Posts tagged ‘relationship’

July 7, 2016

Celebrate being single!

To all you single people out there, check out these inspiring words from actress Drew Barrymore in her book Wildflower:

It’s ironic that we rush through being “single” as if it’s some disease or malady to get rid of or overcome. The truth is, most likely, one day you will meet someone and it will be gone. And once it’s gone, it’s really gone! Why does no one tell us how important it is to enjoy being single and being by yourself? That time is defining and amazing and nothing to “cure.” It is being alone that will actually set you up the best for being with someone else.

Ms. Barrymore is right: we need to celebrate and treasure our single days. Being single is a life experience that, in most cases, is a time-limited opportunity. It’s a time to learn more about who you really are as your own person — about what makes you happy and content, what drives you, what your goals and priorities are — all on your own terms.

Flying solo is an exciting, rewarding, nurturing and adventurous time in your life. So is coupledom, to be sure, but in a very different way.

So be proud of your solo status, and never hang your head or make excuses about it. Own it, and enjoy every moment of it. Being single is a special gift that you get to treasure for only so long!

March 18, 2016

Hold “home” with longer arms

So many people feel alone and isolated in today’s Western society, where cavernous, echoing homes; drive-through meals; and tiny, emoticon-filled cell phone screens dominate.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Tiny house builder Dee Williams suggests that if we take the chance to reach out to the people and places around us — to interact in person, face-to-face, in ways that let us look into each others’ eyes, feel the sun on our skin, and exchange a smile, touch or hug — we might all feel a stronger sense of belonging in this world. Williams writes in her memoir The Big Tiny:

If more people understood how nice it is to have a sense of home that extends past our locked doors, past our neighbours’ padlocks, to the local food co-op and library, the sidewalks busted up by old trees — if we all hold home with longer arms — we’d live in a very different place. . . .

We wouldn’t feel so alone, no matter the size of our houses, no matter whether we had good health or [not]. We would begin to see the each moment presents an opportunity to relax, to notice that the wind has shifted and a storm is coming, or that our friend’s toddler has decided to wear dinner instead of eating it. We would see that each minute counts for something timeless and, if we want, we can all find our way inside these big, tiny moments.

December 31, 2015

A post to end 2015: click

I came upon this wonderful quote today, and it made me think of all the people — new acquaintances and old friends — who have truly touched my life through their presence, spirit, conversation, laughter, support, ideas, shoulders or ears (to lean on or listen), unconditional love or what have you:

Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level, belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another, or you’re in love, or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. (Source unknown)

To all of you who truly “click” with me and make me feel alive, thank you. I am blessed to have you in my life and to call you my friends.

November 10, 2015

Brokenness connects us

Thought of the moment, courtesy of vocalist and author Sheila Walsh:

My brokenness is a better bridge for people than my pretend wholeness ever was.

Think about it: it’s not your perfection, but your imperfection that allows people to truly connect with you. As humans, we all have cracks and fissures, chips and patches, and we feel reassured and relieved when we learn that others have them, too. Sharing our vulnerabilities, fears and foibles with others often allows us to build deeper, more intimate relationships. We can identify, emotionally, with people who aren’t shiny and perfect, and we’re much more inclined to share our own personal experiences with people who we know have faced similar struggles.

Feigning perfection — putting up a false front that always proclaims “I’m fine; everything in my life is/was/will be great!” — is more of a wall to connecting with others than sharing your faults and failings ever would be.

April 26, 2015

Make your actions matter to the people in your world

Thought for the day, courtesy of Jane Goodall:

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

It could be something as simple as smiling at a stranger or calling a friend just to say “hi,” or something as involved as volunteering time or donating resources to a cause you care about. The things you do and don’t do — every day — have an impact on this world and the people around you.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting an old high school math teacher at a garage sale he was co-ordinating on behalf of a friend. This gentleman had always struck me as a rather serious individual, quite absorbed in the world of mathematics, but on this day, years out of his classroom, I saw another, gentler and more real side of him.

Over the course of our conversation, he told me how much the field of mathematics continues to thrill him, and how, now that he is retired, he might easily hole himself up in his home office for days on end, hard at work on a difficult proof passed along by his own graduate studies professor years ago. “It’s easy to get wrapped up in that,” he said, “and to say to my wife, ‘No, don’t bother me, don’t invite people over, leave me alone, I just want to work on this.’ ”

“But,” he said with warmth in his eyes, “I make sure I don’t do that! I limit my time in the office working on math because it can be isolating, and it’s the people in my life that really matter — being able to take care of my grandchildren, go walking with my wife, take time to help a friend like I’m doing now. In the end, people and relationships are so much more important than a mathematical proof. I know that, and I make sure I live my life according to that order of priority.”

This is a man who has made a good decision about the direction and focus of his life, and because of that decision, he makes a positive difference in the lives of the people around him. Yesterday, he made a positive difference in mine.

December 12, 2014

Missed crossings and winding walkings

This quote from Robert Brault makes me think of missed opportunities and “what-ifs”:

It is sad when two people turn from the paths they’re travelling, and their paths go on to cross without them.

And this one gives me hope that the missed opportunities and what-ifs are just twists in some longer journey that I’m still walking:

Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is a winding path walked arm-in-arm.

 

October 15, 2014

You are my rhapsody

A great song lyric from Alberta-born jazz pianist and singer Beth Arrison:

Baby you are my rhapsody, and I’ll treat you like wine.

Find someone to say it to.

September 9, 2014

Learn to speak your spontaneous truth

Thought for the moment:

Truth is completely spontaneous. Lies have to be taught.
~ Buckminster Fuller

Think about it: how many times has someone asked you a question about your life or your opinions or your personal goals, and you find yourself checking your thoughts before you speak, trying to catch that wave of “truth” that instantly wells up inside you and hold it inside until you’ve had chance to reframe it or water it down or distill its true meaning before you open your mouth to answer? As adults, we tend to cover up our true feelings — about people, about situations, about ourselves — for many reasons. Maybe we’re afraid of hurting or getting hurt, or we want to conform, or we mistakenly think our true passions and opinions are somehow “silly” (they’re not; they never are). Whatever the case — and whether the process is conscious or unconscious — the result is the same: we end up masking our honest opinions and emotions in layers of protective, shape-muting “verbal gauze,” and we end up being untrue to both ourselves and the world around us.

What would happen if next time you were asked a question — any question: “How are you today?” “What is your opinion on X?” “Do you want to come with me?” “You seem upset; what happened?” “Where do you want to be in one/two/five/twenty years?” — you told the truth. What if you just let the words that spontaneously well up inside you bubble out into the world, for better or worse? Any pausing you do before answering would be to make sure you’re stating your truth accurately, diplomatically and sympathetically. No need to try and suck the reality out of anything. Reality is what you want.

Scary, yes, but with time and with practice, perhaps your life would become more authentic. Perhaps the things you crave would actually start coming your way. Perhaps you would grow as a person, into a space beyond any limits that you see before you today.

September 4, 2014

It’s never too late to find love

An excerpt from an advice column in my local newspaper:

Dear XX: I, too, am 82 years old and have been single for 23 years. A little over a year ago, I became reacquainted with a wonderful gentleman I’d met at a church 40 years ago. We will be getting married this fall. Do not despair. There is always hope. — In Love in SoCal

When it comes to love, there is always hope. Stay open, always, and never give up the search.

March 14, 2014

Lessons from a Russian doctor: Life, too, is only an instant

The following quote is from the poem “Wedding” at the end of Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago:

For life, too, is only an instant,
Only the dissolving of ourselves
In the selves of all others
As if bestowing a gift.

I often comment on the importance of maintaining your sense of individuality in life — of standing up for what you believe in, of honouring and acting on your life dreams and gut instincts above all else. This quote reminds us that it is also important to open ourselves to the people around us, to trust the process of social interaction, to knock down any walls built on fear and embrace the friendships, relationships, attachments waiting on the other side.

And it reminds us that life is indeed short. We are each of us just a moment in time, just a small part of the history of humanity and of the earth. Soon, that moment — your moment — will be gone. So live it while it’s here, and live it fully, as if you were a gift to the world. Because you are a gift to the world.