Have you ever felt totally defeated? You’ve tried every known action to mankind that could possibly help you fix a relationship – and still you’re left feeling the same loop, frustrated as hell and completely powerless over the situation…
I remember how shitty it felt to try so many ways to engage with my partner (and then with my children) thinking that if I changed, the relationship would change. If I could only love him differently, not react, use more effective words, get him to understand – but after years of trying, I still felt the same feelings. Over and over again, like a broken record, that instead of fading out into the distance like I expected, was getting louder, more painful, more overwhelming.
Everything changed for me when I realized that what I thought was my problem – my partner, my work, my children – was not my problem. What I was so determined to ‘make right’ was not what needed to be made right, if I was to feel more free in my life. I came to see that there was something within me that continued to re-create those same feelings of powerlessness, frustration and resentment. I got curious…if I dealt with that first, would my life change?
I started to be aware of the feelings in my body – before conflict would arise, I noticed I would have a little feeling. A pre-cursor to what might come. A whisper of emotion that I later discovered was actually guiding me towards the solution I was looking for. When I learnt to interpret that whisper my life changed forever.
I often felt smothered. I was a Mum and it seemed that it was my job to do everything. I had no space, no freedom and no choice. As the feeling would rise up in me I investigated it and discovered I had felt that feeling many times before. Even in childhood. Having to be responsible, regardless of the impact on myself. As I became more aware of this pattern and why it was there, I could start responding to the feeling as it arose, rather than being activated by it. I put steps in place that I could follow and started feeling more free, as opposed to more trapped. This had me feeling more empowered in my own life, so I could be a happier and more emotionally available partner and mother.
I discovered that when I took responsibility for the feelings I was having, I could then take effective action, because I was acting from a base of empowerment rather than powerlessness. My actions became much more deliberate, less reactive. I was clear headed and could see more creative solutions that lasted. It’s not surprising that the results I got from being able to respond in this way were much more satisfying for us all!
My problem was not them. It was that I was not in the right ‘inner’ space to take effective action. Once I learnt how to take charge of my inner space, I no longer felt the repetitive loops, the ongoing resentment and soon forgot how frustrated I once felt in my relationships!
Can I suggest, next time you feel THEY are the problem, stop and check in. What are YOU feeling? When have you felt that before? Why might these feelings be coming up – is there an old emotional wound that’s ready to be healed? The good news is, when I see the answer to these questions, I no longer have to wait for anyone to change. I have the power here and now to transform my reality and take my power back from unhealthy dynamics. Let me know how you go!
Lisa Jayne is passionate about guiding people towards their own emotional empowerment. She works in private practice, is an author and speaker supporting people to take charge of their feelings by listening to the whisper of their own emotions as they arise. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on IG here.