Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The WISE Manifesto for Healthy Relationships


  • I recognize that a healthy loving relationship with self is the key to a healthy loving relationship with another.

  • I recognize that there are many influences on the definition of relationships through music, movies and literature. The creation of our own definition beyond external influences results in healthy loving relationships.

  • I recognize we are all individuals and to nurture that individuality within the relationship will ensure not only our own growth individually but within the relationship as well.

  • I recognize that placing expectations on others leads to self imposed limitations with myself and within the relationship

  • I recognize that giving parts/pieces of oneself or taking of others, in ways that interfere with or impede individuals truth and/or being whole, ultimately results in imbalance and discourse within the relationship. The intent of each individual in a relationship will be apparent early on within the connection.

  • I recognize that the "honeymoon" phase of a relationship provides us with many valuable clues about the other person, and listening to our inner voice is the key to understanding the future potential of the relationship.

  • I recognize that trust in others begins with trust in oneself.

  • I recognize that previous relationships can have an effect on present relationships if the traps (both emotional and physical) are not acknowledged and fully understood.

  • I recognize that a healthy loving relationship will develop based on the intent of both parties to it. 

  • I recognize that actions speak louder then words.

  • I recognize that I am whole and comfortable and embrace who I am.

  • I recognize that if I have to coax/convince or be coaxed/convinced to do something, then I am not being true to myself nor respecting the other person.

  • I recognize that if I do not feel good about myself within the relationship then I am not in a healthy loving relationship

 © The WISE Approach 2013,
 All Rights Reserved

We all want love

A friend showed me this picture of Ashlee moments after she was sent home by Sean, from ABC's The Bachelor. http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/the-bachelor/blogs/love-or-hate/ashlee-week-nine

There is a deep sadness/pain in Ashlee's eyes. A pain that we've all seen or felt at varying times in our life. Have you ever wondered why, when looking at a picture from this kind of experience, some people will empathize  with her to the point of their own tears, and others will empathize with more of an understanding  of the situation and potentially benefit from an increased understanding of themselves through Ashlee's experience? What is it that is different in people that contributes to the spectrum of responses? The main difference is our individual perspective(s) created from our own experiences and the emotions we carry with us from each experience.

We all have individual, yet similar experiences in our lives, and in a case such as Ashlee's, if we are holding onto the feelings of pain from rejection, abandonment, hurt, loneliness, anger, confusion, unloved, feeling unlovable and fear, then our reaction could easily be to break down in tears, as we will be "triggered" by her experience. Reacting in any of the previously mentioned ways is not uncommon. For most of us, we've been taught to just push down the feelings and keep going.

Is it really conceivable that pushing down the emotions and not understanding them is beneficial to us? If you use the analogy of dirt on our skin/body relating to the emotions we feel. The dirt leaves a film on our skin if we don't wash it off. The same is true with the emotions we bury or try to ignore. Unless we free ourselves of them, the film left behind from them will filter our perspective in all situations in our life. For example, say we are in a situation where we are rejected. The hurt and pain of the rejection will create a film on our skin. No matter what we do or wear, we will feel that film, or at the very least not feel clean. In fact, leaving a dirt film can have physical effects on us, by clogging our pours, irritating our eyes, in which case, the secondary issues will create new problems for us to deal with. Understanding this, do we really want to walk around with a dirt film on our body?

If that is all we know then it is what it is, but there are ways to clean the 'dirt from our skin', and feel refreshed with a new sense of  clean, optimism and inner peace. It's very easy to say "just get over it" or "they didn't deserve you", and while all of that may be true, when we are covered in the dirt film, it's not so easy to see and/or change our reactions, behaviours and actions. Understanding what the dirt film consists of will allow us to wash our skin clean and keep the dirt film from ever developing again.

Emotions are a part of what makes us human. They are not good or bad, they just are. The challenge occurs when we get bogged down with the emotions. Learning to understand the effect the emotions have on our behaviour and reactions, allows us to learn more about ourselves, and take responsibility for our reactions and behaviours in all situations in our life. Our true power in life for the love and success we all deserve comes from learning through understanding to take personal responsibility and see ourselves and others with loving eyes.

We can all relate to what Ashlee is experiencing. If you watch the show you can see her strengths and her vulnerabilities. She openly shares her vulnerabilities with Sean with a bit of trepidation. What causes her trepidation? While she obviously has done work on freeing herself of the emotional chains of her experiences, there appears to be some underlying triggers. These triggers are apparent in her apprehension of sharing the "skeleton in her closet". She was married young, a experience she states she isn't proud of. This is part of who she is, and while we all, in hindsight, find ourselves in situations we wish we hadn't been, these provide us with opportunities to look within ourselves and learn more about ourselves. What is important is not what we did, but what we've learned. It is only through that perspective, can we ensure that we will not repeat those behaviours that are not conducive to us exhibiting our true power.

On a different level, Sean made Ashlee feel like she could trust him. Looking back at it, what exactly did Sean do to gain Ashlee and the other ladies trust? He spoke sweetly and was attentive, in their one on one moments. This is not a critique of Sean, rather an opportunity for us to ask ourselves, "Did he reciprocate to the ladies what they shared with him?" The sharing of herself that Ashlee did with Sean, was that coming from a place of self love, or a fear of never finding love? When we want something so badly, with little reciprocation from the other person, could it be that actually viewing our situation through emotional filters?

The most important relationship any of us can have begins with ourselves. Creating a foundation based on pure intent and unconditional love of self. When we build and nurture our foundation, then we are able to grow and learn from our experiences while being loving and understanding of self. Ashlee and every one of us deserves love and it all begins within us. When we can love and appreciate who we are, with all our unique qualities and characteristics, then others will as well.

What understandings do we need to feel that power and inner peace?

The WISE Approach offers just such a solution. There are a number of unique concepts that relate to the emotions created through our experiences that we need to be aware of to fully clear the "dirt" from our skin. They may seem a bit abstract to some, but consider this quote from Albert Einstein " We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them".

Have you ever noticed that the more you experience and/or re-experience situations, that your response becomes more intense with each revisited experience? Or that simply seeing a person or hearing the name of someone who hurt and upset you will get you upset again almost instantly? There is good reason for this. We tend to compartmentalize our emotions. A good analogy to use is that of a Hotel/Motel. We are the hotel/motel, with many rooms, each housing similar memories and emotions. 

One of those compartments can be home for Fractal Parts of Self (FPS). Unlike the following concepts we'll learn about, FPS are outside of the individual compartmentalized rooms with your hotel. What happens when we find ourselves in situations of great hurt or we've been triggered by others situations (which means their emotional pain resonates with the emotional pain(dirt) we are holding on to, FPS will intensify the emotions we are feeling. In fact there could be many that are standing outside each door in our hotel and in some cases, they can hide the door leading into individual rooms holding the more painful memories we've tried to forget. 

It's important to understand that our memories make us who we are today and are a key to learning and not repeating the situations over and over again. Having said that, our memories also hold the emotions. It is those emotions that create a fear of facing the memory to learn from it. While it is extremely beneficial for us to embrace our memories, the emotional pain is not something that we need to hold onto. 

The next consideration related to our emotions, are individual parts and pieces of ourselves holding onto the memories and emotional pain sitting in the rooms in our hotel. Each part/piece holds a memory(s) from each situation we have experienced. As a result of the compartmentalization we do naturally, when an emotion is triggered, our response is very focused and from the particular room(s) that are holding the similar emotions that the symptom situation triggered. Do you wonder why people appear to be out of control when they are very emotional? This is the reason, because we compartmentalize our emotions, when we are responding from one of the rooms in our hotel, then we aren't really responding from the hotel as a whole are we?

The next consideration in our journey through our hotel, takes us in the individual rooms and into the closets. In the closets, we place the most traumatized and hurts parts of self. It's not that we hate them, it's that we don't know how else to alleviate our pain. Of course hiding those parts in closets isn't a way to resolve the pain, but it is a coping mechanism we use to be able to survive. Once again, these parts are holding onto valuable memories but their pain is intense. We can free ourselves of the painful emotions and clear out our closet and embrace those parts and memories, dissolving the closets for good.

The last consideration, for the purposes of this blog, are those parts of us that we have purposely placed in a room(s). Why would we do that? We all have an instinctual drive to be and feel safe. At varying points in our life, if not daily, we will come across those that have expectations of who they think or want us to be. As an adult, it tends to happen less, but as children, we are told how to be and what is expected. If any of those expectations from others are different from what we feel to be true for ourselves, then we will go into protection mode with the feel that it is not 'safe' for us to be anyone other then what we are expected to be. Of course to go against who we naturally are, is a conscious choice we must make and we place those parts of us, that feed that undesirable part of self, in their own room. As we free ourselves of our own emotional baggage, it becomes much easier to embrace those parts of us and be true to ourselves without the fear of reprisal. 

What is the benefits of understanding what has been shared?

The above understandings have a significant effect, not only on our emotional health but our over all health and well being. Our lives can transform to the kind of life we have always wanted simply by understanding and taking responsibility for ourselves. We are born of love and that is who we are. Our experiences tend to eat away at our love of self and and that is when we begin to experience feelings of not being worthy of love and good things in our life. We are worthy, we are lovable and it's just a matter of us feeling it about ourselves. When we can feel it within, then we are able to feel it from others. Isn't it time to clear the dirt and collapse the rooms that are keeping you from feeling the love of self and inner peace?

If you would like to learn more about the WISE Approach and how it can benefit you, please feel free to email Gail at blackman.gail@gmail.com. Until next time, Live WISE~

Copyright © *WISE Approach 2013, All rights reserved.