Holiday spirit 

I was really into the holidays when I was younger. Christmas meant carols,driving around to look at lights, and presents. It’s a time to be appreciative of what you have and remember that it can always be worse. I ran across an article this week that reminded me of my days working in hospice. You can read it here. Like the author, I have also had conversations with people who are terminally ill. Family has always been the number one topic. People don’t care about their houses or cars. They want to know that their families will be ok after they’re gone. It’s so important to appreciate the people around you who have made a positive contribution to your life. But also equally important to reach out to those who struggle during the season. While it’s a happy time for some, it’s also a living hell for others. Life can be unpredictable and messy but also beautiful. Happy Holidays 

Mentally Strong People

I ran into this article and found the title eye catching. You can read the article here. The term “mentally strong people” isn’t something that I’ve heard commonly used in any circles. The article had some great points and I liked number two the best, “They don’t give away their power.” Power is something that a lot of people have but never realize it or use it. Thus, they give their power away without knowing it. There’s books you can read about it (i.e. 48 Laws of Power). One way that I’ve seen people give up their power is by losing their cool in a situation that they don’t like. Stressful situations are never enjoyable but they get worse when people totally flip out over something that they can’t change in the moment. It’s at that point that you’ve lost control and it’s in those situations that people sometimes have to intervene and make choices for you. Coming from a background in mental health, that choice often meant putting someone in the hospital involuntarily. Needless to say, the article has some great points and I think that they all are true. But by the same token, it’s ok to not be mentally strong all the time and to seek assistance when you need it. Ignoring something doesn’t mean it goes away. Even if you are “mentally strong.”

Attraction at its finest 

Not too long ago the was an article circulating over social media written by a woman who said that she married a man she wasn’t attracted to and that it worked out in the end. You can read the actual article here. Naturally, the article generated a lot of conversation and many people insisted that it was something that they would never do. Almost everyone agrees that beauty can be fleeting. People change over the years and their bodies change with them. But as someone aptly put it, you don’t want to wake up every morning and have to die to self when you see your spouse’s face. It can be done, but it’s not ideal. In my limited experience I’ve found myself giving a guy a chance even when I didn’t find him in any way attractive. Hoping in some way that his other positive attributes would override the fact that he just wasn’t handsome to me. Epic fail. So I’m going to discontinue the practice. Not that I won’t be open anymore but an “absolutely not” is going to stay that way without all my internal criticism of being shallow and missing out. Everyone deserves a significant other who finds them attractive and it’s unfair to them to try to make something work that won’t. It’s not shallow to want to be with someone you’re attracted to but you have to remember that there are a lot of pretty ugly people out there (pretty on the outside and ugly on the inside). Looks can’t drive EVERYTHING but they do matter. 

What Your Girlfriend With Anxiety Wants, But Won’t Ever Ask For — Thought Catalog

@BYONELOVEShe wants your reassurance without you perceiving her as ‘needy’. She wants to hear you say you love her and that you’re not going anywhere. She wants your arms around her as you say it, showing her with your affection how much you care. She wants you to understand and not be annoyed when she…

via What Your Girlfriend With Anxiety Wants, But Won’t Ever Ask For — Thought Catalog

 

Without adding any snarky comments and making a generalization about “all” men out there, I will say that this sounds nice. It’s interesting how people who appear so self assured in other areas of their life can feel so unsettled and anxious within a relationship. I think that it’s because there’s something that is out of their control. It feels weird and different and naturally some anxiety ensues because you find yourself really self-doubting for the first time in a while. Great article

Reflections from this week

  1. Life is hard. It’s messy and doesn’t have any promises or absolutes. But it’s easier to go through those stressors having money. Just like it sucks to be sad but its more comfortable to cry in a Bentley than on your bike.
  2. Advance planning is important. It’s hard to make crucial decisions when you’re still reeling from emotions and you have to think clearly. It’s better to get it out the way and not worry about it than to scramble last minute.
  3. It’s important to take some initiative and find out what resources are around you. After all, it’s better to know someone and not need them than to need someone and not know them.
  4. Questions are good. Ask them.
  5. Keep an open mind. Just because things have been done a certain way for a while doesn’t mean that they can’t be improved or become more efficient.

Relationships and distance 

Getting to know someone takes time. It’s not something that happens overnight or without some sort of effort. As a hopeless romantic of sorts,I love the idea of a whirlwind romance. But as a therapist, I’ve worked with couples who got together without taking the time to get to know each other. Relationships aren’t always easy to maintain and I think that distance tends to make them more complicated. Of course with modern technology you can communicate and see the other person on a frequent basis but it’s not the same as having the person be physically present. It takes a lot of time and energy to be in a relationship with someone that you don’t see often. I remember reading an article somewhere that said long distance relationships can work when they are for a specified period of time. They become harder to maintain when the time apart (weeks or months) is undetermined. I think that it’s especially hard if the relationship started online because you don’t have the experience of the initial chemistry in person and the process of building trust with someone you’ve never seen in real life is difficult. It’s not hard to feel alone in a long distance relationship and find yourself seeking out companionship that lives locally. I read a quote that said,”if you aren’t with the one you love, you’ll end up loving the one you’re with.” I think that’s a great example of how some relationships meet their demise. Absence can make the heart grow fonder but it doesn’t happen all the time. 

The Single Life

This weekend I went to a young adults relationship seminar sponsored by one of the local churches. The subject was on being single. Growing up in a church environment I’ve attended hundreds of seminars on relationships, marriage, and being single. I went to this one hoping to find some real life advice/feedback or encouragement. Boy was I wrong. I realized how much I’ve changed since being a teenager. The speaker focused on being a whole person in yourself, not worrying about being married, blah, blah, blah. I’ll take some accountability and admit that I’m definitely more cynical than I was as a single person 10 years ago.  I know people who are genuinely happy waiting for  “the One” to manifest and I think that’s great for them. While I’ll never go out of my way to talk about how much I absolutely hate being single, I can say with confidence that it’s not my favorite thing. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become increasingly frustrated with all the “advice” coming from (self-proclaimed) religious people. There are those who promise you’ll find someone and those who say that you’ll have to learn to be content by yourself. I think that optimism is good but one must also be realistic. I prefer not spending my life waiting to do things because I want a significant other to join me. I don’t think that one should put their entire lives on hold because they are waiting on someone who very well may not even exist. As nice as it would be to have someone who is invested in me to make major decisions with, I’m not a fan of the current dating climate. I think I’m just over it. At least for a while.

Pretty much my entire life in an article

LookCatalog.comDating sucks in general, but it’s even worse when you’re the type of girl who acts like she doesn’t give a fuck when she’s secretly a soft, sensitive soul. You can’t keep up the charade forever. Well, you can, but it’s going to make your dating life much harder than it has to be. Men hurt you without even…

via Why Dating Sucks When You Act Like You Don’t Give AF But Are Secretly Sensitive — Thought Catalog

Keeping toxic people around

I tweeted earlier this week about how it was funny we tend to keep toxic people around because we’re familiar with them. I think that there’s so much to be said about the familiar and how much it influences our daily lives. I think that there are people we keep around solely because we know what to expect from them. We know that they will be unreliable, late, and unapologetic and we plan accordingly. Personally, I’m the kind of person who will put up with a lot. However, when I’m done dealing with it–after a few days or even a few years, it’s over. I do enough ensure that I’ve done what I could do and after that I walk away without looking back. There are people who stay around because they’re harmless once you realize that you can’t believe anything they say or count on them. Knowing this takes away the annoyance and frustration and you adjust accordingly. Needless to say, I prefer dealing with someone I know as opposed to someone I’m trying to figure out. Toxic people are less harmful (in my opinion) when you know how they function and you don’t expect anything from them. It’s when you start expecting qualities like loyalty, honesty, and trust that the problem starts.