Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR

          Your Loving Companion
                Successful Coping Skills for Your ...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
Your Rights To This Product: All authentic content and photos are owned by
Jennifer ...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR

                      Table of Contents
    Chapter 1 Love is not a Template; It's ...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
                                        Chapter 1

   Love is not a Template, It's a...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
                                       Chapter 2

           Explore Your Emotional ...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
 B. Check yourself In! You're worth it! If you're feeling like I was above,..even if...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
                                        Chapter 3

            You're Building, It's...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
 Sitting on a picnic bench at a ball park and balling my eyes out, I was taking on t...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
                                       Chapter 4

   Parting is Such Devastation for...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
                                        Chapter 5

       Surviving Deployments with...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
 I convinced his 1st Sgt to let me at least say goodbye to my husband on my side of ...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
 We had been living together as newlyweds for a few months before Rob's ETS date.
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
 I decided to go with the flow and work through the emotions as they came. I was
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
 What areas have you developed in throughout your experiences? Have you taken
 the t...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
                                        Chapter 6

     Develop Your Post-Reunion St...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
 What was really going on beneath the surface at this time?
 *I was experiencing sev...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
 I wish that I had a mentor when I was going through emotional chaos. I finally
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR
                                        Chapter 7

Cheer Yourself On! You're a Rare ...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR

                          Loving Surprises...
                          A SUPER BI...
Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR

                            Wrapping Up
                        1, 2, 3 Tidbits to...
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Loves Leading E Book

  1. 1. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Your Loving Companion Successful Coping Skills for Your Long Distance Relationship Where are YOU at in your LDR? 1. Are you facing transition and overwhelming loneliness? 2. Are you anxious with preparing for an upcoming reunion? 3. Are you lacking the self-care you know that you need? Are you weary of waiting, in need of encouragement, grounding, and new perspective? 4. Are you tired of searching for successful coping skills and at wits end; desperately wanting to be understood? 5. Are you facing a series of Photo Copyright, Jennifer Zuniga transitions; before your union date, and feeling overwhelmed? About The Author 6. Are you experiencing a number Jennifer Zuniga, 29, is a (LDR) Long-Distance- of emotional setbacks from (post- Relationship Coach who passionately mentors deployment) re-integration stages? other LDR couples through their transitions, reunions and provides emotional support during Love is the softest place to fall. post-reunion; (including deployment recovery) Welcome to a NEW! loving LDR re-integration stages. community; providing support for your LDR needs. You will have a chance to read a brief history You are welcome to send any loving of our story at the end of the e-book, questions or feedback: Attn: Jenn meanwhile, tidbits are shared throughout as applicable to the main topics. NOW!  Let's Get to Your FREE e-book! copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  2. 2. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Your Rights To This Product: All authentic content and photos are owned by Jennifer Zuniga. Readers are welcome to pass on this FREE e-book as a whole product. Please do not re-write content from this booklet, for your own rights and/or property. We appreciate your respect with this product. The purpose of this e-book is for educating and helping others. This e-book is for Personal Use Only. Legal Disclaimers: Everything shared in this e-book is based on personal experience and personal opinions and values. While the author believes the content is of right moral substance and is confident in her expression; she does not guarantee that these coping skills will work for every person, relationship, organization or an equal opportunity situation. Based on these guidelines, it is recommended that you always follow your own intuition in your individual scenario and use this booklet for educational purposes only. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  3. 3. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Table of Contents Chapter 1 Love is not a Template; It's a Journey! 4 Chapter 2 Explore Your Emotional Needs 5 Chapter 3 You're Building, It's Not Easy! 7 Chapter 4 Parting is Such Devastation for 3 days! 9 Chapter 5 Surviving Deployments with Honor 10 Chapter 6 Develop Your Post Reunion Strategy! 15 Chapter 7 Cheer Yourself On! You're a Rare Breed! 18 Loving Surprises... 19 Wrapping Up 20 copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  4. 4. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Chapter 1 Love is not a Template, It's a Journey! It’s simple: show up and follow through! The emotional resistance is what we’ll work through together. Life isn't easy! My favorite quote is shared by Helen Keller: “The best and the most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or touched, they must be felt with the heart.” While making this e-book, I had a loving epiphany. You see, I am a visionary type and I have to sort-of see the outcome even in the midst of process, or I start to doubt not only the project but myself. I desired 'a template'. I am the type of person who needs to work from the end, backwards to where I am. How much this symbolizes: 'our expectations in life!' We want the best, only we want it - right now! This can present a problem for we easily forget that life is a journey. Unless we are fully engaged in the experimentation process, we're not actually living up to our full capacity. How is this so? We're not learning if we're halted. Learning is not easy, but it is essential to growing. Every successful relationship that I know of has become everything that it is because of mutual commitment to the growing process! We are born with much potential, and are capable of glorious achievement! The way I see it is, we can have it all if we learn to embrace simplicity, originality and creative processes to finally receiving it! So, I want a 'fancy cake!' but I realize that it will mean so much more to me, if I save for it, and plan a special event upon which I will not only anticipate it, but then I will plan to purchase it, pick it up, and then escort it home, and further choose to share it with my loving circle. This is how it works, even with the most simple desires that captivate our hearts. We are the co-Creator of the experience; as we magnify what we truly want - until it can become a reality. Everything is born of experience, for the testing point becomes the sticky glue between the bricks! This makes for the best foundation. If we skip this part, we cannot sustain the excellence we first wished for. We have to build what we desire, and be willing to 'stay with it' every step of the way! This is a Journey that I will continue to commit to! Although I have my template, I realize that Love goes much deeper than changing a few surface details. We grow in a lifestyle of transparency. We chose this path together to come home to the source of Love within ourselves. This is the ultimate journey of life – Love is our guiding compass, and leads as our constant companion one step at a time! We practice the role of Loving Server. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  5. 5. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Chapter 2 Explore Your Emotional Needs Did you know that your emotional struggle is necessary to break free! Break free into what you might say? Into living a life that is capable of expansion. I don't know about you but I have found that it is essential to be emotionally grounded. After surviving three deployments, shy of insanity, and well numb to the core, I actually found myself wanting to be able to cry again. It was dry! It was February 2004, when I was hyperventilating and sitting on the toilet shaking and thinking I would surely end up in the hospital in minutes. I couldn't control my breathing, anxiety, or sadness. I was overcome with grief. I needed air, company, solitude, comfort and fast! I called Mom in, and she was more than willing to help me! Rob was in Afghanistan and for all I knew he was getting shot at for the 6th time - just shy of missing. I mean how much does love cost anyway? I felt as though I was dying! I realized that I had no control of any of it, and I was desperately falling apart on the inside. To make the situation worst, I was a newlywed living at home with my parents. This was certainly not the lifestyle of love I had planned for; even as my family knew I appreciated their support and it was essential at this time. I had two choices: 'Let go and let the Divine do its angelic work' without my interrupting the reins. Or 'Ask Mom to drive me to the hospital and check-me-in!' I decided that it would be much more comfortable to do the first, and lean on Mom for my own sanity. First step, I breathed; next step was to ask for help, I had Mom pray with me for sanity to return, and then she tucked me in - I was able to get some much-needed sleep! Your Essential Tool Kit: A. What does it take for you when you're falling apart, to return to sanity? C' mon, I know that you can think of something creative. Let me start. *Emotional Cleansing Activity: ie: Journaling – express anything in a privacy mode. *Soft music helps to calm me, and talking to my Mom who is a great listener! *Enjoy some 'comfort' company ~have a close friend or neighbor come over.. *Laughter is the best medicine ~ I might not laugh but my Dad is a lighthearted person who can change the subject easily when I don't want to think about stuff anymore. *Take a power nap ! If you are emotionally exhausted, you will sleep like a baby! Try to think comforting and soothing thoughts to align with your (center)grounded being. *Most importantly! Know who to go to and for what before you hit the *ER button. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  6. 6. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR B. Check yourself In! You're worth it! If you're feeling like I was above,..even if you aren't experiencing a deployment situation, you can sorta-relate to some of the symptoms of despair, loneliness, and desperation or wondering when you'll see your sweetie again. There are always those things out of your control that can make you go emotionally crazy! When you have that urge to check yourself in somewhere, you can do it ..but.. first, give it a little twist, and choose your destination sweetly! Recognize that your body needs some simple, delicate pampering! If you give-in you will feel much more comforted then if you resist any outside help. So, book yourself in where you want to be. Let your intuition guide you! Trust me a hospital bill is much more expensive, so no excuses! You could visit a beauty salon if that makes you feel good, or try a massage or facial at a local spa. The key here is 'loving attention' and 'softness' because your emotions are a little too heavy. Whatever makes you 'feel good' focus on this and think of it like a delightful adventure ~a much needed pick-me-up date on this love journey! ~Yours-and-Your/Relationship Needs Checklist: 'Honey, gave me *this,.. but I wanted that when I was feeling like this!' *this – is anything that 'you' thought they wanted because it's what you would. ie: Having a bad day ________ Honey #1 wants: a warm and cozy hug, a delightful loving meal, some alone time to embrace solitude and relaxation, a loving massage before bed and small chat about the rough day ~ready to receive comfort in time Honey #2 gives them *this: hugs, too much conversation & prying into the issue, and then quick-fix to avoid conflict – a glass of wine rather than that charming dinner! ;) okay, slightly exaggerated, but you get the drift! We simply have specific preferences and this gives us the opportunity to learn the needs of our partner. Ð Investing in your partner is adding value to your successful relationship! Hmm... Bridging the Gap <! > Communication is Essential to Responding well: The best memories are those of when someone gives us what we truly want, aren't they? But to be honest, how often do we ask others what they truly want if they were in a scenario like *this? Let's be honest! Discuss 'yours and your' needs that best suit the situation you're in! *Be creative, distance does not have to be a barrier. *Involve each other in your routines as much as possible. *Invite revision to the table when it's not working. Yes, it is 'a choice' & practice! copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  7. 7. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Chapter 3 You're Building, It's Not Easy! Did you know that every 'testing point' encourages the necessary glue to form - relationship building skills, so that when successfully passed ; you will both experience an essential growth-spurt, and a firmer foundation! I want to talk about building communication skills, but from a different angle: Fear of conflict can become a paralyzing gate to prevent growth in your relationship. What are some of the symptoms that you might recognize if you struggle with this essential sticky glue! *do you get anxious every time you have a misunderstanding? *do you fear that your partner will leave you every time you don't see eye-to-eye? *do you run away - say you can't deal with it, leaving your partner in the other room? *do you cry every time your partner raises their voice at you? Do you hide, close-off or go numb on the inside, not really hearing what they are saying? *do you willingly take on the victim role, to draw upon pity over their raised tone? *do you take every word they say personally, memorize and replay it back for yourself as sheer punishment, badgering yourself endlessly for co-creating the nasty episode? *do you try to overcompensate because you feel your relationship must be seen as perfect again, as soon as possible? If you've answered “yes”to any of these listed above, you have a very common challenge, not a relationship problem. The Real Issues: *insecurity, lack of communication skills, unresolved fear, being exposed to relationship trauma at some point in your life, lack of positive relationship role models for how both sides can win-win communicate without the drama, tears and backlog of feelings! One of the first conflict memories we had in our early years was traumatic for a new relationship, but even more with the added long distance element. I'll never forget it, but years later, I did forgive myself and recognize that we all have flaws and Love is the master glue that fills our imperfections. A misunderstanding, and incomplete sharing can fuel the fire of the early building process in your relationship. Expect it! I was not completely transparent, and boundaries had not been discussed. It takes honest communication and courage to touch on key subjects, especially when distance separates! Trust is essential and experience can only come through practice. The worst feeling is facing the fires of conflict before your partner has to head home! copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  8. 8. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Sitting on a picnic bench at a ball park and balling my eyes out, I was taking on the victim role because I was scared: Scared to death that I was losing the only person who ever mattered so much to me! I had messed up and I already had imprisoned myself for life in breaking my first commandment: to never hurt the one I love, EVER! Rob consoled me even though he was still recovering from our recent scare. It was stressful and we felt complete misery. Alas, he had to leave that night and just the thought seemed unbearable to me! I felt worse that we had to separate before I could overcompensate for my error. Then again, too much reassurance is sickening, I 'spose. 'After awhile one repeats his/herself over and over for the impossible' – self-forgiveness which simply means 'letting go!' He left, and we survived. It was an emotional battle that was the first foundational stake of our relationship. It showed us, just how committed we were to one another! From that point on, I knew that I would protect our relationship and be willing to make a few more sacrifices. We had come to solution. So what is required of you before and after? It's really quite simple. Before: Don't run. Stay calm and know that you are a team that must talk respectfully, research if necessary, learn from the episode and practice for a best solution. If you need to take leave, say so!, but agree to come back in 10 or 20 minutes to discuss it! After: Forgive yourself; it's not about you, it's a love journey. Keep moving forward and let yourself breathe along the way! It's essential 'sticky-glue!' The key to failing or not, is not what you think: the shift: really comes when you are willing to take personal responsibility. It doesn't matter how much you know or don't know about the situation or what you lack up until the point of conflict. IF YOU are willing to initiate a loving response by 'giving up the need to be right' ~you no longer forfeit the solution. The change is all in the attitude and response. It takes courage to be present in the moment, to experience a new feeling: 'this is your growth-spurt!' 'Ask' Your Relationship Mentors: Okay, so I know we don't all have the luxury with the best relationship mentors at our fingertips, but for now pretend you do. You might not realize it but the more you listen to your own intuition (inner coach) you'll recognize a wise voice within. Meanwhile, pay attention to those around you and expand your network to incorporate a diverse realm and you will have rich resources. Next 'Ask' if you feel nudged by your inner coach. 'Ask' questions that are burning in your heart as a must- know. There is a reason for this. Listen and let these experiences resonate with you. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  9. 9. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Chapter 4 Parting is Such Devastation for 3 days! With countless partings and reunions, emotional exhaustion is but a drop in the bucket! The severe drop which occurs from ultimate bliss to 'that feeling!' requires a severe self-kindness support system, to approach routine in the midst of recovery! The first parting is no better or any worse than any other; it is however, the first sacred memory we've ever known of what it means to 'stretch an aching heart!' It had been two weeks of utmost heaven with my international pen pal meets soldier in training, and I was about to put up a darn good fight to hide this man in my closet! 'What do you mean, you have to go away for six months?', I teared up dreadfully! Just the thought had already broken my heart in two! This was too perfect to mess with! Absolutely all too wonderful! My family loved him too; of course, I knew they would! Yet it was time, and back to the airport we went! Maybe, I shouldn't have walked in there with him; for seeing him go beyond that gate, I knew I'd never be the same. That horrible feeling of aloneness stabbed me like a knife, and the aching gap was nothing I nor anyone else could fill, not even if we tried. This was reality, and it sucked! He was in the skies and I was driving home to a place. I didn't eat, I ached too much! My family knew enough to leave me alone. It was a new experience and all I remember was the scent of the sacred scarf that I was left with, which also held our tears, and a love note! Yes, I read it over and over and still wanted more! I would sleep until my life began again. He called. I adjusted. It took 3 days to overcome and find myself again. While this was my first experience with parting, it was a clue to the recovery pattern that I would come to know unfortunately very well, in the following years! It was hello-goodbye and ache-myself-to-sleep with 'that feeling!' until I could survive enough to face the world again, which was -my normal life. In these days, everything was blurred, and I couldn't make sense of what was illusion from real, just this beating in my heart that had me attending to it, more and more frequently! Best Advice from countless partings: It takes 3 days! So take a break! Do the following: One rule: Don't panic. Be gentle, just get by with enough, until routine comes in! Whatever you want to do, do it! Be alone, and sulk if you want. You don't owe anyone anything. This is your 'essential: 3 day- break period!' Be comfortable. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  10. 10. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Chapter 5 Surviving Deployments with Honor Where preparation is essential and yet there is never enough time for it before the inevitable tour begins; after which, coping becomes a strategy rather than an emotional experience. Honor is the attitude one takes in the midst of progress. There are 3 D's that I'd like to talk about, which I feel pretty much summarizes the deployment experience. They are disappointments, detours and development. While this sounds simple and to the point, I assure you it is not. 1. Disappointments I can't remember what the first disappointment was for us but it was most definitely a stark learning curve in the early years. The more experience - we grew; the greater the obstacles became. Truly, in hindsight, I am glad this was the case, or surely I would've been knocked down irreparably. I knew very little of military protocols and the lifestyle when Rob first joined the Army back in 2000. Skip ahead after the first deployment and things got quite messy. Engaged in 2002, we had planned for our big celebration date the following year and all was unfolding as it should. After 9-11; Afghanistan happened and nothing was for certain anymore. Still, we thought surely the worst case scenario could not steal the magic. Well, it did. It was exactly 10 days before our wedding date that Rob was handed his new orders. We were too stunned to say much, and it was too late to emotionally prepare. I broke all the army protocols(which I still knew little of) that day and called the highest commanding officer's number on Rob's home base. I found it online (by the way, I'm awesome at researching!) I'm sure he was surprised to hear from a Canadian civilian and now years later at least we joke about this part. Anyway, I was sure there had to be a compromise! Over a years worth of planning and wedding guests had already begun traveling from afar, for our special day! This was truly nightmarish! We couldn't have known it would happen either. The devastation was beyond anything imaginable and it hurt so much that I stopped hurting altogether. A part of me died on the inside that day, and I know that it broke Rob's heart in two. We were a classic case of perfect disappointment on the highest level of despair. Thankfully, there was a small twist that barely saw us through. It was four months prior that we had been secretly married for our immigration paperwork to go through. Mind you, it was nothing like what we were looking forward to, but 'legally' we were married. Now, that the worst had occurred, this was our only solace to the darkest reality of our souls. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  11. 11. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR I convinced his 1st Sgt to let me at least say goodbye to my husband on my side of the border (I couldn't cross due to immigration, so I was stuck). To think of not even saying goodbye was unbearable. Thank God we had one weekend left together in short notice. We cried. We went numb together. We both drove home. He flew out the next week. Our wedding day became a family reunion for me. Depressing but sweet. In the few short months to follow, Rob was extended for a few months longer, we died again on the inside. We were without feeling for it was too raw to uncover the pain, and we needed to stay focused on surviving this deployment. So, we postponed our emotions for when there would be time to grieve; it would need to be – afterward. 10 months later he returned home to me, after 5 severely close-calls. We wept and yes, we did celebrate our postponed proper vows and community reception! And then he drove me back to NY to settle into our new home. Disappointments are threads to our soul, and our heart feels every vibration. It is tough surviving these obstacles with determination, and overcoming them well! We have every right to feel and should, (even if it means you have to sometimes feel later – when you are already in coping mode - like we were forced to do) for our heart deserves this emotional response time. What disappointments have shaped your experience? Have you taken the time to cleanse them through your emotional therapy channel since this? It is important to lament, and to let go. Often while serving our spouses, and our countries we forget that we have this natural right to lament – a completely renewing experience. When we don't grieve completely, we can become bitter and lose heart entirely. It is natural to feel the way we do. It is essential to open the fountain of healing within. What is it that you need today to experience the honor of your circumstance? 2. Detours What is a detour? How does this apply to deployment? As a loved one left behind – we walk a path that feels like a detour. It is a lonely path that can hold some jewels. It is not exactly parallel with our partner for we cannot relate to what they are going through and they cannot understand what we feel. It is a time where both will feel some disconnection, as well as personal resilience. It takes wisdom and willingness to prioritize well and consistently align with one another to stay harmonized and committed in this nasty Y pattern. The journey will test the commitment and the attitude of both partners. In the end, intimacy flourishes like a deep-flowing stream with new appreciation for what both have experienced and developed together. The ripple is a new-found strength to move forward again - unified as a couple. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  12. 12. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR We had been living together as newlyweds for a few months before Rob's ETS date. Soon, we resettled again and were enjoying our civilian life for about two years. It was beautiful, remarkable, and so comforting to be together and to enjoy intimate companionship. One day in 2006, we received a packet on our doorstep. Rob was IRR and although he completed his service the Army technically had dibs on him for backup for another few years before he left the database. He was selected for Iraq and they had claimed him for 16 months to include 6 months of intense training and then he was required to give 1 year of service in Iraq. Unbelievable. We had a choice. 30 days to prepare. We got to work; not to fight it, but to prepare together as a smart team for the inevitable which was upon us. I would be losing not only a husband, best friend but also co-worker(break buddy) for we worked at the same place by divine chance for those last few years. I slipped into CODE FOCUS: I like to think of this as DETOUR He was leaving soon, very soon and I had a choice! What did I want to do in this time period? I wasn't victimized, I was capable of deciding how I would spend it, and my reactions were coming out in an action plan within days of this notice. I was determined that I would not let this kill me like the last time. I was stronger, and we had both grown. We could face it this time with HONOR and from the start! So, .. PLAN A: I wanted to stay put. I was not going to run home to Mommy and Daddy. It was a test that I wanted to pass on my own. It was essential that I had family support and they were only 5 hrs away. Plus, I had close friends like family, and co-workers who knew us both. Rob accepted my decision and knew that I was sure. PLAN B: I wanted a 'specific' pet companion. I knew that I needed emotional support and that I would not be as sociable when he was gone, so for me to come home to an empty place that reminded me of him every day would be horribly depressing. I prayed and it worked out down to the 'specifics'.. it was amazing! 3 days before Rob left we both picked up our little baby- Angel ;) (had to be under this condition)He was a Holland Lop bunny and just a few weeks old, the cutest little sweetheart who would lead me through this insanity period of 16 mths. Day 1: we were all best friends! Rob didn't want to leave either of us! Of course when he left, I lost it, for 3 days! And then pulled my straps up and started working on a new routine for Angel and I. After awhile, we adjusted, and during times of turbulence I'd bawl on his little furry head and he'd remind me that Love is always always with us. We all survived. The detour for me was a choice. I had to acknowledge that I was not a victim. Yes, the situation was not cool, in fact it was horribly cruel! But, I knew that if something like this could happen to us again, then there must be a deeper purpose for it. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  13. 13. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR I decided to go with the flow and work through the emotions as they came. I was upset sometimes and other times I was surprisingly calm and well-adjusted. I learned to surf the waves, with a positive attitude. I learned how to be independent and that I can rely on myself more than I thought. I gained courage, and grew in devotion for my hubby and for other families who serve so sacrificially in this way. I noticed a lot of character was built in me during this time, and I was going to be okay. I came to believe that nothing happens to us without the divine rich resources to cope and overcome. We received so much support during this time; and after the detour, we had such a time of celebration! Once again, our appreciation and connectedness for one another blossomed and we were like two sharp glistening diamonds together! What are you facing today that requires you to take a detour? What choices can you make for yourself and your loved ones, despite circumstances? Initiate a loving plan of action to do what you can, rather than dwell on what you cannot change. Then, watch things change in your favor! It works! The key is a positive attitude, a new lens and the willingness to promote your own flexibility. 3. Development Life is a learning process. So then, every circumstance presents an opportunity for growth. Often the very events in my life that I have first despised have been the very thing I needed to help me grow in specific areas. Personal awakening: Surprisingly, looking back I do not resent the tour that Rob had to serve in Iraq. It was a year and a half of much inner reflection and grounding for me. I came to know myself, to come into my own. It was through this experience that I realized that Love is our most constant Companion; a light within each individual – a Divine Lantern which lights forward for us to follow in faith and confidence, in its rich illuminant steps. Emotional Cleansing I came to forgive the Army from some deep wounds due to the wedding crisis, that otherwise would've remained buried possibly even to this day. When one feels so deeply and then is forced to go numb inside for a time, it can take years to draw those emotions out again. This cleansing is necessary before we can fully develop and proceed on our learning path! Discovering Team Resilience The relationship glue that holds Rob and I together is like honey and pure gold. Our relationship is not perfect but it is a haven, a refuge and a home. It is because of our series of development as individuals and together, that we have grown. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  14. 14. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR What areas have you developed in throughout your experiences? Have you taken the time to notice that which has helped you grow stronger? I encourage you today to consider the purpose of life. It is to learn and to dig deeper into rich territory. It might mean taking some rough patches or long trails but eventually you will come back to the center and you will have your chance to cruise the highways again! What would happen if you looked at developing wherever you currently are. How might this change your perspective? Honor is a choice. It is the ability to look through a new lens. Honor weaves our character as we commit to a lifestyle of Love. Honor is saying “Yes!” despite what life hands to us, knowing that there is always a divine light to guide us through! Truly, 'we are never alone, and never without hope!' copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  15. 15. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Chapter 6 Develop Your Post-Reunion Strategy! With much transition, comes emotional silence, and then eventually overload! We must schedule in the emotional essentials as soon as our feet have returned home. Post-Reunion emotional therapy has become my favorite part of mentoring. The reason I feel that I am most drawn to helping others re-adjust after emotional distraught is because I know how to do two things exceptionally well: *I create softness wherever I go – its a 'home feeling!' – I have a gift for 'knowing how to create an atmosphere' ~As a sensitive individual, it is important for me to respect my emotional needs first and foremost. I have learned to protect myself, even when I have been challenged by those closest to me. I know my boundaries. I know what I need. I adore this gift! If I'm comfortable in the room, I guarantee you that everyone else is all cozy! If you're emotionally upset, I can feel it and I want to listen. *I have a HUGE heart and I 'know how to FEEL' – so when this girl is numb, she's not at home! So, I have been there and I know how tough it is to go from this blankness feeling of deployment or transition to coming back into *connectedness ~my own passion. I am still emerging into this soothing balm of love and light inch by inch and it is glorious! I want to bring you with me! When it hits It really feels unbearable! I'm talking about emotional catch-up! I remember it was the end of 2004 and Rob and I were resettled in NY state enjoying our few civilian years of peace. It was a few months in our new place and it felt like home.. yet something wasn't right. Something, inside of me was awry. I couldn't pinpoint it though. I would tear up for no reason or I'd feel super lonely, or just find myself lying on the couch on the verge of depression. What was going on, anyway? One evening, Rob was just in the other room, and I was in our bedroom and I was paralyzed. I was having a panic attack and couldn't move. I wanted him to reassure me that he was there, and I wanted someone to talk me through, but I was stuck and alone. I felt so desperately alone. I wanted to do something, to reach out,...but was frozen. I went inside myself and it was like a crater. I felt disconnected from something and almost lost. The weird thing was that when I wasn't feeling like this *in a spell, I was perfectly happy, content and enjoying my loving companionship with Rob. I was so perplexed if there was no problem between us, what was the problem? I slept a lot when I felt this way, it was my only relief! I was a loner during these months and didn't even want to work a job. I had no energy or confidence to ask my spirit for direction or connection. Certainly, I could not fulfill it. I felt as a loving battery that was done, no more juice. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  16. 16. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR What was really going on beneath the surface at this time? *I was experiencing severe emotional catchup /this was the blockage phase and so it wasn't making sense but it was starting to come to surface for me *I had experienced the emotional stress (of not grieving) a lost wedding from a year ago which had devastated me at the time *I had poured myself into the wedding plans and then the deployment took over,.. frankly I had been drained for so long, running on empty and was strong the whole time. *I had survived the Afghanistan tour (10 months) with Rob *I had worked two jobs during this deployment time, to stay busy and focused *I had planned another wedding with what we could pull together when he returned from tour, plus brought together a homecoming for him *I had resigned from my job since I would be leaving the country *our immigration was completed ~the stress of mail correspondence and completing this while he was in Afghanistan was monotonous *I had to sell my car and pack up my stuff *I had to say goodbye to my family (at least from the every day life I knew) *I then moved to a new country, and settled into a new place for 3 months *we moved again a few hrs away after Rob's ETS date and got settled again Okay, so I didn't list this to bore you; the point is you will have your list and I hope that you will use your list as a 'TO YOUR CREDIT' – allowance to FEEL! It is essential that you recognize the emotional upsets that have been withdrawn from your emotional bank account. When you realize this, it is quite natural to say 'Wow!' Okay, maybe I do deserve a little or BIG break! Right now, I want to give you permission to let this sink in and to let yourself sigh! It's over for now. Yes, more transitions may come later on, but often you will have a resting period – you cannot take more than you can handle. This is your clearing! Please do give yourself this much needed care. It is essential for your stability, this is not an option, not a luxury! The transitions of your long distance relationship will undergo a period of growth and emotional stabilization. If you and your partner have experienced this challenge as well as a deployment tour, it will take some additional time to work through this shifting period. So, be kind and gentle to yourself, and to one another as you are re-establishing your routine and grounding during this time. The most important emotional gift that you can give yourself and each other is understanding. Understand it takes time. Understand 'you have this time!' copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  17. 17. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR I wish that I had a mentor when I was going through emotional chaos. I finally figured out throughout the process, that it was quite normal what I was experiencing and that is what made all the difference! When we understand that it is not abnormal what we're thinking or feeling, then we can give our self permission to feel whatever we need to. The freedom which comes from the latter, brings such peace and comfort. Now, you can 'walk-it-through!' rather than run, scream or do something drastic! Here are 5 helpful tips for you: Honestly; 'Feeling How You Do: It's Completely Normal!' 1. Create a Loving Space If you are trying to coax your emotions out, now that your feet have touched the (home)ground, then you must create a loving space for you to feel soft again. You cannot expect your most bitter emotions or your despairs to come out if you feel harsh conditions. You must romance them out. I'm not kidding! ;) 2. Choose a Loving Channel Okay, so it is a normal process – we need a daily, doable channel to let some of the steam, or excess out. What makes you feel good? I have this need to write. During my time of re-adjusting, I ended up writing journals which inspired me to write a book! While the end result is not the intent here, the point is that you are engaging in something that soothes your internal environment like a healing balm. So, what is it for you? If you're not sure.. then that's okay too. Just start dabbling in randomness and it will turn into something beneficial. 3. Trust the Process! You cannot gain emotional ground until you trust the process of letting go. Practice what helps you release, and try to do this daily. Realize that it will take time to feel this through, and it is not a crisis, as much as a cleansing process. 4. Ask Yourself 'What Do I Need, Right Now?' If you were a deployment partner, more than likely you were a strong support for your sweetheart abroad. As essential as your support was at that time, it's time for you to 'take your turn!' Let your partner be there for you now also. It is wise to consider yourself or your hidden emotions could escalate to a health concern or PTSD scenario. Take time out for you! Only you know what what you need. Be willing to “pause” different times in the day, or take a meditation class to learn to slow and listen. It will come to you. 5. Notify Your Support Team Before You Feel It! Who can you turn to when you are feeling overwhelmed?Know it and tell them how you feel and your needs. Express your vulnerability before you need to call them. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  18. 18. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Chapter 7 Cheer Yourself On! You're a Rare Breed! Implement *your happiness by recognizing how amazing you are and what beautiful masterpiece you and your partner are creating together! You are a rare breed! Long distance relationships are a new brand, quite Real! Many are quick to doubt, rather than commit; whether they are in a traditional relationship or not. It will take work in either scenario for a successful relationship! Why? Because you only ever get out of it , what you invest into it! Why choose the RAW emotional-challenging path? Here is my theory: More and more it is happening – long distance relationships. But why? I honestly believe that as a people we are tired of small talk and only connecting on surface levels. Many are searching out for 'substance- what is Real' and yes this means it may be 'Raw, vulnerable' but we are connecting more with our true nature and this is the authentic work. We want to find something beneath these superficial and isolating barriers in our society. We want to truly connect with one another. We want to think wisely before giving ourselves away so quickly and instead cultivate a new tender green shoot of organic love – this is true intimacy! Could it be that we are awakening to our own inner spirit of Love and restoring our values as we reach out and test these deeper waters. Could it be that we are ready for this rareness even if it requires more emotional energy and more trust, honor and service to one another. YES! Embrace Your Desire for a New Community: It's easy to settle, so don't. Keep building, cultivating and growing your relationship and be proud of every aspect of the sacred process. I assure you that there are many others just like you! Although we are scattered there are thousands of us who are a part of this new wave of love which continues to grow daily! Long distance relationships are often the unique souls as twin flames kindling the greatest love in the world! As each of us risk for the beauty of love, we light up the world with more passion and possibility! We might be rare, but certainly it is nothing to be ashamed of! We are building a new community of love and intimacy. Love illuminates for us every loving step on our individual path. Be proud to carry the torch as Love Server first for your partner and then to light up the world which has forgotten the Real definition of love. YOU ARE … a Rare Breed! copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  19. 19. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Loving Surprises... A SUPER BIG Most Loving, THANK-YOU!! To each of you my loving readers! ;) I wrote this for you and enjoyed doing so! I truly hope that this e-book has blessed you, if even in one or two significant ways! My desire is to connect with you on a deeply emotional level - for our stories deserve our full attention. As we sort through, recover, cultivate and commit to this sacred reality, we will blossom from the challenges of our beautiful unfolding. It is my hope that you have felt understood and that you will come to know the comfort of this Love. It is always within you! May the Divine bless you immensely! Hugs, Jenn As Promised...& Surprise! pic of me and my sweetheart, Rob! ;) Photo Copyright, Jennifer Zuniga OUR BRIEF HISTORY: Celebrating a decade of their long-distance love, soul-mates; Jennifer and Robert, embraced an intensely rewarding love journey. What began online in 1999 was two random international pen pals connecting during the start of the online social networking craze. The story of two best friends falling in love, and finally meeting - evolved into a remarkable love story of determination, courage, survival, adventure, partings and a series of reunions. As a thoroughly committed team, both gave patriotic service from 2000-2008/ surviving deployments in (Kosovo, Afghanistan & Iraq) and finally achieved immigration certification for Jennifer (Canadian) to come to the United States. Now, reunited, they are both enjoying five years of loving marriage together. They reside in Illinois with their pet bunny companion, Angel - who is (the space between their ever-after). Besides writing, Jennifer enjoys being in nature, reading, journaling and traveling with her husband. She is currently in college for Holistic studies. copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
  20. 20. Successful Coping Skills for Your LDR Wrapping Up 1, 2, 3 Tidbits to Connect with You! If you wish to learn more successful coping skills for your LDR then come and grow with us: Please join this loving path: There is room for all! We'd love to hear from you!! ;) You can find us at any of these links below: 1. A Refreshing NEW! Loving LDR Community: You can look forward to a loving weekly blog at our main site: 2. If you'd rather lounge, please come on over to: 3. Twitter Luv with Us! ;) and most importantly, how has this e-book helped you? I'd love to hear your feedback at Please pass this FREE e-book along if,... you know someone who is in a LDR and if you feel it might be of help to them! It can be a lonely journey without the support of those who understand. Thank you for reading this FREE e-book! If you have some other topics you'd like to see covered in a future e-book or in an upcoming blog, please email me with your refreshing feedback and I will definitely consider them. I may even do an honorable mention! eh? ;) I just had to slip in a Canadian word.. Thanks again for your support and I look forward to seeing you in one of the above networks! ;) THE END. until the next time! ;) copyright©2009 Jennifer Zuniga All Rights Reserved Worldwide.