So Speaketh the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey

uktv-downton-abbey-episode-3-1Can there be anyone on the planet not avidly devouring Downton Abbey episode by episode? Is there a single human being who doesn’t adore Maggie Smith as Violet, the Dowager Countess? Julian Fellowes has, after all, given her most of the good lines.

In the episode I watched Monday night, she addressed one of those lines to the somberly grieving Lady Mary whose husband was killed in a car crash six months prior. “She said “You have before you a clear choice, my dear. You can either choose death or life.”

If asked that question, how would you answer? “LIFE – naturally,” I hear you say. Yes, of course. But what manner of LIVING do you actually choose now — day by day?

So you’ve made your New Year resolutions. But have you assessed how well you LIVED in 2013? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

What did I do last year that I am most proud of?
What difference did I make simply by being alive?
What victim story did I let go of to lighten my load?
Who did I forgive? Did I really?
Who did I make amends with?
What life lessons did I learn in 2013?
Was I living as a spiritually awakened person or asleep?
Was I focused on my purpose or totally distracted?
Was I mostly living in the past or envisioning my future?
Were I contracting in love or expanding in love?

Let’s look at that last one. What the heck is the difference between contracting in love and expanding in Love?

A relationship built on the shifting sands of unrealistic expectations, unreasonable demands, dominance of one over the other, neediness and co-dependence will, once the early passion dies, begin to contract.

Over time it will turn into indifference at best or, hatred at worst. It was an inferior kind of love in the first place. And all too common.

The kind of relationship that will expand in love is one that is built on mutual respect, equality, freedom, mutual support, honesty, openness and sharing. It is also one where each partner has well established boundaries and a set of values that are known and respected by the other. They need not necessarily be the same, but they each must have them be honored.

It is the kind of relationship where differences in all spheres of life are understood and made allowance for, not the least of which is the kind of sexual personality each person has, to which the other needs to accommodate if sex is not to become the reason why the love begins to contract. They are seldom the same so it requires knowing the different kinds and how the opposites initially attract and then later repel.

In my upcoming workshop entitled Expanding In Love, (March 14th -16th in Atlanta, Georgia and April 12th -13th in Truckee, California), you will learn how to assess your current and past relationships in these terms and more.

Then, once you have this all this put together, cleaned up your past and established your boundaries, you will be given the keys to how you negotiate for what you want.

This empowers you to decide whether you want to stay in the relationship or not, depending on how those negotiations go.

If you are not currently in a relationship, you will learn how to create one that rocks.

So it comes back to the original question. Will you choose life or death?

Do you choose to contract in love or expand in love?

Are you ready to supercharge what you have or create a new one?

It’s your choice. Life or death? It’s that simple.

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8 Responses to So Speaketh the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey

  1. Thanks to your coaching in Radical Forgiveness with its practical toos ( my favorite is the Satori Board Game) I can happily say that in my new relationship I am EXPANDING in love. Thanks, Colin!

  2. Afiba Muwwakkil says:

    I got married to the man I dated for yr &1/2. Our marriage is falling apart so quickly started approx. 6 mos after the I do. Some mean things have been done to me and my husband is so disconnected. We have agreed to get counseling to try and save this union. Do u have any suggestions on who we can see. We live in the Maryland , DC area. Thank you for helping.

    • Colin says:

      You might consider attending the new Expanding in Love workshop. If this isn’t feasible, please look at the list of coaches on our site who are trained coaches and practitioners.

  3. Yes, the question of choosing life over death could also be the choice of love over fear. This is a great list of questions. As I look them over, I definitely see areas where I wish I had done better. Oh well, LOL. At least I know where my work lies for 2014!!

  4. Rev.Rose Marie Studer says:

    Choosing Life, and the quality of life and ” we are always at choice” says Ernest Holmes. After working with the radical Forgiveness worksheets and with Colin for the past several years I have chosen to write my PhD dissertation on “Forgiveness as a daily spiritual practice” and in this way I am keeping my “side of the street clean” with forgiveness as a daily spiritual practice myself and in this way I am always choosing a quality of life which is far superior than I have ever known before and raising what I have to offer to myself and others to a higher more authentic level. Thank You Colin for your inspiration. I think there are a few “keeping our own side of the street clean” ideas that could be gleaned by the writers on Downton Abbey as well eh?

  5. LdeG says:

    Not only are there billions on the planet who are not watching, there are even people in the US who aren’t, much less awaiting every episode breathlessly. There are larger things than your philosophy has dreamed of.

  6. Harvey says:

    What the heck are you talking about now? Have you completely lost your mind? Watching what? Who has any time to watch some absurd TV series? Doesn’t anyone have anything more important to do that watch a TV series? Radical what? What about Radical intentions to action? And acting on them like completing a novel to reveal the truth of good versus bad on this planet and make a difference in real people’s lives, not watching TV? Raical distraction? Oh, I understand, you surely are being satirical.

  7. Maria Peterson says:

    Somebody’s got their undies in a knot!

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