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      I had a shift in my relationship with my mother during the last year of her life.  She actually gave me what I needed.  She spoke of her love and affection for me and she complimented me on my accomplishments.

    Well done! So nice to hear

    All the best Lisa




    Hi Lisa

    I am worried that if I do this therapy, I will end up hating my mother and father and I think that would really hurt me a lot.

    “All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.” ― Mitch Albom

    The reality of all relationships is that its not possible to give or receive everything we need. Its just not.

    As Mitch Albom noted even the most perfect parents will fail… perhaps by being perfect setting up the child’s expectations for perfection.

    One of the tasks of becoming (individuation) is coming to terms with the mother and father complex. (every adult is faced with this task) The intention here isn’t about blaming one’s parents but taking responsibility for one’s own nurturing of the self and setting up healthy boundaries.  That said our relationship with our parents has influence our ability to nurture and protect ourselves so working with your therapist to dig into that relationship can be helpful.

    Again, its not about blame but becoming more conscious of what we need to work on within ourselves (its not about your parents or your x, this is about you and becoming the best you.) During the process it is likely that you will see your parents as individuals. Individuals with needs, hopes and dreams separate from the role of mother and father who like all human beings succeed and failed. Doing so will create space for you to give yourself what they may not have been able to give you. (Connecting to the energy of the mother/father archetype within taking responsibly for your growth)

    The exercise of sitting in front of an empty chair is a form of active imagination where you get to hear your thoughts out load. Nothing like hearing our thoughts out loud to point out where we are being real or not.   The process is not about your x or being right or wrong but a means of gaining clarity and release. No judgments against your self or others. Eventually you may realize ‘you’ are not your experiences or your emotions. You have experiences and emotions. Getting to a place where you can make that distinction allows the experience to flow verses becoming ‘constipated’ by it.

    Buy yes if you are not comfortable or ready for that type of therapy your therapist should respect that… however expect him/her to push a little. We all need to be pushed a little.




    I was reminded of a book I read a while ago today and thought you might find it helpful

    ‘Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life’ by Philip Simmons

    We are all—all of us—falling. We are all, now, this moment, in the midst of that descent, fallen from heights that may now seem only a dimly remembered dream, falling toward a depth we can only imagine, glimpsed beneath the water’s surface shimmer. And so let us pray that if we are falling from grace, dear God let us also fall with grace, to grace. If we are falling toward pain and weakness, let us also fall toward sweetness and strength. If we are falling toward death, let us also fall toward life. – Philip Simmons




    I liked the book – ‘Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life’ by Philip Simmons

    Philip Simmons was thirty-five years old when he learned he had less than five years to live. The book contains short stories  and reflections about his experiences

    It changed the way I looked at my own ‘falling’

    Some passages taken from the introduction of the book

    At one time or another, each of us confronts an experience so powerful, bewildering, joyous, or terrifying that all our efforts to see it as a “problem” are futile. Each of us is brought to the cliff’s edge. At such moments we can either back away in bitterness or confusion, or leap forward into mystery. And what does mystery ask of us? Only that we be in its presence, that we fully, consciously, hand ourselves over. That is all, and that is everything. We can participate in mystery only by letting go of solutions. This letting go is the first lesson of falling, and the hardest.

    Think again of falling as a figure of speech. We fall on our faces, we fall for a joke, we fall for someone, we fall in love. In each of these falls, what do we fall away from? We fall from ego, we fall from our carefully constructed identities, our reputations, our precious selves. We fall from ambition, we fall from grasping, we fall, at least temporarily, from reason. And what do we fall into? We fall into passion, into terror, into unreasoning joy. We fall into humility, into compassion, into emptiness, into oneness with forces larger than ourselves, into oneness with others whom we realize are likewise falling. We fall, at last, into the presence of the sacred, into godliness, into mystery, into our better, diviner natures

    We are all—all of us—falling. We are all, now, this moment, in the midst of that descent, fallen from heights that may now seem only a dimly remembered dream, falling toward a depth we can only imagine, glimpsed beneath the water’s surface shimmer. And so let us pray that if we are falling from grace, dear God let us also fall with grace, to grace. If we are falling toward pain and weakness, let us also fall toward sweetness and strength. If we are falling toward death, let us also fall toward life.


    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  Peter.


    Hi Lisa

    Is it possible to Love and still push those we might care about away? Begs the question what we are choosing when we choose love… or why might we not choose it.

    A passionate and intimate relationship requires us to risk our hearts, thereby offering someone the power to hurt, betray, and reject us. To have the faith that we are lovable and beautiful with our scars, not just temporarily, but permanently in our own heart, is a questionable endeavor for many. We hurt and are hurt by those that we love and love us because we love.  Is it possible then that such hurt is an attribute of Love? Being valuable to hurt a necessary experience to the experience of Love?

    I suspect when we choose Love one imagines happiness and an end to loneliness, being seen and accepted for who we are as we see and accept others. At another level, perhaps subconsciously, one might also imagine being seen and judged not being good enough as we are. Just as we fear deep down that we aren’t good enough… If we cannot love ourselves as we are, the good the bad and the ugly how can we love another as they are?

    Lots of books on the latter most of which will suggest taking the time to come to terms with one relationship with oneself is important. One of the questions being how is it that one loves oneself? Is it unconditional allowing or unconditional acceptance as you are, learning better when you know better while being accountable? Getting to be accountable means who we are matters and has purpose and so opens the door to our greatest joy but also to hurt when we miss the mark requiring the lesson to learning better. Can we say yes to that?

    Is it possible that accountability, discipline, meaning and purpose are associated to the experience of Love? Maybe even attributes of Love?  Is choosing Love also choosing accountability, discipline, meaning and purpose?

    I wonder if choosing love starts from a place of developing a healthy relationship with Love it self.



    Dear Marki

    Unfortunately its very common ‘teaching’ method to push the students to extremes, to tear them down so you can build them up….  And not everyone reacts well to that type of learning environment.

    I don’t know much about design. What is it about design that attracted you to it? Do you know anyone currently working in the field that you could talk to? I suspect that, similar to most careers, there will be aspects of a job you love, some you hate and most that you don’t spend much time thinking about either way. I also suspect the same is true for any education program.

    The trick then would be to not over emphasis the parts you don’t like, recognizing there is a time for all things, while insuring that when those parts come around that you like you allow yourself to fully enjoy them.

    In general most people will stay focused on the negative so a practice of noticing when you holding on to a negative thought longer then necessary and then developing strategy to detach yourself from that type of focus could be helpful.

    Another practice might be to avoid labeling any of the experiences good or bad… and that can be helpful however if your not skilled lead to indifference vice being able to hold the tension of reaming engaged in the experience while not attaching your sense of self to the experience. That said School is meant to be a engaging experience where you get to learn from the highs and the lows.

    Nothing you learn, even the stuff learned the hard way, will be wasted. Be kind to your self, enjoy the roller coaster. You have handled everything that has come your way so far and you will continue to do so.  There are many paths to get to were we want to go…

    I don’t know many people who ended up in the place they thought they should be… I do know many people who are very glad that that was so.



    You’ve impressed me Nobody

    Mark and I were pushing back, and you remained open to the criticism where many people might have becoming defensive.  For me this indicates that you’re the kind of person that works to do better when they learn better which if you think about it is all we can ask of ourselves and others.

    You and your partner might find David Richo book ‘How to be a Adult in Relationships’ a helpful guide as you discover each other and yourselves through your relationship together.

    I wish you all the best. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself if and when you miss the mark. We fall, we get up and we learn… and we are always falling.



    I agree with Kkasxo

    The issue your having isn’t’ about this girl or her past its about how your ideal of what kind of past a person deserving your love should have. Which is fine as long as your being honest with yourself and that qualification for love is important to you however it begs the question as to if are capable of seeing her as she is and not only as a projection of your own needs and ‘standards’.  Sorry if I’m being harsh but if you can’t get over this ‘hurt’ you feel she has done to you what your experiencing is not love. (Life demands growth so this experiencing may push you into a deeper relationship with love or it may leave you bitter without have learned very much about yourself)

    You can choose to be happy and witness and love each other as you both are, the good the bad and the ugly, or you can continue to blame her for “hurting” you for not being the ideal perfect person you imagine she must be to have your love. It doesn’t take a physic to predict how the latter choice will work out.



    Hi Roary

    As someone who has also asked those questions my heart goes out to you.

    What have I learned…. With regards to hope I learned I sucked at it as I tended to hope with eyes closed. Meaning my hope was almost always passive, a fantasy of magically changing. Even if an opportunity showed up I wasn’t likely to notice.  Hoping with eyes open is active as it requires participation.

    I also read a lot of books, self help, philosophy, theology, psychology and ended up concluding that it comes down to the story we tell ourselves that has the most influence over us. Unfortunately changing the stories, we tell our selves about are selves is greatly influenced by outside forces.  Still if free will exists I suspect the place we exercise it is in taking responsibility for our story and writing the best one we can.

    I will be honest I’m still not great at writing and telling myself a better story however I have learned to stop telling a story. Actually, I’m ok not having to fill that space with any story at all. A kind of if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all approach.

    What else… no matter how much I felt life was pointless or how much I wished life to end I realized I wasn’t going to end it, so the thoughts were a waist of time and energy.  I decided that when I noticed those thoughts I would just stop, take a breath and let them flow by which surprising quite often worked as it created space for me to move on

    Turned out those thoughts were also a bit of an addiction. A part of me liked feeling bad about myself and it gave me a excuse not to change. We are complicated beings. I mean really if we really want to end it at one leave that would mean we have nothing to lose living the life we “hope” we might… noting to stop us… but we don’t. It was a realization that it wasn’t that I wanted to die but that I was afraid to live.

    I want to die because I’m so terrified of taking a chance to Live.

    Anyway, none of that is likely helpful. We all have our own path to answer the questions you are asking. I wish you the best and if there is comfort in it, know your not alone.



    Realising that you are aware of possibly having a “Disney like idea of love” suggests an intuition that something deeper exists. Am I correct in saying that you have a habit of over thinking things because you enjoy figuring things out. Why you and others do the things they do?  As all such things such a way of being can be a gift as well as a problem. Knowing when to reflect on mattes and when to enjoy the moment without having to ‘know’.  I suspect you will get there.

    There are two books by David Richo that I wish I had read by your age.

    How to Be an Adult in Love’, and ‘How to be a Adult In Relationships’ You may find them helpful as you work through your explorations of Love. And just maybe get to the point

    All the best. Don’t be to hard on yourself.



    Hi Vee

    Could you clarify what you mean when you use the word Love and what  your expectations of being loved are?




    I have this strange habit where when things start getting good in the relationship, I push them away

    When we start to feel safe in a relationship subconsciously we will re-create past experiences in which we were hurt and that need healing.  If your pushing those you care about away its likely you experienced being abandoned or disappointed in someway by those you depended on for security leaving you to believe it was your fault and not good enough as you were. By pushing those you love away your daring them to prove yourself right while hoping they will stay and validate that you are lovable and good enough.

    It is said it takes 100 “at a boys” to undo the harm cause by one person saying your not good enough so its likely you will continue to test people in this manner until you make this fear/false believe conscious and doing so take ownership of the story you have been telling yourself with regards to love and being worthy of being loved.



    I would agree with Anite.

    Sometimes its difficult to know if your ‘in love’ with the idea of someone or really see and love a person as they are.  You won’t really know until you meet face to face.




    “If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ― Joseph Campbell

    Hi Gogo

    I’ve always like that quote. I suspect bliss may be related to a dream yet is not the same thing as a dream. So yes always follow your bliss even when your not sure what it is. That is not a paradox as bliss isn’t about knowing. I feel it involves being open and engaged in life as it shows up.

    Its important to be able to discern when a dream becomes a fantasy and when it can become a direction to explore. As a artist nothing we experience is lost. The intention as you open your self to life as it shows up is to explore without attachment which is often control and trying to force things. Follow your bliss is following ones dream without attachment. In  this way you put yourself in a possion to respond creatively with what shows up.

    I wonder if you used your art as your medium to express what your feeling what might show up. It might be interesting to see where it might lead you.  Are you open to the idea of symbolic language? Are you able to look through the words or the technique of art to what the words and images might  point to. In Art there are no mistakes. Even commercial art reveals the artist and society.



    I like what Clarissa Pinkola Estés has to say about being wounded. You may find her work The Theater of the Imagination, Woman who Run with Wolves helpful.

    It’s an interesting thought that when a heart breaks, it breaks open. To be wounded then is to be opened and opened suggests the opportunity of being filled. It is also interesting that the words wound, and wonder are related. Though we experience the pain of being broken and  hurting we also find ourselves opened to wonder.

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