Fear of rejection

Midnight BooWe pretend to be strong and yet fear of rejection can keep us apart. So many people recoil when they face a criticism. This can be because as a child their parents and or teachers impacted on them in a negative way, whether real or perceived the damage was done. As an adult they are left with scars from those experiences which affect their relationships badly. Others behave in the opposite way – they enjoy the challenge when they are rejected and keeping coming back. Both reactions can be perceived as attractive or unattractive depending on how your needs are met. Nevertheless, we can choose to deal with rejection in a way that makes our lives fulfilled or doomed, it’s all a choice.

Alison had been screaming at her daughter Suzie
for at least half an hour and it felt no better
Suzie quietly got up and said to her mother
that as she was middle aged she chose not to
feel this distress anymore, so she was leaving
Alison screamed out “stay and fight you coward”
and Suzie replied “yes I am a coward and am going”
leaving her mother with her own dysfunctional state
which meant that Alison had to take responsibility
for the insane behaviour she had shown because
there was no one there to blame anything on

(So Sorry after 7yrs and although he had been thanked then, I had to remove the great photo now because the owner asked it be removed so my adorable fear ridden 14 yr Bombay cat Midnight is the replacement photo…Affie 25/9/14)

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Role models

Dad's Shoulder, photo by Joseph Zlomek, Pottstown, United States, loving parentSome people have had abusive parents as role models. Others have had one parent functional and the other dysfunctional. Unfortunately, there are those who have been abused and become abusers, mainly because they experienced how powerful induced fear was. The promising thing is that as we grow most of us learn to appreciate the healthy role models and mimic them in adulthood.

Nina was surprised that her mother’s abusive behaviour
hadn’t made her an emotional cripple, but remembered
that her father was a gentle, loving parent and
whenever she was tempted by her mother’s words
to believe that she was ugly and worthless
Nina would recall her father’s unconditional love
which gave her the confidence to make healthy choices
at times it took a lot of work to raise her self esteem
because her mother’s words would creep into
Nina’s thoughts unexpectedly, however
that was short lived as she developed the skills
to diffuse such thoughts by sending them
off into the universe in imaginary balloons

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Christmas Day

Christmas Decoration, photo by Law Hui Sheng, PJ, Malaysia, Happy ChristmasIn this country Christmas Day is a ritual that’s a great pleasure to people of all ages. The religious folk attend church and those who are not religious participate in other activities which define the ritual of Christmas, including public holidays. Christmas cards would have already been sent out, a Christmas tree decorated, special food and presents purchased to enjoy on this day. Children wake up early to open their presents which are kept under the tree, including the special ones from Santa Claus. Then still in their nightwear everyone enjoys a breakfast together. People not of the Christian faith, even Christians whose Christmas Day is on 6th January, have been known to also participate in this process as it’s part of Australia’s identity. In time hopefully we will all become more familiar with, and celebrate, rituals of the other cultures which make our society multi-cultural.

some of my grandchildren’s friends are of the Jewish faith
and have been eager to decorate a Christmas tree
therefore next year it was suggested that a
Christmas decorating party be organised to
do just that and give them the experience
how delightful the way that children can
share their cultural differences in a way
that’s full of friendship and fun
an exciting learning curve which
fosters love and peace

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2 sleeps to go

Christmas, photo by Bartek Zielinski, Glowno, Poland, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/678266, Christmas DayChildren’s favourite words today are “2 sleeps to go” and with that we realise the thrill that goes with the anticipation of Santa’s visit which results in more presents for them to open at Christmas. Life at this time of the year is quite joyful with people busily celebrating the festive season by partying, and shopping for gifts to exchange, regardless of their religion or their socio-economic position. Also around this time of the year, charitable and benevolent organisations increase their activities to raise money for those people in need of financial and emotional support. The spirit of giving such support increases this joyful atmosphere. Watching the joy on children’s faces is another huge reward.

my youngest grandchild left me with the instructions that
I need to remember Santa is bringing me a present only…
if I am nice!
considering she is not quite 4 years old this means I am
going through a huge refresher in humility as I
agree to follow her instructions
nevertheless the confidence she shows in
giving me these instructions gives me
several ‘warm and fuzzies’ which hook in
my inner child and memories of my infancy
with the joy of the festive season and the gifts

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Codependence and pets

My dogs 1, photo by Debbie Miller, Monroe United  States,  love a petWhen we want to live functional lives, a solution is to get a pet. A codependent flips between manipulation, attempts at controlling, and becoming an enabler causing the victim to remain dependent. Codependence and pets means that the need to overwhelm someone with love is then directed to a creature who thrives on such devotion. So the behaviour is diverted to a healthier end. When a mother wishes to avoid being over-protective towards her growing children, I as a therapist recommend that they get a pet. This way the pet will not suffer from too much affection and it will keep her busy looking after and training the pet.

my children were 11 and 12
it was time to let go in order to avoid
too much mothering, or so I thought
so I got a German Shepherd called Kara
who at 6 months couldn’t even walk,
due to an overwhelming fear,
so I taught her to walk and I
loved her and called her my baby
she just bloomed and so did
my kids who were learning
how to be confident and independent
childrearing was a success thanks to
Kara, who I still miss a lot
but now that I’m alone I have a cat, Midnight,
who’s my baby to coo over
much to my adult children’s relief
no doubt!

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Projection

Hands, photo by Bianca de Blok, Netherlands, self awarenessAs the saying goes – when you point a finger at someone, three are pointing back at you. How often is it easier to blame someone else about their behaviour without realising that what is truly annoying us is projection of our own unacceptable behaviour onto them. Projection needs to be considered first when we are upset by someone else’s behaviour, and only then if we are satisfied that we are not being reminded of our own shortcomings, can we give others honest feedback about their’s. In doing so we are role models to others, especially our children.

my mother used to accuse me of lying
at every opportunity and
as a child not only was I so offended
but I went to great lengths to
prove I was being honest
as I grew I realised that
my mother lied so easily
and would get so annoyed with
my need to be honest when
she was trying to spin a tale
so her projection onto me
about her lying tendencies
kept her in denial about
her own behaviour and guilt

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Reincarnation

Thinking, photo by Bas van Bekhoven, Oosterhout, NBr, Netherlands, youth innocenceSome people believe in reincarnation and that the knowledge from past lives is in the unconscious mind to surface as wisdom beyond a person’s years. Others believe that such a notion is simply a belief in the supernatural which is unscientific. Then again I am more inclined to believe the notion that as we evolve as human beings, to a certain extent we inherit the thought processes experienced in previous generations. It is interesting how different notions attract different believers. Whatever we believe in, the main thing is that as long as it helps us treat others appropriately then we will avoid using crutches (addictions) to live our lives.

sometimes my grandchildren
who are all under 12 years of age
say the most amazing things
for their age, that is
and I wonder where all
that wisdom comes from
I mean – thoughts over and above
what they have learnt from us
a wisdom beyond their years
is it I wonder simply
that we underestimate
children’s way of thinking
just because they are so young?

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Cutural differences

Love 1, photo by Sara Hammarback, Stockholm, Sweden, loving relationshipCultural differences can sometimes be too daunting in a relationship. This is because there are such varying norms between one culture and another that it takes a lifetime to be oriented to them. In one culture offspring are expected to leave home as soon as possible after the age of 16 years so as to learn about living skills. Yet in another culture it is considered irresponsible for parents to not keep their children in the safety of the their home until they are old enough and ready to set up a home of their own with a partner. These differences can sometimes be impossible to overcome in a relationship whilst other times they enhance a couple’s outlook on life. It all depends on what a couple wishes to get out of life.

they came to see me because
their families were against their union
claiming that the cultural differences not only
would cause problems in their lives but also bring
despair to their children once they were born
this really worried them but they were in love
and had lived happily together for some time
without any difficulty
they had close friends and
were successful in their careers,
talking about it with a professional
made it clearer for them that
the life they already had would be
a good foundation for bringing
their children into the world and
providing them with a
healthy and happy lifestyle

Love 1, photo by Sara Hammarback, Stockholm, Sweden, loving relationship

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