Thursday, May 22, 2014

What Do You Think?

I had one of those moments the other day where I slipped into wondering about the inner workings of the process of life. Of course it would have been more fun to think about designing dresses or planning dinner parties but the older I get the deeper my thinking about purpose, meaning, manifesting, God, love, and such preoccupy my thoughts. It seems the concepts I studied when I majored in philosophy in the 70's are now re-entering my mind to come full circle. Now, at 64, these concepts mean something more then simply the exploration of metaphysical concepts. I seem to have more questions than answers these days:

Law of Attraction: I've heard it all. Become what you want to attract. What you get is what you attracted. The declarations of how the law of attraction works can make you crazy because it seems to slap the person with full responsibility for events like accidents, traumas, disasters and such. I remember going through several health and home disasters ten years ago and the arrogance and self-righteousness of people when they asked me why I was attracting those disasters. I wanted to take  their heads off. I was suffering. For thirty years I had planned and set my attention and stayed single-minded and in the process accomplished what I wanted and then all hell broke loose. Attract disaster? Are you kidding? Go to any other part of the world and ask people this question, then run for your lives because people experience all kinds of disasters they did not want nor create. Right? I lived in Ca. and was affected by the Loma Prieta earthquake. If we believe the Law of Attraction then I created that right? Seriously? I think the 'secret' to the Law of Attraction is that it got millions of people to believe it without further investigation.

Cause and Effect: We all know this one. For ever action there is a reaction. Can you argue with this? Isn't this behind every lesson parents and teachers impart to children? This one makes sense too, doesn't it? But this one implies that it is a conscious law, right? Karma, the Buddhists speak to karma which is cause and effect.

Free Will vs. Destiny: Okay, we can make our choices, right? So what does that mean in reference to destiny? Are we really preordained to make the choices we do because our souls have lessons we are here to learn? If it isn't destiny then we have free will, right? Could these two aspects live side by side so we experience free will only in the confines of our destinies?

Do events randomly occur or is everything in motion due to a defined plan by God or the universal energies. And what about astrology? Didn't the Mayans make predictions that are still worthy of study in the 21st Century? When you read the astrology for your birth sign, doesn't much of what you read ring true?

I'm getting a headache from thinking so hard. I'll do some yoga, set my intention, hope to manifest the winning lottery ticket, put my free will into motion, then check my astrological reading for today.

Until next time,

Monday, May 19, 2014

Don't Believe It!

In personal relationships women expect to be loved, cared for, and supported.But often they are not. Too many times women date or are married to men who tell them that their feelings don't count, that they don't know what they are talking about, that they have no right to an equal opinion. They get blamed and forced to see the men as the ones in the 'right' while they are in the 'wrong.'This treatment incites great personal harm to women. The situation can  feel hopeless especially if their are children involved. Women often state feeling powerless, frightened, and hopeless that things will ever change. But, there is help.

Every community has a safe house, mental health counselors and services to support women and their children. When women believe they are bad wives for not putting up with their husband's humiliation, belittlement, and judgments, they get mentally and often physically sick. Husbands who love their wives, who have healthy self-esteem, do not treat their wives in such manner.

When men tell women that the woman is responsible for how they feel, please do not believe it. Women might hear that they are responsible for their husbands having no friends, or his unhappiness, or the reason he lost a promotion. Instinctively women know there is a disconnect in this line of thinking, emotionally they buy it. I've worked with women who have chosen to drink, take the frustration out on their children, go on antidepressants, and even have a nervous breakdown rather than stand up to their abusive husbands. They don't see their husband's treatment as 'abuse' even though emotionally they are suffering. Instead, they take on the blame and shame and believe that if only they gave their husbands more sex, agreed with them more, cooked their favorite foods, or some other way of meeting his demands then matters will change. I promise you, it won't. Men like this constantly raise the ante so that no matter what women do they are always unhappy and women are always their emotional punching pillow.

If this is you, please get professional help. There is no shame in getting help. It takes courage and strength to reach out when someone is beating you down inside yourself. Don't let the men you love bully you into believing everything that is going wrong with their lives is your fault. It isn't.

Jan Marquart LCSW

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Many Relationships of a Relationship

If you need your romantic relationship to always be a romantic relationship, chances are you will have many arguments. No romantic relationship can ever be romantic all the time. Such expectation isn't realistic no matter how much you love, adore, or cherish the person. Here are some levels that couples share in an effective relationship.

This is a heart-thumping, blushing, sexually inspiring level that joins two people into a mutual belief that one has met his/her soul-mate. Everything feels 'right.' Your world looks and feels brighter. Your life takes on a higher purpose and meaning when you feel 'in love,' small hassles seem like nothing worth spending time over, and you have more energy than you ever thought possible. Your mind will be preoccupied with the other person and everything in life suddenly feels good and wonderful. Unfortunately the romantic stage can be temperamental and any sign that the romance is falling into reality can threaten the belief that one is truly loved.

This is a bond that cannot be broken. No matter what you do you always make sure the other person is considered and cared for. If you are left alone for a day it doesn't matter because you want the other person to be happy. Not being with your significant other every minute is not a personal assault on whether you are important in their life or not. You don't need to do everything they do and they don't need to join you in everything you do. This is a solid foundation upon which to build a true love relationship. If, however, you are only friends without romance the relationship can feel dull.

This is a belief system that keeps two people working on the bigger picture of their relationship together. There is faith in the other person, perhaps a higher power also, be it God or some other philosophical system, and this system pervades why you do everything with and for the other person. Every relationship involves a belief system to keep it going. Problem comes into play when the belief systems differ for each person, especially when raising children or spending money.

It is amazing how many couples do not realize that a long-term relationship involves a partnership. Partners need to trust each other, count on each other, be there for the other person. Partners need to make the important decisions with the other person and hold themselves fully accountable for their 100% of the commitment because there is a commitment. Anyone who is not willing to make a 100% commitment should never be considered a partner.

This level brings the deepest part of intimacy no matter what the nature of the relationship. To have trust enough to share emotions and know that you are safe is a remarkable and powerful way to evince love and kindness. Unfortunately, this level can take decades to build or re-build depending on what pain and experiences one brings to the relationship.

Personal relationships need a healthy sex life to help bring intimacy, trust, caring, and a uniqueness to the relationship.A long-lasting relationship needs far more than this level alone or couples burn out and become uninterested. Good sex is only that: good sex.

What percentage of these levels does your relationship have?
Jan Marquart LCSW
counseling couples and families since 1979