Is FUN=RUN and FREE=FLEE?

Trees

I like this quote by Ram Dass, though not all people I see as trees. Some are more like bushes to me, others – tumbleweeds that roll wherever wind blows them… with neither roots, nor attachments in life…

Tomas and Sabina from ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ look like such tumbleweeds to me… so light, so fun and always on the run to flee any attachments and stay free… A very heavy burden for demisexual Tereza who can’t separate sexual attraction and lust  from love and emotional connection…

This ”lightness of being’ philosophy however is not new… For centuries it was practiced by the rich and powerful. Only they could afford it, often at the expense of common people as reflected in one of the Russian proverb from the “good old days”: “Do not promote me to Corporal, but do not touch my wife”…

In modern Western societies the ‘lightness of being’ philosophy of casual relationships is becoming more common. It is often associated with earlier stages in life, with exploring life before making long-term choices and settling in.

While such behaviour is no longer considered ‘abnormal’ as it does not violate norms of the modern Western society, it can cause the person distress if ‘avoidant’ style of attachments starts dominating person’s life, preventing that person from forming deep meaningful relationships, having family and children.

According to Darlene Lancer, “around 25 percent of the population has avoidant attachment style. People with avoidant attachment style avoid closeness and value their independence and self-sufficiency more than intimacy. They can enjoy closeness — to a limit. In relationships, they act self-sufficient and self-reliant and aren’t comfortable sharing feelings. They protect their freedom and delay commitment. Once committed, they create mental distance with ongoing dissatisfaction about their relationship, focusing on their partner’s minor flaws or reminiscing about their single days or another idealised relationship…

Although most people don’t change their attachment style, it can be altered to be more or less secure depending upon experiences and conscious effort. To change your style to be more secure, seek relationships with others who are capable of a secure attachment. You can easily spot them as they radiate warmth. Loving comes naturally to them. They accept people’s minor shortcomings and treat them with love and respect. They don’t play games or manipulate but are direct and able to openly and assertively share their needs and feelings.”

You can also try the following:

Attachment style affects all aspects of the relationship, including sex life. Resolve all barriers to intimacy and don’t let the ‘lightness of being’ to become unbearable…

THE END

References:

To love OR not to love…

“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

woman about to kiss man

Photo by Сергей Гладкий on Pexels.com

All grown-ups were once children … but only few of them remember it. The Little Prince reminds us who we are and what makes us special by helping us to see the world through the eyes of a child.

As Michael Rennier points out, “adults aren’t disappointing simply because we have grown bigger, or obtained jobs, or taken on responsibilities. We are disappointing because for many of us these pursuits have taken on a disproportionate importance. We have forgotten how to see the world as it actually is and are blinded by appearances. We see people as statistics, education as functional, food as fuel, clothing as utilitarian, books as unnecessary luxury… We vastly over-value what we can experience with the senses. If this is what it means to be a grown up, is it any wonder that Saint-Exupery refused to condone our way of life? We are like the accountant he describes, spending our days working over our books, counting everything up, claiming ownership of all we can fit in the ledger, and failing to see that we live in a whole, wild universe filled to the brim with stars somewhere in the midst of which one, unique rose lives on a planet and calls out for love.

anniversary beautiful bloom blooming

Photo by Tucu0103 Bianca on Pexels.com

The rose, for Saint-Exupery, represents love, the way in which we tame each other and allow ourselves to be tamed. It is this invisible virtue that makes one, single rose special. It isn’t the flower itself, after all, there are fields and fields of roses out there. By outward appearances, a rose is like any other rose. So how is it different? It is the invisible bond of love.

In order to have a truly perfect love, we are required in a way to become children again and learn to whole-heartedly trust and give all we have to the beloved. If we care for one another, we deny ourselves for their sake, even if this means we sometimes get hurt. It is worth the risk because the only other alternative… is to treat every other person as an object… to see a field of roses, objects that are nice enough but fairly common… ”

The cost of not daring to love is to miss the warmth of a close connection with another person, inability to open up, be loved and understood…

 

References:

How to survive a chronically ill Christmas

chronically-ill-christmas-2.jpg

For many of us Christmas is a time of excitement and celebration, but for those living with a chronic condition it can be challenging – both physically and emotionally. If you have a friend or family member who has a chronic illness, there are some very simple things you can do to help them over the festive period that can make a big difference….

  1. Going Out
    Don’t expect them to go to every party, family gathering and drinks with friends. Remember: just because they did it today doesn’t mean they can do it tomorrow. Space out social gatherings or suggest quieter venues. Ask them what they can and can’t have at social gatherings.
  2. Offer to help with Christmas preparations
    Preparing for Christmas Day can be stressful for the most of us, whether it’s buying presents, visiting family or simply managing expectations, but for those with a chronic illness it can be overwhelming. Offer help. Sit and down and work out what really needs to be done and what is achievable. However don’t take over and do it all. You might think you are helping but in reality, this might leave your loved one or friend feeling left out and inadequate.
  3. Spend time with them over the festive season
    People with chronic illnesses often do not tell their doctor or healthcare professional that they are struggling with their mental health. It can be very hard to distinguish between a symptom of their physical illness and what is potentially depression. Being there for them creates a support network which makes them feel cared for.
  4. Offer to bring a dish over
    Because someone with a chronic illness can tire more easily, offering to prepare them a meal can go a long way.
  5. Check they have enough medication over the festive season
    Over the festive season, shops will be shut and medical services limited. Make sure that someone with a chronic illness has enough medication to last over Christmas and into the New Year.
  6. Don’t forget that everyone has different needs
    Our needs are very individual and unless you know someone very well, it’s probably better to firstly let them know that you would like to do something that will help them and listen to what they suggest.
  7. Ask them how they are and listen… really listen!
    Someone may look or appear well, but that doesn’t mean they’re feeling okay. Giving someone a chance to talk about how they feel could make their day better and make sure they feel supported.

Do you know someone who is spending Christmas on their own due to their illness? Invite them over even if it’s just for a cup of tea. People with depression, mental health issues and anxiety are often forgotten. If they aren’t up for a visit, give them a call…

Help.jpg

THE END

Sources:

Credits:

When Christmas is difficult…

Lonely Christmas

No matter where you find yourself in the world during the month of December, there’s never any escaping Christmas expectations. Seasonally, this is supposed to be a time for family and loved ones – and we’re constantly reminded of how we should be celebrating, through films, adverts and songs on the radio. But for those of us facing a difficult Christmas this year, that’s the last thing we want to be reminded of…

There is a number of reasons why many people find Christmas season very difficult including death in the family, loss of a job, loss of a marriage or relationship, financial collapse, loneliness, depression, or family problems.  A study into festive despondency by psychiatric healthcare facility Florida House found that 29 per cent of people feel depressed at Christmas because it reminds them that they don’t have anyone to share it with. Meanwhile, for 69 per cent it simply makes them realise how broke they are…

Are you facing a difficult Christmas season? Are you overly stressing about what needs to be done or the upcoming family gathering?  Are you isolating yourself from all of it and everyone?

Christmas.jpg

So, if you are feeling like the only person in the world who is not filled with festive joy, how can you make it through Christmas?

  1. Keep things simple. Keep your schedule simple. Keep your commitments simple. Don’t be afraid to say “no.”
  2. Balance alone-time and time with others. Don’t isolate. Isolating will only make things worse.
  3. Talk about the issues with someone who is safe. Talk about why it’s a difficult Christmas, but don’t ruminate about it. Identify the pain and work through it.
  4. Do self-nurture. Take time to de-stress. Find gifts for yourself, pamper yourself, go for a long walk, read a book and wear your pyjamas all day if you want to.
  5. Give something back. Christmas is a great time to volunteer and there are always people who need assistance; helping out at your local Church or charity car boot sale is a great place to start.
  6. Lower your expectations. In fact, try to have no expectations. Too often we have too high of expectations, and the disappointment that follows when those expectations are not met will only add to one’s pain.
  7. Ignore the media. The schmaltzy ads and poignant songs can bring back many memories. At times this may feel overwhelming and trigger some pretty intense emotions. (This is totally OK). But when things get too much, it’s a good idea to mute those telly ads, switch off the car radio and completely disconnect from social media. And if you still need an escape, consider celebrating Christmas somewhere where you won’t be reminded so much of home or the person you miss…

Sources:

Credits:

Life wounds and scars

Scars.jpg

Every situation you have encountered forms the person you are today. Sometimes these will make you feel happy, while at other times you may feel profoundly miserable. In these moments of dejection our wounds are opened.

There are a number of wounds which we are able to heal with time, but never finish scarring. These remind us that something or someone may be hurtful or painful to us. A few of these wounds are:

1. Humiliation

We are humiliated when someone attacks our personal dignity in different manners. This is a form of denigration, be it done privately or publicly, the latter being even tougher to overcome.

The consequences of feeling humiliated will directly affect one’s self-esteem, confidence toward others, and one’s hope in what they do and expect from the world. When someone humiliates you, it feels as though they have taken something away that belonged to you in the cruelest way possible.

Humiliation 2.jpg

2. Disappointment

When someone disappoints us, it destroys all our expectations and hopes. This is a mix of shock, anger, surprise and heartache. It may come from a family member, a childhood friend, a work colleague, or simply someone we considered to be a good person, incapable of betraying certain principles, respect towards us, or towards the world in general. We may come to feel frustrated by such a disappointment, even depressed, and evidently our ability to trust in others will find itself to be reduced or possibly even eliminated.

Disappointment.png

3. Betrayal

Generally when we have been betrayed it is because someone has first taken our trust, we have confided in their word to the very end, and we believed that all their actions were honest and sincere; but we then discover that, in reality, it was all quite the contrary.

What is our first sensation? Disbelief, then possibly anger, sadness, a feeling of having humiliated ourselves.

Betrayal.png

No matter who left the wounds and scars on your mind and soul, always remember that there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people do not go around destroying other human beings…

how-people-treat-you-1.png

THE END

Source: 5 Wounds of the Soul Which Heal, but Leave Scars.

Credits:

 

 

 

Movember to stop men dying too young

Movember 5
It is closing in on the end of Movember. We all have grown accustomed to the furry upper lips floating majestically around our offices and the city. Sadly they will soon be disappearing. With the month coming to an end comes a big ask: take the time this weekend to talk about health with a man that’s important to you. It doesn’t have to be a clinical interview; just taking the time to check-in can make a difference.

Across the world, men die an average six years younger than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. Which means that it doesn’t have to be that way: we can all take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives.

Movember 1

From humble beginnings in Australia in 2003 supported by New Zealand in 2004, the Movember movement has grown to be a truly global one, inspiring support from over 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the world. Movember’s initial focus on men’s health and prostate cancer expanded over the years to include testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Since 2003 1,250 men’s health projects have been funded by Movember, including:

  • three-part series ‘Man Up’ that tackles gender stereotypes, the pressures of manhood, and why so many men are driven to suicide.
  • the ‘Making Connections’ project delivered across multiple sites in the USA. This initiative connects men and boys within their communities to promote resilience across generations – working in particular with boys and men of colour, military members, veterans, and their families.

movember 4

In 2016 Movember united with the National Breast Cancer Foundation Australia – funding research to transform the lives of both men and women. The move allows researchers to leverage genetic similarities between prostate, breast and ovarian cancers to create progress in treatment methods.

The Movember website has great resources about men’s health and how to start a conversation.

Let’s join our efforts to shine a light on the health risks men need to know about, increasing awareness to stop men dying too young…

US Foundation Photoshoot 2015

THE END

Credits: All photos are from the Movember website.

Too Damaged to Love Again?

Thought

Have you ever wondered how early childhood pain or trauma affect ones capacity to love? And to those who have been seriously hurt, is it possible to be so damaged emotionally that you actually can’t love again?

The skills necessary for achieving an intimate relationship are both the ability to be self-aware enough to be in touch with your own feelings and than be able to relate to the feelings and experiences of the intimate partner. Lacking these skills leaves one with a diminished ability to both give love and receive it.

We live in a fast-paced culture and the result is we want everything to come as a quick delivery. Love takes time to develop; it is not a process that can be accelerated. Loving someone deeply requires taking the time to truly know them. It takes honesty, it requires some risks and it takes a tremendous amount of trust. Yet many people think they can just fast forward the process like some steamy scene in a romance movie and begin a real relationship with sex instead of communication. It is doomed to fail because microwave love misses out on real intimacy…

Could it be that we hurry through love, rush relationships, speed up sex, and race through life in general because we are all too wounded to be willing to take the risk of loving someone deeply? Or could it be that our culture has just lost the ability to love because we have become too narcissistic and self-centred? Hurrying through life keeps us so busy that it steals the important solitude that we need to be healthy and whole, both psychologically and spiritually. In other words it keeps us from fully feeling our emotions of loneliness and emptiness. Maybe that’s why some people stay so busy and never take a minute to slow down, because if they did it would mean getting honest about what’s missing in their life and that would be too painful, so it’s off to another busy activity to avoid getting real…

You get to choose the level of intimacy in your relationships. Do you have the courage to open your heart and really love, or are you too damaged, wounded or narcissistic to love again?

(From Too damaged to love again?)

Credits: Photo from Pininterest