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Posts Tagged ‘breaking up’

Anybody that knows me well knows that I have always been a huge believer that we create our lives exactly as they are right now.  And I don’t mean we voodoo control life… just that life presents itself the way we we intend it to or expect it to- it’s why people that believe everybody is out to get them tend to keep finding themselves in situations where they must defend and protect themselves, and where I can walk around downtown Guadalajara, MX at night completely unscathed. And trust me, I have no idea why or how it works this way!

But as a believer in this philosophy, what happens when things work out differently than I want or expect?  What happens when something comes up that I feel I didn’t intend and maybe don’t even want?  This is where I get stuck because if I was completely in control, then it wouldn’t be this way, right?

Or maybe sometimes shit just happens.

I came across a quote from one of my favorite writers and philosophers, Kahlil Gibran:

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

The thing is that sometimes things just feel scary, or difficult or upsetting.  My instinct is that it’s not okay to feel these things and it means something is wrong.  I usually just push those feelings down as far as I can muster, and try to “get over it”.  Smile and keep moving forward. But does this actually allow me to explore myself and my world to it’s full capacity or do I cut off some self expression when I do that?  A year ago I would have read the quote above and thought…”k, i’m doing it all right, just smile and pretend all is okay until it feels okay”.  And now, for some reason that doesn’t seem sufficient to authentic happiness and growth.

I do think it’s important to see ourselves, others, and the world in a positive, powerful light and there is always the opportunity to do that in any situation.  That is the TRUTH in life, and this is who I know myself to be deep down at my core. But there is something about the full experience of being human which includes the spectrum of emotion- joy, sorrow, love, patience, anger, fear.  And it’s good – ALL of it is good!  But it’s the thought and action after that determine who we are in this world.  After our full experience of being human, do we stand for who we truly know ourselves to be regardless of the situation we are in or our feelings we have?  For me, I’m starting to think that really is what creating my life means….

Something tells me that the awesome kid in the video below truly LOVES her life!  And her life probably includes a few tears 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg

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The thing about love is that we use one word to describe a million different feelings, a gamut of experiences, a choice, a goal, and a way of being.  We love ourselves, we love our friends, we love a joke, we are in love with our partner, and we love our hair…  It’s an action and a verb.  It’s permanent and it’s passing. It means a lot and it can mean a little.

And we wonder why we are confused about love.  Why when one person says that they love you, it means something different than when you do…

I’m one of those people that “love” love.  I feel like it’s the answer to the age-old question “what are we here for?”  I think that people find purpose in caring deeply about our planet, and there’s something about feeling so strongly for another human being that we risk being heartbroken.

And as I’m sitting here days before Valentines Day, where love is certainly in the air, I wonder what love truly means to me and how my perception of love has changed and developed through the years.  I mean, it has changed, hasn’t it?

I remember the first time I fell in love.  I was 19, and it was my first boyfriend in university.  I remember this sort of passionate, impatience to how I felt- we literally spent hours, days, and then weeks solid together.  I experienced my first fight, first makeup, first intimate moment, first “I love you”, first betrayal and first heartbreak.  I got it all in that relationship.  And I quickly after met the guy that would be my longest-term relationship so far.  4 years that finally ended in a bittersweet realization that we had outgrown each other.  Tears flowed on and off for months and I literally felt like I might not make it.  I felt physical pain, I questioned my decision, regretted it, then accepted it.  And he soon found somebody new, and 6 months later when he told me he was getting married, I relived it all once more.

I remember thinking “I will never feel like this again”, and meaning it.  I remember the moment- crystal clear, that I decided to never get hurt like that again and I haven’t.  I’ve played my game defensively since then.  Always careless at first in my excitement, “forgetting” the lesson I learned, and then when I noticed what was happening, I would  pull back just as fiercely.  The guys I have stayed with are the ones that were willing to deal with the dichotomy, and that would endlessly forgive my ambivalence.  Those guys, though unbelievable people, I’ve realized aren’t actually the right ones for me.

So now with that awareness has to come change.  If there isn’t change then it means I am operating with the same mindframe as a hurt 23 year old…

The coach I work with uses a quote “what’s in the way is the way” and I think it applies here.  The way to truly be in love is to put ourselves in a position to truly be hurt. For people that have had similar situations to me – every instinct will have us do what we’ve always done, and so it’s important to notice our instincts and feelings, but honour our commitment to changing.

So upon reflection about what love means to me and to answer my initial question – yes, it has changed.  For me, love used to be a feeling that I had.  I needed some way to describe the warmth, connection, and vulnerability that I felt.  Now, it’s changed a little.  It still describes that feeling but unlike a passing emotion, love for me is a choice to keep doing actions that cause me to feel love.  It means choosing to treat my partner with respect even when I’m frustrated, it means making sure people are taken care of and it means deciding not to pull back when I start to feel like I may get hurt.  And it’s the only way, in my opinion, for love to last a lifetime.  I let anger pass, sadness floats away, but love is what I’m committed to keeping.

So this Valentine’s Day I am going to remember how far I’ve come from the 23 year old who decided to be tough.  And maybe after the cinnamon hearts and chocolate truffles and sappy love songs, we can all take a moment to reflect about what love actually means to us and what we want our experience of it to be.  And then do it – put in into action… because at the end of the day, doesn’t Valentine’s Day always end with a little action anyways?  😉

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Better together than apart? Maybe not for long...

I did some really great work today with a sport psychologist named Erin (www.navigo.ca).  She actually does a lot of corporate work as well and I think that the parallels of sport and business are uncanny.  There is a team, there is individual work, there are leaders and coaches, performance expectations, financial rewards, and relationships.  There is what you expect of yourself vs. what is expected of you; who you think you are vs. how others perceive you; what others around you view as success vs how you personally experience success .  

After thinking about it a lot today, I believe that a  job, a family and a team are all driven by the same fundamental truth.  Our success, or perception of success is directly relational to how fulfilled we are.  If we are not happy, free and complete, it doesn’t matter what we accomplish- we will taint it with our incompleteness, if that makes sense…maybe we will fear that it will go away, or that it comes with an expectation we may struggle to fulfill. Perhaps we don’t feel we deserve it, and we do these self-sabotaging things to affirm that belief.  I have a good friend, “Stacy”, who is one of the funniest, brightest, most interesting people that I know.  Almost every guy she comes in contact with loves her and is drawn to her.  At first it is her beauty, without a doubt, but she backs it up with so much more!  So she starts dating one of them, it’s fun, playful, things are going well…UNTIL.  Until what, you may ask?  Until anything.  Until he says the wrong thing or doesn’t text at the right time, or is too much like her ex, or not enough like her ex.  If he doesn’t like her enough, OR likes her too much…Our group of friends calls these things “dealbreakers” and I’m not lying when I tell you that we have compiled a list that is probably 100 bullet points long of our dealbreakers.  It ranges from the obvious (smoker) to the obscure (wears spandex shorts at the gym)! Yes it’s funny, but the problem is that we have fallen for it as a means of determining if he is a yes or a no, and I think it’s actually a defense mechanism to keep these guys at an arms length. The question is, if she wanted to be in a relationship, then why sabotage it?

The thing is that Stacy is no different than pretty much every one of my friends.  And I wonder, if we were all complete and genuinely happy with who we were, never looking to another person to fill a void or complete a fantasy we have of the perfect life which (of course)would include the perfect husband, then would we actually be able to develop meaningful and powerful relationships?  I think the answer is YES.  If we had nothing to prove, nothing to gain or lose, nothing to change in ourselves then how would we be? It’s like in volleyball when I play just for the love of the game – when I don’t care what the result is, I play full on with power and passion, never caring about what a fan in the stands thinks or what would happen IF _______ (fill in the blank).  And I do well.  Always.  The result takes care of itself somehow because it truly is all about the process.

One thing I know for sure is that if we lived as fully complete and fulfilled people we would be free of games because there isn’t a game.  There is no end result, there is no winning.  And the irony is that we probably would win.  And it flows into sport, into life, into relationships and into family.  If we simply were okay with who we are and what life is right now then we would probably approach our life and the people in it much differently.  I think I’m onto something 😉

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