Archive for April, 2012

Joy and Pain…Hold It!

April 13, 2012

So much about life is about holding two opposing experiences at once. Joy and pain always seem to go together but we usually just want to feel the joy part. When we experience painful feelings we usually try to shut them down or allow them to take over. When this happens we tend to stop feeling positive feelings and just feel the negative.

Let me give you an example.

In your relationship things can be going along okay. Then a few stressors get in the way. This can be anything from lack of sleep to work stress to a bad case of the flu in the house. Over time, and often this isn’t a very long time, we start to feel disconnected from our partner. Maybe this is as a result of some stress, perhaps you disagree about something and in just a moment it becomes a big deal. It turns into a fight and that turns into a great divide and both of you feel really BAD. Once the feeling of BAD sets in it is hard to put things back on track.  You have both lost perspective and all that is at play is big time reactivity. That’s when we feel NO joy.

Why is it so hard to remember the positive and what we love about our partner when this BAD feeling sets in.

Why can’t we feel a little bad but also hold the reality of our relationship, there is A LOT of good, a lot of love and definitely joy?

This is perhaps the most important part to understand. It seems that we are wired to be in connection with our partner and in fact when we aren’t, things go in the wrong direction in a nanosecond. In fact, we are so wired for this we can’t even control what is happening within us when the disconnection happens. That is why we can’t hold two opposing feelings at once.  Blame your brain not your partner. We are so driven to connect, to be close; to get along that it is very difficult to tolerate any feeling to the contrary. Yet isn’t this what life is about? To hold both experiences at once is definitely the key to happiness.

How can we do this? I have no idea! Really I do not know the answer I just know that we need to find it so we can live happier lives in our relationship. We need to learn to live with difference, we need to allow difficulty and pain and find a way to stay connected so we don’t always go off the rails.

Dare ya?

Try to hold two opposing experiences at once. Next time your partner pisses you off or irritates you try to allow yourself to appreciate them and remember the best thing about them. See if this is the day, allow the joy and the pain to coexist and let yourself be a grown up. Just try it. By the way this is not supposed to be an easy dare, it is a hard one.

Not easy I know!

T.A.

Advertisements

Ourselves / Our Gratitude / Our Challenge

April 2, 2012

Last week I went for a walk with a friend. It was one of those Vancouver days, after weeks of rain the sun was shining, fresh snow on the mountains, the ocean was glistening. It seemed like a perfect morning to relish in our beautiful city and appreciate the time we had together since we don’t see each other enough.

I hadn’t seen my friend for quite a while so we spent some time catching up on our lives our kids our latest news, it was all good. Then we began talking about a dear friend of hers who is terminally ill. I know of this person and I realized this is the 5th person in the past 2 weeks that I have heard about who is very ill.

It is a very strange phenomenon when we hear about another’s suffering, we tend to pause and take stock of our own life. We usually feel a surge of gratitude about our lives.

It is strange to have conversations about people we know of who are very sick or challenged by something because it activates our deep fears and leads us to thinking about ourselves. This is when we tend to acknowledge our own lives and our desire to be more grateful for what we have. For many of us, the desire to be more grateful about our own life seems so profound in the moment but then it is difficult to hold onto because daily life struggles take over. We get caught up in our own stuff, stress, irritants and the profound moments of gratitude slip away. We want to hold on to those profound moments, we really do but it is so hard.

This is true in our relationships too. While we have times when we are grateful for our partners, our children our parents we often forget about what is really important and let the negatives dominate.

Our challenge of course is to allow the feeling of gratitude and what we have with our partner and our families dominate. We need to allow our focus on what is right in our lives to take up more space and stop letting what isn’t right take up so much of our energy.

We all know that negative thinking leads to just one thing, more negative thinking. Yet we can’t help ourselves, that’s what we do and where we go. What’s not going right, what bugs us, what we want to be different that’s what we spend too much time on.

I am going to propose an idea.

Instead of waiting until we hear about someone we know is ill, or that something sad is happening to someone we know, why not try to be MORE grateful about what our life is really about…everyday.

How do we do this? Actually it is very simple, just not easy! Such is the stuff of life though…

Dare ya –

For the next 2 weeks at the end of every day think about what you can be grateful for related to people in your inner circle. Whether this be your partner, child, parent, other family member or friend make sure you communicate to them what you feel grateful for about having them in your life.

Just say “What I appreciate about you is…” or “One reason I am grateful to have you in my life is…” or “One thing you have taught me that I really appreciate is…” Do this EVERDAY, that is the trick! Be proactive and you can live your life without regret.

Yours truly,

T.A.

P.S. After I wrote this I just saw the film Jeff, Who Lives At Home. What a delightful, wonderful film and if you see it and know I wrote this before I saw it wow, things happen for a reason, destiny, synchronicity, mepoem (mysteriousexquisiteprecisionofeverymoment) whatever you call it, I think it is way cool! Loved that film!

T