Relationships / dating

Anger - The Ultimate Disconnection

I recently went to a talk entitled Kintsugi: Embracing Our Brokenness, it's part 1 of a 3 part series about healing the brokenness in relationships and embracing the idea of living comfortably with brokenness. Other than enjoying the talk, what stood out to me is what one of the participants mentioned. She expressed her struggle of dealing with lifelong anger issues in the midst of tears. 

As a reformed magnet for angry emotionally unavailable people (ahem) and then as someone who experienced not just anger but 23 years of justifiable rage in one full swop, I had to do the necessary deep healing work. Living whole was a possibility, now it's a reality. Post-awakening life is crazy good, it's so good, its hard to put into words and not sound boastful.

My conclusion is out of the 3 main components of healing - mind, body and spirit, while all do contribute to well-being, the last one is the most important and often the most neglected. Healing is best done holistically.

As mentioned during the talk, anger is a secondary "emotion", it's an umbrella for many primary emotions like disappointment, worry, etc. Some don't call it an emotion at all. I'm a huge believer in honouring all of your being, sitting with them and finding your own truths. Instead of putting them in boxes and labelling them with Rah Rah or Blah, which works against you. To fully accept self, you have to embrace the light as well as the darkness. Absolute freedom is acceptance of self and others. 

Anger is a reminder to self-care, it's a call to be centred again. It's particularly destructive because of the lack of information. Anger expressed often causes the other person to shut down and do the mannequin challenge. Anger internalised is self-punishment. Both feed reciprocal disconnection, escalating into resentment if left untouched. 

As a woman and/or a lesbian, there are many things to be justifiably angry about, discrimination, stigma, misogyny, etc. There's no doubt that the list is long. Understanding the roots of oppression gives you a clearer idea of what is your scope of responsibility and what isn't. Once you understand how you lose your voice daily to these societal forces, it will alleviate the guilt, shame and blame that often stands in the way of change. 

Also, your worth is innate, born into, not earned. You might not recognise it yet and it's OK, life is a journey of continuous learning, we are all teachers and students. If you are ready for change, you have already taken a huge leap towards a breakthrough. Force yourself out of your comfort zone too much, too soon and it will be unbearable, you might even give up. Keep checking in with your inner voice, you have all you need inside. Healing work isn't linear, it can be 2 steps forward and 1 step back, it's normal, it's human. As long as you are moving forward, you will enjoy the fruits of your labour. 

Be gentle, be kind to yourself, everyone is perfectly imperfect, that's the beauty of it.

To love, light and peace, 

Min 

You can find the video of part 1 and information about Kintsugi: Embracing Our Brokenness here

You can find Strawberry Milk by Aster Hung here

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5 Things Women Don't Discuss About Love

Couples often celebrate their relationships in public. They know it's only politically correct to mention all the good stuff or risk looking like an indiscriminate moaner. Look at how well-loved I am! Look how happy we are! I got it all! Wwweeee, let's ride off into the sunset together under a rainbow bridge! 

Talking about love can quickly become a field of land mines buried under all kinds of insecurities. Between the societal pressure of women "being nice" and the need to be a superwoman, the bubbly shiny woman is the safest. This is practiced not just in public but between private groups of friends where the same pressures abound. While there is a certain amount of genuine celebration in doing so, it creates an often unachievable narrative for others. The problem comes in when women buy into it and yearn the good stuff without the awareness that it isn't the full story. 

Kill The Messenger Syndrome

It's true that most women are looking for comfort when they tell their sisters about a romantic crisis. Our default responses are "You're too good for him", "You deserve better", we jump up to defend our sisters out of loyalty. This serves its purpose of temporary comfort but doesn't provide much in terms of self-awareness or awareness of their partner.

I'm not talking about a casual vent or 2 about minor misunderstandings. I'm talking about the chronic issues that lead to a diminished sense of wellbeing. 

We want to escape what I call the Kill The Messenger Syndrome where well-intentional suggestions are taken as lack of kindness and trigger a highly defensive response from an utterly blinded woman. You know what I mean, that girl whose boyfriend treats her like dirt and she is in massive self-denial. Anyone who has been at the end of this, knows it's no fun. 

Nonetheless, we do need to be authentic. That's what friends are for. The best ones are the ones who bother to risk your friendship and tell you the truth because they care enough.
Being an Enabler 
Even if she disagrees with you, your concern is always appreciated. If it's unappreciated, you would have to squelch your want to help her and let her be, until she is ready for change. When she is, she will be at rock bottom and that is when she needs you most. In the meantime, to avoid being an enabler, the default responses aren't enough. When you recognise that there is a chronic problem with her partner. Be upfront that you genuinely think this is a deal breaker and at some point she would have to take her power back. Remind her what it is doing to her then tell her she deserves better. 

More To Love

There is more to love in a marriage. It's often not so clearly laid out, it's all mixed up in a bundle. You see bits and pieces here and there. There's passion, friendship, attachment, companionship and much more. Deepak Chopra describes it best in The Path To Love. He writes about how attachment is within 2 people when you are tied together in a mutually benecifical way. True love is when you connect on a level above 2 selves and are inspired to share it outside of the inner circle. This is what we commonly call unconditional love where we expect romantic love to reside. Look around you and you will understand that not many move pass the infatuation or attachment phase into constant unconditional love. There are times you can't stand the sight of each other, there are times you feel exhausted and there are times you are present. To expect so much of romantic love is a recipe for disappointment. 

Meeting The One is A Luxury 

What if you don't meet The One in this lifetime? Anyone who even dare to suggest this will have to deal with narrowed dagger squints, along with screams of being negative. You come dangerously close to Thou Who Should Not Be Named and die by the wand of fake optimism.

The idea of The One is set up to fail anyway. For the sake of discussion, let's say the usual timeline of getting to know each other is 4 months, being in the infatuation phase for 2 years and then 2 more years to really know someone, that is 4.4 years in total. All this is to be done within our optimal childbearing years of 20-35, that is a span of 15 years. So you will have to decide between approximately 3.5 relationships, who is The One.

Come on! Have a relationship that spans across 2 out of the 3 and you are pretty much a goner. This is not factoring in time spent dating casually, healing or couple time in a marriage before kids. Or juggling a career and knowing yourself enough to know what truly matters to you. Even with the most emotionally healthy person, relationship is mostly experiential. You have to take a leap into the unknown to gain experience and decide along the way what is important for you. So if you have had some misses, be gentle with yourself, everyone has been there. We all live and learn. 

Settling Isn't An Ugly Word 

In the hearts of many, settling is where romance comes to die, the evil twin of compromise. The romantics are adamant that it doesn't happen, the realists are nodding silently in a corner. I don't think there's anything wrong with settling. The women who do settle, do it knowingly. It's not that they chose absolutely unsuitable partners or are unusually desperate. But rather that they understand at some point that holding out for The One stands in the way of a possibly great Mr. Right Now. They understand just how deeply ingrained the romantic fairytale is in them and how different reality is. At some point, settling seems a far better option than exhaustive dating or repeated disappointment. 

They know that much of what makes a marriage is a learned skill, such as effective communication, conflict resolution and awareness. They know that someone with integrity and values trumps someone who is attractive and passionate any day. The looks and passion will fade, integrity and values will make life much easier. Even then, many married couples often stay together for many reasons outside of a relationship, it could be the kids, it could be familiarity, it could be fear of moving on. It's not surprising, it's human. 

To love, light and peace, 

Min

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