In this episode we look at the meaning of rituals in varying areas of our lives. This includes rituals that can have deep meaning as well as routine that plays a practical and anchoring role in our lives. We look at rituals that we deliberately intend and ones that we seemingly bring about with little thought or preparation. Join us for a rich discussion and come away with a deeper appreciation of your experiences in life.
To learn more about the presenters:
Ellen Seigel, LISW-S
To work with Ellen as a Transformational Life Coach contact her: ellen@BeHappyNoMatterWhat.com or call 614-389-5795 To receive enlightening Contemplative Thoughts daily and receive a chapter download from her book Be Happy No Matter What – 5 Steps to Inner Freedom, visit http://behappynomaterwhat.com
Jeannine Vegh, IMFT at Transformative Psychotherapy, LLC
Disclaimer: As we are two humble therapists, all discussion you see between us in the video/podcast is based on our training and education, therapeutic work in our practices, and thoughtful opinions formed over our years. We are not the last word in this discussion, and we commit to providing ongoing resources beyond ourselves to enlarge your understanding of this complex subject. Thank you for viewing and we hope this will be helpful as you move forward on your journey.
For the past seven months, I have been numb…as I walked in the desert alone – in silence and prayer or meditation. I have come to know God in a renewed way; as I took this path on a contemplative journey. The pain and suffering of losing yet one more relationship at 59, took a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. Realizing, that once again, I had given up on myself while trying to please them and one more time being blamed. This time something completely made up and fabricated to get rid of me. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back and yet, while I hoped to get an apology and for the nightmare to be over, I began to realize, month by month, this was just not going to come.
Tonight, I had two mallards (male and female) that appeared on my front lawn while I was grooming the flower beds. The male was very aware of his position in this animal kingdom. He was dutifully watching over his lover as she nested on the grass. They moved their seats when I got up to cart the weed barrel, down to the road, for the garbage men tomorrow. The male moved carefully behind the female, keeping an eye on her that no one would disturb her. As she foraged under my fir trees, he continued to gaze on her and make sure she was taken care of. What a beautiful sight to behold.
Healthy, authentic love is exactly this. Two people taking care of each other, watching over one another, doting on each other. More is written online about unhealthy, abusive, narcissistic love – it would seem, than healthy, loving relationships and with this, it causes negativity to shine over couples. As a result, they are always picking on one another based on what they read. How can we expect couples to succeed if they don’t know what good honest love looks like?
Love never fails when two people are committed to the relationship. In the “Sound Relationship House,” created by the Gottman Institute, you will see that Trust and Commitment are the pillars that hold up the foundation of the house, wherein the seven principles for making a relationship work (the latter part of this sentence is the title of Dr. John Gottman’s best selling book, only with the word marriage in lieu of relationship) lie within. When either of these two are fractured the partnership “can” fall apart but does not have to. In order for the couple to continue being together they have to revisit the conflict and then repair so that they can then rebuild what they have together. Not returning to the same relationship but to a much stronger and more aware partnership.
In a relationship, love and forgiveness can conquer most anything if two people are willing to work through the crisis. The problem is this: most people give up at the sign of any discomfort. It is usually one person that makes that decision to say they aren’t going to put up with someone anymore. Sometimes both do and then they say it was mutual when they leave at the end.
Love is easy, you can kiss and make up. Relationships are for grown-ups and require a lot of hard work. Persistence, dedication, love, and commitment to each other. This is the recipe for turning things around. If one or both refuses, they have missed out on an opportunity to grow and become better people. They are essentially running away and choosing to continue living their life in the crisis. This is unfortunate. If they could stay with their partner and do the work, the relationship could potentially transform into a much more powerful union. A sense of relationship enlightenment could ensue.
In a relationship, the biggest reason for endings is the Ego. Werner Erhard once said “When your right, that’s what you get to be. Right. That is, not necessarily loved, or anything else nice: Just Right.” To succeed in couples counseling, both parties need to be willing to work on their ego, with the knowledge that both are making mistakes.
How are we able to delve deeper into our psyche? Breathe fresh air into our consciousness and let go?
This is the hardest task we must both follow in a relationship. The one thing that will make or break a couple. Can they let go of their need to be right or continue to just fight? Do they love each other and want to grow as a couple? If you want to grow, you both have to be willing to listen and learn. Otherwise, you have nothing.
Last night I watched Gone Girl, which I found quite scary! I didn’t really like the ending but then I realized, if he had killed her that would have been predictable. If she had killed him, this would have been expected. It also would have turned the movie into a horror film and I would not have watched it. The ending was rather odd though and made no sense. Usually, this is what I love about foreign films, non-predictable and full of questions.
I was listening to Insight Timer, one evening, several weeks ago and decided to have a story read to me so that I could go to sleep. Generally, I put the volume down, very low, and I drift off into slumber land. I choose the tales of young girls or older women whether old fables or new ones. On this particular evening, I saw the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I had not heard this story in a very long time and so I decided to listen. I also liked the name of the reader “Glenda Cedarleaf,” which sounded like a nice fairy tale name. Glenda is the good witch from the Wizard of Oz and leaves from a cedar tree sounded equally comforting to me. I did not turn the volume down though. Instead, I decided to turn it up and listen to the entire story. Within moments, I realized why. The story she had condensed and revised suddenly had me thinking of all the symbols and what they might mean. I knew immediately that this was a story about a narcissistic mother (queen) and her vulnerable little daughter who became her scapegoat (Snow White). I decided to contact Glenda for the story so that I could do an interpretation here for you. Thankfully, she was more than happy to allow me to do this and now I will present my thoughts here for you today.
These past few months have been a struggle for everyone. And yet for some, it has been more difficult than others. This reminds me of the first sentence of Anna Karenina which now rings more true than ever.
All happy families are like one another; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Leo Tolstoy
Interpreted this can mean that each unhappy family brings different baggage from their own families of origin. Two households merged into one from four parents and siblings. The unhealthy dynamics that played out, inside this home [of origin], were interpreted individually. When a crisis hits a family, each member deals with it in their own separate ways. Thus, bringing all of these family parts, of each couple, into their own domain and without therapy to support these persons, you will have nothing but chaos during this virus (though the relationship started out this way, the virus is just adding to the mess). You are stuck with each other 24/7 and you aren’t retired. One or both of you may be without a job. You may or may not have children, either way being in an uncomfortable situation with someone you are not happy with; it can’t be easy. If you were happy with your partner pre-virus, you are probably doing fine now. If there were lingering problems or elephants in the room; it is much worse by now.