It has taken me years to come to terms with one of the most obvious truths about intimate relationships: that there is labour in love.
We have all heard that you can’t change a person, and that loving someone is accepting them as they are. These ideals sound great in theory, but let’s face it, none of us actually practices this with others or even ourselves.
Perhaps like me, you added some fine print:
“I accept you wholeheartedly, except when you do precisely the thing that annoys me the most, after I have very patiently explained a hundred times how you should do it differently”.
And therein lies the rub: it’s easy to love others when your loved one is being adorable and reasonable, tenderly loving you back. But there is grit to intimacy, the constant dance of ease and challenge, of opening and closing your heart, of feeling generous of spirit sometimes and at others downright miserly towards them.
Despite the idealism of romantic love, this is exactly...
Sometimes the biggest issue I think I have is ‘managing’ everyone else’s feelings. Somehow I ended up with this life-long feeling I am not only responsible for how everyone around me feels, but also for ‘fixing’ it and getting them back to feeling happy. And let’s make no mistake about it, society and in turn plenty of people in my life encouraged this belief and pattern.
So how does this change??
Well, what this all comes down to is my relationship to power. My relationship with my own power.
We have been taught that if a woman has power, it comes at the expense of another person’s feelings and/or diminishing another woman’s power. There is no such thing as two women in a room having equal, beautiful power. Of course this is not actually true. But this is what we have been taught.
How did I learn this? Well, I simply watched my mother and my grandmother interact. Or my...
No End in Sight with Autoimmune Illness
I have been bed-bound twice with very serious illnesses in the last decade. In this No End in Sight interview with USA host Brianne Benness I share about my spiritual and emotional experience of illness, my focus on self-compassion, and how I used Greek mythology to build a map that makes sense of the chronic illness cycle.