One of my wisest friends figures that it took about thirty years for him and his wife to simply be nice to each other. Now there is a euphoria in their familiarity.
For every relationship
Principles can wreak havoc in your life. The way is light and fluid for the man with no preferences. – Lao Tzu
Some of my clients used to send round the survey before their sessions with me, and it never ceased to amaze me how grateful people were for the experience of being seen and heard by someone who loves them. Try it.
What’s so interesting, or soothing, or sexy about the things that you gravitate towards. Go with the first thing that enters your mind, no matter how silly or grandiose it may seem.
People are where they are–despite our desire for them to be further along, more evolved, more fun, closer to our level, less intimidating, more relatable, easier to access, or simply more like us. If you take the desire for someone to be different out of the equation – you can meet them where they are. You can meet them in the real moment. You can meet them in their despair or their magnificence…
I am wondering if enlightenment relies on the forgiveness formula. As The Course in Miracles puts it, “Forgiveness is unknown in Heaven, where the need for it would be inconceivable”.
We crave it. We die for it. We try to pay for it. We aspire, we mire, we miss the mark. In the unending, coiling, incessant pursuit of being right and good enough to find love and get love and give love, we forget about the very nature of love itself.
I used to be angry and didn’t know why. Now I’m righteous but happy. In my twenties I WILLED it to happen. Now I allow it to happen. I used to need ritual. Now I just want the peace that lies beyond structure, even ritual.
And in just two years of homemade soups and desert and other bubbly things, we’ve gone through life-altering decisions, marriage melt downs, new babies, business epics, world travels, heart wrenching loss, and amazing successes. We would move mountains to help each other.
Sometimes, it’s best to compliment someone as a ‘drive-by’ or last minute gesture. I once walked up to a woman in a food court and said, “You look fucking fabulous.” She just about choked on her salad roll.
People don’t change very much. Not really. Your every day “you-ness” has been there since you got here, (just ask your dad, or your kindergarten teacher, or any astrologer.) Extroverted. Jovial. Tender-hearted. Curious. Cautious. Exacting. Bold. For better or worse, your essential personality is likely going to keep on keepin’ on. This might be an easy notion to accept for your own self. But it gets tricky when we try apply it to all those other people whom we think would be better off if they just, you know, made a few changes…
Salma Hayek breastfeeding an African baby: “When my daughter grows up, I’m going to make sure she continues to be a generous, caring person.” This is a boundary-breaking gesture. Love it.
When I looked at my relationship to the humans (and my dog counts as a human,) that I relate to, it became clear that I am a planet of love with a hair-trigger drawbridge that closes without much warning. I am, and this was somewhat heartbreaking for me to realize: I am somewhat reserved with my love.
Jerry makes me sad because I want Jerry to be able to shop by himself for peppers and brown rice and cook dinner for friends. I want him to fall in love and ride a motorcycle. I’d love for Jerry to be able to hold a pen and sign a cheque. But he can’t.
This is where many apologies can go south, when the hurt person says, “Yah, you totally screwed up, you’re a goof, and your mother dresses you funny.” Naturally, you may want to sling it back or retract even your best laid mea culpa. But just take a deep breath. You may have to endure a few pot shots and some venting; that is part of reconciliation.
Sorry is a powerful word that sends a very particular vibe to your brain. I’m careful how I use it. And when I do, I mean it with all my heart and I’ll do what ever I can to make things right. But I rarely regret things. I rarely pity people. And I’m almost never sorry for how I feel (thanks to a lot of therapy.)
I had a friend ask me once. On a long hike with nowhere to be, she worked her way into it and said, “Okay, I’m going to ask… What do you think of me?” Big exhale.
There were times in the past when I received inaccurate criticism, and I would start to cry. Crying in front of your boss is very rarely a good thing, I don’t care how progressive your organization is.