Pamela Elaine Nichols | [email protected] | 484-278-1322
To the Reader:
This is a personal story. However, this story is for you if you have ever been hurt by someone, and still struggle to get over it, move on, and heal. I hope you find your story in my story and a path to forgiveness and healing. That path is clearer than you think.
She was born in 1917, the eldest of six children. At the young age of 16, she gave birth to her only child, my father. Evelyn was my Grandmother.
Every year, my Sister and I got on a plane and flew from Los Angeles, CA to Dallas, TX, to spend the summer with Evelyn. The summer experience for my Sister and me was both similar and significantly dissimilar.
My Sister and I enjoyed countless hours spent with our cousin, Penny, at Evelyn’s sister’s house. Every morning, my sister and I got up early excited to start our daily ritual: dress quickly, stuff breakfast down our throat, rush out Evelyn's door, and head to Penny’s house. In the blazing hot Dallas, TX sun, we walked from...
You weren’t even talking to him. You were explaining to your co-workers why you think your boss’ reorganization idea might be a problem for you. Then, he gets out of his chair, walks over to you and the group, and says, “You just need to give him a chance. Don’t be so stuck in your ways.”
He's a know-it-all and annoying. Although you wanted to smack him upside his head, it wouldn’t be worth the violation on your work record. So, you pivot and walk to the restroom. Once again, you let him get under your skin. As much as you would like to avoid him, you can’t. He's on your team. You’ve complained to your boss that he is too difficult to work with, but your boss does nothing. Now, you’re pissed off...again...in the restroom.
What you don’t know about him is likely the most...
These are “positive” emotions that make you feel good. These emotions are welcomed, easy to handle, great to express, a pleasure to share.
You want to feel these emotions all of the time. In fact, you do various things to hold on to these emotions or conjure them when they don’t occur naturally. No one has to tell you what to do with positive emotions.
But, what about emotions that aren’t positive:
These are “negative” emotions that make you feel bad. These emotions are unwelcome, uneasy to feel, terrible to express, unpleasant to share.
You don’t want to feel these emotions at any time. In fact, you do various things to suppress, ignore, and avoid these emotions. You take medicine, abuse...
They were arguing again. Not in a loud, obnoxious way that an unhappy couple in a marriage tends to do. Theirs was a low-grade disagreement where Mom was the talker, and Dad was the walker. And that day, Dad walked out of the house forever.
But before Dad walked out, I heard the disagreement in vague bits and pieces. Mom and Dad were in the bedroom. I was in the kitchen of our small home in Los Angeles, CA. It was the early 1970s. I was around 7 or 8 years old. The uneasiness I felt knowing they were arguing in the bedroom was mounting. I pretended to be busy in the kitchen, but I stood by the door to try and hear what they were saying.
Dad came quickly out of their bedroom. I watched as he walked hurriedly to the front door. Mom walked behind him, saying something that sounded like the teacher (and all adults) in Charlie Brown movies, “Mwa mwa. Mwa-mwa-mwa-mwamwamwa!” I don’t remember exactly what she was saying, but she was talking, and Dad was walking even...
I stumbled across the radio program, “Marriage Beyond the Vows,” in 2013. I wasn’t looking for that particular radio program. It was merely in the way of me getting to the station I really wanted: NPR on WHYY FM 90.9. After a quick listen to “Marriage Beyond the Vows” with Host Pastor Marcos Mercado, I kept scanning for NPR with the thought, “Let other people figure out their marital woes. My woes are long over!” And on I went to listen to NPR’s “Morning Edition.”
Fast -forward to a Wednesday in November of 2016, three years after my divorce. While driving my youngest to school, I turned the radio to my favorite program, “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” “Marriage Beyond the Vows” was advertising their upcoming Relationship Seminar, inviting the listeners to come to the free event. It was Pastor Marcos Mercado…again…in my way of getting to the program I really wanted to...
There is no way to avoid it.
In relationships of all types, you will have trials and tribulations, challenges and upsets, disagreements and arguments, breakups and breakdowns. It’s just the way the relationship game goes.
Let me ask you this: when your relationship is difficult and draining, what do you usually do?
Here are some options:
One (or more) of these is your default. Which one is it?
Happiness seems nearly impossible when going through a difficult or draining relationship. Feeling unhappy overwhelms you. Feeling unhappy really sucks. Doesn’t it? You think about this draining relationship on your way to work, while you are handling a customer service call, washing your clothes, shopping at the grocery store, paying your bills, even while watching TV. The relationship stresses you and consumes your thoughts, time and...
I can’t think of one person I know who doesn’t want a happier relationship. Can you? (Well, I guess you could consider those people who are always cranky, miserable to be around, and super-complainers. However, with happier relationships, they would be less of these ways).
We are hardwired for relationships - fulfilling relationships - where we feel deeply connected to and respected by another human being. That’s why when a close relationship comes to an end, we go through withdrawals. Experts in Breakup Psychology tell us that when we go through a breakup, the brain experiences it as if going through withdrawals from drug addiction.
But this blog is not about breakups (which is an experience I enjoy coaching individuals to heal and grow from). This is about improving the relationship that you already have. The mistake we often make in relationship improvement is that we expect the other person to change (start doing this or stop doing that). We expect...
Leslie paced the floor back and forth with the phone on her ear. She couldn’t quite contain her nervous energy. She was having a difficult time accepting the advice coming from the other end.
“But…but…I don’t want to ruin his life. I don’t want this to hurt his clean record.” She protested.
“Leslie, how many times have you called me about this? What incident number is this one?”
“Four. This is the fourth time.” Leslie didn’t want to admit it.
“And how many of those times did you have to call out ‘sick’ from work until your bruises cleared up?”
“Four. I called out four times.” Leslie reluctantly answered as she cleared her throat.
“Correct, which means you lost at least 18 productive days of work or 144 hours. And how many hours of productivity did Rodney lose?
“Well - ”
“How many, Leslie?”
According to author Raphael Cushnir, the one thing holding you back is resisting your feelings. The one thing holding you back is refusing to feel, refusing to allow your emotions to deliver their message to you. The one thing holding you back is not healing because you don't want to feel unpleasant emotions.
Are you enough?
How do you answer this question? What's the standard you use to decide if you are enough or if you are not enough?
More than likely, you measure yourself by comparing yourself with others. More than likely, your answer to this question is, "I'm not enough".
Experts tell us that we have 60,000 - 80,000 thoughts per day (that's a lot of thoughts to keep up with). Not only do we have more thoughts than we can handle, but the majority of these thoughts are also negative! That means, most of your thoughts are rehashed and depleting.
Many of these repetitive thoughts are, "I am not enough".
When you think you are not enough, your thoughts create a reality that doesn't empower you. In fact, what you most want out of life you work far too hard to get when you don't have to: