Why I Meditate

I began meditating in 2015. By this time, I had been through my health scare, divorce, and had been working as a Registered Nurse in the hospital for over 2 years. I had heard about meditation for years before I actually took note and put it into practice. In 2015, I partook in a “Simple Shift” group hosted by my Homeopath and friend, Torey Ivanic, that was made up of a group of women who were ready to create big change in our lives by shifting in some, small way. The “simple shift” I chose to commit to during this group was meditation. I downloaded the app, Insight Timer, on my phone, which kept track of my progress. I started with 5 minutes a day. Honestly, I’d do 2 minutes some days, 5 minutes others. Then, just after the group ended, I hit a very stressful time in my life.

I was struggling and needed a way to turn off the spiral of thoughts whirring through my mind about the situation. So I began meditating often as a way to positively cope with the turmoil I was experiencing. As I would feel the anxiety well up in me, I’d set the timer on my phone and meditate. I based it around my life, so if I had 5 minutes to spare, I’d meditate for 5 minutes. If I had more time in that moment, I’d set the timer for 15 minutes. Each time I felt myself get overwhelmed with emotions, I’d meditate. When the hamsters in my head would start running in their wheels, I’d meditate. When I felt panic rush in and tighten my chest, I’d meditate. I remember sitting in the cemetery next to the bench that marks the spot where one of my best friends from high school is buried, and I found myself talking to him in the rain, crying, and meditating. I clung to meditation like a life raft. I meditated, because I didn’t know what else to do.

These moments spent in meditation worked as a reset button for my system. I was able to reset myself and breathe. In those days, I didn’t notice a big difference. But it acted as a break from my thoughts and emotions. The break is what snapped me out of my head. It got me through that time with a lot of sanity and clarity. By the end of this 2-week period, I was able to get a sense of a big picture purpose of what was happening. I spoke about it with words that did not feel from me, but more through me. I was then gifted with the most peace I had ever experienced in my entire life. It lasted a week, and during that time I felt so at ease with EVERYTHING in my life. I felt so much love and compassion for myself and everyone else. I realize now that that level of peace is available to all of us when we place priority on our healing and aligning ourselves with our souls.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I didn’t simply gain a week of peace during that time. I also gained the awareness that it was that level of peace that I wanted to feel in my life, all the time. It gave me a contrast to compare everything against. To this day, when a person or situation is causing me to lose my inner peace, I make the needed adjustments, because for me, my inner peace comes FIRST.

This was all just the beginning for me. Last year, after I had taken my leap of faith out of my Registered Nursing job in the hospital when it began affecting my health negatively, and had gotten back from traveling to Australia and Hawaii, I got more serious about meditating again. I was in a time where I was ready to go full force with my business, but I also had to trust that the people who needed the Intuitive Reiki and Joy Coaching with me would come in divine time. I set the intention and began meditating every morning for 25 minutes while also treating myself with Reiki. This consistent practice completely changed my game. I began to have and continue to have so many inspired ideas that led to inspired action that led to so many good things in my life. For instance, it became an important aim of mine to be part of a thriving community of healers and artists, and then I got the idea to create a “Healing Arts” basket for a raffle for the Center of Spiritual Living for their annual fundraiser, which naturally connected me with local healers and artists. There was also the inspired ideas of participating in the fundraiser “Over the Edge” for The Source LGBT+ Center’s annual fundraiser and offering free Reiki sessions every week at The Source which led to me being more connected to the LGBT+ community here which has led me to amazing friendships and more of my tribe! Reaching out to the amazing author, Scott Stabile, about how much I loved his book and would like to have him come to my town to host a workshop was also an inspired idea that I took action on, and it all lined up so effortlessly after that! Scott hosted one of his workshops, “Writing Yourself” here in January!

There’s a reason why so many people urge us to meditate. It works. Deepak Chopra has written MANY books, and you want to know his biggest piece of advice for people? Meditate! I know what you’re thinking, you can’t meditate. You can’t get your brain to slow down long enough to meditate. You don’t have time to meditate. I can assure you that if you had time to read this post about meditating that you have time to meditate. You’re just choosing to use your time in other ways. My life has been a bit of a surrender experiment in the last year. Things I couldn’t have planned for have shown up. Awesome things have shown up. I would say that I owe a lot of that, if not all, to meditation. Meditation has allowed me to align with my soul, my higher self, in a more powerful way than ever before. Following my intuition about everything in my life, right down to what I eat, has further strengthened my intuition, which is also what leads to amazing things. I am so happy to say that I will be teaching kids mindfulness and meditation this summer through Parks and Recreation. I am so excited to share the exercises I’ve used to help teach kids positive ways to cope with life. It is my vision that by teaching kids positive coping mechanisms, they will be able to use them throughout their lives to combat peer pressure, to decrease the rates of teen pregnancy, to decrease addiction, and to decrease the rates of suicide. I love working with kids so much, and pediatrics continues to be the unit of the hospital that I miss working on the most, so I am really looking forward to this new adventure!

I can’t tell you how many times I have been called magic in the last year, the last 8 months especially. I look for magic, I expect magic daily, because I’ve witnessed magic every day. I am aligned with my soul, my higher self. I am following my soul’s path completely which places all kinds of amazing synchronicities on my path. I am human like you, and I got here by trudging through a lot of shit. I did not get here through ease and comfort. I walked through fire to ultimately have my soul set free. When I noticed that my thoughts about myself and my life weren’t serving me well, I worked to adopt new thoughts. I’ve listen to meditations to reprogram my subconscious mind. I’ve followed my intuition to the healing modalities that called to me and the foods that my body was craving. I used journaling. I used positive affirmations. I have a daily gratitude practice. I didn’t grow up knowing about positive ways to cope with life, so I sought them when I needed them. Instead of stressing and ‘grinding’, I learned the importance of quieting my mind through meditation and time spent in nature.

Through the journey I have walked, I have been gifted with the knowledge that our health is our greatest asset, that living in joy is what we are here to do, and that inner peace is the real ‘success’ that we should be working to achieve in this life. I did not come from peace, but I now have more peace than I ever have before. I got tired of suffering. I got tired of playing a victim, so I got serious about finding a way to change my view of the world. I adjusted my priorities. I choose to place my focus on my peace and happiness every day, because I see now how that ripples out from my life into other people’s lives. I choose to prioritize doing things that raise my energy and cause me to vibrate at a higher frequency. When we learn to love ourselves unconditionally, we are able to love others unconditionally. Also in my experience, when I learned to love another unconditionally as I saw their life with empathy and compassion, I loved myself even deeper in return.

Many of the practices I have had great results with are simple and available to anyone who decides to place priority on their own healing. If you struggle to quiet your mind or lead a very stressful life, I urge you to take up daily meditation. It can be as simple as setting a timer for 5 minutes and sitting in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted while you focus on your breath. You might feel resistance to it, I think that’s pretty common. It was for me. But just keep being consistent with it, and eventually, you’ll notice shifts. I lead guided meditations every first and third Wednesday of every month, so if you’re local, reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com. We have meditation happening tonight on the Super Full Moon from 6 to 7 pm. Everyone is welcome.

Meditation is a simple shift we can all make towards our wellness. It’s free. It’s easy. We can do it alone or with a group. We can meditate inside or outside. If you’re finding yourself not satisfied with the way your life has been going, try meditating. What do you have to lose?

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My Memory of Health

My memory of health returned to me in the summer of 2015. It was a slow build that began when I listened to my heart and ended my marriage. It wasn’t about my marriage though, it’s just that at that time, it marked a huge turning point for me, because instead of ignoring my intuition, I began following it about everything in my life.

My work with an amazing Homeopath that began in January of 2015, put me on a collision course with my well-being, body, mind, and spirit. I had initially not believed that my Homeopath could in fact get me off of many of my medications as she claimed she could, several of which were antibiotics that I had been taking for Lyme Disease and co-infections since July 2012. I believed (and my doctors had told me) with everything in me that I needed the antibiotics to rid me of the Lyme bacteria that had invaded my heart and brain. After all, every time I had stopped taking the antibiotics, I would have recurrences of chest pain reminiscent of my initial bout of pericarditis in the Fall of 2009. By the end of July 2015, after over 3 years on oral antibiotics, the yeast was gaining strong footing in my body, and I had to temporarily stop the antibiotics so I could start a stronger anti-fungal medication that was incompatible with the other medications. I knew that I didn’t have a choice, but I was very nervous about stopping the antibiotics. I had become so conditioned to need medication to prevent chest pain.

I had begun meditating in July of 2015 as a coping mechanism during a difficult time in my life. I used it to deal with overwhelming sadness and anxiety. Every time my mind began to spiral into stressful thoughts, I’d set a timer on my phone for varying lengths of time depending on what I had going on, 2 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, and meditate. I’d clear my mind and focus on my breathing. What I noticed after doing this for a week or two was that I began to see the bigger picture of my life situation. I began to be very aware that my soul was working on bigger things than I could be aware of at that time. I gained an amazing sense of peace that all was right in the world and in my life, and that even as the stressful situation continued, it did not shake me out of that bigger sense of knowing. I was blanketed in a peace unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I sometimes forget about that week of peace. Essentially, it gave me the knowing that that level of peace was all I needed to be seeking in life. I became committed to not stopping until I attained it again. I began to live with a conviction to not put up with situations or people in my life that disrupted my inner peace.

As I was off the antibiotics for days, then a week, then 2 weeks, I kept thinking that I would restart them, but I kept NOT starting them. At that point, I was over taking handfuls of pills every day, multiple times a day. There were pills I had to take when I woke up, before breakfast. There were pills, I needed to take with breakfast. There were probiotics I had to take 2 hours after the pills with breakfast. There were pills I then had to take again at lunch, and yet again with dinner. There were pills I had to take before bed. From the beginning, I was taking medications to ward off the side effects of other medications. My medication regimen felt like a full-time job in and of itself. The yeast issues were the last straw. I was done. My body confirmed this and began making me gag every time I took a pill.

More importantly, my symptoms weren’t returning!! I didn’t have any chest pain! I was shocked, and happily surprised! So I then began to pose some questions to myself. What exactly made me “sick”? Was I sick because I had been diagnosed with Lyme Disease and a host of other tick-born infections, or was it based on how I felt? In that moment, I decided that from then on, it was going to be based on how I felt, and I felt great!

I continued my daily homeopathy remedy, but I stopped every other medication and supplement I had been taking. I realize that it was extreme to stop the supplements and my antidepressant, but after starting the pill routine almost 6 years earlier in the winter of 2009 following my emergent heart surgery (pericardial window), I began to gag at the mere thought of taking pills. My body was rejecting that lifestyle, and I finally started to listen to my body.

I started thinking of myself as healthy, and cured. It was a way of thinking that went against what my doctor and specialist were telling me, because they say that Lyme Disease can never be cured. But here I was feeling fine, after years of a dis-ease that had been severely constricting my ability to live my life with freedom to do the things I so loved to do like hike, working full-time 12+ hours as a Registered Nurse, and taking care of my son on my days off. It felt like a miracle. I had never thought that I’d ever be free from my symptoms, let alone my medications. As I changed my thoughts about my dis-ease, the shift in my health was AMAZING!!

By the summer of 2016, I was testing my body and getting back into hiking! I remember my first long, solo hike to Corbett Lake like it was yesterday. It was a 6.3 mile hike that began at 7,400 feet elevation and went mostly uphill to 9,070 feet. I’ve read online that the hike involves a total of 19 switchbacks up on the way in, and down on the way out. I was feeling great and had done smaller hikes leading up to this one, but when I hit that trail, I didn’t really know for sure that I’d be able to do it. It was such a gorgeous hike! Hiking solo meant that I could stop to catch my breath on the switchbacks without feeling bad about it. I stopped to eat when I felt hungry. I hiked my own way, in my own time and it felt so empowering! At one point, I got to a vista that overlooked the a lake below and the surrounding mountains. I stood there beaming, laughing, and then crying with joy at what my body was able to do, and at the beauty of nature all around me. I was back! My health was back! I was completely overwhelmed by the bliss of it all. I stood there with such gratitude for the experience, the strength of my body, and of my resilience. I wondered if others ever cry when they are out hiking and are met with such a beautiful view.

I continued my way up to the lake. I was amazed to have such a amazing spot all to myself. I think I hung out there for 3 or 4 hours that day. I had a dance party on a downed tree and later again on a giant boulder. I swam and snorkeled across the lake. I read a book. I meditated. I took a lakeside nap. I laid in the sun and in the shade. I listened to the wind blow across the water as it caused the clear, alpine lake water to lap at the shore. I marveled at the beauty that was that moment, in its entirety: the lake, my body, my returned/renewed/realized state of wellness.

The last paragraph of Deepak Chopra’s book, “Quantum Healing” could be written about me. “I have no fear for her now, even if she had to begin her battle again. Eleanor is beyond battles — she radiates the peacefulness that she writes about, and spending time with her makes me feel happy and secure, all the more because I understand how rare her peace is. From the despair of disease, she has discovered joy. At the moment when the memory of health returned, it brought her enough peace to last a lifetime.”

From the despair of dis-ease, I discovered my joy, and as my memory of health returned it gave me a power that has been with me ever since and will last my entire lifetime. Before I knew anything about Quantum healing and Ayurveda, I was utilizing some of the techniques without realizing it. I continue to use the power of my mind to change my life, and to help the clients I work with to use the same techniques to heal themselves and change their own lives. It is my passion, my joy, and my soul’s purpose to use my past experiences to empower and inspire others on their own journeys. The time has come for us all to realize the power of our own minds, and the potential that we all hold to live our best, most healthy lives!

If you are currently in a place where you find yourself challenged by dis-ease, then I highly encourage you to sign up for my email newsletter and gain access to a video I made that outlines 5 simple, yet POWERFUL techniques I’ve used on my own healing journey HERE.

Please follow me on FB and IG for more inspirational content and impromptu FB Live videos in which I share the perspective that I’ve gained on my own journey. I also have a Peaceful Jellyfish YouTube channel that can be found HERE.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it! As always, if my words resonate with you and you feel so inclined, reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com. I would love to connect with you! Sending you so much love!

Here’s a link to one of my favorite songs to dance to these days, Matisyahu “Thunder” HERE. Enjoy!

Are You Giving Your Power Away?

“Life is much too short to continue to wait for someone else’s permission to fully live.”

Often we don’t realize we’re doing it, waiting for permission that is, but many of us are. Who are you giving your power away to?

Your parents? The ones who think that you should follow the status quo, because even after their divorce and decision to not date, they still believe that ultimate happiness for everyone lies in the house, the fence, the marriage, and the kids? When are you going to realize that you don’t have to live up to your parents’ expectations of you in order to be a fully whole and worthy human being? If your parents shoot down every idea you present to them that lights you up, stop telling them your plans. Stop asking for their opinions. Your journey is yours alone, and sometimes even your parents won’t understand you. And that’s OK.

Your kids? Maybe you’re a parent and you have Mom guilt about taking a trip alone. I know I did before I left for Western Australia in June of ‘18. Even though my son had balked at the idea of such a long flight, I still felt bad that he wasn’t going with me. But, at one point, I realized that it wasn’t right to put the burden of not following my life-long dream on my son’s shoulders. I think we wrongly do that a lot. We categorize ourselves as parents and then feel bad for anything we do outside of that role without our kids. We’re essentially feeding into the notion that our joy and self-care stops being important once our kids are born. But, if I have learned anything at all, it’s that I am a much better Mom when I have been consciously keeping my own bucket full. Our kids will be much better off if they have parents who take good care of themselves body, mind, and spirit. Our kids learn by what they see us do, not from our words, so in taking care of ourselves, we’re showing them how to take care of themselves. It’s not selfish, it’s vitally important.

Your partner? Perhaps they don’t like to do the things you want to do, and so you’ve just given up and decided that it’s easier if you just don’t do them. If you’re living that way, it’s only a matter of time before you lose yourself completely. It’s depressing to live a life in which you’re not following your joy. If your partner loves you unconditionally, then they will understand that it’s important for you to do things regularly that bring you joy. Maybe that’s not it, but you’ve been miserable for a long time and you’ve tried counseling and nothing is working. Your partner hasn’t made any effort towards making the partnership better, but then tells you they don’t want it to end. Know that you do not need their permission to leave. Know that any outsider who judges you for your feelings about your relationship has no business doing so, because they’re not in it. They can’t understand your experience, and they can’t see the dreams you hold for your life. It’s OK to let go. You don’t need anyone else’s permission but your own. I had friends offer their two cents as I was deciding on what to do about my own marriage. All it did was add to my guilt for feeling the things I felt. I stopped talking about it with other people, and ultimately made the decision that was best for me and my family. Side note: if you’re reading books titled things like “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, it’s really time to leave. If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a no. That goes for any decision in life.

Even when advice comes with good intentions, no one outside of us should hold power over us when it comes to living our best lives. Our journey is unique to us, and we’ve got to stop trying to get others to understand it before we feel comfortable enough in making decisions. We have one life to live. Make it count.

Want to work with me one on one? Check out the Work With Me tab and see if the combination of Intuitive Reiki Healing and Joy Coaching resonates with you. Feel free to email me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com. I love to hear from people!

Please follow me on FB (/peacefuljellyfish) and IG (peaceful.jellyfish) for more written content and impromptu FB Live Videos. I also have a Peaceful Jellyfish YouTube Channel you can check out.

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Art for Sale!

Five of my drawings are now available as high-quality prints on 5 x 7 folded blank greeting cards with envelopes. The locally owned, family operated business I had print them did a great job. These cards really capture the details of my artwork! I always infuse my original artwork with healing Reiki energy that people have said they could feel. I also infuse these cards with healing Reiki.

They’re printed with the picture on the front and my website: http://www.peacefuljellyfish.com on the back. You can message me or email me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com if you’re interested in purchasing them. They’re $5 each.

Original 8 x 10 canvases and canvas panels (excluding the desert tortoise I drew for my son) are also available for purchase.

If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it! Follow me on FB (peacefuljellyfish) and Instagram (peaceful.jellyfish) for more content and Live Videos. Much love!

The Pain Before the Transformation

I am living proof that great pain can lead to massive transformation.

I spent much of my life as a peacekeeper and people-pleaser. I put the peace of a space and others’ well-being above my own. I became a sort of chameleon, changing in small ways to try and reduce tension in my house growing up, and later as a way to keep other people comfortable. I had an innate sense that if everyone around me was OK, that I would then be OK too. But I wasn’t OK. With each concession I made to create less waves, I moved farther and farther away from my true self. I didn’t notice it at first and couldn’t have predicted the level of depression and dis-ease that changing myself for others would cause someday.

When I found myself in a loveless marriage where I was lonelier than I have ever felt in times where I have actually been alone, I ignored what my heart was telling me. I had been so adamant about creating a family for my son, to be a happy, intact family that I hadn’t experienced, that to follow my heart meant to leave that dream behind for all of us. So, I ignored that knowing sense that I felt. I buried myself in raising my son. But it could not last forever. Eventually, my heart grew weak and nearly stopped working and I found myself at rock bottom. In one fell swoop, my health was taken from me, and I nearly died of heart failure. An emergent heart surgery later and I slowly began to find my way back to myself.

The recovery felt fast at first, until it became apparent that my heart condition was going to be a recurring theme in my life. Doctors had trouble figuring it out, and so they did what they could to ward it off with a steroid bandaid in the form of prednisone pills.

There are lots of parts to this story, but the take away is much more important at this point, for me and for you.

1. Stop putting yourself second to the wishes of others. Humans are fickle beings, and won’t stay happy for long before you’re feeling the need to do more to feed their happiness. You don’t have the ability to make anyone else happy if they themselves haven’t found a way to cultivate happiness in their own life. We can add to another’s happiness, but we are not responsible for creating it.

2. Stop changing yourself to fit in with the people around you. In the end, you’ll feel like a shell of yourself, plus you’ll soon realize that they’re not your people anyway. Who wants to hang out with people who don’t love you for being 100% yourself? The chameleon game is an exhausting one. You’ll find yourself eventually losing yourself and wondering how it happened. It happens in small, incremental changes you make in yourself to make others comfortable. You likely won’t realize it’s happening until you’ve forgotten even the basics of what you like to do for fun, and who you are at your core.

3. Stop doing things that stress you out, like really stress you out. If you’re in a relationship that adds more stress to your life than happiness, don’t feel bad about putting yourself first and leaving. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone by staying. Life is much too short to spend it with people who don’t light you up. Same goes with anything else in life.

4. Stop doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. It’s not only the definition of insanity, but it won’t get you into a different life that you’ve been imagining for yourself. If you want something different than what you currently have, you’ve got to be willing to move out of your comfort zone and do new things.

5. Start putting yourself first. Do things that make you happy, that bring you joy. What have you been putting off that you really want to do? What steps can you take towards doing it now? Start saying no to things you don’t want to do.

We can use our experiences to guide us in life or we can use them to feel like victims. The choice is ours. If you’re stressed, or sick, or not living your best life, it’s time to look at the areas of your life that are no longer working for you. The days of being a people-pleaser, peacekeeper, and martyr are over. The time has come for us all to realize our limitless potential to create a life of our dreams. Life is much too short to continue to wait for someone else’s permission to fully live! Give yourself the permission you need to go after your dreams like this is the only shot you’ve got!

I am passionate about using a mix of intuitive Reiki Healing and Joy Coaching to encourage others to follow their joy and passion towards living a life in alignment with their soul’s purpose (ie. living their best lives). Guiding others in this way and offering the confirmation that they need to follow their dreams lights me up like nothing else! Please follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram for more written content and impromptu FB Live videos. If my words resonate with you, please feel free to reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com to tell me about it! I love connecting with people!! Maybe you have a topic you’d love me to write about?

Photo excerpt from “Life Visioning” by Michael Bernard Beckwith

Thank you for reading along! If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it with others. Much love!

I Can See Your Soul

Do you see souls too? I have a way of falling in love with people’s souls and their potential in this life. Sometimes this means that I ignore their human-ness that isn’t always lined up with their soul. Personally, while I’ve begun to pay more attention to the full package of a person, I’ve decided that I love seeing the radiance of a person’s soul. I would not trade this ability for anything in the world. I have grown so much and can handle it when a person lets me down, so I love them anyway. Because loving people never hurts us. It only hurts when we aren’t giving ourselves love first. Or lose ourselves in the relationship and our expectations of it. It doesn’t hurt to love. We can love to love without needing anything beyond it.

The chance that exactly you would be born is about 1 in 400 trillion or more (thank you google😂)!! If you weren’t meant to be here exactly now as exactly you, you wouldn’t have made the cut in the first place. You are here because you have something to offer this world that NO ONE else can offer! We need YOU and we need you to show up as 100% your authentic and vulnerable self so that we can reap the full benefit of your existence on this planet. YOU CANNOT BE REPLACED. So, if you’re reading this and you’re struggling and you don’t know if you can face another day alone, then please reach out to one of the 7 billion of us who love you and let us be there for you as you navigate this difficult time. There’s a reason why so many of us exist, we are meant to help each other along on our journeys. Many of us have known dark times, I know I have, so we understand how bleak life can look at times. Keep going, and allow us to carry you when you need us to. You are never a burden to your tribe. We need you to be here. We need you to stay here. We see your beautiful soul and it is absolutely RADIANT! We love you!

Thank you for reading along! If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it. Much love!❤️

Always Giving, Never Receiving

Have you ever read something and had it just strike you as so much truth that you felt a little slapped in the face by it? That’s exactly what happened to me when I read this quote from Phil Good on my IG feed recently. I have seen this play out in my own life.  In the past, when I was not giving myself what I needed, I got mad at the people in my life who weren’t giving me those things.  When I lacked self-love, I was angry when others did not show me love in the way I felt I needed it. I lashed out and fell into victim mode. And being a victim in life is no way to live. It’s sucks the joy out of our days and it keeps us feeling separate from everyone around us. When we act like victims of circumstance rather than active creators of our realities, we give away all of our power to things, people, and situations outside of ourselves. After all, it was ME I needed the love from, not anyone else. When I felt like I needed love from others, my love was more conditional. It was subconsciously dependent on what the other person was adding to my life. If they weren’t giving me what I felt I needed from them, I got upset, felt unloved, unloveable, and allowed it to create a rift between us. This pattern showed up for parents, partners, and friends alike. When I felt like I needed love from others, I was a people-pleaser who never wanted to create waves. I tiptoed around trying to make everyone else happy, because I had the unconscious belief that in order for me to be OK, I needed everyone else around to be OK first. Can you relate?

I lacked love for myself, so for the sake and comfort of my ego, I felt like I needed it from others in order to fill the inner void, and feel whole and worthy. This meant that for most of my life, I went from long-term relationship to long-term relationship without breaks in between. In order to feel like ‘enough’, I couldn’t possibly leave any breathing room in which no one would be telling me or showing me that I was lovable. I didn’t believe I was lovable, so time on my own would have been too painful and empty to bear. At times, this caused me to start a new relationship before fully ending the old one. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it acted to soften the blow in the moment. In reality, never being single was just a way of placing a temporary bandaid over a much larger, underlying wound.

When I used to give to everyone but myself, my love cup was always half empty and I watched as one-sided relationships showed up in my existence time after time.  It upset me, and I’d end the relationship first. Of course, I wasn’t always aware of this dynamic in a conscious way. It took being intimate with a best friend I had had for many years to make this clear to me. How could it be that yet again, I wasn’t feeling love reciprocated? How could it be that it now felt one-sided like all the others before it? If this was happening with the one person who knew me better than anyone, and from whom I had felt loved unconditionally just as I was, then maybe it was an issue with me, not him. I now see that the one-sided relationships came from only giving love to others, but not to myself. You may not know me well, and you may not know this person I was with or the special bond that we shared, but try to believe me when I say that if THAT relationship wasn’t ultimately filling the void I felt inside, I knew that nothing or no one else could (and you and I are the same, so this is your truth too). In fact, that was the Universe’s way of teaching me the lesson that I am the only one who needs to love me, and I am the only one able to fill my own inner void. The lesson was there before in my past relationships, but I was stubborn in my ego and had always thought it was a problem with the other person, not me. Don’t our egos just love to blame our problems on other people? I was blind to it until I was with my best friend of 15+ years, and had the pattern thrust into my face. Because if I was able to get to a point of feeling unloved, neglected, and abandoned in THAT relationship, then I had to face up to it being a problem with me and how I was showing up in my relationships with other people, and ultimately in my relationship with myself. After all, the only constant in all of my relationships was me.

What I now realize is that in those times, what I was giving to others was not love at all, but instead an expectation for love in return. I’ve come to believe that when we offer conditional love, it is not actually love at all. Only unconditional love, without expectations or requirements that the other person do anything specific or measure up to any standard we have set, is true love. True love is loving a person for exactly who they are, immense human and soul beauty, baggage and all, without needing them to love us back. We see them and accept them as they are and decide from that place to love them. We do not need them to tell us that they love us back. (And we’re not hurt when they don’t). We do not need them to buy us things. We do not need them to show up in our lives in any specific way. We offer them love for the sake of love. We offer them space in our lives simply because we enjoy their presence.

As I have learned to fill my own bucket with self-love, and the things that light me up, I expect/need very little from others.  That’s not to say that I don’t deserve love from other people, but I now recognize that the issue of not feeling loved is always with me and not the other person. When we fully accept ourselves just as we are, we can start to love ourselves, baggage and all. As we do this, our love bucket spills over and we are able to share the excess with other people and the world. It is only from this place of excess love that we can offer true love to others. This is why it’s so important to throw out the word ‘selfish’ and to realize that self-care is NOT selfish, but rather it is necessary if we want to be the love for ourselves and others that we came here to be. Always do the things that please you and light you up FIRST, because we’re working out of order, and can not be there for anyone else if we’re applying everyone else’s oxygen masks before our own.

We’ve got a society of people who have been led to believe that it is the things and people outside of ourselves that will fill our internal void and need for love. It’s by design and keeps us living small as good consumers. This society thrives on blind followers and consumerism. You will only find true love and true happiness when you realize that it is an inner job that can only be completed by you. No person, place, or thing will ever fill that inner void. So, start deciding to do what you love, to put yourself first, and to love and accept yourself fully as you are today, perfectly imperfect. You and I are beautifully human and innately enough. But me telling you so will do nothing until you believe it for yourself.

It took a lot of inner work and therapy to uncover these truths. I didn’t magically wake up one day realizing the things that were holding me back and then changing them. It has taken a very conscious effort on my part to heal and clear the blocks that have held me back in life, and some that continue to hold me back. The rewards for clearing these blocks are more authenticity and vulnerability in our lives, which I find directly correlates to more inner peace and happiness. In this busy world, do not forget to follow your joy. Your joy will always lead you back to your true self and place you in alignment with your higher self. It is from that alignment that you can experience the limitless nature of this life. Do not allow the inner work to be one more thing to be afraid of in this world, but instead allow it to be the key to your ultimate freedom.

It is my passion and purpose in this life to help others on their own healing journeys. I enjoy using a combination of my strong intuition, Reiki healing, and Joy Coaching as part of my process. If this speaks to you, do not hesitate to reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com. I always love hearing from my readers!

Thank you so much for reading along. If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it. Please feel free to leave a comment below if my words resonate with you. Much love!