Recycling relationships

iCAP Services logoWith plums in season and our tree overflowing, I decided to try my hand at making plum jam.

Having started off well, the process soon turned horribly pear-shaped (pardon the fruity pun). The sugar I’d added and not stirred sufficiently stuck to the bottom of the pan and had become a lump of black, ashen-flavoured toffee.

Beyond saving for consumption, my initial thought was throw the whole lot away. It was a disaster and could not be saved or put to any good use.

While I was bagging up the smelly, sticky mess, another thought came to mind. Considering the mess it was going to make in the rubbish bin, I sought to find out if the burnt 4 kg of plum flesh could be useful in some other way.

What if it could be composted instead?

Searching the web, I found that, apparently, there are 74 things as well as jam that you can compost but thought you couldn’t!

This got me thinking.

What aspects of our lives do we throw away thinking that they can’t be saved or reinvented in some useful way?

What relationships do we write-off thinking that there is no other use for them or any other way of approaching them; dealing with them?

Image of a tree‘Enmeshment’ can be defined as two or more people merging their lives and identities towards each other so closely that it becomes impossible for one of them to function independently.

Do you cut-off from your family altogether because it’s too hard to deal with family dynamics, or can you recycle the way you connect to your family that allows for closeness without the stickiness of enmeshment and co-dependence?

Maybe you identify wholly with being an angry man or anxious woman. How would it feel to reinvent these thoughts and describe yourself as a man who becomes angry in this situation or a woman who feels anxiety in that situation.

Putting space between your whole self and your behaviour may help you redefine who you are; see yourself in a different light by recycling your thoughts into something closer to the mark.

What might you like to reinvent and recycle in your life to come one step closer to the truth and nurture something more useful?

Tina Pitsiavas is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist in private practice in Wollongong and Sydney.

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