Dalai Lama Quotes

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Love versus need

My reliable friend Dalai Lama gave me a great thought for today" Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other". When i was in my early 20s the word need and relationship really had nothing to do with each other. I was not needing anybody. I was happy with myself. Was I? I think I was still exploring the world and did not waste time to reflect too much on my actions. The world and its opportunities were right there I just had to go and get them. Which I did. In my 30s when I became a stay home mother and dilligent wife, need slowly entered the scene. Partly because I didnt make time for myself. I was busy. I was active. I still was not relecting too much but because all of a sudden my financial independence was gone, I needed somebody else. That did not feel bad but different. I had vowed to never become dependent on anybody when I left my parents because to me it felt like a prison. So now here I was. I had the best husband ever who never once made me feel dependent yet more and more I neeeded his praise to feel at ease. To fight the negative connotations I associated with dependence I took a part time job only to realize I still needed his praise.... and i also realized that it was too much for me. Now in my 40s the word need has almost replaced the word love and this development is not a healthy one. I am aware of my dependence that is now far more than just financial dependence. But I vow to put the puzzle pieces back together or maybe even create a different puzzle because I long for the love I felt so strongly. Talking to friends I am now sure that the development I have seen in myself is a common one in many women as they sail along their lifes. This double identity of still fulfilling the needs of others eg kids and also trying to fulfill your indvidual ones can lead to enormous stress. It is partly built on the image we think we have to fulfill. But quite frankly, there is no such thing as the perfect woman or the perfect percentage of love -need or.... it is just the individual me that counts. Not in a selfish but healthy way. If I love myself enough I will know my needs and I will not follow pre set conceptions of how I should be. A good exercise I want to try out is to take a piece of paper and describe a worst case scenario of your life to one of your best friends in writing. (That best friend of course can be fiction or not, important is only to describe as detailed as possible how my life is now versus a couple of years ago). After this horror scenario, I will take that imaginary letter and file it. And now comes the nice task. I will then write a second version to the same friend but now I am describing how my life looks if I change my bad habits and live the life i dreamt of . Really live it not just wish for it. And this great piece of art I will also file. ...
Then, every time I will struggle and be resilient to change, I will take out the horror scenario letter and read through it, asking myself whether this is the outlook I want. Or whether I wouldnt do better in living version 2 of my life even if that means an uncomfortable step at the moment. I am very keen on writing these two letters and I know i will have no problem in describing the horror scenario (did I forget to mention that I am a type half empty glass versus seeing it as half full instead...) but I want to also focus on describing my wished for life as best as I can. This is the task for the next week... try it out for yourself if you think you might benefit from it and I would love to have your feedback.

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