The Challenger

Those who know me or those who have met me know within minutes that I am fairly independent and assertive. My energy is big and I feel that life works best when you meet it head-on. I’ve told many in leadership positions to take the bull by the horns if they want to be successful. Tact is not one of my strong points.

I tend to do my thinking first and then my doing which means I suppress my feelings more than my thinking or doing. Thinking and then following with doing allows me to set my own goals, get involved and make things happen. Most of the time I know what I want and I go for it. Working hard and playing hard has always been my motto.

My undeveloped feelings don’t mean I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve. Most people know when I’m upset about something. I can be guarded because I’m sensitive and I fear rejection. I want others to respond and get worked up as much as me. I love when others’ energy meets mine.

Give me the rules of the game and let me go. Don’t tell me what to do. I got it! Micromanagement and helicopter folks throw water on my firepower.

If any of this resonates with you. You may be an Enneagram type 8. We are challengers and we love our power. We make great leaders and are strong in many positions. Some famous type 8’s include, Russell Crowe, Frank Sinatra, Queen Latifah, Chris Hemsworth, Denzel Washington, and Charles Barkley.

Find out your type by reaching out via social media or dealingtohealing@gmail.com

Who We Are

I posted on Sunday that I graduated from Enneagram school as a certified cohort. Thank you to all who congratulated me and reached out to me. Your kind words and support are embraced.

Since Sunday I’ve had a few conversations regarding the Enneagram. Many want to know what it is. The Enneagram dates back to 2500 B. C. It has evolved to be a tool to help us assess our dominant personality type. But we are not our personality, that’s what keeps us stuck. The Enneagram helps us identify our true selves through spiritual awareness. Once we know our true selves we can live our lives fully and freely. We also become better in our relationships with our partners, children, and co-workers.

The Enneagram also shows us how our social or work styles are different and complement each other. It helps us understand why we do what we do when we do it, and how we do it.

It also helps us understand our traits and characteristics when we are under stress, or moving toward healthier levels.

I highly recommend it to anyone interested in wanting to better themselves and/or their relationships. I have a friend that teaches it in her church with couples. If you are wanting to better your relationships in your home and/or work you may want to consider exploring the Enneagram. There are a few different ways to learn your type. The RHETI test is what I did many years ago. It’s online for $12.

If you’re interested in knowing more, please reach out to me through social media or at dealingtohealing@gmail.com. I’m happy to help you!

We Are One Body

Today I graduated from Enneagram school. After 13 years of knowing about the Enneagram, receiving Enneathoughts via email every morning, reading books, attending several Enneagram sessions, and discussing it for over a decade with my shrink, I now have greater respect for it.

There were 15 of us in class from all over the world. Several different professions along with cultural differences. It was a big bright light moment when we started understanding how much alike we are no matter our type. The Enneagram does prove that the human being is complex on so many levels but we are all so much alike in our instincts, social styles, how we think, and feel, our fears, what we need, and how we receive from others.

I also learned why I am attracted to certain types over other types. For example, I am an 8, The Challenger, my type along with type 2’s, The Helper, and type 5’s The Investigator are the most sensitive types when it comes to rejection. For years I’ve bonded with a type 2 but never knew that the sensitivity to rejection was part of our bond.

I believe if there’s ever a time in our world to find our commonalities with others, it’s now. Now is also the time to find more compassion for ourselves as well as others. We are not creating enough safe spaces with no judgment. If we spent as much time searching and learning about why we need to be together instead of breeding division and allowing others to pull us apart, it would be a better world for all of us.

The scripture says in Romans 12:4-5

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

If you want to be a part of the solution and understand yourself better along with others, reach out via social media or at dealingtohealing@gmail.com

Changing Everything

I heard this quote on social media audio. I utilized it with all pictures of me as an affirmation. Believing we have a gift that nobody else has and it’s been given only to us to serve others and for the glory of God is our true essence.

Late bloomers still bloom but our process was delayed due to our story having to happen before we could bloom. Our wounds of abandonment, the wounds that left us scarred from toxic relationships, the walls we built to protect us, and our pain all had a purpose. The crucifixion had to happen before the resurrection.

Once I started believing that my story and my wounds served a purpose then I started embracing it as if I chose it. It’s a tough one but accepting that everything in our past happened for a purpose, everything that happens today and tomorrow will be for a purpose. Allowing what it is and for it to unfold while you sit back and watch it like a movie can be challenging, especially to control freaks.

I’m accepting, allowing, believing, and embracing. I’m also trusting and practicing my faith. I’m changing everything about me to change everything. I’m changing my thoughts, habits, and relationships. I’ve changed homes and locations. I have changed to make a change.

I know I have all the ingredients to be the right person in the right place at the right time to change everything. Change everything like Rosa Parks changed civil rights, change everything like Ruth Bader Ginsburg changed gender equality, change everything like Martin Luther King, Jr changed voting rights. Their stories served as their purpose too.

If you believe you are that person then say with me “I am the right person, in the right place at the right time to change everything!”

People Change Pictures Don’t

When I first started in the automotive business in the early 90s, I sold vehicles in Nashville TN. Across the street from the dealership was a strip club where I sold several vehicles to the dancers. One, in particular, bought several from me. I’ll never forget her. She was stunningly gorgeous. She had real authentic beauty. She was dancing to pay her way through college. I didn’t see her for a long time and the next time I did see her, she looked awful. She looked sick, dirty, and old, she looked as if something had happened to her. I later found out she was on crack.

Do you know that when you are in relationships with toxic folks that are negative, manipulative, practice gaslighting, and are deceptive, you’ll look the same as a drug addict? Toxic is toxic! It doesn’t matter if the toxic elements attack your body or your mind and soul. Think of crack houses, they are dark, dirty, broken, and ugly. Toxic people are also dark, broken, and dirty with their deception and manipulation and the pain they cause is so ugly.

I often say “People change but pictures don’t.” Once you take or snap the picture, that’s it. It forever stays just as it was taken. If you look back on pictures you’ll see times in your life when you look better or worse. I can look back and see where my face tells the truth even through my smile. I’m smiling but I’m in pain. I’m smiling but I’m not happy. I’m smiling but I’ve been exposed to toxic elements.

True, authentic, unfiltered pictures do not lie. They tell the truth about us. They will tell us if we are truly happy or in pain. Even those pictures from our childhood tell a story. And if we see our pain in the picture then think about how painful it was in real life. Reminds me of the song by Jamey Johnson, In Color. The lyrics go like this…

That’s the story of my life
Right there in black and white

And if it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just tryna save each other
You should’ve seen it in color
Yeah, a picture’s worth a thousand words
But you can’t see what those shades of gray keep covered
You should’ve seen it in color

Thrown Out Like Bubble Gum

I was listening to the great Wayne Dyer the other day. He was telling a story about how he and his brother had been orphaned. His dad was an alcoholic and abandoned them. Wayne spoke of his addiction to drugs and alcohol. He says he went to his father’s grave to piss on it when he had his awakening. Instead of pissing on his father’s grave, he forgave his father. He said, “Who am I?” “Who am I to judge what you did?” It was then he forgave his father and only sent him love moving forward.

I realize that’s a big pill to swallow, forgiving someone who abandoned you and left you in the worst situation. As I listened so intently, I began to shed tears because my soul resonated with what Wayne was describing. I understood not only his pain with the abandonment wound but his suffering.

There is a suffering so great that we have to find a way to escape it. We are in so much pain emotionally that no narcotic, no amount of sex, shopping, or any addiction can ease the pain or cure it. A pain so great that we want to die. It’s in those moments or in that one moment that we surrender to the pain. We surrender by saying I can no longer carry this suffering. And somewhere deep down we surrender to that little flicker of light in us. I surrendered to God.

Carrying the suffering is so heavy. We carry pain from our past, the childhood wounds of being abandoned emotionally and physically. People that left us that we loved, that we counted on and believed they would be there for us. We thought they had the same heart as us. Loved us as we loved them but we found out the hard way. We found out through emotional neglect, extramarital affairs, divorces, and choosing their job or addiction over us. They threw us out like we throw out our bubble gum and never looked back to see where we landed.

As our reality sets in so does our resentment, anger, hate, jealousy, and control, all of our negative traits. We don’t feel good when we hold these things. It’s a constant battle that keeps us awake as we think about our pain and replay it over and over again. It consumes us and takes over our mind and body.

Suffering is like holding a bottle of water. The first hour we hold it we are fine but if an hour turns into hours then we start to get tired. If the hours turn into a day we start to feel exhausted and our arm is hurting, we may even switch arms. If we continue to hold it we will soon be in so much pain that we can not hold it any longer so we drop it, release it, and let it go. Suffering works the same. If we carry it long enough we will experience pain so painful that we have to let it go and release it.

In Charge to Change

There’s so much value placed on social media. If you want to get a book deal the question comes up, “How many followers and subscribers do you have?” If you want to be monetized for your post, the same question applies. My take on this is I’m staying true to my commitment. I said from the very beginning if I reach just one person through my posts or blog, my mission has been accomplished. For me, it’s about sharing my story and having just one resonate with it.

I know that my content is not for everyone. Many do not resonate with the abandonment wound, understand the word narcissist much less relate to it in relationships and there are lots of questions about the word awakening.

Everyone has something, something from their childhood, something in relationships, anxiety, depression, some type of pain, or grief. It’s hard for many to admit it but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Avoidance is one of the biggest handicaps in our society. We resist pain and we resist processes because pain and process mean change. We do not want to change but we have this belief that if we just change the people around us that we will be better.

We spend too much energy and time trying to figure out how to change someone. We even want them to change their thoughts about us. It’s almost laughable when you think about the absurdity of it. How are we going to change what someone thinks? What I’ve learned through working on myself is we cannot focus on others, not what they think about us, what they do, believe, or feel. All we have control of is us. I’m in charge of me and you are in charge of you. That’s it!

I cannot say it enough or loud enough, when I stopped putting my energy into others, when I became in charge of my life that’s when it changed. Within 2 years I got a better job, bought a home, started writing a book, started a blog, my finances improved, and my quality of life improved all because I stopped being the wind beneath other people’s wings.

I don’t know who needs to hear this but stop. Stop putting so much energy into others. Trying to change them will not make you a better human being. You are already enough. Everyday that goes by and you pour into others more than yourself you are missing out on you. You can’t get time back. The word “no” is a complete sentence and it is in your vocabulary. I encourage you today to take charge of your life to find the change to live your best life.

Why We Settle

Recently I was sharing part of my story with an acquaintance. As I spoke of my childhood abandonment, my relationships with narcissists, and my awakening, the new acquaintance looked at me as if they had no idea what I was saying. They finally said, “I had a perfect childhood.”

I bought their statement. It’s not the first time I’ve heard it and I had no reason to doubt it. I congratulated them and the conversation ended. Later on, they shared they were married once for a long period to a narcissist. They chose the word “narcissist”.

I found it interesting that they claimed to have a perfect childhood but married a narcissist. If we choose to be in a toxic relationship then we are doing a few things.

  • We are ignoring red flags.
  • We are not listening to our gut talk, our intuition.
  • We have been previously exposed to toxic behaviors. We may not remember it or recognize it but it happened.

If we’ve never been subjected to toxic behaviors from family, friends, or partners then the first time we are subjected to toxic behavior, we run like hell. But here’s what happens, if our parents emotionally abused us growing up then we believe it’s normal and it’s tolerable for others to emotionally abuse us. Anyone who treats us the same or only slightly better than what we’ve been accustomed to, we believe it’s acceptable.

It’s like saying we’re okay with sirloin steak because that’s all we’ve ever eaten but then we eat filet mignon. We only know what we know through our experiences but if we accept that’s all there is then we settle and we never believe there is better. It’s why it’s imperative to listen to your intuition. When it doesn’t feel good or right, that means it’s not. I don’t care if every person you’ve ever known has not treated you well, it doesn’t make it right. And that’s why we settle because we think it’s alright.

Generational Curses

I was asked the question the other day, “How is a generational curse broken?” That is a great question. I want to give you my interpretation and explanation of this question.

First the term “generational curse” sounds worse than it is, it’s not a curse. Curses are intentional, generational curses are not intentional. The “curse” is innocently passed on traits, habits, thoughts, beliefs, and characteristics from our ancestors. Those things are passed down to us through our parents and generations before them. From birth, we learn from our environments. It’s why I say being racist, homophobic, hating, and other toxic traits are taught.

We are born innocent without thoughts based on other people’s words or actions. It’s only when we start learning words and defining our feelings that we develop the traits we are taught and not who we are which is our true self.

For me, my learned concept of love was it’s okay to be in relationships with those who did not give me what I needed. I learned to settle. I learned that if I do ABC then they will love me and the more I do, the more they love me. Not true! That was my mother’s thoughts and beliefs. It was her concept of how to be loved. Where did she learn that? Her mother believed that if you take physical and emotional abuse from a man and keep your mouth shut (because it’s the early 1900s) that it will be okay and that was her concept of love.

The “curse” is broken when someone in the lineage understands that everything dysfunctional and toxic is no longer acceptable. We understand we are not our mother, grandmother, or great. We know we don’t have to do as they did, think as they thought, or believe as they believed. We understand there’s a better way, a healthier way, and we can stop the process and break the patterns.

We have permission to be our true selves. We do not have to believe, think, feel or make choices based on those before us. I encourage anyone resonating with this to find the dysfunction in your family tree and be a generational curse breaker!

Survivors or Superheroes

I identify as a survivor. On each Dealing to Healing social media platform, my bio reads the same, “Survivor of abandonment, narcissists relationships, trauma & addiction.” The first definition of survivor is a person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died. A second definition is a person who copes well with difficulties in their life.

Survivors deserve medals and the highest recognition for their strength. The strength of a survivor is a strength that compares to no other mortal. Maybe because they’re superheroes. We’ve endured more than most or what should be allowed. Our long-suffering has been ongoing since birth. We have fought to be seen, heard, and to breathe. We’ve been left for dead more than once with nobody around to save us. We’ve picked ourselves up from the ashes and reinvented ourselves over and over again. We are real-life superheroes that often don’t get recognized unless we are saving someone else and then it’s often forgotten.

If you meet a survivor, that superhero in disguise, take note, they are people of resilience. You won’t kill them with your toxic traits, you’re not the first to be toxic in their life and you probably won’t be the last. Broken promises? They have cut their teeth on broken promises. It’s why they don’t believe most people most of the time. They’ve built walls to protect themselves from pain. Indescribable pain that often cannot be cured.

But because of their wounds, battlefield scars, and the medals that hang around their necks, they are helpers, protectors, and healers. They may not be great at helping, protecting, and healing themselves but they are experts with others. They know how to pick people up from the gutters of death and breathe life into them. They know how to protect those without a voice. They are natural-born healers to almost everyone they meet.

If you know a survivor that real-life superhero, let them know you recognize them. Appreciate and applaud their strengths! Celebrate them for their boundaries and for removing toxic folks in their life, even blood relatives. Give them love, kindness, and compassion because those are their favorite gifts. Let them know you’re thankful for their survival skills and happy they made it out alive. Go on tell yourself superhero!