“Where there is pain, there is no free flow.
If there is free flow, there is no pain.”
– Chinese Proverb
We have all been shifting so drastically, and some people are able to hold onto the reins and do their best to keep up, while others may simply choose to let go of the reins. But, that’s the beauty of life, we have a choice. For those of us who understand that this is part of life, we may comprehend that even though we are dealing with difficult challenges or obstacles, and may go through human emotions such as anger and fear, that we are still here on this Earth to stick it out, and somewhere within, know that we’ll be ok in the end. Or perhaps we don’t know we will be, but we do our best to just get through it, nonetheless! But, because the energetic shifts are so polarizing, there is a stronger demarcation than ever before between those who are embracing their journey, and those who are choosing to end it. Because, yes, our limited time on Earth ends when we feel we are done with what we’ve set out to do.
In addition to those two extremes, there are those who are in between, who are trying to figure out what to do with all of this new information. Sometimes they have peaks where self-care comes more easily, but may be struggling with their inner turbulence. Depending where they are on their journey, that turbulence may be more jolting for some, and less for others.
So, what do you do when you find yourself witnessing a loved one’s self-sabotage? It is such a difficult place to be in, but one that many are finding themselves in at this very moment. I hear this challenge related to me by friends, family members, and patients, lately. Some are caregivers to loved ones, some are in relationships where they are experiencing their partner struggle for clarity and direction, and yet others are dear friends to those who are dealing with their personal demons.
Self-sabotage can take many forms:
- Eating unhealthy foods, regularly, when you know your body feels terrible afterwards, or know they lack any value to your body. This especially applies to those who are in compromised physical health, and/or are already ill. The same holds true for ingesting toxic substances like drugs and dangerous amounts of alcohol. I know some people have their own opinions about which drugs they may consider toxic or not, but that is a subject for another blog post! But, trust that I have seen enough of the extremes, in work and in life, to know that the toxicity of drugs is very real.
- Sabotaging healthy, loving relationships (ie. creating problems where they don’t exist), because somewhere, deep inside, you feel you are not worthy or deserving of love. This is a common struggle for those recovering from addiction. And when I speak of addiction, I don’t mean just the recreational drugs, (including alcohol), cigarettes, and food, but also our addictive behaviors. This is also common in those who’ve experienced verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. The good news is, however, that if we choose to, with lots of elbow grease and surrounded by loads of support, these patterns can be busted wide open and healed, ready for us to allow ourselves into wholeness once again! Because that’s all these are, patterns that have been safe for eons. Patterns are not truth, unless you make them so.
- Overworking ourselves. Also called, “burning the candle at both ends”. This causes Yin Deficiency in Chinese Medicine, particularly Kidney Essence and Yin Deficiency.
- Engaging in risky behavior that may put you in harm’s way.
- Blaming everyone for your bad day. Yes, this, too, is a form of self-sabotage, for the simple fact that, ultimately, you are the only one who is responsible for how you feel. Nasty drivers who change lanes in front of you and display universal signs of road rage, airline representatives who could’ve helped you catch a connection but choose not to, the lady at the grocery store who picks a fight with you in the bulk grains section, the out of whack coworker who purposely makes you look bad in front of your boss, the nasty ex, the list goes on and on! But the pain need not. Take your power back! (Check out “How To Protect Yourself From Psychic Vampires In The Concrete Jungle” for tips on how to do this.) Be responsible for your own actions, the only thing you can control. Be the shift.
It is easier to be objective when we are not experiencing these ourselves, and so when a loved one is, in our opinion, sabotaging their health, power, or mental stability, we can often feel powerless, angry, concerned for their well-being.
5 things you can do to be proactive when you are witnessing loved ones sabotage their own health and power:
- Understand that you’ve got your own journey, and they’ve got theirs. Those who are very empathic are prone to wanting to help others, sometimes at the expense of their own health. Take care of what you can from what you can realistically contribute, and then, realize the rest is out of your hands. Perhaps their downward spiral is just what they need to go through, hitting rock bottom, before they can rebuild themselves, and own their awesomeness. Although watching this process happen may be as pleasurable as a root canal, you need to honor their journey. Interrupting it may actually be a disservice to them. Because every person, no matter how deep their struggle, is a sovereign being. Treat them as such.
- Realize that our being alive is in the journey, not the goal. We get very caught up in what we want, in seeing results. We live in a fast-paced society where effectiveness is gauged on how quickly one can see results, be “cured”, or where we get that coveted prize that’s been forever on a pedestal in our minds. However, this is when we lose sight that when we move towards what we want, we need to “go with the flow” and experience, and be with, the journey towards our goal. In Chinese Medicine, there’s the saying, “Where there is pain, there is no free flow. If there is free flow, there is no pain.” This usually refers to the Qi in our bodies and physical/emotional pain, but this relates to life, as well. When we allow life to flow, we make life easier for ourselves. Because even the pain we experience serves us. It lets us know what needs to be worked out, given light to, and allows us the opportunity to address it in healthy ways.
- Practice extreme self-care. When we are beside ourselves with concern over another’s health, or what seems clear to us their personal demise, it is easy to lose ourselves in their journey. Don’t forget your needs come first! If you truly are someone’s caregiver, you are of no use to anyone, especially yourself, if you do not strengthen yourself first. Drink water, eat well, sleep. If you are overloaded with worry, that motto is one to live by. Regain your strength, be kind to yourself, listen to your needs.
- Surround yourself with support. Given and chosen family included! Also be aware of your “Team of Light” (spirit guides, ancestors who are looking out for you, angels, Higher Self, etc.) that surrounds you. All you need to do is call out to them for support, and they will respond. Also, be aware that their response may not be in the way you expect, but their support will be there! One of my patients (I’ll call her Veronica) often calls upon “Team Veronica” when she feels challenged. And, it is no surprise that she is able to surround herself with much needed support!
- Surrender, then Trust. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll notice I bring these two verbs up quite often. It’s for a reason! Because we often forget, in our frenzied state of “What if this doesn’t work out?”, “What will happen if I don’t do this or that?”, “What if I didn’t do enough?”, we forget that the Universe is looking out for us. Set the intention for what you want, then surrender the pain to the Universe, and trust that what you’ve set your intention for, will be. Our thoughts and words are powerful, much more than we give ourselves credit for.
What ways do you look out for yourself and your needs when you are witness to a loved one’s self-sabotage? As always, I’d love to hear from you!
On your team,
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