“My Strength Is Their Weakness”

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I wrote that quote many years ago near the end of my 20 year marriage. As I began to heal physically and emotionally from all the turmoil of that, I realized that it was at my moments of anxiety, sadness or depression that he became strong. At first I thought he was showing true signs of kindness, yet in time I realized what was really happening: I was feeding his ego and he was starving my self-esteem.  He felt like “the big man” helping the poor, defenseless, broken woman. The woman HE broke. The woman he was abusive to; the woman he told over and over again was stupid and ugly; the woman he told would never be loved by anyone.

And I believed him…until I stopped believing him.

Are you wondering how I stopped believing all that negative stuff he had embedded onto my brain? I woke up. I realized that I had allowed him free reign over me for many years and that by doing that, the behavior continued. I allowed him to speak down to me and allowed him to be disrespectful to me.  So, one day I woke up and stopped allowing it, and the marriage was done and over with.

I went through years of healing myself mentally and emotionally, and of course it was with the help of many spiritual teachers and a wonderful tribe of true friends.

I learned so much about myself and that loving myself first was the answer to not allowing anyone else to treat me that way. You’d think it would never happen again, yet I’m human; we’re all human. Sometimes life brings you an experience that you thought you had learned the lessons from…yet life knows when you forget the lesson. And the Universe will put a similar experience back into your way until you wake up and realize that what you stopped allowing years ago, you’re allowing once again.

Even after that divorce I would find myself meeting someone whose ego was strengthened by my weakness, and for those that know me, they know I’m anything but weak. It would sporadically happen here and there throughout the years, yet know I’m much more able to recognize it when it’s happening. I’ve learned that those people lack control of their own life so they try and control mine; they lack self-respect and are unable to respect anyone else; they don’t feel strong unless they’re paired up with someone weak.

And I am no longer that girl.

I want to be treated the way I deserve and the way that I treat others: with love, kindness, compassion, consideration and loyalty. And I won’t settle for anything less. I want to be loved for the person I am, quirks and all, because I love that person that I’ve become.

We all have moments of feeling weak and that’s okay; it’s those moments that help us to find our strength again and stand back up on our feet even stronger.

We all have moments of finding ourselves back in a situation that we thought would never return and that’s okay; you’re given that situation to remind you of the lesson you forgot.

And we all find ourselves staring into the mirror, looking at ourselves and wondering how we got here and what happened to us, and that’s okay; keep looking in that mirror long enough and you’ll once again see the person you thought was lost.

It’s those moments of feeling lost that we’re actually finding ourselves again, and we’re finding an even better and stronger version of the person we once were.

Life is about balance and we all fall out of balance every so often. It’s when the world around us is spinning out of control that we see the truth of everything, and it’s those moments we find our balance again.

Don’t let anyone make you feel weak; surround yourself with people that make you strong.

Don’t spend your precious time feeding someone’s ego; spend your time feeding your self-esteem.

And don’t rely on anyone loving you the way you want to be loved; love yourself that way first and the rest will fall into place.

Everything in your life begins with YOU.

Stop allowing what you don’t want to continue.

Forgive yourself when you forgot a lesson you learned and get back on track.

And love yourself.

If you do nothing else, love yourself.

Everything is possible when you begin with love.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Drawing A Line In The Sand”

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Boundaries. I know all about them , write about them, and understand their purpose. Yet, I find myself having allowed boundaries to be crossed…. MY boundaries, that is. It happened without warning, yet it happened. I should have known that the feelings I’ve had in the last few months were my own fault, because I had set boundaries and allowed them to be crossed.

I don’t know if I’m more angry at myself for allowing it to happen or if I’m more upset with the person who crossed them. I was open and honest about my boundaries with them, yet somehow they got lost in the every day business of life and relationships.

Truth is, I have a hard time saying “no” and learning to do this, when it’s for my best interest, is a work in progress. I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, especially when it’s someone I love. Yet I missed one very important piece to this puzzle:

“Why did I allow MY feelings to be hurt and why was I more concerned over someone I love when I should be loving myself just the same?”recite-1kfn7mb

Truth…an awakening…a slap of reality. Yes, yet another “waking up” moment for me, and I don’t like it. I allowed boundaries to be crossed that upset me, hurt me, and messed with my health. And I wonder if the other party knows this, because they should.

Everyone handles things their own way. Things that upset me may not bother someone else. Yet aren’t we supposed to respect and understand each others’ feelings? If someone tells us they react to something a certain way, shouldn’t we accept that as their truth? Or that perhaps they’re telling us that so we don’t hurt them?.

This was a difficult one for me to figure out, and it took longer than it usually does. I’m intrigued by what makes people tick, and that includes myself. I always tell my love that I’m probably one of the few people he knows that really knows herself well, and that includes my faults and my strengths. I’ll admit when I’m wrong, and ask for understanding of him when I need it. (Sometimes I think I make it too easy for him…what he can’t figure out about me I tell him! LOL!)

So, now what?

First, I need to forgive myself, because I’m mad that I allowed this to happen.

Second, I need to put the boundaries back in place, although the hurt and damage from them  being crossed is already done.

And third, I need to take a cold, hard look at my life to see what’s working and what’s not.

Why did I allow the lines in the sand to be crossed? Who and what is my priority? How did this mishap of crossing boundaries affect my family and my life?

Lines in the sand…that was my problem. I should have set a solid foundation of cement for the boundary. I thought I had, but sometimes when we worry more about someone else we lose sight of what’s best for us, and more importantly, we lose sight of ourselves.

And I’m guilty of that. And life is going to change. And feelings will be hurt.

Yet out of all of this, I know with all my heart that more wonderful things will come out of this lesson! Hearts will bond stronger, relationships will grow and flourish, and life will go on…even better than it was before the boundaries were crossed.

It’s a life lesson, and as much as I write about it, it’s a lesson I needed to learn. The Universe whacked me once again, waking me up to something important: I stopped looking out for my well being and what was good for me, even though I knew that someone else was causing me pain.

It wasn’t a mistake or something done out of malice, because I accept that it’s yet another lesson, another blessing, and another story to be shared to help and teach someone else.

Boundaries are not meant to be controlling tools; they are tools to protect us and let other’s know that we are to be respected. They are the simplest of ways to let someone know that what they do, what they say, or what they want, is not necessarily for OUR highest good… sometimes it’s just for theirs.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Bully Free Zone?”

“Bullies:” they’re not just for kids anymore!

Every time I walk into my sons’ school, I see the large banner hanging across the hallway that says: “Bully Free Zone.” And I have to wonder…is anyplace really a bully free zone?

I know there’s bullies everywhere, and it doesn’t pertain simply to children. Adults can be the most ruthless bullies in the world, except we choose to call them by other names (and I’ll leave those words up to you!) Yet the bottom line is this: adult bullies are mean, they’re spiteful, and they do as much damage emotionally to another adult as a child bully does to another child.

Yet I’ve learned one thing about these types of people: they act that way because of their own insecurities and fears; they can’t find their own power and control, so they subject others to it. No, it’s not fair, it’s hurtful, and yes, sometimes even painful. But I’ve noticed throughout the years of one thing that will stop them in their tracks: your strength.

“My strength is their weakness; my weakness their strength.”

That’s right, the moment you become weak and allow them the control to treat you badly is the very moment they become strong. Watch the difference in their behavior towards you when you stand up for yourself and are strong.

Experience has taught me that this is true; walk away from the “bullies” in the world; send them love and light, keep them in your prayers, and walk away. They have their own lessons to learn about themselves, and until they’re willing to do that, their life will never be anything that they want it to be. They’re losing out on love and happiness, and all good things.

Listen, you don’t have to allow someone to treat you badly; you choose who you are surrounded by. Keep a healthy, positive, and loving “vibe in your tribe.”

Here’s a little food for thought: maybe your “strength may be their weakness,” yet it may also be the message for them that no one else has ever said to them. In fact, you showing them what love and respect for oneself and for others’ looks like may be a perfect way to make a difference in their life.

It’s time to make a difference, and we can make a difference together.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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