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Posts Tagged ‘divorce’

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“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

People are strange creatures at times, especially where matters of the heart are concerned. It seems that when love comes knocking at the door, many times common sense, or self-preservation goes out the rear exit.  It’s a sad and potentially disastrous situation and I’m certain it’s the reason so many relationships appear to end up falling apart. It’s sad because it leaves behind pain, heartache and often wariness to let love enter again.

When we are young and feeling invincible we rarely want to take advice from our elders. Advice from our parents, who cannot possibly know what ‘we’ feel is simply ridiculous. So when things start to feel wrong, we are reluctant to approach them for advice. So who do we turn to? Often its our friends…. the same age, the same experience, the same lifestyle as we ourselves have. So we get the same level of advice as is currently running through our own minds. In the end, there is a struggle to make things work or your friends will support you as you try to get over the ‘break up’.

What a difference it would make if our lifestyle was more akin to that of our great grandparents. The family unit was closer. There was more communication and reliance on parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles even cousins to teach us the ways of life. With the spread (or breakdown) of the family unit, that cohesiveness has vanished and sometimes we are left without a support network of any kind. Divorces are commonplace and rarely amicable, with children losing a stability taken for granted in bygone times.

It seems there is no guide-book for life, we are meant to flounder along and either succeed or fail depending on how we manage to navigate the currents of life. So many people in pain. So many people who in trying to do the best they can become shadows of the people they could be. It’s a time when sub personalities become dominant as they try to protect the vulnerable “Inner Child” from being hurt more than necessary.

However a downside to this is the burying of emotions which need to be dealt with so that growth as a person can continue. If left buried these emotions can rise to the surface at unfortunate times and create havoc, possibly even ruining the opportunity to have a successful relationship. Understanding human relationships, reactions, emotional responses and even how men and women speak to each other can be invaluable and yet are ignored by our ‘education system’.

Recently I read about a couple in their middle years (fifties) who failed to understand how they related to each other, their communication styles, to the extent that a wonderful relationship failed. How much simpler if, instead of fostering the divisiveness between cultures, between people, we learned how to really speak to each other, irrespective of race, colour, creed or gender simply between one human being and another. (Think the “5 Languages of Love” by Gary Chapman, for example.)

It makes so much sense, could save so much heartache and save so much money on the need for interminable therapy later in life as we learn these lessons, if we could have been equipped with this knowledge as we began our solo journeys into adulthood. If everyone began by reading this one simple book, and I don’t for a moment believe it is necessarily the quintessential answer, it might, just might be a beginning to learning how to relate to one another in a more meaningful way.

Perhaps I’ve seen too many families broken apart, too many broken people to not want to try to remedy the situation if we can. There are too many books, experts who are willing to say they can teach people how to understand the secrets of language and behaviour between the sexes. Isn’t it worth a try? For ourselves as well as our children’s sakes?

Love and happiness are our birthright, not a lucky dip.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

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May happiness follow you all the days of your life. You are always loved.

Blessings, Susan x

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Every once in a while a strange thing happens, you have an odd idea. Here is mine…. I asked a ghost blogger to do a post for me. I hope it is less stressful than mine.

image from intranet.tdmu.edu.te.ua

“One thought I think every person eventually thinks is, “Holy shit, I’m going to die!” Sorry, I just turned thirty yesterday, so my mortality is on my mind.
”
Jarod Kintz, This Book Has No Title

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Stress comes to each of us every day and in many forms, sometimes we hardly know it is present and at others it is right “in your face”. Here is a story of the humorous as well as the possibly tragic possibilities which surround stress in our lives. It is also how not to prepare for a stress test.

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The Scene is Set

Our story begins with an unfortunate and traumatic divorce which has left one party severely depressed and struggling to cope. As part of an ongoing counseling program, suggested during the separation, he attended stress management sessions on a fortnightly basis. Most of these sessions were fairly mundane, focusing on bringing his stress under control, offering a variety of brochures and lectures, however, one turned out to be very interesting. We’ll call him Joe.

This particular session, the counselor brought out a galvanometer muscle tester, to perform a stress test.  This little gadget clips onto any particular muscle, one small clip at either end of the selected muscle, in this case the forearm was chosen. The testing process. After the clips are attached and the subjects arm is at rest, the counselor would turn the control knob slowly from 1 to a maximum of 10. As soon as the machine begins to emit a steady click, click, click,a needle on a meter would indicate the stress the person is under whilst at rest. After this the subject would then be asked to clench their fist and when the muscle is tensed the machine would register the increase in frequency of the clicks by the needle rising.  This would indicate the stress load on the person tested.The higher the number reached indicates the higher the stress the subject is under at that time.  As luck would  have it, it was a fortuitous day for this test to be scheduled.

The first volunteer held out his hand and had the clips attached. On setting 4 of a possible 10, the machine made a slow buzzing noise until he clenched his fist and the buzzing increased a little, as did the needle.  The counselor asked the subject what he did  for a living to which he responded that he had a very highly stressed job. He was on the complaints counter at the Shire Council and the only people he saw were always angry at him.

Enter Joe.  The clips were attached to his arm. At setting 7 the machine began clicking. On clenching his fist the little machine began to scream and the needle on the dial went off the scale.

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“That’s funny,” she said. “Let me check.” A strange look passed across her face and she began to start the test again.

She attached the clips and turned the knob.  At setting 7 the clicks started.

“Clench your fist” she said.

The little machine screamed in protest!  The needle went off the dial.

“Must be something wrong,” she said.  Let me check that,  Relax.”

The noise instantly stopped, just a click, click, click.  She looked at him, confused.

“Let’s try that again.  Clench your fist?”

Instantly the machine screamed again and the needle went off the dial!

“Tell me what you do for a living,” she said.  “You have a very interesting stress test.”

“Let me tell you about this morning,” he said.  “I have a farm and an earth-moving business, and today I was cleaning bush for an electricity company to put power lines through.  We had a tree with a branch that had to be lopped, 5 metres up. .  It was a huge branch, about 10 metres long and almost a metre through it.  The only way we could see to reach it to cut it down was with me in the bucket of the bulldozer loader with a chainsaw.

David, my assistant, maneuvered the machine into place, I climbed into the bucket with the chainsaw and he raised the bucket to 5 metres, level with the branch.  I put a cut under the branch, half way through, and then started to cut down from the top so the branch would fall clear away from me.  I cut deep down into the branch, but it wouldn’t fall!   Perplexed, I asked Davis to reposition the bulldozer so I could reach it better, and started again, a little more cutting underneath, then down from the top again.  The chainsaw was screaming as I pushed down on it but the branch just hung there!  I looked at David, he shook his head and I kept pushing and cutting.  Suddenly, the branch vanished!  It dropped without warning, no sagging, creaking, it just fell, leaving me pushing down hard on a screaming chainsaw into thin air!

I swayed and grabbed for the side of the bucket with one hand, holding the chainsaw away from me with the other, at the end of my outstretched arm.  The branch had fallen and was bouncing on the ground, finally rolling against the front of the bulldozer.  We looked at each other and I think David saw the shock on my face.  I could see it in his.

Stress level: extreme. It’s like she was a jar with the lid screwed on too tight, and inside the jar were pickles, angry pickles, and they were fermenting, and about to explode.”
Fiona Wood, Six Impossible Things

He backed the machine away and lowered the bucket.  I stepped out and put the chainsaw down.  I looked at my watch.

“Somewhere to go?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.  “I have to go to a stress management session at the hospital, they are doing stress testing today.  Wonder how I’ll go!”

images from sunshinecoastmidwifery.com.au

Stress is good for you …. in moderation. That and an Angel sitting on your shoulder. “The Wisdom of Joe”.

Normal blogging to resume shortly…. perhaps tomorrow.

Ciao, Susan

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