Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Pop Thought: The point of creating is not the creation.

The point is the act, the verb, the movement of creative juices.

The "final product" (the thing that was created) doesn't matter.

It's like physical exercise. It's good for your body, your soul, good for all of you, whether you can see the difference on the outside or not. 

It's the inside and the doing of it that matters. 

AND it doesn't have to look anything like "art" or sound like music or smell like roses. 

Do it! Move those juices! Create!

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Pop Thought: Love Is Not Enough

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.

Hands reaching out
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
The relationship is the invisible third party in your love affair.

...and we're pretty much clueless that it exists as a separate thing.

I've recently started deeply considering what I want... not in a loving partner, I know that part, I have a bunch of vision boards on that topic and a long list of bullet points... but what do I want in the relationship itself

How would I like our days to be spent? What things do I need to share and which ones can I let go? Lots of togetherness, not too much togetherness? Lots of deep discussion, a little bit of everyday life discussion? Chatting while we do the dishes or throwing them in the dishwasher and going our own ways for the evening? Doing healing work, climbing mountains, visiting friends, watching movies, doing little things for each other? What kind of friends? Do we need to have lots of common friends or do I not care who he hangs out with, I'll never see them? How much time do each of us spend with our family? The other person might need to be comfortable with that. What are the things from past relationships that I really enjoyed and would like (or need) to have again? What are the experiences or behaviours from past relationships that I will never, ever put up with again?

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

Pop Thought: You can choose to keep someone in your life

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?

New directions
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.