Tag Archives: Love

There Are No Accidents In Choosing The People We Love….

As per the Buddhist teaching, “there are no coincidences in life. The people we choose as partners have a purpose in our life. Whether it is to make us grow in specific areas of our life or to support us in our journey, it depends on the kind of connect we have with them. The effects of our interaction contribute to the real connections between ourselves and others so that they are never lost. This is more than just what your actions affect the world that we live in and will rebound from that world. This is about the effects of actions determining the connections you will encounter throughout all life times in this or any other realm of existence”.

Is it coincidence that we meet someone just at the right time when the odds of it happening are a million to one? Are chances meetings or coincidences just a distraction, or are they an indication that the nature of reality is very different from the way we habitually regard it? Jung talked of this kind of phenomenon in terms of synchronicity. It seems to happen more and more as one embarks on a spiritual path. I noticed it happen in a subtle form in begining and gradually being more pronounced since I embarked on the path to awareness. Simple instances like, thinking about a certain friend who has been out of touch and getting a phone call from them or even bumping into them accidently. More significant have been with people who absolutely were not in touch for years but were there on my mind – suddenly reappear and pick the friendship from where it was left.

Sometimes, people come in our lives as catalysts, to shake us, to remind us that it’s not to late, to break through our stagnant life patterns and other times we need them to remind us and to hold space for us.

Ironically, we may not understand the purpose of every person we meet in this life… In some ways, we have to look at the world as a giant fabric of vibrant colours, like a weave running all through it — some threads being smooth and gentle, while other uneven burlap. Each weave depicts a different meeting that has happened or yet to happen.

Though, not all encounters are supposed to last forever; sometimes, those encounters happen momentarily.. Perhaps it was to delay you, so that a mishap could be avoided or maybe even to arrange a meeting for you with a potential lover. Sometimes, the Universe sends us people to help us on our journey, even if they aren’t meant to contribute much or be a significant part of it.

The purpose of a relationship is to have the courage to see ourselves as we are… see the warts, the fear, the brokenness and the courage in us, that we are otherwise unconscious of.

The purpose of a relationship is to get under our skin, infuriate, overjoy and destroy us, so we can understand what drives us mad, what overwhelms us, and where we need to give ourselves love….and if you have a partner who has the courage to help you grow and is supportive of you as an individual, not feeding on your insecurities but stands beside you while you come undone and holds that space for you while you put yourself together…you’re home.

The purpose of a relationship is not to fix us, or heal us, or to make us whole and happy, it is to show us where we need fixing, and what parts of us are still broken, and yes, it is also not about being mocked or ridiculed or being belittled about your brokenness….it’s about both the partners understanding that nobody can do this work, or make us happy but ourselves.

So, roll your sleeves and have the courage to hold the space for the one you love – maybe they will come undone not once but several times…and so will you…have the patience to know, we all are capable of healing and loving deeply, authentically – given the chance.

When You Abandon Life…..

I pray you’ll be our eyes and watch us where we go.
And help us to be wise in times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer when we lose our way
Lead us to the place guide us with your grace

When stars go out each night, you are eternal star
Let this be our prayer, when shadows fill our day
How much faith there’s, Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day, Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe.
– (The Prayer )

The thing about untimely death is, it leaves you suspended. I seem to be losing people I love, cared for deeply – leave. Just like that. It’s as though my prayer list seems to be getting longer. I recently lost someone, who at one time was extended family. Time passed, alcohol managed to undo what years of caring could not hold. And just like that, in a small accident – he gave up on life…a life which I recall, being fulfilling, happy in spurts, but pulling along nonetheless. The thing with alcohol or any addiction is – it gnaws you till your bones – it leaves nothing. It can destroy you and the people involved if you haven’t soght professional help. More importantly, if, as a family you’ve not been strong together or not have been supported – it tears everyone up. A person with addiction requires a strong army of people who recognise that they have to stay committed for life to the person suffering. Everyone should be willing to chip in not letting just one person get crushed under the weight of being responsible. It may seem like a tall ask…but really it isn’t.

It left me wondering, does life abandon us…or do we choose to abandon life? While, I love reading about people who survived against odds – rose from the ashes, fought against odds and got a grip of their lives…but I wonder about those who didn’t…does life give up on them? What happens when for the enth time you are knocked down and you don’t have the strength to lift your head? What happens when you know, that you are deeply addicted and people around you are sick of helping you..are generally sick of you? Besides being shamed, how many people come forward and help?

Yes, somewhere, you do abandon yourself.

Shame arises from the painful message implied in abandonment: “You are not important. You are not valued.” This is the pain from which people need to heal. I don’t have the answers, but, I do know that, life cannot choose to abandon you since you are life in itself. Yes, the person suffering has to recognise and be willing to accept that space of acceptance…which can only happen with time.

There are some of us who need compassion and understanding more than the rest. If we can have the courage to keep shame aside and seek help, maybe there will be less broken people in this world.

May we all have timely wisdom to recognise this.

3 Signs You Are In A Co Dependent Relationship

Research defines codependency as a behavioural pattern in which you constantly seek approval or validation for your self esteem and identity. It can prevent you from having a healthy relationship and one in which you are constantly seeking the other persons attention and an inability to individually emotionally feel for yourself. Codependent people tend to display almost addictive behaviour which can turn into emotionally destructive behaviours.

It is true, relationships can be a boon or a challenge in our daily lives, depending on the kind of  partners we subconsciously choose or attract. From a soul growth perspective, we are drawn to people who may either activate our dormant triggers allowing us to work in areas of life which need healing or partners who collaborate with us on a soul level and become our cheer leaders while together we do the soul dance.

Codependency is easy to fall into, especially if you have had a childhood deprived of emotional support or any form of neglect in the childhood in which either you were left to fend for yourself or your emotional needs were brushed aside, making you crave for approval or trying to get love from people who could generally be difficult or avoidant of your emotional needs.   The dysfunction is so subtle, that initially in a relationship a partner who is being subjected to it, may feel flattered and wanted. But, once the charm dies the neediness can grate making the pull and push of the relationship incredibly painful to deal with on a daily basis.

  • You feel confined: Since the time you have been in the relationship, you have had to give up on your friends, there are no more “hanging out with the buddies” nights. You feel guilty about spending time with your friends fearing your partner may not like it. It could be that few of your good friends could be of the opposite sex and you may resent you having to give explanations to your partner. Relationships are not prison terms, if you feel restricted chances are it’s not a healthy relationship.
  • You can’t imagine a life without your partner: Yes, it’s cute and romantic doing things together, but if you don’t have a life of your own and depend upon your partner for creating  happiness or a sense of purpose in your life, you can wave your relationship a goodbye.
  • You give and give and then simmer in silent anger:  You mother your partner to a point that they start ignoring your needs. In a healthy relationship, there is give and take and mutual respect. You have to practice taking care of your needs instead of complain or feel let down when your partner refuses to do that for you. Rather than remind your partner or make them count the number of things you do for them, maybe you need to step out of the parenting relationship and take care of your inner self. If something does not feel right, have the courage to say it upfront and not let it fester like an infected wound. Face the fights and arguments and practice standing up for yourself. Either your relationship will evolve and change or you will have clarity in which direction to move.

Being a helpless spectator in your relationship is no fun. The truth is, no one can make us feel better about ourselves. This is self work. Yes, if you manage to find a secure partner who is willing to roll their sleeves and hold your hand while you do the work – it’s wonderful.

Love is being free while being together, its not living in fear or behaving in a scripted way.

 

The Truth About Vulnerability

\ vul•ner•a•ble: capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or being open to attack or damage. \

The bitter truth about being vulnerable is: it’s misunderstood. Remember the times, you were asked to get your sh*t together, get a grip of your life and reminded how old you were etc etc…

Being vulnerable is a strength few people understand and accept. Those who get overwhelmed by it look at it as a weakness, repulsed or embarrassed by the emotions they witness.

The truth is courage and vulnerability go hand in hand. Each cannot exist without the other.

However, do be careful as to who you share it with. People are often not comfortable dealing with complex emotions and instead of feeling supported,  you may end up feeling guilty about your feelings or develop feelings of shame or low self esteem.  You are also not a nut job if you share  your insecurities or sadness … all you are doing is looking for empathy and love.

According to Dr. Brown, disengagement is the most dangerous factor that erodes trust in a relationship. The only way to avoid this is to risk being vulnerable with your partner by asking for help, standing up for yourself, sharing unpopular opinions, and having faith in yourself and your partner.

I am a big believer of therapy. If your partner is closed to your vulnerability, seek a therapist. Get counselling done. We all need a hand to hold in our moments of darkness and there is no glory in suffering alone.

Take care of yourself , be courageous, be accountable for your own inner well being. And stop apologising for yourself.

Being Ruled The By Moon: Emotional Balance & Happiness

“She sings as the moon sings:
‘I am I, am I;
The greater grows my light
The further that I fly.’
All creation shivers
With that sweet cry.” –  W. B. Yeats

We often find some people literally wax and wan with the moon eclipses.  Moon, in astrology, is the ruler of zodiac Cancer. It speaks about our subconscious, things that move us and our personal desires. While on the one hand Sun reason represents our deepest personal needs, our basic habits and reactions, and our unconscious.

Where the Sun acts, the Moon reacts. Our sense of security, what anchors us, what moves us can be defined by where the Moon is placed in our charts. People with a strong moon placement come across as over emotional. This is more apparent,  if they are ruled by any of the water signs, Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces.

Rather than fight the tide which Moon brings upon, it’s important to focus on what is the message  of the Moon. Full moon can make you over emotional, especially if you are trying to suppress something that does not feel right. Listen to what your intuition is saying, listen to your body, your gut….what do you feel inside? This does not mean that if you are constantly feeling negative about others you should carry on doing so…maybe you are giving energy to things/people while you should be focussing on yourself.

For some of us, our Moons seem to drive our personalities more than any other planet or mainly Sun. For your peace of mind and happiness, not to indulge the effect of moon in your life beyond a point.

I’ve focused so far on negative emotions, but people often don’t trust their positive emotions, either, feeling that if they get too happy, some negative force is sure to be attracted to their good vibrations and attempt to ruin them. This may be called ” nothing good ever lasts,” “waiting for the other shoe to drop”, or “they’re just waiting for me to let down my guard before they strike.”

 Grant Lewi, in Astrology for the Millions, offered the most evocative description of the Moon, “When you “know what you mean but you can’t say it,” it is your Moon that knows it and your Sun that can’t say it. “Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears” are the thoughts of your Moon’s nature. The wordless ecstasy, the mute sorrow, the secret dream, the esoteric picture of yourself that you can’t get across to the world, or which the world doesn’t comprehend or value – these are the products of the Moon in your horoscope. When you are misunderstood, it is your Moon nature, expressed imperfectly through the Sun sign, that you feel is betrayed. When you know what you ought to do, but can’t find the right way to do it, it is your Moon that knows and your Sun that refuses to react in harmony. Also, when you “don’t know why I said that,” it was your Moon expressing despite your Sun (if you are innerly satisfied with the involuntary speech), or the Sun expressing against the will of the Moon (if you are displeased with what has slipped out). Things you know without thought – intuitions, hunches, instincts – are the products of the Moon. Modes of expression that you feel are truly your deepest self belong to the Moon: art, letters, creative work of any kind; sometimes love; sometimes business. Whatever you feel is most deeply yourself, whether or not you are able to do anything about it in the outer world, is the product of your Moon and of the sign your Moon occupies at birth.”

Pet Therapy And Your Emotional Health

Those of us who own pets know they make us happy. And thankfully, a growing body of scientific research is showing that our pets are good for our emotional well being.

I have forever had a dog and despite the inevitable heart break, this has been an never ending love affair. Whether you are dealing with depression or anxiety, pets have a way of calming you down. One study even indicates that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.

Research also indicates, when dealing with stressful situations at work or home  playing with your pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax. Research indicates, pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.

Besides your emotional well being, they also take care of your physical well being. They get you going, allowing you to blow off pent up stress and relax, distracting you from situations/ things you could be battling with and forcing you to be in the present.

While, pets are miracle mood enhancers, do ensure that you are taking care of them and not just using them to entertain you temporarily and then abandon them. Don’t scream/ shout at them, pets especially dogs are hyper sensitive about our moods. It’s like having a child at home. Imagine the emotional trauma you could cause to a being who is voiceless and unable to express his anxiety. In fact, pets can teach you emotional discipline with their unconditional love. If you see you dog hiding behind couches or going in another room and hiding – it’s a sure red flag for you not to have a pet.

Every time you walk through your door they will be as enthusiastic as they were when you first got them. Caring for your pets is extremely rewarding for your emotional health. With growing children in the house, pets can encourage expressing love, being responsible and being a kind human – which goes a long way in bringing up emotionally healthy adults.

Try and get a pet from the shelter, they make excellent companions. They teach you that though life is short, all you can do is love unconditionally and be grateful.

5 Signs Your Relationship Is For Keeps

We often look at love as the elixir that will save us from life. We get romantically involved and at times, more often than not, bad relationships make us wonder whether a certain relationship is “the one”?

Here are signs that the relationship is for keeps.

Respect

Yes, this is right above love, above everything else. Let me put it simply, if there’s basic respect towards each other – your relationship is for keeps. If there are tell tale signs of humiliating each other – even during fights it won’t last. You need to watch how you are treated during a fight. Does your partner respect boundaries or do they throw everything in the heat of the moment and burn the village down in their anger. If you cannot respect each other’s insecurities especially during a fight, you will fuel insecurity and a lack of trust in your relationship.

Friendship

The core of any relationship is being friends with each other and valuing that friendship above all. If you can laugh at yourself,  have the comfort of sharing your deepest self with your partner without feeling threatened, the relationship is for keeps. Whether you spend time doing nothing together or having the comfort of being in the same house yet doing your own thing, whether you are watching TV and your partner is reading a book are signs of a healthy and comfortable relationship.

Acceptance

If you can understand a simple concept, that your partner is different from you and it is not your life mission to change them – half your battle is won. Constructive feedback is great but if your partner is not open to any sort of feedback and is defensive or blows up every time you try and bring a non acceptable behaviour – take a look at your relationship again.  If you cannot wear your heart on your sleeve and are criticised for irrational things it’s a red flag. To put it simply,  a healthy relationship is where the couple accept each other and are not trying to create a mirror image of themselves.

Open Communication

If you able to have difficult conversations, without your partner walking off in a huff in between – you have a winner.  If you don’t have to think twice before saying anything and and feel you are  not walking on a land mine,  the relationship is for keeps. Couples who plan their future together, and work together to make them into a realty,  value each other. Planning a meaningful journey together and be able to have conversations around it are signs of healthy teamwork.

Trust

“Trust is a choice to be available, vulnerable and transparent in a relationship, because the person you’re trusting has proven worthy of your partnership through consistency in their honesty, integrity and dependability.”
Trust is much more than an instinct or a gut feel, people often confuse love and forgiveness with trust, while these can be given freely,  trust needs to be earned on merit alone. Relationships which have a consistent pattern, where the partners show up for each other and are consistent will weather many storms.

How Needy Are You?

“Don’t be needy, you will ruin your relationship” and “I can’t handle her neediness” or “needy people need to see a shrink”,  how often have we heard this from our friends, read on different blogs, contradicting theories on being needy.

In another perspective, people fear that if they respond to their partners’ emotional needs, then their partners will become more dependent and keep wanting more. To avoid this fear, they push  their partners away.

There is research showing just the opposite—that if a partner is responsive to dependency needs, the partner functions more autonomously likely because they feel more secure.  As human beings, we are wired to depend on one another. As humans, we like connecting with other people whether to listen or to be heard. Being on our own has the possibility of hampering our emotional growth.  As someone wise said, “You can’t be human all by yourself.”

Wanting to connect and attached is often confused with a person who is emotionally dependent and cannot think or feel for themselves. The shaming which gets done on a regular basis as simple as saying, “why don’t you get your sh** together”,  is used  conversationally, not realising the damage of insecurity it increases. There is no shame in needing your partner or loved one to be there for you in a relationship. If your partner feels awkward about your vulnerability or shames your need to be loved wholly, accepting as you are without pretences, you might want to take another look at your relationship.

The truth is, at some point or the other, we have all dealt with regret, emptiness and  self-hatred in our lives. Whether we accept it or resist, we want to be heard, to be accepted and to be understood.

Accept that you are someone who wants to rely on others, wants to trust, wants to love and be loved as deeply and authentically as possible….which will require you to bare your soul and be vulnerable. Ignore the naysayers who insist,  you have to be a perfect, highly functioning human being before you even consider entering into a relationship.

It’s the biggest myth of all….no one is perfect… ever.

You can rationalise your need for space, for doing your own thing on your own, but, people need loving relationships to thrive.

To my credit, I’ve understood few basic things. I understand that it’s pointless to be needy with people with whom you can’t be yourself…people who are not comfortable accepting who you are. My caustic sense of humour has helped me get by as has been my ability to write. That’s the thing about not dealing with your core – your inner being, you forget to take care of yourself – on what works for you, what makes you happy. You get so focused on the other persons needs that you forget you have any needs to begin with.

Sadly, all this does is, develop relationships which are fine on the surface, but if you were to scratch them, they fall apart. The fear to hide your true self, behind the easy, fun to get along with, low key intensity – works for everybody. So, you learn not to dive in too deep in relationships, skirt around the boundaries and emotions. After all, who wants a intense, complex person on their hands? The fear of letting out your neediness and the frustration which by now could have converted to anger is repressed constantly. Don’t let it out, stay cool, stay easy…that’s what people can deal with. Right?

What if I were to tell you, there are people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work with you on whatever it is that you need? Whether it was fear of abandonment, love – whatever you needed as a child or in during a bad relationship and didn’t receive.

Practice being real, with those few. Even if you feel stupid, incapable of a deep relationship (could be childhood neglect or result of bad relationships) have the courage to open yourself up – bit by bit. People who can see through your  bravado, bluster, and pain will hold you close.

Always remember, all you need is compassion and someone who can appreciate you for you are. You are just asking to be seen, heard, validated. And not just general appreciation. Specific appreciation helps, maybe your ability to write beautifully, your wit. Most importantly, your partners ability to reassure you on a regular basis that you will not be abandoned and the fact that love will stay.

No one enjoys or wants to be ‘needy. To deny a need is to deny a fact. By pure definition, it’s an absolute requirement. Need, not ‘want.’ I have never heard people say, ‘you’re want-y.’ Whether we accept it or not, we all have needs, which have to be acknowledged and it helps to know what they are.

Let’s not shame, scoff or worse ignore the loneliness and brokenness. Let’s accept and embrace the knowledge that we are capable of feeling isolated. Let not fear of loss of a relationship stop us to share our  stories and ourselves.

How To Connect Again In A Relationship

Always when we fight
I try to make you laugh
Until everything’s forgotten
I know you hate that

Then we watch TV
Until we fall asleep
Not every exciting
But it’s you and me
And we’ll always be together

“Intimacy is not purely physical, it’s the act of connecting with someone so deeply, you feel like you see into their soul.” 

There are times when I sense a distance in my relationship or  a lack of closeness. I understand this as a time to centre myself and quieten the din in my head. Its a time to listen from my heart. In a world where we are in a hurry to fix things quickly,  somewhere we have forgotten that at most times nothing needs to be fixed, not you not your partner not your dog. You just need to be in the present and acknowledge the person in front of you and what they mean to you.

There is a fine balance to be developed between containing – (as when our anger is on the verge of turning into hostility) and expressing (when our pent up frustration needs a voice) which when found can lead to nirvana i.e.; emotional intimacy. There are differing view points on containing and expressing. Especially if you are viewed as a hysteric by your partner or you view them as repressed. But, there can be another approach, where space can be created for meaningful dialogue and a quite understanding so it’s neither perceived as a dramatic vent or a sullen silence. Imagine emotional restraint and emotional uninhibitedness in sync, coexisting compassionately.
If the relationship has been toxic with a lot of emotional abuse and there is no choice but to walk away – without consciously wallowing in self pity or living in the past. Choose to be in the present.
The only way to have deep lasting relationships is to jump in deep, without prioritising your friends, parents, kids.
Your relationship has to be kept first, given a priority above everything else. This is the only secret you need to know in order to have a deep, authentic bond with your partner.

Gone Too Soon….

Like A Comet, Blazing ‘Cross The Evening Sky 
Gone Too Soon
Like A Rainbow, Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon
Like The Loss Of Sunlight, On A Cloudy Afternoon
Gone Too Soon
Like A Castle, Built Upon A Sandy Beach
Gone Too Soon (MJ) 

I think in a way we always grieve. About our innocence, about loving fiercely, carelessly and about losing people we love dearly too early to death.

I accept that many things in life are a mystery and maybe there is peace in accepting things as there are. We  can have lengthy theological discussions about God, his existence or even question the “higher power” and have endless debates on why good people need to suffer and the evil one’s get away with murder. Do people who die young or in bizarre accidents or illnesses didn’t deserve to live longer? Do people who live long lives have some unfinished business from the past? Karma? Are things “meant to be”?

Maybe some of us are destined to live longer as our soul still needs to evolve more, learn more lessons, be it through challenging family or work situations….maybe people who die young were evolved souls …maybe they taught us quickly or left us in a space which forced our soul growth or evolvement. Maybe we would have never been ready if these people had not touched our lives or transformed us in some way.  This is very likely.

When people experience a near death experience, it makes them look at life with a totally different perspective. They tend to do a sifting of what’s important and what’s not and start focussing on doing things they love. It’s not strange to find people post this experience to give up their high flying careers and pursue a path of pure happiness. I call it the “soul walk” Cliched as it may be, the realisation that there is a price to pay for each extra buck that is earned and what we are losing along the way cannot be replaced again, can be a very humbling experience. So, in a  way, near death or traumatic experiences are good in a twisted way. They set us free.  They remove the fear of how we are perceived. It becomes easier to shed pretences, not be worried about tags, societal pressures and pursue a life which is in sync with the soul.

For me, losing someone drove me to push myself to connect within myself and listen closely to what my soul wanted. There are times, when I do feel I can’t see the path ahead clearly, but through my darkest and challenging times I have formed the deepest bond with myself. I no longer ignore the voice inside, I know it has held me in good faith – in fact at times, that is all I had.

When we learn to move away from fear, feel free to pursue what we love, connect with people authentically and change the negative experience to self growth, we create a space of happiness.

I don’t think death is a terrible thing…yes, the loss it creates for the people it leaves behind can be devastating and even debilitating . But if, what if we were to consider,  that a soul is just here for an x period of time doing it’s chosen task… whether it was something that it had come to learn or that it had come to share. Maybe,  that soul chose to be in your life for just that short time, so it could enrich you for the rest of yours… Maybe that was the only goal of that soul…

Grieving, I feel should be embraced, accepted and not shamed or shunned. When people near you grieve, rather than feel incredulous on their inability after so many years of still grieving, empathise. We shouldn’t be made to feel bad about a loss that happened years back. Of course, one should not be in a constant state of mourning or not be connected with the present. Acceptance in fact is a state of being in the present, in the now.

We all seek happiness through some form of perfection in our lives and at times the perfection becomes the journey and the goal. The truth is, life doesn’t always give you what you think you want. Life does give you some truly wonderful opportunities and some average one’s….but true happiness is entirely dependent on the experience you are choosing to respond with.