Tag Archives: family relationships

I just can’t cope any longer! (Part 2)

“Dealing with long-term difficulties or illness affecting a close friend or family member can be distressing and harrowing. The demands of supporting a loved one through ongoing crisis can be stressful and exhausting, especially if we are living with an ongoing situation where we feel we can no longer, physically, do anything more to improve their situation.

We may feel trapped, frustrated and unable to cope, we just cannot do any more to help, their progress, (or lack of)  is outside our control. This is when we may feel we have reached breaking point.

Don’t despair, there is more we can do to improve our capability to cope and to support our loved one.”

Continue reading

I just can’t cope any longer! (Part 1)

Depressed

Dealing with long-term difficulties or illness affecting a close friend or family member can be distressing and harrowing. The demands of supporting a loved one through ongoing crisis can be stressful and exhausting, especially if we are living with an ongoing situation where we feel we can no longer, physically, do anything more to improve their situation.

We may feel trapped, frustrated and unable to cope, we just cannot do any more to help, their progress, (or lack of)  is outside our control. This is when we may feel we have reached breaking point.

Don’t despair, there is more we can do to improve our capability to cope and to support our loved one. We may not be able to affect the situation by physical means, but we can improve our mental strength, which enables us to deal with the situation from a stronger , less painful position and therefore increases our ability to care for the troubled friend or relative. Continue reading

The Magic Rug.

After a long hard day, in the fading summer light, I sat down with my fat-free yoghurt and a cup of tea.

My gaze fell to the large burnt orange rug in the center of the room and I was amazed at how bright and vivid the colors appeared. It was almost like new.

Edit rug

I realized that my knee, in my line of vision, was obscuring the grubby stained area that refused to shift despite numerous carpet shampoos, but I chose to ignore it.

I felt happy and relaxed as I enjoyed the toning shades and shapes of the rug. Normally my attention is drawn straight to the grubby section and I feel a bit of tension in my mind when I think “I really must look out for a new one in the sales”. Even when a visitor compliments the rug I usually reply ” Thanks, it used to be really nice but I ought to replace it as it is a bit grubby now”, my mind always focusing on the faults, rather than the lovely colors and shapes.

I realized that if I could view everyone I met in the same way as I was viewing the rug right now, I would feel more open and relaxed, enjoying their good qualities rather than being drawn to focus on their ‘faults’.

As I relaxed and enjoyed the rug, I realised all this was dependent on my mind, I could choose whether to have a tight uncomfortable mind (looking at the grubby patch) or a light relaxed mind (enjoying the beautiful colors), depending on whether I focus on its positive or negative qualities, which in themselves depended on what I labelled with the words ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, again a matter of choice. So I could make a choice depending on the outcome I desired; a grouchy negative mind, or a positive relaxed happy mind.

happy and grouch faces

‘Aha’, you may say, ‘the rug only looked that way due to the fading summer light, it wouldn’t look that way with ‘proper’ lighting’. So then I considered what is ‘proper’ lighting? Bright sunshine is ‘proper’ light, but similarly, morning light, evening light and cloudy daylight are also ‘proper’ light, so the rugs appearance is dependent on the type of light it is viewed in as well as the positive or negative state of my mind, so therefore the rug is neither inherently beautiful or inherently tatty from its own side, but dependent on various factors. Continue reading

Becoming the Eye of the Storm

The power of a storm consumes all in its path to fuel its increasing intensity and damage. Everything it touches is dragged into this disturbed atmospheric state, often destroyed then cast aside. The calmest place to be is at the eye of the storm.

As parents we often experience ‘disturbed atmospheric states’ when our troubled teenagers (T.T.) erupt into fury for one reason or another, or indeed when we have other difficult relationships with partners or work colleagues. It is so easy after constant bombardment to be swept up into this angry fury, fuelling it further and resulting in further damage. In these situations we need to become ‘the eye of the storm’, the still, peaceful place in the center of this mayhem. This way we remain calm and controlled and can avoid being dragged into the frenzy, allowing us to peacefully buffer the negative energy affecting those around us.

eye of the storm

How can we do this?  Continue reading

Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.

                            “Your eyes are soft with sorrow,                            

Hey that’s no way to say goodbye”

   (Leonard Cohen)

That time of year is almost upon us. Exam results will soon be arriving and millions of boyfriends, girlfriends, parents and siblings will soon be saying goodbye as young adults leave the nest and set off to distant realms for further education.

sun sad goodbye

For some whose loved ones are leaving this may be a sad and painful time, so how can you prepare in the next couple of months in order to make this a happier event?

Here are some things to consider…………… Continue reading

Tough Love

Sometimes you have to say “No”.

You know it’s the right thing to do, but you know it won’t be well received.

It can be a stressful experience when we have to say “No” to our loved ones, to the extent that we may even back down or ‘give in’ rather than suffer the back-lash.

But it’s a job that often needs to be done so how can we make it easier? Continue reading

(Un)Comfortably Numb.

“This is not who I am

I have become comfortably numb”

 

Do you ever look at your loved ones and wonder where your warm, loving feelings have gone?

Feel isolated from those once close to you, or suddenly become overwhelmed by a resurgence of the love you once felt for someone but which seemed to have faded recently?

Fading heart

“Love” as we usually define it, can be a fickle thing, bewildering us by its apparently random appearance and disappearance. It is often said that “Love makes the world go round”, and it is certainly the basis on which we build our families and close relationships, so how can it prove so fickle and elusive?

Is there anybody in there”?

Why do we sometimes look at our loved ones and feel (un) comfortably numb? We often appease ourselves with thoughts such as:

“this is just the way it is in ‘real’ life”,

“after all these years……”,

“could be worse..”,

“well after all we’ve been through” ,

““The way they’ve been behaving….…””

This indicates we are becoming numb to our potential to feel warm and loving more (if not all ) of the time. “This is not who I am”, is the truth of the matter, we are capable of much more. Continue reading

Happiness and the Little Rag Doll.

Once upon a time there was a little rag doll sitting on a market stall in Ormskirk.

Unknown to the little rag doll there was a family on the train from Liverpool for a day trip to Ormskirk, a mother,father,baby boy and a 6-year-old girl. On these day trips the children were usually allowed to pick a present to take home, so long as it wasn’t too costly.

The little girl fell in love with the rag doll, it had a smiley face and long shiny black plaits, the best plaits the girl had ever seen.

All day the parents asked her to pick another present as the doll was a little more than they wanted to pay, yet the girl could not imagine life without the rag doll. How could she ever be happy without the rag doll? How could she leave it there and go home alone? She felt pain at the very thought of it. She loved this doll, it was all she ever wanted or needed to be happy, forever. Nothing else could ever measure up to this doll, no other present in the whole world would be the same, make her feel so full of love and happiness. She would cuddle it, love it, and her whole life would be filled with joy.

Rag doll

Her parents relented, she took the doll home on the train, amazed at its beauty, its beautiful face and shining black plaits. She didn’t let it out of her sight for some time. Continue reading

Sticks and stones may break my bones……..

..but words will never harm me.

Right?

We have known this simple rhyme since childhood but how often do we get ourselves into trouble by unnecessary responses to words that don’t harm us?

When we live in close proximity to others, their cute little habits and idiosyncrasies may lose their charm when experienced 24/7. In addition to this when somebody in your family is experiencing some form of stress, irritability or mood swings, their responses and behaviour can become erratic, careless and hurtful.

How great is the temptation to fire a caustic comment in response?

Burning arrow

“How dare he / she speak to me like that” and a million other thoughts flash through our head, before we know it we are verbalizing an unpleasant aggressive response just to “let them see who’s boss”. Continue reading

Any way the wind blows……Part 2

In Part 1  we looked at our own possible reactions to having an unpredictable teen in our family, and ways in which we could deal with any difficult states of mind, or delusions  we may be experiencing, thereby improving our ability to support our teenager while retaining some degree of sanity!

The Buddhist term ‘delusion’ refers to negative minds such as anger, greed, jealousy, impatience, selfishness and attachment, which destroy our peace and wellbeing. However, positive states of mind such as love, generosity, patience and cherishing others, result only in happiness, both for ourselves and others around us.

It is vital not to label ourself with these negative minds, i.e. we are not inherently an angry person,or an impatient person etc, these are uncontrolled states of mind which arise within us. We know from our own experience that none of these minds are permanent, we may be very angry for a period of time but eventually this subsides. Our mind is like a balloon on the wind which is carried backwards and forwards out of our control, dragging us with it wherever it goes. This is why we can feel happy one minute and then maybe sad or irritable the next.

Balloon in the sky with girl

If we choose to label ourself in any way, we are perceiving ourself as something, that in fact , does not exist. We are not fixed or unchangeable, either physically, mentally, or in any other way . Continue reading