“India shaped my mind, anchored my identity, influenced my beliefs, and made me who I am. …
India matters to me and I would like to matter to India.”
― Shashi Tharoor
As I continue in this relationship series and also pack for my trip to India, I am feeling a little reminiscent of my previous trip to India.
Today, I have a video blog. It is a little self-indulgent, but I’ll just present it as one way of being in relationship with oneself. Enjoy!
Travel has always created magical changes in my life and hopefully that of others. When I sat at the Tomb of Mother Teresa I cried and cried. It was cleansing and healing and she has now come to be one of my guides. I look forward to the many souls I will meet in the next few weeks! Blessings to all who read this post!
“They danced slow circles in the sand, Javier singing the words to the Spanish version of the song, the melancholy music putting a strange ache in his chest, an ache he saw reflected in her eyes. Was she feeling what he was feeling?”
― Pamela Clare, First Strike
In Spokane, it is warmer down by the river and it was a beautiful morning for a walk. A group of us gathered to explore People’s Park and then meet at the Elk for lunch and conversation.
Most of us are single and so we had a fun discussion about relationships. Organically, the conversation drifted toward former relationships, dating and intimacy. It makes sense that how one behaves on a first date depends on values, religion, feeling safe, past behavior and I am sure a boatload of other reasons. Note to self – boatload – great Scrabble word.
Keeping with the theme of relationships, after we shared what we enjoyed about past relationships and what we wanted to create in the future, I created some questions to ponder.
- If you meet someone and there is strong physical attraction, do you kiss on the first date?
- How long do you need to know someone before you become sexually active?
- How many dates before you become exclusive?
- Once you are exclusive, is it okay for him/her to stay friends his/her ex?
- What do you do to scratch the surface and see what he/she is really made of?
- What do you do when he/she says they love you on the first date?
- When you first meet, do you believe what he/she tell you or do you wait to meet his/her friends or family?
- How do you tell him/her you are not interested, without hurting his/her feelings?
What are your beliefs about first dates and relationships?
It was deep into his fiery heart
He took the dust of Joan of Arc,
And then she clearly understood
If he was fire, oh then she must be wood.
I saw her wince, I saw her cry,
I saw the glory in her eye.
Myself I long for love and light,
But must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?
– Leonard Cohen
In a previous blog we looked at how to know when you are in a dysfunctional relationship. Now, let’s look at addictive relationships. These relationships tend to begin quickly and move fast! The beginning is a roller coaster of fun and quickly begins to crash. The attachment is strong because the other person matches your family experience. It is familiar. Generally, those who become relationally addicted or codependent come from alcoholic or drug addicted home.
Here are some Characteristics of an Addictive Relationship.
1. Your needs are not being met.
2. You put your partner’s needs above your own.
3. Something always needs to be processed or fixed.
4. You smile when you are angry.
5. You are afraid to rock the boat.
6. You vacillate between being madly in love and then hurt and angry.
7. Your partner may be emotionally or physically abusive.
8. You make excuses for your partner’s behavior.
9. You experience shame when your partner makes a mistake.
10. You are diminished in the relationship.
11. You know your relationship is not good, but you can’t fix it.
12. You feel trapped, but don’t believe anyone else would love you.
13. You find yourself crying all the time and trying harder and harder.
There is help and the process of healing can be extraordinary.
Recovered codependents, because of their keen abilities are often very successful in many areas of their lives.
The book Codependent No More by Melody Beatty is a good place to start. You can also find a 12 Step Meeting. If your partner is addicted then Al-Anon is a great step. If not, if you had alcoholic, drug-addicted, or dysfunctional parents, the 12 Step Program Adult Children of Alcoholics is helpful. You can also find help with a local counselor drug treatment agency.
Focusing on relationships this year makes me aware of how many relationships we have in a given day. After a great massage (relationship) and feeling tired and hungry, I met with the seamstress (relationship) who is making the pants to go under my Shalwar Kameez. This is the dress I will wear to the wedding in India on February 3rd.
We talked fabric, which we both love, and although I felt like I was in a big hurry, because I was focusing on relationships this year, I chose to be more present. I slowed down, conversed and listened to all she had to say. In the past, I would have been short, quick, and focused on getting the task done and getting out the door. I really enjoyed being attentive and learning about her business and also realized how pleasant it was to hear her talk with the fabric store employees, who knew her well. I could see she had developed some connective relationships with them as they laughed and shared with each other.
This shift in perception, to slow down, listen, and be present can be life changing. If you to are too busy to connect and be present to yourself and others, join with me in this new adventure!
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
When talking about relationships, love is in the forefront. Close your eyes and focus in your heart and feel who it is that fills your heart. Allow memories and images to come up that fill you with love.
This is a practice that can increase your happiness, lighten your mood and shift your attitude. Isn’t it amazing how much we can shift what we are feeling through a simple image of those we love?
Today would be a good day to reach out to a loved one. You can make a call, text or email them, visit them or send them a gift. Our relationships are sacred and creating a memory with them can last forever.
When you cannot be with a loved one for some reason, you can also focus in your heart, bring your consciousness up out of the top of your head, up into the heavens. Imagine the person standing there with you and send love to the person through your heart. This can heal a wounded relationship and bring peace to one who is missing you. You may be surprised when they call you suddenly!