Re-Wiring My Relationship with Life

By October 16, 2018 Life, Self-Worth

This is essentially a cut-and-paste from a journal entry. It was a thread I began to pull based on re-examining and/or re-wiring some relationships. These relationships include with God, my life partner, money, my body. And my relationship with life. I am posting this because I feel called to show my work rather than deliver some polished and refined post. As I post it, I acknowledge a sense of terror — that I will be rejected, judged, mis-understood. Which are all signs to do it anyway.

Old system: Appointed time with God (going to church) to cope with my human-ness and conditions. Ritualistic prayer and reading of Bible. Followed this system because it was the only guaranteed system I knew.
New practice: Talk with God every day, multiple times per day. Time in nature. Connections. Reading spiritual texts. Meditating.

Old system: Seeing God as a dispenser of correction and punishment for being the way I am. Seeing Jesus as model that I found very difficult to follow and who I did not understand. Seeing the Spirit as something that is given/taken based off of my behavior. Tying failure and struggle to my indulgent behavior and my perceived lack of faith.
New practice: seeing God as a loving Father, seeing the Christ within, seeing the Spirit in everything — including myself.

Old practice: Lynna as a rescuer, soother, subsidizer and safe harbor to cope with my human-ness and emotional damage.
New practice: Loving her unconditionally as she is, not what I project her to be. Unfiltered truth. Freely together. Not looking to her (or anyone else) for affirmation of my worth.

Old system: Identifying with groups (church, Republican party, being an entrepreneur) to have a sense of belonging and meaning — although I felt like an outsider in all three.
New practice: Completely unaffiliated; belong to no groups. Focusing on connections, freedom, creativity.

Fitness (working out and eating) as an ego-fueled coping tool for confidence, acceptance, affirmation. All body disconnect issues.
New practice: Investing in my body because it’s worth of it. Includes clean eating and intentional movement — hiking, Hapkido, stretching, yoga (this is a new practice that hasn’t yet become a habit.)

Speaking, coaching, mentoring as ego-boosters; increasing my sense of worth and value.
New practice: sharing wisdom, asking questions, holding space from a place of abundance and service — most of the time.

Triggers

  • Misfortune, failure, losing
  • Physical conditions: pain, hunger, fatigue, sexual desire
  • Emotional conditions: lonely, depressed, desperate
  • Situational conditions: waiting, too hot, too cold, crowds
  • Relationship conflicts

Emotional Reactions

  • Anger, resentment, jealousy
  • Shame, guilt
  • Insecurity, unease
  • Fear, terror
  • Loneliness, isolation
  • Hyper-vigilance, sensitive
  • Over-thinking; obsession
  • Scorn, judgement
  • Hero worship

Old Coping Behaviors

  • Going to gym
  • Work harder, longer
  • Driving, travel
  • Binge watching
  • Avoidance — especially with those closest to me
  • Indulgence, impulsiveness — self-abuse
  • Over-planning, control, manipulation
  • Lying, telling false stories
  • Sleeping / staying up all night

Old Stories:

  • God is punishing me; bad things happen to me because of who I am
  • I am damaged beyond repair; something is wrong with me
  • I am unworthy of anyone’s love
  • My body has failed me yet again
  • I’m terrible with money
  • I don’t go to things
  • I don’t belong anywhere

What I accomplished despite all this:

  • Lynna and I still together after 30 years
  • Great dad and co-parent; great relationship with Logan (and Sarah) and Caden
  • Been self-employed since 2003
  • Been to all 50 states
  • Authored two books
  • Created a following of people that I inspire
  • Discovered my personal mission
  • Went on a journey inward; burnt down everything, questioned everything
  • Gave Lynna space to become her true self
  • Created an amazing creative partnership, business and team with Emily.
  • Took dozens of great risks; tried many new things.
  • Moved to Austin
  • New circle of great friends; but still a few old friends that love me unconditionally and I them.
  • A real relationship with my mom
  • Witness to more miracles and magic than I knew was possible.

THE PRESENT

Reminders / new stories

  • God neither punishes nor rewards based on who I am
  • Physical pain doesn’t mean failure
  • More control doesn’t reduce anxiety
  • Shift perspective/response to “What will happen today?” from negative (doom) to positive (mystery)
  • Discomfort (hunger, temperature, pain) is not a threat
  • I don’t need an enemy to feel important
  • My old life is gone but the coping mechanisms, triggers remain.
  • I’ve matured from a victim/follower to creator/mentor

I don’t need coping mechanisms anymore. When living in joy and acceptance, there is very little to cope with.

I don’t need coping mechanisms but I do need life practices:

  • Rest
  • Nourishment
  • Movement
  • Connection
  • Awareness
  • Creativity

What I want out of all my relationships …

  • Connection
  • Vitality
  • Abundance
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Adventure

One Comment

  • Avatar Nicole Beal says:

    This is so good! As always, thank you very much for sharing, Justin, and being vulnerable enough to share. I can relate to so many items on your lists. A great self-reflection exercise I’m going to undergo myself.

Leave a Reply