Four Ways to Avoid Disappointment and Frustration in Relationship

Our greatest joy and deepest fulfillment in life comes from the relationships we have. While we want harmonious and fulfilling relationships, ideally with everyone, it is healthy and realistic to acknowledge that even in the best friendships and partnerships there will be challenges. And, it is truthful to admit we cannot have an agreeable and satisfying relationship with everyone.

For instance, you will not be peaceful if you attempt to establish a relationship with someone who has aspects of her or himself that go against your core beliefs and values. Maybe someone you know thinks it is okay to talk about you behind your back. You know gossip wounds hearts and causes relationships to fail. If you go against yourself and stoop to his or her level of behavior, and you accept gossiping is okay, you will become frustrated and disappointed with yourself. Eventually you will also be upset and dissatisfied by the person’s lack of sensitivity to other people’s feelings.

Moral conflict arises in relationships when there is empathetic incompatibility. Meaning, one person is more emotionally mature than the other. Such as in the case where you have the principled awareness to appreciate the pitfalls of gossip and the other person does not. Therefore, having shared moral values is paramount to establishing healthy relationships. When two people are mismatched on the fundamental values of trust, honesty, respect, and personal responsibility, the relationship cannot survive.

To help prevent the frustration and disappointment that arises from being mismatched in your relationships, first take time to really know yourself. Look at yourself honestly to determine your strengths and weaknesses. This is necessary because you may not have been taught how important respect, trust, honesty, and clear communication are to the success of relationships. And, if you were raised in an abusive or dishonest environment you may mistake abuse and dishonesty for love. Neither of these are behaviors are love so it is essential to know what motivates you and what wounds you need to heal in order to have successful and loving relationships.

Second, learn to appreciate the saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink,” applies to each of us when it comes to whether or not we choose to change ourselves for the better. You wake up to what you need to change about yourself through the process of inner deliberation. Self-assessment is the way to discover negative behavior that is preventing you from creating the best life possible. This same process of wanting to discover limitations is necessary for the people you love. So it is important to let go of the idea if I just love her (him) more, s(he) will change.

Third, loving others does not mean you lose yourself in relationship. Relationships are meant to help you find out more about yourself, not give up who you are for another person. Avoid frustration by going into a relationship wanting someone to live life with you, not for you.

Fourth, know people will not respect you if you do not respect yourself. Part of self-respect is setting boundaries, to say no to things you are uncomfortable with. Being a doormat is not attractive, satisfying, or healthy. Going against what you know is true and right for you does not allow you to bring your best to the relationship. Realize it is healthy to say no.

Download my free guide here, which goes into more detail on how to avoid disappointment and frustration in relationship:


I’m Gay, and That’s Okay with God

I was born different. Weren’t we all? Some of us have green eyes, some brown. Some are light skinned, some dark. We have red hair, brown hair, kinky hair, curly hair.

Human beings are a beautiful weave of colors and cultures, different branches of the same family tree. We are unique by design, just as no two snowflakes or fingerprints are the same. And yet, we still have a difficult time accepting, honoring, and nurturing our differences.

Around age four or five, I knew I was “gay.” I don’t know how I knew, when I didn’t even understand what that meant, but I did. It was not a choice I made, but an understanding deep within my heart that growing up and finding a man to marry was just not for me. Yet from the first time I stepped into a church, I was taught to believe I was going to hell. What a lonely, depressing, and negative thing to ask someone to believe — especially a child.

Going against what was considered the norm was not some act of early-childhood rebellion on my part. There was enough schoolyard bullying, screwed-up family life, and feelings of unworthiness without adding another reason for me to feel detested. No, I did not intentionally choose to stick out in a world where I was surrounded by people who believed their God hated me for being gay, which enabled them to feel justified to hate me too.

The judgment I encountered based on one aspect of who I am didn’t make sense in my heart of hearts. Even as a young child I questioned how, when the basic message of all faith is to “treat others as you want to be treated,” could I not be worthy? How was it possible that spirituality was intended to be an exclusive, criteria-based membership, a contest of me against other people, or a practice based on fearing some unseen, angry, condemnatory presence? Wasn’t spirituality the individual quest to connect with the spark of loving kindness within my heart and behave motivated by that spark? Didn’t that mean supporting others as I wanted to be supported, loving as I wanted to be loved, accepting others as I wanted to be accepted, and being the best person possible?

No, I was not straight. But my actions were good-hearted. I once took a dying chrysanthemum from my aunt’s porch and replanted it next to her driveway, where it thrived for many years. Another time, while on vacation with my family, rather than poke around a roadside trinket shop, I spent time giving water to a donkey tied up in the hot sun.

No, I was not a girly girl waiting to meet Prince Charming. But as a little girl I asked my mom to buy shoes for a shoeless classmate, and I asked my dad for baseball equipment for the children at the orphanage.

No, I was not “right” in the eyes of those who find it easy to judge and hate difference in the name of their God. But I loved animals, flowers, the outdoors, and sports. I fantacized about being a superhero, defending the planet from evil villains bent on world domination. As a superhero, I would carry an extra sandwich to school for a friend who didn’t bring a lunch, rescue moths from spider webs, and dry off little birds that had been caught in torrential thunderstorms.

All I ever wanted was to be accepted for just being me. But no matter how well-behaved, or kind, or friendly I was, I remained doomed for not falling in line and adopting the fearful, judgmental beliefs that were being shoved on me. Attempting to accept the limited, disparaging idea that I needed to be straight caused me such anxiety, suffering, and feelings of unworthiness and shame that I lived in constant fear. It felt as if I were slowly being crushed beneath the oppressive weight of powerlessness and hopelessness. I thought life was too painful to continue, but I did not give up. Instead, I questioned why there was such hatred of my being gay. It was just not right, or loving, or Godlike.

To survive, I learned that challenging my beliefs was imperative. The people who teach us what to believe, answer our questions, and mirror society’s behaviors are passing along what they’ve been exposed to. Love, support, and acceptance are learned, as are injustice, hate, and bigotry. So just because we’ve been taught to believe something doesn’t necessarily make it true. Likewise, just because we’re taught not to believe something doesn’t necessarily make it false. One of our most important spiritual responsibilities is to courageously question beliefs that don’t align with the positive, loving, inclusive behaviors of our heart.

Only through assessment did I come to realize that being gay is not a punishment from a divine source. Doctors, psychologists, and educators have concluded that sexual orientation is not a choice. Although there is no simple, single cause, research suggests that a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences determines it.

As far as religious references, I found that only six or seven of the one million–plus verses in the Bible address same-sex relationships. None of those verses refers to homosexual orientation as it is understood today. Modern scholars advise us that the biblical verses regarding same-sex relationships, as well as others throughout ancient religious texts, need to be understood within the context of the ancient societies that produced them. Science now offers tangible proof of why those antiquated beliefs no longer apply to our modern times.

Today I understand that growing up, I didn’t stick out at all. Born an average-looking, conventional, learning-challenged, jeans-wearing, gay tomboy, I was only uncomfortable being myself, as billions of us are. I, too, was brainwashed into believing I was not good enough unless I lived up to other people’s ideals and values.

The truth is, I did try to change, to be “normal.” And I suffered more. Regardless of how hard I tried to fit the mold other people had for me, I failed. Until one day I realized I’m not meant to live another person’s life. I’m only meant to live mine. That was the day I became free to simply be me.

The bottom line is that even if being gay were my choice, we must question how responsible it is to use thousand-year-old texts to rationalize the condemnation of those whose sexuality, religion, ethnicity, political beliefs, or socioeconomic status are different from our own.

If we’re going to create lives of love, compassion, and purpose, we have the charge to question what we believe. It is only by asking questions of ourselves and the world that we can improve from generation to generation.

Imagine life without the vast medical advancements of the past couple hundred years. Research and evaluation are how theories and formulas are adapted, adjusted, and made more reliable and applicable or wisely abandoned.

At first we thought the atom was the smallest particle of matter. Then we discovered even smaller particles: electrons, protons, and neutrons. And with particle accelerators, we discovered smaller things yet, called quarks.

Until the mid-twentieth century, we had no idea of the vastness of outer space. Then we discovered that the Earth resides in a galaxy among billions of others.

We are part of a continuous chain of civilizations asking questions and wanting answers. We come to conclusions and pass them on to the next generation. Advancing the complexity of the questions we ask, and making positive adjustments based on our findings, are part of the natural process of change.

Everything is designed to change and progress — the seasons, our planet, nature; scientific, technological, and cosmological discoveries; even ourselves. This means our spiritual beliefs, texts, and practices are meant to change and advance as well. Spiritual advancement ensures that we bring accountability, compassion, and principled excellence to the table when addressing challenges and opportunities.

No matter what is written in ancient texts, we can change what is deemed spiritually responsible as our world changes. Pushing against the status quo is exactly what each enlightened messenger has done and continues to do. Questioning beliefs, including those that hold homosexuality as sinful, is spiritually prudent, particularly since science now provides evidence for biological and environmental causes.

Emerging on the other side of such a painful journey, I learned that the divine power I believe in manifests itself as love. Love does not judge others; not by sexual orientation, skin color, size, or any of the countless ways we are different.

What matters is how responsibly we behave as people of good, compassionate, and kind character. We honor, respect, and nurture individuality. We help make the world a better place by our being alive. We spread acceptance by treating others as we want to be treated. That is something God is very okay with, whether we are gay or not.

The Kindness of Strangers by Rev. Britt Skarda

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers…    Hebrews 13:2

Today I found myself far from home standing in sub-freezing weather trying to insert a dollar bill in a bill changer to secure coins for the parking meter. The changer was out of order and I felt helpless.

At this precise moment a tall dark Middle Eastern man happened by.  In a heavy accent, he asked if I needed change.

“Yes,” I responded. “Come with me,” he said.

I followed him down the street to his car. He unlocked the door, leaned down and reached deep beneath the driver’s seat. I was surprised when he stood up, turned around, and held out a Tupperware container.  Inside it held pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

“Take what you need,” he insisted. I reached inside and took a handful of quarters and dimes. I then reached in my pocket and held out several dollar bills to pay for the change.

“No, no!” he insisted.

“But, I want to pay you back,” I replied. He smiled and politely refused to take my money.  I smiled back, felt a tear forming in my eye, and I thanked him for his generosity.

We then shared one of the warmest handshakes ever and parted ways.

Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” May it ever be so!  Thanks be to God!


Beware Tech Neck by Risa Potters, D. C.


Long ago when I was in school studying anatomy, I had the privilege of dissecting a female body in a quiet setting.  She looked to have been in her seventies or eighties when she died, frail and thin.  What was interesting to me was the pronounced lump in the back of her neck, noticeable when we turned her on her belly.  This is sometimes known to be called a “dowager’s hump” – a term I really hate.

This protrusion growing over C7/T1, is actually a postural issue created when the heavy skull sits in a forward head position.  When the head doesn’t sit directly on top of the Atlas – the C-shaped first cervical vertebra – it glides forward; the body, in its wisdom, brings in connective tissue to cover the pronounced spinous processes of those vertebral bodies to hold the head in place.

Although that “lump” might look like new bone growing in a woman who might be osteoporotic, it’s actually soft tissue that would completely go away if her head was retracted directly on top of her spine, instead of protracted forward. 

Depressed, or looking at your phone? 

What I learned early in my training was that our bodies are plastic, able to conform to the shapes we often use.  This malleable tendency is created by our connective tissue – that soft tissue that shapes us.  Connective tissue has several different qualities:  It can be liquid, like blood; hard, like bone; or, soft, like all of the tissues that wrap our muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones.  This type of soft tissue actually holds us together, allowing us to be flexible.

When we “overuse” our muscles, for instance, our bodies target the area with more connective tissue, creating a rigidity that stabilizes and protects the area.  Those places can feel “lumpy” and sensitive.

The good news… 

The good news is that because CT is so malleable, we can change its shape easily by changing behavior.  If your shoulders feel tight, losing normal movement, doing frequent shoulder rolls and other shoulder movements with mindfulness, will eventually break through the stiff CT, liquefying and softening it.

Because we live with the heavy weight of Gravity upon us nearly 24/7, it’s important to consider Ida Rolf’s idea of stacking the joints like blocks or McKenzie’s head retraction exercises, pulling the ears back to meet the shoulders.

As Charlie Brown reminds us, our bodies are influenced by our emotions ; we tend to flex forward when we feel sad, or open and expand when we feel happy and proud.  Changing into an expansive body position can shift our mood into a positive place if we have have been feeling depressed.  By now we should all realize that the body and mind communicate. 

The magnificent Jane Goodall… 

“It’s been an amazing journey, this life of mineThis planet has filled me with the wonder of all living things, great and small.  We cannot ignore this Earth that surrounds us, that feeds us, shelters us, replenishes our bodies and souls and stretches our imaginations….Where animals, plants and air all care for us. 

We’re all connected – people, animals and our environment.  When Nature suffers, we suffer and when Nature flourishes, we all flourish.” -Jane Goodall 

Jane Goodall just won the prestigious Templeton Prize, for a lifetime’s work on saving the lives of the chimps – our closest primate relatives.  I’m putting this section about Jane Goodall into this blog because of her work.  We can see the similarities between us and the chimps just by looking at how our structures have evolved.  According to Jane, Chimps are similar to humans in these ways:

-They can live to be 60 years old;

-They use sounds, gestures and movements to communicate;

-They have sophisticated cooperation between one another;

-They understand suffering and emotions;

-They recognize themselves.

We share 98.6% of our DNA with the chimps, including similar brain structure and immunity.  They form family relationships and suckle their young for 5 years.

There is a blurry line between us and the chimps, especially when we now see our posture folding into chimp shape as we drop into “tech neck”…

The Exquisite F**# U by Lauren Haze

March 2022 marks two years since the world changed.

On March 11, 2020, was my significant marker. One of my jobs told me not to come in. As we all know things proceeded to shut down across our collective worlds. It was a deadly game of dominoes, a vision of synchronistic energy flow. Once the first spread began a pandemic of dis-ease erupted on many levels.

Since everything is an acronym, I’ll sarcastically join the crowd. Henceforth in this blog, EFU = Exquisite F**# U. I trust we all know what that means. Saying F**# U to someone is personal. Many of us, myself included, often feel like the victim in situations. Our experiences have definitely been different. We are reminded daily, however, that we have all been isolated.

I call it exquisite because it’s been about solitude. We felt what it’s like to really live alone. You found out how much you love or hate that. You had time to get to know yourself and maybe make some adjustments. Some of us experienced spending lots of time with our partners, parents and/or children. We found out if we really liked those people. Dealing with patience is inevitable from Trader Joe’s to vaccine sites.

Isolation unearths feelings that were easily masked in the old days of normal life. Unless you have been a monk, cloistered nun, a prisoner punished with solitary confinement, or chosen an isolated retreat, etc., this is different. This has been unlike anything we have known as a whole. As events played out it seemed as if this was needed.

I send openhearted condolences to all those who have lost loved ones. Blessed be the mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers, aunts, grandparents and friends that have transitioned. I lost my Mother on February 22, 2020. She was 100 1/2years young! I flew in to help with arrangements without a mask. When it was time to leave I was masked and sanitized. The new normal had begun.

Maybe you don’t think our situation has been exquisite in any way. We all have different feelings and see things from our own perspective. I’ve chosen to challenge some of my old ways and have been working on getting rid of some behaviors and belief systems that are outdated for reaching my dreams. I’m
working on more openness to things I don’t understand with less judgement and more discernment.

GIFTS are in the EFU 

I found gifts in this transitional void. I realized I was a person that “eked out silver linings” or you could say a person who looked at life, most of the time, with her “glass half filled.” Maybe you’re thinking, of course, that’s the way to go. That idea is not for everybody. I had a client say to me years ago…”Ohhh you are one of those glass half-filled people,” as if it was a bad thing.

I want to move through life and all of its challenges in a more positive way. Learning to recognize smiling eyes above a mask is a gift. Each breath is a gift. I’m gifted with my health at this moment, and not taking it for granted.

I could see a gift in all the time I had with my Mother and all she had done for me. I chose to make a gift out of forgiving all that she didn’t do for me. I enjoyed the gift of getting closer to my big sister and nephew as we dealt with Mom’s transition. I continue to work on the gift of forgiveness towards myself for not being able to do all that I wanted for her when she was alive. Mom’s neighbors shared how much she meant to them in her assisted living residence. I was told that she always had a smile and went out of her way to help those who were mostly younger than her.

The gift of love never dies, yet it’s hard to lose our loved ones. Their love and support lives beyond the veil.

A Life Taken Becomes a Sacrificial Marker for Change

On May 31, 2020, Derrick Chauvin and officers made a heinous statement by kneeling on a man’s neck until he died. Hatred tore open old wounds as we witnessed the malicious murder of George Floyd. My DNA ached with loss, years of rage, and hopelessness. There was blood on the cotton before it was picked.

Supremacist violence is America’s fiber. We were asked to examine privilege.

How can we make a difference? We were all asked to look deeply at ourselves. We certainly had the time and we must continue to keep the tough conversations alive. The world protested their pain because WE ALL lost a fellow human that day. Via text and social media, Angelenos held a vigil, one night. We stood in silence in front of our home for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Our broken hearts grieving, we cried imagining our breath being taken away. Intolerance prevails. Hatred and ignorance destroyed Senate chambers. Violence prevails in the LGBTQ and Asian communities. Injustices towards Native Americans, all peoples of color and women continues.

I humbly ask for us all to attempt to see more gifts in each and every moment. Let’s start with the gift of breathing. Each thing we learn is a gift. We have the awe inspiring gift of Mother Nature. Look at all the emotions surrounding the gifts our pets and animals on the planet bring us. More and more, I’m feeling the gift of being on Earth at this time. Feel into the gift of a human being. Can we be humans loving? I embrace the gift of choosing to transmute any low self esteem into self- love. I imagine what the vibration of one-love for all would feel like and send it out during meditation. We exist here and now. We can heal together. Our greatest gift is life and the possibility for peace in each moment.

Let’s fill our lungs with air as we fill our beings with gratitude. We can glean lessons, if we are willing, from the challenges.

There is only love or fear. Choose Love.

Lauren Haze

Lauren Haze

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