Thought for Food Blog

Playing Hard to Get--An Alternative

Cliché…a thorn in my side... topic on my mind for some time now… 

A little more than a year ago, after reading the first two chapters of Why Men Marry Bitches, by Sherry Argov, I understood the premise better than I ever had before but I still didn’t believe it.  Now that I’m in the stage of my life where I’m ready to find a REAL relationship…playing games doesn’t seem to have a place in the process of searching for Real Love.  But wait a minute, this notion is somewhat supported in the work of John Gray (a man—the very source of a woman’s confusion) in his popular book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus in chapter 6, “Men Are Like Rubber Bands”.  Gray suggests men need their space and if a woman is appropriately patient and understanding, he’ll come springing back “like a rubber band”.

Neither author’s explanation made sense to me, but until now, I didn't know how to explain the alternative.  After discussing this topic with a dear friend, I think we have discovered a possible alternative…

As with all things, there IS an element of truth in the concept of “playing hard to get”.  What is the deeper truth behind this statement?  Maybe when people say “play hard to get” they are truly touching on one of the following major ideas:

  1. Don’t compromise yourself in an attempt to please someone else.
  2. Don't allow yourself to be taken for granted or taken advantage of.
  3. Pace yourself.  If you take your time to get to know someone, you don’t need to “play hard to get”. 

The final consideration is that we all have “intimacy bubbles” and as we get to know someone else, those bubbles touch and merge.  Related to the previous point 3, if we are moving at a manageable pace, this process can feel more comfortable.  If we move too quickly, the impact will burst our bubbles.

There is much more to say about intimacy but I will save that for another post. So in conclusion, when you hear someone say, “You should ‘play hard to get,’” ask yourself:

  • Am I being true to myself or am I compromising myself?
  • Am I being taken for granted or taken advantage of?
  • Are things moving too quickly?

Possibly the answers to these questions will get you farther in your search for true love than playing games of cat and mouse.

 

Speaking Truth Part 2

Inspired from my last entry AND from my reading for toady in the Creative Thought magazine…

I’ll begin with a quote from Ernest Holmes~ “The word is all right when we view it correctly.  Who knows what would transpire if all [people] would speak the truth?  It has never yet been tried, but let not the mouth of the profane hinder those who would enter, thereby keeping them from entering.”

I have often asked this question and wondered myself, “Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we would just speak the truth with each other?”  So many unnecessary conflicts arise from lack of, or withholding of honest communication.  The follow up question is of course, “Why is this so?”  Why do we trick ourselves into believing that it will be easier to withhold truth than to speak it?  Maybe you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or it is an attempt to avoid anger or disappointment (your own or someone else’s); however, I would like you to ask yourself, how many times has this truly been effective?  How many times has it led to a greater sense of sustained happiness?  How many times has it led to greater hurt, anger, or disappointment?

Another thing occurred to me, first we must be honest with ourselves before we can be truthful with others.  If you deny or suppress your true feelings, or if you put the responsibility for how you feel into someone else’s hands, it will be much more difficult to speak from a place of truth.

This is a concept I have thought a lot about.  I am curious to know what others think…

Speaking Your Truth

In the beginning it takes courage--courage to actually speak from your place of truth and courage to face the fears that might stop you.  Each time you speak from a place of love and honesty, healing and freedom abound.

This may mean that some relationships will end.  As old relationships end, you open the door for new ones to enter.  Remember, these new relationships will help support your growth in the journey to a loving and joyful existence.

This does not mean that the process is always easy.  In fact, some pieces can be rather painful; however, each step from a place of love and truth always leads to more joy and freedom.  Sometimes you can literally feel the weight lifted off your shoulders.

Security System

I have been watching a spy program on Netflix and the recurring theme has been about trying to break-in-to places with "impenetrable" security systems.  The thought occurred to me, perhaps an "impenetrable" security system should be built based on the internal systems we use to protect our hearts.  The more I do this work on self love and loving others, the more I understand just how many defenses we use to protect ourselves from hypothetical hurt.  When I say hypothetical hurt, I’m talking about how we allow our fears of what might happen to stop us from living in the moment and appreciating what we have right in front of us--here and now.

Yes, we will be hurt but even then, we can choose how to respond to our hurt.  When we are able to look at each opportunity in our lives as an opportunity to grow, the pain lessens and joy, happiness, and true love cultivate.

 

Numbing Behaviors

We all search for ways to minimize our feelings of frustration, sadness, loneliness…  What numbing behaviors do you use?  Working too much, alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, sex, withdraw, staying too busy, shopping, spending more money than you have…  In moderation, many of these things can be blessings when in balance with the rest of life.  When you use “outside” things to change how you are feeling inside, it can lead to more challenges.  If you are numbing in order to attempt to avoid feelings, take a step back and look at what is happening around you and more importantly, inside of you.

At one point, these behaviors maybe served you, kept you safe in some way.  In each moment, you have the power; you have the choice, to make things different.  You can learn how to make different choices in order to get the outcomes you want. 

If you numb any feelings, you numb ALL feelings (even the more enjoyable ones).  One of the best ways to work through a feeling is to allow yourself to FEEL the feeling in its completeness.  Imagine a young child, when they are happy—they laugh; when they are angry—they yell; when they are sad—they cry.  They feel and move on.  If this is a new concept for you, I suggest you begin with people who can lovingly support you.  As you learn and grow, you will become more empowered to work through feelings on your own (even though support is always great)! 

Coaching can be a useful tool in this process.  A coach can help you identify the area you’d like to change and help you figure out the appropriate steps to move forward.  The steps are designed (by you, to fit your life) with the facilitation of the coach.

You are a whole and perfect being!  If you have lost sight of that, take one step today to remember this truth!  ~Namaste

Mirrors-Our Outside World Reflects Back to Us Our Inside World

It is amazing what you notice when you take a moment to reflect.  Take time this week to stop and reflect; ask yourself:

  • How is my outside world reflecting my inside world?
  • What patterns do I become aware?
  • How do these patterns show up in my relationships (at home, at work, at the gym, at the grocery store etc…)?

Feelings of agitation or anger:

How are your relationships right now?  Do you notice yourself getting more easily agitated or angry with those around you (even if they are not the source)?  Are you easily frustrated, even by the littlest things?

Feelings of uncertainty:

Do you notice yourself being less trusting of others because of it?  Do you find it difficult to make decisions?  Do you have difficulty concentrating?

Feelings of joy and love:

By finding love and joy within, how has it changed your relationships in the outside world?  Do you notice more cooperation?  Do you notice more friendly interactions between yourself and others?  Do you enjoy what you’re doing more than before?  Do you get frustrated less often?

To ground this thinking, I will use a quote from the foreword of the 1998 edition of Eric Butterworth’s Spiritual Economics:

     “It is impossible to separate the experiences of our life into mutually exclusive categories in such a manner that one does not influence the other or have impact on another.”

Finding True Joy

 

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.  When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” ~Buddha

What is the difference between chasing happiness and discovering joy?

This is not new…many people search for happiness in things outside themselves: money, belongings, work, relationships, hobbies, approval, praise, etc… and many of us go unfulfilled until we realize that TRUE happiness comes from within.  For some people, within means living in alignments with values and beliefs.  For others, there is an additional layer of connectedness to something bigger than oneself—some form of spirituality.

Look for joy and happiness around you.  Making it a priority to be joyous, surrounding yourself with joyful people and seeking out joyful activities, has one effect—YOU become more joyful!  Start today!

Joy can also be found in living Life to the fullest (following your dreams). Find happiness in where you are right now and expand; you are exactly where you should be! Learn your life’s lessons and grow. With the intention, each step leads to greater capacity for love and joy.

~Inspired by the April 9th entry in the Joyous Living Journal (2012)