Tuesday, 3 August 2021
Sunday, 13 June 2021
I realized this, that love is not enough, when I was in my early twenties. I was in love with a highly traumatized person who did a lot of drugs when I did none, hung out with people I didn't like to be with at all, lived a life I didn't connect with and did things for fun that I didn't find entertaining. At the time, I couldn't have articulated how I knew that love was not enough but I did. It didn't seem "fair" but I just knew that, however painful it was to admit it, it wasn't going to be enough to keep me with that person.
You can love a person with your whole heart and they can love you back the same way but if the actual relationship you are having with that person doesn't feed your needs, makes you feel small or insignificant, goes deeply against your (or his/her) personal grain, disrupts your nervous system, takes you too far away from your own life and desires, doesn't align with your most essential values, you have nothing in common, or it otherwise makes your life too difficult or uncomfortable, the love will very often not be enough. No matter how much love you start off with, incompatible relationship requirements can wear it down to nothing.
|Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash|
This list I am building, all of the things on it can affect me, affect how I feel day-in-day-out. Having a guy who has a huge heart, cares for the homeless and acts like a superhero when there is a great need, being very kind and helpful, rushing in when there is a tragedy and drama is great but if he's always at work or always helping others and has little or no time for me or our life together... am I okay with that? And what if I love to spend time together learning new things and he loves to sit and watch sports a lot or work alone in his garage building things? Everyone's choices need to be respected! No one should have their needs, wants and desires denied to please the other person but some things, some people (even if they love each other deeply) are not compatible in close, intimate, everyday relationships.
It might simply come down to this: how do you want to behave and feel MOST days and how do you want the other person to behave and feel MOST days. How do you want your days to play out and what are your expectations and desires?
Sit down and write it out. Pay attention to what you are getting and not getting in all types of relationships that you presently have. What are you enjoying and not enjoying because it might actually be the real make or break.
A relationship is not something that we can just order up and have it be perfect. As with our choice of partner, we need some flexibility depending on certain periods in our lives, exceptional events, etc. However, I think it's really important to become aware of our needs in this area. We need to start naming and defining what we want when choosing that invisible third party ...the relationship itself. It may be just as important as our choice of partner.
Sunday, 10 January 2021
A lot is said these days about it being okay to remove people from your life that are toxic to you and I completely agree with that. However, what about those people that aren't toxic, that you actually love, that are actually assets in your life? Do you have to remove them from your life just because a relationship didn't turn out the way you wanted or expected?
|Photo by Elio Santos on Unsplash|
Sometimes, things don't work out with certain people the way you want them to but you still love them, still enjoy their company. Your expectations/needs or their expectations/needs were not met and you can't have the relationship that you both maybe wanted in the way you wanted it. Or maybe one of you needs to receive things that that other is not used to giving or able to give, or efforts are required that your or the other isn't used to or willing to make.
Things not working out the way we wanted can be frustrating. It can feel hurtful. It often brings up childhood pain and wounds... AND if that person is worth it to you, if you love and enjoy being with them anyway, you can consciously choose to have another relationship with them, a different one, to keep them in your life. It doesn't have to be all or nothing... unless you feel it does.
It will take a few things (and I may forget some of them) and they may happen simultaneously and/or on and off throughout the process:
* Consciously assess how you feel about the person: Looking consciously at how important that person is to you, how it makes you feel to be with them (preferably very positive! - N.B. obsession is not love or positivity, it is a childhood wound asking to be healed), what things connect you to this person.
* Figure out what will actually be necessary to keep that person in your life: how often, how close, behaviour changes, physical needs, emotional stresses, mental requirements on both sides.
* Weigh the "cost" (emotional, mental, physical, spiritual) to you of keeping this person: Sometimes you have to actually try it to find out whether it's worth it or not. Sometimes it's easier than you thought and other times it's more than you can manage.
* Make a conscious decision: to make a new and different space for them, however different that may be from the original idea of what you thought/hoped it would be. Much adjustment of expectations will probably have to go on over time.
* Define the new relationship and take concrete steps (communication? action?) to make it happen: Often that means stretching ourselves either emotionally or mentally. Sometimes it just means waiting until emotional storms calm themselves with time. It WILL be awkward at first. It WILL be uncomfortable at first. It MAY be painful at first. It MAY be irritating or frustrating, especially at first. When you start anew, it may not be possible to define how, exactly, the new relationship will be but if you set the direction, you can move toward it. It helps if you are both on board to make this change but it may only take one of you who is committed to it for it to actually get there.
* Mourn and release the old idea to make room for the new experience: This will undoubtedly take time and conscious effort. Keep the new goal in mind.
None of this is easy, none of it comes without uncomfortable effort, but if you think this person means something to you, if you love them, if you want them in your life, it may be worth it to do all the conscious assessing you need to make that decision. Don't let them just slip away because you didn't take the time to fully consider what could be done. It might not be easy but it could be worth it. À toi de voir.
Wednesday, 23 December 2020
|Photo by De'Andre Bush on Unsplash|
We have to share the same space, my body and I (my mind? my ego?), whether I like it or not, whether my body likes it or not. Changing from this perspective of ownership to one of relationship brings me hope and a feeling of expansion.
Treating my body as if it’s a thing I “own” (or that owns ME) is VERY different from treating it like an important relationship in my life.
If we look at it as a relationship, it can be more difficult than our worst relative, boss or friend because we simply don’t have the power to end the relationship (barring suicide) no matter how much we may not like, appreciate or approve of the body we have.
Our bodies are like our prison cellmates! Haha - okay, or our soulmates... We won't be separated from them until we die but, if we can learn to know them, to negotiate with them, to make peace with the, to understand and respect their needs, the relationships can only get better with time.
I know mine has. I have started taking my body’s wants and needs into account. I try to make sure that it gets good nutrients often, I do my best to “ask” it what it wants (a bath, a walk, to dance, some tai chi?) as often as I can remember. I am far from perfect and, yes, it’s a work in progress, but our relationship is becoming more harmonious with my efforts to include its preferences in my decisions.
Friday, 18 December 2020
So, what is acceptance, then? Hmmm. Good question.
To me, acceptance is … I suppose… surrendering to reality. Surrendering to what really IS. It usually takes me a while to get there with lots of fits and fuss and denial and resistance beforehand. I don’t go lightly or easily into acceptance. I’m a control freak at heart and acceptance, by its very nature, makes me squirm.
Acceptance forces me to admit… I cannot control this. It implies that something larger than (or at least outside of) me is happening here, is in charge, and no matter what I do some essence of it will not be changed just because I work at it or whine about it or fuss about it or get pissed off about it or whack at it with a hammer…
acceptance then is both a giving up of my (imagined) power and an experience of
relief or peace at giving it up. When I release this idea that I will or can have
an effect on the person, situation, experience, instead of being worse off
which is what I always EXPECT, I experience a relieving type of letting go which makes everything somehow better.
This "surrendering" kind of sounds like powerlessness but my physical and emotional experience of it is NOT that. Where as the fighting, fussing, resisting and denial beforehand feel like contraction and discomfort, acceptance feels, in my body and even in my mind because it too lets go, like expansion and openness.
I suppose it’s something like when your hand is gripping something, you’ve got a very narrow contracted focus, not room for much else in there, whereas once you let go, your hand is open and anything can come into it.
What acceptance DOESN’T mean to me… It doesn’t mean that I have to like what I have accepted. What it does, though, is allow me to really feel my emotions about not liking it. It allows me to face and feel the pain, the anger, the fear… whatever… fully. Just by doing that, by not repressing them, not resisting them, I am inviting movement into the issue, into the situation. I’m allowing myself to know what’s true for me and, therefore, to keep it from stagnation, to keep flow happening. As long as there is movement in what is happening, I am not stuck in it and it keeps changing and evolving and always moving toward something better (just something I’ve noticed over my life).
“Stuckness” and resistance and teeth grinding and not wanting to see the truth, these are the things that often cause us the most pain which is funny because usually we are doing these things to try and stop or avoid pain or painful situations. And when we stop trying to avoid the pain, discomfort, anger, etc., when we finally accept things as they are then we can just allow them, just feel them and move slowly on to the next thing we will be fighting, resisting, in denial or fussing about. Ah, the irritating paradoxes of life!
Monday, 19 October 2020
My first published YouTube video!
It's about letting go as my friend and colleague, Monica Karam, and I were both dealing with this issue today.
Hoping you will stumble upon this video right when you need it some day and that it will bring you some relief.
Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Give this method a try. Start asking yourself: "If this is actually the right/better way for things to go for me then why/how could that be or what would that mean?" See what answers you get. Let me know in the comments below.