Come back to center, that place in you that is still, calm, quiet, and connected. Your center is a place you can trust. It connects the body, mind, heart, and soul. It connects your truth and your inner voice. Your insights, awarenesses, and guidance come from being there, at that place. Your center is a place that is quietly confident, unassuming, spontaneous, and free. It is accepting, nonjudgmental, and channels the voice of your heart. It knows perfect timing. If you must leave your center to learn a lesson, feel a feeling, or experience something new, do that. Take all the side trips you are called to, but come back to center when you’re done.
Embark on a twelve week guided healing journey though your dreams with dream expert and radio personality extraordinaire Douglas Grunther via the Wise Woman University – Susun Weed highly recommends this personally approved course for you!
This twelve week course (only 6.25 per week) includes:
- Written materials including lessons and assignments
- Personal mentorship with your dream guide Douglas Grunther
- Four full length interactive teleseminars, attend live or listen to recorded events later
- Private group space for interaction with other on the same healing journey
- Twelve weeks to explore your dreams in a safe and guided space
Doug is a rare and special person, have known him well for many decades, and he has so much wisdom to share, and he shares it so freely…anyone interested in healing with dreams and dreamwork will find this course of great value..Doug cured himself of depression and you can too.
12 week course starts April 7 – includes four one-hour interactive teleseminars (all are recorded – attend in person or listen later)
- Teleseminar April 7 – 7pm-8pm EST
- Teleseminar April 28 – 7pm-8pm EST
- Teleseminar May 19 – 7pm-8pm EST
- Teleseminar June 16 – 7pm-8pm EST
Healing Yourself with Dreams – Course goals:
1. Discover the fascinating history of the healing power of dreams.
2. Master techniques for remembering your dreams.
3. Start a healing dream journal.
4. Use your dreams to solve specific issues in your life
5. Explore your dreams to improve overall health and wellbeing.
6. With guidance, use dream work elements “projection”, “shadow”, and “active imagination”
7. Learn about Jungian, Gestalt and Meditative dream work strategies.
8. Resolve nightmares by “alchemizing” their dark content through awareness and insight.
9. Understand the advantages of sharing dreams and work with dreams both one-on-one and in a group format to facilitate your personal healing journey.
Learn how your dreams can provide valuable insights into your physical, emotional and spiritual life. Every night we dream between 4-6 times. Join us for 12 weeks as we delve into the inner psyche in a guided tour of our dream world….
During this course you will learn how to remember more dreams by creating a dream journal and practicing “incubation” techniques. We will explore the fascinating symbols provided by our dreams and learn how to extract the deeper meanings behind them so you can apply them to major life issues. And after a discussion about the advantages of sharing dreams with others, you will learn some of the most effective ways to work dreams one-on-one and in groups.
Doing dream work is like entering a portal of fascinating and transformative energy. Dreams come to reveal important truths which can help us make significant life changes. They provide a more complete picture of who we truly are. Dreams offer us practical advice and can also serve as a profound spiritual activity, a means to psychological self-awareness and creative inspiration. Join me for twelve weeks of healing, fun, fascination, and support.
You can lean more about these classes, and register for them, visit here.
Because people often tell me they have trouble connecting a negative emotion with the persistent belief that initiated it, I’m making this the second part of my series. (The first part explained why negative emotions can help us.) In the first article, I quoted from the Seth Material, specifically from The Nature of Personal Reality. Seth says about emotions and beliefs the following:
“The free flow of your emotions will always lead you back to your conscious beliefs if you do not impede them.”
Put bluntly, this statement is saying get out of your own way. Often we’re afraid of what we’ll discover when we explore the contents of our thoughts. I’ve found it really helps to be curious, instead, and to do my best to be interested in what I discover.
“It’s Not My Fault, So It Must Be Your Fault.”
While I was writing this article, a situation arose where I realized I was in conflict with some friends about a proposed action. Nothing was inherently wrong about the action, but for me to have engaged in it would have contradicted values I was embracing about the value of my time, experience, and knowledge.
In theory, it might have been easy to simply state my position and discuss it, because these values came from the core of my inner being. However, I discovered I was experiencing negativity that prevented me from being able to do this.
In order to unearth this negativity, I wrote in my daily journal about how I was feeling. In the course of writing I discovered that I was blaming my friends for making me violate my principles. This was absolutely untrue. No one was making me do anything. I found it easier to blame others than to take responsibility for not having immediately realized that the action would have been for me a violation.
Once I realized that, I did some Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) work on it, and I could release blame all around and further resolve to be more aware of the inner voice that was telling me I didn’t want to do that. I also incorporated messages that I didn’t have to be perfect and that not immediately discovering my blockages didn’t make me a failure.
Finding Your Inner Compass
With the explorer’s attitude, we can think of negative emotions as a map. They developed from a specific event or series of related events, and if followed, they will take you back to the time(s) when you made a decision about how to react emotionally and mentally to a certain stimulus.
If you had a parent who told you were stupid, you may act stupid for the rest of your life. Any attempt to claim your native intelligence will seem dangerous because it doesn’t fit with the idea you were given for yourself. Any number of emotions could lead you to this discovery: buried anger that’s allowed to breathe, sadness and tears, resentment, and so on.
Another child might react to the “stupid” label with determination to disprove it. For this person, as an adult, any break from the relentless pursuit to prove one’s intelligence might be dangerous. To relax one’s guard for a moment might prove one’s parents right.
To engage in this kind or exploration requires learning to trust one’s emotions as friends and guides. It may be a wise idea to start small. Take a small irritation you have with yourself or someone else. Allow yourself to feel it fully. Ask yourself in your childhood irritated you. Ask yourself what you decided about people like that.
The Explorer’s Tools
Keeping A Journal
I mentioned that my discoveries came through writing in my journal. I do this at least once a day. I write about whatever is bothering me at the moment, without judgment, punctuation, or spell-check.
This method may not always yield immediate results, but as you persist at opening and deepening your connection to your unexamined thoughts and emotions, you will discover a rich source of enlightenment.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
EFT is an energy practice that involves tapping on meridian points while speaking negative and positive statements. I’ve made some of my biggest discoveries in the course of doing EFT. This method continues to amaze me.
I discovered this method by accident. I was looking through a number of photographs from my childhood, and I discovered emotional stirrings. I looked more carefully and imagined myself back in the scenes that had the most emotional impact.
So many of our persistent negative beliefs were formed in childhood, and an examination of photographs from that time can help you to directly connect with your personal history.
Who Do You Dislike and Why?
This is a very valuable although often humiliating exercise. I have a habit of disliking people who need a lot of attention and often a lot of help. I was raised to be self-reliant. In principle this is a good thing, but it was a value externally imposed, not one I learned myself. The belief I didn’t realize I had about this value was that it was an excuse not to give me attention. The unresolved question from this belief was whether I didn’t get attention because I didn’t deserve it. Untangling this one gave me infinitely more freedom.
The habits of those you dislike may be ones you actively practice or they may be the ones you’d like to practice.
These explorations will develop your emotional muscle. Then you can increase the depth of your search.
Crystals and Essences
You can unravel a persistent emotion by choosing a related crystal or essence. I find essences especially helpful for this. If for example, you find that you’re frequently angry, choose Holly. Feelings of discouragement for a known cause (can’t meet the right person, find the right job, etc.) call for Gentian.
If you are really unsure, two Bach Flower Remedies called polycrests can help. Holly is one, generally recommended for people who are outgoing and expressive. Wild Oat, also an essence for those who have trouble when faced with an array of choices, is recommended for more introverted people.
A third helpful essence can be Star of Bethlehem. This is generally recommended for trauma. After a long study of trauma, I have concluded that the experts are right: most people have experienced unresolved trauma. Thus, taking Star of Bethlehem can open the door to discovery.
In terms of crystals, a very helpful approach is to ask yourself where you feel the emotion. Is your throat tight? Look at the blue and blue-green stones. Is it a solar plexus pain? Look at yellow, yellow-green, and coral-colored stones.
There is a very surprising reason why we tend to suffer over our mistakes as we do. The real source of our pain in these moments — whether we’re alone or with others — is the fear of being seen as less than we’ve imagined ourselves to be. We all know how it feels to try and save face, to scramble for scraps of lost dignity. But fearfully trying to cover up a misstep is not the same as knowing where we’re going.
In fact, whenever we feel compelled to cover our tracks, something is in command of us, isn’t it? But here’s the real question: What part of us wants us to believe that a good “cover-up” is the same as being right? The answer is surprising: It’s our “un-original” self… a level of being that only knows itself through a slew of acquired social images, including the false belief that they must be protected at all costs.
Though we have yet to see it, beating ourselves up after making a blunder doesn’t mean that we actually knew better than what we just did — nor does this kind of suffering lead to greater command or better decisions the next time around. Self-punishing acts prove only one thing: Something in us would rather suffer over what happened in the past than be present to those parts of us that erred in the first place.
Real self-command dawns within us as we realize that reliving the past is powerless to change a present misunderstanding; it comes from the light of our new knowledge that having the courage to drop the level of Self that keeps wronging us and others is far more important than being seen as right. This same realization also grants us the courage to start life over — again and again.
– Guy Finley
Listen to Guy This Week on New Dimensions with Michael Toms
Join best-selling author Guy Finley and New Dimensions host Michael Toms this week as they discuss Meeting Every Moment Without Fear or Worry.
The weekly New Dimensions radio show with Michael Toms is the premier spiritual radio show in the world, broadcast on over 600 radio stations throughout the U.S. and around the globe. Don’t miss this enlightening discussion that begins airing tomorrow, September 8.
Listen free for the next two weeks at newdimensions.org
You have probably heard Ireland referred to as the Emerald Isle. However, it is also described as having the forty shades of green. This is more accurate. The shade of green I noticed on my first trip was more like the cheerful chartreuse hue of peridot. Not until I went to the northwest part of the country (where it rains more) did I experience the energy of the emerald ray.
The breathtaking sight vibrated the kind of healing that goes deep into the spirit. I remembered why emerald is one of my favorite crystals and why more kinds of physical healing have been ascribed to the emerald than to almost any other stone.
The Emerald Prescription
During the third century A.D. emerald was believed to lessen eyestrain, and many gem engravers kept it on their worktable. Various cultures attributed to it the ability to heal a range of digestive troubles.
Emerald was also widely believed to offer its wearer supernatural protection. Hindu physicians claimed that it destroyed demoniacal influences; while others believed that it protected one from the attacks of venomous creatures and evil spirits.
I make no such claims, but emerald does seem to have the gift of banishing emotional venom and the unfriendly spirits that dwell within us.
To understand the gifts of emerald, it’s important to write about some common misunderstandings about love.
Many people who talk about its lack in their lives (“I don’t have a lover;” “My children don’t love me;” “No one likes me”) are speaking about what they aren’t receiving.
Sometimes they talk about love as a transaction (“I give. Why don’t I get?”). If you think about that, it has a stop-and-start quality. I give, pause, I get-or I don’t get.
To speak of love as a one-way or a two-way street indicates an interruption or blockage of energy. Energy’s natural pattern is to flow, not to stop for red lights or wait for a transaction to be recorded. Love is energy, and though it is romantically connected to the heart, it is spiritually connected to the soul. So is the energy of emerald.
The heart, however, is the area where love’s energy often gets blocked. Traditionally in chakra balancing, the pink stones (most commonly kunzite, rose quartz, rhodonite, and pink tourmaline) are placed on this area for issues like lack of love during childhood years, sexual or emotional abuse, the reluctance to love because of previous betrayals, sacrificing one’s best interests in favor of those loved, and other conditions that have caused blockage or imbalance in this area.
It is certainly vital to clear these issues, and it may take much patience and willingness for pain to temporarily arise in order that the clearing occurs. I believe, though, that to address difficulties on the heart level alone, however, creates a closed circle. The issues focus on “Me/You,” whether the “You” represents the people who failed to give love in earlier years (or now) or the people from whom one wants love in the present.
This circle opens when we reach for a greater source of love. One way of saying this would be that the relationship we seek is one of “Me/Thou.” In this case, “Thou” represents one’s greater self, a self connected to an infinite source of love.
This is the energy of emerald. When we are addressing the hurts of the past, we can feel smaller than our pain. Working with emerald reminds us that we are much more than that suffering. Emerald doesn’t specifically relate to interpersonal love relationships. By helping to open our connection to Spirit, it infuses us with nonphysical energy so that our ability to love and forgive becomes much more powerful than our experience of injury and loss. Because the spiritual source of love is unlimited, we are constantly replenished when we make that connection.
You can practice this meditation in one of two ways. The first involves an emerald and a quartz crystal of any size. (Note: it is not at all necessary to have a gem-quality emerald. Tumbled emeralds are available at very reasonable prices.)
Hold the emerald in one hand and the quartz in the other. You can be either sitting up or lying down for this meditation.
The second meditation uses more stones, and you will want to be lying down.
All of the crystals listed below are relevant to the chakra indicated. I am listing my favorites, but these are only recommendations.
At the base of the feet (first chakra): smoky quartz or hematite
Pelvic area (second chakra): red jasper or carnelian
Navel area (third chakra): tiger’s eye
Solar plexus (diaphragm): rhodochrosite. This stone assists in deep breathing.
Heart (fourth chakra): rose quartz
Throat (fifth chakra): aquamarine
Third eye (sixth chakra): charoite
Crown of head (seventh chakra): clear quartz
Statements About Love
You may want to prepare for this meditation by writing a series of statements. Here are some examples:
Even though when I was little, I didn’t get enough love from my mother, I recognize that she, too, didn’t experience much love in her life.
Even though I wanted more love, I choose not to let a lack from the past prevent me from giving myself love now.
Even though I’ve looked to others to give me love, I realize that I can choose to be the source of love.
I recommend keeping each meditation to a few statements and one relationship. As you repeat the statements to yourself, be sure to breathe fully and deeply. Be aware of the emotions that pass through you. Allow them their full expression.
Allow a pause between each statement. Listen to the thoughts that go through your mind. If particular memories arise, make note of them.
After each meditation, you may want to record your emotions and memories. I strongly recommend keeping a journal as you go through this process. Just write down whatever occurs to you without judgment or censorship. After a week, two weeks, or whatever works for you, you may want to reread these entries.
Also keep track of any insights and changes you notice in your relationships with others.
You may have heard this: Love Conquers All. I believe it’s more true to say that love dissolves anything that isn’t love. This is the energy of emerald.
more info on healing crystals and gemstones: Beyond the Rainbow
There’s a saying among medical professionals that everybody owes it to their colleagues to take on a borderline or two. “Borderline” refers to people with borderline personality disorder (BPD), who are some of the most challenging patients there are—so challenging the reasoning goes, that it’s only right that all practitioners assume their fair share of these difficult people.
Borderline patients are hypochondriacs. They believe, almost without ceasing, that something is dramatically wrong with them. And they demand immediate relief of their enormous suffering, in the form of medication, testing, referrals, or hospitalization. Substance abuse—alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal substances—may further complicate the picture.
Borderlines are relentless at getting what they want. So long as you’re meeting enough of their needs, you’re a hero. But make a misstep, which is just about inevitable amidst the drama of their lives, and you’re a bum. This is called splitting. People who suffer with BPD tend to view others without shades of gray, as either wholly good or wholly bad.
I have started out, to every one of my borderline patients, as a savior, as the doctor who finally really understands them and their problems. Sooner or later, all but a few have thrown me over because, in their eyes, I’ve failed them and because they have found a new doctor who really, really does understand them.
The stakes are high. Borderlines are subject to all sorts of self-harming behavior, including substance abuse, self-mutilation and suicide. So anything done to lessen their suffering can make a huge difference in their lives and in the lives of the people who exist within borderlines’ chaotic orbit.
There are numerous theories about the genesis of BPD, none of which captures more than a fraction of the truth about this unhappy way of existence. Some explanations say that BPD is merely an extreme of the normal variation of personality. Others blame genetics, abusive parenting, or toxic exposure early in life.
I’d like to discuss one theory of BPD that has special appeal to me because it treads the line between science and spirit. The ideas come from an article entitled, “The Role of Mindfulness in Borderline Personality Disorder,” published in the October 2009 issue of The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
The authors hypothesize that the extreme measures that borderlines take to avoid being aware of uncomfortable emotions, sensations, and situations precludes them from becoming habituated to these experiences. “Habituation” refers to the lessening of sensitivity that occurs with repeated exposure to a stimulus, such as the sound of the train rumbling by to the people who reside next to the tracks or the livestock smell to the feedlot’s neighbors. By not allowing themselves to actually experience noxious stimuli, whether internal or external, borderlines don’t ever get to down-regulate their raw nerves. They find themselves in a vicious cycle of escalating distress and attempts to avoid it. Borderlines set the curve for dukkha, Sanskrit for suffering, the theme of Buddha’s First Noble Truth.
For this study, the researchers enrolled 70 borderline inpatients at a Dallas psychiatric unit, each having suffered extreme psychological trauma in the past and severe impairment, such as major self-destructive behavior, in the present. Participants were administered a number of psychological tests, including the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), a 15-item test which subjects rate, on a scale of 1 to 6. The MAAS assesses awareness of emotions, thoughts, actions and situations. (A sample question, to be rated 1 to 6, is, “I find it difficult to stay focused on what’s happening in the present.”)
The study’s authors did find a strong negative correlation between mindfulness and manifestations of BPD. That is, as mindfulness went up, this particular form of suffering went down, and vice versa.
Neither the researchers nor I would contend that lack of mindfulness is the sole explanation for the dukkha of the borderline condition. Still, mindfulness, a prescription for managing all forms of suffering, might provide a handhold on the slippery slope of personality disorder. Dialectical behavior therapy, a form of psychotherapy used for some BPD patients, does include a component of mindfulness training.
Over the years, a few borderlines have stayed in my practice for a long time. The secret of our success has been to see each other frequently, sick or not. That way the patient doesn’t have to be in severe distress to gain my attention. At visits where suffering is less, there may be enough attention and emotional energy left over to build, gradually, a relationship that depends on something other than the patient’s pains and the doctor’s nostrums.
Occasionally we can develop enough mutual trust to move on, slowly, to a healthier outlook and life. The relationship itself is therapeutic.
Developing a relationship with a borderline is no easy task. This cluster of personality traits has no correlation with intelligence, which means that a borderline patient may not only be needy, demanding and manipulative, but plenty smart too. Borderlines provide me with some of the greatest tests of my professional skill and personal compassion.
Because I have a special interest in psychiatry and because there is a huge need for compassionate care of these unfortunate individuals, I have significantly more than my “fair share” of borderlines in my family practice. How do I manage it? With mindfulness, of course. Regular meditation practice is my most important tool for managing difficult patients. By quieting my “monkey mind” (or by allowing it to dwell with at least a shred of ease in what causes me distress) I gain space between perception and reaction when dealing with people who have black belts in the art of pushing emotional buttons.
By no means am I ready to state that borderline personality disorder is the opposite of mindfulness, nor that meditation is the cure. Nevertheless, no matter what your relationship to BPD—patient, family, friend, helping professional—I strongly recommend that you try meditating.
Inspirational stories of empowerment and overcoming adversity. Our audience includes veterans, their families, and all people who are interested in healing and finding balance during stressful times.
Resiliency Radio is a program of the Raven Drum Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2001 by Rick Allen, drummer for Def Leppard, and Lauren Monroe, MA, CMT. Raven Drum’s mission is to serve, educate and empower veterans and people in crisis. The Veteran Resiliency Project is the foundation’s primary program and focuses on veterans and their families. This program guides participants and provides somatic and integrative tools that bring body and mind to a place of rest and balance. The foundation engages music as a tool for healing allowing participants to use rhythm as a form of release, an avenue for empowerment and a means to connect to others. This exciting new radio show taps into the very heart of Raven Drum allowing the message of resiliency to reach far and wide.
Rick Allen, Co Founder The Raven Drum Foundation Rick became the drummer for Def Leppard at 15. At the height of worldwide fame in 1984, he had a car accident that changed his life. Rick lost an arm, but turned personal tragedy into spiritual transformation and continued his musical career over the past 10 years Rick has reached out to Teenage Cancer Patients, Children with Special Needs, At Risk Youth in crisis, Families of Domestic Violence and Veterans who have served in Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan continues his work with others through RDF’s Veteran’s Resiliency Project.
Lauren Monroe M.A. C.M.T., Co Founder, The Raven Drum Foundation
Lauren has been a practitioner / teacher of energy healing and massage therapy since 1992. Her background includes specialized work with incarcerated teens, hospice care, and crisis healing. Also a singer songwriter, Her work is an integrative approach to wellness that combines music, massage therapy &energy medicine techniques. She is the creator of RDF’s Veteran’s Resiliency Project and the Resiliency Radio Show.
This year, we will make suicide prevention a national priority. In 2010, the Out of the Darkness Overnight national walk comes to Boston. The Overnight is fund raising walk unlike any other. Starting at dusk and ending at dawn, we’ll walk up to 18 miles, a moving community of thousands of diverse individuals connected by a common goal. Please join our community.
We need your help. By joining the Overnight, you’ll send a loud, clear message, heard from your house to the White House, that it’s time to end the stigma surrounding suicide and shed light on the tragic consequences of depression, substance abuse, anxiety and other mood disorders that, left untreated, can lead to suicide.
The funds you raise will further the mission of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and to reaching out to people with mood disorders and those impacted by suicide.
June 26-27 2010
I look forward to walking with you!
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Suicides THIS year alone
Marie Osmand’s Son, Michael Bryan
Joe Stack (Tax Protester Crashes Plane Into IRS Office)
Hard Rock Cafe CEO
The body’s innate relaxation response is an incredibly effective remedy for stress and anxiety. Relaxation methods such as deep breathing, guided meditation, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and various forms of yoga can aid individuals in activating this powerful response.
When performed on a regular basis, these various activities can eventually cause a decrease in daily stress or anxiety levels and contribute to a heightened level of happiness and peace. In addition, they instruct individuals in techniques to utilize to stay calm and level-headed when faced with a stressful or unexpected situation.
The Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, part of the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, has begun employing Healing Rhythms as an aid to a variety of behavioral disorders. Patients recovering from eating disorders may, early on, experience panic attacks and physical discomfort while learning how to eat healthy. This software is used in 50-minute sessions, twice a week, to help patients cope with a wide range of symptoms.
Healing Rhythms, developed by a San Diego company called Wild Divine, is designed to help patients learn to relax and control their heart rate, pulse and skin response through their breathing.
One program shows balloons peacefully rising and falling on the screen. As the participant does deep and focused breathing, the balloons will slowly float in a steady and straight course across the screen. In a different program, balls are juggled in the air. The more relaxed the person becomes through their breathing, the slower the balls move. If the person increases his or her stress levels, the balls are juggled faster and higher.
“The aim is to offer these patients another way to gain control of their psychological and physiologic responses, and, ultimately, their lives,” said Stacey Saleff, an occupational therapist at Belmont.
To be emotionally free you can’t remain naïve about relationships. Some people are positive and mood elevating. Others can suck optimism and serenity right out of you. Vampires do more than drain your physical energy. The super-malignant ones can make you believe you’re an unworthy, unlovable wretch who doesn’t deserve better. The subtler species inflict damage by making smaller digs which can make you feel bad about yourself—for instance, “Dear, I see you’ve put on a few pounds” or “You’re overly sensitive!” Suddenly they’ve thrown you emotionally off-center you by prodding areas of shaky self-worth. To protect your sensitivity, it’s important to name and combat these vampires. The concept struck such a collective chord in my book Positive Energy that in Emotional Freedom I illustrate how it applies to protecting your emotions and not absorbing other people’s negativity. In the book I discuss these vampires to watch for and ways to deal with them.
SIGNS THAT YOU’VE ENCOUNTERD AN EMOTIONAL VAMPIRE
(from “Emotional Freedom” by Judith Orloff MD)
• Your eyelids are heavy—you’re ready for a nap
• Your mood takes a nosedive
• You want to binge on carbs or comfort foods
• You feel anxious, depressed, or negative
• You feel put down, sniped at, or slimed
TYPES OF EMOTIONAL VAMPIRES
Vampire #1: The Narcissist
Their motto is “Me first.” Everything is all about them. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement, hog attention, and crave admiration. They’re dangerous because they lack empathy and have a limited capacity for unconditional love. If you don’t do things their way, they become punishing, withholding, or cold.
How to Protect Your Emotions: Keep your expectations realistic. These are emotionally limited people. Try not to fall in love with one or expect them to be selfless or love without strings attached. Never make your self-worth dependent on them or confide your deepest feelings to someone who won’t cherish them. To successfully communicate, the hard truth is that you must show how something will be to their benefit. Though it’s better not to have to contend with this tedious ego stroking, if the relationship is unavoidable use the above strategies to achieved desired results.
Vampire #2: The Victim
These vampires grate on you with their “poor-me’ attitude and are allergic to taking responsibility for their actions. The world is always against them, the reason for their unhappiness. When you offer a solution to their problems they always say, “Yes, but.” You might end up screening your calls or purposely avoid them. As a friend, you may want to help but their tales of woe overwhelm you.
How to Protect Your Emotions: Set kind but firm limits. Listen briefly and tell a friend or relative, “I love you but I can only listen for a few minutes unless you want to discuss solutions. Then I’d be thrilled to brainstorm with you.” With a coworker, listen briefly, sympathize by saying, “I’ll keep good thought for things to work out. Then say, I hope you understand, but I’m on deadline and must go back to work. Then use “this isn’t a good time” body language such as crossing your arms and breaking eye contact to help set these healthy limits.
Vampire #3: The Controller
These people obsessively try to control you and dictate what you’re supposed to be and feel. They have an opinion about everything. They’ll control you by invalidating your emotions if they don’t fit into their rulebook. They often start sentences with “You know what you need?” and then proceed to tell you. You end up feeling dominated, demeaned, or put down.
How to Protect Your Emotions: The secret to success is never try and control a controller. Be healthily assertive, but don’t tell them what to do. You can say, “I value your advice but really need to work through this myself.” Be confident but don’t play the victim or sweat the small stuff. Focus on high priority issues rather than on putting the cap on the toothpaste.
Vampire #4: The Splitter or Borderline Personality
Splitters see things as either good or bad and have love/hate relationships. One minute they idealize you, the next you’re the enemy if you upset them. They have a sixth sense for knowing how to pit people against each another and will retaliate if they feel you have wronged them. They are people who are fundamentally damaged—inwardly they feel as if they don’t exist and become alive when they get angry. They’ll keep you on an emotional rollercoaster and you may walk on eggshells to avoid their anger.
How to Protect Your Emotions: Stay calm. Don’t react when your buttons get pushed. Splitters feed off of anger. They respond best to structure and limit setting. If one goes into a rage, tell the person, “I’m leaving until you get calmer. Then we can talk.” Refuse to take sides when he or she tries to turn you against someone else. With family members, it’s best to show a united front and not let a splitter’s venomous opinions poison your relationships.
Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s new book “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Harmony Books, 2009)
About Judith Orloff
Judith Orloff MD, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and intuition expert, is author of the new book Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Harmony Books, 2009) Her other bestsellers are Positive Energy, Intuitive Healing, and Second Sight. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition and energy medicine. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. www.drjudithorloff.com
FREE MINI VIDEO CLASSES ON YOUTUBE FOR YOU!
Please check out “Dr. Orloff’s Living Room Series” to find out more about the special method Dr. Orloff recommends to remember your dreams and other topics to build the power within. Stop by www.youtube.com/judithorloffmd anytime.