She Desires Connection & Love – He Desires Freedom & Space

There are several gender differences between men and women. However, there is one gender difference that is often neglected and misunderstood. Which if not understood and addressed; will create misunderstanding and conflict between the couple.

In this blog, I offer you the gender difference and dynamic of love and freedom. In order to have a healthy and thriving relationship, this common dynamic, is critical to understand and work through with your partner.

A Gender Difference Often Overlooked and Misunderstood

Typically, the women desires connection and love in the relationship. And generally, the man is seeking freedom, i.e. to be free of restraints and obligations of the relationship.

Generally, women thrive on a sense of connection with a partner, their children, friends and family. Who they are with is important and valued. The female is the nurturer and takes on a sense of responsibility and accountability to the relationship.

Is it true ladies, that in an intimate relationship, your desire is for deep and trusting love? You want to be able to relax with your partner in giving love and being loved. You want to feel valued and know you are special in his eyes and heart.

With men, they typically relate more to status, especially in their work. Us men, we assume our partner relationship is working, just by the fact that we are in it. However, many men feel overwhelmed and flooded by the obligations and responsibilities that they perceive as demands of relationship, and needing to please his partner. In this, men will desire and need the feeling of space and freedom.

Fair to say men, we struggle with deep and intimate love, it’s confusing, overwhelming and darn right scary?

Generally, its often the man who perceives, thus fears relationship commitment, because he may view it as a loss of his freedom. Men tend to avoid love and true connection in relationship, by way of having a “man cave” being overly involved with work, their toys, sports, or hanging out with the guys.

The need for freedom and space is often a way for him to process his feelings and frustrations of relationship, and his way of trying to figure the relationship out.

The freedom that many men seek, however, is really the fear of love and intimacy, disguised as freedom.

She Comes More from the Emotional and Heart-Centered Side

Women want their thoughts respected, but more importantly, she wants to be listened too, and also have her feelings acknowledged and respected.  This is a way she feels loved, supported and connected.

Men Mainly Need Their Thoughts Respected

Typically, men are not that connected with feelings. Many men look at life and relationships more from the logic side, he wants “to fix” things when you are hurting. Most men, take things literally. That’s why ladies, men often can’t read what you are thinking or feeling, because they are more literal in thinking. So when you say to your man, didn’t you realize what I needed? The answer most often will be “no.”

Out of fear and need for control, many men have learned to close off their heart. They have a difficult time connecting with their partner on emotional and intimate levels. Boys to men learn growing up: “boys don’t cry”, “suck it up”, “be a man.” We are programmed to wall off our feelings; so we lose touch with them and healthy ways to express them. Feelings become something more to fear and avoid than express. Or the expression is more destructive than healthy.

Boys to men, learn through competitive sports, their occupation and perhaps going to war, that there’s no strength in feelings, this will not give you the competitive edge and being too emotional will get you killed on the battle field.

So they learn to fear their feelings, to deny and bury them. They become more safe and free in their logic and thinking mind, not so much their intuitive and heart-centered state. This becomes a sense of freedom to them, yet it’s really a tragic society programming, in which the boy to man loses touch with the deeper self. Which in turn impedes on the ability and willingness to connect more deeply with the female.

So ladies, if you don’t tell him in a basic and literal way what you need or don’t need, they most likely won’t intuitively know what you are thinking or feeling.

Don’t assume your man knows what you are thinking/feeling, for he doesn’t or he doesn’t trust or believe in what his intuition might be telling him. He goes more by the logical and survival thinking parts of his brain.

The Dynamic of Love and Freedom

If the dynamic and dance of the female desire for love and males desire for freedom is not acknowledged, understood and addressed in the relationship, this dynamic often becomes a major cause of relationship problems and conflict. When the man is driven more toward space and freedom and the women is driven toward connection and love, neither has their needs met.

So confusion, misunderstanding, and perhaps resentment will likely surface between you. He is threatened by the intensity of her desire for love and her willingness to offer love. She is threatened by his lack of attention to her and his emotional disconnect with her.

Love and freedom are connected parts of a whole, each requires the other. A lack of love harms freedom; a lack of freedom harms love.

Realize in the desire for love or freedom, neither is right or wrong. Some of it is biological and much of this is learned behaviors, due to society and family programming.

The Key

The key is for men to accept their emotional disconnect, while learning to become comfortable with their own feelings again, and the healthy expression of them. To understand and learn to appreciate the women’s desire for connection and love. To practice, connecting and loving her unconditionally and without fear.

If you spend too much time and energy in the man cave, at the office, or with the guys, she will be unhappy, angry and feel disconnected and unloved. You will in time lose her.

Ladies, the more you hound him, the more confused, scared, angry and avoiding  he will become. He will go deeper into his cave to protect himself.  So just wait at the door and encourage him to connect with you.

Men, your role is to come out of the cave, sooner rather than later. The longer you avoid her and preoccupy yourself, the more she perceives this as: you don’t love or care about her. This will cause her to likely nag you even more. She does this because she cares about you and the relationship.

Men, You Should Worry More When She Doesn’t Nag You

Men, when she stops nagging you or testing you for your love and connection, this may be a sign she’s moving away emotionally and physically from the relationship. Meaning, she’s likely having an affair and/or has decided to end your relationship.

Love Making

The experience of love making, is a classic example of the women’s desire for connection and love. And the man’s desire for freedom which comes through sexual release i.e. release of anxiety through sexual release (ejaculation) equals freedom from life’s anxiety/pressure.

For most women, love making is more about the foreplay, kissing and cuddling before and after intercourse. This is how they get aroused, create connection and experience the giving and receiving of love.

For most men, however, we desire to get right to the act of intercourse, with little time needed for the foreplay. We just want the freedom that comes from the release. After the release we often go fast asleep, leaving her physically and emotionally disconnected, perhaps even feeling used.

In Closing

Seek to explore and understand this relationship dynamic and interplay of love and freedom. Its a natural dynamic, even gay and lesbian couples will have this interplay of love and freedom. As one partner will likely desire more freedom, while the other desires connection and love.

The more you understand and accept this love or freedom need and dynamic, the more likely you will be open and willing to balance these needs between the two of you.

Ladies as nurtures, its important to love and care for yourself as much as you may love and care for others. The greater your self-love, the less dependent you will be for others to love you. As the women is more loving and secure within herself. This offers the man a degree of freedom to be himself, have his need for space.

The man, for his part should recognize the importance and desire for his partner to feel his sense of connection and love to and for her. As the man learns to be comfortable with deeper connection and love, he will begin to feel more comfortable with loving her more openly and freely.

Remember guys, she desires you to apprecaite her and hold her in your thoughts and heart. This will help her feel relaxed and free in loving herself and loving her man.

For love is freedom and freedom is love. 

 

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Would you like to improve your relationship dynamic and interactions? I’m just a phone call or email away.  David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed clinical and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit David’s website: transitionpathways.com David’s book, Just Be Love is available through online bookstores: balboapress.com/bookstore,  amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

Don’t Just Fall in Love – Let us Rise as Love

Want to understand a higher version of love?  Read on.

Love is the essence of our soul energy, and the quest of the human condition. We are wired for connection and love. However, some people struggle with loving themselves, so they seek love and acceptance mostly from outside of themselves. Making others the object of their belief, that they “lack” and therefore, “need.” Hence, the ego concept and desire to “Fall in Love” comes to be.

To be loved and seen as worthy in the eyes and heart of another person; is the search many pursue. Yet, on the spiritual level, to fall in love, is to lose the self for another. This often creates a difficult and painful ego trap. It can create a relationship dynamic and behaviors of the need to please, for love and attention. Or the need for control, to be right, and have power over another. This is conditional love – a love by possession.

Consider, from the higher soul level perspective, there is no need or lack. Need and lack, are ego perceptions and beliefs, so an illusion. Given this reality, I ask: Do we really need to fall into something we already are? We come from the energy of love, so love is who we are. Our true quest should be: To Awaken and Rise as Love.

Love is Freedom

True and divine love is unconditional and offers freedom. To awaken – To Rise and Just Be Love, is to be Free.

Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, said it well: “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”

As human consciousness evolves, we are moving into higher dimensions of awareness and being. With this evolution, we are expanding in our understanding and experience of the higher knowing of love.

When we have the awareness: “I Am Love”, the search for love ends. In this paradigm shift, let us consider: Rising as love, is not about who we love. It’s that we love. Because love is who we are. 

With this knowing, it’s understanding that it’s not the Christ energy coming down to earth again. To awaken and rise as love, is individual and collective humanity, ascending in the energy and consciousness of love; to meet our beloved masters in the higher dimensions.

The Sufi leader and teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan said: “The higher you rise, the wider becomes the margin of your view.”

To rise as love, is to surrender our ego-centered will, in order to have the wider and more expanded perspective. It is to embrace and ascend in the energy and will of divine love. Divine love for me means: The unconditional love and acceptance of the spirit of all that is.

In this, we discover our beloved – the one we originate from. We also reunite with our soul, as our lower self transcends and unites with the higher self. Thus we mate with our own soul. This I believe, is the true meaning of the term: Soulmate. In this sacred reunion, we rise and expand in higher awareness of love and self-worth.

The Way to Inner and Outer Peace

To rise as love,  is to align with the divine father-mother, and embrace the oneness of all that is. To rise as love, is to offer acceptance, loving kindness and compassion to ourselves, and all that inhabits the earth. This creates the opportunity to form peaceful community with our fellow soul sisters and brothers.

So, let yourself, Rise as Love. This will be the remembering of your innocence, your worth and divinity. This is the path to inner peace, which creates peace on earth. It’s part of what souls in human form are here to do, while in this earth school.  Rise as Love & Peace, David

Please, share your thoughts or comments on this blog.

 

Want to learn and experience ways to rise as love? I’m a phone call or email away, to assist you. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit David’s website: transitionpathways.com David’s book, Just Be Love is available through online bookstores: balboapress.com/bookstore,  amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

 

Where There is Love – There is Joy

This being the season of Love and Joy. I offer this message on how unconditional love leads to Joy.

There are many attributes to the energy and expression of unconditional love such as: Kindness, respect, acceptance, compassion, patience and connection. Inclusion, willingness, openness and freedom are also part of the path to love.

The Energy of Love and Joy

I’ve come to appreciate that the energy and expression of unconditional love, naturally leads one to joy. For where there is love, joy is at love’s doorstep.

According to the “Map of Consciousness” developed by the late spiritual teacher, psychiatrist and author David Hawkins. Joy has an even higher calibration of energy and consciousness than love. Joy offers a sense of inner contentment and completeness. www.map-of-consciousness

From joy comes an even higher energy we call peace, which is to be free of distractions, and the embodiment of oneness with all. Peace comes about, when we make no distinction between ourselves as an observer and the subject, i.e. that which we observe.

True Peace is the Result of Awareness

Awareness, is to have an appreciation for all that is seen and unseen. This allows for inclusion, which ends the created ego illusion of separation.

Awareness and peace, often occurs for a person during their death process. Part of our soul task while in human form, is to obtain and sustain these states of awareness, unconditional love, joy and inner peace, earlier in life, i.e. before our death.

Many people including myself, have had moments of the experience and feeling of unconditional love, joy and peace. Fair to say, our main struggle is the ability to sustain these blissful states.

 

The Paradox of Joy and Sorrow

Joy and sorrow are the light and shade of life; without light and shade no picture is clear.”  Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sufi leader and teacher

To understand and experience joy, we must accept that it’s often realized from our experiences of hardship and sorrow, and working through them. Life is such, that in order to experience and know light, we must have the experience of darkness. So it seems with joy. In order to experience joy, we must have the experience of sorrow.

The paradox of joy and sorrow is the more you discover your joy, the more you will recognize your sorrow; and the parts of you that hold you back from joy.

Joy arrives when we offer acts of unconditional love, especially to ourselves. Having the courage to abandoned self-doubt and be more fearless. The willingness to reconcile the parts of our past, where we hold the resentment, shame, the guilt and regrets. Joy is the result of letting go of expectations and not being too needy.

Joy is in Knowing

Joy is knowing, that love, light and fullness always surrounds darkness, sorrow and emptiness. Moving through our lessons of struggle, with love, grace and gratitude, transforms our darkness to light.

Answers and higher awareness come from the struggle; and when we are ready and willing, joy is there to replace our sorrow.

The nature of love is to view life and our experiences, through childlike eyes of innocence and wonder. Unconditional love amplifies the energy of joy. So too, through our acts of  gratitude and unconditional giving, we receive love, in the form of joy.

Joy comes by acknowledging, we are part of the fabric of the divine universe. We are the infinite universe and the universe is us. Like love, joy resides in both the infinite and the simplistic.

Our Remembering

Can you see and embrace: Where there is Love there is Joy? Just Be Love my friends, and you will discover joy. You will remember who you truly are.

Love, Joy & Peace, David

Please, share your thoughts or comments on this blog.

Want to learn and experience more love and joy in life? I’m a phone call or email away, to assist you. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit David’s website: transitionpathways.com David’s book, Just Be Love is available through online bookstores: balboapress.com/bookstore,  amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

A Quote on Love

This Hendrix quote seems more important now than ever.
What do you say?

 

The Mystery and Wonder of Infinite Love

The Eye of Infinite Love and intelligence.
Let this be your master and guide.

 

4 Reasons The Term “Soulmate” Is Misunderstood

In a previous blog entitled: “The Higher Meaning of the Term Soulmate.” I wrote of the true meaning of soulmate being: The reunion of your lower wounded ego self with your higher, wiser soul self. Thus you mate with your own soul. In this reunion, you can than attack the soul outside of you that is in soul agreement to be your suitable and complementary mate.

Here’s the fundamental problem people would have with this soulmate concept. Many people are unaware or misinformed about their soul. Some would even deny the existence of a “soul.” So if one denies the existence of their soul, and/or hasn’t take the time and effort to explore their soul. It would make sense why some people have trouble with my definition of soulmate.

Many societies and religions around the world, don’t advocate soul exploration and learning, let alone the idea of soul contracts and growth. When was the last time you heard on CNN, FOX news or Peoples Court, talk of the soul? The soul is not a mainstream topic with social media, in education, healthcare, religion, or people’s general conversation.

So Let’s Talk First About the Soul

I believe, the soul is pure energy, of a higher vibration than the physical body. The soul is the energy and essence of us. For the physical body could not exist without the soul. The soul enters the body at a point of conception and more fully is engaged with the fetus when its heart begins to beat. There is life. When the soul decides to permanently leave the body, this is what’s called physical death.

The soul is simply the formless energetic part of us, which resides in the physical body, some call it the higher self. While there is an aspect of your soul in the physical body, other aspects of your soul energy exist in other higher realms/dimensions in the cosmos.

The soul is the eternal aspect of you. While the physical body is the temporary aspect of you. You are an eternal soul housed in a temporary shell, called a body. Given my view of the soul and its aspects. Here are 4 reasons why the soulmate concept is misunderstood.

1. I Can’t See my Soul. Therefore, it must Not Exist:
Many people believe that if they can’t see, hear, feel, touch or taste something, it must not exist. The soul, being formless energy, would understandably be difficult to detect through any of our 5 senses. Consider the scientific fact, that 96% of what makes up the universe is invisible to human senses.

When we dream, I believe, we are connecting with the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind can be seen and known as one’s higher mind or higher self, so it’s an aspect of our soul working through the mind. When we dream, have a stroke of insight, use our intuition or experience synchronicity, that’s the higher mind. These are examples of the energy and ways our soul is communicating with us.

Many of us dream about a soulmate, we create an image or vision of him/her. I can see my soulmate in my mind’s eye or out there in a photo on a dating site. In these ways we than make the soulmate real. Yet, when we do the same with the communication from our own soul regarding a variety of other life experiences, we tend to deny this is coming from our soul. Does this sound true to you?

2. The Subject of “Soul” is not a Mainstream Topic:
However, the idea of finding “my soulmate” is a mainstream topic and subject of many people’s desire. It’s an unfortunate truth. How in our human ways we have once again gone astray with a spiritual concept. Turning the soul into everything, but what it truly is. Bottom line, there is very little interest, discussion or exploration on the subject of the eternal energy of the soul, what its purpose is, and its value to us in our earthly body and experiences.

3. Most Humans are More Focused on the Temporary:
As humans with an ego, many of us tend to be more distracted and focused on what is temporary, and what we have defined ourselves by. Our job, our car, our outward appearance, our finances, etc. We think these things make up the reality of who we are. However, none of these things will matter when we pass on. So why allow yourself to be so attached and defined by the temporary, at the neglect of your soul‒the eternal you?

4. The Common Belief is:
Others are responsible for your happiness and growth. We believe and say, “When I find my soulmate, I will be happy.” This is a common human assumption and painful error. From the soul perspective, it understands and agrees: “The other,” as a soul, offers your soul/you, the experiences needed for soul learning and growth. The other is not your “enemy or threat.” Rather they are your “opportunity and teacher.” And you are the others opportunity and teacher as well.

Yes, you can be happy in a relationship. However, neither of you are responsible for the others happiness. Happiness is an inside job. This is a major soul issue and lesson that people painfully keep repeating, by way of the “experience of relationship”, until the person “realizes this truth.” Make sense?  To your soul it makes sense. To our humanness with an ego, not so much.

In Closing:

When you connect more with the soul essence of you, you create the opportunity to understand your life experiences and the relationships within these experiences from a higher and wiser perspective. You will see more clearly what the person in the experience was offering/teaching you, and why you made the choices you did. It is important to focus on the eternal, the soul, its purpose/reason for being in this lifetime.

Important to realize, there is often a higher and deeper meaning to our experiences, than the one we organically come up with.

Ask and explore these soul growth questions:  

  • What am I here to experience in this lifetime?
  • What are people, places and my experiences showing and teaching me?
  • What does it all mean for me?
  • What is my negative core belief about myself around these experiences?
  • Are these core self-beliefs and choices acts of self-love or self-doubt?
  • Are my self created beliefs and choices coming from fear or Love?
  • Are these self-beliefs and choices empowering me (creating self-confidence and happiness) or defeating me (creating inner discontent)?
  • What is a higher more loving self-belief I can create for myself?
  • How would this new belief impact the choices I make?

 

The fundamental ways to mate or unite with your own soul.  Is by answering the above soul growth questions, and doing the inner soul work, which includes:

  • Reconciling the wounds from your past, and release the false self-beliefs your lower ego self created from these experiences. Allowing yourself than to reframe these experiences and yourself toward the higher soul perspective.
  • Learning to love yourself again, by letting go of regrets, and judgment of self and others. It’s about remembering and returning to the love, innocence and goodness your soul knows you to be.

In doing soul work, you create the opportunity, to be more self-confident, happier, more loving, accepting and compassionate to yourself. This is to grow and evolve. Which than helps you attract other evolved souls into your life. Creating healthier, harmonious and balanced relationships.

I welcome your comments.

Are you curious and seeking more information or guidance with your personal or spiritual journey? A gentle and helpful resource, is just a phone call or email away.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. David’s book, Just Be Love is available through his website: transitionpathways.com or through online bookstores: amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

12 Benefits of the Power of Acceptance

In uncertain times, we struggle with trusting the process of life. We are fearful, so we want control, we want to know the outcome, yet we tend to predict a negative outcome ahead of time, while bypassing the process of “what is.” All this feeds our fear, the sense of powerlessness and loneliness, which fuels depression and anxiety. 

Could it be in these uncertain times, that our individual and collective shadow aspects are being exposed more than ever? Could it be the contrast of light as love and dark as fear, is coming more to the forefront; to be recognized and reconciled within us individually and collectively? Sure seems like it to me, how about you?

Transformation and growth always comes from the uncertainty and the struggle. Creation and renewal comes from darkness.

Uncertainty, is a lesson and opportunity to practice Acceptance. So in uncertain times, we are called to the act of acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean you like or agree with “what is.” Acceptance, is to just be present to it. To be in the thoughts and behaviors of love and compassion with what is, rather than fear, resistance and resentment.

When we resist, deny, avoid or blame, we delay the opportunity for our happiness and growth. 

If we are unhappy and unfulfilled: we haven’t asked and more importantly answered an important question: What’s happened in my life that I’m not accepting?

Acceptance is to ride the wave of uncertainty, without losing yourself in the unknown of what is. Acceptance is shedding our will and way, and aligning with the divine power and will. With the knowing, we will gain more than lose, as we trust and allow in the power greater than ourselves. 

Acceptance is getting to know and understand our neighbor, from their perspective, not just our own. To respond, rather than react to differences and conflict.

The following are 12 Benefits, of why Acceptance is Powerful and of Value:

1. Acceptance is a sign of spiritual maturity.

2. Acceptance is being present and mindful to an experience without being defined by the experience.

3. Willingness and understanding lead the way to acceptance. Acceptance is wisdom in action.

4. It embraces the acts of spiritual surrender and willingness of “what is” creating realistic neutrally and non-attachment to experiences.

5. Acceptance, as spiritual surrender; magnifies our connection to the divine, and to love. Which restores hope, and allows for a higher meaning to life experiences.

6. Acceptance is an act of love and courage. Accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change what I can. Furthermore, it moves you from powerless to  Empowerment.

7. Acceptance transcends denial, creates emotional calm and inner peace. In addition, it widens one’s perception.

8. What we Accept – we Conquer. What we resist – will Persist.

9. Acceptance is a forward moving energy. It allow us the opportunity to rise above our struggles. 

10. The willingness to accept another’s and our own imperfections, is to discover the perfection. Perfection in divine terms means: To have Compassion for. The divine has compassion for all that is. 

11. Acceptance leads to Compassion, which allows for Forgiveness or Reconciliation.

12. Acceptance begins to transform fear, sorrow and bondage to love, joy and freedom.

With acceptance, comes tolerance, resilience and confidence to weather life’s uncertainties and difficulties. I close with my quote, which seems to fit during times of uncertainty. Realize, the choice is always ours, as to who and how we want to be in times of uncertainty. I choose Understanding, Acceptance, Compassion and Forgiveness, for they equal the power of Love!

 

Are you struggling with accepting some life experiences? Are you anxious and/or overwhelmed by change or uncertainty? Help is just a phone call or email away. Please contact David Schroeder if you would like assistance with your acceptance and change issues; and how to work through them. David offers life transition and spiritual growth counseling and coaching session’s in-person, by phone or Skype. Visit his website at transitionpathways.com.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, a healthy and assertive way to help yourself and move through life transitions.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. David’s book, Just Be Love is available through his website: transitionpathways.com or through online bookstores: amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

3 Myths and 6 Truths about Self-Love

Cultivating Self-Love is one of the foundations of self-esteem. The most important person to have a loving and caring relationship with is with you. Self-love is the basis of your happiness, as well as your physical and emotional health. Self-Love is vital toward developing and sustaining healthy relationships with others, or the ability to move on from an unhealthy relationship. If you struggle with loving yourself, you will likely struggle with loving relationships with others. Spiritual truth says: what you to do yourself you do to others.

There are both myths and truths about self-love.  

 3 common Myths about Self-Love:

1. I need to please others: In childhood I experienced and learned that in order to get love, acceptance and approval, “I needed to please others” and I still believe this today. In pleasing others, we tend to forget the self. Over time, this depletes you especially, emotionally, leading  to resentment, unhappiness and overall life dissatisfaction.  

 2. Self-Love is being selfish: Childhood taught me that to love the self, was being selfish, arrogant or egoistical. I became programmed to feel guilt or shame if I took  care of and loved myself, if I said, “No” ‒ set boundaries for myself. We learned to love and value others unconditionally, yet, “conditions” apply to loving ourselves. 

3. Life is 90% what happens to me and 10% what I do with it. This myth caused me to develop an unhealthy and unloving relationship with myself around a difficult circumstance. I become the victim (blaming/hating myself) or the villain (blaming/hating others) because of the circumstance.

Life circumstances can cause us to become sad, fearful, angry, bitter, and resentful. There is a part of us that ultimately needs to blame someone or something for our feelings and emotions. In the end, I either blame you or I blame myself. This blame is judgment, and judgment is simply the withholding of love. Within my difficult situation, I do not love you or I do not love myself. Either way, my wounded self is not being loving. It’s protecting/defending itself or condemning the self. This is fear, not love.

The truth is: life is 10% what happens to me and 90% what I do with it. This means I take responsibility for my thoughts, beliefs, choices and behaviors regarding the experience. This is a more loving, accepting and empowering way to move through life experiences.

6 Truths of Self-Love:

1. You instinctively know your true worth. Question: How easily do you give up your value and sense of worth when things go wrong? People, who love themselves, instinctively believe and know they are worthy and of value.

Within the struggles and hardships of life, they have accepted and learned that life offers a series of problems in the form of lessons, and their life experiences are the lessons. Within these experiences, working with and through their circumstances, they have developed a more positive, self-empowering and life enhancing relationship to their unfortunate circumstances.

They are not defined by the unfortunate experience, rather they see it as an opportunity to deeply love them self, have compassion for themselves and others within and because of the experience.

They choose out of love and a desire for higher learning and growth, not to diminish their self-worth and love of self. They realize the circumstance was a test of their faith and to not lose our self-love, within the difficult experience. They accept it’s not always possible to like yourself or the experience, but you should never give up loving yourself, because of the experience.

The truth is, loving the self is one of the most positive and healthy ways to live and cope with life. To love your self is to value yourself and know your worth. Self-love and worth, naturally spills over to loving and accepting others.

2. Return to the Source of Love: In my humanness I tend to forget I am love, innocence and goodness, due to difficult and painful experiences. I experience, rejection, abandonment, or betrayal, which leads me to feel embarrassment/shame or injustice i.e. the world is not fair. My perception and belief of separation takes shape in my reality.

There is however, another truth and reality beyond what I have made true. There is a source and power within me and all around me that is pure and unconditional love and acceptance. This love is the source and basis of all that exist.

To return to this source is to remember and return to love. It is to remember and return to that which I am‒Love. This ends the perception and belief in separation and returns me back to inclusion.   

Love, innocence and worthiness represent inclusion. Fear, shame and unworthiness imply exclusion. To have self-love is to include myself again.

3. Self-Love creates and builds resilience. Resilience embodies the qualities of flexibility, hardiness and determination. I love and care about myself enough, that I choose to see my circumstances through. So I am open and accepting to my circumstances. Moving away from avoidance, resistance, shame or blame.

To be flexible and adapting, offers me the motivation and determination to change what I can. The greater my self-love, the greater my resilience and willingness to change what I can. The greater my resilience the deeper my self-love.

4. Loving the self without the conditions. The unconditional love and acceptance you offer others, is to be offered and expressed to yourself first and foremost, without conditions or “yah buts.” The airplane ride proves this statement. When traveling by plane, with a small child, the flight attendant says: “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before your child.” Why? Because, in order to keep your child safe and secure, you need to have yourself safe and secure first.

A fundamental way to feel safe and secure is through self-love. Don’t wait for others to affirm you, affirm yourself freely and daily. True happiness comes from the unconditional love and acceptance with all parts of us.

5. All of our experiences are meant to bring us back to love. A difficult spiritual concept to comprehend is the notion that our experiences and the way we move through them, shows us how much we love or don’t love ourselves.

If I don’t love myself, because someone wasn’t very loving or kind to me, I have given away my power and my sense of love to that unloving person and/or experience.

It’s really not the rejection or betrayal by the other person that hurts me. What creates my hurt is the perception, belief and behaviors I take on because of the experience, the story I tell myself and others around the experience.

The key: within an unloving or uncaring act of someone toward you, keep loving and expressing kindness to yourself along the way. Some examples to help with this:

  • Connect with loving/supportive people
  • Write in a Journal
  • Take a warm bath/receive regular bodywork
  • Forgive the unloving words or act, sooner rather than later
  • Take walks/exercise
  • Mediation and prayer
  • Talk with a therapist or coach to sort out truth from your distortions and false beliefs.
  • Practice what I call the 4R’s (see below)

The 4 R’s:  Recognize, Reconcile, Release and Reframe

Recognize: Much of the owning process is about recognizing, becoming aware and identifying or naming where the hurt takes you in perception, feelings/emotions and belief about yourself within the situation. As I see how and where the situation or person triggered my perception, feelings and self-belief, this gives me the opportunity to:

Reconcile: within me where the situation is taking me in my belief about myself. How this belief builds me up‒makes me my best friend or condemns me‒makes me my worst enemy. When I can reconcile within myself, where the situation is taking, me than I can release the inner torment.

Release: To release is to say, believe, and act with confidence and determination to letting go of what no longer serves me. I release my unhealthy mind set and choose now to construct a more self empowering and loving mind set along with actions that reinforce the new way of being.

I choose to let go of the old, in order to create and live the new. I choose to focus on what I will gain and benefit as I embrace self-love, and release self-judgment and sabotaging thinking and behaviors.

Reframe: is the openness and willingness to view the upset in a different way. The mind is limited in perception and belief. We know what we know and we feel, and do what we know. To entertain a different possibility from my current point of view is to open the door to a different knowing. This helps create a more constructive and healthier story and reality‒way of thinking and acting.

To reframe my perception and belief, helps reduce the emotional charge I’ve had around the painful experience. This is an act of self-love within the fact that someone outside of me wasn’t very loving to me. This is a way we return to love and self-empowerment.

6. Can I look in the mirror and see love, my innocence and goodness? Or do I see what I deem as flaws, the bad hair day, the wrinkles, etc? I see my created distorted reflection, not the true reflection in my mirror. The one looking at you from inside the mirror only sees you as love, innocence and beauty. 

Can you accept and honor this truth of who you are? If you can, how would this make you feel in this moment? How would this start your day? What would this do to your state/frame of mind, and your attitude about yourself in life? When you reject the one in the mirror you are excluding her/him. To embrace and freely love the one in the mirror is to include her/him into your life. 

In my book, Just Be Love, I wrote a poem entitled: My Mirror, which illustrates the importance of staying true to the divine reflection of you from your mirror. 

My Mirror

My mirror recognizes and reflects the truth
that I struggle to notice and affirm.
My mirror only sees and knows me as love,
love I struggle to accept and embrace.
My mirror supports and nurtures,
what I choose to judge and reject.
My mirror only ask that I Just Be Love,
with the one who truly sees and knows me.

I look deeply in my mirror.
I see my innocence, perfection and radiance,
I would before hide and condemn.

As I let go of what I thought I was.
I see more clearly who I am.
What a gift I give to myself this day.

Thank you mirror, thank you,
I finally recognize and have found the one,
I’ve been looking for all along.

To come back to loving your self is to cultivate and value the self. You are expressing to yourself, you matter. Thus you find and connect with the one you have been looking for. You come back to the truth of who you are.

 

Are you struggling with loving yourself? Are you pleasing others as a way to receive love, acceptance and approval? Only to find you are more physically, emotionally and socially depleted?  David Schroeder, can help you reclaim the love and goodness you are. If you would like assistance with reclaiming this love and goodness David is here to assist you with his life transition coaching and counseling sessions. He offers in-person, by phone or Skype sessions. Visit his website at transitionpathways.com.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, a healthy and assertive way to help yourself and love yourself again.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed social worker, certified life coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. David’s book, Just Be Love is available through my websites: transitionpathways.com or through online bookstores: amazon.com , barnesandnoble.com

4 Steps to Changing your Attention and Focus

There is a universal law called the Law of Attraction, which simply says: What you think about, you bring about. In other words what we think about is where our attention and focus will be, this creates a form of energy; thus our experience in that moment. 

In today’s world there is much discontent. Many people are struggling with holding a loving, unconditional and peaceful focus and attention, due to much frustration, resentment and anger, with their personal/family relationships, workplace, government, etc. 

Many people want others to change to their own way of thinking and being. So our attention and focus is on those outside of us. Believing if others change – conform to our liking; this will make me feel safe, loved and happy.   

This way of thinking and being creates a dependence on others for our circumstances and happiness. Making others responsible for our lives, we are either in victim (poor me/I hate myself) energy or fighter/conflict energy (I hate you).

With both of these energies and mind-sets our attention and focus is more in a dis-empowering and negative direction, i.e.in the long run, these ways of thinking, believing and behaving, will create more negative destructive experiences and outcomes, than constructive and positive experiences.

Where your thoughts and attention goes, is where your energy will flow toward. This will be your created experience. 

Much of our degree of happiness, level of consciousness and success in life; has to do with our ability to focus and be attentive to the things that truly matter.

Ask yourself: What would truly contribute toward the growth and life enhancement of myself and others? Your answer to this question, is where your attention and focus is going. Creating the degree of happiness and inner peace you are experiencing.

This quote by the Spanish philosopher, Jose Ortega y Gasset speaks volumes to the power and influence attention and focus has in our life. “Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.”

Attention is your focus, so like I said with the law of attraction, where your attention goes is who you believe yourself to be, and thus what you will attract in your life.

If you are unhappy and unfulfilled with your experiences and their outcomes, keep reading I offer you these 4 steps to improve attention and focus:

1. Gain awareness of what your attention is focused on. This will begin to show you why you are experiencing the things and circumstances you are. This will also lead you to your core self-belief about yourself, and how you may be unconsciously reinforcing – feeding your core negative belief through your attention and behaviors. This awareness offers you clarity, to what needs to change within you.

2. With this awareness and clarity, change your attention and focus to what you truly desire. If your attention is more on what you don’t want, than you will create what you don’t want, because this is what you are communicating and thus broadcasting to yourself and the universe. The universe will always provide the experience you consciously, and especially unconsciously broadcast ‒ ask for.

3. Be clear and specific with what you pay attention to.
Be mindful, that a part of you wants to take your attention to the negative and self-defeating. This is the fearful and undeserving part of you, wanting to get the best of you and keep you in what you don’t want or deserve.

Become conscious of this defeating aspect of you. Gently counter this with self-love, worthiness and value. With this, shift your focus and attention, back to the good and wholesome things you desire in life.

4. Visualize yourself having these positive and worthy desires.
Like a GPS, despite the wrong turns and barriers that get in the way, the GPS, never loses focus or sight on the destination that it’s programmed to go to. Your heart, as much as your mind is your internal GPS, so allow it to keep your attention, focus and process on what you desire and truly deserve.

With positive attention and focus on what you desire you create awareness and clarity of your process ‒ the steps toward this desire. You create a “Can Do Belief” and mind-set. What you focus on becomes your belief.  What you believe – is what you can achieve. You create the energy, actions and motivation to achieve.

The power of a “Can Do” belief sets the mind and body toward that belief. This offers you the inspiration, focus, discipline, and the determination to achieve.

 

What are your thoughts on this article?  Please leave a comment.

Do you struggle with attention and staying focused on your goals? David Schroeder, can help you reclaim the love and goodness you are. If you would like assistance with learning to stay true to your desire and achieving them, David is here to assist you with his life transition coaching and counseling sessions. He offers in-person, by phone or Skype sessions. Visit his website at transitionpathways.com.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, a healthy and assertive way to help yourself and love yourself again.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed social worker, certified life coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. David’s book, Just Be Love is available through my websites: transitionpathways.com or JustBeLove  Also available through online bookstores: amazon.com , barnesandnoble.com

 

Navigating Change and Transition: From Struggle to Opportunity

As a therapist and life transition coach, most people seek my services, because they are experiencing a life change and are struggling with the transition of this change. An aspect of love is the willingness and ability to move through the transition change creates.

Change comes in a variety of ways. Such as: getting married, birth of a child, a death of a loved one, a partner’s affair, a divorce, job loss or transfer, or a grown child going to college. Some transitions can seem positive on one hand, yet create change and adjustment from our norm. So you may struggle for a time, adapting to “what is” now.

There is a difference between change and transition in the following ways.    

  • Change happens first and transition occurs due to the change.
  • Change can be seen as a shift from a norm, transition is the process of moving from one norm/way of being to another. Transition is the adjustment and adaptations we make from the change.
  • Change is usually an external experience, where transition is more of an internal process.
  • Change is often more sudden, more visible and tangible. Transition is a slower process, less visible, more intangible.

Change for people can be difficult to accept and move through, both physically and especially emotionally. It’s natural to want the situation and/or person back to how it was (old way).  Many people need certainty and to know the outcome, within what has now changed (new way).

The resistance to change, the need for certainty and the need to know, in the mist of the unknown, are often what causes many people to struggle with change. The need for certainty and control, leads to fear and resistance; creating racing thoughts, and self-created perceptions of negative outcomes.

This will lead to distributive sleep pattern, drained energy, and little motivation to move forward. The end result can be depression and/or anxiety. We become stuck in the mud of a self-defeated mindset. The process of transition has now become more difficult and overwhelming.

For a time, some of this is all normal and part of our process transitioning through change.  It’s important, however, not to get stuck emotionally and physically for too long.

The longer we chose to stay in the emotional and physical fear, avoidance and resistance, the more unhealthy and unproductive power and control we give to the resistance and uncertainty of transition; this does little to change our perception, process and reality to the change.

Human nature is such that when things change, we tend to focuses more on what we believe we will lose or need to give up. Healthy transition through change, one should focus more on what will be the benefits and gains of this process.

These two key Steps begin the process of transition through change: Moving you from struggle to opportunity.

  1. Accept the things I cannot change: This is the first part of the Serenity Prayer from Alcohol Anonymous aa.org. This prayer or principle I believe, applies to all of us when we experience a change in life. There are many experiences in your life you cannot change, and you may feel and believe you are powerless and helpless because of this. You feel like choices/options have been taken away.

    The second part of the prayer says: The courage to change the things I can. The reality is, in life situations, the only thing you can really change is yourself. You change, by changing your perception, thoughts, belief and attitude. It takes acceptance, courage and willingness to change from within.

    The good news and opportunity of this is ‒ there is much inner power and transformation that takes place with the act of acceptance. Acceptance is extremely difficult for many people, yet its incredibility liberating when you allow it to happen within you. Acceptance helps you to focus on the benefits of transition through change, not what you believe will need to be given up or lost in the process.

    To have the willingness and ability to accept what you cannot change, and change what you can; is the fundamental way to begin to change, and reclaim your inner power and determination to move forward. Acceptance is an act of self-love, and a moving forward energy. It acknowledges and accepts “what is.”

    The process of acceptance, doesn’t mean you like what’s changed, rather you recognize that resisting the change only creates more struggle and pain. With acceptance you create an opening to begin to change from within, with regard to what’s change in your life.

    This process helps you begin to gain power in a different way. You see it was your own misguided perception and belief around the difficult situation, which really gave your power away. It wasn’t actually the situation/experience itself. True power and moving through transitions happens when we change from the inside-out.  Acceptance is the beginning of changing from the inside-out.

  2. See the experience and the required process of transition as an Opportunity: If you are resisting the change, you’re likely seeing the change as a threat and the enemy. It’s something to deny, blame, and escape from. These are the mindsets and ways of our fragile and wounded self. This part of us wants to numb the pain and have someone else make it better/or back the way it was.

    It’s important to see and ask yourself: How are my perceptions and beliefs helping me move through this change? What is my pain and resistance reinforcing in me, that keeps me in this state of suffering?  Often in difficult times of change we become our worst critic and enemy, rather than a best friend and ally.

    When you are ready and able, it’s important to see the change, as the teacher and opportunity. Yes, transitions through difficult times, offer you the opportunity for learning and growth. The process of creation, birth and growth begins in the darkness and the struggle.

    The natural world teaches us the importance of the struggle. Take for example, of how the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly, from the struggle within the cocoon. For without the struggle, how would you learn, find a higher meaning to your experience, and grow?

Life is not meant to be easy, it’s meant to be meaningful. When you change your view of the situation, you create the higher meaning of your circumstance, and this allows for the opportunity to transition and transform yourself in empowering ways.

When you alter your thoughts and view of the change, you reduce your fear, your resistance and struggle around the uncertainty. Dr. Wayne Dyer said: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

Change and the process of transition, calls us to be open and willing to reframe our belief and choices around the situation; this is how we learn and grow from the difficult and painful experience.

Although change can seem scary and threatening, the true intent of life experiences, especially the difficult and painful ones, is to help us heal, grow wiser, and become more accepting and loving human beings, both to ourselves and with others. Accepting that life is impermanent, that things change, helps you realize, life is about change, and learning to transition‒ adjust and adapt.

Being Honest, Open and Willing, especially with yourself, is part of the HOW to accept the unacceptable, and begin the journey of transitioning from what was‒to what can be.

Want to learn more about love and transition check out my book: Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. www.justbelove1.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnes & noble.com

Are you struggling with moving through a change in your life? Please contact David Schroeder, if you would like assistance with moving through a life change and how to work the process of transition. David offers life transition counseling and coaching session’s in-person, by phone or Skype. Visit his website at transitionpathways.com.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, a healthy and assertive way to help yourself transition through change.