Reasons to Let Them Go

It seems I’ve fallen off blogging regularly this week but I’m super focused on a multitude of personal things including my son’s wedding. I’m also putting a lot of time and attention into my Enneagram sessions. The same item that seems to come up is toxic relationships and/or relationship changes.

It’s not surprising to learn that it’s a hot topic. We are more concerned about our relationships with our friends and family than any other piece of our lives. My most shared posts on social media has to do with toxic relationships and abandoned relationships.

There are a few reasons that relationships change. BOUNDARIES – if we hold our boundary which must be verbally said or it’s not a boundary and our boundary is not received, respected, and honored then the other person does not love us as we need to be loved. We have permission to let them go.

TOXIC – the friend or family member is toxic. They gaslight us, give us silent treatment as a form of punishment, emotionally abuse us, or physically abuse us, we have permission to let them go. We are not here to fix others but to fix ourselves and part of fixing ourselves is removing ourselves from toxic relationships and environments.

And this one is the hardest. What if they are respecting our boundaries and what if they are not toxic but we outgrow the relationship? And what I’m about to say is not to be interpreted as a hard cut but as a suggestion to move on. We can still have a relationship but maybe not as tightly woven.

OUTGROW – If we are working on ourselves as a daily practice and our friends and family are not then it’s no different than working on ourselves physically. If one goes out every day to train for a marathon and the other is satisfied to do a daily walk then it’s inevitable that the runner is always going to be ahead of the walker.

Outgrowing relationships is going to happen if others are not working on themselves. And even if they are sometimes it’s necessary not to have all the winners together. At the end of every Super Bowl and World Series game, the winners are disbursed to other teams so they can teach others to be winners. Hard to digest if we think why would we want to break up such a perfect group. Because our responsibilities are to help others and shine our light on the world therefore the winners must move on.

I don’t want to be the “smartest” one in the room. If I’m the one that has all the answers because I’ve done the work or I’m the fastest runner because I’ve been training then who do I look to within my relationships to grow myself? Note to self…never be the smartest one in the room. Find the people who will guide you to be better, to do better for yourself and others.

Thankful for You

Thanksgiving Eve, I was communicating with one of my cousins on social media. It was during our communication that I realized my mom had been gone for 3 years on Thanksgiving day. When I realized it, my heart sank and I suddenly felt sad. I was already feeling off balance due to the holiday season and this seemed to worsen it.

I woke up at 5:30 am Thanksgiving morning. Sometimes God wakes us up when he needs time with us. I used to get frustrated but now I know there’s a reason. I woke up and started my morning routine. My devotion, prayer, and meditation. Then I started reading my current book Higher Purpose until I fell back to sleep.

When I woke up the second time at 8:30 am, I had such peace that I wanted to take my 3-mile walk. As I was walking I started thanking God for people. I started thanking him for my tribe, then I started thanking him for those that have been there for me, that had given me opportunities, and who supported me. As each one of my friends and contacts entered my mind, I sent them a “Happy Thanksgiving” text just to let them know I was thinking of them. I lost count of how many texts I sent but I walked almost 2 miles before I finished.

When I finished with my walk and texts, I felt 100 percent better than I did the night before Thanksgiving. It’s proof that we are as we think. When we start being thankful for the “haves” and not the “have-nots” it is a game changer. Having a spirit of gratitude is life-changing.

I share this with you today because I know we are in a season of being thankful for our food and as we enter the season of gift giving we are thankful for our gifts but let’s be thankful for the people in our lives. Those that share space with us, that give us opportunities, that share their love language with us. Let’s continue to be thankful for God protecting us from the those that are not for us but against us so they left us. And give God thanks for sending those to us right when we need them. Who are you thankful for today?

That Didn’t Feel Good

While I was in Enneagram school, I learned that I am I “think and do” type and I suppress my feelings. That was hard for me to digest because I thought that I was a “feeler and doer” more than a thinker. So I bought another Enneagram book to understand this challenge.

Fast forward I now understand it and acknowledge it to be true. When we get our feelings hurt, or feel pain from an experience with friends, family, or coworkers some of us tend to say hurtful things because we are hurt. Saying our thoughts from our pain does not heal our feelings. The only thing to heal our feelings is compassion.

When we respond to a hurtful experience with “that didn’t feel good” or “that hurt my feelings” it brings a different response to the table. We are more than likely going to get an apology with compassion and understanding. If we act on our hurt feelings with a hurtful thought that we speak such as “kiss my ass” then we are not saying how we feel, we are reacting by retaliating.

It is a conscious thought that we might need to take a breath before responding. The unconscious is responding to our trauma and our old programming. When we respond unconsciously we might fight by facing the threat aggressively, flight (flee) by running away, freeze by not being able to respond against the threat, or fawn which is immediately acting to please to avoid a conflict.

I know it’s hard because most of us have not been programmed to say how we feel, especially men. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a man say “that hurt my feelings”. It’s perceived as a sign for the weak but it’s a characteristic for the strong, that we can speak on how we feel and how other’s actions affect us.

Let’s make a conscious effort to not fight, flee, freeze, or fawn when we feel pain from others. Let’s dismiss saying how we feel as a sign for the weak and encourage others to speak on their feelings when we hurt them.

Gratitude in Our Pain

I recently had a friend share with me an experience that left them disappointed, sad, and disheartened. As I listened to the pain in their voice, I replied “I’m sorry for your pain, I understand it because I’ve experienced similar. Please understand that first, this has nothing to do with you, so it’s not personal, and next this is a moment of gratitude because now you see a side of it that you didn’t see a month ago.” The teacher showed up to show my friend another side that they had not seen earlier. And based on the earlier experience they were considering a major decision.

It’s in those moments we have to reel ourselves back in to know that it’s not about us but about the lesson we need to get so we don’t make a mistake or a bigger mistake. And if we don’t learn the lesson and understand the teaching, we will most likely make the mistake again. This is called a pattern. It’s a level of gratitude that we overlook because all we feel is pain from the experience.

It’s why I continue to say step back, ground yourself and look outside of it as if you were not involved. Try to see what is going on with those involved. We don’t know what’s going on with folks so we have to be mindful that they may be having a season of grief. Grief from a death, job loss, financial issues, or loss of a relationship with family or friends. And they may be in a stage of anger, denial, or depression.

With the holiday season upon us, we must understand there are a lot of triggers happening during this time. Loss of a loved one that’s not at the table, financial stress, holiday travels, and preparing for any toxic personalities we may have to endure. 101 things are happening that we know nothing about with our friends and family.

If we find ourselves in a painful experience, let’s try to remember it’s not personal, we don’t know what is happening to others. Be thankful for any insight or light shed on the experience and try to understand the lesson so we don’t repeat it. Look for gratitude in your pain.

The Reformer

I feel like I know an Enneagram-type one but it’s not confirmed. Are you an Enneatype One? Or do you know someone? Find out by reading the characteristics and behaviors.

The One is called the Reformer. They have essential qualities like goodness, sacredness, and purity. Their basic desire is to be “good” along with virtuous and have integrity. They are highly ethical and self-principled. They possess a great sense of purpose and conviction.

Their mindset is “right” or “wrong” and whatever is wrong needs to be corrected. They wanna get things right and they put energy into integrity. They believe there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. And you must live your life with purpose.

Their basic fear is being “bad”, corrupt, Unredeemable, condemnable, and chaotic. They live between improving themselves and their world, everything needs to be consistent with their ideals. When others don’t meet their ideals or standards, they get angry when others don’t take their ideals seriously. They can become opinionated and sarcastic.

If they continue to slide down to unhealthy levels they can become an obsessive hypocrite. They show characteristics of being bitter, misanthropic, and highly self-righteous.

Famous ones include Hilary Clinton, Al Gorr, Nelson Mándela, Elizabeth Warren, Martha Stewart, Harrison Ford, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, George Harrison, and “Mr. Spock”

Do you know a one? Did you resonate with this? Find out by exploring the Enneagram. You may contact me via social media or dealingtohealing.com.

Be Still and Know God

I’m currently reading a book called Higher Purpose by Robert Holden. He states there are two ways we can slow down. One we can choose it by meditating, praying, and connecting to nature. The second is life chooses it for us through sickness, surgeries, grief, and catastrophic events such as pandemics.

While in Enneagram school I learned that it’s a must to slow down, to center, to hear what comes up not only for ourselves but for others. Nobody can hear, think or feel if our energy is overriding their energy.

Earlier in the year, I saw Eckhart Tolle at the Fox Theatre and he talked about how we can get somewhere without rushing there. We don’t have to allow our energy to push us to stress and anxiety while we are in motion because we are going to get there in the same amount of time no matter if we are stressed or not. Stress and anxiety are not helping us get there faster.

All these signs have come to me not coincidentally but for me to take heed to slow down. I am making a conscious effort to slow down, take breaks, allow myself time to breathe, and be grateful for my breaths. It’s not necessary to hit the reply button immediately, rush to pick up things at the store, run the vacuum fast, walk fast, talk fast, and live life in the fast lane.

The scripture says “Be still and know that I am God.” How can we hear God speak when we won’t stop to hear? Who do we think we are by ignoring what we need until life gives us no alternative? Reminds me of the song “Be Still My Soul” by the Imperials.

Surrounded by the cares of life
Situations rise, they press against my soul
Desperate thoughts have blocked me in
Feels like I may lose control

A voice from somewhere inside of me
Brings comfort, fills my heart with courage
And lets me know
That everything will be alright

I hear Him say
Be still, my soul, and know that He is God
Stand quietly, He is the Lord
God is for me, who can be against me?
(He is God)
Be still, my soul, He is the Lord

Remember as we approach this holiday season. There’s a sunrise and a sunset every day and we don’t want to miss any of them. Be still and know God.

It’s Not Personal

I think one of the hardest lessons to learn in life is that nothing anyone does has to do with you. Years ago I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, his second agreement to make with yourself is Don’t Take Anything Personally.

It’s also part of the Enneagram platform. Understanding ourselves and the world around us helps us know that others’ external behaviors, attitudes, motivations, emotional reactions, and defense mechanisms have zero to do with us.

Someone said “it’s constant work”, referring to not taking anything personally. Yes! because all we thought we knew is not fact, it’s fiction. We have reacted for decades based on object relations, “generational curses” and our ego. But when we unlearn all that we learned, it is constant work. My shrink said it is called rewiring your brain, it’s old programming.

I find that people don’t want to go under the covers to find what exists in their true essence because the discovery is painful. And the process of rewiring the old programming in the brain takes effort. The programming didn’t happen overnight and it can’t be undone overnight.

So why do something that causes us pain and lots of work? Because when you understand who you are and the lights start coming on, the aha moments are the trophies for the constant work.

And the bonus is understanding those we love better. Because isn’t that where it’s the most painful? Nothing hurts worse when family and those closest relationships hurt us. Many are dreading the holidays right now because of the pain they may have to endure with their family. Let me assure you that toxic family member has nothing to do with you. They are projecting their issues onto you. They were invited because of someone else’s guilt and shame. They said something unkind because of their issues. They rejected you because of their issues. Hold on to that truth!

If you are tired of taking things personally and want to understand you, your family and relationships better then I encourage you to start the work. Reach out to me via social media or at dealingtohealing.com to get no-cost information on starting the process.

Instinct and Intuition Types

Enneatype 8 and 9 have much in common. They both have the same instinct centers associated with our belly which mean our inner intelligence comes from our instinct and intuition. When we are open to our instinct we are shutting out our ego personality and acting on the instinctive center qualities.

When we are open to our center of intelligence we experience being more grounded, solidarity, aliveness, peacefulness, balance, harmonious, and connectedness. This is why it’s important to take time outs, quiet time, and meditate to allow positive qualities to emerge.

When we are not conscious because we are caught up in life, we are acting on our ego personality which leads to disconnecting from our center intelligence. When we feel off balance, ungrounded, need to control, rage, anger, numbness, fatigue, and resistance, these are all signs that we are not connected to our center of intelligence.

Have you noticed when you are at the beach, hiking in the mountains, fishing in the lake, or swinging in a hammock in the backyard that you feel more centered and at peace? That’s because you’re more connected to your inner intelligence, your center, the belly, the instinct, and intuition.

It happens to me when I take baths. It’s amazing what comes up when I’m in the water. I often describe it as God speaking to me but it’s my center of intelligence giving me peace, where I feel grounded and balanced.

If you resonate with this, you may be a belly-center instinct type. Find out by exploring the Enneagram. Feel free to reach out to me via social media or dealingtohealing.com.

The Peacemaker

Last week I blogged about the Enneagram type 8. I know them best because I am one. This week I’m going to focus on type 9 because they are very near and dear to my heart. I have a son and several close friends that are type 9. If you know a type 9 you know they are loved for their essential qualities.

Type 9’s have peaceful energy about them. That’s because they are known as the Peacemaker. They are nonjudgmental, reassuring, patient, peaceful, receptive, empathetic, generous, gentle, excellent mediators and agreeable.

They are people, pleasers, due to their sensitivity. They want all to be good, and comfortable. The goal is to keep the peace, so don’t rock the boat. It’s why you will most likely meet them more resigned.

Nines want to avoid conflicts and tensions so that things can be preserved as they are, to resist whatever would upset or disturb them. When conflict arises or the boat gets rocked, you will see them get more stubborn, procrastinate, worry, feel unsupported, doubt themselves, and seek affirmation from authorities.

When they feel their world is not whole and they don’t have inner stability you may see them dissociate, repress and deny it until the boiling point of boiling over and exploding. We can support them by allowing them to acknowledge their anger. Don’t push them or rush them.

They can relate to different perspectives if we give them time to figure out the answer. They are processors in their thinking and feeling or if overwhelmed they are in the daydream mode of “Doing and Sensing”.

If you resonate with any of these behaviors or characteristics, you may be a type nine or you may have a family or coworker that’s a nine. If you are interested in exploring more of the Enneagram types, please reach out to me on social media or at dealingtohealing@gmail.com.

Lost as Last Year’s Easter Egg

I shared the behaviors and characteristics regarding my enneagram type 8. “Power” tops the list of characteristics. One of the first behaviors you’ll notice about this type is their power. We tend to believe power is a good thing. Many want it but few don’t understand the extremities of it.

From birth, I have believed that I had to maintain power. I had to maintain it because I didn’t believe anyone around me had it. My shrink often reminds me that I came into this world saying, “Nobody knows what the hell they’re doing.” and I believe that to be true. I believe that I was born into a dysfunctional household and they were lost as last year’s Easter egg.

So I took the bull by the horns and believed that if I don’t do it, it may not get done. I’ve been in power mode my entire life but here’s the other side of what you don’t see. Power is exhausting! When we believe that we are the only ones to do it, we cannot depend on anyone else and we cannot stop or it will fall apart, it causes mental and physical exhaustion.

And exhaustion looks the same on all of us. We cannot function at our best when we are exhausted. We make bad choices and decisions. How many times have we picked the wrong partner, the wrong job, or the wrong house because we are exhausted? We get tired of the search and we throw in the towel and settle.

Being envious of power is never good. If it’s not executed properly it will destroy you and others. I’ll never forget when my shrink told me that I had the power to build an empire and destroy it in a day.

Let’s recognize and be conscious of our power. May we understand that we don’t have to carry the cross alone, others will help and be happy to help us. Notice how tight we hold the pen, the remote, or the broom. Let’s breathe in and out to release that energy behind the force. It’s okay, we can let go and we will survive.