Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 24 The Relationship Bank

October 15, 2017

By Paula O’Sullivan

Relationship Bank

Photo courtesy of pexels.com

I wish I’d been aware of the concept of a relationship bank account in my early years of relationships, it would have saved everyone concerned so much pain.

It was after reading Steven Covey’s book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ that I raised my awareness. I had been accused on many occasions over the years of ‘keeping score’, but in all honesty, I could see that things weren’t balanced. I was giving way more in my relationships and feeling more than a tad resentful. But there isn’t any blame in my mind now, I see that I didn’t have the confidence or the sense of worthiness to actually ask for what I wanted. I was caught up in my childhood conditioning of how I thought things were meant to be, based on the ways I saw relationships playing out around me. See my article ‘It’s a Generational Thing – Part 20’.

Healthy relationships aim to meet each other’s needs. If you consider the concept of ‘Evolve or Die’, all things must continue to grow, or they die. Ideas evolve or grow into plans and actions, or else they die as unfulfilled wishes. In the same way, relationships and friendships evolve with the building of trust, honesty, communication, clear expectations, integrity, little kindnesses, courtesies, and sincerity. A healthy relationship is about giving and receiving. If we don’t have these little things, we can develop anger, resentment, bitterness, mistrust and conflict. We must put more deposits into the relationship bank to enable it to flourish, and aim to make fewer withdrawals. If you’re wondering why you would bother, then ask yourself why you are staying in that relationship to begin with. Check out my article called ‘Meeting Your Unmet Needs – Part 22’.

So how do we make a deposit? How do we make our relationships better and happier? How do we evolve?

Understanding

It’s really essential that we try to understand the other person’s point of view. Most of us are trying to get our view understood first. We are all reacting based on our own experiences, which may be different from another person’s. If we ask questions to find out how the other person feels, we will maybe understand their perspective and perhaps see how our actions may or may not have contributed. Most of us have a basic need to be listened to, to feel that what we are expressing is valid. You’ll make a serious withdrawal if you invalidate what someone says they are feeling, because it’s real for them. Sometimes we have subconscious scripts playing in our minds based on how unworthy we feel etc. and this can colour our perceptions, but if you want your relationship to blossom, it’s worth taking the time to listen to each other and try to understand where they might be coming from.

Expectations

Most of our thoughts and feelings of hurt and frustration happen when someone’s behaviour doesn’t meet our expectations. The most difficult thing for most of us, is to actually ask the other person what they expect from us, and to tell them what we expect from them. We prefer to mind read instead – it’s much less confrontational – there’s much less chance of being rejected! But this can drive you batshit crazy, because you start making up a lot of stories in your head, which may not be the full truth of the situation at all! When expectations aren’t met, people fall out, become distant, argue a lot and sometimes have affairs and or leave.

Here’s a rather open-minded question based on a perspective I reached from my own personal experiences with this. If you’re not meeting someone’s needs and they have an affair, who’s cheating who? Just something to ponder on.

Keeping your promises

Do what you say you will do. Say what you mean, and mean what you say, if you want to keep a healthy relationship balance. This will build trust, and trust is hugely important. It’s also very imperative that you keep your promises to yourself also, otherwise, you’ll probably spend the rest of your life mentally beating yourself up, and metaphysically you’ll start attracting those people who will emotionally abuse you. I know, because this is what happened to me until I changed things.

Appreciation

Mutual appreciation, admiration and gratitude are real relationship builders. It’s the little daily genuine compliments, concern, kindnesses, courtesies, the wanting the very best for the other, that creates a healthy relationship balance.

 Honesty

Admit and apologize sincerely when you fuck up. We all do it at some stage, we’re busy, we’re careless, we have our pride, we don’t ask for what we want. If you break the trust you have between you, it’s like smashing a plate and glueing it back together. The cracks will still be there, you’ve weakened your relationship, and you’ve made a withdrawal. If you were depositing regularly your relationship might survive this, if you weren’t, it may not.

Part 25 – Victim or Victor – Dropping the Stories.

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Life Coach / Artist / Photographer, in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com

 

 

 

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Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 11

March 2, 2015

The Happiness Ratio

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‘At any moment, you have a choice that leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it. Letting go, gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness, if in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions, we cannot be free’ – Thich Nhat Hanh

There have been many researchers claiming to have found a mathematical formula for finding happiness. Some said the ratio was three positives to every one negative, and others claimed that the ratio was five positives to a negative in order to be happy and flourish. But how can anyone really measure such a thing? We are all responding to things in our own unique way, based on our individual experiences.

Personally I found in times of crises, when I was feeling low and overwhelmed, it was very difficult to find any positives. When we’re feeling low, we have a distorted perception of things, everything seems to be going wrong, and knowing about the ratio doesn’t necessarily help to make it any better.

However as I practiced becoming aware of my thoughts (part 1) and by developing my emotional intelligence (part 9) I discovered that I could change my perception. That as I changed my thoughts about things, the things I thought about changed, in a way. I saw that a situation was just a situation, I could think about it in many ways, which could affect how I felt about it. I could be either miserable or happy.

I found that by cultivating an attitude of gratitude in everything, that I was able to tip the balance. I was able to become happy regardless of what happened. Suddenly my awareness was focused on all that was going right in my life, even though it could easily have seemed like a shambles. I would shift my focus again and again each time. I would just keep asking myself, ‘Tell me one thing that’s going right… great now another… now another’ Then my mind would focus on all that was missing, that it thought I needed to be happy. So I would shift my focus to all that I did have, even though at times it wasn’t much. I’ve been lucky enough to always have clothes to wear, to have a roof over my head, some money, no matter how meagre and some food to eat. So by viewing it from that perspective, I was luckier than some. I could be grateful about that.

And like the quote at the start of the article says, we have a choice in any moment to move closer to our spirit or away from it. Your spirit sees life as an adventure with different opportunities to learn and grow from your experiences.

It is our attachment through our thoughts about things that keeps us from finding happiness. You can find happiness right now, this moment if you wish, by just enveloping yourself in gratitude for all that you do have right now, it turns everything into more than enough. And yes the personality will always want something more, will always want things to be different right now, but you get to choose what you want to put your focus on, and if those things make you feel good, you will have found your happiness ratio.

Part 12  Being Proactive

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 6

November 1, 2014

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Previously we’ve discussed how thoughts, visualization, foods, disassociation and self-talk can help lead us out of depression. Now let’s explore mindfulness.

The word ‘Mindful’, means taking heed, or care, being conscious. And the word ‘Conscious’, means being aware and awake.

Most of us are not really aware or awake, we think we are, but we are really running on auto pilot, continuously being in a state of ‘Reaction’ or ‘Resistance’. Mindfulness means paying attention on purpose. Being here and now with our present experiences in a non-judgemental way. Nothing is perceived to be either good or bad. Situations can be thought about in many ways.

‘Reaction’

We are like a boat without oars, being pushed this and that way, as life throws stuff at us. Our reactions are based on thoughts about past experiences, or fearful thoughts of the future. We are rarely present in the now moment, yet that is the only time we have some control.

 ‘Resistance’

Something happens that we don’t like or want, and we set up resistance in our mind to it. When we resist something, our body and mind perceives this as a threat to the natural balance of things. We trigger the stress response and we stop our minds from finding solutions.

 

Tips for being mindful

 

  • When your thoughts go to the past or future, gently bring them into the present moment. Take a few slow deep breaths in and out. Notice your surroundings. Be kind and patient with yourself. Say ‘I’m ok now in this moment’
  • Develop a sense of gratitude. Say ‘I have more than enough’.
  • If you’re feeling angry, sad etc. do not judge the feeling, say ‘Oh here’s comes anger, what brought that on?’ In that mindful moment you have a chance to reflect or react in a different way than you did previously. You will no longer be reacting on auto pilot.
  • Do one thing at a time and be fully present with it. If you’re drinking or eating, taste, smell, notice texture etc. When washing the dishes, feel the suds, see the rainbow colours. In the rain, look at the droplets on a branch, there’s a tiny world reflected there. If walking, notice your feet connecting with the ground, feel the sun, or wind, warmth of your clothes, look at the sky. If with someone, listen carefully to what they say, really look at them, hear them. Be present.
  • If ill, in pain, depressed etc. Listen to your body, what’s it trying to tell you? If you’ve got a headache, ask yourself what was happening in your life prior to that? If you have pain, what is paining you in your life? What emotional conflicts have you not dealt with? What thoughts or emotions do you hold onto that might create pain for you. If you are getting frequent colds etc. your immune system has been weakened by stress, not nurturing yourself etc. Ignore it and other things may happen to draw your attention to where your body feels out of balance. If you’re depressed or feeling low, what are you resisting? What can you not accept? What can you not forgive?

With mindfulness, we can become aware and rest before our body makes us. We can create new meaning in our lives and improve the relationship with ourselves and others.

Part 7 Self- Esteem

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


In Search of Perfection

July 5, 2012

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We’re all going to die. There is no dispute about that. it is the only certainty in this life. But that’s not really the issue is it? The issue is, when are you going to start living? When are you going to grasp this moment, this day, as if it really were your last? When are you going to begin to give everything you’ve got to your situations, to your relationships? When are you going to start giving your best, your 100% to it all?

Because we’re all going to die aren’t we? There are no guarantees. You may think, well I’ll live to my eighties, but you could die this moment couldn’t you? Or maybe you’ve been told you could die sooner, but you’re reading this, so you’re still alive.

But you’re looking for perfection aren’t you? And you’re holding back until you find it, before you can give yourself fully, aren’t you? Well let me tell you that the only real perfection is death, it is complete and final, and you won’t find that kind of black and white perfection in life. In death you’ll find it, you’re either dead or you’re alive. Yet most of us live as if we are already dead or halfway there.

And yet we can create a form of perfection while we live, but we must be fully alive to do so. No half measures here, oh no, you need to give it your all if you want results. You must be fully present in everything, the good the bad the indifferent. Be fully present. Be fully grateful for everything that presents itself into your realm of reality. Fully grateful. No more thoughts of this is not enough, oh no, it is all more than enough. No more thoughts of ego mind, telling you that you aren’t receiving enough out of this or that. No more thoughts of lack, of something missing. Instead with gratitude and an attitude of giving you give it your all, your best; you give it your everything. Then you’ll see the perfection that can exist. Then you’ll discover that it is all perfect, it is as it should be, and that the only thing that was missing was your participation, your giving and your gratitude.


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