Archives For Everyday living

love

The Bible says that God is love and sacrificed Jesus because he loved us so much.  William Shakespeare refers to music as the food of love in Twelfth Night.  Sigmund Freud identifies it in Eros as life’s energy force.  Others say love (and money) makes the world go around.  Hollywood tells us that we all want to fall in love, as many times as possible.  Some of us are in love with love.

There are probably as many views of love as there are people on the planet.  Great writing, music, art, film, dance and architecture have been inspired by love and serve as a monument to its expression.  Love is powerful.  Oprah Winfrey says that experiences presents us with an opportunity ‘to choose love over fear.’

Love is certainly part of human need, desire and longing.  Some of us are lucky enough to experience it at some point in our lives, and others are not.  Maybe loving others starts with loving ourselves.  In order to give and receive love we need to be able to trust ourselves and trust another.  Can we love if we know that our feelings will not be reciprocated?  Some people find it easy to love their children, family and friends; others do not.  I have heard parents say that they would be prepared to die for their children: real sacrificial love.

Love may be both about who and what we attach ourselves to. We may have been badly hurt by our earlier attempts to love and be loved.  Consequently we may find it easier to love power, status and material possessions.  We can find ourselves becoming addicted to that which we once loved, or we might assume we love something because we are unhealthily addicted to it.  Love is mysterious and can turn into hate.

Some powerful questions you might want to consider: Who or what do you love and how does that affect how you relate to them?  Does it feel like a healthy love or more of the obsessive kind?  Have you been hurt by loving and need to heal before you can love again?   Do you not love because you are afraid of exposing yourself to the pain of disappointment?  Are you missing out on beautiful emotional connections because you fear it will all go wrong?   Do your actions express what is in your heart?

There is no need to love everything or everyone but to be open to the possibility seems important to me. What do you think?

 

 

Appreciating who you are cannot be done in the time it takes you to read this post. I have included in these posts (and the book) some of the key things I have discovered in my life to date.  This is the result of my age, having lived in three different countries and my experience of three career paths including the study of psychology, sociology and counselling.  So it is an accumulation of my experience so far and undoubtedly part of my life’s journey.

Journey copy

What has your life journey been like so far and have you begun to make sense of it?  Is it all ahead of you or all behind you?  How does that affect your day-to-day choices?  For me I am grateful to my past and hopeful about my future whilst feeling that my current opportunities are good enough.  It is up to me to make the best of what is available to me rather than focusing on what is imperfect.  (Imperfection is part of the human condition and provides us all with opportunities to be vulnerable).  I certainly feel that I am now on my individual life journey even though I don’t know what happens next.  Do you have a sense of having a past, present and future?

The sense of life being a journey can help us gain perspective.  If we use the metaphor of travel then we can appreciate that sometimes we will like the scenery and other times we really want to get out of town.  Some paths are easy to walk through and others require us to accept assistance.  We may see others on our journey who appear to be having an easier or more difficult time.  Making comparisons can be a distraction to keeping on our own path.  We may feel we are running a marathon or a short sprint, doing hurdles or mountain climbing!   Henry David Thoreau says that ‘what lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.’

What opportunities do our journeys present for us and for those we meet?  How do we cope with the difficulties and the privileges?  What do we protect and what can we share with others we meet on the way?  Maybe we can only appreciate a journey when we’ve got to the end and reflected on where we have been.  It may be that we have time at the end to do this or it may be that others do that for us.  It does not matter; our journey is ours and no one else’s.

How do you feel about your journey so far – share your thoughts

HomeThis brings me to the idea of home:  A place where you care about others and they care about you.  For me that is a more important concept than to say it is the place where you live.  For many it is a simple concept; you grow up in your parents’ home and then you go out and create your own.  A home needs to be more than a house because that is only a limited external combination of location, possessions and function.  It could be about the community or country you feel a sense of belonging to.  Home could be a community of likeminded people where tolerance and cultural exchange are encouraged.  A home needs to offer some heart connection so that those who live there can be fully alive and feel supported.  For me it is more of a sanctuary than a straightforward shelter.  It is a place where I can unwind and I can offer hospitality to others.

Nowadays England is more accepting of different communities who maintain the culture of their home country whilst creating a new home in England; having two homes.  I think of friends who have left England for South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in search of what they believe will be a new and better home for them.  I think of Caribbean friends moving to America, England and Canada for the same reasons.  I myself was born in England and grew up in the Caribbean.  Where is home for me?  Do I need to choose?  In my experience, time spent, key relationships, commitments and sense of belonging all have a part to play.  Both England and the Caribbean have changed in the time I have been finding and creating my adult home.

There are many people without a sense of home even if they have lived in a land for several generations.  They need to find a place that they can call home.  Part of this I am sure is an ability to be at home with oneself.  We would never find home if it is all about an expectation of the world continually welcoming us to some special place.  We need to figure what we need and create that space in the world.

I know for me home is linked to a broader sense of identity and relationships.  This may change over time as I continue to grow deeper into who I am and how I live my life.  Listening to our specific desire for a place of refuge is part of our life’s journey and one we should take seriously – no one can create a home for us.  Similarly we do not need to recreate the home we grew up in although we could consciously choose to include aspects of that which we found supportive and, by the same token, leave out that which we did not.

Have you found or created a home for yourself?  Would you like to or does it seem unimportant?

 

 

Musings

February 2, 2009

Its interesting how some of us are able to ignore the changes we know we need to make in our lives.  I am thinking here about how we may treat our loved ones, ourselves, what we spend our money on, who we spend time with (etc.).  We may know we need and want to make changes but sometimes it is easier to carry on as normal.  And then, something out of our control comes in and makes us take note, forces us to respond.  We might choose to say ‘yay or nay’ but we can no longer ignore the choice.

furniture delivery

October 21, 2008

A month ago I ordered some furniture on a buy one get one free offer.  To my surprise only one was delivered.  Sometimes its not the size of the problem to sort out but just having to pay attention to something that should have been so simple.  Its bad enough that I had been waiting from 7am as they need a 5 hour window.  Anyway I phoned the delivery people who then told me to return to my local branch where I paid for it.  At the branch they were a bit flummoxed but tried to sort it.  Thankfully it was early and not busy so the assistant made a few phone calls to try to resolve the issue.  I need the furniture in a week’s time so can’t wait another month for delivery.  I tell her this but aware that it is not her fault.  Eventually she lets me know that I can leave the store while she continues to get to the bottom of this.  I appreciate this as I have other stuff to be getting on with.  I later receive a call saying there is nothing they can do I’ll have to come in and start the whole process again. No, that’s not what I want to hear.  I decide to let it go and plan to go in tomorrow to re-order.  Next she calls back to say that I don’t need to come in as they will reorder the items for me. Okay there is still a delay but I will get them.  An hour later someone calls to ask me if I can be in for a delivery in two days time! Yes, definitely.  I am so pleased.  No need for the various back up plans I was brewing as it should be sorted by the end of this week.  Surprisingly I get yet another call asking me if I am happy with the service!  Well at the moment I am ecstatic but that assumes both items will be delivered on Thursday.

hopefulness

July 22, 2008

So many days over the past few weeks the news has been very unpleasant.  Not least has been that terrible situation in Zimbabwe.  But today seems to be a hopeful day:-

  • The two leaders in Zimbabwe have agreed to talks and the possibility of power sharing.  They signed the documents yesterday and South Africa’s President was credited with bringing both sides together. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of that horrendous situation.
  • Today sees the arrest of Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic
  • 3 retailers are about to reduce the price of petrol!  
  • A new drug for prostate cancer
Pretty good going……