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Between the lines, and the spoken words, does a realtionship live on?  So many times we say, I’d done.  So many times, we split.  Or we yell…”make me love you again.”

And we begin again.  How many times have I heard from women who know it’s over.  But it’s not – for years.  And men, too.  A lot of married people have this realtionship that’s just one of dissapointment and, at best, remembrance of love lost.  But they’re still married.

It’s as if the realtionship assumes a life of its own.  What it really is deep down is a failure to launch.  A failure to finish.  A failure to move on or to let go.  Whether through ennui, fear, hate, or basic economic hardship this relationship isn’t going anywhere.

Many times it’s the fallout of an affiar – physical or emotional.  One or both parties have checked out, or left their hearts in San Francisco – or on Facebook.

Much of the time however it is our own refusal to believe in the obvious.  Love does not mean happily ever after.  Love doesn’t even mean you can successfully cohabitate! The first or the hardest lesson learned is this.  Whether through romance novels or rom com movies we don’t want to hear it.  We don’t believe it. We believe in the impossible – oh, his children will accept me and love me because they love him.  Oh, I can sacrifice my career promotion because I want to show how much I love him.

And when this doesn’t work, when we’re left with the burnt out carcass of a heart in our still breathing chests, we realize.  Love is only love.  All the rest of it is the actions of love.  Love without actions is love that’s on life support and all it’s going to take is the tube to be pulled for the relationship to die.

The actions of love will look different through every set of eyes that glance its way.  But make no mistake – without any action, love is not going to carry you through.  You’ll need a back up plan, or a willingness to stay in a failed relationship where nothing anyone says is ever really going to make you love them again.

Keep love vital, express it!  And if it’s a shell of a relationship instead and there are reasons you want to keep it on life support – make yourself a back up plan.  Fifteen minutes a day, scout Craigslist – for a job, a new home, a new friend.  Whatever it takes.  Stash some cash, put a smile on your face and let it be.  Continue Reading »

Why do people store up a litany of grudges and then unleash them upon the world?  Is it because they hate you, or is it that they hate themselves?

If someone writes enormous, copious pages of notes dissecting what I’ve said to prove how wrong I am – but the notes are from a year ago – and out of context, what does that prove?  That they’ve been obsessed with my words for months, or that they didn’t understand my words to begin with?

I think it’s interesting that people have such an enormous need to “prove” to themselves and the world how right they are.  If someone proves I am wrong, so what?

Did I say I was right?  Did I promise to be perfect?  Did I fail them in some way?

Are they so in love with me that they feel they must take my hand and lead me, line by line, to the light contained in their way of thinking?

I keep getting cautioned to edit myself, to “watch” my words….to package and product myself to be likeable and loveable.

I won’t do it.  Ever.  Can’t, don’t want to.  Don’t have to.

And I am a lucky girl – everyone should get to be so authentic in their life.  I am happyproudgratefulstrong….it’s a great day to be me!

And I know this is not just individualized to me – to read more about it, and the problems attendent with it, this is a fabulous link to Michele Toomey, PhD.

And, since this is my world…I welcome you into it! Continue Reading »

I write about relationships a lot; I post on a relationship blog.  I’ve written about this phenomena I’ve witnessed.

With men – all men! – there is this point past which if you push, you lose.  A man will do anything for love.  He’ll endure harassment, suspicion, derision, nagging and bitching.  For awhile.  Maybe for years.

My personal theory is men are hardwired to equate love with doing and they’ll do anything to make you happy.  They try and try and try.  And one day, the stop.  The switch flips.  And if you’ve ever felt that switch flip, you know what I’m talking about.  They just give up.  Like if their allotment of trying has run out.

And every man is different with this timeline.  Even when he’s wrong, he’s got a timeline.  Even when you are the victim of his aggressive or abusive actions, he has a timeline.

There is a point past which a man cannot be pushed.  My friends and I both experienced it in our early 20’s.  I taunted my drunk boyfriend and got his fist smashed into my face while driving.   I was making him jealous, slightly drunk myself, knowing he was boiling – and I pushed.

And sometimes we don’t even push.  The man just gives up.  The man decides to follow his bliss.  A boyfriend I had wanted to be an Indian and do sweatlodges…so off he went to cut grass for the Indians by hand with scissors (though he couldn’t dance), leaving me unable to walk with a new German Shepherd puppy and a house to take care of for two weeks.  He came back, he felt bad, he promised to make it up to me.  So, he took me to a fabulous new age metaphysical event with many popular authors in Austin a few weeks later.  My best friend and her husband came too.

And that first night we ended up driving half way back to Houston to go to a sweat lodge that started at 4 am.  My weekend was shot, I was delirious from lack of sleep and from the realization that no matter what he said, no matter what he did…the switch had flipped. Continue Reading »

Hi, Everyone – this post is for Adrian, who wanted to continue on the subject but had too many commitments this week.  I wrote it awhile ago, but it still brings me joy to read – and I hope you enjoy it as well.

As I hope you enjoy celebrating the Season of re-birth – Easter, Oestra, Beltane, or simply glorious Springtime and balanced day and night.  Feel the spinning ball tilt and yet be still, and find your balance in the equinox of the Season that brings renewal and life!

Blessings be to all of life,

Jacqueline

Having been a dabbler in the art of Tarot as a more benign divination tool than my first horrible experience with an Ouija board, I’ve often wondered if the cards point to an advice, an event that is scripted to happen, or something that is considered fated or destined for the recipient.

My mother used an Ouija board, read playing cards, and always knew when the phone was going to ring—really!

For myself, at about age seven, I played with the board with one of my only playmates on our block who was at least five years older than me. But still, when I asked the board how old are you, and it spelled out “dead,” was that something a twelve-year-old would think of to say? It scared me and gave me a healthy respect for dead things … and that was the last of my divination attempts for years.

The along came the Tarot. And to an artist, just comparing the pictures from deck to deck was a delight. For years, I bought myself a new deck each year on my birthday. One year, I lined the decks all up in rows and took photos—like a poster of images which supposedly all pointed to a singular interpretation, or at least a similar interpretation. Continue Reading »

I was just blown away by this woman’s message and her coherent, logical and reasoned approach to describing her thinking.  Actually, I was jealous! Well, then I read she had a Ph.D…and then I saw that I could reprint the article here for you and got really excited.  And forgave her for being smarter than me.  Because this is what I’ve been trying to say, this is what has bothered me, this is what I’ve been polling and gathering comments on  on Facebook – all spelled out.  In a way that not only makes perfect sense, but also perfectly illustrates common fallacies with the notion of being able to speak in a certain way being also a more desirable, or superior way, to speak or relate.

You can find her at Jane Bluestein, Ph.D.

What’s Wrong with “I-Messages”?

by Jane Bluestein, Ph.D.

A man in one of my workshops once told me how hard it had been for him to learn to express his feelings. “At first,” he said, “it would usually sound like, ‘I feel you should take the trash out’ or ‘I feel you’re really depressed.’” He has since learned a great deal about feelings. However, he discovered that early on, sharing what he thought were his feelings was actually attempts to control others.

How often, when we are learning new skills for growth and self-care, do we inadvertently misuse or mishandle them? Case in point: I-messages.

Briefly, I-messages are statements that can be used as a way of taking responsibility for one’s own feelings in conflict situations. Generally beginning with the word “I,” they were developed to offer an alternative to the more destructive “You-messages” that attack, blame or criticize someone else. For example, I-messages allow us to say, “I’m angry about this mess,” instead of “You kids are such inconsiderate slobs!” or “You make me so angry!” In this sense, I-messages are a small step forward in healthy interactions. (However if our desire is to motivate the kids to clean up their mess, there are other, less emotionally-loaded ways of accomplishing this goal, strategies that don’t rely on our anger or other feelings to generate cooperation and commitment from others. More about these strategies later in this article.) An even better example of a healthy I-message might include something like, “I’m afraid of spiders,” “I’m really sad my friend is moving,” or “I’m too angry to call her back now.” These statements demonstrate honest and responsible ownership of one’s own state of mind.

So what’s the problem?

Unfortunately, most I-messages don’t sound like these last three examples. In fact, this strategy is most often presented as a formula, one structured in the following manner: “When you (exhibit or neglect to exhibit a certain behavior), I feel (a certain feeling)” or “I feel _____ when you ____.” Perhaps once a well-intended communications tool, these messages carry certain risks which may not be immediately evident, and are frequently used in ways that produce negative and unwanted results.

For starters, I-messages are basically just dressed-up You-messages, and like You-messages, they connect my feelings with your behavior. Although they start with (or include) the word I, the statements carry the same energetic impact as messages of blame, ones which blatantly state, “You (or your behaviors) make me feel…” As such, I-messages simply give us new language for manipulation and projecting. Even worse, they become a tool for self-victimization, as they present us as emotionally vulnerable to someone’s behavioral choices.

We also can get into trouble when we, like the man in my workshop, attempt to use I-messages to control or change someone. Simply stating feelings is one thing. But there is particular danger when we structure I-messages to suggest that the other person’s behavior is responsible for our feelings, especially when the statements carry the implication that we’d feel better if only the other person would act differently. Further, this approach is only likely to work if the other person is willing to take responsibility for our emotional state, and cares or feels guilty enough to change solely for its sake. Continue Reading »

There’s a Rori Raye quote I love about how women will do the one final thing – the final humiliation – before they’ll walk away from a man who is bad for them.  But, in reality, I fear more women simply won’t walk away.

Somehow we become conditioned to love the pain.  We fall in love with  the man’s potential, he’s the best lover, the most exciting guy…the “most interesting man in the world!”

And even if we somehow make the cut we can’t make the mental disconnection.  I moved 50 miles away from my last boyfriend, knowing it would add a huge level of difficulty and contribute to a break up.  I knew he was bad for me, I was in pain much of the time and it wasn’t turning out, so I built in obstacles – hoping.  And still it continued on for several years.  And then for a year or more when we weren’t even together we were still in a relationship.

There was a huge degree of proving I really loved him in this for me.  Proving it wasn’t about any of the things he could do for me,  it was just   him.  Even when he was mean, sarcastic, angry and difficult.  I had to prove I loved him before I could escape, I thought.

Honestly, I told my best friend I’d have to marry him to prove it and then divorce him to be happy.  And I don’t know how this happened.  All that time of him questioning my love? Of him subtly implying that “everyone” used him and how was he to know I was any different.  Reverse psychology at work is a powerful thing.  And he was really manipulative.  But he also really wanted to be loved and somehow – because he was so generous to those he loved – he never really believed he was.

He couldn’t cease being generous, and therefore he could never know if he was loved.  That’s messed up, isn’t it?

But the highs were really high to go along with the lows being really low and I’d fallen back into the illusion of love conquering all.  So, even though my concious mind was doing everything it could to save me, I wasn’t following.  My heart was getting beaten and bruised because I could not walk away.

In what seemed like a good idea,  I got a good case of girl power going on listening to Miranda Lambert’s “Crazy Ex Girlfriend” and I drove to his house.   My best friend convinced me to maintain my sanity – I totally intended to drive my car through the garage door.  Instead I simply scrawled crazy ex girlfriend in blood red lipstick writ large on the white wall next to his front door.  He loved it…chuckled and said no, it came off easily with a rag, no problem.

And then I was confused.  He sent flowers at holidays, he told me he just needed a few months to get a legal situation straightened out for one of his daughters.  He never really seemed to leave me at all.  We just didn’t see each other for months.

I naively believed I was open to starting over, looking for the next true love; but I wasn’t.  I was in man made manipulative limbo imaginary relationship hell.

And I would’ve stayed there.  But fate was kind  to me.  I got a call from the new not ex girlfriend, and she was crying and saying how in love with this man who lies she was.  And he called her a psychotic beyotch.  But I kind of believed her.  And felt a little sorry for her, too.

So I stopped, cold turkey.  Never spoke to him again after I found evidence she really was the new girlfriend no matter what he said.

And that spared me the final humiliation.  I didn’t do anything crazy, I didn’t tell her no I’d fight for him too.   I never drove to his house again.  I got out and thought I’d saved myself.  And I had.

But it would take another year and a half of being with my new boyfriend before I would even begin to forget for more than a day about this love.  My mind was stuck on default to go there, I’d been manipulated and conditioned to prove my love and I just couldn’t believe I no longer had to.  No longer had anything to prove.

I got out! Scot free – no divorce, no need to speak.  And part of me marveled and wondered and felt free.  And part of me was like pulling my leg bent behind me wanting me to do ONE last thing.  I had to find closure, it said.

Instead of letting this part of me control me I reached out.  I found a blog, a woman’s advice column, and I wrote on it.  Her first words to me were “you had a ten year lesson in learning to love yourself.”  And then I was exposed to this revolutionary idea.  Closure was overrated, indeed closure was not even necessary.  I could simply put him on the back of my horse and ride on.  One day, when I turned around, he’d be gone.

Loving my path,

Jacqueline

When Alice meets Bob

A + B = C

Or

Finding Your Soul Mate Through Synchronicity.

 

Alice + Bob = Connection.

See Alice and Bob are soul mates and their souls want to connect.

How many out there want to find their soul mate?

Now:   how many are looking in the wrong direction?

So I guess the real question is: “How do you know when you are looking in the right vs. the wrong direction?”

Don’t worry, I have an answer. There are guide posts set out for you to find one another. You just have to watch for the guide posts. I’ll even tell you where they are. They are preset in your direct path to one another.

See if Alice is following her true path and so is Bob, they connect right away and there would be no need for guide posts; but Alice and Bob have “free will.” So they are going to look around, run into blocks, barriers, distractions and make decisions along their way. They will change direction for a reason or for no apparent reason at all and yet every once in a while they will cross their path and there waiting for them will be a guide post that says “this way”, and off they go back on the path.

You may think that in an ideal world, there would be no need for guide posts but how many of you would actually give up “free will” for this ideal. To just go from start to finish and do nothing in between. Sort of like flying to a vacation destination and then getting right back on the plane for home. A bit of an anticlimax I would say. So yes, Alice is going to have to live her life while Bob does the same and if they both pay attention they will one day meet and then live their lives together; happily ever after and all that. (Don’t get me wrong, they will still have to work at it.) If however, one or both are wandering around in the dark trying to find one another; they will not only miss each other but the guide posts as well.

I have to admit here, the guide post do not actually state “this way” but that is what it feels like when you run into one and you are paying attention. You can call it synchronicity or happenstance or serendipity. You can call it karma or fate or destiny. So are you lucky or unlucky? Depends on whether you are paying attention.

If you wander through life looking for something and not finding it, you are unlucky, you are also not living the life you were meant to lead. However, if you wander through life smelling the roses, enjoying the sunset, meeting up with friends, doing your job, taking care of your responsibilities, going where the mood takes you in between and pretty much just being yourself; you will meet up time and again with luck and at the same time following your path.

Oh it does wander and it is sometimes exciting and sometimes disastrous but those are the guideposts you are running into. The one that says, “this was a mistake, don’t do that again.” Or the one that says, “that was cool, maybe I’ll try something like that again.”

You see it is not about having a one track mindset, but having a multidimensional mindset. Alice and Bob are meant and designed for a multitude of experience and yet they have similar likes and dislikes. They are supposed to move from one buffet table to the next partaking of the things that they are attracted to and moving away from those that repel them. Yet a singular mindset will take Alice straight past Bob, actually shoving him out of the way as he was about to grab a grape from the table, while she searches for him and only him. Had she only decided to join in on the buffet, they would have moved happily along their journey moving in and out along the tables until they reached for the grape at the same time and found each other.

By the way, this is real scientific molecular quantum mechanics being applied on a macro level for real life situations. Scientists do not want (or know how) to apply it to the macro just yet but they will get there.

If you are still not sure how to find the guide posts, tune in next week for “Tarot, I-Ch’ing and dowsing, oh my!” Or  “Looking Within.”

Adrian