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Women Need To Stop Nagging



Women Need To Stop Nagging

The more I work with women around their relationship issues and the more deeply I spiral into the shadow layers of my own psyche, the stronger my conviction becomes in the following statement: the need to nag is embedded into the historic and genetic code of most women. I say this not with judgement or criticism but with great love for my half of the human race and an instinctual knowing that it’s time for us to break this negative and unnecessary habit that creates stagnation within ourselves and restricts the flow of love in our relationships.

As I write this I see my own legacy of nagging, controlling, and criticizing floating in front of my mind. I see my maternal grandmother’s lips pursed in a thin, tight line that said, “I’m not happy with you right now.” I can hear her complaining about my grandfather and see the result of her years of nagging: him quietly reading in his Barcalounger encased in an invisible protective shield that he must have erected years earlier to protect himself from her need to control and silently communicated, “Leave me alone, woman.” I can feel the cellular memory of my great-grandmother, who I never met but after whom I’m named, as she filled the doorway of the house with her bulky frame and waited for my grandmother to come home from her dates so she could castigate her for “being bad”. I see my own mother and sense into what I consciously know and what my body unconsciously carries about her need to control (and how hard she’s worked to let it go). And finally I feel how it has all filtered down into me and shows up in ways that are both blatant and subtle but which are defined by a constriction in my heart, a tightening in my voice, and usually the beginning of an argument with my husband.

For all of my clients who are in relationships – whether dating, engaged, or married – the need to nag inevitably appears as a core issue that needs attention. The nagging can take many forms: controlling, criticizing, thinking you’re right, thinking that your way is better, complaining, but, again, is defined by a tight feeling that communicates to your partner that you know better. You may not think that have a tendency to control, but if you’ve ever heard your partner say something along the lines of, “Get off my back!” or “I can’t do anything right”, you’re probably a nagger.

The impulse to control often stems from fear: the fear of loss, the fear of losing ground, the fear of letting go, the of losing control. It’s an attempt to have control over time, money, socializing or a way to avoid sitting with the existential truth that you cannot control another human being. As I’ve stated above, it’s also a learned behavior, a negative habit that many women adopt simply because it’s what they witnessed growing up and absorbed as part of their genetic legacy. It’s not a pretty thing, but it’s not something to judge ourselves for either. Like any shadow aspect of one’s personality, the work is about shining the light of consciousness onto the wound and breathing into the habitual behavior with softness.

As I shared my latest realizations with a friend the other day about my own subtle yet insidious forms of controlling, I said to her, “I truly believe that part of the liberation of our planet depends on women letting go if their need to nag.” I see this time in history about each sex coming into their full power, which requires breaking out of the old paradigms which, in turn, requires vast amounts of courage. In order to embrace the fullness of our power as women, we need to find the courage that understands that softness is power. It takes courage to trust someone enough that you don’t have to micro-manage their lives. It takes courage to dive into the sometimes murky waters of intimacy and trust that your partner won’t let you drown. It takes courage to let down our guard, to crumble the brick walls, and to allow our beautiful men to be their own people and to communicate to them, “I trust you to make good decisions about your life and our life.” It’s not about staying silent around important issues. It’s about picking your battles: knowing when and how to skillfully speak up when something really matters and then to let the rest of it go. We owe it to our partners. We owe it to our children. We owe it to ourselves. And, dare I say, we owe it to the planet.


Author’s Books

As the daughter of two psychotherapists,Sheryl grew up with the language and theories of psychology running through her blood. As a young girl, she vacillated between dreaming about one day being either a writer, a therapist, or a midwife. Having found the confluence of these three arts through writing about and spiritually midwifing people through life’s transitions, including the transition of transforming anxiety, self-doubt, and depression to serenity, self-trust, and joy, Sheryl feels deeply blessed to be living in the heart of her calling. While her writing and counseling work have primarily focused on the specific transitions of getting married and becoming a mother, in recent years she has felt called to broaden her practice to include the lifelong transition of life in all its beauty and complexity. For whether on the verge of leaping into marriage, getting a divorce, suffering through anxiety or depression, struggling with an addiction, or birthing a new identity as a mother, Sheryl believes we find the same issues of self-trust and control appearing again and again. The story line may change, but the spiritual seeker quickly finds that the areas that need attention reappear at deeper layers of the spiral on life’s journey. Sheryl utilizes an effective, 6-step process called Inner Bonding® cradled within the spiritual context of transitions to create a powerful framework through which she can assist clients in finding their own voice, exploring the stories and beliefs that interfere with hearing this voice, confronting their need to control and the perpetual practice of learning to surrender, and guiding them as they make their way through life’s challenges and joys. Her decade of working with clients in transition combined with years of a loving marriage (not without continual consciousness and hard work!) and the privilege/challenge of being a mother have solidified her firm belief that, while guides are often necessary to help us find our way through the labyrinths, no one outside of ourselves and a spiritual source has the answers. In fact, SheryI believes that, whether we’re talking about parenting, marriage, or anxiety, there are no definite answers; there’s only the process of discovering what’s right for you. In 1997, Sheryl graduated from Pacifica Graduate Institute, a depth psychology program founded upon the teachings of Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, James Hillman, and the study of dreams, archetypes, myths, and the myriad ways that the unconscious manifests in daily and nightly life. As a writer, poet, and epic dreamer, she encourages her clients to explore their own creative outlets as pathways for connecting to Spirit and finding their own truths. In 1999, she launched her unique business, Conscious Weddings, and a year later published her first book, The Conscious Bride, which broke the taboo of discussing the underbelly of the wedding transition. In 2003, her second book, The Conscious Bride’s Wedding Planner, was published, and in 2004, she began working with impending and new mothers through Conscious Motherhood. Since 1999, Sheryl has counseled thousands of people worldwide through her private practice, her bestselling books, her Home Study Programs and her website. She has appeared several times on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, as well as on “Good Morning America” and other top media shows and publications around the globe. To sign up for her free 78-page eBook, “Conscious Transitions: The 7 Most Common (and Traumatic) Life Changes“, visit her Home page. Sheryl looks forward to hearing from you.

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