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Tag: marriage

Is Ancient Shame Holding You Back?

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

Shame that’s hidden from view is still shame that holds us back.

Mainly from love – giving and receiving.

We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of right?

Cast your mind back to childhood and I’m sure you’ll find something – a lie, a theft, a blurted nasty comment, classroom cheating, betrayal of a friend….

Ringing any bells?

More than twenty years ago I betrayed the man I had made marriage vows with not much more than a year earlier.

I left him for someone else.

I knew then as I know now, it was for the best.

I still hated myself for the pain I caused. I wished it could have been different – sort of.

It was exactly what it was and maybe the only way it could have been after nine years of familiarity and habit.

It did it because I’d been thrown a lifeline and I wanted to live – gawd that sounds dramatic.  I wasn’t in any physical danger.  It was just that I felt like I was sinking.

It wasn’t his fault. We’d just created something that wasn’t very happy.  The dynamic was all wrong and I suddenly saw it for what it had become;  we were like brother and sister.

I wanted more and I felt trapped with what we were capable of.  I began to harden up, toughen my outlook.  I set my jaw and steeled my gaze.

I guess I thought I could manage it okay if I changed myself enough. I held my breath.

And then I saw him at the party.  My husband was outside chatting with someone.  I walked inside and there sitting with an empty chair beside him, was a person I’d always wondered about.

I sat down and before I knew it I’d said, “I still have feelings for you.”

“But you’re married”, he said.  “I was at your wedding”, he said.

“I know”.

We both leaned forward, heads in our hands and smiled silly, hopeless sort of smiles.

Weeks went by and I told myself that was that. Nothing could happen.

Coincidentally, he worked at the university where I was studying. We met up a few times in the campus grounds after my lectures. Sat on hard benches and talked as the sun went down.

I persisted that it was pointless as I wasn’t about to leave my marriage. I said, I couldn’t bear to go through that.

He gently said, “You wouldn’t be sitting here talking to me if you were happy.”

Then a few weeks later he flew to England for a planned six month stay.

Just before he left, my husband worked out something was up.

One week later I moved out.

Life went on. I kept studying and working, friends chose camps, my parents were very supportive, I never saw my in-laws again.

It wasn’t easy but I had this little voice inside that I’d ignored years earlier when I was confused about love.  It whispered; stay strong, keep going, this is temporary, you’re doing fine.

My new flame came home and we moved in together. Four years later we got married.  You know the rest….kids, jobs, studies, homes, holidays, change, challenges, a move to the country and suddenly we’re middle-aged.

Up until last week I thought I was over this part of my story.  I’d done the counselling, read the books, been healed by experts, become a healer myself, gotten it all straight in my mind and reached a level of peace about it.

The Australian Bush Flower Essence – wedding bush supports us in being committed to any aspect of life.

But in truth I’m still holding it against myself.  I’m still ashamed of what I did and only I can resolve that. And resolve it I will because what I’ve realised is that this shame is stopping me from having the quality and depth of love I want in my relationship with not only my husband but with all the important people in my life.

So how?  This is what I feel:

  • Put my hands on my heart and love myself a little more
  • Feel into my soul, trust in the wisdom I followed and know that it was my best choice at the time
  • Grow into stronger compassion for the 24 year-old me who was simply saving herself
  • Give thanks to the universe for giving me the courage to step forward onto that new path and risk losing everyone’s love in the process.

All these old fragmented, hidden parts of ourselves don’t really need to be released or healed….they need to be integrated into the wondrous, complex and multi-faceted beings that we are.

We don’t need to continually make ourselves wrong or flawed or broken.  We’re all the villain and the victim. We’re all innocent and all guilty.  We are all deserving of love no matter what.

Tricia

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Staying Together – Our Story So Far…

Posted in Heal Relationships

My husband and I have been together for a whopping twenty years this year and gosh it’s been a rich and varied ride.

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When I cast my mind back to us as naive and fresh-faced twenty-five year-olds moving into our rented two-bedroom unit with no money in the bank and one decent car between us, I see two kids in love and bursting to tackle life head-on together.

I won’t bore you with a detailed history of our whole twenty years.  Let’s just say there’s been lots of ups, plenty of downs but mostly regular, normal life just sort of chugging along.  No complaints though because our ‘normal’ would be considered paradise on steroids for many people living in other lands.

Fast forward to now and we’ve got so much to be grateful for:

A very cool and relaxed lifestyle by the ocean in a very nice holiday town, two gorgeous kids both on the verge of teenager-dom, healthy bodies, great friends and loving families, work we both enjoy and financial comfort.

But how’s our relationship?

Because you know all those external trappings of success don’t guarantee nothing in this crazy world of ours.

I’ve heard first-hand about countless women just like me with, to the casual observer, everything to be happy about but for whom life feels inwardly miserable or desperately tedious.

And I guess to be honest, I came close to meeting that description around ten years ago when our kids were little.  It never became extreme but I certainly reached a point where I felt dissatisfied with my life and my husband was apportioned a reasonable or should I say, ‘unreasonable’ amount of the blame.

When I look back now I see that we were both doing our best to fulfill the roles of parents to our young family and that this put a lot of pressure on our relationship:  Hubby worked long hours and though I loved motherhood I also missed my paid work for its mental stimulation and sense of achievement.  Before too long we’d drifted onto that favoured battle ground of many young parents.  It’s called – “Who’s doing it tougher.”

These days our relationship is good.  It’s good because it’s real and honest and mature. We love one another yes, we also enjoy one another’s company as friends and we support each other in pursuing our dreams and ambitions. We have wonderfully lively conversations together and he can still make me giggle.

And of course, we also have those times when things just don’t feel good, we’re tense around one another and everything is difficult.  That’s normal right?

It’s complex. I mean raising children, earning a quid, looking after one’s own health, building good friendships, spending quality time together (without the kids) and having a sex life. There’s a lot going on there and that doesn’t include planning holidays, making big career changes, moving to new places and buying and selling homes, all of which we’ve done in the last three years.

So anyway, our relationship has gotten to this point of maturity and longevity for many reasons, but I think one key element has been that I worked out (at around that ten year mark), that I needed to get over the idea that he or anyone else – including my children – was put on this earth to make me happy.

I took full responsibility for making myself happy by doing things I loved each day and by cultivating a deeper and stronger feeling of love and acceptance for myself.  It began with daily meditation and a weekly yoga class and was followed by lots and lots of journal writing, studies in kinesiology and flower essence therapy, some amazing self-help and spiritual books and some great healing sessions with some amazing women I met along the way.

My husband was of course right there by my side supporting me and I also had some wonderful friends and my Mum to talk things over with.  But really it’s been up to me to choose between the many pathways to travel and to make the clear and simple choice each day to love myself a little more and put myself first in my life.

Once I realised that I didn’t need to wait for anyone else’s approval, because it was already there dwelling within me, I began blossoming in so many new ways.

The story continues…

If you feel you could benefit from some extra support to embark on your new path of loving and accepting yourself more, I’m available for telephone and Skype sessions to help you along the way.  Just click here and then contact me for a chat.  Much love, Tricia

When A Dream Comes True, You Are Still You

Posted in Live From Intuition, Live Your Passions, and Self-Care and Self-Healing

I’m not much of a rebel.  In fact, I’m a pretty committed rule-follower and goody two-shoes.

Growing up in a world where I interpreted that approval came from what I did, not simply who I was, I fitted right in.  I did well at school, played sport, ran races, learned the flute, danced my heart out and made friends easily.

I rarely rocked the boat, broke a rule or even so much as dreamed of rebelling.  I played it safe and was a ‘good girl’ ’cause that’s what I thought brought me the love and security I craved.

And yeah, I was happy enough.  I certainly think I looked happy from the outside.  Busy can look happy because we are distracted from those inner whisperings that question whether we are truly serving our soul’s purpose.  Although I guess that’s what being young is all about:  Trying this, trying that, being active, working different jobs, studying, dropping out, changing track, starting and ending romances, getting married, getting divorced….Oh, well maybe that last bit’s not for everyone.

That’s just what I did.

Married at 23
Married at 23

Finding myself a newly separated woman shortly after our first anniversary was a bit of a shock.  My slightly more rebellious younger brother’s response was a classic: “Yay! Tricia’s finally done something naughty.” That made me laugh – a little anyway.

Yep, I’d walked out of a 15 month-old marriage and was not going back.  Goodbye good Tricia. Well, not really, I was still living the illusion that I could make my life work by keeping my head down and playing life safe.  Any minor transgressions along the way were simply not me, couldn’t possibly be me.

So although I felt guilty as anything over the marriage breakdown and very sad too, I didn’t really know how to take responsibility for my actions and move forward without hating myself.  My moral compass was fluttering in all directions and it took me a year or two to regain some semblance of inner stability.

What really bugged my super-focused, efficiency-oriented mind was the time I had now wasted.  I was in my mid-twenties, doing a job not remotely connected to the seemingly useless Bachelor of Arts I had completed, I was divorced, had no assets, no savings, a new boyfriend in the same situation as me and was spending yet more time and potentially wasting more money (only thanks to Mum and Dad), on another university degree to what end?

In my grandly delusional dreams I was going  to be happily married, financially secure and at home with my first child by 25.  What on earth happened?

Anyway, it all actually worked out okay. That penniless boyfriend and I moved in together that same year, I finished my psychology degree and post grad. diploma and started a new career, we got married and finally in my early thirties I got the ‘happily married with financial security and two children’ dream.  And that’s when I began to finally work out how to be happy.

Motherhood, at last.
Motherhood, at last.

When we get everything we thought we needed to be happy and realise we still aren’t, that’s when real personal growth happens.  I’m in a similar situation again right now.  I have the life I dreamed of when my children were babies and guess what, I still need to learn that it’s not enough when I don’t love myself fully and value each present moment for what it offers.

So to finish this long story, I just want to say at a slightly wiser 43, dream your dreams, make them happen AND remember to spend time learning to love yourself just as you are right now and love just where you are right now.  It makes the ride much smoother. That’s all.  <3