Tag Archives: Trust

My Ex-Boyfriend Really Hurt Me. How do I move on?

 Hi JoyDiva,

My ex and i broke up a few weeks ago. I was in love with him and adored him until one night he….ahem…. took my clothes off and insisted that I workout even more and start dieting. I was humiliated and ashamed and I still am in shock over this. Now that he said that, I can’t stop thinking that i’m fat. I can’t look in the mirror anymore without feeling shame that I didn’t try harder to please him (working out more and dieting). Never have I ever cried so much over what a man has said to me but for some reason, this really affected me. Please help me. I am scared that every guy I get with is going to act like this whenever we get intimate.

Scared Little Bee

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Dear Scared Little Bee,

I’m so sorry that you experienced such a trauma. In order to feel in control of the pain, your mind is already starting to add stories to what happened in order to help you cope—stories like, “I can’t trust men;” “Men won’t find me attractive;” “There is something wrong with me;” “I’m not lovable as I am.” Your mind wants to search for meaning for WHY your ex-boyfriend said this to you, and the pain you are feeling is because his words fed a story in your mind (that goes back to a very young age) that there is truly something wrong with you. (There isn’t.)

I want you to notice when you start to revisit that moment with him and play it out in your mind. Your mind has no gifts for you at times like that—it is just trying to make you feel in control in face of the pain, and it actually FEEDS the pain and creates suffering. I want you to be aware of your breathing in those moments and find the point of emotional pain in your body (you’ll notice that all emotions show up in the body). Bring your attention and your breath to focus on the center of where you feel the emotional pain in your body and continue to breathe, relaxing your shoulders and feeling your heart opening. Focus your attention in this way until the pain dissipates. This is how we begin the process of healing and open our hearts.

I recognize that you may have fear every time you approach a new relationship with a man, and particularly, when it comes to becoming physically intimate. You actually have a choice whether or not you let something that happened in the past dictate your future, and the primary way you burn through the fear and mistrust and come into love is by facing your fears head-on, by continuing to date and allowing yourself to be vulnerable, despite the fear and the voice in your head telling you to close yourself off. It is not actually true that all men will speak to you or feel in the manner of your former boyfriend, and by facing your fears, you are actually honoring yourself as worthy of love, and your courage alone will do much to bolster your confidence and heal this trauma.

Life is always bringing us exactly what we need to heal and be free. I want you to know that even the painful moments (especially the painful moments) are here as gifts to help us to see where we are not trusting in life’s unfolding, where we have yet to embrace and love ourselves. In your search for approval outside of yourself, you chose a partner who did not honor you or see you as you truly are; you put him on a pedestal, and he then mirrored your own insecurity about your body. As painful as this was to experience, it was a gift for you to notice the ways in which YOU reject YOURSELF. I want you to imagine that it’s possible to love yourself and your body so much that the next time (if ever) someone speaks to you that way, you would just walk away in disbelief and simply feel compassion for the limit of that person’s thinking. It is possible to be that confident and free in yourself.

You are loved in every moment. There is nothing in life that is truly intended to hurt you—pain and inner disturbance are an inevitable part of life, and rather than punishing us that pain arises to reveal to us where we’ve not be in alignment with reality. In this case, the reality is that you ARE lovable for all that you are and you now have the opportunity to see where you still struggle to embrace this as true.

You are not your body. You are the consciousness housed by this precious body—this body that has been gifted to you in order to experience life for the short while that you are here. You are the one who is peering out from your eyes as you gaze at your body in the mirror. You are infinite, limitless, constant, love itself. This body you have will change over time, your weight will fluctuate, your skin will wrinkle and loosen and eventually this miraculous body will die. It is fleeting, precious, and it is the one you were given to play with and explore in this lifetime. It is not worth it to waste even a single moment thinking that this body defines your worth or to ponder over what is wrong with it. There are so many other wonderful ways to live your life, to create, to discover, to serve while you are here. Can you see from this perspective how futile it is to put so much energy into focusing on your body? What would it look like if you were fully cherishing your body and receiving it as the gift that it is? How would you care for your body and respect it as the powerful, magnificent tool that it is?

I encourage you to read this blog post for insights on ways to embrace your body: https://askthejoydiva.com/2013/02/25/im-afraid-to-be-naked-in-front-of-my-boyfriend-what-should-i-do/

And start seeking the power of your life beyond relationship, beyond how you look. There is so much to life, and so much life wanting to express through you.

Much love, Beautiful One.

:)Melissa A.K.A The JoyDiva

P.S. If you would like some additional support in taking a look, getting underneath, and transforming those painful thoughts and gaining clarity and freedom on your path, I would be honored to hold-up a loving mirror so that you can experience yourself in all of your magnificence and step into your power. Visit my website to schedule a free connection call so that we can explore what that could look like.

©2015 Melissa Simonson

How Can I Love Myself?

Dear JoyDiva

I am 23 years old, I have been in  a relationship with a man for 7 years and we broke up a over a year ago, 8 months ago I found this amazing man that I am with now; he makes me laugh and  I know we are going to go far but there is one thing that is hurting me.

When I was a teen I developed back acne and as I got older,  the scars remained…when my ex saw my back for the first time the  first thing he said was “Is it contagious?” and “What did you do to yourself?” as if it was my fault! He was the closest person to me and he made me feel like I had a disease. Ever since I have not been comfortable with my skin and I never show my back. I would like to be able to wear tank tops and dresses without having to wear a jacket on top, it’s hot! But the most thing I want is to be able to be happy naked around my current boyfriend.

Just a side note, I am chubby and that adds to my insecurities but he is a big man also so it is not the biggest issue but I still push his arms away from my tummy. He says he loves everything about me and he shows me a lot of love he always tries to make me love myself, he kisses my “thunder” thighs and my belly but I push him away. We have slept together and every time I refuse to take off my shirt, and if I do take it off the room must be pitch black because I don’t want him to see my skin.

I just want to be happy and not worry, I want to be able to sleep next to him and not panic over what he’s going to wake up to…my scarred back. I love him very very much and we have talked about engagement but I don’t know how I will manage to keep my body hidden for the rest of my life from the man I truly adore and just want to be free with.

How can I love myself JoyDiva, I have been crying every night and hiding those tears because I’m afraid if I do tell him he will ask to see my back…I just can’t do it.

Sincerely

Broken

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Dear Broken,

Hi, Honey. You’re not broken. You are a whole and complete person who is just experiencing herself as broken. The great news is that, over time, you CAN transform how you experience yourself.

So, you dated a guy (who was really just a grown-up boy) who blurted out his thoughts about your skin in ignorance because he didn’t get it, and likely was not mature enough to communicate in another way—not his most shining moment, I’m sure. :/

Here’s what I want you to notice, though: He said some things, and then because you’re human, you added meaning to it. And it’s the meaning you added that is causing your pain. You added meaning like “It’s my fault”…which I’m guessing led to “There’s something wrong with me,” “I’m ugly/unattractive/not sexy,” and “I’m unlovable.” And at some point you chose to believe those thoughts, which is what hurts so much—you can be certain that anytime you are having thoughts that hurt when you think them it is because they aren’t true.

Here’s the good news: Because it’s not what happened that hurts so much and rather it’s the meaning that YOU brought to it, you can actually do something about that. You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to letting those thoughts run the show or not.

You ask me how you can love yourself. Here’s how: By courageously taking action as someone who loves herself, step-by-step, choice-by-choice. You’re going to have to take deep breaths and face your fears. That looks like catching yourself when you push his arms away from your tummy and letting him caress you there while you breathe and allow your fear to move through you, letting him kiss your belly and thighs without pushing him away while you breathe and allow your fear to move through you. That looks like taking off your shirt WITH the lights on while you breathe and allow your fear to move through you. That looks like wearing tank tops when it’s hot out, and wearing whatever damn-well feels good whenever and however you want to, all the while breathing and being present to the fear…and any other emotions that arise in your body.

Loving oneself is not a magical, wave-the-fairy-wand, overnight process. Everyday, I discover more parts of myself that I’ve rejected and have the opportunity to embrace. Girl, I don’t love myself! And I’m becoming someone who does. Loving yourself means facing the fears that you won’t be safe, you won’t be in control and you will lose approval. It means practicing, every day, doing the opposite of what the bully inside of you is telling you to do.

I get that it is scary. You probably didn’t want me to say, “Go do all of the things you’re afraid to do.” AND you asked me how you can love yourself. How blessed are you?! I’m showing you the path.

Your homeplay: Pull out a journal or pieces of paper and a pen/pencil. I want you to answer this question and explore it in all areas of your life: What would I be doing/what actions would I be taking if I were a person who loves herself? (Explore how you would be acting regarding relationship stuff and body stuff, yes, and also look at career, free-time, friendships, family, money, etc.) And then, start practicing. Take those actions, one at a time. And remember to breathe, Love. You’ve got this.

It is through that continual process that you become someone who loves herself.

Other posts that I’ve written that will also be supportive for you:

“How can I love myself past all of my fat rolls?”

“I’m afraid to be naked in front of my boyfriend. What should I do”?

If you would like some additional support in taking a look, getting underneath, and transforming those painful thoughts and gaining clarity and freedom on your path, I would be honored to hold-up a loving mirror so that you can experience yourself in all of your magnificence and step into your power. Visit my website to schedule a free connection call so that we can explore what that could look like.

Hugs to you and that sweet man in your life.

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2015 Melissa Simonson

How Can I Help My Ex?

Hello JoyDiva,

How can I help my ex? I was engaged to an amazing person that I have now been with for 6 years but recently he called off the engagement and said he needed to be by himself. It all started when he began having these really weird dreams about death. He is so frightened to go to sleep because he fears having the bad dreams. He says he has them everyday and they are completely draining him. He is not the happy person he was once in fact he hardly ever smiles. He feels tired and drained eveyday. I haven’t been able to tell my family that he did not want to marry me anymore because I just feel sad and embarrassed. The worst part is he still wants to be friends with me and he wants me to help him through this but it makes me sad and hurts me to just be his friend. He says he still loves me and wants me to be happy but as much as I have tried I can’t be happy knowing he does not want me as his wife anymore and that he is in pain. I do not know what to do. I don’t know how to help him, he has lost faith in god since his grandma died. I am completely drained by him. I want my fiance back and if he loves me then why did he push me away? How am I suppose to be able to make him happy again?

LostLeti

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Dear LostLeti,

Hi Honey. Thank you for reaching out to me and entrusting me with your tender heart. I recognize that you are experiencing a great deal of pain, right now, and it’s hard to know which way to turn. I’m going to start by breaking down your questions and responding as concisely as I can.

You ask, “How can I help my ex?” and later you ask “How am I suppose to be able to make him happy again?” And the answer that you already know deep down is this: His happiness is not your job. I understand that you love him and that after 6 years together, it is painful for you to stand by while he is suffering…AND he is the only one that can make himself happy again. In terms of helping him: I do hear that counseling support would be very beneficial to him. Having someone to help him get to the underlying emotional/psychological cause of his death dreams, having someone to support him in processing the grief over the death of his grandma, having someone to get clear on his path and discover/rediscover his passions, is key, right now. And I know that you want to be the one to fix him, right now, and you can’t–and the truth is, if you listen to your gut, you’ll recognize that you know you can’t, which is why any effort to do so is draining to you.

The question that your soul is longing for you to ask, right now, is: “How can I help myself?” It’s time to focus on you–time to grieve, to make space for all of the feelings that are arising for you, to embrace them with your presence and attention. Breathe and feel the feelings in your body. Helping your ex is just a way of distracting yourself from feeling your feelings, right now. The person who you now must help, is yourself. The person who you now must listen to is yourself. Your soul is screaming for your love and attention, for you to pursue YOU, to care for YOU, to stop abandoning yourself to get the love of this man.

The lie that your mind is telling you, right now, is that his walking away from your engagement is about you. This hurts so much, and you feel ashamed and embarrassed because there is an underlying belief that you did something wrong, that you are unlovable somehow and caused him to reject you. Your mind is telling you that he “rejected you,” “pushed you away,” and what he really did was recognize his need to take care of himself, right now. He cannot love himself, right now, and thus, cannot offer you the kind of relationship that you want and deserve to have at this time. Ending your engagement is not a rejection of you, it is an act of love, and probably took him great courage to speak up about. I don’t know him and I feel certain that experiencing the pain of seeing you hurting is the last thing he desired.

The pain and embarrassment you feel is because the future as you knew it and have planned for is no longer. It is it’s own death, the death of your dream. Suddenly, life as you knew it was altered and your mind doesn’t know how to cope with that; so it plays tricks on you. Your mind is telling you lies about how the future is “supposed” to look. Your mind is telling you that if you just help him be happy again then things can go back to how they used to be, how they “should” be. Your mind is playing over past conversations to find evidence, to figure out what could have gone differently, what was missing, somehow. This is causing you great pain.

It’s time to come back to you, here in this now moment, Sister, to love  you, and face your grief, your disillusionment over the loss of your dream. It’s time to let your family know so that they can support you. YOU need support, right now. The shame voice says that you cannot tell anyone, that it’s too embarrassing, that YOU are an embarrassment, a disappointment, somehow; and this is just not true, Sweetheart. I know that what you long for more than anything right now is to feel loved, and not alone. Tell your family. Let them love you through this. Reach out to friends. Let them support you. It’s time to let go. It’s time to practice exquisite self-care, to focus on things that empower and nourish you outside of your connection with this man.

No, now is not the time to be his friend. As I said, it is not your job to support him through this, and staying connected with him is muddying up your healing process, and distracting you both from yourselves. He needs to reach out to others in his life now, to seek counseling and connect with his family and friends, just as you need your own support network. You both need space to heal and move on with your lives. As painful as it is, it’s time to let go and trust life to run its course, to grow your own faith in God, knowing that even though this doesn’t feel fair or make sense and is excruciating, that you are being loved by this process, too. You may feel abandoned, right now, and make no mistake. God has not abandoned you. God has your back. It’s time to stop grasping for what was and surrender to what is. You will find great peace and freedom in that surrender.

I am, as it turns out, a kickass person to have in your corner when you are grieving, to help you reconnect with you and realign with your passion and purpose when the time is right. Visit my website, www.melissasimonson.com, to schedule a complimentary connection call. I would be honored to connect with you and explore what would open up for you and your life through a session together.

Some other of my posts that I encourage you to read for further support with your grief:

My husband left and I’m devastated. What do I do now?

Should I stay or walk away from my boyfriend?

Much love, Sister.

:)Melissa A.K.A The JoyDiva

©2015 Melissa Simonson

How Can I Love Myself Past All of My Fat Rolls?

Hello JoyDiva

   I am currently in a relationship and have been for 15 months. He has been away but soon he will be coming home and we will finally be able to become intimate with one another. I really cant wait until this happens but at the same time I am nervous because I am a bigger girl and the biggest girl he has ever been with and not only that but I have a problem with my bladder that causes it to leak. Maybe from my three children that I have but I have consulted a doctor and we are currently working on something for this but in the meantime I dont want him to come home and go down on me and just when I thought that I had freshened up really good he may still smell urine on me and say something. He does know about this problem but Im just not sure how to handle this. How can I love myself past all my fat rolls? Please help me.

Need Confidence

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Dear, Need Confidence,

Hi, Sweetheart. It takes tremendous courage to open yourself to love, to let yourself be seen…both on the inside and the outside. Being willing to put yourself and your heart all the way out their is a wonderful, beautiful thing. I want to honor you for your willingness to be vulnerable, even though your mind is terrified of the risk involved in sharing yourself so fully with another. As scary as it feels, sharing yourself so authentically is the path to true connection and intimacy.

Take a few deep breaths, right now, Love, and pull out a piece of paper or a journal, if you have one. I want you to read over what you wrote me and then I invite you to answer this question: What would a person who loves herself do? Really listen for the answer—imagine another woman who loves herself so utterly and has the same fat rolls and bladder leaks. What would she communicate to her partner? What would she say to herself? How would she operate in the bedroom? How would she operate in her everyday life? How would she operate in her relationship? How would she respond if her partner mentioned that she smelled like urine or that she was too fat to be sexy? Explore all of these questions fully. Write down your responses.

The only way to become someone who loves herself is to take the actions of someone who loves herself. This means facing some big fears head on. A big one here is that you are afraid of losing your boyfriend’s love and approval. Your ego has you convinced that you need it in order to be worth something, which is why you’re so focused on how to “handle” this situation, trying to be perfect and “get it right” to get the love. And deep down, if you listen to your soul’s wisdom, you’ll recognize that line of thinking is bullshit. As scary as it is to face, you do not need anyone’s love and approval. Your fear that he will reject you somehow is only a mirror for you to see how you are already rejecting yourself. You cannot control whether or not your boyfriend embraces you for all that you are. You CAN practice, bit by bit, embracing yourself for all that you are.

So, imagine your worst fear comes true: Your boyfriend rejects you. Now, again, answer this question: What would a person who loves herself do? How would you respond if you KNEW that you did not need his love and approval?

I get that your body isn’t functioning in all of the ways that you would like it to, AND I want to stress that there is nothing wrong with you, Beloved. Imagine speaking to yourself as someone who is deeply and unconditionally in love with you—what is it that you most need to hear, right now? Write it down. Speak it to yourself.

With every moment that you ask the question, “What would a person who loves herself do?” and listen and ACT on what you discover…you become a person who loves herself. This will not happen over night, and I promise, with actively committing to asking and acting on this question, choice by choice, it will happen.

Thank you for honoring me with your story. Notice how even now as you read this and  accept my invitations to look deeper, you are becoming a person who loves herself.

Always in your corner,

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

P.S. If you would like some additional support in taking a look, getting underneath, and transforming those painful thoughts and gaining clarity and freedom on your path, I would be honored to hold-up a loving mirror so that you can experience yourself in all of your magnificence and step into your power. Visit my website to schedule a free connection call so that we can explore what that could look like.

©2015 Melissa Simonson

What Can I Do About My Relationship with my Family?

Hello,
I found your site through Jenny Shih’s.  Although I don’t personally know either of you, I am a big fan of each of your gift’s.  I just got through reading your response to the woman with her daughter.  I listened to your song afterwards and it made me cry.
Here’s my situation: I had a 40th birthday mid July.  I have a younger sister (by 2 years) move back to live temporarily a block away with my parents a few months ago.  I live in my brother’s house. My sister & I weren’t close growing up, but in the last 11 years we’ve continued to get closer.  She’s on a spiritual path to become a shaman in South America and my brother is a regular construction guy that really doesn’t get me or my sister half the time. Bottom line, I’ve been having a hard time feeling connected to family and friends in my life lately. I’ve had a lot of change in this last year too. Relationship breakup, 15 yr bff “break up”, move my business to brother’s as well as myself. I feel connected to the universe, as I had an extreme experience with death that gave me a close relationship a few years ago. I try to be very mindful of how I speak to myself, others and how things feel in my body as I say things and what I eat in general.
So my sister texted me to ask what I had planned for my birthday a week before the date.  I thought about it and asked if she might be interested in planning something.  She was just getting back from a trip, so I said to think about it over the weekend and just let me know by Monday… I said I wanted her to do it ONLY if she felt inspired to.  This year, I didn’t feel great about planning anything big as I really wasn’t talking to many of my old friends.  I felt like I was still grieving 2 really important relationships. I did want to celebrate but didn’t want to plan something myself unless my sister didn’t want to.
So ultimately my sister said she wanted to do something for my birthday but then proceeded to tell me that she wondered if I would mind if it was celebrated on the day before or the morning of because she was feeling spiritually called to meet this woman for a vision board party.  I could tell she wanted me to be excited about it but I felt like I second best and not very special at all.  She berated me and said “see!! you do have preferences!” To me, it felt like she wanted to prove that I wouldn’t be able to let go of control and let someone plan something for me.(which I honestly would have been fine with anything but I just wanted it to be a surprise and planned for me) Anyway, she said that it’s obvious that she wasn’t the one to plan it and that was that. My birthday was good anyway, but obviously spending it with 2 girls I recently met was odd since my whole family lives one block away and up the stairs from me.
(Obviously there are issues of connection that go way back to childhood that I keep hoping will workout.)
So, I wasn’t expecting anything from my parents because I had asked if they might want to visit Colorado together for my birthday celebration.  The trip was scheduled for a few weeks after my birthday…
During those 2 weeks I went to a tarot card reader who told me some disturbing information.  She said that my sister and I would have a big fight and that there would be an emotional break. Something gut wrenching and emotionally tough.
I told her that we already had a big fight…she said that there will be another one but more so and that my brother and her will conspire together to work against me in some way. She also said during this time that I need to stay true to myself, hold strong, that I will find love within myself.
So I didn’t sleep that night much because it felt so true, but so surreal…but I calmed down eventually and took it with a grain of salt.  My brother did not go on the trip but my sister did.  We ended up having a good time and had a wonderful heart felt talk on the Colorado Trail.  We didn’t talk specifically about the bday fight but broad strokes about our career’s and our heart’s desire about them and how we wanted to be there for the other one.  I thought that the lady must have been wrong or that we had changed our destiny by talking things through.
Not so.  Tonight she came over and I helped her with getting some ideas on paper for her website.  She listened to me (which I’ve been desperately praying for someone to be a sounding board and a cheer leader to show up) talk about my fears surrounding my upcoming business changes and even shared some tears about my still tender heart surrounding my ex…
Then somehow we got on the subject of the fight around my bday. I told her that it hurt me deeply and that I felt second best, and that I wanted to know her thinking surrounding everything.
She said the she heard me but that she didn’t believe in saying sorry because it makes one person wrong and the other right.  She felt that I wanted her to heal something inside myself that she couldn’t.  I obviously wanted to understand and have a heart felt sorry.  Then she says that I am very ridged and it’s hard for people to be open with their hearts around me..and that I’ve always been controlling all of my life and that I should ask anyone and they would tell me.
Her eyes were piercing and so enraged. I said that I know I haven’t been a good sister growing up and I am sorry for anything that I’ve done to make her feel so angry.  She said that she is angry because she’s responding to the frustration I put on her regarding my brother. Ugh!–at that moment I remembered the tarot card reader say that lots of my cards were Higher Arcana and that means the circumstances are just fate.
How do I show up for myself, protect my heart, not over react and stay grounded?
Sorry this is so long and I would understand if you might not want to respond as this seems somewhat unusual.  (I want a good relationship with my family but my intuition says that my siblings can’t see me for who I really am right now)

Sisterly Love Gone Wrong

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Dearest Sisterly Love Gone Wrong,

Thanks for taking the time to reach out—know that you are not alone in your struggles with your family relationships and your willingness to share will bring great insight to other readers. I’m going to do my best to keep my response as short and sweet as possible—you’ve given me a lot to chew on, but responding point-by-point is not what I feel is needed right now.

With that said, one specific that I must respond to up front has to do with your reading from the Tarot card reader. I’m going to preface what I’m about to say with the fact that I’ve had some great readings in my day and as an Astrologer, am fully aware that there are some amazing healers out there who use a wide array of modalities to connect people to their truth, Tarot being one of them. But here’s the deal: YOU are 100% in the driver’s seat with regard to your relationships with your family, not fate. How you choose to perceive their actions, what you project onto them, how you choose to react—you create the stories that shape how those relationships will unfold. Will they “conspire” against you? Perhaps. But that sounds like classic, manipulative hooey from a “psychic” who’s using her gifts in questionable ways.  Instead of focusing on some fatalistic advice from someone who just met you about a future that you have yet to create—information that is  already causing you to painfully project that reality onto your family relationships—why don’t we shift your focus back to you, the only person whose actions you can actually affect in this situation (or ever, for that matter)?

On one level, I hear you saying that you want to have good relationships with members of your family, and I believe that there is truth to that. On an another level, I also hear that you bring a lot of expectations, a lot of “should’s” to those relationships. If you really look at what you are saying, it looks more like, “I can only love you and be in relationship with you if you love me the way I want you to love me.” You’re bringing all kinds of thoughts that are gunking up these relationships that are clearly of great value to you—thoughts of, “It’s your job to be there for me. It’s your job to understand me and accept me. It’s your job to love me. Family is supposed to put family first. I’m second best and not very special to you at all. Given that my family lives so close, they should be the ones to plan and celebrate my birthday with me, etc. ” And thanks to the Tarot card reader, you can throw in the thought, “My brother and sister are conspiring against me.” So many thoughts that are creating your suffering as your mind argues with reality.  Who do you become/how do you react/how do you treat them and yourself when you believe these thoughts? You create a pain-inducing filter through which all of their words and actions flow. Your mind looks for ways to prove that these thoughts are true and you create pain and suffering as your thoughts argue with what is. Who would you be without these thoughts? How would you be in relationship with your family if you weren’t attaching to these limiting beliefs that are untrue? (My guess is free…and full of love and acceptance for not only yourself, but your bro and sis, too.)

Yes, family relationships can be challenging as hell because we have more years with those people than with anyone else to create false stories that make them hell—stories we created as children with under-developed brains to try and make meaning of our experience. If we don’t stop to question those stories we live in a continual horror story of our own making. We become wounded victims who can only be healed if our family becomes who WE want them to be rather than who they are because—somehow in our minds, they are “supposed” to love us and be there in all of the ways that we want and need. Dear one, you have been so focused on having your family love and accept you for who you are and be there for you in the ways that you want them to be—which can actually only be YOUR job—that you are not noticing all of the ways that you are not loving and accepting, being there for them OR yourself.

I’m glad to hear that the words of my song touched you because they are good medicine for you hear, right now. “The truth is, we’re all trying to be good, and all of us just want to be understood. And when we seek the truth through another’s eyes, we realize that we are all the same…when we forgive ourselves and love despite our frailties, we are divine.” What if you came from the thought, “My brother and sister’s actions toward me come from a place of good intentions?” From that place you might see that despite not being able to relate to your spiritual journey or growth path (it’s not actually his job to understand you, it’s yours), your brother loves you so much that he is sharing his home with you. You might see that your sister was trying her best to honor all of her priorities around the time of your birthday. She wanted you to feel loved and she was also trying to honor herself. When you surrender your personal agenda, you also would be able to see that those two new friends that you got to hang out with were the perfect right people for you to spend your birthday with, not your sister. You enjoyed yourself. Perfect. As it should be. What a gift that your sister offered you by choosing not to plan your birthday for you—you got to spend it with people who were able to be fully present and wanting to celebrate with you.

As painful as it is, I invite you to listen to your sister with an open mind and heart. As my favorite spiritual teacher, Byron Katie, says, “Our parents, our children, our spouses, and our friends will continue to press every button we have, until we realize what it is that we don’t want to know about ourselves, yet. They will point us to our freedom every time.” In what ways is your sister communicating truth to you in what she is saying? I’m sure that she can be just as rigid and controlling as she is accusing you of, but changing her behavior is not your job—changing YOUR behavior IS. It only takes one person in a relationship to step back, to seek to understand, to see loving intentions and to choose to act from a place of love. It only takes one person in a relationship to transform it. Why not have it be you?

Whether or not you choose to mend these relationships is up to you—there is no “right” or “wrong” choice here. I just want to challenge you to notice how freeing it can be when you let these wonderful relationships transform you by choosing to do the hard work of listening and questioning your own mind—who’s been making you second best, who hasn’t been accepting and loving, who has been generating mistrust, who’s been conspiring behind the scenes? Every relationship in your life is a mirror for you to see your relationship with yourself and who you are being in the world—where you’re not trusting yourself or others, not advocating for yourself, not speaking your truth, not being a good cheerleader, not fully listening. There is freedom in these relationships with your family members and deep love, if you choose to allow those relationships to breathe as they really are.

I highly recommend any of Byron Katie’s work for you–I think you will find great insight there.

Much love to you,

:) Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson

What Is the Right Direction for My Career/Life?

Dear JoyDiva,

I am so scattered and unfocused, unsure of which direction my career should take and I am seeing many road blocks at this point (probably put there by me). Do you see a clearer direction that’s right for me?

Rhonda

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Dearest Rhonda,

While I cannot tell you the “right” direction for you to take (especially without more info and an exploratory session), I can certainly glean some insight from what you’ve written that I believe will be helpful for you.

First of all, I want to honor your awareness and courage in admitting that you’ve probably been the one placing roadblocks before your path. I’m going to go a step further and say that you HAVE been the one placing roadblocks before you. Any “stuck” feelings that we ever have are created in our own minds. You’re choosing to believe thoughts that are untrue about your situation (whether that’s, “I don’t have enough money, enough time, enough information, etc), and attaching to those false, limiting beliefs is making you feel stuck, overwhelmed and frustrated. Your heart wants to move, to dive-in, and you first have to let yourself believe in the possibility of your dreams if you’re going to turn them into a reality.

One limiting belief that is clear to me from what you’ve written is the idea that there is a “right” direction for you to turn. I can feel your paralysis and fear in going down a path that is somehow “wrong” for you, and sister, let’s throw out these silly “right vs. wrong” concepts so that you can feel the sense of freedom and adventure that I know you’re longing for in your heart.

What is the “right” direction for you? The path of action. The messy path that isn’t clear and freaks you out and also happens to make your heart sing. Overwhelm comes when we go too far into a future that is out of our control. What steps lie right before you and are whispering for you to take them? I invite you to sit down with a pen and piece of paper and for 5 minutes start writing about all that you envision for your life. Let yourself get really excited. FEEL yourself living that life. Then, all it takes is one step to start putting it in motion—make that  first phone call, send that email,  etc. You are infinitely supported by our loving Universe—you simply cannot go wrong, dear heart. If you fall down temporarily, you’ll gain the insight that you need to move on. Simply wait for the “yes” within your heart to guide you and then take the first step. You don’t need to know the “right” path—you need to listen to what makes you feel free and then take the first step. (NOTE: If you are like me, your strengths may not lie in creating your own plan of action. I always hire a coach when I’m trying to create big new things in my life because I can get extremely overwhelmed and paralyzed when it comes to breaking my ideas down into small steps. JoyDiva was born thanks to some wonderful coaching. It’s ok and important to recognize what you can and cannot do on your own.)

You will never be clear on all of the pieces of the puzzle before taking action. The beauty of life is that as you step forth to actively create your life, the next pieces will be revealed to you exactly when you need them. It’s time to surrender and start actively painting your messy masterpiece (knowing that you are loved and supported by every process unfolding in your life). Doesn’t that sound like more fun than waiting around for the “right” direction to reveal itself? Keywords for you to breathe in right now: Playfulness, Freedom, Joy, Adventure. What is ONE way that you can infuse those experiences into your life RIGHT NOW?

I wish you all of the joy and excitement that you deserve in your life, Rhonda!  Here is another post that I wrote in response to my own question a few months ago that I think will serve you well: https://askthejoydiva.com/2012/02/07/what-if-i-make-the-wrong-decision/

Many Blessings to you,

🙂 Melissa, A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson

What if I Make the Wrong Decision?

This Q&A comes directly from me today. I found myself journaling this morning and coming up on some fear around a big decision. “What if I make the wrong choice?” said the voice in my head. In my five years of coaching clients one-on-one, this is one of the most common questions that rears its head as I witness my clients trying to make decisions for themselves. The mind says, “There is a right choice and a wrong choice, and you better not mess up.” Oh, the pressure! The truth is that when it comes to choosing along our life’s journey, we can’t actually make a wrong choice.

One of my favorite quotations that I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately is that of Yogi Berra: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” In our search for joy and fulfillment, we can paralyze ourselves with thoughts of “right turn, wrong turn.” The irony is that it is our INACTION that ends up leaving us feeling stuck in a dreary ditch, not a “wrong turn.”

I want you to imagine for a moment that God/Universe/Spirit/Source is like a GPS system. You set the intention, the destination, and you are infinitely supported in getting there. What happens when you make a “wrong turn?” Your GPS system recalculates to help you arrive at your destination. So really, you didn’t take a wrong turn, you simply took the scenic route.

Just like a GPS system, the Universe is with us every step, supporting us along the way–our inner “yes’s” and “no’s” help us to know how on track that we are. If we choose something that ends up not feeling quite right, the Universe helps us recalculate until we find something that does. We are never truly off-path, just going through some twists and turns. We are loved by every process that unfolds and never abandoned. It is only when we stop and turn off the engine, or choose not to act when hitting that fork in the road, that we keep ourselves from our destination. AND rather than finding happiness at the END of the road, we discover that taking action itself creates a deep sense of fulfillment, no matter which way we turn.

One way to work through the fear so that you can take action is to dialogue with it. When I was journaling this morning, my dialogue looked something like this:

Fear: I’m afraid you are going to make the wrong choice.

Consciousness: Thank you so much for always looking out for me. Can you tell me more about what you mean by a “wrong choice?”

Fear: I’m afraid that you will be unhappy and that you will fail in what you set out to do.

Consciousness: I hear you. The thing is that in all of your protectiveness, I’m not actually feeling very happy. Is there a way that we can work together so that we can ensure my success?

Fear: It would make me feel better if you were clear about where you want to go and had a plan.

Consciousness: What a great idea! That makes me feel very grounded. I’m going to get really clear by breaking my goal down into tiny steps right now….

This process of dialoging with my fear gave me a wonderful insight into the ways that even my fear was trying to love me, and I followed up that dialogue with a great plan of action that left me feeling grounded and clear on how to achieve my goal.

In what ways have you found yourself paralyzed by your fear of making a “wrong choice?” I would love nothing more than to support you and celebrate you as we create a plan for you to step beyond your fear and take action on the things that matter most to you. Feel free to contact me and set up a free consult.

In the meantime, I invite you to celebrate each and every step that you take (especially the little ones)–they all count!

Much love,

:)Melissa A.K.A The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson