Changing my point of view

Changing yourself is never comming by force from outside. Changing yourself is a kind of enlightment you have to feel and the moment you see and feel the better for yourself of changing something, you will do things differently because you saw, it’s worth it. (Which doesn’t mean, that once in a while you fall back to old habits… it’s part of changing)

If you follow my blog already for a while, you know my love comes from a different culture and some problems which we face are cultural ones, some are problems many couples have. For a very long time, I suffered from our very different way of communication – which is mainly shaped by our different origins of culture – and a little bit by the family sourrounding we come from.

For me communication is part of our relationship, it’s like making love… a good talk can give you a stronger bond, as you feel how much you share. Making love also gives a strong bond, feeling how deeply you can be connected on a non-verbal way. (In case you are not the talkative one ;). ) At the same moment a good talk is one of the ways to confirm the relationship, especially when you are not together and sharing daily life. It’s the way to get yourself a hug, to get close, to know – what’s going on.

And than there are people who can have all this inside their hearts, making this dialogue to a monologue, because they can wait and their way of talking “love” is mostly done non-verbal. Everybody has it’s own way to handle distance.

This difference was getting back to me, again and again. Trying dialogue and not hearing the answering monologue made it sometimes really hard for me to understand, how love can exist like that. And it needed a lot of fights, discussions and later talks about it – how I feel, how my love feels, and what we both expect and think in exactly this situations. Anyway I still found myself in a lot of siutations, where I tried to “think it”, but it never really worked out, as my heart felt differently. … till the day came, that i experienced something new.

I changed my point of view on somethings, taken by daily life again and maybe more grown in some capacities, all of a sudden, I could hear the monologue as an answer on my dialogues. And I could sit quiet and wait… to hear the monologue becoming louder and more clearly to me. I don’t know jet, if my love could start understanding the dialogue at the same moment, but obviously it was mostly me having a problem with the way of communication, so to solve it, was also more interesting to me.

I assume, that one huge blockade was I myself. That some fears or voices inside me were talking to loud, to really listen to what I was supposed to hear. Now I know that to tolerate the difference between our different ways of communication is also part of the solution for that exact problem. And this is my changed point of few and the moment when I startet to hear, what I was supposed to hear.

See also To measure your treasure…

Summary:

Take your time to really put your finger on a problem which is comming again and again to disturbe you. Make sure you find out the original problem behinde the appearance… And try to work on it. Keep in dialogue about the problem. Don’t be to hard with yourself or your partner, some things come slowly and some things need you to develop some qualities before you might understand – like a computergame, where you have to collect something in level 2 to fight the enemy in level 4. 😉

The traces of love, we leave behind…

“Das einzige Wichtige im Leben sind die Spuren der Liebe, die wir hinterlassen, wenn wir gehen.” Albert Schweizer

“The most important thing in life are the traces of love, that we leave behind when we go.” Albert Schweizer

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What a beautiful and komplex quotation form a person, who was not just a brilliant genius but also a human being with a lot of life-philosophy to share.

The fragment of love reflects in all the small things we do and most of all in those which we do with love. My heart beats the very moment, I can engage people in thinking about life, love and theirselves. Too often our minds are just inside the box, which is well build by society, but finding ways to think out of the box, is where my heartbeat gets faster. Teaching students to believe in theirselves to choose that way of thinking, teaching people and force them to leave the comfort zone at least once, trying to push people beyond their limits, to face a new level – is my love I share. It also reflects in my writing and my photographs.

I guess people surrounding me and which I love the most, suffer from that kind of love I give. Once in a while maybe they hate it. I normally chase away strangers with this attitude, lovely are the once who stay.

Now I like to know:

What is your trace of love you leave behind, when you go?

When does your heart beat gets faster and long nights could come?

 

Looking for the fragment in daily life…

I lately read a blogpost that talked about “daily life” as the real spiritual way of life. The post said, that building structures for your life, which you keep for every day, is the true way of building your life.

That post really hit me, as I was always someone running away from routines, from daily life structures that come again – as one day is like the others. I considered routines even as the killing factor for love and relationship. I kept myself always busy to make something new, something different, to change, to create, to break out, to run away …

In deed, I still think routine could kill me or love, but not routine which is a structure in life. Routines, that fix us, like a photo become dangerous. The daily life should always stay open for changes, in case they come. However the routines work for us, why not.

I think, what I actually ran away from, was myself. I have been afraid of that I could not be enough, wether for myself nor for my love. Changing always, trying something new gives new challenges and new perspectives – but it was all a hiding from “I could get to boring” to myself or the person loving me.

Creating a daily life might not be a fragment of love, but it is a permanent shining of love. Building such a routine is a good sign, that you not just love the first exciting things, but the heart and the soul of your partner. You choose yourself which elements you keep, as you love doing them or which have to be changed. Why should you not jump out of the bed to have a coffee and find out about your favorite news first or why not jumping out of the bed and run for the work you love, before breakfast?

Love does not become boring, because you constructed your own house, where the two of you are comfortable – but love got a place to grow and spread its energy.

Summary: 

Build your routine, choose carefully and start loving it! 🙂

Your love is my love…

Sometimes you have one of these days: Everything goes wrong, your colleague has to point out today what you don’t need to hear and a person on the street needs to disturb your fragil freedom, you don’t come home today, because you are out for work – though you want to come home badly and just close the door.

The only people I let close to me at those days is my family, my love. I just need a place, where I can be exactly like I feel after closing the door. For sure, these days when I can’t come home and try to call my love, I don’t get through because there is a network problem or he is busy and doesn’t pick the phone. I won’t continue to write, how that kind of days normally end… I just leave it to you.

… The days he is picking or I get through, I just love him for standing me the way I am and listening to all the small, small things I need to complain about. Telling him any little injustice which made that day to one of those days. You know your love is a good choice, if he is somebody who treats you exactly the way you need to be treated, to get back on your feet. For some people it might be a hard treatment: “Stop crying. Don’t let it get to you!” for some it might be the very nice comforting way: “My love, I understand. Tomorrow the day will be better, baby…”. It doesn’t matter how you need it, but that there are people who know what to do. And this people are real treasures. So keep them around, but don’t just call them when you are down. 😉

Summary:

Love is not just the big movie and romance you find in Hollywood. Love is also part of daily life. Love is not just the good days, but also the arms which hide you from the world, the day you feel like hiding from the world. If you found that pair of arms, you are one of the lucky ones. And it doesn’t have to be necessarily your love. Sometimes it’s your mum, your baby, your sister or brother or a very good person around you…

It’s worth to stay…

I hold on to the things I believe in, my faith, your love, our freedom.

Our society is determined by innovation, by the latest trends, by the day after tomorrow… Sometimes we loose the focus, because everybody and everything tries to catch our eye. Things are created the way, that you can’t stay satisfied for long, without going for the next thing. I refuse to always run for the next thing, just because the one I have, is a little old already or uncomfortable for the moment.

It’s not easy to stay on one thing, wether it’s love, relationship, your principles or your way of life. Very often the best advice from people is: “You should know what you want and how long you can take this.” … “You should know, what’s best for yourself!” … “Don’t forget about yourself.” This is not enough.

Difficult times always come in life. Difficult times always come in relationship. And I am not talking about the difficulties between two people (but it also could be that), but the one coming from outside. Times where you have to hang on and know it will get better, just not right now. Myself-therapy is to talk about it with friends. I need to share to get rid of negativ feelings and ideas. Unfortunately a lot of times I just get this kind of advices, which point out, that I should not stand the situation, but change it or drop it. Mostly I get quiet, as for me: It’s worth to stay. That means, you can’t always just decide what’s best for yourself. It’s not always about the very moment, but about a longer distance you have to endure. To hang on is also an effort, which is not easy to do.

I learned in Cameroon that it’s worth to stay, though you don’t know when things get better. Till now, it always was worth staying. Seeing people running restless from one new thing to another, playing the same games again and again, wasting energy on the never ending story… I just can be cool about it, because I compare for myself what I create with exactly that energy. And it’s beautiful. I see what I can get back from it and I just know: It’s worth to stay.

Summary:

Point out for yourself, what you want. Don’t let the outside come to your heart and determine you to change or to go and catch the next thing. Have faith, that holding on to something will pay in future times. You don’t need to think about a better option or the non plus ultra – just because everybody else does. Stay focused on what your life and love is really about. 

 

Love is a creating power!

 

„Love is the shaping of the chaos. Eros is the power to create beauty out of the unformed material.“ Plato freely translated.

(Ficino Marsilio: De amore. 2004, p. 23)

Plato describes love as the light, which turns the chaos to God as the good power. The chaos is turning into shapes and beauty is created by the good power of love. The classical (european) example: The sculptor is working on an unformed rock. He or she is creating beauty in forming the rock to a sculpture.

Another example which I really love… Imagine all the instruments, melodies and possibilities of creating a song. Imagine all the sounds and influences, voices and texts you could put in one song. Our Artist would be the one forming power in this example. Full of love for music or for somebody he could create a song out of all this, which is pure beauty. It’s this kind of song which is playing endlessly in your playlist. It’s that kind of song which is moving something inside your heart, which could make you cry, which you maybe share with one loved person, which brings you in just one second a lot of good memories or makes you feel love for your love – the very moment you are listening to the song. You have such a song, right? I have a lot. And it’s a wonderful fragment of love in my life.

Create something between you and a person you love. It overcomes any distance as it’s one thing you share.

Summary:

Share your love in creating beauty out of the chaos. It’s completely up to you, how to creat, just try to feel the love in your creation.

Sweet memories

“Loving can hurt

You know it can hurt sometimes (…)

You know it can get hard sometimes”

Ed Sheeran  “Photograph”

Ed Sheeran is talking not about the feeling of a first love or of falling in love, but about the reality in a serious relationship. Sometimes love hurts… when you are separated for too long, when you fight, when you have hard times. Somehow you survive, sometimes you don’t.

Challenges in a love between cultures can be as simple as in any other relationship: distance, to bring two lives together, having your first baby or some annoying people to disturb your love, facing yourself and so on…

How to get through this hard times: Photographs helped me through the times of separation (two years in whole). I had one wall for just myself in my sleeping room with a lot of pictures of good memories. All of them showing small moments from the good times with my love. Sometimes I talked to them in the morning, sometimes I took them to bed, sometimes I just remembered the whole moment around this one shot, once in a while I shared my day with them. People may call me insane talking to a piece of colored paper, but who cares as long as it gives you strength to overcome hard times.

I guess, this is what Ed Sheeran is talking about, too.

“It’s the only thing that makes us feel alive.

So you can keep me inside the pocked of your ripped jeans…”

Summary: 

Do whatever makes you feel good. Don’t forget the good moments when it gets hard. Keep a smile around you, if it is on a picture or in the face of your love – it will help you, when hard times come. 

Racism and Love?

„The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; i did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America. When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re alone together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters. But we don’t talk about it. We don’t even tell our white partners the small things that piss us off and the things we wish they understood better, because we’re worried the will say we’re overreacting, or we’re being to sensitive.“ 

(Adichie: Americanah 2013, p. 290)

Adichie is describing love between two human beings, between an American and a Nigerian, between a black and a white person, between a man and a woman, between people from two different cultures. Her point of few is the Nigerian girl in America.

Your origin is a topic, especially when you are obviously from different cultures. (That means people see it with their eyes!) The quotation says very well, that the topic might not matter between the lovers as long as they are alone, but the moment you step out, it becomes an issue. Wether we are in Cameroon or in Germany, with friends or family, at work or in the neighborhood – the topic is there. People have cliches in their minds, people are interested in your story, people heard something about “such” couples, people are happy to see something different, people like to gossip, people like to share.

Being from two obvious different cultures gives you sometimes more possibilities to define yourselves and your love, sometimes it demands a lot of strength to keep racism outside of your emotional sphere.

Positiv is…

A lot of people don’t measure your relationship and judge as they do with others. Because they don’t know what is normal or strange for your situation.

Family just observes first, to get to know the new member. You are not necessarily forced into same traditional rituals and if you miss a nice gesture, probably you didn’t know about it. That’s the good case. If you have your family behind you, you are already an a good way…

You really get into another culture. It’s not just a visit to a new place, but if you open up you will be invited to enter the other culture. And than you should also talk about the things, which piss you off.

Negativ:

Already in bureaucracy you meet a lot of problems. A Cameroonian needs a visa for Germany, which is not as easy to get as a Visa for Cameroon. While I just need to send my documents and for sure I have to pay the visa, my love has to fill in a lot of documents, fight for a date to apply for the visa, he has to feel that he is not really wanted in our country and that he will be considered as a suspect from the moment he crosses the border.

Sometimes when he comes to Germany people ask him, if they can send something to his family like cloths or drugs. They don’t mean to be rude, but it is. It’s the only idea a lot of people have about Africans, that they are poor.

It gets really dirty, when people approach you with the prejudices: You are just a couple because of the papers for Europe. The white person brings the money and gets sex. Actually I read once that about 80% of marriages in Europe are motivated by the financial aspect. And I mean white-white couples.

 

Summary: 

Don’t let it get to you! Don’t let it get between you! Talk about your feelings, even the littlest feeling! Don’t attack your partner!

Talk to each other and talk to people about how it feels. In my eyes, there is no other way to overcome the cliches and prejudices which come with such a love. However it should never rule your relationship. 

To measure your treasure…

Sometimes we are too deep and too close in our relationship. You start fighting about the small things: Who has to buy water or how to wash dishes… These little fights are not essential for the love between two people, although they become the most important things in some relationships after a while. If you start fighting about those things, you have lost the main focus. I would say, you need to step back.

In a binational relationship you are forced once in a while to stand longer distances, though you don’t always want it. Wether it’s for work, family or visits you leave for your “home country” for some weeks, a month or half a year. These separations are not always easy, but most of the times worth it.

The moment I leave my love and find myself in another place alone for days and nights, just in contact via “what’s app” or “skype” I realize a lot of things. It’s like a bench, where you sit down to look back on the path you have already taken and to estimate the next challenges coming soon. I sometimes loose the main focus with all these things going on in my daily life, but being forced to sit down on this bench for a while always helps me to get it back. While people around me pity me once in a while, one part inside of me is also looking forward to those moments. Why?

The moment I prepare for leaving and the first days and weeks, I just enjoy the longing for my love. These very intense moments show me every time that our love still grows. The first days I am alone I find myself in some situations in which I burst out laughing about the last stupid fight we had.Sometimes I even start missing the little things I complained about before. (I also enjoy watching a whole day my favorite season, sitting crying in front of my laptop without being disturbed.)

Finally I am able to look back and appreciate what I have. I let go of these small things which are not essential in my relationship and I get back to the main focus. I have a lot of time for myself and thus has my love. After those periods we just enjoy each other with a new pinch of the charm of first love.

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pictures by Carolina E.

Summary:

A change of perspective is helpful in every situation of life. Especially for things we consider negative or difficult in the beginning, it could help us or give us a new point of view. 

Distance in a relationship sometimes brings you closer than you have been before. It’s also necessary to stay yourself and become aware of your priorities or your own life (in the relationship). 

Distance and love are not two different things. They are emphasizing each other. 

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” Ludwig Wittgenstein.

This quotation gave me a lot of inspiration. Actually the limits of our language are the limits of our world. At least under the conditions that we share our world with other people. To share your ideas, your dreams, your feelings and your inner world – you need words to describe this world to somebody. And everybody knows the very moment you try to catch a feeling or an idea you want to express, but you lack the words. At these very moments I mostly feel very uncomfortable, that I am not able to put it in to words, and the person I am talking to stays somehow in a foggy land, trying to follow but not really sure about taking the right path.

So in a relationship between cultures you have to be very attentive in listening to your love, as both people mostly don’t use the same language or expressions. You may be describing the same thing, but using different styles and expressions to paint the same picture with respect to your language. You may be drawing the same image but with different colors and finally you don’t understand each other rightly. Nevertheless, this is not a bad thing. If you are dealing even with two languages, I don’t think that your world is limited where your “language” stops, but where both languages stop. That means your range is growing.

(Not just for the fact, that you learn a second language well.)

To get back to Wittgensteins quotiation – at the same moment  there is something missing. A spoken language is one side of communication, but there is also the unspoken language, which crosses the limits exactly at the point where you lack words to express. Everybody knows the following situation: You enter a party with many people. At the very first moment there will be at least one person catching your attention and maybe one person you don’t want to talk to at all. This phenomenon is just part of the wide range of unspoken communication. There is more, we can’t put into words. And maybe we don’t have to put it into words.

How would you describe in words that feeling when your lover takes your hand and presses it strongly, to let you know that he or she is there for you in a difficult moment. Would you call it support, love, comfort … etc” Is there really a word good enough to explain the feeling in it’s entirety? Well I don’t think so. How would you describe the feeling of a hug after two months without your partner? That one hug which tells you more about the time he or she spent alone and the joy to see you again, than anything else:  Would it be enough to say “I missed you badly!” or “Good to see you again!”… etc.

Summary:

Understanding what your lover tells you is important, so listen well and talk about your understanding. Sometimes it is even more worth to talk about expressions and what they mean, because by so doing, you find out whether or not you are speaking the same “language”, though you are not speaking the same language.

At the same moment, try to feel what’s going on and trust your feelings. There is so much more in that unspoken language, that you can’t catch from words so stay attentive and find ways to express yourself, so that your language is not an absolute limit to your world.