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Overcoming Fear of Abandonment

Do you struggle with fear of abandonment? Listen in as Deb talks about this primal fear and shares five key tools to help you mindfully step into a new way of living.

Deb (6s):
Welcome to spirited straight talk the ultimate podcast for anyone who is ready to live a life with intention and help from spirit. I am your host, Deb Sheppard, spiritual teacher, medium and author. Helping you open up to the whole enchilada or like, we like to say the “Soul Enchilada” so you can truly make your soul rise. So let’s go. We have a really important topic today for our podcast. this is something that has been discussed throughout all my classes, as well as when people have readings. We know what that topic is….

Dana (49s):

Deb (49s):
We need a drum roll or something.

Dana (52s):
It’s a big topic.

Deb (54s):
Yeah. It’s one of those things that affect us in so many different ways. I don’t think people realize that if you’ve been abandoned in different parts of your life, it can really affect how you show up and how you take care of yourself through life. We’ve obviously had those experiences that we’re going to share probably a little bit today, but really it’s about what happens when you’re abandoned and then what do you do to respond. How do you kind of stop that domino effect as well as kind of change how you feel about it and how you can get some more insight on it.

Dana (1m 30s):
So a new way to look at abandonment, a new way to deal with it.

Deb (1m 35s):
I think people, when they feel abandoned by family and friends or whatever the situation is, they feel that they’re not valuable and that they’re not worthy. I think that’s number one. I think people feel like they don’t have a voice. They may play smaller in their life. They may give a lot more in relationships because they want to be able to have people need them and attached to them, not realizing that this is not a healthy way to have a relationship in life. You and I have certainly have experienced that. I think you go to from one extreme to the opposite where we’re one is that when you get abandoned, you never want to abandon anybody. So you just hang in there. Then the other part of it is that we abandoned everybody because we want shut them out.

Dana (2m 19s):
We want to shut them out.

Deb (2m 20s):
We want to protect ourselves. We don’t want to be hurt again. I think that’s really hard when you’re wanting to have a partnership in your life that we become so protected that we don’t want to get hurt again. So it’s finding kind of a balance and when to trust your intuition. Is abandonment always a good thing? Because there’s some times when

Dana (2m 41s):
you don’t want to let go what does not serve you.

Deb (2m 44s):
Yeah. If you’re a spiritual person and you’ve been working on your life purpose, and really trying to find some of these patterns, as well as change your energy and your vibration. It’s important to find people that are more aligned. When these relationships leave us, sometimes it’s about creating space for other relationships that are more aligned. Because I think a lot of us feel like we have to prostitute ourselves in effort to keep certain relationships in our lives. When we do that, they’re really not loving us. They’re loving our performance and that ends up working on our psyche or energy or vibe.

Deb (3m 24s):
Then we start wondering why things are not working the way we want them to. So you may want to manifest this partnership or you want to manifest a support system or like-minded people, but are we holding onto things that no longer really serve us? It could be relationships that people even that have crossed over. So if something has happened to someone, 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago, whatever that timeframe is, are we still going back to that and feeling that pain versus what did we benefit from it? I think today is about where the benefits from abandonment and when it’s appropriate for us to abandon things. Because I think it’s hard for us to sort of surrender to the idea that we’re no longer having to have that individual or person in our life.

Deb (4m 9s):
Does that make sense to you?

Dana (4m 13s):
It does. Yeah, it does. And we see people in your classes all the time that have these types of things happening in their life. They close themselves up so tightly that they can’t seem to bring relationships into their life at all, because they’re so afraid of being abandoned. That’s like the flip side of abandonment, I think is like, you’re so wound up with protecting yourself that you block everyone out. I know I’ve been there.

Deb (4m 47s):
Yeah. It’s abandoning yourself then from possibilities. You know, you’re just saying I can’t have anything in my life that’s going to support me. I think the other thing is realizing that when things are toxic, we sometimes feel that we need to fix it or we want to heal it. Then that way it’ll make it all okay. I think it’s really coming to terms with, they don’t think it’s broken, they’re not here to change for us. It’s getting sort of an understanding. Of course, I have understood abandonment throughout my life of being abandoned by religion and my community and family. I had to come to terms with what benefits did that come to me over time?

Deb (5m 30s):
Then becoming a medium, of course, creates some abandonment. I was pretty fortunate to have some support from family. I think I was kind of pushing the edge of the envelope over those years. Then of course you and I ended up together and I think there can be abandonment and judgment from people knowing that there’s some belief systems out there that would not support this. What I’ve had to learn over time, what I teach is, if people can’t appreciate who you are or the steps that you’re taking meaning you can’t be transparent and authentic, do you want those people in your life? I think the other thing we try to prove to them that we are acceptable. I think that we don’t need to talk people into it.

Deb (6m 13s):
It’s really finding that community that supports this. Sometimes are we going to abandon those individuals or those belief systems to find our alignment in the community that really helps us move forward forward in our lives?

Dana (6m 28s):
So when you talk about authenticity, you have a take on authenticity and I guess unconditional love is what…

Deb (6m 45s):
Yeah, absolutely. I think over time though, it’s taken me time to get to the place where, and we’re going to make the definition of unconditional love, but I think also it’s understanding that it’s okay for not ever to accept who you are. I think that’s the hardest thing. I think it takes time in life to say, you know what, you don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to be on the same page as me. Coming to those terms does take a while. It takes that value in confidence and empowerment. I also teach the biggest thing is about unconditional love. A lot of people think unconditional love means loving someone no matter what. I think that’s not really my take on it.

Deb (7m 26s):
A lot of people will say, well, a dog is unconditional. I think that’s a hundred percent true. What I teach is as being authentic to your soul and receiving love the only way they can give it. A lot of times we will change who we are so that people will love us. But then they’re loving who we’re pretending to be versus our authentic self. So if you’re being authentic and people are going to judge you, it’s learning to accept that that’s all they’re capable of. It’s all they can do is from their belief system. Their perspective in life is, guess what, I’m going to judge you. You can still be in my life, but I don’t have to agree. For the other side is, are we okay with that?

Deb (8m 6s):
I think that’s the biggest hurdle that we’re all here to learn, is it’s okay that people don’t always agree. Of course in this last year for 2020, we’ve had so much diversity and so much controversy that I think it was a real challenge for a lot of us to say, my value is mine, but I support yours because we’re not on the same page. That’s hard to do. We want to prove to people how we’re right.

Dana (8m 33s):
Yeah. We have experienced abandonment this past year because we didn’t conform with somebody else’s belief system. So it’s interesting, and what was interesting for me was your response to that as well, you responded with love.

Deb (8m 55s):
It’s okay that we don’t have to be aligned. You know, we think that being aligned or everyone having the kumbaya means that there’s some value to you. So what happens with abandonment? If we go back in time, we are told things that create sort of a definition of our souls and it’s re taking that mindset and changing that their opinions or their opinions, but it doesn’t change our value and worth. So sometimes abandonment does create a lack of being able to accomplish a lot in our lives because we have felt like if I do this, if I show up, if I become a leader, if I become more transparent, I will be judged and abandoned.

Deb (9m 42s):
So many times people play small because the fear versus saying, you know what, it’s okay that I’m abandoned because that means I am making a difference. I am making change. I am living my full out life. Even coming to terms with you and I, it took me a little while to take ownership and it wasn’t that I didn’t love you and that I wasn’t proud, but it was okay, am I ready to respond to people? And that’s okay.

Dana (10m 9s):
There was more of what I saw you going through was how do I respond when I get questions or, when I get the, why are you doing that?

Deb (10m 24s):
The pushback?

Dana (10m 25s):
Yes, the pushback. Which in some of the cases was very kind. In other cases, it was like, what?

Deb (10m 35s):
We had some interesting questions. But part of when you decide not to abandon your soul and your authentic self, you do become a leader and educator because some people are not willing to step into that pool because they don’t know how to manage it. When you lead it and you teach it, people go, Oh, well, I guess it’s not a big deal. So it gives other people permission to be able to be more authentic and really trust who they are and not abandon what they truly are. We’ve seen a lot of people in our lives where we’re going, they’re not living their authentic life. They’ve sort of abandoned who they really are in an effort to have this idea of life.

Deb (11m 19s):
Like it needs to look this way, so I’m going to live this way. Then several years later down the road, we see them change because you can only so long be able to perform that way. There’s only so long that your soul finally goes, I can’t do this anymore. Abandonment sometimes feels like we’re giving up, or we’re not going to pursue a situation where sometimes abandonment is really valuing yourself. It’s self-love.

Dana (11m 48s):
I think that’s really hard if you’ve been abandoned, especially if your abandonment started as a child.

Deb (11m 58s):
Which yours certainly had.

Dana (11m 60s):
Yeah, mine did. My mom left when I was a year old, somewhat by her own choice and somewhat forced into it, pushed into it after she made that decision already

Deb (12m 14s):
Because people had an idea or a belief of what it should look like.

Dana (12m 18s):
Yeah, exactly. There became a big fight over me, but ultimately she left and left me in capable hands, but left. That was my mom at a year old. So it continued over life and I even felt abandoned. I think when they weren’t abandoning me, but they were forced out of my life, I felt that abandonment though. So you continue that pattern. I continued it into my relationships as an adult picking people that I knew were going to abandon me from a spiritual perspective. I can see that now looking back, but when you’re right in the thick of it, you’re desperately wanting to be loved and accepted

Deb (13m 7s):
No matter under any circumstance.

Dana (13m 9s):
Right, and so you accept things that you don’t think you would.

Deb (13m 14s):
Especially the abuse stuff. Sometimes I see people, including our previous relationships, where we put up with abuse, because we didn’t want to abandon the situation

Dana (13m 25s):
If you were abandoned that person, because you feel like they need you.

Deb (13m 29s):

Dana (13m 30s):
They’ve kind of trapped you into that way of thinking.

Deb (13m 32s):
Yeah, By the way, this is even in my book, people know that my late husband suicided and a lot of it that he became really mentally disabled as the word that’s coming to mind. You feel as if you have to stay with them, because what are they going to do? He couldn’t take care of himself financially, emotionally, all those kinds of things. Then I finally came to a point where I’m not responsible for them any longer. But it takes so much for you to get there and then dealing with any guilt or what happens throughout the journey, the aftereffect. For him, he suicided, even in his letters, he blamed me for it.

Deb (14m 13s):
I had to come to terms with, I am not responsible for the other person’s happiness. I think we do hold onto relationships longer because we’re thinking I am responsible. They’ve told me I’m responsible. Maybe I can’t get anyone better. This is all I can get. This is all, this is my pattern. My pattern has proven that this is all I can get. I also realize if you’ve been abandoned a lot in your life you know how it feels. The last thing you’re going to do is abandoned somebody else. It’s finding that balance of what we are bringing into our life. What are those are lessons? As you know, I’ve always taught that our purpose isn’t our job. My purpose isn’t to be a medium and a teacher and these things.

Deb (14m 55s):
My job is, or my purpose is to learn these lessons of enlightenment and part of what comes with it is that abandonment. It’s these classroom settings that we have that we can participate in and decide how we’re going to manage it. Over time it becomes faster. We don’t take years to kind of get the aha. But it takes time. It takes time to even look at what I’ve been through in this last year. I’ve have had a lot of wake up calls about my health. Quit abandoning my health. Start paying attention. I deserved to have a healthy body and healthy mind. Thank goodness that you’ve been here, not abandoning me. Oh, it’s almost tears in my eyes because you just kept pursuing answers.

Deb (15m 39s):
I think we get so busy with other things that we abandoned what our needs are, what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves, to be the highest good and highest energy vibration that we can create.

Dana (15m 52s):
Well, and you absorb everyone else’s energy. A lot of that I think, is your body absorbing that, which coming to the realization that if you are healthier in the way you feel, maybe that won’t affect you as much as.

Deb (16m 10s):
Correct. Maybe I just need to hang around highly athletic people, absorb their energy. All of a sudden I have this fit body!

Dana (16m 21s):
Exercise by osmosis. I don’t know about that.

Deb (16m 24s):
Yeah. So this is a topic that I think is always brought up in all my classes with private sessions. You and I’ve of course discussed it. I think the way to kind of address abandonment is to really see your value first of all. Really see that other people’s belief systems aren’t really yours and really finding a way to abandon those belief systems. We look at how people believe in different things and it’s not right or wrong. It’s what they need, but it doesn’t always resonate with our own soul. If you’ve been in an environment and a family and a community that you feel differently, then it’s really hard to kind of break away and abandon that and step into your own authenticity, so that you can be really bringing in and align people that are of that same energy.

Deb (17m 23s):
So there’s a lot of work to be done.

Dana (17m 28s):
Yeah, I’m speaking. Well, I’m thinking of somebody we know that’s going through that re-emerging I guess you could say. They were involved heavily involved in a religious sect that did not serve them.

Deb (17m 45s):
I was too, but this isn’t recent for me, but recent for this person..

Dana (17m 49s):
You’ve gone through this a long time, you went through this completely

Deb (17m 52s):
A long time ago. But when you see someone recently, that’s going through it there are so many levels of emotion and so much judgment. Then I think there’s the grieving of that part of your life. Think you may have given up for that belief and you feel like, okay, I believe this for so many years, I can never get that back. That’s where I think there’s a struggle for some people to kind of push through it. I always say, it’s the rebirth without the epidural. How do you push through it? Then not have the anger and the guilt and all those things that go along with that time in your life.

Dana (18m 32s):
So that’s a form of abandonment as well, correct?

Deb (18m 35s):
Correct, and guess what happens? You feel abandoned during that time, even though that’s your community. Then you have to abandon that and begin to heal from finding that new way of living.

Dana (18m 46s):
So what would you say to somebody that is pushing everyone away? Because they were abandoned previously and they stop relationships in a way, subconsciously even sometimes we don’t realize it. They don’t need anybody. So they put themselves in a position where they don’t need anybody.

Deb (19m 9s):

Dana (19m 9s):
And that’s not always the best place to be.

Deb (19m 12s):
You know, I think there’s no tools. People begin to maybe start there because it’s the only thing that they can have a voice or a power. So they’re feeling, or I’m assuming from what I’ve seen is I need to get my power back. The only way I can do that is not have any influences, no one else’s energy. I’m just going to cut everybody off. I’m going to, it’s sort of like going into how the Caterpillar goes into the cocoon. It’s sort of going into that cocoon and saying, I need to really kind of figure out how to manage all this. I think there’s going to be all those layers of grief and grief has those five stages. There’s that denial there is the bargaining, there is all these different things that we go through, or people go through, to try to figure out how to, I’m gonna use the word re-invent or step back out there again.

Deb (20m 4s):
And while for people to feel safe, that’s the big key is when do people feel safe to step back in there? How do you bring people back into your community? Do you know what to look for? Because if you’ve only known those situations, then you go into the cocoon. How do you know that you won’t repeat those patterns? I think that’s where the fear and that stuff goes. So it’s fine as..

Dana (20m 29s):
Is It just realization and making a choice?

Deb (20m 31s):
I think it is making a choice. I think it’s really communicating with what you need and how to open your heart again. I think what happened, or what happens for people is that our gut always tells us something, but we stopped trusting our gut. So we give that trust to other people. Then when they heard us, we just feel like it’s everybody else. We’re not trusting our intuition. So it’s tuning into that intuition again, by saying, how does this feel? How does this make me feel? Can I let this person back in? What do I need to say? How do you create those boundaries? I always say, it’s baby steps. Getting people that are familiar and comfortable and stepping into that.

Deb (21m 13s):
I think the other thing is having fun. I think people forget fun. Everyone tries to play it safe and life isn’t always safe. Taking those risks and stepping out there. I know when, when I started this journey of becoming a medium as a full-time job, I remember doing the radio show and thinking either this is going to work, or it’s not going to work. Thinking to myself, when I did the radio show afterwards, like I’m going to do this. I had no idea what was going to happen, but I knew what I was doing was not working. I think it’s people realizing what you’ve done is not working. What can you do differently? How do you find those new tools? Of course, in our workshops, we talk about them being power tools.

Deb (21m 55s):
The hammers and saws are no longer as important as those power tools.

Dana (22m 2s):
The emotional power tools

Deb (22m 4s):
Yeah, that didn’t work, so what could I do differently? It is learning and having guidance along the way of how do you step into a new way of living and you’re going to have those hiccups. I think people sometimes keep that barrier because they never want to feel the pain again. But in order to be intuitive, and in order to really experience life, we have to experience the joy and the pain and the love and the disappointments. I think that’s what’s scary for people. So going back to then how do you manage the pain? What are your tools? Because it’s easy to handle joy, unless you feel guilty about it. Some people don’t feel guilty about having joy. So going back and stepping into this place that you want to create a life is taking those little steps, realizing it’s okay, and that you are going to feel all emotions.

Deb (22m 52s):
But having those power tools and also a support system, whatever that is. Maybe a therapist, it may be a spiritual person. It may be your dog and nature that helps you kind of gain that energy back.

Dana (23m 6s):
Fill your bucket.

Deb (23m 9s):
fill your bucket. Yeah. If you haven’t listened to the live class that I did in January 1st, 4th? It was all about how to fill your bucket. When people keep bumping your bucket, your soul is the water and it keeps coming out.

Dana (23m 25s):
I think we should do that as a podcast.

Deb (23m 27s):
What happens is we were born with this full bucket, but over time, people will keep pushing it and we lose part of ourselves. So we want to hold on to what’s left versus realizing we can fill up that bucket again. You filled up my bucket again, just so you know

Dana (23m 44s):
Well you filled my bucket

Deb (23m 47s):
So the point of all this is to realize that we do have the power to understand abandonment and not abandoned ourselves and find the new ways to say, okay, this has been my pattern. I don’t want to continue that pattern, but I want to have the ability to be able to respond to abandonment and really put myself as a priority. I feel like women have more of a challenge to put themselves first. We get burnout to the point where I ended up in the hospital, right. For four days and having to go, okay, I need to reboot again and find ways to create that balance again.

Dana (24m 27s):
Be authentic to your soul.

Deb (24m 29s):
Yes. And receive love the only way they can give it. Yes, yes, yes.

Dana (24m 35s):
And that means the universe too, right?

Deb (24m 39s):
Yeah. Yeah. Because I think we feel like we’re on our own when we feel abandoned. I think one of the last resources is to remember that the universe has always been there. Our guides, all those things have never left us. They never abandoned us. We just forgot to remember that they were always there and it’s reconnecting with that source again. So that even if you feel moments where you’re alone, that the universe and everything in it is still there supporting you and cheering you on. It’s letting them in to be able to feel that. It’s really beautiful when you allow that to be in.

Dana (25m 18s):
So what would you say are the top five things people should focus on regarding abandonment when they’re dealing with abandonment feelings. They know it’s a recurring thing and they’re trying to get through that.

Deb (25m 34s):
I think number one is abandonment doesn’t create a value because I think people play so much smaller when they feel abandoned and they really don’t live their full, authentic life because that judgment, that abandonment makes them feel that they’re not worthy. So number one…

Dana (25m 56s):
self-love is a big part of that.

Deb (25m 58s):
Yeah. I have all those little exercises I have people to do. One of them, if you’re open to this, is writing down 50 to a hundred things you love about yourself. People just get overwhelmed.

Dana (26m 11s):
I had a hard time doing that when I was going through mentoring.

Deb (26m 14s):
Yeah. Part of it is that, if you look at how people see you, the people that really love you, not the ones that are judging you and abandoning you, but we think about, you’re a great cook, you’re really good at organizing. I’m talking about Dana, not me,

Dana (26m 33s):
oh, that’s me

Deb (26m 33s):
She, you think of all these great ideas, you’re a great driver. You are defensive driver. I mean, we don’t think that’s being a big deal, but if I’m driving, you’re defensive driving is a big deal. So it’s really seeing that value and worth of what we worked really hard to do in our everyday life. So remembering, what you are and who that soul is when you came into this earth to learn these lessons. I think the second thing which kind of really relates to this is not to abandon yourself and to have moments of joy. Every time I think a lot of people see their value by some accomplishments that other people see, Oh, I graduated or I got this job, or I got this or I earned that.

Deb (27m 14s):
Those things are great accomplishments on a human level, but I think it’s also remembering just to have time for ourselves. There’s so much guilt around just having joy or finding things that are joyful, trying to get people to be creative or find pleasure. It seems to be really difficult. Again, this is not abandon yourself from that. I think it’s also realizing that when these relationships and to see the gratitude and the value that do you not have to prostitute yourself anymore? Where you really being you with that individual? Could you say what you needed to say? Did you feel safe in that relationship? Did you feel as if they always had your back?

Dana (27m 58s):
So did you abandon yourself in that relationship, right?

Deb (28m 2s):
So when we grieve these losses, can we go back to say, you know what, I need to love myself. That person only loved me when I pretended. So that’s a third, two is, or three, wherever we are, is to look at relationships that are more aligned and it might be really searching for people that have a similar belief system. It doesn’t have to be what you and I believe, but it might be that their politics or their faith or what they feel or cooking

Dana (28m 36s):
It could be a group that likes hiking

Deb (28m 38s):
Or one that invests in saving the planet, whatever that is, saving the animals. So it’s finding that group that you feel like you can really be transparent and safe and accepted for who you are. It may take some time to search for that. You may not be, know what you’re searching for. I’ve heard that people go, I don’t know what I’m passionate about. I don’t know, because they’ve been pretending for such a long period of time. So I think that’s the other one. I think the last one would be this isn’t going to go away. So knowing that, have all your power tools to how to respond when you are abandoned. For me, when I get abandoned, it takes me time.

Deb (29m 19s):
I have to marinate, you know me, I need to marinate. So for me, I sit and marinate before I go forward, respond. A lot of people want to defend themselves right away and they want to use their voice or they play really small and just hide and think this is happening again to me. I think it’s important to say, this is another opportunity for me to have my voice in my value. How are you going to step this? So it doesn’t go away. It just means that we’re still learning. I think that’s the big takeaway here is it never goes away, but find your tools, take it head on.

Dana (29m 56s):
Give us like one example of a, a power tool. When you talk about power tools, we talked about the five things you can do.

Deb (30m 5s):
Right. You know, I think part of it is really having a voice. What I noticed with a lot of people that feel abandoned, they, they don’t have a voice.

Dana (30m 16s):
They should work on their throat chakra.

Deb (30m 19s):
Basically whether it’s doing martial arts or taking a class, public speaking class, or screaming in your car, or writing whatever that looks like. Of course that chakra was is the color blue. Wear a lot of blue. But I think it’s sitting down and saying, you know, I understand that you’re judging me and abandoned me and tell that person that, but guess what? It doesn’t change who I am. I know who I am, but I accept the fact that it doesn’t align with you. So you’re not arguing. I think a lot of it is that we want to prove our point. With certain situations, we’re never going to be able to prove it. What you can do is just make a statement. That to me would be the first step in order to achieve some of these situations.

Deb (31m 1s):
For some people, it might be really healing to go back to past relationships. If they’re open to that or writing a letter and burning it. So you’re speaking to the universe or writing a letter and reading it to a friend, that’s what we call holding space so that you can have that, that verbal, that you’re telling the universe that it no longer identifies of who you are.

Dana (31m 25s):
So writing the letter to the universe, sharing what you want your life to look like without that piece in it.

Deb (31m 34s):
I guess, I think part of it is if that abandonment doesn’t go away, still move forward, but acknowledge it and have the ability, and know what it is, and have the ability to address it head on sooner than later.

Dana (31m 54s):
So our sole enchilada for today is being authentic to your soul and receiving love the only way they know how to give it, which is your definition of unconditional love.

Deb (32m 4s):
Absolutely. Write it down and read it cause that’s a lot for people to process sometimes. So thank you again for joining us for spirited straight talk, and we will talk to you again soon.

Dana (32m 13s):
Thank you for joining us for this episode of Spirited Straight Talk. If you enjoy the show, make sure you subscribe so that you get notified of new shows. We’d also love it. If you’d leave us a review and let’s connect visit Deb shepherd.com for more insights support workshops, and to book a session with Deb plus enter to get a free reading with Deb. All you have to do is sign up for the email list and you’ll automatically be entered. Just go to Deb sheppard.com. That’s Deb S H E P P a R d.com.

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