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Your Relationship, Your Rules

Do I dare say it? 

Do I get this vulnerable and admit this to myself? 

But it’s heart month, and I am diving deep into my own self-love as well as into the love I am experiencing with my partner. Because it is something I always dreamed of, but wasn’t quite sure it was possible. So, here I go….

Photo by Trinidee Rae Photography

I love love. I love being in love. 

As in love as I have been, there has  been something missing, in myself and in the relationship. Two messy humans coming together is never easy, but should it feel so hard? Should there be so many doubts? It was normal to need to be constantly validated. I would “fish” for compliments because I didn’t feel as though I was pretty enough, sexy enough, good enough, that there was always something I was lacking in. I would do little things in hopes to make my partner jealous so they would realize I was worth wanting. And sometimes I even had a backup plan in my mind in case they decided they didn’t love me anymore, or I didn’t feel loved anymore. All I wanted was to feel the love that I felt for them returned for me. 

So much of this I know was because of my own insecurities, wounds and past trauma that fed into these feelings. It takes two for a relationship to either work or be broken. It takes both partners to work on their own sh!t and be self aware enough to recognize when they are being triggered. It also takes empathy and understanding towards the other person. 

This is not necessarily a pretty process. It rarely is when people are healing, let alone trying to figure out how to heal together. No matter how similar you are, you come from two different places. There are so many ingrained behaviors and challenges that each one of you is trying to overcome individually that sometimes it gets seen as the issues between the two of you rather than seeing them as your own. Many times they have nothing to do with you. 

Which means that even in healthy relationships there will still be moments of frustration. There will still be arguments that occur. There will still be layers of pain that will be uncovered. However, in these moments, there is a different vibration. There is a different energy that surrounds them. You recognize faster that it is happening and it is easier to diffuse. 

Photo by Trinidee Rae Phototgraphy

The arguments start to shift and instead of escalating to fights, they become conversations of healing and processing stirred up emotions. Instead of waking up the next day feeling heavy and dark, you wake up feeling lighter and full. Even if it was emotional and draining, the connection between the two of you deepens and there is another layer of understanding that has been unraveled and safely expose the raw underbelly of your life. Your partner accepts you in exactly the way you are no matter how complicating things are. 

In a healthy relationship, you get to be exactly the way you are. You are being supportive in healing those past wounds. You are celebrating who you are becoming. 

Toxic relationships aren’t easy to let go of and healthy ones are hard to find. However, you are worth it. Let go of limiting beliefs. Many of us tell ourselves until we have “healed” completely we are not worthy of love. Understand that healing is a lifelong process and give yourself some grace. They don’t have to have all their shit together to be the perfect match for you. Because if you are honest with yourself, you will recognize that there will always be things that come up that puts a strain on the relationship…you know, like LIFE?

Photo by Trinidee Rae Phototgraphy

Keep these thoughts in mind:

  1. What works for one couple may not work for yours…and that’s ok!
  2. Don’t be tying yourself down to “society’s rules” in order to have an incredible relationship.
  3. Healing, growing, and transforming is GOOD! You won’t even be the same and you shouldn’t expect to be, especially when you have a new person in your life that is now a new priority.
  4. Compromise is crucial. Expecting to ALWAYS have it your way is unrealistic and will cause resentment. Communicate your needs and listen to theirs and figure out a way for you both to feel loved, heard, seen and accepted.
  5. Remember to play and laugh at your shortcomings. You will both have them. Rather than getting defensive, try taking a breath and come from a place of love. You DO have control of how you react. Feeling judged, hurt or betrayed start asking questions to get a better understanding of the situation? If you need some time to do that…TAKE IT! But always come back with love. 
  6. It’s ok to go to bed with unresolved issues, however, try to do so with the mutual agreement that you will come back to it in the morning. Get out your feelings and emotions, write them a letter and reread it in the morning to see if that is how you truly feel. 

A different kind of love

Trust me, I am not an expert on your relationship. Not even an expert on mine. However, I do know that these shifts in my mind, heart, and soul have gotten me to a place I only thought was possible in fairy tales. But even in fairy tales, you have to fight off the demons before you live your happily ever after! (And if you notice, in part 2 of most movies, another plot will emerge and there will be another battle they must face!!)

Please contact me for more self-awareness, self-love, or relationship coaching:

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My Happiness Theory

I felt as if I was falling, no tumbling, through the rabbit hole and I just wanted to wake up, but I wasn’t Alice, this wasn’t the rabbit hole, and I wasn’t going to wake up. This was real. This was me. I was facing heartbreak on a scale that I never imagined. Three major things that I cared about were being stripped away from me and I was left to figure out how to keep going. This is where I came up with it: Chalese’s Happiness Theory….

What is happiness?

Why does everyone search for this?

Is it possible to obtain?

Is it possible to sustain?

Here is what I found: happiness is an emotion. It is an emotion, just like sadness, just like being scared, or nervous, etc. Of course everyone is capable of feeling this, so it is possible to obtain, but it is not possible to sustain. You see, that is not reality. That is not life. It is not possible to live in a constant state of happiness or else you’d see us all with the Stepford wife permagrin on our faces.

When I really started to think about it, if you live in a constant state of happiness, that happiness becomes bleak, stagnant and normal. We like being happy, because it is an emotion that doesn’t always happen. Now, we don’t like being sad or angry, but it is something that will happen regardless of whether you want it to or not. Feeling those emotions are necessary in order to truly understand what happiness is.

Understand that I am not simply saying we shouldn’t strive to be happy. Feeling happy is incredible! I love to be happy! What I am saying is when I stopped searching for happiness I found more of who I really wanted to be. I don’t just want to be happy, I want to live a fulfilled life. I want to thrive! I believe that what we find when we strive to live this type of life is that we begin living from a place of bravery. We are courageous and hopeful. We find ways to feel all of the emotions and become grounded when we start to float away with our thoughts. We start to accept and love ourselves unconditionally. This to me is joy. This to me is bliss. The idea that I can conquer anything that is put in my path gives me strength.

When I think about my life I remember the times when I was happiest as well as the times when I was the saddest. I remember times I laughed and I remember times I cried. They are all important to my story. They are all necessary for my growth. I am just as grateful for the dark times as I am the times when I feel full of light and shine bright for all the world to see.

If I had my choice, I would naturally prefer not to go to very dark places anymore…I feel as if I’ve had my share of pain and suffering, however I accept I have no control over this. My motivation is not the search for happiness. My motivation is creating harmony and balance. It is loving not only my journey and my process, but the ones that surround me as I dive deep into the feelings and emotions of what got me here.

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with searching for happiness if that is what you need to do. I am saying to be cautious about the words you use and the way you think of it. What does it mean to be happy? Are you limiting what you are capable of? For some people it may just be words. For me it is a mindset. If you are living your life to its fullest you are doing more than simply searching for happiness. You will never escape hard times. Days, weeks and maybe even months are not always going to be fun and you won’t always enjoy it. It doesn’t mean that you won’t still be fulfilled and thrive. Thriving in life means you are continuing to grow. It is my belief that if you stop searching for happiness, you will be able to feel it with more ease. You will recognize the emotion and enjoy being happy. You may even be able to feel it on an even deeper level because you won’t be afraid of what might happen when life happens and another emotion arises.

My theory is just that…a theory so I can be proven wrong. My underlying hope is that you recognize how beautiful all of life can be. If you are struggling right now, remember that you will get through this as well, you have before. Even though you may be feeling sad right now, if you are tired of fighting and just want to be happy again…you will be. Look for the light in the darkness. Have gratitude for what surrounds you. Find that peace in the storm and smile. It is not an easy thing to do, but as difficult as it is, there are so many blessings that you are possibly missing right here right now. All you need to do is feel it, embrace it and honor it. Like my dear friend Susan once said, “You don’t want to miss this part of the story.” I will never forget that, and I hope you won’t either.

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Getting Rid of Guilt

Guilt. I can’t stand it when I feel guilty, yet that guilty feeling happens way more often than I care to admit. I hear so many people all the time that are living their lives out of guilt. People are doing so many things because they “feel guilty” if they don’t. I see so many people limiting themselves of their capabilities because of this icky gooey control that guilt has placed them in. Yep, I have done it to. I am guilty of it myself. It makes sense as to why it happens. We grow up being given that dreaded guilt trip by our parents, or grandparents, or teachers, or church leaders, or just society in general. We fear judgement, and our souls are crying desperately for us to learn how to overcome this so we can be free and live our truth and find our happiness. It is not based on anyone else’s beliefs, it is based on our own.

Let me put out a warning to you: Overcoming living a life of guilt is a brave and bold thing to do. It will set you apart from most. People will look at you as if you have lost your mind. They will see you start to live the life you want and try to bring you down. Well, just so you understand, that even when you are living a life of restriction, you are not ever going to be capable of making everyone happy. Get that notion out of your head. There will always be people who don’t understand why you are doing the things that you are doing. There will always be people who look down on you for taking a risk, or living your life. You may even be called (cue music) ….selfish. People fear what is different and that is why they judge. But that is a topic for another time. Right now, we are going to focus on GUILT.

I’m not saying that guilt is not something we should not ever feel. Our bodies, minds and souls were created to feel things in order to move us along our journey. It’s when we are ruled by any of our feelings or emotions that we become out of alignment with ourselves. Feeling guilt is not a negative thing. I am not the person that would ever tell you,“Don’t ever feel guilty!” It’s okay to feel guilt. It’s our bodies triggering us to ask ourselves if we are in alignment with our truth. “Are we doing this because it is what I want to be doing, or am I doing this out of obligation?” “Why am I feeling this way?” Look into it and dissect it. What is causing the guilt? Is it something you have done that is not true to YOU? That is the question to ask yourself. If it is not true to YOU, then what can you do in order to get you back in alignment with YOUR truth, not someone else’s truth.

For example, “mom guilt”. We, as moms, (and many times dads,) feel this guilt of not devoting 110% of our time to our children. We do all these things for them, give them food, and comfort, and love. We make sure they get off to school, do their homework, take them on activities, put a band-aid on their cuts, wipe their tears, cuddle them, clean up after them, the list goes on and on and on…yet, a field trip comes up at school and we are unable to attend, or don’t really want to, and this pit creeps up in our gut and we feel GUILTY!!!!!!!  

This is a perfect example of when we need to be asking ourselves these questions. Most of the time we are going to find out that we love our children, that we are doing enough, that not every single mom in the whole entire world is doing “it” perfect. Or, are we? What if we give ourselves a break and accept that we are rearing our kids exactly the way we should be for them and for us. I’m not saying that there won’t be areas for growth and improvement, I’m also not saying that if we are being neglectful of our children’s welfare and are being abusive and bringing them harm that you should continue. Absolutely not! What I am saying is that the majority of parents out there are honestly doing their best to give their children everything they need. They are trying each and everyday to do better than the day before, and isn’t that the definition of success? One day at a time. Keep moving forward and being a little bit better than before.

There are so many other things we feel guilty for. Not being perfect on a diet, missing a work out, talking too much, talking too little, not standing up for ourselves, our house is too messy, I haven’t put Christmas away yet, I chose to go play instead of finishing my work, staying in bad relationships, not going back to toxic relationships, I tried to hard, I didn’t try enough….the list goes on and on. We are constantly allowing our guilt of not being perfect each and every day run our lives. THIS IS NOT HEALTHY and you will never find happiness if you don’t get a grip on it and start to change the way you think.

This is my challenge to you, the next time you get that feeling, you know the one I am talking about, that pit in your stomach that starts to grow and fester, that feeling of guilt, take a step back and ask yourself the questions mentioned earlier. If you are doing something, or not doing something you in your heart and soul really want to be doing, than give yourself permission to do it. If you are not, then take the steps to CHANGE IT!  This takes a while to master, believe me, I’m still working on remembering to catch that pit before it has me enveloped, but it does get easier to do. It is a skill and it takes time a patience to get good at it. Give yourself that time. Know that you are worth it. Know that you will be happier, your kids will be happier, your coworkers, your friends and everyone around you will see you living your life to your fullest potential. Believe in yourself and work through that guilt, it is there for a reason, and that reason is in us to live the best version of ourselves as possible, not anyone else’s version of you, but yours.