' to keep their family together. A silly one but one that most who have been in abusive situations understand clearly; IF I clean the room one more time, I'll be noticed. Obligation suffocates a person. That's a heavy burden and not an easy one to carry!

2. Being accepted - if you were co-dependent you require the other person to be responsible to accept you. When you feel you aren't liked, and you strive to do what the other person expects then you are co-dependent here. This is also what happens when emotional or personal boundaries haven't been formed. They allow others to walk all over them, or they're like a puppet being controlled. It's a difficult place to be! 

3. Being loved -if you were co-dependent you require the other person to be responsible to love you. You find this often when a young girl runs off to get married to get away from her family where she didn't feel loved OR they think children will give them what they so desperately need ~ love. The fear of deprivation and isolation is a heavy anchor for women falling into abusive relationships or staying in one. The thought process here, I've heard many times is, "Well, it may be bad but at least I'm not alone." This is a classic c0-dependent attachment. 

4. Religious Service - if you were co-dependent you require the organization to see you, especially if you see your God as a God you seek approval from, it still falls under co-dependency. Some may begin saying, but I want to be co-dependent on God but that is another whole scenario and I stand confidently, that's still not a place of ownership. 

#5 -what would you put here .... remember, just like algebra, the emotional need you put here keeps this thought process consistent. 

Being raised by a narcissistic mother, all of these examples I know all too well. I've had a great deal of emotional healing done over the years and my heart breaks for any of you reading this that is still stuck in a bad situation. I'm here for you but no one can help or guide you out of this without your commitment first to take ownership. At #restoredsoul5 we will not carry your baggage for you but we'll sit with you in a space of love and support while you unpack and release those items that no longer serve you.

Please remember: even if you remove the enabler part of a negative pattern, these emotional attachments are strong and powerful. This is where energetic connection and healing become so powerful. These are the attachments you find at the non-conscious level when you're ready to remove and promote healing replacing these attachments with emotional strength, and empowerment! 

Connect with us on Instagram @#restoredsoul5 to stay updated with us. Together we've got this! 


Do You Ever Feel Like a Bad Mom?

I shared comments on FB, using this ‘quote’ as an inspirational baseline

I felt there was more to share because we as women struggle daily with different challenges. It could be with our children, maybe a spouse, or an extended family, situation or environment. No matter what issue you face, what I have found over the years, is there’s always a common core emotion that shows up in different ways for different people.

Can you imagine releasing that core negative emotion and watch feelings of inadequacy and guilt go away? Beautiful, how do I find it, right!!!

Here’s my story: I was told by my Pediatrician that I was the one that set the tone for our home. SAY WHAT??? He never mentioned that my tone of voice became my children’s inner voice. Yikes!

I left that appointment feeling more overwhelmed than usual. I felt a heavy burden of responsibility on my shoulders. How could that all center on me? I was doing my best and I still felt like I was drowning in motherhood, heck, in life! That statement seriously took many years before the burden I felt subsided. So when I read this ‘quote’ it all came back but now I felt I could share my 20/20 understanding on how I overcame the negative perspective and turned it around to how positive and empowering it is.

Let’s dissect this quote! First, we’ll address yelling. Yelling generates contention. Contention generates anxiety, setting the child’s attitude up to be defensive. Isn’t this what creates a mom’s irritation? Disobedience? Selective listening? So yelling doesn’t stop the behavior, it accelerates it. Can you see where you hold the power card on this one?

Children are learning! They’re also navigating where they fit in the world and within the family dynamics. And likewise, they’re figuring out which vibration ‘fits’ in their home, so be careful, they’ll match what the parent expresses. You know the adage, “Kids follow what you do, not what you say.” They’re like a light dimmer; when parents are happy, they are happy. When parents are upset or angry, they get upset and angry but don’t understand why. This is so important to understand! Can you see how this shows up when parents are in a contentious relationship? The children ‘FEEL’ it first. Faking being happy doesn’t work with kids!

Yelling is an expression of inner frustration. I get it, I was a yeller and a door slammer. My inner frustration was something I couldn’t figure out. It showed up in my tone of voice. My face reflected anger and my tone reflected disappointment to my kids and they’d call me out on it but the sad part is they’d call me out on it when I wasn’t even mad or disappointed. So apparently my face showed a frozen scowl. And my inner frustrations were heard through my tone. My kids make fun of me when I’d answer the phone. I could sound horrible but once I answered the phone, I put a smile on my face, why? Because I heard somewhere your tone would always sound positive if you had a smile on your face when you spoke. My kids call it my phone voice.

The power of this tone of voice idea made more sense when I called a friend and she thought I was her husband. Not a hello to begin the conversation with, it was, “The dishes need to be done, the kitchen needs to be cleaned, the ______ needed to get done.” As I listened, I felt like Cinderella being ordered around by the evil stepmom. Once there was a break and she took a breath I said, “Um, it’s me,” her tone changed instantly! A tone is a valuable tool, use it wisely!

Yelling at your children also sets them up to be frustrated with everyone that crosses their path. Feeling judged and inadequate themselves. So your frustrations, and your inner dialog comes across like second-hand smoke. It shows up in your tone of voice. Everyone who crosses your path is affected. Attitude is important! Attitude is critical!

The most important lesson I learned over the years was that I am 100% responsible for my feelings, my behavior, and my environment. Many disagree with this but I’ve learned the power of this truth! How does it feel when I say, your children hold 0% responsibility to make you happy or sad? What about when you hear, your spouse holds 0% responsibility for your happiness? Now, they can make it easier for you to be happy or sad OR they can make it more difficult for you to be happy or sad.

The difficulty with this theory is we are accustomed to viewing this world from the outside in … meaning, we see life happening TO us. Outside forces affect us which is another way to say we only have the power to react to those outside forces, like a leaf blowing in the wind. No control and no power! We get used to being in victimhood and blaming becomes our coping skill. Right here is where a paradigm shift became my new perspective.

Let’s get into HOW to make this shift. First, recognize you are the one in power of how you react or respond. Period! With that alone, you can become aware of what lies behind the frustrations. Asking, how do I feel?

Here’s an example that happened to me recently: I’m a part-time school bus driver and there had been some issues happening in our district. Parents suing for this or that. Well, we were TOLD there was a mandatory meeting to attend. Ok, I attended and on the way out, some of the administration began saying, “Thank you for coming.” Really? What do you hear? What I heard was an insult. The meeting was mandatory, thanking me was patronizing to my ears. I didn’t have a choice to attend, they forced the meeting on me. Now, if they would have said, “Thank you for making the effort to come today, you’re willingness is appreciated,” This would have complimented me on my character – which of course ALWAYS feels good. Can you see what happens depending on what we hear? When I first heard the insult, I had to take a few deep breaths and ponder why those words triggered a reaction. The words I processed created the feeling of being devalued. I was snippy until I came back aligned to center and realized my value as a human being.

No one has the power to take that away from me. No words hold the power, and no other human being holds that power!

If you only read this part, please know, You are enough, just the way you are. Remember, you are learning too! Give yourself some slack, kindness, and forgiveness. I’m still learning! I am grateful we are blessed with a new day each morning to learn how to be even better today than we were yesterday!

If you would like more information on how to release and undo unhealthy coping skills, send me a message via email. Let’s chat!

Create yourself a fabulous day,