Waiting around for Someone to Fix It?

Have you felt stuck before? Where you didn’t want to do anything, especially your creative work because you were just DONE?

I felt like that a lot this year while healing from trauma. I had to RE-learn how to take care of myself and get back to basics because I wasn’t doing what I knew made me feel better – i.e. sleeping early, moving my body…not eating cupcakes. “I feel so energized after Netflixing & cupcakes” said no one ever.

Today’s video is if you need a crash course in re-learning how to take care of yourself, especially if you’re healing and feel “stuck” energy.

My wake up call was one of my friends who keeps it real, thank God. She helped me see I was waiting for something to happen in order to change – for something outside myself to come fix or shake up the situation.

Are you waiting for it to get worse? Or for someone to come fix it?

I hate to admit it, but I was.

There are times when you take care of yourself and it feels good – you give yourself TLC when you’re healing because it really does start there. Stop the world, cry, rest, do what you need to do.

Other times you take it too far and make the situation harder by giving into habits that don’t nourish you: sleeping late, numbing out. You say you need rest, but really you avoid anxious situations that need your attention. This exhausts you quickly, and that’s the moment you start waiting around.

I wish waiting solved it. I really do. But it just gives more of what you don’t want to feel. Watch today’s video to see how I figured out the difference in my life and supported myself at the very basic level.

Do you feel stuck in some area of your life? We all do. I hope this video helps juice you up and stop waiting for someone else to swoop in. Comment below and let me know what’s up. And if it did make you feel better, pass it on to someone in your life who needs to hear this. We all feel that resistance energy sometimes and need a nudge.

You really do have the power to make a change. It’s already inside you. @ishitagupta (Click to Tweet!)

xx Ishita

Ishita Gupta is an entrepreneur, speaker, and business breakthrough strategist. She publishes Fear.less Magazine and runs her consulting business helping people gain confidence, live without fear, and thrive as business owners. Since diving into personal development a decade ago, she’s spent the last five years helping people specifically build confidence and self-worth enough to pursue their dreams. Ishita speaks at conferences around the U.S. on entrepreneurship and leadership, including World Domination Summit,TEDx, Startup Princess, Next Generation Health, Business Growth Summit, Young Female Entrepreneurs, and more.. You can also follow Ishita on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Denys Argyriou.

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The Best Thing to Say to Someone Who Won’t Understand You

“True love is born from understanding.” ~Buddha

I believe one of our strongest desires in life is to feel understood.

We want to know that people see our good intentions and not only get where we’re coming from, but get us.

We want to know they see us. They recognize the thoughts, feelings, and struggles that underlie our choices, and they not empathize but maybe even relate. And maybe they’d do the same thing if they were in our shoes.

Maybe, if they’d been where we’ve been, if they’d seen what we’ve seen, they’d stand right where we are now, in the same circumstances, with the same beliefs, making the same choices.

Underneath all these maybes is the desire to feel validated.

We’re social creatures, and we thrive when feel a sense of belonging. That requires a certain sense of safety, which hinges upon feeling valued and accepted. But those feelings don’t always come easily.

There was a time when one of my relationships felt incredibly unsafe. I never felt understood or validated, and worse, I often got the sense the other person didn’t care to understand me.

When you’re the one withholding the comfort of understanding, it can imbue you with a sense of power. And it also creates a sense of separation, which, for some, feels safer than closeness.

This person often assumed the worst of me—that I was selfish and weak—and interpreted things I did through this lens.

They would belittle my beliefs and opinions, as if they warranted neither consideration nor respect.

And they would even make fun of me when I tried to share my thoughts and feelings, minimizing not only my perspective but also my personhood. Like I had no value. Like I wasn’t worth hearing out. Like I didn’t deserve respect.

It hurts.

It hurts to feel like someone doesn’t care to see where you’re coming from or hear what you have to say.

It hurts to feel like someone is more committed to misunderstanding you than developing any sense of common ground.

It hurts to feel invalidated.

We often take that pain and churn into anger. Or at least that’s what I did.

I fought. I screamed. I cried. I tried to force them to see my basic goodness and view the world from my vantage point.

I tried to impose my will upon them—the will to be valued and heard—regardless of whether they were willing or capable of giving me those courtesies. And I caused myself a lot of pain, all the while justifying this madness with an indignant sense of righteousness.

Because people should try to understand. People should treat each other with respect. People should be kind and loving and open. Because that would make the world feel safe.

But here’s the thing I’ve learned: Should is always a trap. Things will never be exactly as we think they should be, and resisting this only causes us pain.

But more importantly, there’s something more empowering than trying to force other people to be who we think they should be—and that’s being that person ourselves.

In this case, I realized, that meant understanding the person who wouldn’t or maybe couldn’t understand me.

Remember what I wrote about separation feeling safer for some than closeness?

This was actually a huge insight for me. That perhaps when someone seems unwilling to embrace me with understanding, it’s more that they’re unable to let me in, for reasons I might not ever know.

I actually did a lot digging to try to understand what would make someone—and specifically, this someone—closed off to understanding. What pain could have hardened their heart so dramatically? As often happens when you dig, I found a lot to explain it.

I found unresolved traumas that likely led to deep feelings of shame and vulnerability—which likely cemented into a need to always be and appear strong. Impenetrable. And when you’re impenetrable, not much can get in. Not new ideas, and definitely not attempts at deep connection. Which is really sad when you think about.

Sure, it hurts to feel someone doesn’t understand you. But can you imagine the pain of rarely understanding anyone because letting someone into your heart actually hurts? Can you imagine living life so guarded, so scared, constantly hiding—and possibly without even realizing it?

I’ve come to believe that when someone won’t make any effort to understand us, this is usually what it comes down: deep pain that’s blocking them from love.

They might be shut down to everyone. Or specific ideas that trigger something from their past. Or maybe we, ourselves, are the trigger.

Maybe we remind them of something they want to forget. Maybe our very presence forces them to come face to face with something they’d rather avoid.

I remember reading an article once about the contentious relationship women often have with their mothers-in-law. The author used, as an example, a mother-in-law who always complained about her daughter-in-law’s couch, and then wrote, “You never know. She may have been raped on a couch that looked just like yours.”

This hit me hard. The thought that everyone has secret pains, sequestered in shame, that often manifest in hurtful behaviors.

I know I’ve been there before. Though I’m not proud to admit it, I’ve shut people out or shut them down because they’ve triggered something painful in me. Knowing this, I understand how pain can bring out the worst in us.

Considering this doesn’t justify disrespect or mistreatment of any kind. It doesn’t condone abuse. But if we really want understanding, maybe the key is to choose understanding.

Maybe the secret is to broaden our perspective beyond what would make us feel safe in a moment so we can do our part to help create a greater sense of safety for everyone we encounter.

Maybe by choosing to offer understanding, we can influence the people around us to heal their pains so they can one day open their heart a little wider. When they’re ready. When they feel safe.

So what’s the best thing to say to someone who doesn’t understand you? I think it’s, “I understand that you can’t understand.”

I think it’s accepting the other person where they are, even if you have no idea where they’ve come from or what’s driving them.

Because even if we don’t know the specifics, we can know there’s some explanation—some complex web of past events and psychological factors that make them who and how they are.

This isn’t easy to do.

It often requires us to create boundaries, whether that means avoiding specific conversations or even creating physical distance in that relationship.

It requires us to pause and connect with our deepest intentions before reacting impulsively, defensively, in anger.

And it also requires us to mourn and let go of the relationship we hoped to have, knowing we’re offering the kind of compassion and consideration to someone else that they may never be able to give us back.

I take comfort in knowing this is the higher road, not because I feel superior on higher ground but because it’s less painful there—for me, and for everyone I encounter in my life.

When I choose to be the change I wish to see, it’s less important to me that everyone else sees me, values me, gets me, and understands my good intentions—because I do. Because I know I am coming from a place of love, kindness, and integrity.

And this is a strong foundation for navigating a world full of hurt people who aren’t ready or able to love.

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and co-producer of the newly launched podcast Next Creator Up, which helps people overcome their blocks and create what they want to create. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here.

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Why kids need to learn about gender and sexuality | Lindsay Amer

Lindsay Amer is the creator of "Queer Kid Stuff," an educational video series that breaks down complex ideas around gender and sexuality through songs and metaphors. By giving kids and their families a vocabulary to express themselves, Amer is helping to create more empathetic adults — and spreading a message of radical acceptance in a world where it's sometimes dangerous to just be yourself. "I want kids to grow up and into themselves with pride for who they are and who they can be," Amer says.
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How to Trust That You’ll Be Okay No Matter What

“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin

Did you play with cootie catchers as a kid?

You picked a number and watched anxiously as your friend counted it out. Open. Close. Open. Close.

You chose a color or picture or word and waited in anticipation as your friend unfolded the flap and read your destiny.

Or how about that MASH game? Mansion, apartment, shack, house?

I played these games with an insatiable desire for all the details.

How is all of this going to play out?

Where will I live?

What will become of me?

I was fascinated with details, and anyone who could supply them. Fortune cookies, horoscopes, and psychic phone readings all held the promise of telling me exactly what I yearned to know.

Will I be okay?

With time, curiosity gave way to hard-core, type A planning. I’d plan everything out in excruciating detail and get my heart set on one specific outcome.

I’d make a deal with the cosmos. Everything will be okay if it turns out just like this, okay? Okay.

I craved certainty and the illusion of control.

The answer “surprise me,” made me uncomfortable. Playing it by ear was torturous. Penciling it in felt like the easy way out.

I’ve made a lot of plans along the way: graduation plans, wedding plans, birth plans, career plans. Yet, no matter how painstakingly crafted these plans were, I was always a little surprised with where I ended up.

My actual wedding dress was nothing like the pictures I collected with friends in high school.

My thirty-eight-hour, two epidural labor was nothing like my 100 percent all natural birth plan.

My house in Arizona is nothing like the one I’d dreamed of having in Northern California.

And I’ve been okay.

Okay, universe. I get the message.

It’s not really about the details.

We can make the best of difficult times, rising up after we’ve been dragged through the muck. We can surprise ourselves with what it turns out we actually want. And we can rain all over our own parades.

The details are delicious, though.

It’s so satisfying to make a list and check things off. It feels so good that sometimes we’ll even write down the things we’ve already done. And there’s something so soothing about having the who, what, when, and where sorted out.

Best of all is knowing that the whole plan is exactly, perfectly the way you want it. It’s positively intoxicating.

The only trouble is that the details hardly ever turn out as planned.

This whole attachment to details thing is getting harder as time goes on. At a time when I most want to know if we’ll all be okay, I suddenly can’t figure the details out. Maybe I’ve lost my touch, or maybe the plans are getting more complicated.

There are so many more variables and people involved now. Where it was once just me and my cats, there’s now me, my husband, my children, our families, old friends and new friends, employers, clients, school systems, licenses, and a mortgage to consider.

With each new piece comes countless questions. So many, in fact, that I can’t even picture what all of this is going to look like.

That’s got to be okay.

I’m learning to accept that I’ll be okay if I don’t know the details because I know how I want to feel and what I want to leave room for in my life.

As much as we’d like to take credit for them, the details are often things that just present themselves when they’re good and ready to be seen, anyway. They tend to sort themselves out in ways that we never could have planned.

We take one step, then another. We prepare the best we can with what we know, knowing how we want to feel when it’s all said and done. Then we reassess along the way.

Part of me really wants to fight that because it still believes that having all the answers now will guarantee that everything will be okay. Maybe it’s time to start having a little more trust that I’ll find a way to be okay no matter what happens.

The more comfortable I get with letting the details reveal themselves when the time is right, the more aware I am of all the people who want to know the plan right now.

They want to know when you’re visiting or moving back to your hometown or having your next child or finally graduating or asking for that raise.

They ask all kinds of detailed questions about your plan, so much so that it can leave you feeling ashamed for not having figured it out.

I get it, too.

People want to feel closer to you or important or useful. They want to be heard.

Maybe they’re kind of nosy. Or bossy. Or maybe they’re bored.

Maybe they just really care and want to solve what they think is a problem for you.

And maybe they also have a deal with the cosmos that everything will be okay if

I get it because I’ve been them. I’ve interrogated, and I’ve demanded answers. Even after understanding that I can’t have absolute certainty (or control), I’ve been that person squeezing out the details before it’s time.

Understanding is different from knowing deep in your bones that you’ll be okay no matter what.

When you know, you live and breathe it. Instead of seeking control, you seek clarity. Instead of certainty, you seek courage.

When you know the truth, you also know that it’s supposed to be a little scary to look out into the uncertain future. It’s unnerving to say, “Here goes nothing.”

It takes courage to walk into the future knowing that you don’t have all the details nailed down. Your next step may be right, it may be wrong, it may lead you nowhere, and people may think you’re crazy, but you have to take it at some point.

The truth is, no one ever really knows how it’s all going to look, but you probably have a good idea of how you want to feel and what’s most important to you. And if you don’t, maybe that’s why the details are so elusive.

(But all the same, you don’t need the details.)

You don’t need to see the details to trust that you’ll figure them out when the time is right, and you don’t need to see your path to know in your heart that it’s there waiting for you to take that step.

You don’t need to know exactly how every piece will play out to know what the most important pieces are.

And you don’t need absolute certainty to know that you’ll find a way to be okay no matter what happens.

I’m not saying, “Let’s all throw caution to the wind from now until forever.” Make plans, yes, but there’s no need to obsess over the details if the details aren’t clear. Meet planning with flexibility and trust. Be curious about what happens next, not controlling.

So go ahead, daydream, plan, manifest, make a vision board, or whatever calls to you. Just remember to begin from living and breathing the truth: that you will find a way to be okay no matter what.

I have no idea where I’ll be working five years from now, what our house will look like, what we’ll do on the weekends, if I’ll have lost the baby weight, or if I’ll dye my greys, but I do trust myself to make the call when the time is right.

I don’t know all the when’s, where’s, or even how’s, but I do know how I want to feel and what I hold nearest to my heart.

I want to feel light, energized, and free.

I want to find meaning in my work.

I want to be home in time for dinner.

I want to create space for contemplation and creativity.

I think I’ve had enough of the heaviness that comes from dragging around a lifetime of plans. It’s too much pressure, and even the most carefully made plans might change in the end.

I still make plans, and I’m not throwing my bullet journal away any time soon. I’m just not letting my fear that I won’t be okay or that I’ll choose wrong or that people will disapprove suck the life out of living any more.

So go ahead, universe. Surprise me. I’ll be okay no matter what.

About Leslie Ralph

Leslie is writer and artist who hopes to leave the world a little brighter than she found it. Her people are soul-searchers, deep feelers, and big-hearted dreamers that crave inner peace and inner truth. Download her free ritual for receiving to bring true healing, inner peace, and lasting joy into your life.

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