Tag Archives: Relationships

Honour Your Truth


“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

Malala Yousafzai

If we don’t speak up, who will hear us? We can apply this concept globally by pointing out injustice or inequality, for example, and/or we can make this personal and contemplate all the ways in which we remain silent in our own lives.

Warning: here comes a Marissa catch phrase… ‘Life is about compromise, but we were never meant to compromise ourselves.’ (You’ll hear that one a lot.) We all have boundaries—lines we don’t want others to cross, parameters in which we feel comfortable operating within, i.e., our comfort zones. When people cross those boundaries, negative things happen. We can get hurt—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. We can suffer from regret, guilt, doubt, anger and self-recrimination.

When people cross our boundaries, how many of us speak up? When people impose their judgements and opinions on us, or belittle us and undermine our self-worth and confidence, how many of us speak up? Family members, peers, partners, co-workers, supervisors… when people we respect and trust do this, how many of us let it pass, or speak out only in our mind—imagining all the things we wish we could say?

Speaking our truth is never easy. We run the risk of alienation and rejection—something we as social creatures avoid at all costs. But what if the cost is our own happiness and self-worth? When do we draw the line? When do we speak up for ourselves? When do we say enough is enough?


No one likes confrontation and very few people handle criticism well, but if we’ve been wronged or hurt, we need to express it. No one is above the truth. Not even ourselves. Denying the injury or pretending we are okay is a serious roadblock to healing. We need to be honest with ourselves. That stomach lurch when we consider confronting an issue is what typically stops us from going further and we gloss the matter over or sweep it under the rug. This often results in frustration or resentment.

Communication is key in a healthy relationship. If we can’t speak about what’s on our mind, or bring up questions or concerns, or point out hurt or wrongdoing then we need to examine the relationship. In my post Relationships and Monkeys, I talk to the idea of getting rid of negative relationships in our lives. But before we get to that point, we should always try to have open and honest communication with the people in our lives. It’s not always easy—for either party— but it’s necessary.

I’ve been together with my husband for 27 years. That doesn’t happen without a solid foundation of communication (plus he’s cute and funny, so that doesn’t hurt either.) We’ve built a relationship on trust and mutual respect. My concerns are not more important than his and vice versa. We listen to each other and then we reflect: How can we do this better? How can we make this work for both of us? It’s a partnership. A team effort. When one person isn’t happy, it effects the entire relationship. We also have to be humble enough to admit when we’re wrong and apologize for any transgressions. Then we have to step up and correct our behaviour. This is all about compromise. But, compromising and being compromised are two very different things.

There’s no mutual respect and trust when someone compromises our boundaries. It’s controlling at worst, and insensitive at best. Stand up for yourself. Speak up for yourself. Honour your truth.

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

Relationships and Monkeys

Relationships can be a blessing and a curse. Everything for a reason or a season comes springing to mind. This year has been an interesting journey for me. I’ve experienced many periods and areas of growth. I went back to school, bringing with it a new set of friendships. I learned some hard lessons, letting relationships fade to the background, and I made an effort to move away from negativity and drama and resettle back into a place of peace and serenity. But in order to get there, I had to make some tough decisions.

We all have a limited amount of energy, think money in the bank. Where we choose to spend it should be ‘our choice,’ but sometimes we get so caught up in other people’s circuses that we start looking after their monkeys without even realizing it. When we spend our energy on negative people, we get depleted. We run on fumes. It’s exhausting looking after everyone else’s needs and letting our own take a backseat. The bank account drops into the red pretty easily. What are we doing to pull it back inline, to receive a return on our investment?

If the relationship depletes us, then it’s a detrimental use of our energy. If the relationship lifts us up, makes us feel loved and cherished, then it’s a good investment. Relationships can bring a lot of joy and incredible happiness, but the ones that drag us into drama, heartache or struggle need to be exorcised. And I do mean exorcised. We need to lift up and out our sense of obligation, fear and/or guilt. No one needs that shit. We need to let it go.

Relationships are not obligatory—not even within our own blood family. All relationships must be a mutually beneficial, two-way, give-and-take endeavour. Each person should feel valued and appreciated. We should never stay in a negative relationship out of feelings of guilt, nor should we be holding onto toxic relationships merely out of fear of loneliness. My experience has taught me that once you get rid of negativity, life has a great way of bringing in positive experiences to fill the void—things we genuinely want and need in our lives. But we have to open up space to receive it.

Loneliness frightens a lot of people into accepting negativity. We’re so afraid of being on our own, alone with our own thoughts that we hold onto relationships that have long outlived their value. Letting go and moving on can be a scary leap. It requires faith that things will work out for the better. Think about decisions you’ve made that were frightening at the time, moments that felt overwhelming, where the outcome was uncertain. If you look back on those moments, did everything work out? Most do. And even if they didn’t seem to at the time, can you see how they led to growth, or pushed you in a new direction, or offered a new perspective? Can you see how those results can be viewed as positive as well? They may not have taken the path you had hoped for, but in the end, something positive still resulted from them—even if it’s only proof that you can overcome hardships and adversity.

The point is, we don’t have the ability of hindsight when we’re knee-deep in a situation. It takes time and distance to gain a little perspective. But if you take the leap and remove negative relationships and negative people from your life, you’ll find you have more energy, a greater sense of self and what makes you happy, and you’ll move closer to finding people who align with your beliefs and values. A positive relationship pays dividends and you’ll be richer for it.

Let ‘em keep their monkeys.

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

How Do You Watch Your Children Make Mistakes

Conversations with the Goddess

Dear Goddess: When your children are fledgling adults and make choices you can see are clearly stupid, how do you find the balance between fear and anxiety over their choices and letting them make their own mistakes?

I am the Goddess of death and rebirth, of destruction and transformation.
You stand here today, a product of your greatest mistakes and your biggest triumphs. You overcame adversity and surmounted obstacles placed in your path. You are stronger because of your experiences. You have gained wisdom and insight. You have lived and you have learned. You would not be the person you are today had you not struggled and fell. Trust that you have guided your children well, that throughout the turmoil, they will know they can turn to you. Be there, stand by their side, but let them falter. They will grow and become stronger because of it. The watching will not get easier, but hold fast to your faith that all will work itself out—that one day, despite your worries, they will forge their own paths and make you proud.

Goddess keep you,

Badb's presence

How Do I Decompress?

Conversations with the Goddess

Dear Goddess…I’m at the end of an insanely chaotic week. How do I decompress?


I am the Goddess of music and medicine. Stress is manageable in small doses, but leaving it behind and letting it slough off is essential to your health. Play your favourite music, turn it up. Grab some ambrosia, or wine, and surround yourself with family and friends. Let the distractions go. It’s too easy to get pulled back into chaos. Keep that computer turned off. Focus on what’s important. Don’t lose sight of your priorities and stay present in the moment. Make it a night of quality not quantity, of love and laughter, not Facebook.

Goddess keep you,


Aine's playground


I Feel Like Life is Pulling Me Apart

Conversations with the Goddess

Dear Goddess, I feel like life is pulling me apart from a couple people I once thought of as very close friends. My attempts to reconnect feel futile and I still feel like a third wheel. Do I let it go and realize sometimes people only come into your life for a season, or continue to try?


I am the Mother. I give and sustain. Life is about compromise, but we were never meant to compromise ourselves. You’ve given your heart, and no one can fault your efforts, but there comes a time when getting burned no longer feels good. Sometimes it takes us a while to realize it, but negativity in any form is an obstacle to our creative and expressive life force. It’s time to let go. Others will come into your life and bring with them the love and respect you’ve been seeking and deserve.

Goddess keep you,


Danu's landscape


Stars, Garage Doors, and Open Minds.

Love and Relationships

Originally published Friday February, 6th 2015 in the wonderful Brooklin Town Crier, I’ve posted it here, because, well, not everyone lives in Brooklin. 😀 xo

Happy Valentine’s Day Brooklin! (And everyone else reading this no matter where you live! ;).

A time of love, romance, roses, and chocolates, relationships bloom in the frigid temperatures of a Canadian winter, but what makes a relationship? How do we define it? For the sake of this conversation, my good friend Webster defines relationship as: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people. That casts a wide net to include parameters such as: same sex, married, common law, dating, casual, and open. Is one type of relationship better than the other? Is one method right, making the other wrong: married vs. common law, dating vs casual, open vs monogamous? Every couple must evaluate their own relationship and define it in a way that suits their needs and desires, not by the expectations and/or judgements of others. I like to think we live in a pretty open-minded community. But how open are we?

To play devil’s advocate, I watched a fascinating panel discussion yesterday. The video, recorded at the French Institute Alliance Francaise, featured Esther Perel and Dan Savage.

The talk was entitled Infidelity: The Truth About Love, Lust, and Loyalty, and as always when Perel is involved, it made me question society’s beliefs about the institution of marriage. Depending on culture, upbringing, and personal experience, we all come into marriage with a list of preconceived notions, one of which involves a moral aversion to adultery. In fact a Gallop pole cited in the discussion discovered that 91% of Americans felt that cheating was the most morally reprehensible act out of a list of options that included, among others, suicide, polygamy, and cloning.

Stars, Garage Doors, and Open Minds

There’s a good reason for this. Infidelity hurts. Divorce rates are soaring, and just as many women as men are likely to cheat. Today’s relationships place an awful lot of expectations on our partners. Not only are we looking for the ‘other’ to complete our need for acceptance, validation, love, safety, and comfort, we want variety, adventure, fun, and passion to boot. A dichotomy that Perel feels is very difficult to balance. So what is a couple to do?

Apparently, we live in the swingers’ capital of Canada, though I’ve yet to see any actual proof of this. There are wonderful rumours that if a star is placed somewhere on the outside of a home, it means swingers live there, or if that fails, one can always examine the garage door, for if it sits half open, you better guard your keys because the swingers are open for business.

Savage described his relationship with his husband Terry as ‘monogamish,’ saying that they were more monogamist than not, but they allowed for freedom of exploration within the relationship. Savage believes that for many, marriage is doomed to fail if there is a binding, clad in stone, no wandering eyes or other body parts policy. He believes humans are not monogamist by nature and feels marriage is often a time bomb waiting to detonate. In fact, he encourages many of his readers (he has a syndicated column where he gives poignant and blunt sex and relationship advice) to cheat, or become open to a polyamorous relationship, acts which he believes can actually strengthen and save a marriage.

In her book, Mating in Captivity, Perel titillates with the concept of ‘inviting the third’, whether that third person is welcome within the bedroom or a part of the couple’s outside interests and pursuits. She feels it can add an element of the erotic and spark renewed passion in couples who may be experiencing the strain and lack of mojo often found in long-term, committed relationships.

Savage was quick to point out that commitment does not necessarily mean monogamy, and that often, having outside sexual interests is what keeps a couple together, actually supporting lasting commitment. He believes all people want to sleep with other people, some of us just don’t want to admit it, and trying to ignore the elephant in the room only leads to deception and cheating.

Emotional monogamy and sexual exclusivity are apparently not the same thing. One can be emotionally monogamous with their partner, keeping all the love, security, comfort, and joys of raising a family, and building a life together within their committed core relationship, yet remain free sexually to explore eroticism outside the typical boundaries and notions of a traditional marriage.

What do you think? Is it time to renegotiate the contract, open the garage, and introduce a little monogamish into our lives? 😀

In gratitude,