Friday, December 26, 2014

"You put your pills in here?"

So this might not be news to anyone out there, certainly not any major network breaking news, but I think I have figured out one of the main problems when trying to build and maintain relationships.

It hit me like a lead balloon recently while I was sitting at my gate in the Portland airport waiting to board a plane. An older couple was seated across from me and as the woman was rummaging through her carry on I heard her sharply ask her partner "You put your pills in here?" It was more of an accusation than a true question. His response to her was a grouchy "Well where was I suppose to put them?" Obviously annoyed, there was some huffing and puffing, a bit more muffled bickering back and forth, as each was determined to get their point across.

I started thinking about how easy life is when you spend it with your best friend. No bickering, lots of laughing, some sarcasm but more just good wit, tolerance, understanding and never ending support.  We make allowances for our best friends shortcomings and would gladly put their pills in our purse, or whatever else they might need us to carry for that matter. We give and take. True best friends don't keep score. The key to having a best friend is that we remain two very separate individuals, we are not trying to meld into one. There is no ownership involved. No "ball and chain." 

Two become one. How horrible really. Somewhat of a disappearing act. Why can't we be in a relationship, but still be two? We can take care of ourselves as far as packing our own suitcase, gassing up our own car, buying our own toiletries, can't we? We don't have to take care of each other's every need. It is impossible really. The idea of marriage is that we are expected to meld, or rather melt into the same pot. To blend perfectly, no curdling, no separating, hard to tell where one spice begins and the other ends. And while this might work in the culinary world, it does not translate as well when it involves two individuals. 

Observing many long-term couples, I see the bickering, the intolerance, the fade, the let-down of the happily ever after.  It has now become more of a working relationship, one which runs on autopilot. We become such a reflection of one another, our actions become their actions.  So we are always on top of things, making sure the other doesn't mess up, because it makes us look bad. There is no line in the sand anymore, no distinction between the two.

I guess it wasn't me who figured out one of the main problems with relationships ~ it seems other's figured it out long before I had my epiphany. From Khalil Gibran ~ exquisite and perfect ~

The Prophet on Marriage
by Khalil Gibran

Saturday, December 13, 2014

For the sake of argument

You want to be right, or you want to be happy?

I know many have said this, including Wayne Dyer, but I think the first time I heard it was years ago on Dr. Phil. There is plenty of his wise advice that I agree with, such as, if you didn’t get the love or support you needed as a child, give it to yourself now.  Or, being from a broken home is better than living in one.

But the advice, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” needs to have the line drawn somewhere. By asking this question, it is also asking us to possibly give up our strong beliefs, our value systems and our true essence.

I get that a lot of times ego gets in the way. That we think our own point of view is so important and superior that we must express it, and we fight for the listener to understand it.

Now, if this saying applies to simple things in life, like, in a simple conversation, I thought they used egg noodles in Chow Mein, and your partner is arguing that they use rice noodles, well, you just might want to surrender and let it go. It really is not that important.  Sometimes it seems we argue just for the sake of arguing. And there are many of these things that can come up on a daily basis, and it’s best to, as they say on the east coast, "fuhgeddaboudit."

But, on the other hand, if it is something that really matters to you, something that you need to express, that is a part of your belief system, a part of who you are, and you give in, in order to keep the peace, then you are being dishonest with yourself. And you will find that the more you do this, the more it will begin to eat away at you. The trick is discovering what to keep and what to let go. And, that's not always easy.

So, do you want to be someone other than who you really are? That is the question that you need to weigh carefully. True health can’t be ours if we are living a lie, if we are not speaking our truth so as not to rock the boat. Because once we start giving in, little by little, letting go for the sake of argument, letting go so that someone else can be right, eventually we will no longer be right or happy.

What are your thoughts on this?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

All the Little Big Things

There’s a well known quote that I’m sure you’ve all heard, “Enjoy the little things, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.”

Every time that quote crosses my mind it reminds me of how fortunate I am, in so many areas of my life. This morning as I turned on the running water to brush my teeth, it hit me how unbelievably blessed I am (we are) to have water at our immediate disposal. Whenever we want it. These things that we take for granted are things that are truly miraculous on some level. Most of us don’t give a second thought to having access to water, both hot and cold, to shower in, bathe in, to wash our clothes and dishes in, to cook with and to drink. But these “little things,” these little conveniences, really aren't that little. They are actually huge things.

How lucky are we?
We forget that things like running water are luxuries that many people and countries don’t have. There are nearly a billion people around the world that do not have access to clean water. And to get it, women in these countries will walk over 3 miles a day to fill up their jugs, come home, only to make the same trek the next day! This chore that is usually designated to the females, has kept the women from working, kept the girls from being able to attend school, and as I'm sure you can imagine, the heavy loads that they carry on their heads, end up causing them severe neck and spine damage over time. All of this for water. Water, that we can have at any time, just by turning on the tap.

The long trek for water 
When every thing we do requires water, from bathing to our actual survival, every single drop is precious. So, in honor of these women, of these people, the next time you turn on the faucet, think twice about letting it run. Think twice about how much we use and how we might want to try a little harder to conserve. 

This is just one of those “little” big things. Little things are everywhere, they are all around us, we just need to pay closer attention, be grateful and give them the big recognition that they deserve.

P.S. ~ Thank you, Anabella Funk, for sharing your story with us, for all of your hard work and dedication to this cause. You are amazing <3