Relationships and extended families

When you love your partner truly it leads you to know that person deeply. You learn their weaknesses and strengths, their true selves. We all have different sides that we show in different situations. These may be shallower interpretations of our true selves or they may not reflect our true selves at all. This depends on our own acceptance of who we are. In our closest relationships however, we can, hopefully, be ourselves. Our loved one should then be able to understand our actions when we “put on fronts”. An example might be when a depressed person is the life of the party.

When we choose our partners they come with existing family ties. This forces us into forging new relationships with individuals that have a lien on our partners. The “in-laws”. When we interact with them, we are not usually able to portray our true selves. We aim for approval, or just to keep the peace. The sad thing is, they then never see the person their daughter/son loves and perhaps they even despise you because of the front you put on. The in-laws don’t stop to try to understand the real person underneath. This causes pain to both parties in the relationship. The one may constantly feel inadequate and the other may constantly feel the need to defend.

What we can learn is:
1. Understand that two fully committed people know each other better than you know either and respect that relationship. Never undermine either the individuals or their actions
2. Stop putting on fronts. Be real. That personal honesty will give you self-confidence and will result in decreased strain on your relationship with all parties. Don’t make excuses but be the best person you can be.
3. Endeavor to understand the feelings behinds the actions – on all sides.
4. We all make mistakes, forgive and don’t condemn someone because they have different thoughts/ideas/ways.
5. Don’t ever come between partners.


Extrinsic Motivation | The Death Of Your Dreams

Extrinsic motivation. You probably know it is being motivated from outside sources – money, attention, rewards, medals, women, men, fame. Yeah…all those things. Turn on the radio and you are going to hear song after song about stacks on stacks or clubbing…really just listen and your imagination will run wild. Try hard enough and you…

True self

This has been a difficult week. I have found myself more prone to shouting due to the pressures I have felt. It’s not an excuse for my behavior. I also have noticed that it isn’t just me that reacts this way. Tolerance levels change. Good behavior deteriorates. Arguments are more common. We also tend to be less tactful, more abrupt and sometimes ride and hurtful. So, the question becomes: What is the reflection of the true you? Is it the person you portray when times are tough? Or is it the person you portray when all is well? Or is it someone in between?

You are who you choose to be. When you are hurting, angry, happy, excited, you can control what you say and do. You can act rather than react. Regardless of circumstances. You can choose to be loving, tolerant, kind. I can choose to not shout at the kids. I have the ability. All it takes is practice. Whoever I choose to be, I can be.


A close family member passed on today. In reading all the beautiful comments from many many individuals who’s lives were enriched or touched by him, I wonder, did anyone stop to tell him during his life what they are saying now? Do we halt our lives long enough to say thank you in life? Share your positive comments generously during life. Show love, appreciation and gratitude when they can be received and not only with hind site.

Loving others and stopping abuse

Recently there have been stories of abuse in the news. Domestic violence, violence against children and so on. I have heard experts talking about the rights of children and women. They talk about educating the people on these rights and on providing safe havens. I agree that these preventative measures are essential as are the support structures necessary got the aid of those people who have been subjected to such situations.

I do wonder though how different life would be if children were taught love of neighbour before they were taught how to read and write. If you truly love someone then avoiding bringing injury to that person would not even be a question. If husbands put their wives before themselves then they would not hit out of anger. This would be true of wives lading out in anger against women. If children were loved and respected in their own fight then the same would be true.

Teaching our children to love others regardless of sex, race, culture, financial status, relationship or anything else is the single most important lesson in life skills. Do not hurt anyone. Put their needs first. Avoid anything that would cause harm whether physical, emotional or mental to others.

So. How do we teach gift this? By example. Act it until you believe it. This will stop the cycle.

Thoughts on feeling emotions

I dislike letting myself feel emotion that I deem too strong. Where possible, I choose too keep myself at a distance from any situation that may evoke a strong emotional reaction. If the event is unavoidable, I tend to make light of it, to diffuse the situation.

I am doing myself a disservice.

Feeling emotion is a gift. If we want to live life fully, then we must invest in it and feel deeply any emotions that may arise. Good, or bad. If we restrict our ability to experience the strong, negative emotions, then how will we celebrate fully the positives. You cannot truly appreciate good if you have never experienced bad. There would be no measure. I am not for one second saying that you should engineer experiences that will give rise to negative emotions, but only to give yourself remission to cry, grieve, feel joy, love, anxiety. As we do this, perhaps we will learn to love more, feel more joy and attain a full understanding of our inner being.

Negative reactions turned positive

If we have ideals and values how do we stick to them during our daily lives? Do we bend and sway with every gust that threatens to tear us down? When we experience adverse situations we often react contrary to what we believe or profess to believe. If I were to ask the question, most people would answer that they believe that they are good people. Most people believe that they treat others well. Of course, there are those that just don’t care. Those people would not be reading this type of blog.

The rest of us, when we act contrary to our ethos usually have reasons for doing so. I think that, no matter what the reason, the reason should never be an excuse. The fact is that when we react to a situation, we often escalate it and create a dramatic interlude as opposed to a momentary glitch.

An illustration is an experience I had a few years ago. We had parked our car unwittingly in a spot that a gent was trying to use to reverse his car. We had no idea until we had stepped out of our vehicle. He blind sided us with the most appalling language. My niece was present, so my sister asked him to refrain from using that language. He threw more abuse and h opted into his car to derive away. I then gave in to my temper, I reacted, and kicked the tyre. Unfortunately,as I did so, my shoe flew off an hit his car. He then got out of his vehicle again and ran to my husband, accused him and kicked the door of the car, causing a dent. He tried to drive off then, but was stopped briefly by my husband who stood in front of his car. The man then tried to drive off, hit my husbands shins and he then hung onto the bonnet while the man drove off. A security guard stopped him long enough for my husband to get off and the poor security man was injured when the man drove off again. In all honesty, and with hindsight, that entire incident could have ended before I gave in to my anger. This is an extreme event, but it is an illustration of how things can escalate if we let go of our ethos just for a brief moment. I had reason, he was abusive to my husband and sister, but I caused greater damage by my actions.

There can be huge consequences and there can be smaller, but at the end of the day how much do we lose when we are lead by our negative passions. Time, happiness, money, life.

How do we prevent these situations from getting the better of us? The old adage says, think before you speak. Count to ten. Religious people may say that you should pray. Those suggestions do help, but perhaps it is better to look at yourself, examine yourself, decide who you really are. Find strength in knowing what you believe. Feel it. Then, go out there and examine every action. Does it fit who you are? If not, change it next time. Practice again and again. Then, when faced with a more intense situation you may know yourself well enough to feel your negative passion, acknowledge it and then act according to your belief. The event will fizzle and you will be the better for it. Now imagine if every person in the world would do the same. Perhaps then the world would be a happier, healthier place.

What is the reason behind our doing?

Quite some time ago, I was chatting to an acquaintance. She had just had her niece and nephew stay over for the holidays. She had truly treated the little ones to movies and ice- creams and so on. She loved the time she spent with them, but it had been marred. She said to me that her brother had not even said a thank you. Did she have the children to stay because she wanted to be with them, or because she wanted the recognition, gratitude and perhaps even recognition from her brother. Even if her brother had asked her to take the kids, then her expectation of thanks marred what would have been a period of joy.

Christmas, birthdays and other celebrations are occasions when we give gifts to each other. Do we give our of expectation, or guilt or maybe even with the view to receive a gift back on our special day? Perhaps it is purely for the recognition and thanks. I believe it should be about showing how much you appreciate and love the person to whom the gift is given. Whether they give thanks or not. Their expression of gratitude or lack thereof should not have any impact on your own expression of giving.

This ability to give freely without expectation of compensation in some form or another is severely lacking in our society. Perhaps this is due to our culture and could be caused by the way in which we teach our children. We teach them to ask politely and then to thank politely. We don’t truly teach how to give. Although young children are extremely giving in nature, this instinct is not nurtured. Instead the children are taught how to ask and receive and are not taught how to give graciously.

At my boys’ school, they are currently requesting new toys to be given to underprivileged children. Both boys did buy toys for this cause out of their own money. I just wonder if it is too easy. They just put the toy in the box. They cannot see the joy or impact that gift will have on the child receiving it. There does not need to be a verbal thank you, but seeing the impact of a good deed would increase the possibility of further good deeds. Eventually, there would be a greater tendency to give than to receive.

Another point would be putting thought into a gift. Truly understanding what the other person most decides or needs can be more meaningful than the actual item. It is too easy to just give money – which I have to admit, I do a lot. This just doesn’t show any depth of care for the receiver. How on earth do we expect out children to grow up into caring people if we don’t take the time to care?

My thought is this, if you do something for someone because you truly care for them, then it will not matter what their response is. In fact, their response will most likely be better as they will know you’ve done it out of love.


This morning while driving the boys to school, an incident made me think. We were running a few minutes later and had hit heavy traffic. I noticed a vehicle trying to reverse into the road and so I stopped to let him in. One of my boys indicated his displeasure. He felt that we were late, so why did I let the person in. I explained that pausing for a moment made no real difference to our travel time, but that it was good to be polite.

The thing is that we are all grateful when someone shows us such a courtesy. The problem is, we do not often extend the same, even though we are annoyed when others don’t do the same for us. Later on in fact,I had a similar incident with the opposite result for various reasons. Although I had good reasons for not extending courtesy, I did not feel good about it.

So, my thoughts were stimulated. One, I feel grateful when someone is polite to me. Two, I feel at peace when I am polite. Three, I feel uncomfortable when I am not couteous. There are three good reasons to be courteous already. Then, if I feel good when someone is good to me, don’t I want to help another individual have a good second/moment in their day. A courtesy does not take long. A pause on your travels, a door held open, a smile. These things do not take much effort, but are often a little brightness in someone else’s day. If I appreciate something, then I should realize that others feel the same and action it often, and not sporadically.

“Do to others what you would like others to do to you”
“Little things with great love” Mother Theresa

How do you treat people

An inner reflection! When you are unfairly treated. How do you respond? In kind? When someone makes a mistake, do you compound their pain by treating them badly? Do you strip away the remains of their dignity? No matter what has been done to you. Rise above. No matter what has been said about you, rise above. Treat people with respect. You do not know their history. They have been exposed to their own set of thorns. Rise above!