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Boundaries and the hurting heart

This was not the blog post that I had planned for this week. but sometimes life presents a situation that changes everything. And I struggled with the idea of actually sharing this situation – it’s nothing that I am proud of and it saddens me greatly  - but something kept pulling me to open up for the benefit of others.

I had to make a tough decision last week – I set boundaries with my mother and told her that I couldn’t have the type of relationship with her that we currently had.

BoundariesDetails don’t really matter other than I felt hurt over and over.  Something about this visit was too much for me – maybe it’s because my children are grown and I don’t feel like I have to keep up something fake for them.

This had happened before, 19 years ago actually, the separation lasted almost 5 years. I thought I could move past the hurt, forgive and forget. Fourteen years later though and we are back to this place again – but maybe this time I am wiser and maybe a little less wounded.

Mother and daughter relationships can be complex and that I do understand that. It’s also complex when your children grow and and move on…there are questions as ato where you fit in their lives and who you are without them.  I am there now and I am sure for my mother, her role in my life has been questioned –  but sadly, I really wanted to have a mother in my life, to have a place I could be vulnerable.

But instead of a safe place my personal boundaries were crossed many times. And as I attended counseling, many times, I found myself applying armor just waiting for those little dings and digs that chip away at the self-esteem. And come on, at 48 years old shouldn’t I be healthy enough to withstand these things? I didn’t like the person I was with her and I was having a hard time liking the person she had become with me.

I know that my mother does the best that she can and I often feel selfish for wanting more. I have left our relationship in her hands but in many ways, I felt that I saw her for the very last time last Friday.

The purpose of me sharing this isn’t for sympathy. It’s more as a rally to say that it’s okay to not have that perfect relationship with those who you think that you should – your parents, sisters, brothers and maybe even your children. You may not share it with many people or even acknowledge your own hurt (aren’t we usually focused on the other person anyway?) but you aren’t alone in these feelings. And there is no shame in having them.

Don’t get me wrong, cutting ties is not my suggestion. But please talk to someone about your feelings and your situation: a counselor, clergy or a good friend. Learn that it’s okay to say no and manage emotional boundaries. There is little you can control in a relationship other than how you take things in and how you react to them. Knowing your own triggers is key to healthy relationships.  Also, take responsibility for your part in the relationship’s shortcomings – I have in mine. I know that I wasn’t (am not) the perfect daughter (wife, mother, friend or woman – for that matter). Extend apologies when needed – even to yourself.

Where am I now almost a week later? After feeling everything from sadness to guilt to relief and restarting the cycle again, I know that I am grieving the loss of a relationship that I wanted to have and probably never will. It will take time to be okay with this – and maybe I never will.

The best that I can do to help the healing is to offer prayers to my mother, for healing and peace. Sometimes the best you can do in a negative situation is offer the most positive action you can make.

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Five Essential Oils for Road Trips

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My journey with essential oils has been growing as I learn more about how they work and the benefits they can provide for me and my family.

The journey took on miles a couple of weeks ago as we drove 8 hours to Kansas to celebrate my oldest son’s graduation from college. And when I say 8 hours – I mean eight b-o-r-i-n-g hours. Seriously the drive through Oklahoma and Kansas on I-35 are not that interesting.  But I also knew that even though this was a trip of celebration, there were sure to be stressful times (I mean, I was going to be spending A LOT of time with my ex, his wife and his father – and even with an amicable relationship, this situation was just a kettle of emotions), so one of the first things I packed were my essential oils. And since we were driving I brought the whole container – couldn’t hurt, right? In reality there were a handful of oils that I found very useful and will be traveling with from now on.

So for your upcoming summer road trips, here are my “5 must-have travel essential oils”:

  1. Balance. Tensions can get a little high with wrong turns, terrible radio stations and you know, hanging out with your ex. Balance is a blend of oils that provides tranquility and a sense of equilibrium, eases tension and just makes you go “ahhhhh….”.  The smell is woody and warm and the oils are a mix of  blend spruce, rosewood, frankincense, and blue tansy with fractionated coconut oil. A bonus trick: add a couple of drops to a cotton ball and place in the car vents = car full of calm and well-being.  Used throughout the weekend when I needed a little help with finding my “centered” place.
  2. digest-zenDigestZen. Goodness traveling can throw off your digestive system. From lots of restaurant foods, not drinking enough water, maybe a little more wine than you should (keeping it real here, folks) and a host of other eating/drinking travel hazards can leave you with indigestion, cramping, heart burn and can send that IBS into overdrive. Ginger, peppermint, tarragon, fennel, caraway, coriander and anise are used in DigestZen  to help restore normal balance to the system.  2-3 drops in a 1oz. of water, swish in the mouth and swallow. Calms the tummy naturally. Bonus: I’ve also heard this oil helps with congestion by thinning the drainage. Rub a drop into sinuses, on throat and chest if needed.
  3. PastTense. From stress to poor sleeping to a combination of many other things can lead to headaches. PastTense provides calming comfort with the strength of CPTG® essential oils of wintergreen, lavender, peppermint, frankincense, cilantro, marjoram, roman chamomile, basil, and rosemary. Packaged for convenient application in a roll-on bottle and can easily popped into your purse – just in case.
  4. onguardOn Guard. All of the above can wreak havoc on your immune system. On Guard is a versatile blend to support your immune system (a couple of drops on the bottom of the feet each morning) and can also be used for its anti-bacterial properties to clean surfaces and purify the air. This really helped a musty hotel room by using the cotton balls with a couple of On Guard drops in the air conditioning vents and wiping down the counter tops. The smell reminds me of Thanksgiving with its wild orange, clove and cinnamon over tones.
  5. Lavender. A must have for me to help with sleep. Nothing works like it for me – a drop on the bottom of each foot, over the heart and on the back of the neck on either side of the spine up into the hairline. Also good for inflammation of bug bites, sun burn, bumps and scrapes. Can also be used with lemon and peppermint for allergy symptoms.

There were some notable oils that I used as well: Citrus Bliss for energy and renewal since caffeine after 3pm is a no-no for me these days and of course my Clary Calm – which is just a given in my daily anxiety management. There  are many more ways to use the above oils and many more that I could choose but for me, these will be a mainstay in the road trip stash.

Now it’s your turn! Even if you don’t’ use essential oils what are your go-to must have’s while traveling? Comment below or come on over to my Facebook page and let me know!

The above info has not been evaluated by the FDA. I am not a physician and the products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical care. All information is for educational purposes only.

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Forgiving yourself

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We all screw up in life: An unkind word said or something that came out of our mouths just wrong. Cutting off someone in traffic to flipping someone the bird.  An indiscretion in a relationship or a seemingly simple flirtation that went too far.

We are human – full of flaws and full of mistakes. That’s just how it is and even with the best of intentions we will often fall short.

And after we point the blame at others (“Well HE cut me off in traffic first …”, “My old boss was just a jerk anyway…”, “My ex was just an ass and deserved it…”) at some point reality reminds us that *WE* are to blame for our part of the equation.

Can you relate?

In reality these “human” moments not only hurt those on the receiving end – we hurt ourselves when the cycle of beating ourselves up becomes a pattern of negative self-talk and limiting beliefs.

“I’m so stupid! I don’t deserve to find a good job after being fired… ”

“I don’t deserve to be loved because I had an affair…”

“I was so insensitive to my friend that she ended our friendship – no one will ever want to be friends with me again…”

“I don’t deserve good things to happen to me because I messed up 20 year ago…”

Maybe these are extreme examples but how many negative tapes are playing in your self-talk mantras? How many limiting beliefs do you have about yourself because of past mistakes?

And please, let’s not make this a discussion on how a slip of the tongue is not as detrimental as having an emotional affair. This post is about forgiveness and the importance of forgiving ourselves.

We all have a past and we all have made mistakes – some are slight, some unintentional, some intentional and some monumental. But it’s what we learn and how we move forward that makes us either a product of our mistakes and stuck in the past or a product of our mistakes and growing to our greatest future.

Need steps in making those first steps to self-forgiveness?

  1. Make your amends when you need to. Yes, even is the event was 20 years ago. Offer an apology and mean it. Can’t contact the person you hurt? Write a letter to them, for yourself. Write out those feelings and emotions. Process, feel, make peace.
  2. Seek help moving past your mistakes if you need to. Yes, counseling. Find one you trust and work through this when you are feeling stuck.
  3. Be mindful of how you speak to yourself and why. The negative tapes that play in your head? The names you call yourself and the way you hold yourself back? This may be a sign that you need professional help as suggested in step 2.
  4. Learn from your mistakes and grow in strength of your hurts and downfalls. You are unique because of your experiences – the good and the bad. Embrace that within yourself.

You, beautiful one, have a lot to share with this world. And being stuck in a cycle of dimming yourself because of your past is dimming the world of the light that only you can shine and share.

Now its your turn to share. No, you don’t have to share your mistake  – but share what has helped you move forward in forgiving yourself? Leave a comment below or join me on my Facebook page.

 

 
photo credit: swanksalot via photopin cc

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