Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Appreciation

Monday, October 31st, 2016

This is why appreciating and being appreciated are so appealing in relationships: both parties become better people. What’s more, my appreciation of you has a ripple effect. It helps me appreciate the beauty of the sunset, the drama of the painting, or the excitement of the movie or play.

— Steven Stosny, Soar Above, p. 111

Love Is an Inside Job.

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Through her own challenging experiences of both love and solitude, she had come to know that love is first and foremost an inside job — not in the sense of trying to love herself with positive affirmations but rather in becoming intimate with her own experience, with allowing herself to be transparent to herself and others rather than protecting her heart for fear of being known too well and then rejected.

She was also engaged in a creative and fulfilling life that she loved. As an individual ripens, becomes something in herself, as Rilke puts it, there is less need to find someone else to fill the missing gap. Athena wasn’t averse to an intimate relationship; on the contrary, she knew that she wanted one, but she didn’t need it.

— Roger Housden, Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have, p. 74-75

Compassion and Boundaries

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Very early on in my work I had discovered that the most compassionate people I interviewed also have the most well-defined and well-respected boundaries. It surprised me at the time, but now I get it. They assume that other people are doing the best they can, but they also ask for what they need and they don’t put up with a lot of crap. I lived the opposite way: I assumed that people weren’t doing their best so I judged them and constantly fought being disappointed, which was easier than setting boundaries. Boundaries are hard when you want to be liked and when you are a pleaser hell-bent on being easy, fun, and flexible.

Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.

— Brené Brown, Rising Strong, p. 114-115.

Compassion Changes You.

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

The use of compassion to cajole someone into changing is especially tragic in abusive relationships, when abused partners are desperate to bring about change. Their desperation is misconstrued by abusers as pure manipulation, to which they respond angrily and often abusively. Compassion is a healing emotion for the person who behaves compassionately because it engages Adult brain power to access our deepest humane values. But it’s helpful to recipients only when they are in the Adult brain. The Toddler brain does not receive compassion positively. If you’re in an abusive relationship, you must understand that your compassion will change you by putting you more in touch with your humanity, but it will not change your partner. Only your partner’s compassion for you will change him or her.

Steven Stosny, PhD, Soar Above, p. 52

Being Powerful

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

I grew up with angry and resentful people and have struggled my whole career to help thousands of resentful and angry clients achieve a better life. The hardest truth for any of them to grasp is the difference between feeling powerful and being powerful. Most anger and resentment are attempts to feel powerful at the cost of being powerful.

Steven Stosny, PhD, Soar Above, p. 45

Courage Is Contagious.

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Rising strong changes not just you, but also the people around you. To bear witness to the human potential for transformation through vulnerability, courage, and tenacity can be either a clarion call for more daring or a painful mirror for those of us stuck in the aftermath of the fall, unwilling or unable to own our stories. Your experience can profoundly affect the people around you whether you’re aware of it or not.

— Brené Brown, Rising Strong, p. 10

Guilt Hides Fear.

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Guilt is a place where we have made a monument to a mistake and left the path of life to worship at this monument. It has us withdraw and then withholds us from the people we love. We may feel we have made a mistake in relation to our partner and now feel guilty about it, but guilt not only reinforces the mistake, it starves our partner of the very love and nurturing they need. Forgiving ourselves cuts through the guilt and allows us to give the love and nurturing. Guilt keeps us stuck like the great superglue of life; the primary reason for our guilt is so we don’t have to move forward and face the next step. Our willingness to allow the next step to emerge cuts through fear in much the same way that forgiveness cuts through guilt.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 54

Control

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Control is a form of fear. When you are tempted to control the relationship, it’s because you’re afraid that you are unloveable and that you might lose someone’s love. Unfortunately, the more you try to control a relationship, the less loving it feels. If only one of you is authorized to take the lead, make the decisions, and drive the car, so to speak, you run into problems. Too much control makes the other person passive or passive-aggressive. The more you control someone, the less attractive and interesting the person is to you. Controlling the relationship makes it less exciting and less fun. Control stunts growth. It kills the aliveness. The relationship is a dead fish.

— Robert Holden, Loveability, p. 152

Look hard.

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

The story of human intimacy is one of constantly allowing ourselves to see those we love most deeply in a new, more fractured light.

Look hard.

Risk that.

— Cheryl Strayed, Brave Enough, p. 90

It’s Your Journey, But You’re Not Alone

Friday, February 12th, 2016

This journey belongs to no one but you; however, no one successfully goes it alone. Since the beginning of time, people have found a way to rise after falling, yet there is no well-worn path leading the way. All of us must make our own way, exploring some of the most universally shared experiences while also navigating a solitude that makes us feel as if we are the first to set foot in uncharted regions. And to add to the complexity, in lieu of the sense of safety to be found in a well-traveled path or a constant companion, we must learn to depend for brief moments on fellow travelers for sanctuary, support, and an occasional willingness to walk side by side. For those of us who fear being alone, coping with the solitude inherent in this process is a daunting challenge. For those of us who prefer to cordon ourselves off from the world and heal alone, the requirement for connection — of asking for and receiving help — becomes the challenge.

— Brené Brown, Rising Strong, p. 6