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Why you might want to build a moat with alligators in it

coping with negative family


“You don’t have to be drawn into the drama of others or the suffering of repetitive struggles.

… The more honest your response, without the need to be aggressive or apologetic, the more energy you will be unleashing from unhealthy patterns and into the fresh new course your life now wants you to take.”

– Alana Fairchild


Those words were both soothing and a kick in the ass this morning when I read them. Like many I’m sure, I sometimes feel stuck between my desire to be an informed citizen of the world and connect with others, especially those I respect or care about, and an opposing and equally strong angst that rushes in like a tsunami when I see, hear or experience shit slinging.

Like the old adage goes – opinions are like assholes; everyone has one and many of them stink. And wouldn’t it be nice if you could just walk away and not care??

florence scovel shinnOn a good day, I’m able to stay mindful and echo the words of another girl crush of mine, Florence Scovel Shinn, who reminds us that our ships come in over calm waters or, in other words, the only way to manifest the good you want is to remain unmoved by the shit slinging. Her mantra is, “None of these things move me.” *brushes shoulder*

Life may be swirling around you right now, Dear  One. Your boat may be rocking from side to side and honestly, it’s normal to be a little seasick. Yet despite the tempest OUTSIDE, you can learn to remain undeterred from your goals.

YOUR life, YOUR happiness, YOUR love story, YOUR business… is only moved by YOU.

No one else.

No matter how crazy the storm gets outside, ships only sink when water creeps inside and is allowed to remain there.


In Glennon Doyle’s new book (Untamed), she offers a metaphor her wife Abby uses to deal with trolls and those with fear-based energy. She imagines her and her wife on an island, filled with love and music and their children. Surrounding the island is a moat filled with alligators.

And they refuse to lower the drawbridge to anyone who brings with them anything but love… even family members.



Glennon went on to say that she has also recognized the futility in trying to explain their love to anyone; how pointless and energy draining it can be bother trying to reassure others that they and their children are fine. The ONLY way to prove anything is to live it; to SHOW them that they’re fine. And the only way to do that is with LOVE. This is what she wrote on a new sign facing inward to those leaving their home:

Only love out
No fear in
No fear out
Only love in
Only love out

So whether you find yourself swept up by fear, negativity, opinionated bulldozer Becky’s, or plain ole’ ignorance from others today, I encourage you to take a deep breath, center into your heart space, and like a badass Care Bear who knows her truth and is connected to LOVE, raise the drawbridge to your energy and wish them well.

They are welcome to their opinions but you don’t have to sit there with a can of Febreze dealing with the stench.


About the Author:

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Tamara Powell, LMHC is a licensed therapist, university psychology instructor, and empowerment coach who believes life should be lived as a journey that is “anything but ordinary.”

Her work is specialized to help individuals break free from toxic cycles of distress, dysfunction, and dissatisfaction with life that are created when trying to live according to someone else’s rules. Only by living what she calls radical autonomy, can one obtain soul nourishing relationships and a sense of true life purpose and inner peace.

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