Family of origin

Family, photo by Jean Scheijen, Maastricht, Netherlands, unconditional loveWhen someone comes into recovery from addiction, dependency, emotional illness, or a loss of some kind, an important step is to share about their family of origin story. This is vital to recovery because some issues get buried unknowingly and can fester, affecting the person’s behaviour for years. On the other hand, also remembering the positive things about their family of origin can contribute to their recovery. This process can help a person improve the relationship with their family of origin, if appropriate to do so.

she used to hate going home for
important times such as Christmas
and as we spoke it became apparent that
the angst she felt was valid
but at other times unwarranted
nevertheless because she had
not dealt with these issues
resentments had be debilitating
both to her and her family
so she made a plan to
approach her family of origin
and be honest about how she felt
regarding certain past events
not forgetting to make amends too
when it was appropriate to do so
I reminded her not to be
attached to the outcome and
then the process could set her free


Peek by Tom Denham, Palm Bay, USA
Peek by Tom Denham, Palm Bay, USA

People need intimacy to feel fulfilled in life. Intimacy means more than just sex. Intimacy means being close enough to someone so that we are able to be honest about our innermost feelings – positive or negative. Intimacy can make us feel blissful and complete. Without intimacy we slip into dishonesty, defensiveness and ego inflation. Although a strength, intimacy can be fearful to contemplate. Sometimes in a relationship we argue because the ‘making up’ process brings back the intimacy that has slipped away.

they were arguing more and more
and came to me to see what was wrong
as we spoke about their life process
it became apparent that they were
both absorbed with their own work
and had little time left for their
relationship enjoyments
and they had not noticed that
this meant there was a lack of
intimacy between them unless
they argued and then ‘made up’
simple but important to know
and rectifiable

Wedding cake

Pink  Butterflies, photo on French Patisserie website, gourmet  delightWhen you are planning a wedding, whether you have an elegant cake or a simple creation, a wedding cake provides the romantic touch to a celebration. It is best to research and find a caterer who can make the type of wedding cake that you like and at a price you can afford. For example, a Croquembouche – the authentic French wedding cake made up of profita rolls stuck together with toffee and decorated by ribbons.

they came to see me about their marriage
my part as a celebrant was easy but
there was conflict over the celebration
as the bride wanted an elegant wedding
but the groom was concerned about the cost
I helped them to find creative solutions
to make their day special and memorable
and their wedding cake was vital to this

Children expressing themselves

Children Looking, photo by Victoria Mellado, Mar del Plata,  Argentina,  self awarenessAs commented by Robert Shields regarding my post called Tools of Serenity, I agree it is true that children are wonderful to work with. Their innocence is inspiring and they can express their innermost thoughts and feelings in a way beyond their years. We often try to protect children from expressing themselves, whereas if we encourage them to say what is in their hearts not only is it good for them but we learn from them too. Children expressing themselves is a lesson to adults.

As I listened to my granddaughter’s words
I was enthralled by her ability to express her
innermost feelings in such depth
children expressing themselves is
such an enlightening process
which we adults underestimate
and need to encourage in them

Loyalty and love

Union, photo by Rodolfo Clix, Sao Paolo, Brazil, meaning, togethernessWhen we think of loyalty and love it is an underestimated partnership. For love to grow and become lasting we need to be clear about our priorities and how they rate in our relationships. What we need should be a priority with our partner as should be the same in return for us. How often do we overlook an agreement or a promise to someone close because we take our love for granted. In such a case love becomes contaminated because when our needs are not given priority we feel slighted and hurt. So loyalty and love need each other for a fulfilling outcome.

when I was late for my friend
I felt so embarrassed and
could not say sorry enough
then I compared how I treated
my partner when I was late
and realised that
loyalty and love loses in
the translation in such
a partnership
and yet if in return
my partner keeps me waiting
I have felt that it was a sign
of disrespect
it is always helpful to
assess our behaviour in
a loving relationship
as we would towards
a friend and then
it is a fairer assessment

9/11 tragedy

clouds, photo by Simona Dumitru, Paris,  France, sorrow griefEvery year we are reminded of the 9/11 tragedy in the USA. It is so painful to think of how much everyone suffered, while we watched from our end of the world safe and sound.? What amazes me is how come the strongest nation in the world has not be able to catch the perpetrators who originated the plan to kill so many innocent people.? Of course, we are not safe here unless we prepare for the worst.? Nevertheless, peace needs to be our first priority.

peace will bring us happiness
not without remembering what
has happened in the past
lest we forget all those
who have died for us

Motivation and recovery

wet bottle, photo by sanja gjenero, zagreb, Croatia, serenity, sobrietyIt doesn’t matter whether we search for recovery from addiction or any other form of emotional or mental ill health, motivation and recovery go hand in hand. Good intentions are not sufficient. How many times have we heard the afflicted person being accused of not wanting recovery otherwise they could have it. In response the addict desperately claims that they do want recovery. Motivation is vital to recovery. Usually reaching rock-bottom motivates the afflicted person to commit to recovery. They say ‘no pain no gain’. But it would certainly be great for motivation to be accessed without the pain of rock-bottom.

Getting free of the grip of addiction is like learning anything new. Practise makes perfect and then the most difficult becomes easy – it’s the same as learning to ride a bike or learning to play an instrument. Repetitive positive behaviour (recovery) replaces the repetitive negative behaviour (addiction). There is a big difference between negative addiction and positive addiction (recovery). Although one needs to be always on guard that the positive addiction does not become negative addiction. The way to avoid that is by knowing that negative addiction makes life unmanageable whereas positive addiction is the serenity in recovery.

he came to me, a sorry sight
having been in detox 27 times
coming out each time with
the promise of recovery and
freedom from the clutches of addiction
yet after a short period he busted
on alcohol and narcotics
I feared that death would find him
before recovery did
and deep down inside he felt the same
but as advised by those who know better
motivation and recovery would come when
he attended 12 Step meetings even though
there was great resistance from within
“get your bum on a seat” they said
and he did until eventually it worked
and sobriety and clean time became
his positive addiction
serenity and freedom at last
what bliss?!

Opera House Wedding

Sydney Opera House, photo by Kim Beardsmore, Kellyville, Australia, romantic moment Having a marriage celebrant conduct your wedding means you can have the event anywhere you wish. Several couples have had an Opera House wedding. My son and his wife had their reception at the Opera House where the celebration involved exchanging their wedding vows. Others were on a wharf or the steps of the Opera House or even on a cruiser, which we all boarded at the Opera House. As the ceremony does not take long this is just what people enjoy. Some have had their wedding at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the background. The atmosphere is magical.

a couple came to me requesting
an Opera House Wedding
the wharf was their choice
it was so exciting because it
was a wedding with a difference
not only because of the location but also
because of the black colour scheme for
the bridal party, guests and me
furthermore as they worked as film FX people
their wedding ceremony was
attended by some colleagues in
a helicopter flying in circles above us
how fascinating!

Self parenting

Baby, photo by Kathryn McCallum, Orlando, United States,  loving parentBefore we can have fulfilling relationships we need to first have a good relationship with self. This is done successfully when we have the emotional maturity to carry out parenting ourselves – self parenting. Otherwise we are out of touch with our feelings because we do not know how to deal with them and to befriend them. Our feelings are anywhere on a continuum between elation and depression. Feelings can be fearful unless we can recognise them and own them as being important to our personality. Only then can we handle the feelings of others in a relationship, be it a working or a loving relationship.

he looked at me with smirking eyes
when I mentioned self parenting
and laughed heartily saying
I was being ridiculous
but then I asked him to
tell me how he was feeling
about his unhappy relationship
and he struggled for the words
to express himself
so we spent several counselling sessions
until he found how to identify his feelings
and how to stop trying to bury them
the change in him was obvious and
this was confirmed by his partner and
by not needing so much booze to
self medicate the inner turmoil

False modesty

singer statue, photo by andrea andrea, cluj-napoca, Romania, natural talentSo many times when we compliment someone on their talent they negate our perception. This is sometimes because of low self-esteem, or because they have not learnt the social graces to respond in gratitude, or because they prefer to be modest. Nevertheless it all comes down to false modesty. It is apparent when someone exhibits false modesty. They not only reject the praise offered but they insult the person who gives it only to then show that they are indeed talented. When someone praises you then just say thank you, that’s all that’s required and the exchange is then positive and complete.

she had a beautiful voice and
everyone present knew it
and so did she
then someone invited her to sing
she refused in a manner that
was one of modesty
however it was a false modesty
because once everyone applauded
and screamed out for her to sing
she performed just as expected
beautifully and unforgettable
however her false modesty
was disappointing to me
and I’m sure to others

singer statue, photo by andrea andrea, cluj-napoca, Romania, natural talent