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 23

July 11, 2017

Divided Mind – Taming the Ego

By Paula O’Sullivan

 

Taming Ego

Photo courtesy of pexels.com

 

‘We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul’ – Deepak Chopra

 In order to tame the ego, we must first know a little bit about it, and why anyone would even want to tame it. Notice I said tame, and not destroy it, as we need it in some ways to know ourselves as an individual. If you look in the dictionary, you may very well be still confused as to what it is. It is described as; a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance, the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity, and, a conscious thinking subject. Interesting descriptions.

There are many ancient stories that refer to the beginning of the ego / divided mind, in mankind. Some relate to Atlantis, the Annunaki, and the creator gods. There are references in the bible too.  The Adam and Eve story refers to the creation of the Adamic and Eve race and the subsequent division of mind and the discovery of good and evil, or more appropriately, awareness and unawareness. Apparently the original souls that came to earth, were of a higher consciousness and were fully aware. The duality or division of mind that ego created, led us out of paradise, not poor Eve! We’re in paradise or heaven when we’re fully aware, we’re in hell when we’re not! I’ll explain more about this in a future article.

To make it easier to understand, let’s consider that Ego stands for Edging God / or Goodness Out. If we were like the original souls, before the fall, we would have a higher consciousness and awareness of ourselves and others. We would make more decisions and choices based on love and compassion. We would only see the connections between souls. We would recognize the similarities we all share in this earth school.

Well the good news is, that we are like the original souls, we all have an inherent goodness in us, a light, an awareness, a conscience, or Con – Science (science of the heart)

However for a long, long time we have been conditioned to exist from the perspective of the ego.

The ego is our lower, baser self, it’s all about the ‘Me’ part of us, and self – preservation. The higher part of ourselves, the ‘I’ is the soul, and is about the interconnectedness of all things.

How were we conditioned?

We’ve been encouraged to believe in borders, flags, nationalities, patriotism, and differences. Cautioned to ignore our intuition (tuition from within) and to be skeptic of it. The religious and political stories we’ve been told have separated us from ourselves and others. All arguments, all wars spring from ego, the need to be right at all costs.

We were told Eve was to blame, this started a patriarchal system that is still alive and kicking today.  Women are still being treated as second class citizens around the world. Yes the men did and still do terrible things, they have been conditioned that way. Women do awful things too. In unawareness, in ego mind, we are separated from our soul’s highest intentions.

We were told that the God we believe in is outside of us, and that we’re not worthy enough to even gather up the crumbs from under the table of that entity. If we were encouraged to believe that entity was within each of us, we might just feel it important to respect everyone. We’d all be sacred then wouldn’t we?

Far too many of us were brought up mostly in an unloving manner, with a social myth about ‘sparing the rod and spoiling the child’. We now know that this way of parenting creates people who are unable to love, to connect to themselves and others. It creates people who are dependent and prone to depression, suicide and addictions. It creates people who feel they are flawed, disconnected and unworthy.

Our school systems are primarily geared towards left brained learning. Most of it is academic, analytical, rational stuff. From an early age our minds are crammed with useless shite, of little or no use in our everyday lives after we leave. We are taught to listen and repeat, and not taught to think and reason for ourselves.

We are taught to ridicule the imagination. ‘It’s only your imagination’- (you’re just a feckin looney!)

Perhaps psychology was introduced to highlight and control those fucked up individuals among us who didn’t conform to left brain conditioning. If you’re a right brained creative or psychic etc. you’ll be seen as a weirdo, more separation. Don’t worry if this depresses you, they have a pill for that!

Look around you at your world if you don’t believe me for proof of ego mind in action. Poverty, hunger, greed, wars, bigotry, racism, sectarianism, pollution, slavery, crimes, mental health issues (gentle souls get depressed, in this unloving world of ego. You rarely hear of egotistical psychopaths getting depressed do you?) Pornography (this separates males and females from forming connected sacred sexual relationships) and on and on the list goes!

Is this the kind of world we want for ourselves and our children and grandchildren?

So how do we tame our ego, how do we begin to heal the divided mind?

  • Learn to love, accept and respect yourself, then you’ll begin to love accept and respect others, you will see the connection between us all.
  • Start to value your imagination. It’s the greatest gift we’ve all been given, use it wisely and only allow what you would like to happen into it. Know that what you wish for others, you wish for yourself.
  • Pay attention to your intuition and your conscience, that’s your soul prompting you to other alternative more aware choices.
  • If you are in two minds about some decision, ask how this will affect all concerned, if it hurts or harms another person or being, choose carefully.
  • Practice using your right brain. Stories, music, art, being creative, exploring imagination etc. We need both sides of our brain, we’re like an aeroplane flying on one wing otherwise.
  • Meditate, and listen to the promptings of your higher self. There is a wiser, less mean part of us. We can be cold hearted beasts or warm hearted angels, or somewhere in between.
  • Catch yourself trying to be right, trying to win at the cost of another, trying to destroy someone else, by gossiping etc. Catch yourself out.
  • Find the ‘I’ that is observing the ‘Me’ Find the wiser self, watch the ego play its little games.

Part 24 – The Relationship Bank

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

 

 


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 22

June 29, 2017

Meeting Your Unmet Needs

By Paula O’Sullivan

Needs

Photo courtesy of http://www.pexels.com

‘We’re only as needy, as our unmet needs’ –John Bowlby (Quote)

Identifying the difference between our needs and our wants, can be the beginning of a very beautiful friendship, with ourselves and others.

Most of us have some very basic common needs, including the need to be loved, accepted, respected, touched, seen, connected, and heard, to feel safe and to feel special.

What happens to us if these basic needs have not been met, either in our early childhood experiences or later on as life progresses?

Well, we’ll go looking to get them met. Everyone you meet, is trying to get their needs met, in some way, shape or form. Knowing this can help us to understand others better. But what about ourselves?

If we don’t know exactly what our needs are, then we might get addicted to something, or find ourselves repeatedly experiencing relationships or situations that cause us deeper pain, in an attempt to cover up our distress or unease. We’ll feel we need to have ‘something’ in our lives to compensate for the loss we feel inside, at not getting our needs met. This can also trigger a deep depression, disconnection and feelings of abandonment and un-worthiness.

And there’s no guarantee that even if you can identify your needs, that someone or something else will actually satisfy that for you. It’s a huge burden to put on someone to expect them to meet all your needs. And even with alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography etc. You’ll still feel the void after the bottle is empty, the high has subsided, the sex is over, the movies or pictures cease to stimulate you. You’ll have to constantly ‘Chase the Dragon, as they say, for your next high. And in between those highs, it can get very low indeed.

If you don’t find out what you really want, and learn to ask for it in a healthy way, you’ll end up attracting others who also share some similar unmet needs. Yes I know, you’re probably thinking, now wouldn’t that be nice, but I can tell you, it can get real dysfunctional!

What’s the difference between a need and a want then?

A ‘Need’ is something you feel you have to have (or you’ll die)

A ‘Want’ is something you would like to have (you won’t die if you don’t get it)

Psychologically, not feeling loved, can make us die a little inside. In some cases where babies weren’t touched or stroked in the early days, they actually died. Those that didn’t die, grew up pre- disposed to depression, anxiety, violence, addictions etc. and were averse to feeling love or being touched. (Psychology experts will tell you that if you didn’t bond with someone in childhood, that you won’t be able to bond with anyone later on, but you can change this, it wasn’t easy, but I did!) So in a way these things are needs for our healthy functioning, and for our soul too.

But what if, in all the searching, what if in all the wrong relationships, you still didn’t meet anyone who really loved you, cared for you, heard you etc.? What then?

Like I said, most people find ways to cope, to compensate, and that’s ok, we’re all doing the best we can to keep surviving, but if all this is causing you mental and emotional pain, I’d like to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way.

We cannot change anything until we become aware of it. So we need to ask ourselves what do we want, and what do we need, for to create a healthy balance in our lives? And then we need to find the courage to begin asking for that.

More importantly though, because as I said you may not get what you ask for, is to learn how to meet some of your own needs.

No this isn’t an easy task, there’s no quick fix, it’s a process, which needs to be practiced and tested out over periods of time.

You may have to explore issues like your Self Esteem (part 7) or your Core Beliefs (part 13) or being Addicted (part 19) among others.

In my early childhood, I didn’t feel loved, accepted, respected, heard, touched, seen or connected. I had very low self- esteem and a general feeling of unworthiness. This affected my whole life up until I was 44! It affected my career choices and my relationships.

The need to be loved kept me tied to many mental, emotional and physically abusive situations. I survived them, but my soul suffered from all of this. I never found love in those relationships. I found sex, which I thought was love, but it wasn’t, and it certainly wasn’t a good enough reason for me to stay so long with those experiences, but hey, that’s what expecting others to meet your unmet needs can do for you.

When I was 44, I began an amazing journey into meeting my own needs, and that has changed everything for me.

It began with learning to actually LOVE MYSELF. That meant dealing with the negative Self Talk (part 5). It began with recognizing that I just wanted people to be nice to me, because I’m actually a nice person, and more importantly, I needed ME to be nice to ME!

Once this process started, I began to ask myself better questions.

  • If I loved myself, what would be different? How would I talk to myself if I loved myself? What kind of friends or relationships would I tolerate if I loved myself? (I’ve distanced myself from people who are just plain unaware, if they’re not honouring and respecting themselves, they are not going to be able to honour and respect me. If they are destroying themselves, they’re not going to be in a position to celebrate my blossoming, now are they?)
  • What way would I treat my body if I loved myself? (I stopped drinking alcohol, I chose my foods more carefully, I rest when I need to rest, I meditate and exercise daily) If no one wanted to listen to me, how could I get my voice or thoughts heard? (I started to journal, then blog, then that turned into a book, now I’ve several books in the making, there’s always someone out there who might be interested in what you’ve learnt)
  • How could I meet my own sexual needs in a safe way? (Ha, ha, use your imagination for that one!) How could I experience touch? (I got massages and Reiki and began to feel more comfortable with hugging, free hug anyone?)
  • How could I feel more connected? (Spiritual practices of meditation, mindfulness (part 6) and reading inspirational books, helped me see that I am already connected to everything, it was only my thoughts and feelings that made me think otherwise)
  • How could I feel seen? (I started making videos! I started to put myself out there to help people also)
  • How could I feel respected? (Once I started to respect myself, I found I attracted more people who did respect me, and could easily distance myself from those who don’t, what they think of me doesn’t matter, I know my worth now !)
  • How could I feel safe? (By not allowing my needs to override my wants and get me into potentially dangerous situations, which they did in the past!)

This began the most loving relationship I’ve ever had! I’m 100% there for me. I buy myself flowers and gifts. I don’t criticize myself anymore, I know I’m doing the best I can in any moment. I do review my performance at the end of each day, I do seek to improve myself as I deem necessary. I’m in the process of honouring my higher ideals. I love, accept and respect myself, enough to walk away from anyone or anything that is not honouring my higher ideals. This hasn’t been easy, because I’m human, and I keep getting tested, I’m not fully there yet, I’m not even sure there is a ‘there’ to get to, but hey I’m in a process ! I’ve identified my essential needs, and I’ve also divided some of those into wants. I’m not needy now. I won’t accept any old kind of relationship anymore. I might want intimacy, and companionship but I’m happy with myself, I don’t need it, there’s a difference, I can be more choosy now. There’s great freedom in that!

Part 23 – Divided Mind – Taming the Ego

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

 


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 19

November 24, 2015

addicted

Addicted

By Paula O’Sullivan

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” ― Edgar Allan Poe (Quote)

Whatever you may be addicted to, in order to be free, you’ll need to find out what your addiction appears to be giving you. We won’t give something up unless there is the promise of a better life waiting for us. Every behaviour has a payback, we get something out of it, or we wouldn’t do it. We are motivated in two basic ways: by the ‘Promise of Pleasure’ or the ‘Fear of Pain’.

When we are addicted to something, it can appear that this helps us to deal with our needs and desires, but usually it’s just a quick fix, a band aid solution. This is why people remain addicted for so long. The effects of the alcohol or drugs wear off and we are painfully aware of our reality once again, the adrenalin kick from gambling or sex wears off, and we have to re- experience it again to feel good, hopeful or less lonely. The stressful situations keep happening and we have to keep smoking to help us ‘cope’.

You think the addiction is helping you to cope, but it’s not really solving the issue for you, it’s actually creating more problems. Unless you focus on the benefits of quitting the addiction, and begin to imagine how good that will feel, and how your life and relationships will improve in so many ways, you will remain stuck.

Most of us find it difficult to imagine what we DO want.  Mostly we focus on what we DON’T want to happen. This is the fear of pain again, which stops us from moving forward.

When we’re addicted, we have given up our own power. We are saying to the thing or person ‘Save me, I am powerless without you’.

Most of us who are or have been addicted to something, have very deep emotional needs that weren’t or aren’t being met in a healthy way. This is not so easy to address, so we reach out for something to make it all better, but the pain is still there at the end of the bottle, cigarette, drug, gambling slip, one night stand or whatever. The story is and will remain the same, unless you decide now to change the ending.

Remember that no matter what has happened to you in your life, you still have a choice how to think about it. You can be a strong survivor, or a helpless victim of your circumstances. Most of us just want to feel loved, accepted, and respected. If we are expecting the world to meet our basic needs, we may be disappointed. This creates havoc within us, we feel we aren’t good enough, and we become our own destroyers. We have to find a way to love, accept and respect ourselves first and to discover our own power, regardless of others, then we can be free.  Check my blog for articles that help with this.

Part 20 – It’s A Generational Thing

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / 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


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 18

November 6, 2015

Interdependent

Interdependence

By Paula O’ Sullivan

Most of us interact in only two ways in our relationships, either through a state of dependence or independence. We have not learnt that everything we seek is inside of us already. We are not aware of our inner power. We seek happiness outside of ourselves, in relationships, or in the accumulation of material possessions etc. Dependence on others or things to completely satisfy our needs can leave us very vulnerable, as our expectations invariably won’t get met a lot of the time. Independence means we don’t really seek out the help of others, we become kind of disconnected from each other, as we strive to meet our own needs only. But there is another way of being, it’s called interdependence.

Let’s compare the three ways of being in relationships.

Interdependence is a way of being and acting that takes into account your needs and at the same time cares about others’ needs, instead of trying to just please or ignore others’ needs.

Dependence is being guided by what others think or what they ask you to do, it’s about trying to please others without regard for what you want. Sometimes it can also be about what you will get from an interaction, as opposed to what you can give. This can build up great walls of anger and resentment.

Independence is, in a way, ignoring others and our coexistence, it’s about wanting to deal with everything on your own, and in your own way and not acknowledge a need for support.

With Interdependence, we strive for balance in all our interactions. We aim for ‘win /win’, i.e. both parties have their say, both parties get their needs met without compromise, or it’s a ‘no deal’. If we make a sacrifice, then the other party will also make one to balance the arrangement. With dependence and independence, most of us don’t really listen, we base what we hear from others on our own autobiographical experiences. With interdependence we seek first to really understand the wants and needs of others, before we try to be understood ourselves. We begin the dance of creative cooperation between each other.  We begin to value our differences and respect each other’s uniqueness. We aim not to blame when things don’t work out, but seek instead to examine, the causes and effects of all behaviours involved, with each party accepting full responsibility for the part they have played.

Being interdependent with others becomes a balanced energy exchange, with neither party draining the other. Each stays true to their selves, and become involved without the demand that either should sacrifice their values or integrity. It paves the way for open communication and honesty. It creates a safe environment where both parties can become aware of their needs. We realize that we can’t change anyone, we can only change our behaviour, so we treat others as we’d like to be treated, and we won’t tolerate for long, not being treated with respect.  We begin to view ourselves as already whole, balanced and complete, there is nothing to gain from anyone. Our interactions become a mutual giving, to enhance, not to fill a void. We create and maintain healthy boundaries, knowing how to give help, but also knowing when to protect our own energy and health by saying no.

Part 19 – Addicted

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / 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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