Compassion is a beautiful word. It is a form of love. Love in action.

It is our ability to show love through caring, supporting, and being there for others, especially when they are in a tough place. It is kindness, in all its glory.

Compassion is reaching out to those who need love. Who are in pain. Who are suffering. Who are feeling alone. It is giving friendship and concern – wrapped up in gentleness. It is offering empathy and giving a voice to those who cannot express their grief. Compassion is soft, considerate, tender and radiates warmth.

I am going to begin by asking you, do you think you are able to look at yourself through compassionate eyes?

Are you able to treat yourself with compassion when life gets hard – when you are alone and struggling?

These are rhetorical questions because you only need to share the answer with yourself. But these are important questions, because many of us are much better at offering and giving compassion to others, and not so much for ourselves.

Compassion is also a form of self-love. I have decided that some of the most beautiful souls who walk the earth, often struggle with self-love, because they have (wrongly) learned their “value” from others.

The truth is – we are full of love. It enables us to give, and we are also meant to receive it. Compassion – the outward giving of love and kindness when someone is in a dark space, is truly a beautiful thing.

If you struggle with showing compassion towards yourself.

If you have a huge capacity to be there for others and yet, in return, receive a lack of appreciation no matter how many times you have been there:

This post is for you.

 This is the day you are going to learn how to give yourself the compassion and support that you can so readily give to others.

There’s a list here, so print it out and stick it on your wall if this is something you need to practice.

Screenshot it and read it daily. And watch as your life slowly transforms.

First, and I have said this in my previous posts:

“What you say and do is your stuff. What others say and do is their stuff.”

Never confuse the two.

Why is this so important? Because toxic people who take from you and don’t love you back can really mess with your view of yourself.

Never confuse someone’s lack of respect towards you with what you are actually worth.

A person’s inability to treat you well, says everything about them and nothing about you. It does, however, give you a powerful message (red flag) that you need to recognize.

If you have shown kindness and respect to another, and they do not give it back, you need to realize that by continuing to do so, it is going to hurt you. Hanging in there, showing loyalty to someone who treats you badly, is never going to lead you down the path to happiness. This is a brick wall. We walk away. We do not get a jackhammer and spend our precious time breaking it down.

One of the most painful moments of my life, was when a person who I had always been there for, and shown kindness and love towards, told me “I can never be a friend to you the way you have been to me.” It was an exit conversation.

They had chosen someone else, because of convenience and location. I was gutted. At that moment, I felt so unseen, undervalued and worthless. I remember this moment in great clarity. I felt my hands grow cold, and my stomach was tight with numbness.

It was my intuition telling me “yes this hurts but you have lost a person whose values do not match yours.” It was the day I learned just how much it can hurt when someone chooses to walk away from us because they choose someone else. Even when we have given them everything. Loyalty. Love. Our heart. Everything.

Of course, the road had been paved with red flags along the way, and I really should have walked away myself. I always looked for the good, refusing to give up, but entirely at my own expense. In the end, felt like I had lost not only someone I wanted in my life but all my self-respect too, as I felt like a complete fool. For a little while, I even hated myself for allowing this to happen. I should have trusted my gut.

But the pain I felt helped me understand that there was nothing else I could give or do. That I couldn’t compete with the circumstances. A few months later, I realized they may have chosen differently, but in that choice, they also lost me. They would never know what it was like to have me in their life again.

Acceptance of what is – can really help you walk away. If someone doesn’t choose to love you, you are still lovable. Know that you are worthy and realize that not everyone can give you what you deserve. When these things happen – you will see that the love we feel can bind us to those who will only ever hurt and mistreat us. Sometimes we need to accept that the fantasy we hold on to will never exist in reality. Have compassion for yourself, love yourself when others do not, and…

walk away.

If someone you have loved treats you badly, offering only self-serving snippets of themselves, only wanting you on their terms, show yourself the compassion you deserve – that they cannot. Do not stay around hoping and trying. They have revealed themselves, as Natasha would say.

The problem with loving toxic people, whether family, friends or an intimate relationship, is these people want to control us. They want you to stay in your tiny box, and they want to keep you small.

Tiny. Insignificant.

They want power, and they will never give you the warmth and love to grow, thrive and shine. Giving love and compassion to these people will hurt you because the same love that binds you, can allow you to accept the abuse and pain they dish out.

If you struggle with compassion towards yourself, imagine you are someone else, what advice would you give them?

This is a great starting point of helping ourselves learn the art of self-compassion. Especially if we can dole it out by the bucketful for others.

Life is not always sunshine. It isn’t meant to be. I read something the other day, about if we have only happiness and no tears, we cannot grow. We need sadness, pain, and loss in our lives to truly appreciate the beauty in what we have, and who we are. Life without rainclouds and only the sun creates a desert… and we cannot thrive without the coolness and nourishment of the rain. Geographically and metaphorically.

Back to the story when I felt everything I had given someone was thrown back in my face – that moment of rejection was about them – not me. Even the words “I can never be a friend to you the way you have been a friend to me” says that they know they couldn’t offer what I did. Water always finds its own level.

Strangely, as the months passed, the winter of my pain slowly gave way to the first blossom of healing – I realized without them around, there was much peace in my life. The drama had stopped.  The see-saw of emotional turmoil was gone. I could suddenly see that they had never really given me anything.  They had used me – because I could give them things they could not give themselves. Things that made them feel loved and promoted a huge sense of feeling good.

This was a person who would say things like “You make me happy.” I realized that this was so important to them because they didn’t feel happy in themselves. What a massive responsibility they were handing over to anyone who “made them happy!”

I could suddenly see, this person had no compassion for themselves, no ability to self-love. It was all extrinsic. Conditional. Circumstantial. And relying on someone else to make sure it happened.

No. Never give that much power to anyone else. No one else can make us entirely happy or fulfill us. That is OUR job. Yes, someone can add to it, increase it, and complement our happiness and lives, but they are never solely responsible for the happiness we feel.

Find your happy place. Protect it. Fill it with compassion for yourself. A knowing that you deserve it. If someone comes along, and they do not show you the love, respect, and kindness that you offer them, let them go.

Do not invest your time into watering rocks.

Water those who support your own growth and offer you some shelter from the winds when life gets rough.

In a storm, the only person is YOU. Know that you can weather it. It is much better to be alone and knowing your value, than keeping company with those who want to crush your spirit and keep you down. Misery loves company. Stay away from toxic people.

The List:

This is your cheat sheet towards showing compassion towards yourself, and less for those who do not deserve it.

  1. If someone makes you feel worthless, do not join them. You must always see your worth, especially if other’s do not. Team You – first. Always bat for yourself. This is non-negotiable.
  2. Never pin your self-esteem or self-worth based on the way others treat you. Ever. If they cannot be nice, as you have been, you have hit a brick wall. Back the f*** up. Turn around. Baiiii!
  3. If you are struggling and in pain, and you are not getting the support you need off others, ask yourself, “what would I do or say to a person who was in the position I am in right now?” Write those things down, and then offer those things to yourself. If you are someone who often needs validating from others, know this:

 It is a habit. That’s all it is.

Yes, it great to get love and praise from others, especially those we care about and want in our lives. If you are not getting validated though, ask yourself, “what do I want to hear? What words do I want them to say to me?”

Then say those things to yourself. And believe them.

  1. Warmth and kindness in actions. Speak to yourself kindly when you are struggling. Show it to yourself. Warm showers and baths. Extra sleep. Eating nutritious food. Exercising. These things will really go along way to building yourself up. No self-sabotage.
  2. Treat yourself. Buy yourself flowers or a new lipstick. Or high heels! Side note: If you are a guy, do not buy yourself a lipstick, it will not work for you, so treat yourself to something you want. Because you are f***ing worth it. This is not materialistic, this is a way of giving to yourself, of giving yourself some pleasure, so you can enjoy it. You deserve to feel good.
  3. Be authentic– towards yourself. Don’t gloss over things and shove things ‘under the carpet’. Acknowledge them. When you acknowledge your fears – your pain, you lessen their hold. How? By recognizing and facing them. Don’t fight your feelings, accept them. They are valid and they are real.

You are real. So are your needs.

  1. Look for patterns. These are solid evidence of how a person operates. If someone consistently hurts you, walk away without guilt. You are not another person’s emotional punching bag, and you are entitled to feel loved, valued, and secure. Staying with those who deny you these things will break you down over time.
  2. Do a soundcheck. If others criticize, diminish and downgrade you, you also might be doing this to yourself. Listen to your inner voice. If it is negative, stop that dialog right now! Praise the goodness in yourself and recognize your qualities. Show gratitude for all that is you, and remember, there is no light without darkness. Use the darkness in your life, to help you see the light in yourself.
  3. Validate yourself! This leads on from number 8 – sharing your feelings with those who you trust is often beneficial. Sometimes through sharing, you will find that you are not alone in your pain, there is that old saying – “a problem shared is a problem solved.”

But we need to be able to validate ourselves, not just get it from others. Help yourself, by understanding you do not need others approval, words of encouragement, and affirmations to thrive. Always know you need to support yourself, because in the absence of others and what they might offer you, – you will stand alone.

This is when you need to ride your white horse.

 This is when your self-belief, courage, and strength will stop you from succumbing to the loneliness and fear. Ride on gently. Slowly. And with purpose. 

  1. Do not make excuses– for others’ shitty behavior towards you. Actually, NEVER make excuses when this happens. If you do this, you are telling them it is acceptable for them to treat you this way. No, it is f***ing not. If it hurts, something is wrong. Do not accept bad treatment from people who you show compassion and respect towards. If they cannot give you the same back, then give it to yourself. Remember: Do not waste your time watering rocks. Nothing will grow.
  2. … And the last one, which is a summary of all the above, there will always be someone who cannot see your worth. There will always be someone who cannot see your value. There will always be someone out there trying to shortchange you.

Don’t EVER let that person be you.

This post has been written from the memories of the times I didn’t know how to love myself, and when I neglected to show myself compassion. (Because I don’t want you to be in the places I have been).

This post was written by Lorelle xx

If you need further and more personalized help, please look into working with Natasha here.

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52 comments

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I was reading this post, got to number 6 and had to write this. Lorelle my parents never taught me compassion or love for myself. I saw my mom put the needs of others above hers, and so I followed suite. I ended up being a doormat for everyone and I mean everyone. I allowed them to treat me anyway all while continuing to water these precious rocks. Lorelle I just want to thank you for this post. The woman I’m becoming today, I owe to you and Natasha. I am so grateful for you Lorelle. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Hi Denise,
it is so interesting what you wrote about following your mother’s way of doing things. It is not uncommon for patterns to repeat this way in families.
It is what we grow up with, what we learn and sometimes, all we know. The first steps of breaking out of familial patterns are always the hardest.
It goes against everything we are expected to do, and it is often unchartered territory.

Self-love is not selfish. Self-love is a personal strength that allows healthy boundaries to grow, prevents self-depreciating behaviours that can fester into resentment and crippled interactions with others. But for you, it is like standing alone. You can still show you love your family, and keep practicing healthy self-loving behaviours. Especially keep practising them with your friendship groups and with people you work with. This is where you will cut your emotional teeth. You don’t owe these people anything that you do not owe yourself. Stand firm, but with kindness.

Ask yourself: What do I really want and like? What experiences and people do I really want to embrace in my life? And hold that standard high.
As for the rocks, we all have, at some stage, watered them. What do we get out of that? Nothing. And when we stop and think about it, those rocks have never returned the favor, because they really don’t care. It is all about them, and nothing reciprocal exists.

Often the relationship we have with the rocks, is one based on approval seeking and when we look for validation like this, we give all our power away. Do the rocks like it when we change? No. They no longer have power over you, they no longer benefit from you and they do not like that. Good! So when this happens, know you are doing an awesome job of carving a new path for yourself. You are doing an awesome job of valuing yourself, but not at the expense of others. You are doing an awesome job of recognising what makes you happy. You are being true to yourself.

People will either move out of your life, or they will accept the new way of doing things and learn to respect and love you back. If they walk away, you have not lost them. You never had them. But you do have YOURSELF, and you have so much to give, so much to offer, so much love that deserves to be loved back. Look in the mirror, Denise. Find someone like you, find people like you, find the things you like and want in your life and you will see the answer was always right in front of you. The answer is you. Love yourself. Watch what happens.

I know you have days that are hard and you struggle, but take heart, we are all like that in reality. Self-love is a daily practice, and something you will put in place for life. It gets easier, and you set the standard for others when you live your life by it. Stay on your white horse. Baby steps. Don’t look too far head, just look for a sure footing as you go forward. That is how you will get there. Slowly and with purpose. Biggest hug ever, and I am always here for you, Denise. xxx

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Oh Lorelle, your advice means so much to me. I’m really thankful for your support, for helping me understand why I did certain things and how to turn it around. I’m really gonna take this leap and love me totally and I trust you, I know things will change❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️. Thank you, thank you Lorelle ❤️

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❤️?? xx I know you can do this, Denise, you already are x

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We love you Denise. And I’m so glad that you love this post as much as I do 🙂 xx

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“Do not invest your time into watering rocks.“

Brilliant!

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Hi De Elle,

yes, those rocks don’t serve us well in life. They take but rarely if ever, give back. I am so happy you connected with this!
Power to you! Thank you for your words, and much love xxx

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AGREED! 🙂

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Such an amazing post. It’s like you were speaking directly to me Lorelle. Thank you Lorelle and Natasha ?

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Hello Kelly,
this made me smile. I love the feeling of connecting to others and your words really filled me up. We are all very different, but also so very much the same. People connect on so many levels, and when we feel empowered from it, it is truly the thing that makes me happiest. Have a day filled with beautiful things and know that you are loved. xxx

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This ? just ? saved ? me ?. How can you thank someone for saving your life? Seriously. Thank you so much Lorelle and to Natasha for creating this community. So much love.

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Thank you Lorelle and Natasha for your brilliance. I’ve finally found a place online that I’ve needed for so long and never had.

Thank you for creating a sanctuary.

Love ?

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Hi and welcome, Anon,

Natasha will be so happy to know you found her site! What a great word you used: ‘sanctuary’. Because it truly is. You will find solace here and lots of support. So great to have you here with this tribe. Love to you. Please keep coming back! xxx

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Wasn’t this post incredible? Thank YOU Anon for being a part of this tribe <3 Love you.

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Hello Kim,
oh my!! Let me share a secret, you actually saved yourself! Because you connected to the message and you recognised the truth and power in it. You are moving forward at lightning speed. Keep riding that white horse and know that my whole face is smiling reading your words. I live for this stuff and I am so happy and proud of you! Yes, this community is awesome and full of positivity. We are all grateful for it, and it will always be here. Sending you so much love back, and keep shining Kim. You are gold! xxx

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This is a fantastic post. I will be taking all of the advice here, especially the printing to re-read!
Thank you both for all you do. This site has helped me grow so much in the last 2 years by teaching me how to put myself first.

Much love to everyone here. It’s a brilliant community and resource. ♥️♥️

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Irene,
that is so great to hear! I wrote the part about printing, because I used to do that. I had a ‘wall’ in my room with quotes that inspired me. Sometimes I would write them down too, and screenshot things on my phone. Somehow, re-reading something many times is really soothing and keeps you on the path when hard days happen.

I know Natasha will love reading this. She is totally dedicated to her readers and I agree, this community is awesome. It connects people right across the globe, from all walks of life, and I wrote in a comment earlier, that as much as we are all different, we are all the same too. How blessed are we all, to find each other. Keep growing, shining and finding new ways to show self-love to the beautiful soul that is you, Irene. xxx

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Thank you so much for this beautiful post. This part really struck me: “They had used me – because I could give them things they could not give themselves. Things that made them feel loved and promoted a huge sense of feeling good.” Thank you for being a mirror to us – to show us that the toxic people who use us, see in us, what we often don’t see in ourselves. An incredible capacity for support, love, and compassion. How incredibly lucky are we that we have had it within us all along? And how incredibly sad is it that there are many souls who have learned the wrong lessons from toxic people, and who, as you said, “have wrongly assigned their value” based on others? Thank you for this inspirational post and for reminding us that we have always had an incredible capacity for self compassion within us all along. xo, Irena

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Irena,
I love this. You articulated this so well (no surprises there!) and yes, we are often at the mercy of others who do not have a clue about relating to us in a healthy way. The habits we learn from them can be over-ridden though, and this is where the magic happens. We see who we are, with that beautiful capacity to support, love and show compassion – then we learn to do it for ourselves!

I love this platform, and how it allows us to share with others. We celebrate together, cry together and empower each and every one of us with our ability to be vulnerable. We are safe here in this community. That is something we all need to find our inner strength. This is the foundation of change and moving forward, because it is only when we feel safe, that we venture out.

Thankyou so much for your beautiful words, they mean everything, and you are a warrior horse rider, something we all love and learn from when you share with us here. Love to you. xxx

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Love this, I came back for the 30th time to re read this post and the comments. Best way to spend a Tuesday night??✨

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You and me both 🙂 xox

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I second that 🙂 xo

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How can such young beautiful women have gained so much wisdom? I am 56 and I am still learning the hard lessons of life/love.

You think that as you age, you become wiser to the toxic people that somehow manage to get to you. But it doesn’t get easier with age. It’s coming upon brilliant minds, insightful spirits, whom write their knowledge down and spread their wealth of knowledge to pupils like me.

Thank you for this gift. The gift of self compassion and self love where unfortunately so few of us are shown this from the ones who profess to “love” us.

This post , along with so many others from this beautiful place are gifts to me and every other tortured soul who has ever been harmed by a malignant, self loathing person.

Thank you for teaching me and countless others the truth and value of self love.

❤️Xo Susan

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Susan,
you are full of love and wisdom, you always have been. Like so many of us, you have kept it squashed down because it seemed like the better thing to do, probably because you were living life the way you thought you should be. You are not just a pupil in this tribe, you are a teacher too. I guarantee, you affect others who cross your path, because as things resonate WITH you, they will also resonate OUT of you. Believe it!

I fully agree with you that so often we are not shown love and compassion from those who say they love and care for us. Whenever there is discourse in a relationship, we can also guarantee that words are not matching and actions and the patterns are showing us everything we need to know. Your comment is written so beautifully, and I am so happy this post connected with you and filled you up with good things.

We are truly blessed to have this community and so much wisdom is shared, much from the readers as well as the posts themselves. Do not discount your own power and knowledge, Susan. It is real. It exists. Your comment has a heartbeat all its own. Keep sharing, believing in yourself and promoting the wisdom in yourself. It will always come out when you love yourself enough to see toxicity when it is in front of you, around you or coming from afar.

Self-love allows us to connect within. Keep slaying, Susan. You are a white horse warrior! Love and hugs xxx

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As a man who has been down this road too many times, I am also easily drawn into old, painful patterns. These include accepting behavior from others that should never be tolerated, allowing boundaries to be pushed and giving more than I receive in return. How easy to stay stuck in the ‘fantasy’ and how difficult to walk away from the ‘reality’. It can be much easier to stay in such a place than face being alone and learning how to give yourself what you need.

It’s only been 3 weeks of NC after 2.5 years with someone I knew was unavailable and at times it has been incredibly painful and I feel shame and anger towards myself. I finally reached a point where I stopped having ‘Hopeium’ that her actions would align with her words, yet it is still a struggle to focus on the reality of the relationship and nurture myself.

These posts have been a great source of support for many of us who are still trying to figure out that loving ourselves must come first, otherwise we will never attract the person we deserve to be with.

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Hi Jeff,
first things first: “Hopeium”. Wow! I love this! This word belongs in a dictionary. All dictionaries! I love it so much, its definitely my favorite word for the year. So thank you for sharing it! x

I know N.C is so hard to implement and then keep in place. But you are so in touch with yourself, so connected to what you know you really deserve, as opposed to the crumbs you have accepted. It IS incredibly painful, and that is a difficult place to be, but keep the faith. You will absolutely get through this. The struggle comes because we have big, loving hearts that know how to give and always want to see the best in others.

Your soul is speaking to you though, because nurturing yourself, not her, is where you are meant to be. This is the beginning of self-empowerment and I think there is part of us that believes we are being harsh on others when we first put boundaries in place. You are not though. You are being true to yourself and I promise you, the pain will lessen its grip on you. You have only felt shame and anger because you can look back and see everything for what it really is, not the fantasy you wanted to become reality. This is such a hard place to be in. But stay with it. That feeling of being alone passes as you begin to disconnect and see the toxicity you were living with.

I can hear and feel the pain you are in, but I also hear the voice of a man who sees a relationship for what it really is. Who knows he deserves better and can see that he was accepting so much less than he wanted and most importantly, offered. Remember, water always finds its own level. Your inner wisdom knows how incongruent this relationship was. Step away, walk away and stay away. Now reconnect with everything you want, as deep down you know it isn’t what you have been tolerating.

You may be in pain, but you are also in an incredibly powerful place. Thank you for sharing, men don’t often comment but when they do it is always so succinct and substantial.

Keep taking care of yourself, Jeff, and know you are where you are meant to be right now. Things will not stay this painful, give yourself the time you need and deserve to heal. You put it so well -when we love ourselves in a healthy way, we also attract the love we are worthy of. And you are SO worthy.

Love to you, and thank you for your comment. x

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Jeff,

If you haven’t purchased my No Contact Contract course on natashaadamo.com, I would like to send it to you as a gift. Please fill out the contact form ON THIS BLOG if you are interested.

Thank you for being you.

I’m happy that you loved this post as much as I do 🙂

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Natasha and Lorelle, I can’t thank you guys enough for your posts and the kind of moral support and encouragement you provide on a continuous basis. On my darkest days, when I could hardly find any strength and motivation to go on, your posts have been nothing short of a God-send. Cheers and stay blessed!! Thanks once again!!

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Hello Bidisha,

thank you for your words, it is always a special feeling to read the comments on here. When people feel empowered, it is truly the best gift of all. We are all the same, we all need someone to help us through our dark days, but when we strengthen ourselves and our boundaries, the dark days become shorter and less cold. This is the whole point of this site, to empower and support others, to help them shine and become the best version of themselves. To know what they are worth, and to be able to deflect negativity and recognize unhealthy patterns through rock solid boundaries.

When we read comments like yours, it fills the heart right up! Thank you, love and light to you. xxx

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Bidisha,

Thank YOU from the bottom of my heart. This made me cry. I am so happy and honored to have helped/help in any way. It’s what I live for.

All my love to you. xx

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Thank you Lorelle for all the encouraging words.

Yesterday was a particularly tough one with several triggers. I came very close to caving in and reaching out, but I held my ground. Staying present and being in the moment is a struggle I see with many people, and not doing so a catalyst to backpedaling and repeating unhealthy patterns.

Ladies, most men I know, myself included, have a very difficult time just sitting and feeling all the raw emotions that accompany heartbreak. Personally, I believe it is impossible to grow, learn or move forward without allowing yourself to grieve and process; especially with relationships that had red flags and your intuition was saying stay away. Men also face these challenges in relationships, but many are raised and taught to ‘suck it up’ and be a man.

Not to be a HU-man!

Our emotions can easily overpower our logical thinking, particularly when it comes to love. I am here to tell you that it is not much different on the other side of a beak up, us guys merely use what little tools we have available to numb, forget or otherwise avoid facing and dealing with the hurt we are feeling inside. Unfortunately our culture has taught us that there is an instant fix to everything, a pill to take away our ills; some way to magically make all the bad disappear. But nothing can change who we are and what we feel except ourselves.

Sadly, I know and see men everyday who are emotionally and empathically bankrupt. I have struggled many times not to become one of them. At times I have failed, but try to learn from my own shortcomings how to approach relationships differently, to feel my way with other people and be authentic. I will also add that in romance, by showing up, being present, transparent and honest about what I am looking for; those not capable of reciprocating vanish quickly. They are not able to handle that level of maturity.

I hope this hasn’t come across as a bitch session on my part, having been divorced for years and being in healthy and unhealthy relationships, I thought I found my ‘one’. Instead, I am accepting that it was a lesson I had to learn in order to move towards finding the person I want and deserve in my life.

J

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Hi again Jeff,

no, nothing but raw honesty in your reply. There is nothing ’emotionally and empathically’ bankrupt about you, but yes, the world is full of people who operate that way. I think it comes from being in a place of so much pain, that it numbs the part of us that connects with others. We cannot even connect to ourselves in this state.

You are right, we need to feel our way through pain. So many people try to look for quick fixes, new loves, a fast track marriage, countless affairs, drinking and social media addictions to get validation, but at the end of the day, it is like unwrapping lots of Christmas presents, and being surrounded by things, none of which you really wanted or make you happy.

Until we are emotionally available to ourselves, we are absent to others. You haven’t failed in any way, you speak with knowledge and anyone who understands that someone being unable to reciprocate is a sign to move on, is doing a great job of avoiding brick walls and unnecessary heartache.
We fall sometimes, but as long as we get back up, and learn from it, we are keeping our standards in line with what we are wanting and what we know we deserve. Settling is never an option. It is just a delayed heartbreak waiting to reveal itself.

I am so happy you didn’t make contact, even though it was tough for you over the past couple of days. Steel is forged in fire, and as the days and weeks turn into months, you will not regret your decision. Hold strong. Love your insight, and thank you for sharing a powerful and masculine perspective of heartbreak. Natasha will love it, as I do.

Keep staying away from those rocks, Jeff, you have so much to offer! xx

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Jeff,

I wish that I could put into words how much you sharing this means to me and everyone here. It’s so important to know that men go through this too. Thank you for existing and for shining your light here.

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Lorelle my dear… you and I have talked about this very thing recently and reading this post just hits so close to home for me… I just can’t. I started crying as soon as I read this. Too much to say about this whole subject and its something I struggle with daily. Not sure what I believe in anymore to be honest. I’m just not the same person I was and that is neither bad or good. but just doesn’t feel right at the moment. Still trying to find that peace inside. I pray for it every day.

much love my sister. ????
xxxxx

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Vicki,
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide. Truly it is. And as much as you’re hurting, I’m so glad beautiful souls like yourself and so many others on here allow themselves to opportunity to grieve, hurt and heal. Giving our feelings a chance to be understood, digested and validated is so powerful. Some people are unable to do that.

They get lost in a web of avoidance, and succumb to avoidance seeking behaviours. Over working, over drinking, over partying and overlooking the reason they are in pain.

I believe the ones who take the time to process their hurt and anger, are the ones who learn not just about who they are but how to connect in an authentic way.

If nothing else, pain strips us back to rawness, and this really reinforces what we absolutely want and where we are most vulnerable too. Peace will come, Vicki, and you deserve it. I’m so sad that you are in this painful place, try your best to cocoon yourself and surround yourself with people who care about you. Sending love and huge hugs. Xxx white horse warrior xxx

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Love you Vicki! #whitehorsewarriors

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Vicki,

I am in the same place as you, so know you are not alone. I have no idea of your support network, but as a single male with no family to lean on and only several friends who truly understand, I have to cope with the loneliness of heartbreak constantly. Not being certain of what you believe, and realizing you are a different person are catalysts for growth. It is a good thing, very difficult to appreciate when in pain, but ultimately it will bring you to a better place.

I read something today that I wanted to share-

‘The short term pain of accepting a truth is much better than the long term pain of believing an illusion’.

Too often we will stay in the illusion because we fear the hurt we may find. But only by seeing things for what they are can we finally see ourselves and that’s when we change.

Keep pushing to find your change.

Jeff

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Jeff – thank you for your kind words. I do have a good support network around me, but I just choose not to talk about how I have been struggling lately with my even my closest friends. And it’s not because I don’t think they care or understand, but because I just feel like I shouldn’t be where I am right now mentally or emotionally…. like my time frame for moving on or getting over the losses has already expired and that makes me feel weak or embarrassed for even talking about this to anyone close to me. Additionally, it’s more anger than sadness I have felt, especially this last year. I have had more than one loss of people I loved and I think that was kinda my breaking point. I started questioning everything about life, all the doubts, fears, plans, hopes and where I was at in my life and got really down on myself about not fulfilling some of the goals I had set out for. I felt like a took a giant step back and then it was like quicksand trying to get out of that place in my mind and each time I tried to move forward I felt my legs getting weaker… Started slowly giving up on the things that made me feel good, and telling myself, “what is the point”.. you are always going to be stuck right where you are if you don’t start making shit happen! And even though I know this is not a healthy mindset, I just let all those emotions take control of my thoughts and actions and here I am. Unsure, unsettled and pissed off all the time. The worst is acting like a big asshole to the people that care the most about me. I don’t like who I have become these days… and that has to change.

I am and will always be a work in progress… And yes, I do know what my shortcomings are and where I need to do more work.

Thank you again for everything you said. I do appreciate it.

xxxxx
#whitehorsewarriors

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<3 this love, support, and connection mean everything to me.

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Vicki,

There is no time frame to healing, thats where we all get caught up and down on ourselves. I used to think that if I waited ‘it’ out for a certain length of time, the pain and anguish would just vanish. I may be the most impatient person I know, so I can understand how you feel. Showing your emotions to anyone is the antithesis of weakness, it proves your self awareness and strength to be honest with others.

Taking a step back is a sign of healthiness, you are reevaluating your life. This will create change and that will move you towards what you want. It’s ok to feel stuck at times, as long as you know that it will pass.

I’ve been NC for less than a month, and most days I wake up feeling the hole in my heart. It’s a constant battle to between your head and emotions. When I romanticize about the great times, I have to force myself to think about what was wrong with the relationship. Sometimes I feel a bit better, sometimes I feel worse. However, I seem to learn just a little more about me during when this occurs and believe that is why we can’t put an expiration date on our emotional selves.

Remember, you can only control how you react and behave and think. You can never control another person, and that gives you insight that most people cannot see.

Be well,

Jeff

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Thanks a lot for having posted this article. For the first time in almost my entire life, I’ve come to realise where I get stuck time after time. It’s like my mind opens, ready to blossom.

I’ve been for about ten years in sports, close combat, which is a tough, male world. As a woman, I’ve been considered by most fellow sporters as one of the boys, with equal value. Somehow, I’ve always (lifelong) looked up at my teachers/trainers, because that were the people who I could learn from -double. So I wanted to give the very best of myself (of course during training) but especially more private too (never wanted to start a relationship, not that kind of giving), like I had to give something in return for good lessons. It was never balanced. I came to reach nice heights, quite rare for women: got instructor and second dan krav maga. When I realised though that it was me giving, and in return being emotionally tramped on, I decided it was time to quit a particular sports club, with the head trainer and president of the club starting to bully/gaslight while I had given almost every inch of my time to his projects. That was about 2 years ago; I suffered a lot from this … it was actually worse than a period of grievance or a funeral; it was like there was no hope for my future in sports, ever. I missed my fellow trainees, the timings, the goals I had pointed for myself… I became insecure at work (while I wasn’t already bragging).

With much fear I had contact with another trainer from a very different fighting discipline. I explained the situation, but was very reluctant to start sporting again in a club. Last months, I made arrangements to start, got over my fear, convinced myself that I’d be able to turn directions. Now, the same thing already started to happen: I wanted to make my trainer happy (especially because I was happy, grateful and hopeful to find a new connection, a new future in sports), gave my honest thoughts, he wasn’t feeling well (burn-out) so I listened, replied, gave my best advice… In meantime, I was less and less asked how my time went, how I was doing at work, during another sports project he knew of, he left messages unanswered… ; while suddenly (I could have seen that coming) he reacted rude when I was replying with something that was meant to be funny. I felt hurt, anxious about what this would mean about future training. I started making excuses in his place… …and then suddenly ‘wait a minute’, ‘what is going on here?’.. I started doing research on google and I came to read about codependency, came ‘by accident’ on this site. I was diagnosed with autism, yes, you read it well: I am, as someone with autism, making up excuses for someone else, supporting another at my own expense, feeling bad about my shortcomings, confused in socially complex settings and finally drained. I had fear I would get labels in the new club by others based on the rejection of my new trainer, and all old wounds played up. I answered the trainer after his rude reaction what I honestly thought about our latest interactions, wrote that the way we interact is not balanced; then he went completely silent. No answer anymore. Next thursday, it would be my first real lesson in this sports club after 3 trial lessons, so I started to doubt if I would enroll officially, having seen these first displays of power.

Now, having read different articles (but especially this one), I’ve made my list; wrote on a piece of paper what my goals are technically/sports related, but also what my goals are when I start to act codependent. I’ve written down how I can avoid specific thinking traps -following the lists above. This piece of paper I’ll take with me during training. It will be besides my sports equipment, so I can look at it any time. The simple thing is that I really started believing I’m bad, I can’t achieve anything, am socially inept, a trouble for anyone coming close to me; so now I have to stop believing this in the first place. All my fears of crumbling apart because of a teacher that might think/speak bad about me, stem from me allowing to believe these possibly bad thoughts/sayings myself. This I won’t let happen again. And I won’t do what I often did before: I won’t avoid this environment, I just won’t allow it to happen again. I won’t again try to save someone else from himself. I need to take care of myself and my mental stability in the first place, and have to consider that what I’ve reached isn’t layed away for many people -instead of feeling helpless and lost because someone else not valuing me.
The piece of paper I took to write this list on is in fact an old agenda page. In the top-right corner it says ’10 December’. I’m feeling hopeful: if I start following these insights today, I’m convinced that at 10 December this year, I will have a completely other attitude and will respond much better to the mixed feelings I sense when confronted with an unequal relationship.

It’s my responsibility that a cycle of abuse and exploitation can’t start again, but that doesn’t mean it is my fault that other people try out abusive behaviour.

Thanks a lot,
Ellen

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Hi Ellen!

I have read your comment several times. I love how strong you are in it, those questions you have “wait a minute, what is going on here?’ are your boundaries in action. You are also so right, we cannot (nor should we) be saving other people from themselves. I think these people often break our hearts the most because we see the good in them, but they are rarely able to see it themselves so life is a perpetual heartache.

I love how you have written out your goals, and carry them with you. I have carried things around in my diary and I love hanging things up on my wall, my little ‘cheerleader’ quotes that keep my focus strong.
You are very in touch with yourself Ellen, and I love the strong statement you make: “I just won’t allow it to happen again”. You know exactly what you want and are not willing to settle. That is a powerful place to be. Some people really struggle to see what they want, because they are too triggered with patterns of trying to please others. That was me once upon a time.

I also love love, love. love the 10th of December reference you make! Goals!!! You are amazing with goals! After all the years you have dedicated to the sport you love, you have certainly learnt the meaning of commitment and perseverance. You really understand how your value is NOT tied to how other people treat you, and that is a great place to be. I loved reading your comment, and it has made me smile. I know you have got this, completely!! I would so love to know where you are at by this date. Please let me know 🙂
Thank you so much for writing, Ellen and I wish you every success. You are a true white horse warrior (in more ways than one)!
Biggest hug to you and thank you again. xxx

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Dear Lorelle,

thanks a lot for your reply. It made me cry of gratitude. If it can be easy like this, why make it complicated? When I’m having fear of rejection and abandonment and not feeling well, I now remind myself that it is a sign of leaving toxicity. It has the effect of a massive hangover, but this shall pass. Now that I understand the mechanism, there’s no way back.
Your analysis is right: because of the good we can see in people, we think we can help, but as long as the other one(s) don’t see it themselves, all help is wasted.
Sure, I’ve not completely arrived (how could I?) at undertaking action free from people-pleasing, but I try to act slowly, so I have more time to overthink what I’m doing and the motivations behind it. I’ve started to change the most urgent things that threaten my mental safety.
Since I have no idea of how to ride a horse 🙂 I think I’ll be the first one on the forum that will be riding a blue motorcycle; that’s how I imagine it in my head when entering the dojo. I’ve worked through Natasha’s document about the 7 boundaries, so I have some tools to keep me standing.
Be sure, I’ll post again around the 10th of December 😉 and I’ll be hanging around in meantime, reading.

Bear hug,
Ellen

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Ellen!!
A blue motorcycle! ?
Well, I can’t ride a motorbike but this sounds very cool.?
I’m so happy to read this reply and I will definitely look out for how you’re going in December.

You’re incredible, Ellen and I can feel your energy from here (I’m in Australia!). How awesome are you 🙂

Stay true to yourself and keep hitting those goals xx Love and hugs ??

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Thank you Natasha, your generosity is very much appreciated. I will fill out the form immediately.

Love to all here,

Jeff

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Hi again Jeff,

I am so glad you took up Natasha’s offer. You will love it. We really value your comments and input here. The pain never vanishes, it just slowly fades. It’s like when you were a child, the worst cut you ever had. Takes forever to heal, you keep bumping it and it continues to hurt. You cant stop wondering if it is ever going to look like normal skin again. Underneath that horrible wound, a whole lot of healing is going on. Although the scar always reminds us of the injury, one day it does stop hurting and you stop noticing it. I think there is a massive incongruency with how fast we wish we could move on from heartbreak and the actual time it takes to happen! Patience is definitely a virtue but suffering is a horrible place to be.

Be kind to yourself. Especially on the tough days. We really hope you continue to comment here at PMS and let us know how you are going.
You deserve good things, Jeff. You absolutely do. Please keep coming back. x

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Hi Lorelle and everyone,

Just wanted to thank you guys again for the support and NC Contract. Having completed it, I want to share how helpful it has been. By breaking it down to an organized and rational process, including great analogies; Natasha’s Contract has given me more perspective on how my fears and insecurities continue to try and lure me back into contacting an emotionally unavailable woman. It’s been a little over a month with NC, but it feels fresh and raw much of the time. The Contract is a great tool to remind us of why it didn’t work, that our partner was incapable of meeting our needs and we are authentic people who can give and receive love.

Just have to love ourselves first!

Thank you again,

Jeff

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This made my day 🙂 So happy that it served you.

Thank YOU for being here and for being all you are Jeff.

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Lorelle,

This is really great! A lot of points hit home. I am post one year of leaving my “friend” behind. I am so much better but I still try to make sense of the senseless. I cannot wrap my head around what happened – all this time later! I wish I had this kind of dignity and self love years ago when I first met him. I now realize the exact moment I should have walked away. If only I could go back……..

I hope you and Natasha are both doing fantastic. I think of this tribe often and am grateful for all the lessons I learned.
Sending my love to all of you!
xox Christine

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Christine!

I’m happy that you loved this post too! 🙂

Just as grateful for you soul sis. xox

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Hello Christine,
it’s great to hear from you!
You are full of dignity and self-love. I think we all are, but sometimes it takes us awhile to tap into it. When we are good at loving others, we sometimes just place our energy there and don’t acknowledge ourselves. BUT, when we begin to change that balance, we still have so much to give, but never at the expense of our own needs.

I love what you wrote about looking back and knowing the exact moment you should have walked away. That is so empowering and shows how in touch with yourself you are now. That really makes me happy and I know you are in a good place if you can do that.

Thank you for your words, Christine and for taking the time to read this and then share your thoughts. I appreciate it, I love the feedback and the connected feeling it gives me to others. Keep shining your light and sharing your soul, Christine. I appreciate this tribe so much. It has given me a voice. xx

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Lorelle,

This is really great! A lot of points hit home. I am post one year of leaving my “friend” behind. I am so much better but I still try to make sense of the senseless. I cannot wrap my head around what happened – all this time later! I wish I had this kind of dignity and self love years ago when I first met him. I now realize the exact moment I should have walked away. If only I could go back……..

I hope you and Natasha are both doing fantastic. I think of this tribe often and am grateful for all the lessons I learned.
Sending my love to all of you!
xox Christine

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