Posted in Being Human, codependency, Relationships

Second Most Common Reason Relationships Fail

Last week I wrote about the number one reason relationships fail.  (Read that post HERE). Today, I am writing about the second more common reason for relationship failure:

Unmanaged Anxiety

Anxiety is Normal!

First of all….anxiety is normal and we all have it!  Anxiety can be mild as in the case of “butterflies” before an important event or severe as in the case of a full-blown panic attack.  Anxiety can manifest in a simple case of nerves or escalate into emotional collapse or mental paralysis.  Anxiety has many faces and degrees of severity and it arises out of a multitude of situations.  Sometimes anxiety is situational and at other times, it arises out of unhealed emotional wounds or physical trauma, as is the case with PTSD.  Anxiety also acts as an alert system notifying us that there is something within us that wants to be known – our truth (ie. Kundalini Awakening, Ascension symptoms) our desire for a life of meaning, the longing for fulfilling work, needs that are not being met, etc.  Anxiety is normal.  We all have it, and anxiety, in and of itself, is not bad.  Instead, anxiety is there to help us understand something deeper that wants to be known.


The Problem

The problem is that in our culture, we are not taught how to identify anxiety or what to do with it (except numb it through medication, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, etc.). Not knowing how to identify anxiety or what to do about it would not be so much of a problem if we only have ourselves to deal with.  As human beings, however, we live in community. If we are not identifying and managing our anxiety properly, it tends to come out sideways, doing damage to ourselves and the people around us (Where do you think wars come from???).

The Blame Game

The most common way that unmanaged anxiety “comes out sideways” is in what I call The Blame Game. When we have unidentified and unmanaged anxiety, the go-to place of this anxiety is most often projection.  We feel unease, but we haven’t taken the time (or don’t have the skills) to identify what we are feeling and why.  So, instead of taking responsibility for our own inner terrain, we are certain that the people around us are responsible for our unease (our husband, kids, roommate, parents, co-workers, etc.).  We blame them for our feelings, then we either lash out in anger or turn the unease inward and harbor resentment toward “the other” for making us feel this way.

Healing our Relationships

One step we can take toward healing our interpersonal relationships is to learn how to identify and manage our own anxiety.  When we take care of our inner terrain, we no longer have the need to make “the other” the enemy. Taking care of our anxiety facilitates honesty in relationships which thereby cultivates intimacy. Managing our anxiety also gives us the tools through which we can cultivate healthy communication with others who have also learned to manage their anxiety – making overall better relationships….period!


Need support in identifying and managing your anxiety? Call Lauri Ann Lumby (920) 230-1313 or email to schedule an appointment.

Or check out our upcoming e-course, Happily Ever After – from Co-dependency to the Fulfillment of Love which explores all the reasons relationships fail and provides tools through which healthier intimacy can be attained.



Posted in Being Human, grief, Healing

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

As we move and grow along our spiritual path, we are invited to examine and release for healing all those things inside of us that we want to put on somebody else – shame, blame, guilt, anger, frustration, impatience, distrust, etc.  When we are tempted to project our stuff “out there” we are invited to hold up the mirror and truthfully acknowledge our own unhealed wounds.


Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Biggest Jerk of All?

Ahem….after a weekend buried in the world of projections, I can tell you the answer to that question is:  ME!  Me! Me! Me!  I am the biggest jerk as I look back on a weekend of impatience, frustration, doubt, fear, anger, sadness, compulsive behaviors and obsessions.  In this I am forced to humbly admit my humanness – which for a recovering perfectionist is not the easiest thing to do!  ARGH!!!!!  Yelling at my kids.  Spending hours in obsessive worry.  Stomping around the house and grumbling about all the things “they” did to me.  Wanting to run screaming after people I decided in my head had hurt me, ignored me, rejected me.  All my demons were out in full force and I was not a happy camper, and neither were the poor souls who had to share my living space (material and virtual!).  Did I say, ARGH?  So, sorry kids and other innocent bystanders…..I was a JERK and now I understand why.

Looking into the Mirror

So this morning, after a weekend of yuk….I returned to my daily spiritual practice.  I listened to a little Kirtan (sacred chant) , then sat in meditation.  It was in this space of quiet repose that the universe decided to give me the gift of a clean mirror in which to gaze.  And there is was….I saw in vivid technicolor the source of my jerk-ness.  Then I wacked myself in the head with a big, “DUH!”  Of course, this weekend I moved the rest of my belongings out of my former husband’s home and into my new home….and it was not easy…..among other things, we had to move a 100 year old upright concert grand piano.  (Thank you by the way to the three strong men who lent their muscle, time and patience to moving that beast!!!!!).  Physical objects aside, the move was not easy for a plethora of other reasons:  Loss, sadness, grief, finality and a sense of closure….then mix that in with the grief and all its shining faces that decided to resurface in this time of transition.  DUH!  Of course I was a jerk….the grief came home to roost and instead of acknowledging the fears and resulting emotions that would be stirred up by this grief: insecurity, doubt, mistrust, sadness, loss, anger, resentment, etc. etc. etc.  I found myself projecting it outward….my kids were being brats, not listening, tearing up the house, friends weren’t giving me the attention I wanted in spite of all my attempts at getting their attention, I wasn’t getting what I wanted and when I wanted it, etc. etc. etc.   In short…..instead of acknowledging the unhealed wounds of my own grief, I had to decide that EVERYONE ELSE….was being a jerk and must somehow be rejecting and ignoring me.  POOR LAURI!

Polishing that Mirror

The reminder I received this morning is a terrific lesson for all of us who are trying to be conscious about our spiritual growth and healing.  When we find ourselves frustrated, angry, impatient, jealous, covetous, greedy, clingy, obsessive, possessive toward others, it might be a good time to pick up our own mirror and take a GOOD HARD LOOK.  What is the real source of these feelings?   What fear, wound, attachment, false perception within ourselves is kicking and screaming and trying to get our attention?  What loss, disappointment, insecurity, fear, etc. is asking for our loving, healing, compassionate attention?  When we turn our gaze away from our projections and look inward, chances are there is something inside asking for healing.  Can we then be loving enough toward ourselves (and others) and allow that wound to be named and given over for healing?  I think when we give ourselves permission to do this, the outward projections naturally take care of themselves.  In other words, “they” aren’t the jerks, we are for not tending to our own wounded hearts.

Where do you find yourself projecting blame, guilt, shame, anger, impatience, etc. towards others as a way to settle your own unhealed hurts?

How are you being invited to look more deeply within for the unhealed wounds that might be in need of healing?

How can you be loving and kind toward yourself in your own times of sorrow, grief and loss?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries