Marriage

Marriage help

Safety First

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Enjoying relationships that are close and tender and trusting, or in other words, intimate, is the fruit of cultivating safe places.

Consider your words: Do you laugh at or criticize other people’s ideas or opinions? Do you, in word or expression or even with body language cause others to feel the need to withhold their real selves? (How I wish I could say no, never! to each of these questions!)

Our tender-sides are those we tend to protect! What self-protective behaviors might you be seeing in your spouse or children? Are they confident enough in your response to them to show you the small child that resides in them? To show their hopes and dreams, their fears and challenges? Can they trust you to keep their confidences and honor their wishes?

Self-protection looks like: withholding ideas or opinions and only sharing a guarded exterior self; keeping to themselves; not confiding in you; being careful, trying to say what they think you want to hear.

Do you know someone with whom you feel absolutely safe? Someone who gives you the sense that no matter what you say or what you’ve done that they will love you and withhold judgement of you?

If you do, you are blessed! That is a priceless friend and advocate! Because when we are free to be ourselves and to feel loved and thoroughly accepted, we can really learn! We can accept feedback because we don’t have to use up our brain power and energy on self-protection, we can just hear what is said knowing we are still loved the same.

I hope that some of these thoughts are helpful. They have come to me through the miriad of experiences I’ve had as a wife and mother, daughter, sister and friend.

May you be able to offer safe spaces to those you love, and may you be the recipient of generous and true friends— even, no especially, those within your family.

Much love,

Jacque

P.S. Crazy though it is, that critical and demeaning attitude we all can have at times is a self-protective behavior too! So while we’re trying to guard ourselves, we’re giving others the signal that they need to guard themselves from us! Aaaarg!!! What a vicious cycle! This is one more reason to practice declarations every day and to cultivate safeness with our own selves. If you are mentally cutting on yourself, you are going to be feeling defensive whether you realize it or not…and that will keep this defensive/offensive cycle running in your relationships.

”I can change.”

”I love myself and I like myself.”

”I am human and I forgive myself of past mistakes.”

”I am a good person striving to be better.”

”I love others as I love myself, with gentle kindness and true acceptance.”

 

Insight

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Can you choose your focus? For an hour? For a day? For a week? For a month? I mean, choose it and keep it! 

Of all the accomplishments we can shoot for, that single one, of choosing where you are placing your focus and then sustaining that focus, is the great  guiding, overarching, big win!

What will your focus be tomorrow? And this week? And this month? And what will you do to support yourself in maintaining your vision?

Be the powerful Lioness agent that you are and let me hear you roar!

Love,

Jacque

 

“I Belong”

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I listened to a business pep talk the other day and the lovely girl who wrote it suggested four things to offer business clients: 

 

1 is to provide a community of like minded people who can create friendships and support one another
2 is to provide sacred spaces where people feel safe to share who they are inside,
3 is to simply love the the people you are serving! and
4 is to notice, appreciate, hear and understand them to show them that love!

I thought it was great advice, {thank you for the reminder Fabienne}. We endeavor to offer these exact things at Lioness!

But even more importantly than what this recipe can do for a business, I’ve been thinking that this is a great recipe for what we want to offer the people we call family.

It’s really a little lesson on validation isn’t it?

So… is there someone in your house who could use an extra dose of understanding today?

I challenge you to find them (and I will too) and let them know, by your validating ways, that they belong in your heart.

Be well!

Jacque

P.S.

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As an addition to yesterday’s post on validation skills, I offer a few more thoughts:

Sometimes I think it is hard for us to determine what “loving” behavior is exactly. {Isn’t that why we are tempted to enable others, when we are trying to be “loving” but we end up actually doing for them what they can and need to do themselves?}

Is loving behavior then, the things we do that help us and others to grow? That helps us and others to take responsibility for our own behavior and decisions?

I think so. And I think that is the point of learning to validate, not attempt to control or coerce or emotionally blackmail the people we love, but to support them in solving their own problems by letting the problem stay with them.  It’s really a fast track to growing relationships and people!

Add to that the quote I came across yesterday:

“Unloving behavior is reactive. Loving behavior is creative.” Virginia Satir

Now there’s a little food for thought!

Sounds like, you throw a fit, I throw a fit. Or you get defensive, so I get defensive. You start yelling, so I start yelling. {And then we are tempted to believe that the person who started this scenario is the one responsible, right?}

Being reactionary can also be unloving to ourselves. Because when we automatically react, it puts us in the victim role in a sense, simply responding without really thinking or deciding what our behaviors will be, independent of what others say or do.

I hope we can keep learning and progressing in our skills so that our families will continue to progress.

We’re all in a learning process. And in family life, we have all the situations and dilemmas and challenges we need to put what we learn into practice! And then practice some more!

I wish you patience and endurance while the growth is happening!

Be well. Have faith. Our family ties are worth every effort we dare to make.

Jacque

Care For Her

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Who do you love most in the world? Your spouse? Your children? Your parents and siblings? Your friends?

Then be kind to them and care for the person they love most in the world!  {And the girl who, for a time, is their world!}

Yes, I mean you. Care for yourself and you will be better able to care for and about them.

Here are a few thoughts:
~ask for and receive the knowledge of who you are and what you mean to God
~figure out how to take breaks!!!
~remember, or find out, what you love to do
~create something {to renew yourself}
~eat well
~ask for help
~develop a talent
~talk to God
~write your thoughts in a journal
~strive for enough sleep! {don’t give it up for FB}
~sit in the sun
~think about your life
~date your spouse
~listen to the birds
~pray to feel love
~forgive yourself
~forgive everyone else too
~slow down to the speed of life
~put yourself on the priority list
~cultivate a voice of kindness towards yourself
~be done with shame and negativity
~write positive declarations on your mirror!
~memorize them and repeat them many times a day
~get outside, breathe the air and move your body!

I pray that every mother who reads this blog will make the shift {if you haven’t already}, to the mindset of deliberate and consistent self-care.

That shift will serve your family better than most anything else, because you will be better able to stay well and to serve in your capacity as the caring spouse and mother that you are! God bless you to know how valuable you are and how much your efforts are needed and appreciated!

Sending you my love today,

Jacque