We are a storehouse of emotions both negative and positive. Our emotions result in various reactions and stem from our upbringing, our social and religious programming and of course our experiences that tell us how to respond to situations. Some people have a calm and measured approach and some have a more volatile one. We are a storehouse of emotions both negative and positive. Our emotions result in various reactions and stem from our upbringing, our social and religious programming and of course our experiences that tell us how to respond to situations. Some people have a calm and measured approach and some have a more volatile one. Having our lives, habits and relationships controlled by emotions like jealousy, anger, possessiveness, lethargy etc is definitely unhealthy. Our negative outbursts are not the result of external factors and sources, they are the direct result of our equation with ourselves. For example, if someone puts you down with a snide comment, how do you respond? A negative response stems from ego, from self-worth issues or from past experiences with that person as an attempt to “save” yourself from pain. However, if you are filled with self-love and self-worth, your response will be very different. You would see the situation for what it is, perhaps see the negativity in them that’s fuelling unkind words, and not feel the need to “defend” your ego or emotions. If you love yourself, you know how wonderful you are and the recognition of it by others, is welcome but isn’t crucial to validate it, and neither can their unkind words make you feel differently about yourself. If you feel worthy and are filled with healthy reserves of self-respect, you won’t let the words of others affect your assessment of yourself. This positive self-image is not to be confused with narcissism, or denial or indifference. It’s normal to initially feel taken aback, or confused, or to even question as to whether perhaps the fault does lie with you. That’s healthy! But those who are in touch with their selves know when its right or wrong. It’s actually very simple. Sit with yourself and let the initial emotions subside. When you connect with your intuition, you KNOW, very well, whether there is any truth to the situation or comment. Of course, your ego will throw up reasons, excuses, deflections and emotions to cloud, negate or justify your being “right”. Let it all subside. And once again, with a clear mind, focus on your intuition. Once you start tuning in to your own self, you will realise how easy it is to form patterns of delusions, to form habits that are actually self-serving and detrimental to long term positive relationships. Self-love also requires courage as it means you stand up for yourself gracefully when you know you’re not in the wrong and to love that part of you that responds with dignity rather than defiance, positivity rather than negative emotions, and lovingly acknowledges if you are wrong so that you can make corrections to evolve into becoming a better version of yourself.
1. My husband and I both work from home and we have been managing well. Only of late I feel we make more time to do other things than spend time with each other. We don’t seem to even laugh together any more. Should we both demarcate clear time for work and each other? What else can I do?
Making time is important, but with intent to make it a bonding experience is key. So it’s important to plan activities that generate the kind of emotional energy the relationship needs. It could be as simple as cuddling up while watching a movie together rather than sitting apart, or taking a walk hand in hand, giving each other a massage, having a shower together, playing a board game together: carrom and scrabble are my favourites, or just commit that every hour there will be a 30 second break for kissing. Intimacy is very important for couple bonding and such regular daily measures keep the void filled and alleviate the feeling of dysfunctionality.
2. My boyfriend and I have been dating for a few years. He lives abroad and I plan to move there after we get married next year. Whenever we’re together, we always respect each other’s space because we both have highly demanding jobs. But now, his mother has been planning to move to his house permanently and he seems pretty excited about it. I’ve led my whole life independently and I don’t think I’ll be able to deal with a mother-in-law and all the demands, conflicts and interferences that come along. Also, with the nature of my job, I won’t be able to tend to her age-related illnesses. I understand that we need to compromise to make things work, but this will be a lifelong commitment, and I don’t wish to take this responsibility. What should I do?
That’s a tough one because she is the woman who has dedicated her life to taking care of him and raising him to being the man he is today. Reciprocity is normal and demonstrates some wonderful qualities like gratitude and care. Having a mom in law abroad is actually a blessing. She can help with the home and cooking and when you have your child it will be wonderful for her time and emotions to help look after the baby while you work. Think positive. Go into it with a healthy mindset and if ever irritated, just ask yourself, what would you like your own child to do to you in such a situation.
3. I’ve always been possessive. I know that’s my problem, so I keep things to myself and never let my partners or friends get affected by this negative emotion. My boyfriend, who is currently living in another state, was approached by an older, attractive lady a few months ago and they seem to get along really well. The way he talks about her makes it seem like he’s falling for her, and she’s evidently into him, too. I’ve not particularly been insecure about our relationship, but something kills me whenever he spends weekends with her. I’m struggling to hide how I feel this time around. What do I do?
Go visit him and assess the vibes between the two of them in person. Be loving, nurturing and happily physical with him around her and observe her body language. Laugh a lot and regale her with fun stories about the two of you. Subtly assert your role, your space and how utterly wonderful you and your relationship are. Don’t cloud your observations with your nature to control and possess. Healthy friendships are normal and if that’s what they share and it disturbs you, then self-work is important. If there is anything between them, it will all come to a boil either during your visit or soon after. If he moves on, best it happened now and you are free of someone who didn’t value what he had with you.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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