Ask Dr. Ash – Coping with Toxic Family Holidays?

Ask Dr. Ash – Coping with Toxic Family Holidays?

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QUESTION

How do you navigate the holidays with difficult family members?

I’ve recently become aware that my parents are narcissistic (my dad) and codependent (my mom). After trying to set some boundaries, I decided to take a break from them since I couldn’t get anywhere when addressing them. I’m really enjoying this break, but now with the holidays approaching, I’m feeling confused on how to proceed.

I have a 5-year-old who would like to see them, but they refuse to FaceTime during my break (it’s all or nothing). I honestly would like to not address them at all, or spend the holidays with them in any way, or wish them a happy birthday which is also approaching. I know they’ll use this against me later (look, everyone, I told you she was a bad daughter), but at the same time, the thought of contacting them exhausts me.

Any advice? Thanks so much!!

– HoHum Holidays

DR. ASH

Holidays can be a particularly difficult time when it comes to coping with family. Especially if there is a narcissist involved in the equation. But here’s the truth – no one’s opinion of you and your life choices matters except your own.

I know it can seem threatening and confusing when you fear that someone might use your boundaries and distance against you, using it as fuel to a fire that you are not a good daughter. But sit down and ask yourself for a moment – why does it matter? Why does their opinion of you matter?

It matters because the toxicity & trauma from when you were growing up has conditioned you to believe that other people’s opinions of you are not only very important, but a valid reflection of your goodness, your worthiness, and your value in this world.

So sit back for a moment and ask yourself – “What’s the worst that would happen if they say ‘look, everyone, I told you she was a bad daughter’. What would happen? What would the worst case scenario be?”. Perhaps you may have a few family members or people in your parent’s community think ill of you. What else? What other fears are lurking there? Do they offer financial support that they might withdraw? Or emotional support?

Chances are that the biggest thing that would happen is that you’d feel guilty and filled with shame for putting yourself first. For asserting that you deserve to have a happy and satisfied life and doing what you need to do to make that happy.

It’s not what they think of you that’s really bothering you. It’s the internalized fears about what you’ll think of yourself.

You see, no one can really make us feel anything. Think about it. If you were on a crowded subway and bumped into someone and they had the opinion of “look, everyone, I told you she was a bad person!” you’d probably brush it right off and go on with your day because you’ve decided that that person’s opinion isn’t valid. But since you decided, probably when you were young, that your parents’ opinions were valid you feel as though when you go against those opinions you’re doing something wrong.

You’re essentially activating the “bad girl” inside of you that fears being punished. The archetypal inner child that fears that if she breaks the rules she’ll be abandoned and never loved by anyone.

Of course, your adult self knows better than this. And lucky for you she can learn new ways of coping and can decondition all of that old toxicity & trauma that’s kept you locked into the cycle of guilt and shame that has kept you replaying the same patterns over and over.

Plus, as yourself this – if you had to choose either them being disappointed with you and feeling guilty about it OR you getting to be happy, relaxed and relieved which is more important? Which is more valuable?

The answer is pretty obvious to me 😉

“Here’s the truth – no one’s opinion of you and your life choices matters except your own.” – Click to Tweet

This month in The Abundance Revolution, we’ll be talking specifically about surviving the holidays with toxic family.

There’s a lot of other aspects to coping with toxic family during the holidays that I’m super excited to teach. Such as how to shape behavior, how to give yourself an escape hatch, how to deal with grief, anxiety, and depression during the holidays, and how to keep your sanity during a season we’ve all been conditioned to put everyone else first.

Join us in The Abundance Revolution Membership. In this membership, you’ll discover how to cultivate inner strength, self-trust, and resilience so that you can finally feel comfortable putting yourself first without feeling selfish. To decondition those old beliefs, heal the inner child, and finally get what you’ve always wanted. And for a limited time, you can try it for only $22.

Grab your spot today!

Got a Question?

Got a question for Dr. Ash? Send them to support@ashleegreer.com and you may find your question featured in one of the upcoming editions!

 

 

Anxiety. Fear. Playing Small. Stuckness.

You’re living in a prison of your own making.

It’s time to change that forever.

 

Download NOW for FREE!

Hi! I’m Dr. Ash

I help women who come from challenging backgrounds that have conditioned them to put others first to live a “hell yes” life where they leave the shoulds behind. My clients learn to live a passion-filled, turned-on, lit-up life where everything is possible and to connect with their own intuitive genius.

To stop prioritizing other people’s opinions, to give themselves permission to go after their own desires, to be deeply self-expressed, self-confident, vibrant, and to release the limiting beliefs that have made them feel selfish or self-centered for putting themselves first in the past.

I have my Ph.D. in psychology, was the director of two multi-million dollar international coach training schools. She’s powerfully psychic and has over a decade of experience helping hundreds of people transform to feeling passionate, vibrant, fulfilled, and joyful.

Ask Dr Ash – Loving Without A Response?

Ask Dr Ash – Loving Without A Response?

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QUESTION

What if you’re the one reaching out to someone with love and they never reach back?

DR. ASH

Then that’s about them, not about you. And you let them go on their way.

Otherwise, you’ll always be holding back love because you fear it won’t be returned. Which means you’re always standing in fear.

And you’re actually trying to control others with your love (think about it. If you withhold love only until you know it will be met how you want it to be met. You’re in a controlling state where you’re using love to manipulate someone to get what you want).

If we fearlessly contribute love to the world and then LET GO and let the other person do what they will. Not trying to control their responses. Not waiting around for them to do, think, or feel what we want.

Then you are contributing love in your full authenticity and self-respect. Then you are fully empowered and standing in our most divine embodied self. No fear. No shame. No guilt. Just pure radiating loving presence.

“If we fearlessly contribute love to the world and then LET GO and let the other person do what they will, then you are contributing love in your full authenticity and self-respect. You are fully empowered and standing in your most divine embodied self.” – Click to Tweet

Got a Question?

Got a question for Dr. Ash? Send them to support@ashleegreer.com and you may find your question featured in one of the upcoming editions!

 

 

Anxiety. Fear. Playing Small. Stuckness.

You’re living in a prison of your own making.

It’s time to change that forever.

 

Download NOW for FREE!

Hi! I’m Dr. Ash

I help women who come from challenging backgrounds that have conditioned them to put others first to live a “hell yes” life where they leave the shoulds behind. My clients learn to live a passion-filled, turned-on, lit-up life where everything is possible and to connect with their own intuitive genius.

To stop prioritizing other people’s opinions, to give themselves permission to go after their own desires, to be deeply self-expressed, self-confident, vibrant, and to release the limiting beliefs that have made them feel selfish or self-centered for putting themselves first in the past.

I have my Ph.D. in psychology, was the director of two multi-million dollar international coach training schools. She’s powerfully psychic and has over a decade of experience helping hundreds of people transform to feeling passionate, vibrant, fulfilled, and joyful.

Ask Dr Ash – Messy and Loving it?

Ask Dr Ash – Messy and Loving it?

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QUESTION

Is cleanliness really next to godliness?

On the one hand, cleaning house can lead to the flow of energy and good chi, but on the other hand, tv ads make us worry about it just to sell more products which actually could be worse for us.

Where is the happy medium? If you are truly kind to yourself, shouldn’t you let go of any shame associated with a dirty house?

-Amess Anlovingit

DR. ASH

Great question Amess Anlovingit (and love the pseudonym by the way!). So oooooh dang, there are QUITE a few aspects to this question. So first let me break down my answer and then I’ll dive deeper to address each point.

Summary of my long-ass answer:

 Yes, we’ve been marketed into a cleaning frenzy that may not actually be healthy.

 Patriarchy may be involved in women’s guilt over not having a tidy house.

 Perfectionism and control, especially if you came from a chaotic past, may be why many people are obsessed with cleanliness. And it becomes a way they sacrifice their happiness.

There’s a difference between every day untidiness and piles of crap clogging up the flow of your life. Which may, in fact, be representative of a deeper issue that you’re not addressing.

First, yes, I absolutely believe that the marketing machine has created an intense concern that things aren’t “clean” in order to sell more cleaning products. When you get into holistic health and an organic lifestyle (which I generally am) you realize that simple things like cleaning with vinegar are more effective than many products, which are actually full of poisons and many artificial chemicals. Plus, the influx of “antibacterial” products, soaps, etc. is actually exacerbating the issues that our society has with antibiotic resistance. We need our antibiotics to work for things that matter! And don’t need these substances in everyday cleaning products and soaps. I personally avoid using products with antibacterial properties because of this very reason.

There is also some discussion about how an obsession with “over-cleanliness” has led to an influx of allergies in today’s youth. That by being so clean, we’re actually removing the opportunity for children to get dirty and to strengthen their gut microbiome when they’re young.

As you may know, I live in Bali. And the cleanliness standards here are not what they are in countries like the US or Australia. At first, when I moved I was scared about what that might mean. However, after living here a year and traveling around SE Asia quite a bit I have begun to see that there are fewer infections and few food allergies in the children over here. Although there are cases of what they call “Bali Belly,” this is usually caused by drinking unfiltered water. Not by the cleanliness standards held by those in the society.

Plus, when you think about it, we evolved outside. At one point our species was sitting in the dirt around fires eating food that wasn’t rinsed and refrigerated perfectly. The cleanliness standards we have really only developed over the last 100 years or so. And so I’m not sure how natural this actually is.

So yes, absolutely. I think we’ve all gone a bit overboard with how clean we feel things must be. I came from a household where my house would reek of bleach every Saturday. And this just isn’t the kind of environment I want to live in anymore. I’d rather use organic and natural cleaning methods when possible. 

“Because of the way that cleanliness has been wrapped up in the identity of a good mom, wife, or homeowner it can come with an incredible sense of guilt and shame. It’s not worth it.” – Click to Tweet

Now the second part of the answer is – what about tidiness? Order? Feeling like you can find the clothes you want to wear and the paperwork you’re looking for verses being overwhelmed by piles of stuff on every surface of the house?? There is a sense of necessity about keeping certain things clean (like food, dishes, counters clear of debris) that can attract bugs and other pests for sure. And most people feel as though they can think clearer when they have a clean house where their clothes and dishes are put away regularly.

But here’s something really interesting. Scientific research points out that a messy desk can actually be indicative of a creative and perhaps even genius mind. But what about a messy house? We as a society tend to judge those who have messy houses. And it makes me wonder if there’s an edge of patriarchy involved here where we are judging women for “not keeping the house clean” but see a worker with a messy desk differently?

Research points out that women do most of the house cleaning in a marriage. So the judgments our society puts on messy homes is actually a judgment we’re putting on women for not “being better”. But better at what exactly?

Perhaps we need to examine why a clean house is of the utmost importance. I know some women who have an impeccably tidy house but are miserable. Because they use their tidiness as a key factor in their own perfectionism and control. They try to use a clean house as a way to earn worth and see a tidy house almost as a status symbol. This ends up becoming self-destructive because these same women will harbor a great deal of anger when things get messed up, the towels are folded wrong, or the sink isn’t cleaned to perfection every time the dishes are done. This is part of what I call “everyday codependency” and it’s something that can develop when you come from a Toxic and Traumatic past where you essentially try to control minutiae in your life in order to feel like you have a real sense of control!

But the real scary truth is that we don’t ever really have total control over life.

Because of the way that cleanliness has been wrapped up in the identity of a good mom, wife, or homeowner it can come with an incredible sense of guilt and shame. And I’m 100% with you on this AA – it’s not worth it. No one’s life is improving because you feel guilty and ashamed of your messy house.

Because let’s get real. Life is messy. Kids and pets are messy. Life gets hectic and we get rushed and so the laundry may be permanently housed in the laundry basket, even when it’s clean. Or the dishes may never quite make it back into the cupboard. But we don’t have to allow that to impact our happiness.

The key factor here is discernment on what we’re talking about in terms of messy. Are we talking about the clutter of a life well lived? A life that’s unwilling to be caught up in the perfectionism and false sense of control that a perfectly tidy house confers?

Or are we talking about clutter and keeping things that need to be given away, gotten rid of, and released. Things that are, in fact, keeping us trapped in place because we just refuse to deal with them. This is when I believe Feng Shui really comes in. When we realize that the messiness that we may be harboring is more than the day to day busy-ness of life but instead is hiding something much deeper about how we are unwilling to deal with the baggage of the past, release what’s no longer serving us, or are terrified of still not being good enough, even if we give away all of the clutter.

So as you can tell, this whole messiness question comes with a lot of layers.

Hope I’ve answered the aspect that was specific to you 😉

Got a Question?

Got a question for Dr. Ash? Send them to support@ashleegreer.com and you may find your question featured in one of the upcoming editions!

 

 

Anxiety. Fear. Playing Small. Stuckness.

You’re living in a prison of your own making.

It’s time to change that forever.

 

Download NOW for FREE!

Hi! I’m Dr. Ash

I help women who come from challenging backgrounds that have conditioned them to put others first to live a “hell yes” life where they leave the shoulds behind. My clients learn to live a passion-filled, turned-on, lit-up life where everything is possible and to connect with their own intuitive genius.

To stop prioritizing other people’s opinions, to give themselves permission to go after their own desires, to be deeply self-expressed, self-confident, vibrant, and to release the limiting beliefs that have made them feel selfish or self-centered for putting themselves first in the past.

I have my Ph.D. in psychology, was the director of two multi-million dollar international coach training schools. She’s powerfully psychic and has over a decade of experience helping hundreds of people transform to feeling passionate, vibrant, fulfilled, and joyful.

Ask Dr. Ash – Loving The Takers in Life?

Ask Dr. Ash – Loving The Takers in Life?

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QUESTION

How do we show up from a loving place when other people have negative energy? When they’re takers and I don’t really want to be around them? I tend to swing between being distant and cold to being close and letting them walk all over me.

DR. ASH

So here’s the thing. As we approach our divine selves more and more we get more and more filled with unconditional love. Unconditional means people don’t have to earn it, people don’t have to be good people. We love them in virtue of just existing. For everyone. This can be difficult when we’re still clogged up with the feeling that we withdraw love when people hurt us or are assy. And our culture teaches us to do this. Withdraw love when others hurt us. But what if instead, we considered that our true nature is love. We are made of love. We can pour love on everyone at all times WHILE NOT PUTTING UP WITH ANY SHIT.

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to have them in your life, doesn’t mean you approve of them and their actions, doesn’t mean you have to be around them, and most certainly doesn’t mean you have to help them.

Asking yourself “what would love do” and then creating distance if you need it… even though you love the person. Love would not be short and snippy with people. But it would say “I can’t have an active relationship with you if you’re going to be like this.”

Boundaries are ultimately loving things that help you to create MORE intimacy and love in the right relationships.

“Boundaries are ultimately loving things that help you to create MORE intimacy and love in the right relationships.” – Click to Tweet

 Transform your life from an “I guess” to a “Hell Yes!” with this free ebook

It’s time to release the Toxicity & Trauma that’s been keeping you stuck for good.

 

Hi! I’m Dr. Ash

I help women who come from challenging backgrounds that have conditioned them to put others first to live a “hell yes” life where they leave the shoulds behind. My clients learn to live a passion-filled, turned-on, lit-up life where everything is possible and to connect with their own intuitive genius.

To stop prioritizing other people’s opinions, to give themselves permission to go after their own desires, to be deeply self-expressed, self-confident, vibrant, and to release the limiting beliefs that have made them feel selfish or self-centered for putting themselves first in the past.

I have my Ph.D. in psychology, was the director of two multi-million dollar international coach training schools. She’s powerfully psychic and has over a decade of experience helping hundreds of people transform to feeling passionate, vibrant, fulfilled, and joyful.