Fairy Dad Father

Every time my teenage kids make me roll my eyes in despair I think about my wonderful dad and all the times I made him roll his eyes and scratch his head. His dad’s logic just could not comprehend the power of teenage imagination…

Like that time when me and one of my University friend spent all the money we had to go to the local Ballet Theatre to watch ‘Swan Lake’. Next day dad visited me and took me to the fridge.

“So, what are you going to eat for the rest of the month, darling? Feathers of those imaginary swans?” he said staring into the empty fridge.

His engineering logic just could not comprehend how his only precious one could spend the whole monthly pay from Uni on ‘Swan Lake’. I just giggled and reassured him that he had absolutely nothing to worry about. After all I did not spend it on boys and vodka….

At that point not only his eyes rolled, but his jaw dropped too… He never ever mentioned the empty fridge again… In fact magically that fridge has never ever been empty again… Coincidentally a magic fairy took care of it since that day, regularly filling it up with all the essentials…

My friend’s dad, who was a doctor, tried to approach the same subject from the medical perspective first, hinting on a very poor nutritional value of the imaginary swans and feathers. My friend just giggled. In despair, her dad changed to the historical perspective: “Now I see why in so many cultures fathers were supposed to provide dowry for their daughters at the marriage. Otherwise one would need to be utterly insane to take my precious darling with all these imaginary swans and feathers!”

His historical perspective only tripled the giggles. “Don’t worry dad. I already found my utterly insane one,” my friend burst into laughter.

Next day we met with other friends at Uni and had a good giggle about swans, feathers and all. After all, behind every smiling girl at Uni was a wonderful Fairy Dad Father rolling his eyes and scratching his head…

Credits:

Dad’s love and intuition

Father

My father never told me… he was not a talkative man… but the way he looked at me, the way he treated me made me feel that way. I never stop admiring how my dad seemed to always intuitively know what was the best for me, without reading any fancy parenting books or having any teaching degrees. I never stopped feeling his silent love.

At the time when men were rarely actively involved in parenting, my dad was always there for me, taking me for long walks, bathing me, putting me to sleep, calming all my fears… And I was a very fearful child scared of everything imaginable: darkness, heights, being alone, fights and arguments, snakes, worms, caterpillars, mice and rats to name a few…

Protection

Dad always asked the right questions, listened without making any assumptions or twisting the meaning of what he heard. Even when he disagreed, he rarely argued – he always found another way… Like the time when I saw him chopping the wood and then picked up his axe. “Don’t touch my axe”, he said. “Why? If you can chop the wood, why can’t I?” “Because you are not much bigger than that axe and I don’t want you to chop your head off”, he patiently explained. “Don’t worry,” I laughed. “My head is probably the only part of my body that I’ll never be able to chop off.” He did not argue, but made sure no axe was ever left within my reach…

Eye

Dad never used gender stereotypes. He never told me that I am a girl and therefore should behave or do things in a certain way. He just accepted me the way I was, without trying to mould me into anything else. It felt like a breath of fresh air, a welcome break from my mum’s and grandma’s constant nagging: “You are a girl, so you should be dressed like this, you should talk like that, you should do this and don’t do that….” I could never quite comprehend where my mum and grandma got all those dos and don’ts, which somehow I always managed to get wrong…

Girl

While my dad rarely expressed himself in words, he had other ways of getting his point across. His communication toolbox included not only admiring looks, but also silent staring, rolling eyes, raised eyebrows, all sorts of winks and a million of other facial expressions. I’m sure, there were some pulled hair too every now and then…

Staring

While parenting my own children, I met a lot of truly amazing dads and learnt lots more from them than from any parenting books or my teaching degrees. I never stopped admiring their creativity, ability to make any activity fun, patience, intuition and perfectly balanced approach to setting boundaries to provide maximum opportunities for challenges and freedom while keeping all risks under control.

Father and daughter

It never stops puzzling me however that so many dads rarely recognise their amazing parenting abilities and intuition and are often quick to retreat and silence their views on parenting. Something that Celia Lashlie also noted in her book “He’ll be OK”.

Do not doubt your parenting skills. Follow your heart, trust your intuition and have fun.

Children do change us and our lives in lots of ways. Enjoy this special period in your life, treasure all the wonderful moments you are having with your children and stop pulling out your hair over not-so-wonderful ones….

Credits:

Stories of Compassion: Aristides de Sousa Mendes

Aristides20I

Eighty years ago, a middle-aged, mid-ranking diplomat sank into deep depression and watched his hair turn grey in days, as he saw the streets of Bordeaux filling with Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis.

As Portugal’s consul in Bordeaux, Aristides de Sousa Mendes faced a moral dilemma. Should he obey government orders or listen to his own conscience and supply Jews with the visas that would allow them to escape from advancing German forces?

Sousa Mendes’ remarkable response means he is remembered as a hero by survivors and descendants of the thousands he helped to flee.

But his initiative also spelt the end of a diplomatic career under Portuguese dictator António de Oliveira Salazar, and the rest of his life was spent in penury.

Portugal finally granted official recognition to its disobedient diplomat on 9 June 2020, and parliament decided a monument in the National Pantheon should bear his name.

Honour

It was mid-June 1940 and Hitler’s forces were days from completing victory over France. Paris fell on 14 June and an armistice was signed just over a week later.

Portugal’s diplomatic corps was under strict instruction from the right-wing Salazar dictatorship that visas should be issued to refugee Jews and stateless people only with express permission from Lisbon.

For those thronging Bordeaux’s streets hoping to cross into Spain and escape Nazi persecution there was no time to wait….

In a letter dated 13 June 1940 Sousa Mendes wrote: “Here the situation is horrible, and I am in bed because of a strong nervous breakdown.”

“No-one really knows what went through his mind in those two or three days,” says Dr Paldiel, who ran the Righteous Among the Nations department at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial centre for 25 years.

“Some say the duty of a diplomat is to obey orders from above, even if those instructions are not moral…

Whatever did go through the diplomat’s mind, Sousa Mendes emerged on Monday 17 June with a new determination.

According to his son, Pedro Nuno de Sousa Mendes, “he strode out of his bedroom, flung open the door to the chancellery, and announced in a loud voice: ‘From now on I’m giving everyone visas. There will be no more nationalities, races or religions’.”

No-one knows for sure how many transit visas were issued, allowing refugees to pass from France into Spain and travel onward to Portugal. But estimates range between 10,000 and 30,000, and most sought to cross the Atlantic to a variety of American destinations.

Refugees

Salazar’s Portugal would later be praised for its role in allowing refugees to escape from Nazi occupation and repression, but Sousa Mendes was expelled from the diplomatic corps and left without a pension. This condemned him to live the rest of his life in the most absolute misery. Sousa Mendes survived thanks to a soup kitchen run by Lisbon’s Jewish community. In 1954 he died in obscurity, still disgraced in the eyes of Portugal’s government. His family home in Cabanas de Viriato fell into ruin, and remains so today.

“Sousa Mendes was mistreated by Salazar. He died in misery as a pauper, and his children emigrated to try to find a future somewhere else,” says Henri Dyner (one of the people saved by Sousa Mendes).

Henri’s family ended up in Brazil, before he moved to the US for professional reasons. But he remembers a man who had courage in his convictions.

“The way things are in the world today, we need more people prepared to stand up for what is right and take a stand.”


Let’s remember such heroes
and honour their compassion!

 

Over the years I collected a number of real stories of compassion from different time periods, cultures and geographic locations. Among them are:

I’m always looking for more stories of compassion, so if you know any, please share them via a comment. Thanks so much.

Compassion

Credits:

All HUMAN lives matter!

Revolution

“How a revolution erupts from a commonplace event – tidal wave from a ripple – is cause for endless astonishment…

First, a piece of news about something said or done travels quickly, more so than usual, because it is uniquely apt; it fits a half-conscious mood or caps a situation… On impulse, perhaps to snap the tension, somebody shouts in church, throws a stone through a window, which provokes a fight… As further news spread, various types of people become aroused for or against the thing now upsetting everybody’s daily life. But what is that thing? Concretely; ardent youths full of hope as they catch the drift of the idea, rowdies looking for fun, and characters with a grudge. Cranks and tolerated lunatics come out of houses, criminals out of hideouts and all assert themselves.

Manners are flouted and customs broken. Foul language and direct insult become normal, inkeeping with the rest of the excitement, buildings defaced, images destroyed, shops looted… Angry debates multiply about things long since settled: talk of free love, of priests marrying and monks breaking their vows, of property and wives in common, of sweeping out all evils, all corruption, all at once – all things new for a blissful life on earth…

Voices grow shrill, parties form and adopt names or are tagged with them in derision and contempt. Again and again comes the shock of broken friendships, broken families.”

(from “From Dawn to Decadence: 500 years of Western Cultural Life”
by Jacques Barzun )

Protests

Yes, black lives do matter, as white lives, Asian lives, Muslim lives, Christian lives – all HUMAN lives. Murderers and killers of innocent people should be held accountable for their brutal actions. Unfortunately however so often protests against brutality and injustice turn into a disastrous avalanche of the identity violence – by race, nationality, religion, occupation or other identity groupings.

In his book “Identity and Violence”  Amartya Sentakes argues that viewing human beings as members of just one identity group is not just morally undesirable, but descriptively wrong. Instead, Sen invokes the myriad identities within each individual. The people of the world can be classified according to many other partitions, each of which has some—often far-reaching—relevance in our lives: nationalities, locations, occupations, social status, languages, politics, and many others, including identity common to all – HUMANS. Because all of us contain multitudes, we can choose among our identities, emphasizing those we share with others rather than those we do not.

Let’s focus on our shared identity as HUMANS while fighting against injustice, brutality and violence in this world.

All HUMAN lives matter!

Salad

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How to Manage Ups and Downs in Your Relationship?

Annoying

“Marriage is ugly, you see the absolute worst in someone. You see them when they’re mad, sad, being stubborn, when they’re so unlovable they make you scream. But you also get to see them when they are laughing so hard that tears run down their face, and they can’t help but let out those weird gurgling noises. You see them at 3am when the world is asleep except you two, and you’re eating in the middle of the kitchen floor. You get to see the side of them that no one else does, and it’s not always pretty. Its snorting while laughing, its the tears when it feels like its all crashing down, its the farting, its the bedhead and bad breath, its the random dances, its the anger and the joy. Marriage isn’t a beautiful thing, but it is amazing. It’s knowing that someone loves you so much, and won’t leave you even though you said something nasty. It’s having someone have your back no matter what. Its fights over stupid things, like someone not doing the dishes or picking up after themselves. And it’s those nights you fall asleep in each others arms, feeling like there will never be enough time with them. It’s cleaning up their throw up, or just rubbing their back when they’re sick. It’s the dirtiest, hardest, most rewarding job there is. Because at the end of the day you get to crawl into bed with your best friend, the weirdest, most annoying, loving, goofy, perfect person that you know. Marriage is not beautiful, but it’s one heaven of a ride.”

From Journey to the Centre of Us

Put up

All marriages have ups and downs. Relationship journey is not a straight line yet one that zigs and zags and has numerous curves. Sometimes it feels like it goes backwards and forwards all the time. You might be:

  • Feeling very close and intimate sometimes – then distant and disconnected other times
  • Communicating in ways that you feel heard, accepted and supported sometimes and other times communicating in a blaming and harsh manner where you feel unheard, rejected and disrespected
  • Resolving differences and conflicts effectively sometimes while other times your efforts seem to make matters worse resulting in ongoing disagreements and conflict
  • Having satisfying, passionate and intimate sex sometimes while other times it feels rote, mundane and boring
  • Sharing joy, laughter and fun while other times you are pushing each other’s buttons
  • Experiencing times of calm and ease with one another which may be suddenly interrupted by an intense explosive fight leaving you confused and shocked and wondering “where’d that come from”
  • Gazing at your partner and having the conviction that you are with your soul mate and other times wondering “who is this person and how did I end up with him/her”
  • Agreeing on lifestyle and financial needs and wants compared to strongly disagreeing about these things.
  • Wanting to spend as much time with your partner as possible and other times wanting to be alone or with friends, or maybe even wanting to be as far away from you partner as possible.

Perhaps you can think about these ups and downs and curves in the following way. Sometimes when you go on a trip you get directly to your destination with ease in a timely manner. The trip and the roads you take are as smooth as can be. Other times you go on a trip and you have to negotiate bumpy roads filled with potholes and/or inclement weather and/or you are re-routed due to construction  and/or you get stuck in long tedious traffic delays… Travel, and life, is inconsistent and uncertain. Relationships are surely like this too.

How to Manage Ups and Downs in Your Relationship?

  • Understand that ups and downs and fluctuations are normal and know that they are surely going to happen
  • Be patient, kind and compassionate with yourself and your partner as you navigate the changes and curves
  • Look back to where you were and where you are now in terms of growth
  • Address concerns and issues as they arise to thwart building resentments
  • Communicate regularly with openness and honesty
  • Seek input and advice from friends or an experienced professional to help you see things objectively
  • Take responsibility for your part in the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship
  • Allow yourself to feel your feelings—your grief, relief, sadness, joy, sorrow, loneliness and anger

Adapted from 9 Ways to Manage the Ups and Downs in Your Relationship

 

Credits:

  1. Image 1 from pininterest
  2. Image 2 from pininterest

Healing through divorce

New beginnings

Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences a person can have. No one ever enters a divorce with joy and glee. Prior to the decision to divorce someone there has been a lot of hurt. Once you get to the divorce phase of the relationship you have already been through quite an agonizing process of grief and disappointment. Once it is all said and done, how do you proceed?

Be gentle with yourself. Showing yourself compassion as you work your way through the divorce will help you get through it a whole lot more quickly than if you’re impatient with yourself.

Don’t dwell on the past. Dwelling on the past keeps you there. Just like you can’t drive a car forward by staring in the rearview mirror, you can’t move your life forward if you’re focusing on the past. You can’t change the past. The best you can do is learn from it.

View your divorce is as an important lesson about relationships. You and your ex were in a relationship that didn’t make it. The relationship failed and you can learn from it – if you choose to. Once you decide to learn from your failed marriage instead of labelling yourself as a failure, you will regain confidence in yourself and your ability to have a successful relationship in the future.

Look forward. There is no point in focusing on the past. Picture yourself shutting the door on your marriage, visualizing it as a room you are leaving. See yourself entering a new room, full of possibilities and hope.

Clean house. It is time to get your life in order. Cleaning house is both literal and figurative. Take care of unfinished business. Organize your home. Whatever you have left unattended because of the emotional turmoil the divorce has caused you, now is the time to start putting the pieces back together.

Connect with your children. The divorce has impacted your entire family; this includes your children. Your children probably have no idea how to heal from what happened in their lives and probably have no idea what to do with their feelings. The best thing you can do is lean in to your relationship with your children and be there for them and with them.

Surround yourself with nurturing people. And definitively say “no” to those who are not providing you comfort. Now is the time to look at expanding or remodeling your social circle. Look for people who are happy, positive and self-assured in their own lives. While going the solo route can feel lonely, it’s also an incredible opportunity to develop a more grounded, fulfilling life.

Create a new normal.  Now that you are no longer part of a marriage, you have a new reality. You are single and independent. You can do whatever you want. You no longer have to share your decisions with your spouse.

Develop your confidence. Divorce has a way of corroding your confidence. Regardless, you still have tremendous qualities that you can and should feel really great about. Figure out what you really like about yourself and remind yourself of these things daily.

Don’t close your door to love. Lastly, as you recover from divorce, don’t close the door to love and throw away the key! Allow yourself to meet new people and be open to the chance of falling in love again. Divorce is not the end of your life. Don’t allow your fears to prevent you from finding your happiness.

Yes, getting a divorce is difficult, but so is staying in an unhealthy marriage. It is hard to face, but it is helpful to know that you’re not alone… Getting divorced hurts, but you will recover and have a better future as you go through the healing process.

What helped you to heal through your divorce?

 

Adapted from:

 

Real love

True love

Love is a spiritual journey that involves constant learning and shedding of illusions. The illusions and fantasies of Love that we grew up with and have been fed through movies and the media. Let’s clear up the Fantasy of Love versus the Truth about Love.

Fantasy:

  • Love will always feel exciting, passionate, and fearless. We will always feel attraction
  • Love eliminates feelings of pain and grief and sorrow and promises only ecstasy
  • We will never argue, have disagreements or fight
  • It will be completely effortless, always

Real love:

  • Holds everything, every feeling. Ecstasy and pain, magic and sorrow. We will disappoint and upset each other and we will have to choose to love each other. We will have to practice forgiveness and compassion.
  • Requires my conscious effort each day. Every day is brand new and every day it’s my responsibility to show up fully. I am responsible for my part in the relationship
  • We are wildly imperfect
  • Everything changes and we are always changing
  • We will have to talk about responsibilities, money and sex and taxes and values and children and time and needs and fears and feelings and make lots of difficult decisions together
  • The work never ends, there is no destination and I intend to make sure my partner feels loved and appreciated every day
  • My partner can’t read my mind. It’s my responsibility to express what I need and how I feel.

The fantasy keeps so many in such painful, excruciating struggles and their feet are never on the ground. The fantasy fuels unrealistic expectations that leave us empty and starving for real love. Real love is grounding, humbling and messy.  It is a choice that requires effort every day. It shines through the routine experiences of the everyday life.

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Healing from empathic distress

Jesus

Neuroscientists have discovered specialized cells in the brain, called mirror neurons, that spontaneously create brain-to-brain links between people. This means that our brain waves, chemistry and feelings can literally mirror the brain waves, chemistry and feelings of people who we are communicating with, reading stories about, watching on television, or those who we simply have in our thoughts.

We may think that our feelings and emotions are our exclusive property, that they belong to us and that we alone can feel them. However, emotions can easily pass from person to person, like infectious smiling. The way we feel can affect the way other people are feeling.

Imagen
Some people are so highly sensitive, that they can start feeling the way other people feel. They can start experiencing other people’s feelings as their own feelings. Much of the time this is done unconsciously.

People commonly put on a show of expression, hiding their true feelings and emotions. Sometimes, people are struggling to understand their own feelings. Highly sensitive people (or empaths) can sense the truth behind the cover and can help that person to better understand and express him/herself, thus making them feel at ease and not so desperately alone.

Friends

Empaths are often poets in motion. They are the born writers, singers, and artists with a high degree of creativity and imagination. They are known for many talents as their interests are varied, broad and continual, loving, loyal and humorous. They often have interests in many cultures and view them with a broad-minded perspective.

Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things. As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one – if only for their own peace of mind.

Empaths are often very affectionate in personality and expression, great listeners and counselors (and not just in the professional area). They will find themselves helping others and often putting their own needs aside to do so.

Empaths are often quiet and can take a while to handle a compliment for they’re more inclined to point out another’s positive attributes.

Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. This can cause empaths to ignore their own needs or get overwhelmed and confused with everything they feel.

An empath’s sensitivity is a gift but in order to fully develop and manage it they need to learn how to stop absorbing other people’s stresses. They need to learn to center and protect themselves, set healthy boundaries, and let go of the painful feelings they picked up from others.

There is a number of self-protection strategies for empaths including:

  1. Evaluation: is this feeling mine or someone else’s? It could be both. Feelings are catchy, especially if they relate to a hot button issue for you. You are more prone to take on the emotional or physical pain that you haven’t worked out in yourself. The more you heal issues that trigger you, the less likely you’ll be to absorb disturbing feelings from others.
  2. Step away from what’s disturbing you.  In a physical space when possible, distance yourself by at least twenty feet from the suspected source. See if you feel relief. If a movie or a book are negatively affecting you, stop watching or reading.
  3. Get to know your vulnerable points and protect them.
  4. Surrender to your breath. Concentrate on your breath for a few minutes. This is centering and connects you to your power.
  5. Set healthy limits and boundaries. Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people, and learn to say “no.” Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.
  6. Visualise protection around you. Visualise an envelope of white light around your entire body.
  7. Go for a walk or enjoy another outdoor activity. Empaths often find themselves continually drawn to nature as a form of ‘release’ from other people’s feelings. It is the opportune place to recapture their senses and gain a sense of peace in the hectic lives they may live.

Don’t panic if you occasionally pick up pain or some other nasty symptom. It happens. With these strategies you can have quicker responses to stressful situations. This will make you feel safer, healthier, and your sensitivities can blossom.

Storm peace

Credits:

 

Be careful who you give your heart to…

unmasked

Infidelity is a major factor in broken marriages. It destroys families, and paves the way for traumatic experiences for children.

Cheating does not always mean actual sexual activity. Emotional cheating and flirting are still considered as cheating.

The cheater’s actions hurt the spouse who was betrayed, their children, their families, close friends. But these aren’t the only people infidelity hurts. Cheating hurts the cheater too.

Despite the initial thrill of an affair, cheating often negatively affects the cheater emotionally. It’s common for them to feel anxiety, guilt, shame, worry, regret, confusion, embarrassment, and self-loathing when they contemplate how their actions impact those they love and why they cheated in the first place.

When they think about and experience how their actions impact them and others they feel the sting and anguish of their poor judgment.

All of these thoughts swirling through their heads and the rollercoaster of their emotions can lead cheaters to live two completely different lives while the affair continues. One where they feel the addictive ecstasy of love and one where they feel hatred.

Of course, living these two polar-opposite lives puts extreme stress not only on themselves, but on their marriage too. And when the spouse does discover the truth, they will feel pain to their core as they rightfully wonder what part of the relationship with their wayward spouse was real and what part was a lie.

Not only can the spouse now blame the cheater for every bad thing that happens to them and every problem in their relationship, but their children get to blame them too. If they feel depressed, if they cheat or their spouse cheats on them, that will be their cheater-parent’s fault. When their children are sitting on the therapist’s couch unmarried, unloved and childless at 44, the cheater-parent will be the reason they can’t trust or make and keep commitments.

Cheaters often are not able to trust others to be loyal to them. After all if they did this themselves, anyone can. If they could violate trust and hurt someone they love in such a deeply damaging way, what’s to stop others from doing it to them?

Being on the receiving end of the pain their spouse is suffering because of the cheating can easily become too much for the straying spouse. At one extreme, they may deny their responsibility for causing the pain and blame their spouse for forcing them to cheat. At the other extreme, they may feel they deserve the punishment, accept it as just, and live out the rest of their lives as a mere shadow of their true selves.

How cheating affects the cheater is complicated and painful. Why do they cheat then?

There are a lot of reasons why cheaters cheat, including:

  • emotional immaturity,
  • personality disorders: narcissism, borderline personality disorder, and psychopathy.
  • childhood trauma, or
  • being raised with bad influence regarding relationships.

Cheaters often deeply fear abandonment and seek out their second relationship as something of a security blanket against physical or emotional loneliness.

Repeat cheaters often have certain core negative beliefs. They feel unworthy, feel no one can genuinely love them and so on. As a result of these insecurities, people addicted to cheating tend to avoid intimacy and to compartmentalise and split off part of their sexual, romantic or intimate life. Being intimate with a spouse is problematic for them and they find an escape.

People who cheat will look for opportunities where the potential mate may be in a vulnerable state, such as after a break-up or divorce. When the preyed-upon is in a more vulnerable state, they are more likely to be open to and engage in the cheating behavior because they miss the feeling of being loved and are not emotionally grounded enough yet to set secure boundaries.

Like with all addictions, repeat cheating is a dependency on a ‘drug’ to escape pain, fear and other negative emotions.

The prospects for repeat cheaters can be good if addicts give up all the related behaviours and get treatment that addresses their insecurities and their fears around intimacy; in other words the “deeper work”. This might involve:

  1. Professional help to uncover the root cause of cheating
  2. Practicing total transparency with the spouse OR
  3. Changing the relationship type. Instead of cheating, they can find partners who are comfortable with non-monogamy. Sometimes it is better to follow a less traditional — but honest — path, then live a life of destruction, betrayal and lies.

As with all recovery, it takes time and treatment to change a lifelong adaptation. It also takes vigilance. Even well into recovery, addicts may still be drawn to sexual validation and non-sexual forms of cheating. But these behaviors will continue to fade away over the years.

Resources:

Take off the mask and let your true self shine

Stage

Transparency and authenticity are buzz words that are heard a lot nowadays, but the actual practice of being honest, open, and even emotionally raw in a relationship is no easy task. On some level we are all facing that fear – afraid of being seen for who we truly are. Afraid of seeing ourselves for who we really are…

When we continually lock out our partners and refuse to let them know who we really are “behind the mask,” we limit intimacy, hamper communication, and create barriers to a fulfilled relationship.

According to Dr Gary Brown, “Being vulnerable in relationships is really opening your heart and letting your partner know your true self. It’s the warts and all. It’s those secret parts of yourself that you may have never shared with your partner…or maybe anyone else for that matter.

It’s the stuff that has stayed hidden away that you really don’t want to say – too scared to say — but maybe are thinking. It’s surrounded by the “if I share this stuff” my friend/partner/lover won’t like me/love me/will want to leave me.

And that is why being vulnerable with our inner world is directly linked to overcoming our fear of how our loved one may react. That is why vulnerability requires the courage to be truly authentic and real, letting your friend/partner/lover know all the sides of you, even the icky parts alongside the fear of the reveal.

Being vulnerable can be really scary. But it is the single most thing that will create trust and deep connection for a relationship to go the distance.

In a healthy relationship, both partners have a sense of connection and trust. Vulnerability creates emotional (and sometimes physical) intimacy and a closeness because you can feel safe to be your true self. It’s what creates a deeper sense of love and understanding.

In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen. And that, understandably, can feel emotionally risky….

To know that you are seen and loved for simply being your full self, to be with someone else in all of their vulnerability and love them for all that they are may just be one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. When you feel yourself starting to shut down out of fear in your relationship, notice if you can make the choice to be courageous and embrace vulnerability.”

Mask

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