musings on life, love and laughter from my spoken heart to yours


Unconditional love vs acting like a big gorilla…

In light of my post the other day – Do I sound like that? Really? – I have to say I did good this morning. One of my daughters has been pushing my buttons as of late. I know, she knows she is doing it too, which of course pushes my buttons…. sigh. What the reasoning behind it is, I have no idea. Why she would want to push me at every turn is beyond me. You know the old adage “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” well she is testing out the vinegar. (why do we want to catch flies? I certainly know that I don’t – flies are gross and annoying…) What was my point here? OK let’s get back on track. She wants to have her cake and eat it too. (OK there’s another one… hhmmmm maybe I will have to do a post pondering some of these old expressions??? another day another time.) Anyways, so my kid wants all the privileges without any of the responsibility… sound familiar? She is lacking respect for me and my boundaries but gets all in my face when I say “heck no!” and normally I do that loudly and aggressively. Not this morning…

Acting like a big gorilla!

Acting like a big gorilla!

This morning I stopped myself, took some deep breathes, realized I did not want to start my day like that. I did not want to have a little black cloud floating above my head all day. I did not want to act like a big gorilla, all action and reaction, no thought and rationale. I want to give my kids unconditional love even in the face of lots of button pushing. It felt really good to keep it together and even though I need to have a talk with her today after work, I am feeling optimistic because I have decided I am not going to yell. I am going act with love, even if it kills me! (or her for that matter… which it just might!)

So recently I have come to realize some fairly obvious truths; truths that have somehow eluded me in the past. For instance respect is a two way street, you get what you put in. (I have always known this in respect to relationships, but somehow it’s easy not to apply it when dealing with kids/teenagers and to just expect them to respect you “because you said so!”) I have also found that anger and yelling only seem to breed more anger and yelling. And that when you hit the wall of frustration neither party is listening any more, but are rather trying to find relevant ammo. (sometimes irrelevant ammo, because when one is truly angry any ammo will do).

Love NEVER fails...

Love NEVER fails…

See I want my kids to be sure in knowing that they can come to me no matter what they are facing, and that I will treat the situation with as much love, and kindness as I can. Which means if I am flying off the handle every time they do something I don’t like, I am not fostering that ideal. My button pushing daughter is 15 years old, and even though I do not want her partying, drinking, experimenting with drugs or having sex (of course I don’t want that) I do want her to know that if she has done any of these things and screwed up big time and has found herself in trouble, she can come to me and I will not rip into her for making poor choices or for making mistakes. Which means if I am always losing it over the small stuff, there is no way she is going to come to me with the big stuff.

And that boils down to me having to change my patterns. Because it would break my heart if I found out that she was too afraid to come to me in a crisis. To me that would mean I had failed as her parent. My job is to guide her in the right direction and to be there to love and support her when she chooses to take a different route. To applaud her when those choices work out, and to hug her and just be there when they don’t.


They’ll suck you dry if you let them….

It’s funny how we seem to think that mythical, supernatural creatures do not really exist. We see them in movies, we read about them in books, and then we shrug it off, because after all they are not real, right? Well… right? You know they just can’t be real. Creatures like that do not, cannot, exist.  Well I happen to believe they do. Just not the way we have been taught. I have told you my opinion regarding the living dead, or zombies. I told you how it is that they hide amongst us, surround us every day, living, working right next to us, trudging through a meaningless life, merely existing to face each day with no enthusiasm, no love, no joy.

Well now Iteeth am going to tell you all about their counterpart – Vampires! I believe they are real too. They too are a form of living dead. Except that they revitalize themselves by sucking the life force out of others. They are horrible, sneaky, manipulative creatures. They disguise themselves as friends and lovers. They generally are the center of attention, attractive, fun, outgoing, and sexy. They tend to be very charming. Upon first meeting one of these unholy nite-stalkers you will find yourself drawn right in. But you will quickly find that the only true friend, true love, they really have is themselves. They, like the zombie, are emotionally dead, but unlike their counterpart they have found a way to replenish their life force. They suck it from their ‘friends’. They drink down emotions, in the beginning they take their time, like some old guy in a velvet smoking jacket sipping an aged cognac. But eventually they will drain your energy at the same rate as a college student doing jello shots. Oh yeah, they will leave you flat, gasping for air.

We have all had ‘that’ friend in our life. You know the one I am talking about. The one who seems to carry drama around with them. The one always in crisis. The one who comes in like a whirlwind, all look at me, help me, I need you, I love you, what would I ever do without you, and you try to help and support, yet when all is said and done you are left absolutely exhausted, wondering what the hell just hit you. Yeah ‘that’ friend. That friend is a malevolent spiritual being, who is sustaining their life by feeding off of yours.

Once you get past the glamour and the glitz, you find they are often self-centered, highly critical, moody, erratic individuals. And you are trapped. They are the kind that push all boundaries, and yet do in such a way that you don’t even realize what’s happened until after the fact. You start dreading hearing their voice over the phone, or seeing their face outside the window, you just want them to leave you alone but they won’t take no for an answer and always seem to manipulate the situation so that they get what they want, when they want and how they want. It’s kind of funny you think they would be happy getting things their way all the time, but they are not. In actuality they are lonely, depressed, confused individuals and despite the appearance of great confidence they often have little, to no sense of self worth at all. And here’s the kicker, you can’t help them, or change them. All you can do is let it go and walk away. If you don’t, they will own you, and suck you dry…

vampires do not sparkle

That’s what Vampires do right… suck you dry…

Read more about Emotional Vampires


Need vs. Love…

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other. The Dalai Lama (18 Rules for Living – #17)

I wish someone had told me this when I was younger. Sadly it is very easy to confuse love and need with one another; especially at the start. At first most relationships seem wonderful, even the bad ones. In the beginning it feels so good to be needed, let’s face it sometimes we just need to be needed. If we are lucky that need can be nurtured into something greater. In most cases we are not that lucky – I know I am not. So what’s the difference between a love and a need relationship?

Relationships built on love are healthy, uplifting, and beneficial to both parties. They are harmonious and lead to both individuals being able to help one another when in need because the foundation of love is one of compromise and balance. I am not saying a relationship founded on love is a cake walk, or that it doesn’t have moments of difficulty, we are talking about human beings here. But love allows us to be able to put the other person above ourselves. Generally it opens our eyes and our hearts to the wants and needs of someone besides ourselves, as we are able to accept their motives as genuine, because ours are. Ideally we would call that trust.

On the other hand relationships built on need tend to become clingy, disadvantaged, and extremely unhealthy. The problem is they are founded on a need for acceptance and play on a lack of self worth. The parties of the relationship tend to drag one another down in a desperate attempt to help themselves. Such  relationships are a breeding ground for resentment.  Even the greatest relationship will crumble under such weight, never mind one that has started out in an unhealthy state.

Why does need build resentment? Because no-one can fulfill the need for acceptance and self worth in you, but you. You have to be able to accept yourself first. You have to be able to live believing you are worthy. Once you have found these things for yourself, then you can proceed to build a strong and healthy relationship with some-one else. Relationships do not work when each partner is looking for the other to fulfill them. Such relationships are generally one sided and selfish. However if you can love yourself, then you can love others. I am not speaking about a vain, narcissistic love but one based on self respect, and self worth. See self love is not founded on gain. It’s not about what you can get out of yourself – “If I do this for you, what will you give me in return?” Self love is about healing and being whole.

It is a sad truth, but often we expect the other person to verify us. We are attracted to people who we feel can relate to us, who get us. Needy people tend to understand and recognize the need in others, but two needy people cannot build each other up, they can however tear each other down as it can become a “tit for tat” relationship. This is a terrible and vicious cycle.

Also some of us are “fixers”. What does that mean? It means we see the potential in other people and we want to help them see that potential too. It means we like to have “projects”. It can become our obsession getting that other person to understand how amazing they could be “if only…” The problem with that is we cannot change other people; we cannot fix anything about anyone other than ourselves unless that other person is a willing participant. And more often than not they are not aware that they “need” fixing, and when it comes right down to it they are not so keen on the idea of changing for you. Again this is a personal thing. They will change when they see the need, and are filled with the desire, and are willing to make that kind of commitment. Change is a lot of hard work. It’s especially hard work if it is being forced upon an uncooperative individual. This again is a selfish and one sided relationship.

You see, in the case of the “fixer” I am afraid that it is often so much easier to focus on changing some-one else than changing ourselves. It is easier to see the problems in others than to accept our own problems. It is, at least in the short term, easier to see the attributes we need in others and turn to them as a means to obtaining those attributes, rather than committing to changing ourselves. But in the long term this short cut will often lead to heartache, and broken relationships. Again we find ourselves in another vicious cycle.

In closing let me say: two halves do not always make a whole; they make two halves standing together trying to be whole. But two wholes somehow can come together and make one whole – how that works I’m not sure as it defies logic and mathematics, but in matters of the heart and relationships it seems to be how it works.

My Spoken Heart – Andrea Crowell