Archive | March, 2010

To Harm Or To Heal

23 Mar
 
Seeing as how there is controversy & censorship in the air as of late amongst my fellow network friends and in my own personal life, I’ve decided to post this blog from Barbara (of Barbara’s Tchatzkahs). As usual, enjoy!
 
Writing has always been a personal passion. For years I didn’t even dare really do it consistently in dread of bringing down the wrath of my ex who would pick apart and demean everything.

When I was younger it was my mother – and I wouldn’t write except when I had to because my diaries were opened and made fun of and journals became frustrating when I learned I had to edit myself to keep secrets. Teachers would read my words and evaluate them. But every day what we write & say is being evaluated by the hearts and minds of those who hear them, as well as the One who hears everything.

I believe words have energy. In my Torah classes we often discuss how something was written, why it was used once or twice, how the sentence was constructed and its deeper meaning. No matter how many times we read passages, I still find something new in them. And Gematria breaks down the numerical value of words and names to their cosmic elements and energy.

How we use language can inform, irreparably harm or heal.

"Abuse of truth ought to be as much punishment as the introduction of falsehood," – Pascal.

Words are used against us by media, politicians, other people, bullies and those who exploit the frailty of others. Words can be used for us in power documents like the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

Always tell the truth and mind your words. Are you opening your mouth or using your keyboard to spread anger, hate & frustration? Or do you hope to inform, bring light and stir minds & hearts?

Words do have power – ask yourself how will you use the responsibility of that power. – Barbara

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To Harm Or To Heal

23 Mar
 
Seeing as how there is controversy & censorship in the air as of late amongst my fellow network friends and in my own personal life, I’ve decided to post this blog from Barbara (of Barbara’s Tchatzkahs). As usual, enjoy!
 
Writing has always been a personal passion. For years I didn’t even dare really do it consistently in dread of bringing down the wrath of my ex who would pick apart and demean everything.

When I was younger it was my mother – and I wouldn’t write except when I had to because my diaries were opened and made fun of and journals became frustrating when I learned I had to edit myself to keep secrets. Teachers would read my words and evaluate them. But every day what we write & say is being evaluated by the hearts and minds of those who hear them, as well as the One who hears everything.

I believe words have energy. In my Torah classes we often discuss how something was written, why it was used once or twice, how the sentence was constructed and its deeper meaning. No matter how many times we read passages, I still find something new in them. And Gematria breaks down the numerical value of words and names to their cosmic elements and energy.

How we use language can inform, irreparably harm or heal.

"Abuse of truth ought to be as much punishment as the introduction of falsehood," – Pascal.

Words are used against us by media, politicians, other people, bullies and those who exploit the frailty of others. Words can be used for us in power documents like the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

Always tell the truth and mind your words. Are you opening your mouth or using your keyboard to spread anger, hate & frustration? Or do you hope to inform, bring light and stir minds & hearts?

Words do have power – ask yourself how will you use the responsibility of that power. – Barbara

To Harm Or To Heal

23 Mar
 
Seeing as how there is controversy & censorship in the air as of late amongst my fellow network friends and in my own personal life, I’ve decided to post this blog from Barbara (of Barbara’s Tchatzkahs). As usual, enjoy!
 
Writing has always been a personal passion. For years I didn’t even dare really do it consistently in dread of bringing down the wrath of my ex who would pick apart and demean everything.

When I was younger it was my mother – and I wouldn’t write except when I had to because my diaries were opened and made fun of and journals became frustrating when I learned I had to edit myself to keep secrets. Teachers would read my words and evaluate them. But every day what we write & say is being evaluated by the hearts and minds of those who hear them, as well as the One who hears everything.

I believe words have energy. In my Torah classes we often discuss how something was written, why it was used once or twice, how the sentence was constructed and its deeper meaning. No matter how many times we read passages, I still find something new in them. And Gematria breaks down the numerical value of words and names to their cosmic elements and energy.

How we use language can inform, irreparably harm or heal.

"Abuse of truth ought to be as much punishment as the introduction of falsehood," – Pascal.

Words are used against us by media, politicians, other people, bullies and those who exploit the frailty of others. Words can be used for us in power documents like the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

Always tell the truth and mind your words. Are you opening your mouth or using your keyboard to spread anger, hate & frustration? Or do you hope to inform, bring light and stir minds & hearts?

Words do have power – ask yourself how will you use the responsibility of that power. – Barbara

on setting the table for whom the bell doth toll

12 Mar
 
The following is an excerpt from Barbara’s Tchatzkahs March 12, 2010 newsletter & is my belated contribution to International Women’s Week
 

The Toll of Abuse on Women

For the women I counsel


by Michele Toomey, PhD

Abuse that begins in childhood takes the highest toll. Children are just forming their view of the world, their sense of who they are in relation to the world, and where the power lies. Abused girls tend to learn that they are unworthy and have little or no power and that the bullies are superior and have all the power. Some abused girls react rebelliously and counterattack, becoming abusers themselves, but they are the minority. Either way, childhood abuse takes a toll that has a lifetime effect.

 

The most devastating toll is the self-abuse that evolves out of being abused. Children think they deserve the abuse, and they turn on themselves. Instead of learning how to live intimately and at one with themselves, in keeping with the integrity they were born with, they are at war with themselves, violating themselves and their integrity. They learn to say to themselves the abusive words and phrases that have been directed at them. They form their self-image around the unworthiness and inadequacy that the hostile messages from others defined them as: stupid, ugly, and bad. They feel not wanted, not deserving and not good. They are diminished, often depressed, and always damaged. There is no limit to the emotional toll of abuse. It destroys a child’s sense of well-being, strips away its sense of worth, and leaves it as a violated shell, unable to recover from the onslaught of abuse without believing, on some level, that they deserve it.

If the child is a girl, she is particularly vulnerable to these assaults. Gender roles are still quite clear that boys are to get angry when attacked and should fight back, while girls get hurt and cry, and should look for someone else to protect them. Unfortunately, for abused girls, there is either no one to protect them or they think there’s no one who will protect them. So, if she can’t break out of the gender role, a girl is trapped by the abuse and the abuser. She tries to please, hoping that if she’s a "good girl" she won’t be abused. When that doesn’t work, she begins to doubt her worth. Certainly if she knew how to do it right, "goodness" would protect her. Or so goes the myth. Since she can’t and it doesn’t, then she concludes that she is not good enough, she is bad, unworthy, deserving of the abuse. That is emotional toll.

She may try to become invisible, get really quiet, withdraw, not come to anyone’s attention, just live in a world of her own. This survival technique serves to diminish her. Yet, even an apparently invisible child in an abusive environment, continues to get abused. How can it be that no matter how quiet and withdrawn she gets, she’s still abused? Obviously, she’s not small and quiet enough. She must continue to try harder and get smaller, quieter, more invisible. That’s emotional toll.

So. this unworthy, bad, still not small enough girl, can make no sense out of abuse. If she can’t figure it out, she must be stupid. They are right. She’s also stupid, very, very stupid. What hope is there for her? She’s unworthy, bad, and now stupid. That unbearable combination of traits becomes her self-image. That is emotional toll.

But, now comes the final violating stroke. The guillotine of a psychological beheading. She begins to hate herself. She’s failed at everything she’s tried. The abuse continues. She has blamed herself for every failure. There’s nothing left but to despise who she is. If she were more worthy, good, smart, and successful, all would be well. But she is unworthy, bad, stupid, and a failure. She deserves to be abused and she most certainly deserves to be hated and despised.

The destructive effects of abuse have done their job well. She no longer needs another to violate her. She now knows the routine and she’s caught in the corrupting pattern of it. Her inner dialogue will now be an inner diatribe. She will harangue herself. She will verbally and sometimes physically mutilate herself. Her success is measured by her suffering. Suffering is her lot. The emotional toll is now an emotional rack that gets stretched regularly by herself.

Not all abused women were abused children, but many, if not most of them are. Abused children are prime targets for becoming abused adults. However, even women who had happy childhoods and loving parents, are susceptible to becoming victims of abuse. The gender role messages are in the very air we breathe. If you are a good woman, loving, generous, hardworking and nice, you will have a loving partnership with a strong, good man who will protect you and together you’ll have a good life. If and when this expectation isn’t met, women are set-up to blame themselves, and the abusive pattern begins. Maybe she’s not pretty enough, thin enough, understanding enough, generous enough. Maybe she’s not enough.

 

This self-doubt can open the floodgates to all the other ways a woman gets caught in blaming herself for being abused. The love and need for a man coupled with self-blame and self-hatred is often more than sufficient to lock a woman into enduring abuse for years. It is a vicious cycle in which abusing herself is the key. The one thing she becomes successful at is enduring abuse, her own and others. To be free, she must stop abusing herself.

Self-loathing is the ultimate outcome of abuse directed at women, and not all abused women become obvious or clear in their self-hatred and abuse, but some variation on this theme is present in every abused woman. My question and my challenge to all women is: How dare we tolerate such horrific emotional devastation from abuse directed at women, and why don’t we take a stronger stand and join together, refusing to keep silent anymore? We need to be a loud and vibrant part of the momentum that runs counter to the gender role and the norm, refusing to blame ourselves and each other for our abuse. We need to join hands, join voices and confront, first ourselves, then each other, and then the world as we demand intolerance to verbal as well as physical abuse of women.

 

on setting the table for whom the bell doth toll

12 Mar
 
The following is an excerpt from Barbara’s Tchatzkahs March 12, 2010 newsletter & is my belated contribution to International Women’s Week
 

The Toll of Abuse on Women

For the women I counsel


by Michele Toomey, PhD

Abuse that begins in childhood takes the highest toll. Children are just forming their view of the world, their sense of who they are in relation to the world, and where the power lies. Abused girls tend to learn that they are unworthy and have little or no power and that the bullies are superior and have all the power. Some abused girls react rebelliously and counterattack, becoming abusers themselves, but they are the minority. Either way, childhood abuse takes a toll that has a lifetime effect.

 

The most devastating toll is the self-abuse that evolves out of being abused. Children think they deserve the abuse, and they turn on themselves. Instead of learning how to live intimately and at one with themselves, in keeping with the integrity they were born with, they are at war with themselves, violating themselves and their integrity. They learn to say to themselves the abusive words and phrases that have been directed at them. They form their self-image around the unworthiness and inadequacy that the hostile messages from others defined them as: stupid, ugly, and bad. They feel not wanted, not deserving and not good. They are diminished, often depressed, and always damaged. There is no limit to the emotional toll of abuse. It destroys a child’s sense of well-being, strips away its sense of worth, and leaves it as a violated shell, unable to recover from the onslaught of abuse without believing, on some level, that they deserve it.

If the child is a girl, she is particularly vulnerable to these assaults. Gender roles are still quite clear that boys are to get angry when attacked and should fight back, while girls get hurt and cry, and should look for someone else to protect them. Unfortunately, for abused girls, there is either no one to protect them or they think there’s no one who will protect them. So, if she can’t break out of the gender role, a girl is trapped by the abuse and the abuser. She tries to please, hoping that if she’s a "good girl" she won’t be abused. When that doesn’t work, she begins to doubt her worth. Certainly if she knew how to do it right, "goodness" would protect her. Or so goes the myth. Since she can’t and it doesn’t, then she concludes that she is not good enough, she is bad, unworthy, deserving of the abuse. That is emotional toll.

She may try to become invisible, get really quiet, withdraw, not come to anyone’s attention, just live in a world of her own. This survival technique serves to diminish her. Yet, even an apparently invisible child in an abusive environment, continues to get abused. How can it be that no matter how quiet and withdrawn she gets, she’s still abused? Obviously, she’s not small and quiet enough. She must continue to try harder and get smaller, quieter, more invisible. That’s emotional toll.

So. this unworthy, bad, still not small enough girl, can make no sense out of abuse. If she can’t figure it out, she must be stupid. They are right. She’s also stupid, very, very stupid. What hope is there for her? She’s unworthy, bad, and now stupid. That unbearable combination of traits becomes her self-image. That is emotional toll.

But, now comes the final violating stroke. The guillotine of a psychological beheading. She begins to hate herself. She’s failed at everything she’s tried. The abuse continues. She has blamed herself for every failure. There’s nothing left but to despise who she is. If she were more worthy, good, smart, and successful, all would be well. But she is unworthy, bad, stupid, and a failure. She deserves to be abused and she most certainly deserves to be hated and despised.

The destructive effects of abuse have done their job well. She no longer needs another to violate her. She now knows the routine and she’s caught in the corrupting pattern of it. Her inner dialogue will now be an inner diatribe. She will harangue herself. She will verbally and sometimes physically mutilate herself. Her success is measured by her suffering. Suffering is her lot. The emotional toll is now an emotional rack that gets stretched regularly by herself.

Not all abused women were abused children, but many, if not most of them are. Abused children are prime targets for becoming abused adults. However, even women who had happy childhoods and loving parents, are susceptible to becoming victims of abuse. The gender role messages are in the very air we breathe. If you are a good woman, loving, generous, hardworking and nice, you will have a loving partnership with a strong, good man who will protect you and together you’ll have a good life. If and when this expectation isn’t met, women are set-up to blame themselves, and the abusive pattern begins. Maybe she’s not pretty enough, thin enough, understanding enough, generous enough. Maybe she’s not enough.

 

This self-doubt can open the floodgates to all the other ways a woman gets caught in blaming herself for being abused. The love and need for a man coupled with self-blame and self-hatred is often more than sufficient to lock a woman into enduring abuse for years. It is a vicious cycle in which abusing herself is the key. The one thing she becomes successful at is enduring abuse, her own and others. To be free, she must stop abusing herself.

Self-loathing is the ultimate outcome of abuse directed at women, and not all abused women become obvious or clear in their self-hatred and abuse, but some variation on this theme is present in every abused woman. My question and my challenge to all women is: How dare we tolerate such horrific emotional devastation from abuse directed at women, and why don’t we take a stronger stand and join together, refusing to keep silent anymore? We need to be a loud and vibrant part of the momentum that runs counter to the gender role and the norm, refusing to blame ourselves and each other for our abuse. We need to join hands, join voices and confront, first ourselves, then each other, and then the world as we demand intolerance to verbal as well as physical abuse of women.

 

on setting the table for whom the bell doth toll

12 Mar
 
The following is an excerpt from Barbara’s Tchatzkahs March 12, 2010 newsletter & is my belated contribution to International Women’s Week
 

The Toll of Abuse on Women

For the women I counsel


by Michele Toomey, PhD

Abuse that begins in childhood takes the highest toll. Children are just forming their view of the world, their sense of who they are in relation to the world, and where the power lies. Abused girls tend to learn that they are unworthy and have little or no power and that the bullies are superior and have all the power. Some abused girls react rebelliously and counterattack, becoming abusers themselves, but they are the minority. Either way, childhood abuse takes a toll that has a lifetime effect.

 

The most devastating toll is the self-abuse that evolves out of being abused. Children think they deserve the abuse, and they turn on themselves. Instead of learning how to live intimately and at one with themselves, in keeping with the integrity they were born with, they are at war with themselves, violating themselves and their integrity. They learn to say to themselves the abusive words and phrases that have been directed at them. They form their self-image around the unworthiness and inadequacy that the hostile messages from others defined them as: stupid, ugly, and bad. They feel not wanted, not deserving and not good. They are diminished, often depressed, and always damaged. There is no limit to the emotional toll of abuse. It destroys a child’s sense of well-being, strips away its sense of worth, and leaves it as a violated shell, unable to recover from the onslaught of abuse without believing, on some level, that they deserve it.

If the child is a girl, she is particularly vulnerable to these assaults. Gender roles are still quite clear that boys are to get angry when attacked and should fight back, while girls get hurt and cry, and should look for someone else to protect them. Unfortunately, for abused girls, there is either no one to protect them or they think there’s no one who will protect them. So, if she can’t break out of the gender role, a girl is trapped by the abuse and the abuser. She tries to please, hoping that if she’s a "good girl" she won’t be abused. When that doesn’t work, she begins to doubt her worth. Certainly if she knew how to do it right, "goodness" would protect her. Or so goes the myth. Since she can’t and it doesn’t, then she concludes that she is not good enough, she is bad, unworthy, deserving of the abuse. That is emotional toll.

She may try to become invisible, get really quiet, withdraw, not come to anyone’s attention, just live in a world of her own. This survival technique serves to diminish her. Yet, even an apparently invisible child in an abusive environment, continues to get abused. How can it be that no matter how quiet and withdrawn she gets, she’s still abused? Obviously, she’s not small and quiet enough. She must continue to try harder and get smaller, quieter, more invisible. That’s emotional toll.

So. this unworthy, bad, still not small enough girl, can make no sense out of abuse. If she can’t figure it out, she must be stupid. They are right. She’s also stupid, very, very stupid. What hope is there for her? She’s unworthy, bad, and now stupid. That unbearable combination of traits becomes her self-image. That is emotional toll.

But, now comes the final violating stroke. The guillotine of a psychological beheading. She begins to hate herself. She’s failed at everything she’s tried. The abuse continues. She has blamed herself for every failure. There’s nothing left but to despise who she is. If she were more worthy, good, smart, and successful, all would be well. But she is unworthy, bad, stupid, and a failure. She deserves to be abused and she most certainly deserves to be hated and despised.

The destructive effects of abuse have done their job well. She no longer needs another to violate her. She now knows the routine and she’s caught in the corrupting pattern of it. Her inner dialogue will now be an inner diatribe. She will harangue herself. She will verbally and sometimes physically mutilate herself. Her success is measured by her suffering. Suffering is her lot. The emotional toll is now an emotional rack that gets stretched regularly by herself.

Not all abused women were abused children, but many, if not most of them are. Abused children are prime targets for becoming abused adults. However, even women who had happy childhoods and loving parents, are susceptible to becoming victims of abuse. The gender role messages are in the very air we breathe. If you are a good woman, loving, generous, hardworking and nice, you will have a loving partnership with a strong, good man who will protect you and together you’ll have a good life. If and when this expectation isn’t met, women are set-up to blame themselves, and the abusive pattern begins. Maybe she’s not pretty enough, thin enough, understanding enough, generous enough. Maybe she’s not enough.

 

This self-doubt can open the floodgates to all the other ways a woman gets caught in blaming herself for being abused. The love and need for a man coupled with self-blame and self-hatred is often more than sufficient to lock a woman into enduring abuse for years. It is a vicious cycle in which abusing herself is the key. The one thing she becomes successful at is enduring abuse, her own and others. To be free, she must stop abusing herself.

Self-loathing is the ultimate outcome of abuse directed at women, and not all abused women become obvious or clear in their self-hatred and abuse, but some variation on this theme is present in every abused woman. My question and my challenge to all women is: How dare we tolerate such horrific emotional devastation from abuse directed at women, and why don’t we take a stronger stand and join together, refusing to keep silent anymore? We need to be a loud and vibrant part of the momentum that runs counter to the gender role and the norm, refusing to blame ourselves and each other for our abuse. We need to join hands, join voices and confront, first ourselves, then each other, and then the world as we demand intolerance to verbal as well as physical abuse of women.

 

Top 10 Tips for PLRs

4 Mar
 
Numero uno, kick up your heels!
 

10 Ways to Have Peaceful Loving Relationships

a get-well story by Lori Deschene with typos left unëditted  ~ photos provided by Internet copied & recaptioned by Li’l ë

Love & compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ~Dalai Lama

Though Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, this is not a post about romance. It’s about any relationship–with your brother, your mother, your coworker, your friend.

And I admit I am not an expert.

I’ve made a million and one mistakes in relationships. I’ve expected too much. Or not asked for what I needed in fear of rocking the boat. I’ve been competitive. I’ve been suspisious. I’ve been dependent. I’d like to think what redeems me from all these mistakes is that I’ve also been honest.

Being self aware, in my opinion, is far more valuable than being perfect–mostly because the former is attainable and helpful, while the latter is neither.

Relationships are not easy. They mirror everything we feel about ourselves and the way the world works. When you’ve had a bad day, the people around you seem difficult. When you’re not happy with yourself, your relationships seem to be lacking.

If you’ve ever gotten in a fight, only to find yourself wondering what you were really upset about, this post may help you. If you’ve ever been disappointed because someone didn’t meet your expectations, this post may help you, too. Feel walked on and unheard? You guessed it–there’s likely something in here that will help you change that.

We don’t live in a vacuum. We have thoughts and feelings that can be confusing. Other people do, too. And just like in the movie Crash, they don’t always collide smoothly.

 Now this just about takes the cake, doanit?

When I apply these ideas–which I do better sometimes than others–I feel confident, strong, compassionate, and peaceful  in my interactions. I hope they can do the same for you.

1. Do what you need to do for you.

Everyone has personal needs, whether it’s going to the gym after work or taking some alone time on Saturday morning. If someone asks you to do something and your instinct is to honor you own need, do that. I’m not saying you can’t make sacrifices sometimes, but it’s important to make a habit of taking care of yourself. (More on this: 10 Ways to Balance Self Interest & Sacrifice).

Someone once told me people are like glasses of water. If you don’t do what you have to do to keep your glass full, you’ll need to take it from someone else–which leaves them half full. Fill your own glass so you can feel whole and complete in your relationships.

2. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

It’s tempting to doubt people. To assume your boyfriend meant to hurt you by not inviting you out with his friends, or your friend meant to make you feel inadequate by flaunting her money. People who care about you want you to feel happy, even if sometimes they get too wrapped up in their own problems to show it well.

Sometimes they may be hurtful and mean it–let’s not pretend we’re all angels. But that won’t be the norm. It will likely be when they’re hurting and don’t know what to do with it. Odds are they’ll feel bad and apologize later. If you want to get good will, share it by seeing the best in the people you love. When you assume the best you often inspire it.

 CLACK CLACK CLACK… I can’t hear you!!!

3. Look at yourself for the problem first.

When you feel unhappy with yourself, it’s easy to find something wrong in a relationship. If you blame another person for what you’re feeling, the solution is on them. But this is actually faulty logic. For starters, it gives them all the control. And secondly, it usually doesn’t solve the problem since you didn’t actually address the root cause.

Next time you feel the need to blame someone for your feelings–something they did or should have done–ask yourself if there’s something else going on. You may find there’s something underlying: something you did or should have done for you. Take responsibility for the problem and you have power to create a solution.

4. Be mindful of projecting.

In psychology, projecting refers to denying your own traits and then ascribing them to the outside world or other people. For example, if you’re not a loyal and trusting friend, you may assume your friends are all out to get you. It’s a defense mechanism that allows you to avoid the discomfort of acknowledging your weaknesses. There’s no faster way to put a rift in your relationships.

This comes back to down to self awareness, and it’s hard work. Acknowledging your flaws isn’t fun; but if you don’t, you’ll continue seeing them in everyone around you. And you’ll continue to hurt. Next time you see something negative in someone else, ask yourself if it’s true for you. It might not be–but if it is, identifying it can help create peace in that relationship.

5. Choose your battles.

 Come hell or high water, I’d risk my neck for you…

now where have I heard that one before?

Everyone knows someone who makes everything a fight. If you question them about something, you can expect an argument. If you comment on something they did, you’ll probably get yelled at. Even a compliment could create a confrontation. Some people just like to fight–maybe to channel negativity they’re carrying around about the world or themselves.

On the one hand, you have to tell people when there’s something bothering you. That’s the only way to address problems. On the other hand, you don’t have to let everything bother you. When I’m not sure if I need to bring something up, I ask myself these few questions:

  • Does this happen often and leave me feeling bad?
  • Does this really matter in the grand scheme of things?
  • Can I empathize with their feelings instead of dwelling on my insecurity?

6. Confront compassionately and clearly.

When you attack someone, their natural instinct is to defend themself–which gets you nowhere. You end up having a loud conversation where two people do their best to prove they’re right and the other one is wrong. It’s rarely that black and white. It’s more likely you both have points, but you’re both too stubborn to meet in the middle.

If you approach someone with compassion, you will open their hearts and minds. Show them you understand where they’re coming from, and they’ll be willing to see your side. That gives you a chance to express yourself and your expectations clearly. And when you let people know what you need at the right time in the right way, they’re more likely to give that to you.

7. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable…

 There are all kinds of ways you can feel vulnerable in relationships: When you express your feelings for someone else. When you’re honest about yourself or your past. When you admit you made a mistake. People don’t always do these things because they want to maintain a sense of power.

Power allows you a superficial sense of control, whereas true, vulnerable being allows you a sense of authenticity. That’s love: being your true self and allowing someone else to do the same without letting fear and judgment tear it down. It’s like Jimi Hendrix said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” I discussed this more in-depth in 5 Rules for Life.

8. Think before acting on emotion.

This one is the hardest for me. As soon as I feel hurt, frustrated, or angry, I want to do something with it–which is always a bad idea. I’ve realized my initial emotional reaction does not always reflect how I really feel about something. Initially, I might feel scared or angry–but once I calm down and think things through, I often realize I overreacted.

When you feel a strong emotion, try to sit it for a while. Don’t use it or run from it–just feel it. When you learn to observe your feelings before acting on them, you minimize the negativity you create in two ways: you process, analyze, and deal with feelings before putting them on someone else; and you communicate in a way that inspires them to stay open instead of shutting down.

9. Maintain boundaries.

When people get close, boundaries can get fuzzy. In a relationship without boundaries, you let the other person manipulate you into doing things you don’t want to do. You act out of guilt instead of honoring your needs. You let someone offend you without telling them how you feel about it. The best way to ensure people treat you how you want to be treated is to teach them.

That means you have to love and respect yourself enough to do that: to acknowledge what you need, and speak up. The only way to truly have loving, peaceful relationships is to start with a loving, peaceful relationship with yourself. This is a huge topic; if it resonates with you, I recommend this wonderful article (yes, on Oprah’s website) that explains how to set personal boundaries.

10. Enjoy their company more than their approval.

 This sure helps too! CHEERS & FORGET ABOUT IT!  

When you desperately need someone’s approval, your relationship becomes all about what they do for you: how often they stroke your ego, how well they bring you up when you feel down, how well they mitigate your negative feelings. This is draining for another person; and it  creates an unbalanced relationship.

If you notice yourself dwelling on pleasing someone else or getting their approval, realize you’re creating that need. (Unless you’re in an abusive relationship, in which case I highly recommend getting help.) Instead of focusing on what you can get from that person, focus on enjoying yourselves together. Oftentimes the best thing you can do for yourself and someone else is let go and give yourself permission to smile.

What do you do to create peaceful, loving relationships?


Lori Deschene, lead contributor, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more of her tinybuddha posts here, and follow her on Twitter @lori_deschene. Photo here and here.

 

Want to contribute a post? Send it to email @ tinybuddha.com.

 I copied the above blog from http://tinybuddha.com/blog/mindfulness-blog/10-ways-to-have-peaceful-loving-relationships/