I was talking to my mother a couple days ago. My mama is my ace but when I say she can be infuriating, that is an understatement. Towards the end of the conversation I caught myself in a haze. Just a haze of words. Nothing was getting through to her and that’s where I lost myself. Trying to get through to her. I stopped thinking about my point. I stopped considering the actual conversation. Everything in that moment was simply over talking and frustration to bust my way through her inability to listen.
I wasn’t always this way. I pride myself on being a good listener. But, some where in the last few years I have felt a sense of powerlessness in not being understood. In not feeling heard. In doing so, I have pushed that on to other people. Certain people. The people who make me feel the most misunderstood and the most powerless. i.e…my mother, my partners…
That’s not who I am nor is it who I ever want to be. If I want to be heard, my first priority has to be to listen. I must commit to being receiving and processing the words being given to me. My presence and my patience dictates that I will be heard. My challenge is to craft my message to the person receiving it. I will not be a lazy communicator; so focused on delivering an easy, quick and loud message that I forego the meaning, the intent and elegance of responding -not reacting.
I still have a ways to go. Right now I practice on getting out of my emotions and expectations of all the past conversations that have been so frustrating. I can’t carry that into each new conversation, if it is to truly be so. I have to take each dialogue as new and fresh and let it have its own life and thrive. Not only is that the more impacting outlook, it allows each interaction to be more lasting.
I appreciate this awareness. I know this is necessary in every aspect of my life. Especially in my intimate life. It won’t be tomorrow, but I will continue to grow and open myself to sincerely listening and taking in the words being offered to me. I will choose my words carefully and offer them with thoughtfulness and care.
love & light
“This isn’t a phantom person. This isn’t an ideal. This is a living, breathing individual, already existing, already growing and pushing to move forward. And, waiting to receive me, just as I am them. That’s why I speak of them the way that I do. Because they are here. They already reside in my heart. I’m just waiting to receive them in this physical realm. I am waiting to be formally introduced to the person who makes up the other half of my spirit.”
This. All of it. Every single gahtdamn morsel.
I was reading an article recently about the worst relationship mistakes you can make. I must say that it offered me a new perspective.
“The point of being in a relationship is not being your partner’s happy juice.”
I was of the thinking that it was my responsibility to be my partner’s happy juice. Not to fix them but to work at making things better for them. What this article brought out was that doing so allowed room for your partner to be enabled in not working at their own emotional maturity. If I am there every time something feels bad when are they required to figure out how to feel better for themselves?
“If you always come to the rescue when your partner is unhappy, you will weaken your partner’s capacity for high frustration tolerance, an essential attribute of emotional maturity and determinant of success.”
I know that I am responsible for being supportive but my mistake was thinking that being supportive meant helping them fix whatever hurt. Instead I must learn how to be supportive along their journey of fixing the boo-boos themselves. In other words, be actively inactive.
“As a positive term, enabling references patterns of interaction which allow individuals to develop and grow …. In a negative sense, enabling is also used to describe dysfunctional behavior approaches that are intended to help resolve a specific problem but in fact may perpetuate or exacerbate the problem.” —Wikipedia
This article was really enlightening. It also helped me to see that I am guilty of shutting down when I am hurting. My mind set is that no one can fix it but me (ironic, I know) so I shut down in an attempt to not seek solutions from my partner. What it seems I am actually doing is alienating them. All the while demanding they allow me into their moments of pain.
“To practice high frustration tolerance, you put reason between an impulse to escape discomfort, and discomfort dodging actions. That step can make a big difference. Once you delay reacting, you are in a position to start choosing.
Part of this imposing reasoning process involves accepting—not liking—that it is important to live through the discomfort if you expect to overcome barriers. This acceptance is like building emotional muscle. The more you work at it, the stronger you get.
By working at building high frustration tolerance, you are likely to solve more of your immediate problems and reach more of your longer-term goals.” —Dr. Bill Knaus, Ed. D, Psychology Today
This new perspective has helped me to adopt a separate but together outlook on relationships. There is a huge difference between cheering someone up and taking responsibility for their emotional well-being. I have routinely done the latter. Not that it was asked of me, that’s just what I thought was supposed to happen. That explains why I always felt so taxed and worn. There was no emotional boundary. I was beyond empathetic and absorbed their pain.
Breaking this habit will require work. When I hear a problem I want to solve it. I want it to be done and removed. I have to learn how to step back, let them process and trust them to tell me what they need. Be available. That’s my responsibility.
Here are some critical behaviors to learn if you desire a strong partner and a strong, healthy relationship:
Learn to accept your partner’s feelings—both happy and sad.
Learn that you can’t change those feelings, and that trying to change them is not your responsibility.
Learn to allow your partner to experience discomfort and work through it with his or her own tools.
Learn to trust your partner’s emotional capabilities, resources, and resilience.
Learn to allow your partner to do the necessary work of self-soothing and restoring emotional equilibrium.
Learn not to immediately apologize when your partner’s mood may have nothing to do with you.
Learn to distinguish between kindness and empathy, which strengthen a relationship, and catering and coddling, which weaken it.
And learn not to substitute managing your partner’s emotions for the all-important work of managing your own.
My level of guilty is epic for this last one. I have a history of throwing myself into whatever is going on with my partner in a subconscious attempt to validate myself. Earning my keep, so to speak. If I’m helping, I have a reason to be loved.
This article really pushed me along my current journey of self discovery. I appreciate the perspective it offered and the result of furthering my growth. I encourage you to read it and see what it has to offer you.
I want that to be who you are, not someone you have to remember to be. I have no interest in changing you. I don’t need you to bend to my desire. Be who you are.
There is a difference between sacrifice and compromise. Meet me in the middle and we can work through anything. But if any one side feels they are breaking for the happiness of the other, we’re already done.
Stuck against the wall
by the sound of this voice
Pinned by the will
I lack, the choice
Pieces of time
etched on to my skin
Time shall reveal
all my wounds
It is the desire we forego
For the want we need
The two birds in the bush
We devour for feed
It is the lie we cover
by painting our skin green
Swallowing our pride
To promote our greed
Sometimes I wonder how powerful a touch can be. do we give pieces of ourselves over with slight touches that transfer bits of our being to skin. just a thought.
I have so much on my mind right now, it’s crazy. I’m anxious. hella nervous. About a lot of things. Including pulling off this book signing. Introducing this book. Getting ads out there for the businesses.
I decided to give myself permission
not to be subject to someone else’s
If you can’t see the brilliance
you can’t see
The majority of what we feel about ourselves
is dictated to us by people we never know
Do they want it or the the way the it makes them feel?
Tag, I’m it.
I was just sitting here thinking about real life. Considering the possibilities that lie ahead. There’s alot about my life that I never anticipated, asked for or desired. I always felt a sense of solitude and chose to see the comfort in that. I look at that now and know that while I don’t want to exists in this world alone romantically, I also don’t know how to give up a lot of the alone-time-expectations that I have become accustomed to.
Solitude is how I deal with the negative emotions that overtake people regularly. I’m comfortable in my thoughts. In the world in my head, everything I am exists there. But what happens when someone wants to love me? When there is a world outside my head that needs my attention. Thats hard for me. Only because I fight it. I want it all. And I want it to be fair. I search for commitments that bend to my need. When my partner needs more of my time than I am willing to give, my guilt finds a reason to let go.
It’s not fair but it is effective. It’s not the answer but it is a bandaid that soothes.
I’m not an only child but I was one long enough that I never really got used to the concept. Sharing in the sense that breathes compromise is a window I keep shut.
I’m used to being right. I’m used to others thinking I’m right so when I know I should compromise instead I take advantage of pre-existing frames of mind that frame my response as the way to go. It works to my favor. But.
I see the necessity in family. I see the need in romance and love. I always had love for my friends, love for my mom and sister but it was the romantic love that I never invested enough in to weigh an outcome to compare. Love was simply a way to pass the time. Until now.
Giving several reason to let go, I stay. You’re dealing with someone who could detach from wind if oxygen didn’t keep me alive. But. I stay. In the middle of fear, the middle agrevation, in the middle of blinding rage, I stay. I stay as a concrete, unwavering choice. And that scares me.
Don’t misunderstand. It is not fear that cements my decision. It’s the comfort. The skin to skin oath that we’re in this together. That more than anything is what takes my breath away. When everything has lost its composure and nothing is firm enough for my footsteps and I feel these walls suffocating me, its the silence and the skin that breath life back into my spirit.
It’s not easy. The old me, that likes conversations in my head and alone time will always exists. But, I am learning to voice what I need instead of assuming its too much for them to bare.
I have reared (yes, I know what reared means, find the poetry in it) myself to separate from the emotion and find the logic in every situation. But, there is no logic in love. Why now instead of then? Why you instead of them? Why here instead of there? The variable will never fade. If I lose what I have now, then have effectively lost a moment in time. It’s the one action that affects every aspect of your life. And this is where I stand.
I still have some growing to do. I still must find the balance between my emotions and my mind, love and logic but thats what this moment was meant to be. Right now begins a new ripple it what is to come. I am loved.
And. That changes everything.