Better: Not Perfect Soul Care Workbook
Chapter #6 Love & Everest: Both Worth The Climb
Lessons From My Heart To Yours
When someone tells you their truth, where they are and what they want, believe them. Don’t think that you are going to change them unless you have a lot of time and energy to waste. Also, be mindful that people communicate their truths non-verbally too by their actions and if words and actions are misaligned then, at minimum you are not with a person who is clear on who they are or what they want. Either that or in the worst case, they may simply be a liar who is telling you what you want to hear, for their own selfish gain. What’s most important is that you learn and know who you are and spend less time trying to contort yourself to be what someone else wants.
As you begin to heal individually, part of that healing journey means learning yourself and loving yourself and setting personal boundaries in relationships. Sometimes a desire to not run someone away supersedes our willingness to be honest with ourselves about what we want and need in a relationship. If you are into monogamy or polygamy, the time to communicate that is before sex. If the other person isn’t where you are, it’s better to know sooner than later.
Be Honest but use wisdom, time, and discernment about when to share private truths about yourself. If things look like they are getting serious and you are holding onto information that might seem like a secret to the other person and that could have a negative effect on your relationship or marriage, tell them before getting engaged or taking things to the next level. It’s a risk, and yes, they may walk away, that’s the real truth. But another real truth is if the information is such a nonnegotiable issue for your intended then they may have walked away anyway, and with a hell of a lot more resentment towards you if you kept things a secret.
A Look Inside Your Heart: A Journaling Activity
What are the things that you stress about your crush finding out about you; debt, bad credit, abortion, infertility, no diploma/degree, past divorce, past criminal record, past sexual relationship with someone he knows, any/other actions? Have you forgiven yourself for these actions or are you still carrying the burden of shame for prior bad choices in life or for situations beyond your control? Guilt is a barrier to growth and self-love and naming that guilt and the associated feelings is a first step in the journey to help you overcome those negative feelings so that when you do have to open up to others about it, you can do so from a place of courage, strength, self-love and be able to confidently say “that’s in the past and I don’t live like that anymore” or “that was in the past and I am still living with some of the effects of that issue but it doesn’t take away my worth and value as a person.” Harvard psychologist Christopher Germer, in his book The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, suggests that there are five ways to bring self-compassion into your life: via physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual methods. Here’s one exercise he offers; Write a letter to yourself. Describe a situation that caused you to feel pain (a breakup with a lover, a job loss, a poorly received presentation). Write a letter to yourself describing the situation without blaming anyone. Acknowledge your feelings.
A Look Inside Your Head: Getting Clear Exercise
This is one of those areas where counseling and therapy are helpful but a few things are recommended by experts to help you on your journey to be rid of guilt and shame. Health Line at www.healthline.com offers you a few steps to get to the place of self-forgiveness.
Self-forgiveness involves four key steps:
Take responsibility for your actions.
Express remorse and regret without letting it transform into shame.
Commit to making amends for any harm you caused.
Practice self-acceptance and trust yourself to do better in the future.
Contemplate what this looks like for you and discuss it with a therapist or counselor on your healing journey or if you are not at that point, practice with a close friend or relative.