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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jampolsky--Love Is Letting Go of Fear


Constructive fear protects us from harm, but fear can also block love and happiness. Imagined danger caused by superstitions and distorted perceptions can paralyze people with anxiety and phobias. Jamposlsky, in his book "Love is Letting Go of Fear" says, "Love is the absence of fear." That is certainly true of soul mate love.

Don't Make Yourself Victim

In our last post we talked about not giving your power away. That means owning your fear and not making yourself victim. You make yourself victim when you blame others for your feelings. If you grew up as a survivor, you may automatically go into a victim role. Jampolsky suggests asking the question, "What is real?" He goes on to say fear distorts perception and confuses us. I tell my clients to ask themselves, "Where does my power lie?" It is the prayer for serenity approach. Don't beat your head against the wall where you have no power. Do identify where you have power and use it to let go of fear.

Peace of Mind, Love, Serenity

"Peace of mind as our single goal is the most potent force we can have", according to Jampolsky. Serenity is what we experience when we ask God to help us know the difference between what we have power to change and what we don't. Absence of fear and nurturing love for yourself and your partner give you serenity.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Virginia Satir on Communication in Relationship

Own Your Own Power

Virginia Satir, a world-renowned family therapist in the nineteen hundreds gave us the key to becoming better communicators. She gave us the five freedoms of personal power. (See earlier blog post) Then she added this, own your own power. "Making real contact," says Satir, "means that we make ourselves responsible for what comes out of us."

Types of Communication

Satir identifies types of communicating used by people with low opinions of themselves. She calls them placating, blaming, super reasonable, and irrelevant. She says, "They limit the use of an individual's resources and ability to build with one another."
     Placating-----"I'm always doing everything wrong!" Power in Placating : "People who feel guilt, pity, and contempt can't make loving contact."
     Blaming-----"You never do anything right!" Power in Blaming: "Fearful, helpless, and resentful people cannot make loving contact."
     Super reasonable-----"One needs to face the fact that one makes errors in life!" Power in Super reasonable: Anyone facing this kind of power can feel inferior and stupid so making contact is unlikely.
     Irrelevant-----"Ho Ho, balance! Errors, errors! Anybody got a penny?...." Power in Irrelevance: This kind of communication distracts and disrupts and does not lead to making contact.

The Key to Making Contact

All of this has to do with giving our power away. In order to make contact in relationship it comes back to owning our own feelings and behavior. For more from Virginia Satir, check out her book,"Making Contact."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ageing and Marriage

Growing Old Together

No age comes without challenges. When we first married my husband had just been discharged from the navy. Three months later he enrolled in college. I taught school. Marriage and family have always been top priority for us. Like most people, we went into marriage with some unrealistic expectations.
Learning to live with someone different from you is a huge challenge. Making it from payday to payday was another challenge. Savings did not exist. We were on our own. Our parents had no money and could not help. We learned how to get along with what we had.

Mid-life Crisis

Middle age is a time of transition and evaluating. Usually finances have improved. You may question sacrifices you believe you are making. You wonder how much time you have left and how much of your bucket list have you crossed off. Some people blow up their marriages by having an affair or letting their family know they are gay. It is hard to begin again, but you learn from experience if you stay open to learning.
When our children all reached school age I decided to go back to college and get a masters degree in Counseling Psychology. Everett was supportive. It paid off in many ways. We both learned more about ourselves and each other. We worked together with our children to help them go to college. We got through the "empty nest" syndrome.

Aging is the Biggest Challenge

The future becomes shorter and shorter while life together grows sweeter. You no longer feel in control of staying together forever while anxiety about the future increases. You live with losses; hearing, vision, agility, keen memory, friends, family, and even decreased sexual activity.
There are also pluses. If you have spent time working on understanding and accepting yourself and the relationship, this is pay-off time. Gone are the conflicts over routine tasks; who does the dishes, makes the bed, cleans the toilets, pays the bills, etc. In evolving soul mate relationships those things have probably been worked out by the time the Kids have gone. You are comfortable with yourself and your mate. In the beginning you liked each other. In time you truly love each other, but after years together you adore each other.
To love and be loved like that is the ultimate achievement in life. Deep, satisfying love as life runs its course can come to anyone at any stage of life if two people want it and are willing to do what it takes. Don't forget. God is love and having God in your life is the biggest blessing of all.