If You Are Hanging By a Thread, Get Ready to Snap!

January 26th, 2012 by Jennifer Grainger

Do you know how miserable it is to feel trapped in a soul-deadening marriage or long-term relationship with no apparent way out except death . . . yours or the other persons?

Well, I am here to tell you, no one has to die for you to be happy!

Make no mistake I know all about silent tears into your nighttime pillow; about lying awake in the early dawn ruminating on how to make the emotional pain of having failed at making the happily-ever-after fairy tale come true; of feeling like you can’t stay another minute, and not seeing any way to leave, while being desperate to find a way to stop the pain!

I know what it’s like to be “stuck at the crossroads;” about “having it all” from the onlooker’s perspective, and feeling guilty and selfish for not being happy when I had so much to be grateful for!

But just because my pain and suffering did not come from bruises or broken bones, or economic hardship, or neglect, and even though I had no “good reason” to be unhappy, I was!

Know what I’m saying?

In retrospect I see that a lot of my pain came from:

1. being so far removed from my authentic self that I freely gave away my personal power, believing that my happiness would come to me from someone or something outside of myself if I just did everything “right,” as I was trained to do.

2. being ill-equipped to vulnerably ask for what I needed in a way that didn’t come across as making my husband wrong.

3. trying to get the emotional nourishment that I never got as a child from someone who wasn’t equipped to give it due to his own childhood traumas.

Over the years, to alleviate the pain, I slowly closed my heart, and brick-by-brick a wall was built between us.

The thing is, my story of the fairy-tale-gone-awry is the case more often than not. And how could it not be?

I mean, really, how many of us grew up with conscious parents who knew how to vulnerably speak from their hearts, and had the communication skills to easily ask for what they needed from someone who was well-equipped to give it?

Right! Not very darn many!

No wonder the majority of  women are having such a hard time getting their emotional needs met in a structure (marriage) that was never intended to be more than a practical way to survive the harsh realities of life on the earth plane!

Just as every other structure we have counted on for decades (if not centuries, in some cases) is coming apart at the seams . . . government, health care, economics, education, employment . . . you name it . . . marriage is undergoing restructuring too. No longer is mere longevity the marker of a good marriage. Today we want an equal partnership with our soul-mate; to be heard, understood and respected, with plenty of space to continue to grow and explore the myriad aspects of our being!

And when there is no more room to grow, like the full-term fetus in the womb, we must be born into the next stage of growth, or die! (At least from the soul’s perspective.)

One thing I know for sure is that the escalating daily pressures caused by uncertainty and rapid change are going to be the last straw for marriages that are not nourishing the heart and soul of the partners, and that have been hanging by a thread for quite awhile now!

I can assure you that no matter how much it has been looking like there is no way out, and that the safest thing to do is suck it up and make the best of it, sooner, rather than later, these compounding pressures are going to cause that fragile thread to snap. It has to happen. The old ways will not survive these new times.

Unless you get ahead of the curve, and take charge of your life by intentionally and consciously creating and following a plan to find the “third option” (the one you haven’t thought of yet, but is definitely available if you know how, and where, to look) here’s what will happen . . .

. . . some otherwise seemingly insignificant thing will be said or done, and the lid will come off the reservoir of swallowed anger, frustration, resentment and grief that’s been sitting in your belly like molten lava in the depths of a volcano. In a flash, the emotion takes over and . . . KA BLAM . . . truth spews forth in an uncontrolled eruption leaving devastation in its wake and a BIG mess to clean up.

If you want to avoid a costly and destructive divorce, you need to tap into the love that is somewhere in your heart, bring it to the forefront, then set your intention to have a heart-centered and compassionate reshaping of your relationship, whether you stay together or not, by carving away what is not working, and reshaping what remains into the life your heart and soul are yearning for!

Here are 5 things you must do to craft a heart-centered and compassionate soul-u-tion:

1. Get very honest with yourself about whether there is any real hope of saving your marriage or if you have passed the point of no return.

2. Know there are always more than two options in any situation. It is possible to maintain the love and leave the marriage.  Brainstorm with me as your coach, or a trusted friend, or in your journal, any and all “out of the box” possible soul-u-tions to your dilemma. You don’t have to act on any of them, but you do need to let the ideas flow without censorship to receive divine inspiration.

3. Take an objective inventory of what is right in the situation, what attracted you to your partner in the first place, and what you would want to salvage?

4. Take the position that you don’t have to be mad at your partner to declare your soul contract complete, and begin the process of moving on in a way that is a win-win for everyone involved.

5. And here is the most important piece. You must “own” your part of the dynamic that contributed to the disharmonies you have experienced. This will be the foundation for a healthier and happier next relationship, whether it is with your current partner, or another.

To be clear, I am neither advocating for divorce, or continuing to work on a marriage that you have outgrown. My passion is to help you avoid a costly and devastating divorce by getting clear on what your heart and soul are wanting from you, and mapping the strategy for a heart-centered and compassionate reshaping, whatever it is, that is a win-win for all concerned.

BOTTOM LINE: The force of the Universe is pounding humanity with the impulse to evolve into our authentic selves. The evolutionary forces are exposing our secrets, revealing our truths, and shining the light into every deep and dark corner of our subconscious minds, whether we like it or not. (I haven’t liked it all that much a lot of the time!). The good news is that the truth will set you free! Really. There is great freedom in having nothing left to hide!

TIP: For centuries humanity has been manipulated by fear, shame and guilt. When you get a flash of insight into a “dark” truth about yourself, it is easy to experience a “crises of recognition.” It takes great courage to face it squarely and embrace it with love. Being horrified only sends it back into the darkness to come out another time when you are more able to love all of yourself. I can assure you no one will judge you as harshly as you judge yourself!

P.S. Life Sculpting Coaching is a powerful, fast track system for getting clear on what is not working, what your options are beyond the “stay or leave” choice, then helping you gently carve away what is not working, and soulfully reshape what remains.

What deep, dark secrets are working their way into the light of your conscious mind? Hard as it may be to face them, loving them is the key to breaking free! To assist you in bringing your “darkness” to the light, feel free to email your experience to me at jennifer@jennifergrainger.com and I’ll zap it with love and light . . . POOF!

Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Joyfully,
Jennifer

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Life is Miserable When You Are Stuck at a Crossroads

January 12th, 2012 by Jennifer Grainger

If you are not at a crossroads in your marriage or long term relationship,   and don’t know anyone who is, you probably won’t find this newsletter interesting enough to read all the way to the bottom for the solution.

On the other hand, you might want to keep a copy in the event that someone in your life may be getting ready to drop the news on you that they have been at a crossroads for a while and have finally gotten the courage to move on.

You see, 2012 is going to be a year when what hasn’t been working in people’s lives . . . what has been tolerated just to keep the peace . . . what’s been swept under the rug is going to become intolerable. What’s been unsaid is going to get said. What’s been on the back burner is going to boil over.

Here’s how I know. When people feel threatened or backed into a corner, they do the craziest things. And the more uncertain life becomes, the faster the insecurities pile up, until one day . . . BAM! The stuff hits the fan.

A look at the political arena demonstrates that craziness is rampant today, and a precursor to the falling apart that is happening in all sectors.

Take marriage, for instance. 50 years ago, if he brought home sufficient bacon, and she cooked it well, that qualified as a good marriage.

Wow! Times have changed. The centuries old structure of marriage is collapsing under the strain of expecting our partners to fulfill all of our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual needs!

Yet, that is what the fairy tale promised . . . your Prince would sweep you off your feet, and you’d live happily ever after!

Here’s the kicker . . . the fairy tale left out the most important component of a great relationship . . . a fully authentic YOU! If you have spent years attempting to make things work, doing all the things you have been told were the right way to do it, you have likely lost connection with your own true self!

It’s just a guess, but it makes sense that women who bought the fairy tale have greater expectations of marriage than men, which explains why men are seldom the ones who say “Honey, we need to talk!”

From my admittedly unscientific observation, it appears that it takes less for men to be satisfied in their marriage than women, which leads women to work hard to get to their husbands to change so they can get their needs met, whether they be emotional, physical or spiritual.

While you might be willing to settle for not having your important needs satisfied because you have been convinced that “that’s just the way it is,” your heart and soul won’t give up asking for what they need to feel nourished and alive. As the years go by your heart and soul become increasingly demanding (you feel increasingly unhappy) until the idea of divorce starts showing up.

If your heart and soul are dying of starvation, and you’ve tried everything you can think of to make your marriage better, and you want to leave, but feel you can’t because you . . .

. . . don’t want to hurt him

. . . don’t know how you’d take care of yourself financially

. . . might be worried about the effect on the children, if you have them (even if they are grown)

. . . could be afraid of what your family and friends will think

. . . have fear that you’ll never find love again

. . . are afraid of a costly and destructive divorce

you have the miserable dilemma of being stuck on the merry-go-round of wanting to leave and feeling trapped that you can’t. This misery drains joy out of life, stresses your immune system, and ages you faster than smoking cigarettes and too much sun!

It is the fairy tale that is the root of the misery. It promised a fantasy that no man can fulfill. Yet the needs of your heart and soul are valid, too.

Oh, what to do, what to do?!

1. Take your attention off the relationship and put it on yourself for awhile. Treat yourself like a new friend. Get to know what you like and don’t like. What you want more of. What you want less of. Pay attention to yourself. Do things to please yourself.

2. Start saying “NO” to what you don’t want to do. Only say “YES” when your whole body feels good about it.

3. Fire anyone who has an authority position in your personal life. YOU are the best judge of what is right for you. Your opinion of what feels right to you deserves the highest priority.

4. Take note of how many years you have been taking care of others. Note how many years you likely have left on the planet. Decide when it gets to be your turn to be #1 for awhile.

5. Get clear that it is not wrong or selfish for your needs to have equal importance with everyone else’s.

6. Get support to back you up when those who have had a free ride for way too long start complaining. No one grows themselves by themselves. It takes substantial support to excavate your authentic self, and step into being the woman you were born to be. From that place you become the final authority in your life about what is right for YOU! No one else’s opinion counts as much as yours does when it comes to making choices that affect your well-being.

Today it isn’t longevity that defines a successful marriage, but one in which space is made for each party to thrive and flourish . . . where compromise and sacrifice give way to taking the time to negotiate until everyone’s needs are met, with neither having to sacrifice their important needs “for the sake of the marriage.”

Perhaps you have hopes that your marriage (or long term relationship) can be “saved,” but you don’t know what to try next.

Or, perhaps you have passed the point-of-no-return in your marriage and absolutely know it is time to move on, though you’d like it to be amicable, you may not know where to start.

BOTTOM LINE: If things are not working for you, you can be sure they are not working for your partner! If you are miserable, so is your partner, whether they show it or not. Getting honest with yourself about where you stand is the first step in taking charge of your life to get off the merry-go-round of indecision. Wishing and hoping that things will change on their own doesn’t work. When you shift, others have to shift. Nobody has to die for you to be happy!

TIP: Getting clear on what you want without getting derailed by the not knowing HOW you could make it happen, is the very first step. Once you decide, whether it is to stay and work on it a little longer, or call it complete, the Universe steps in to bring to you all the resources you will need. All you have to do is recognize them and say “yes” to them.

P.S. Life Sculpting Coaching is a powerful, fast track system for gently carving away what is not working in your life, and soulfully reshaping what remains into the life your heart and soul are yearning for.

I currently have three openings for Life Sculpting Coaching clients. To see if this is your next step, go here and fill out the contact form requesting a complimentary 15 – 20 minute telephone session to see if my Be the Woman You Were Born to Be Program is right for you.
I’ll respond with suggested available times and we can set a convenient telephone appointment time.

Whether you decide to become a coaching client, or not, you can be sure you will receive a solid next step to break the stuck cycle in the no obligation, introductory Be the Woman You Were Born to Be coaching session. Go here now to request your complimentary session.

What crossroads are you facing? Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Joyfully,

Jennifer

Posted in at a crossroads, midlife woman, spiritual practices, spirituality in relationships | No Comments »