A marriage counselor said that many married women at a certain age experience so much insecurities due to body shaming. They don’t want themselves not to look good. Many have tried so hard for keeping themselves to look good and in a good shape. None of them wants to look older and not beautiful. It has created strong insecurities. To be insecured is to create fear and the biggest fear is that her husband does not love her anymore or even leaves her at the worst. I never thought this as a serious problem, until a friend who is a marriage counselor shared this fact to me.
I think the first reason for this to happen is a commitment in relationship. A marriage is a committed relationship. To be committed means to be devoted. There is always a desire to make the one you devote or love to be happy. Each one has this responsibility for the happiness of the other side. A committed relationship also creates emotional dependency, then emotional attachment. There is no liberation, where there is a dependency.
Those women think that by keeping their bodies in shape or look good they will be attractive to their spouses. This draws their attention to become so much body conscious. The more you let yourself to be drawn by body consciousness, the more you become insecured. This is the price you have to pay. Because body consciousness is false consciousness. Body is made of the 5 elements of nature. Anything is made of the 5 elements will definitely change……. from new to old, from young to old. Accept this and be ready for this. Develop soul counciousness more. Because it is the soul that will never change. A soul doesn’t get older. A soul has the unlimited beauty. Uncover your own beauty within you, instead of desiring to fight against nature’s law. Accept the change of your body. And stay secured by being a beautiful soul.
I think everyone agrees that suffering in this world is increasing day by day. In all levels – physical, emotional and mental levels. This pandemic has made the suffering even more and more real in front of us. Natural calamities – flood, fire, storms and earthquakes have also contributed to the suffering in the world. The five elements of nature have shown their fearsome faces. Conflict and wars are no less. There is no peace in the world nowadays.
If God is almighty, He can do everything He needs to do to stop this suffering in the world right now, our logic say. Why does God not finish all this suffering in the world with His mights? It is not a big thing for God to finish all of these. Why does He not do it? A friend asked me this question not long ago. We were in a discussion on this topic. It was an open discussion between two friends. Just two of us. Topic on God was not sensitive to be discussed for both of us. I said to him ‘I think God is not emotional nor sentimental like us.’
We need to understand God’s role and also His timing. God loves everyone, God can’t bear seeing anyone suffering. It is no doubt! God doesn’t stop the suffering, but He provides strength for us to take from Him so we can go through all of these situations and suffering more easily. All of these have to happen. What is meant to happen will happen and God will not interfere. He provides the strength we need. This is His role in this world, to help us. So take that strength from Him. Take the help from Him. Draw that strength into your soul and make yourself so powerful inside.
Anger is not a basic emotion. Anger is often a reaction to a pain. It can be a physical pain, like tiredness, hunger, thirst or other pain of the body or mental pain like sadness, insecurities, feeling hurt, feeling unworthy etc. Any of these pain may trigger an anger.
I always avoid scheduling a meeting close to lunch time. I remember when I was mentoring some mentees for a management training program, and they were scheduling for their final project presentation, I always suggested either early in the morning or after lunch time. It was a presentation in front of managers as the panelists. When people are hungry, they tend to become a slightly short-tempered, make wrong judgement or make inaccurate decision.
Anger is an emotion, so it should be managed. Anger that is not managed may become so distructive. E-motion is an energy in motion, it should be expressed not suppressed. To express an anger is to release it and to finish it. It doesn’t mean that if you are angry with someone and you will need to shout at her or him or speak with a high-toned voice. No! It is a destructive way. Someone said when you do that, it will hurt that person and he or she will remember or probably carry that hurt for another six months. It is not to finish the anger then.
What is the way to release this emotion that is not desctructive? It is advised to move away from the situation for a little while. If you stay there, you will tend to react unnecessarily like shouting, blaming, complaining or criticizing. You might not be able to control your words. Ussually you will end it up with regret. It creates another emotion. When you physically move away, your mental focus is switched. It allows yourself to take a mental break. It will become effective to avoid you from reacting. Any emotion is temporary, so you need to deal with it so well in that short period of time. You will surely calm down soon. Just make sure not to react when the temper is rising.
What do you expect from a relationship? There is an expectation in almost all relationships we have. We might not be aware of it until our heart gets hurt.
What do we do then? We stay away from those who have hurt our hearts. This is the easiest way, not necessarily the right way nor effective way. We stay away physically, though mentally we might still think about it. We still carry this hurt in our mind. Sometimes we also speak about it to people. Everytime we are giving our attention (energy) to it, the hurt becomes stronger. We sustain the hurt through this way.
The weak one will do that. But the courageous one will work on the inside. They will realize the expection they have from the relationship that they thought has given that hurt, and start working on it. It needs courage. To deal with the self always needs more courage. Many people are not ready to see themselves being fragile and weak inside. But if you choose this way, you will become so strong inside. Your heart is strong and protected. And you will stop blaming anyone or situation to be the reason for your hurt. Because it is always the expectation!
What can you expect from a small heart? If your heart is small, you can not expect an abundant love. Your heart is where you can generate true love abundantly. Love that flows from the inside out. It is said if you want love, give it. Love is to be shared not to be taken. Energy attracts energy. So love attracts love. But when your heart is small, it can only love conditionally. You put conditions in giving your love to others. ‘I love you, if you also love me.’ ‘I love you, if you do what I say.’ ‘I love you this much, and you should also love me back this much.’ It becomes like a business deal. It is definitely not a true love. A true love never expects anything in return. You just give it (the energy).
A conditional love is like a tap. You can turn it on and also turn it off. ‘I can love you, but I also can stop loving you.’
Make you heart so big that you can generate so much love. A big heart filled with love is a contented heart, a happy heart. Your heart is not needy for love.
A friend told me that she had decided to divorce her husband. She has talked about it with him. When she shared it to me, I could feel that she was feeling so relieved. She said that she was amazed by herself for being very calm while talking to him about this separation, no emotion was involved. She said that she had been listening to the ‘real I’ a lot and it helped her in controlling her emotion. I was happy listening this from her, not for the divorce, but for the way she handled herself.
She said to me that she did not love him anymore, so she wanted to end the marriage. They had gone through so much conflict. It was not healthy for both of them and also for their children. But she said that her husband still loved her. I replied ‘Wait, is it a real love?’ True love never hurts. If it hurts, it is not a true love.
This short conversation reminded me to a book written by Echart Tolla. I read the book long time ago. It is said in the book that ‘I love you’ often means ‘I need you’. So it is a self-centered love. Because it is self-centered, so expectation is involved – there is dependency and possessiveness. Of course it is not true love. True love is liberating. True love is without any expectation. True love is not self-centered.
She paused for a moment and finally said “Yes, he loves himself.”
In every workshop on journaling, I always encourage people to start writing with an honest heart. Open the heart and start writing the feelings out, because this is how the heart will get healed. Be honest with the self by writing the feeling out.
Some people find it so hard to do it. They said that they have fear that others might read their journal, that other might know their feelings. Is it really harmful if others know what you feel? Fear is definitely unhealthy. It doesn’t make the soul free. Someone shared that when she was a teenager, someone read her diary and told everyone about what she wrote in the diary. This made her really ashamed and since then she stopped writing it.
For me, journaling is the best way to deal with any negative feeling and finish it quickly. I agree that some emotions might be so strong and it takes more time to finish. You might need to journal it several times. But it will definitely become weaker and weaker if you keep journaling it. Finally it will finish completely. When it finishes, you don’t feel it anymore. You still remember the situation, but the feeling is no longer there. Then if others know what you felt, it will be okay with you. I remembered I shared my journal with a friend. I read it for her. She knew what I was writing about. She knew my situation, what I felt and also how I was dealing with that. We laughed together.
This journaling is primarily for the self, not for anyone else. In fact this is a good practice to know the self better, and understand the self better. It is a practice to develop self-awareness. In the long run, it will build a healthy relationship with the self. When you have a good relationship with the self, you will find it very easy to relate to anyone. It is just not possible to have a good relationship with others when the relationship with the self is not healthy.
My friend wanted to introduce me to her long time good friend. It was interesting, she said : “I am sure you will like her. She is a feminist.” I said to her that I was not a feminist. And she quickly clarified : “No,no, I mean that you might get an inspiration to write through meeting and talking with her.”
I think she is right. I get an inspiration to write in my journal book or in this blog mostly after meeting and talking with people. So I always love to meet people – new people, long time contacts or strangers. It is always interesting to talk with them. I believe that each one has hidden amazing things that we do not know until they are talking with us.
I always remind myself that anyone I meet always has something I could learn from. And I never miss the lesson.
Someone asked me to moderate a panel discussion last year. I don’t remember the topic of the discussion specifically anymore. I think it was about having self respect and maintaining humility at the same time. There would be two speakers. I prepared a list of questions the night before for the discussion.
In the next morning I thought I would like to talk to each speaker and share the list of the questions. The first speaker said : ”You can ask me anything.” She didn’t want to see the list. I thought it was good for me, so I could ask any question. Then I talked to the second speaker. He wanted to read the list. He went through the questions one by one and he asked me to take out one question from the list. It was a very personal question. I asked them to share their personal stories on maintaining their humility while dealing with difficult people. Whether they succeeded or not, it wouldn’t matter. I realized that not everyone found it easy and comfortable to share an honest story about themselves.
We always could learn from other’s story. I believe that we can learn more from someone’s experience than just from information. Infomation is a theory and experience is a practice. Because experience is coming from the heart so it will inspire people more. Sharing an experience is always much better than sharing an information. It is a heart-to-heart sharing.
One morning I had a conversation with a friend. I happenedly met him on my way to the dining hall for my breakfast and he just finished his breakfast. I realized that I was so late.
Frank : Tini, what are you doing? Me : Do you really want to know (the answer)? Frank : Well, I am asking you for the sake of politeness Me : I am making friend with squirrels Frank : What? (He might not hear my answer quite clearly) Me : I am making friend with squirrels and birds. (I tried to make it more clearly for him) Do you make friend with them too? Frank : No! I don’t make friend with animals. (He showed disagreement on his face)
It was very clear that we were challenging to each other. Being unfriendly to each other. I thought we did it on purpose just to create an argument to challenge each other. When I shared to someone who was a real dog lover that Frank didn’t like animals, she immediately showed disagreement on her face. Very quickly I clarified “Well, we know Frank. In fact he has a very kind and gentle heart.”
When I met Frank the next morning he asked me if I saw David or not for the squirells. I showed him the video and I could see a very big smile on his face.
Sorry for not being able to upload the video here, but trust me it was really cute to capture the squirrel very closely.