Death…

Death1

Tonight I held you,
As I fought back the tears.
And grieved for your family,
That have loved you for years.

You became unwell,
There was nothing to do,
We watched through the window,
And increased your O2.

I called your family,
To see if anyone could attend.
Your family needed to know,
That this was the end.

But this virus is terrifying,
And people are shielding,
How can they be there,
When Covid is so unyielding.

I held your hand,
I wiped your face,
My gloved hand on skin,
As your breathing slows pace.

You’d still smile behind your mask,
And I’d try smile back.
To comfort and reassure you,
Is now my one and only task.

Your family called,
To say their goodbyes,
We stood with the phone,
And listened to their cries.

With tears rolling down our faces,
Into the masks we all wear.
We really wanted to help them,
And show them we care.

We woke you up,
So you could hear their voice.
We described your actions.
We had no other choice.

Their words filled with sorrow,
Their hearts played bare.
They wanted the time,
To show you, they care.

You looked peaceful,
And smiled at their call,
I hope it brought you comfort,
Standing there took my all.

We deal with death,
But not like this,
No family allowed,
To give you one last kiss.

But the next family will need us,
We will need to do the same.
But I hope I gave you good care.
And I will always remember your name.

By Sarah Pirie

HealthTribute to the health workers who have lost their lives fighting Covid-19

Desiderata: Words for Life

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Words for Life by Max Enhrmann

SkyImage by kamalpreet singh from Pixabay

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.

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

Credits:

What does a woman want?

close up photo of woman

Photo by Jonaorle on Pexels.com

Sigmund Freud once said that “the great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?’

We don’t know for sure what response he got when he posed that question to Princess Marie Bonaparte. It seems highly likely she replied “reliable orgasms”.

While this might be of importance to many woman, I’m not convinced that’s all they want. To me Bonaparte was responding more from a perspective of a researcher rather than a woman. She was doing a research on orgasms at that time.

As Randolph M. Nesse points out in his book Good reasons for bad feelings: insights from the frontier of evolutionary psychiatry “birth control and disease prevention have made sex more available to more people more often. … Opportunities for sexual relationships are now a world marketplace of desire and deception, from Match.com to Tinder.” Does this make women happier in life? Does this make men happier?

For some it probably does, while for others I think Bryan Adams’ song reflects it the best.

Women do want to be understood, cared about, respected, wanted and loved. I’m sure a lot of men want that too…

What about you? What do you want?

 

 

When two souls connect…

Love

Love is patient with a life
That brings its share of pain.
We know sometime there is an end
To the most stubborn rain.

We know the sun comes out again
On a world that’s fresh and new,
And all the gifts we freely give
Somewhere, sometime accrue.

We know sometimes we have to wait
For life to come around,
And sometimes that it won’t, but still
There’s some good to be found.

And even when things happen that
Your soul can hardly bear,
Know that I’ll be next to you;
My love is always there.

by Nicholas Gordon
(from http://www.poemsforfree.com )

A song only you can hear…

Love song

They say silence is Golden,
I believe it is true,
Because in that Golden silence,
my thoughts occur of you.

You are the flame in my candle
that lights the darkness of my room,
You are the scented flowers
that makes my heart full bloom.

You are the butterflies
that flicker in my stomach all day long,
When I know I will be holding you
before my day is done.

You are the stars that shimmer and shine,
You light up the skies above
In this Golden silence
it’s truly you I love.

You are the thunder of the night,
your lightning strikes whenever,
Into my soul that makes me whole,
and excites my heart forever.

You are my paradise, my oceans wide,
My mountains standing tall,
So in this Golden Silence
I love you most of all.

By Shelagh Bullman

Credits: Image from https://eduardklein.com/inspirational-quotes-about-love/