So if you want to really get your partner to change then you will have to manipulate possibly life, conceivably deceive them (not out right lying if you just let them believe what you want, even if its not true). Yes, these are all good tactics for changing your spouse. They are also excellent way of destroying your relationship. Let's assume best case scenario and that your... less than ethical behavior is never found out by your partner, what could happen..
Will you resent them later in life for "making: you resort to those terrible tactics of being their "parent"? Will you think to yourself something like "nothing has changed he or she is just doing it to make me happy" (because your a pain in the neck and hard to live with)? Maybe you can live with a well trained spouse on the head, and saying "good spouse, yes your a good spouse, want treat? Who wants a treat!" be taking things a bit far?
If you really want to love and respect your spouse and do not want to risk losing their love and respect for you, and you really do need something to change, what you should do is inform them of your thoughts and feelings. Connect with them on this level with their own thoughts and feelings. Invite them to do as you want in the most loving way possible and be prepared to negotiate. Then the hard part starts. Watch, hope, trust, and where applicable teach by example.
David Linares, LMHC
Salt and pepper…pen and paper…milk and cookies…popcorn and movies!
These are things that typically go hand and hand. Another one of life’s most common pairings is undoubtably school and stress.
Below we have linked the Ka Leo article, “Balancing Burdens” by Kailanianna Ablog where SCHSC’s owner David Linares, MA, LMHC, LPCC shared his expert opinion on the benefits of low levels of stress.
Tell us how your managed stress has led to your success.
I'd imagine most people know the phrase "Macho Man". Today, it is viewed as a mostly negative, aggressive somehow jerk related word. You might be surprised that this is not how the words was intended to be utilized. In fact it used to be a more positive word up until late in the century.
To think that the word macho had close ties to the word caballerismo, meaning to be knightly and chivalrous. This just highlights the power of words, how we can twist their meaning around not just in our relationship, but in society as well.
In an older post, I wrote about men handicapping themselves by discounting and down playing their emotions. Here we find that being more emotionally balanced is not only ok, but was the norm for what a man was supposed to be.. In other words men macho men were caring, considerate and kind to others. Chivalry is not dead. Its just been misinterpreted and labelled poorly as Machoism. So men, now that you know, lets strive to embody the positives of the word and transform ourselves and our lives for the better with this little slice of Serenity.
David Linares, LMHC
Many men cringe when feelings come up because guys tend to be socialized to discount and/or push to the side their own feelings. Sometimes women have the same issue. However, we are all human beings. Everyone is born with emotions and an intellect. To favor one over the other is silly.
It would be like trying to compete in a 100-yard dash with one arm and leg tied behind your back. You can do it, but it would be really, really hard, and what would be the point?
If you want to stand on truly equal ground with your partner, develop a more peaceful and enjoyable relationship, talk to your partner simply by sticking to the feelings. That's it. Stick to your feelings and their feelings. Life is so much easier when we stick to the feelings. Deeper understanding and longer lasting bonds are formed when we open up the most personal side of ourselves and talk about our feelings.
It is a process, it takes time, it is totally worth doing. When it is done well, those in your life will look forward to connecting with you more often and so will you. Once you have connected at a feeling based level then you can go in and use that wonderful intelligence you have to grab hold of the situation with "both hands" and connect that way as well.
Serenity can help you if you would like to get a head start.
David Linares , LMHC
Most of my clients seeking help for their relationships (romantic relationships usually), say they need to work on communication. In my post "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad...Words”, I spoke about some common issues with human language and how we use our words. Sometimes, even when we use our words well and speak clearly, we never know how or if, the other person is going to "read into" or misunderstand/misinterpret what we just said to them. Have you ever had a friend or loved one suddenly get really sad or mad about something you said, that in your mind, wasn't a big deal? We just never know how another person is going to receive what we say, because we don't know their history or mind set at every point in time. Maybe they are in a bad mood or sensitive to a particular subject. When conflict comes up, and things have gone sideways in our relationships, we tend to stick to facts, the issues and even on how to fix the situation. We get defensive, want to be right, to justify what was said, and sometimes we get mean and nasty, without thinking or caring about how the other person is feeling.
Who knows, maybe you are right, but does it make you happy? All the arguing to be right, what does it do to your relationship? I bet probably nothing good. If you argue without truly trying to experience the other persons feelings and without a curiosity about their point of view, then you are being defensive and selfish.
So, what is that one thing that can make or break a marriage? Feelings. So simple to understand, but unless you know how, they can be very difficult to deal with.
Think about it, as humans we don't like to experience negative feelings. We do our best to avoid and distract ourselves from them. We only want the good feelings. It is no surprise that in a relationship we might ignore or mishandle our partner’s negative feelings. We simply don't want to, or don't know how to deal with them, especially if we haven't figured out how to manage our own.
More on that next time.
David Linares, LMHC
Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad...words.
If you have ever read the book ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Day’ written by Judith Viorst, you may recall its ending. At the books end, Alexander's mom tells him that everyone has a bad day sometimes. She also points out that running away or moving to another country (Alexander's way of escaping bad days) won't change that. Let me tell you now that everyone uses bad words sometimes. You can't escape it. I don't mean cuss words (those are bad however). I mean the really bad words. The words that hurt when a loved one is angry and shouts in your face or makes a comment that hurts like a knife to your heart. Sometimes, we don't even understand what that person was trying to say to us. How many times have you had a misunderstanding with friends, family or co-workers because someone, (maybe you), did not say exactly what was going on, what happened or how they really felt? The result was probably confusion, hurt feelings, and lots of unwanted drama.
Words can truly be confusing.
If you ever saw Bruce Lee in the movie ‘Enter the Dragon’, there is a wonderful scene in the movie where he points to the moon and says: "Words are like a finger pointing at the moon. Concentrate on the finger and you will miss all the heavenly glory".
A simple, but profound message is hidden here. Not only can words hurt us, but if we dwell on the words we do tend to miss the deeper meaning - the point of what we are trying to express. We miss out on the opportunity to truly understand another human being and form a real bond. Instead, we tend focus on the issues, talk about facts, or how to fix the problem. We get mad at our interpretation of the words and all too often we miss out on the feelings being expressed, and the true meaning behind the words. When we miss those, we miss out.
To lead more peaceful and happier lives it is our responsibility to learn how look at the words but also past the words others say to us and at their deeper meaning. From there we can choose wisely our own words and start to build the relationships we truly want.
David Linares, LMHC
Heal thy self. It is an interesting statement. When our bodies are injured we physically heal. Can the same idea be true about our ability to heal ourselves mentally, emotionally and spiritually?
Many people are not aware that they have the ability to heal themselves in the areas of mental, emotional, spiritual self. Even those that are aware sometimes lack the knowledge, not the ability to change themselves and their lives for the better.
Once common way of trying to heal our wounds is to seek out a relationship.
Good relationships feel great and give us a future to focus on and goals to work towards. Relation ships help us grow, mature and learn things about life that we simply cannot readily do on our own. They are important but relationships cannot heal the deep wounds we sometimes bring into them. Used poorly, relationships complicate our life and distract us from the wounds we need to heal.
We have to start healing the deep wounds on our own by being aware of those wounds and by being willing to DO something about them. Even when those wounds are not self inflicted. The one who hurts us can help us heal but only to a point.
Relationships are nothing more than a band-aide. They can help in the healing, but they cannot heal us by themselves.
So, often, we try to use out relationships to heal our wounds. Wounds that maybe we're there from poor parenting, being bullied at school or from some past traumatic event ,ect.
If we are not aware of our wounds, we may end up feeling insecure, accusing out partner of cheating, crave affection from multiple partners, reliving our traumas in some way or constantly seeking the sense of being right and validated.
Such deep wound and behaviors often destroy relationships. True healing takes place from our awareness of our issues and our willingness to work on them. Sometimes we can do that work in a relationship, other times we do it when we are alone, sitting by ourselves at a coffee shop of in a therapist's office.
If you feel you have healing to do and are not sure how to do it, reach out and contact Serenity.
David Linares, LMHC
Words are important however not everyone is good with words. So sometimes we need to be able to look not just at the words but at the meaning behind them. Our motto, "Peace Through Knowledge" refers to how increasing our awareness and learning about life, others, and ourselves can bring us peace, and yes, even happiness. We know words build worlds, however, words cannot help those who will not listen or look more deeply into the meaning in the words, and in the case of this blog, those who will not read.
At Serenity we hope that if any blog is ever unclear, that the reader will message us. How many times in life have you had a misunderstanding with a friend or loved one? Maybe they used the wrong word or phrase and the meaning was lost behind the words. Perhaps you have been the one whose words were unclear to the other person.
Our therapists work on "invisible wounds". We can't see the hurt and the damage that words have caused you. We rely on honest feedback and comments from you to ensure we are helping you heal. So here's to Serenity's blog! Sometime the wording might not be just the way we would want it but hopefully the meaning behind the words will be clear.
All of us at Serenity are willing to help. The question now is, are you willing to accept the help? Our next blog will be in words and relationships.
David Linares, LMHC
Words build words. It is a simple sentence with great truth. This phrase currently being popularly coined by Judith E Glaser “words build worlds” it is more true than many would think at first glance. Words construct our reality and how we live in and see the world around us. Words make up our important documents in forms such as our birth certificate and tax documents. Words can be as common as the word "stop" written in our stop signs at the end of a street in any city. String many words together and they can hold the power to shape a nation like the United States Constitution or even the world, like the bible has. In fact, at the start of what is known as the Christian bible God spoke words to bring the universe into being. It is with this knowledge of words and their profound power, we start our journey towards developing peace for you. Peace in the world around you, and peace with the words and inner world inside your own mind.
Words shape the world around us. Have you ever stopped to think about how words also shape how we see ourselves and how others see us?
Maybe you have use words harshly with others. Perhaps others say hurtful words to you. Worst of all...do you say mean words to yourself? Words like "stupid me" or "I'm so ugly" or "no one will love me”, or "I can't..." these are just a few of the many hurtful things we say to ourselves. Words build words.
By just increasing our awareness of the power of words, we can start to slowly and profoundly change ourselves, and the world around us. This in turn will lead to a happier, and more peaceful reality for us.
Our awareness of our words and their power can lead us to alter our old wordings and help us to create new worlds and new realities for ourselves, our friends and with our families. So this month lets just practice our awareness of our words and start looking at our reactions to them and to the reactions of those around our own words as well.
Next month we will look at the deeper meanings often hidden behind the words. Until then I hope you found a little Serenity in your day from reading this article.
David Linares , LMHC
Welcome to our first blog. All undertakings both big and small start, with hope. So it is, with hope that we at Serenity, hope this blog helps you, our readers, to live peaceful and happy lives. At Serenity we want you to develop the skills necessary to develop strong connections to others, be it at home, or work or at the beach. Connecting with others is what truly makes us happy and gives us some measure of immortality in this life.
If you doubt these words, think for yourself. Do you feel happy when a loved one smiles at you or holds your hand? That's a connection. Do you take some measure of joy and satisfaction when someone agrees with you or can see your point of view? Connection. Do you laugh and cry with others during sad or happy times? Yup, that's a connection too. Do you hope that by being who you are others will learn from you in both your successes and your failures? Even this is a desire for a connection. In moments of connection we create memories and legacies of who we are with those around us. When there is an interaction taking place between you and someone or something else, a connection is being established or broken based on what you say or how you behave.
To be connected in mind, body, and spirit within ourselves and with others is what we as human beings want. When we connect to others we find meaning in our lives and a true and lasting happiness.
How good this connection is depends in many factors. At Serenity we hope to help you discover those factors and develop needed skill sets that will add to your connectedness and happiness in life.
As we Started with hope we end this first posting with hope as well. We hope our words on this blog site connect with you and help you develop peace in your life so that you are more ready and able to connect and stay connected to those around you.
David Linares, LMHC