Last year I realized how dissatisfied I was with my relationship with my parents. I love my parents and they’re foundational in my life. We had ceviche last night.
But since I was a kid, I was trained to people-please, shut my mouth, and put other’s needs before my own. These behaviors made me miserable as an adult: rescuing, controlling, hiding, trying to fix or change people only created a high tolerance for guilt & disrespectful behavior in my relationships.
In today’s video, I tell you what I did about my dissatisfaction. If you’re dissatisfied somewhere in your life, I hope it helps you pay attention. I also added bloopers. I can’t begin to describe my love for bloopers so I hope you enjoy ‘em!
I spent the year looking at family patterns, karma, psychology, the whole enchilada. I had to because it wasn’t sustainable to need days of recovery in a relationship as important as this. I’m baseline enthusiastic. If something messes with my energy, I have to pay attention. Paying attention means:
- You pause when you feel a familiar pattern of dissatisfaction or behavior arise
- You notice what goes on inside you when you feel dissatisfied
- You notice your natural instinct to hide, stuff down, or not speak up
- You identify how you want and don’t want to feel
- You notice if your body gives you signals that something is wrong
- You believe what you naturally feel as true and right
Step #1 was to not make myself wrong for wanting harmony and truth in my family. For years I felt, “This feels chaotic,” but I didn’t say it because that’s not what we do.
What was new for me was to NOT override my feelings and instead, give voice to how I actually felt. If an aunt criticized me, instead of my instant reaction to protect her, “It’s ok. She didn’t mean it,” I had to unlearn my automatic responses to protect myself.
Even today, people don’t like when I speak truthfully; it rocks the boat in immediate and extended family. I used to be afraid of it before I realized I prioritize emotional freedom more than comfort or being approved of. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Take a look at your life.
Are you dissatisfied?
Mild dissatisfaction is easy to ignore – you’re only a little annoyed, right?
Or maybe you’re super dissatisfied and you can’t take it anymore. That’s how I felt about my relationship with my parents; something HAD TO change.
Start where you feel uneasy or shameful; things unspoken and stuffed down get lodged in our bodies. We usually don’t notice because we’re used to feeling something and immediately discounting it seconds later.
To end the cycle, begin by paying attention.
Watch the video to see how I’m working on patterns that I’ve had in my family for years.
Once you pinpoint dissatisfaction, notice where you continue to tolerate it.
This is NOT blaming yourself; you didn’t manifest this because you deserve it. There may be a larger context for why you’ve gone through it, but all we’re doing here is learning to recognize it and see what you’re doing presently to let it to continue.
For example, I know being raised in my particular family taught me to use my voice; I learned to speak up for myself and part of my purpose is to now help others do the same; my family life helped me uncover that. But on the daily, I don’t think, “What a helpful lesson.” In real life, it’s more like, “Goddamn! This relationship sucks. I can’t stand it anymore and I’ve gotta do something about it.”
I get the larger context, but I still have to wake up every morning and LIVE.
I knew stopping the cycle of behavior we’d had for years began with ME.
When I first realized I continued the cycle by answering all of their calls or tolerating critical conversations, it was hard to face. I’d tolerated things for years and now I didn’t know how to behave differently.
HARD. HARD. HARD.
It took a lot of support, arguments, tears, and setting boundaries.
I had to break our pattern by changing my behavior. Stopping the pattern means:
- You stop overlooking your body’s signals when it knows something isn’t right
- You stop making yourself wrong for acknowledging poor behavior
- You stop criticizing and doubting yourself
- You stop rationalizing other people’s disrespectful behavior
- You stop tolerating other people’s “stuff” in your life, your body, your psyche
- You stop overriding your body’s natural feelings
Getting honest with yourself isn’t easy, but it’s way more manageable than living an unmanageable life.
You already know, just like I did, what feels unmanageable. Might be you can’t be your REAL self, or you don’t speak up, or you’re told things daily you just don’t need to hear.
Whatever it is, you have the power to choose a different path.
You are not powerless.
I honestly didn’t think it was possible to change my relationship with my folks. I’m glad I chose NOT to be satisfied with a status-quo relationship with them, because I’ve tasted some emotional freedom now. I want the same for you. I hope looking at where you’re dissatisfied shows you there’s an avenue for change. It might take more effort, but it’s worth it.
Pay attention to where you’re dissatisfied. Notice where you allow it to continue without self-loathing. Do not make yourself wrong! If you’re like me, that’s what you’re already used to doing – today we can choose differently.
Satisfaction not guaranteed, but we’re shooting for it. Always.