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Self-Love & Relationships

Attachment Styles and How To Find Out Yours

Ever wondered why your relationships are the way they are? Maybe you’ve wondered why it’s difficult for you to trust people or to open up to them? Or why you choose certain romantic partners? Or why you always seem to sabotage your relationships? The answer may have to do with your attachment style. In fact, everyone has an attachment style and it’s based on the attachment theory. The attachment theory was originally developed by John Bowlby in the 1950s and is based on the idea that the “emotional bond between parents and their children is responsible for the bond that develops between adults in emotionally intimate relationships.” This emotional bond develops when you are an infant. Carers who are sensitive to children’s needs foster a “secure attachment style”. Carers who become distressed and retreat when their children are upset to create an “avoidant attachment style”. Carers who respond sensitively but are often distracted from their caregiving create an “anxious attachment style”. And carers who harm their children through neglect or abuse, create a “disorganized attachment style.”

By the age of 5 years old, your attachment style is pretty much set in stone and can become much harder to change. It’s one of the reasons why the first 5 years of a child’s development are deemed to be the most important in regards to who they will become as an adult. 

The relationship between infants and caregivers and the relationship between adult romantic partners share many similar features. Such as the following:

Therefore, the type of attachment you form with your parents as an infant often mirrors the type of attachment that you develop with other people, especially when it comes to romantic relationships.

Knowing your attachment style can give you important information and insight about yourself, your relationships and other people in your life. It can also help you be more mindful of the type of parent that you want to be. Additionally, it can help fill in the missing pieces and explanations behind some of your behaviors when it comes to relationships. Lastly, it can help you understand your parent(s) in a new light as well. Because everyone has an attachment style, that means that your parent’s attachment style heavily influenced the kind of attachment that they developed with you while you were an infant. For some people, this revelation may bring about more peace and forgiveness.

In order to find out your attachment style, you can take the following quizzes: 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/relationships/relationship-attachment-style-test

https://dianepooleheller.com/attachment-test

https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/2859

https://www.seemypersonality.com/personality.asp?p=Relationship-Test#q1

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/attachment-styles

In addition, do your own research and consider going to therapy in order to dig deeper into your own attachment style. What do you think about the attachment style theory? What do you think is your attachment style? Have you gained any new insights from learning about your attachment style? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Self-Love & Relationships

Emotional Abuse: The Signs That I Overlooked

I never thought that I would end up in a toxic and abusive relationship but that’s exactly what happened. I didn’t see the signs all at once and it took me a while to even admit it to myself that I had been in an abusive relationship because again I never thought that I would end up in that position. But once the relationship ended and I did some research, got into therapy, I discovered that my ex was an emotional abuser.

According to crisistextline.org emotional abuse is described as:

Controlling another person’s actions and behaviors through verbal and emotional manipulation.

Many of the abusive actions that my ex displayed during our relationship were signs that I dismissed because at the moment it didn’t seem like a big deal but it didn’t feel right either. Many times I would find myself trying to explain his behavior. But my explanations illuminated that this relationship wasn’t healthy. Now a year later, I can pinpoint the abusive behavior that I missed.

The Signs I Ignored

  1. My ex would constantly criticize me for not responding to him in the way that he felt I should respond when he was sad or going through something. At first, I would try to use the “tips” that he’d say would help. But whenever I used them the criticism would continue. It got to the point where it seemed like I couldn’t do anything right. I couldn’t say the right thing, wear the right thing, etc.
  2. My ex would also blame me for any and everything that went wrong in our relationship. Of course, there were times when I messed up but not to the extent that he blamed me. In fact, nothing was ever his fault. I wasted a lot of time trying to fix myself when I wasn’t really the issue.
  3. My ex would call me out of my name and then validate his reasoning for doing so.
  4. There were a few times when my ex would threaten to hurt himself when he noticed that I was trying to leave the relationship.
  5. On the flip side, there were many times when my ex would withhold communication and affection from me if I didn’t do what he wanted me to do (e.g., giving you the silent treatment).
  6. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my ex would log into my email, phone, or social media profiles without my permission.
  7. My ex would take my debit and credit cards and spend my money without asking. When I would confront him about it, he would get very upset about it and never own up to any wrongdoing.
  8. Lastly, my ex always deflected the blame and responsibility for any of the above actions, leaving me to always feel like I was the one at fault (aka, gaslighting).

You don’t have to have each of these occur in order for you to be in an emotionally abusive relationship because I didn’t. It’s important to note that emotional abuse doesn’t only happen in romantic relationships, it can happen in any relationship.

The Aftermath

I know that it’s a risk to share this experience. My ex is still in my life because we share a son and I was concerned about how this would affect him. But then I thought to myself, this is a part of my story. Not speaking about it only continues the cycle of control that my ex had over my life. So I chose to share my story, to continue my healing, to hopefully bring more awareness and understanding. To maybe even help or encourage someone else who is in this situation.

Because I still get so upset when I think about how badly I was treated by my ex and I still have scars that affect me in both small and big ways. But most importantly, I am still alive. I got out before things got physical because there were signs that it was definitely headed that way. I thought my ex would change, but emotional abusers are incapable of changing. I repeat emotional abusers are incapable of changing. They are incapable of viewing people or at least their partners as people, they only view them as objects, tools to be used, as a means to an end. So I will never believe that my ex has changed, despite what he sees, the actions confirm it every time.

It’s difficult to parent with an emotional abuser because even though we aren’t in a romantic relationship with each other, the emotional abuse continues in different ways. My ex still tries to manipulate me into getting his way every chance he gets. He also still tries to blame me for things and start arguments over nothing. He still tries to get me to apologize for things that aren’t my fault. How do I deal with it? By remembering that we aren’t together, so the hold that he had is no more. By thinking of my son, and all of the progress that I have made, the milestones I’ve accomplished. By thinking of everything that I have to be grateful for. By praying even when I don’t want to. Lastly, by living my life, on my own terms again. 

If you or someone you know is in an emotionally abusive relationship, know that you are not alone. I hope that this story encourages you and empowers you to do the next step, whatever that may be. Hold on, you are worth it! Share your story in the comments section below, there is healing in our stories.

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Self-Love & Relationships

Here’s How You Take Care Of Yourself After A Breakup

Breakups are tough and painful. While it may feel like you’ll never get over it, let me tell you that you definitely will. How do I know? I’ve gone through many difficult, heart-wrenching breakups. I’m talking about, breaking up with the man that I thought I would spend the rest of my life with….twice. The first time it happened my world felt like it ended and I fell into a state of depression. But the second time, because I had made it to the other side of a break up before, my healing process took a lot less time. So, trust me when I say that you will get through this breakup. Here is what I did to take care of myself after my breakups and I hope it helps you too!

Cry. In fact, cry as much as you need to. Those emotions need to come out. Don’t beat yourself up about crying and don’t try to keep it inside you. The longer you do that, the longer you will prolong your healing. Eventually, you will get to a place where you no longer want to cry. 

Spa Days. Treat yourself to a spa day. Either do a DIY spa day at home or go to a spa. Getting a massage, facial or your nails done feels good. Groupon offers tons of discounted spa packages that you can take advantage of. Maybe spa days can become a part of your weekly or monthly routine.

Clean your space for real, for real. Recently, I listened to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondö. If you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend it, this book is deep! In it, she says

“From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change. That’s why the task of putting your house in order should be done quickly. It allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination.”

A clean space helps us to then be able to look inwardly and confront the questions that we’ve been ignoring. Like, why did I attract this person in my life? What ways did I contribute to our breakup? Did I ignore any red flags and if so, why?

Spend time with your loved ones. While it’s good to have some alone time during your period of healing, don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with people who can make you laugh or who can remind you of how awesome you really are.

Live your life, whatever that means to you. Plan a solo trip. Try that new restaurant. Go to that music festival. Pursue your goals with reckless abandonment. Just don’t stay stagnant for too long. Make new enjoyable moments because you deserve it!

Try therapy. A therapist can help show you your blind spots when it comes to relationships. Maybe there’s a pattern with all of your exes or some toxic behaviors on your end that you need to work through. Your therapist can also give you personalized tools to help you as you move forward with your life.

Journal. Journaling is a great way to get all of your feelings out and to help you learn, as you reflect, especially if you can’t afford to get a therapist right away. We as vessels aren’t meant to keep everything inside. Keeping everything that you’re feeling inside of you will only lead you to possibly continuing the same dating patterns.

Throw it out! Get rid of everything and I mean every single thing that reminds you of your ex, both digitally and physically. Also, do it quickly, don’t linger and re-read old text messages. Rip the band-aid off immediately.

Last but not least, be patient with yourself. I understand wanting to get over your ex and to feel better immediately. But the truth is it takes time to get to that place and for good reasons. No matter who initiated the break-up, there are important lessons we need to learn and unlearn in order to get to the next chapter of our lives. So do yourself a favor, don’t rush your journey to becoming whole and healed from your break up. The way life works, those lessons will come back around until you “pass the test” so to speak. So you might as well make the most of the journey.

What do you do to take care of yourself during a breakup? Let us know in the comments below!

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Self-Love & Relationships

Are you in Love or Complacency? How to Tell the Difference

Have you ever stayed in a relationship that wasn’t fulfilling? Maybe it was the time you put in, or not wanting to look like a bad person that made you stay. Maybe you hoped that the person would change, or your feelings for them would change. I have definitely been in a relationship I was merely existing in, it wasn’t love but at the same time I was afraid to leave. There are definitely some telltale signs on whether or not you are truly in love, or merely just riding the wave of complacency hoping it leads to love. Here are a few ways to tell:

Love

When you’re truly in love you want to do things with that other person. When you think of trips or dates, even watching a movie, often it is them that crosses your mind to want to do it with. Now, this doesn’t mean that you are going to want to spend every waking moment with them,though in the beginning you might, but you want to spend time together, even if it means doing absolutely nothing when you are in love. 

Complacency

Complacency is almost like laziness. You feel stuck with the person. They aren’t necessarily who you want to be around but you feel almost like you have no other choice. Maybe you don’t have many other friends or they are simply always around. You could take or leave them but often times you are stuck “taking” them simply because they are there.

Love

When people ask you why are you together or what you love about your mate, you think of all of their characteristics that you love, you think about the fun you have together, positive memories come to mind, you think about all of the good that outweighs the bad. You may not say every single reason but you begin to think of all of the many reasons why you love them.

Complacency

When people ask you why are you together or what you love about your mate, you begin to wonder if you even love them. You think about all of the time you have put into the relationship. You think about the things they do for you. You question how long it would take to get to know a new person and you get scared thinking about having to start all over with someone new and if a new person would even accept or love you.

Love

When they first walk in the house whether you’ve been with them for a year or ten, you want to hug them, you want to touch them, to hear about their day. Even when you need your own space you still want to know that they are around when you are ready to talk and unwind with them. 

Complacency

You often get irritated by their presence. Little things they do drive you insane. You can’t quite pinpoint what it is that bothers you but they easily get under your skin and annoy you all the time. You rarely want to spend time with them and you often make excuses to do your thing simply to not have to be around them. 

Love

Your future with them is clear. You want to be with them for the long term, possibly have a family, start a life together, encourage each other to complete goals. You can’t imagine yourself without them in your life and you can’t wait for forever to begin.

Complacency

You often question their purpose in your life. Some days you can see yourself being together but most days you feel like you are doing time. You often visualize yourself being single or maybe even with another person. You get anxiety thinking about spending the rest of your life with your partner.

Love

You know your partner isn’t perfect. There are definitely things he needs to work on but you love him. You love his silly quirks and know that they add to his personality. You both actively work to be the best versions of yourselves and even when you are fighting the love doesn’t dissipate.

Complacency

The bad outweighs the good with your partner. You are constantly thinking of things they need to change. You can’t see them ever being the person you want them to be and you may not even feel you are who they want you to be with. 

If you leaned more towards complacency than love, why do you think that is? Do you feel like time is keeping you and your mate together? Perhaps you share a child, are married or simply don’t want to let them or the people  around you down. I will say this, if you’re not married and don’t share a child together you should definitely be thinking about your feelings on this one. There is no reason to waste time trying to force someone to change who they are or force yourself to be someone you are not. There are literally billions of people in this world and trust me, there is at least one that you will mesh with. As far as marriage or sharing a child, you should definitely try counseling, talk to your partner and exalt every option you can before making your final decision.

Life is short and you never want to have to ask yourself, what if?

Are you in love or complacency?

As always

Love & light

Ashley

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Self-Love & Relationships

Breaking Unhealthy Bonds

He calls, you answer. He doesn’t call, you go into crisis mode. He stops calling, you keep calling, texting, insta-stalking, begging and pleading to God to bring back your man, who isn’t really your man but damn sure felt like your man the last three weeks, months or years you spent pretending and hoping he would officially make you his. So how do you get over him? How do you get over the man you shared your heart with, your bed with, your hopes, dreams and aspirations? How do you pretend none of that happened and simply walk away? You don’t. It all happened so why pretend it didn’t? It would be crazy to think someone you had such a deep bond with never existed. Regardless of how he might have made you feel in the end, at one point you had something that felt very real and the only way to get over it is to face it and feel it.

1. Face the facts

Why do we try to pretend that we don’t have feelings? Why do we bottle up everything inside until the moment we’re on our third mimosa at brunch and our friend asks how are we doing, do we decide to break down in an all out snotty, obnoxious crying breakdown? It’s unhealthy to hold in emotions and trust me no one wants to see snot running down your nose when they are trying to enjoy their chicken and waffles at brunch. You have to deal with your emotions and when it happens at that. Don’t busy yourself with work. Don’t pretend everything is ok when it isn’t and don’t jump into another unhealthy relationship. Cry when you want to. Write a note cussing him out if it makes you feel better. Allow yourself to feel the emotions you are going through just don’t stay in that bad place. Don’t get stuck feeling bad, or angry, or mad at yourself. You loved someone or at least it felt like you did and that is normal. Feel what you need to feel and move on. It may take a week, a month or a year to get over but it will be much easier to move on fully when you’ve already dealt with your emotions than if you had of swept them under the rug like they never existed.

2. Love yourself unapologetically

Maybe you messed up with this guy. Maybe you gave too much of yourself while he consistently gave too little. Maybe you carried baggage from your past relationship and put it all on him. Maybe you just weren’t ready for everything he provided. Maybe he didn’t provide enough and you stayed until he left. Whatever it is that happened or didn’t happen you have to forgive yourself and more importantly, love yourself. When we truly love ourselves we don’t allow ourselves to stay in that stuck place for too long because it’s painful and no one wants to cause someone they love pain, because love is not painful. Treat yourself the way you treat a child. You love them even when they spit up on you, when they cry incessantly for hours, even when they pull your hair and tell you that your food tastes disgusting. You love them because as messed up as they are sometimes to you, they are still cute little angels, innocent from the evils of the world. So why don’t you love yourself that way? When you truly love you, you won’t allow someone to repeatedly hurt you and keep coming back. That sounds more like torture to me, but we do it. Time and time again we allow ourselves to be hurt and in case it hasn’t stuck yet, that is not love. Take time to focus on things that make you healthy and bring joy into your life. Get rid of clutter, deep clean your house, light an incense or scented candle, take a twerk class, write a poem, binge watch a ridiculous show on netflix. Whatever it is that equals love in a healthy way, do it.

 3. Move on

Now comes the hard part. The no longer being able to drunk text on Friday night part. The not showing up at his door, or opening yours at 2am part. The ignoring his calls and not watching his insta story part. The excruciating part that has to be done. Breaking the bond. All of that self love stuff sounds good until it’s time to actually do the work. But I promise you can do it. You hate this cycle, that’s why you’re here. You want to let go, as hard as it is, you know it is what’s best. Cutting the cord is not easy but it’s necessary. If you have to block him, do it. If you have to stop drinking to avoid the inevitable drunk text you are bound to send, throw out the wine girl and if you have to change your number, do it! Breaking unhealthy bonds is not easy but neither is constantly running back to a man that you know doesn’t love you. So cut–the–cord. If you need to enlist a friend to yell at you every time you bring up his name, do it!  Trust me your friends are tired of hearing about him anyway they will gladly help. Get out the house, try a new activity, plan a girls night, just get that man out of your head and by all means, out of your bed as soon as possible to fully move on.

Breaking unhealthy bonds is never easy but it is always possible if you are truly ready and willing to move and trust me you have to be ready for any of this to work, if not you will be going through the same cycle all over again.

As always,

Love & light

Ashley

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Self-Love & Relationships

How to Set Healthy Boundaries While Not Losing Friends

My husband is my go-to, my best friend, my rock. Often times when I’m going through something, he is the one I turn to talk. Typically, when something is going on with my health, my friends, my family or day to day life, I turn to him. It has been this way for as long as I can remember which is why on my end I’ve never worried about needing to draw limits with my friends, because I’ve never been “that friend”. I have never been the one to call at 2 am crying about a breakup, or the one to talk about my sick relative, or cry about what’s going on in my life. If I’m not figuring it out on my own, talking to God, my husband or occasionally my mom, I am not divulging a lot to my friends.

It’s not that I don’t trust my friends with my most intimate details, it’s just that I hate being a burden to other people with my problems especially if it’s not something they can change. With that being said, I have definitely been on the receiving end. I have received those 2 am phone calls, drove to the police department/hospital in the middle of the night, talked them off the ledge, listened to whatever it was that was ailing them at the time, and for me I’ve always been grateful that I was able to be there for them. However, that openness to talk, to listen, to council has definitely come at a cost to me. As women, we are typically naturally caring and nurturing. As a woman who is an empath on top of that, it’s easy for me to get sucked in emotionally as well. I can get extremely stressed, depressed or even physically sick just from constantly listening to the problems of others and have had a hard time setting up healthy boundaries in friendships. As I am getting older, I’ve found a few tips that are helpful in me setting up boundaries without hurting the friends and family that I love.

1. Ask for a minute

Do you have a friend that immediately starts unloading all of their problems on you the minute they see or talk to you? It’s almost like the second you come in contact with them, word vomit comes out and they can’t help but spill the proverbial tea. You listen of course. You listen for hours, you give advice, you allow your world to stop time and time again for your friend because she needs you. 

 But you know who also needs you? You do. You need to be healthy, you need to be happy, you need to tend to your own life and your own needs. The next time you see or talk to your friend simply tell her you need a minute. You need to be able to just breathe for a moment before she begins unloading all of her problems on you. If it means ignoring a phone call and sending a text instead or canceling a venting session, simply let her know that you love her but you simply need a moment.

2. Just say no

Saying no is hard. Saying no without an explanation is even harder. I’m the friend who takes on a million and one projects my friends need help with and offer to bake cupcakes, bring wine and run errands on foot if it means making their lives a tad bit easier. I love helping and catering to those I love and at many times once again it has been at my own expense. You can’t volunteer to bring mac n cheese, greens, dressing and a cake to the potluck knowing you haven’t even made your rent payment then get mad at your friends because now you’re broke and have no clue how you’re going to pay rent on time. Whether it’s you who is the volunteer person or your friends are constantly asking you to do things you don’t have the time, resources or funds to do, simply say, no. Let your friends know that as much as you love them you simply cannot commit to helping them this time and you have to focus on your job, marriage, kids, project, whatever it is, if they are truly friends they will understand.

3. Have the hard conversations

I hate controversy. I cannot stand drama or tension between friends but sometimes you simply have to face it head on. If you have a friend that is absolutely draining and she simply does not seem to get the hint, it’s time to sit her down and have the conversation that you’ve been avoiding. Start off with love. Let her know how much you love, care about and value your friendship. Tell her what she and your friendship means to you, then hit her with the truth. Let her know as much as you love and care about her sometimes her venting can be draining, especially if it’s about the same issue. Tell her that you want her to know that you are there for her but at the same time sometimes you simply just want to hang out with her without any drama and just enjoy each other’s company and have fun. Let your friend know that you can tell whatever the issue is, is weighing on her but she has to start letting go of things she can’t control and changing the things she can. Speak with love the same way you would want someone you love to talk to you and truly listen as well. By talking to your friend you are letting her know, instead of venting to someone else about her, exactly how you feel and if you are as close as you feel you are, she will be able to understand. 

How do you set healthy boundaries?

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Self-Love & Relationships

Self Love is the Best Love: Maintaining Self Love in New and Old Relationships

I haven’t always loved myself in relationships. I’ve allowed myself to get lost. I have put all of my energy and focus on “loving” the man I was with or trying to show him how much I loved him while denying myself the very love I so desperately tried to give away. It can be easy to get lost in relationships, especially when they are not healthy. I learned quickly that In order to truly love anyone else you have to love yourself first. Here are a few ways to maintain self love in relationships.

1. Putting I before we

As women we are taught to be selfless. We are reprimanded for being selfish and often feel guilty when we do take the time to spoil ourselves. As much as giving can be such a big part of us, it is impossible to pour from a cup that is empty. Before you can please your partner you have to make sure that your needs are met. When you start to feel overwhelmed take a step back and do something good for you. If you are the type to drown or get lost in your partner in a relationship start spending more time with your girlfriends. Take a class you’ve always been dying to take, take yourself on a date. There is nothing wrong with more me time and in fact it makes “we” time better. Dates are so much more fun when you can intrigue your mate with all of the new stuff you’ve been doing and learning lately. Have an adventure, write some poetry, take up painting, just do something that makes you and your soul feel good.

2. Take a breather

I’m the type of wife that enjoys having dinner made when my husband gets home and eating together. Not just any dinner, I like to have the table decorated, the lights dim, candles lit and everything looking esthetically pleasing. I also like to have the house clean and try to look as cute as possible even when I’ve been working from home myself, cooking and cleaning all day. Sometimes I can get lost in all of this. I remember a few years ago when we were dating I was pretty much doing the same things only I would literally spend hours deep cleaning and cooking and literally not have any time for myself. I wasn’t working on my craft, I was not getting out much, I simply was existing. I was becoming depressed more and more everyday. My husband had to sit me down and talk to me. Why are you doing this? Why are you putting so much focus on these things and not on writing? The truth is I wasn’t feeling very confident in my writing and used this as an escape, an excuse. Once he set me straight, I got out of my own way and started focusing on the things that mattered more.

The man in our lives is not always going to be the one to tell us, that why they love what we are doing it’s not always necessary. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of this. Again, you cannot pour from a cup that is empty. Take a step back from all that you are doing and ask yourself, am I happy? Am I fulfilled? If the answer is no, then you need to find out what you need to do to get there, even if it means not being the super girlfriend or wife that you’ve been being. It’s not selfish to let him cook, or order food once in awhile or God forbid not have the table looking like Maestros. It’s self care and self love to simply say, not today sometimes.

 

3. Learning to say no

Those men of ours can get pretty spoiled, especially when we have been treating them like their mothers for years. As much as they love us they can get pretty use to the amazing things that we do and have done for them and sometimes not fully appreciate us for it. It’s important to learn to say no, even when it’s hard. The truth is as amazing as we are to them we have to be even more amazing to ourselves. We can’t get lost in a relationship because then we lose ourselves. Saying no sometimes is often imperative to our sanity. When you know it’s something he can simply do for himself or you just don’t have the time to do and get what you need done, start simply saying no. Let your man know that while you love being there for him you also have to be there for yourself and as much as you love being his helpmate you have to help yourself as well. If he truly loves you, though it may be a hard pill to swallow hopefully he will understand and eventually start doing more not only for himself but also you.

While it can be hard not doing as much as we are accustomed to doing for our spouses and boyfriends the reward of being a happier, healthier more fulfilled you, will definitely be worth it. Take the time to do at least one nice, relaxing, rewarding thing for yourself and everyday, and watch how you continue growing into the happier, healthier woman you were always meant to be.

As always,

Love & light

Ashley

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Self-Love & Relationships

How to Stay True to Yourself in a Relationship

It is important to value your authentic self whether you are single, in a relationship, or somewhere in between. Staying true to yourself is vital to your happiness and satisfaction in life and love. But how, exactly, do you stay true to yourself? And how do you know when you are losing yourself in another’s life.

Putting this concept into action can be hard when you don’t know where to start. And impossible if you don’t really know what being “true to yourself” means. So here are four ways to develop and understand your own authenticity and maintain your sense of self in any relationship. 

1. Know Thyself

Remaining true to who you are requires knowing who you are in the first place. So how do you get to know who you are? 

  • Start by identifying your defining features. What makes you different from those around you. What makes you unique or special. What are your particular skills, talents and gifts. 
  • Then list the core values and beliefs you hold. What really matters to you and would affect the way you live, love and think. What values would you want to share with a partner.
  • Then consider want you want in and for your life. What milestones do you want to hit. What expectations do you want to challenge. What goals do you want to achieve.
  • Finally, think about what you like. What are your interests and hobbies. What brings you joy, makes you happy, and makes you feel fulfilled and satisfied. 

2. Know Your History

To know how to hold yourself together in relationships you need to know when you’ve let yourself go. Parsing through your relationship history will help you recognize when you have lost yourself in another. Think back to your past. Who were you in those relationships. What about you changed, and what stayed the same. What parts of your personality, lifestyle, values and desires did you retain, abandon for or adapt to the other person. Why and how did this happen. And how long did it take you to notice.

3. Make a Home Base

Once you understand who you are and recognize when you begin to get away from yourself, establish a “home base” or center. This is a foundation of activities and experiences that create a confident, peaceful and complete sense of self. Anything and anyone that doesn’t serve your highest self can’t stick around. 

4. Stay Centered

Once your center is established you must protect it. If you start feeling pulled away from center engage in activities or rituals that refocus your energy. Concentrate on self re-connection and self-care to ensure you don’t get lost in your partner’s life. Meditate, dance, paint, pray. Do whatever gave you that sense of wholeness when you were single even when you’re not. 

Whether you’re single or attached you are your first love. Self-love is the standard and that doesn’t change with your relationship status. True love may be hard to find, but staying true to yourself once you find it doesn’t have to be. Remaining true to who you are takes dedication, but with the right knowledge and skills you can stay whole even when you become part of a couple.

Categories
Self-Love & Relationships

“I’m stuck in a relationship because I invested too much”: Why This Is A Poor Excuse To Stay

Knowing when to leave a relationship is not always easy because we believe we invested so much in the relationship. Although every situation is different, here are a few reasons why “I invested too much in the relationship” isn’t good enough for you to stay.

Learn to be alone 

“I invested too much in the relationship “ is a BS excuse for not wanting to be alone. If you’re in an unhappy relationship did you ever think to yourself that you’re already alone in this “relationship”. Girl it’s better to be happy and alone than to be unhappy in a relationship. The moment you decide to leave this senseless relationship is the moment you will learn to not only be alone but to love yourself. 

Your social/love life can get complicated

See here’s how it works. Now that you’re only in this relationship because of your “investment” you still want to be happy. So now you go out and look for happiness, this can be hanging out with the opposite sex. He makes you happy and you guys enjoy each other company but you’ll still leave unhappy. You go home to your senseless relationship and he go home clueless. Does this make any sense? Let me answer that for you, NO. It doesn’t make any sense because if you have someone around that you enjoy , maybe you should be with that person. Stop holding on to investments and let go to free yourself.

You’re confusing the children

Couples often state that they’re staying together because they both invest in the relationship, by sharing children. But having kids together isn’t the reason, the reason they’re staying together is because of their own needs and insecurities. This can confused the kids. One minute they think their parents are together and the next minute they don’t know what’s going on with their parents. When children are exposed to a toxic home where parents are constantly arguing (both verbally and physically), it’s most likely that they will grow up affected by their parents behavior. Rather than staying in the relationship “for the sake of the children” stop being selfish and leave the relationship for the sake of the children. 

You need to be real with yourself

The bottom line is that you’re unhappy. In fact, the both of you are unhappy but no one wants to leave the relationship. Be real with yourself and face the fact that no matter how much time, effort , money, or kids you invested in ; you guys just weren’t meant to be.

Are you familiar ? what are your thoughts on staying in toxic relationships?

Do you Pour Toi

Categories
Self-Love & Relationships

How Attending a Sister Healing Circle Helped Me on My Self Love Journey

Admittedly, before meeting my amazing friend Wilize, I had never heard of, been to, or thought of a sister healing circle. When she told me about her idea to start hosting them, I imagined a group of women sitting in a circle crying and that’s kinda what I got but it was so much more than that. Here’s my experience of my first sister healing circle and what it taught me about self love. 

We met in a park in Los Angeles about 15 miles from my house. If you know anything about LA traffic, I was quite frustrated by the time I arrived. After sitting in the hot sun in traffic for over an hour, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in the dirt and talk about my feelings with a bunch of women I didn’t know. When I arrived Wilize had water and teas waiting for us and the women began arriving and placing their mats and blankets on the ground to sit. Wilize started with a sound bowl that actually was quite calming. The ladies all introduced themselves and we began. During the sister healing circle, Wilize lead us with questions and short stories and from there we gave our thoughts, opinions and shared our own personal stories of love, heartbreak and just the everyday bs that we as young black women experienced on a day to day basis living in the city of angels. 

I kept quiet as most of the women shared their stories or nodded my head in agreement. There were a few times when I wanted to speak but something kept me from doing so.When it comes to my friends, I can pretty easily open up, with strangers it’s not always so easy and often I find myself being extremely shy around people I don’t know. However, it was something about watching the other women who knew absolutely nothing about each other, be so vulnerable with one another that completely inspired me. 

After listening to so many of the other women’s stories, I was able to open up about some of my own trauma and realize some of the situations I had been in that I had buried deep inside myself was still affecting me. I found myself doing exactly what I assumed everyone else would be doing, crying. I allowed tears to flow as I told the story about a past relationship with an ex who was suicidal and extremely mentally abusive.

The ladies opened their hearts to me and listened to my story without judgement. Several of the women chimed in about similar experiences which made me feel so much more understood.

While each one of us came from different cities, states and some even countries, we all were able to relate on at least one thing. We opened our hearts and completely allowed ourselves to be vulnerable and honest. It was beautiful. 

By the end of the day we had all bore our hearts, shed at least one tear and felt an overall calm wash over us. When I got home that evening I reflected on the event. While few of us knew each other personally, we all were able to relate to each other. I thought about how so many of the relationship stories those women told were so relatable and how if I hadn’t, if any of us had not shared our stories how we would not have been able to reach that level of healing. So often we keep things bottled up because we don’t want to add to anyone else’s drama. We bury our own feelings to protect those around us and only end up hurting in the end. 

At the sister healing circle I learned that self-love is also loving your sister. It’s listening to someone else’s story and sharing your own because you never know who could benefit from it and who may be going through the same thing. Self-love is not selfish. Loving self oftentimes means being able to love others and you are never fully capable of doing that if you are holding on to pain. 

From that day I attended several more of Wilize’s healing circles and each time I felt a little more transformed. From the conversation we had on her living room couch about the possibility of her holding a sister healing circle, she went on to host them in different cities, states and countries and continues to give women of color a safe space to share their feelings and experience self-love while expressing it for women who look like them.

Have you ever attended a sister healing circle?

to find out about healing circles in your area visit www.Wilize.com

Love & Light

Ashley