Tainted Love-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

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Photo Credit : gem fountain/flickr

 

When you are on a journey to be more mindful and happy you will undoubtedly learn a lot about yourself and if you thought you were perfect you will find out very quickly that you are not. Your relationships will inevitably be held under a microscope and if you allow it and are open to growth and honesty this can be a good thing.

I knew from the beginning of this project that I wanted to  look at my relationship. I have been with my husband for 18 years so obviously my relationship with him is one of the most important things in my life. Some of what I have learned has been helpful in other important relationships too, ones with friends and family. If people are important to you it makes sense to want to build stronger and healthier relationships with them.

This month one of the principles I am working on is intimacy. It seems a shame to have spent 18 years with someone without achieving total intimacy with them but I think intimacy is something that you should continue to work on as you grow and change. Seeking improvements in our relationships keeps them healthy and keeps us interested.  Neuroscience shows that the act of seeking itself, rather than the goals we realize, is key to satisfaction.

The innate human desire to seek means that we can never truly feel that every desire and wish has been met. There will never be an end to the to-do list, future goals and plans, the things we want to achieve and see. But the fact that we don’t have everything we want is exactly what makes life so fulfilling. ~ Onward Ho

I think it is impossible to achieve true intimacy without deeply exploring ourselves and examining our behaviors, our thoughts and feelings  as well as seeking our identity and being genuinely curious about ourselves and our partners (friends, family etc).

What I learned very quickly was that pride has no place in an intimate relationship. I would most definitely have once described myself as prideful. I would have held a sparkly, flashing sign that obnoxiously displayed the word PRIDE…boldly and proudly.

For years I thought being prideful was something to be proud of, to me, the notion had a positive connotation. I have learned that being vulnerable (which I always associated with being weak) has been much better for me. Being open and accepting about my own weaknesses is something I was really never willing to do. It was my pride that told me I always had to be right, to get the last word, to win the argument, to have my feelings recognized above all else. By elevating myself that way it made it difficult for people to connect with me on an intimate level. Vulnerability is how we show trust in others and without trust intimacy is unattainable.

I didn’t want to trust. Trust is scary. If you trust people you give them the power to hurt you. I had trusted before and I wasn’t going to make that mistake again! Once bitten, twice shy. What if I did trust though? Was I not also giving people permission to love me? To see me, all of me, not just the filtered parts of my life I show to the world but my true deep self? Would this courage to be myself; “perfectly imperfect’ mean that my connections with people would be unequivocally genuine?

Humility and vulnerability affords us the confidence to be our authentic self. Confidence is that attractive element of pride, but pride can be destructive forcing us to try to uphold an image of  ourselves and our relationships that doesn’t exist. I am not perfect, my relationships are not perfect but I want them to be real and not tainted by the allure of pride and the soul crushing one-dimensional box that crowds you into.

Emotions are a funny thing and very hard to control. They are a natural state of mind derived from our circumstances, our moods and our relationships with others. Unfortunately you cannot pick and choose what feelings you choose to feel. I used to think my pride would protect me from getting hurt and feeling horrible emotions but I was also missing out on a lot of good feelings that come from embracing the uncertainty of vulnerability. Loving with my whole heart, without the promise of what tomorrow would bring protected me only from joy and that powerful connection you have with another when you have the courage to be tender, knowing I am worthy of love and willing to give mine freely, without conditions.

This has been an ‘AHA’ moment for me indeed, a surrendering of sorts. Seizing the certain reality of uncertainty and being ok with it. Loving another person means that sometimes you will get hurt and your heart might get broken a thousand times. That means a thousand times yet get to experience the joy of falling in love with that person all over again…or starting over knowing in your heart that you gave everything you had!

I am human and flawed, I was enchanted by the idea of living pridefully but being true to myself, admitting my mistakes and being willing to compromise, process and move on has made me feel a whole lot better about myself and my most important relationships. This doesn’t mean absolving people of doing their part in a relationship but I think how something looks to you is much more important than how the world sees it.

 

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Be W.I.S.E. friends and as you continue to journey mind fully through your days remember the principles for May are Warmth, Intimacy, Serenity and Enrich.

Chat soon xo

 

Hole in the Word-Saluting the unsung heroes of 9/11

Hole in the world tonight
A lot of my life can be related to an Eagles song, Victim of Love, Take it to the limit, Take it Easy, The Long run….but no song in the world quite evokes the emotion of this day in 2001 quite like The Eagles “Hole in the World”

Last night I was watching the “History of the Eagles” one of my all-time favorite bands and I was looking ahead to my friend’s birthday on September 12th. It didn’t occur to me till I woke sometime in the wee morning hours that it was 9/11 and how I felt on this day 12 years ago, like there was a hole in the world.

I was at work at the Truro Daily News in my hometown of Truro in Nova Scotia when I heard about the first plane hitting the tower in New York City. I felt sadness but continued to take phone calls. As news started to break our staff started to flood into the newsroom to crowd around the TV’s and catch the breaking story. I had joined them and when news of the second plane hitting the tower flashed across millions of screens my sadness turned to disbelief, shock and unmistakably fear. The certainty of a terrorist attack on our sister country, the strong and beautiful United States of America and its people; proud and enduring was a feeling that is hard to put into words.

As a young mom I never wanted my children to experience the type of horror that comes from terrorism and war. As parents it is our job to keep our children safe and of course we want them to be innocent and not know evil as long as possible.

A darkness fell over the world that day and I know that I for one did not sleep easy for a long time.

As media reports continued to filter in throughout the days following it was determined that in total four airplanes were hijacked and used as weapons in a coordinated attack upon the United States in New York and Washington. The hijacked airliners were flown into the North and South Towers of The World Trade Center in New York City (American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175). Within two hours both towers had collapsed. The devastating debris and fires resulted in the loss of all other buildings in the WTC complex as well as colossal damage to at least ten other buildings in the area.

American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into The Pentagon (headquarters of US Department of defense) leading to a partial collapse on the West side of the building. A fourth plane United Airlines flight 77, landed in a field in Pennsylvania after its passengers tried to overtake its hijackers. Washington had been the intended target of the fourth plane. The passengers of the plane paid with their lives but saved the lives of many others.

The attacks launched by Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda were responsible for almost 3000 deaths. The devastation was huge. The loss of lives, severe damage to the economy and global markets, the six-day closure of Wall Street as well as countless evacuations and closures seemed like insurmountable odds to overcome.

The heaviness of sadness and fear hung in the air for what seemed like a lifetime. Radio, newspapers, television and internet covered every aspect of the attacks and related news.

I spoke to a complete stranger on the phone in Pennsylvania a few short weeks after the attack. The world that I was living in was much different then the one he was living in. He said “This will not break us. Together we will be stronger” He spoke of the American people and their unwavering faith and pride.

I decided then to see things from a different perspective. I focused less on the uncertainty and fear surrounding the tragedy and allowed myself to feel the goodness and hope felt by the people of America. Stories of bravery and courage restored my faith in humanity and made we want to live, not live in fear.

Seemingly ordinary people displayed great courage and bravery in the face of that tragedy and the days, weeks and months that followed. People sacrificed their lives to help others. People comforted strangers and helped grieving families.

First responders, civilians, passengers on the planes, people in stairwells and in offices, strangers on the streets. I salute you today, the unsung American heroes.

Psalm 112:4
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.