There are parts of ourselves we like, and parts of ourselves we avoid
All of us are at home with the parts of ourselves that we like. These we elevate and present to the world. Yet this is not all of who we are. We often don’t have a good relationship with the parts that ‘don’t work’, and have separated some places into ‘No-Go’ zones. So, in order to cope with our lives, we don’t embrace some of our painful emotions that are not working so well in us – like our fear, remorse, guilt. We find it hard to appreciate those unlovely places. We might fill our empty spaces with noise and obligations so that these emotions get quietened or at least pushed down again. For we do not feel comfortable with our powerless feelings.
Continue reading Accepting parts of ourselves that ‘don’t work’ can enable us to have better relationships
We are never static relationally. Relationships are so infused within everything we do that we tend not to notice what’s really happening within them. Over time though, our tendencies become evident and we see whether we have been life-giving or not.
Our lives are not passive, like journeying in a train. They are more like being in a car where we can’t take our hands off the wheel. We need to be aware of all that’s happening around us as we go. Continue reading Giving Life with Our Words
Risking taking off our training wheels
We can hardly imagine our lives without conditions. Even though they keep us bound, we feel that at least we know and can more or less predict an outcome. For, “if we do this…then that will happen.”
What pattern do we tend to use to get ourselves to perform in a certain way? Do we have high expectations so are hard on ourselves if we don’t reach them? Continue reading Life Without Conditions
Risking a deeper level of trust
Though conditional love has been in the framework of our existence, deep in our cellular system we know that somehow unconditional love is possible. However, when we think of it, this can sound so amazing that it may move us into an unreal space. It sounds very nice to say, “God loves me unconditionally”, but it can remain just a theory. How many of us really believe it at a deep level?
Continue reading Fences and Frameworks
Can we, with God, learn to love the less-than-lovely parts?
As we come to see ourselves more and more clearly, we choose either to accept or reject that self. The big question is whether we are able to find increasing acceptance for what might not be acceptable in our society’s eyes. Since few of us experienced truly unconditional love, many don’t know what this actually looks like. We have been taught to turn away from ourselves or others when the less-than-attractive becomes visible. We’ve also been habituated into always trying to show what is nice about ourselves to others and of not feeling at all comfortable with their seeing our less-than-lovely parts. Thus, we have imprisoned ourselves and others in this well-known societal game as we continually judge those negative parts and inwardly criticise our ambivalence. Continue reading Unconditional Acceptance
Childhood perceptions of conflict affect us all our lives. Reflecting on them without judgement enables us to begin to see conflict as a friend.
All of us have a conflict history. The roots of our conflict come from our own experience of it. They started growing in utero when we sensed our mother’s heartbeat speed up as she faced things she struggled with. This continued into our childhood as we found ourselves wanting to be ‘this’ yet having to be ‘that’. Continue reading Is conflict a friend or foe?
How did it start?
Our experiences under the age of three gave us emotions from which we made assumptions about our world. Around us were others that modelled what permissible behaviour was, but often what they said we must do was idealized and different from what they did themselves. We tested life out for ourselves reinforcing learnt patterns into the foundation of our being. So our practiced behaviour became our way of engaging with reality. Continue reading Our Journey of Anger