Love And Addiction: Not One And The Same

June 28, 2012 by  
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Interesting post pasted below on one of my favorite topics: the difference between love and addiction.

The definition of addition is: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

Now combine addiction with the stories we watch on our computers, TV or film screens and we have a recipe for disaster.

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The Downside Of Go Go Go

June 26, 2012 by  
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boy and the sky

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

We all live in a societal system that keeps us going. Most of us work long hours Monday through Friday and struggle to gain more power and money.  We do that mostly because that is what we are taught and supposed to do.  Society tells us that.  But are we living according to our own set of needs? Are we getting out of life what we really want?

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Delicious Ambiguity

June 23, 2012 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” — Gilda Radner

The above came from Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer at age 43.

Tomorrow, June 24th, would have marked 9 years since I had met my late husband.  June 26th, 6 years since his liver transplant.  August 15th, four years since he passed away and August 26th would have been our 6th year wedding anniversary. Life is indeed not perfect.

When I met Chris I knew for a fact we would be a couple till old age.  When we giggled together at night at how happy we were, we thought it would last forever.  But, life has its own mind, and all we can do is show up at every moment with our full presence.

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Empower Yourself And Make The Changes You Need

June 19, 2012 by  
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Making life changing decisions is tough business.  It means letting go of something familiar and jumping into the unknown.

Even if the familiar isn’t quite right, it is still familiar, which means we have already developed coping mechanisms to deal with and to live within a certain set of circumstances.

The unknown on the other hand is just that; unknown.  It can be more pleasant or less.  But, more importantly it will require us to adapt and change.  And that is what we don’t like – a feeling of not quite knowing how to be and behave.

But, here is a secret: If we don’t do the changing on our own, life will take over and do it for us.

So, let’s practice being mature and in charge and learn how we can make tough decisions on our own:

First, if a situation doesn’t feel right or comfortable, chances are there is something amiss.  Ignoring it, it will only allow whatever it is to become more difficult.  So, let’s ask ourselves why we are not comfortable.  It is important when doing the asking to go deeper than the feeling of anger, envy, or jealousies – which are emotions that serve to masquerade others – so we can find out the truth.  Once we have our answer, we need to gather up strength, make sure the time is right, then focus and take action.

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Stop Being Negative

June 16, 2012 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

It is so easy to see the glass half full — what I don’t have that I wish I had,  why others seem to have an easier time than I do, etc.  To most of us this type of reaction or behavior is almost automatic.

But being “negative” only compounds the problems.  If we’re feeling bad about not having achieved certain goals in our lives, thinking about that and lamenting our current situation doesn’t do us any good.  But, if instead we look at what we do have and our accomplishments; we will certainly enjoy our lives more and then be energized to continue to seek fulfilling our dreams.

To me learning to reeducate my brain to be more positive has been a long road.  Somehow lamenting and feeling sorry for myself became my MO sometime during my late twenties.  Not sure how it happened – maybe a combination of old family behaviors with a very unhappy relationship was enough to get me there.  But, regardless how it started, it soon became my modus operandi.  And then to complete the scenario I surrounded myself with others that behaved the same way.

Once you embark in this style of living, it is hard to turn back.  As we are habitual creatures, we start to find solace in our own pity and sadness. Soon that is how we respond to lives challenges.  Our attention goes to what is wrong instead of what is right.

If you find yourself not celebrating your relationships and achievements as much as you do your losses and frustrations, maybe it is time for you to also take charge and change.

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Learning To Release Control

June 13, 2012 by  
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I have always had trouble accepting weakness and/or the feeling of being powerless.  For people that know me this is probably a strange confession to make as I have always been a loving and compassionate and understanding person.

Maybe my difficulty comes from never wanting to accept the frailty that also resides in me.  Or it comes from the knowledge – buried deep inside – that I’m not 100% the master of my destiny.

There is still a part of me that believes it is all up to me.  I can make it happen if I’m strong enough or persistent enough.  That’s the part that I have been working on.

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Stop Beating Yourself Up

June 10, 2012 by  
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For many years I suffered from an extreme behavior; that of beating myself up for things that I didn’t do or did do.

I never needed anyone to hold me up to any accountability or standards.  I did that on my own and to such a high level that it was obvious that I had set myself up for failure.

At a certain point, things got so bad that I even imagined taking my own head and hitting it against a wall.  My mind wanted me to pay for being stupid or for not being perfect.

It was then that I realized that the compassion I offered to others when they were less than perfect, I should also give myself before I crushed under the weight of my intolerance.

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Life Is What Happens While You’re Busy Making Other Plans

June 6, 2012 by  
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Today I’m thinking of John Lennon’s quote “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.

I am in Rio de Janeiro visiting my parents and was ready to leave back to the US when a situation came up with my dad making me stay for another couple of days.  This time it was not his health, but his business.

So, here I was yesterday with my bags packed and people and things waiting for my return when it all had to change.  Again, I was reminded life has a mind of its own.

As I think about John Lennon and the web and flow of life, thoughts of hope and failure come up.

Sometimes, when I get really tired of all the obstacles I have had to overcome and still jump over, I feel sorry for myself.  Thoughts like “I deserve to receive more for all the effort I put out in my life” dance around in my brain and I feel bad for myself.

Of course, if we think of life as a scale, then one should get out as much as one puts in.  And so should I.

It is then – while I’m throwing my own pity party – that I remember that the act of trying, the act of getting up every time I’m down, is what makes life interesting and creative.  It isn’t so much the results – which make us feel great for a moment – that create an energized life; it is the process.  It is how we find the strength and hope to create and recreate the life we want to live every single time.  This never ending process is what keeps us in the game.  Not so much the results.

So, when you feel yourself disheartened, think for a moment how your life would be if you didn’t keep going after your dreams.  Think about how it would be if you just went through the motions and you will realize – like I do – that life is really what happens while you are busy making other plans.

Please read on.

How To Begin To Cultivate Hope After Failing

By Carolyn Rubenstein

The scariest part of failure is being seen when you’re most vulnerable and least perfect. It is far safer (and easier) to hide behind dreams and schemes. It is even fun to dream and scheme — to think “what if,” and to create our own fairy tales — you know, something to look forward to, one day when you just know that it’s the right time…Continued

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Is Everything Going To Be Okay?

June 2, 2012 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

First I used to ask my best friend if everything would turn out well.  Then I asked a therapist, my late husband and then the new best friend.  What I was really asking was: regardless of all that is going on in my life today, tell me that in the end I’m going to be okay.  I will be left standing and happy.

As I extracted these assurances from others, deep down I knew no one could guarantee the outcome of anything.  But, hearing the words “everything is going to be okay” – even knowing they held an empty promise – made me feel safe.

I am spending time with my dad, who is 87 years old, and who last year spent two months in the ICU.  No one thought he was going to come out – including me.   The combination of 47 years of cardiac history, age and a nasty lung infection did not bode well for a good outcome.  But, he did come out.

My dad has forgotten how close he came from dying and is unhappy by his current physical limitations.  I reminded him, at his age he has outlived everyone in his family.  And yes, at 87 his life is different.  He can still have any experience he wants in his mind and heart, but not in the physical world.  His frame is frail.

Life is seldom what we imagine it to be.  It is what it is.  What we do with it, is where we get to express who we are.  Am I lucky to be alive at 87 years of age or am I unlucky to have limitations?

I still ask from time to time if everything is going to be okay.  I ask that when I feel vulnerable and need a quick fix of an empty promise.

But, most of the time I have learned to appreciate what I have in my life and trust the never ending flux of opportunities.

Truthfully, I don’t really know what having everything turn out okay really means.  What I do know is from each obstacle I have to surpass, I learn to jump higher and my legs get more limber.  And in the end I’ll be left  holding a large bag of wisdom.

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