Navigating Trauma and Feeling Worthy & Respected in Relationships

navigating-trauma-small2
Everything bothers me.
Dramatic. Correction: Most things bother me.
I have an oversensitive nature that gets consistently agitated and a spirit that feels burnt out. Maybe you can relate? Aside from my closest friend relating, I’ve always felt a bit alone in this experience. When I have my own space I don’t feel it so much, but when others are around, things become accentuated.
 
A few years ago I was in therapy and a big part of my story that I was working through was “People treat me badly and the universe gives me just enough to get by.” So my work since then has been setting up healthy boundaries. People only treat you as badly as you let them, and some don’t even realize that they’re doing it, perhaps to give you the experience of speaking up for yourself. We need to take care of ourselves. As Aretha Franklin puts it, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to me!”
 
When feeling disrespected by another may be unintended and therefore is subjective and open to interpretation, why am I so sensitive to feeling it? Why do I care? Why do I attach a meaning to something that makes me feel anything less than awesome? I am secure in myself; I know better than to take things personally; And to be honest, I feel sorry for someone that isn’t able to treat others respectfully. So then it must be that there is another part of me that’s running the show. An issue in a relationship is not the problem; it is a symptom of a deeper issue. We need to get to the root. 
 
When I travel into the murky waters of my subconscious, there’s a little girl that’s been convinced that she is not worthy of being treated any better. As children, we’re these radiant, confident beings, but when we consistently suffer any form of abuse or violation, we begin to question our own radiance. We start to believe the things that people say about us, the voices of our parents become our own, and we define ourselves by the way people treat us. We let others determine our worthiness and our lovability, and then we spend our entire lives playing out this story- believing all of it, and taking it on as our own. We take on illnesses, financial issues, unhealthy relationships all because of the way people led us to believe about ourselves.  
 
But she is worthy. YOU ARE WORTHY. As children, we are victims to our circumstances deemed powerless to change them. Spiritually, it can be seen as a benefit of working through the karmas of past lifetimes to gain the raw materials we’ll need to grow in this one. But when we don’t recognize the ability we have to regain our power once we reach maturity, then we carry our stories as victims with us. We unconsciously use them as excuses to explain why we’re not the radiant beings we started off as, and why we’re not worthy and deserving of everything we desire. Some people spend their entire lives doing this. 
 
To gain the self awareness to finally recognize how we’re sabotaging ourselves is one of the first signs of waking up. Waking up is the unlearning of all the programs from the past. It’s waking up from the lies. Adyashanti says, “[Enlightenment is] the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” To return to the old programming, the old stories, is to go back to sleep. 
 
I know that trauma is being activated when my reaction is a bit dramatic and isn’t logically warranted. Someone could say something without any ill intention at all, but I’ll still feel sad, hurt, want to cry or I’ll completely lose my shit. I will lose control over my emotions. I may feel it in my body as well, like getting punched in the gut, or I’ll get dizzy as I disassociate. I’ll create drama from my trauma. If I am in conflict with someone when this happens, I may be projecting a whole lot of unconscious emotions onto them. In these moments, I am NOT being respectful. 
 
Respect is a two way street– yes this is a bit cheese and we’ve all heard it a million times, but really absorb it. Two way street, the cars are going both ways- respect goes both ways. Whoops, was I doing this? I was so deeply involved in my own shit that I didn’t even have the awareness to realize how my actions were affecting others. Typical child completely obsessed with herself, right? 
 
What matters most is what I do differently now that I know. Know better, do better. The truth is we’re all on the same side. We all want the same things- love, peace, happiness. There is no need for us to go to war with each other because the irony is that in war there are no winners. You can’t fight someone for love or peace. If someone is intentionally out to get you, leave immediately. But when we love each other and we’re having a difference of opinion, it’s because we don’t understand where the other person is coming from. There can be love without respect because respect is subjective. We can only do our best to nurture each other’s boundaries, and then we need to keep the conversation open. 
 
Especially in an intimate relationship, your responsibility is to study your partner. Pay attention to what they like, love, want more of and want less of. When we first fall in love, we see the bright light of a soul that we can’t help but indulge ourselves into. And then we get to know them a little better and we see all of the areas of their ego that are still in development. We may become critical or worse use them as reasons not to be with the person. But how vicious to condemn a masterpiece before it’s completed. Could you imagine how La Pietà looked like before Michelangelo completed it? A big ‘ol hunk of rock that’s what. 
 
Remember the soul that you are in love with and treat each other like your church. Worship them. Study to understand them and then play the role that they need you to be. Forgive their blindspots and be patient. If this person is still the one you want to journey through this life with, not because of attachment but because you genuinely enrich each other’s lives, commitment is what will get you through the trauma drama and periods of healing and growing into healthier ways of being.
 
“Commitment is like a womb in which a new life can grow. It is hermetically sealed so that nothing extraneous can enter into the process. No projections can be made upon it, no introduced doubt or criticism can reach it during its critical formative stages. But it’s also sealed for our own good, so that we don’t have an easy out. This is what’s meant by ‘holding the tension.’ So in times of exhaustion and suffering, fear and frustration, we remain committed long enough for the process to complete itself…
 
So when we place limitations and boundaries around something we care about, it isn’t meant to be a prison which keeps us stuck or stagnant, but rather to create a paradoxical freedom which allows us, through restraint, to fully explore the relationship, the craft, or the experience in all its subtle dimensions. Commitment in these terms is not an obligation but a deep devotion to that which you love. In your devotion to it, the very thing you are committed to is set free.” (Toko-pa: Commitment: The of Creativity) 
 
When we are free to be ourselves and we get triggered by an unintended moment of disrespect, we don’t want to throw that disrespect back at our partners, but we also can’t suppress or dismiss our emotions. So what do we do? 
 
We need to emotionally take care of ourselves. We need to tend to the upset child. We need to give her what she needs. You can do this alone with yourself, or with your partner. 
 
When your partner does this with you, they need to be able to hold space for you and be able to shelve any ego reactions that come up for them. It’s not their time. They’ll get their turn once you feel heard, understood, and nourished. This becomes much more complicated when they’re also going into their own trauma. A therapist or a healer is helpful for navigating this. Or, you can do it for yourself and share your experience and insights with your partner once you’re done.
 
How do you emotionally care for yourself when you’re hurt by something someone’s done? Ask your inner child, “what do you need to feel worthy?” Listen to what she responds with. It will be something that an innocent child would say like, “I need a hug.” Give yourself a hug! Or let your partner hug you! Maybe you’ll feel into what she’s craving like a sense of love, belonging, being wanted. Talk to her like you would talk to any child. Use your voice to give it power. 
 
Say out loud three times, “you are worthy.” 
 
Keep talking and say everything that she needs to hear. You’ll feel it when something lands; Something inside of you will shift and the release will cause you to emote- cry, scream, or laugh. 
 
This was my list when I did it, but make your own. You may want to experiment with using “you” and using “I” to see which resonates best.
 
You are lovable.
You are deserving.
You are worthy of respect.
You are to be honoured.
You are to be worshipped.
You are Divine.
You are needed.
You belong here.
You are wanted here.
Mommy loves you. (This made me weep!)
Daddy loves you.
The whole planet loves you.
The entire universe loves you.
You are beautiful.
You’re special.
You’re unique.
You’re so cute.
I am so thankful to have you here.
How others treat you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Don’t take anything personally.
 
 
When you’re done you’ll know. You’ll feel a sense of peace wash over you; Your body will take a nice, deep breath and relax; And you’ll feel happier, calm, back to your regular self. You’ve filled up your cup and now you need to maintain this state by continually filling it up. You are responsible for your self care, your partner isn’t going to do it for you. Your knight isn’t coming. He got stuck at the border trying to smuggle over some shrooms for you both. As Mama Gena puts it, keep yourself “Turned on.” What your partner does is a bonus on top of all that you already do for you. Stop running on empty. Don’t wait for the car to break down. Nurture yourself so you can give from your overspill. Spa. Nails. Oranges. Whatever you need to feel spoiled. Ask your Inner Child what she wants as well- ice cream perhaps? Lactose intolerant? Get cashew ice cream- find a compromise. You absolutely deserve it ♥.  
 
When you’re taken care of/turned on/in your flow/radiating, those silly little things people do tend to fall away. They don’t stick. You’re flying high and whatever sticks and stones they throw can’t even reach you. From this state, honouring and respecting both yourself and your partner effortlessly becomes a part of your nature; You become partners in every sense of the word- joining forces on the same team; And You’re acting from your heart in a state of unconditional love. 

10 Dating Tips For The Spiritually Awakened

dating tips photo

Someone I connected with on Tinder did not want to date me because they felt I was too spiritual for them. Had they met me, they would have seen that I don’t actually walk around sporting mala beads and dream catchers (I only hang them on my walls!)

Yes, I went through a deeply profound time of spiritual awakening. To me, spirituality is believing in the unconditional purest form of Love, that it’s where we come from and what we’re made of. So my journey has been coming home to this Love and reflecting it in everything that I do. Who wouldn’t want to partner with somebody like this??

The trouble is when someone has not yet entered into this phase of life, these concepts are unfamiliar to them. What we don’t understand can feel threatening, intimidating, or even just boring because it’s not relatable. But dating kept feeling like an emotional rollercoaster- meeting someone, getting excited, to be disappointed. But it’s all part of the journey that has taught me the life lessons that I present to you today.

  1. Do not take things personally. People come in and out of our lives for reasons sometimes unbeknownst to us. If something doesn’t work out or if we’re rejected, despite what the other person says, it might not have anything to do with us. Sometimes it’s preference, like preferring chocolate ice cream over strawberry, sometimes it’s timing, or maybe they were strategically placed to help us grow. We don’t know, and we don’t even need to know.
  2. Get really good at letting things go and trust the process. If you’re in touch with your soul’s deepest desire, like finding a loving partner, then continue with your daily visualizations and know that you can trust the process because you fully trust in your ability to create your life.
  3. Empathize with where people are on their journeys. As an awakened being, it’s sometimes easy to see where people are stubbornly keeping themselves stuck. It’s easy to judge them or want to do their work for them to speed things along. This never works. You can’t do someone else’s work for them the same way you can’t eat or poop for them. If you feel like you need to lower your standards to be with them, or they don’t inspire you, then we both know there’s someone out there better suited for you. While you don’t need to be exactly the same because it’s wonderful to be learning from your partner, you want to feel like you’re running together at the same speed and can keep up with each other.
  4. Timing is everything! In another time or place, it could have worked, but some people are just in different phases of life and right now, and for this lifetime, it’s may just not be the right match.
  5. Surrender all of our expectations and control. It’s easy to get excited when we meet someone, plan our lives together, name our future children, imagine Christmas together and how perfect we’ll fit into each other lives. I’m a huge romantic and I go hard on the fantasy and the rose coloured glasses. But this is dangerous because it doesn’t allow us to see the reality of the situation, see the relationship naturally unfold, and it sets us up for disappointment. Again, we don’t know why we’ve shown up in each other’s lives. If you’re looking for a partner then yea, make sure you’re both on the same page. But try not to control the outcome.
  6. Be patient. Allow it to unfold. Be curious about it at every step. Cherish every moment that you share together as though it is your last because life is unpredictable and we don’t know what tomorrow brings. It is a practice of delayed gratification and it takes resilience.
  7. Trust the red flags, the messages and your intuition. PAY ATTENTION and believe people when they show you who they really are. I get curious about people and want to stick around just to see how it turns out. Eventually, this gets tired and a waste of time. I also never want to hurt anyone, but if you’re not being honest, then you’re hurting both of you. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. Act on opportunities that feel the most expansive. Acting on our intuitive guidance aligns us with creating the ultimate life that our soul desires to experience.
  8. Never settle for less. Know what you want, which you’ll learn the more people you meet. Keep your standards and boundaries high, and never compromise on your non negotiables. You don’t owe anybody anything! The relationship will become toxic and keep you small.
  9. Keep you independence. A healthy relationship consists of two independent people coming together and becoming interdependent- not two halves creating a whole and being codependent. Practice non attachment and remember to self love and self care throughout this whole process. It’s natural as human beings to want to partner up, but we need to be strong and whole on our own first.
  10. You’re going to get triggered. Relationships are mirrors to help us see ourselves. Remember this when you’re quick to blame, judge and get defensive. Doesn’t matter what they do- what is it teaching you about yourself? Relationships show us where our deepest wounds are. This week I processed trauma around abandonment. It had nothing to do with the guy, he did nothing wrong, but he gave me the gift of letting go of some heavy shit I’ve been carrying around with me.
  11. Bonus: Get a friggin dildo. lol or flesh light. It keeps you physically satisfied so your sexual urges don’t muddle your better judgement. USE DISCERNMENT! (both with the partner and the toy. note: latex allergies)

Stay strong on this journey, awoken one! You have been doing some incredibly transformative work and you WILL be rewarded for this. Every day more and more souls are being awoken and it’s just a matter of time before you and you Love find each other.

Lots of Love to you!
Erika Lucivero
xo