Frog Blog

Why is it so Hard to Receive?

When I visit Mom in my hometown of Richfield, MN, I am often enlightened by things she does that help me see why I have certain habits and traits. For example, Mom is very self-sufficient and always feels like she’s bothering people. Even her own kids. She’s getting better, but traditionally, has had a hard time letting people help her.

Maybe you grew up that way, too. Be good, stay out of the way, and don't get into trouble. What I’ve noticed in myself is how hard it is to let someone help me, too. “No, thanks, I got it.” Well, sometimes, it would be really nice to have someone help me! It’s so easy to get weary when if we just asked, there are plenty of people who would love to help. Switching things around, I usually feel great when I can help – makes me feel needed. Maybe you can identify.

On a plane to London this year, a male passenger asked if I would like help with my bag. “Yes, please, that would be wonderful!”, I exclaimed. It was a rare experience. Mostly because I was able to graciously receive his gift of service. It felt really good. How can you let someone help you and feel the gift of receiving today? It’s truly a win-win. You get the help you need and the giver feels great to give.

Lessons from Little House on the Prairie

Growing up, I loved this series. I hadn’t seen it again until this year, when I got cable for the first time ever. Welcome to the 21st century, right? You can imagine my excitement when I saw that it was on. While watching, I was struck by several things that happened in the show about love, relationships, conflict and communication.

Nellie was working as a waitress and pretended to be shorter by crouching down because she liked a boy who was shorter than her and she was afraid he wouldn’t like her because of that. She had asked Mrs. Ingalls if boys like girls who are shorter than them. First lesson/observation: Nellie’s already compromising herself by pretending to be something she’s not, so the boy will like her.

When the boy says, “I KNOW why you’re doing that (thinking she is making fun of him)”, Nellie excitedly exclaims, “You DO (thinking he realizes she likes him and he likes her back)?!, but the boy runs off because he is so embarrassed, and then Nellie gets mad because she doesn’t understand why he stormed off. Second Lesson/Observation: Complete misunderstanding because both made assumptions and didn’t actually talk about it.

Then, Laura wants to work so she can marry her fiancé sooner than later, but since he can’t provide for her, he insists on waiting until the farm improves so he can provide. He says it is unacceptable for her to work once married. She is furious because of his ridiculous logic. Wouldn’t you all agree? It doesn’t make any sense to her since she could provide for both of them, so she decides to leave town where she was offered a teaching job. Third Lession/Observation: Men still want to take care of us – no matter what century we live in.

Yes, he does come to his senses and gets on his horse, chasing her wagon and asking her to marry him all over again. I guess the fourth lesson is, love still prevails. With a little bit of sense.

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There’s No There There

How many times have you said “I can’t wait till I meet someone, get that new job, lose that weight, make more money…fill in the blank”. When I get THERE, everything will be so much better! When I…when I…when I _____.

A wise coaching mentor told me many years ago that there’s no there there. Being such a goal oriented person, I thought “what the heck does that mean?!” He asked if I wanted to know what it felt like to be a millionaire. I said yes! He said, close your eyes. Then waited a few seconds, and said, that’s what it feels like. HUH? He went onto say you’ll always be you, just thinner, or richer or whatever-er. It struck me. In a powerful way.

What can we take from this? Well, first of all, it’s kind of depressing. Can we acknowledge that up front? One of the excitements of pursuing a goal is reaching it! You don’t run a marathon to keep running. You run to accomplish the goal. There is a finish line for a reason. But, as we always hear over and over, the joy is in the journey. But I digress. That’s not really my point.

My point is once you make peace with the fact that no accomplishment is going to make your problems disappear and make your life perfect, then you are freed up to actually enjoy the moment you are in, while still pursuing your goals. Once you recognize there is no perfect life, then you can rest. It worked for me. Well, I’m still working on the rest part, but I’m thrilled to say I don’t have “perfect” as my goal anymore.

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Something's Wrong

“Karen, there IS something wrong with you.” What? His eyes penetrated my soul. HUH?! Come again? I was dumbfounded. Coming from a man I love and respect (my mentor), I was struggling to take in the message he was directing at me. How can that be true? There’s nothing wrong with me; I just haven’t met the right one yet.

After a pause that seemed like forever, he said, “You’re broken.” Following with something about what’s happened to me that caused me to be broken in the first place, but that has now become part of me that I need to acknowledge. As I let it soak in, I realized that he was right. All the well meaning people who have no clue what to say when it comes out that you’re “still single”, naturally say “there’s nothing wrong with you”.

BUT, my operating system is flawed. For the results I want, anyway. Maybe yours is, too. We have got to recognize that we fully contribute to our life choices. We want men to pursue us, but

  1. We pick passive men who we don’t respect because we know they won’t leave us, because they need us. No chance of abandonment there.
  2. We pick someone who lavishes us with attention, but we don’t ever commit because we can’t imagine partnering with him for real because we don’t see him as an equal.
  3. Or we choose someone who doesn’t respect us because we somehow think it’s okay to be treated poorly and don’t value ourselves enough to say no, thinking any attention is better than no attention.
  4. Or we’re so afraid that a man we DO respect who doesn’t need us will leave us at any moment.

Oh, the insecurity of it all!

Sound familiar?

What’s your deal? How are you compromising yourself? What do you need to look at before you go on that next date?

I want to help you attract a man that will pursue you and cherish you! You are the prize – the precious pearl. But no one will think that of you if you don’t think that of yourself. How can you begin to see yourself as a treasure? In humility, of course. What are you settling for?

It certainly doesn’t have to start with men. How are you settling in your own life in general? How can you open yourself up to love, and stop hiding? You have to open your heart and take risks. Guard your heart, but open it, too. Allow the good stuff to come in and see how that feels.

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No Dresses

At first, my eHarmony prospect looked good. On his second email he writes “I’m a little nervous that you’re not wearing a dress in any of your pictures and you have short hair, as well as loving San Francisco. Do you have lesbian tendencies?!”

I was stunned by his question, contemplating the best response (to lovingly and compassionately put him in his place). After sleeping on it I came up with this: “I was amused by your emphasis on thoughts of me having lesbian tendencies. I wonder what's at the core of that?"

I continue to be amazed at how people are and what they think is appropriate. I also wonder how many people realize the impression they are creating about themselves, by how they show up.

How are you showing up? What questions are you asking? How are you showing compassion, but also protecting yourself?

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