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Posts Tagged ‘Truths’

Helping a Jealous and Insecure Partner

jealous_partnerRon and Connie came in to see me. Their marriage was already in peril. They had been married less than a year, later in life after living together for four years. Then, while they were out listening to music and drinking, disaster struck. Ron was getting too cozy with a mutual acquaintance.

Since then, Connie had a pit in her stomach. Her long-standing jealousy ramped up. She started to think “If it’s going to be this awful, I can’t take it. I’m out of here.”

Please note: Connie’s jumping into the worst-case scenario was only fueling her fear. It wasn’t helping her deal with what she was feeling right now. Her job was to reel herself in when escape thoughts started to play, and realize she needed closure on the specific event she had observed.

But even more, she needed to hear the reality from Ron. In all sincerity, he said he wasn’t interested in anyone else. He had committed to her after dating so many women he couldn’t count.

He said (and I wrote down):
I am not interested in an affair or leaving you.
I married you because you’re the one.
I want us to be as solid as Jeff Bridges and his wife.

Connie started to cry, having relayed seeing them at the airport last week and observing their nonverbal connection.

I instructed Ron to repeat what he had just said to Connie every day until it really sank in for her. He was not her philandering father who had strayed from her mom. Connie didn’t need to be suspicious. She needed to hear the reality from Ron and as well, remind herself of the truth over and over.

Tip: It’s so important to write down what you know but forget, like how much you love your spouse, or how much you need to keep working at your job because you need the money right now. Holding on to what is true and repeating it over and over to remind yourself, is a powerful antidote when all the doubts and emotions that can carry you away into torrents of murky waters. One of the things that happens when we are in the grip of fear is that we forget what’s true when we are clear.

How to Prepare for Any Stressful Event

prepare-eventYesterday I had a chance to help out a dear friend, Molly, who was about to take her grueling CPA test the next day. She called, relaying that she had lost several hours of sleep the previous night. I knew it was her fear that was between her and feeling calm and relaxed. The fear was affecting her thinking, and now she was telling herself “I’m not prepared enough” and “I didn’t study enough.” Her mind was also racing into the future, “What if I don’t pass? What would I tell people?”

Having identified Polly’s destructive thoughts, we set about finding truthful contradictions. For the first two, “I’m not prepared enough” and “I didn’t study enough,” I asked her what was true. Had she been eating bon-bons and watching mindless television these last months? She answered straight away, and I hurriedly wrote down what she said.

I’ve definitely been on it.
I’ve done all I can do.
There’s nothing more that I could have done.
I’ve done my best.

I asked Molly if what she was saying was true and she acknowledged how diligent she had been. That was easy! These truths were about her.

I had her repeat these four lines out loud a few times and we could both hear in her voice that she knew in her heart that it was true. Whew!

We then attacked Molly’s other group of destructive thoughts that had to do with what others would think. “What will I tell people if I don’t pass?”

Being the smart cookie that she is, she paused, laughed, and said, “I’ll tell them the same thing”:

I don’t know how I could have prepared anymore.
I guess I’ll just take it again.

With great relief she repeated these truths a few times. We could tell that she knew was in synch with what she was saying.

I reminded her that she now had some powerful weapons to combat her old doubts if they resurfaced between now and test time. I also encouraged Molly to repeat the two sets of truths several times throughout the day and night because they would bathe her in the reality.

Before we hung up the phone, I felt compelled to get on my soapbox and remind her that her bad thoughts indicated she was just feeling fear. Since fear is just a pure physical sensation, pure energy in the body, she should copy what animals do when they are afraid. They shiver, tremble and shake until the danger passes. We need to follow their lead and do the same.

Shiver up the spine, though your legs, out your arms and hands, in her hips, and in your neck and jaw. The key is to do it hard, fast, and with abandon. I knew it seems silly but it really works. Try it for 90 seconds and I guarantee you’ll start to laugh and the spell will be broken.

This simple activity is the rx for whenever we can’t sleep, or feel anxious, nervous, overwhelmed, agitated, etc. Shake that energy out of your body while just making sounds or saying something like “It’s just fear. I have to move it out of my body.”

It became clear to Molly that just like before a big bike race or ski competition, it didn’t make sense to work out all day. Likewise, it was going to be most helpful for her to attend a yoga class, take a run, or prepare a special meal and relax. All the months of training were behind her. She would be doing what calmed her down so she’d be fresh as a daisy in the morning, and even enjoy the test, since she’d be sure to know most of the answers.

I got a text from Molly, the next day, saying “I passed!” She was one happy gal. All her preparation had paid off.

Procrastination

procrastinationTerry said “I procrastinate. There is no doubt about it. I have to prepare to teach a subject I’ve never taught before. All those lesson plans…”

“Why do you think you put it off” I asked.

She said “fear … I’m afraid it won’t be perfect. I know it stems back to not meeting my father’s expectations as a child. He would give me a lecture about how I could improve instead of telling me what a swell job I did.”

“What did you want to hear from him?”

Terry paused then said, “I’m proud of you. Look at what a marvelous thing you’ve accomplished.”

“So you’ll need to start saying it to yourself, I said”: I’m proud of myself. I like all that I’ve accomplished.

We came up with these additional support statements to repeat over and over every day before sitting down at her desk to work on her class plans.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect right now. It’s just a first draft. It’s a work in progress. No need to judge it. It’s part of a process.”

She was smart and realized the need to break the big task into small doable pieces and focus on each one, one at a time. This is “being specific” one of the 4 constructive attitudes associated with peace and sooth, not stimulate fear.

After she repeated these phrases over and over with single focus for several blocks of 90 seconds, she had a realization and said, “I’ve had and have enough stress in my life. I don’t need more.”

She realized she’d enjoying doing the creative project she enjoyed so much… putting together a course on local history to graduate students.

These insights and truths became her anchors and would be ideal repellent whenever she felt the procrastination bug starting to buzz around her head:

I don’t want to feel stressed. I’ve had enough stress in my life.

It doesn’t have to be perfect right now. It’s a work in progress. It’s part of a process.

I’m proud of myself. Look what I’m accomplishing!

When we next emailed she reported that she was way into her course creation. Easy breezy. She knew she was changed forever. She didn’t want to feel stressed when there was a good alternative.

Tip: When the tendency to put something off, rears its ugly head, tenaciously remind yourself that you’ll feel so much better if you attend to it in a timely fashion. Combat your bargaining mind that justifies inaction, with what is true. Repeat that over and over, until you win the battle and take the necessary action. It might be scary to do, but you’re going to feel it regardless of when you do it, so you might as well not compound the issue by getting down on yourself or denying the repercussions that procrastinating brings.

Dealing with Daily Drinking

daily-drinkingSarah came in confessing of drinking daily and wanting to look at it. She knew this habit had increased since she retired. I asked her what time of day was the urge the strongest. She said when she was at home without any plans, that 5 – 7pm time frame was the hardest. Sarah would feel sad, and start to put herself down, feeling unlovable and unworthy. Sarah started to drown her sorrows, those thoughts, feelings, and emotions. If she made it past 7 she was fine.

And Sarah, what happened at that time when you were growing up? My mother came home from work. Instead of paying attention to me, being excited about hearing about my day and me, she was preoccupied with her own plight and the big drama with my father. She was so critical and put me down instead of loving me and seeing my wonderfulness. I was so lonely. I felt so sad and often cried.

What did you want her to say and do?
“I wanted her to tell me she loved me and that I was beautiful.”

You’re never going to fill that old hurt and extreme feelings of isolation without having the truth to support you. Together we came up with these truths: “”Stop. Breathe. Cry. I love myself unconditionally.” “You’re so beautiful. I love you.” She was instructed to repeat these phrases over and over, especially from 5 to 7pm, while hugging herself and crying.

She also decided to rejoin a club where she could take an afternoon swim and sit in the Jacuzzi.

Tool: Figure out what was missing at the time you want to indulge your addiction and what emotion you were feeling. Express that emotion, cry (sadness), shiver (fear), or pound (anger), while thinking and saying to yourself what you yearned to hear from others back then and now. To soothe and comfort ourselves and our fears, we must remember the higher reality everyday until we get on a cellular level what we needed to hear back then. In Sarah’s case, and most frequently, it goes back to loving and honoring ourselves.

I recently came across this book that a couple of clients really found life altering. It’s by Jack Canfield and Dave Andrews and called, The 30 Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of your own Home. You might want to check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/30-Day-Sobriety-Solution-Drinking-Privacy/dp/147679295X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462290311&sr=1-1&keywords=30+day+solution

Worry Less, Enjoy More

freedom

We’re a society that likes to worry. Worrying is so prevalent, it almost feels socially acceptable. We consider it a good trait if a mom worries about her kids, a teenager worries about good grades, or a father worries about his company shutting down. We’ve accepted worry as a common human condition and while we’ve all been there (and may be there right now), it doesn’t mean we have to live there.

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October 27th, 2018
One-Day Communication Class

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Jude Bijou, Author
Jude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist, educator, author, and speaker.  Meet Jude

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