I Want to Love You

After all the terrible things that have occurred in the world in the past week, I feel that this is a good time for this post. Regardless of how you want to share your love with the world, what’s important is that we do so.

Recently, I have realised that I crave deeper emotional connections with the people around me. I want to be free to share in the ways you will soon read, while still honouring and connecting in my current relationship the way we have been. For the more love we give, the more we receive and the greater the love I can give to the people that matter the most to me. Regardless of what kind of friendship and connection we have, I want to do each one justice and give and receive what is needed and wanted.

I want to love you.

Whether partner, friend or stranger, I want to love you.

Sometimes that will mean helping someone who can’t repay me. Providing a meal to someone who has spent so much time praying for one. Making morning coffee for sleepy friends behind the front counter with a smile. Sharing my drinks and food so that others can enjoy them too. Connecting through dance, song and late night board games. Deep philosophical conversation.

Long hugs. A kiss. Drives to beautiful places to watch the night sky or the city lights. Two hands connecting and holding one another.

Sitting together, heads resting on shoulders, not speaking, just allowing the emotions in the air to connect and speak without being drowned out by unnecessary words. Sitting in silence, reading beautiful, thought provoking prose, soaking up the lessons learned to later share in heart to heart conversation.

For the one who first captured my heart, deeper intimacy is possible as they may not wish to share.

But regardless of which you are, I want to be free to love you.

To love you in whichever way our connection draws me to.

To love you without fear of being judged.

To love you without fear of people leaving. Although if they do it will just create more space to share the infinite amount of love my heart desires to.

For the heart and love is not like a bank account and money, where the more you give the less you have.

Because when you give more love, you receive more in return. This then allows for even more giving and receiving.

In love, the possibilities are endless, only restricted by how open your mind is.

How open your heart is.

To trust that those you share your love with will not try to restrict you to a watered down version of yourself but will love the full strength, full flavoured soul you are.

Life is too short to be unhappy if it can be prevented.

Although life is not simple, although there will be sadness and suffering, if we can share a little more love with the world, then perhaps we might be able to create a better world.

More love is what we need.

It’s been said that in heaven, love is the priority, the most important thing.
If we can create heaven on earth then that would be a life well spent.

I may not be able to change the world, but if I can change even just one person’s world then it will be worth it.

So please, let me create heaven on earth.
I want to love you.


The Secret to Effective Self Love

This is something that took me a long time to learn.

I always thought of self love as being something to make myself feel better in the moment. I would eat to make myself feel better. I would buy things that came with a claim of bringing me happiness. I would spend hours doing things that made me feel better for a moment, but in the long run either didn’t offer lasting effects or eventually made me feel worse.

When I eventually learned what things brought me lasting happiness and a way to actually love who I was, my life improved considerably.

I found that the little things that used to always bug me, didn’t seem so bad anymore. I came to love who I was and what I looked like. I found my now husband that I have been with for just over 3 years now. I found the courage to get in front of the camera for a boudoir shoot (more on that later). And I am happier now than I ever was, regardless of what shows up to try and bring me down.

This is something that I wrote earlier this year, but I felt needed to be shared again, given how many people I’ve heard talking about feeling unhappy, feeling tired, feeling burned out. Here’s the post:

Self Love is about loving who you are and believing that you are worthy of being loved. If you can believe this, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you or if anyone else likes you, you will never be lonely or unloved.

Self Love is not about doing things that have short lived results. These things are fun and certainly have a place in our self care routine, but focusing on these things alone just isn’t enough. The results will not last and you will, in the end, feel no different than you did beforehand.

We need things that have long lasting effects. Meditation, Visualisation, Loving our own Company, Speaking Kindly to ourselves, Believing in ourselves, Taking Time Out for ourselves to Explore and Marvel at the World and its Beauty. These things give a long lasting feeling of love and peace in our lives, but they are very sadly lacking in the lives of so many people in the world today. We, the people, have been sucked into a consumeristic lifestyle and there are so many who are crying out for more, but don’t know where to look or begin. Perhaps you are one of them?

We should, in a perfect world, be able to look in the mirror and love what we see without makeup or cosmetic surgery, for in every woman there is an unique, stunning beauty shining from within. Unfortunately, this is often covered up by beliefs fed to us by the world around us, which try to convince us that we aren’t good enough just as we are. But we are. We are perfect and beautiful just the way we are, without any alterations or changes.

Makeup can be fun to use and experiment with, to reflect how we are feeling, our personality or just to match an outfit. There is nothing wrong with liking makeup. But that is what its sole purpose should be: creative expression, not the way to be considered beautiful.

But back to the Western World’s consumeristic lifestyle. We have been led to believe that we must have the latest and greatest stuff all the time. We think that we have to have the big house, the new car, the latest technology and a high paying job to be happy. So, why then are we so unhappy? Why are we crying out for something more?

It is because, as I mentioned in the beginning, it is the things that give long lasting effects that truly allow us to experience happiness and love from within ourselves.

Think about it: people work full time hours, quite often at a job they hate, so that they can afford the big house and fancy car and other things. They then get very little time to use and enjoy these things because they spend so much time working to afford them. Does that sound like the path to being happy? Didn’t think so.

Rather than investing all our money and time into buying new things all the time, invest some money and time into experiences instead. Stuff eventually breaks down or gets used up, but memories and feelings last a lifetime and it is these that require us to look at the world and who we are anew and to keep on loving and learning.

This is what we are here on earth for: to experience life and the world, new activities, new places, new cultures. To have an open mind and to spread love and peace wherever we go.

You don’t need to travel far to do so either. Even just seeing a new place in your area where you don’t normally go, going to a new restaurant or café or having a conversation with someone new is a great way to gain a new experience. Or if you want to start a little closer to your comfort zone, just begin to pay more attention to the big picture and the little details of the places you go everyday (there’s always something new to see), order something different than your usual next time you go out for dinner or bring up a new topic of conversation with people you know and see where it goes to gain a whole new perspective in that area.

Things are a great way to make yourself feel better for a moment in time. But for lasting happiness and love that comes from within, invest in experiences.

Because when all is said and done and the things you’ve had in life are gone, those memories and feelings that you have experienced during your life will be all that you will have left.


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Help me to feel loved…

I long to be told by you how much you love me,
Pull your attention away from the tasks you busy yourself with in an attempt to show your affection,
And just listen.
Listen to what I need. What I want.
It is there that you will discover how to make me feel loved.

I don’t want epic, romantic poetry, although it warms my heart and brings me joy.
Just speak from your heart.
Even if just to say I love you, again, and again.

Don’t let your past define how you show your affection.
Just listen to me in this moment and help me to not just know you love me, but to feel that love in each moment that I am alive.

Because when you can help me to feel loved,
Then I can return that feeling to you.

We Screwed Up. Here’s How We Could Have Avoided Our Angry Argument

Have you ever had an argument with your partner that ended badly?

Whether it started as a discussion that quickly got out of hand, or something you asked of your partner that you thought was reasonable that they became angry over, arguments that end badly can result in lasting grudges against your partner, relationship problems and in some cases, the end of your relationship.

All of these problems can be avoided when we communicate well. But when we don’t, or worse, don’t bother communicating at all, we throw the chance to find solutions to our problems out the window.

Instead, we begin to find ourselves arguing more often. We begin to notice faults in our partner and ourselves, little things that we hadn’t previously noticed or cared about, which suddenly become big things. We become physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted and lack the energy to work through our problems and find solutions.

However, when we can exercise control over our negative emotions, we can begin to find solutions to our problems. We can once again connect with our partner on a deeper level and rediscover things about them and ourselves that we had forgotten. We regain the energy we had lost and become happier in our relationships and daily life.

So, how do we do it? How do we control our emotions when all we want to do is yell, scream, cry, get angry and guilt trip our partner?

Let me show you what we did wrong and how we could have avoided a nasty argument.

A couple of weeks ago, I was waiting on a phone call telling me whether I had gotten the short term job I had applied for. It was a four day job, which would start that Tuesday and finish on Friday. That Friday also happened to be the set up day for an event that my husband was helping to set up and run, which was being held way down in the southern suburbs of Adelaide.

Having grown up in the north eastern suburbs and relying on a small car and an unreliable GPS, I was not overly comfortable driving down to the site for the first time by myself late in the afternoon when it would be starting to get dark. So, prior to receiving the phone call, I asked him if he would be able to come and get me from work in the afternoon, that way we wouldn’t be bringing two cars and I wouldn’t have to worry about possibly getting lost.

While I didn’t necessarily expect him to say yes to that particular plan, I wasn’t expecting him to get angry.

He told me in no uncertain terms that he would be too busy all day to take an hour and a half to do the round trip of coming to get me and going back to site and that I should just drive anyway, that I had a licence for a reason. He also already knew that I was not comfortable with driving down at that time of day. If he had spoken calmly I probably wouldn’t have gotten angry, but at this point we were now both angry at each other.

I then asked why. Since set up was starting early in the day and there would be others there helping, surely it wouldn’t take all day. Surely he wouldn’t be working all day and could find some time to come and get me. He insisted that he would be, that he was too busy. At this point I left the room.

Then thoughts began to run through my mind. I’ve given up or cut short so many things I had planned to do in the past so that you could get things done last minute or so that you could get up early the next day for work. If I were asking you to drive a couple of hours each way then that would be unreasonable, but I didn’t think that forty five minutes each way late in the afternoon was that big of a deal. I would do it for you. I would do it for you.

After spending some time obsessing over these thoughts, I finally did what I should have done in the first place. I took a deep breath in and out, added a muscle tension exercise to release the remaining tension and then got up and walked back into the kitchen where my husband was still standing. I then asked if there was any other time that he might be able to make it back. He paused for a moment and then said “I suppose I could come get you from the house in the evening.”

There was our solution. All it took was for us to calm down and ask the right questions, instead of getting angry and losing our tempers. In the end, they had to postpone hiring due to machinery breakdown, but the important part was that whether it ended up happening or not, we had managed to put a plan in place in the event that it did.

So, to recap, here’s what we should have done instead:

Take a deep breath in and out. Do this more than once if you need to. The aim here is to become calm enough to push past the unnecessary anger and angry words to reach a point where the two of you can begin looking for solutions.

If you are especially prone to becoming angry, frustrated, upset or panicked when an argument starts, doing a muscle tension exercise (tensing your hands up for fifteen seconds, then relaxing them and shaking them out), or focusing your attention on an object close to you can help you to release these negative emotions. While it is good to sit with and experience your negative emotions sometimes, during times when you are trying to avoid an angry argument is not the time to do it.

Rather than pressing the point that caused the argument or trying to guilt trip your partner, change your point of view and change the question. Asking questions like ‘why won’t that work’ isn’t a good way to phrase this, as why questions have the potential to make the person being asked the question defensive (which won’t help reduce anger). A better question to ask would be ‘what about this won’t work?’ Then you can ask questions such as ‘what other options do we have?’

Take some time to think about what options you have. Whether you are looking for another way of getting something done like I was, or whether you are using this time to discuss the reasons behind the strong emotions raised by the topic at hand, taking some time to think lets you and your partner get creative and say what if. What if we did this instead? What if we set aside some time to discuss this further? Sometimes you’ll need to do so. When you are running late or need to sleep is not the time to be searching for solutions.

Even when we argue with our partner, we still love them. So tell them that. Especially after an argument, telling your partner you love them helps to lighten the mood and make both of you happier.

We can’t prevent arguments from beginning. You and your partner won’t always agree. But following these steps will help you to find solutions quicker, connect more deeply with each other and increase you and your partner’s happiness and wellbeing in ways that anger can never do.

Now I would love to hear from you. What do you struggle with the most when trying to keep yourself from becoming angry? And what do you want to achieve by improving your communication skills? Leave a comment or send me an email and share your thoughts. I reply to each one.

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And of course, be sure to share this post with your friends and family so that they can also learn how to communicate well, take control of their anger and frustration and increase their happiness and wellbeing.

Welcome to coletteduggan.com!

Hi Everyone, and Welcome to coletteduggan.com Lessons in Love and Life!

I’m a firm believer in the idea that we are always learning. About love, about life, about ourselves and what we need the most.

By learning how to enjoy my own company, let others in and trust them, let love in and find the man I eventually married (I was going about it in the wrong way. Totally wrong) and find balance and peace in my life (which will always be a work in progress), I’ve discovered what I need, what I want and what I need to change in order to live the life I’ve always wanted.

Through time spent with friends, family and new acquaintances, I’ve discovered that many of them struggle with their self esteem and knowing what they want out of their relationships and life.

And when they have come to me for advice, they have left feeling clearer on their situation and what needs to be done to create the life they want.

How would you like to find solutions to the struggles and challenges you experience in your life and relationships?

How would you like to discover what you really need, want and what changes you need to make to create the life you’ve always wanted?

Sound good?

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