Category Archives: personal growth

Love is a beautiful battle…

A few weeks ago I was having a phone conversation with my best friend. I had flown to Athens to see her and was really looking forward to seeing her, so I was trying to arrange a meeting. She launched into a monologue about what her schedule looked like, that she never came into central Athens during the weekend, or evenings, when I was free, she was so busy and blah, blah, blah.

I had had a shit week, I had PMS and the one thing that kept me going was the idea of alone time, on a beach, or anywhere in nature, with my best friend. As I did have PMS I was struggling with an insane amount of thinking I was unlovable, so by the time I hung up the phone, ready to cry because somehow I had now triggered my best friend into treating me unlovingly as well, I felt like shit.

I knew I had to do two things: I had to tell my best friend she was behaving like a twat and I had to excuse myself for, most likely, trying to provoke her into behaving like a twat. Because if you feel unlovable, you provoke people into doing things to prove you right. And you have to understand, when I have PMS you can tell me I have coffee on my nose and I will think you hate me, or that you are the biggest idiot alive, the world has come to an end and we can all just prepare for doomsday.

So I wrote my best friend a funny message about PMS where I pointed out the above. As it turned out, she had turned around and just yelled at her boyfriend a few hours later and he had calmly picked up the calendar and told her she had PMS.

She had had social demands on her, for a week, so when I told her to come into Athens she lost it, because she had PMS.

I didn’t enjoy messaging my friend to sort out whatever weird “actions” (drama school language for mental as well as physical actions we have towards people) and purposes (drama school language for what our psychological gain is for doing something) we had during that conversation, but my relationship with her is a lot more valuable to me than my discomfort is discomforting.

Which brings me to the next point.

Last night I came home after a long day. I had been rockclimbing the day before (amazing!) and spent all of yesterday out with friends. You see, last week, I decided that it was time for me to do what I love in order to build my spirit and regain my strenght, so as to have strenght to work and get back to the kids after visa hick-up number four. I had an incredbile weekend, but I was physically spent. That’s when I received a message from my baby girl in Cape Town.

As some of you know I help raise a pair of ten-year-old twins and their now one-year-old baby brother in the township and I’ve fought visas and adoption rules for about four years; having known them for five. This journey is the hardest journey I’ve ever had and I’ve been on the brink of emotional collapse more than once.

Last night I got all these messages saying she loves me, the baby has taken his first steps, and then she sent me this crying emoji and I asked her why. She’s like “it’s just the baby ❤ ❤ ❤ ” and I said I wish I was there to hold him and she sent the below picture. Cue me bursting into tears. She even found an image with the right skin tones. I don’t know why that made me more emotional, but it did.

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I had just been thinking of how tired I am. I have spent you don’t want to know how much money setting up a business and going round the world on a visa mission to be with these kids and I’ve messed up my career, my social life and my life in general and I’m beyond exhausted. Sometimes I don’t know how to keep going.

At that moment, all I wanted was a hug. Not from a friend, but from a man. It’s all I’ve wanted since I started helping the kids, because I’ve wanted someone to be there for me. Support me. Not do my job for me, just be there. Just hug me. And it’s the kind of intimacy you’ll never get from a friend, because it feels different. Friends help, but a relationship is intimate on a whole other level.

Yet, a few weeks ago when I was talking to my coach and he was giving me “love goals” I was telling him I didn’t understand how to achieve them, because let’s face it: I might know a gazillion things about relationships, and I might get 800 men swiping right on Tinder in a few weeks (true story, ego hallelujah), but falling in love makes me feel so terribly uncomfortable (unlovable and not good enough) that I spend most of my time trying to become perfect (impossible) and end up giving up on the whole thing because it’s too uncomfortable feeling like I’m not perfect.

This is when my coach told me that he’s seen me with the kids for five years and no matter what life threw me, I didn’t stop. Nothing stopped me.

I remember thinking when gran got senile and I was helping her in the bathroom, that love isn’t pretty, but it is beautiful. Love isn’t easy, but it is worth it. And my childhood didn’t make it easy for me to accept love, instead I strove to be perfect feeling I wasn’t good enough. I’ve often felt my adult life has been a long fight of not giving into the demons of my childhood; a long fight of opening myself up to love and joy and letting go of depression and self-hatred.

The question maybe I should ask myself is this: if my kids and best friend are worth me overcoming my demons, my fears and my discomfort, maybe my own happiness (a.k.a being loved by a man I truly have a connection with) would be worth the same? It’s a question of will.

I’m not perfect. My best friend isn’t perfect. My gran wasn’t perfect. My kids aren’t perfect. But we are all perfectly lovable. And it is perfectly possible to create great relationships. You just wade through the discomfort, is all. Because it is worth it.

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926727114399/

 

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Filed under Friendship, Life, Love, Musings, Personal Development, personal growth, relationships, self help, Thoughts, Uncategorized

The milk and cookies rebound…

We’ve all had one right? A rebound. The restoration shag, or date, or…just about anything goes so long as it’s not Him or Her. It’s like milk and cookies when having a bad day: it restores your mind and heart by giving you a rush. You’re no longer down in the dumps, you’re functioning again. You might even see the rainbow after the rain.

For that reason, I am all pro rebounds. You went from being down in the dumps to functional. Realized there were more people to date than your ex. Marvelous. Or if you were onto the milk and cookies rebound, you found some energy and realized the world wasn’t half as bad as you thought half an hour ago. Again: marvelous.

Restoration shags/dates/cookies, if you so like, are one way of getting out of the dumps and back into the world of the living. The problem (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?)? The problem is that if you’re constantly living your life in reaction to events, you are no longer the captain of your ship (mind and body).

You had a bad day, so you call your friend to go for drinks, to take your mind off the day. That means you aren’t going there to enjoy the company of your friend and the bar; you’re going there to get away from your thoughts about the day. Which means you aren’t likely solving whatever problem is bugging you either.

In other words, what’s your end result for the evening? Moping about your problems, running away from them, or having fun with your friend?

That’s not to say that venting, getting love and encouragement from a friend, or taking your mind off things, isn’t a good idea. It can be a great idea. If that’s what you want to create. If that’s what your heart desires.

The thing is, we do all sorts of shit just because of how we are feeling in the moment. We try to release whatever tension we’re holding around something by doing something else. If what you truly want is to create a relationship with your soulmate, going to a bar to find someone to shag is not going to get you any closer, unless intuitively you know that going to that bar that night will take you closer to your goal.

Rebound techniques are similar to simply unleashing our frustration. Like, you know, wanting to create an amazing relationship with someone, only to yell at them when they say, or do something that hurts you. Do you really think you’ll create what you’d love (an amazing relationship), by trying to hurt them because you feel hurt?

Whether you’re feeling frazzled, or happy, stop. Ask yourself what you’d love to create right now. What would you truly love to create? Then take obvious action.

If you’re feeling lonely one night, then curling up on the couch with a movie and a bucket of ice cream might make you feel better, but what becomes obvious is that you should find something to do where you meet people. Possibly not that night, but for the future. Open Google and do some work on that, then you can have the ice cream and the movie.

Quick fixes are sometimes brilliant solutions as they get you in the right frame of mind for creating what you’d love, but remember that if you want to create long term highs, you need to ask yourself what you’d truly love to create, not just resolve the psychological tension around whatever’s bugging you at the moment.

Aniston and Butler in a photo shoot for W Magazine. Unfortunately there are no cookies in there, but see, I found at least one sexy picture with milk… 

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Filed under Inspiration, Inspirational, Life, Motivation, Musings, Personal Development, personal growth, personal stories, relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized