All of us have been taught how to be skilled in our profession, yet for the most part we haven’t perfected the most important art – the one for which we were all created – that is how to really connect in love with others. In essence we are all creatures of relationship and we need to be and to assert our real selves with conviction. Continue reading The Quality of Our Connections
The feelings that formed in us in childhood have shaped our way of being in relationships. Now, as adults, we still carry that initial trigger event. As vulnerable children we’ve all struggled with someone stronger than us. At that stage we didn’t know how to stand our ground against them. Continue reading Self Assertion
From childhood we’ve all sensed imbalances of power. In most relationships, though often unspoken, we feel we are being continually measured, pegged at different levels. We all know who’s stronger than us – whether verbally, emotionally or physically – and we know who can punish or frighten us. We sense where we are placed in our social circles, whether at the centre as the ‘queen bee’, or further out towards the fringe.
Each of our early experiences are peopled with memories which touched us, both the good and the painful. The patterns we each developed to flourish and to survive then are the same as those we still use today. That particular person or event from our past is long gone, but our learnt patterns of relating remain. We continue to see ourselves and others (even God) through this lens.
Continue reading Childhood Hurts – Blockage Or Bridge?
Most of us have been brought up to please others, often at the expense of our real feelings. Within us all lies our deepest fear, that of rejection. We know all to well what our society sees as acceptable and what is deemed unacceptable. This can cause us to play a game to fit in at all costs. Continue reading Can we express our real selves to each other?
It is easy not to share the real person – to resort to more superficial banter and avoid how we really feel. We all have a fairly predictable emotional landscape, a behaviour pattern which formed through our childhood. This shows us which feelings rattle us, which we try to avoid, and those we try to generate more of. In this way we often rely on past feelings to try to manage our present emotional framework. Pervasive emotional preferences like fear, anger and despair may grow and over time will be reflected in our faces and bodies. Continue reading Levels of Learning to Love – Sharing Emotions
Measuring ourselves against others divides us
All of us long to feel that who we are is enough. Yet we live in an adversarial culture where we are constantly measured. What our society values is continually put before us with countless opinions of each and every facet of our lives. We can easily end up defining ourselves by how we match up to these. Continue reading Stages of Loving – Sharing Opinions
Learning to filter the information we receive
We are living in a world where we’re being flooded by information. To avoid being washed away by it we need to learn how to sift and process it. Since the information we receive into ourselves forms and shapes our identity, it’s very important to discern if what we are being given is untrue or partial truth.
This is especially important in how we are seen for if that information is incorrect it can have profoundly negative affects on us. Continue reading Healing Misinformation Wounds
A meeting of words and messages
Have you noticed that young children don’t’ ask, ‘How are you? ‘They are simply present, engaging as is true for them. Their words, tone, and body language are consistent.
All of us have been habituated into clichéd questions and answers for initial connections. These can be superficial or a stepping point into something deeper. Continue reading Unless you become like a little child…
Without being seen, we’ll starve relationally
We all so need real connection to others through the eyes. It is in the simple act of seeing and being seen that a profound transaction of life happens. If we do not receive this from anyone, we can become relationally anorexic as our sense of self is not fed.
Relationships reveal a lot about ourselves
It is only in relationships that we can see our patterns. Few of us come with a blank slate. Usually we have a picture in our minds from past experiences of how we expect an interaction to develop. Continue reading We can learn from surprising relationships