WELCOME TO THIS BLOG


"All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come." Chris Griscom, Spiritual Leader, Author

"Eloquent and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion." Robert Schwartz, Author: Your Soul's Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born

"The Tao of Spiritual Partnership is a unique blend of wit and wisdom; Dr. Kortsch encourages us to take responsibility for our relationships, while recognizing and seizing the opportunities for our own personal spiritual growth." William Buhlman, Author of Adventures Beyond the Body

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Games Your Ego Plays


I've always found the ego a fascinating subject. It keeps tripping us up and before we know it, it - the ego - is making decisions for us, instead of those decisions being made by us. For me - as well as many other authors - the ego is that part of you that makes you feel as though you have to be (or are) better than another, the part of you that makes you feel as though you have to prove you are right when having a talk (or angry discussion) with someone, or that part of you that continually compares, controls, criticizes, and judges. It diminishes, it divides, it separates. In my book Rewiring the Soul I wrote: "It gives undue vale to external things and situations, and above all, the ego manipulates - not only others, but especially you -when it causes you to believe that it - the ego - above all else, and especially more than you, knows what is good and right for you." The ego will often convince you to say or do something that you did not really intend to say or do, and in the end, you do not necessarily feel better when you have let the ego take over your mind and decision-making process.

But how can you tell when it is you talking and not your ego?

Here are some simple suggestions (and if you have not yet reached this stage, they are wonderful goals to try to begin to reach towards - when you give up the need to be right, many things change:

  •  It’s impossible to argue with you
  • You can keep your cool no matter what
  • Others come to realize that you know that your opinion – even though you may stick to it through thick and thin - is not more important than theirs. That goes a long way to improving communication
  • Your ego is no longer invested in proving anything to the other person
  • You feel great no matter what the other person decides to believe
  • You don’t need to convince anyone of anything, no matter how much you believe in it
  • You can keep your belief about whatever it is you are right about, but you don’t need to be bothered about proving it to the other person
  • No more power struggles
  • You give up the need to control others’ behavior, thoughts, actions and reactions
  • You know it is preferable for both to win, not just you

In a nutshell, your life becomes a lot easier – just like that!

***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Relationship Pain


Who hasn’t been through relationship pain? Who hasn’t curled up into a ball (even if it’s inside your head) with the pain that some element of a relationship has caused? Who hasn’t wished that a portion of the life lived could be erased, could be forgotten, that by magic some form of amnesia would take over the brain, just to not remember whatever it is that is causing the pain?

So what can be done? How does one deal with this?

Alcohol, recreational and prescription drugs, religion, praying, meditating, panic attacks, hyper-ventilating, shopping, gambling, sex, frenzied social activity, numbness sought in movies, books, etc., are some of the methods people use to self-medicate, self-soothe, and self-regulate in times of such relationship pain.

None of it really takes you anywhere. None of it is really of any lasting use. Oh, it may get you through the worst of your pain, but it doesn’t really help you deal with whatever the underlying issue may have been. The issue is not so much that there is relationship pain that was apparently caused by the actions of another person, but that you are reacting with such pain (See also my July 2006 Newsletter: I Need You…I Need You Not).

You see, when another person behaves in a way that hurts you, or does something that goes way beyond hurt, and that leaves an indelible mark on you in such a way, that you feel that you will never be the same again, then there is something inside of you – beyond the pain caused by the other – that needs attention. Basically what that means is that a good portion of your pain has to do with bits and pieces of yourself that have not yet been worked on, grown, moved forward, and healed, and then ultimately, left in the past, and that is why the actions of the other hurt so much. (See also my April 2006 Newsletter: Committed Relationships: Use Them to Grow Towards Self-Understanding and Real Love).

One of the things that needs looking at is your awareness of yourself and what it is that brought you to the place you are currently at. Another piece of the puzzle has to do with the choices you make at every step of the way: choices that you make when you act, react, feel, and think. (See also: The Mirror of Relationships). Awareness and making choices are two of the most important tools you can have in the quest for your own inner freedom, although there are others, that will be dealt with in other posts on this blog in future, such as keeping healthy boundaries and choosing happiness.

***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.

Monday, September 5, 2016

People Who Drive You Crazy


People who drive you crazy may appear in many guises in your life. You may think that if only you could get rid of them, your life would be so much easier; so much less annoying; so much more enjoyable. Yet all may not be as you think. Perhaps it is precisely these people that drive you crazy that have something for you to consider.

Think of the innocent toddler who doesn't stop asking why. That's a rather marvelous way to be driven crazy. But what about an employee who not only doesn't ask when he/she didn't understand the instructions, but who - on the next occasion that the instructions aren't understood again, and despite your request that you be asked to clarify said doubts - makes another mistake basically due to not checking with you; due to not having opened his/her mouth to ask the pertinent questions about those doubts. Regardless of whether you then decide to let him/her go, the point is that this behavior has driven you crazy. And there is something about this that bears examination.

But first let's look at a few more examples of people who drive you crazy. What about the friend (I call them 'butterfly friends') who asks you a question because he/she knows you are very knowledgeable about that particular subject, and after barely a sentence or two into your explanation, you are regularly interrupted in order to go off on a red herring, and from that point forward there's no getting back to the original subject. You are most certainly being driven crazy by this behavior and there is most definitely something about this that bears examination as well.

Another scenario might be the friend who always calls to cancel at the last minute. What about the person who smiles at you to your face, and makes you believe they are on the same page as you, and that they like you, and then whispers half-truths about you to one or two of your close friends? Or the person who is always running late? Or the one who asks you for advice and when you give it - to the best of your ability - makes it evident that you have somehow crossed a line, but won't tell you how or why? A final example of a scenario about people who drive you crazy might be the person who cuts into the conversation you're having with another without the slightest apology, and furthermore, simply continues talking. I imagine you can come up with a good number of your own examples.

As I wrote earlier, there is most definitely something to examine here. And if you're thinking that it's about asking yourself why you have such - fill-in-the-blank - friends or acquaintances, that's not it. In fact, it's precisely the presence of these people in your life who tend to drive you crazy, that allows you to learn something about yourself, and perhaps once learned, you will no longer 'need' their presence in your life. What a rather marvelous way to rid yourself of them: learn something and no longer be driven crazy. It could also happen that although they continue to be in your life, precisely due to what you have learned, their behavior simply no longer has the power to drive you crazy.

Let's look at some examples: remember that employee who doesn't understand instructions, doesn't ask you to clarify or reiterate, and hence makes mistakes? It might be that your own methods of explaining are not clear. Or perhaps it would be useful if you asked your employee to repeat the instructions directly after you give them, in order to ascertain whether he/she has understood or not. You might also need to insist that if he/she has any doubts, he then needs to immediately ask you to clarify, even if that makes him feel uncomfortable. You might explain that such questioning on his part – rather than upsetting you - would make you feel reassured that he had understood the task clearly. Perhaps your employee is very slow, but is it not possible that you assume too quickly that everyone understands and completes everything as efficiently and quickly as you do?

What about your butterfly friends? They may not have much of an attention span, but was that really why you chose them? Wasn't it much more about the purity of their hearts? About the love, caring, and tenderness they always show you? So think less about how irrational their minds are (according to you), and think more about how filled with warmth their hearts are, and how good that makes you feel.

To the friend who always cancels at the last moment? Or the person who is always running late? The one who always interrupts? Maybe it is you who needs to work on having healthier boundaries.

The person who smiles at you, letting you believe you're on the same page and then talks about you behind your back? Maybe you need to stop trying to have a great relationship with everyone. Maybe there are just some people out there who will never like you, and obviously, if they're talking about you behind your back, you certainly don't want them in your world.

The person who asks you for advice, and then doesn't like it? Maybe you need to choose your words more carefully. Or perhaps you need to choose the people to whom you offer advice more carefully - even if they're the ones who are asking.

This is all a learning process. This is all valuable. It was Pema Chodron who said: If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher. So by allowing situations like these and so many others to be ripe with opportunity as opposed to upsetting, angering, or even depressing you, learn from them, enrich yourself thanks to them, and let the other person get on with their own life. After all, you can only be in charge of yourself.

Image: Jason deCaires Taylor's underwater sculptures in Cancun, Mexico

***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Why Giving Up Is Not An Option


Many people consider giving up at some point in their lives. They think they can’t go on – wherever they are going – and so they’re on the verge of throwing in the towel. They’ve given it their best – they think; they’ve done all they can – they think; there’s nothing left to try – they think; it’s just never going to happen – they think; and so they might as well give up – they think.

You've tried so hard. You're at the end of your wits. Nothing you have done has taken you to the result you were reaching for. You have worked very hard. You have implemented change and innovation. You have stuck to your guns and forsaken even much of your free time in order to continue pushing at your goal. You've persevered. You've been determined. You've motivated yourself day after day, and you've done just about everything you can think of doing in order to achieve the result you desire. You've emulated your role models. You've studied and learned and perfected. And yet ... it keeps eluding you. You are on the verge of throwing in the towel.

Absolutely not an option. So motivate yourself some more. You do understand that motivation is most often a self-propelled activity, thought process, and impulse. Consider these quotes: 
  • There is no failure except in no longer trying. Elbert Hubbard
  •  It's always too soon to quit! Norman Vincent Peale
  • The difference between success and failure is not giving up. Steven Redhead
  • He has no talent at all, that boy! You, who are his friend, tell him, please, to give up painting. Manet said this to Monet about Renoir
  • Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill
  • Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure. Napoleon Hill 
And please: before throwing in that towel, think of Rafael Nadal who shot up to #1 in tennis in his early 20’s, stayed there a while, then had setbacks and some physical challenges, and then shot back up to #1 again, had more physical – and even emotional - challenges, fell to #4, and is now – in his late 20’s - doing his utmost, not only to not throw in the towel, but to believe in himself and thus move forward. Do you think it is easier for him because he has already attained such fame, so many accolades, such prestige, so much money? Think again. He has to fall down and get up again in the eyes of the entire world. All you have to do is fall - relatively - privately and get up - relatively - privately. 

So what was that you were saying about throwing in the towel?

Another thing to remember is that it’s impossible for enthusiasm and demotivation to be part of your inner make-up simultaneously.

Logical, isn’t it? And you certainly didn’t need me to tell you that, right? You already knew that. In that case, put your knowledge into action. In other words, recognize the importance of your inner vibration or frequency, and recognize that it determines whether hopelessness, blackness, negativity, low moods, and depression enter your inner space.

Let’s take a closer look at your vibration or frequency. Isn’t it the energy you have inside of you? Not the energy you need to run a marathon or chop wood, but the energy that determines how good you are feeling. The better you are feeling, the less of a chance there is that you will go down the scale into a grey mood.

Yes, you say, I know that. What I don’t know is how to keep the energy high. (See also Keep Energy High! Watch How You Feed Your Brain, Heart, and Spirit) You keep your energy high by being vigilant.

You know that when you feel you are getting a temperature, you check with a thermometer, and then, if you measure over the norm, you take aspirin, or go to bed, or make an appointment with your doctor, or do something in an attempt to regulate the temperature of your body.

This is exactly the same! You observe yourself at all times, from the point of view of how you are feeling. As soon as you notice you are drifting downwards energetically (your temperature is changing), you make changes in order to keep your energy as high as possible. See also Happiness: Has it Become a Science or is it a Question of Luck?

The changes that you make, will depend on different factors, such as how much experience you have in doing this, where you actually are (physically) when you recognize that you need to regulate your energy (i.e., if you are at work, you probably can’t go out for a run), and what you have at hand.

Here are some small, but very effective methods you can use, think of them as baby steps in your learning process to keep your energy on healthy, high levels, and thereby help yourself – as if you were your own coach – to maintain motivation high, and to remind yourself, when you are on the verge of giving up, that you are nowhere near the end, and that you have far more left to do:
  • Realize that right here, where you are right now, recognizing that you are on the way down, energetically speaking, and thinking about what is written here, you have a choice. You can choose to continue to go down into what Eckhart Tolle calls the pain body, or you can do something to change that downward spiral. (But for this to work on a consistent basis, you must make the decision to raise your awareness of yourself as much as possible, so that you can “catch” the downward spiraling long before it goes too low).
  • Take a 15-minute mindfulness walk (read this). This will train your brain to remain in the present, giving it far fewer opportunities to rummage around in the pain or nostalgia of the past, or in the stress and worry of tomorrow.
  • Make a Happy CD of music containing only songs that fill you with joy (no nostalgia, please).
  • Better yet, burn some talks or seminars by people you admire or about subjects that fascinate you on CD’s for listening in your car, or on your iPod, in order that these talks help shift your energy, while you are still too weak to do it properly yourself; while you are, so to speak, growing those muscles!
·                     And remember, as I have encouraged you to do in many of these articles: Begin to make a habit of viewing much in your daily life with gratitude (also see Ten Reasons Why Gratitude Should Form Part of Your Daily Routine ). Gratitude is simply one of the very best habits you can develop. It will enhance you most marvelous moments, and it will help you bear your deepest despair. Just begin. Now.

There is much, much more to be said about this subject. But this is a start. You can use this simple information presented here to make a difference in your life immediately. It’s your choice.

***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.

Monday, August 22, 2016

10 Reasons to Incorporate Gratitude Into Your Daily Routine


A multitude of scientific studies all give the same results: feeling and focusing on gratitude is highly beneficial for your physiological, psychological, emotional and spiritual health. More and more of these studies are being funded since this information first hit the airwaves some six years ago and in my monthly newsletter article in October 2006, titled Happiness: Has it Become a Science or is it a Question of Luck?, I referred to what were at that time, recent studies, indicating that amazingly, the most important component to maintaining and/or raising our level of happiness is accomplished by keeping a gratitude journal.  

Today I’d like you to encourage you to contemplate ten excellent reasons that demonstrate exactly why you should make gratitude an integral component of your daily routine … not something to do occasionally, or when you wake up, or when you go to bed, but to integrate it into your daily life in such a way that it is always there – in your conscious awareness - in some fashion, just as your awareness of the amount of light where you are is always present. It can easily (and painlessly) become second nature, if only you choose for gratitude to occupy that place in your life.
  1. Gratitude lowers your stress levels as measured by blood pressure and perspiration and breathing. Because you focus on something that gives you a certain amount of happiness or pleasure, gratitude is capable of affecting you on these very physiological levels. If you think for a moment of a grinding problem in your life and note how it makes you feel, and then switch your focus to something beautiful in your surroundings, allowing yourself to feel gratitude for it being there (the blue sky, a frolicking puppy, a bold purple bougainvillea climbing up a white-washed garden wall, a contagiously laughing child behind a wrought-iron gate, the elusive scent of a night jasmine, the full moon in a star-lit sky, the burst of flavor in your mouth as you bite into a ripe peach, etc.), you will note that you immediately feel very different compared to how you felt a moment ago.

  2. Gratitude increases your levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, and attentiveness as indicated in several studies.
    What happens when you think about a huge pile of work that needs to be done? Don’t you feel a bit overwhelmed, perhaps even tired, just by thinking about it? Now quickly think about spending a two week vacation on Bora-Bora or traveling around a country you have yet to explore, perhaps Istanbul and the Cappadocia region of Turkey. Didn’t you immediately feel more alert and enthused? It’s exactly the same thing again with gratitude.

  3. Sleep duration and sleep quality are also positively affected by gratitude as indicated in the same studies.
    We all know what happens to the quality of our sleep when we are worried and stressed. And what happens when our lives flow? When things are going well? Again, by focusing on gratitude, we get a similar effect, even when things are not flowing.

  4. By creating a good feeling inside of you, gratitude literally changes your energetic frequency.
    It follows that if you change from a not so good feeling to a better one, your inner state of energy will increase, or quicken. Raising the energy of what you focus on, raises your energy in many different ways. Focus on a war movie with much devastation, grayness, desperation and mindless torture and killing, or focus on a movie such as A Beautiful Mind or Eat, Pray, Love and you will clearly feel the energetic difference. Focusing on gratitude for something in your life, something as simple as the examples in the first point of this article, and you will immediately notice the change in energy.

  5. Gratitude allows you to shift your perspective about the matters you had been contemplating prior to feeling the gratitude. 
    When you change your inner energy, as established in the previous points, you will be in a new place inside your body, mind, heart, and spirit. This position in the new feeling and thinking place will allow you to see whatever problem you are currently facing from a new perspective because when you feel better, you can see things differently. This may even allow you to more easily find a solution to your situation.

  6. Gratitude strengthens the neural pathway that demonstrates to you that you are capable of choosing to focus elsewhere whenever you wish. 
    As you focus on gratitude again and again, noticing the increase in energetic frequency, noticing that you do feel better by focusing on gratitude, you are not only creating a new habit and hence, creating and strengthening a new neural pathway to the detriment of earlier formed neural pathways that do not serve you well, but you are also creating the neural pathway of belief in your own power to change your focus as and when you wish in order to benefit yourself. And once you believe that changing how you feel is in your power and not in the power of your circumstances, you are embarked on the road towards inner peace and freedom.

  7. Gratitude strengthens another very important neural pathway that begins to determine that you prefer to be in this place of inner well-being that you achieve as you focus on gratitude, as opposed to the place you were in before you exercised your feelings of gratitude. 
    If you lived in a studio apartment as a student, and then started earning money and moved into a three bedroom home, you soon become habituated to more space. If you are accustomed to eating in fast food places and one day you start going to five star restaurants, you soon become habituated to a superior quality of food, surroundings and service. In the same way you rapidly become accustomed to being in a much better energetic place – a place of much greater inner well-being – once you begin to choose to focus on gratitude throughout your day. Being accustomed to being there, means that you will adjust back to being there quickly, on the occasions that you stray off the path energetically. 

  8. By becoming a habit, gratitude automatically allows you to remain in a much better inner space that is not easily perturbed. 
    The stronger the habit, the more robust the neural pathway that is associated to your choice to focus on gratitude throughout your day. As this begins to become the normal place in which you live (i.e., a better place of inner well-being), it is much harder to perturb that place. In other words in the same way in which someone who trains at the gym on a regular basis, or someone who power walks or runs on a regular basis, has a physical condition that is harder to knock off kilter, so it also applies to someone who has chosen to have a continual feeling of inner well-being, and who will therefore not be easily thrown into a negative place no matter what the outer circumstances. 

  9. Gratitude causes you to focus on the now as opposed to focusing on past pain or sorrow, or focusing on future worries. 
    Just for a moment think of something that is worrying you. For another moment think of something that caused you pain in the past. Now focus on something you are grateful for … perhaps the warmth of the sunshine flooding through your window, or the aroma of cinnamon coming from your kitchen, or the brilliance of the sun in the sky. Now evaluate: while you were focused on feeling gratitude, you no longer had the future worry or the past pain in your mind and emotions. The gratitude left no room for it – not if you allowed the gratitude to flood your being for that moment. And the reason for that is the fact that focusing on gratitude takes you – immediately – to the NOW where there is no room for thoughts and emotions from the past or future. It is a place of utter peace. 

  10. Experiencing gratitude implies that your ego cannot dominate you because it can only dominate when you are not in the now. 
    Using the term ego in the sense that it is that part of you that has untold unwanted thoughts that you feel you are not in control of, thoughts that in turn take you to untold feelings over which you also have no control, then by focusing on gratitude and bringing yourself into the now as explained in the previous point, your ego – all those unwanted thoughts and unwanted emotions brought about by those thoughts, no longer has the power to dominate you. The one that you are when you are in the now is the eternal you, the divine you, the you that always was and always will be and hence, the you that is not the ego.
Consider these points throughout your day. They are simple. They work. Your life improves. Your subconscious thought patterns and beliefs change. Your inner well-being increases and this new increased level of well-being becomes second nature.

***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Companions That Shape Your Life


John (not his real name, all names in this post have been changed) was recently told he has a tumor. Malignant or benign, he will not know for about three weeks, after a series of tests and the results that they offer. Marguerite was taking her husband’s suits to the cleaners and found a hand-written note – not his handwriting - in the breast pocket of one of the jackets: Your love makes life worth living. Matthew and Lily have just been notified by their bank that unless they pay the overdue mortgage on their home, it will be repossessed by the end of the month. Suzanne had a call from the police this morning. Her son David is in jail for possession of cocaine. Michael got fired yesterday. And William was robbed. Burglars broke into his home while he was away on a brief trip and managed to open the safe where he had six months’ worth of emergency funds and his wife’s jewelry. None of it was insured. Finally, Mariel, a horse trainer, had a car accident, and not only is her car totaled, but because of injuries she sustained, she can not work for at least six weeks and her job only allows her six sick days per annum.

When Life Gets Hard

Such a list of bad luck and hard situations doesn’t exactly make for fun reading. But here is why this is the subject of today’s article: when life serves up the hard bits, the companions we have chosen up to that point in our lives, will shape – at least in part – the manner in which we are able to deal with the problems. They will sustain us and they will help us get through that dark forest to the clearing on the other side. Or not.

Habitual Companions

Here are some of the companions we habitually choose – we spend our precious time with these companions - and because they are habitual, and because we generally choose them long before any of the hard bits in our lives have appeared, they impact our thoughts and behavior in ways that are detrimental instead of uplifting when the more difficult times show up, just as sugar and chemicals in food are detrimental to our bodies and creep up on us until finally one day we realize the body that we have is no longer healthy:
  • Endless television shows that we watch simply because we happened on them, either while channel surfing, or because they were there when we turned on the TV
  • Junk books
  • TV and radio commercials and print advertising, not to mention billboards that encroach on our time and thinking as we drive through the streets (similar to what mindlessly eating sugary treats or salty chips while we watch TV or read, does to our body)
  • Fashion, gossip, and sports magazines
  • Irate political, sports, and religious commentators on radio or television
  • Conversations consisting to a degree of gossip, or discussion of other people’s lives
  • Conversations consisting to a degree of complaining about something in our lives which we expect the other person to listen to, and vice versa, listening to others complaining about their lives (see also Do Your Relationship Boundaries Contribute to Your Well-Being?
  • See also Emotional and Energetic Vampires
  • See also Finding it Hard to Love Yourself? Check Out Your Boundaries
  • Spending time in thought on endless worrying about problems (see also Controlling Ourselves, Our Lives, and the People in Them
  • Spending time in thought on endlessly going over and over what someone did to you that you simply can not forgive (see also Can You Forgive?)
  • Spending time in thought about how bored we are, or participating in some of the above activities simply because we are bored (see also Finding a Meaning for Your Life
  • Socializing with a great amount of alcohol or some other type of substance, meaning that the actual interaction with other individuals is probably not on a level that serves us
  • Socializing with people we are addicted to because of the power they have (see also What Are Your Addictions?)
  • Shopping until we drop (even if our credit cards are already groaning under a weight of debt)
Nourishment

There’s nothing wrong with all of the above in moderation, but if you were to make a list of all the hours you spend on all of the above activities that apply to you, you might find that when you need another kind of inner back-up, you don’t have it. When life throws us the curve balls, when the floor falls away from under out feet, when unexpected setbacks arrive, frequently what we most have going for us is what we carry around inside with us. What we have nourished ourselves with. Think of a young woman about to get pregnant. It’s logical, we all understand that if she is eating a healthy diet, the body that will become a vessel for the baby will be able to nourish that growing fetus in a much better fashion, than a body that is filling itself with junk food or substances. So it is with us as we prepare ourselves for those moments in life when the going gets rough.

Resilience is required for difficult times. Inner strength is required. Wisdom, trust and faith (not necessarily religious) are required. Belief in yourself is required. Knowing that you can survive will take you a long way. Emulation of others you may admire who have gone through tough times is helpful. Learn about them. Read about them. Be inspired by them. And above all, love yourself (see also Love Yourself First).

Think of this: how much joy have you stored up in your life to get you through difficulties? (see also Do You Dance?) Have you figured out how to live a joyful life no matter what? (See also You are Here to be Happy). How much understanding have you stored? Have you filled yourself with ideas that will see you through? What would you do – inside your head - if you were stranded on a desert island, or if you were placed into solitary confinement? Obviously those things are highly unlikely to happen to the great majority of us. But that – feeling that we are all alone - is how we sometimes feel when we are going through tough times because there is nothing there to sustain us.

Keeping Your Energy High

I’m an inveterate reader and have been ever since I discovered the public library with a spectacular children’s section in the city where I lived in Canada as a child. I took my bicycle there once a week, filled the basket with books and read those books over the course of the week. Evidently most of those books were novels, children’s books, and so on, but I quickly realized that there were certain books or certain pieces of information in some of the books that spoke to me in other ways than the rest. Hence I avidly searched for more of those books or for more books with passages of that nature. They nourished me. As I grew older, I began to acquire books with the goal in mind that I wanted material that nourished me, and then, even at the age of 15, realized that some of those had become faithful companions when life got hard. I was able to find solace in them, greater understanding of how I might continue on, and certainly, they encouraged me in my darker hours.

But it need not be books. It just needs to be a habit – once you understand this process – of finding daily quality nourishment that will sustain you (see also Keeping Your Energy High), because it has served to grow a being (you) that carries inner strength and conviction, a being that knows it can survive, no matter what is thrown at it. Such inner nourishment can come in many guises, but you will know it because of how it raises your inner energy, your inner sense of well-being and helps you grow towards the goal of truly loving yourself. Begin to make the pursuit of such energy-raising nourishment a habit. It will serve you well and lead you closer to inner peace, well-being and freedom.

***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.