It is Thanksgiving time with our neighbour in the United States and we are quickly rolling into the Christmas Season with all that entails. Here is an article that speaks to the side of families that are not shown in the holiday shows. The idea of having to build a new family when ours doesn't fill the need or has shunned us entirely.
So many of the people I talk to struggle with the idea of family. In most cases, their family is beyond their reach because of religious barriers placed between them and all that is felt is the loss and the void left behind. Even in families where religion has not built walls, there are divides that seem so vast that bridging it seems impossible.
At any time of the year where there is a buzz in the air to gather with family, there are so many that are immobilized by their pain and isolation. This pain is real and is classified as more devastating than the death of someone because the of the hope and possibility that the person may change their mind and want to connect.
What I have noticed is that these very same individuals have gathered around them a network of people that have become even closer than the blood relations that so many long for. Family doesn’t have to be blood relations. Family can be those we choose to have in our lives.
If this is your situation, I invite you to look around you. Count the friends that you have connected with over the years.
What do you appreciate about each one of them?
What is it that their friendship with you that nourishes you?
What need is met that was left unattended when your family no longer provided it? Or what need is met that your blood family just doesn’t possess to provide you?
I am asking these questions of you because what you may be seeking may already be around you in your circle of friends. Now I know that for many, friends will not wholly replace the relative they are missing. Chosen family through our friends can support us with elements that we crave and provide even more than we ever expected. Things like connection, loyalty, understanding, affection, trust, an empathetic ear, companionship, and so much more.
One suggestion in my Reclaim Your Power – Shunning Recovery course is to build and maintain friendships to fill the needs that are being neglected when shunned by close family members. So many have already built friendships yet have not fully grasped how beneficial this is when we choose to adopt and accept our trusted friends as family.
How many friends do you have now that could move into the status of family for you?
So often we interpret triggers in our life as negative and bad, as something to be avoided at all costs. What are triggers? Psych Central defines triggers as “something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of their original trauma. Triggers are very personal; different things trigger different people.” people “will react to this flashback, trigger with an emotional intensity similar to that at the time of the trauma.” It sounds ghastly and it is horrible when you relive something that had such a huge effect on you in the past. This of course is keying into the big triggers. Those are the ones that require supportive therapy to navigate through.
What about the small triggers that are a momentary rush of emotions but don’t necessarily affect our regular flow of life? Those nagging things that you wish would just stop emerging. Those are the small triggers that we will focus on here. They do provide a gift to us as they show us where we are in our healing journey. They are there for a reason and avoiding them will just cause them to linger longer. So, what is the positive intention behind these? They act as a barometer and a security alarm to keep us safe.
I will give you an example. During my marriage my husband went to a Live concert to meet up with another woman. When he came back, he played one of their hit songs Lightning Crashes, more times than I could count. I later heard what had transpired during this concert and from then on, that song triggered instant tears, feelings of anger, abandonment, betrayal, unworthiness and pain. This lingered for almost 10 years after.
Today I play the song and enjoy the album it is on. What shifted? I did. The trigger is telling us that there is something within that needs to be addressed. For me it was the feeling of worthiness. That I am worthy of love, I am worthy of respect, I am worthy of truth. Finding the that core piece and cultivating what I needed for myself shifted the song from a trigger to just a beautiful and creative song. It converted the pain to inner peace. It sounds so simple and it can be, although it is not easy. There was hard work and I sought out support to help me work through this and get to the core of what this trigger was trying to communicate to me.
These small triggers are an indication of when one of our core values have been violated in the moment or when a situation has triggered a memory of when a core value had been dishonoured. When we find ourselves triggered take a moment to step back and ask yourself, what does this situation and my reaction to it trying to tell me? What is it that I need to focus on within myself that needs attention?
Knowing what our core values are can help us narrow down an answer to these questions and give us the focus we need for our own healing and self development.
What triggers would you like to dissipate? What could you enjoy after they are gone?
If you want support in finding your core values or fining Inner Peace from your triggers, please contact Libby for a private chat to find out how.
Consider in a day how often you are unplugged from technology? Living in rural Ontario, I have woken up in the morning with the power out and really been surprised by the absolute stillness. No hum or click of devices. This silence can be disconcerting for many. Why? We are so conditioned to always being plugged in with the TV, computer, phone or radio on and being barraged by sound from all directions. It is rare that we find ourselves in stillness and hear what lays in the silence.
There are great benefits to unplugging and taking some time to be still.
1) You give your mind time to relax - constant stimulation from technology tends to have us live in a constantly on or anxious state. When we unplug and be in the stillness your mind can then have time to relax (to begin with it may be more anxious from withdrawal, however this will shift as you ease into it).
2) There is an increased awareness. Let’s say you go for a walk and you decide not to pick up your phone or turn on a podcast or music. As you walk, what do you start noticing about your surroundings? What do you notice about your thoughts? What would you have missed if you were still plugged in?
3) There is an increase in self-awareness and intuition. So often we have the world up so loud that we can not or do not hear what we say to ourselves or what our inner voice and intuition are saying to us. When we unplug and get used to the stillness, we become more aware of our self talk and have the power to shift it. We also are more in tune with our intuition. It is no longer fighting to be heard over the clamour.
What benefits will you find when you unplug?
Join me on Facebook on Nov 14 at 5 pm Eastern to talk about this in more detail at