When the Conversation Stops at ‘How Are You?’

download (3)Fellowship has its barriers within any community of care. But this could be the chief of them. It begins as the very first words are uttered from the mouth of a would-be, could-be, or sadder an actual, friend.

Those words are, ‘How are you / going?’

Don’t get me wrong. Those three or four words can initiate a wonderfully intimate conversation, except for two circumstances where they break intimacy in half.

1. Where the conversation stops at ‘Good, thanks,’ and there’s no more enquiry entered into, apart from ‘Okay, great,’ more as to say, ‘I don’t have the time for you,’ ‘I don’t have the time right now, and generally don’t ever,’ or ‘I wasn’t really interested in any more of a response than “Good, thanks” to begin with,’ there’s a problem. The problem should be obvious. Should the question have been asked to begin with? Should we feign intimacy?

2. Where the conversation stops because, awkwardly, the person being asked doesn’t feel comfortable answering honestly. That’s okay. Nobody should apologise for needing to avoid the question. The answer could be a polite, ‘I’m well, thank you,’

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Private Vs Sneaky – What Is Your Character?

download (18)I am a very private person. I dated a man that claimed that he was a very private person as well. The only difference that separates us when talking about privacy was our character. Character is often explained so clearly as… “it’s what you do when you think no one is looking.” I can honestly say that there is really nothing that I did while we were together that I could not openly discuss with him. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for his actions during our eight year relationship. Private to him is having many “secret” relationships (many were sexual too), not-disclosing or even acknowledging his relationship status on Facebook (eight years, not a picture of me and him insight anywhere), establishing online dating accounts and online relationships (every time we get into an argument), etc. I do not have a name. I do not exist. If you are truly in love, would you not profound the love of your life? Today’s social media makes it difficult to have a one-on-one relationship. You are in constant competition of the “likes” and as

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Relationships: Why Do Some People Only Know Who They Are When They Are In A Relationship?

images (11)While some people can find that they can function whether they are with someone or if they are by themselves, there are others who are not in the same position. In this case, one can find that they struggle when they are not with someone.

On the other side, one could find that they it is not possible for them to function in a relationship. As a result of this, they are likely to do everything they can to avoid getting too close to others.

From The Outside

However, if someone was to come across how these people behave, it would be easy for them to come to the conclusion that one of them is healthier than the other. As one of them is drawn to being with others, they could be seen as the one who is comfortable with intimacy.

Whereas when it comes to the person who does what they can to stop themselves from getting to close to others, they could be seen as the one who avoids intimacy. This would show that they have made a surface level assessment and not looked

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3 Ways to Move on From Toxic Relationships

images (10)1. Hear the part of you that is crazy, repetitive and destructive

Half the time we live in agony because we are fearful of facing our doo-doo and think somehow if we avoid it – it will go away – it won’t.

When you accept your mess without trying to push it away, you allow an opportunity for your fears, hurt and anxiety to be released and released for good.

MOST of the suffering you may experience when you break up are the voices in your head telling you – you did this wrong, your ex did that wrong and that somehow you created this hot mess of a bad relationship. Some of those thoughts cycle in a horrible destructive way: “I wasn’t attractive the way he wanted”, I wasn’t young enough”, “I’m not making enough money”… I’m sure you have a long list that goes on and around in circles.

When you hear these thoughts in your mind, the common practice is to ‘focus on positive thoughts’ and push away your negative thoughts. However, that does not work with a break-up because you are so hurt

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How to Show Love – Giving to Those That Which You Wish to Receive

images (9)Why don’t you turn the tide? Instead of expecting to receive something, be the first one to give. Nothing can compare to the feeling of joy and contentment once you see a person brimming with happiness after he or she receives your gift.

Humans nowadays are too attached to material possessions that they eventually forget to see the real beauty of life. The riches we acquired here on earth are something we cannot bring with us when we die. It is the laughter, the memories we have with each other that makes our existence worthwhile. It is quite saddening that we put too much weight on things that don’t even matter.

We fail to realize the value of things that money can’t buy.

Give to those people that which you wish to receive. Don’t wait for them to give you something before you can actually show them your love. The Law of Cause and Effect tells us that anything that you send out into the universe will come back to you. You may not know it but you will soon get back the effort that

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Life Is a Journey, Not a Destination – Live Out Loud!

images (8)I truly believe that life is a journey and not a destination. The goal in life is not to rush to the finish line, but to enjoy every step of the journey as much as possible along the way. Nothing makes this sentiment more clear than when you lose a loved one. I know this because I just loss one of my favorite uncles who always seemed to live life out loud. He was so full of life and laughter. You always knew when he walked into the room because he had such a grand presence. Ironically, he was also the one in the family who assumed the role of notifying family members when there were grave illnesses and deaths of other family members and longtime friends. Sometimes he would call to announce deaths of others who had such a distant and/or non-existent relationship with you that you would have to ask, “Who”? Then he would go through the lineage year by year; person by person, until you finally said, “Oh yeah, I remember – that is so sad to hear of their

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Men, Cursed to Privilege, Blessed to Respect Women

images (7)Dating one of my girls, a privilege for any man lucky enough to have not just one daughter, but three, the concept of privilege came up… white male privilege. I talked about a fact we both knew about – me through burgeoning awareness; her through life experience. Male is the safer gender. Female is the at-risk gender… at risk of violence and ridicule, to name just two. Males more commonly transgress females than the other way around. And men learn as boys interacting with girls how women can be, in many cases, allowably mistreated.

Times like this – now I’m in my late forties, and on a date with one of my three princesses – I’m ready to pour the acid over myself for all the silly and insensitive and disrespectful things I’ve said and done against women, usually inadvertently, though still done. Like the time I had sex with a girl and promptly bragged to my mates about it. (Later, I was required to pay some restitution for this sin through a varietal of ‘tribal’ justice.) Sure, I was only eighteen, but the

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Relationships: Do Some People Only Know Who They Are When They Are Rescuing Others?

images (6)When one generally ignores their own needs and focuses on other people’s needs, they can be described as someone who rescues others. As a result of this, it is going to be normal for them to neglect their own life.

Out of Balance

It could be said that while it is good thing that one doesn’t ignore other people’s needs, there is no reason for them to ignore their own needs. The ideal will be for them to be for others and to be there for themselves.

When one doesn’t experience life in this way, they are going to be used to running on empty, so to speak. Ultimately, they will give far more than they receive, and this will lead to a tiring existence.

A New Beginning

However, although experiencing life in this way is not going to be in one’s best interest, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to simply change their life. For one thing, they could believe that this is just how life is and that they haven’t got a choice in the matter.

Along with this, there is likely to be

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Emotional Compatibility Matters

download (11)Have you ever been in a situation where you find yourself fighting hard to get a relationship off the ground? You are sure it has the makings of a meaningful partnership so you invest time, encouragement and most of all love in the person concerned. Your mind is set and any doubts that flutter past are waved away because you are convinced you are doing the right thing with the right person. And maybe for a short while you are, but what happens next confuses you because it is unexpected, it creeps up, slaps you in the face.

Even though in your heart you feel you love this person, you also know they are very lucky to have you loving them, because you believe in yourself and your capabilities. So, when after a flying start – where affection and time are lavished on you – an empty vacuum opens up, you become bewildered as to why this could possibly happen. They still smile at you in that way and want to make love to you every night.

But you feel something is missing. You

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Independence You: How to Free Yourself for a Successful and Loving Intimate Relationship

images (5)We all love to celebrate Independence Day: fire-works, parties, drinking and eating, being with friends, maybe even with lovers (if we have one at the time). And we keep celebrating Independence Day once a year, year in year out, as if this is something which has been engraved into our yearly routine, became part of our life-style, for ages.

But then, does celebrating Independence Day make us independent, free and able to pursue our own wishes and desires?

To put it more clearly: why are we accustomed to celebrating Independence Day on a regular yearly basis, and have not been accustomed to pursue our own independence on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? How many of us are enslaved in our own behavioral patterns, driving us to sabotage our relationships time and again, without us doing anything to learn what’s going on, what we do wrong, and consequently free ourselves from old patterns, change whatever needs change and empower ourselves to develop a truly healthy, loving and successful intimacy? Why is it so much easy to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day rather than our own?

One

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Do You Love Your Partner to Bits and Pieces, Just to Find Yourself Heart-Broken and Alone – Again?

images (4)Do you perceive yourself as a bottomless barrel, needing love and yet more love, willing to sacrifice yourself to whoever seeks your company – to the point of being left time and again heart-broken, alone and miserable?

In today’s uncertain world it is so reassuring and comforting to be with someone, have a partner, be in a relationship, feeling both psychologically as well as financially secure and cared for. But then, if the endless need for love drives you to sacrifice yourself, “fall in love” time and again only to be left alone, once more, maybe after being abused, manipulated and lied to, feeling depressed, tired, disillusioned and disappointed, you may want to ask yourself:

What’s going on? How do I fall in this trap time and again? What can I do to stand on my own two feet, to feel comfortable in my own skin without rushing to find a partner?

It might well be that through your rapid and endless search for partner(s) you have never taken the time to contemplate these issues. However now, if you feel that you “had it”; that you

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Your Grass Is Greener

download (2)So there I was that morning waiting with colleagues at the Stop for the arrival of the staff bus. Also at the Stop were a roadside clothes seller going about his daily routine, a sweeper trying to keep the environment tidy and an old man on his knees begging for alms.

Along came this little girl and her blind mum who obviously were there to solicit help from generous passers-by. A few minutes after helping her mum settle down, she quietly conversed with her mum and then rose up with #10 in her hands before heading towards the old man who she gave this bill to. And just as quietly, she went back to her mom’s side.

This act did not go unnoticed by my colleagues and I, and I left there that morning with a learnt lesson. Little did I know, I was to learn this more than once, as every time that little girl and her mum showed up at the Stop, she did this. And as always, I left there in awe.

In awe of the fact that, despite their seemingly needy

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The Mask You Wear to Succeed in Relationships Is the One Which Makes You Fail Time and Again

images (3)If you are one of many who have “created” and “developed” an un-true image of themselves, it is likely that you will have problems establishing an honest and long-lasting intimate relationship.

Let me explain: there are many who, for one reason or another, being driven by one need or another (need for love; for appreciation; for acceptance, etc.) pretend to be not who they really are. They have put a mask on themselves, attempting to project – to themselves and to others – someone who they are not. As they perfect this image they develop for themselves, they come to the point that they themselves can’t differentiate anymore between the “real them” and the image they have created for themselves.

Let me give you an example: Jim has a low self-esteem; he feels less competitive than others and unsuccessful relative to others. And, to add to it, he feels he is not worth – as long as he doesn’t have a partner and a relationship.

But – and here comes the hardest point – Jim feels that no one will truly love him for who he

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Why Do People Really Want to Get Married – Or At Least Be In A Relationship – In Despair?

download (1)According to the Bible, God created man who will rule over the rest of His creations. On the sixth day of His Creation of the Earth, He made Adam. But when He found out that Adam is feeling lonely, He first made the animals for him; but still, Adam felt lonely. So God made him fall asleep, pulled one of his ribs, and then created Eve; and finally, Adam felt happy (Genesis 2:18-23).

Such excerpt from the Holy Scriptures tells us that man has a natural longing for a life partner, with its core concepts varying over time and across cultures and subcultures. But some people tend to become desperate in finding for their other halves – hopeless romantics as they say – to the point that their situations become worse than expected.

Going loco over having as spouse, or at least a boyfriend or girlfriend, has its own aspects similar to that of a human being. Whether a certain reason is good or bad depends on the specific aspect it is connected.

PHYSICAL ASPECT: Some women regard themselves as “damsels in distress” in need of

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Presenting a False Image of You Is Counter-Productive for Having a Successful Intimate Relationship

download (5)There are many who have created a false image of themselves with which they walk around – often until the rest of their life. Sometimes – if you are sensitive and observant enough – you see it; but often you don’t. The reason being, that these people are expert manipulators and expert in hiding “who they really are”.

Why do people create a false image of themselves?

The reason is, they feel unsuccessful, on both the personal as well as the professional level. They are trying to “upgrade” themselves in the eyes of others as well as in their own eyes.

What makes them feel unsuccessful?

The reasons might be many, and varied from one person to another. Overall, they might have grown up feeling worthless since childhood (due to their parental attitudes towards them or to a competition with more successful siblings). Or, for that reason or another (such as: low self-esteem), they have a bottomless need for love, appreciation and acceptance.

Regardless of the reason which drives them to create a false image of themselves, they develop such an image – at times consciously, at times

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A Power We All Wield, Yet So Often Don’t Understand

images (2)OH HOW much power we each have!

We don’t know or realise, most of the time, just about every given moment, our influence. Without even trying, we, ‘the powerless’, wield such great power. Power of the tongue, influence through action and inaction, the choice of acceptance and rejection, actors for impact every interactive moment of our lives.

We have a very real power extant in our interpersonal relationships. Power to commend and to condemn, to usher kindness and cruelty, to encourage and to exasperate, to delight someone and to dishearten them.

At times I’ve been criticised for emphasising encouragement over challenge. I’ve just seen enough of the hardships of life to know that God does much more in most lives these days through encouragement than he does through challenge, not that challenge is inappropriate. It has its time and place and point. But if challenge is going to be used by God it will be on-time, on-target, and on-point; we only need to be one degree off and that challenge comes off as a damaging criticism. Sure, God can and does use criticism to grow us,

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Pretending Not to Be “Who You Really Are” Sabotages Your Intimate Relationships Time and Again

download (3)Are you walking around as the “real” you – or are you someone who pretends to be someone else?

It might well be that you yourself don’t know the answer to this question. For one reason or another – to which you yourself might not be aware! – you might have developed an “image” of someone who is not really you. But having “adopted” this image you gain – so you think – the love and respect you so much crave for. You are afraid – unconsciously maybe – that being “who you really are” might gain you neither love nor respect.

How have you developed the false you?

The answer is simple: you might have realized one way or another, that as long as you don’t get into conflicts with others; as long as you are “nice” to everyone; as long as you are “there” for others – they all “love” and “respect” you.

Your fear of being rejected then takes precedent over being authentic and true to yourself and to others: it is not authenticity which you care about, but being loved and accepted. And

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Six Paths to An Outcome

downloadCHANGE affects us all in different ways, but just the same, we respond to change in much the same way. But our responses are not set for life. Our responses to life’s difficulties and disappointments are our responsibility to control. We have the ability to respond well.

When something happens to us, we’re in the place of having a choice what our response will be.

Here are six possible outcomes of response:

1. Something bad happens and we use the issue to rail hard against life for plunging us into an abyss. The trouble isn’t responding like this, but landing in this outcome that anchors us in bitterness. The outcome is to become stuck in the seething rage of resentment manifest in passive aggressiveness.

2. When something bad happens we decide the pain of responding to the issue is too great a cost. How will we know if faith will serve us well, i.e. is it worth it? We deny the reality and therefore decide not to adapt to the learning and fail to grow. The outcome is to become stuck in a comfortable place of spiritual sameness,

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Relationships: Why Do Some People Try Hide Their Partner From Their Ex?

images (1)When a relationship comes to an end, one can decide to take a break and to spend time by themselves. Through doing this, it can allow them to process the pain that they are experiencing, and then to gradually settle down.

This can then be a time when they will be healing themselves, and this will give them the chance to find someone who is right for them. However, even if one is not in pain, taking a step back can also lead to the same outcome.

On the Rebound

Alternatively, one could leave a relationship and then find someone more or less straight away. When this happens, they are not going to take the time to face how they feel, and this means that they could end up with someone who is not a match.

Now, this could mean that it is only a matter of time before one realises that they don’t have a connection, or it could be far worse. For example, one could end up with someone who is abusive.

A Pattern

If one ends up with someone who they don’t have a connection

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Relationships: Do Some People’s Childhoods Set Them Up To Keep People At A Distance?

download (14)​There are some people who are able to connect with others, and then there are others who are unable to do so. When one can do this, there is a strong chance that they are going to be used to having people in their life that they are close to.

One on side this could mean that they will have a number of close friends, and on the other side it could also mean that they are in an intimate relationship. Yet even if they are not with someone at this point in their life, it doesn’t mean that their life is always this way.

A Partner

If they are with someone, they are likely to find that they can spend time with them without feeling as though they are losing themselves. As a result of this, it will allow them to share their own life and for the other person to do the same.

One will be able to fulfil their needs, and this is naturally going to have a positive effect on their wellbeing. And as they are able to maintain their sense of

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