As much as couples in conflict suffer and claim they don't want to, they are very attached to the positions that keep the suffering in place. Our conclusions about the other and about self restrict what is possible in the middle of a difficult situation. Our conclusions become self-fulfilling prophecies. For growth to happen, we must be willing to open to what we don't know, rather than be attached to what we think we do know.
What we are seeing, witnessing, or perceiving is what we are trying to prove. This applies to not only what we are excited about and celebrating in our lives, but also what we are habitually upset about. What we see says much more about us than what we are seeing. Being able to admit this in the middle of difficulty particularly is a life changing moment and dramatically changes the emotional landscape and possibility of resolving conflict successfully.
The moment we open the door of truly giving love to another we will receive. It's instant and has nothing to do with the other. If we are not having the experience of receiving we are not legitimately giving. Many complain about a bad balance sheet. They give and give and give and they don’t get back. But what is it they are giving? Is it love? Or is it control, expectation, strategy or fear packaged as love. Giving love gives us back the state of love. The only cost of giving is receiving.
It might surprise some to know one of the most common responses to hearing a spouse has been having an affair is ‘relief’. Every communication has a ‘content’ (words) and a relationship message, which is conveyed non-verbally. When we are withholding information that is relevant to someone close to us, whether it be about infidelity or something else, the other person will feel the conflict between the content and relationship message.
Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Traumatic events are painful, but it is not the events themselves that cause suffering, it is the meaning we attach to those events. When we change the meaning, we change our experience.
The more ‘you’ you bring to your life, the more alive you will feel! Too often we hide ourselves behind a mask, unwilling to risk authenticity, particularly when we are vulnerable. We strategize to find safety, and then are puzzled when we feel dull and uninspired. We may not even be aware that we are holding ourselves at a distance from our own lives and the people in them. The only way to feel fully alive is to be fully yourself.
Before you can feel BETTER, you must learn to FEEL better. If you want to feel good, you have to learn to feel, period. Too often we avoid uncomfortable feelings by self-medicating with food or drugs, distraction, or retreating into our heads. We numb ourselves, and don’t realize that you can’t selectively numb. Experiencing life means feeling it!
As we accept ourselves as ordinary people with imperfections, we are moving well along our path. Seeing our faults can become a humbling incentive to increase our selfless service and reduce our personal ambition.
You have to be where you are before you'll get to where you want to go. When you try to run away from where you are, you are blind to the face that where you are is the perfect stepping stone towards where you want to go.
The extent that you embrace what you're in the middle of will equal your experience of heaven held hostage there. We avoid pain, and seek pleasure. But our avoidant strategies also take us out of the present, which is the only place we can ever experience all that we want. When we try to numb pain, we numb ourselves to all feeling. Pain might be at the doorway to the room, but there is much more than that in the room itself. Joy, love, passion, excitement all require the ability to feel.
What do you really want in your life? People will respond to this question in many different ways, but the most common answer is “I want to be happy.” The underlying premise that “happiness” is a worthy goal in life creates all kinds of psychological suffering. Do you actually know anyone who you would say is happy all the time, or even most of the...
Change only occurs when we risk entering unknown territory. Most of us wish for the experience of being alive from within our comfort zones, but our comfort zones are too small to contain that big experience. Too often we turn to what is familiar for guidance, and are surprised when we remain in very familiar territory. Walk towards the unknown, and you will feel alive. It is not comfortable, it is powerful.