A ‘Renovator’s Delight’ Is Rarely A Good Relationship Choice!

“There is only one real sin, and that is to persuade oneself that the second-best is anything but the second-best.” 
~  Doris Lessing

 

In Australia we have a term for houses that need a stupid amount of work to make them habitable. We call them Renovator’s Delights, and you can be sure that anything that is advertised as such is sure to be a money pit, no matter how much a Real Estate Agent might tell you otherwise in their eagerness to get you to commit to a sale. These houses have much more than cosmetic flaws that could be easily fixed with a coat of paint or some new handles or light fittings. A Renovator’s Delight hides serious structural flaws that are often not apparent to the rookie buyer. This kind of work is expensive to repair, if it can be repaired at all. A smart buyer would be better off looking for a different investment opportunity.

Sometimes a seller will disguise a Renovator’s Delight with a quick paint job and some landscaping so that it looks visually appealling – they can sell you on ‘the dream’ as long as you don’t dig too deep. This is an even worse situation for a buyer who hasn’t done their homework and organised a complete building inspection because they won’t be prepared for the devastating structural issues they will one day find below that pretty surface.

So what does that have to do with relationships? A lot, actually.

In all my time of guiding, advising and counselling others, especially sensitive and empathic souls and those who identify as ‘spiritual’ or ‘healers’ I’ve seen many good men and women choosing the human equivalent of a Renovator’s Delight in love relationships.

Very few people lead with their faults and flaws in a new relationship. That’s normal. We all want to be thought well of, and to be successful in making a relationship last. And what’s perfect anyway? All of us have idiosyncrasies and quirks. Much of that is also what makes us appealing to others. This truth is evident when you see people buy a home. Oh my goodness, one person will say. I can’t stand all those funny little stained-glass windows. That alone will be enough for them to choose not to buy. Oh my goodness, the next person will say. Look at all those funny little stained-glass windows. I totally love that! After which they will buy the house because those funny little windows really spoke to something in their soul.

Image from Alamy at www.architecturaldigest.com

Sometimes after we’ve lived in a home, loved it and been happy there, disaster strikes. A pipe bursts. There is a fire in the kitchen. Termites eat out a pillar or a roof support. But it’s our home. We love it. So we fix it, or try to. We do the work together with our partner, friends or family, we bring experts in, or in some cases we decide to just accommodate the problem and we learn to live with it. In human terms this can be a sudden illness, a bad decision, a stupid action, a transgression, loss of a job or some other calamity. Our commitment to what has been a good and happy relationship and the love involved allows us to stay together, despite a structural flaw. Importantly, everyone acknowledges that flaw. No-one covers it up or suggests that it isn’t real.

Human Renovator’s Delights in new relationships often know that they have serious flaws but they are not invested in fixing them, and they go to great lengths to hide them. Some trade on these flaws or backstory in order to get or keep attention and to excuse behaviours and beliefs. Some will be honest and tell you they are not good relationship material. They mean it, and they say it to give you an out, but a Lightworker or empath will then feel it is their responsibility to stay, help, and fix things.

Inside all of us is a compass that helps us to see if the person in front of us has quirks that will endear them to us or that we can learn to live with, or if there are serious structural flaws that make this relationship not worth our investment. What’s always needed for sound relationship decisions is time and the ability to tune in to that inner compass.

I have friends and clients going through hard times in relationships right now, and they’re wondering how they ended up where they are – with a lover who cheats or gambles, with a husband who suddenly wants out, with a boss who keeps lying.

They’re hurt, distressed and devastated at what has happened and they’ve asked me the questions: Why did this happen? How did this happen? Why did I not see this coming?

Truly, a wise part of them did see it coming. A wise part of them already knew. All of us have intuition, and instinct. This force within us operates with a vast amount of information – not just our conscious awareness.

When pressed, all of these people eventually admitted that there had been things in their relationship from early on that made them uncomfortable. Or there was a point where things began to change, and that point was a long way from where they are now.

In each situation my clients and friends had intuitively picked up on an energy or behaviour that was out of flow, out of truth – either with the way the other person was presenting themselves within the relationship, or with how their partner’s actions and behaviours conflicted with their own values and beliefs. In each case their intuition  red-flagged something, using those feelings of discomfort and that instinctive knowledge to bring the situation to their conscious attention.

So why didn’t they allow themselves to be guided by that intuition? Quite simply, their mind got in the way. They discounted, excused, second-guessed or validated that discomfort away. They saw what they wanted to see, or needed to see, rather than what was. They gave second chances, chose to believe what they were told, and shoved that discomfort back down where it no longer bothered them. In many instances they convinced themselves that the person could change, or that they could help them heal or find ways to help them overcome the issue. Or, they thought that they’d already invested too much to walk away, or that any relationship was better than being on their own.

In many situations this person’s life then became completely consumed by the relationship and their worries over how to fix it, or whether to stay or go. All of the energy that they could have spent enjoying life, being creative, practicing self-care, building or maintaining other relationships was instead diverted into somehow trying to transform their relationship Renovator’s Delight into something more safe and habitable.

Just like a property that is a Renovator’s Delight sucks all your money, a relationship with a Renovator’s Delight sucks all your time and energy until there’s nothing left for anything or anyone else. (Narcissists and Sociopaths – the kind of Renovator’s Delight that can NEVER be fixed – will actually feed off your energy and then discard you once you’re broken or no longer of value to them.)

 

Tune in for a moment. What’s your intuition been telling you? How much of your time is wrapped up in this relationship? Are you both emotionally invested in solving problems and making things work? Is there any action or is it all talk and broken promises? Is it worth it?

A friend of mine recently sold a Renovator’s Delight after finally accepting (ten years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later) that she was never going to make it what she needed it to be. A new couple bought the house and then promptly demolished it to leave a clean canvas for their dream home. After my friend got over the shock she bought herself a brand new apartment with everything she needs – all in full working order. She couldn’t be happier.

The energies this week, and this month, support big decisions and coming into alignment with your values and inner core. Maybe it’s time for you to make a change.

You might also find these resources useful:

Using Your Internal Compass to Navigate Life

Understanding Intuition and Gut Instinct

or this program of eight free exercises designed to help you connect to and work with intuition, energy and the metaphysical:

Strengthening Your Intuition – A program of Exercises

Biggest hugs and love to you, Nicole  xx

 

 

When I Loved Myself Enough…

Image by Sibel

Image by Sibel

“You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away.”
~ C. JoyBell C.

 

After yesterday’s post about using the good china (and all those other good things we put away for special occasions) I received two messages that broke my heart. Here they are:

I cannot tell you how many times I have thrown away expensive chocolates that were ” too good” to eat. Or expensive perfumes and lotions that have turned bad because I was saving them. I have come to realize that I have such low self-esteem, I do not feel worthy. It is something I must work on.

and this…

I don’t feel like I deserve anything nice, Nicole. I don’t even know how loving myself would look. I’m not sure how to be nice to myself. How do you treat yourself well? I’m not even sure what that is.

So, for them, and as a reminder to you, I’ve put together a few ideas.

 

When I loved myself enough, I used the expensive lotions and perfumes that other people gave me. I’d even use them before I went to bed, so that I slept enveloped in a fragrant and beautiful cloud. How heavenly!

Image from Hermeswitch

Image from Hermeswitch

When I loved myself enough I was delighted when anyone gave me a delicious gift of food. I’d eat it slowly, or fast, or anyway I wanted, because every mouthful was an affirmation of love from the giver. And even better – yum!

Image from The Wendy House

Image from The Wendy House

When I loved myself enough I wore my good jewellery, even if it was to the school play, or afternoon tea on my own somewhere. I delighted in playing dress-ups, even though I was now grown up. Who doesn’t enjoy looking pretty? I enjoyed feeling the link with the place or person or memory connected with those jewels. And if the memory was rotten I made up a fantabulous story that made me feel much better, and let me be the hero of my own life.

Image from Wif&Hub

Image from Wif&Hub

When I loved myself enough I occasionally allowed myself to eat chocolate or cake or ice-cream for dinner. Or cheese and biscuits. Sometimes you just need that kind of a dinner after a rough day. And I’d fill myself up with romance novels or excellent old movies or endless youtube funny kitten clips. Most importantly I’d not allow myself a smidgeon of guilt. Who needs guilt if you already feel bad!

When I loved myself enough I chose to nourish my body with good nutritious foods. I cooked myself healthy meals, packed healthy lunches and went to yoga classes or for a walk with my dog. It’s my body and I have to live in it. I may as well keep the joint clean, tidy and in good working order. Anyway, it just feels better. And it’s never too late to start.

Image from Health Maven

Image from Health Maven

When I loved myself enough I realised that life was confusing, crazy and a little bit wild. Of course I’d occasionally look and feel dishevelled, brutalised or downright lost. I was patient with myself and kind. I made sure I got some early nights. I phoned a friend. I hugged my cat/dog/Significant Other/llama/Hello Kitty Pillow and spoke gentle words to myself until I felt better again.

Image by jr-Gong

Image by jr-Gong

When I loved myself enough I understood that I am a soul living in a skin suit. I have to wear that suit every day, and sometimes it stretches, shrinks, changes colour, gets worn-looking or bits break or even fall off. That’s okay. It happens to everyone, and I’ll have to give this suit back one day anyway. They’ll expect it back in used condition. I’ll be one of the lucky ones if I get to keep my skin suit for a long, long time. In the meantime I can nurture it with good food, pretty jewellery and dress-ups, yoga and lotions and perfumes and hugs.

Life is a gift. It’s short, precious, crazy and no-one is getting out of it alive. You might as well treat yourself well and make the best of it!

Heck-of-a-Lot-of-Fun

Sometimes You Need to Be The Lighthouse

Lighthouse on the High Sea by Jean GuicHRD

Lighthouse on the High Sea by Jean Guichard

“There are times when the ocean is not the ocean – not blue, not even water, but some violent explosion of energy and danger: ferocity on a scale only gods can summon. It hurls itself at the island, sending spray right over the top of the lighthouse, biting pieces off the cliff. And the sound is a roaring of a beast whose anger knows no limits.” 
~ M. L. Stedman – The Light Between Oceans

Perhaps you know of the following exchange, which may or may not be urban myth:

This is the transcript of the ACTUAL radio conversation of a British Naval Ship and the Irish, off the coast of Kerry, Oct 95. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-03-02:

Irish: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South, to avoid a collision.

British: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North, to avoid a collision.

Irish: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

British: This is the captain of a British navy ship. I say again, divert your course.

Irish: Negative. I say again, You will have to divert your course.

British: This is the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible. The second largest ship in the British Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, two missile cruisers, and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course, 15 degrees north, I say again, that is 15 degrees north, or counter-measures will be undertaken to ensure that safety of this ship.

Irish: We are a lighthouse. Your call.

This is a post for those of you going through difficult times, or difficult relationships. (Actually they can often be the same thing.)

Even though this is a post about Lighthouses I am NOT going to advocate all that New Age feel-good stuff about shining your Light and being a radiant example of unconditional love, peace and incredible oneness in the face of hardship.

Sorry about that.

Not that those things aren’t wonderful and admirable. But sometimes it’s simply not possible to hold that space.

I have a friend going through a very difficult divorce right now, after years of being married to a man who is one part Prince Charming and one part emotionally manipulative bully. Her husband has a fearsome temper. He’s a narcissist. And right now, now that she’s really left him for good (and yes, she’s somewhere safe), the charm is gone – he is battering her verbally and emotionally to get his way.

She knows that is what he does. And usually he wins because other people eventually give in, worn down by his behaviour. She has always given in, worn down by his behaviour.

In the midst of all of this (when her own lawyer began to realise what this woman had been enduring and took her to a Domestic Violence Support Group) my friend wanted to know how to best hold her husband in love and come from that place of Love and Light. Should she pray for him? How should she help him?

Meanwhile this man is raging around her like the foulest of tempests. And she thinks she needs to stay ‘open’ to him, to engage with him, to support him…

“Be the Lighthouse,” I said. “You know, the one you see in the famous picture where there’s a storm and the ocean is smashing down upon that Lighthouse, and the Lighthouse just stands, immovable?”

She nodded.

“Stand your ground. Be well prepared. Let him rage as much as you like, and know that eventually, like any storm, he’ll blow himself out. Don’t engage him. Don’t try to help or fix him. A Lighthouse does not engage with a storm, it simply endures, and goes on honouring its true nature.”

That’s what we need to do with some people and situations in our lives. It’s not our place to be the healer or the fixer. In fact, it might be what is needed is for us to walk away.

Sometimes we can’t walk away – from a job, an illness, a relationship. Instead we need to stay and find a way to make the situation work, or find a way to better cope with that situation. We have to find a way to endure because something in the equation is important to us; important enough for us to need to find a way to deal with this less-than-ideal space.  Like a good friend of mine who puts up with his sister’s rude spouse in order to maintain a relationship with his sibling. Or my friend suffering through chemotherapy and radiation to prolong her life long enough to give her a little more time with her precious partner and children. Each of them ‘enters the Lighthouse’ when they deal with these issues. They batten down the hatches, and let the waves crash around them until the storm is passed. The Lighthouse is their coping strategy.

Or maybe we can’t walk away just yet – although that might be our end game. Instead we need to reach a settlement, have our day in court, finish the job, get to the end of the treatment, submit the final paper. Then we can pack our bags and get on our way!

When we can’t retreat, we can choose to be the Lighthouse, standing firm in the storm.

We make preparations, or follow our emergency plan. When bad weather approaches we put up the storm shutters. We lock down the doors and windows to make them watertight. We make sure we have candles and matches, a warm jumper, supplies and a good book. Where necessary we use a support crew. We do all we can to keep ourselves safe and give ourselves the best chance for a bright future.

As to shining your Light? Why not do that for YOU? Turn your Light inwards for a while. Put your own needs first right now, attend to your wounds, conserve your energy, nourish yourself.

When the storm has passed and the weather is clear and fine – then we can have that New Age chat about Love, Light, Rainbows, Puppies and Unicorns. Okay?

But for now, if you’re weathering that storm because there’s no way to chart another course then my advice is to look after you. Be the Lighthouse.

Plenty of time for other things once the storm has passed.

You might also find these posts useful:

How to get through the hard stuff

How to deal with toxic people