Finding peace is about exploring the world around us. It is about engaging in social relationships. It is about taking care of ourselves physically and mentally. It is a constant exploration of our world, our motivations, and our attachments. Here are some tips to begin that exploration:
- Understand that some people or things are not for you. Some people cause us harm. They hurt our feelings or don’t agree with our value system. Trenton Shelton said “Just because someone starts with you, doesn’t mean that they are going to finish with you.”
- Maintain Balance. When life gets overwhelming, you have to take a step back and check in with your mind, body, and spirit. Ask yourself what your motivation is for your actions. Explore where your uncomfortable stress may come from and find ways to lessen it.
- Find joy in the little things. Look for the good in people. Look for the joy in the little things. If you are looking for what is wrong in a person or thing, you will find it. Look with exploration and not judgement.
- Cultivate love. Build secure relationships and be willing to give. Stay through the uncomfortable parts and increase the happy memories. Leave any expectations at the door.
- Don’t hide from hurt. Don’t hide from your emotions. Allow yourself to feel them and then allow them to float on. We have to grieve before we can move forward appropriately.
- Play. You can not fully enjoy freedom until you have established discipline. This discipline helps us maintain healthy relationships, take care of ourselves physically and mentally, and to have clarity in our character. When you balance discipline and play, you will be on the right path to finding peace.
Remember to find peace it is important to take care of our body and mind. Finding peace is about learning how to maintain our emotional states and engage in the care we need to give to ourselves and others.
If you are reading this article you might be curious about what it says or you might be in a relationship that seems to be going downhill. Have you ever thought that you could change something to make the relationship better? Or are you constantly blaming the other person?
Here are some ideas that you can do yourself or pass on to a friend who might be in a “relationship slump.”
1. Stop your expectations. We often expect more and more as the relationship goes forward. But try to look at it as if you just met. It is much like when you get a new job. When you first begin the job you are wide-eyed and happy to help in any way that you can. Heck, you might have even grabbed all the Starbucks on your way to the office. You were willing to take on any tasks at the beginning of the job. Then the longer you work at the job, the more entitled you feel. You don’t get coffee anymore because there are “better” ways to be spending your time. The reality is that you should never be “too good” for any task. If you can continue this type of motivation in a job, it will be easy to use the same concept in your relationship. Continue to do what made you a good partner in the first place. Look back at what you did in the past to make the relationship great.
2. The grass is not greener. The grass is not greener on the other side. The grass looks greener on the other side because you are spending more time staring at it rather than watering your own grass. Stop being concerned about what could be or what you could have or what your life would look like only if….. Start paying attention to what makes the grass green on your side. It takes work to keep up a yard, and it takes even more work to keep up a relationship.
3. Get your head out of your ass. Sorry but there is just no better way to say this. You might be thinking, “My partner is so stubborn.” I get it, you can do all these things and no matter what you do that other person will not change. Well then, you are not doing it good enough. Blaming other people and their responses will not help change happen in the relationship. Stubborn might happen for the other person, but it will not stick if you give 100 percent to change yourself in the relationship. With enough time, it is inevitable that the other person will take notice of what you are doing and how happy you are, and they will want nothing more than to join in.
4. Change your routine. Maybe as a wife you do the laundry twice a week. You are too predictable. So maybe you can change things up; leave the laundry. Your husband will take notice that things are different and it will make you happy to change it up and take a break. He will be curious to know what’s gotten into you.
You might not be able to change anyone else. So change what you do. If you order wings and a pizza and sit and enjoy eating it, your husband or partner is bound to want a piece. The same goes with change. Use actions to entice your partner to want to do it with you.
I continuously read articles and books about relationships. Love relationships, specifically, seem to have something in common across local articles, such as the OC Register and popular relationship books like The Seven Principals for Making a Marriage Work by the Gottmans; they discuss how love helps us to live longer and healthier lives. The notion is that: the immune system is affected by stress or arguing. Couples that have less conflict tend to get sick less.
This concept makes sense when we discover that we are bound not only biologically to our immune systems but also psychologically and socially.
What this doesn’t mean is that you can blame the cold you had last week on your partner! What it does mean is that stability in a relationship can be the beginning of good psyche and overall better health. Once you get sick, your immune system is alerted and it tries to fight back. When stress levels are high, our whole being (physically and mentally) has less fight left, including our immune system. In regards to your relationship, prevention is the key. Talking about issues and communicating can prevent arguments as well as sickness.
We were designed to give into certain biological responses. Being in relationship with other people is natural. Cultivating those relationships is not as natural, and it takes work from both parties. Remember these tips to increase the love you put out and the health benefit that it will put back into you:
1. Breath. Make sure you take deep breaths throughout the day or breath regularly to increase the overall calm that your body feels. Sometimes we are not conscious to steady and regular breathing. Controlled breathing can decrease anxiety.
2. Be aware of responses. Our initial responses are often not the best ones. When someone irritates us we are quick to anger. Be aware of eliciting calm and peaceful responses. *This will take some work. Remember that the only thing you can control is your reaction.
3. Love, Love, Love. The articles I discussed before addressed being a caring and loving person as an important part of being healthy. You can increase love feelings by evoking caring in your overall life.
Try being more in tune to your “love” self.
People sometimes use the phrase, “Why you aren’t meeting Mr.Right.” I don’t necessarily like that phrase because even if you are out meeting people in the dating pool, you are the only person who gets to decide if they are right or wrong. It is about finding Mr. or Mrs. Right for You. And if we are being completely honest, you may have thought previous people who you dated were right for you the moment you met them. As the relationship goes on you begin to learn more about yourself and that other person. They might turn into Mr. or Mrs. Wrong for you. No one is objectively wrong or right, when we get into relationships we learn if we can stay together.
This article is not about whether a specific person is right or wrong for you. It is an article about why you may not be meeting anyone. In today’s culture of social media and technology, it is not often that we interact with other people as much as we used to. We don’t have to go into stores to pay our bills, because we can pay them on the internet. We don’t have to deposit in banks with direct deposit and bank apps. Online shopping allows us to spend less time as outside consumers, and you can even have your groceries delivered. Social sites like Facebook and Twitter keep us from connecting with other people conversationally. Technology is great for briefly catching up on the latest news, but not so great for your dating life.
What Can You Do
It might be that you see the same 20 people over and over again if you work for a smaller company. Even if you work for a large company, it is likely that you only see people from the same department. Think about if you leave the house (from a car in the garage) and drive to work. Then after the day at work, you get into the car and drive home to make yourself dinner and watch the latest episode of your favorite show. You have only interacted with those same 20 people from work that day. You have met zero people that day; which gives you zero chances to meet a potential partner.
Now, if you take public transit or grab a friend to go out to lunch, or go to a place to eat after work; you have just given yourself 1-3 opportunities in just one day to meet someone. That means that out of the 52 weeks in that year, you can give yourself 260-780 instances in which you can meet a partner.
Or Try These
- Change up your routine. Go to different grocery store or work out at different times. The same people at the gym at 5 pm present the same dating opportunities. Mix it up to see what the gym holds early morning or what shopping late at night might offer you.
- Forgo technology. Go to the bank, shop at the store, and even leave your phone in your pocket in public. You are unapproachable when you are walking and texting at the same time. Every time you can immerse yourself in people gives you more and more opportunities to meet someone.
- Take a class. Not in school anymore? Take a class; and make sure the ratio is to your benefit. Women take a welding or building class, men try for cooking or pottery. Sounds ridiculous, but you might be the only female in a room of 20 men; half of which statistically will be single.
- Move from the small town. Do you live in a town where “everybody knows your name” ? If you want to branch out and meet people, maybe the small town isn’t for you. If you don’t want to move, traveling 45 minutes to an hour can give you new scenery including new potential dating partners.
- Stop locking and dropping. This is locking yourself into a dating situation where the other person is waiting to meet someone else before they drop you. If you are locked into dating one person who just isn’t real or serious about the relationship, it is time to remove him or her from your dating life.
- Boys and Girls can be friends. Yes they can be, but hanging out with the opposite sex all the time will make it impossible for other people to know you are available, even if your Facebook status reads “single.” Remember that no one can read your profile when they are having a conversation with you.
You have many opportunities to meet potential partners but you may first have to embrace some change and commit to meeting new people.
Whether you are in a long-term relationship or marriage, are just dating, or are seeking out a relationship; a relationship status is something you might be concerned with. To understand the application of this concept, let’s begin with a story.
I was listening to a woman chatting with a friend the other day. It went something like this:
“Oh yeah, we broke up. I don’t understand why, though? I did everything for him. I would make his lunch before he went to work. I would do his laundry on occasion if it was lying around. I would grab his favorite beer if I was at the market. We would cook dinner and always watch his favorite sports team. I just don’t understand? But I am dating someone else. He works at five a.m. usually, so I am going to go over to his place soon, so I can make his lunch and hang out with him before he goes to bed.”
I wanted so badly to intervene this conversation right then and there. I wanted to scream out to her. I wanted to tell her that she would find herself dumbed again in a couple of months, with no understanding of what she did wrong and why she can’t keep a man around.
Instead of imparting my unsolicited advice to a stranger, I will offer it here to anyone who would like to read it. I call it PPS- Partner Preoccupation Syndrome. A syndrome is defined as; a collection of signs and symptoms known to frequently appear together but without a known cause. During Partner Preoccupation Syndrome, you are more preoccupied by taking care of your partner than taking care of yourself. This syndrome is more commonly found in women than in men, but it can make a good relationship unbalance quickly.
The example above exhibits this. PPS is not contagious; it is actually the opposite. Both partners can not have it at the same time, as it only affects one party; if there is equal share and collaboration in a relationship, we would not see this happen. However, when a partner gets PPS they don’t really understand it. If PPS goes on long enough in a specific relationship, the other party will probably break it off or walk away, simply because there is no challenge. This is not the same as, ” They ask you to jump and you say how high.” This is more subtle and most people do it without realizing.
PPS is easy to diagnose and treat. If you have ever told a story similar to the one above, you probably have PPS. If you have a good heart and a need to take care of people, try putting that energy into something else other than your partner. Volunteer somewhere, help out your grandma, or establish a hobby or routine that does not involve doing something for your partner. Do your own laundry. Watch your favorite shows. Stay at your place or clean only your house.
You will probably have to consciously think about stopping this pattern, but once you have trained yourself to not be too preoccupied with your partner; you may be able to free yourself from PPS.
Now, there is nothing wrong with taking care of your partner, but it becomes a problem when it is a pattern that includes multiple failed relationships as a result.
If you ever have this question of your extinguished relationships: I don’t know what I am doing wrong, maybe it is time to change that.
I hear many people say, “I hate games.” Relationship games that is. They are referring to having to wait three days to call a potential date, or purposely ignoring someone to make them want you.
The problem is; I can not tell you to play games or to not play games. We all have different temperaments when it comes to our likes and dislikes in a relationship. I can assure you that most of the need for games comes out of a skewed vision of what relationships should be. That said, it is difficult to change what we view as normal and healthy verses what other people do. Some people think that fighting in a relationship is healthy and that not fighting can cause tension. I urge us to think differently about that matter, that working out the communication differences and arguments is key. But not getting on COPS for a domestic dispute call is also key. However, because we can not change some else’s thinking, you may need to change some of our actions.
I have a friend who is in a relationship and her man will claim that he hates games. However, he is always more attentive when she isn’t as available. Why is this? Why do people claim to hate games, but happen to be a sneaky part of the process? Even if you don’t instigate the game, you may still have to play it.
Some people play games on accident. I have a few girlfriends who are busy and more concerned with their jobs, activities, and friends than they are relationships. Both of these girls secured a husband and are doing a great job keeping that balance and love in the marriage. It is their nature to not be as “needy” as some woman can come across as. It is the “needy” women that may have a hard time securing a man without engaging in some game playing.
As part of the relationship process, games later become irrelevant. It is the same way with how men are romantic at first, but then this fizzles. If we want something bad enough, we will go after it. However, if it is a baseball game, you can’t bring a soccer ball. You have to come equip to win the game with the proper tools, and sometimes playing games is one of those tools.
Tomorrow I will touch on: How do you know which games to play and when to play them?
Relationships can be understood through stages. Each of these stages may be unique for each couple, but they have common similar themes. The themes and actions in these stage can help us determine if our relationship is just going through a “normal” stage or if something is seriously going wrong. It is normal to have resistance in certain stages.
1. The Honeymoon Stage: This is the infatuation stage. The dopamine in our brain is increased during this time and it is easy for us to ignore all the little things we might not enjoy about someone. We are smitten and determined to make this relationship work.
2. The Toilet Seat Up Stage: This is the stage where reality sets in. The dopamine levels have come back down and we are aware of the little things that we dislike about our partner. The “toilet seat is up” (or anything that bothers us) has become a common theme for arguments. We are easily irritated as we try to get used to someone new.
3. The Suggestion Box Stage: This is the stage in which couples want to put their expectations on one another. They use it less as a suggestion box and more as a way to try to turn the person they met into the person they think they need. Irritation has subsided and we feel comfortable enough to voice our opinion on this person. Voicing our opinion is important, but we must do it in a loving and appropriate manner.
How to Get Through Stages 2 and 3:
- Keep your attitude in check. Don’t let little things bother you. Learn what you will and will not compromise on with this partner.
- Be mindful to include the other partner in your decisions.
- Take time with your friends and time away from your partner.
- Keep your hobbies, so you don’t resent someone else after the honeymoon stage. You are responsible for your actions.
- Communicate with words that will not harm the other person. Try to be calm.
- Be self-reflective during this time, other than finding flaws in others.
4. The Rainbow Stage: This is the stage where you realize that you can not change the other person. When you can learn to let go and just roll with the punches, life will flow as smooth or as rocky as you want to make it. The two middle stages may bring storms and rain, but if you can get through those on an equal playing field you will see the rainbow after the rain.
5. The Never-Ending Stage: This is the last stage in a relationship. It will never end. Relationships that survive trials have two people who are always diligently working at the relationship. You may marry, you may have kids, you may have job loses, moves, careers, and the list goes on and on. Relationships take work and dedication, but you get back as much as you give. Don’t let the rough stages discourage you. A lot of what you feel after the honeymoon stage is normal.