intmacyGrowing up in an alcoholic home taught me so many rich and wonderful things about self-esteem and worthiness.
Through a long and tortuous path of shame, insecurity, and misinterpreting my Pop’s inabilities as meaning that there was something wrong with me, these all led me to discover home inside of me.
I’ve learned to dig deep into self compassion.
I’ve learned to stand up inside of myself, for myself.
I’ve learned the value of strengthening ‘spaghetti arms’ — (you know, Dirty Dancing) — where my space begins and your space ends.
I have learned how to say no when I mean no and say yes when I mean yes.
I’ve learned to read the red flags and cues that the younger one inside of me may be re-enacting from earlier patterning by ‘looking for love in all the wrong places’ and how to choose more wisely for myself and my own well-being.
This is some of the most beloved work that I have done in myself and have walked many a woman through in her own path of reclamation of self-esteem, self-respect, and self-advocacy in my coaching practice.
There are predictable red flags to watch for that may inhibit intimacy or signal a re-enactment of looking for asparagus at a hardware store.
(In the 90’s I was doing an immersion with John Bradshaw about shame and boundaries and the moment he illustrated that looking for love and connection from those that are simply incapable of providing it is like going to a hardware store to buy asparagus! It does not help to get mad at the clerk in the hardware store, it simply signals a choice to next time walk into a grocery store! This was a great light bulb moment!)
Love, connection, and intimacy are something we all want and need as healthy humans, yet have curiously ineffective ways of going about creating it at times.
If you are someone who seeks greater intimacy, yet is frustrated by your current state of relationships, see if any of this applies to you.

Do you chronically feel unfulfilled in your relationships?
Do you pursue connection after you have sense that it may be one-sided?
Do you attach to people that appear to be incapable of true intimacy?
Do you tend to take this personally and think that there is something wrong with you for wanting connection?

If so, check out these top 5 red flags out and see if they fit for you.
Red flag #1: You reach out and they do not reach back. You are the one who generates the connection. You are the giver.
Red flag #2: You are shamed for wanting to express, share yourself and talk things through. Because they are uncomfortable with their own feelings, they may make you wrong for having yours.
Red flag #3: You live in hope versus reality. You see the potential of what could be yet undermine the reality of what is lacking.
Red flag #4: You find yourself lowering your consciousness in order to fit into their world. You may notice you behave or speak in ways that do not feel right for you yet you don’t want to rock the boat and lose the connection, so you do whatever you can in attempt to keep the peace.
Red flag #5: You think it is up to you to be the one to save them, to love them enough to show them it is safe to be close — yet you absorb mistreatment or their reactivity that may be directed towards you.
If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, you may consider keeping a journal about when you observe yourself enacting these behaviors.
After all, awareness is the first step to transformation. By watching when you enter into red flag territory, your are better equipped to choose wisely in the future.
I’d love to hear your comments as you may stumble and bumble along on your own rich journey of self discovery and loving relationships.
Please feel free to share if you know someone who needs to learn about these red flags.