The full question is: “Can you really trust yourself to deal with life’s turmoils?”
Life happens – that’s a given. What’s not a given is how we respond to life’s turmoils such as redundancy, divorce, bereavement and other kinds of loss. Some people will grieve – others suffer and lapse into hopelessness and despair – others will shed a few tears then tell themselves that life must go on. While none of them are wrong, some are healthier than others.
While life does happen, what matters is not that it happens, because it will, but how we react and respond to what happens. We can’t really prepare ourselves for the unexpected but we can develop inner resilience and we can learn to trust that we can handle whatever life sends us.
Do you feel frustrated and resentful because people so rarely meet your expectations when it comes to standards of behaviour or service?
I really feel for you. It can be absolutely infuriating. You make your feelings absolutely clear: “this is totally unacceptable!”, you say angrily. But what’s worse is that, though you tell them again and again, nothing changes.
There’s only one way to change another person: by changing the way you engage with them. That means that, when you react and respond to them differently from the way you always have, they will have two choices: to change the way they deal with you or leave.
I was recently Continue Reading…
I was brought up to always be friendly, agreeable, charming and cheerful. My parents believed that would make people like me, and people liking me was, they believed, crucial to my very survival.
I grew up, got married and, for most of my adult life I developed a variety of friendships of varying degrees of social ‘appropriateness’ and superficiality.
I worked really hard at these relationships. As had been drummed into me, I did everything I could to get people to like me. One of the ways I did that was to pretend to feel one thing when I actually felt another such
as sad, angry, frustrated or resentful – feelings I would Continue Reading…
One of the things we often do as we grow older is looking back at our life and relationships and wonder, “what have I done to deserve this?! I’m a good person! What am I doing wrong?!” Sometimes you also think, “After all I’ve done for them!”
It’s frustrating, I know.So here’s a hint.
Take a look at your expectations.How do you identify your expectations?You recognise them when you notice yourself using the words: ‘should’, ‘must’, ‘have to’, ‘I don’t have any choice’, always’, ‘never’, either preceded with an ‘I’ or a ‘they’.
So, after all these years caring for other people you now wonder why your life or parts of your life look and feel the way they do (not good).
If you want to make changes, improve the quality of your life and relationships then you might find it useful to take a look at Continue Reading…
A lot of the women who want to work with me often tell me how lonely and discouraged they feel.
After years of being productive and making a difference they now, having stopped work for a year or two, sometimes longer, feel bombarded by people’s expectations that their brain has turned off, their body shrivelled up, stop dressing up and put on that little cardi. What’s the point? They no longer have anything worthwhile to offer. In other words, they expect them to become invisible.
And the drip, drip, drip effect acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Eventually, you get to believe it too, that you really have no other option but to slow down, give up, give in. Then, sooner or later, you begin to feel hopeless, useless, over the hill – THE END! Just writing this makes me shudder. Uggghhh!!!
Don’t let them do this to you! Here’s Continue Reading…
Normally we think about goals (or resolutions) in the New Year. But New Year Resolutions are notoriously linked to failure. For various reasons they usually fizzle out in less than a month.
Inspired by Buddhist philosophy, here’s an alternative approach:
The first step of list 1 would be about the things you’d like to do and have, for example a holiday in some exotic part of the world or a successful business.
The second step is to refine each item on your list into something more tangible and specific, for example which particular country would be exotic enough for you? When would you like to go? How much would it cost? Who would you like to go with?
What exactly does success mean to you – then Continue Reading…
Here’s what I know about compassion – compassion is the philosophy of kindness and empathy.
There are some fundamental values that need to be in place for us to be genuinely compassionate.
We need to focus on what we have in common with others instead of on our differences – things like shared suffering, a desire to love and be loved, to be happy, to be seen and acknowledged.
Following on from this, compassion is the desire to alleviate somebody’s suffering. This may sound straight-forward but my immediate thought (rightly or wrongly) was – “as long as it doesn’t require fixing and rescuing them!” I know that’s my stuff.
I believe the difference between being compassionate and being a ‘fixer-rescuer’ is that the intention of compassion is to alleviate someone’s suffering which is welcome and appreciated while ‘fixing and rescuing’ tends to ignore what the other person wants because ‘we know what’s best for them’.
OK, I now get it that alleviating somebody’s suffering is at the heart of being compassionate.
So where does Continue Reading…
I’m always puzzled when I read an article about some celebrity who died of, say, cancer and the praise they heap over them about their acceptance of their condition without complaining. These people keep their pain and suffering to themselves because, they say, they don’t want to burden the people they love which sounds admirable. Society regards them as strong, a quality it seems to generally approve.
That got me thinking because I generally feel uncomfortable around ‘strong’ people. I tend to describe them as ‘the-stiff-upper-lip-brigade’, not a species I admire, as a rule.
I started wondering what the difference is between being strong and being Continue Reading…
We like to think that loving somebody is straight-forward but, actually, it’s not. It’s complicated by our background, our past experience, and our values and beliefs.
I always believed that you express your love by doing something nice for somebody, not just your partner but family and friends as well. Part of me had the (not so) hidden agenda that, this way, people would be drawn to me because I was such a loving and generous person.
That belief was thoroughly shaken up when I met Jeremy. Jeremy was an old man, a street person. He was homeless.
Most people believe that reality is – well, reality. And they also believe that their reality is the same for everything else. It’s not something people usually think about. They just accept that “it is as it is” without ever questioning it.
But the fact is that reality is however we happen to experience something. What we believe is reality is actually a combination of how we perceive and interpret everything that happens to us. This is huge because, if you decided to change the way you interpret a particular event, your reality would change immediately.
Here’s an example which you may have come across more than once in relationships.
Think of Continue Reading…