When the Universe chooses you to experience ego death

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“Real liberation comes not from glossing over or repressing painful states of feeling, but only from experiencing them to the full.” - Carl Jung

In order to write this, I had to be in the right place. The right headspace. The right mindset. After all, outside of our first-year college electives, most of us aren’t lining up in droves to learn about death and dying.

In its most basic definition, death is a permanent transformation. It’s the dissolution of a relationship, value, belief, or idea - either figuratively or literally.

Gone. Done. Kaput.

Depending on our philosophy, some look at…


Understanding why and how to ask for space in your relationship.

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"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance." — Oscar Wilde

“I fucked up."

It took me years of looking myself in the mirror to get to this place of acceptance. Of self-awareness. Of learning to love myself. And in learning self-compassion for what I didn’t know back then.

I. Fucked. Up.

Sure, saying it is liberating now. But, that’s only after dozens of psychology classes and nailing a few degrees on the wall along the way.

Even more liberating is that I kept my promises to my dad on his death bed: I would grow up. Wise…


Understanding the two-way street of idealization in relationships.

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“What is necessary to change a person is to change the awareness of himself.” ~Abraham Maslow

I think one of the hardest things to hear is when someone says they’re “broken”.

They may tell you how they only seem to attract partners who break their hearts, where they’re thinking there’s something wrong with themselves. Or, they may say that breaking someone else’s heart is better than being left behind and having their own heart broken.

They may explain a heart-wrenching story of how they’ve been used by partners who were only looking out for themselves. …


……vs. infatuation or idealization

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“Nothing is possible without love…..For love puts one in a mood to risk everything.” ~Carl Jung

We all want love. I get it. For those who’ve legitimately experienced the feeling of being in love, you know that words like euphoric or intense or amazing can’t do it justice. In our effort to find true love, most of us have probably looked in all the wrong places at one time or another, only to end up disappointed.

We may invest our time going to singles bars, swiping right or left or whatever which way on dating apps, or going on blind…


Noticing these red flags can spare you a ton of drama

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“A little less hypocrisy and a little more self-knowledge can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures.” — Carl Jung

Back in 1999, it was reported that tobacco giant Philip Morris gave over $60 million dollars to charities including Meals On Wheels, as well workforce diversity programs to assist employees with a work-life balance. It was also alleged that they spent nearly double that amount to market themselves about their philanthropic endeavors (Graham et al., 2015).

When…


Understanding why shades of grey are important in more than “just” how a person thinks

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“One response to feeling abandoned is to abandon yourself.” — Theodore Millon

Have you heard of the old saying, …”Absence makes the heart grow fonder?” Or how about, ..”Out of sight, out of mind?” As easily as we toss around these sayings, what we may not be realizing is that they’re based on binary thinking, or “All or Nothing” thinking.

These types of sayings compartmentalize our thoughts into:

EITHER..

Obsessively thinking about someone in their absence…

OR…

They’re not even an afterthought.

We’re bombarded daily with this type of All or Nothing thinking, and most of us have become numb…


Recognizing how unmet safety needs in our relationships can mirror controlling behavior.

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“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” — Abraham Maslow

At its most basic definition, a need for control is based on a fear of losing control.

We can probably all name at least one person who fits this bill. They may struggle following their friend’s lead. They may refuse to accept their part in a relationship ending, choosing instead to blame their ex. They may become defiant if their boss asks them to do a monthly expense report in the…


Learning how “chasing” and “running” come into play

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“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.” — Carl Jung

I wish I could tell you what you want to hear. I wish I could tell myself the same thing. Oh sure, I could sugarcoat things for you. But at the end of the day, that won’t do much besides stroke your ego, or push you a little further into denial. Or avoidance. Or projection. Or devaluation. Or, whatever momentarily softens the blow.

But, facts are facts. And, patterns and cycles will always speak louder than words.

The fact is, I’ve…


Focusing on the upside of BPD

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“Wisdom and freedom require the ability to allow the natural flow of emotions to come and go, experiencing emotions but not being controlled by emotions. Always having to prevent or suppress emotions is a form of being controlled by emotions.” — Marsha M. Linehan

For the record, it’s little surprise that Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) has notoriously gotten a bad rap. A horrible one, actually. Until recent years with DBT therapy introduced by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan, many people wrongly believed that a diagnosis of BPD (or NPD) was like a proverbial death sentence.

BPD is often misunderstood, and sometimes…


Recognizing the behaviors that reveal how we feel about ourselves

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“I’m not perfect… But I’m enough.” — Carl Rogers

Every time I think of low self-esteem, I’m hurled into a childhood flashback. There is nothing more cringey in junior high to a socially awkward and sensitive kid than being picked dead last for phys ed teams.

You know where I’m going with this. The two most popular and sporty kids are the team captains who start off by picking their B.F.F.’s. Followed by either the fastest or strongest kids. Then the Average Joes. Followed by the kids who aren’t good at sports, but they’re team players. …

Annie Tanasugarn, PhD

Psychologist. Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Certified Trauma & Addictions Specialist. Specializes in BPD, childhood trauma & attachment styles.

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