relationships

Sometimes a special connection is just a lesson

 

quotes-letting-go-deepak-chopra-480x480There may be a time when you meet another person and it feels as if you can see inside their soul. The connection you feel is full of energy, which feels somewhat familiar to you. Maybe you knew one another in a past life or are supposed to meet again for a purpose. It can feel like chemistry and a comfortable bond that may grow and turn into a romantic relationship. However, overtime, just like any other relationship you see their flaws. You love them anyway, even if you recognize they are not healthy flaws that add to your life. You keep going, but eventually it all comes crashing down…but in a good way. Your eyes are now open to what you chose to ignore before. Instead of a loving connection this was leading you to learning another important lesson. Even without knowing why, deep down in your gut you can understand what you learned from this person. Sometimes all we get is silence and ignorance from another person. The trick to dealing with that? Just accept it as the answer… There is no point in digging around when you can provide that answer for yourself through learning the lesson placed in front of you. Stay strong and move on. You may then reflect and ask yourself:

Why did you attract those flaws in the first place? 

What benefit did this have on showing you how you choose partners?

When we further examine why we make some of the choices we do, we can better understand the patterns we continuously repeat. We are now even stronger than before because we see once more what we have done. We can confront ourselves and agree to make changes that will lead us to a healthy connection.

How may we do this?

You have to figure out what works for you. Can you imagine that things have reasons for why they happen the ways they do and view your life in an optimistic light? If you can truly feel happy by choosing it and knowing in your heart that there is a new healthier and better connection out there for you then allow that door to be open! Open your heart again.. Never give up. Do not let another person’s silence stop you from living out the life you desire. People who matter will fight to stay in your life and make any type of relationship work. It’s up to you to recognize a lesson in negative situations and strive to learn from what you created.

The True Self Empowerment of Assertiveness

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It can feel relieving when you finally work up the courage to be assertive. Being assertive is an act that can help define boundaries and voice things you are not ok with. There may be fears you have associated with being assertive:

Will I come off as mean?

Will I come off as being needy?

Will I come across as bossy?

These are crucial fears and they may create severe anxiety in voicing what you want and need. It is ok to be assertive and ask for what you want. It is also ok to say NO! when you know something doesn’t align with your values.

Being assertive helps to create healthy communication with others. If you communicate how you are feeling, others will know how you will and will not accept to be treated. Also, in revealing your true feelings (being vulnerable) you will expose your emotions for others to better see how their energy affects you as well.

Assertiveness is a two way street. It does not come off mean if you approach the other person in a calm way. The tricky part that takes long to establish is being calm and stern at the same time. When you can be stern and know you got your point across that’s true assertiveness.

Communicate your needs and create boundaries so you can always feel respected. If you love yourself enough it will come so natural because you want others to know what you are not ok with. Spread assertiveness around, add a little love and communication can flow freely and beautifully.

True Color Camouflage

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Sometimes when first getting to know someone, they seem to be showing you their true colors. You want to believe that certain actions they take and behaviors they portray are accurate and direct to their character. This can be difficult since we tend to look for red flags from the beginning to protect ourselves from bad treatment. However, people can be tricky and may put on a “true colors act” where they come across one way and given a week or few weeks they all the sudden really show you who they were hiding. This is extremely disappointing if you develop feelings for someone and they choose to charm you into believing they feel for you too. When this happens you must take a step back because you can only control how you react to this and how you deal with it.

Choose wisely, choose YOU. Live your life, and do things that make you happy.

Unfortunately that person did not care enough or respect you enough to want to continue having you in their life. There is nothing you can really do about this, but move forward. Life will always go on and it will go on the way you live it and feel. You control your own feeelings and you control your own happiness. Never look to another person to fill that void for you because they are just not that special.

Let people unravel

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Upon first meeting someone, it’s easy to want to quickly seek out their red flag traits and behaviors. While that is important and wise, people do unravel into a million different levels. Keep awareness and the traits you seek you will not be blinded to. After all, we are just trying to protect ourselves and be ready and strong to walk away when our gut feels something is not right for us. In this process, focus on your goal and the type of energy you wish to surround yourself with. If the person cannot at all provide you with what you deeply desire THEN you can question the situation and take proper actions toward making yourself happy. It’s ok to give people chances, but stay aware, open, optimistic and strong. We are all sensitive to this need of wanting to feel we got to show our authentic selves and must remember to allow others that gift. However, you must let go if you find that person is dragging you down and sucking away your positive energy. Spread your wings and fly far, far away… to a better place!

Selfish Mindfulness

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, 
in the present moment, and
 nonjudgmentally.” -Jon Kabat-Zin- founder, Mindfulness-based stress reduction program.

Mindfulness is quite a precious act- one that is acknowledged as being a positive way to bring consciousness to one’s mind in the present moment, and as a result, acting mindful toward others around you. There may be some who choose this practice with a different purpose in mind. They may be trying to increase their mindfulness, but in a way to only be mindful toward them selves.

They are extremists who need to feed compulsions and by increasing mindfulness directed at their own self it is a way they can continue to focus on the things they must do to feel in control.

Don’t be fooled by people who practice for this reason. They are not impressive or generous people who are trying to put you first. Instead, they are only teaching themselves how to put them selves first- more first than they ever have before. They may come off as confident and that they love themselves, but really they hate themselves and can’t even stand to look in the mirror at their own reflection. Mindfulness was not created for this purpose. When you are putting all of your attention in the present and really feeling the experience, that involves anyone around you in that moment. If you are only worried about yourself and doing what you think YOU need to do, you are missing the whole point.

Creating Boundaries: Part II

How do we create boundaries?

Boundaries are created through a strong foundation of self-love.

First, we must be happy with who we are because we must first know how we wish to be treated by others. A lot of us may have “wishes” with how we feel we SHOULD be treated. The difference in this is when we truly respect ourselves we know that there are boundaries we WILL NOT accept and when crossed they become our deal breakers.

Looking back it can seem that things we used to accept from others are now number one deal breakers in our relationships.

Why is this?

Why do we now see that before we had self love we allowed others to just treat us how ever was convenient for them?

That it was ok not to have any hesitation or thought that there should be a boundary line drawn out?

It is important to know what behaviors you will and will not tolerate from others. If we love ourselves, we know what we deserve and what feels right versus wrong. Boundaries are very personal and vary from person to person. Knowing our boundaries can help us seek out healthy relationships we feel comfortable in. No one should ever feel that they have to force their partner to treat them how they want or with respect. If we know our boundaries and voice them we are one step closer to being treated how we desire.

Being your Authentic Self

“Tomorrow I will have no shame, and I will start again.”

It wasn’t long ago that you were hiding. You have been hiding behind your own skin and not allowing people to see you for who you really were.

When the time comes to be honest with someone about a certain identity you posses, it is one of the most liberating feelings you may experience. It is magical to be accepted by another loved one when you are ashamed of a certain identity you are hiding from. This can be about almost anything one is insecure about minoring from a physical feature all the way to a lifestyle, or past history. When you decide to be open and be your authentic self you win either way. Take that step and release what is holding you back. If you are rejected for that, then that person was not worthy of your special identity. On the bright side, a very negative thing can help you seek out others who treasure you and find you special with or without that and accept you for who you really are, your authentic self.

Creating Boundaries: Part I

It is the most liberating and empowering feeling to be so aware of the types of mistakes you know you will no longer make. When you finally build up the courage to stand up for yourself and know when someone is crossing your boundary that it is not right and that it doesn’t sit well with you is how you know you are changing. Once you see the after effects of doing so, you will see how much greater value that action holds over allowing someone to take full advantage of you for instant and temporary satisfaction. It can feel safer and more “comfortable”- there is that term again- when you choose to go along with what someone else is ‘ok’ with.

However, it is only making things work for THEM and not you.

Since when are you not important too? When is it not enough for you to have your own voice and beliefs?

Once you establish what you know inside is how you will allow others to treat you, you can start having the utmost respect for yourself. There really is love all around. Love is always there lurking around and it is only when we can see clearly about who we are and what kind of life we want to lead that love can fully come welcomed through our door. The energy you create around you has an aura affect on others.

Can you love someone without knowing everything about them?

My answer is yes. I was caught off guard when someone asked me this question. I at first said no you cannot and how much it scares me when men act so into me without knowing anything about me. However, after she asked me again, I realized, wait a minute, I fell in love without knowing everything about someone. I realized you CAN see through a soul when you feel a special connection. It doesn’t happen with just anyone you meet. If you are lucky, you will meet someone that you feel this soul connection to and this pull of positive and loving energy that you are meant to be in each other’s presence’s. It is special when it happens, but how does it happen?

 You can really feel like you know someone, almost like love at first sight. It can be slightly different than “at first sight” and take some time to progress. In that time you may learn of things that person struggles with, but you don’t care, because you know, you just know in your heart of your strong connection. You care so much that you don’t want to change them; you want them with their flaws. In fact, the thought of changing them makes you cringe. You just want them with you and that is enough for you.

The challenge in this is that the other person has to feel that connection back. The other person must reciprocate this love  with you as well and fall hard without hesitation. When two people truly love and care for one another this connection blossoms into a supportive and nurturing partnership. You support and actively help each other achieve passions and desires while temporarily putting your own needs aside. You make the other person feel special and safe as if they are royalty to you. This is different than treating someone as if they are perfect or putting them on a pedestal; It is just loving someone inside and out- A deep love. The fact that you made the other person smile even one time during their day makes your day completely worthwhile. It is when distance may not matter and the security is so strong that you can survive several months on end without even being in the same city. It is a mutual and internal understanding of the way your heart’s energies unite when being together.

Do you still feel like you must know more about another in order to fall hard in love? Yes, I agree, but that comes with time. People unravel into a million different levels and qualities, but it is an energy pull you feel around another that is all and nothing but positive and warm.

Discrepancies within the Hook Up Culture on College Campuses

For my most recent Sociology class on Gender identities, interactions and relationships, I was required to read the article, “Hooking up on College Campuses,” by: Paula England, Emily Fitzgibbons, and Alison C.K. Forgarty. These three students studying at Stanford University conducted a study through qualitative interviews asking students questions about their behaviors and attitudes about today’s hook up culture. This study includes the colleges of University of Arizona, Indiana University, University of California at Santa Barbara, Stanford University and University of New York at Stony Brook.

Background:

Throughout the years, sexual activity between genders has undergone a revolution where levels of equality have somewhat shifted. As more women attend college and move into male-based professions, there are different behaviors and expectations among them as they are choosing to delay marriage.  Men, on the other hand, are engaging in casual relationships with women excluding commitment, and sometimes even monogamy.

There were four main topics this research study touched on:

Gender within hookups, the sexual double standard, the exclusive relationship, and the casual partner.

Quote from article: Page 4

 Gendered Initiation

“In the ‘old days,’ men asked women on dates and initiated most sexual behavior. One might have thought that the gender revolution would de-gender scripts of initiation on dates or in sexual behavior. But this transformation hasn’t happened; initiation is nowhere near equal.”

Today, men are still initiating contact more than the women they are pursuing, whether casually or exclusively. Generally, while women do have the choice to make these first moves, they still expect men to take initiatives and typically look down on them when they don’t. This further shows how even in a generation today where men and women’s sexual behaviors are converging, there are still traditional values that we struggle to let go of. This may be a sign that traditional dating and love still exists and is being hidden underneath the idea of women submitting to casual standards.

Sexual Double Standard

“in focus groups, students said that men would sometimes decide that a woman was relationship material because she wouldn’t hook up with them the first time they were together”

“This presents women who want relationships with a real dilemma: the main path into relationships today is through hook ups, but through hooking up they also risk men’s thinking they aren’t relationship material.”

When is the right time for a woman to hook up with a man? It is unfair to impose this standard because there then is no way for women to successfully have a dating partner. No matter what way a woman chooses to go she is viewed in a certain way, which puts her at a disadvantage when going after what she wants. This is also demonstrated by the example of the stereotype that makes it acceptable and appropriate for men to engage in risqué sexual behavior but not for a woman. There is never a time when a double standard is acceptable. Many men, on college campuses, treat their “hook-up partner” as if they are merely a body to enjoy during their own convenience. Many men have the mentality of “to have your cake and eat it too,” while attempting to get with other women and simultaneously becoming possessive and jealous when their partner does the same thing. This is a sexual double standard that is held a lot in casual relationships in college. This typically occurs when men wish to hold power over their partner. Unfortunately where there is power there cannot be closeness, and when one struggles to control the other the two lose that intimacy that made them interested in one another in the first place. Today’s college men and women must choose between having an intimate partner where there is mutual respect or to refrain from having one at all.

Exclusive relationship

“Thus, at least in the cases where a relationship ensued, it was typically not the woman initiating the talk. Of course, this is not inconsistent with the possibility that women initiate more talks overall, but get shut down by men who don’t want relationships.”

Women tend to feel anxious to bring up a DTR (define the relationship) conversation and are often willing to risk losing the intimacy in exchange for a possibly respectful, monogamous relationship. Men, on the other hand, tend to not directly bring up this talk, which perpetuates the stereotype of women being more expressive with their emotions. Women are more expressive and should be encouraged to use it to their advantage. If women express to their partner exactly what they need and desire they will be strong and demanding boosting their self-respect along with their partner respecting them more in return.

“Friends with Benefits” or “Steady Hook-up Partner”

“If the higher rates of orgasm in a relationship come mainly from communication and ‘practice’ with this particular partner, then we might expect this advantage to be present in ‘friends with benefits’ or regular hook up’ situations as well, even where there is not a professed romantic relationship.”

The intensity of orgasm more often than not comes from the security of a healthy and loving monogamous relationship. Today, men and women may choose casual encounters to satisfy their sexual needs, but some research has found that the more consistent, emotionally close and secure a couple is, the more intense an orgasm may be. This is especially true for women, who unfortunately report having fewer orgasms than men. This further proves that while a casual partner may be satisfying for a moment, it severely lacks the substance and fulfillment of both physical and emotional pleasure that comes from a real relationship.

Have opinions about this topic? You may review the article and share and post your thoughts below.

England, Paula. Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer and Alison C. K. Fogarty. 2007. “Hooking Up and Forming Romantic Relationships on Today’s College Campuses.” Pp. 531-47 in The Gendered Society Reader, edited by Michael S. Kimmel. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.