Want to to right or want to be happy?

If you have a partner, it’s inevitable that your ego gets hurt now and then. The longer your relation lasts, the more often that happens. You do not feel heard, appreciated or respected. Certain subjects are avoided, remarks swept under the rug, discussions ended too early.

Routine sets in. You and your partner know exactly what and what not to put in the lights. Some things are no longer shared. The weight of the relationship is felt. Bit by bit, as time goes by, the distance between yourself and your partner increases, you are not getting much energy out of your relationship, it’s getting sticky, you’re closing for each other.

If you pick up on these signals in time, you might reverse the process. How? By bowing down. Park your ego and move to your heart. Recognize the signals of shielding, talk about it, react from the heart. Break down the barriers, not by getting your right but by showing vulnerability and rethinking your responsibility. Practise heart meditation with your partner now – it does wonders! Ask yourself the question: Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?

orange slippers

Slipper space

My home is my heaven - safe and familiar, it’s where I feel good. In my house I can escape from the outside world, dive into myself, be myself. The act of closing my front door, turning my back to the world, is something I feel strongly about. I make a ritual of it.

When people come to visit me I ask them to take their shoes off and leave them at the bottom of the stairs leading to my apartment. In order to - literally and symbolically - leave the outdoor dirt and noise behind them and enter my space. My physical space – my house, which remains nice and clean as a side effect - and my spiritual space, loving, warm and in harmony. In order to prevent my visitors from having cold feet, I ask them to bring slippers.

Slippers are an interesting phenomenon. If you encounter slippers in your dreams, or are wearing them in your dreams, it might mean that you’re either totally relaxed or that you would like to be relaxed but can’t because you’re upset and lack control. In the latter case, I might be the right person to turn to….

Back and forth

Generation after generation, patterns in your family system are passed on. Most of the time unconsciously. If you want to change that pattern, it starts with you. I did it.

For a long time, I was not aware of the emotional damage I had suffered during my childhood. Now I am. My father worked and worked. I lacked his male attention, guidance and support. He did not receive those from his father either. History repeats itself.

My mother was quite distant – business always came first –being very critical towards her children. She relied on distrust. No space for my sensitivity. From an early age, I got used to doing things on my own. Later I realized how abandoned I always felt. Never thought I would do the same, but I did … unconsciously. I even made being critical and judging a cornerstone of my job. My work at KPMG implied hard work, making a career, not being fully available for my family. My head dominated my heart. I thought I was a great dad, but I wasn’t. I passed along the injuries embedded in my family system, and was not aware of it.

My kids say that I was dominant, always working and emotionally aloof. I really wanted to be a different kind of parent than that I grew up with, but I was not because I had inherited - and lived by - the example my parents gave me. The way back to my parents, accepting the whole package deal for better and worse, bowing to their - and my -fate. It took me years to take a deep dive into myself and anchor it in my body. Reaching out to my children, starting the conversation. Let the heart speak, be vulnerable and completely honest, bow again … to them. More understanding, love and awareness may find its way, generation after generation.