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Month: December 2011

Are you Inspiring or Gloomy?

“You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy.” —Julia Child, 1912-2004, Chef, Author and Television Personality What is your primary intention with others – to share uplifting, caring energy, or to get sympathy? Getting Sympathy When you are complaining, whining, and being generally gloomy with others, what do you want? Are you trying to connect with them through getting their sympathy? Are you trying to fill some inner emptiness through getting them to feel sorry for you? Have you been programmed to believe that the only way to connect is to share misery and complaints? Do you compete for having the worst complaints – the worst illness, the worst rejections, the worst unfairness, the worst day? Do you ever think to yourself when hearing another’s complaint, “Big deal, that’s nothing. Wait until you hear what I’m going through.” You might want to take a moment right now and take an honest look inside to see what your hope is in being gloomy rather than cheerful. What are you not giving to yourself that you want from others? Are you ignoring your own feelings, and then hoping someone else will give you the attention and caring you want? Are you avoiding taking...

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How do you Make Others Responsible for Your Painful Feelings?

We have all learned many ways of trying to avoid or get rid of our painful feelings. Many of these ways are fairly obvious: addictions to substances and activities, staying in your mind rather than in your body, or judging yourself. Another major way we avoid or try to get rid of our painful feelings is making others responsible for them in various ways. When we are filled with painful feelings and are not open to our Guidance to help us learn from them and release them, we might dump them on others in various ways, in an effort to release them. How do you dump your feelings onto another? I yell at, judge and/or blame someone, hoping they will understand how much I’m hurting and change what they are doing; or be compassionate, caring and approving; or give me permission to do something I want to do, but am not allowing myself to do. I calmly and relentlessly complain about something over and over, badgering the other person, with the hope that they will say just the right thing to release the painful feelings in me. I believe that if they agree, change, or acknowledge what they are doing, I will feel better. Even if they do say the “right” thing, I keep at it, because it’s never right enough. I cry as a pathetic victim, hoping the...

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Will Your Next Marriage be Better?

“It’s time for me to move on. I’ve learned so much – I just know that next time it will be better.” “Our new relationship has a great chance, because we’ve both been married before and have learned a lot. We know that this time around we will do it so much better.” Is this true? Apparently not! According to research by Jennifer Baker, of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, while 50% of first marriages end in divorce, 67% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. Is this surprising? From my experience, most people who end their marriages have not learned what they need to learn, so they take their same fears and insecurities, and their resulting controlling and self-abandoning behaviors, with them into their second and third marriages. Of course, eventually they create the same or similar relationship system. Most people who leave marriages believe that the problem is mostly their partner. But relationships are systems, with both people participating in the system. If you are not aware of the overt and subtle ways you control and abandon yourself in your relationship, then you will take all your wounded behaviors with you into your next relationship. The thing is, we keep attracting the same kind of person, as long as we are the same kind of person. I’ve long maintained...

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How to Connect with Others

We are inherently social beings, and feeling emotionally connected with another is one of the great joys in life. Yet, all too often, we feel lonely around another or others, wanting to connect and not knowing how. We may have learned numerous dysfunctional or unsatisfying ways of connecting, and wonder why we still feel lonely around someone when we are trying so hard to connect. Emotional connection is an experience of the heart, not of the head. While you may feel a certain kind of connection when you are in your head, this form of connection may leave you feeling unsatisfied. Do you try to create connection by: Gossiping Storytelling about things that don’t relate to the person you are talking to Going on and on about yourself Discussing details about mundane subjects Discussing superficial topics, such as the weather Complaining, whining Attacking, blaming Interrogating – asking combative questions Pulling for attention in various other ways Satisfying emotional connection occurs when you talk and act from your heart, such as when you: Listen attentively and empathically Ask kind questions about meaningful things Speak your truth from your heart Let the other in on your learning and healing process Share in a creative process Do fun things together, laugh together Do kind and caring things for each other Want to understand, when things may be difficult between you and another...

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