Tuesday

What Needs To Be Done

I think that most people at one time or another in their life, have felt the feeling of being trapped in a situation or lifesyle that is no longer making them happy.

Situations change and we do too as we evolve as people, and what may once have been a comfortable fit can start to feel claustrophobic and stifling.

What to do in a situation like that? well, the old quote comes to mind - Either change the situation or change the way you're looking at it! but the tricky part comes when you realise that YOU are the one in control and only you can make the changes.

"You've got choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore & you're not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice." - S D Woodhull

I once lived in a situation that I jokingly called 'my pretty prison'. Over a number of years I tried every which way to alter it from within, but in the end I knew I had to take action, so I got up, opened the 'prison' door and walked into a new life.

It wasn't easy, in fact it was one of the hardest things I have lived through but I recognised at my core that it was something I had to do. Things and people sometimes have to be dismantled before they can be reassembled in a new stronger way.

"It may be that when we no longer know which way to go we have begun our real journey." - Wendell Berry

One vital bit of advice to add, is - 'remember that you take yourself with you'. Whatever the core issue is behind your feelings, if it is stemming from your own unresolved issues, it will in time resurface to be dealt with again, and you may just find yourself in another very similar situation - we create our own prisons.

"Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." - Confucius

Above all, if something is making us unhappy, or doesn't feel right, I think we owe it to ourself to change it, however uncomfortable the process may be. I don't think we should allow ourself to be miserable for a second longer than necessary, there are always choices.

The change doesn't HAVE to be anything on such a grand scale as I described above - often times a change in how we perceive our situation is enough to alleviate the tension.

"We may not be able to change what we look at, but we can always change what we see." - Alan Cohen

It is amazing how 'reality' can shift when perception does. Sometimes the thought of actually taking action and changing things, is enough to put things into perspective. By dreaming of a 'big escape' we can miss out on lots of very real treasures our life holds right now.

As a wise friend said recently "maybe we should simply ask ourselves - What needs to be done?"

What a powerful approach! - it cuts though so much.

"What needs to be done". . .

"Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference." Mignon McLaughlin

Image by Susannah Bec.

Sunday

Giving and Receiving Love


Love we all need it - it is one of the fundamentals of life. Whether we get it from our partner, our friends, our community, or our pets, it is a deeply nurturing necessity of life. Equally, we also need to give love, to care for things. Receiving alone is not enough. Our need to nurture and care bring out the best in us, whether channeled into a family, a garden, our pets or humanity itself.

LOVE IS ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTALS OF LIFE

We are born needing touch, needing love, needing acceptance, and hopefully with a loving parent and family we learn that we are loveable and deserving of love, we accept it as our birthright. At this formative time, we also learn how to give love, and how to show our affection and feelings based on copying our primary caretakers, our family of origin.

"A baby is born with a need to be loved - and never outgrows it."- Frank A. Clark

Now this is all hunky dory, as long as the ways we copied were positive, nurturing and life affirming. Often they were not, life doesn't always work like that. Unconditional love from parent to child is an ideal but not always possible, so we don't always get to realise how loveable and deserving of love we are. Some of us may feel we have to earn love, and when we do get shown love in adult life, we somehow sabotage it, so that we can return to the inbuilt feeling that we are unloved.

"We accept the love we think we deserve." - Stephen Chbosky

So we grow up and get into relationships with others and then perhaps go on to establish our own families too. So why at times does giving and receiving love seem to cause so much trouble?

My theory is, that because of all I mentioned above, we all have different conceptions of love, different ways of showing love and different things that constitute 'being loved' for us.

Here are some examples-
  1. One person is upset about something, their inbuilt need is to be hugged and comforted and reassured that everything is going to be alright. The other person, on seeing that the first is upset, automatically thinks that they need time alone. So respecting what they think is the others need, they retreat. The first, seeing the others retreet, surmises that they don't love them, thinking "how could they walk away when I am obviously upset."

  2. One person is always tending to the others needs, delicious food, cuddles and lots of thoughtful gestures. The other cries secretly because the first never tells them they love them

  3. One person is always buying the other suprise presents, expensive and beautiful items. The other smiles but they mean nothing, they are just longing for a cuddle.

You see with these examples, that people have different ways and ideas of showing love. If we are lucky, we will share a similar expectation as to what constitutes love and we will easily see and understand the way the other gives love, and it will feel comfortable and nurturing to us. In the same way, our expressions of love need to be seen, appreciated and accepted.

WE ALL NEED LOVE

As people are often vulnerable with regard to their need for love, they often do not recognise the love that is offered, as it isn't presented in a way they recognise as 'love'. As in example 2 above, where the person is being surrounded with love but because they don't actually hear the words 'I love you' they don't recognise it.

"Just because somebody doesn't love you the way you want them to,
doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have." - Author Unknown


Obviously, if this can be recognised and understood, more of an understanding can be reached. The person who buys his loved ones expensive presents to show love (just as their parents did to them) can learn to give a cuddle to show love instead and in return, the other by recognising how the partner 'expects' love, can buy a suprise present occasionally just to say 'I love you'.

In making an effort to understand each other, it is often helpful to explore how both you and your partners family showed love as you were growing up - what feels natural to you?

By realising that there isn't just one correct way to express and experience love, it can open us up to feeling the love that we may just be missing.

How was love shown when you were growing up?

What do you need to feel loved?

Image - Love Frequency by Susannah Bec

Wednesday

Quote for Today - Be Yourself

"You cannot fail at being yourself. A cat doesn't try to be a tiger,
and you shouldn't try to be something you aren't.

You are a process, not a product.

Your job is to discover what you are and create that creature. You still won't be perfect, but success isn't about perfection - it is about authenticity.

You are a success if you are being your real, authentic self."

- Bernie Siegel

Image by Susannah Bec.

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