I am currently writing this from Maui where I am surrounded by the most natural vibrant beauty. Lush grass, gorgeous green palm trees, turquoise blue water, perfect flowers, and spectacular sunsets. It is truly magical all around me.
Yet I, like so many people, struggle to embrace my own inner and outer beauty. While I have been here I have noticed my inner critic come out numerous times. She has been judging, berating, and hating on my inner spirit and my outer body as well as my whole being. At times I have felt completely rattled and ungrounded which has required me to be very intentional about grounding in my heart center. I share this because no matter who you are, how you are, what you do in your profession, or how "perfect" the world might see you, no one is exempt from the struggle for self acceptance.
Want to be closer to your partner? Then be less critical. Sounds easy enough, right? WRONG.
Reflect back over the past 24 hours and notice how many times you had critical thoughts about your partner or loved one... I bet you had at least five. How do I know? Chances are you are that critical internally towards yourself.
Funny(but not really), many of us aren't aware of how self critical we are. We go about our day insulting, berating, and putting ourselves down like bullies on an adult playground. If you take a moment and pay attention to your internal dialogue you will notice that you have 1-3 key negative statements you rattle off in your head. Examples such as, "I'm an idiot" or "I am ugly" or "that was stupid" are probably up there on the list.
There is a famous (anonymous) saying, "Everything changes when you change."
Is this really true? We change and everything around us, including our loved ones change? What if our loved ones don't change as we change, especially if and when we grow? In intimate relationships, there is an evolution. Perhaps we might call it the stages of courtship where at first there is the noticing of another, followed by approaching and flirting, followed by demonstrating ... and so on.
As time goes on, we get comfortable in our relationship. All the passion, spontaneity, and excitement that we craved with our partner in the beginning wanes and we get comfortable. We attach to the security of knowing they are with us, that we can count on them for anything. The spontaneity and mystery of our partner is often replaced with the predictable.
Everyone has resentments. It is a normal part of the human experience. The challenge with resentments is they can build up causing people to become contemptuous, especially in intimate relationships
A resentment forms when a person feels bitter at having an expectation or a need that is not met in their relationship. A lot of times it feels as though the issue causing one to be resentful is about one's partner; however, most often the resentment stems from deeper issues from one's childhood (i.e., being ignored by a primary caregiver, therefore feeling frustrated when they feel ignored by their partner).
Recently, The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) released a position statement broadly stating that they did not believe there was enough evidence to accept that problematic sexual behavior and abuse of pornography can be referred to as an addiction. This is hardly a surprise. After all, over the years AASECT has routinely stated that it is important not to pathologize sexuality and that sexuality in all its diversity should be celebrated.