Saturday, 24 August 2013

For the love of man, love yourself

Everywhere I turn I can see (and hear) dreadful acts of man's inhumanity to man.  It deeply saddens and distresses me - as it does the majority.
We must be careful not to be drawn in and pulled down by all the atrocities the media insists on broadcasting.
Impaled visual spears, forever piercing our minds.
It's important horrific stories aren't buried, and we should of course be informed, but do yourself a favour and avoid watching the news on a constant loop because there is a real risk that you will be left flattened and breathless by the horrors bouncing from camera to satellite to retina.
Just for now narrow the depth and width of your sight - wear blinkers - focus on loving yourself and those you're with right now.
Be kind to yourself.
Be kind to those close to you.
If we just did this one thing, who knows, those actions might have the best possible knock on effect.
A more peaceful, loving relationship with each other.
I'm an optimistic realist - I hope more positive change will happen - but I know change can be a challenge.
Right now, be only interested in your own circle.  Love and peace are not impossible.  Start locally, and hopefully the stretch will get wider and wider as more of us practise loving kindness.
"When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also develop inner happiness and peace." - The 14th Dalai Lama (1935)
"May we not succumb to thoughts of violence and revenge today, but rather to thoughts of mercy and compassion.  We are to love our enemies that they might be returned to their right minds." - Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Do yourself a favour and own up!

Angry people intrigue me - we all have our moments of course - but I'm talking about people who find the most obscure reasons to be outraged.
One egg cracked in a box of 12 shouldn't induce a furious outburst - should it?
A friend cancelling a night out because her mother has fallen ill - surely that's just an unfortunate turn of events.
A tradesman not answering his phone isn't really a hangable offence.
Have you ever caught yourself being outraged by the most benign of life's toils?  If you have, the chances are there's something hidden quietly inside you that needs to be spoken about and dealt with.  Ignoring it and hoping it will go away will just make that monster grow, leaving you lashing out at all the wrong people and in all the wrong places.
Dealing with and expressing life's small irritations is crucial, but it must be in proportion to the event.  By doing so it helps empty the body's emotional "pot" and keep you ship shape!
If however you find yourself flying off the handle at what others would recognise as the small stuff, ask yourself, "What is it that's really annoying me?"  "What have I been hiding from others and myself that's causing me to react this way?"
Invariably there will be something in there.
Be honest to yourself, and if it's safe to do so, be honest with others too.
"In controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have ceased striving for truth and begun striving for ourselves." - Abraham J. Heschel

Saturday, 10 August 2013

When silence is bad for your health

This blog is dedicated to both men and women who find themselves wondering what it is they have to do to enable them to be heard and understood by their loved one.
Being with someone who is emotionally damaged or disconnected can feel like death by a thousand cuts.
Slowly but surely the sense of being precariously balanced between the happy, contented times and the devastation of being emotionally bled dry by the hatred spewing forth quietly kills off the desire to be there.
Exhausted, confused, melancholy and bemused one has a hundred questions to ask but cannot risk letting the words form and leave the safety of one's head.  To risk speaking means the all too familiar outcome of being verbally and emotionally slapped down.  But to remain silent has it's own devastating effect.
Doubting one's own sanity, questions build up.
"Did I overact?"
"Did he really say what I think he said?"
"Was he always like this?"
"Is it me that makes him this way?"
"What did I say to provoke this response? What am I doing wrong?"
Believing you have to bottle up, or hide your feelings will only ever end badly.  Depression and anxiety, possibly with a panic attack or two thrown in for good measure, the body will scream out by engaging it's only tool of communication - symptoms.  It has no choice as it simply hates being witness to this situation!  
There's not much the victim of emotional abuse wouldn't give to replace that aspect of their loved ones personality. To be able to gift  their partner the ability to empathise and have a healthy connection to their emotions would be a relationship changing miracle!
It's not impossible to teach someone to connect to their feelings but they have to (a) recognise and believe that feelings exist, and (b) be willing to learn.  Sadly for the emotionally disconnected (a) + (b) = extreme discomfort.
So, if you're in a relationship with an emotionally disconnected person, there's one piece of advice I'd give to you.
Do not deny your own right to be emotionally honest with yourself and them.  If it hurts being put down, tell them.  If it falls on deaf ears, constructively express it again.  Don't leave it, or put it off so long that your body starts using physical symptoms to get your attention. If speaking up puts your safety in jeopardy then it's time to leave. You are here now, and you are entitled to be appreciated, loved, held and heard.
"This is slavery, not to speak one's thought." - Euripides
"I have learned now that while those who speak about ones miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more." - C.S Lewis