PUT YOURSELF ON YOUR LISTWritten by Rhoberta Shaler
If I asked you to describe yourself, what would be first five things that come to mind? Are they positive things? Are at least three out of five positive? I hope so. If not, though, it is good information. It indicates a need for you to make self-appreciation and self-respect a higher priority.
You've all heard phrase, "Be your own best friend". How would you describe your best friend? It is unlikely that you would have a list of negatives, isn't it? How do you treat your best friends? With respect, with kindness and understanding, with compassion, right? Treat yourself same way.
One of my longtime friends recently told me this story. She said that, when she approaches a household task that seems risky, she asks herself, "Would I hire a sixty-seven year old woman to do that for me?" If answer is "No", then she hires a younger person to do job. If answer is "Yes", she proceeds. My dear friend, Helen, is a very wise woman!
WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO HAVE GREAT RELATIONSHIPSWritten by Rhoberta Shaler
Most folks live, work or play with other folks. We all need skills to play nicely together. Where do we get those skills and tools? And, what are they?
It is not rocket science to understand that our early training continues to play out in our lives. What we did in our families tends to be our base line until we decide to consciously change our minds. There are far too many people...believe me, I know, having been a therapist for years...who spend their lives blaming their families for present conditions of their lives.
Sure, some people have been badly treated, even abused, and I am not dismissing their pain in any way. Most folks have not, however, and many continue to hold on to 'if-only' and 'they done me wrong' mentality as a defense against moving forward in their lives. You can change your mind at any time, can't you? You can choose to play on your own team and be your own ally in creating life you say you want.
Do you ever let old patterns you learned or observed in your family life infringe on your current relationships? Do you have a fear or an unwillingness to trust new folks on basis of your history with other folks? Is this serving you well? I doubt it.
When I was a therapist, couples would come to me. One, or both, would complain of being compared to their partner's last love, lover, wife or husband - and, usually not favorably, either. I can think of one case that was particularly overt. The man complained that his partner was flaunting her sexuality at every man she met. He said she even spent too long chatting with checkout person in grocery store, longer than was necessary in his opinion, and he considered it flirting. He said that, when she bent down to choose groceries from bottom shelf, she did it in a sexually aggressive way. Having seen this woman in community for several years, I had not noticed any overt sexuality on her part.
As we worked together, it turned out, as you have probably guessed by now, that his former wife ran off with another man. His belief was that, if he had been more vigilant for signs he was now hyper-vigilant of in his current partner, he would still be married to his first wife and at home with his children. His current partner was in a no-win situation. Although she was now more conscious of everything she did and was feeling quite anxious and tense about her every move, there really was nothing she could do until this man took pain of his last experience and left it behind with his former wife.