Finding the Balance to Love Yourself and Your Life
I am an MSW, interested in helping people live happier healthier lives. I believe that when people are happy they create a positive ripple effect that creates change not only in others around them but also in the environment in which they live. I believe we all have the ability to live the life we dream. Here you will find ideas, musings and creative expressions that help me achieve a life of balance. I hope they help and inspire you to do the same.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Just my rambling thought 11.10.2016
People are afraid of change
People catastrophize and go to extremes out of knee jerk fear based thoughts.
People do not like the uncertain future
And the feeling of being out of control.
It's a snowball effect.
People lack the proper ability to communicate and emote effectively when in a fearful state or when biased thoughts cloud and close the mind or when we don't utilize critical thinking skills.
We are all guilty in this. We are all united regarding the above!
Our society is in fight flight or freeze mode that much is clear. I have been talking with some friends, listening to perspectives and options. Some people want to leave the country and are serious about. I even thought about leaving. I urge to to stay. I urge you to not leave others behind, but to stand, stay and do the work.
There are real concerns to be had in the upcoming years. We will have a lot to lear from one another. Our President will have a lot to learn and we need to use our united voices to help him hear and understand us.
I also urge everyone to stop blaming or looking for a source to blame. Blame will only perpetuate fear, anger and hate. Start with accountability, within yourself, your family and other relationships. Heal those areas. Set the example of kindness and understanding. Open your mind to other points of view. Learn to problem solve. We have to meet each other half way. Our future is too valuable to be closed minded. We as people are too valuable to do nothing but shut each other down.
Finally, within all of this, find one or two issues that you feel passionately about and focus on fighting for the best solution, not greediest or self-serving solution but the solution that empowers individuals, lifts us up, unites us as a Human Race.
Some would say that the number one reason why relationships fail is based on money. Some would say that it is has to do with values, or infidelity. Some people say that they don't pay attention to the words that people speak, but rather, a person's actions. I find that to be a lie. I believe that it is communication (what we say and how we say things), he type of, lack of, or even perhaps the fear of communication that make or break relationships. It is only through communication that partners can acquire a deep understanding of and agree on ideals of money, values, relationship goals, needs and wants and how to build a foundation for the love they hope for. People, not just partners, will never be able to collaborate or understand one another if they are not able to effectively communicate. Sounds like it should be simple right? I communicate my needs, you communicate your needs, we come together, solve disagreements, open each other's minds to new perspectives, get closer, bond, fall in love, create a friendship and life is grand. Well, ideally, yes.
However, I find that the thing missing from communication is emotional correctness. What is emotional correctness? Without emotional correctness people take pot shots, and make low blows, at one another with the intention to hurt the other person. They call their beloved partners names, put them down, or point out every negative aspect in order to tear down their self-esteem. This never made sense to me. I have been on the receiving end of this type of communication many times in my recent past, and I always think, "Wow, thank you for pointing out what a horrible person I am, how I am so cold-hearted. You chose me as a partner and a couple of months ago you wanted to spend the rest of your life with me. Now I'm a cold-hearted and cutting". Interesting. How people can go from love to hate so quickly is always, more often than not, poor communication and proper expression of emotions.
Emotional correctness is reflected in the tone and feeling of what we say. It's the respect and compassion we show show each other when we share ideas, feelings, or solve differences of opinions. It is not selfish, or self-righteousness, it is not putting someone down to make them hurt the way you hurt, it is not using another person's vulnerabilities as a weapon in an argument later. Emotional correctness allows us to be honest without being unnecessarily hurtful. Emotional boundary setting is also essential for communication with emotional correctness. Learning to communicate boundaries in a clear and consistent way prevents disrespectful communication or at least, allows people to know what you will and will not stand for, and what you will allow. This is not to be rigid, but to be able to identify toxic unhealthy communication styles.
When we don't consider emotional correctness we talk past, and over, each other. We don't hear the other person, we become narrow minded, and closed off to cooperation and problem solving. Without emotional correctness we don't speak with compassion, and we certainly don't feel heard, the intention is to hurt the other person with verbal darts, and gossip. The person on the other side, the receiver, can be shamed in a fright, flight, fight or freeze state. For myself, I spent a great deal of time in the fright and freeze state after being steamrolled in a conversation lacking emotional correctness.
However, taking time to put ego aside, for the sake of understanding with compassion is the first step to supporting a relationship. Living and communicating authentically with yourself and others requires a respect of boundaries, emotional correctness, and trust in relationships. It is certainly not easy, it takes courage and vulnerability. But we must challenge ourselves to find and speak with compassion rather than look for blame, while not taking responsibility for how our words affect others.
From the time we are little girls and boys, we are led to believe that there is something wrong with being alone. It has almost become a learned fear, as if, to be alone is the worst possible thing in the world. We see it everywhere, people stay stuck in unhealthy relationships simply to avoid being alone.
We also see ideal couples everywhere: the movies, television, and our partners are referred to as "our better halves", thus indicating that that we are just a piece of a person, a like a piece of pie, that only another person can otherwise complete. In fact, the phrase "you complete me" has become the marker for an all time dream letting us know when we are in love.
But let's get real shall we? Being with other people throughout most of our waking hours, helps us to avoid the most difficult task of all: exploring ourselves and facing our shadow in the mirror. Solitude is not so much about becoming a hermit. Rather, it is about becoming free from emotional dependency. It is about becoming free from bad behavior and unhealthy communication that never changes. It is about setting boundaries regarding what one will or will not put up with. If we believe we are less than whole and constantly seek that missing half, how will we ever really get to know ourselves intimately?
Recently, I inadvertently ended a relationship with someone I deeply loe and with whom I wanted to build a future. Her immediate response was "Who are you talking to again? Who are you seeing". I should have known that would be her reaction, but it still caught me off guard. For the following two weeks I dissected and analyzed the situation and why those hurtful words escaped my mouth. Over and over I kept asking myself if breaking it off was the right decision, OR, if I was trying to fit a square box thought a mouse hole for the past (almost) six months. I drove myself crazy with questions like: am I putting up emotional barriers? Is she making me crazy by interrupting my barely spoken sentences? Is she interested in my life at all or does she just want to talk about herself all the time? Is she emotionally unavailable because she not quite out of the closet? Am I too sensitive? Am I going crazy or are her outburst of anger crazy making?
It finally dawned on me that if I had to ask so many questions, and our communication had taken a serious downhill turn, I didn't know how to right it, and we were seriously out of balance.
There is a price we pay for avoiding ourselves. Only through exploration of our true selves can we hope to achieve some peace in life.
Two weeks after breaking things off I reached out, I needed to do this. I want to change my communication style.
It is also important to remember that affairs of the heart are delicate and must be handled responsibly.
I did not ever imagine this. I did not ever want to cause her pain. Who could ever want to cause another pain?
Yet, we are fools to think that we can smash someone's heart and walk away with a smile. There are consequences for causing intentional harm. However, there was one simple fact that I could not avoid: in the process of becoming a "we" and an "us", I lost my individuality. And she, admittedly, did as well.
I am an introvert by nature and not at all intimidated by being alone. I want to enjoy my hours of the day to the fullest extent. I'm not afraid of the work that a relationship takes. But I do believe that communication should not be a constant struggle, especially in the beginning of the first few months of a relationship. But I forgot that it is in the 6th month that realities of who we really are begin to surface and this is what the relationship is, and we must wade through the goo in order to get to the honey. I want to enjoy the hours of my day with people and activities that cause the most peace, contentment and joy. I also do not believe in explosive outbursts of anger, I cannot condone that communication style in my relationships.
When we end relationships, we often say "I need time for myself" most often that is the scapegoat statement. It usually means, " I don't want to spend time with you, but I will be filling my life with the booming social life I had before I met you". For her, she is definitely doing that.
After the break up I spent some time with a friend so that I may gain some clarity. She told me that, even though I initiated the break up, my heart is still broken. Broken from losing the hope I had for love and broken from breaking her heart. I too, will need some time to heal.
I understand that she may never come back, that the rift may never be healed. But I do hope that she will see my monumental fuck up as just that, a mistake made in frustration. Shock freezing me from moving further and taking immediate corrective action. That yes, it took two weeks, but I did reach out. I did apologize, I am humbled and my love never wavered. Hopefully, she will see that the courage and vulnerability that it took to reach out was just as monumental. And that a new beginning may be made. Hopefully.
Authenticity. I've been thinking about this word a lot. I see it thrown around everywhere, in all kinds of memes. I've been told recently, by an ex, that I am not an authentic person. This accusation was made because she did not feel I was addressing issues as they occurred. However, not everyone processes the same way, and in the same time. So yes, in some sense, I would whole heartedly agree. Yet, in others, I would disagree. The word authentic is synonymous with the words real and genuine, and share the sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misrepresentation. The word authentic carries a connotation of authoritative certification that an object, or a person, is what it, or, he/she claims, and is perfection in every aspect and compartment of their life.
I have recently come to the belief that authenticity does not actually exist for anyone. We are all works in progress. We live life compartmentalized so that we have a particular level of authenticity at work, and another with our family and another with our friends, and often, hardly at all, with ourselves. Additionally, there is a level of inauthenticity that exists within our compartments. We offer a smile and say "fine" when we are not. We push through when we are in pain. We pretend to love the job we hate. We tend to say we enjoy the company of people we really do not like. There are also people who tend to live life in the closet in some compartments and not in the others and when faced with the truth, the true self shatters and a false self emerges.
So while we all enjoy moments of authentic levels of living, they are truly selective.
So whenever, I hear someone spout in righteous advocation of how they live an authentic life, I know that in reality it is their ego shouting, "hey pay attention to me, see me, I am here". Whenever, I hear someone shame another for not living authentically, I have to remind myself, over and over, that none of us live an authentic life. For authenticity is like selective hearing. We hear what we want, what makes life easier for us and we live life the same way. This is not to say that we are lesser people, horrible individuals, however, I do believe that it is wise to be careful with throwing this word around like a stick or stone to shame others and to make them feel less than.
Now, to take this deeper,I could say that she is wrong. That even my imperfections are authentic, because they are authentically created by me, and are mine and mine alone. Thus, exposing the fact that it simply boils down to another person's inability to accept my authenticity. Either you don't like what another person presents or a person cannot control what the other person presents. However, the end result still stands. Whether it is disagreement or an inability to control another, it is never another's right to shame another person based on whether you think they are authentic or not. I don't shame the person who doesn't like their job, or their boyfriends friends, or the person who lives life in the closet half the time. We are all doing our best. Just don't expect me to stick around if you try to shame me.
He is an oil glide On an information highway Attention intent on his rear view mirror Of his past Missing out on the scenery of this Beautiful drive Never saying what he means Never meaning what he says Once must read between the crossing Of his lanes Capturing his life through the lens Of his camera Never present in the moment It is all a push and pull Stop Go Stop Pivot Swing and a miss Never going with the flow We could have had a beautiful road Trip never-ending Instead he was just a tripped up Ending In the middle of my week.
I want to tell you that I love you. But you would not
understand. It would frighten you into thinking that it means I want to cage
you and slap it with labels of ownership. But I love you and that is not what
it means. You think I don’t even like you at times. And I suppose you are
right. But it does not mean that I do not love you for I love you with all my
You should know that I do because I cook for you. I’m
Sicilian and love is all about the food. This is how I care for you. I am not
filling you with food; I am filling you with my passion, my love my heart.
You should know that I love you because I am constantly
touching you. You should know that I love you when my head dips and I look up
at you through lowered lashes and my inner thoughts of desire lift up the one
corner of my mouth.
You should know that I love you because I keep your pictures
in my phone. I repeatedly look at it throughout the day and butterflies light
up my stomach. And I tell you how much it makes my day to see you in that distant
You should know I love you when I expose my vulnerability to
you. When I express my sadness and level of stress and you hear it in my voice
that I am not myself and you know that nothing is perfect and you rush to find
the words to make everything okay for me. This is how I know you love me even
when you do not think it is true or ever could be.
You should know that I love you when I listen to you without
interruption while I chop vegetables. I am biting my tongue all the while. I
want to fix things for you, but I know that it is more important to listen to
what you are trying to tell me without directly telling me.
You know I love you when I am honest with you. When I am
blunt and it hurts too much to hear. But most of all you know I love you when I
die inside knowing that I hurt your feelings. And I did die because I acted carelessly.
And though I’ve apologized a thousand times I will apologize a thousand more
because I would never want to hurt you.
You know I love you because I am thankful for you being in
my life. You know I love you when I am okay with your opinion that is so
different and wrong and beautiful at the same time.
I want to tell you that I love you, but you would not
understand. I do not want to cage you and slap you with labels. My love is not
that kind. My love is to liberate and educate and learn and have fun. My love
is serious and magic all at the same time. My love is to celebrate that I am
for you and you are for me and the difference between is where we are free. I want
you to love me but I do not think that you can I do not think that you do, but
just know that the only thing that matters is that I love you.