If only I had done it differently

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Let go that things could have been differentEvery now and then I get upset with myself for not doing something I should have or for doing something I shouldn’t have.  For me it’s often about how I’ve been as a parent.  I feel guilt and regret and think, if only I had done it differently.

Think about the person or situation that applies to you in this case.

Is it a given that things would have turned out well if you had done things in another way?

Well maybe you could have done things differently (there’s always scope for growth) and there is a possibility that the situation could have turned out better but how do you know that things would have turned out the way you think they should have?

Maybe not much would have changed or maybe the scenario would have gone in a completely different direction (good or bad).  Maybe you worry a lot about things you can’t control.  After all you can’t change what has already happened.  At the most you can apologise and make amends and work at changing the way you behave now.

We have expectations about how life should be but life doesn’t happen in neat little packages.  It happens the way it happens and we often have very little control of the outcome.

Instead of holding on to guilt of the past, rather spend your energy being the best you can be now.  Beating yourself up is going to do nothing except give you bruises.

With love
Eve

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The Unanswered Question

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Here’s something that blew my mind.helpful kids with dog

There are no problems says Tony Robbins.  A problem is just a question that remains unanswered. And what is an issue? An issue is a question that remains unanswered that has a judgement attached to it.

Here is an example that you could relate to: The cost of living has gone up hugely (not only in South Africa) and it is difficult to afford many of the expenses that come up regularly and especially emergency expenses, nevermind saving up for retirement and other life goals. If you focus on the fact that it’s a problem it can become insurmountable and unfixable and very stressful.

And what about an issue? If an issue is the same as a problem but with a judgement attached to it, the judgement would be something like – I have no self control.  Life is unfair. There is never enough.

If you look at it instead as a question that remains unanswered you need to ask a question.  So you could ask something like – What can I do to earn extra money? How can I put away a small amount every month towards savings? Where am I spending too much? Am I buying things that I don’t need? What can I cut back on? Do I need help and if so how can I get help?

Once you start asking and answering these questions you will start to find solutions for the situation that you find yourself in. If we use the above example you may find that there are various ways to change the way you’ve been using money up until now.

Does this make sense to you? The same applies to any “problem” or “issue”.

Do you see how this can help you to get through situations that are difficult or stressful? Let me know what you think.

 

Compromise vs Compromising Yourself

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Apple sewn togetherCompromise is not about losing, it’s about deciding that the other person has just as much right to be happy with the end result as you do ~ Donna Martini

In any relationship where two people are trying to make a decision no matter if it’s what furniture to buy, which holiday destination is preferable, when to have children, what to have for dinner…. etc, it’s necessary to compromise so that you can both be happy with the outcome.  Of course you are not always going to be happy but in general two people should aim for a win-win situation.

(Obviously deciding what to have for dinner is not such a big issue unless you have specific dietary requirements and your partner insists on going to a place where there’s nothing you can eat).

Giving in too often will lead you to resent the other person and this can result in an unhealthy relationship where you take subtle revenge on each other, perhaps in a passive aggressive way or where you hold back and don’t give your all.

As I discussed in last week’s article every person needs to have their needs met.  We all want and need things from the other person and relationships are a matter of give and take.  If you are the one who keeps having to give in to make the other person happy you will be constricting your self, making your self smaller and in the long run, unhappy.

Remember, you are important and worthy too.

The aim would be to both be happy so talk about it and come to a compromise that works for both of you, most of the time.

It’s important to know when to bend and when to stand your ground.  Often we have to agree to disagree and meet somewhere in the middle. Relationships are about seeing each other and supporting each other’s dreams and values.  You shouldn’t have to give up your dreams unless they are illegal or gross.

Check in with yourself that you are not the person insisting on getting your way all the time.  It’s important for self growth and for your relationship to notice when you need to work on yourself.

This is work for all of us because relationships are designed to stretch us.

Build each other up and treat each other with respect and care.

With love
Eve

If You Were Them

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What is your partner doing to you that is bugging you or where do you feel a lack?***

Love PenguinsThere are two opinions in every relationship.  Whatever negative feelings you are having towards the other person, they are having some negative feelings towards you too.

According to a video I watched with Tony Robbins there are 6 basic human needs in relationships:

  1. Certainty – That we feel comfortable and secure in our relationship.
  2. Uncertainty – Variety and challenges to exercise our physical range.
  3. Significance – Every person needs to feel wanted, needed, important and worthy of love.
  4. Connection/Love – Everyone needs connection with other human beings and everyone strives for love.
  5. Growth – When we stop growing we die.  We need to constantly develop emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
  6. Contribution – To go beyond our own needs and give to others.

Each person has two main needs from the above list (from numbers 1 – 4) that they need to thrive in a relationship.

When our needs are not being met we may have weapons that we use against the other person for example: hurtful words, sarcasm, shutting them out etc.

To put our weapons down we need to feel that our needs are being met.  At the same time, our partner’s needs are not being met by us because if we are feeling resentful, you can be sure you are holding back some love or whatever they need the most.

One of the things we need to do is to look at it from the other person’s point of view:  What am I doing in this relationship?  Is this person feeling secure, significant, loved, are we growing together, what am I contributing?

Yes obviously you need to have your needs met as well and that is something that can be discussed between the two of you but at the same time you are doing things that are not creating beauty in your relationship.  So ask yourself “What would my partner be saying about me?  What does he/she feel that I am doing or not doing?”

And then do it. 

We need to commit ourselves to our partner in order to create the relationship that we want or crave.  It does work better if you are both working towards it in the same way but if not then whatever efforts you put in, your partner will notice them and changes should happen.  It’s not enough to say I love you on the day you get married and then only say it at birthdays.  Relationships require constant commitment for both partners to feel that their basic human needs are being met.

This is just one aspect of building your relationship into something wonderful and it is a really GOOD start.

Wishing you love, connection and joy.

Eve

*** This can be applied to ANY relationship that you wish to improve.

Moving Past Guilt

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guilty.jpgA few things about guilt and how to change it.

Guilt is often caused by something we think we did or didn’t do.  We think we should have acted differently in the scenario.

An example would be that you said something to someone and they felt hurt by what you said.  You feel guilty about it and stew in your guilt, often avoiding the person or feeling awkward in their presence.  Maybe both of you will treat each other differently now.  What can you do about it?

Feeling guilty is an emotion that may be calling you to do something.  You may have gone against your own value system and you have an opportunity to rectify things. Can you make amends?  Can you apologise?  The way to deal with guilt is to give yourself some time to feel guilty about the particular situation …. say 15 minutes.  Then forgive yourself and make amends or choose do things differently next time.

If we hold onto guilt we may start punishing ourselves without realising it.  We can even become ashamed which means we start to point fingers at ourselves (as a person instead of just the action that was done).  We berate ourselves and put ourselves down.

Did you do as much wrong as you think you did?  Was there something more you could have done if the situation had been different?  Maybe you are being very hard on yourself, harder than you think.

1) Forgive yourself

2) Realise you are human

3) If there is something you can do to make amends, do it.

4) If you think there is nothing you can do to make amends you may be mistaken because even if the person is no longer around, you can do a good deed in their name.

5) Remember all the things you do right.

6) Talk to someone who can help if you are not managing to sort through this.

Being the best version of yourself takes a lifetime, don’t expect perfection.  Doing your best to grow is how you will get there.

With love
Eve

Society: Be Yourself. Society: No not like that

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accidental iconLyn Slater (pictured here) is a 64 year old Professor who became an accidental fashion icon.  She was at Fashion Week with her friend and suddenly the photographers and journalists were standing around her, taking her photo and speaking to her because they thought she was a fashion icon.  She since started a blog called Accidental Icon and you can find her anywhere on the internet.  She does not dress according to her age, wears what she likes the most, (she doesn’t usually show much skin) and to me looks (and is) amazing!

Society is much more accepting these days about differences, sometimes to a fault, but in so many ways it is refreshing and easier than it used to be.  Who we hang around with also dictates to some degree how we think we should be and we tend to shrink back and try and fit in.  Of course we do need to fit in to some degree because it is natural for people to accept those who are like them.

How we behave, dress, live is dictated by our values.  At the same time if you are the type of person who shrinks back because you don’t want to make waves or are scared to be unliked and so hide true parts of yourself and don’t feel very fulfilled, stepping out and being yourself more may be a growth spurt opportunity.

There are so many ways where we may feel “less than” and are constantly trying to fit in… it could be by spending money we don’t have – to look better, drive better cars, have perfect homes – or it could be in the way we behave – laughing at people’s jokes when we don’t think they are funny or gossiping along with them because we want to be accepted into their circle.

We don’t show up for ourselves because we believe we are inferior or not good enough or unworthy.

When you want to do something that brings out some of your essence there’s a certain amount of excitement and satisfaction that fills you.

Are there some ways that you hold yourself back from expressing yourself?  What are they?

Do you find that you try and fit in by compromising yourself?

Learn to love yourself as you are and express yourself in a way that brings out who you are to the world.

With love
Eve

Reopening the Door

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funny life door

Life doesn’t always turn out the way we had hoped but it doesn’t mean we can’t still have a life worth living. There are ways to fix things that seem broken.

Let’s take relationships for example. All relationships require that we spend time making them happen. People who live together can be like ships in the night, you see each other in the passage, say good morning and goodnight, maybe even sit together watching tv but you don’t actually spend quality time together.

NOTICING

The first thing to save a situation like this is to NOTICE that it is happening. Once you are aware of the situation you can take steps to make things better.

END IN MIND

Next, decide about how you would like your relationship to be and then work towards that vision.

ACTION

Take steps to make it happen. Some examples: Take time to hear about each other’s day. Help with the dishes or make a meal together once a week. Buy your partner a small gift (it doesn’t have to be expensive, it’s a gesture to show your partner that you thought about them). Give your partner sincere compliments.

RECOGNITION

Recognise all the good they do and acknowledge them for it. Everyone wants to be appreciated for the effort they put in.

PLAY

Have fun together. Do things that you both like doing. Go on dates. Play a song and dance together. Bath the dogs together. Squirt water at each other (keep in mind you must both like water to some extent). Make each other laugh.

FORGIVENESS

Neither of you are going to get it right a lot of the time. Forgive each other for being human and pick it up from where you left off. If there is something huge to forgive then perhaps see someone who can help you do that.

NOTICE

And we are back to the NOTICING again. Notice your partner. Notice when they are sad and let them talk to you or just be there for them. Notice when they are happy and enjoy it and be happy with them. Notice when they need help to hold the ladder. Notice when they can’t open the lid of the bottle.

Relationships are a gift (sometimes it doesn’t feel like it). They are a gift to help us grow, to have connection, to share your life with another person. It’s not something to just let happen. You need to be an active member.

With love

Eve

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