Counter Selfless Disregard and Burnout

You’re a giver. You know that more often than not, you will put the needs of others ahead of your needs. You see yourself as a helper, someone who helps others to have a better quality of life. You’ve been maintaining a frantic pace and you are doing your part to make the world a better place. If anyone needs, anything, they know who to call on in their time of need: You. You answer the call and save the day once again, and there is a degree of satisfaction from helping others, but what about you?

You’d like to think you have an endless reserve of energy to call upon at any time to meet the needs of others. You keep pushing forward, you’re helping everyone you can, and they don’t even know difficult it is for you to follow through and “be there” for everyone else.

You might not even giving much thought to changes happening inside your body because your energy has been running low and your body begins to cannibalize itself to provide you with the energy you need to continue to help the people who have come to depend upon you.

You may (or may not) have noticed certain changes, such as difficulties associated with your digestive system, you might be experiencing headaches more often than in the past, you might be grinding your teeth or seeing a rise in blood pressure.

It’s as if your life force is draining from your body, you’re noticing that you’re feeling a lack of energy and feeling overwhelmed with fatigue. You’re not feeling well about yourself, feeling hopeless, powerless and/or resentful.

The satisfaction you once felt in helping others no longer satisfies and you’re starting to feel as though you are merely existing as you continue to help others even though you’re wondering if you’re just going through the motions. You’re not getting out as much as you used to, you’re beginning to withdraw from others, and life, in general. This whole life which used to be so meaningful for you, feels more like a prison these days.

As you continue to run out of fuel, you are becoming more susceptible to heart problems, heart attack and stroke.

Your inner force needs tending to, if ignored long enough, your energy dwindles and there may not be enough juice left to sustain your basic function. Your flame, you, your body, mind and spirit are literally burning out. I suppose that’s why we refer to this state as, “burnout.”

Stress is a key contributor to burnout. When all our systems (body, mind, soul) are operating at peak performance, we are invincible. Stress has little effect on us as we cast it aside. But if you’re constantly giving more than you receive, or do not take care to re-charge your systems, you develop a deficit. And if neglected long enough, you will suffer the results of burnout.

Stress left to itself can take its toll on you, though there are some of us who can withstand a great deal of stress over time and not be affected much. But these very same heroic individuals are susceptible to burnout, and if or when they do, they are ill-equipped to recoil or respond appropriately. They fall victim to emotional fatigue, which promotes negativity, and they begin to spiral down in the shadow of burnout’s decay.

As your system deteriorates, you will notice areas of your life that were easily and naturally manageable becoming more and more problematic, affecting your professional life as well as affecting areas of your personal life as well, including interpersonal relationships. You might start feeling as though you don’t have anything in common with anyone and begin to withdraw from social interactions and intimate relationships as well.

If you are potentially amidst this sinking whirlpool dragging you down, you’re probably not as mindful about what you eat, nutrition, or exercise. And it’s likely, you’re not getting enough rest.

So what can you do?

Do what you can. Definitely, if you see signs of burnout in yourself (or someone else) take a quick inventory and fix what can easily be addressed. Seek to eat better and integrate more healthy foods in your diet. Start finding ways to incorporate physical fitness, walk, jog, go to the gym, do something. And start going to bed earlier and get some good sleep. This will start to rebuild your energy reserves.

Take it upon yourself to start finding ways to relax and deal with anxieties and situational stress.

Let’s face it, without the basic elemental fuel, your body will wear down and so will the rest of you. You have to take the responsibility for ensuring you, your body, spirit, and soul are tended to. Don’t let your physiological, intellectual, social and spiritual parts of you wither and die.

This is a good time for a checkup with your doctor for a complete physical battery.

It might also be apropos to consider taking a time out for a brief sabbatical to ready yourself for your triumphant return and resuming your powerful heroic performance.

Time to Let Go of Unforgiveness

Maintaining unforgiveness in your heart anchors you to the past and prevents you from moving on in your life. Remaining in the state of unforgiveness, or holding a grudge for something in the past, promotes a negative vibration. Chronic unforgiveness can prevent you from ever experiencing true joy, while forfeiting all the good things this life is holding for you.

It takes a great deal of effort to remain focused on something that happened in the past, and if you get accustomed to remaining in this negative vibration, you solidify your victimization holding and embracing fear-based emotions of resentment, retribution, and unhappiness. After a while you can become emotionally numb, incapable of ever experiencing joy.

On the other hand, if you can find the ability to forgive someone or something that has harmed you in the past, you release all these negative connections, breaking the power of these invisible chains from causing you further pain and suffering. This leaves your heart in a permeable and open state ready to experience all the good things in life.

It’s not enough just to speak words of forgiveness, you must do the inner work of letting go to truly forgive, releasing the grip that unforgiveness has on you. This is the only way to prevent yourself from psychological deterioration due to increased levels of stress, frustration and anxiety leading to the inability to feel good about yourself. As you further isolate yourself from otherwise positive states of mind, you will find yourself feeling ashamed, lonely and falling into deeper states of depression.

Your ego insists on harboring unforgiveness and wants to seek revenge, so it will be interrupting your otherwise healthy state of mind, reminding you about this thing that happened to you in the past, and every time your mind is quickened by these thoughts, you revisit the pain associated with this event in your past.

Unforgiveness is self-destructive, reduces your immune system and promotes the erosion of your otherwise healthy physiological state. People who hold grudges are more likely to suffer negative health ramifications of unforgiveness including, but not limited to, the deterioration of brain cells, ulcers, and promotes the growth of cancer.

Unforgiveness is the cause for up to 80% of the strife and disease suffered by the majority of us. So isn’t it about time you thought about forgiving and inviting love to come into your life?

Guard your heart and mind against the negative state of unforgivness by learning to forgive and let go. And remember this: Forgiveness is not for the person who wronged you, it is not approving of their behavior or endorsing them in any way. Forgiveness is for you. You forgive them, so they no longer have control of your thoughts and declining health conditions.

Forgiveness empowers you to get back in the driver’s seat of your life.

How can I forgive the unforgiveable?

It may not be a once-and-for-all type of forgiveness for you; it may take time and a concerted effort on your part to wrap your head and heart around the idea. It is a process. But as you find ways to hone your skills of forgiveness, you will be able to actually feel the results of your letting go.

You’re holding space in your thoughts for the good things in life, the things that bring you joy and your body feels increasingly better with every passing day, because you’re casting off the negativity of unforgiveness and making room for love in your life.

To really forgive someone means you can look back on the person or incident without pain or anger. To accomplish this, you must face your fears head-on. Get to the bottom of these emotions, identifying the transgression in detail. Be brutally honest and don’t try to sugar coat it. It may be helpful to write it out in detail.

Then try to look at it from another perspective, using your imagination, see why the transgression may have made sense from a different perspective.

Seeing the transgression from another point of view, outside of yourself, will have you well positioned to forgive and let it go. As much accustomed to the guilt and pain as you have become up until this point, you realize in order to have any sense of happiness or ability to enjoy life, you must let it go.

Forgive and let it go.

Gather up your self-respect and move away from this event and find new ways to let love into your life.

Priceless Success and Happiness

If you’re a material girl, like Madonna, you might think that happiness can be found in the things that money can buy.

Americans (as well as industrially advanced populations all over the globe) are programmed from the moment they breathe their first breath to desire the finer things in life. As an adult, it is fully ingrained in your being to equate certain material things with success and happiness, though the mix is a little different for each one of us. You’re likely to believe nice cars, a big fancy house, wearing garments and baubles made by designer labels, and a bank account with lots of zeros to the right of an integer are considered to be signs of success and happiness.

Then there is also the school of thought that is the total opposite, where people think that people who have a lot of material things are inherently bad people or evil. These folks are all over the map in their disgust of people who have much more than they do. You might find them saying,

  • The Bible says, “Money is evil”
  • How many bodies are hidden for the acquisition of their wealth?
  • How much does a person really need?
  • They have so much; they should give me some of their cache.
  • People are starving, yet they live in the lap of luxury
  • They are so selfish and narcissistic, they only think of themselves
  • It is an honor to be pure of heart and poor.
  • A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.

It’s as if these people want the nicer things in life but are reticent to acknowledge their own hidden desire and must demonize others who have what they believe is out of their reach or not within the realm of their possibility.

I remember a recording artist (I am not going to cite who, as there have been many, and I do not desire to engage in mudslinging or name calling) that was a struggling independent singer/songwriter who publicly put down successful artists signed to labels, claiming they had sold out or sold their souls to the devil for their success and fame. That is, until this particular artist was signed to a major label and selective amnesia set in, as if the words were never spoken.

The very same thing happens when a mediocre family experiences an unexpected windfall. One day, they’re putting all the haves down, while they are suffer through lives with all the other have nots, and they make their disapproval of the “one percent” well known. Then silently sneak off to greener pastures following hitting the big one (sung to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies).

Even if you’re not living in a $50 Million home with a 90210 zip code, going to nightclubs with a $1,500 bottle of wine table minimum, or laughing it off when one of your kids pushes a Lamborghini off a cliff and into the drink for fun, doesn’t mean that your life is any less happy, or your are less successful. Because it’s true:

Success and happiness is not dictated by what you have.

Rather, success and happiness is found in the heart, and unfortunately, for the people who have the most money, it is often heard that their hearts are empty. We all can think of people who were at the peak of their income earning potential who have taken their lives. And it’s not because it’s the fashionable thing for rich people to do (though it does bolster the ideal of “live fast die young leave good looking corpse”). No, it’s usually because even though they had it all, they became painfully aware that all the money in the world does not have any value if your heart is empty.

Among those of us on a more spiritual journey, emphasis is placed on loving and focusing on our hearts. This is where true happiness lives, and is the vibration we seek to maintain for our lives. If you’re one of us, you do not put down others for what they have, instead to bless them and hope that one day they, too, can find deeper meaning in life and true love.

You may be attracting this kind of wealth to you. While it has yet to materialize, you find joy in the little things, for many things in our live are priceless. If you don’t believe me, watch someone with low income run into a burning building to retrieve something that may be more meaningful to them than their own life. Their priceless treasures might include photographs, letters, cherished mementos, or their beloved pet.

You may also be guilty of imbuing something intangible with such admiration, like poetry or a particular song. Or the priceless love-filled moments in time that are forever recorded in our memories, which allow us to relive that moment just by the mere thinking of it. Money cannot buy these things, nor can it replace them if they are lost.

Society has twisted us up and fouled up our priorities so badly that we become addicted to the sense of lack, focusing on the not having of a thing so much that we can find it difficult to focus on anything else, as we are overwhelmed by jealousy and a feeling of worthlessness. You might even catch yourself think, “If I only had” (fill in the blank) “then I would be happy.” Yet something inside you knows that things do not satisfy, they only leave you wanting other things.

Sure, we all desire to have life just a little bit easier, to have enough left over after paying the bills to reward yourself for all your hard work and dedication, but to acquire ill gotten gains may be too much a price to pay for you. So, you focus on your vibration, embrace you happiness quotient and remain open to receive the abundance that is in store for you.

Think on those things which are precious and priceless, and treasure these things because, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

Ask yourself what does success and happiness mean to you?

And remember, nothing is more precious than authentically true and loving friends, your family (as dysfunctional as it might be), your stellar and integrous character, your health and wellbeing.

Review your truly priceless things which you surround yourself with and have a joyous and grateful heart for having the things that few of the wealthiest people in the world could never have.

You are so blessed.

 

Communication and Connection

We are, all of us, ingredients of the human soup. There’s no formal step-by-step recipe, we’re just all lumped together into the boiling pot of life. How do you like that?

All of us are ingredients in different soups, all simmering throughout our lives, and some of us have many soups simmering throughout our days. There’s the home soup, the partner soup, the work soup, the travel soup, the school soup, the news soup, the friend soup, the shopping soup, the spiritual soup,  the community soup, the world soup… it goes on and on. You’re managing more soups that Campbell’s.

If we’re all going to be in this soup together, don’t you think we should find ways to interact with each other while we’re in the soup together?

No matter what kind of soup you’re in, your ability to effectively communicate with the other ingredients in the soup can lead to the creation of the best tasting and satisfying soup experience.

To better communicate with people, try not being rude. If you’re in the habit of interrupting or finishing sentences for someone, try letting them finish their own sentences. When you cut them off, they may be reluctant to re-engage and you may lose creating a connection with this person. Let your conversation be inviting and encouraging the other person to expound on their thoughts and reach even deeper in their relation to you. Not cutting off someone mid-sentence or thought, invites them to be more open, creating an environment for greater connection.

While you’re not interrupting, you might consider really making the effort to listen intently to what they’re saying and indicating you are listening by not only acknowledging you are listening, to verify by feeding what they are saying back to them. When you’re actively listening in this manner, you are less inclined to be thinking more about what you will say next. When you’re not actively listening, you may only be picking up key words and phrases and planning your response. Not listening intently could have you missing something of importance.

Don’t let your thoughts drift off or otherwise disconnect from the conversation. Even if you disagree with what the other person is saying, let them say their piece. Don’t take a defensive position and let them know you have respect for their point of view.

Try to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground by resisting the temptation of exaggerating opinions, circumstances of facts in an attempt to gain control or superiority when engaged in a difficult conversation. Don’t use exclusive hyperbole such as, “You never,” or, “You always.” Rarely, if ever, are these exaggerated claims ever true.

Seeking to affix blame onto someone else, only distracts from the ability to resolve or come to a logical conclusion in any circumstance, while setting the base tone of that conversation in a negative vibration from that point forward. You can only change or affect anything that you take responsibility for.

When you are conversing and potentially creating a connection with someone resist the temptation to reach into the past bringing up and breathing life into otherwise dead issues. Try to keep your conversation current, in the present tense. Anchoring people in the past is far from the integrous intention of focusing on the now. Often the past casts a haze on the clarity of what is transpiring today.

No one’s position has ever been converted by debate. So avoid this type of adversarial conversation at all costs. All debating does is to bolster and further solidify the other person’s position while promoting separation. Keeping the conversation open, honest and permeable fosters an environment where people are willing to let down their guards, and allow the conversation to reach a deeper level of connection. In this state, people are more vulnerable and may be more open to new ideas, or even question dogma.

Surrender any inclination you might have to win in any conversation. Always be open to the idea that your desire is to arrive at a mutually beneficial resolution without causing emotional distress. Honor what the other person has to say. Let your conversation be fueled by love and mutual respect, not the need to dominate the verbal exchange or to be the winner (which implies that the person you’re talking to is the loser).

In the event that things are getting emotionally charged, tense or heated, take a break. A brief time out can be appropriate and allow each of you to re-center yourselves. You don’t necessarily have to break exposure to each other completely (like leaving the room or taking a walk) as this might look like abandonment. Instead, think about offering to change the subject completely to something you both can enjoy taking about while agreeing to resume the difficult conversation following the brief recess. Approaching a difficult conversation after a break can help to let parties think more freely and openly when their emotions aren’t overriding their ability to effectively communicate or connect.

If you have differing points of view, honor the other person’s point of view. Think about it; don’t you want the other person to honor and respect your point of view? Of course, you do. So, doesn’t it just make so much sense to treat the person with whom you are trying to conversate or connect with the same respect? It’s up to you to set the proper environment of respect and potential connection. Certainly, you need to be able to express your opinion or offer you unique perspective or share your concerns, but do so motivated by love, not aggression.

I am regularly remembering the advice of Steven Covey, to “Always seek win-win,” (habit #4 of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) in any conversation. By applying these methods of effectively communicating and connecting via earnest conversation, everyone wins, no matter what soup you’re in.

 

Evolution of Marriage

The current model marriage relationship is an evolution of marriage as compared to any previously accepted marriage model as “to love and obey” is dropped from nearly every modern day marriage vow script.

Back in the day, the man dictated how things were going to be and the wife would submit. In present-day marriage models both the man and the wife lead the relationship together, in harmony. At least, that’s the ideal, but it’s not always an easy idea to pull off, because we’re constantly struggling against our base instincts.

As much as it might work better if we were the more similar, men and women are uniquely each representative of their own genders, so they often find it problematic to find a resonate frequency where they both can vibrate in harmony.

Plus, we, all of us, bring with us our own fears, that are hidden deep down inside of us (we might not even know these things are hiding there) until it’s triggered, and the buried feeling strikes out in a knee-jerk reaction. In this moment, we may violently defend ourselves, as if our life depended on it, when there is no apparent real-life threat.

Each of us has a particular quirk we see in our partner which triggers this emotional reaction. If you are able to dig deep and find the root of the emotion (often secretly stored since childhood) we can find understanding and enlightenment. If you can work with someone to move though this process of discovery, healing and personal growth is possible, reinforcing the loving romantic bond with your spouse by going through this process.

The feelings that we hide inside and the feelings that we long to exert and share are often in conflict with each other. It’s no wonder that the closer that you get to someone, the more vulnerable you are, and these conflicts in sensory vibration become more and more apparent to the one we love.

These incongruent outbursts can catch your lover totally off-guard and make them wonder if he or she ever knew you, or wonder if you suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or might be possessed by demons (and in many ways, this is true for most of us, even if in the most minute ways, because we all have an alternate, vulnerable and frightened version of ourselves which hides in the shadows of the deep recesses of our being).

Although you might think your partner might be crazy, he or she is probably not. Of course, if it gets particularly nasty, or physical, you are never required to avail yourself to this type of abuse. Set clear boundaries and enforce them. It may not be your calling to fix this person. If it is more than you can stand, find someone else you can refer them to, or be looking for an exit for yourself.

The key is in realizing that while emotions may be directed at you, it seems to make sense that you might want to defend yourself and challenge your lover in a battle, but the truth may be that this outburst may have little or nothing to do with you at all.

We all are a complex amalgam of a wide variety of familial and societal programming with a dash of childhood psychoses thrown in for flavor resulting in an explosive cocktail, ready to go off at any time. Many of us do a good job of keeping our inner self hidden while it continues to cook away, waiting for that particular chemical to start the chain reaction.

Some can manage keeping the explosive concoction from ever going off at any time in our lives. For those who are able to keep it hidden and subdued, their life does not last as long as those who are able to pull out the bubbling mess, examining and removing the chemicals altogether.

Fortunately, love does conquer all things, and this process can be amazing especially for a marital journey shared by two beings committed on to the other. I see more motivation to deal with these emotions and their roots among married couples, while unmarried couples are more reluctant to take of the task of dealing with what hides in the shadows of the deepest recesses of their lives.

In the best case scenario, a present day married couple can continue to bone and grow together to become one flesh, a melding of two strong individual who together create a third, more powerful entity, as if they were became a terran version of the trinity, each uniquely individual. The husband, the wife and the individual they become when they share a congruent love vibration.

A new marriage model is emerging and you can be part of the evolution of marriage, if you dare.

The Power of Pretending

You’re frightened. You’ve never done this before. You’ve put yourself out there, raised your hand, volunteered to do this thing in faith, hoping to God you can just make it out alive. You walk onto the stage, blinded by the light, all eyes are on you. You freeze for a moment.

Your mind is racing, reviewing hundreds of thoughts in a second. Your heart is racing, like it’s going to explode any second. Then you remember why you opted to do this in the first place. You need to do this, so to get to the other side of this, you pretend.

You pretend, act like you’re someone else for whom this would be no big deal. In that moment you channel the person you admire, who would pull this off without a second thought.

Essentially you become that person, like an actor in a play, in a television show or in the movies, and you keep going.

Nearing the end of your assignment, you’re starting to second guess. Did anyone buy this? Does the whole world know that I’m scared to death and I totally just made a fool of myself in front of all these people?

As you deliver your final lines, your inner voices are taunting you, telling yourself you are a fake, a phony, you just made a complete fool of yourself in front of all these people, and your life is ruined.

Then you come to uttering the final syllable, and there is silence; for a second that seems to take hours, then you hear the roaring applause as you exit the stage. Once you’re safely back stage, you reach up, make a fist and quickly pull it down to your gut and quietly but confidently say, “Yes!”

Pretending is a powerful weapon in your life’s arsenal.

There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes from conquering your fears. All you need is a good reason and the willingness to do what it takes to make it happen. If the going gets rough, you feel like you just can’t do it, and you are ready to call it quits, pretend you’re someone else with all the qualities, talents and confidence to do this thing. And do it.

Once you’ve done it… you’ve done it.

As a young man, this pretty much describes my day, every day. And it didn’t stop there. I became courageous, overcoming insurmountable odds, and if I ever found myself in a frightening situation, feeling powerless and insignificant, I pretended I was someone else who clearly would have the ability to handle this situation, and I did it.

So, once you’ve done it, now what?

Put yourself in a position to do it again, and again, and again, and before long, congratulate yourself because now you are a pro. Celebrate your win and prepare to win again, because you know you can do anything if you can play-act when necessary, through whatever you need to get you from here to there.

Some refer to this kind of pretending as, “fake it til you make it,” while in more therapeutic circles we refer to this as, “modeling.” Regardless of what you call it, it’s all just play-acting, pretending you’re someone else so you can get through it. Then keep doing it until these more confident and powerful attributes become a part of you.

People, who know me today, could never imagine the person I was before. And I’ll tell you this; you might not recognize me tomorrow.

I am on a path of changing, adapting to change, personal growth and empowering others to do the same, ever since I can remember. In the beginning, no one taught me this. All I knew was that if I wanted to survive in this world, I had to act like I could handle it, just so I could do whatever needed to be done to survive. That’s all I knew.

For me, it was lie or die.

And the more I did it, the more courageous I became.

Sure, I was still that frightened little boy inside, but I could do things in such a way that nobody ever knew.

All that to say,

When you feel like you can’t do it, pretend you can, and do it anyway.

You will be surprised to discover that it works for pretty much anything from nailing a job interview to falling in love. What?

Yeah, I knew I’d get you on the love piece, because nowadays, when people feel as though they’re not feeling the love (attraction or lust) for their partner that they once did, they just throw in the towel and find a new drug (love).

So, what if you’re in a relationship that seems to have run cold.

Pretend. Pretend he or she is the love of your life. Act like you’re in love, doing all the things and saying all the things that you would if you were deeply in love.

You know what happens next. The more you do it, the more you become it, and before you know it, you’re more in love than you’ve ever been.

Plus, look at all the grief, embarrassment, strife and money you’ve saved.

You get the idea… and it works for anything.

That’s the power of pretending.

Define Love

So, you want it, you’ve longed for it your whole life, but you just can’t seem to get a grip on what love is. Before you start falling into it (as if it were a hole in the ground) you should probably have some idea about what love is. And if you’re thinking about getting into a love relations, both you and your partner had best determine how each of you define love.

It doesn’t matter what age you are, the desire to love and be loved in universal. When From the time you were introduced to this planet by birth, instinctively you knew you wanted it, even though you have no ideas what love is. Now look at you. It’s been a long time since you were born and you still want love and you want to give it, even if you’re really not sure what love is.

You already know there are different kinds of love. For instance the love of a mother for her baby and the romantic love in a coupled relationship are recognizably different. Then there is the intangible far off fantasy ideal of true love. You have a sense of knowing that if you could capture true love, it would be the best thing that could ever happen to you. While falling in love with someone is quite simple due to certain chemical reactions in the brain and our biological yearning to have an intimate partner, establishing true love is more complex.

To find true love, you seek out a partner who meets a list of criteria (and if you’re like me, it’s a long one) which includes (but certainly not limited to) trustworthiness, responsibility, transparently innocent and faithful, to name a few.

So, what is love anyway?

Devotion

No matter where the love exists, whether it be with your family, friends or a romantic partner, devotion is a standard component. When you are devoted to someone you are dedicated to maintaining a degree of allegiance to the other person and care enough about him or her to pledge a uncompromising support and concern about his or her well being. When you’re devoted to someone there exists a special heroic bond which creates a willingness to endure risk or engage in a potentially dangerous circumstance to protect the object of your affection.

Attachment

Similar to the bond between a mother and her child, attachment creates in you a feeling of connection to someone outside yourself, you often desire to be with that person and would like to see them content and happy more than anything. When oxytocin and vasopressin hormones are released in the you brain, you are developing your bond of attachment. You are drawn to and desire to be in the presence of this person to whom you are tethered.

Attraction

When you look across a crowded room and your attention is fixated on another person with whom you would like to be deeply attached, or have an overwhelming desire to be intimate with, this is due to the release of testosterone and estrogen hormones in your brain. Left to themselves, these hormones make you want to have sex with this person, but combined with other traits of love, can have you wanting a long term romantic relationship with this person.

Commitment

If you have been burned before and have reservations about committing to another person, there is something inside you that desires to stay connected to the other person over a long period of time. Our society encourages marriage as a public declaration of your commitment to your betrothed. Even though the odds may be stacked against you, you and your partner team up in a counter intuitive never-say-die declaration, “It’s you and me against the world.” Whether the contract is merely emotional, spoken or appears on a legal document, the fact remains, you are each one committed to the other, and committed couples tend to be more optimistic and likely to overlook otherwise undesirable traits.

Intimacy

For there to be a romantic relationship there must be some intimacy. In fact, a marriage document may not be legal without consummating the marriage. This is to say, if you want your marriage to be legal you must have sex to complete the contractual obligation to each other and the state. Not limited to sex, intimacy also refers to the deepening closeness shared between two people as they progress through life together. There is a deeper sense of knowing the other person as you share experiences in your pasts and in the now, while contemplating the future together.

Trust

Trust is hard to come by these days. You might know your partner, but you really only know what he or she has revealed to you, or you may have access to third party information to gain knowledge about some of the things you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to. There is no way to really know what your partner is thinking inside his or her head. Building trust can be a difficult and lengthy process, even harder if you’re trying to rebuild it following a betrayal. In the most ideal relationship, both partners should be able to communicate openly, honestly and be able to believe and depend on the reliability of the other person.

Define Love

Since there are so many varying interpretations of what love is, it would be a good idea to delineate what love means to you. Then, after you’ve defined it for yourself, have your partner do the same. You might be surprised at how differently your partner defines love. Compare notes and make revisions with your mate to create a shared vision of love. What you will end up with is a comprehensive definition of love for both of you as a couple to share along the way.


Love, true love. Princess Bride

All and Nothing Therapy

Having studied and taught a variety of therapeutic modalities and working in the field of therapeutic science for years it is not uncommon for counselors, coaches and consultants to maintain a tool box full of these methodologies. While we may have been trained in a particular method, you might find the resulting techniques practiced by each individual varies in their method of delivering the specific techniques, as each practitioner develops their own unique style, based on their own prowess of all the therapeutic tools.

Lately, in a round table session with many therapists, I was able to query over a dozen practitioners who all admitted they had created their own version of strict methods they studied. Only two of them insisted they felt compelled to follow the exact modality as trained, in order to be authorized to add them by name to their menu of services offered.

In this group setting, I referred to this idea as, “All and Nothing Therapy,” as a contrast to the phrase commonly used as, “All or nothing.” It seemed to be an adequate title, at least for the conversation at hand, to describe the idea that most of us had created our own methods based on our specific training which honored the specific therapeutic model but had evolved in individual practice to only be closely related to the original version. And in most cases, the consensus seemed to be, that the evolved version was a combination of other previously learned therapeutic modalities.

So, if you’re going to see me, or any of my contemporaries, be forewarned, you’re going to have a life-changing experience unlike you will get anywhere else. That said, what are some of the things that we deal with on a regular basis? Well, we all agree that we’re in the paradigm shifting business, which is the broad stroke definition of what we do, while we all specialize. My specialty has evolved through many different focus groups from love, marriage, relationships and spiritual growth to business, with my current client list looking mostly like enlightened businesspeople at the moment.

It’s not that they are enlightened about their businesses so much, as they are entrepreneurs on a spiritual journey of enlightenment, while they are pursuing their businesses as an outlet of their spiritual growth, and supporting their (metaphoric) travel expenses along their journey. And there is a growing trend as I am seeing more and more spiritually inclined entrepreneurs expressing their message, skills and gifts, as an outpouring through their businesses or ministries.

One of the common issues they need to overcome include eliminating empowering others to slow their roll, or to get them worked up and over-reactive to series of words spoken by people who appear to be determined to pull them to lower energetic vibrations.

Think about it, if someone can say words to you that cause you to be offended, hurt your feelings or make you want to either fight or flee, this is not a reflection of the state of the person speaking the words. This is a clear indication that you have been predictably programmed by society to respond to those words in a specific manner and you fall for it every time. The mere fact that you respond to those words negatively, qualifies you to be a predictably manageable member of our society.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

With a little help of my friends, you can listen to someone’s litany of disrespecting or vile words and not be affected negatively. While we all may approach this challenge differently, with a little intervention, and a bit of skill, you can be emotionally bullet proof.

So, if you’re finding yourself being sensitive to what other people think or say about you, get some help. Seek out a counselor, coach or consultant who can take you through a metamorphic process that will have you thinking differently about the things that other people say, because the truth is,

People who judge others, are only expressing their own inner struggle and pain

There is no reason to take it personally, when someone is acting out because they are amidst so much inner turmoil or pain. This might be the only way they know how to relieve some of the pressure of their life. You might even think about how you are blessed to be the method for them to relieve some of this pent up frustration of pressure. Someone else may have really been deeply hurt by this person’s outburst.

You can take charge of this area of your life and/or any other part(s) of your life by embarking on your journey of empowering self improvement by learning how to be successful with personal development, if you’re so inclined.

Seek out a counselor, coach or consultant to be your accountability partner you resonate with and start kicking ass and taking names. Get in touch with who you really are, in tune with your life’s purpose and sharing your unique message, skills and gifts, because a better life is waiting for you.

If your life has been going on… and it seems pretty much the same ol’ same ol’, maybe it’s time to embrace your uniqueness and live a better life, your best life, and make the world a better place.

 

Should I Get Married?

When you’re surrounded by a sea or wounded people going through divorce, destroying families and creating chaos between two people and their people sending shock waves of decimation throughout the community, it’s no wonder you asking yourself, “Should I get married?”

Marriage builds stronger relationships between two people than two people who are not married. It’s not that unmarried couples cannot thrive together for the long haul, but statistics prove that married couples are 50% more likely to survive a long term commitment.

So as much as our society is resisting the idea that marriage is a good thing, or is leaning toward the belief that marriage is “just a piece of paper,” couples who are married experience greater degrees of happiness, stronger family units, greater health, wellness and longevity.

In this day and age, many people are resistant to the idea of marriage because they see the many people they have known who were married and witnessed the destruction of these lives affecting friends and family members as the legal system strives to make the struggle for survival after divorce even more difficult.

While the institution of marriage (I know, I can hear the hecklers in the background, “Why would I want to commit myself to an institution?”) does demonstrate a good chance of success, the devastating effect of the divorce process gets far more publicity via social exposure, and many more people than those involved can be shocked or hurt by the mere thought of whatever might possibly be a fearful conclusion that no one would sing up to endure.

Who could blame them? Most everyone has been within earshot of, if not directly affected by, the down and dirty effects of divorce on families across the board in America today. And the legal institutions that back up the divorce process are all tools available to an unscrupulous parent or child to make matters even worse. The divorce process can be a painfully horrible experience to have to go through.

In my practice I serve both married and unmarried couples and from my experience the best, most long-lasting relationships are among the couples that are married. It’s as if that little “piece of paper” does give them that little extra incentive to put forth just enough more effort to get over the hump and realize whatever amazing thing is waiting for them on the other side of adversity.

Plus, in successful marriages, married couples have more stable states of mental health, and better physiological health and wellness. And (you might be surprised to discover) successful married couples suffer fewer heart attacks, are less likely to get Cancer, and live longer than their single or unmarried but coupled peers.

While the unmarried couples are more vocal about the benefits of not being married, the married couples do experience a higher quality of life. Oh, you hear about how sex outside of marriage is better than the sex that takes place in the marriage bed… What? Who are these people?

In my practice, I have spent a lot of time counseling with married couples, and as far as I can tell, in general, there is more sex happening more frequently between partners who are married (to each other) than their single or unmarried cohabitating peers. I also hear that married sex is better because of the potential of a much deeper connection that is possible between married couples sharing similar spiritual journeys. So, the idea that unmarried sex is better is a myth, as is the idea that unmarried sex, or swinging sex, is more frequent than married sex.

As a wedding officiant, I have married many couples and am somewhat disappointed at the survival rates of people whose weddings I’ve officiated. It’s pretty much the same as national statistics. To be honest about half of them end in divorce.

And divorce can be a low down and dirty business. While men get a bad rap when it comes to divorce, the women can be just as dastardly, if not more so, and are more emotionally equipped to survive the divorce process than a man, who is twice as likely to take his own life following a failed marriage.

By the way, any of the positive effects gained during the marriage are negated while emotional and biological health deteriorates rapidly during the divorce process.

So, the unmarried folks who put down marriage have a point, no doubt. Divorce is the downside of marriage, but the benefits of successful marriages far outweigh any other kind of relationship.

So, what do you think when you ask yourself,

Should I get married?

Living Your Life In Love

As you become more aware about who you are, where you came from and what your purpose is for being here, you look at the idea of love differently than you did in your pre-evolutionary infancy. You’re realizing that the Love Vibration is a high frequency that resonates with you in the most pleasing way.

From the perspective of the Love Vibration, life is good and you maintain a reverent attitude about life and everything we discover or witness taking place anywhere around us. The more you get accustom to the Love Vibration, you will find ways to keep anything from pulling you down to other lower levels of vibration.

While love is the most meaningful vibration, as you continue to evolve, you realize that love is the secret doorway that leads to even higher vibrations of joy, peace and enlightenment. While you can occasionally visit these higher vibrational states fully feeling them in all their glory, maintaining those higher vibrations is often brief and you will return to your base vibration.

Your base vibration is the set point from which you visit other vibrational frequencies. For example, if your base vibration of wanting more, which we will refer to as “Desire.” The Desire Vibration is a frequency that keeps the things that you want to appear to be just outside your reach. You are craving things you don’t have, you are often interrupted and disappointed by people, information and circumstances. From the Desire Vibration, you can visit and enjoy higher vibrations of love or above, but after a period of time, our vibration will return to your set point of desire.

If your set point is the Love Vibration, no matter what lower frequencies you visit, you will always return to your loving set point.

So, here are some things to think about adopting and activating into your day-to-day lifestyle. They will take you to the Love Vibration, and the more you do them, the more likely you will be able to make love your vibrational set point.

Love Yourself

Get to know yourself better and love the whole person that you are. Find ways to lovingly see the blessing in all the life circumstances you have encountered and endured. All this experience helped to bring you to this place, this time, just as you are. You embrace your uniqueness, you don’t consider yourself unworthy, undeserving or not enough. You’ve banished the negative thoughts that once haunted you. You live life knowing there is a bright side to all dark clouds and are able to find the good in all things. While you are still open to evolve, you know you are perfect and love yourself just the way you are.

Do What You Love

Whatever those things are that you love to do, make more opportunities to do them. Every time you perform an act of love or are feeling love, whatever that is for you, you are experiencing the frequency of the Love Vibration. Be looking for new activities that you can do that take you to love’s frequency. The more you find yourself engaging in the activities you love, the longer you can maintain the Love Vibration.

Invite Loving Expansion

Find new opportunities to experience the Love Vibration and seek out new, emerging thought processes that invite you to inhabit the frequency of love or above. As you grow in your personal development and continue to expand tha which is you will find more congruence with love’s vibration. Keep an open heart and an open mind as you seek to find the love all around you, for everywhere you look love is there, waiting for you to see it, feel it, be it.

This Love Is for You

When others notice your love expanding, they might try to influence your expansion of love and your metamorphosis into a higher version of yourself. Remember, this process is not for anyone else, it’s for you and you, alone. You’re no longer living your life of love for anyone else and no one can tell you how to do it. Everyone’s love journey is so unique and individualized. This is a journey of one. You’re not becoming love for anyone else but you and if you want to love someone who loves you, you don’t have to do anything but be the love you are and let your love overflow to that other person.

Connect

Love is a powerful, integrous, connecting force that attracts and affects others all around you. In all areas of life people, increasingly the right kind of people, will be attracted to you. Opportunities will present themselves to allow interconnection with good people who will be supportive and have your back. Through love, your love can expand to and through the others in and throughout your expanding circle of influence. All areas of your life will be affected by your Love Vibration, attracting people you can rely on.

Tap in to Your Heart’s Love

Get to know your heart’s Love Vibration and find ways to absorb it’s vibration. Just imagining you’re holding a new born baby, looking into its eyes and feeling the love, takes you to that vibration. A love song or imagining reuniting with a beloved soldier coming home from abroad, or loving your pet. Whatever it is for you, you can go there in your mind and feel the love radiate from your heart and allow it to envelope you. Increasingly, you will have the ability to go into love’s libration whenever you want.

Get to Know Yourself Deeply

Becoming more self aware will empower you with the ability to see the underlying blocks which have hindered your ability to experience true love in the past. You will start to see yourself and the things you do in a different life, and discover new ways to act and react from love’s sacred space. You better you get to know yourself, the more equipped you will be to surrender fear, lack and unrealistic expectations of love. And let go of your false images of love, what it is and what it means as you embrace higher vibrations of authentic love.

Abandon Immature Love

Immature love is so far from being unconditional. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Immature love leaves you needing to have your partner’s full attention all the time. You might also expect them to love you without reservation, expecting them to honor and respect you at all times and remember each and every special occasion reverently. Then find yourself being upset of hurt because they did not express their love in a particular fashion. Let go of the entrapment of immature love, instead be open, honest and communicative with your partner. Do not expect him or her to read your mind and rid yourself 0f immature heart break.

Romance Yourself

Take time and make occasion to romance yourself. Buy yourself flowers, take a long hot bath at night with scented candles, get a massage, etc. Make opportunities for you to relax and be enveloped by love’s vibration. And think on these things: You are love. You deserve love. Love flows in and through you to others, an invisible but powerful force which affects anyone within ten feet of your presence and can be focused and sent from your heart to the heart of another instantly, unimpeded by time or space.

Be Lovingly Mindful

Honor the love growing in you and flowing through you. Find better ways to spend your time and expend your energies to reflect your Love Vibration. Do the things you love and make opportunities to do and love them even more. Keep the people who reflect your love back to you nearby and make any adjustments that may be necessary to increase your exposure to your loving crew.

Forgive Yourself

Authentic, true love does not disrespect you, criticize you or berate you. Love accepts you just the way you are, with all your perfect imperfections. Love does not ridicule you when you misstep. Rather, love forgives you, and loves you even more. Love lightheartedly sees the humor in otherwise embarrassing situations and loves you through it, allowing the doing of it better next time (should the occasion ever arise). Love does not judge, it only loves you no matter what. So cut yourself some slack and join in love’s forgiveness.

Celebrate Love’s Expansion

As the love within you continues to grow and expand and you are feeling the results of love’s vibration more and more, celebrate your love and find ways to use this powerful vibration to influence your life even more as well as the world around you. Treat or reward yourself for helping to make the world a better place, even if only the world which resides within you.

God bless you on living your life in love
For that is what you are
LOVE