I am so intrigued with this relational conundrum. Singles, for the most part want to find a satisfying relationship and those in committed relationships wish for something different from what they have. I am not saying that happy, successful, passionate relationships do not exist. I happen to know quite a few and it is a complete joy to be around them. Nonetheless, even they tell me it takes conscious effort to keep it that way.
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It would appear that finding and keeping a satisfying relationship is challenging, so challenging that many are deciding to give up the notion of ever being relationally satisfied. Or, maybe it is just that a different relationship paradigm is at play and our brains are trying to figure it all out.
My 85 year old mother shakes her head quite often while questioning whether the world is headed in the right direction with all these changes. Whether we are headed in the right direction is certainly worth pondering. For many, the relational evolution has freed them to live more authentically. For others, it has created a mental and emotional quandary. Relationship dynamics are not necessarily the same as once upon a time nor are they even a necessity. For some, living a non-partnered life is a completely satisfying choice or at least better than experiencing constant disappointment, frustration or rejection.
For those interested in finding the right someone… the love of their lives… their soulmate… who is also attractive, compatible, fit, intelligent, sexy, witty, financially secure, available, geographically desirable AND who is also attracted to them AND wants the same level of committed relationship may be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Since understanding the complexities of relationships is one of my passions I have spent so much of my personal and professional time and energy pondering this issue. I have spoken with and coached thousands of people about making the most gratifying relational choices.
Happily ever after: The lessons of medicine and fairy tales
This is what I have observed and come to believe…More often than not the people who have created the most satisfying relationships have learned that it had less to do with any of the external variables they thought were problems. Their beliefs, energy and readiness were more critical factors in their manifestation of love. You know it was not as simple as that… They first had to face some challenging self-awarenesses. One of the toughest realizations was that they had unconsciously contributed to the dissatisfaction or demise of their relationships.
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As they say, it takes two to tango! They were also surprised to discover that their relational choices had been unconsciously determined by familial or societal expectations, past wounds, insecurities, fears and defenses. You can downsize it but you have to go through and de-clutter it first.
And, one of my favorite revelations was that regardless of what they said, their energetic communication told a different, sometimes opposite story. Getting their energy aligned with what they said they wanted required discipline. Those discoveries opened them to a new relationship paradigm… Creating love, joy, intimacy and passion in their relationships was an inside job. Truly knowing themselves was a process of discovery and healing. Living an undefended life required courage. Mike Flannery, associate director for historical collections at UAB, says that at the time that many fairy tales originated, disease was poorly understood and never far away.
Flannery says fairy tales gave people a target for their fears. Witches, goblins and trolls became the manifestation of diseases that had no cure, such as consumption. We know it today as tuberculosis, but years ago, it was the cancer of the day.
I think fairy tales and medicine both deal with the human spirit and the human condition. The exhibit is on display through May 31, , in the museum on the third floor of the Lister Hill Library, University Blvd. Gribben, who has written her own three-volume set of fairy tales, will present a gallery talk at 6 p.
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March 15, Print Email. An exhibit at UAB delves deep into an unlikely partner in the study of medicine — fairy tales. More News.