Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work – Brain Pickings

“You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.”

Source: Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work – Brain Pickings

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I need you!

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As I have written about many times, I am a work in progress.  I am constantly examining things in my life, figuring out how to make things better, etc.  One of the things that I love about myself is that I can have a good time alone.  Sometimes I need to be alone, but that does not replace good company.

I have read a lot of self-help books, listened to seminars, read advice columns on how to be your best self and to seek your own approval before you seek the approval of anyone else.  Although I believe that to be true, it is nice to have people in your life who tell you all of the wonderful things that you feel about yourself.  It is nice to have people in you life who appreciate you and your contribution to the world.  I’m not saying that we need outside confirmation to feel good about ourselves, but we should always be open to receiving it.

There has always been a huge push for women in particular to be independent.  We should all be able to support ourselves and be independent in all areas of our lives, but we must not let that independence close us off from well-intentioned individuals who want to share life experiences with us.  We do not have to prove our independence by shutting others out and going it alone.  We don’t have to do that.  We were not put on this earth to go through life without the fellowship, love, compassion, and companionship of others. People need people!

As a younger woman, I felt I had to prove that I didn’t need people in my life to be happy.  I would go to out to dinner alone and be proud that I could do so without companionship.  I wanted to prove that I could date myself, but I was honestly wanting to share a meal with someone.  I am not saying that there is anything wrong with going to dinner alone, but there is also nothing wrong with wanting to be with someone.  I need people.

I have also mention several times in my previous posts that I am an introvert.  I love being alone sometimes.  I need to be alone sometimes, but I also need people in my life.  I need to socialize.  I need someone to hold me when I’m sad.  I need to hold hands with someone at a concert.  I need someone so sing Journey songs with me in the car. I need someone to laugh at my jokes. I need someone to tell me that I am beautiful, and there is nothing wrong with that.  You alone cannot supply all of your needs and it is okay to want friends or a significant other in your life.

I would like to challenge all of us to remain open to allowing people into our lives.  Those who label themselves loners, antisocial, and even sometimes we introverts claim to not need people in our lives, but we do.

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How to take action even when you’re scared

This is something I have struggled with my entire life.  I am extremely cautious.  It has held me back from doing many of the things I’ve wanted to do.  I take days, months, and sometimes years weighing my options, pros and cons, what ifs, etc.  I have just come to the point in my life where I feel a little more comfortable taking risks.  I have learned to accept that challenges and mistakes are just a part of life and can also lead to very pleasant outcomes.Has this ever happened to you? You have a goal—an amazing goal—but fear of taking that leap catches you in the chest and you. just. can’t. If that sounds familiar, great!  Not only are you in good company, but you’re likely on the right track. How to take action even when you’re scared We hear

Source: How to take action even when you’re scared Continue reading

How to move past your parents mistakes and stop blaming them for everything

You have the power to learn and grow from your parent’s mistakes…if thats what you want to call them… there is no perfect parent and lots of conflicting opinions about parenting… but nonetheless people  seem to  feel the best about their childhood when their parent’s choices, behavior, personality seemed to be a good fit for

Source: How to move past your parents mistakes and stop blaming them for everything

Character vs. Personality

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I have very few friends and even fewer close friends.  As an introvert I’ve always felt that was the reason for my small circle of friends.  Recently, have been meeting lots of new people and forming many new relationships.  I began to ask myself what was it about the few people I allow in my inner circle that sets them apart from others.  Almost all of the people I’ve come into contact with have been very pleasant, but I’ve only formed meaningful and close relationships with very few.  Usually those relationships progressed very quickly and I knew almost immediately after meeting those people that I wanted them to be a significant part of my life.

I believe instinctively I was able to tell the character of those people.  What I would like to examine is how we can prevent a lot of heartache and disappointment by determining the difference between character and personality. I will first start with personality as it is the most superficial of the two. Personality can be very surface level.  You can immediately tell if a person is outgoing or withdrawn, confident or insecure, etc.  This distinctions should be judged as superficially as they are presented.  They are not the true measure of a person’s character.  A person have the best, most welcoming personality and also be a pathological liar.

Determining a person’s character takes close observation. You need to see what they value, and how they treat themselves and others.  To truly value another person, one must first value oneself.  I have found that although everyone has some level of insecurity, those who are confident and self-assured are some of the most genuine and caring people.  Extreme insecurity often manifests itself in the way those extremely insecure people treat others and themselves.  With a certain level of confidence and self-assurance comes the ability to be open and honest with others.  Being confident does not mean that you do not feel that there is room for improvement in your life, it just means that you are able to recognize and accept  the things you need to work on.  When you are honest with yourself, you can be honest with others.  There is nothing to hide or mask.  With confidence comes vulnerability and vulnerability is the foundation of any good and lasting relationship.

Those who only operate on surface-level tend to be more inclined to hide their true intentions.  These people tend to focus all their attention an efforts on creating a outward persona  and not on a true development of their character.  They are usually the ones who are wearing a mask and only concerned with how things on the outside appear.  They feel the need to overcompensate with personality to make up what they are lacking in character. They lack the vulnerability to truly allow for a meaningful relationship, thus making it impossible to allow other people to know them authentically.

 

 

 

Connecting Through Vulnerability

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One of the important life lessons I have learned is there is power and happiness in vulnerability.  Vulnerability in all areas of one’s life is liberating.

I was always the strong one in all of my relationships.  For years I took pride in being the one who could seemingly handle anything.  l was the one everyone ran to with their problems.  I was the person everyone could count on when they were falling apart, but when I was going through a challenging situation, no one was there for me.  If I began to talk with a friend or family member about something difficult that I was going through, I was brushed off.  I was told things like, “If anyone can handle it, you can” or “I’m not worried about you. You are strong enough to handle it.” In reality, I wasn’t. When others assumed that I could weather any storm, I became resentful.  Then I realized that I created those relationships and I taught my friends to expect only strength from me.  I needed that same strong shoulder to cry on that I had so willingly given others.  No one viewed me as vulnerable, and by being seemingly strong person, I had created one-sided relationships.

 

In every area of our lives we need the help, compassion, and love of others.  I had mistaken vulnerability as weakness.  Without being vulnerable, we create weak relationships and deny ourselves true and intimate connections.  I have only recently embraced my vulnerability and by doing so, I have been greatly rewarded.  By letting my guard down my friendships have gotten stronger.  I am beginning to get the help and support that everyone needs in life.  There is strength in being vulnerable.

In the next few posts I will continue to share how I have benefited from letting my guard down and being open to the help and support of others.  I would like to challenge all of us to free ourselves from the burden of handling our own problems.