Coping can be defined as our capacity to find a way to be okay with the presence of what we don't want, or the absence of what we do want. Many of us have become phenomenal at coping. We have learned to rationalize why it's actually okay or even good that we don't have what we truly desire. We have learned to view the presence of pain, lack, conflict, struggle, challenge, and obstacles as character building, or meaningful, or even a gift or "good for us." When people are unkind, self-serving, manipulative, domineering or controlling we learn have compassion for them or try to spend some time in their shoes and contemplate what they must have lived through that has lead them to being this way. When people let us down, don't show up when they say they will, don't consider what we need or want, never ask questions and hold expectations of us that only benefit them, we try to see the gift in that, or how it's inviting us to be more reflective, or assisting us to go within and see where we may do that with ourselves, or how it's supporting us to release attachment and develop more self-trust. I could go on. The key thing to acknowledge is that we have been brilliant, creative, and amazing at working with what's been in our realities, and who has been in our lives. And now, what would it be like if none of this was required? No matter how good we've gotten at coping, what if we don't have to continue doing it?
Many of us are already, or are about to line up with realities, people, places and things that can honor our hearts, meet our needs, and invite us to be our beauty, our gifts, our greatness, and provide avenues to express our love and creative genius and receive the love and support we've always desired. So, what is beyond coping? What if we are soon to find out? As we step into being, receiving and having more of what's true for us, in alignment with what we know is possible, we don't lose any skill sets we've cultivated. If we do intersect realities, people, places and things that do require the skill set of coping or adapting, we can apply that skill, it's just that from my perspective, now is the time to release all expectations of having to cope in order to live and be here. We can begin to create realities beyond coping. It is possible now.
One thing to keep in mind, is that sometimes we've set up relationships or structured our lives to support our limitations rather than our greatness. So in this transition from knowing our uniqueness through limitation to knowing our uniqueness through our greatness, there can be a lot of adjustments to be made. There can be times when we may even grieve the loss of limitations, because their absence can be so unfamiliar to our nervous system or mental or emotional state that it feels like a void. Imagine if you've set your whole life up to manage pain and then the pain is gone. What do you do now? We usually expect that the freedom from limitations will feel amazing, but often times it feel super relieving and amazing at first, and then there is a process of rebuilding our lives and restructuring everything we do. The more we can name what really goes on in these huge transitions, the easier of a time we can have with them. We won't be as surprised if we feel tremendous grief when we receive a deeply loving relationship. The presence of what we truly desire often serves as a catalyst to transmute and release the pain of its absence. If we expect everything to be and feel amazing when we have what we truly desire, we can become very confused when it doesn't. So, all of this said, may all of us have as much ease as possible walking our paths, receiving the gifts available to us now, cultivating relationships based on love and trust and being gentle with ourselves as we progressively acknowledge and release what has been to fully live what is now.
What would it be like to have what you've never had? What would it be like to receive what you've never received? What would it be like to know what you've never known? What would it be like to be what you've never been? Now is the time to welcome in a new energetic and emotional blueprint that can serve as a foundation to create your life from. People often talk about quantum leaps or timeline jumping. Ultimately what this is about is choosing to create from a space and energy of possibility that's available now, rather than from past reference points. Instead of affirming who and what you've been through continued action to solidify that, you can serve the consciousness within you, which ultimately benefits all and allows for expansion to take place. What is expansion? It's the choice and capacity to go beyond what has been, whether as an internal experience of self, or as external experience of life and living. It's a process of including more consciousness in and as you. Some name this as awakening, or evolution, or enlightenment. What is beyond names that you can now include in your experience of living?
It is an exciting time in that our perception of the emotional and energetic experience of life and living is rapidly changing. It can feel like an acceleration, either as a progression, or as bouts of distinct moments of waking up to a different way of being, or seeing, or knowing yourself and others. Our experience of relationship can dramatically change too, as many of the walls of separation come down and it becomes much easier to energetically know people and emotionally relate to people. Especially as the light of consciousness permeates through the mental and emotional realms, new space can be created. Where there was once density there is now availability for love and wisdom to be claimed, acknowledged and expressed. There is less distortion and less confusion. The conflicting agendas cease to be, and in their place becomes an ease of knowing what's true and living with that knowing intact. I wonder what's possible now as we choose to be completely resourced?
Often we can form identities based on what other people tell us we're good at, or what we decide we're good at. As we awaken, or become more conscious, certain identities become limiting. Rather then assisting us to know ourselves deeply, they can prevent us from knowing and being who we are and instead keep us stuck playing certain roles for other people that may or may not actually benefit them. A few years ago I wrote a blog called, "Say Goodbye to Being Stuck" (you can read that blog here) and in it I talked about five common mental models that can prevent people from moving forward. They are the following: the problem - solution model, the broken - fixing model, the wounded - healing model, the wrong - correction model, and the clearing - expansion model.
We can end up forming identities based around these models. Examples include, being a good problem solver, being a fixer, being a healer, always looking for how things can be better (correcting what's wrong), or facilitating clearing or transformation. Even though these abilities are valuable, if we form identities around them, when there is no problem, nothing broken, no wound to address, nothing wrong or nothing to clear, we can feel useless, unimportant, without value or even worthless. When we are with people who don't require these things from us, we don't know what to do with ourselves! If our value as a person depends on being needed for these things, what happens when people around us become more empowered and capable of addressing these things on their own?
The invitation for today is to acknowledge any of these models you've formed an identity around and begin to consider what it would be like to include this ability as part of being you and get curious about who and what you are beyond this. Being you can include solving problems, but no longer will you or someone else have to have problems for you to solve in order for you to feel valuable or important. You can instead begin to acknowledge the value of being, the value of presence, the value of your choice to show up here and now in the moment that you're in, and the value of committing to your life. What would that change if your value wasn't dependent on other people being limited and needing you to solve, fix, heal, correct or clear something? What would it be like to have relationships based on presence, acknowledgment of being, and choice to be aware of what's possible to create and express? May we all know ourselves beyond these limited identities and re-claim the ease and joy of being and the capacity to contribute to new possibilities being available in the world now and in the future.
What is enmeshment trauma? Enmeshment trauma is when there is an emotional consequence to having a want, need, desire or preference that differs from the people around you, or someone else gets to decide what you want and need and it isn't okay to disagree. If you do want or need something different then they're offering it's met with scoffing, withdrawal, judgment, condemnation or punishment of some sort. In this type of environment one of the strategies to avoid the consequence is to get very good at external referencing, which is about checking in with the wants, needs, desires and preferences of those around you before checking in, so that you insure that you only express the ones that match theirs. Another strategy is to take on a role of being a helper, peacemaker or caregiver. What this role requires is to be tuned in or responsive to the needs, wants, desires and preferences of others. And in some cases, the more effectively you can suppress yours, the more completely you can be tuned into theirs. Often you will be praised, and loved, and appreciated for your amazing capacity to help and be there for people and often the best form of safe connection will come through maintaining those roles.
At some point however, you may be met with the most feared questions of all....What do you want? What do you need? What do you desire? What are your preferences? It will often come from someone who has no idea what enmeshment trauma is, and is confused when you freeze, go completely blank, stutter, and say I don't know. To make matters worse, they may respond with something like, what's wrong with you? Why don't you know? The reason why you don't know is because it didn't actually benefit you to know in the environments you've been in! It would have been a threat, very unsafe, and made you a target for the worst to come out of those who could not provide space and allowance for different perspectives, wants, needs, desires and preferences.
So, what do you do now? The first step is asking yourself: do I desire to know what I want and need? Would I like to be able to voice my preferences? Would I like to be able to articulate what I love and desire and appreciate especially when it differs from the people around me? To those who have enmeshment trauma even the thought of this is terrifying. This energy will often show up through the nervous system and emotional body as tension, and constriction alongside this thought that something very bad is going to happen. Now is the time to breathe deeply into that energy. Breathe into that tension. Acknowledge that many very bad things did happen, or someone threatened that they would happen if you didn't stay in line with who and what they wanted or needed you to be. Tune into your body, heart, mind, higher self and ask: Is it different now? Are there people who can allow for difference? Is it okay to want, need and desire things that different than the people around me? Is it okay to release the role of helper, peacemaker and caregiver? You can still be responsive to other peoples needs, however, you now have the opportunity to include yours too. All boundaries are is the assertion of your preference. It's you knowing when you've listened enough to someone's difficulties, or helped enough with the homework, or demonstrated enough compassion, whatever 'enough' is for you.
What if now is the time when you don't have to leave yourself to love others? What would it be like if you knew that you didn't have to exclude yourself to have connection? What if you don't have to make others people's needs, wants, desires and preferences more important than your own? What if you could include yours and be responsive to theirs? What if it is not an either/or? Get curious about what it would be like if you could be there for others when it felt good to do so and you could say no when it didn't. How different would it be, if when you started feeling depleted you could acknowledge that and make another choice? Re-claiming awareness of what's true for you while being a contribution to those that you meet is the next step in unraveling enmeshment trauma. Choosing people where it is okay to think, feel and know something different then they do and have the experience of still being in relationship, or having connection, or being there with them as they're being with you is a huge step in letting yourself know that it can be different than it has been.
Truly, what if something different is possible now? And if someone does make you feel wrong for stating a need, desire or preference and subsequently begins to deliver some sort of emotional consequence, you can take a deep breath, stare squarely at them, acknowledge what's taking place, access compassion for the memories of manipulation and control that you believed was love, acknowledge where they are coming from and speak from the deepest love and highest wisdom you have access to, acknowledging in whatever words you choose that this is not what you're here for. You're here for something different. You're here for the new experience. You're here to know yourself, and love yourself, and simultaneously know and love others. And you're here to discover what you are here for, as and when you do, and you may not have the answers to any questions you are asked right now. One day you will, and as the insights, revelations and breakthroughs come, you can celebrate. And as you are now, you can celebrate. What if you could live your life as a celebration?
How much more of you can you include now? That may seem like a strange question. One of the things that we have interacted with a lot is that of the polarity of inclusion/exclusion. We have tried many things in order to be included, even if it meant we had to exclude energies, preferences, desires, and more. What have you decided that you have to exclude to include other people in your life? What have you decided you have to exclude in order to include work, money, lovers, health, and joy in your life? What if we no longer have to exclude to include? And what if now is the time to acknowledge how much more of who we are can show up here and now in this life?