Archive: September, 2013

September 30, 2013

Stop Saying Relationships Take Work

What comes to mind when you hear, “Relationships take work.”

  • Are you excited about the prospect of putting in the time and energy and reaping the rewards?
  • Are you exhausted and bummed that you now have one more thing on your to do list?
  • Do you feel indifferent?  Maybe it’s something you know, it’s part of life but you also wish it were easier…

I know many people hate the idea that relationships take work.  I also know that when we hear something is going to take work, we often resist it.  Who has time or energy to put work into one more thing?  We have jobs and homes that take work…we have families and personal lives that take our energy…the idea of putting work into something that is “supposed to be fun” can feel like drudgery.

My suggestion?

Stop saying relationships take work!

Read the rest of this article in my September NewsletterHere.

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Filed under: Relationship — admin @ 9:00 am

September 29, 2013

Do you accept your relationship?

Gifts From the Sea

“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Filed under: Marriage,Relationship — admin @ 2:48 pm

September 25, 2013

A sincere apology


“I’m sorry you feel that way, but _____.”

How skilled are you at offering a sincere apology?

What does one even look like?

To start you can simply say, “I’m sorry.”

I’m sorry works when you are offering sympathy – you aren’t apologizing for something you’ve done, but you do feel badly.  If someone you know is grieving or struggling or having a hard time, “I’m sorry” can be very meaningful.  “I’m sorry you are struggling.”  “I’m sorry you lost your job.”  “I’m sorry about your mom.”  All of those can be meaningful and they are different than an apology.

If you’ve hurt someone, broken trust or let him down; “I’m sorry” is also fitting.  A simple, “I’m sorry” can go a very long way.  Saying you are sorry and then naming the behavior offers an apology and also shows you are taking accountability of your actions. “I’m sorry I hurt you.”  “I’m sorry I lied.”  I’m sorry I messed up.”  “I’m sorry I was so controlling.”

Here is where I think people trip up.

  • “I’m sorry I hurt you, but I was really unhappy.”  Or “I’m sorry, but you know, you were really mean to me too.”  Is that an apology?  Half of an apology?  Adding but to the statement negates part of the apology.  It makes excuses for the hurtful behavior.  It keeps you from taking full responsibility or allows you to be defensive.
  • “I’m sorry you feel sad.”  “I’m sorry you are disappointed.”  Both these things may be true, but they are not an apology – these statements offer sympathy.

Some people have a really hard time apologizing.  Some people view it as a sign of weakness.  Some people don’t want to have to accept ownership or “blame.”  When you’ve done something, saying you are sorry is important!

Taking ownership for your actions is strong/brave, not weak.  Your apology might not erase all of the pain, but it could create the first step in a healing process.

Filed under: Communication,Emotions,Relationship — admin @ 3:15 pm

September 9, 2013

Embracing Pleasure Every Day

We are almost half way through this round of my Releasing Shame –Embracing Pleasure class.  Right now we are focusing on pleasure – Identifying what gives you pleasure, looking at the messages you received about pleasure and discovering your obstacles to pleasure.

What do you think about pleasure?

How do you make room for pleasure?

So often I hear people don’t have time or money for pleasure (or when it comes to sex they don’t know what gives them pleasure).  Some forms of pleasure are costly and time consuming.  Some pleasure is more of a “luxury” – which is wonderful and extravagant and feels great…but it’s also something that is less likely to happen often.

What about every day pleasure?

What can you do on a regular basis?

How can you make room for pleasure EVERY day?

  • Have your coffee in a mug that makes you smile.
  • Use a special soap or body wash when you shower (something that reminds you of a special place).
  • Buy a fancy chocolate bar and have a small piece each evening.
  • Hang some art or a photo that brings you joy when you see it.
  • Fill a vase with fresh flowers.
  • Wear something that makes you feel great.
  • Instead of a Happiness Jar, create a Pleasure Jar and fill it with something every day.

One of my every day pleasures – watching my daughter discover the world around her

One of my every day pleasures – watching my daughter discover the world around her

Pleasure doesn’t have to be extravagant…it can be simple.  It can be free.  You are worthy of every day pleasure.  What will you do to bring yourself pleasure today?

Filed under: Pleasure,Self-care — admin @ 6:57 pm