Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Negative Blips in my Law of Attraction in Action series. Someone wrote and asked how to handle anger at things you can’t control. There’s so much poverty, brutality, hunger, violence, discrimination, etc. going on around the world. Watching the news and seeing or hearing about mass murders and all the other horrible occurrences and inequities can make your blood boil. It does mine. But these things can hurt you if you let them. The earthquake in Haiti can knock the faith out of you if you let it.

It’s important to put what you can and can’t do into perspective, and try to focus on what you CAN do.

There’s a lot of negatives and injustices. Feeling angry about terrible circumstances around the globe doesn’t solve the problem. It does keep you from feeling happy, and makes you feel helpless. You’re one person and as such can only do so much. My heart breaks every time I see a report from Haiti. At times I wish I were a doctor so I could volunteer to help there. And if I were a millionaire I’d send a lot more than I did. But I’m neither, and must live as who I am.

Wallowing in awful things being done to good people just means there’s one more person with a life that’s being hurt.

Life goes on. It’s hard to resolve anger at people suffering or being treated horribly or anything that focuses on misery. I live in NYC and had a lot of anger after 9/11. Every time I looked out my window and saw the smoke rising from what was the World Trade Center, I wished I could hurt the people who caused the loss of all those lives. It was also the loss of serenity for so many of us. For a long time my heart raced every time I heard a plane flying low. I still jump when I hear fireworks when I’m not expecting them.

But I must take care of me and not let anger at terrorists consume me. It keeps me stronger to do what I can as an individual to help others.

It’s easy to get angry at injustice and hard to put it into perspective. But we must, to keep our sanity and our positive emotions strong. Often the anger is a manifestation of frustration at not being able to do more. I still need to watch the Haiti reports but will eventually cool it or it will drive me mad that I can’t run down there with food, water and medicine. But I can’t, and must accept that without anger, just as you need to accept things that are out of your control.

Do the best you can for the cause that angers you.

Donate money. Volunteer in whatever capacity is appropriate. Join organizations that try to remedy what you can’t do alone. But don’t immerse yourself too far in the suffering. Appreciate that what you do helps others and that’s enough to feel good. Getting angry at things that are out of your control serves no purpose other than making you feel bad. Personally, I like feeling good. And the better you feel, the more you energy you have to give to others.

Many times I’ve reminded myself of the saying, you can’t save the world but you can save a little piece of it.

One person can’t do it all but together we can do a lot. Every little bit helps. Look at the texting campaign to raise money for Haiti. If you text one of the numbers, you donate $10 that your cell phone company bills you for. The people who began this program knew that if you can afford to have a cell phone, you can afford ten bucks. You don’t need a credit card or to spend time doing it. Just text and it’s done!

Many people might think that 10 bucks won’t do much but they raised many millions when all the donations added up.

And they’ll continue to raise more millions since this is a long term effort to help Haiti and its people recover. For those of you who want to do something to help, here are some organizations that are helping and need donations. Don’t be put off if $50 is the lowest amount to check off andn you can’t afford that. Look for “other” and give what you can. I’ve donated to several so I’m not making huge donations at any.

* American Red Cross is a no-brainer. They were in Haiti immediately with help.
* Oxfam is always quick to respond with help.
* Doctors without Borders sends the medical care so desperately needed.
* Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is run by former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
* World Vision works to help the children.
* Caring House Project Foundation A few weeks ago I posted an interview with Frank McKinney, who talked about how he builds whole villages for people in Haiti. Many were destroyed during the earthquakes. Frank went down to Haiti and his team rescued people from the ruins. Now they need donations to help rebuild.

Don’t let terrible circumstances around the world bring you down or make you so angry you can’t let it go.

You owe it to yourself to stay strong and pursue your happiness. Put the bigger circumstances into perspective and make an effort to do something. A little is great too. When I heard a news report about how 70 people were rescued after 90+ hours of being buried, someone commented that it was a shame that ONLY 70 had been found, like it wasn’t great.

Every life saved is great! Ask the people and their families how great it was. Every person saved is a blessing. So is every small effort on your part. Feel GOOD about what you do and pray for the world. But don’t let terrible situations far from your life ruin your joy. It doesn’t help the situations but it does hurt you.

I can’t emphasize it enough—anger does you NO good! It probably will hurt you. Is that what you want?

If not, release your anger in positive ways by taking care of yourself and doing what you can for causes you feel strongly about. Trade anger for passion about doing your part.

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This is post 70 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read the posts in this series to see how.

I was very lucky that a Chinese massage center opened up in the summer down the block from me. Their specialty is pressure points for healing, including reflexology, which is my favorite. The real lucky part—they’re cheap! Dirt cheap for midtown Manhattan. And they offered a grand opening promotion that sweetens the deal even more—2 free massages if you get 10 by the end of February. I had eight and planned to get one last weekend. When I began getting the massages, I earmarked an envelope for massages. I kept the little card they sign when I get one and some extra cash in it. But when I went to get the envelope for my massage, I couldn’t find it.

I looked everywhere. It wasn’t where I normally put it or in my purse from last time. I looked everywhere I could imagine but no luck. My mind immediately began to think of what I could do if I didn’t find it. I didn’t want to lose the cash in it but especially didn’t want to lose proof of my previous massages so I could get 2 free ones. I considered begging for at least some credit since I always go to the same person and she knows me. But, luckily, I caught myself.

I HAD to find the envelope! Period! It had to be somewhere. So I changed my mindset from “What if I don’t find it?” to “It’s somewhere and I’ll find it.”

A common trigger for fear is the unknown. When you know something will happen, good or bad, you can prepare a response or solution. But when you aren’t sure of an outcome, your mind can conjure up some pretty scary situations. When I was a DoorMat, I always considered the worst-case scenario, and often acted on it. I’d experience the fear and stress that would occur if it did happen, which it usually didn’t.

Or, I’d use all my people pleasing ways to smooth over what might not have been a bad situation, just in case.

I thought that if I didn’t help friend A, she might stop spending so much time with me and I’d be lonely. If I didn’t put my plans aside to drive friend B to her doctor appointment, she might never help me if I needed it one day. If the doctor said there was a small chance my fever was something serious, I suffered with a serious disease until the results of tests came in and I was cleared. I never found out what would happen if I said no to a friend’s request since I always did what they wanted. Nor did I get a serious disease.

You can suffer the consequences of scenarios that never materialize when you project what negative things could happen.

Many people assume the worst when they don’t know the outcome. The more you think and act on negative “what ifs,” the more chance of attracting a negative outcome. Focusing on bad outcomes tells the Universe you expect the situation to end badly. Guess what that attracts? People come to me asking why things never work out for them. As they talk, I can hear the worst expectations in their words.

“I never got___and now I have ____coming up and that will probably tank too.” Surprise! None of it worked out. Negatives are easy to attract. Assuming they will happen is a mental magnet.

“I know I’ll need surgery and can’t afford to miss so much work so I’ll probably lose my job too.” All that aggravation and he didn’t need surgery. Yet the doctor found another health problem for him to “what if?” about. The stress he created with his “what ifs?”caused problems that made him lose his job, as he speculated happening.

“I’m going to the tropics on vacation. I bet it will rain and ruin my trip.” She won the bet. Thinking it would rain ruined her anticipation and attracted the rain that ruined her trip! I always expect gorgeous weather in vacation and KNOW there is no way there will be rain. And I alwasy have sunshine!

When I work with someone, I engage in a conversation and listen to how they perceive their life and handle situations where the outcome can be positive or negative. Then I try to get them to focus on getting what they want, not what they’re scared of. It’s natural to go to the “what if” scenario if you’ve always done it. But “what iffing” it can be controlled!

The more you focus on a positive outcome, the better your chance of getting one.

Rather than seeing it as a flaw, consider “what iffing” as a habit you can stop or slow down if you CHOOSE to. When the desire to break this habit is there, it just takes self-awareness and time. And faith! I rarely go there anymore, since my faith keeps me expecting positives. Faith is the antidote for negative expectations. Practice really does solidify it.

The more you see the Law of Attraction work for you, the more you can talk yourself down from those pesky “what ifs?”

I found the envelope with my cash and the proof of my eight massages. First, I told myself there was NO option for NOT finding it. I HAD to find it. Logically, it had to be somewhere. I wouldn’t throw out an envelope with money in it. And it was NOT an option to lose the credit for the massages I’d gotten! I said that out loud, with force. Then I drowned the “what ifs” with an affirmation—“I have the envelope for my massage.”

I used a technique that works for me. I say, “Think like a Daylle.” Where might I leave it that’s odd but so like me.

Ah!!! I’d brought another envelope that I keep in the same spot with me a few days before in my backpack and it was still there. Maybe I’d accidentally brought the massage one with it and it was in my backpack too. Bingo! After a little digging, I found it. Had I not changed my thoughts, who knows when I might have noticed it at the bottom of my overstuffed backpack. I believe that my positive intention to find it led me to it. The “what iffing” would have distracted me.

George Schultz said, “The minute you start talking about what you are going to do if you lose, you have lost.”

Keep your thoughts on a winning track. If your tooth hurts, assume it’s something minor instead of “what iffing” a major, expensive problem. If your boss calls you in, assume it’s for something good, not to chastise you because you did something wrong. Do affirmations to reinforce the positive spin on what will happen. ALLOW yourself to attract the positive benefits of positive thoughts. Then, relax and enjoy all the good stuff you attract!

See all the Law of Attraction in Action Series..

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I was recently interviewed for Cosmopolitan magazine in the UK. The writer asked about how to deal with people who often put you in the position of paying for them or paying more than your fair share of a check. Some people take advantage of “nicer” friends. It’s a universal problem.

Do you loan money and don’t get it back but you feel funny asking for it?

We’ve been made to believe it’s uncomfortable and yucky to ask someone to repay borrowed money. Yet it’s the other person who should feel that way! Then there are people who let you pay for the cab in full, or put you on the spot to split an unbalanced dinner check or many other things where you end up paying way too much. When I was DoorMat, that was my M.O. I treated people to dinner and movies to avoid being alone. I loaned money to the same people who never paid me back.

People Pleasers think that they have to shell out money so people will like them. They’re afraid to alienate by saying no or setting money boundaries.

Money issues can create sticky problems. I had a few friends who hit me up for money regularly and made me feel bad when I asked for it later, acting like I was being cheap. What I realize now is they were just manipulating me to avoid repaying the loan. Because I was so insecure, I’d stop asking for a while. And, I’d loan more when asked. Money pigs know what to say to stop you from standing up to them. They use sweet talk and innuendos of you being cheap to diffuse any boundaries you try to set.

The need to please gives money pigs more opportunity to take advantage.

Do you know someone who always seems to be a little short on cash when you go out? Are you expected to kick in something for her dinner, movie, or cab and she forgets to return it. Do you get angry but still lend money. Eventually you’ll have so much resentment that it will take a toll on your health, your happiness and your relationship with the money pig.

Setting solid boundaries begins with deciding you’ve had enough of being someone’s human ATM.

People Pleasers worry about being unaccommodating. Accommodate you. Protect your money, unless you’re so rich you don’t mind subsidizing others. I told a client with this problem to bring just enough for herself when she went out with her money pig friend and advise her to find a cash machine or wash dishes if necessary! Nina * (not her real name) was nervous to do it but promised to try.

Ask yourself what scares you about not loaning money or kicking in for a friend in a one-sided subsidy.

Nina called to say that the money pig used the emergency money in her wallet when refused to give her financial aid. She couldn’t believe her friend would let her pay to keep from spending that money. It’s not your responsibility if someone doesn’t bring enough. Warn a friend in advance that you know she runs short but you won’t have extra, or you two can go somewhere cheaper. Be nice about it. Don’t complain about them making you pay. Just make it clear you want to only pay for yourself.

Explain that if your friend’s budget won’t cover where you plan to go, you’re happy to go somewhere less expensive.

Do you have money pig friends who always order extras yet expect to split the check equally? These oinkers manipulate friends to afford lots of drinks or appetizers. People Pleasers are embarrassed to speak up and end up paying too much. Nice Girls & Guys on Top won’t subsidize them. I’d rather spend MY money on ME now! Ask yourself, “is it fair to expect me to pay for someone else’s food/drinks/cab fare on a regular basis? Without having it reciprocated—EVER!”

It is fabulously, deliciously, wonderfully empowering to stop money pigs in their tracks!

I had dinner with a friend who arrived early and had drinks and appetizers before I arrived. I had a salad and water. She had more drinks and side dishes with dinner. The $40 check had many items, so she said it was easier to just split it. I said it wasn’t complicated it was to subtract my $7 salad from the bill since the rest was hers. She was annoyed I didn’t contribute to her tab. She’d done it before and I was prepared to only pay for mine! If a friend gets angry if you don’t subsidize her, stop making plans. That’s what I had to do.

Don’t succumb to guilt. A friend who tries to mooch off of you should feel guilty.

My friend Joy always complained about her friend Karen. At dinner Karen ordered more drinks and expensive food than anyone—every time—then grabbed the check and divided it so everyone shared her tab. Joy didn’t drink and ate light. Karen had steak. Joy paid over $20 more than her meal most times! She wanted to just pay for her order but hated looking cheap. Karen picked on those who protested, so everyone just paid. Joy wanted to avoid embarrassment. That’s ridiculous!

Money pigs should be embarrassed!

Before Karen joined us for dinner, I warned Joy to spell out in advance that I’d pay for just my own. Karen ordered extravagantly and insisted we split the check. I just gave my share, since I had only one dish and no drinks. She’d ordered $55 more than me! When Karen pulled the “I don’t have enough money” card, I said she shouldn’t order more than she could pay for. The restaurant didn’t take credit cards, but I wouldn’t relent and suggested she find an ATM or wash dishes. Joy covered her. Karen tried to make me feel guilty, but I said she should feel guilty.

If you’re called cheap for not splitting the check, ask what they call themselves for always expecting others to subsidize them.

On the other hand, don’t be cheap and count pennies if it’s a small difference or if sometimes you have more and sometimes the other person does does. I have friends I do split the check with since it isn’t unbalanced and they’re not money pigs. You can win the money pigs’ game with these tips:

* Figure out what your share is before the check arrives. Have it ready and put it down saying, “This is what I owe.” This is the BEST way and what I usually do. It puts the money pigs into the position to ask you for more money to cover them. And if they do, it gives you a better opening to question why you should pay for part of their tab.

* Ask for separate checks. I’m not comfortable with doing this but have found it useful when going out in a group. Usually most people are happy with this approach, especially if they want to pay with a credit card. It’s the money pigs that gripe!

* If someone says, “Let’s split the check,” say you’d prefer to just pay your share. I’ve ordered light to save money and say that if questioned. You do have that right!

If you feel uncomfortable standing up to money pigs, remind yourself it’s okay to only pay for what you ordered and you don’t owe the other person money. I now have a policy of not loaning money, with a few exceptions for people close to me who I trust (who don’t borrow most of the time). Explain this policy. It really can come between friends so it’s better not to loan money. When you set boundaries and stick to them, the money pigs go elsewhere. Oink to them!

When I was a DoorMat, I loaned and split checks so people would like me. Now I don’t care who doesn’t like me because I don’t share my cash! I like me and that’s what matters most! Setting and keeping boundaries is empowering!

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People ask why I post so much related to spirituality and the Law of Attraction. My blog is Lessons from a Recovering DoorMat, not one dedicated to spiritual issues. While I have learned many things over the years as I’ve grown into an empowered woman, I can honestly say that without my spiritual faith, I may never have even gotten a mile from DoorMatville.

Spiritual support enables the strongest level of self-empowerment because it helps alleviates fears that hold you back.

I’m not religious. I was actually an atheist for my life as a DoorMat. Saying God was unpleasant for me back then. I didn’t believe at all. I wished I could but I was so down on me that I couldn’t believe there was anything good to reach out for. As I began to feel a bit more empowered, I tested faith just a little and got results. So I tried a bit more and continued to reap the thoughts I put out.

During a tough time during which I struggled to make a big decision, a friend insisted I talk to God that night and ask for help. “God? There’s no such thing!” I said. But he pushed me to try anyway, even if I didn’t believe. That night I talked to what felt like the air. I explained I didn’t believe in God and was just doing this for Ron. Then I stated my dilemma and said I needed guidance. The next morning it all fell into place and I knew what to do.

It took me several more attempts to actually believe it wasn’t just coincidence that I got answers when I asked God for them.

Every time I asked for guidance, I got it. As I felt more supported, I took more risks. I began slowly and worked my way up to doing more and more for me. The more I did, the happier I became. The happier I became, the more I did for me. It became a delightful vicious cycle that fed my happiness, and need to keep doing things that made me happy. As my gratitude increased, so did my blessings. My world felt so nurturing and full.

DoorMats often feel alone, even with people around. Not knowing if they’re there because they care about YOU, OR, what you do for them, is a lonely feeling.

Knowing I had God’s support stopped that feeling. I was no longer alone. I had a wonderful spiritual support system and loved the feeling! This allowed me to leave all the comforts of my inexpensive living situation, blow off my sources of income, which brought me no joy, and move into Manhattan, without a job or income. “Somehow” I always got enough freelance work to pay my bills. And I felt confident enough to vow to do only things I felt passionate about to earn a living and never work for anyone again.

Honestly, I had no known skills when I did this. People told me it was too late to find a satisfying career. But I didn’t worry about what people thought anymore. I had God on my side!

My own thoughts, desires and beliefs were what mattered! So this is why spirituality is such an integral part of my Lessons from a Recovering DoorMat. As you build your faith, you too can take the steps to a happier, more fruitful life. I want you to be happy and satisfied like I am. That’s why I write this blog. I’m short on time but my blessings are so many that I want to share my lessons with as many people as I can and spread the blessings.

No matter where you are or what your circumstances, you can use your power to overcome obstacles and be happy.

Find your own spiritual path, whether it’s God or the Universe or whatever higher power feels right to you. The important things is having spiritual faith, from whatever avenue works. So, that’s why I have my Law of Attraction in Action series and emphasize the power you all can tap into. Spirituality is the power source for my self-empowerment. It can be yours to, if you just ask for support and watch your thoughts. I highly recommend it to you all.

If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment and/or click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon and Digg. Thanks!

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