Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Readers

Please give me some input and feedback. If you are reading this blog, please give me your comments either here or e-mail me separately. Your input and feedback is very important to me. Also, how often do you read it and/or would you like to be able to read a new post? Am I covering aspects of relationships that are important to you? Etc. Etc. Please give me your comments.

Thank you.
Gloria Hubble

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Those Pesky Weeds

Can you imagine how your garden would look if you didn’t have some way to control the weeds? Weeds are so pesky, so annoying but we learn to deal with them, both by making efforts to prevent their growth in the first place and by making efforts to get rid of them when they do start to grow.

Just like weeds or unwanted plants, we also have unwanted thoughts – thoughts that get in our way of personal growth, thoughts that crowd out our happier feelings, thoughts that get in the way of enjoying our relationships, thoughts that are just plain pesky and annoying. So what do we do with these thoughts? First of all, we recognize that we’re in charge. We don’t have to believe all of our thoughts anymore than we have to allow every weed to grow. To many people, that in itself is a very liberating thought! We can choose which thoughts we want to nurture and cultivate, which ones are consistent with our values and principles. We can also choose NOT to nurture and cultivate those thoughts that are not consistent with our values and principles.

The way we cultivate thoughts is to pay attention to them. So if we want to get rid of a thought, we acknowledge it’s there and then choose to let it go, to not give it attention but instead focus on the thought we want to cultivate. Usually it’s best to let it go gently rather than fighting it because that, in itself, is giving it more attention. One technique that is helpful for a lot of people is to visualize unwanted thoughts as leaves in a stream and just letting them pass by, while at the same time carefully cultivating those thoughts we want to keep.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Finding the Red Tomatoes

We have enjoyed finding and eating ripe red tomatoes from our garden. We didn’t stake or cage them so it’s quite a process to find the red ones. We have to lift up the vines and really search but when we have a glimpse of a red one, we’re motivated to make that search. We know the reward is well worth the effort.

Feelings are like this too. Feelings of anger and resentment, for example, are usually close to the surface, easy to recognize. We don’t have to look very hard to find them. But what’s underneath those feelings? Sometimes we’re afraid to look or we convince ourselves there really isn’t anything else. But there always is.

When couples share their “surface” feelings, I often ask them to “dig deeper”. What’s underneath that? And what’s underneath that? If they’re willing to really make the search, they find that underneath the anger is usually something like hurt or disappointment or concern. Those are like the green tomatoes. And with a little more searching, they too can find the red tomatoes. But sometimes they’re hesitant to make the search – afraid it might be too painful. The truth is, it’s usually just the opposite. Underneath those feelings of hurt and concern are feelings of love and caring and those are the real rewards, the red tomatoes. Those are the feelings they can pick – hold on to – and share with their spouse. Those are the feelings that will nurture their relationship and strengthen their marital bond. They are there, underneath the surface, just like the red tomatoes.