Why dogs don’t need Louis Vuitton bags

[:nl]We are all born naked. We come into this world with nothing and we leave it in the same way. Yet in our lifetime being naked and simply being one’s self seems to be unnatural. Why?

Initially our self image is the result of what others teach us about ourselves. That we are a boy or a girl, blond or black, skinny or chubby. Later on that image of ourselves  evolves further, in consequence of what others expect from us and what – in turn – we expect from ourselves, whether it is about our physical appearance, our job, the partner we choose, our education , our car, our house, and so on.

Obviously it is impossible to meet all these expectations and the result is that we start to suffer. This is quite normal, since we do not want to disappoint the people around us and we have convinced ourselves that we have to meet these expectations. If we don’t, we feel guilty, ashamed and we even blame others and ourselves for failing to do so. And let’s not forget that we do the same to other people.

Our unhealthy habits are a result of this impossible and insane situation. We have created a belief system, we have somehow convinced ourselves that we need to entertain these unhealthy habit(s) to cope. Of course, these habits cause even more suffering and problems but we do not see this, or bluntly deny it. We will do anything to maintain the illusion we have created about who – we have convinced ourselves – we are.

This is like convincing ourselves that putting extravagant clothing on a pet is normal. In doing so we are totally ignorant of “who” our beloved animal truly is. And what’s more, if you have ever dressed your dog, like I have for fun from time to time, you will have noticed that the dog does not change its behaviour whatsoever. It mostly tries desperately to shake off the accessories you put on it and it definitely has no effect on its self image, since… dogs do not have a self image. They simply “are”.

It is possible to fix the skewed perception we have of ourselves and others.

In case of the dressed up pet, we would simply undress it. In case of ourselves it means getting rid of everything fake. By taking off of ourselves, all the different masks we wear and by taking off all the labels  we have stuck on others.

It is a scary step to take. People will probably be surprised by the authentic you; you may not fit their expectations or the desired image they expect of you, anymore. Relationships may change or end because of it. However, this only means that they were based on an illusion in the first place.

If you are suffering because of someone else’s unhealthy habit it, than take of the mask you wear when this occurs. Acknowledge who you truly are in this situation. And just like that dressed up pet, shake off what is not really you, get rid of what is not naturally you. In return take of the labels you stuck on that person, so you can see who he or she really is. And expect nothing. In doing so, you will find peace and serenity.

You may see this process as the waking up with a sigh relief from a realistic dream. Dreams seem real, but they are not. You are. Dogs do not need Louis Vuitton bags and neither do you.[:en]We are all born naked. We come into this world with nothing and we leave it in the same way. Yet in our lifetime being naked and simply being one’s self seems to be unnatural. Why?

Initially our self image is the result of what others teach us about ourselves. That we are a boy or a girl, blond or black, skinny or chubby. Later on that image of ourselves  evolves further, in consequence of what others expect from us and what – in turn – we expect from ourselves, whether it is about our physical appearance, our job, the partner we choose, our education , our car, our house, and so on.

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Blame: a lesson in accepting reality

[:nl]When we blame ourselves, other people, places or things, we can be sure of one thing: we are not happy with reality as it occurs. And the same is true for others, when they blame us. This is undeniably insane, since reality, the now, has already occurred and we cannot change the past.

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Truth versus selective perception

The reality you perceive may not be the truth. People have a tendency to interpret what they perceive through their senses, according to what they believe, according to their convictions. It is very useful to be aware of these “tricks” your mind and your thinking may play on you.

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About boundaries

When dealing with the addiction of a loved one in your life you may experience all kinds of painful emotions and difficulties, and there is only so much you can humanly take. A very effective way of avoiding this is to set boundaries.

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New relationships: time is on your side

Taking down the wall around the self

We were not created to live alone.  After ending a relationship with an addict – especially a loved one – it is not always easy to make the step to find new people to like, or to love.

As you may have read elsewhere in this blog, the consequences of living with an addict are multiple. You have invested all you have. You may feel you have failed. You are disappointed and you carry emotions such as guilt, anger, shame and frustration with you.

The time will come that you feel ready for new relationships, but how do you deal with these emotions.  How do you know whether this time it will work out? The honest answer is: you don’t.

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Healing addiction through belief

The healing power of belief in the oneness of creation

We are all created, composed of tiny particles, so scientists say. Before we were born they already existed, and when we die, these atoms that formed us do not disappear. They live on. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. We come from all, and we return to all. We are all. We did not choose our parents, the color of our eyes, our sex, the place and the circumstances we were born in. In fact there is very little we choose, most of it simply, miraculously happens. Somehow and sometimes we still realize that we are part of creation, of this incredible engine or wheel of life. That we are one with it. Unfortunately most of the time we lose sight of this awareness, because we have become addicted to experiencing our life, we have lost ourselves to this earthly life experience. We are scared to death of losing this or having to give that up. But what are we afraid of?

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Recovery and new relationships

Remove the labels you stick on people, places and things

In many cases recovering from living with an addict leads to ending the relationship. It is quite natural that you carry feelings of disappointment, betrayal, anger and pain with you after such a rupture for quite some time. You blame your addict for them and these feelings can stand in the way of engaging in new relationships. You are afraid to get hurt again. We generalize our anger and mistrust towards people we meet (“men are all the same anyhow” or “you cannot trust women.Period.”)

We have to realize that it is not the addict that generates our feelings. It is our own thought process. Fortunately we are in control of our thoughts.

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Denial: the main obstacle to recovery

Denial

Logically, the need to recover from living with an addict can only become apparent when you are  conscious of the fact that it is indeed addiction that is affecting your life and that of the addict. Unfortunately this consciousness is often hindered by the mechanisms of denial and repression.

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The young adult addict

The young addict

What do you do when you realize that a young adult is addicted? As a parent the feeling that will probably hit you first is guilt. Where did you fail in “properly” educating and preparing your baby for the big bad world? Where did you go wrong? Did you warn him or her enough? The emotions these thoughts provoke, can be very painful and overwhelming.

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Should I break up?

Should I break up?

One of the choices I struggled with was whether to break up with my addicted partner or not. With hindsight I realize that the answer to this question had always been present within myself. But I needed or wanted to get the answer from others. If only someone would tell me that I should put an end to the relationship, this would give me the reason, the justification to do so. Obviously this is insane.

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