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Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

I Am Who I Am: A Reflection On The 3 Principles

I woke up this morning with the thought “I am who I am” on my mind. A peculiar thought for me at 6AM in the morning. Intrigued I started reflecting what that might mean for me and everyone else for that matter. The bible tells us God said to Moses: “Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you”. ‘I AM’, no qualifier, not quantifier, just “I AM”. No more and no less. As if anything more would be limiting, taking away from, not doing justice to the speaker. And by doing so it can become everything.

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So, here I am who I am (we are who we are). Not what you think about me, not how people judge or put their cherished expectations on me, not even what I think about me and my cherished expectations of myself. I am not a sinner nor a saint, not a mother, a teacher, a therapist, a lover, a cook, a wife, a sister, a daughter, or a philosopher. I am much more than that! I am neither clever nor dumb, soft nor harsh, beautiful or ugly, fat or thin, kind or malicious. I am all of that and none of that. That complexity is what makes us human beings so exciting as well as scary to be around. For the ‘Other’ we are what they see in us, but that’s not really who we are, it’s only the bit they recognize, the tiny bit that was revealed to them or they became aware of.

We are an expression of nature or in other words ‘the life force’ I like to call it MIND, others call it other things like ‘God’ that breathed life into us and gave us the power of THOUGHT, the ability to think and make sense of the world around us and within us. The third principle is CONSCIOUSNESS, our ability to become aware of and bring to life what we think.

Who AM I? Who are we? We are the sum-total of how we used Mind, Thought, and Consciousness to come to an understanding of ourselves and our world. Everything that ever happened to us or around us, we interpreted and we came to conclusions what that meant about us and about the world. How safe is the world? How safe are people? Is Life benign or malignant? We all are a product of how well we used Mind, Thought, and Consciousness over our life span.

How I have used the 3 Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness over time to make sense of my past and my world has made a difference when I hesitated to cross certain ‘bridges’, not trusting the bridge, the people, or myself. I am sure I missed many opportunities to create something positive that way. How I used the principles to make sense out of my world has at other times enabled me to cross bridges with verve that sometimes lead me to a ‘better’ place while at other times left me ‘stranded’. Like the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ – it was a pleasant walk, a very pleasant walk, but it didn’t lead anywhere.

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I am who I am! Not how I have made sense of my past, or achievements, or disappointments. These are just thoughts. They are not reflecting reality, they reflect my current thinking of a certain time. My past was my past. It really happened. But how and what I think about it has been changing over the years many times depending on my state of mind. When we can see that our thoughts are just thoughts, not reality based evaluations about us or the world but fluctuating all the time, we become free. Then everything is possible, then “WE ARE WHO WE ARE – I AM WHO I AM.”

Am I at peace with myself? Yes and No. At times, when my mind wanders to pleasant moments, attached pleasant feelings flow through me and I am happy and at peace. When my mind wanders to moments of unmet needs, discord, or conflict, unpleasant feelings wash over me like a tidal wave. At those moments I am not at peace. If at those times I know that these moments are just echos from the past, unpleasant thoughts that I now remember and that cause unpleasant feelings, I can let them go and they become a passing thought, soon replaced by another, and then again by another, and inner peace is restored fairly quickly. If at those times I forget that my unpleasant feelings are just passing through thoughts of my past, if I give them a life of their own, let them into my house and cherish them for an hour, a day, or even longer, inner peace will take its sweet time to come to me, usually taking longer than I would prefer.

This will go on and on as long as we live. Nobody escapes this law of nature, these 3 Principles. However, what I do know is that when I am surrounded by people who respond in a caring, supportive, respectful, and loving way my thoughts usually wander into hopeful, uplifting realm of possibility and creativity. When surrounded by criticism, disinterest, or even disrespect, my thoughts wander more easily to negative and painful realms, awakening difficult and unpleasant feelings. At those times I need a lot of energy to hold on to ME and wall up against the negativity which leaves me with less room for creative life choices.

I am who I am – and life’s circumstances do not determine my well-being, but the way I think about these circumstances do. However, just like a fish is more alive and agile in clear, healthy water, so am I – so are we. It pays to check regularly the quality of the water we swim in to make sure we swim the best we possibly can.

#3 Mistake That Kills The Love In Relationships: Ignoring the Weather Forecast

stormy weatherMost people have enough common sense to mind the weather forecast. You can see that on the motorway when all the cars are slowing down as soon as it starts raining heavily. I remember back when we had a sailing boat, we wouldn’t go out when the winds were so high that the risk factor out-weight the pleasure that could be gained. Of course, there are most likely some exceptions, some people are dare devils who zoomed along the motorway with high-speed totally ignoring the conditions.

Most people however ‘drive to the conditions’. If the weather is particularly nasty, they might even elect to stay at home. It makes perfect sense considering that driving in stormy weather is not pleasurable, it’s dangerous, one’s field of vision is impaired, and you might not get very far. (more…)

5 Mistakes That Kill The Love In Relationships (# 2) I am right and you are wrong

wrong rightNumber two of the mistakes that kill the love in relationships is the conviction that MY view of things is right and YOUR views of things is wrong. I don’t think there has ever been a couple that presented for relationship counselling, coaching, or therapy that was not caught in that erroneous assumption.

To be fair, it is not only an affliction couples suffer from, but human kind in general follows that strict line of thinking. Hence the fights, wars, and conflicts we observe throughout history and present day circumstances. How much suffering happened because people thought they were right and hence their actions were justified: from human sacrifice, to slavery, to witch hunt, to wars, oppression, human rights …. the list is endless.  (more…)

The Secret to Harmony in Relationships

swansSometimes our relationships are nothing like we’ve imagined it. Sometimes we come to a dead-end and find that we don’t have a clear idea where to go from here.
What is the secret of people who have great relationships, who have loving intimate partners, get along well with their kids, have friends who are fun to be around, and colleagues who are supportive and co-operative?
A common misunderstanding is that you have to find the ‘right’ partner, the ‘right’ boss to work for, the ‘right’ friends. And if that is not helping, you have learn how to communicate better, how to listen actively, how to challenge effectively – in summary  how to do things right.

Love is Everywhere!

 

The subatomic particles
love each other so much
they form an atom,
which loves the other atoms
so much they get together
and form a molecule
which loves the other molecules
so much they bind together
and create matter
material reality
which is so attracted
to other matter
that it collaborates
and cooperates
and works together and creates
binding together
and life is born
and love amplifies
love animates
our very
existence
To not recognize
the overwhelming amount
of love present
in the world
around you
is to just be blind.

Wake up

Poem by – Eric Allen Bell
click the link to get to his website (more…)

Finding peace – letting go of anger

I thought the end of the year is a good time to focus on what is important. In my opinion it’s finding peace – inner peace as well as peace in the world around us. The latter doesn’t seem to be achieved easily considering the level of violence experienced worldwide – amongst countries, religious groups, racial groups, communities, and even families. There is everything from bomb attacks in Nigeria on Christmas Day, overflowing refugee camps, assaults, murder, women’s refuges at the maximum of their capacity, abuse of children, road rage, down to grumpy old (wo)men. (more…)

Looking For New Love

It is not unusual that a relationship comes to an end. Whether people lose a partner through death or through a separation, getting over the loss is never easy. After a time of grieving the loss of a partner and the dream of a life together, people may start looking for a new partner.

Hopefully by now people have matured and don’t get attracted by superficial qualities. If people have approached ‘mid-life’ there is usually a sense of having no time for silly games. A new relationship will show much promise if people look for someone who is interested in establishing a lasting relationship rather than in a fling. This involves finding a person who is available rather than someone who has lots of excuses for not being able to form a commitment.

Look for a partner who is emotionally open, is comfortable with their vulnerabilities, and is willing to take responsibility for his or her own feelings. Is the person you are interested in honest, is respectful, has integrity, and is trustworthy? If you can answer these questions with ‘yes’, you are well on your way.

A totally other issue is, of course, having a good look at yourself. How well do you know yourself? Are you aware of the ways you contribute to relationship problems or even break-ups? Before you go about looking for a new partner, maybe it’s a good time to look at your own ‘skeletons in the cupboard’. It might be a good idea to get help with this self-exploration to make sure that you don’t trip over your own outdated beliefs and understandings. You can contact me if you would like some assistance in exploring these issues for you.

How open are you to a lasting, intimate relationship? Do you find yourself getting fearful, suspicious, and not trusting when it comes to making a commitment? Do you avoid showing your vulnerabilities and your honest thoughts? Are you avoidant and defensive? If this is the case, you might sabotage your relationships without being consciously aware of it.

Are you quickly interpreting other people’s actions? A major problem in relationships is that people draw conclusions without checking out with their partner why s/he has been acting they way they have. Mindreading is so common a mistake that it is almost tragic how many relationships suffer under people’s reluctance to discuss with their partner what was really going on.

Having realistic expectations of one’s partner is another key to successful relationships. Avoid thinking that through the power of your love your partner will turn into this wonderful person/prince. Modern relationships are not fairy tales. They are about understanding that your feelings are created by your thoughts and taking responsibility for them. Be sure that you have loving feelings towards the person in front of you and not towards a set of potentials that you fantasize into that person.

Last but not least understand that love is not something that you can find – like a set of keys you’ve lost when you were out jogging. Love is not a certain thing; it means many different things to many different people. Love is most of all a verb. To love someone means to demonstrate caring, supporting, understanding, respecting, appreciating, and enjoying another person. Long-lasting love means to demonstrate love mutually to each other over and over again.

Love has very little to do with ‘chemistry’, the stuff that makes ‘the earth shake’. Not that these experiences aren’t pleasurable. Love, is much more ordinary. This reminds me of movies where actors/actresses are cast because there is a ‘chemistry’ between them that translates well on screen evoking the pretense of love. Sometimes these actors are becoming a couple after they’ve finished the movie. However, often these relationships don’t last very long. Chemistry in itself is not enough. Love is like a garden that needs lots of constant attention.

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