Yesterday’s blog was all about sex so today I can afford to be a silly romantic babbling about the meaning of life and such… However, the funniest comment for today was my friend stating that she would like Gerard Butler to “come on the dinner at ours” instead of “come for dinner at ours”. I wouldn’t mind… Anyway, I was sitting with a friend in a hot tub Sunday night, marveling at how beautiful life is – after a stunning weekend it was the perfect finale. I hadn’t seen her since I came back from London and it was truly amazing to get to spend some time with her again in a traditional wonderful Cali setting.
Every time I see a good friend I just can’t stop thinking about how lucky I am to have these people in my life. Each single person that has crossed my path as a friend, or a lover, be they still in my life or not, are people I have appreciated and still appreciate for what they gave me – the insights, the support, the good times. When you meet someone with whom you *click* it’s just a supreme gift.
What the years have taught me is that even if you don’t have that instant connection, inside each person is someone worthy of knowing (so if it may be impossible to be friends with them because you just can’t co-function, or you can’t always reach their core). Once, when on vacation, I made this decision that I was going to talk to everyone who I instantly disliked for one reason or another. I mean, I was on vacation right, so why not cross some boundaries?!! Till this day I am friends with people whom I would never had gotten to know had I not made that decision and they are absolutely fabulous people whom I have a ton of respect for – it just so happened that in them I saw some things that reflected things in me I might not necessarily have wanted to deal with at the time, but what I found beyond that were treasures. Great treasures.
When we were out walking in the canyon the other day, my best friend told me this story about an autistic boy who had been yelling and screaming his whole life – he didn’t talk and he was constantly angry. One day he ran away and they found him hugging the legs of a horse, the horse not minding in the least. That day, when he was with the horse, he spoke for the first time. Soon they discovered that as soon as he was around animals, any kind of animals, he calmed down and even though he was rough with them, the animals always allowed him to play with them.
The family then started looking into other alternative ways of helping their boy and ended up taking him to shamans in Africa. The shamans did some energy work, or magic, what have you, on the boy and explained that from then on he would be fine. He would always have his disease, but he would never again have the problems he used to have and one day he would become a shaman thanks to his abilities. That day the boy hugged another child and called him a friend. That had never happened before.
I believe what shamans know, that most of us tend to forget, is that we are all made of the same star dust. We all seek love and understanding, even if the ways in which we seek it sometimes are completely wrong – yelling, threats, drugs, guns…simply because we don’t know any better.
Some people have been living completely different lives from us, making it hard for us to understand how they function, as their reactions to life are so different from ours (maybe because of how they interpret things due to their past). We simply don’t understand what they are going through, but underneath that, they, too, are star dust. They too are seeking to sparkle. They too are seeking warmth. They too have feelings. And I sincerely believe, that if you only tune into that, most people will open up to you.
Basically I believe that inside each person there is a garden of pleasure and once you know how to access it you can….ahem…..play…
Gary Chapman who wrote The Five Love Languages, have some noteworthy quotes:
Why we do what we do?
In a really difficult marriage, you will never be able to address the real problems until you understand what motivates your spouse’s behavior. All of our behavior is motivated by inner needs.
One husband complained, “She thinks she is smarter than I am.” His wife’s perspective? “Any time I disagree with him, he thinks I’m trying to control him. I just want to be a part of the decision. Sure I call him names, but it’s because I want him to listen to me.” Both husband and wife are motivated by the need to be treated as a person. They want to feel that their ideas are important to the other.
If you can understand the motivation, you can address the need instead of arguing over the symptoms. It might start with, “I value your ideas, and I want us to work together as a team.”
The Need for Love
Do you understand that some of your spouse’s most negative behavior may be motivated by the need for love? Barb complains that her husband doesn’t have time for her. She often raises her voice and delivers angry lectures to him, accusing him of not caring for her. Sometimes these lectures work. Her husband Bob will sit down and talk with her.
Wouldn’t it be better if Bob understood that her primary love language is Quality Time and would make time regularly to talk with Barb. Addressing her need for love may well eliminate her negative behavior. Learning to identify the emotional need that is behind your spouse’s behavior is a major step in being a positive influence in an otherwise Desperate Marriage. Don’t curse the behavior. Address the need.
The Need for Freedom
One of our deepest emotional needs is the need for freedom. In a marriage, we want to be free to express our feelings, thoughts, and desires. We want the freedom to make choices. We often do things for each other, but we don’t want to be manipulated or forced to do things. If we feel like we are being controlled we get defensive and angry.
Freedom is never to be absolute; to be totally free is to live a life without love. Love chooses to look out for the interest of the other person. However, if we realize this need for freedom we will allow our spouse freedom to make choices. We will make requests but not demands. We will express our opinions, but give them the freedom to disagree. Love and freedom are two key elements in a healthy marriage.
The Need for Significance
If you are married to a workaholic, do you understand that one of the emotional needs that pushes the workaholic is the need for significance. Many do not realize that our real significance comes from being children of God and living out His plans for us. Thus they put all their marbles in excelling in the market place, and often neglect the home.
Perhaps his father said, “You will never amount to anything.” So, he spends a lifetime trying to prove his father wrong. If you are married to a workaholic, don’t curse his work. Praise him for his accomplishments. Tell him how proud you are of him. With more praise coming from you he will likely choose to spend more time with you. On the other hand, your condemnation pushes him to spend more time at work.
The Conflict of Recreation vs Relaxation
Many of our conflicts in marriage focus on recreation or relaxation. She complains that he spends too much time watching TV. He sees her as a nervous cat who never relaxes. She says there is too much work to be done. She does not have time to watch TV. However, if you examine her schedule, you’ll likely find her relaxing in other ways.
One of our basic physical and emotional needs is the need for recreation or relaxation. The need for rhythm, of movement between work and play was ordained by God. The old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” reflects this fundamental need. In a healthy marriage we don’t try to force our spouse to relax the way we do. Instead, we try to help each other find a balance between work and play.