Other Perspectives #68

686 OP-R Relax and Succeed - When you start seeing your worthIt’s a holiday here in Canada so I hope you have the day off and can spend it with your loved ones. In today’s Other Perspectives I discuss that very thing—how to spend healthy time with your loved ones. Because a lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about what a good, healthy, long-lasting relationship looks like.

Enjoy.

peace. s

Other Perspectives #67

681 OP Relax and Succeed - I don't understand

There’s a lot of hormones raging in any teenager so it’s not surprising the boys are prone to cheating and the girls are prone to drama. But there is no direct relationship between your care for someone else and their care for you. It’s not like a bank machine where you put your care in and then later you withdraw it. You each come with your own upbringings and your own tendencies in terms of how you were taught to deliver love (gifts, time, touch, talking, assistance etc.). It would be incredibly unlikely if both parties gave equally or in the same ways. For instance, if a guy had a distant, non-demonstrative father who never gave gifts then the guy is likely to be the sort of person who never buys a birthday card or gives a massage or barely says I love you. She can think he doesn’t love her but then the same guy can be solid and enduring during chemotherapy or with a very sick child. Likewise a woman who doesn’t show much affection or offer much attention to her partner can still be a remarkable partner to have during the death of a family member or for the most trusted of duties. You should be with people because of how they are in the world, not because they tick off a bunch of boxes in some magazine or off some list created by your friends. Your partner is not in a movie performing a romantic role for you. Your partner is a person with their own drives, interests and values and personality. The differences between you can coincide and be very compatible and helpful to both people. But you’ll still both routinely fail to meet each others expectations. But that’s not them failing. That’s you expecting. That’s not their problem, that’s yours. Lose the expectations and you’ll lose the pain too. Let people be who they are, don’t tell them what to do, but be fully yourself and that will make you an enjoyable person to be with. After that the rest will take care of itself.

peace. s

Other Perspectives #56

626 OP1 Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - Other Perspectives #56

Do you see that if you do something just because someone told you that you couldn’t, that you’ve still let them control your actions? This is why teenagers often come into conflict. A very low percentage of them will be aware of the fact that in their brain’s attempt to feign independence (no happy person is every truly independent), all they are doing is simply the opposite of their parents, teachers, coach whatever. They have no choice but to just choose the opposite because they are too young to have any nuanced references on what all of their choices must even be—and so they start at the only place they can—the opposite of whatever their oh-so-uncool parents would choose. And so if you want to be like the relatively short Martin St. Louis, and win the Most Valuable Player in the series that wins your team the championship, then that’s great because you’re using another person’s opinion to motivate you to achieve a goal that’s yours. But if you’re just doing it because you were told not to then that is what immaturity still looks like. If you want to know just how different the world can be just do some travelling. And if you’re too young for that, just start dating. If you’re in North America you’ll know something’s up as soon as Thanksgiving rolls around and you learn that your date’s Mom puts (or doesn’t put) raisins in the stuffing. Dating is usually the first real comparison we get they helps us understand how individualized the culture in each family actually is. So we don’t want to choose things just because they’re the opposite of what another person would choose, but we do want to become aware of as many of our choices as possible so that we can use all of the wisdom gained by all the world to help you find your way to the source of deep and abiding peace. Have a wonderful week!

peace. s

Note: Everyone who posts or shares a quote does so with the very best of intentions. That said, I have created the series of Other Perspectives blog posts in an effort to prevent some of these ideas from entering into people’s consciousness unchallenged. These quotes range from silly to dangerous and—while I intend no offense to their creators—I do use these rebuttals to help define and delineate the larger message I’m attempting to convey in my own work. I do hope you find them helpful in your pursuit of both psychological and spiritual health.

Other Perspectives #37

Winner: Scott’s Top Other Perspectives of 2014 #1

510 Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - Someday you will find the one

Orand here’s Scott being all harsh and everything again—or you might stay single your whole life. Yep. Sorry. Could happen. And you know what? That could easily be a wonderful, full, rich life filled with love and tenderness. But it still might not include a “permanent” relationship. In fact it’s that very concept that gets so many people in their 30’s and 40’s to throw away their lives while they analyze their existence against some impossible invented standard. Then they end up feeling like they’re failing when really they’re just being human. You’re not supposed to be in a relationship, you want to be in one. Well as this blog has clearly stated many times, wanting creates suffering whereas gratitude creates love. So it’s not the lack of a relationship that’s painful—it’s the fact that you want one. Stop waiting for your life to start after this or that event takes place. There is no destiny. You create it with the verb of your life. You have free will. Create a life. Make choices. Move forward. Live boldly. Do that and you will feel the love that is the basis of our universe, and there is no greater love than that.

peace. s

00 Relax and Succeed - Other Perspectives Footer

Other Perspectives #21

Winner: 2014’s Other Perspectives of the Year

414 Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - A healthy relationship

Uh. Be careful with this one. A lot of people will misinterpret this. This doesn’t mean you help your partner improve. It means you help them become who they really are. Improvement was what I originally thought too. A lot of people make that mistake. My ex-wife and I (I was much worse than her), saw potential in each other that was unrealized and so we lovingly urged each other to realize it. We were totally well-intentioned. But what we’re essentially saying to the person is, “you’re not okay the way you are already.” Ouch. People don’t “make” anyone better, people grow at their own pace relative to the nourishment they have. Period. So in the relationship I had after my wife, I didn’t wake up and look at her and think: wow you have so much incredible potential that I want to help you realize—I thought instead: wow I cannot believe how patient and dedicated you are to put up with all of my unrealized potential, not to mention my way of being. I’m so grateful I want to help you with whatever you want to do. That meant I had questions and not suggestions. I was looking for direction not to give direction. It was much more peaceful and much more actively loving. You want two people who are independent enough that they are choosing to be together, not that they feel they’ll fail without the other person. We’re not here to pull people out of holes. We’re here to place them on our shoulders so they can reach even higher. Now go ask your partner what they want to accomplish and give them a hand. It’ll be good for both of you. 😉

peace. s

00 Relax and Succeed - Other Perspectives Footer

2013’s Blog of the Year #9

About a third of my clients are companies working on employee and management issues. Another third would be individuals dealing with depression, stress, an addiction, or some are looking for career or life counselling. The final third would be couples. Some are couples that are essentially broken up and they’re wondering if they can maybe make it work again. Some are thinking about breaking up and aren’t sure. Some start as a single then turn into a couple. Some come as couples272 Relax and Succeed - You know what's the one wrong thing right from the start. And when they come, they talk in a very in-depth about their relationships.

Because there are only so many ways of being there are also only so many ways in which two people can mix. There are only so many fundamental routes for a relationship to take. So after a time you start to see very strong patterns in peoples life experiences.

Almost all of relationships I work on have the problem of perfection. Expectations are too high. People say they don’t need their partner to be perfect, but then a minute later they’ll angrily yell at that same partner about how they’re not doing something the same way they would. This is often referred to as “the right way.”

Perfect relationships aren’t about two perfect people. They’re about two Human Beings sharing a perfect understanding that they want their partner to be no one but themselves. Anything else is to request that they live an otherwise unnecessarily stressed existence. Sure, maybe for a dinner with your parents here or there—but no one wants to live that way full time. If you love someone you love them as they arenot with conditions.

In a way I’m not surprised to see this blog in the number nine spot on the countdown. It’s a popular subject with a lot of people. Hopefully it’s popularity also points to its usefulness. You can find out for yourself when you read the 9th Most Popular Blog of the Year:

The Perfect Relationship

Movies books and fairy tales have everyone imagining romantic love in a completely unrealistic way. Sure, in a film Prince Charming can appear to meet all of a woman’s desires, but let’s face it—those desires are pretty lame when it comes to picking an actual partner. You can’t really marry rich, and you can’t marry handsome. Those are things that affect what you look at 272 Relax and Succeed - I love you not because of who you areand touch etc., but your experience of being with someone comes from how they treat you, and that’s always motivated by how much they value your perspective. So the point isn’t whether the Prince lives in the castle or has a nice horse, it’s whether he’s got a good sense of humour, or if he can find a way to enjoy going shopping with you, or if he’ll massage your back—even when you’re bitchy . Those are the qualities that actually affect your life. Not what someone wears, or drives or does for a living.

Can you see how different you are with your friendships? You don’t have qualifications like that. And you don’t look for promises or commitments. No one needed to buy a ring or any other gift to hold you. You were held by your own interest. And so it should be with our romantic partners too. Our partners should be people who are completely free to go wherever they choose and they choose to be around us because that is their favourite place. It might not always be their favourite place, but out of the seven billion people on the planet, if they’re choosing to spend their time with you—that’s the real commitment. The commitment of choice.

Since nature generally motivates our initial attractions we can usually spot the major reasons why we’re with someone. Maybe our family was very serious and stern and our partner is good at being lighthearted. Maybe our family was very disorganized and our partner always has everything carefully planned. Maybe our family had no sense of creativity but our partner is spontaneous and artistic. There will be reasons we find people attractive. We should keep in touch with those attractions lest we take them for granted. 272 Relax and Succeed - Never chase loveBecause if we do that we are unwittingly moving toward perfection, which is as unattainable for our partner as it is for ourselves.

Do not expect perfection from your partner. The question is only: when you are calm and content, is that the person you would most often choose to be with? If the answer to that is most often “yes,” then simply be with them when you both feel that way, and give each other space when you don’t. It is entirely natural to need the input of different kinds of human beings in our lives. We can’t be all things to all people nor can they expect us to fulfil all of their needs. Again, the relationship must be a choice, not a expectation, obligation, or demand.

If your relationship is floundering and you value it then there is only one response. Go back to having fun. Go back to being yourself. That’s who attracted your partner in the first place. Maybe they’ve changed and are looking for something else, but you can’t do anything about that—you’re you. You can’t become someone else for someone else. They are either fundamentally attracted or they’re not. So in the end the only thing that makes a relationship worthwhile is the fact that it’s voluntary.

272 Relax and Succeed - How do I improveForget perfection. Instead of complaints, consider appreciation and acceptance. Because if you keep complaining about the same things in your partner, that’s a sure sign that a major part of the issue is with you and not with them. Meaning either you should leave, or you should accept that the person you’re with includes the quality you keep complaining about. Either accept it or leave. That’s the only choice. Their job isn’t to change into who you want them to be. Their job is to simply be themselves so they can be identified by the people that will naturally love them in an unconditional way. And the very same goes for you

People aren’t right for you or wrong for you. It’s not the people, it’s the behaviour. So pay less attention to how rich, beautiful or sexy some one is and start caring about whether or not they’re rich in character, beautiful in spirit, and sexy because they truly care about you. And after that, the only thing you have to remember is that relationships are two way streets. So don’t start telling other people to change or they’ll get out their list for you. Better that you just love each other as you are, imperfections and all.

Enjoy your day by enjoying the people in it. That choice is always yours.

hugs. s

Dear Jealous Boyfriend

It’s a common problem. High school boys sometimes get hit with huge testosterone bursts as they suddenly grow. It comes with painful femurs and easy tempers. It’s when boys who are insecure about love will be inclined toward jealous worry. Today’s blog is a letter from their partner, urging a different kind of relationship. If someone’s printed this off and left it for you somewhere, then they’re trying to tell you that they think your relationship behaviour is inappropriate and/or childish, and that it is leading toward disaster.

186 Relax and Succeed - You know it's love whenReal relationships need real commitment. And the commitment isn’t to each other. It’s to ourselves. Because that’s how you make a healthy relationship work. You focus on making yourself the most helpful, enjoyable person to be around and the rest just takes care of itself.

So, for those people who feel trapped by their relationships, I offer you this:

Dear Jealous Boyfriend,

Let me begin by saying that despite what you often choose to think, I am with you by choice because I wanted to be. I was naturally attracted by qualities you naturally have. This isn’t something I really decide—you know that. You didn’t decide to like me either, you just realized that you did. So if people are truly attracted to each other, they don’t have to do anything to stay attracted other than continue to be the person who was attractive in the first place. Magnets don’t try to attract each other. They simply are what they are so they do what they do.

The only thing that threatens that otherwise natural attraction is when you’re angry and upset about things you’ve been thinking about. For me that’s like seeing a restaurant window that looks really good, and outside it smells awesome, but when you get inside the food’s terrible half the time and the waiters are super rude and mean because they’re worried and upset that I might not come back. And because it looks and smells so good, I keep going back. But if it’s going to be bad food and bad service more and more of the time, I start to feel like I’m stupid for continuing to come here.

186 Relax and Succeed - What you allowLook, your thoughts are very obviously not my actions. And no quality person is going to want to be in a relationship where they are always yelled at, are accused of things, or are generally treated poorly just because they either did some innocent thing like talk to someone of the opposite sex—or because you thought a bunch of scary thoughts that I have absolutely nothing to do with. I can definitely be responsive and I can recognize you’re worried and can act in ways that are helpful, but it’s not my responsibility to surrender my life just so you can stop worrying. Worrying happens inside your brain, not mine, so you’re the only one who can deal with that.

I need you to think about this carefully. Obviously no person is going to want to date someone who controls their life. I’m sorry that your life has lead you to believe that real relationships work by force, but I can tell you I didn’t want to date you for anyone else’s reasons but my own, and if I choose to leave it’ll be for the same reasons—mine. But I can’t force you to love me any more than you can force me to love you. That’s obviously not how love works. So we really only have one route to being in a relationship: we both volunteer for it, and we do that because we want to, and we want to because it’s enjoyable. So if you want to make sure I stay with you, rather than grabbing me by the arm and threatening me, you would do a much better job by acting in ways that are enjoyable. No one makes me spend time with my friends. I volunteer because they make me feel good. That’s important and worth remembering.

186 Relax and Succeed - Incredible change happensI’m sorry that events in your life lead you towards insecure thinking when it comes to relationships. I don’t take this personally. I know you don’t mean to do it and that it’s no fun for you to go through either. But I still can’t be a slave in a relationship. That will feel dead after a while and even you won’t want us like that. So let’s really work on this, because otherwise we’re just delaying our relationship’s demise.

Your thoughts are your thoughts and while it might be challenging at first, they are obviously entirely your thoughts, meaning they are ultimately in your control. So if you feel yourself knotting up in a rage, use the rage to remind you about the thoughts. And remind yourself that just because your childhood urged you to think that way, it’s still unproductive to us, and to our relationship, so think of something else instead and just come to me and be enjoyable.

Let’s glue ourselves together with joy. With fun. Let’s live with the least amount of anger and fear, and the most amount of orgasms and laughing. I would never leave a situation like that. So let’s quiet our minds and do that as much as possible.

I love you darling. And I love me too. So let’s build something that makes us both happy.

All the best,

Your Sweetheart.