The First Step Domestic Violence Survivors Can Take to Learn to Love Themselves Again

Last week I described how many survivors of domestic violence and abuse get so caught up in beating themselves up that they can’t give themselves the care and compassion they need to heal.

In this post, I’ll explain how to take the first step towards fixing this problem, by building a compassionate image.

If you’ve been a violent relationship, you’ve been deprived of the things that we need the most from those we love, in order to feel psychologically sound and healthy.

Things like kindness, nurture, and a sense of physical and emotional safety.

This can make it hard to picture what a loving persona actually looks like.

We all know what words like kindness and love and compassion mean on an intellectual level – but when we’ve been hurt and betrayed, it’s hard to really feel them.

The purpose of the compassionate image exercise is to start to reconnect with these ideas on an emotional level by creating a fully-formed image of compassion. This gives us an internal reference point that we can keep coming back to.

As a starting point, your compassionate image needs to be built around four essential qualities: warmth, strength, wisdom and non-judgement. Beyond this, it is your own personal ideal and should reflect all the ways in which you want to be loved and cared for.

Find a quiet place where you can close your eyes and breathe deeply and focus without any distractions. Your mind might wander, and that’s ok – just try to guide it gently back to the image you’re creating. You want to feel as relaxed as possible, so don’t try to force anything!

Then, guide your image by asking yourself questions such as:

How would you want your ideal caring-compassionate image to look? Are they human, or is this represented by a particular animal? Or even something else entirely, like sunlight, or the sea? What colours do you associate with them? If they are human, are they male or female? Young or old? Would they look like you?

How would your ideal caring-compassionate image sound? What are their vocal qualities (if they have them)? How does this make you feel?

What other sensory qualities are attached to your ideal caring-compassionate image? Keep in mind the qualities of warmth, strength, wisdom and non-judgment here.

How would you like your ideal caring-compassionate image to relate to you? How would you relate to them?

Perhaps you connect through touch? Laughter? Vocal support? Or perhaps it’s simply an unspoken sense of security?

Try to keep in mind all the time that this image brings you complete compassion.

As you continue in your healing journey, this compassion image will be something you refer back to again and again. You can use it to remind yourself what warmth, strength and love truly look like for you – and can tap back into this ideal when you’re tempted to lash out at yourself and others, or when those around you treat you with less compassion than you need.

It gives you a benchmark for working out what kind of people you genuinely want to have in your life – and the kind of person that you want to be.

In my next post, I’ll explain how, armed with your compassionate image, you can start to use compassion to change the way your mind works, helping you to break out of self-destructive cycles and get on the right road to recovery.

Have you tried the compassionate image exercise? I’d love to hear about your experience – if you feel comfortable, please do let me know in the comments section below.

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The Wonderful Benefits of Being Miserable

MiserableBeing miserable is just great, don’t you find?

It’s an art form that’s well worth cultivating. It brings so many benefits to our lives, which is of course why so many people do their very best to excel at it.

Misery doesn’t bring you a better life in any of the shallow, flighty, surface ways people talk about like more friendship, love and lovers. Better relationships with your family, spouse or children. It doesn’t improve your career, financial situation, health, stability, fulfillment or joy of life.

It doesn’t make you happier – well of course it doesn’t; that would be defeating the point!

 

The many benefits of being miserable

 

But this fine craft does allow you to feel superior and special in a way other people just don’t understand, which is fantastic. You can become a martyr overnight with a bit of misery – the innocent victim who tries so, so hard to be happy (not too hard though, be careful) and then the world just seems to conspire against you. You poor thing.

In an age where we have relative peace and prosperity, and more opportunities than ever before, it can be quite hard to find ways to feel like the beaten-down underdog. Misery solves that problem in a jiffy!

 

You get sooo much attention

 

And this is the greatest benefit of all: being miserable gets you so much attention and compassion. Big-hearted and guilt-prone people especially will feel compelled to help you, to listen to you, to feel sorry for you. Here’s the best part: people feel vaguely guilty around you too.

You’re sure to always have company. Misery loves company, and you make people more and more miserable around you. Some will leave you, but never mind about them. They just don’t get it.

 

And there’s more! You come across as so wise and worldly, because you notice all the crap in the world. You are the first to see what’s wrong with everything and every idea. And you stop people just when they were about to blindly run forwards happily into something fun, without paying due attention to what could go wrong.

You’re like a profound, tragic guru of worldly wisdom. How awesome is that!

And you never experience disappointment or disillusion, because you never expect or hope for anything in the first place. You never experience loss or deep pain because you get rid of meaningful love from your life in the first place.

“I get it! I’m sold! So how do I get good at being miserable!?” I hear you cry. Here are a few tips to set you on your way.

 

How to be miserable – your quick 10-step guide

 

  1. Make good things small and temporary

If anything good happens and you accidentally notice it, make sure you see it as being temporary and as small as possible. Like a glitch in the system.

  1. Make bad things huge and everlasting

When something bad happens, make sure you notice and express how terrible it was, and how it happened because it always happens, and the effects will last forever. Here’s a tip: the more you talk about it, the more a problem lasts and spreads.

  1. See bad intentions behind everything

Turn innocent remarks into calculated insults from horrible people who intended to cause pain. See attempted attacks and offence behind everything.

  1. Do everything for personal gain

Never just do something for someone else unless you can get something out of it. Make sure you point out how everyone else giving to others is doing it for themselves too.

  1. Be terrified of economic loss

Talk about how close you are to being broke all the time. Worry consistently about losing your job. Watch the news and find all the evidence you can that you are on the brink of bankruptcy and destruction.

  1. Cultivate a negative identity

If you have any personal problems, make them the only things that matter about you. Become a Depressed Person, an Anxious Person, etc. Oh, and of course make sure those problems last longer and get bigger.

  1. Don’t feel or express gratitude

Gratitude has no place in the life of a true misery master. There’s nothing in this world to be grateful for – make that your mantra.

  1. Blame your parents and background

Always remember, your life was set out before you even had a chance. Your parents messed you up, so that’s that. They are the cause of all your shortcomings and failures.

  1. Don’t be shallow and enjoy the little things

Take no pleasure in the beautiful, lovely things in life. Good conversation, art, wine, music, beauty. Leave that to shallow, pathetic happy people who just don’t understand.

  1. Focus on yourself and on the past

Ruminate and regret. Think and talk incessantly about every little problem you might have in your character, or something that happened to you. Don’t let anything go! All that mostly-imagined baggage is precious – and the key to a glorious life of absolute misery.

 

Here’s one extra bonus tip – always pretend you want to be happy. Pretend to yourself too. If you start admitting that deep down you’re trying to be miserable – well, you might just start thinking how absurd it all is and become happy instead.

And that would ruin everything!

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Does Time Heal? They Say 18 Months – I Say 21 Days!

e08c65b4068a173f39c0f51ca1db5dd1A survey covered in this Daily Mail article interviewed 155 people and found that breakups take 11 weeks to get over on average. The article also says it takes 18 months to get over a divorce.

Actually, I’d say with no good strategy, even breakups take 18 months to heal from. It may take just 11 weeks to get over the split, but not to fully heal and get back to your joyous, strong, positive, life-loving self again. Because:

Healing requires active engagement with the topic!

Which is why it really takes 18 months to heal without any system or engagement or strategy, or without the right support.

And during that 18 month period, without the proper healing, you’re very likely to move into more unsuccessful relationships, which will end in breakup or divorce too. 56% of second marriages also end in divorce, and 72% of third marriages – the statistics don’t lie!

Time alone does not heal wounds

Many types of relationship therapy may tell you that it just takes time to heal and there’s nothing more to do about it, but it’s just not true! It makes me sad that so many people believe this nonsense and live unnecessarily with their pain or depression for months and even years.

I’ve seen time and time again that healing happens in short spurts during that time.

Healing is not a linear chronological process – it happens when you focus on healing. And with good strategy, process, attention and support you can make those short spurts of healing happen quickly, over the course of a few weeks. Not months or years.

Here’s another statistic for you – 97% of divorcees who take my Naked Divorce program are successfulin getting over AND healing from all their trauma in 21 days.

Back on track, happy and loving life once more. Check out their personal stories here.

It’s a pity the study above didn’t ask the recipients exactly when and how they felt little bursts of improvement and how they worked to those points and through them.

When you actively embrace the healing process, and face the sometimes very difficult feelings and stages to work through, in an intelligent way, you create an environment where these flashes of improvement and healing begin to happen.

Unfortunately, there is evidence that traditional forms of therapy don’t help the recovery process at all. In fact, there are clear conflicts of interest that certainly don’t incentivize therapists to get their clients cured, healed and happy as rapidly as possible.

Clients become dependent on therapists, and therapists gain secure, long-term clients and income

Imagine if a relationship therapist had to find new clients every month because they were helping them heal so quickly. Business would become extremely tough. Far better to have a guaranteed monthly or weekly client paying for a year or more – make sure you don’t become one of these clients!

With my program, I’ve deliberately incentivized myself and my team of Divorce Angels to help people truly, properly, deeply heal faster and more effectively. Our reputation depends on it.

I want that 97% success rate in 21 days to go up to 99%, not down to 95%.

Come and try the system, we’d be delighted to prove it to you!

Or if you have any questions at all about getting over your divorce, do ask.

I’m here to help.

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Today is our birthday!

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Today Nakeddivorce EmotionalFreedom is 3 years old!
The idea was born in February 2011 and by the 11th December 2011 I had my first sale. I never thought that when I developed the program that it would ever be used by anyone other than me. Since then we have a team which is slowly growing and over 740 people which have completed the 21-day program either with our homestudy kits, Divorce Angels or books. The next phase is about launching our online platform in 2015 which we are working very hard on right now. Everything happens so much slower than I wanted but we have had pre-sales on the program already and we feel very optimistic about it. Then it is onto building the other trauma recovery programs within the Naked Recovery platform which we have also been working on as well as training up the new Angels.
If anyone had ever told me how long this would take or how much work it would be, I would probably have run away but every day I feel very privileged that we get to walk with people through one of the darkest times of their lives back into possibility and lightness. I feel immensely thankful to everyone who trusted us to do the program with us. Especially the people right at the very beginning who helped us make it into what it is today.
Thank you for being who you are.
xxx
Adele