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 →
Listening to what our beliefs say in each area of our being
Each of us behaves very differently within the same experience. This is because we each interpret life through our ‘normal’ filter, our inner belief systems. As we relate to each other we may choose to try to make our norm happen over and over or else we can be touched and changed by each situation. Continue reading Beliefs We Hold →
Ridding ourselves of problematic emotions is not the answer. Like a learner driver, we can learn to manage the powerful thrusts we experience.
Ridding ourselves of problematic emotions
Often people will think of their anxiety, fear and anger just as problematic, negative emotions. They are feelings that they’d prefer to get rid of. However, these strong emotions are needed by us in order to live each day. All three are engineered into our bodies.
It is possible to manage our emotions
What we need is to learn how to manage these emotions because if they do things in us that we can’t control they do cause big problems and harm. Like learning to drive a car we need time to learn how to engage these feelings, to find ways to stop them from making us jerk or stall so we can move more smoothly through life. Continue reading Learning to Manage Problematic Emotions →
Every venture of life involves our moving from a known reality and security to an unknown one over which we don’t have control. This always causes apprehension to rise in us as this movement involves taking a risk – whether it is in learning a new skill, being in a relationship, having faith in God, doing your work, going on a new adventure, even just living. But if we don’t take the risk we will lose ourselves. Continue reading Anxiety is the driver pushing us forward to learn, grow, change →
We all know the feelings we got as we played hide and seek, and waited to be found. Games we play all carry levels of anxiety, as do all other creative risks we take in life. Continue reading Find me if you can! →
We all know the freedom with which a child draws something. Before knowing others judgement young children have no belief that what they create is somehow not okay.
Follow the formation of that same child into their school years and we see them change in their confident spontaneity. They start believing that they can’t draw. In an atmosphere of unrealistic expectations they feel unsafe to freely create and experience heightened anxiety when asked to perform. Continue reading Be →
When I (Sergio) was at Wits in the 70s I remember being amazed at what one lecturer told us one rainy day. He explained that raindrops falling on the North side of our roof flowed down into the Braamfontein spruit, on into the Jukskei River, then into the Limpopo River, around the (then) Transvaal, through Mozambique, and ended up in the Indian Ocean. But the rain that fell on the South side of the roof flowed down into the Vaal River, on into the Orange River and ended up in the Atlantic Ocean. Two very different destinations! I hadn’t remembered it since then and the Holy Spirit just brought it to mind again in our choices around fear.
Continue reading Where do our choices around fear take us? →
A compass on a steel yacht would be misleading if there weren’t magnets to keep it reading true. Those who sail need to be able to know that they can trust the direction the compass is showing them. Each compass needs to be swung, for if it’s incorrect by even 5°, it’ll mean sailors are really ‘at sea’, ending up where they didn’t want to be.
Like a compass that’s trying to tell us where to head, so our emotions are trying to communicate with us. We can’t just assume the compass is right though. Neither can we automatically assume that what our fear is telling us to do is correct. Our fears sometimes need to be recalibrated so we can trust them to give us good life direction. Continue reading Setting Sail: Trusting Our Inner Compass →