Saturday, May 6, 2017

WHAT DOES LOVE LOOK LIKE?



It is easy to ask what love FEELS like, and it is a legitimate question.  But our feelings can be intertwined with parts of our past to which we have no conscious access, and we just assume the feelings are about what’s happening now and often they are not.

So it can actually happen that we are in a loving relationship with a loving partner, but have feelings of abandonment or rejection. Again feelings that are triggered from outside our consciousness from something in our past, and often we have no explicit memory of the past event or events.  And so, based upon those feelings, we may erroneously conclude that our partner does not love us.  Again, we are looking at our feelings and not what our partner actually does for us.  Yes, an interesting phenomenon worth our exploration, and we will do just that in the next blog because feelings are very important, just not our ultimate or sole source of information for making relationship decisions or judgments.

For today, we will focus on what love looks like.  Can we recognize it when we see it regardless of what we might be feeling?

*So our feelings suggest that our partner is moving away from us or getting ready to abandon ship, yet he or she offers to make us breakfast.

*We spend our day at work replaying the morning argument and feeling misunderstood, unloved, and unappreciated. And then we come home to find our favorite drink and appetizer on the coffee table.

*Or we may find ourself engaging in heated and opinionated "discussions," over politics and the like and left with feelings that suggest our partner is hell-bent on proving us wrong all the time.

One of my clients told me that when this happens for him, without realizing it, he is unconsciously engaging with his Dad who never seemed to appreciate his "brilliant" insights into life.  And unwittingly and again unconsciously, he thinks that maybe the person he loves will give him what he always wanted from Dad.  "How crazy is that!" he said to me. He went on to say that his partner suggested that he simply grieve what he thinks he never got from Dad, and then he might be able to stop chasing it in the relationship.  "Is that love or what?" he said to me.   
    
I will always remember a particular "conversation" with Roberta where I was complaining about the infrequency of our love-making.  She looked at me and said, “I make love to you every time I pick up your dirty socks and underwear.”  I sat there stunned. What could I say?  For a split second, I wanted to lash back and remind her of what her side of the bed looked like, but I realized I was missing her point and just being defensive and playing tit for tat rather than really listening.  She had asked me a zillion times to put my dirty socks and underwear in the hamper, and yes, I heard her alright, but somewhere in my male brain I thought, “What is the big deal where I put my dirty socks and underwear?  The floor is as good a place as the hamper.”  I know, I can be a jerk sometimes! But on that day, I got it.  And it was my first real lesson in seeing what love looks like in contrast to what it feels like.

So share with each other, what does love look like in our relationship?  No debating, no commenting, no judging, no arguing!  There is no right or wrong here.  Just share and really listen.

Perhaps as a starter, we can read out loud together St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13, verse 4.  New International Version (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

When I checked out the original Greek, this English translation is quite accurate.  That is not always the case in Scripture.  

It is worthwhile noting that the Greek word for love in this passage is agape.

The website https://www.gotquestions.org/agape-love.html, says that this Greek word agape is not used to describe romantic or sexual love nor even friendship or brotherly love.  It has the connotation of “faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will....agape is used to describe the love that is of and from God.... ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8).  Agape is also used to describe our love for God (Luke 10:27)...."

So what does love LOOK like for us in our relationship?  Not what does it feel like, but look like?

If you have a question about relationships, please leave the question in the comment section, and I will answer the question here on this blog.  Or you can email me a question at vrbmft@verizon.net.

If you're interested in finding out more about the book, check out the website or order directly from Amazon.

Thank you so much for reading and leaving your comments, and thank you for investing in your relationship.  The book is easy and fun to read and will support you growing up in your relationship.

Friday, April 28, 2017

THE REVISION IS HERE

Available now


I'm happy to announce that the revised edition is now here and available.  There are two major changes which you will enjoy.  The editorial tone has changed from "I" speaking to you the reader to "we" speaking with each other.  And there is one additional chapter entitled "Know There Is A God."

This new chapter is not about religion but about the impasses in our relationship where we experience ourselves as just plain stuck and seemingly unable and definitely unwilling to move.  The chapter invites us to see the impasses as opportunities to move beyond ourselves as two ego's and acknowledge a God of our own understanding, our Source, if you will, Who is ALWAYS there for us, and who will provide the path beyond our impasses if we only let go.

Yes, the chapter encourages us to let go or "surrender," the same way we let go or surrender to water so we can float and swim.  This chapter concludes with simple prayers for both believers and non-believers!  What a deal!

As we often do in our relationships, I have neglected this blogsite, and I look forward to hanging out here more frequently.

If this is your first time here, please note the wonderful articles from previous years, a total of fifty to date.  Browse through them. Easy reads on topics pertinent to all of our relationships.

Thanks for reading.  Come back again and again.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

THE MAGIC OF CHANGE



So you are desperate for someone in your life to make a change?You’re dying for them to change?  Well die no more!

First of all, BE CAREFUL what you wish for.  And then be prepared to SEE what you wish for, and when it does show up, for God’s sake, be GRATEFUL.  For example, a woman tells her husband that she wants him to be more emotional.  She cites all the ways he is cold, heartless, and emotionLESS.  In our third session, as her husband confronts a painful experience in his life, one he thought he had buried many years before, he begins to sob.  So he finally goes on the journey she is desperate for him to go on.  So what does she do?  She freaks out.  Tells him to stop crying.  “I can’t stand to see you so sad.....”

We talk about her surprise reaction, and she admits that it doesn’t make any sense in terms of her initial request.  When he begins to sob again in a subsequent session, she tells him, “Well, you don’t have to win an Oscar!”  I was not kind.  “What the hell is wrong with you?”  I asked her.  I am not suggesting that my comment was therapeutic, and we were able to explore how it was she wanted him to be more emotional, but then when he was, it scared her out of her wits, and she did everything she could to shut him down.   

The same thing can happen for us guys.  We want our woman to be more affectionate and more sexy, and then when she is, we become instantly too tired, have a headache, or become painfully impotent.

We will talk about this interesting phenomenon in follow-up articles.  Suffice, now,  to give us all a warning.  Be careful what you wish for and be ready to see it when it shows up and for God’s sake, be GRATEFUL when it does.  So let’s get started.

FIRST
We often know what we do not want.  So I want you to stop dropping F bombs.  I want you to stop drinking.  I want you to stop disregarding the doctor’s orders.  I want you to stop yelling at me and the kids.  I want you to stop.......”
But it is difficult for us to translate the what-we-don’t-want into a concrete, detailed, mental  action video of what-we-do-want.  So this is the first step.  We create an extremely detailed  mental action video of what it is we want or what it is we are looking for.  So let’s take something simple like  “I don’t like it when you come home grumpy.” 

This Is Your Secret
So now that you have decided what it is you do not like, YOU ARE NOT going to discuss it with him or her.  You have already done that, a zillion times, and it only leads to an argument, right?  So, this is all clandestine work or perhaps better, TOP SECRET work.

The Mental Action Video 
How do you want that person to come home?  Seriously, how do you want that person to come home.  “Just not grumpy,” doesn’t cut it.  HOW DO YOU WANT THAT PERSON TO COME HOME?  What does it look like?  What does it sound like?  What are the words, the conversation?  Maybe even, what does it smell like?  What does the non-verbal communication look like?  How does it feel for you?  Perhaps you have never taken the time to create a detailed mental action video of what you want and what it looks and sounds like.  So take your time here.  Create a detailed, a detailed, a detailed script, a storyboard, the whole nine yards. Replay what you come up with to be sure it is EXACTLY the way you want the person to come home.

SECOND
So you have the detailed mental action video programmed into your imagination (not fantasy), into your soulful dreams, and then you begin to allow yourself to FEEL THE EMOTIONS that you have when you play this video.  When you allow yourself to replay the video over and over again and feel the emotions that get stirred, then this entire experience becomes a new mental model in your amygdala (emotional brain), and your brain becomes prepared to respond to it when it shows up.  Your brain begins to generalize this experience as if it happens all the time.

Look For It 
Now that the video is made and programmed into your brain, actively begin looking for the action video to show up in real time. My experience has been that it ALWAYS, that it ALWAYS, that it ALWAYS shows up in very short order, like two or three days.

When It Shows Up 
When the action video shows up in real time, GIVE ENERGY to the person.  Not a reward, not a verbal praise, not a back-hand comment like, “it’s about time you came home in a good mood....why can’t you come home like this every night....so what happened that you’re in a good mood?  Did you think I died? SO NO NEGATIVITY.  Give ENERGY, full, positive, awezome energy.

What Does Energy Look Like
BE with the person.  Spend time with them.  Drop everything you are doing and greet them, hug them, smile, let them SEE how happy you are to BE in their presence.  If you have to use words, simply say, “So good to have you home.  I look forward to you coming home every day (nothing wrong with lying!).  Tell me about your day.  I’m all ears.”

THIRD
There is yet one more requirement on your part that can be challenging.  But it is the salt.  It is the final and perhaps most important ingredient of all.

The Kicker
So once you have created the mental detailed action video and reviewed it bookoo times and allowed yourself to experience the emotions that go with the experience, then....and here is the kicker....you begin relating to the person all day long and all night long AS IF THEY ARE ALREADY BEHAVING THIS WAY.

So there you are.  Simple, easy, and costs you nothing.  No trip to the therapist, no medication, no arguments, no begging and pleading.  Something TOTALLY under your control.  What a deal. Let me know how it works.  It works for me ALL the times I follow it.

What I have just shared with you is nothing new.  You can read about in Chapter 10 of the book, and as I disclose there, it is not mine. Not even sure if it belongs to anyone in particular.  Perhaps God. You can find the mechanics or the technology of what I have shared ALL OVER the “place.”  It is the heart of most transformational and self healing “programs.”  It is the foundation of the so-called secret or the laws of attraction.  What I have shared has its roots in ancient Eastern wisdom and the wisdom of Native spirituality throughout the world.  It may also be supported by the discoveries of quantum physics and quantum mechanics.  A very interesting insight to what is underlying our “magic” can be found on You Tube.  Bill Moyers Documentary on Qi .  Watch this short six minute segment where the Tai Chi Master describes the way he projects the energy of his thoughts and his will.  More to come.

Thank you for reading and thank you for giving yourself a treat!

Order the book at AMAZON or BARNES AND NOBLE Or visit the Book's WEBSITE.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

CHANGE HAPPENS WHEN YOU LIVE IN YOUR VISION



So you’re wanting something to happen? You’re wanting someone to change?  You’re wanting to make a move in your life?  You’re wanting to heal? You’re wanting someone else to heal? You’re wanting to set out on a journey?  You’re wanting to set out on an adventure?  You’re wanting to cross a finish line?  Yes, any finish line.   You’re wanting to create something new, totally new? You’re wanting to create something new from something old?

The questions and variations on the questions are infinite.

So first, be sure that what you are looking at (not hoping for) is in line.  In line with what? Whatever or Whomever you line up with.  Many folks line up with God or a Higher Power, and of course, God or Higher Power looks differently for different people.  Some folks line up with a kind of inner ethic or inner way of living. Whatever or Whomever it is you line up with, be sure that what you are looking at lines up.

I used the phrase looking at instead of hoping for because hoping for can leave your “dream” in the realm of fantasy and impossibility.  When I am looking at my dream, it is real, it is already here in my imagination.

Then ENVISION what you want or desire to happen, again, what you are LOOKING AT. Envision in great great detail as if you are making a documentary video.  See very clearly in your mind, in your mind’s eye, in your soul, and above all, IN YOUR IMAGINATION what you are looking at.  

Then allow yourself to experience the emotions that go with your vision.

*So I allow myself to feel excited and proud that my book is on the best sellers list even though at this moment in time, it appears not to be so.

*I allow myself to feel the overwhelming emotion of watching a film and hearing the soundtrack my son composed.

*I allow myself to experience the wonder and awe of the phone ringing and ringing with new business day after day after day.

*I allow myself to feel the relief and resolve that comes with someone I love so dearly calling and saying, “it’s all okay, we are going to make it....we’re going to get through this....I need to take a different path....we need to take a different path....to bring us closer together....”

*I allow myself to feel the relief and freedom that comes with someone I have loved saying, “I am so sorry I have so mistreated you....I’m getting healing for myself....I understand now....I am ready to let go....I am ready to let go of you and everyone and everything I try so desperately to control....I’m going to live my own life....I am going to stop trying to get even....”

*I allow myself to feel the relief and strength that comes with someone I have loved saying, “I’m ready to accept and love YOU instead of the you I think you should be or the you I wanted you to be, and I’m ready to accept whatever that means for you or whatever that means for us.”

Whatever that vision is in your mind, in your mind’s eyes, in your soul, and above all else, in your imagination, allow yourself the emotions that go with the vision already happening NOW.
Then go about living life as if the vision is your reality.  Treat loved ones as if they have already changed or have already said all those wonderful, loving, and insightful statements. Get up in the morning as if your book is on the best sellers list. Get ready for work as if the phone is going to ring off the hook.  Deposit your money for the day as if you already have a million dollars in your account. Run that 2.5 miles as if you have already run a zillion marathons.

BEWARE of allowing impatience to creep in, disillusionment to set in, and the words, “this will never happen....I was stupid for ever imagining....What’s wrong with me?....Why do I keep hoping?”  And when you hear yourself saying, “why do I keep hoping,” realize your vision has slipped from being a reality into a “hope for.”  "Hope for's" do tend to fade away with time, with disappointment, with disillusionment, with emotional and even physical exhaustion, with age! The key here is to continue the vision and holding the vision in your imagination where you hold it to be real and already here.

When we allow our vision to slip into a “hope for” or to just fade away completely, we are giving up on our dreams, perhaps even giving up on the people we love so dearly, giving up on our Senior Partner, giving up on our own creative self, GIVING UP.

So if you have given up recently, I extend my hand to you to rekindle your imagination, your dream, go beyond your “hope for” to your vision.   See it, see it, see it.  Believe in your vision.  Allow yourself to experience the emotions of your vision. You have nothing to lose and your vision to gain.

I must say none of the above belongs to me.  It has been passed on to me by “folks” like God, other folks like Wayne Dyer, Lao Tsu, Alberto Villoldo, Neal Donald Walsh, Julia Cameron, Bob Berg, Andy Andrews, and so many others. There are folks like Jay Martin who lives in the place we call heaven who has walked with me faithfully in recent years, holding me safe, leading me on to places in my life I never knew existed, but here I am.  There are folks, like David Bradley, who lives in Morro Bay the last I checked, who also holds me safe by not allowing me to slip into a “hope for” spot, not even for a second.  

And in whatever way, I can be a cheerleader for you and your dreams, I will cheer.  The best way I can cheer for you is to see you in your vision myself, so now your dream exists in two imaginations.  And the more “folks” you invite to envision with you, the more imaginable your dream becomes.

CHEERS! 

SOME PART OF US KNOWS TO HOLD ON,
HOLD ON TO OUR VISION
Order the book at AMAZON or BARNES AND NOBLE Or visit the Book's WEBSITE.

THANKS FOR VISITING THIS PAGE AND READING TODAY'S POST.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I SEE YOUR DEEP WOUNDS AND I AM GOING TO STICK IT TO YOU

     Blaming your partner or spouse creates a courtroom atmosphere in your relationship. Obviously, there is not much conversation in a courtroom. There is, however, plenty of prosecution and defense. When you bring that courtroom atmosphere into your relationship, you spend all of your energies either accusing or defending. You bring up tons of evidence to prove yourself right and your partner GUILTY beyond doubt! Listening does not have a chance. It’s overridden by your mutual drive to rebuttal each and every accusation. You even go so far as to invite children and sometimes friends to sit on the jury! Nothing good comes from proving your partner wrong or guilty (Chapter Seven, pages 41-42).

     This happens frequently right in front of me during session.  It is absolutely awful to be a witness to this gladiator style fighting.  Over the years, I have become adept at refusing to enter the jury box, but it is still an absolutely devastating experience for the couple and could be if I let it, for myself as well.

More than likely, you were in this condition when you came to the relationship

     Viewing this emotionally brutal fighting tells me a couple of things.  For sure, neither one of you is a whole person, not even a semblance of a whole person.  Each of you are run through with holes or wounds in your soul in your psyche in your self worth, and you are good at sticking it to each other right smack into those wounds, but more than likely you entered the relationship with these wounds.  More than likely neither of you inflicted the original wounds.

     Or something very very very over-the-top painful happened in your relationship, and again something that fit right into your existing wounds, but instead of grabbing on to this painful event and working with it and each other to heal, you buried the event and made a contract to leave it buried.

     Unfortunately, neither one of you can leave it buried, but since you said you did, you fight about all kinds of other "shit" to disguise the fact that this Big One did not get buried, but instead buried each of you.

     Want to shift gears and stop being gladiators? Want to give a genuine gift for Valentine's this year like closing the courtroom door for good and healing the Big One?  Well, Chapters Seven and Sixteen will walk you through the healing steps. 



THANK YOU FOR INVESTING IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP.

A WOMAN'S FORKED TONGUE!

     I hear so many women complain that their sweetie pie is  "not emotional or sensitive enough....too controlling.....All he is interested in is sex.  Can't just cuddle and hold me.  Any affection always has to lead to sex....He doesn't listen....I have to chase him around the house if I want to tell him something important....He is too rough with the kids....He is too demanding with the kids....He is so tight with the money....Of course, he is a good provider....My Dad was a good provider, but I don't want to be married to my Dad....Just because he makes more money than me, he thinks he can spend our money on whatever he wants, even if we cannot really afford it.....He never wants to go on vacation where I want to go....Okay, so maybe he deserves to relax, but he drinks way too much....He doesn't want the kids smoking pot, but that's all he does out in the garage, and he thinks the kids can't smell it....Whenever we go somewhere, he is always staring at other women and he thinks I don't see it...."

     So you know what happens when the guy starts crying in therapy?  She reaches over and pleads with him not to cry or worse, "you don't have to win an Oscar, honey."  When I suggest that he stop drinking, she says, "Well, I don't think you have to stop drinking, just don't get drunk."  When I tell the big guy that he comes across as controlling in the session, she says, "Well, I don't want you to be a whimp."  When I suggest that he just hold her more frequently without any sex, she immediately jumps in with, "Oh, that'll never happen.  You don't know him." And on and on it goes.  


     Yes, I get the impression that as much as women complain about men, they really don't want men to change because then.....  Yes, women will have to change as well.  Imagine that?  When we go down the change highway, WE ALL GET TO CHANGE!  



     There is a balance in each relationship and when one person changes, even if for the better of the relationship, the whole relationship has to change and that is unsettling.  I remember a woman complaining for years, I mean years, about her hubby's drinking and it was BAD and we all felt BAD for her until hubby got sober!  Within a month, she went out and bought a full bar for the family room because, as she put it, "we entertain a lot, and we need a bar!"  Go figure. The balance in the relationship had been turned topsy turvy with him sober.  Yes, it had!



     So, ladies, not sure how to deal with your double bind?  You want change but you don't want the consequences of the change?  Get this Book, the perfect guide, the perfect walk along, to carry you both through the topsy turvy's.


AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE



TOPSY TURVY CAN ACTUALLY BE QUITE BEAUTIFUL!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

RELATIONSHIP MADE IN HEAVEN - CRASHING DOWN = NOW WHAT?


     Relationships made in heaven or in dot com heaven can come crashing down to earth, and when they do, it can be a disaster worth seeking Federal aid for.  Makes you wonder if there ever was a relationship in the first place or if you were just in la la land riding high on a fantasy.  You could have sworn that God sent you Prince Charming or Sleeping Beauty and well, hey, she sleeps all the time.  And well yes, he is charming all the time, but that’s about it! So what are you complaining about?  God did you send you Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty.  But you wanted more than a fairy tale relationship, right?

     So what about soulmates?

     For a long time I thought soulmates was a bunch of hogwash.  You can tell just how old I am.  How about a bunch of bunk?  More poetic than hogwash!  But I have been fortunate to experience a soulmate, so now I have to swallow my bunch of bunk.  And even soulmates live in a body!  Yes, a body, that sometimes is sick, broken, not-so-toned, blind, deaf, falling apart, wrinkled, ovulating, in pain-triggering nastiness, and well, you know, everything else that comes with a body working or not.  And even soulmates have a brain which has it’s own quirky quacky, quocky, neurons, firing and misfiring.  Even soulmates live very unsoulfully and treat their loved ones in unsoulful ways.

     So what’s my point?  We can avoid the “hard wark” as an Irishman once said, the “hard wark” of relationships by insisting that our relationship is made in heaven or that we are soulmates.  And why do we do that?  That is a complicated question for another blog!  But we do, and ironically the “hard wark” we try to avoid doesn’t have to be so hard or difficult or painful.  

     It can be as simply as being conscious, being aware, being awake.

     I can remain conscious of the other’s quirks, quacks, and quocks and rather than “warking” hard to somehow get or make my partner change, I can "wark" hard to learn to live with the real person I chose to love, to enjoy those quirks, quacks, and quocks, to see them as precious, to learn to be responsive to them and yes, that is hard “wark.”

     Hard “wark” but not a crash, not a disaster.  In fact it can become the delight of my day.



     And this wonderfilled book will walk you through the hard "wark" Irish or not.



     THANK YOU FOR INVESTING IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP.