Isn’t this the reason that we are all fucked up in the first place? Yeah probably. We are going to have to go a few hashtags deep before we seriously move beyond this. And yes relationships fuck you up. Here’s the real fucker if you ask any serious guru or even a friendly yogi they’ll tell you that they may well be the very reason why we exist at all. We are the universe experiencing itself. I am you, you are me and we together mirror each other. If I’m pissing you off it’s actually all about what you have or have not mastered in yourself. Yes, that. I know it’s annoying. No matter how your spin we are all being forcibly sucked into relationships, even if it’s with the slugs in your own personal hermit cave. #justsaying. Not much we can do about it unless your planning for a big exit.
So how do we heal relationships? That depends on the relationship? Yet at the same time, it largely depends on you and the inner dialogue you are touting. We treat people the way that we have been treated. The science is clear. We perpetuate what we don’t heal. Many of us grew up in a family of dysfunction. As adults, it is by no means an excuse to set up camp and live there. We all have choices in this life. We all get to chose how to treat people and more than this we get to chose how we get treated.
I have struggled most of my life, specifically in romantic relationships because it’s really hard to break what has been modelled to us. More then this it’s hard to break the beliefs systems you’ve been born into. What I have learned in the last twelves months is that in the west martyrdom is a paradigm we’ve been idolising for a few millennia now and it’s not working out for us. That we need to be patient, kind, noble. That in no way should we find our Kali-esk offering of the dark side or get deep down and dirty with our inner Darth Vader. What if you want to be the villain. You see these are the polarities that we live with, we are too kind, then we have to claw back out self-respect through some vengeful tactics, that we might even particularly like like Blue Tiffany boxes containing shit. Anyways I think you get what I am saying. This life is a never-ending commitment to stop your inner shit storm spilling out on to the outer realms and into the streets or into other peoples lives. The only way to create relational healing is to heal the way we relate to ourselves and cut out anybody that treats us less than that. They say we can’t heal in the places that broke us. Yet we have to be willing to break to learn something new. You have got to change your approach, change your attitude as see that we are all broken in our own special and unique ways. That we have to add love to the hurt especially when it comes to our own wounds before we go picking at anybody else’s.
These have been three words floating in and out of my thoughts for the last few days. Alarm came to me when I realised that most people woke up to one each morning. Articulate I considered when I realise that so many of us can’t say how we really feel and assertive I was pondering when I thought I was being a lower vibrational bitch. You know cause we all have these thoughts sometimes.
Alarm, like really? How many of you are waking up with this each morning? I’m hoping that my days of waking alarm are now long behind me. I sleep when I need to and have the luxury of waking up gently most mornings. I forget regularly what a privilege that is and how it’s improved my mood over the years. Lack of sleep and waking up with alarm are literally two things that have the ability to push so far over the edge of mental hell that a good sleep routine has been a priority in my life for years. It’s all about knowing your limits. 4 am starts and 12 hour days are not for me. As a result of this, I have been slowly implementing and changing my work schedule over several years to make sure that I am at an optimum and that I even have time for a nap in the afternoon. It’s just as effective as meditating in order to clear your mind (you should try it sometime).
Articulate it’s a word that has often been used to describe unless of course, I’m getting up at 4 am. I have often wondered what that has meant to the people around me. Now I think I know what it is. I’m always searching for the right words. The right string of thoughts in order to express where I am in any given moment. That expressing a genuine reflection of the world, my life, my mind, my heart, my soul all at the same time. As always there is a lot to consider. My honest personal enquiry has always engaged people and now more than ever I am beginning to understand why. That even though my emotional environments changes and my ideas about life are shifting as I grew that I am able to share who I am and how I feel.
Assertive, sum how this about expressing how we feel to people even when it’s uncomfortable. This is something that I have been working on for years. As not expressing ourselves honestly can lead to pent up emotions. For me, assertiveness can cut out a huge amount of confusion in interpersonal relationships when we let the small things become big things. I see it so often with people and how they cope with life if they had just said something the moment it started it may have prevented an outburst or explosion late down the line. We always have the right to say how we feel. We are not responsible for how people receive the information that is given. It also opens the doorways of communication to help us gain insight into other peoples experiences. Sometimes as a woman I think that assertiveness is often what is mistaken or interpreted as being a bitch when actually we all have the right to live in our truth and be heard.
It’s officially winter here, now, in the Southern Hemisphere and in the last two days I have awoken to thick mist on the slopes of our beloved Mother City’s Table Mountain. It’s quite a change after a week in the desert, where only the wispy clouds of the upper hemisphere were visible.
We are meant to go on a journey to change things, shift things and find a new connection. Increasingly, more and more as I get older I find myself even more earthbound. That no matter how big the adventure, no matter how far I go, that the physical journey barely changes me. The beauty I find is no more transformative than the cinematography of a good film. The things I find wow for a moment and then they’re gone. I am left with a photograph, a story, maybe a new friend and a slightly shifted future transmuted to help me discover another side story. These days I head off on adventures curious to find something new and instead I always end up anxious to get back. When before I would have longed to stay now I’m always ready to come home. Maybe that is because of something better waits for me here.
If there is one thing that I have learned in the last 12 months is that our life journey is more caught up in the emotional environments of our friends and relationships than they ever might be from escapist journeys of travel, about who we are in our day to day lives and the intricate weaving of the shared emotional journey we seem to embroider each other with. That relationships are the stitching that holds us together.
It seems for me now that mystery and adventure somehow seem to hold far less magic that the long drawn out conversation that occur between two people. That the pasts that the histories that people share are far more imbued with wisdom than the idea that we might learn something from leaving the lives we are in. People are valuable they are all round us with ideas, dreams and understanding that moved beyond our own life experiences, that no matter where we go we take ourselves with us. That we view the world from the paradigm in which we occupy and that magic only truly finds us when we are ready to upgrade our own frequency. That, that frequency only every changes on the basis of how much we are willing to give of ourselves. That sharing is, in essence, is caring and that holding space for people including ourselves is the best chance that we have at deepening the connection we have with the world around us.
Our Bacon Tree is actually a Spekboom (Which is Afrikaans for Bacon/Pork Tree) that were given as a token reminder of our wedding. At the moment it lives on our balcony and has had a pretty epic year on its own. Having survived two moves, re-potting and being devoured by caterpillars. (Yes your right that is very symbolic, our wedding token was devoured by the Earth’s universally accepted animal change agent.) It has also given up a limb to spawn a fully independent mini-me.
The good news is that is has survived the process. Like most living things it has a variety of moods that I now use it as a relationship weather vain. Which has forced me to create a new relationship in my life and I find a place to focus the nurturing qualities of marriage. I talk to it. I encourage it and I tell it how beautiful it is. That it belongs in with us and that I am very grateful to have it in my life. That I love the work it does and how much it is doing for the planet. I make sure it’s loved, though I’m not sure it believes it after the caterpillar incident. I wonder at what lengths people go through to keep a plant healthy and happy. Especially in the times, we live now. I know it is a miracle in my life and it represents hope for the future. Especially as it loves munching carbon. Over a decade ago someone once told me “If you think you are ready for a relationship to get yourself a plant and if it lives a year, you are ready for a pet”. In recent weeks it has also been highlighted to me that a husband is a sort of pet. (I know it’s terrible) As we shouldn’t have such high expectations of people. After all most pets behave and do as they like and we love them anyway regardless of how inconvenient that might be.
The marriage process has made me confront things that I literally never thought possible. Miya Angelo said, “When people tell you who they believe them”. All of a sudden I do. There are many things that we choose to overlook when we get into relationships. For all the right reasons. We want to love through it. We believe that anything is possible. That we can love far beyond our own truths and live somebody else’s. Then we begin to understand just how wild that is. What a massive adventure is laid out before us and that in undertaking this path we are reconstructing the world in which we have chosen to live. That our world is no longer controlled by our personal truths and that shared realities are complex. That living with another person is like living with another reality that we might never fully discover. That we can’t colonise another person’s mind with ideas that aren’t true for them, any idea, and that somehow we might be able to navigate that together. That these are the decisions we’ve made and that we resist them at our own peril. Alternate truths are real. Yet somehow we are surprised by this. As if politics alone wasn’t enough to play that out for all to see.
The thing is though we don’t have to convince anybody. We don’t need to change anybody’s mind. We don’t need to make them understand how we see it and we certainly don’t have to expose facts in order to be heard. All we can ever do is turn up and be ourselves and live our lives as fully as we always intended, love ourselves enough that there is space for another perspective. Live our truths and through the process and know that we are enough and the world’s madness doesn’t change that.
They say that there are lessons in everything and that what we see is our mirror. What we don’t fully understand is how deep that reflection goes. Of course, what I’ve just said is a paradox. As there is no depth in a mirror. All we have is a flat perspective that can move and change giving us all the information that we need in it. Reflecting back all the details of our backstory and simultaneously our present. It soooo fucking magical. It’s totally understandable that we would be highly confused by it. Relationships take personal understanding deeper, as we unpick everything. We find that our internal traits, have external matches. Cause meets effect, openness meets rigidity, reflective meets reactive, embracing meets denial, truth meets reason. There’s also no telling where each of us may take that ground in the ever-shifting sands of life.
We all like to believe that we know the best way forward and that we can talk through everything. Then honestly what if you can’t? What if after nearly eight years of being together you finally realise that actually, you have totally different belief systems that literally took seven years to show up. That the veils have well and truly fallen and love can still dwell in the places where we can’t meet.
We may be very familiar and safe with our own demons and the process it might take to coax them into a ferral state of benign co-living. When all of a sudden you find yourself discovering somebody else’s lurking in the previously unexplored recesses of their mind. We don’t know where they start and end or even their true form. Like the film, Alien we don’t fully understand what we are seeing. It takes a while for the nature and intentions of the wee fucker to fully come to light.
We can liken personal relationships to revelations in history. Where the nature of the universe even now is under debate. That the best ways forward are often argued about. Great breakthroughs are often dismissed and even ignored until we find ourselves in a new reality depending on who has the fortitude to push through. The lesson will be repeated until it is learned. Love always, especially when it is hard, confusing and frustrating. Yup.
Here in South Africa it’s women’s month and it’s a big month. We love our women. I was listening to radio and I heard an incredible statistics that 68% of adult South African women were single. First of all I have no idea, what the world average on this, the figure just seemed incredibly high. Then I thought about it. Then I thought it a little bit longer and it occurred to me in South Africa as a woman (at least in my social circle) it’s unusual to be married.
So I’ve been having all those girly conversation about relationships and men. How we pair up, what makes a match and how relationships work? What I have just realised is that there is some deep societal programming going on out there, that makes me wonder about things a bit. So often on Womens Day and when we talk about women we talk about being strong. I grew up in a matriarchal society and to be honest I’ve only every really known female leaders. I’ve only ever known women that rule the roost, hold council, pull together in community and support one another. The good men were more like the awesome sidekicks, who made sure that the women in their lives were fully supported in there Earth life mission.
The men hold space for women to retreat to. Maybe they provide for the family. Maybe they simply take care of their wife cause after all “The best thing a man can do for his children is love their mother.” Yes that is true. After all isn’t it women that bare, birth and breast feed and raise children? Do you think that responsibilty was given to women because they are the weaker of the two sexes, seriously? We are all deeply programmed to believe that men are supposed to be strong for women. It’s a pile of shit. They are our hunter gathers and protectors. Women hold the fort.
So it makes me wonder if that this strong man ideology is just another piece of the puzzle of toxic masculinity. That women are out there searching for unicorns, for mythical creatures. When in fact when I look at successful marriages it’s the women with the sensitive men that are doing the best. The men that care when women are upset. The men that carry you to bed when you are exhausted. The men that pour you a bath when you need to regenerate. The men that sit down and listen when you are overwhelmed. The men that cook dinner, wash the dishes and hoover. That’s the men that we are looking for. The men that know that looking after and protecting their women is at the very heart of creating a stable home and the positive ripple effect that brings.