Cheating Happened, NOW what?!

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cheatingcouplepic2089831860379119432.jpegCheating Happened. NOW, WHAT?

It is a confusing time in a relationship when someone cheats. We feel angry as hell at first, then we try to decide if it is a deal-breaker. If we are dating someone, cheating is most often a definite deal-breaker. But many times, cheating happens within a marital relationship. When cheating happens in marriage, it is not always assumed that the big-“D” is coming.

The Decision can be Doomsday -staying focused on the feelings of a potential dissolved relationship or view it as a wakeup call to resolve issues. It can keep you bound in the thoughts of the Deception or alert you to deal with what went wrong. It can feel Devastational- but can be a catalyst for meeting unmet needs or facing unfulfilled desires.

It can stay Disastrous- and keep one partner in victim mode- or be the bridge toward having the intimacy that was lost.

It can be a Dreaded journey of bitterness, anger and lost hope or a beginning toward rediscovering each other.

It can be the most Difficult time of your life or the most enlightening as to what your future holds for you.

You can stay in a Depressive state of being over the past incident, or choose to move forward in a positive directionIt can hold you hostage with Discouragement, or help you grow wings to soar.

It can provide for you insightful knowledge that gives you a new Direction toward forgiveness and healing. Or it can lead you toward leaving, but still needing to forgive and heal, which equals the Biggest “D”….DIVORCE. But no matter which path ‘you decide’ on, forgiveness and healing is required to have a positive emotional future.

If you cheated, or if your spouse did; TRUST was the key ingredient that has now been compromised. For a relationship to have a positive flow, trust cannot be broken. Chances are, trust was broken down long before the cheating began; not in every case, but usually -it is the case.

Cheating in the eye of the cheater seems to get justified by the wrongful actions of the non-cheater (the victim) in a relationship.

Cheaters usually do not take the time to identify and/or communicate their unmet needs, or they feel unheard -unappreciated -misunderstood or neglected in some way; so they go out to try to fill these unmet needs by emotionally and/or sexually connecting to someone else.

In some cases, the cheater feels like they did try to tell their partner, but to no avail. So, therefore, instead of explaining that they are unhappy and want to separate, or express their need to go get couples counseling, they avoid this action. To fill their void, they just slowly attract to what fills their unmet needs: a person who takes and shows interest with them. Then they slowly, without realizing it, emotionally connect to someone, which sometimes leads to sometimes sexually connecting- to that person.

Cheating is a false sense of satisfaction and it is not a remedy for fixing relationship problems; it makes them worse. Cheating is never justified, no matter how wrong the behavior is with the non-cheating partner. Cheating is a wrongful choice. Conflict can be resolved, compromised, discussed, and dealt with. Cheating requires a lot more than ceasing the affair, it requires a long span of time to recover, heal, forgive, rebuild trust, and repair the things that were broken before the affair! Even if couples call it quits after infidelity; recovering, healing, forgiving, and rebuilding trust is still needed, especially if couples must co-parent together after splitting up.

Healing after cheating is not something that magically happens with one counseling session, nor does it resolve after the victim receives a remorseful apology, if or when the cheater may ask for forgiveness.

Healing is a long process that takes time, patience, quality communication, understanding, listening, and adhering to boundaries that may feel uncomfortable for the sake of the ‘rebuilding trust process’ that must take place.

The most difficult part of healing after cheating for the ‘cheated on’ person in the relationship is not only having to rebuild trust and all the crazy emotions that go along with that but how to eliminate the thoughts replaying in their head; the “would of…could of…should of…thoughts” of doubt and self-blame that go along with being cheated on.

The victim sometimes is made to feel responsible by the cheater. The cheater will often say things like…” well you never….” or “you always…” or “you just didn’t listen to me…” etc. Somehow, the cheater tries to continually justify their wrongful behavior and choice with blaming their spouse for their own unmet expectations. Let’s get one fact out in the open, here and now:

Behavior that you don’t like, current conflict with a partner, unmet expectations, or unbecoming behaviors or attitudes of a lover -NEVER- justify cheating.

Solving existing conflict doesn’t correct itself by going outside the relationship in secret, and starting a new one! A cheater usually does have thoughts and feelings that are negative toward their partner, but the correct and mature and responsible way to deal with those unmet needs, or unwanted behaviors-is to talk about them, and seek counseling to resolve them.

If unmet needs cannot be filled, or if the solutions are not reached, that is when a person should speak up and express their desire to separate from the relationship.

A person should be confident enough in what they want enough~ to express it. So, cheating happened. We can’t undo that. But what we can do, is to learn how to express our needs to our partner. BOTH partners need to sharpen their communication skills. Our partners should never, ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable sharing their deeper thoughts and feelings with each other. Partners should never feel fearful to share constructive criticism.

In many cases, a cheating partner wants out -but continues to ‘blame the split’ on the non-cheating partner, placing fault on them. The cheater sometimes has a history of building up a record of wrongs for weeks or months or even years as if they are on a mission to try and make their partner seem inadequate for them, which then justifies their reasons for cheating and leaving their partner. Reality is that those weeks or months or years they spent in the blaming mode- focusing on what behaviors they didn’t like, were all building up in their own head, causing them the inability to express their needs and work on unmet expectations.

If you were the cheater in the relationship and you definitely want a divorce; keep in mind, you made your emotional disconnection long before your spouse even began to, and maybe they still haven’t! So as you approach your separation and divorce, be cautious not to treat the situation as though it is mutual. In the non-cheaters mind, no matter their past behaviors, the divorce is about infidelity, not irreconcilable differences.

If you are the person who does not want to reconcile (cheater or non-cheater) then you need to free yourself by expressing your unwillingness to reconcile.

If or When either partner keeps trying to deflect responsibility for marital problems onto the other unjustly- it will cause major conflict.

It’s hard to imagine this, but why be angry if someone doesn’t ‘want’ to love you and work things out? Isn’t it their loss? Do you feel you were at your very best, giving your very best?

The formula for a healthy marriage is:

1 emotionally healthy individual + 1 emotionally healthy individual = A Healthy Marriage! ~Life Coach Annalisa O’Toole

If you were the cheater, wouldn’t the love you show, possible willingness to reconcile, humble apology, disconnection from the relationship you had outside your marriage,  not be enough for them? If you are feeling this way, remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your partner needs time to process, accept, and forgive in order to heal.

If you were cheated on, you may be feeling 3 different things…and what you should do:

  1. I might be able to try to forgive and trust again~ if I feel my partner is genuinely sorry and genuinely loves me and wants to work together to rebuild.

If you feel this, seek couples counseling.

  1. I definitely know I can not move forward with this infidelity that happened, and I admit I am not able to work through the forgiveness and trust right now, it is far too devastating.

If you feel this way, confidently tell your partner.

  1. I need more time.

If you feel this way, confidently tell your partner, consider counseling.

Interestingly enough, most cheaters are in reality, unhappy with their self. Many times they haven’t mastered knowing what they really want in life, so they fall prey to a quick infatuation that can provide a false sense of satisfaction. Sadly, most affairs are temporary seasons of happiness, and do not fulfill the voids they lacked in the first relationship, to begin with! And, without personal growth of ‘both partners’, their relationship (if they stay together) will have pop up problems in the future because they didn’t take an inventory of weaknesses, and learn from them, making changes to support an emotionally healthy connection. But even more devastation comes from getting a divorce having never gone through the personal growth work of recognizing your weaknesses, learning from them, and eliminating the same issues which may rise up in a future relationship!!

Cheating happens for many reasons, but several most common causes are:

  1. A person is not emotionally healthy enough to communicate their deepest needs to their partner; so they seek those needs elsewhere. It sometimes isn’t intentional, it just happens slowly. A cheater slowly feels the joy outside the marriage, that they somehow either don’t have, don’t work for, or don’t recognize ‘inside’ the marriage.
  2. A person does not feel safe or comfortable expressing their needs, for fear of rejection, fear of confrontation, or fear of not being heard and understood.
  3. A person prides themselves on being the support, leader, giver, fixer, provider, etc…so they actually feel “selfish” to express unfulfilled needs, they don’t want to tell their partner their negative feelings, (what is missing) (since most of the time, whatever the partner lacks, they pick up the slack on) so they gradually fall prey…elsewhere.
  4. A person is not feeling heard, appreciated, or supported by their partner, even though they try to communicate their needs, they don’t feel understood. Instead of investing time to fix this, they gravitate toward a person who makes them feel understood …elsewhere.
  5. A person is not receiving what they need most, and so an affair gives them a sense of affirmation that fills their unmet needs, temporarily, which creates a new emotional connection which causes the first emotionally connected relationship -to diminish.

Even if someone cheats, it is possible to consider a reconciliation. If you are currently confused about your marriage, or your relationship, because you were a cheater, or were cheated on…

Here are the 5 key questions to consider while your emotions are on a roller coaster as to ‘stay or not stay’ in the relationship which was compromised…

  1. Does the cheater feel remorse? Do they, or have they expressed a humble, sincere, heartfelt sadness for their behavior? This sense of guilt should not at all be confused with having fear of separation, or potential divorce. This guilt or humbled request for forgiveness should be real, not just ‘words’- and not initiated due to the possibility that the ‘cheating relationship’ didn’t work out, so the cheater just wants to go back to normal…
  2. Does the “cheating” spouse seem to have unstable emotions? …it is expected that the non-cheating spouse has unstable emotions…(shock, grief, depression, anger, resentment, bitterness, etc) but if a cheating person has severe mood swings, where you find it hard to understand what they are thinking and feeling, it probably isn’t a good time to communicate on details about your future relationship. If a person seems to want one thing one day, and on another day -they are focused entirely in another direction, they most likely, need more space. This is a sign that the unstable person (could be the cheater or the non-cheater) needs more time to evaluate his/her needs as an individual, and need more work in the self-development department before re-committing to be a team together.
  3. Does/Did the victim of the cheating spouse take responsibility for the unmet needs of the cheater prior to the affair? If a partner was/is willing to admit mistakes AND a willingness to make corrections for those mistakes, going forward, and can truthfully say they can forgive (either now or sometime in the future) and move forward, then these are positive signs things could work toward reconciliation.
  4. Was the non-cheating spouses’ needs met by their partner prior to the affair? In other words, was there distance- or everything seemed fine? If everything seemed fine, and the non-cheater was blindsided by the affair, it means that there were unmet needs -and possibly still are unhealthy traits in the cheater; examples being: inability to express what they want, but pretending all is well; not able to express deep thoughts and feelings and not feeling understood; but not sharing these details; or taking ‘space’ in a relationship making their partner feel they are working on things; but that time was spent cheating. (Characteristic: dishonesty) If someone has not overcome unhealthy characteristics – it would not be wise to consider reconciliation.
  5. If both partners erased the “affair” from their mind- pretending it didn’t happen and they were faced with only the feelings for one another, their communication with one another, and their personal needs that they need to be filled- would there be a score of 8+ in each category if the scale was 1-weakest and 10-strongest between them in each of those areas?

Examples would be:

Feelings:

10 = feeling close and attracted to my partner

1 = no attraction and don’t feel close at all.

Communication:

10 = we can talk and we understand each other, rarely argue

1= We fight. All. the. Time.

Personal needs met:

10 = My needs are always met by my partner.

1 = I don’t think my partner has any clue what I need most.

This test shows the work involved to reconcile beyond the work involved in rebuilding trust back! It helps couples evaluate whether the numbers reflect ease or difficulty of the reconciliation process. If numbers are low in these areas, working through a trust will be harder. If numbers are high, couples stand a better chance of resolving their issues and working through conflicts.

One of the biggest mistakes couples make after infidelity is playing the ‘blame game’ -blaming their partner for being unhappy with their present relationship, and naming all the wrong things their partner has done or is doing- as if this justifies their choice or reason for stepping out or not wanting to reconcile. This sometimes goes on for years.

It is much more freeing emotionally to know clearly what it is you need most, and decide if that criteria is realistic in your partner’s ability to meet those needs, or seek counsel to determine if they can.

Sometimes, we can love someone but just can not live with them. Sometimes we cannot feel deeply loved by them because they just don’t take the time to meet our deepest needs. Or…we have built up the record of wrongs for so long in our minds, any thought of a positive emotional connection to reignite a flame is impossible because it would make all of our hard work that created a “wrongful partner” seem as though we lied!

Don’t let pride or your record of wrongs stand in the way of reconciling. If you feel your partner is capable of loving you and meeting your needs and overcoming their inability to communicate their deepest thoughts and feelings, initiate a humble reconciliation. But if your partner has a hardened heart, you should either hold out …giving them time to heal and forgive, or make the decision it would continue hardening your heart to do that, and move on. Only you can decide what God may be leading you to do. There is not a best friend, a family member or even a counselor who can make the best decision for you. Only you, and divine connected guidance within you can decide if your future includes your partner, or if your feeling led away from them.

To divorce or not to, to move back in or not to, to reconcile your differences, or not to … lies between you…God …and your deep inner knowing, of what is best. Our deepest yearnings, those are our invisible compasses, guiding us toward joy. Our spirit is always trying hard to lead us toward joy. “Forget reason”…”forget religious laws”…those are things our inner soul speaks to us…” go here, where it feels good”…..that is our divine nature. To feel love. Acceptance. Joyful experiences. Belonging. We need it so badly, we forget that sometimes wrongful places and people illuminate the belief that we can capture the good things we need elsewhere, and avoid the feelings of ‘lack’ we may be feeling, elsewhere. Many of those illuminations are just illusions or false beliefs that seem real. They feel so real. Many of these, are fake. Fake illusions of our deepest needs. It’s trickery. ‘Bloom where you are planted’ is a powerful quote. But then so is this quote…

When the pain of remaining the same grows greater than the pain of making a change, we change. ~author unknown

When our feelings of lack expand in one area,                                                          our feelings of fulfillment expand in another!!~Coach Annalisa O’Toole

If you genuinely try to communicate, take steps toward your personal growth, learn from your mistakes, openly communicate what you need, and your partner is still not hearing you, this determines that your partner is not working on their own personal growth. If your partner is not accepting responsibility for their actions, or openly and positively receiving constructive criticism…it may mean you need more time and space, or you may feel God guiding you another direction.

Some people are meant to be in our lives for a moment,

some for a season, and some for a lifetime.

Pray about your situation and go with your gut feeling. No one should stay in a situation that feels constantly resistant- but no one should give up over a mistake if/when someone deeply loves you and you just don’t want to go through the work- that would be tragic too. Sometimes we just know when it’s time to let go. Sometimes we just know ~we need to hold on. Also, remember this…

When a person really loves someone, they would not need to be asked, prompted, or swayed by a counselor, a clergyman or anyone else to meet their partner’s needs because it should come naturally to them, to not only recognize what their lover needs, but meet those needs lovingly, and consistently.

“Love wins; every vibrational emotion below love,                                              either helps us learn or lose.”~LifeCoach Annalisa O’Toole

Test your emotions by viewing this chart below for where you are feeling emotionally, where your energy vibrational number is, God’s view of that state, and the process you’re in.

We can not control what other’s will say or do, but we can control our reaction and response to them, ultimately controlling our own emotions for our desired state of wellness! ~LifeCoach Annalisa

If you or someone you care about is struggling with a personal or Relationship issue, reach out to me, by calling, texting, or seeking more information at my website!

Life & Relationship Coach,

Annalisa O’Toole

678.431.6528

http://www.askannalisa.com

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Why can’t I meet ‘THE ONE”? ~a guide to successful dating practices~

datingFirst of all, let’s review your THOUGHTS. Since your thoughts create emotions, and your emotional vibrations play a direct role in manifesting and attracting what you want, we should work on your thoughts.

If your thoughts are the same as the title of this blog: ‘Why can’t I’…(a double negative thought) this creates the same. In other words, if you believe you can never or will never do something…you will continue to not do it. You will never do it. So, your first tip in manifesting your soul mate, or the person of your dreams, is this: BELIEVE you can attract them. Then, think thoughts, and express words that allow your belief, words and thoughts that express the desire you want. So, shift your thoughts and feelings to this:

  • I will be meeting ‘the one’ soon.
  • I am ready to meet the one.
  • I am attracting the one.
  • I know ‘the perfect’ companion is arriving.
  • I believe the perfect mate is on their way.

One close friend of mine, believed so deeply in this concept of preparing and expecting his ideal mate, he actually rearranged his home in a way to prepare for her! He cleaned out the closet, and made half the space empty, ready for her things! He only uses 1/2 of the medicine cabinet in his bathroom, I think he even bought a new toothbrush and tooth paste and placed them in their new packaging in the bathroom drawer!

The next shift toward meeting your ideal mate, besides believing and preparing, and thinking thoughts that speak life into this desire, is to become the very best YOU. I hope you are not making the mistake of thinking that the ideal mate is your ‘end-all’ for solving your loneliness, or will end your yearning for companionship. Thinking a mate will rescue you from any pain, is a lie many people fall into believing.

You will be amazingly interesting, amazingly intriguing and ultimately attractive when you have passion in your life. When you are aiming for something that is enthusiastically driving you to serve in an area where you are using your creative talents, using your skills and gifts to help others, you will not likely make the mistake of being needy-clingy. Nor will you tolerate a mate who is. Maybe it’s your career, maybe it’s a part-time thing, or maybe you are at the beginning of figuring it out. However, if you have no idea what your calling is, or have no dream or excitement that drives you, you may want to consider spending some time on yourself, take a break from dating, or ‘trying’ to meet the right one. Going on a personal growth journey can be invigorating! Did you ever watch the movie, or read the book, Eat, Pray, Love? Fabulous.

Here’s a major News Flash: How will you know WHO you want, and if they will connect with you on a deep level, if you don’t know who YOU are, or where YOU’RE headed? How will you know if someone aligns with your dreams, aspirations, retirement plans, or mission, or values, if you haven’t discovered those for yourself? Everyone has a dream, everyone has a calling. I hope you’re not expecting another person to complete you. I hope Hollywood hasn’t saturated your mind with the notion that a love affair is the answer to make all of life’s crazy problems disappear!!

Falling in love will put a temporary hold on your existing issues. Discover your Calling, work toward that, and when you attract the right person, everything will line up perfectly.

A third vital step to meeting THE ONE, is knowing who you want. Do you have a list? I always encourage singles to ‘make the list’. This is a real, written out, bullet point list of all the traits you love, all the characteristics you need. Believe your worthy of this ideal person. Believe this person exists. Believe in God’s guidance toward attracting this person to you in His way, in His time. A big mistake I see in coaching single adults over the years is people having the same mentality about dating as we all had when we were young. It is the cycle that runs a little like this:

  • The Attraction: chemistry with someone based on looks and personality first.
  • The Hook: trying to see if they are interested, and will go out with you, or ask you out.
  • The Hopefulness: dating this person, hoping they will turn out to be everything you need!
  • The Reality: learning their flaws, believing they will change, or that these flaws won’t bother you much
  • The Let down: you are emotionally connected, intimately involved, and  scared you may be realizing they may not be suited for a ‘forever’ relationship with you.

A better, healthier, emotionally stable scenario for dating should run like this:

  • The Meeting: the first time you meet; you learn some interesting things and are intrigued.
  • The Talking stage: talking on the phone, or texting, getting to know them.
  • The Dating: Learning all you can, for as long as you can BEFORE becoming emotionally attached to them, intimate with them, Evaluating if their values and priorities jive with yours!
  • The 90 day rule: Don’t give up the cookie for 90 days. See if you can sustain getting to know them for at least 90 days before you become committed, or enter an ‘exclusive’ relationship. This way, you can feel assured that you have spent time discovering and evaluating whether or not they are safe, healthy, kind, and meet other important traits on your list. A great book that includes this awesome idea, is Steve Harvey’s, Act like a Woman, Think like a Man. 

If you have been dating, and you possibly are experiencing some of the following results, These are RED FLAGS. Red Flags are cautions about behaviors that usually do not produce positive, successful relationships.  Remember (this had a HUGE impact on me when I first read it) “We only allow people to treat us in a manner that matches how we really feel about ourselves” —WOW. Where is your deserve level?  Do you need to raise it?

If any of these Red Flags are happening, it is wise to try and re-evaluate your decisions about dating this person.

  • The person you’re dating is dating other people, so you feel confused and jealous.
  • The person you’re dating is not always available, and your unsure as to why.
  • The person you’re dating is needy, calls all the time, and is overly concerned with you.
  • The person you’re dating is emotionally unavailable; but seems to be into you
  • The person you’re dating won’t talk about where your relationship stands
  • The person you’re dating sleeps with you, but will not commit to being exclusive
  • The person you’re dating has an addiction. (drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, gambling, or other…)
  • The person you’re dating is unstable. (Not working, not responsible, not taking care of themselves but relying on others for meeting their basic needs)
  • The person you’re dating does not share your views spiritually
  • The person you’re dating does not share your same values about food, diet, and nutrition, or a healthy lifestyle
  • The person you’re dating does not make you feel energetic or important
  • The person you’re dating seems to be focused on their self mostly
  • The person you’re dating is estranged from their immediate family
  • The person you’re dating asks you for money, a loan, or to borrow things
  • You just have a ‘bad’ vibe, or an ‘off’, unexplainable, negative feeling about them

This list could go on and on, but I tried to hit the important ones.

Believe in meeting the one. Believe timing will be perfect. Believe everything in your life is in divine order. Believe, everything is happening for a good reason. There is power and wisdom in all that happens. And most importantly, know who you are, what it is you want, and then, you will, by default, attract who and what you deserve!!

~Coach Annalisa

For more relationship advice, or a free phone consultation about your situation, call Life Coach, Annalisa at 678-431-6528.

Self-Empowerment

Here is a glossary of words to help you feel EMPOWERED to design the life you ‘really’ want….
ANXIETY….thinking on the past or future. Remedy: Be grateful in this present moment, enjoy the moment you are in, put away the electronics at times when you need to take in what is around you; engage in building relationships (not online, but real-face-to-face time) and simply, let go…allow…flow….in the ‘now’.
DEPRESSION…allowing your mind to default to the doubt, fear, worry, past hardships, future anxiety, sadness of something in the past. Remedy:
SHIFT… shift your mindset to your blessings. What do you have in your life right now that you are so appreciative of? WHO do you have in your life right now that you are so thankful for? Think on things that you desire so much, you can almost taste them showing up!!
BELIEVE…in yourself…in your gifts and talents….in your dreams…in your abilities to serve others and make a positive difference. YOU can, but if you think you can’t, your right.
RELATIONSHIPS….think on what IS working. What is DYNAMIC, not on what is not working, not going right. ONLY entertain the thoughts of positive outcomes, what you want, as if those things are already happening. When you do this, it’s like magic. Opportunities and change in others starts to happen. What we focus on; we bring on. Bring on flowing energy of love! Bring on your soul mate. Bring on the things that make you smile!!!!
MANIFESTING…. is awesome. Just remember, you can not think yourself thin by continuing thoughts of how fat you are! Contrasting thoughts are confusing GOD!!! Get clarity and vision for what exactly what you desire, think on that– as if it IS happening, it IS taking place, it IS developing…and you will recognize amazing results, fast, too!! But, as long as you have thoughts of what you don’t want, those will keep showing up.
Ever started liking a certain car, and then all of a sudden, you seem to see it everywhere? AH…..interesting.
SELF-TALK…the words we say to ourselves are powerful. Are you speaking life into yourself? Or, do I hear doubt, worry, fear, anxiety, disbelief, unworthiness, undeservedness whispering over there between your ears? Every great endeavor, every great relationship, every great entrepreneur started with someone putting value in him or herself first, otherwise, how could they get others on board for their mission, idea, or service? We will only receive in life, that which is aligned and equal or above to how we think of ourselves and what we deserve. Are you receiving what you deserve? No? Let’s raise our deserve levels, by acknowledging and believing we are unique, wonderful, and have gifts and talents that serve a greater purpose that can make a difference in this world. YOU ARE DIVINE!!!! No less than an amazingly talented, spiritual being who has work to do. First, in loving and forgiving yourself, and next, recognizing your great qualities, and then lastly; discovering a need in the world that your creativity can go and make a difference !!!! It can be with family, with a spiritual mission, with a business, or a career, or even within something part-time; but we are all called to do something; we must discover that calling, and begin with positive, loving, kind self-talk to accomplish our dreams. Remember Mohammad Ali? When I recall him being filmed, his famous words were: “I AM the greatest, I’ll show you how great I AM.” God worked through him, he was a champion in his field. In the movie, “Facing the Giants”, a teen was doubting his ability to kick for the football team because of his small size. His father said, “God can use you, David”. The boy said, “How can God use me, I’m so small, and the other kicker is the best at it”. His dad looked at him and said, “David, God works through the last, lost and least, to show how mighty He is. You go out there and do your best, let God do the rest!” In the cliff-hanger ending,Image result for champion pic David needed to make a 50 yard field goal to win the State Championship, and the coach asked him, “David, do you believe you can do it?” David said “I’ve never kicked that far before, coach” Coach asked again, “But David, DO YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT? I NEED YOU TO BELIEVE YOU CAN!”…..
……..YOU ARE A CHAMPION, but not until you believe it!!……

Why do “I” …need Personal Growth?

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“I am who I am”, Heard yourself say that? Or, “I’m just me. No one can expect me to change.” Some of us feel we are fine. We are emotionally healthy. There are hints that life can throw us to know we are kidding ourselves!! Here’s the reality, while setting our personal boundaries is vital to good relationships and creating balance and peace, there are definite times in our lives we need to stop, look within, evaluate our choices and actions to possibly consider tweaking some things. Clues to needing to exit on a new path of personal growth are easy to detect- if your conscious. Here are a few clues:

–People stop listening to you and often become distracted.
–You can not get into or have trouble staying in a committed relationship.
–You do not have a passion, hobby, or strong creative interest in your life outside friends, family and/or a lover(s).
–There is constant drama around you.
Ok…so if any of the criteria above holds true in your life, here are 10 ways to come into massive personal growth –so you can begin to enjoy life! Experience peace. Create balance and harmonious relationships.
1. Read or listen to the audio versions of a personal self help book. I recommend Joel Osteen’s “YOUR BEST LIFE NOW” to start. Or, “THE MAJIC OF THINKING BIG”
2. Surround yourself with people who are where you most want to be in life, emotionally, career wise, spiritually and intellectually.
3. Evaluate who you talk to most. What goes in (your brain) comes out. Make sure people you are close to are not negative, whiney, energy draining, and crisis oriented. Choose positive people who speak life, givers who do for others, people who support your goals, and love their life.
4. If someone walks away from you- Let it be. Let go. Move forward. They may come back in a different season, but for now, you just work on you -to be your very best.
5. Love and forgive yourself. The past is over. Your future is so bright, you’re going to need shades!! Read Jer.29:11
6. You are designing your life. Your thoughts are creating your mood. Your mood inhibits or prohibits your actions. Your actions are developing your life’s journey! So, adjust your thoughts to what you desire with a positive expectation; so deeply believing that all resources and opportunities are aligning to make this a reality even as you read this!! Remember this too: Anxiety happens when our minds are affixed on past or future things. Be mindful of this present moment, be grateful and count your blessings…you will feel anxiousness subside the more you begin to dwell in the “now”.
7. Live and let live. Don’t be needy or clingy to other people. Find your niche’. Discover your calling. This makes you an interesting person. People want to be around people who have fun. People are drawn to those who have enthusiasm! Don’t have unnecessary expectations of others. Let the little stuff roll. Life is too short to get bent over things that won’t matter in 5 years.
8. Understand this: IT IS A HUGE MISTAKE TO MAKE ANOTHER PERSON YOUR WORLD. No one is responsible for your happiness, except you. You should be creating a life that is fulfilling, fun, enriched with activities and opportunities that don’t always involve the love of your life.
9. Trust your inner compass. Go with that gut feeling! This is God within you saying YES or No! If it just doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Know the difference between feeling fear or feeling hesitant.
10. Work on self discovery. Just because you have a physical attraction to someone doesn’t mean you are meant to be and will live happily ever after. Your values must match. People need similar priorities and goals or there will be constant resistance.
Decide your career path. Choose your retirement location. Develop your dream. Work on a project that serves someone or something that helps them in some way! Make a list of your “must haves” in a relationship so you have clarity on what you want, and most importantly, your personal red flags!

In careers, love relationships, family relationships and friendships…we should NEVER let our need for affirmation, affection or attention be so strong that we stay involved, but sacrificing our deeper beliefs and values.
Make 2015 your beginning of a massive personal growth journey! Remember, it’s up to YOU…to make ALL your days great!

For more Self-empowerment, dating or marriage coaching, contact LifeCoach, Relationship specialist, Inspiring Speaker, Annalisa O’Toole
678-431-6528
@coachannalisa /twitter
lifecoachannalisa@gmail /email

Annalisa O’Toole, Life Coach, Relationship Specialist, Inspirational Speaker http://www.annalisaotoole.com

Happy Valentines Day…but…I want to break up…

IMG_20140725_073621Here’s the hardest reality for some people on Valentines Day: Pretending to celebrate a Love, that in their heart of hearts, has evaporated.  Yet, due to the hurt it may cause their love, they do not want to express their true feelings, before Valentines, during Valentines, or shortly afterwards. The pain of having to conform to a day where lovers exchange gifts, and words of gratitude and passion can be excruciating. Many people love their partner but don’t feel IN LOVE.  It leads to thoughts like, “what is ‘IN LOVE” mean, really? “Can true love even exist?”- “Is finding a soul mate even possible?” Sometimes the hurt of breaking up can be devastating, even if you are the one wanting to call it off. Many times, the other person didn’t do anything wrong, but you aren’t feelin’ it anymore.  When this happens, it is such an ordeal when you know you are going to break someones heart. You dread dealing with the crying, the text messages, the constant questions. You’re to the point of visualizing an interrogation of disastrous proportions!! Maybe though, You’re not wanting the break up, but someone has or is trying to…break up with you.

Here’s an amazingly positive thought. What if breaking up could be perceived as a LOVING gesture? Breaking up could actually be a GIFT!  Let’s examine how this can be true, even for the broken hearted receiver from the ‘breaker-upper’.

First of all, here are some of the feelings breaker-uppers usually have. They feel like they need space. They feel they need to disconnect, not necessarily for actions they dislike about their partner, but rather, actions they want to experience without being in an exclusive relationship. Some people want to break the constant communication, checking in, the assumed ‘together time’ on the weekends, and it’s not always about being interested in someone else. Breaker-uppers sometimes want out of feeling trapped. Or maybe, they haven’t felt independent in so long, they need more time to discover more about themselves.  Some breaker-upper’s have a gut feeling, an intuition that is leading them toward being solo –for no apparent reason, just feels right to transition there. And for some, the red flags of the relationship or the other person are just too much to continue. There are different value systems and priorities that become apparent after being with someone for a while, (after the infatuation stage wears off, which can be a year up to 7 years!) and the person didn’t do anything wrong like cheat, or defy their loyalty or respect, but one person just realizes the differences are too vast to remain compatible.  There is the case where the breaker-upper ‘changes’ in their values or priorities, and the relationship isn’t flowing like it once did when choices and decisions were made around different activities and perspectives. Also, there are people who are shy about speaking up in a new relationship to honor their deeper preferences, and then when they become stronger in expressing what they really want, this becomes foreign to their partner, and causes conflict.

Whatever the situation is, breaking up is always a hard thing to do. However, if you look at yourself, look deep within yourself, it really doesn’t matter if you are being broken up with, or you’re the one breaking up — IT IS STILL A GIFT and let me tell you why.  If the other person is ‘doubtful’ of their feelings, or needs more time to evaluate their individuality — PRAISE GOD for this!!! Would you want someone to stay with you otherwise? If you did, you are selfish. The best relationships are the ones where two individually healthy people team up, speak up, live it up, and love up life – together.  If your partner is breaking up, they are giving you the gift of freedom. Freedom to evaluate ‘your own life’ – (while they evaluate theirs!) and freedom of time to explore your passions, experience life without being on a team for a while. It can be WONDERFUL!  And think of this, they are actually giving you the most UNSELFISH gift. The gift of TRUTH. They are being honest with their feelings.  it would be dishonest to hide those feelings on Valentine’s, offering you rose pedals, bouquets, chocolate, and sex, but their heart is wanting out.

I’ve never understood the ‘anger’ people have when someone breaks up. I don’t want to be with anyone who doesn’t want me. The ‘wanting me’ is a major part of why I want them!!  I value myself. I love myself. I love my life. I like my personality. I like my career. I love my friends and family. If someone else doesn’t value me, ALL the qualities about me, even my short comings, then WHY would I beg, cry, ask a million questions, and even spend any time worrying over their decision of leaving me? I wouldn’t. No one gets that kind of  power over me. Sadness? Yes, it’s OK to be sad. But only for a moment. Some need longer moments than others.  But if you look at a break-up as a gift, a gift the other person gave YOU, and gave their self, you can take this punch a little stronger.

Also, Breaking up is an act of service and kindness. Why? Because it speaks volumes for the breaker-upper’s deeper character. They are being true to self. They are able to express a feeling; they are not afraid to risk a future friendship, or love, because they are honoring their inner sense of knowing. They are trusting a gut feeling, or their inner compass. They could be following God’s will, and/or, their inner sense of caution. While to most, a break-up is horrible, and viewed as depressing, and unkind; to healthy people, it is an act of real love for self, and for their soon to be -former lover.

“IF YOU LOVE SOMETHING, LET IT GO, IF IT’S MEANT TO BE IT WILL COME BACK TO YOU”

Another positive approach to a breakup, is to look at it as a way to know, evaluate, or gauge if the relationship is TRULY meant to be, truly intimate, and truly what you want for the rest of your life. How could you determine this if there has never been a time you could venture into thinking for yourself, deciding individually for yourself, or freedom to develop your own ideas, your own goals. If you have ALWAYS been a team, and you feel shorted by not having independance with life’s ups and downs, it is HEALTHY to break up to go through a discovery process. This type of break up sends a positive message- that you aren’t rejecting your lover, but rather, you are in need of space from being exclusive, and all that exclusivity has involved during your relationship.There is a big difference!

So, if you are contemplating a break-up, or someone is breaking up with you, look at this as a positive transitional time in your life of God’s favor. It is a blessing of time. It is a gift in kindness. It is a chance to personally grow. It is a breather. It is a freedom opportunity to discover more about yourself. It is a healthy time for you to develop personally. It is a break from dual-choices, into the liberating feeling of independent thinking. It can provide time and space for personal reflection, contemplation, and setting values or goals into motion.

BREAKING UP is…(not hard to do)…but rather, a non-selfish, act of honest, loving kindness. Accept or give the gift without worry of hurt, but with compassion for a positive future for both people. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not boastful. Love is not jealous or self serving. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Love does not anger, but comforts. Love serves. Love never fails. 1 Cor. 14:4-8, and some additions- by your’s truly. : )

Happy Breaking up this Valentines day. I sincerely wish you have found hope and faith in what the world views as a hardship; as a renewal time, an amazing gift, and one of the most sincerest acts of kindness within all that Love embraces.

~Life Coach, Relationship Specialist, Inspirational Speaker,

Annalisa O’Toole

For more relationship advice, dating, marriage, or divorce coaching or support, or counsel…

Email Coach Annalisa: lifecoachannalisa@gmail.com…

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