By Guest Indiana
A sign that we are living in the last days is the fact that love is cooling off. Sadly, the pressures and demands of this cold world has effected many marriages. Close relationships that are full of love and warmth, can easily become cold and distant . This situation can be likened to a large mountain with each mate standing on the opposite side. How can a couple draw close again in this situation? They have to climb towards the top. In a spiritual sense, mates that have allowed some mountain to come between them have to “climb” toward Jehovah. They can do this by reading the Bible, praying and doing family worship together. When a couple puts forth the effort to draw closer to Jehovah, they will also draw closer to one another. It can be challenging, painful and exhausting, but those who put forth the effort will have a stronger marriage as a result. (Ecc 4:9-12) Indeed, drawing closer to God is the key to drawing closer to your spouse.
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By Guest Indiana
Before deciding to date it is important you pay close attention to the person you are interested in. How do they treat others? Are they spiritually mature? How do they handle money matters? How do they handle responsibility? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? There is never a reason to settle for less. We don’t need to look for perfection, but when it is clear that they require a ton of assembly or when they don’t have very important qualities or skills needed to make a marriage a success, we would be wise to hold off from pursing a courtship. Normally, when purchasing an item we do research to make sure we are getting the best quality. Why would we do any less when it comes to something as life changing and important as choosing a marriage mate. Also, if I am aware that I have a ton of assembly required and lack in many areas of life, why not work on those things first before trying to date. If we really like someone we should want them to have the best, right? “Patience is the key”. (See YPA Vol 2 Chapter 1)
By Guest Indiana
Narcissism is a tricky concept. Although most people intuitively understand why narcissism is toxic to be around (the superiority complex that makes a person treat all others as beneath them, the aggressive need for control, the inability to take responsibility for their actions, and many other harmful behaviors), many still often find themselves ensnared by a narcissist's charm long before they actually realize the person they're with suffers from a serious personality disorder.
If you find yourself dating a narcissist, it is possible to make the relationship work with a lot of strength, patience, and self-love—as long as the relationship hasn't turned abusive. But for many, narcissism is unbearable in the long term, and a breakup is absolutely necessary. The challenge, then, will be to get out safely.
If you have decided that it's time to leave your narcissistic partner, you are likely in for a big challenge on multiple levels. Here's what to do to protect yourself.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Since the Society does NOT recognize Civil Divorces if there is no adultery, and considers a couple to STILL BE MARRIED ... if a man and wife get divorced civilly ONLY ( perhaps for some economic reason, like bankruptcy, or estate management .... or they cannot stand each other more than a few hours a week .. (health reasons (?)) ... and they still shack up (friends, with benefits..) does the Society sanction these ones in any way?
( For those in Rio Linda ... "friends with benefits" means friends that have sex ...) ....
By Guest Nicole
Being widowed, divorced or never married increases the risk of heart disease.
Being married may reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular death, a review of studies has found.
Researchers pooled data on more than two million participants in 34 studies carried out in the United States, Britain, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Greece and eight other countries.
They found that compared with married people, those who were unmarried — whether never married, widowed or divorced — were 42 percent more likely to have some form of cardiovascular disease and 16 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease. The unmarried also had a 43 percent increased likelihood of coronary heart disease death and a 55 percent increased risk for death from stroke. Stroke risk was increased for the unmarried and divorced, but not for the widowed.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/well/marriage-heart-married-divorced-single.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/well
By Guest Kurt
Single Christians who are looking for a marriage mate recognize the risks of online dating sites, especially the risk of developing a relationship with a person whom one knows very little about on Social Media. Yes, We're talking about Facebook, Instagram, ..Snapchat. Etc.
So You're Single and looking.
The Bible says: “Keep strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, . . . because the days are wicked.Â”Â—Ephesians 5:15, 16.
Brothers, you could be chatting online to a Con-Man named Phil, not a Sister.
Sisters, You could be talking to a Sexual Predator, or a Con Man from another Country, not a Spiritual Brother.
Yes, it's true, Online dating is very risky business. Many have been robbed, stabbed, beaten ferociously, raped, killed and dismembered after meeting lying, manipulative psychopaths online. Let this be a Stark warning for those who wish to meet with someone they've been chatting with online.
The Bible says: Â“The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself, but the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences.Â”Â—Proverbs 22:3.
We'll like to add, Please Do Not Send Your Hard Earned Money To Anyone. If you are being asked for money, (Red Flag) you have met a Con Artist looking for a meal ticket. Just Say: "No" And BLOCK them. No one wants to be Traumatized.
Do homosexual acts on the part of a married person constitute a Scriptural ground for divorce, freeing the innocent mate to remarry?By Srecko Sostar
This is real controversy. But just one among many that came from Watchtower GB spiritual food table. JW living in "spiritual paradise" under rules like this one. :((
Questions from readers - WT magazine January 1 1972
Do homosexual acts on the part of a married
person constitute a Scriptural ground for
divorce, freeing the innocent mate to remarry?
Homosexuality is definitely condemned in the Bible as something that will prevent individuals from gaining God’s approval. (1 Cor. 6:9, 10)
However, whether an innocent mate would Scripturally be able to remarry after procuring a legal divorce from a mate guilty of homosexual
acts must be determined on the basis of what the Bible says respecting divorce and remarriage.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus Christ said: “Everyone divorcing his wife, except on account of fornication, makes her a subject for
adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matt. 5:32) On a later occasion he told the Pharisees: “Whoever divorces
his wife, except on the ground of fornication, and marries another commits adultery." —Matt. 19:9.
Thus “fornication" is seen to be the only ground for divorce that frees the innocent mate to remarry. The Greek word for fornication is porneia.
It can refer to illicit sexual relations between either married or unmarried persons. The ancient Greeks, in rare instances, may have understood
this term to denote acts other than illicit sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. But the sense in which Jesus used the word porneia at Matthew 5:32 and 19:9
must be ascertained from the context.
It should be noted that in Matthew chapters 5 and 19 “fornication" is used in the restricted sense of marital unfaithfulness, or illicit relations with another person not one’s marriage mate. Just before bringing up the matter of divorce in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ pointed out that “everyone [married] that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5:28)
Consequently, when he afterward alluded to a woman’s committing fornication, his listeners would have understood this in its relative sense, namely, as signifying a married woman’s prostitution or adultery.
The context of Matthew chapter 19 confirms this conclusion. On the basis of the Hebrew Scriptures, Jesus pointed out that a man and his wife became “one flesh,” and then added: “What God has yoked together let no man put apart.” (Matt. 19:5, 6) Now, in homosexual acts the sex organs are used in an unnatural way, in a way for which they were never purposed. Two persons of the same sex are not complements of each other, as Adam and Eve were. They could never become “one flesh”־ in order to procreate. It might be added, in the case of human copulation with a beast, two different kinds of flesh are involved.
Wrote the apostle Paul: “Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, and there is another flesh of cattle, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.1— ״ Cor. 15:39. While both homosexuality and bestiality are disgusting perversions, in the case of neither one is the marriage tie broken. It is broken only by acts that make an individual “one flesh” with a person of the opposite sex other than his or her legal marriage mate.
By Guest Nicole
HereÂ’s what they are:
1. Be together for the right reasons
DonÂ’t ever be with someone because someone else pressured you to. I got married the first time because I was raised Catholic and thatÂ’s what you were supposed to do. Wrong. I got married the second time because I was miserable and lonely and thought having a loving wife would fix everything for me. Also wrong. Took me three tries to figure out what should have been obvious from the beginning, the only reason you should ever be with the person youÂ’re with is because you simply love being around them. It really is that simple.
Before we even get into what you should do in your relationship, letÂ’s start with what not to do.
When I sent out my request to readers for advice, I added a caveat that turned out to be illuminating. I asked people who were on their second or third (or fourth) marriages what they did wrong. Where did they mess up?
By far, the most common answer was Â“being with the person for the wrong reasons.Â”
Some of these wrong reasons included:
Pressure from friends and family Feeling like a Â“loserÂ” because they were single and settling for the first person that came along Being together for imageÂ—because the relationshipÂ looked goodÂ on paper (or in photos), not because the two people actually admired each other Being young and naive and hopelessly in love and thinking that love would solve everything As weÂ’ll see throughout the rest of this article, everything that makes a relationship Â“workÂ” (and by work, I mean that it is happy and sustainable for both people involved) requires a genuine, deep-level admiration for each other. Without that mutual admiration, everything else will unravel.
The other Â“wrongÂ” reason to enter into a relationship is, like Greg said, to Â“fixÂ” yourself. This desire to use the love of someone else to soothe your own emotional problems inevitably leads to codependence, an unhealthy and damaging dynamic between two people where they tacitly agree to use each otherÂ’s love as a distraction from their own self-loathing. WeÂ’ll get more into codependence later in this article, but for now, itÂ’s useful to point out that love, itself, is neutral. It is something that can be both healthy or unhealthy, helpful or harmful, depending onÂ whyÂ andÂ howÂ you love someone else and are loved by someone else. By itself,Â love is never enoughÂ to sustain a relationship.
Read more:Â https://qz.com/884448/every-successful-relationship-is-successful-for-the-same-exact-reasons/
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
(Eph 5:21-30) An aerialist catapults from his swinging trapeze and folds into a human ball as he somersaults through the air. He snaps out of the spin and extends his arms toward his partner, confident she will be there to catch him. However, his partner is mad at him and unwilling to support him. She refuses to play her role in this very important part of the act. The result is a failed performance, a shocked audience and an injured aerialist. This illustrates the effort required from both husband and wife in a marriage. It takes two to make the marriage a success. However, if one mate refuses to play their God given role as set out in the Bible, the result can be disastrous. We should never let petty differences, or disagreements keep us from doing what God requires of us as a husband or as a wife. This becomes even more important when there is an audience, such as kids, in the home. The way the mother treats the father or vise versa can have a huge effect on them. It could even influence what type of husband or wife they will be in the future. If each member applies the counsel found in the Bible and works together, the "show" can be a success.
By Guest Nicole
If you’ve been through a rough breakup, where you've been mistreated in any way—cheated on, emotionally or physically abused, having had to deal with a narcissist, psychopath, or sociopath—you probably have the urge to exorcise those demons by talking out the bad stuff. And, while venting to a close, trusted companion or a therapist can be cathartic, you need to be careful about how and with whom you do it. Here are a few things to consider:
1. Many people prefer not to take sides.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say, "You just weren’t a match." That’s what they say when they don’t want to take sides or get involved. Even your best friends might say this, especially if they’ve heard the same story too many times. They’ll give you a sympathetic ear for a while, but then they brush it off with "he/she just wasn’t right for you." Aggravating, yes, because, to you, it doesn't feel like a blameless breakup—but you’ve got to let them off the hook. They just want to see you happy and are hoping leaving your relationship that "didn’t work" will help you find your well-being again.
2. Some people may need to keep interacting with your ex.
Perhaps your ex still haunts the places where they socialize, maybe they see the person at work, or they just want to keep them as a Facebook friend. There's no need to create drama with the friends you still have, unless your ex was abusive and the only way to keep yourself safe is to cut all ties. In those cases, it's absolutely your right to expect your close friends to sever their connection with the ex as well.
3. You can't save the next victim.
This is often one of our strongest rationales for spreading the truth about an ex who turned out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing: to forewarn their next victims and save them years of misery. The only problem is that those conquests are not going to believe you. They’ll just chalk up your remarks to bitterness while continuing with their infatuation. As hard as it is, you just have to let them learn their own lessons, even if it has to be the hard way.
4. Preoccupation feeds attachment.
Whether you decide to speak out or not, limit the amount of time you spend talking and thinking about your ex. Even this potentially empowering act can perpetuate your unhealthy attachment if you give it too much power. And the longer you stay attached, the less able you are to move on. It’s unhealthy, it’s unattractive, and eventually, even you will find it boring.
5. You'll be best served letting a therapist or support group be your open ear.
There are places for venting—support groups, coaches, or therapists. If you were at all abused, reach out to counselors and support groups specifically intended for survivors. That's where real recovery begins.
Read more: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/venting-about-your-ex-cathartic-or-toxic?utm_term=pos-1&utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily1&utm_campaign=170723
By Guest Nicole
By Leah Scott
Breakups suck no matter how you spin 'em. But acknowledging the uncertainties and seeking out the positive in the tough moments can help you turn yours into an experience that's illuminating rather than embittering. Ending a relationship is never not painful, but it ended for a reason, right? Whether you were with someone who didn't treat you well or who wanted to be with someone else, you are free from that toxicity. So, why not focus on the good?
Your mindset during this time is absolutely crucial to remaining positive and healthy. With that in mind, here are seven things I believe are essential to maintaining a positive outlook and turning your breakup into a blessing:
1. Practice gratitude.
Each morning when you wake up, think about what you’re grateful for. It can be as simple as the bed you sleep in, your children, or the fact that you have a roof over your head and a family that loves you. This period of your life will be tumultuous. Some days, everything will seem wrong, and you'll feel indescribably sad or angry. Some days you won't be able to think straight. It’s as if you’re in a fog. And some days, you'll be filled with hope and a sense of freedom. Gratitude will help you to see the beauty that's emerging from this storm.
Learning to breathe in the good and breathe out the bad is a crucial tool in navigating rough emotional waters. Take deep, cleansing, calming breaths before dealing with stressful situations like court dates, arbitration, or dividing your belongings: 4-4-4 breathing is great for providing structure to this practice when you feel out of control. It is breathing in for 4 seconds, holding that breath for 4 seconds, and exhaling for 4 seconds. Just focus on those breathing techniques until you feel ready to tackle whatever's coming.
3. Let go of expectations.
Whether it's a custody agreement or a conversation about how to deal with the holidays, not having any expectations will save you endless disappointment. According to the Second Truth of Buddhism, desire causes suffering. The desire for a certain outcome is what creates our expectations, and unmet expectations lead to inevitable disappointment. Let go of them, and embrace the uncertainty of this phase of your life. Whatever happens, you'll be able to handle it. Trust yourself.
4. Enjoy your freedom.
You are free to move, to travel, and to date and meet new people. Embrace that freedom. William Butler Yeats said, "The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." This is a whole new chapter. What do you dream about doing? Does your work feed your soul? Find out what does, and go after it.
5. Learn to forgive.
The end of a relationship is inevitably painful, and it may be difficult to forgive your ex. It starts, believe it or not, with forgiving yourself. You are your worst critic, and when things like this happen, we tend to focus on what we did wrong. Reflecting on the past is only beneficial insofar as it helps you make better choices in the future. Learn the lessons, then let go. I’ve been going through a divorce for two years, and I still struggle with forgiveness. I am a stronger person because of what I've dealt with. Knowing that empowers me to forgive.
6. Be present.
Our lives are continually disrupted by text messages, phone calls, and social media. It's becoming more and more difficult to just be present. Think about what being present means to you. For me, it means communing with nature. It means going for a walk and noticing the bright sky, the trees changing colors, or the birds chirping. I try to look at the world the way my children see it. They see the ocean in a puddle, a forest monster in a pile of leaves, a valiant fortress in the boughs of a tree. Try to sharpen your sense and see the magic around you.
7. Shed the toxic people.
You can't make a toxic person happy, but they will likely succeed in bringing you down if you keep spending time with them. The end of a major relationship should be a time of cleansing, getting rid of the debris of your life. Reconsider your relationships in this new phase, and distance yourself from anyone who drains you. It is OK to distant yourself from people not adding value to your well-being. If you want to make the most of this next period in your life, you need to surround yourself with positive people who will uplift and support you through the hard times and the good.
By Guest Nicole
Cancer Does Not Stop Local Jehovah's Witness Couple
Leslie and Jim Donigan attend the Jehovah's Witnesses conference today at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
At happy moments, Jim and Leslie Donigan often find themselves dancing to “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars,” the Andy Williams hit that has been their song since they first met at a pizza joint in Mission, Kansas, decades ago.
One of those dance-worthy occasions took place late last year, at the end of a long medical journey. The memory remains strong, even though they have hit a recent bump in the road.
As Jehovah’s Witnesses, they plan to attend the Midwest convention that runs today through Sunday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri. Organizers believe few attendees embody this year’s theme, “Don’t Give Up,” more than the Donigans, who are both 71 years old and live in Kansas City. About 5,000 people are expected to attend, said Craig Cochran, the convention’s media services coordinator.
The ability to be part of a global experience of faith is important to the Donigans, as they once again face medical uncertainty. “It’s like a spiritual family reunion,” Jim said.
A website for the religion says there are more than 8.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in 240 countries. According to the Pew Research Center, fewer than 1 percent of American adults are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“Don’t Give Up” is the them of this year’s Jehovah’s Witness conference. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in God, who is called Jehovah. As Christians, they believe in heaven and salvation, but they do not believe in hell or eternal suffering.
Witnesses, as followers are called, believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God. However, they recognize some parts are symbolic and do not believe all parts of the Bible are to be understood literally.
Jehovah’s Witnesses also do not believe in blood transfusions, based upon their reading of passages in both the Old and New testaments. They cite Genesis 9:4, for example, where God says, “Only flesh with its soul — its blood — you must not eat.”
No ‘Cowards in the Foxhole’
On Oct. 1, 2004, Leslie fainted. That was abnormal for her, a runner who lives a healthy lifestyle.
Doctors could not pinpoint a cause, and later that month they understood why: They found a gastrointestinal stromal tumor, a rare cancer that leaves no blood marker. The tumor was growing on a section of the small intestine and was also threatening her pancreas.
The belief about blood transfusions was an obvious complication when it came to surgery.
So, the Donigans worked through a Jehovah’s Witnesses group in Brooklyn to find Dr. Marvin Romsdahl, a surgeon at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who performed a modified version of a common surgery to remove pancreatic tumors. The modified version did not require a transfusion.
The night before the surgery, the anesthesiologist backed out because of the risks of doing surgery without blood transfusions. “That’s good,” Jim told Romsdahl. “We don’t need any cowards in the foxhole.”
The surgery lasted 13.5 hours, but it was successful.
Yet further treatment included a prescription for the chemotherapy pill Gleevec. The cost of the therapy, which Leslie said at the time cost $2,500 per month, brought them to the breaking point, even after using Social Security and Medicare.
“It’s always been more than we could swallow,” Jim said, “and progressively over time, it took everything.”
More bad news hit in 2008, when Jim lost his banking job during the recession. They had to sell the house they had built nearly four decades before, the same house where they had raised their three children.
But in one sliver of good news, a neighbor approached them during their garage sale and told them he would buy another house for sale on the block and then rent it to them.
Things began to look up, as Jim found another job, Leslie qualified for a hardship program that allowed her to take Gleevec for free, and then got off the medication altogether when her cancer went into remission.
The cancer returned, however, and Leslie must remain on Gleevec for the rest of her life. Now, Gleevec costs $13,000 per month, she said.
In April 2016, the family was tested again, when Jim started having shortness of breath.
Their first thought was a heart problem, but the first diagnosis was multiple myeloma, a form of incurable blood cancer. A second opinion was different, but not any better: a form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which causes tumors to grow in the lymphatic system.
A PET scan revealed 100 tumors, and Jim started his own costly round of chemotherapy.
The Donigans vist with their son, Joel, and his wife, Carrie, at the conference. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
His lymphatic system failed during treatment, causing fluid buildup around his stomach and lungs. Jim suffered malnutrition when draining the fluid removed electrolytes and proteins.
By October, doctors gave him two months to live. Leslie got it in writing.
Yet as he sat in the hospital, saying his goodbyes, Jim had a thought: “Why couldn’t we take those fluids from my stomach and put them back into my heart, where they need to be?”
The question sparked an idea for one of Jim’s doctors, who inserted a shunt normally used to treat cirrhosis. Within two weeks, the fluid buildup was gone.
On Dec. 27, when he was home filing paperwork, Jim came across the letter telling him he only had two months to live. He did the math, and then they had an “I ain’t dead yet party.”
At the party, Jim sipped his first glass of wine in a year, and the couple danced once again to their favorite song. The luster remained up until this week, when an infection flared up around the shunt, and the fear of cancer returned.
This most recent medical challenge has shown Jim and Leslie how important their faith is in preparing them for the troubles that can lie ahead. The convention, and especially its theme, is coming at just the right time to help guide them through this newest trial, Leslie said.
“No one is shielded from the human experience,” Leslie said. “But personally, we find it better to be prepared to keep these types of relapses in their proper perspective.”
— Catherine Wheeler is a multimedia intern for Flatland. She is a graduate student studying journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Catherine has a bachelor’s degree in English-Writing from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She currently lives in Kansas City. You can reach her at email@example.com
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By Guest Nicole
When we find ourselves interested in a certain job or person our initial inclination may be to only focus on the things that we like about it. We zoom in on those aspects of the job or person and this can cause us to miss out on the bigger picture. That great job that pays very well may cause you to miss meetings or service. That guy with the dreamy eyes or that girl with the beautiful smile could have disgusting habits, may treat others poorly or may lack spiritual qualities. It's important that we learn how to back up and look at whatever we may be interested in objectively. Even more important it is to not make costly decisions without relying on Jehovah. Proverbs 3:5,6-"Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, And do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, And he will make your paths straight."
By Guest Nicole
Jeremiah 17:9- The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it? Proverbs 6:27-Can a man take fire to his chest and not burn his garments?The heart can cause us to make unwise decisions when it comes to dating. It can also cause us to develop feelings for more than one person. Our heart may even convince us that we are just being kind to those of the opposite sex when in reality we may actually be flirting with others and leading them on. Thus causing them to develop feelings toward us that we have no intention of reciprocating. It can happen to anyone ( even those with privileges) and without us even noticing it. It's important we identify where to draw the line. Also it requires honest self examination as to our feelings and relationships with others. (Check out the article "Are We Just Friends-or more?, Parts 1 and 2" g 6/12 pp.15-167)
By Guest Nicole
Friday's parliamentary vote in Berlin to recognize the right of same-sex couples to wed was a long-awaited victory for German liberals. But the vote was a defeat for the woman who seemed to have emerged as one of the country's most popular icons of liberalism: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
She welcomed over 1 million refugees, abandoned nuclear energy over safety fears and has urged President Trump to respect human rights.
On Friday, however, Merkel voted against same-sex marriage, despite having paved the way to its recognition only days earlier.
The anti-marriage-equality party line of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had long prevented the law from being passed. But on Monday, the German chancellor cleared the way for the issue to win approval in the German Parliament by allowing lawmakers to choose according to their personal convictions after being pressured into a vote by the Social Democratic Party. “I would like to steer the discussion more toward the situation that it will be a question of conscience instead of me forcing something through by means of a majority vote,” Merkel said earlier this week.
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/06/30/why-angela-merkel-known-for-embracing-liberal-values-voted-against-same-sex-marriage/?utm_term=.b6ce6745071c
By Bible Speaks
The marriage bond is strengthened when each partner behaves as a lesser one.
"Let us pursue the things making for peace and the things that are upbuilding to one another."—Rom. 14:19.
By Guest Nicole
Did you know that one out of every five people is predisposed to experience higher levels of mental, physical, and emotional sensitivity? They're called highly sensitive people (HSPs) and I'm one of them. Many, but not all HSPs are empaths as well—meaning they can feel and absorb the emotions of those around them.
Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. was one of the first to study and bring awareness to the unique needs and behavior patterns of HSPs. Aron found that highly sensitive people interact with their environments and approach relationships in a way that’s slightly different from the rest of the population. You can read more about her findings in her book, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, or take this test on her website to determine if you are an HSP.
A few attributes of HSPs are that they're more likely to cry and become overwhelmed by sensory input; they also notice and respond to changes in lighting, sound, speech, and body language that others may not notice. Changes in plans, violent television shows, and even strong odors can completely throw HSPs for an energetic loop. This may cause a seemingly unwarranted emotional response or create a need for withdrawal on the HSP’s part. Sometimes when a highly sensitive person has reached his or her "limit," (s)he will begin to find ways to turn the noise down without explaining why to those around them.
As I mentioned, many HSPs are also empaths. Empaths have the ability to absorb other people’s emotions and feel them as if they are their own. HSPs are more responsive to environmental stimuli—information coming to them from their environment and perceived by the five senses—while empaths are more responsive to energetic stimuli. An HSP can usually pinpoint exactly what’s triggering their response while an empath may be vaguer, citing that they just "know" or "have a feeling."
As an HSP and an empath, I’ve found plenty of information about managing my responsiveness, sorting through what is mine versus what belongs to others, and what I call "pulling back to center," or grounding, after interaction with others. However, if you happen to be in a relationship with an HSP or an empath, then you're dealing with a unique kind of person, and you may be wondering what you can do to be a better friend, lover, and support system for them.
Here are a few pointers:
1. We need you to choose honesty.
Here’s the thing with HSPs and empaths; if we ask you what’s up it’s because we already know something’s up. We respect your privacy and understand that you may not be ready to share or talk about something we’ve noticed or sensed, but it’s better for you to say that instead of pretending that there’s nothing going on.
2. We need you to support our cleansing and grounding routine.
Both HSPs and empaths know their limits, and most of us have learned what helps us reset our energy. That may be yoga, music, alone time, a break from talking, a particular art or craft, or time outdoors, etc. It helps for our friends or partner to take notice and support us by giving us space to reset, or joining us. It means a lot for a loved one to change speed, come to yoga class, or just walk in silence with us. We appreciate that and will repay you as soon as we move back into the emotional space to do so. That brings me to my next point.
3. We need you to take no for an answer.
When an empath or HSP is already vibing low (needing to reset or clear energy), it can be massively draining for a friend or loved one to "force" us to go out. We’re not depressed; we’re recharging. We’re not boring; we enjoy a different kind of adventure. So if you’ve asked an empath or HSP to go to the club or to a public event with you, and they’ve said no, simply leave the offer on the table, and let it be.
4. We need you to make sure things don't get one-sided.
Empaths understand and care about your feelings and well-being; often we will compromise or move things around in advance for the sake of those around us. For this reason, our relationships can get one-sided rather quickly. We make amazing sounding boards and support systems, but don’t forget that we need that in return, especially from those who are closest to us.
By Brittany Jackson
By Guest Nicole
A Jehovah's Witness was attacked by her husband who feared she was going to cancel Christmas, a court has heard.
Jason Mortimore struck his wife Rachael in the face three times with a magazine before burning her Bible and other religious documents in a garden incinerator.
Mortimore, 46, admitted racially aggravated assault and criminal damage at Exeter magistrates court yesterday (TUES). He was fined a total of £666 but the court did not impose a restraining order on him.
The court heard that the couple had been married for 12 years and have three children.
In November Mortimore saw that his wife, who "has returned to her faith of Jehovah Witness", had thrown away some Christmas brochures and he assumed she was not going to celebrate the festivities.
Before she could explain he hit her with a magazine around the face, prosecutor Warjinder Sadeghi said.
A few days later they had a row and she woke up to find him burning her Bible and other religious documents in a garden incinerator.
Mortimore also dumped other religious leaflets in their recycling bin.
He denied the offences in police interview but said their relationship was under strain and he did not want their children to be influenced by her religion.
Peter Seigne, defending, said his client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
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By Guest Nicole
by Donald Miller
I’ve only had two friends (that I know about) who’ve looked me in the eye and told me lies. Both of them were trying to cover up mistakes. I certainly had grace for their mistakes, but I’ve wondered looking back if I didn’t have grace for their lies.
Neither of these two friends are in contact anymore. We don’t talk. Being in a relationship with somebody who lies is tough. It’s not that you don’t love them or care about them, it’s just that you can’t connect.
Without trust, there’s no relationship.
Henry Cloud and John Townsend say people lie for one of two reasons.
The first is out of shame or fear. Somebody may believe they won’t be accepted if they tell the truth about who they are, so they lie. You can see how religious communities that use shame and fear to motivate might increase a person’s temptation to lie.
People who lie for this reason can get better and learn to tell the truth. Until they do, however, it’s impossible to connect with them, all the same.
The second kind of liar is less fortunate.
Some people lie simply because they are selfish. These liars are pathological. They will lie even when it would be easier to tell the truth. Cloud and Townsend warn that we need to stay away from these people. Personally, I think people like this are pretty rare, but I agree, we simply can’t depend on them emotionally or practically.
Still I wonder if people who lie understand what they’re doing.
I think some people want grace and certainly they can get grace, but when we lie, we make the people we are lying to feel badly about the relationships and about themselves. We like people who make us feel respected, cared about and honored. Lying to somebody communicates the opposite.
Here are the things that lies did to my two relationships:
When my friends lied, I felt disrespected and unimportant. They didn’t seem to care about me or trust me enough to tell the truth. This made me feel bad about myself, as though I were not important or trustworthy enough to be told the truth.
When I found out the extent of one of the lies, I felt like a fool. Technically, my one friend didn’t really lie. She just told me “part” of the truth. It was as though she were testing out whether she was safe to be vulnerable. (She told many other lies, but this was just one of them). But it backfired. When I found out things were worse than she’d made them seem, I felt tricked and deceived. Again, without meaning to, she’d made me feel bad about myself because I felt like somebody who could be conned.
I thought less of my friends. I knew they were willing to “cheat” in relationships. When we lie, we are stealing social commodity without having earned it. People can lie their way into power, and in one instance with a friend, she lied her way into moral superiority. Still, none of the authority or moral superiority (such a thing exists, and while it’s misused, it’s not a bad thing not unlike intellectual superiority or athletic superiority. It just is. An appropriate use of those two examples of superiority might be to lead a team or teach a class.)
I felt sad and lonely. When we think we are getting to know somebody, we are giving them parts of our hearts. But when they lie, we know they’ve actually held back their hearts while we’ve been giving them ours. This made me feel lonely and dumb.
I felt like I couldn’t trust them. The only thing more important than love in a relationship is trust. Trust is the soil love grows in. If there’s not trust, there’s no relationship. When my friends lied, our trust died. As much as I wanted to forgive them, and feel like I did and have, interacting with them was no longer the same. I doubted much of what they said. Sadly, I think both of them began to tell more and more of the truth. But it didn’t matter. Once trust is broken, it’s extremely hard to rebuild.
If they didn’t confess (or lied in their confession) I felt like they didn’t care enough about me to come clean and make things right. They were still thinking of themselves.
Here’s what didn’t happen.
I didn’t think less of them. While I was angry, I wasn’t angry because I thought they were a bad person. The person who lied probably assumed I felt such things, but I didn’t. What really happened was I felt terrible about myself and when somebody makes us feel bad about ourselves, we tend to get hurt and move away.
To be sure, somebody who lies has a lot of other stuff going on and it’s not so easy to come clean.
For a liar to change, they need a lot of help.
Lying is manipulation, so if a person is a manipulator and gets caught lying, they are most likely going to keep manipulating. They may tell more lies to cover their lies, or manipulate by playing the victim. They may try to find things other people have done that they see as worse and try to make people focus on that. What they will have a hard time doing is facing the truth (which would be the easiest way out of their dilemma. It’s just that they don’t know how to do it. (They’re survivors, scrappers and have learned to cheat to stay alive socially.)
If you’ve lied in a relationship, though, and are truly wanting to LEARN to live on the up and up, what can you do? Well, there’s plenty.
Life isn’t over yet. Here’s some places to start.
Confess. And don’t half confess (just another lie) but actually confess.
This may take some time for you. You may have to sit down with a pen and paper and write it all down. Your mind will want to lie, but you have to tame your mind. It may take you some time to even understand what the truth really is. You’re going to feel ashamed and at risk, but you have to go there anyway. People are much more kind and forgiving than you think.
And if they’re not, you should confess and find people who are more safe.
Accept the consequences. You’re going to have to pay for your lies.
People will not and should not trust you as much as they did before. However, getting caught in a lie and confessing a lie are two different things. The former will cost you everything. The latter will cost you a bit, but you can rebuild quickly. Another thing to consider is that the truth might have lost you a small battle, but you’d have won the war because in the long run people would have trusted you. From here on out, be willing to suffer the slight, daily consequences of telling the truth. You’d be surprised at how much less tension there is in your life when you walk openly and honestly.
Don’t expect the relationship to be the same.If the person doesn’t forgive you, just know you can move on.
You’ve confessed and hopefully apologized and you aren’t beholden to them anymore. They need to wrestle with forgiving you and that’s now their burden. It’s an unfair burden, but we all have to face such things.
Don’t lie anymore. It’s not important that everybody like you or approve of you. Allow people to get used to who you are. Telling the truth may mean you don’t get to be in control anymore or that people won’t like you as much. That’s fine. At least they are interacting with the real you. The deep connections you’ll make from telling the truth are worth it.
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
“Like a sandcastle, all is temporary. Build it, tend it, enjoy it. And when the time comes, let it go.” ~Jack Kornfield
I picked up the butter cookies and a small postcard-sized painting I had brought for her.
I took the third-floor hotel elevator down.
Closing my eyes, I took several deep breaths.
The elevator ride was less than five seconds, but our time spent apart was five years.
Five years after the divorce I had flown up to see her again.
I’m not sure what led to this meeting. We had emailed each other a couple times out of the blue, and before you know it, we were meeting.
It could have been our final goodbye, the closure we needed. Or maybe even in the back of my mind, it was the new beginning that I’d secretly imagined.
I don’t know. I walked out to see her after a five-year hiatus. In our memories were the international long-distance romance we had, the difficult marriage we had endured, and the painful divorce we had gone through together.
When we initially parted ways, she was still pursuing her education and getting adjusted to life in America.
Yet, today she was different. She spoke of her new travels, new experiences, new house, and new job.
She talked about the ups and downs of the different relationships in her life.
Close friends, social events, and the search for the “one”—her “one”—were her focus.
As we spent the day together, a startling but simple realization came over me.
She had moved on.
Life was on the up and up. She seemed to have let go of everything we had shared.
She was a bird that was soaring, while I felt like a bird that hadn’t gone very far from the same branch I was still sitting on.
She seemed to have moved on like our past had never happened. I was holding on like it was still happening.
I realized it was way past time to completely let go of what we had shared.
She had moved on, and I need to finally move on as well.
If your ex has already moved on, perhaps my lessons will help you do the same.
Shift your perspective on the relationship.
Whatever story you’re telling yourself about the relationship, you need to be retell it. You’re likely holding onto the sad and tragic version. You were left behind as the victim as your ex was the heartbreaker who didn’t give the relationship a chance.
Shift the story to the one that is the most empowering for you. How about a story of how you both gave it your best? You fought, you loved, you laughed, and you cried. You tried over and over when things didn’t seem to work. You fought, forgave, broke up, got back together, and finally called it off for good.
You both gave it your all but it didn’t work out. It wasn’t for lack of trying. It was you coming to the conclusion that you were different people, both good people, who were incompatible for each other. You both helped each other grow and become better versions of yourself.
The more you can flip your perspective on your ex and the relationship, the easier it will be to move on.
Release blame, anger, and resentment once and for all.
If you haven’t completely let go of the relationship, you may still be holding on to instances of on injustices by your ex. You may still be feeling betrayed, hurt, or angry about something your ex did.
Until you can let go of these feelings of resentment on anger, you’re not going to be able to let go or move on.
You’re not going to lose anything by releasing these feelings, but you will gain your peace of mind and freedom.
Let go for yourself.
Even if your ex was entirely at fault and deserves the worst kind of karma, you’re not going to get caught up on it. You are not the universe’s policeman.
Your ex is human and made mistakes. You’re going to release the resentment and anger and forgive your ex for what they did.
If you made mistakes, you have to be willing to forgive those too.
When you don’t forgive your ex or yourself, it keeps the past injustices and pain still burning like it happened today.
Forgive for yourself. Forgive for your peace of mind.
Thank your ex for how far they brought you forward in your life.
Instead of focusing of how much better off your ex is doing or how you’re falling behind, while they are moving ahead, reflect on how far you’ve come yourself.
While our marriage was difficult and our divorce was soul-crushing, honestly, I grew so much from this relationship. I had so many insights about myself, made drastic life changes, and became an entirely new person.
You can either compare and mourn or thank your ex and appreciate how far they’ve brought you along.
You might not have welcomed the pain, but it’s likely made you into a newer and improved version of yourself.
Remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
Yes, when you’re comparing yourself to your ex, you might feel bad about yourself and like you’re stuck, but it’s not wise to compare yourself to someone else. If you feel a need to compare, then compare yourself to where you were before.
In my case, I was stuck in dysfunctional relationship patterns, I was carrying around a lot of emotional baggage, and I was stuck in a soul-crushing career.
Regardless of where she’s at today, enough therapy and learning has helped me become a new person. I have many more tools to navigate life, and I’m doing work that sometimes doesn’t even feel like work.
I’m living more in line with my values today and have the freedom to pursue my creativity and writing.
You don’t have to be soaring like your ex.
Just remember that you’re not stuck crawling like you were in the past.
Remind yourself that today is the only thing you can do something about.
You cannot change the past, the relationship, or your ex.
You cannot go back and un-do your mistakes or do something different.
There’s no point in wallowing in regret, past disappointments, and failures that you can’t do anything about.
Focus on what you can control—the changes you make today.
You can become the person you’re capable of becoming today.
You can create the life you want today.
Keep bringing yourself to the moment you can do something about: the present moment. In this moment, you can shift your perspective. You can make different choices. You can create the life you want.
Live less in the futile past and more in the hopefulness of today.
See the uncertainty in your life as an adventure.
The most difficult part of my marriage ending was the uncertainty of my life.
See, when you’re married or in a relationship, you have a location. The world identifies you in a certain way. You know who you’re spending your weekends with or who you have to plan the holidays with. You know who you list in the relationship column of Facebook.
Yet, after a breakup, all these questions are uncertain and more than likely, unknown. I’ve discovered that I, and humans in general, hate uncertainty.
We would rather tolerate an unbearable situation than the unknown.
You can view uncertainty as a tsunami about to happen or a surfing vacation in Hawaii.
The more you see your future life as an adventure that is filled with excitement and novelty, the easier it will be for your to welcome in the life waiting for you.
Pursue the life you visualize every day.
You can get stuck focusing on where your ex is at or what your ex is doing, but this is neither healthy nor productive.
Instead, get super clear on what you want.
What is the life you envision for yourself every day? What values and principles do you want to guide your life?
How would you like your life to look each day?
Now, you may not be able to create that life instantly, but you can start doing small things each day that get you closer to the life you want.
If you envision spirituality in your life each day, create time for a spiritual practice or class.
If you see creativity in your life each day, make time for your creative ventures.
If you see self-care as a necessity for your best life, reduce your commitments and take better care of yourself.
You might not have the life you envisioned right now, but if you start taking small steps each day to live the life you want, before you know it, your visions will be your reality.
What’s helped you let go of the past when your ex has already moved on?
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Lindsay Dodgson/Business Insider
May 11, 2017
Unless you're a genetic anomaly, it's likely you will meet people you don't like throughout your lifetime. Whether it's your mother-in-law or one of your colleagues, you're bound to come across someone you simply don't click with.
According to Deep Patel, author of the book A Paperboy's Fable: The 11 Principles of Success , it helps to remember nobody's perfect. That includes you.
In a blog post for Entrepreneur.com , Patel highlights some tips successful people use to deal with people they don't get along with. After all, it's unlikely you'll simply be able to avoid people you don't like - in fact, Patel argues if you restrict who you can work with, you are only limiting yourself.
Instead of burying your head in the sand, try and shift your perspective in the ways successful people do. Here are some tips from Patel and other sources such as Psychology Today .
1. Accept that you can't get on with everyone.
As much as we hope to like everyone we meet, it often simply isn't the case. Patel says the first step to dealing with the people you don't click with is accepting nobody gets on with everyone, and that's okay. It doesn't mean you're a bad person, and it doesn't mean they are either (not necessarily, anyway.)
According to psychologist Dr Susan Krauss in a blog post on Psychology Today , it's likely that you and the person just aren't a good fit. Consultant and author Beverly D. Flaxington explains in another blog post on Psychology Today that our behavioural styles can get come between people. Some are dominant, whereas others are timid. Some people are optimists and others consider themselves "realists."
A research paper by Hamstra et al looked at something called "regulatory fit," which translates as: we are much more likely to put effort into the things we like doing. Chances are you don't enjoy interacting with the people you don't like, and so you don't put much effort in. Over time, this lack of effort can turn into contempt.
2. Try and put a positive spin on what they are saying.
Krauss says you could try and look at how people are acting differently. Your in-laws might not have meant to imply that you aren't smart, and your co-worker may not actually be trying to sabotage you.
Even if the person you're having difficulty with is aggravating you on purpose, getting angry about it will probably just make you look bad. So try and give them the benefit of the doubt.
3. Be aware of your own emotions.
Patel says it's important to remember your own emotions matter, but ultimately you alone have control over how you react to situations. People will only drive you crazy if you allow them to. So don't let your anger spin out of control.
If someone is rubbing you the wrong way, recognise those feelings and then let them go without engaging with the person. Sometimes just smiling and nodding will do the trick.
The key, Patel says, is in treating everyone you meet with the same level of respect. That doesn't mean you have to agree with a person you don't like or go along with what they say, but you should act civilised and be polite. In doing this, you can remain firm on your issues but not come across like you're attacking someone personally, which should give you the upper hand.
4. Don't take it personally and get some space.
More often than not a disagreement is probably a misunderstanding. If not, and you really do fundamentally disagree with someone, then try and see it from their perspective.
Try not to overreact, because they may overreact in return, meaning things escalate quickly and fiercely. Try to rise above it all by focusing on facts, and try to ignore how the other person is reacting, no matter how ridiculous or irrational. Concentrate on the issue, Patel says, not the person.
If you need some space, take it. You're perfectly within your rights to establish boundaries and decide when you interact with someone. If you feel yourself getting worked up, take a time-out and get some breathing space. President of TalentSmart Dr. Travis Bradberry explains it simply in a post on LinkedIn : if they were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? No, you'd move away and get some fresh air.
5. Express your feelings calmly and consider using a referee.
Usually, the way we communicate is more important than what we actually say. If someone is repeatedly annoying you and it's leading to bigger problems, Patel says it's probably time to say something.
However, confrontation doesn't have to be aggressive. Patel recommends you use "I" statements, such as "I feel annoyed when you do this, so could you please do this instead."
Being as specific as possible will make it more likely the person will take what you're saying on board. It will also give them a better opportunity to share their side of the story.
Krauss says it might be a good idea to use another person as a mediator in these discussions because they can bring a level of objectivity to a situation. You may not end up as friends, but you might find out a way to communicate and work together in an effective way. She says learning to work with people you find difficult is a very fulfilling experience, and it could become one more way of showing how well you overcome barriers.
6. Pick your battles.
Sometimes it might just be easier to let things go. Not everything is worth your time and attention. You have to ask yourself whether you really want to engage with the person, or your effort might be better spent just getting on with your work, or whatever else you're doing.
Patel says the best way to figure this out is weighing up whether the issue is situational. Will it go away in time, or could it get worse? If it's the latter, it might be better expending energy into sorting it out sooner or later. If it's just a matter of circumstance, you'll probably get over it fairly quickly.
7. Don't be defensive.
If you find someone is constantly belittling you or focusing on your flaws , don't bite. The worst thing you can do is be defensive. Patel says this will only give them more power. Instead, turn the spotlight on them and start asking them probing questions, such as what in particular their problem is with what you're doing.
If they start bullying you, call them out on it. If they want you to treat them with respect, they have to earn it by being civil to you, too. Dr Berit Brogaard, a neuroscientist, explains in a blog post on Psychology Today that workplace gossip and bullying can be a method of power play, or a way of bullying others into submission.
If you want to be sneaky to get someone to agree with you, there are psychological tricks you can use. Research suggests you should speak faster when disagreeing with someone so they have less time to process what you're saying. If you think they might be agreeing with you, then slow down so they have time to take in your message .
8. Ultimately, remember you are in control of your own happiness.
If someone is really getting on your nerves, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture. However, you should never let someone else limit your happiness or success.
If you're finding their comments are really getting to you, ask yourself why that is. Are you self-conscious about something, or are you anxious about something at work? If so, focus on this instead of listening to other people's complaints.
You alone have control over your feelings, so stop comparing yourself to anyone else. Instead, remind yourself of all your achievements, and don't let someone gain power over you just because they momentarily darken your day.
This story originally appeared on Business Insider.
By Guest Nicole