“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”~Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island.
Have you ever noticed how with certain couples love and affection flow so naturally? Indeed, almost effortlessly. There is a good reason for this. These couples have learned to accept one another as they are, which leads to greater intimacy and a more vibrant love flow.
When we don’t accept our loved one for who and how they are—quirks, …
“We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.” ~Aesop, The Eagle and the Arrow
We can sometimes have difficulty accepting our friends, family, and loved ones as they are when their habits, quirks, or behavior annoy us. Our natural tendency is to try to change what we don’t like about them, which often leads to resentment. Nonetheless, given their importance and presence in our lives, we are usually willing to make an effort to accept them as they are.
But what about people we dislike—people who cause us grief? For example, an overbearing boss, a scheming …
“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.” ~George Orwell
Reading the above title, you may be thinking, “Why should I accept people who are trying to harm or cause me trouble? They are the last people I would want to accept!” I know I used to feel that way.
It’s clearly unnerving to think about accepting those that we feel are toxic, and even more challenging to do so.
However, when I look back, I now realize that I suffered unnecessarily from my refusal to accept such people, both in terms of greater personal anguish and poorer results.
This became …
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” ~Cicero
Being grateful or practicing gratitude has many benefits, including improving our health, relationships, careers, sleep, and self-esteem, to name just a few.
In recent years, these benefits have been confirmed in scientific studies showing how the brain is “rewired” by continuous grateful thoughts.
However, I recently discovered (and experienced) another significant, and I believe mainly overlooked, benefit of being grateful—in the somewhat unusual setting of a major seniors championship tennis tournament I played in Palm Springs this past January. I learned that:
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ~Albert Einstein
As so often happens when I go on vacation, valuable insights come in unexpected ways. It happened again during a recent fly-fishing trip (through Fly Fishing for the Mind) with my adult son, Brandon, to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a government protected nature and wildlife reserve at the eastern tip of Mexico.
I got in touch with a major difference in Brandon’s and my thought patterns. Brandon thinks expansively about life’s possibilities—particularly those involving fun and …
“Always be mindful of the kindness and not the faults of others” ~Buddha
In these hectic and often chaotic times, for most people (controllers included), the need for intimate, close bonds with friends and family is more important than ever for their overall well-being.
Yet, most controllers are unaware of how much their controlling actions prevent intimacy.
Losing Intimacy with My Son
Twenty years ago I was a massive, obsessive controller. I firmly believed that the best way to satisfy my needs and achieve what I wanted in life was by controlling everything and everyone. At home, Father truly knew …