“Love More Care Less”

love more

There is a deceptively simple suggestion I offer to people working on themselves or their relationships –”love more, care less”. At first, most are surprised, for being told to care less is not what they are expecting from me. Yet, as I unfold more of what I am inviting them into, their bodies relax as they begin to feel the invitation into more love and less care-taking.

We’ve been taught good people care … good children (take) care of a parent’s happiness, good people (take) care of other people’s feelings (even if it means lying to do so), good people sacrifice themselves for (taking) care of others (often creating resentment towards the person they are caring for), etc. Yet did you know the root meaning of the word “care” is “to lament”? Often, caring carries the shadow of lamenting what is wrong with a person, a situation, whereas love offers compassion, patience, tolerance.

To love more care less brings love’s clarity and courage for true (vs taking) care of another-to receive another as a divine being vs holding them as somehow lacking. Loving more and caring less became my mantra when my elderly and scared parents needed my care. Not as their child still reacting to them emotionally, but as a strong woman offering compassion and tolerance. Loving them more and caring less about what I thought best gave me a new compass to navigate caring for people who needed my best, not my history with them nor my reactions to their fear and anger at their growing old.

So how do you love more and care less in your life?

 

  1.  As with all wisdom you embrace in life, apply to yourself vs telling others to do so. Offering yourself more love-more kindness, more compassion, more patience, more support, more acceptance – benefits you as well as serves to model and invite others to “want some of what you ordered”. Care less whether you are doing things right, the best, perfectly, are enough, and watch the benefits spill over into your relationships as you judge yourself (and others) less and enjoy your life and the people in them, much more.
  2. Let go of your expectations. Expectations are where you hold yourself, others, and life to desires which often have less to do with reality and more to do with your own inner critic and secret desires. Expectations in a relationship-be it with yourself or another-lead to nowhere happy, wreaking havoc with being present to when and where life offers you opportunities for love, connection, and joy. Too many relationships begun in love end up as power struggles destroying the love.
  3. Realize the lens through which you view the world is not the same lens others are viewing the world through. The story of 3 blind people and an elephant illustrates well this wisdom.3 people blind were asked to describe an elephant and each did so from their experience of holding a different part of the elephant- trunk, leg, and ear. No two descriptions of the elephant were the same and yet all 3 were describing the same elephant. Consider how often you care that you are “right” when the truth is we are all right from what we have experienced. Learn to become more curious and less interested in being right.
  4. Loving more offers more space for curiosity and discovery and less need to care and defend who and what is right. The world of once far-away countries is fast becoming a world of neighbors appearing quite different from us. When we care more about who and what is right and wrong, differences assume greater power. And when we offer love’s gifts of inquiry and curiosity more, we realize more how much our neighbors and have in common with us, be it the desires for our children, for health and happiness in life, having the basic needs met for our family, and a common birthright as human to a life with dignity and respect.
  5. Love is kissing cousins with respect, appreciation, honor and (taking) care is kissing cousins with control, judgement, and assumptions. One of the exercises I often engage in with my clients is clarifying what are truly their values for crafting a life with integrity to their deepest values. I have yet to have a client choose the values of more control, more judgement, more fear and plenty of clients excited about the values of more respect, more honor, more gratitude in their life. Love is the parent of values timeless in their power to inspire, to uplift, to joyfully live a life on purpose.

Loving more and caring less is not a call to not care and only love. It is a call to what holds power and insight in a world whose dynamics and truths are quickly changing from “power over” to “relationship with”. Love’s true nature is less the Hallmark version of sentiment and nostalgia and more akin to Mother Nature-vast, beautiful, powerful, caring beyond reason, and willing to die so life may continue. More and more I realize how critical it is for each one of us to become aware of what we are willing to die for, of what you commit your precious life to. We were born for the times we live in and fear and despair are calling for us to transform them into your devotion to loving…. more.

“What Frogs are Boiling in Your Life?”

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“The Boiling Frog Syndrome”(BFS) is an anecdote about how a frog placed in boiling water will jump out immediately but when a frog is placed in cold water which is then slowly heated, froggie will not perceive the danger and will boil to death. Although science disproves the truth of BFS, it’s cautionary tale of the cost of ignoring the small and subtle messages you feel of something being off, is truth.

Women’s history of being told to “behave and make nice” for being safe in life and love means women often dismiss and deny what they are feeling and noticing. Especially when paying attention to what they are sensing will “make waves” with people they love or are dependent on. Yet ignoring what you are sensing does not keep you truly safe in either life and love. Ignoring what you are sensing only keeps you from taking action in time to attend to what your wisdom is telling you is wrong.

More than one woman has come to me angry with herself for not listening to her feeling of something being”off”, for time had proven what she was sensing as correct. A women will often ignore her innate “early alert system” for not “rocking the boat’ in a relationship or where she fears reprisal for speaking up. Yet ignoring messages from the powerful sensitivities you possess as a woman can land you in troubles you could have prevented or mitigated.

So, just how do you balance speaking up and standing up for what you know with your desire for safety and acceptance in love and life?

1. Commit to learning about and loving yourself as a priority in your life. Learning about yourself is not optional for being happy and fulfilled in life. When you know what makes you happy, what you love, what’s important to you in life and relationships, you can care for your needs consciously. Expecting those you love to be your primary source of approval and support only places others as a parent with you as the child. And while we all need a little help from our friends, learn to love and support yourself as a job you are the best at and your privilege.

2. Update your relationship with anger. Anger is the element of fire offering its power to protect you as well as transform what challenges you. Instead of smothering (ignoring/fearing) your anger or letting it become a wildfire, develop a conscious relationship with your anger. Anger is not wrong nor bad; only when you do not tend to anger’s presence does anger cause you problems. Denying your anger for “not making waves” does not keep you safe in relationships nor in life. Learn to receive and decipher your anger, for within your anger is wisdom seeking to protect you and transform what IS dangerous to you.

3. Learn the difference between your sensory system and your intellect (aka your body never lies).  The sensory capacity of a woman is intimate to her biology as a woman and offers women sensory information for her protection and for deep wisdom. ( No, I am not saying women are better than men, rather different and viva la difference!). Ignoring your perceptions and receptions of information is a cultural norm, not your innate capacity, and gets you in trouble. Choose to honor your sensory capacity, take action informed by your sensory information and perceptions,  and watch your happiness blossom.

4. Get help outside of your family and friends for making the changes you want in yourself or your life. Family and friends at their best are your cheerleaders in life…. and family and friends can resist you changing. Just as cheerleaders do not serve as coaches for their team, don’t expect your cheerleaders in life to be your coaches in life. Your decision to take up your challenges as your opportunity for personal growth offers you being inspired by doing so.

The new normal in our world is change change change. One big change is relying less on outside of you for direction and support, and trusting in yourself more. Change can be really uncomfortable and challenging and going it alone is no longer a sign of strength. We all need help dealing with the angel and the devil on our shoulders. To live your life with heart, you need the strength of your soul….a soul clear and strengthened through transforming your challenges in life. 

“In a World Often Scary, Why Being Vulnerable is Essential”

 

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In my first article “The Trojan Horse Opportunity, Change, and Transition Offer Us”, I wrote about challenges offering surprising gifts and invitations for increasing happiness and satisfaction in yourself and your life. In the second article “Learning to Trust Yourself and Life Again; Balancing Inner and Outer Authority”, I wrote about how balancing the authority you give others with learning to call on your own (inner) authority, increases your satisfaction and integrity in life. And here is my new article “In a World Often Scary, Why Being Vulnerable is Essential”:

Whether you subscribe to “leaning in”, “leaning out”, or “love will heal all”, contemporary relationship is emerging as more than a role or a status. Contemporary relationship is a a powerful means for transforming conflict, a petri dish for self-discovery and healing, and an essential dynamic for pivoting the out-dated power over of position, privilege, and possessions into contemporary power with our challenges, courage, and creativity. Contemporary relationship embraces the power of our mind as well as the power of our heart and soul, scientific research showing our health and sense of well-being is in part a reflection of the health of our relationship with ourselves and with others.

Relationships take a lot of wear and tear in a world which can hold everything as up for sale. When we pick up our courage for honoring the sacredness, the nobility of ourselves and an other, our relationships begin to offer us what we all long for…..to be safely seen as imperfect as we all are. Our relationships offer us opportunity after opportunity for healing family patterns which create pain, for tending to our self-love and care, and for developing trust and faith in ourselves and with another. Honoring your relationships requires your courage for allowing the vulnerability (From Latin meaning “wound”) essential for transforming the scary into compassion (From Latin meaning “to suffer with”) with yourself and an other.

Choosing compassion when a relationship challenges your inner security is not overlooking the need for change in the relationship. Responding with compassion to emotions which scare you is courageously choosing to honor your relationships as powerful vehicles for tending to the fears and insecurities we all carry. Choosing compassion is not for wussies; compassion requires courage, honestly examining your feelings, and not blaming another for not being the way you want them to be. Choosing compassion is essential for living life less through fear and more through trust of the wisdom of heart to lead.

Extending to “the other” what you usually demand of them, begins healing wounds of the past, making room for the destiny of the future. Choosing to extend your compassion, your curiosity, your courage to when another triggers you, allows you to pivot fears into learning and allows the vulnerability necessary for true intimacy. When you choose to communicate more for understanding and less for making certain you are heard, you choose connection with vs power over another. Powerful powerful steps for the peace and joy we all long for and I believe, we were born able to create.

Coming next week is my fourth and final article in this series on the art and science of life contemporary. I am excited to share with you how learning to discern, decipher, and delight in the abundant guidance and support life offers us each day, provides support and guidance in a world demanding more than simply the facts of our physical senses. Sensory intelligence is essential for meeting a world awash in fact and figure information, yet challenging us to create solutions to what our minds believe is impossible. Great stuff!