sustainable relationship

There’s a difference between somebody who wants you and somebody who would do anything to keep you.

24838195_1919925268323953_5505108820235386880_nphotography by Allesio Albi

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the power of a personal “thank you”

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I was reminded of a moment in my past while driving today. A few years ago, the father of my boyfriend at that time was generous enough to help me with my driving lessons. He took some time off and gave me useful advice that until this day has worked its magic. I vaguely remember how I inadequately thanked him for his efforts back then and I felt bad about. At that moment, I sensed a strong loving vibration in my chest when that I hoped would telepathically be send to him as a message or gratitude. But then I realized I should just send a physical thank-you card with my thoughts just in case the telepathy doesn’t work. So it is very cliché and it’s long overdue, but I took the time to search the address, verify how his name is correctly spelled, find an appropriate card, and find the perfect words to write down my message.

I instantly felt like I needed more of these acts in my life. I want to express gratitude, send kind words all over the world, and let people know that their kindness is eternally engraved in our hearts. Sending love and warmth is very much needed in a society of apathy.

It’s a shame to see old people regretting helping out others because they were never properly thanked. My dad for example, expressed his emotions about this topic yesterday. He was angrily frustrated by how little gratitude he got from his other daughter about the sacrifices he made for her to be able to help her paying for a house. He was upset about the troubles he went through to be able to save some money while selling his personal sentimental belongings just to help her out, in a bad economy. I felt for him, he had obviously regrets and didn’t feel appreciated for his efforts. And I told him that he needed to express these thoughts towards her, that she needed to know this, to hear it from himself. But he couldn’t, or maybe he was so hurt that she didn’t realize this on her own. I am not sure how that story will continue, but I hope that my dad doesn’t become bitter out to this disappointment. Being stuck with your unresolved emotions is only burdening you personally and can result in a chronic disease. At least, that’s how I’ve seen it happen.

There are many ways to say what you needed to say. Don’t wrap it in hate, dare yourself to express the pain in a vulnerable and honest way and with that you will gain so much strength in return. Even if you don’t say it to the person’s face, you can always write it down somewhere, and see what you do with this note later.

picture by Kamila_Aubre_Perfumer

when minimalism led to pessimism

I noticed that few people dare to express their negative experiences with their own decluttering process. I was on the fence about sharing mine, because I would prefer to keep a positive vibe on my blog. But I also know that it’s important to keep it real and reach out to those few people who are also dealing with these negative issues as well. Here is the dark side of minimalism, the negative side-effect that I believe no one talks openly about:

When you come across minimalism on the internet, it instantly looks great and appealing. People seem stylish, happy and zen, so you try it as well. But here is a thing that isn’t joyful about the decluttering and the minimalistic journey. It’s a moment within the journey when bad thoughts occur and you might be faced with deep personal issues that seem impossible to solve at that moment.

Schermafbeelding 2018-04-02 om 11.45.24A while back, I encountered an emotional dissatisfaction. A sadness that was underlying the garbage, the mess, the clutter. It suddenly became clear to me: the more trash I cleared from my life, the more I faced the emptiness of my existence.    You don’t declutter to gain nothing in return. Minimalism isn’t about giving up stuff and remaining with less. It’s about finding more meaning, more satisfaction, more quality in life.   
I started noticing how little interests remained underneath the chaos. I didn’t know what to do with myself or my life. I was buried beneath my past, underneath a pile of deception, of unfinished projects and the mess was a result of that pain.

I know that decluttering is the first step towards the life you want for yourself, that this is the way to build a life of your dreams. But right there and then I realized that there wasn’t much I truly loved doing or having or being. I lost direction: somehow the less I needed, the less satisfied I became. I couldn’t tell what would bring me joy. All the things that used to make me happy at some point in my life and were useful then: all those things didn’t apply these days anymore. I knew I badly needed change but I couldn’t tell what kind of change. So I took a break, stayed away from the mess and the decluttering in order to figure out what was going on. I binge-watched series, I was extremely passive, got back into a nightly-routine of sleeping during the day, lacked energy, hated myself for a while but dealt with these emotions. The unhappiness had nothing to do with the (external) stuff itself. I realized I needed to focus upon my self: self-worth, self-perception and so on. It isn’t something I have actively chosen to neglect over the years; it came to be, due to situations and environment I was in and the people in my life. I realized at that moment ‘I am actually unhappy with how I look’ and even-though I wasn’t making a big deal out of it throughout the past years: it’s now become something I can’t neglect any longer. It used to be a coping mechanism, but today it is not working anymore. I chose for myself right there: no more suffering. It’s time to do something constructive with this pain and dedicate this time for myself to heal. Here is where the self-love starts. I put myself first for healthy reasons and I am clear about my intentions. I learn to distinct between what is important for me now, instead of what people expect from me at that moment: which is most likely very unhealthy for me to do.

Those important missing pieces in myself were the root of much unheard sadness in my life. The self-neglect grew from childhood until now: it was about time. So, I chose to acknowledge this pain and face myself with the truth. I learn to accept the truth. Then I truly try to figure out how it came to be (by meditation) and why it is still here. And then it is time to let it go, bit by bit. The shell must break open. And that is by self-healing and finding therapeutic ways t overcome this misery.  This is how I gained a bit more of self-confidence.

Thank you for reading

image by Hilde Mork