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MARRIAGE – Happy despite the challenges

Sharanya Dinesh

Approved ProvenTherapist

Sharanya Dinesh - ProvenTherapist I am an ardent fan of Khalil Gibran; a poet, philosopher, visionary, saint ….I run out of eulogies when I need to describe this one person. This page is dedicated to him, in the sense I will be writing his poems and try to understand them with you all. Each of us sees the same thing with a unique individual perception. Help understand this great prophet better…

Contact Sharanya for Marriage and Relationship Counseling

He writes:

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But, let there be spaces in togetherness.
Love one another but make not a bond of love
Let your love be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous,
But let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your heart but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
Stand together yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Beautiful, is it not? A few lines to aptly describe the way a couple can live together happily! A marriage is not about merging with each other! How can two different people merge? It would mean a loss of identity for the partner who is making all the changes or accommodating more. This only results in bitterness and shows its ugly face at the most unexpected stage of married life.

Can an oak tree and the cypress tree be called oak tree? We need to walk hand in hand towards the same goal. Like the train tracks, each one independent yet dependent and very imperative for the smooth running of the train. The train carries so many people every day to their respective destinations and achieves its own milestones because of these two tracks on which it confidently chugs away. When the tracks need to meet and change the direction of the train they do meet and again mutually stay together at a little distance.

Couples too need to retain their individuality, take decisions together and let life stay on course with the partners holding hands and walking in forward n the same direction. Give your love to your spouse but safe guard your heart. That is for the creator! We humans forget this truth. We shower everything on each other. And breathe down each other’s neck! Too much proximity brings in claustrophobia. We are meant for each other and God brought us together for some purpose. Our individual goals and our destiny together are as designed by God. We forget the creator, the purpose of our lives and ourselves too. We begin trying to merge; with unmet expectations end up on different shores with a sea of misunderstandings between us.

He says that we all need time to introspect, be alone and ponder about ourselves. The pillars of the temple stand apart and are home to the God inside and to the thousands of devotees praying to the Lord. The couples should support each other, help each other and learn from each other. The Oak tree and Cyprus tree do not grow in each other’s shadow.

Teenagers And Dating

Linda Harris

Approved ProvenTherapist

Linda Harris - Approved ProvenTherapist As a parent, the thought of your son or daughter beginning dating has the potential of sending chills down your spine; you’re sending them off into an experience over which you have no control! How best can we continue to care for our children as they step into adolescence?

Several considerations are important. First and foundational to navigating this time is to have a relationship with your budding adolescent. The choices they make while away from you is based on this relationship. 

Secondly, keep communication open by practicing empathic listening. This means checking yourself when you find you are focusing solely on your own agenda. Third, know your adolescent’s friends. Even if your child isn’t as open as hoped for, knowing their friends allows a wider view of what is happening in their lives.

I recommend that your child first explore relationship in group settings. This is very natural and safer. The adolescent is preparing for responsible behavior later. In general I recommend that anyone under 16 who wants to date needs to go out in a group. After that age, and if your child seems ready, I would give them permission to go out paired.

Then it is best to graduate to supervised dating. By this I mean that an adult drives the kids to and from their destination. Before the date, however, get to know the prospective date. Call their parents, especially if they are under 16. Making your presence known offers another safeguard for your child.

Finally, appreciate the cellphone. Cell phones make it easy for your child to check in with you and for you to call as well. However, too much hovering will only result in your child rebelling. It is equally important to give your child space to experience their growth. That for the parent requires patience and trust.