Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Ever notice how anxious we sometimes get when things don’t go exactly as we plan? When it comes to relationships, we get particularly wound up when we perceive that our partners are not “on board” with every plan that we choose to create for ourselves or that they are somehow failing us when they don’t participate the way that we would wish for them to... Sometimes, we even feel like we are being stopped from living out our passions and blame them for not supporting us. After trying time and again to engage our partners in endeavors that we enjoy and coming up empty handed, we sometimes give up the fight and call it a compromise.

What we don’t often consider is the impact that this behavior has on us. It is one thing to concede on certain points, all in the name of being generous or sensitive to another’s feelings. It is quite another to concede, but harbor resentment over the decision; or worse yet, to believe that relationships require that sometimes one partner must compromise their life experiences in order to maintain balance within the relationship. This is faulty thinking. When we take on this belief, we actually increase our own sense of powerlessness, create unnecessary stress in our relationships, and lose focus on an absolute truth about life. And this truth is that in any situation, we all have the ability to choose. While it is nice to have our partners along for the adventure, the adventure still remains a possibility for us if we choose to proceed on our own.

Once we release the need to drag others along on our life’s journey, we will see that we do not need for anyone to be compliant with our wishes in order for us to choose to honor our commitment to ourselves when it comes to personal goals, expectations and experiences. When we move forward and fully experience our lives as we intend them to be, we will no longer see others as standing in our way or holding us apart from what we desire, which is often at the root of our self-created anxiety. In this place, we become truly powerful.

Sometimes we can feel resistant and angry when our partners do not meet our plans with the same level of enthusiasm that we would want them to. When we experience this agitation, it is not necessary to control our negative thoughts or blame ourselves for feeling this way. We simply need to surrender our thoughts and our feelings about it and focus on the joy of the upcoming experience, while moving forward toward our goals in a manner that respects our partnerships and honors our commitments to ourselves. The results? A feeling of peace, empowerment, and a recognition that our lives are what we choose to make of them and that sometimes, just sometimes, this means that we have to go it alone……..and that it’s all okay.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Knowing When to Say When

It is a common stereotype that men have applied to women…..women talk too much! If we would just allow them to have the TV remote, a beer, some good food and great sex every now and again, they would be happy! Of course, this is an oversimplification and different strokes are meant for different folks, but there may be some validity to the statement that as women, we talk too much…… or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that sometimes we just don’t know when to shut up.

We’ve all heard the term “nag” before and it never seems to describe the woman that we see ourselves to be. In our minds, we justify what we say, how we say it, and why we need to constantly repeat ourselves in our communications with the men in our lives. We honestly feel that if we don’t, they will somehow miss the point or may forget to follow through on what we ask of them. But, if we look deeply into why we feel the need to over-communicate on certain issues, we may find a deeply-rooted fear; a fear that we are powerless.

Often, when we feel a compulsion towards repetition, all in the name of “asserting” ourselves or making ourselves clear, what we are really trying to do is manage our own anxiety. If we repeat something enough times, if we can just get them to understand our point of view, if we make sure that they are aware that we ain’t playing and that we mean business, everything will be better. What we fail to see is that once we have worn out our welcome on a discussion topic, we often leave our men feeling deflated, uninspired and resentful. We dampen the brilliance of their creativity, constrict their desire to be generous, and trample on any hope of genuine spontaneity.

In our push to be understood, sometimes we fail to understand. When we force our point out of fear that we will not get OUR needs met, we stop meeting the needs of our partners. If we were to put the shoe on the other foot, how many of us would appreciate the behavior? If our men repeated themselves over and over, over-shared their feelings about our lack of understanding, and demeaned us like children for “stepping out of line”, how tolerant would we be towards them? More than likely, we would say something like, “Not me. Not today!” and remind them that we are fully grown and capable of responding without all of the “extra”.

From this point forward, let’s make an attempt to communicate from a place of love and not fear. We may be surprised at the outcome.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Why is it that we have such a hard time accepting one another as we are when we are in a relationship? Men and women each feel that we bring something magically unique to the table; something that the other just can’t do without. This is true. Women have gifts that men need, as men have certain gifts that women need; but are we using those complementary gifts to our advantage or are we using these gifts to make one another feel inferior?

For a man, that may be observing a woman’s emotions and judging them as wrong or feeling that she is being “dramatic.” However, for women, this looks different. Often, as we observe men’s behavior, we believe that we are smarter or more gifted and we take on the belief that we must tolerate what we perceive to be a man’s shortcomings. We criticize them for small things like when they don’t load the dishwasher correctly or when they go to the grocery store and buy the “wrong” brand of juice, or how they never seem to tuck the corners just so when they make the bed. We make a big deal out of the little things and develop a perception of who they are based upon things that don’t really matter. What makes our way the best way and what is the cost when we continue to hold on to this belief? We become frustrated when things are not done our way, and in turn it causes us to feel burdened or that we don’t have the support that we need from them.

What we don’t get is that this is arrogant. When we judge one another as lacking or deficient in some regard, we aren’t able to appreciate the areas where they are gifted; where they complement or enhance our lives.

It would be so much easier if we choose to see things differently; if we choose to celebrate the differences between one another. Not focusing on what we see as wrong or lacking, but taking the time to appreciate the value that we add to one another's lives.