Do you ever find yourself stuck in a state of lack? Have you ever caught yourself feeling hurt or resentful about what you’re not receiving from your friends or family, or simply feeling unloved by your romantic partner or the Universe in general?

This is a topic that I frequently see come up for my clients and friends, and it’s a theme I often recognize in my own life when I’m paying enough attention to catch myself in the act. Whether it’s feeling unsupported by a romantic partner or under-appreciated by a coworker or boss, we all experience feelings of lack from time to time. It’s part of being human. Yet, a spiritual perspective teaches us that we are already complete and whole and that our true power comes from within, which would make lack impossible. So it stands to reason that, if we are already complete as we are, then when we are feeling lack it must be due to something we are withholding from ourselves.

Makes sense, right?

When you think of it this way it’s actually pretty empowering. You already hold the key to everything you need inside of you. (I’m sure you’ve heard this one before.) So, whenever you’re feeling lack around any situation, regardless of what it is, instead of getting taken down by feelings of hurt or anger, try asking the following question: ”What am I not giving to myself?” 

feeling-lack

This concept really hit home for me a couple months back in kind of a big and amazing way during a time when I was struggling with a romantic relationship. As we know, it’s often during our greatest struggles that our biggest a-ha moments occur. I had been ‘sort of’ seeing this guy (don’t you just love the relationship defining stage? :) ) who at the time seemed kind of unavailable. Deep down I knew (or probably at least sensed) that he wasn’t totally ready for a committed relationship (which is something that I’m looking for), yet I still pursued the situation.

When it became clear that things between us might not stack up in my favor, I quickly found myself taken over by an overwhelming feeling of neediness. Rather than allowing the natural give and take of a healthy dating situation, I was completely consumed by a “how can I get?” mentality. (And I’ll be embarrassingly honest here, I hadn’t even been seeing the guy for that long.) The whole experience turned into one huge trigger for me (because we all know it wasn’t about this particular guy, God bless him) and I spent several days stuck in an energetic headlock while all of my negative thoughts and feelings from past relationships came bubbling to the surface  —- all of the “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not deserving of love” and “I’ll never be in a relationship” stuff that’s totally false.

I was in a total state lack. And it felt awful.

I felt bitter and resentful and completely stuck. But I also knew that I had a choice. Instead of adding another casualty to my already top-heavy tower of past relationship baggage, I decided to make a change. A Course in Miracles teaches us that a miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love. I knew that if I was going to shift my perception around my romantic relationships for good I needed to really examine my thinking. So I began the process of digging deep and asking myself exactly how and where I was remaining stuck in fear and not being accepting of love.

I got honest, and I asked myself some key questions.

Had I been showering myself with love and respect? Had I been showing up for myself in my past relationships by firmly stating my needs and taking steps to ensure those needs were met? Had I been acting and believing as though I was worthy of receiving love?

The answer was no.

I had been operating with the belief that I didn’t deserve love or a constant state of companionship that I could rely on, so that’s exactly what I had received.

Let me take a moment to say that I harbor absolutely no ill feelings toward this man who showed up as a beautiful teacher in my life and probably has his own share of relationship baggage  (because, let’s face it, who doesn’t?) and I consider him a friend today. That said, I knew I had to first change my belief about myself before I could accept it from any external source. I became willing to change my perspective, and so I was guided to a perfect opportunity to act from the place of my new belief.

In my case, the miracle came in the form of an open, honest (and, admittedly, a little awkward) conversation with this man about what I was looking for in a relationship and what I was and was not willing to compromise on. And it felt really good. (Minus the awkward part. :) )  Not because I was able to manipulate him into acting or feeling a certain way, but because I was able to provide for myself what I had been seeking on the outside. And in doing so, I was also able to let him off the hook (goodbye, relationship resentment!) because, ultimately, he is not responsible for my happiness.

Awesome, right?

So the next time you find yourself stuck in a state of lack in a particular situation, rather than allowing yourself to be weighed down by feelings of helplessness and hurt, I want you to dig deep and ask “What am I not giving to myself?”

Let me know what you find. <3

xo

Kristi

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How to Embrace Your Emotions

by Kristi on August 26, 2014 · 0 comments

in Feelings, spirituality

I want you to consider the following question for a minute, and be honest with yourself.

How good are you at embracing your emotions? I’m not just talking about being able to recognize when you’re feeling happy, anxious or sad, but receiving your emotions with open arms and really allowing yourself to feel them.

It’s easy to embrace our emotions when we’re feeling love, joy or peace, but what about when it comes to the not-so-great feelings, like sadness, anxiety or disappointment?

embrace-your-emotions

When faced with so-called ‘negative’ emotions (in truth, our emotions are only as positive or negative as we judge them to be), most of us tend to do one of two things: we either resist or suppress. I used to resist feeling negative emotions at all cost. As someone who struggled with anxiety for quite a few years, I used to hate feeling anxious more than anything, so whenever anxious feelings would come up I would resist them (which only made things worse). I also used to regularly suppress my sadness, telling myself I was too sensitive or weak when I needed to cry.

The thing is, when it comest to our emotions we can’t just ignore the bad and feel the good. It doesn’t work that way. We are all human, and as humans, we are meant to experience the full spectrum of human emotions. When we don’t allow ourselves to feel our sadness, our happiness gets muted down too. Another reason it’s critically important to fully embrace our emotions is that it’s necessary to actually feel the emotions in order for them to come to the surface so they can be released.

Whether you’re going through a difficult time, experiencing a bout of sadness or (ahem) it’s just that time of the month, your emotions can be important cues to tapping into and healing some pretty radical stuff. One thing I have learned by facing my challenges head-on is that our darkest times can often serve as our greatest opportunities for personal and spiritual growth, if we allow them to.

These past couple weeks I’ve been feeling a lot of emotions that have been needing to surface. I’ve come to recognize that when I sense that unsettled, churning deep inside it’s a call to really slow things down and pay attention because something is ready to be released.

For me, heading out on a long solo run, sitting in meditation, spending a few hours playing piano or even just listening to some good old-fashioned, soul-stirring music (I’m currently obsessed with this song) always helps me tune into how I’m feeling. Journaling and writing are incredibly helpful tools for tapping into my emotions, too. I can always tell when I’ve struck a nerve with my writing by the emotion that comes up for me.

Regardless of the method, I do whatever it takes to feel the emotion and then I allow myself to dwell in it for a little while.  What I find is that, instead of driving myself crazy resisting or suppressing my feelings, I create the space for whatever needs to come to the surface and, subsequently, I am able to release it. If I need to get angry, I get angry. If I need to cry, then I let myself cry. My friend and mentor Heather Waxman puts it best when she says, “let yourself marinate” in whatever you need to feel. It is in that space we can find joy in the midst of sadness or release from resentment or anger. It is often during these periods that I experience my greatest a-ha moments or revelations.

The trick is to allow yourself to dwell in the feeling of the emotion without living there. Don’t judge your emotions or make them a part of you, but allow them to come up, honor them and then let them go. Recognize that you are not your emotions, you are simply the vessel through which they pass.

xoxo

Kristi

How do you work through emotional times? Any tips to share? I’d love to hear them!

 

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