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Gateway Counselling and Therapy Leicester

Safe Professional Counselling and Therapy in Leicester

My Blog


Carrying Hate

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 7:21 AM Comments comments (101)
Easier said than done, but still consider the implications of the following story ...

How The Hate We Carry Can Burden Us.

A kindergarten teacher has decided to let her class play a game.

The teacher told each child in the class to bring along a plastic bag containing a few potatoes. Each potato will be given a name of a person that the child hates, so the number of potatoes that a child will put in his/her plastic bag will depend on the number of people he/she hates.

So when the day came, every child brought some potatoes with the name of the people he/she hated. Some had 2 potatoes; some 3 while some up to 5 potatoes.
The teacher then told the children to carry with them the potatoes in the plastic bag wherever they go (even to the toilet) for 1 week.

Days after days passed by, and the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell let out by the rotten potatoes. Besides, those having 5 potatoes also had to carry heavier bags. 

After 1 week, the children were relieved because the game had finally ended.
The teacher asked: "How did you feel while carrying the potatoes with you for 1 week?" The children let out their frustrations and started complaining of the trouble that they had to go through having to carry the heavy and smelly potatoes wherever they go.

Then the teacher told them the hidden meaning behind the game. The teacher said: "This is exactly the situation when you carry your hatred for somebody inside your heart. The stench of hatred will contaminate your heart and you will carry it with you wherever you go. If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten potatoes for just 1 week, can you imagine what is it like to have the stench of hatred in your heart for your lifetime?"

Stole, by Kelly Rowlands .... a must watch video

Posted on October 5, 2013 at 4:16 PM Comments comments (17)

I'm Only Saying Because I Love You ...

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 9:14 AM Comments comments (17)

Really ???

The Best Advice ???

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 8:54 AM Comments comments (38)
This was a Facebook question posed by Sungazing, the answers (or at least the best answers in my own opinion) appear below (unedited). What do you think?

The Question:

What Is The Best Piece Of Advice That You Could Give To Somebody Right Now About Life and Love?  

The Answers:

  • Don't worry about finding the right person. Worry about BEING the right person. (:

  •  Don't look for love, it will find you. Focus on you and figuring out who your are, because if you don't truly know who you are how can someone truly fall in-love with you. 

  • Put your phone down.

  •  If you've been with someone for a very long time, and you feel like you want to give up on them, think back to when you fell in love with them. Think of why, and how you felt, and who they were that made you fall so deeply. Think of that, and think of you together with them, that way. Those are words of advice from my 87 year old Grandmom, and I will never forget those words, or what it taught me.

  •  Forgive

  •  If you want unconditional love ..... get a dog ...

  • Never re-act when you are angry or hurt! Wait at least 24 hrs, you will always re-act differently!

  • What's done cannot be undone, what's said cannot be unsaid

  •  One of the best advice I read was from this poem...WOMAN WITH FLOWER: especially with my Children as they became adults making it on their own...
        I wouldn't coax the plant if I were you, 
        Such watchful nurturing may do it harm.
        Let the soil rest from so much digging 
        And wait until it's dry before you water it.
        The leaf's inclined to find its own direction;
        Give it a chance to seek the sunlight for itself.  
        Much growth is stunted by too careful prodding, Too eager tenderness.
        The things we love we have to learn to leave alone.

  •  You can choose how you feel in this very moment. Happy or miserable; it's 100% up to you. You are creating your reality in your head, create it wisely. Find the positive in even the most difficult of situations, and life will start to get better simply because you're shifting your focus. Love: Don't expect love to be easy 

And at this point I decided this was such a brilliant idea and such a long post, I decided to make it into a permanent page on my website, which you will find on the menu under the title 'Best Advice?'. (The question mark is very important).

The Fence: A story about Anger and Scars

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (146)
The fence : A Story about Anger

There once was a young boy with a very bad temper. The boy's father wanted to teach him a lesson, so he gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper he must hammer a nail into their wooden fence.

On the first day of this lesson, the little boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. He was really mad!
Over the course of the next few weeks, the little boy began to control his temper, so the number of nails that were hammered into the fence decreased.

It wasn't long before the little boy discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.Then, the day finally came when the little boy didn't lose his temper even once, and he became so proud of himself, he couldn't wait to tell his father.

Pleased, his father suggested that he now pull out one nail for each day that he could hold his temper. Several weeks went by and the day finally came when the young boy was able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

Very gently, the father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
"You have done very well, my son," he smiled, "but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same."

The little boy listened carefully as his father continued to speak.

"When you say things in anger, they leave permanent scars just like these. And it is good to say you're sorry, but the wounds will still be there."

Life or Death

Posted on September 13, 2013 at 4:47 AM Comments comments (14)
Life or Death

This is from one of my Tumblr contacts called The Angry Therapist. Sometimes I think he talks alot of sense:

"It’s really simple.  If you strip everything down, you are either living or dying.  

You are obsessing about the future, dwelling on the past.  Holding onto expired relationships.  Eating like shit.  Feeding addictions and unhealthy patterns.  Not sleeping.  Weighing yourself.  You are assassinating people’s character, taking hostages (making other people feel bad because you’re not happy), dreading work, getting annoyed by everything and everyone, exuding negative energy, fighting everything, verbally vomiting, taking, see life as a prison.  You are filled with anger instead of hope.  You are deteriorating.  You are dying.  You are dark.


You are creating, building, investing in yourself as well as others (relationships that are meaningful to you).  You are drawing healthy boundaries.  You are allowing yourself to be heard.  Expressing your truth.  Dreaming.  Facing fears.  Not judging, expecting, or labelling   You sweat, stretch, eat real food, drink lots of water, and make sure you get enough sleep.  You love hard and forgive often.  You stay in today and try to seek joy in what and who is in front of you instead of chasing images and material objects.  You don’t tie ability to worth.  Think different.  Breathe.  You are regenerating, evolving.  You are living.  You are giving.  You are light. 

When you are dying, the world gets very small.  You lose your vision.  Everything gets heavy.  When you are living, the world gets very big.  You have nothing but vision.  Everything is bright.    
You wake up every day and you have a choice.  You can either live or die."    

- Angry

I think that's very cool.
You wake up every day and you have a choice.

From my Facebook and Tumblr Today:

Posted on September 7, 2013 at 7:31 AM Comments comments (150)

Family Relationships

Posted on September 6, 2013 at 6:27 PM Comments comments (13)
A couple of people have approached me recently with issues about their relationship with either children or mothers (this also applies, I suppose, to fathers, although no one has asked me about that yet).

The conversations usually starts with something like this ...

"I love my son/daughter/ mother/father, but we just don't get on. We used to talk all the time, but now ...". And what follows is a genuinely heart felt conversation about the breakdown of a close relationship and how sad the person is. 

"What do I do" they ask. "They just won't listen" they say.

This is a hugely difficult area, but I will tell you something of what I said in these haphazard, unplanned moments (this is in fact a better thought out version of what I said, to be honest) ...

  • We feel most hurt (and most hurt them back) by the people we love the most. That is because they are the people we care about the most, so we feel more deeply. We don't want them to get hurt. We don't want them to make mistakes. We rant and argue with them because we care. This is incredibly important to remember. If we didn't care about them, we wouldn't even bother to argue with them.

  • In the same way, they argue with us because, yes they are as stubborn as we are, but also because they care about us. They don't want us to make mistakes, to get hurt, etc. Think about it ... the ones we hurt the most and the ones who hurt us the most are the ones who really care about each other, dare I say it, really love each other. You are loved.

  • Therefore I invite you to do something really difficult ... put aside how you really feel for a short time and ask yourself:

        'what have they been through?'. 
        'What do they feel?'
        'Is it because they don't care, or because they do?'

Now I will share something intensely personal with you, to illustrate (so please don't stamp all over it):

I was badly abused and in some ways neglected as a child. I was not loved, and I was hurt in more ways than just not being loved.

For many many years I carried the scars of that on the inside. I withdrew. I was different to other kids. I wanted other kids mums and dads instead of my own. I carried a huge amount of anger and resentment against my parents (which in the end harmed only me).

But as I look back on their stories I understand more.

My mum went from one abusive relationship to another, from a domineering abusive father to an abusive marriage, to my abusive father. She left two young children in a previous relationship whom she dearly loved. By the time I and my brother came along she was burnt out. She didn't have much more love to give and was so afraid, afraid of being hurt again, afraid of committing to us (me and my brother) and losing us. I feel sorry for her (although she is long dead).

And my father was a rubbish dad, neglectful, abusive and lots of other things; but he was also incredibly lonely, although I never realised it at the time. I think he struggled with his family, and when he came to England they hardly kept in touch. I think he felt rejected and alone and powerless, and that's why he did alot of the crap things that he did. 

The point is this. The more we understand the other person, the more compassion we have for them, the more we can forgive. In the end their faults may be different to our own, but we all have our faults and maybe we are not so different as we like to believe. 

Understanding, forgiveness and compassion doesn't mean we have to ignore or accept the rubbish things that our loved ones do, but it can help to build the bridges again.

Now it's time for bed.
Have a good night.

Garry x