heartbreak

Braving The Wilderness of Modern Dating

I was tucking into Brene Brown’s latest book today, ‘Braving The Wilderness’ and this passage, really hit home and inspired me to write to you all today.

“We have to step outside the barricades of self-preservation and brave the wild.

Huddled behind the bunkers, we don’t have to worry about being vulnerable, or brave or trusting. We just have to toe the party line. Except doing that is not working. Bunkers protect us from everything except loneliness and disconnection. In other words, it leads to the worst heartbreak of all.”

Photo by  Bryce Evans  on  Unsplash

Photo by Bryce Evans on Unsplash

 

I have seen this play out in so many different ways with my clients.


  • Swiping left on people they think are ‘out of their league’.

  • Putting off meeting someone from online in real life, to avoid what feels like inevitable disappointment.

  • Not letting people really see them, the real them, on those first few dates.

  • Going on a few dud dates or a series of go nowhere messages, and just coming off online dating all together.

  • Not seeking out the ways and means to meet people in the real world, hiding behind being ‘too busy” and ‘I never meet people in real life’ and ‘I don’t even know where to start’ as their personal bunkers to keep a safe distance.

  • Allowing past heartbreak and bad experiences in relationships, colour their experience with new people, letting one red flag, send them for self-preservation hills.

  • Leaning into work, travel, friends, and other toing the party line of adulting , ensuring those things take priority over their love life, every time.



Hmmmm self preservation running high on anyone else’s to do list, when it comes to finding love???

 

The worst heartbreak of all, is feeling lonely and disconnected. See, we human beings, are hard wired for love and connection.

We can absolutely get love and connection outside the romantic arena of partnership, and yet, let’s be real here, most of us consider relationships and love to have a major effect on our overall well being in life. Think not? Ask someone who is in a hellish relationship! It’s very hard to not allow that segment of our lives, spread sickness to other areas, too.

And, why hell yes, spending time alone, and being comfortable on our own is so very necessary, however THAT is not loneliness.

Here’s the truth bomb about love. It’s both riskyAF and the most secure emotional connection we can ever experience.

It is NOT without risk, and it is also NOT without great reward.  Joining dating apps, or going to single events with your best halfhearted, self-preservation, giving zero f@cks, little black dress on… is not the bravery, vulnerability and trust that is required for love.

Photo by  Mick Haupt  on  Unsplash

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

 

We must build up our courage and self worth, no matter the cost. And we must surrender ourselves to the wild, to the great unknown of the modern dating jungle. 

Yup, it could go wrong... but my darling, it also could go so very right!

This is where someone like me, enters stage right, in your life.  Not only have I been where you are, hopelessly single, caught in the wild fires of dating, gasping for air... I have spent years studying and learning the expertise needed, to help women just like you, get out of that valley and onto the mountain top, so very loved! 

I am so passionate about helping fierce strong women out in the wilds of the dating jungle, find love... that I offer a FREE 45 minute BREAKTHROUGH TO LOVE call! 

If we haven't chatted yet, let's spend some time getting some real clarity around where you have been, where you are at, and where you want to go with love +++ the very next steps you can take to create real transformation in your love life. 

BOOK YOUR CALL SLOT HERE

 
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Remember Those Walls I Built?

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Gather round as we make sacrifices at alter of the Queen Bey this week and chat a bit about protecting ourselves whilst out in the wilds of modern dating.

Self-protection is one of your brain's most primary purposes.  Right behind, keeping all your organs functioning.  The ability to learn, adapt, create and change our environments is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom on this planet.  However there are two sides of that brilliant brain of yours, dearest one.  Which one is ruling?

 

There is a logical side of our brain and an emotional one.  Both are vital and yet they tend to respond to threats quite differently.  

Logical brain, says ‘Right, touching that stove when it’s on burned my human, we shouldn’t touch it when its hot again.  The emotional brain says ‘OMFG that stove is evil, you know what? This whole kitchen is dangerous, heck this whole house is trying to kill me, I am NEVER EVER going in there AGAIN!!!’

 
Photo by  Rochelle Brown  on  Unsplash
 

Yeah. Emotional brain is a RuPaul Drag Race level drama queen, and...

She.

Ain’t.

Playing.  

 

And if you think her response to your hand getting burned by the stove is OTT, you obviously never had your heart broken, cause that is when emotional brain loses her whole damn mind!  

 

Logical brain institutes boundaries to safeguard against reasonable and obvious dangers

Emotional brain builds walls.  And moats.  And minefields.  Ensuring no one EVER gets close enough to cause harm, EVER.

 

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I remember the day I realized that my own carefully constructed fortress, was actually a prison. 

That behind those high walls, the barb wire, the minefields, I was slowly suffocating in the darkness of my own loneliness, and that not only could no one get in… girl, I was locked up so tightly inside of that prison, I couldn’t get out, even if I wanted to.

 

And I wanted to!  I was telling myself all the time, I was ready for love, I wanted to meet someone amazing, and I wanted companionship and yet, my actions were keeping me hostage in that prison, isolated from real human connection.

 
Photo by  Velizar Ivanov  on  Unsplash
 

I’m not saying you need to throw open all the doors and let any Tom, Dick or Jane waltz on in. 

By all means, check ID’s at the door, at the very least.  However, if you think building your walls up high is keeping you safe, that if someone REALLY wanted to get to know you they would take the time to pry, brick by brick each of those walls down, then you are literally taking the key to human connection, and even your happiness and throwing it in the moat, never to be found.

Without vulnerability, no one can even get close enough to see how worthy of the good fight you really are, darling.  And you are. Worthy.  A shimmering prize! 

 

Tear those walls down yourself, Learn the crucial skill of boundary settings, and let them see you shine!

 
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Common Stumbling Blocks And Hurdles On The Path To LOVE

This week, we are discussing one of the larger stumbling blocks and hurdles, to moving forward in finding and attracting love…. OUR PASTS!

Past heartbreak, past partners, bad relationships, betrayal of trust, dysfunctional model relationships in our childhood are just a few of the larger ‘ghosts of love past’ I’ve seen blocking too many women from engaging with new love

Sometimes the past, is more recent.  We have had a long string of dud dates over the last two years OR we have been wandering the desert, miles & miles (years & years) and NOT a drop/date to drink!

Sometimes in our past we have experienced deep trauma.

 

Perhaps the most common tale of love past that is stopping women dead in their tracks from moving forward with love, is a past relationship.   Recently I was in a session with a one of my amazing private clients, and her EX made yet another appearance in the conversation, metaphorically speaking of course.   

This relationship, and the pain of the breakup was like a ghost haunting her every move.  FOR THE LAST 8 YEARS!!!  She really loved this man, thought he was ‘the one’ and for the last eight years, she has allowed comparison and fear to keep almost everyone other person, at an arm’s length.  In fact, over the last eight years, only 3 people had come even remotely close to being in her hearts direct sphere.  And I do mean ‘REMOTELY’,  because really, they never stood a chance.   How could they, when she has been dragging the dead body of her last relationship with her, everywhere she goes? 

Grrl, it’s time to bury that ex’s body far away from your home and heart.  How can we live with the stink of that rotting corpse in the closet? 

We can’t!

 

Another client, told me (and herself) over and over “I can’t do relationships because I don’t know what a healthy one looks like” because her own parents relationship was definitely not one to model.   

Why are we allowing our parents relationship to define how we interact with love, today? Why have we assumed ownership of their relationship filled with mistakes and pain, as our own?  And, Is that statement ‘I don’t know what a healthy relationships looks like’, really true? 

Once we dug out that limiting belief out, and really examined it, turns out she had MANY people around her that were in healthy relationships AND she actually had a very clear and healthy definition of what a relationship should look like!   She couldn’t see it, because the statement “I can’t do relationships because I don’t know what a healthy relationships” blinded her from looking at what was right in front of her all along! 

 

 

And your broken heart?  Ya know, the one you locked away up in the tower, safe and secure, all those years ago?   Oh lady. She is rattling her cage, SCREAMING to get out!

 

The heart has four functions.

1.     To pump blood.

2.     To love

3.     To be loved

4.     To be broken

She isn’t afraid of heartbreak because she KNOWS she has the incredible ability to heal AND that she must serve her purpose, all four of them to carry on.  She wears her battle scars like exquisite tattoos, proudly!

 

For some of us, the past has been very traumatic. 

We have experienced, sexual assault, molestation, child abuse, addiction and mental illness in our families or within our-self , for example.  And these issues do come up for some of the women I work with, and I help them, find the help they require. I offer empathy and compassion necessary to seed the hope.  If this is you.  Please know, you are not alone. You are not irrevocably broken, that there is a way forward.  If you have some psychologically traumatic events in your past, please do not allow the stigma in your heart or the chorus of nasty voices sniping in your head, convince you away from seeking and receiving professional help, you deserve. You are worthy of forgiveness, of love of recovery from this trauma.

 

Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you that knowing look and now drop that one-liner, fix all on you, ‘Hey babes, you need to LET IT GO’ 

Because it’s going to a lot more than an email and us humming the song from Frozen, to do that.  

 

In order for us to let ANY of our past go, we must first accept it happened.  

Rumble with, reconcile and own, the cold hard truth of what happened, when and where.  No fluff, no denial, just honestly and openly, admit & accept, that it happened. Only then, can we be in a place to surrender this experience.  I mean, If I am going to let something go, or turn it over… I better know exactly what I’m letting go of, right?? 

 

Then, we need hope. We need to come to believe, there is life beyond it. 

That we don’t need this experience, this heartbreak, ex, or even trauma to define who we are, and how we move through the world.  What would your life be like, if you no longer had these ghosts whispering in your ear?  How would you feel?  Lighter? Happier? More willing to love and be loved?   

 

Now, you’re  going to need some help.  

Letting go, is never a one woman show.  We need to have someone or something, we trust enough, to hand this past over to, so we can walk away and forward.  Is it a best friend? A parent? A therapist? A coach? A higher power? If we are going to turn this experience in to the lost and found, and be done with it… we need a lost and found office! So we can rock up, drop it off. AND GO!

 

Lastly you will need TRUST. 

Trust is, I am safe with you.  Trust is, I am safe with me. 

Trust is built by the smallest actions, brick by brick.  Often, we have lost trust in ourselves and others.  What areas of your life do you still trust yourself in?  To do the right thing?  To make the best decisions?  Who do you trust, that always has your best interest at heart?  Who always offers you kindness and love?  Lay out the evidence. 

You may FEEL like you can’t trust yourself or anyone, but dearest one…

FEELINGS AREN’T FACT.  BOOM! 

Lay out the evidence, chances are, you do still trust yourself and others, your emotions are just clouding the facts. 

 

My darling, YOU are the captain of your own ship. 

What has happened in the past, is done. There is no going back and changing it.  HOWEVER you have absolute POWER and a direct RESPONSIBILITY for WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.  You. This life,  is YOUR SHIP now. 

Take the helm.  It’s a new day, sail forward into that sunrise!

Photo by  Max Poschau  on  Unsplash

Photo by Max Poschau on Unsplash

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How do I trust again? Moving beyond betrayal and heartbreak.

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Last week, I had an exquisite ‘Breakthrough to Love’ call with an amazing woman, where we spent about 45 minutes chatting about her search for love.  What was working, and what wasn’t; and what started out as a long list of ‘I don’t know’ responses, quickly uncovered a very long trail of cheating and abandonment, by past loves. 

When I thumb through the many pages I have of emails, call notes and questionnaires from women all over the world, this topic of betrayal and heartbreak, is a common red thread weaving itself throughout so many of their stories. 

Most of us have at least one story of betrayal, abandonment and heartbreak in our lives.  Some of us, have more of these stories than seems bearable.  

Betrayal comes in many forms, lying, cheating, broken promises; but at the very root, is dishonesty and loss of security.  The effects of dishonesty (of any kind) in our relationships is detrimental, even the smallest of lies.  The ripples of betrayals, like going outside the relationship sexually and emotionally, are devastating and find long term footholds in our hearts.

Those ripples, or tsunami like waves, ravage our self-esteem, our confidence, our ability to trust again, and become cement blocks in our path to moving on, even years after the relationship has ended.

I need to come out from the gates, directly as possible, with 3 hard truths. 

(Which, my inherent Americaness allows for quite readily. Lucky me! )

 

Trusting again means, being open to the possibility of being hurt, like that, again. 

 

Being open to the possibilities, both good and bad, is imperative for us to find and attract love. 

 

There is only one road to recovering our ability to love and be loved, and that is right through the very thick of it.

 

Today, I’m going to address the first hurdle that MUST be traversed, if you are ever going to be truly able to love and be loved again. 

"I can’t and won’t survive that again! "

Strong statement, right? 

And it’s one your brain is well skilled at throwing up, at a moment’s notice.  When that betrayal happened… when your heart broke into a million shards, the very rational side of your brain, who serves to educate & protect, said… “Right, we’re not doing that again anytime soon!”  Rational brain had a very calm collected list of reasons that, if it could be avoided, it should.  Rational brain ran the numbers on optimum healing times, took a hard look at the statistics, the theory of relativity, and promptly placed your heart in a safe place to mend.

The emotional side of your brain, stepped out further and said, “Right, we are NEVER, EVER doing that again!” +  a tirade of “ I almost died!”.   “The pain was so unbearable, it was like someone carved out my still beating heart!”, “It was THE WORSE thing that ever happened to us!” and,  “LOCK THE HEART UP SOMEWHERE SAFE AND THROW AWAY THE KEY!!!”   Emotional brain, panicked… AND has quite the theatric flair for the dramatic.

When these two sides of the brain get together, fiction and fact can get a bit blurry.

You start to use the statistics, and numbers rational brain has on hand to fund emotional brain’s war chest.  First things first, build a fortress where the heart shall remain protected from all wrongdoers. (And subsequently right doers, but we’ll come back to that) 

Your brain dug some trenches, set traps 100 meters out, placed sharp shooters on the roof… so anyone that comes close… gets sent packing!

 

But, the heart?  She needs love. 

She is a wanton, dancing, goddess who twirls in her cell of protection, rattling the cage, desperate to get out into the sun again, TO LOVE!  The heart also has the most incredible ability to mend, to become whole again.  She knows she’s scarred but considers those healed raised pink ridges to be adornments.

And so the push pull, the come closer siren screams of the heart and the defensive maneuvers of the brain, begin to twist us, and those who want to care for us, into knots. The signals we send out are so garbled, no one (even yourself) can understand what you want and need.

Researchers tell us that the number one behavioral response abused children have, to new people and environments is ‘you can come close, but not too close’.  You can almost see their proverbial arm being held out, keeping others at a distance.  All their detachment, anger, their acting up and out is tied to the protective response, to not get hurt again. Children thrive in consistency, security, human touch and care yet their lack of emotional maturity does not allow for considered multi-tasking of feelings.

Our behavioral response to cheating & abandonment, is the same.  Because, it is abuse.  Mental and emotional abuse. It is a similar loss of security, consistency, human touch and care.   Protecting ourselves, makes absolute sense.  Until we think about that abused child above.

How that fortress of protection, becomes a prison they can’t get out of to love and be loved.  When we see them start to sabotage their own relationships, and self-destruct in the space between the fight for human connection and keeping themselves safe; we want to hug them tightly, assure them it’s okay, encourage them to let down their guard and allow healing love in.   

Healing and love, requires us to drop our fortress walls. Because true love is about being 100% safe with someone. Other people’s actions and words play a huge part in creating a safe environment, but both parties must fully participate to create 100% safety and security.

I use the example of the child above for good reason.  Many of you may have experience with children who have been abused. I am sure all of you felt empathy for the anonymous child I described. Most of you even saw clearly the counterproductive effect on healing and happiness, that child’s defense mechanisms were having. 

It’s always much easier to see clearly when we look at others lives, and so much harder to see and do so for ourselves.  We are ALSO always so quick to offer empathy, encouragement, kindness and motivation to that child. To reason with that child, that the road forward is filled with safety and love, that the alternative of keeping everyone at an arm’s length, is damaging their ability to live a happy, full life.

It’s time to make that same, sacred, compassionate, reasonably minded, offering to yourself, my dear. 

To embrace yourself with assurances that it will be okay and that the guard can now be let down.  It’s time, to free your heart from its fortress come prison!  It will take time and consistent daily effort to make yourself foster that sense of bravery and trust. 

The scared traumatized child, in you, is worthy of that work.

 

Stay tuned; Next week, I will be walking you through the second step to overcoming betrayal and heartbreak.

 

 

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