Drawing the line, expectations and roles in the relationship

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only what you are expecting to give.” – Katherine Hepburn

Men and women enter into relationships for many different reasons, but maintaining them is the tricky part.  Recently, some friends asked to hear about expectations in the relationship, new rules in the modern household, and how bringing a child into the home influences expectations.  Today’s post will address the former, as bringing a baby into a relationship merits a post on its own.

In my last class as a budding counselor, I learned one of my most valuable lessons – Expectations.  It really is a loaded word.  We discussed expectations for ourselves and the client as well as how to be present with people so that both parties are less likely to be disappointed.  When you are present in the current moment, fully engaged, and remove expectations; a space is offered that nurtures mutual respect and encourages growth.

Think about when you are learning something new or engaging in a new environment.  Be it work, educational, or social; you try so hard to “get it right”, so you are all in your head, working overtime to use the proper procedure, ask the right questions, and deliver the correct results or behaviors.  This can happen in a new relationship as well.

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Life and Death

We swirl around inundated by trivial items like a bad hair day, a TV show, celebrity news, decorating, shopping, annoying people, bad drivers, cranky partners, dirty dishes, laundry, bills…and the list could go on. But then you get a phone call that slaps you into reality and makes you realize how unimportant that stuff is in the scheme of things. We want people to show up for us, but do we show up?

Celebrate life, spend time with family, get to know your elders, its about quality time, being there — because one day you….or they may not be.

Is Physical Attraction Everything?

holding handspsychology of attraction review

Do you remember it?  That moment when you laid eyes on your person?  The first encounter – when you were intrigued, attracted, drawn in.  It may be hard to remember what first drew you to them – or perhaps you remember it like it was yesterday.  Was it their eyes, their laugh, their smile, that smokin’ hot body?  The way you felt in their presence?  You may be able to think back and remember the exact outfit you wore and place you met. Christy Cooper recently asked, “can you grow to love someone or is physical attraction everything?”

Men are physical beings, so of course physical attraction is a key factor to choosing a mate. Both genders are initially drawn to each other by physical appearance, but is it everything? From what I have seen – NO.  Love transcends the physical body, if not how could we explain Continue reading

Burnout

5amIt’s 5am, the alarm goes off and I realize another day awaits, but it’s hard to get out of bed. My body doesn’t feel rested, my eyes burn and my head aches. My jaw feels sore, probably from the clenching or grinding in my sleep. Coffee may not be enough to activate me this morning. When I get to work, Continue reading

Laughter…the best medicine

You ever have one of those weeks that just dragged on and on and on with no hope of ending, or accomplishing the thousands of tasks at hand? It happens to us all.  The best medicine doesn’t cost a thing. Find a friend or loved one to spend some time with and tell funny stories, people watch, make fun of each other, and just plain ol’ belly laugh. You know the type – – when you laugh so hard your eyes water, your cheeks hurt, and your tummy starts to spasm from overuse. After a couple hours of engaging in great conversation, and letting yourself forget about all the things you have no control over in this moment seem to melt away, effortlessly. Thanks friend for the great laughs tonight!  I needed it!

Keeping the Love You Have

The pathway to love seemed so hard when I was single, and to be honest…even when I first met my husband. Keeping the love you have requires just as much work, if not more than the hunt. The difference is your investment and your perspective on how this person fits into your life long-term.

Relationships are like plants. They are all a little different, and require a specific type of care, but the basic principles are the same. You water it, fertilize it, give it the right amount of sun and attention, and it grows stronger each day.

For some the difficult task may seem to be finding your partner in life, your person, or as I like to call them – your lobster. The reality is that its harder to keep the love you have, than find it. Some may believe once I have netted that delectable lobster, I am all set and get to enjoy the fruits of my sea voyage. The truth is, your real journey begins. It takes work to meld two lives together. Two hearts, two minds, two belief systems, two sets of values, financial understandings, parenting beliefs, behaviors, etc. It only took your whole life to become who you are, is it realistic to think you can change another person overnight to do everything you want – or think is “right”? Of course not! A marriage/relationship is about coming together with a common set of beliefs and making it work for both people, then creating a new reality that honors the life you want to live – together.

Over the past few years in my marriage I have learned Five Principles that have helped us build a happy life together.
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Dear Dad

I wish things had been different.  I wish I had known you before you disappeared, before things got crazy.  My memories are sketchy, so I don’t recall much.   There was a picture of me and my sister with you at the beach.  We looked like we had so much fun.  Others with you and that big smile, those kind eyes, the long hippy hair.  Mom said she loved you once.  There are the stories from the Aunts that loved you and said you were so cool.

I was 2 years old when Continue reading

Adjusting to Disabilities

Adjusting to disabilities is different for those born with disabilities and those with an acquired disability.  Also, whether or not the disability is visible makes a difference in how they perceive themselves and how others view them.  People will avoid people with disabilities (PWD) or treat them as if they are not an equal.  If you have a mental illness, people may not understand why you cannot perform certain activities or tasks, or interact with the community.  For those with a physical disability, they may be seen as being unable to do certain things, or limited because they are a wheelchair user or blind.  In both these examples other people’s perceptions are what limits the individual before they even begin to deal with their own understanding of their disability.  People with a high level self-esteem, good support system, more economic resources and social supports have a better experience and are less likely to face the same barriers as those who do not.   The focus of community is about the PWD’s right to engage in and maintain gainful employment and access to resources.  This creates barriers in different communities that feel if a person with a disability has to work, then the family is not performing their duty in the family to take care of them.  Working can have such a positive impact on a PWD.  It allows for social interaction, the ability to learn new skills, build self-esteem, make their own money, and be independent.  Understanding how culture plays a part in disability will go a long way in helping the client and their family members support their loved one. Continue reading

Externalizing the Problem

This is a great activity I learned from one of my amazing professors at University of South Florida, Dr. Ryan Henry.  You can use it with a client or even with yourselves to better understand Continue reading

The lies we tell ourselves

Have you ever wondered why it is there is that one thing- a habit, a behavior, a prevalent thought, a vice… that no matter how hard it seems you try, you cannot conquer? What is the lie you tell yourself that continues this? I heard an interesting sermon this morning that relates to this topic, and whether you are believers or non believers, the message is powerful. The question asked is what was the event, and what is the lie you tell yourself now? The Pastor’s example was that as a child his parents got divorced and his grandmother would babysit them, and she often soothed him and his siblings with food. He recalled her crying as they ate, yet reassuring them that everything would be okay. He was overweight as a 10 year old, and the lie he told himself is that he would always be fat.

This message of how we speak things into being in our lives, has been delivered in many different forums. I have even addressed this in previous blogs. So, how do we take steps to change this, to conquer our demon?

We Discover Truth.  Meditate, pray, listen to the voice within to help you find that truth.  Then, live in that truth.  If the message says you will always be fat, your truth is that you will honor and protect the health of your body.  If you have an addiction, the message AA/NA groups implore you to remember is that you have to give it over to your higher power (whatever a higher power means to you), give up the illusion of control, and live each day one day at a time – without the source of your addiction.  If the lie is that you are a bad person, your truth is that no person is bad, there are just bad choices, and from a bad choice a lesson can be learned to start anew.  Bottom line, find the truth that resonates for you and boldly decide to honor that truth!

Please comment and share your truth, so others can learn from your journey.