Health & Medical Self-Improvement

Mastering Relationships

It recently dawned on me that my life's work is about mastering relationships.
All of life is about relationships.
Whether it is our relationship to our children, our significant others, friends, work, our bodies, life; everything we do is about relationships.
The one relationship we leave out is our relationship to ourselves.
This is actually the most important relationship.
Unknowingly, all of our relationships flow from the basic one we have with ourselves.
We seek to find inner connection from our outer ones and more often than not we are hurt, sometimes angered, and disappointed, which leaves us feeling alone.
It is unimaginable, though true, that our world vibrates with the energy of loneliness and alienation on a planet with over 8 billion other souls.
The World Wide Web and all our technology in our 21st century show us the obvious evidence of our need for human connection.
That need is hard-wired in our bodies from conception.
Yet with all our genius and technological advancements we have not advanced much in how to stay connected to our humanity and behave humanely to others.
At the heart of everything I've done in my life has been a passion to help myself and others to have better relationships and to love more.
The quest to find the answers to the question, "Why can't we just get along?" has led me into valleys of despair, waded through streams of shame, forests of intergenerational trauma, lava beds of revenge and over mountains of unforgiveness.
I have faced my own demons and grew beyond my need for them to haunt and torture me.
I continue to take my baby steps to birth myself as a new humanity.
I have not yet arrived.
However, I have learned a great deal on my journey and expect to continue to do so.
I'm in process.
I'm not done yet.
However, I am a good guide and a great companion for anyone who wants to join me on this journey into creating myself as a more evolved being and be the change I choose to be in this world.
I hope you will join me on this journey.
I hope you will share what it is for you in your relationships.
I'm in the beginning of this new conversation and I believe that together we can help each other find better ways to relate and value who we are and who each other is also.
So, what is your answer to the question, "Why can't we just get along?" Then we'll go from there.
This month's article is about the need for women's self-care.
Today I was talking to a dear friend of mine.
She is an amazing woman who cares deeply for others.
She looks after her disabled daughter and her roommate, takes care of their finances including making sure they have groceries, household items for Agency staff who take care of them, clothing, doctor appointments, outings and visits when they are in the hospital.
She is a 'warrioress' advocate for them, though not always appreciated or understood.
I applaud her courage and tenacity.
She makes sure her mother makes it to her doctor's appointments, hair appointments, visits and shopping outings, etc.
She supports her husband, takes care of her own home, has a part-time job, enjoys time spent with her grandbaby and makes time for visits or help to the rest of her family.
She contributes to her community by participating in activities that help children.
When she sees someone in need she has trouble saying no.
She is a dear, kind, and supportive friend.
I'm sure you noticed that, like most women, there was no mention of her self-care activities on her list.
It is true that women gravitate to tending and nurturing others.
We have mastered these activities well.
However, we seem to have forgotten to add ourselves to those we tend and nurture.
How many of you relate to my friend? How many of you keep going like the energizer bunny to make sure you nurture and tend to others? How many of you forget you? How many of you get irritated with yourself because you feel tired, out-of-sorts and brain fogged? We have come to a point in womanhood where living like this is no longer sustainable.
The escalating 'one more thing to do' has reached a crescendo.
The number one killer of women today is heart disease.
Could our unrelenting lack of tending and nurturing ourselves be part of this increase? I think so.
If you put a frog in a pot of hot water it will jump out.
But if you put a frog in a pot of cold water, turn on the heat, it will boil to death.
It doesn't notice the gradual increasing temperature until it's too late and it can't jump out.
That is what women are doing to themselves.
In our more technologically advanced world we now can do something 24/7.
We are all now sleep deprived.
We can bring our work with us wherever we are and multi-task in between the laundry, changing diapers, cleaning up messes, moping, vacuuming, carpooling, doctor appointments, little league, etc (notice no mention of sex with husbands).
We have become 'women doing' to the point we are on auto pilot and our 'women being' can't get through.
I have been like you: trying to have it all and be it all to everyone.
Then one day I woke up and realized for all this doing, I had no funds for retirement, I was disconnected from my husband and I was oh, so very tired.
At first, like most people I wanted to point the blame finger at someone or something else.
But I was beyond that because there was no one pointing a gun at my head to turn me into this woman doing creature.
I was a co-conspirator with my upbringing, culture and women's history stored in my cellular memory telling me who I was and what I needed to be and do to be good enough.
I accepted that judgment, made beliefs from it and the biggest part was determining my life direction.
I had failed to provide myself with the tools of self-care which are:
  1. Accept your innate value as a spiritual being in this human experience called womanhood.
  2. Accept your thoughts, feelings and experiences; not to dwell on them but to process and release them from coming back to bite your assets.
  3. Instead of running from painful and traumatic experiences honor and embody them and, if necessary, get help to do this.
  4. Move out of the shadow of cultural conditioning from a culture that no longer exists and upgrade to include the importance of self-understanding.
  5. Become more conscious and mindful of what you are doing and question the value of the actions you are taking.
  6. Re-connect to your values.
    Then ask yourself, "Are the actions I'm taking consistent with my values?" If not then change your actions.
    Include valuing yourself in the equation.
  7. Slow down enough to breathe, complete a thought and finish a sentence.
  8. Learn it is not an EMERGENCY unless there is blood, no breathing or someone is attacking you.
  9. Recognize your judge and jury show no mercy and give some to yourself.
    You are human.
These are things that have been helpful in taking action toward my own self- care.
I have been surprised that everything still gets done in a timely manner, I feel less tired, more focused, grounded and connected to my soul.
Reconnecting to my values, heart and soul have increased my daily intake of joy, moments of happiness and gratitude for who I am and what I'm doing.
I'm more compassionate to myself and stronger in staying in alignment with where I need to put my energy.
An added benefit is that what I'm doing seems to have transferred to my husband.
Many of the things he did that annoyed me don't anymore.
I'm not sure if I'm not noticing, he is not doing them or something else.
Is that him or is that me? Hmmm.

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