It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Do You Know What Makes You Feel Worthy Of Love?

Central to our wellbeing is knowing that we are okay - that we are worthy, adequate, and lovable. Feeling that we are okay can come from two different sources:

  • Others' attention and approval
  • Our own loving adult connected with our spiritual guidance.

Codependency is the term used to describe the addiction to feeling okay through others.
 

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The Impact Of Betrayal Trauma Caused By A Narcissist

People in relationships come to trust and believe in the other person in the relationship. Narcissists use this trust in a destructive way when they feel that the partner is doing anything that may potentially be harmful to them. However, given that the narcissist sees everything from a very distorted lens, even helpful behavior from the partner can trigger the narcissist to betray the partner in many different ways.

The Cycle Continues
Often adults who are narcissists had a very dysfunctional relationship with their own loved ones. This is often a parent caregiver, typically a mother, who was not there to support the child and who caused damage and harm in that mother-child relationship. The child may experience his or her betrayal trauma in the dysfunctional relationship. Over time, the child may decide that the best way to protect themselves is to leave immediately, attack, distance themselves, or stay emotionally unavailable.

The new adult partner does not realize this dynamic is in play. Instead, they often see a confident, loving, and almost doting partner, at least in the first stages of the relationship. Then, slowly, the exploitive nature of the narcissist begins to come to the surface, often through controlling, verbally, mentally, and emotionally abusive behaviors. In some cases, physical abuse may also be present.

The Power of Intermittent Reinforcement 
To avoid the partner leaving, the narcissist often uses a process known as intermittent reinforcement. It is a process that uses random, unpredictable rewards and positive experiences to motivate people to stay through negative experiences. A prime example of the power of intermittent rewards is gambling, particularly for those with gambling addictions. Even though gamblers only win randomly and infrequently, the positive feelings associated with that win keep them at the tables against all odds.

The same is true for many people in relationships with narcissists. Although there is more negative than positive, when the positives occur, they draw the partner back into the relationship. Unfortunately, this sets up the risk of another betrayal trauma as the narcissist reverts to ghosting, abuse, or a combination of damaging behaviors. In this way, the narcissist becomes both the source of the pain (emotional or other) and the solution (brief moments of intense connection).

Typical Signs of Trauma Bonding and Betrayal Trauma
The following signs are indicators of trauma bonding in the relationship or betrayal trauma after the relationship:

• A sense of connection exists – you continue to feel a strong connection to the narcissist despite the overwhelming negativity, control, and abuse.

• Need their validation – not only is there a sense of wanting to connect, but you may also want their approval or that brief period of time when you have hope there has been a real change.

• Accepting the unacceptable – you may find you accept the bad behavior and even minimize it or attempt to rationalize why it occurred, often blaming yourself for their issues.

• You feel sorry for them – the narcissist often creates a sense of being the victim and playing upon your sympathy and empathy.

• Defending the indefensible – you defend his or her behaviors to friends and family, even after they have betrayed and emotionally wounded you over and over again.

Most people find that betrayal trauma is made worse by accepting the narcissist back after being discarded. Often the narcissist comes back with a grand gesture, including stating he or she will go to counseling, only to set you up for another betrayal when they revert to their typical bad behavior.

Tips For Healing  
It is essential to recognize that betrayal trauma is likely to occur in a relationship with a narcissist. They create a trauma bond and make themselves vital to your life, and then they leave.

To begin healing from betrayal trauma, it is important to:

• Seek therapy – a trained therapist can help you to process the betrayal and reduce the impact of trauma on your life. As a licensed psychotherapist, I help clients through somatic experiencing, poly vagal exercises, tapping and other trauma modalities to heal the attachment trauma that occurs after a narcissistic relationship.

• Talk about the truth – it is essential to talk about your reality and experiences in the relationship in an honest way. Do not gloss over, rationalize, or make excuses for their bad behavior.

• Set goals – setting personal goals and working to be the best you is one of the most effective ways to work through trauma.

• Joining a support group such as my online group coaching program Wake Up Recovery.  There is nothing more powerful that not feeling alone after a toxic relationship.

Betrayal can damage your trust in others. Working through the thoughts and emotions around betrayal by a narcissist helps you to process these issues and move forward in your life.

Resources Reviewed 
 

How to Create Harmonious Relationships

Our relationships with one another are often a source of distress. In general, the principal form of conflict we experience with others has to do with some form of consideration that we feel they are not giving to us. We often suffer from thoughts like these: “She is not being respectful enough.” “He is not as kind as I want him to be.” “They just don’t care as deeply as I do.”

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Pick a Partner That Has Your Back

For better or worse.

Through thick and thin.

Will take a bullet for you.

Is solid as a rock.

Always has your back and is your biggest cheerleader and safe place to land.

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Do You Believe You Have to Prove Your Love?

Melanie grew up with a narcissistic mother who demanded that Melanie conform to her mother’s concept of how a child should behave. To protect herself from her mother's anger, blame and disapproval, Melanie tried to be the "perfect child". She got excellent grades in school, was obedient at home, and never did anything to cause her parents to worry about her. She would listen for hours to her mother's complaints, becoming a mother to her mother by the time she was twelve years old. Melanie was parentified and learned to be a caretaker, always trying to prove to her mother that she loved her.

Yet no matter what Melanie did to please her mother, it was never enough.

Her mother would always find something to scream at her about, something to blame her for, something which, in her mother's mind, justified her intense disapproval. Not only did her mother not feel loved by Melanie, but her mother would also accuse Melanie of being selfish. This crazy-making situation created much confusion for Melanie, and she absorbed the belief that there was something wrong with her.

In Melanie's mind, the only way she could feel like she was a good person was to prove to others who were important to her that she loved them. This pattern continued in her marriage. Melanie married a man much like her mother - a narcissist who constantly demanded her time and attention. Again, no matter how much time and attention she gave to her husband, and no matter how much sex she had with him, it was never enough. Like her mother, her husband was never happy with her and was frequently angry, blaming and disapproving of her.

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5 Mental Wellness Tips for When a Relationship Ends

Like the old song says, breaking up is hard to do. The aftermath of a dissolved relationship provokes a strong emotional response that can even have physical consequences.

You should treat yourself gently during this time and take care to nurture your emotional well-being. Here are five mental wellness tips for when a relationship ends.

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Why Writing a Book Is an Act of Self Love

As someone who has written 12 books, had a big career as a book publicist and a literary agent, I’ve been deep in the publishing world for most of my life.

Yesterday I was talking an old friend who was interviewing me for an article she is writing for a major publication about becoming an author in your later years, and I had an epiphany:

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How to Foster Emotional Intelligence in Your Relationship

Everyone needs something a bit different in their romantic relationships. You might want something long-term or need a low-key relationship that takes it slow. No matter what your priorities are, everyone aligns when it comes to emotional intelligence. It makes every partnership thrive, so learn how to foster emotional intelligence in your relationship with these tips.

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Top Reasons Narcissists Don’t Allow Closure

Most people have had at least one bad relationship. Often these toxic relationships end badly, with one person storming off and never being heard from or seen again by the other. In fact, in many of these types of difficult relationships, neither person wants to see the other.

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How To be the BEST Grandparent

On Saturday I organized a Celebration of Life for my mother with more than 70 family and close friends in attendance at the Catamaran resort overlooking the water.

We had a decadent buffet, face-painters, temporary tattoos, and butterfly wings for the kids, a musical performance by our dear friends Ron Bohmer and Sandra Joseph (they starred in Phantom of the Opera for 10 years as the Phantom and Christine) along with many heart opening and funny tributes.

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Truth... And Authentic, Radical Love

No matter how gently I offer it, sometimes the information is very difficult for the person to hear, such as, "Right now, you are pulling on everyone for love and approval. You have handed your inner child to everyone around you to take care of you. There must be a good reason you are doing this. Are you open to exploring this?" or "There must be a very good reason that there is no loving adult present here. There is just a wounded child. Are you willing to open to learning about this?" or "I cannot feel you when you cry like this. This pain is the pain of a victim, trying to get someone to take care of you. This is pain that you are causing by your own self-judgment and self-abandonment. This crying is a pull on others to take care of you. You hope others will feel sorry for you and have compassion for you because you have no compassion for yourself. There must be some very good reasons that you are abandoning yourself right now. Are you willing to open to learning about this?"
 

When I say these things to people, they are often furious with me.

They think I am judging them rather than offering them a truth. They do not get that truth is love - authentic radical love. Without knowing the truth about their intention and their behavior, they cannot heal. The truth opens the door for them to start loving themselves instead of spending all their energy trying to get others to love them.

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What Does it Mean to 'Speak Up' for Yourself?

We are often told that it's important to speak up for ourselves, but we have few role models for what this looks like.

Gwendolyn asked the following question about this topic:

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Why Am I Here?

You may ask yourself this from time to time. Not just in reference to a particular place but also here on Earth, in this life. The answer to both is the same: Love. You are here to love—every person, event, experience, and complicated nuance in your life. Why? Because love is who you are at your core; you were born out of love, human and divine, and to express it is part of the human and planetary design. It is as natural as breathing, and as essential to life. Love is woven into the fabric of everything, and it is renewed and enlivened by our expressing it on a daily basis. Without that living manifestation of our core essence, we and the planet would shrivel and die.

Sometimes the path of purpose can be hidden, seemingly impossible to find, but it’s really quite simple. We aren’t here to make lots of money or a name for ourselves, to accumulate possessions or stocks and bonds. Those are distractions, side events that eventually we see through and move on from. The human course is not necessarily self-evident, but gradually our life experiences awaken us to who we really are at the soul level. We finally see the truth that George Bailey did in the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life: No one is a failure who has friends, and kindness and generosity made him the “richest man in town.” Without his presence, no one else in his life would have fully lived who they came here to be. Same with each of us. You affect many more people than you know.

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5 Ways to Embrace Acceptance and Self-Love

Whatever you are going through right now, know that you are always the one in full control of your life. The law of attraction is true to its meaning: all thoughts turn into things, eventually. Like attracts like, so to speak. In other words, the energy from our thoughts, be it positive or negative, attracts experiences of the same energy to come into our lives or manifest. This kind of mindset is imperative especially when confronted with the underlying challenges in your life. Acknowledging your emotions, especially any feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, insolvency, and gaslighting is the first step towards rebuilding one’s sense of acceptance and self-love. 

Self-love is something many people do not consider because we tend to put the needs of others first before ourselves. However, it becomes important for you to care for yourself first, otherwise, you may not be able to care for others.

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Single and Feeling Great!

Is it possible to feel great being single? Yes, of course it is! There are many people who love being single. However, not everyone likes it.

Lorna is struggling with this issue with her wounded self:

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The Art of Listening

"Real listening is about seeing who someone is and loving them."

There’s a lot of people talking, but the question is, are we really listening to each other? In today’s episode, we will dive into the Art of Listening. With so much division and polarization in today’s society, it’s important that we understand how much listening can impact our daily lives. Learn how listening can improve your relationships and so much more.

Some Questions I Ask:

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5 Tips for Opening up to a Loved One or Friend About Something Difficult

Stephen King once wrote, “The most important things are the hardest things to say.” He also observed that expressing big thoughts and feelings brings them down to size instead of the monsters they often seem when you keep them in your head.

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Understanding The Love Avoidant And The Narcissist: Similarities And Differences

The terms love avoidant and narcissist are often used interchangeably, but these two types of individuals are not always the same. They do have similarities, but there are also differences that have an impact on the relationship. As a general statement, all narcissists are love avoidant, but people can be love avoidant and not be narcissists.

This can be confusing. Taking a closer look at each type of person will clarify the signs to watch for in any relationship. Understanding if the new partner is a love avoidant or a narcissist will help you determine if it is time to end the relationship or consider working with a therapist to restructure the relationship and stay together.

The Common Background Issues 
Everyone has a different background, particularly their relationship with their earliest caregivers. Caregivers are typically biological parents, but for some children, this could be grandparents, legal guardians, or adoptive parents.

Both the narcissist and the love avoidant usually have a history of abandonment by caregivers. This can be abandonment that is emotional, where the caregivers are physically present but neglect to care for the child’s emotional wellbeing. These parents may fawn over the child one minute, only to ignore the child the next. The child learns early in life that there is no one to rely on for this emotional support, so they turn inwards. The child sees others as untrustworthy and looks to his or herself for love and a sense of who they are in the world.

As this child grows, he or she learns that others are a source of emotional pain. To protect themselves, these children and adults put up walls to seal out the risk of emotional pain. They avoid emotional connections and remain distant and aloof in social interactions and in intimate relationships.

Signs of Narcissists and Love Avoidants
The following are signs of love avoidance and narcissism. Look for patterns and consistent behavior and not just one particular behavior that can include:
•  A lack of true intimacy on an emotional level
•  Putting more emphasis on things rather than people
•  Showing a lack of emotional range
•  Signs of perfectionism
•   Lacking close friends or group of friends

At the same time, there are also differences between the two. Some of these include:
•  The love avoidant is distant to protect self, the narcissist sees him or herself as superior to others and above having a relationship with an inferior person
•  The love avoidant attempts to isolate from others, the narcissist feels a sense of entitlement to control others
•  The love avoidant may be dismissive of others to keep them away, the narcissist is dismissive of others because they are not his or her equals
•  The love avoidant moves away from relationships, the narcissist rushes the partner into relationships using love bombing and other techniques
•  Love avoidants have low self-esteem and typically have some level of difficulty in social situations, the narcissist appears highly self-confident and seeks out ways to highlight their superiority in social settings. In reality, both struggle with self-esteem issues.
•  The love avoidant blames self for all things, the narcissist blames everyone else for things, even those they are fully responsible for creating.
•   Love avoidants

Tips for Relationships with Love Avoidants and Narcissists 
In general, both narcissists and love avoidants can make changes with therapy and support. However, as with most change, they must want to do the work to make the change. Both of these individuals can have very different personalities in public and in private, and they may see the positive public side as an accurate representation of their reality. They often dismiss the distress of the partner, and it is not uncommon for the love avoidant to have some of the traits and behaviors of the narcissist, particularly in the relationship.

If you are in a relationship with a narcissist or a love avoidant, it is essential to:
•   Seek therapeutic support or a support group such as Wake Up Recovery for healing love addiction and toxic relationships  for yourself to avoid emotional pain and damage
•    Set boundaries to protect your wellbeing and establish the ground rules for the relationship if it is to continue
•   Stop making excuses and justifying the behavior of the partner
•   Learn how to communicate your needs in the relationship
•   Develop healthy self-care routines

It will also be critical to make a decision as to the changes you need to see to continue working on the relationship. Many people find that ending the relationship is an essential part of their own wellbeing if the narcissist or love avoidant is unwilling or unable to change.

Websites reviewed:

Conscious Parenting & Subconscious Programming: What are the programs that are holding us back?

Surprisingly, the answer was provided over 400 years ago, by the cofounder of the Jesuit order, St. Francis Xavier. The truth was expressed in his famous quote: “Give me a child for the first seven years, and I’ll give you the man.” Xavier was aware of the fact that life-controlling behavioral programs, downloaded into a child’s subconscious mind during its first seven years, will shape the character of the rest of that person’s life experiences. While our personal wishes, desires and aspirations are a product of the conscious mind, 95% of life experiences are controlled by behavioral activity programmed into the subconscious mind.

Remember, Nature spends a lot of effort and energy in creating a child, and it doesn’t do so randomly or just on a whim. Nature wants to ensure that a child is going to be successful in its life before embarking on the process of birthing that child. Although a child receives genes from both its mother and father, the genes are not fully set into the position of activation until the process of development. The first eight weeks of a child’s development is called the embryo phase, and that’s just a mechanical unfolding of genes to make sure the baby has a body with two arms, two legs, two eyes, etc. The next period of life is called the fetal stage, when the embryo has the human configuration. Since it’s already shaped, the question is, what will nature do to modify or adjust this human in the next number of months before it’s born? What it does is this: Nature reads the environment and then adjusts the final tuning of the genetics of the child based on what’s immediately going on in the world. How can nature read the environment and do this? The answer is that the mother and the father become nature’s Head Start program. They’re the ones who are living in and experiencing the environment. Their perceptions of the world are then transmitted to the child.

We used to think that only nutrition was provided by the mother to a developing child. The story was, genes control the development, and the mother just provides nutrition. We now know, of course, that there’s more than just nutrition in blood. Blood contains information about emotions and regulatory hormones and the growth factors that control the mother’s life in the world in which she’s living. All this information passes into the placenta along with nutrition. If the mother is happy, the fetus is happy because the same chemistry of emotions that affect the mother’s system are crossing into the fetus. If the mother is scared or stressed, the same stress hormones cross and adjust the fetus. What we’re recognizing is that, through a concept called epigenetics, the environmental information is used to select and modify the genetic program of the fetus so it will conform to the environment in which it’s going to grow, thus enhancing the survival of the child. If parents are totally unaware, this creates a great problem—they don’t know that their attitudes and responses to their experiences are being passed on to their child.

The good news is once you become aware of where you are struggling in your life, you have an opportunity to define the limiting dysfunctional subconscious programs that are inhibiting your efforts! The profoundly important fact is disempowering subconscious programs can be rewritten using techniques such as self-hypnosis, habituation practices, and a number of new modalities collectively referred to as “energy psychology.

I’m the first to admit that I wasn’t ready to be a parent and that I was ignorant about the importance of parents (versus genes) in child development. With 20/20 hindsight, there are many things as a father I’d like to go back and change. Now when I see my daughters and sons-in-law raising their children consciously, in a way that means that these children, unlike their grandfather, won’t have to rewrite a lot of negative programming, I wonder how I could have been so ignorant. I’m reminded of Bharat Mitra’s description of organic farming, which could also serve as a description of conscious parenting: “How beautiful. How natural. How simple.”

Once the subconscious mind is reprogrammed, replacing limiting beliefs with your personal wishes and desires, the subconscious mind working 95% of the day will get you to your destination unconsciously, without the necessity of applying any conscious effort. Does this really work? For over 40 years, I was truly working “hard,” yet failing, to achieve happiness and a true loving relationship. Twenty-seven years ago, I employed these scientific insights to rewrite my dysfunctional developmental programs. How did that work out? For the last 25 years, I have been blessed to truly manifest a joyous Heaven-on-Earth life experience with my wonderful partner Margaret.

For details on how to create the life you desire, I invite you to check-out the www.brucelipton.com website which offers a large number of freely available written articles, podcasts, and videos, revealing how you can reprogram and empower your life. The Honeymoon Effect book is a source that illuminates the molecular pathways connecting the mind and the body and offers an understanding of how to create and sustain a “Heaven-on-Earth” experience in every aspect of our lives. If you are interested in learning more about conscious parenting and birth psychology, please see the resources we have listed HERE, including the Nature, Nurture, and the Power of Love DVD.

With these insights, I wish for you a life of Health, Happiness, Harmony, and of course, LOVE.

With Love and Light,

Bruce


6 Things You Can Do Today for a Better Future

People often forget that the most important person in their lives is themselves. You are the most significant person in your life, and you need to start acting like it. You need to be kind to yourself, take care of your needs, and always be gentle. If you don't think you are doing those things, today is the day to make a change. 

Start living in the moment and see how your future changes for the good. Even the small changes are good, and you can make them one day at a time. And don't get overwhelmed because you don't have to turn your life upside down to make it count.  

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Weekday Personal Support

Join Panache Desai each weekday morning for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.

Designed To Move You From Survival and Fear to Safety and Peace. Available Monday - Friday. Meditation begins at 9 AM.  Access early to hear Panache's monologue -  around 8:30 AM. 

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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