Keeping Score in a Relationship

January 16, 2009

Yesterday we heard how keeping score can keep us from being in the moment.  Today we will look at what happens when we keep score in a relationship.  How do we keep things balanced if we don’t keep score?  Read on to find out.

 

Thankful Friday

Today I will thank all of our new readers.  The blog stats have gone up significantly since the first of the year.  Thanks to everyone for taking the time out of your busy day to read what is written here.

 

As always we thank WordPress and FeedBurner for making the tools for this blog available.  They make it free for me to write and publish this and for you to read it for free.  Thanks WordPress and FeedBurner!

 

Keeping score equals expectations

A few months ago I was talking to a friend about forgiveness in her relationship.  She said that she had forgiven her partner but did not understand why this did not change anything with him.

 

I explained that forgiveness is done for ourselves.  When we forgive someone and hope they will change their behavior we are exhibiting expectations.  When we do something with expectations of a specific result then we are keeping score and not being in the moment.

 

This idea is very common in most personal relationships.  We made passing reference to some of these ideas in our series about understanding our family.  We often think a relationship is a direct exchange – if I do this for you then you must do this for me.  We keep score very carefully and very immediately.

 

When we keep score so carefully we are smothering our partner in so many of our expectations that we eventually ruin the relationship.  By keeping score we get so far out of the moment that we are no longer aware of who our partner really is.  We define them solely by whether they are keeping up to the score that we are hampering them with.  If the score doesn’t balance then they cannot care for us, or so we think.

 

Recommendation

Here is my recommendation to keep you in the moment and hopefully build a better relationship.  First – train yourself to not keep score.  This can be very difficult for many of us.  The idea that relationships must always balance is very ingrained in us.

 

Start to learn to do things just because you want to do them.  Do not expect anything from your partner because you have done something.  Give to your partner just because you want to.  If both of you give then there will always be enough to go around when someone needs to take something out.

 

Second – remember what attracted you to your partner in the first place.  That was what you saw that you liked about them.  Do everything you can to make sure that you continue to appreciate those qualities.  It is always easier to find more things to dislike than there are to like.  Concentrate on the things that you like and don’t keep score of the things you don’t like about your partner.

 

Finally – observe you thinking by watching for signs that you are keeping score.  Keeping score is so common that we do not even recognize how many different ways that we do it.  Every time you see yourself keeping score remind yourself that will only lead to your unhappiness.  Gradually you will train yourself out of keeping score.

 

That is all for today.  Have a great weekend!

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2009 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Advertisements

Why We Find the Same People

November 7, 2008

Have you ever noticed that you always wind up in a relationship with the same kind of person?  How about when you notice that over long periods of your life you befriend the same type of person?  Today we will explore why this happens.

 

Thankful Friday

As is our custom on this blog we begin each Friday by expressing our thanks.  Today we start by thanking all of the citizens of the US who made the effort to vote on Tuesday.  The only way this democracy will survive will be by the active participation by everyone who is a citizen.  An active and informed citizenry will always protect their rights to express their freedoms.  Thank you for your participation.

 

Also this week we would like to thank all of our readers who make time in their busy schedule to read what we write.  The personal feedback that we get tells us that our efforts are being helpful to others.

 

As always, we thank WordPress and FeedBurner.  They provide the services that allow us to publish and distribute this blog for free.  Thanks WordPress and FeedBurner, keep up the good work!

 

Why do I keep choosing the same people?

Have you ever noticed that you always wind up in a relationship with someone who is pretty much the same as the last person with whom you had a relationship?  I don’t mean physical characteristics, although that can be a part of the puzzle.  I am talking about things like personality, outlook on life, and other personality traits.

 

For quite a long time I was dating women who had one or two sons.  I would meet them and not know anything about them.  We would go out on a date and we would start to talk.  They would always start to tell me about their son(s).  It got to the point that I was not surprised when they mentioned the sons that lived at home with them.

 

I am sure that many of you have had similar experiences.  You have met and dated people who had no apparent common physical trait.  As you got to know them they all appeared to have a common personality trait.  Why does this happen?

 

John Bradshaw

About twenty years ago I watched a videotape of a lecture by John Bradshaw.  I do not remember the name of the tape or if it is still available.  (Disclaimer: I have no financial or any other relationship with John Bradshaw.)

 

In this lecture Mr. Bradshaw gave an excellent explanation of why we are attracted to the same kind of people.  The example is to imagine yourself at a cocktail party in Moscow.  You know no Russian.  All around you people are speaking Russian but you cannot understand them – you only speak English.

 

There is a small group of people far away across the room.  You can barely hear their conversation over all the Russian being spoken near you.  However, you begin to hear fragments of English floating across the room.  Because your can only understand English you immediately recognize your language.

 

It does not matter that they are far away.  It does not matter that their conversation is barely distinguishable above the louder conversations near you.  You have heard the vibration of a language you speak because it was intelligible to you above all of the other sounds.

 

What do you think you do once you have recognized a conversation in your language?  Of course – you go over there and get involved in what is being said.  Finally you have found someone who speaks your language!

 

OK – so how does this apply to relationships?

The explanation that Mr. Bradshaw gave was that we behave the same way with our emotional energy.  Instead of hearing a spoken language across the room we find someone who speaks our emotional language.

 

We are not aware that this happens.  All we know is that we went to a party and met someone who was very much like other people we have dated previously.  The question becomes how did we pick that one person out of all the other people at the party?

 

The only answer that I have heard that makes sense is the one provided by Mr. Bradshaw.  Without understanding what is happening, our emotional energy resonates with their emotional energy just as if it were a conversation.  I guess we could look at it like it were a conversation of emotions.

 

So what?

This was not meant to be a discussion of a life changing insight.  I just wanted to share a minor idea with our readers.  What I have done with this idea is to realize that I really do become attracted to the same type of person.  When this happens I am able to understand that it has happened again.

 

Are we supposed to change our actions?  Not necessarily.  The point here is not to get people to change anything – just to add a new perspective.  If you are attracting unhealthy relationships then this might help you to understand one of the reasons why that is happening.

 

Otherwise, I just hope that you connect this with our discussion of observation this week.  As you stand on your balcony and observe your behavior this is just one more thing to help you understand why you are hanging around with the people that are around you.

 

That is all for this week.  Have a great weekend!

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 


Relationships – Putting It All Together

October 31, 2008

How do all of these ideas apply to how we live our relationships?  Today we will attempt to bring some of the theory into practice.  Let’s see how all these ideas can be used in our daily life.

 

Thankful Friday

As is our custom on this site we take a minute on Friday to thank those around us.  Today I would like to thank all of my friends who have been supportive of me over the years.  I also would like to thank all of our readers who make the effort to read this column.  You readership is what keeps us going.

 

As always we thank WordPress and FeedBurner for making this site possible.  They make the web space available and distribute the content for free. Thanks WordPress and FeedBurner!

 

True self and relationships

Yesterday we took a look at a few of the links between being in the moment, acceptance, and unconditional love.  Today we will look at true self and how we approach relationships when we are being our true self.

 

In August we spent a lot of time talking about the differences between true self and false self.  Please go to the blog archives for August of 2008 to find these articles.  They will provide a great deal of background.  You can find them in the column just to the right of this post.  Look for “Blog Archives”, click the arrow, and select “August 2008.”

 

True self does not need a relationship

One of the points we made about true self is that true self is very comfortable being independent.  When we are living from true self we do not feel dependent on anyone else.  We do not “need” anyone else.

 

It is nice to have other people around.  It is nice to share with others, but true self never feels that we need anyone else.  True self knows that if we need something we can go and get that something by ourself.

 

Let’s look at some of the reasons that are commonly accepted for why we have relationships:

 

  1. We need someone to complete us.  Sorry – true self knows that we are fine all by ourself.  We do not need anyone to fill in any imagined holes in who we think we are.
  2. We need someone to love us.  Sorry again.  As we showed yesterday, until we learn to accept and love ourself unconditionally we cannot fully love anyone else unconditionally.  The interesting thing is that when we learn to love ourself we realize that we “need” no other love.  It is nice for someone else to love us, but we do not “need” it.
  3. We need someone to share our life with.  Once again, not so.  When we are living as our true self we are complete.  We also accept ourself.  If we find someone to share that with – fine.  If not – fine also.  True self looks at a relationship as an extra for that lifetime, not a requirement.
  4. We need someone because we can’t do it all by ourself.  As we have stated in previous discussions of true self – true self can do what ever it decides to do.  True self does not “need” anyone else.  False self does not have much confidence.  It is the one that thinks it needs a relationship so that it has someone to do things for it.
  5. We need a relationship to bring children into the world.  True self quickly recognizes that this idea is backwards.  We must build the relationship first.  Once that is solid then we can think about bringing children into the world.  If you really want to raise children there are many alternate choices such as adoption or volunteering with a group that works with children.

 

Just a few

These are just a few of the reasons why we think we need to have a relationship.  They are all false self behaviors.  The bottom line is that true self realizes that this is just one of countless physical lifetimes.  True self realizes that having a personal relationship in this lifetime is not the reason that we came to this planet in the first place.

 

Unfortunately, we do not see that having a relationship frequently keeps us from doing what we came here for.  Too often we get involved with the drama of a relationship. We wind up spending most of our life attempting to maintain that or another relationship.  In the end, we never understand we way came here in the first place.

 

The social pressure

So far, most of the things that I have said in today’s column fly in the face of all the social pressures about relationships.  Let’s take a look at a few of those pressures.

 

You are somehow inferior if you do not have a relationship.  I look at this one as the unhappy wanting to drag the happy down to their level.  This is clearly a false self idea because we know that true self needs no one else.

 

You are not doing your part if you are not having children.  Our parents want us to have children so that they can have grandchildren.  Yet they never think about what we really want.  Once more, a false self way of thinking.  Besides, aren’t there enough children on the planet already?

 

You are not happy unless someone loves you.  This is true, but not in the way this idea is usually expressed.  We are not happy unless we love ourself.  Once we have that, we do not care if someone else loves us.  When we go looking for that love from someone else we are on a doomed mission.  We are trying to make false self happy by proving that someone loves it.  As we have said before, we can never prove anything to false self.

 

Dealing with the social pressure

We all understand the difficulty of dealing with social pressures.  Our society has become so focused on relationship issues that we come under great pressure to conform our ideas about relationships to societal norms.

 

I have one question that I ask myself when I experience that conflict.  “Do you want to be like everyone else or do you want to be happy?”  It is really that simple.

 

We are constantly faced with the choice between living as true self and the social pressure towards living as false self.  Gradually we learn that making the choice to live as false self always brings unhappiness.

 

We may not yet understand it, but there are many other people who have faced this choice and chosen for true self.  As we make our choice for true self we gradually find those others who have made the same choice.  We realize that we are not alone.  Once this happens it becomes much easier to make the choice for true self.

 

That’s all for this week.  I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 


So What Makes a Good Relationship?

October 30, 2008

In the last few months we have looked at some of the concepts that are part of relationships.  We have looked at how to deal with our family, the concepts of love and acceptance, and that being in the moment is how we express our unconditional love.  Today we start to take a look at how these fit into our relationships.

 

Disclaimer

I have never held myself out as a relationship counselor.  I am not qualified or licensed as a professional counselor of any sort.  In my remarks I am not attempting to give anyone specific advice on how to resolve their current relationship problems.  I am only attempting to share my perspective about some of the factors that need to be a part of a mutually beneficial personal relationship.

 

Not my fault

Like most of you who are reading this post, I have had my problems with personal relationships.  When I was young all those problems were because of other people.  I could not imagine that I could have done anything that caused a relationship problem.

 

As I travelled my spiritual path I started to realize that I had a lot to learn about relationships.  Gradually I started to understand more about myself and what factor I played in my relationships.  I started to see that my level of spiritual understanding played a major role in my understanding of my relationships.

 

Ideal vs. real

What I observed was that there were many situations in which I unsuccessfully attempted to apply my spiritual understanding to my relationships.  I thought that if I explained where I was coming from spiritually that the other person would understand and everything would be OK.  Does this sound naïve to you?  Gradually I accepted my naïveté.

 

What I saw was that I was attempting to impose an ideal structure but not accepting the reality of the situation.  I thought that my spirituality would be understood and accepted by my partner in the relationship.

 

After having my hopes for an ideal relationship bashed several times, I decided to stand back and think about things for awhile.  To a degree, I am still thinking about my understanding of relationships.  However, I feel comfortable that I am far enough along to share some of those understandings with you.

 

Some tips – commitment

Both my personal experience and observation of others tell me that it can be very difficult for individuals of differing levels of commitment to form a happy relationship.  What seems to happen is that one person is hopeful that their commitment to their spirituality will rub off on the other person.

 

I do not think that the level of spirituality is that important.  The commitment to the spirituality seems to be the determining factor.  When both individuals are similarly committed they accept the differences in spiritual understanding.

 

The commitment helps them understand that the difference in level can be used for learning and growth rather than as an impediment.  In fact, if they were to view the difference in spiritual understanding as an impediment they could possibly be exhibiting false self behavior.  An equal commitment to personal growth and increasing understanding will help people bridge the gap between the amount that each one understands.

 

Another tip – being in the moment

We keep talking about the importance of being in the moment.  As we have said before, there is nothing more important than for us to be learning.  Being in the moment is where we find our true happiness, express our unconditional love, and truly begin to understand ourself.

 

In a relationship when we are in the moment we learn to get past the disagreements that always occur – even in the best of relationships.  Being in the moment is how we remain objective and refrain from getting involved in the petty squabbling that characterizes too many relationships.

 

And, as we learned yesterday, being in the moment is the only time we can truly express our unconditional love.  What is more important to a personal relationship than expressing our unconditional love?  The only time this can happen is when we are in the moment.

 

Another tip – acceptance

Yesterday we also talked about the idea of acceptance.  We have also written several posts on acceptance in the past few weeks.  Just like being in the moment there is a link between acceptance and unconditional love.

 

Unconditional love can only come from acceptance.  When we are not accepting we attempt to see the situation as being different than it actually is.  When we engage in this behavior we cannot express unconditional love.  The love we express will be based on our desire to see the situation differently than it actually is.

 

This usually means that we express our love either in response to a previous situation or because we want something in return in the future.  That is clearly conditional love.  Unconditional love comes only when we accept our partner and the situation as they are – with no conditions.

 

That is all for today.  Tomorrow we will continue to take a look at applying these concepts in our relationships.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 


Simplify Our Life – Family Review

September 26, 2008

This series of posts has turned out to be an eye opener.  Today we will review the last week of posts about choosing our family.  As I have said – I originally thought this would be one post.  Then I realized all the background that would be necessary.  Today will be more or less the original post that I had planned last week.  But first…

 

Thankful Friday

This week I am thanking all the readers who are sharing this blog with their friends.  I can tell from the statistics that this site is benefitting from our readers referring their friends to it.  Now if we could only get a few people to comment we could start a discussion thread.

 

As always we thank WordPress for providing the free web site.  We also thank FeedBurner for their efforts to distribute the daily updates by email and RSS feeds.  Thanks!

 

Review

We started this series of posts over a week ago when we started to look at the idea of simplifying our life by choosing the people we want in our life.  This idea quickly became a week long series in which we heard about functional and nonfunctional families, how to examine our family, strategies for dealing with non-supportive members of our blood family, and finally why it is important to choose our family.

 

Today we will step through those ideas in one continuous flow.

 

The steps – Functional families

Our first step in simplifying our lives through our family is to understand functional and nonfunctional families.  We recognize a functional family because the members are mutually supportive.  They are truly interested in the learning and growth of each member.

 

Although there is a leader in the functional family, that leader is supportive rather than authoritative.  The hallmark of a functional family is that it breaks up and reassembles easily when one member decides to leave.  The functional family knows that each individual must pursue their own path of learning and growth.  Any member returning to the family is welcomed with open arms and with no strings attached.

 

The nonfunctional family usually has one or two authoritative members that dominate the family.  The other members adjust their behaviors to compensate for the authoritative individuals.  These interlocking false self behaviors allow the family to achieve a delicate stasis that falls apart when one member leaves the family.  The house of cards that is the interlocking behaviors falls apart and the members of the family blame the one who has chosen to leave for causing all the pain.  The members of the family frequently do not allow this individual to return to the family without a lot of blame and/or many strings attached.

 

Examine your family

The next step is to examine your family.  Most families are not totally functional.  Nor are there that many families that are completely dysfunctional.  Most families have characteristics of each.

 

Examine your family and attempt to understand where it is functional and where it is nonfunctional.  This will help you in understanding how to choose which members of the family, if any, from whom you need to separate.

 

Deal with the non-supportive members

After you have examined your family you will most likely have found a few members with whom you have a very painful relationship.  These relationships are painful because you cannot find a way to be mutually supportive of each other.  Many times this is because the other family member will not accept you for who and what you are.

 

When the pain becomes too great we realize we must separate from the relationship.  Remember that they will most likely blame you for hurting them when you make the separation.  You must remember that you cannot hurt their true self.  Only their false self can be hurt.  When they blame you for the hurt it is their false self placing the blame.  You are only separating from their false self.  You can never separate from their true self.

 

Accept the pain in the other relationships

There will be other relationships with members of our family that we want to maintain.  However, these relationships will also have pain in them.  In these relationships we are choosing the pain because the relationship is valuable enough to us that we can accept the pain.

 

The important point here is to understand our reason(s) for maintaining the relationship.  Eventually the pain of the relationship will become so great that we will ask ourself “Why am I doing this?”  Your answer must be immediate.  You must know why you are choosing the pain.  Otherwise, you will begin a downward spiral of blaming the family member for your pain.  That will not be good for you or the relationship.

 

Choose your real family

Since we are making the choice about which of our blood family members we want in our life, why don’t we just create a new family?  Once we have learned some of the techniques to deal with our blood family relationships we can apply them to a new family.

 

By choosing who we want in our new “chosen” family we are simplifying our life.  We no longer have to deal with people that are not supportive of us.  We choose to cultivate only those close relationships that are mutually beneficial.   We create a small circle of people with whom we can relax, relate, and truly enjoy. 

 

We choose for our true happiness when we choose only those relationships that help us learn and grow.  These are two way relationships and those in our new “chosen” family are learning and growing because we are helping them on their paths.

 

You may say that I am a dreamer but I know I am not the only one.  I hope some day you will join us and the world will be as one.

 

John Lennon

 

That’s all for this week.  We are expecting a wet, windy, and cold coastal storm in the northeast US this weekend.  It looks to be a weekend of watching movies and maybe some cooking projects.  Have a great weekend!

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 


Simplify Our Life – Accepting Painful Relationships

September 24, 2008

Previous posts

We are in the middle of a multi-part series of posts.  Each post is dependent on the points made in previous posts.  If you have not been reading this series, please click the link to go back to the first post which looked at functional families.  This should give you a better understanding of today’s post.

 

Another strategy for simplifying family relationships

Yesterday we looked at a strategy that could be used when our relationship with a family member is so painful that we need to remove ourself from the relationship.  Today we will look at a strategy that can be used when we have a painful relationship but feel that we need to maintain the relationship.  I call this strategy “accept but cauterize”.

 

The accepting part

The first step in the “accept but cauterize” strategy is to learn to accept every part of the relationship.  Among the things that we need to accept are:

 

  • We must learn to accept the relationship the way it is.  We can hope that the relationship will become better – but we cannot assume that it will.  We must accept that this relationship is as good as it will ever become.
  • Recognize the level of pain that you experience in the relationship.  Accept that level of pain and understand that it may always be there.  We hope that by maintaining the relationship we will lessen our pain, but we must accept that this may never happen.
  • Realize that the other person may never change.  Many times we maintain a relationship in the hope that the other person may change.  Accept that they may never change and ask yourself “Can I live with that?”
  • Understand why you are choosing to maintain the relationship.  Ask yourself why you want this relationship.  Then accept the answer.  By the way “because I should”, “because I have to”, and “because I feel sorry for them” are not appropriate answers to this question.

 

These are not the only things that need to be accepted when we choose to maintain a painful relationship.  However, it is a good start.  As we learn to accept these things we will learn what else needs to be accepted.

 

Understanding the acceptance

Let’s take a few minutes to look a bit closer at the aspects of the relationship that we are learning to accept.  By realizing and truly accepting that the relationship may not get better we are adopting a realistic approach to the relationship.  When our hopes are dashed and we realize that there is no way that this relationship will improve we will remember that we choose to accept this outcome.  Hopefully that will cushion the blow of the realization.

 

By accepting the pain of the relationship from the beginning we start to immunize ourselves from that pain.  When we experience the pain we can remind ourselves that we have chosen the pain in order to maintain our relationship.

 

We also remind ourself that we cannot have it both ways.  We knowingly chose the pain.  When pain rears its ugly head we take responsibility and remind ourself that we did it to ourself.  It is not the fault of the other person.  We chose the pain in order to maintain the relationship.  Period, full stop, the end.  Accept the pain and get on with it.

 

As we discussed previously, wanting someone to change so that we will feel better is an illusion.  When we indulge our self with this behavior we are only setting up a painful situation.  When we accept that the other person may not change we are happy when they do change.  But when they don’t change we are not disillusioned.  We have already prepared ourself for that.

 

Finally, I think the most important thing to accept and understand is why we want this relationship in the first place.  We know it is painful, we know it may never change; we know the other person may never change.  There has to be a compelling reason for us to choose the pain of maintaining the relationship.

 

When we find that reason we make sure we commit it to memory.  We have to incorporate this reason so deeply into our understanding of the relationship that we never lose sight of it. 

 

We need to know this reason so well because we will be repeating it to ourself whenever the pain becomes intense.  And it will.  We already know this is a painful relationship.  We know there is pain and that pain will return.

 

When the pain returns we will ask ourself “why am I doing this?”  At that point if we do not have a good reason we will get lost in our pain.  If we have a good reason then we can move onto the second part of this strategy – cauterization.

 

The cauterization part

Knowing the reason why we have chosen the painful relationship becomes our method of cauterizing the painful wound the relationship creates.  When the pain rears its head we say “I know why you are there.”

 

At first the pain will not go away immediately.  The relationship has been painful for many years.  The wound is still fresh and sensitive.  Over time and with constant repetition we learn the cauterization method.  Believe it or not, we can eventually learn to put the pain in a separate, compartmentalized part of our brain.  We can learn to keep this pain from affecting the rest of our life.

 

In truth, we need to learn to put painful relationships in their place.  To live a happy life and have positive relationships with other people we need to keep the painful ones from leaking into those positive relationships.

 

It does not happen immediately. However, with some effort and some time we can learn to do so.  This allows us to have painful relationships that do not adversely affect our entire life.

 

Choose your strategy

These two strategies – “separation” and “accept and cauterize” are not the only strategies.  They will not work for everyone.  However, there are many people who will benefit from these strategies.

 

My experience tells me that eventually all of our painful family relationships fall in one of the two categories that these strategies address.  The relationship is either so painful that we must separate, or we choose to maintain the relationship and must learn to accept the pain.

 

For the sake of your own happiness I implore you to find the strategy that works for you.  Our relationships, especially with family members, are supposed to bring us happiness.  Please find your happiness sooner than I found mine.  Start right now to choose for happy relationships.

 

That is all for today.  Tomorrow we will look at creating a new family by choosing who will be in that family.  It is our family so why shouldn’t it be only the ones that we want as members?

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 


Simplify Our Life – Non-Supportive Family

September 23, 2008

I am sure some of you have been scratching your head and wondering what the last two posts have had to do with simplifying your life.  When I started writing about family I thought that I would be able to explain it in one or two posts.  Surprise!  It is going to take a total of five.

 

Simplify your blood family

In the last two posts we talked about our blood families.  We first talked about the idea of functional and nonfunctional families.  Then we learned about the need to examine our family.  If you have not read those posts please do so.  Reading them is pretty much a prerequisite for understanding this post.

 

Today we will look at a strategy for dealing with the results of our examination of our family.  This strategy is used when we need to get out of a non-supportive relationship.

 

We are accepted

As in all of our relationships we generally have different relationships with the different members of our blood family.  Some will totally accept us for who we are.  These are good relationships that we should attempt to maintain and nurture.  We need to accept these family members unconditionally in the same way they accept us.

 

When acceptance is conditional

Other family members will want to put conditions on their acceptance of us.  These relationships can be summarized with the phrase “if you were really my daughter and loved me you would call me more often.”   Substitute “daughter” for whatever relationship is appropriate for you.  Substitute “call me more often” for any behavior that fits the relationship.

 

These relationships based on conditional acceptance are always painful for us.  The base cause of the pain is that we are not being accepted for who we are.  We usually do not see that.  What we see is that someone is attempting to force us to do things that we do not want to do.

 

We don’t want to call our mother more often.  We don’t want to play baseball but we do so because it will make dad happy.  We don’t want to buy flowers for our sister’s birthday to prove to her that we love her.  We want to express our acceptance in our own way, but they force us to do it their way.  Then, if we do express our acceptance and caring in our own way, they conclude that we do not love them and blame us for hurting them.

 

You can see where this kind of relationship goes.  Over time we are more and more constricted in our behavior towards this relative.  We become more and more unhappy but do not want to hurt them.  This is how nonfunctional families perpetuate themselves.

 

The separation strategy

The first strategy that we will look at is the separation strategy.  This is the more drastic and more final solution.  The way this strategy works is that we commit to attempting to explain to the relative who is placing conditions on their acceptance of us that they are limiting us.

 

If at all possible we should avoid talking about how we are being hurt by them.  There are two reasons for this.  The first goes back to the idea that only the false self can be hurt.  When we talk about being hurt then we are exhibiting false self behavior.

 

The second reason that we do not talk about being hurt is that our relative will frequently respond by telling us how much we are hurting them.  “You think I hurt you? Let me tell you how much you hurt me!”  This conversation rarely is progressive or has a happy ending.

 

In the separation strategy we talk to our relative about how a relationship is limited when we accept someone only if they pass certain conditions.  We talk about how when we are more open with our acceptance we can more truly understand and like each other.

 

We also make a long term commitment to taking whatever time is required to make sure we have tried every possible way to explain ourselves to this relative.  What we are really doing is telling them that we cannot continue our relationship with them if they continue to put conditions on their acceptance of us.  Usually we do not actually say this to our restricting relative.  This is viewed as an ultimatum and detracts from the discussion.

 

We know that the relationship is too painful for us to continue unchanged.  We take whatever time we can devote and have as many discussions as we can before we choose to separate ourselves from the overly restricting relative.

 

As we separate ourselves we acknowledge to ourselves that we have done everything we can to explain our desire to build a healthy relationship with our relative.  We accept that at this time this relative is more interested in their false self behavior than in building a healthy relationship with us.  We accept them for where they are right now and vow to revisit the relationship whenever we think there might be an opening for us to continue our discussions about acceptance.

 

This can be very devastating to us when we determine that we must go forward with our lives.  We have to recognize that we did everything that we could to help our non-supportive relative to understand why we had to break off the relationship.  We have to understand that if they were coming from their true self then they would have no problem with the break up.  The fact that we had to temporarily break the relationship means that we could no longer allow their false self behavior to control what our true self needs to do.

 

All this can be very difficult to sort through while we are in the middle of it.  These are very emotionally charged situations.  This is precisely why we need to be training false self to listen to true self.  True self understands the importance of each of our relationships and is always able to determine which we need to maintain and which we need to suspend.  By listening to true self we can simplify our family relationships.

 

How is this simplifying our life?

Think about how much time and emotional energy we expend on our blood family relationships.  How much of that is in the mutually accepting and supportive category?  How much is in the dealing with conditional acceptance category?

 

Most of us spend a lot of time and emotional energy dealing with the conditional acceptance placed on us by our blood family.  Should we not turn this around and be spending more time and energy on the mutually accepting and supportive relationships?

 

By recognizing the non-supportive relationships we are simplifying our lives.  True self is determining to relate more frequently with those in our family who support us.  These supportive relationships rejuvenate us.  The non-supportive relationships only drain us.

 

We simplify our lives by first understanding the nature of our blood family relationships.  Next we learn to choose for the supportive relationships because they are beneficial to us and help us to simplify our lives.  No unnecessary time or energy is wasted on them.

 

That is all for today.  Tomorrow we will look at another strategy.  That one is called the “accept but cauterize” strategy.

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com