Happy New Year

Look at the futur 1, Martin BOULANGER, Lyon, FranceI wish you all a Happy New Year with happiness and love in your lives.? The festivities found me recuperating from a shoulder injury, as you know,? but now I am feeling more agile. My mind has turned to new year resolutions that we often make, some do-able and some unrealistic. Far better to set realistic goals so as to have a better chance of achieving them and less chance of failure with the outcome of guilt.

I am fascinated at the passion with which
we make new year resolutions
as though with the new year comes
a magic drive to achieve the unachievable
of the past year!
then after a few days we find ourselves
slipping back to old unacceptable behaviours
bummer! we blame the gods
better to not become intoxicated by the
passion of the promise of the new year
and rationally make a plan to get things done
things which we believe are best for us
and are more likely to succeed with

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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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Dedicated parents

Empty Nest, photo by Luis Alves, Barreiro, Portugal, adult childrenThose people who are dedicated parents provide a nurturing, caring environment for their children. They teach how to live a full life by being responsible and yet funloving.? ? Such parents are also aware of the need for their children to be independent and some day move away from home to make their own way in life.? Although the ’empty nest’ syndrome is known by the majority of society, we do not fully understand the extent of that experience. It’s not just your children leaving home and experiencing the loss of their presence, it is more than that. It is a case of truly letting go as you watch your adult children take care of business the way they wish and sometimes that can mean that parents disapprove of the choices their offspring make and/or feel somewhat abandoned by them. It is far better for parents to remember how they behaved at the same life stages as their adult children and then it is easier to understand.

I loved my cousin Chris very much, he was my mentor
after my dear father died I became engaged at 18
life was so full of fun and happiness
so when I experience empty nest with my adult children
I remember that whenever we visited Chris, we would
enjoy ourselves as he was ever so wise
and he would ask us to visit more often
which we never did because we were too busy
some years later Chris died and I miss him too
by then I was married and had two children
to this day I wonder if he knew that the
only reason we didn’t see him more often
was because life was so jam packed and
not that we didn’t love him and his family?

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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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