Feelings are an important part of you. In order to live fully and effectively, you need many sources of information (e.g., your senses, your thoughts, your perceptions) to guide you, motivate you, and help you make sense of things. Your emotions provide one such source. Often, there is a strong relationship between the events in your life and your feelings–for example, to feel sadness in response to loss, or to feel happiness in response to something desirable. Feelings may also be related to past events or even to expectations of the future. For example, sorrow about a recent loss may evoke sadness from past losses. These feelings can be an important source of information as well. Rather than ignore or exaggerate your feelings, it is helpful to be able to take your feelings as they are, accept them, think about them, and learn from them. When you are feeling something consider asking yourself the following kinds of questions:
What is this feeling?
What is this feeling telling me about this situation?
Why has this feeling come up right now?
Raise your words, not voice.
It is rain that grows
flowers not thunder.
Usually adult males who are unable to make emotional connections with the women they choose to be intimate with are frozen in time, unable to allow themselves to love for fear that the loved one will abandon them. If the first woman they passionately loved, the mother, was not true to her bond of love, then how can they trust that their partner will be true to love. Often in their adult relationships these men act out again and again to test their partner’s love. While the rejected adolescent boy imagines that he can no longer receive his mother’s love because he is not worthy, as a grown man he may act out in ways that are unworthy and yet demand of the woman in his life that she offer him unconditional love. This testing does not heal the wound of the past, it merely reenacts it, for ultimately the woman will become weary of being tested and end the relationship, thus reenacting the abandonment. This drama confirms for many men that they cannot put their trust in love. They decide that it is better to put their faith in being powerful, in being dominant. Bell Hooks
Among men, sex sometimes
results in intimacy;
among women, intimacy
sometimes results in sex.
Male attachment needs are somewhat different from women’s. Men generally do not need verbal communication about feelings or “talks” about the relationship. Nor do they need direct, verbal validation of their feelings or needs. Men have a natural, biological proclivity toward interaction with the environment, more so than the verbally based interactions that women desire. They do need to know they are appreciated, respected and loved. And men are often quite satisfied by having these needs met with direct, physically nurturing behaviors by women. Many adult men feel a basic sense of security and even love simply by the very presence of the significant women in their lives. Men also experience sexual connection as a form of nurturance, acceptance, love, and even emotional security. Sex for men is a primary attachment need – compared to women, who need verbal communication and validation. Men also tend to have fewer friends than women, and when they do, they tend to focus on activities rather than verbal interactions (watching sports, hunting and fishing are examples). Recent findings from modern neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology show there are unique aspects of the male brain (also endocrine and other systems) – quite different from female brains. This includes analytical brain structures (not emotional) designed to solve problems. Men have an inborn, biologically based competitive instinct. They also have an area of the brain designed for sexual pursuit that is more than 2 times larger than females (Brizendine, 2010). The brain circuits for fear, aggression and defense are far more prominent in men than in women. In comparison, women have more prominent mirror neuron systems for emotional empathy. There are no male-specific diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The most common diagnoses for men are addictions, personality disorders such as narcissism, avoidant, and anti-social personality disorders, intermittent explosive disorder, conduct disorder, and ADHD. Depression, however, is very common in men. Men also experience complicating medical issues such as stress-related heart and digestive disorders, and they may also present with a variety of sexual disorders. Other medical concerns may result from drug and alcohol addiction. From article by Richard J. Loebl, LCSW, PA http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-men.html
I would suggest that just as women
who make it in the world of business
need male business mentors,
perhaps men who make it
in the world of emotions
will need female
Stop missing out on enjoying time with your partner, by worrying about something that hasn’t happened, with people that aren’t part of your relationship. …stop focusing on that which you DON’T want to happen, and spend more time creating what you DO want. The universe doesn’t understand that what you are thinking about all the time is something undesirable. It takes any thought you create as a request and conspires to manifest those requests. So, if you constantly focus on the negative thoughts around your relationship, chances are you will keep inadvertently creating negative situations between you and your partner. Changing your thoughts, and letting go of the fear, makes room for more thoughts about what you really want to create in your relationship. It’s a much better way to use your energy and if you focus on how to give more love, how to strengthen your bond and create more intimacy, you’ll find you easily manifest the good loving you really desire. All of this is not to say that you should be ignorant of any intuition or signs of infidelity. If you have a feeling things have gone astray, or there are obvious signs that your partner’s focus may have shifted, then you should trust your own intuition and be willing to address your concerns. Having an honest, adult, and somewhat vulnerable conversation with your partner about what you’re worried about can be the difference between realizing you had the wrong end of stick and getting on with loving each other, or letting your mind run away with the worst case scenario and having that fear ruin your relationship. Open, mature conversation about boundaries and expectations is the only way to really approach the fear of being cheated on and a much more promising way to build a lifetime of love. From an article by Rachael Lay http://www.rachaellay.com/why-worrying-about-cheating-is-pointless/
For a marriage relationship to flourish,
there must be intimacy.
It takes an enormous amount of courage
to say to your spouse, “This is me.
I’m not proud of it — in fact,
I’m a little embarrassed by it –
but this is who I am.”
It seems that we are re-discovering the undeniable fact that men and women are actually quite different. And we are beginning to develop a coherent and compassionate understanding of healthy, normal male emotion, behavior, and relationship dynamics. Man’s earliest ancestors lived in a harsh and hostile environment that placed a high premium on physical strength. The strong survived, and the weak lived exceedingly brief lives… Because he was the fighter and because he was the provider, it was inevitable that the male came to be responsible for woman’s welfare. This is the historical reality. Gender differentiation evolved out of actual physical, perhaps physiological, necessity. This biological foundation, along with recent findings from modern brain science, helps to explain why men do what they do, feel what they feel, and how they struggle with confusing, even conflicting contemporary role demands and expectations. Men have primarily been defined by their work roles (along with conquests and success in business, sports, wars, and other ventures), not by their role relationships within families or other social groupings. Historically, men were dominant over women, driven primarily by physiological factors, and the major forces of historical change were conducted by powerful male rulers and military leaders, a male-dominated church, and other powerful men. In the modern era, male stereotypes developed as a result of cultural ideals created in literature, movies, and television (cowboy, romantic hero, soldier, 1950’s family man, and even the angry, bigoted archetypes like Archie Bunker). Currently we are influenced by post-feminist stereotypes such as the bumbling, ineffective and inarticulate man, or just the insensitive “cave man” who “cannot communicate”. The role of men in the workforce, relationships and society has changed dramatically in recent history, as a result of revolutionary economic and social changes. Until very recently, there was no need or expectation for men to communicate in an intimate manner. There was no historical necessity for men to talk about their feelings, to be emotionally sensitive to others, or to “validate” women or children. From article by Richard J. Loebl, LCSW, PA http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-men.html
Feelings are not
supposed to be logical.
Dangerous is the man
who has rationalized
The stereotypes of reserved men and emotional women are widespread and do affect the way young boys and girls are raised. Some researchers argue that we may be ingraining gender differences that do not naturally exist by accepting and passing on these stereotypes to our children. Other researchers believe these differences have developed due to the evolutionary roles placed on men and women to survive and thrive. While researchers debate these gender differences, they agree that the differences ultimately can have a negative effect on members of both sexes. Some research has found that the differences may be rooted in cultural stereotypes. For example, women are perceived as being more emotional and behave that way because it’s believed that’s what women do, while men express emotion only when the situation warrants it. Parents may have a hand in promoting these gender differences, expressing disapproval with boys who cry or express other “weak” emotions while shrugging off similar behavior in girls. Other studies posit an evolutionary cause for these gender differences in emotion. Men serving as hunter-gatherers needed to take more risks and be more dominating, while women who stayed home and cared for young needed to be more nurturing and cautious. These roles have resisted change as human society has progressed, and indeed, progress may cause these roles to become even more pronounced. Gender differences in emotional processing and response have direct consequences on the physical and emotional health of men and women. Overly emotional women tend to be at greater risk for depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, while men who repress their feelings tend to be at greater risk for physical ailments such as high blood pressure, and also tend to indulge in more risky behavior and vices such as smoking or drinking. Others believe that parents can help dull or negate these stereotypes by refusing to reinforce them. Whether you’re trying to bring up children without gender stereotypes or looking after your own emotional health, be aware of these gender differences and how they affect both men’s and women’s experiences of the world. From an article by Dennis Thompson Jr. http://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/gender-differences-in-emotional-health.aspx
Women need to feel loved
and men need to feel needed.
Rita Mae Brown
The Five Levels of Truth-Telling:
First, you tell the truth to yourself about yourself.
Then you tell the truth to yourself about another.
At the third level, you tell the truth about yourself to another.
Then you tell your truth about another to that other.
And finally, you tell the truth to everyone about everything.
Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God II
If you do not tell the Truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people. Virginia Woolfe
The Light is more than some abstract, unknowable energy force. Light is Truth. If Light is truth, then darkness must be lies. Each and every lie we tell to ourselves and others casts the shadow of separation upon us. Every time even the most minor deception is revealed and the truth is made known we are re-united with the Light. So, Let there be Light. Those are the words by which you can create your own magnificent world. Renee Bledsoe
There is no such thing as
an inconsequential lie.
Obsessiveness is common in many ways – not being able to sleep at night because of hurting someone you love, for example, or developing a childhood fascination with dinosaurs that never leaves and you eventually become a paleontologist. Then there is an addiction to obsessiveness which stifles creativity. Obsessiveness is not only boring, it also lacks any faith in process. Process is always out of your control. You must be open to finding out what will happen instead of seeking a false sense of control. An example of this false sense of control would be to think: If I always know where you are, you can’t have an affair. Part of the control of obsessiveness is to nurse hurt feelings, exaggerate disappointment, and constantly blame the other for not coming to the rescue. Obsessiveness is very interesting because there are two sides to it: the positive side is creative passion that helps you know what really matters; the negative side is an addiction which makes you unable to prioritize anything. As a result, things have the same weight. Is s/he having an affair? Obsessiveness is a focus on what is NOT. Truly focus on the here and now in the moment and the obsession will change itself. Obsession is a substitute for action. Both polarities of obsessiveness are available. What is more mentally healthy, especially as we age, is sorting out what is important and what to let go of. Ultimately letting go is the final lesson of death. One of the many wonderful aspects about raising children is that elegant dance of knowing what’s important combined with the letting go work of adolescence and not knowing. The not knowing leaves room for respecting their choices as different from your own ideas of who they should be. Too many parents stifle and interrupt children’s abilities to make their own mistakes and their own choices. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
is like theft.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Speak up and make sure you are one of the balls you juggle in life, instead of leaving yourself out. The best cure for codependence is authentic disagreement. Healthy conflict is not a betrayal of trust and niceness as is so often believed in this culture. Healthy conflict keeps dialogue intact and trust can build based on a more real relationship. The work of understanding differences is worth it in order to beat back anxiety & codependency. Those who are codependent are very afraid of being alone; there is a scramble to stuff someone else into the emptiness within when a relationship breaks up. People who are codependent mistake enmeshment for love and can’t bear to be without it. We should all recognize the old saying “you can’t love someone else unless you love yourself” as true. Being alone is one way to learn how to love yourself. Face your fears and try learning to enjoy life alone without the safety factor of a built-in partner. Give up the people-pleasing and hiding behind the false 150 watt smile. Risk more disagreement. Be willing to not be liked instead of being a chameleon. Ultimately, people who are codependent have done themselves the greatest injustice by losing track of who they are. Pay attention to being annoyed. Underneath feeling grumpy is a buried want that you are ignoring too easily. Speak up to undo the legacy of codependency. Anxious people swallow their own truth which is very stressful. It’s scary in the short-term to be more authentic, just try to remember there are tons of long-term payoffs that will make it worth it. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
I don’t have to agree with you
to like you or respect you.
Love is very aware and discerning. In fact, we are much more aware and discerning in the absence of fear. Fear limits our world view and life’s infinite possibilities. When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, fear can blind us to all the possibilities except a few versions of the old fight or flight alternatives. Inevitably when we undo the fear, we find a different way of “being” with the situation and other alternatives arise. Often we don’t have to figure it all out ahead of time. We can just trust that by showing up without the fear and being centered we will know what to do and say in the moment. It’s not that we get smarter in the absence of fear, we just regain access to the inner wisdom that was always there and was concealed by fear. Another way that fear limits us is by shutting us off from the opportunity to try new endeavors, meet new people, entertain a new point of view, challenge old beliefs, travel, experience new cultures, discover what makes our heart sing, take risks, and step outside the box. Fear also gives rise to and strengthens the ego. Ego is another tricky word that has several definitions… It is the part of our mind that judges us and others, moves toward separation versus unity, is quick to go to fear, anger, sadness, guilt, etc., spends all its time in the past or future rather than the present moment, takes a lot of things personally, anticipates the worst, never forgets a slight or embarrassing moment, sees us as victims, and on and on it goes seldom allowing us a quiet moment. The ego doesn’t trust Love. It thinks that it is us but doesn’t know the truth of who we are. It’s an illusion of who we are. The ego’s voice is not our own even thought it operates in our head. The great thing is that we don’t have to listen to it or follow it any more than we have to listen to a person who constantly lies to us and tries to mislead us. http://www.yoursecretgarden.org/Articles/20.htm
Fear is faith that
it won’t work out.
Sister Mary Tricky