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What will I gain from this? Someone leaving, someone dying, getting sick. What will I gain from this? What do you wish you never did anymore? Then there's the level of your filter system. Perhaps at that level you believe that relationships never work, that people will always leave you, and that relationships only cause pain. You might find it helpful to visualize your filter system just melting away, so that you can develop a new set of beliefs. To assist you in this process, try Meditation Three in Appendix A. Tracking is a process of going deeper and deeper into your filter system until you see what the real issue is. ASK YOUR DEEPEST SELF What would you most like to change about your life right now? Use this issue to practice tracking. Take some time to observe yourself in relation to this issue. Carry around a notearticle and write down as many details as possible about it. However, some of this thinking oversimplifies and confuses important issues. For example, picking bad men isn't always due to having a bad dad, and having a distant father doesn't always create depression. We must investigate more deeply than this. Many women who grew up with absent fathers also had mothers who were both nurturing and assertive. Mom took responsibility for both mothering and fathering needs and made sure her daughter grew up in relationship with several safe men who could help in her character growth. These women may have grown up technically fatherless, but they still received all the good stuff they needed.

Some believe that all attachment problems are mom problems and that all aggression problems are dad problems. So the logic goes, if a woman has a hard time setting limits and being her own person, it's because of fathering issues. This is true, but incompletely so. Moms also have a lot to do with childhood assertiveness, and dads are able to teach tenderness. Emotional Action Step ATTRACT NURTURING CONNECTIONS: FIVE CURES FOR LONELINESS Use these strategies to prevent and reverse loneliness. Cure 1: Make a relationship wish list. To attract people who do your heart good, ask yourself, What qualities are most important to me? Then list them in a journal. For instance: The ability to let you speak your truth without judging you A sense of humor Behavior that matches words I used to text while driving. Yes, I admit it. Not proud of it. Actually, I still do it sometimes. I'm a bit addicted. I said I'm not proud.

So, I tried a new technique. I started telling it like I want it to be instead of how it is. Every time I noticed myself checking a text or typing one, I'd put the phone down and say, I used to text while driving. It was an interesting experiment. Include how you were feeling, what was happening, and what you did. Try to notice your internal dialog. Set aside an hour to track the issue. Go into a light meditative state and drop down into your feelings. Follow your feelings and see where they take you. Give yourself time to see the beliefs and expectations you have surrounding this issue. Write as much as possible about the issue until you sense that you're done. When you've finished, take some time to write about your insights. Did you find the process easy, confusing, or difficult? Write about how this process feels to you. In fact, much of the material in this article has to do with how children are to learn their first no, their first independent steps, and their first identity moves with none other than mom. Mother issues of assertiveness occur years earlier than dad issues, which are a secondary process. Kristin, for example, knew she was picking the wrong men. She found herself in her mid-thirties, leaving a second marriage, and then quickly getting involved with yet another man. The men she chose all tended to be strong, self-assured, and in control. Yet when she committed to them, their self-control would quickly turn into Kristin-control.

They'd become dominating, critical, and perfectionistic with her. When she talked to a friend about her destructive pattern, he said, You had a distant dad, and you're looking for his strength and protection in the arms of a husband. That sounded logical. Kristin's mother had been quiet and nurturing, so as far as she could tell, Mom wasn't the issue. Being open to spirituality and intuition Being loving, kind Clarifying your priorities helps you hold the vision of what you need. I don't want you to simply go through the motions of socializing and hope for the best. I want you to specifically visualize and pursue others with desirable traits. Cure 2: Practice reaching out: look for similarities in people, not differences. When you're lonely, it may feel hard to reach out, but here's a tip that will make it easier. A key to connecting is to focus on what you have in common with others, not on what you don't. I find this especially useful at parties, where I'm apt to end up in a corner feeling lonely, just talking to the friend I came with. Since I'm basically shy, I find it hard to break the ice with new people. Every time I did it, I felt a slight shift inside me. As if it was becoming true. You may be surprised--my clients and students know that I'm a bit obsessive about telling it like it is. I don't let many untruths get by me when I'm coaching or teaching. I believe that the truth sets us free and always feels better. But this felt right somehow.

I told myself what I wanted to be my truth. The difference is I knew I would still do it. I wasn't lying to myself or pretending I was clean of this habit. I was aware that I was telling it how I wanted it to be. Do you find yourself resisting it in any way? What way could you view this process that would assist you in seeing your filters more clearly? What could you tell yourself after a session that would be most beneficial? When I tracked relationships I found that my problems had nothing to do with relationships at all. At some level I believed life was meant to be hard and that the best I deserved was to suffer. I thoroughly believed that if I got too happy, sadness was sure to follow. I believed that when something good happened it was always followed by something bad. Obviously, I didn't deserve to have good relationships, so I could see to it that they were not a part of my life. Tracking takes patience and practice. This process is like peeling an onion--there are many layers and you have to go through them one layer at a time. Kristin began working on the loss of her father. Yet after all her work, Kristin still found herself attracted to controlling men. It was only when she began seeing a therapist who recognized the deeper mom issue, that Kristin could truly begin to change. The reality of Kristin's background was worse than she'd thought: Mom's quiet nurture disguised a passivity and lack of identity in Mom herself. So Mother failed to lead her daughter through the separating, individuating, and assertion training that Kristin needed. She taught Kristin to be sweet, passive, and dependent, but not to strike out on her own.