A Little Perspective

Kids are great aren’t they? They can teach you so much about yourself that perhaps you never knew or wanted to know!

My son had been grounded yesterday and was supposed to come straight home after school but he didn’t. He arrived home late and brought along his old friend Attitude too. Not only was I unhappy that he didn’t come home directly after school and that he came home at a ridiculous hour, I was now not happy about his offensive attitude with me. He marched in ready for a fight and was determined someone was going to get it!

So being the adult I rose to his offense much to my dismay and as any parent knows, if you rise up to your kid’s challenge, you have automatically let them win. Mum loses control, shouts and gets upset. One nil to him.

Granted – most days I rise above it but I’m only human so some days I don’t do very well! Instead of jumping in and giving him what he wanted – an argument – I should have stepped back and walked away. If I had have given myself space to think about the situation I would have perhaps wondered at why he needed to ‘let off steam’. I could have allowed him to calm down and then had a chat with him later to see if anything was upsetting him.

As it happened, something was upsetting him – a rather amazing teacher had told him that he perhaps was the dumbest boy in the entire school. And how did I find this out? Only after I had upset him! So not only did he feel devastated that his teacher had upset him and humiliated him in front of his class mates but his mum was now having a go at him too!

So next time your child seems keen to pick a fight or his behaviour seems more volatile than usual – step back and think about what might be going on inside their head instead of automatically focusing on what is going on inside your head. Okay it’s not nice to be on the receiving end of verbal abuse however if we realize that something has to be driving this behaviour then we begin to see things differently and respond is a more positive way.

Most people when hurt or upset lash out at those nearest – it’s nothing personal yet most of us take it personally. Next time someone you love seems to be more verbal or volatile than usual – perhaps wonder at what it is that has upset them instead of launching right back at them. We all need gentle handling at times especially when we are hurt or upset and that is no different for children.

Respect that kids too get upset that they lash out in frustration at times too after all they are only kids! Give them space to calm down instead of adding fuel to their fire. By focusing on what is driving their upset you change the focus off yourself (I am so annoyed that he is talking to me like this) and place it on them (I will give him space to calm down and see if he wants to talk about it later).

Start thinking about how others think and feel – at why they might be upset or behaving badly. There is more than just one person in this world so start looking at how others work and what motivates their behaviour. By seeing things from a different perspective you can begin to gain an understanding of how other people ‘tick’. Only when you learn to understand what motivates other people can you begin to build better relationships.

Remember the world doesn’t revolve around you – other people get upset and need space too – so appreciate this and walk away don’t push them away. They will come to you when they need too.

Hindsight is a great thing but pretty much defunct too – unless you learn from it and change. So change your perspective and look at situations from other peoples point of view too. There is always a reason people behave the way they do and you know what – most times it has nothing to do with you!

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Clear Out the Junk

I had a pretty low day yesterday. The boys went back to school and I had a mound of work to tackle but little motivation to do it. I didn’t feel like doing my morning run but did it anyway. I didn’t run as far – my heart wasn’t in it and that was the problem that morning – my heart wasn’t in it.

I dragged out my laptop and opened my mail and feeling more like going for a long walk than work, I decided to take 20 minutes and meditate instead. I use the Ho’oponopono clearing prayer when I feel ‘blocked’ by anything in life or .n I find it hard to focus or calm my mind. So I sat down focused on my lack of motivation and began to meditate, repeating the mantra

I love you

I’m sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you.

I use this Ho’oponopono clearing prayer when ever I feel the need to offload any emotional baggage of if I am experiencing any problems or relationship issues. Not only does it help calm the mind (it works like a mantra) it also helps to raise your energy vibrations too. The words you use believe it or not do have an effect on your body (look at the study of words on water by Dr Emoto) and by repeating the above prayer you can change your body’s energy field thus lifting your mood.

When yo do this clearing exercise focus on the words and their meaning as it really helps to make you feel better after all love is the ultimate healer! When you focus on the words ‘I love you’ say them with meaning – focus on love. When you say ‘I’m sorry’ mean it and if you find something coming up – either a memory or a feeling then work on that. It has surfaced for a reason!

So next time you feel a little ‘flat’ or your heart isn’t in something – do this clearing meditation using the simple prayer above. If you are having problems in a relationship then use the prayer as a way to clear out the negativity in the relationship. Focus on the person when you say the prayer and mean what you say. Tell them in your mind ‘I love you’ and say it with heartfelt meaning – apologise for anything in you that has caused the problem (there will be something even if it’s at an unconscious level). When you say thank you again say it with meaning.

I did this recently with someone and within an hour the person had apologized for their less than wonderful behaviour. I use it with a close family member and whilst his behaviour has calmed recently it is more his willingness to apologise for his poor behaviour which is the most noticeable change. When ever I experience any problems now I turn to this prayer – it really does work miracles!

Go on and give it a go – if it only clears your head and gives you peace of mind – it has worked. But use it to clear out any problems in your relationships too and see if you can notice the difference.

Your Life – Your Responsibility

I wrote a post on my other blog recently about responsibility and how it underpins an ancient Hawaiian healing process known as Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono works on the premise that we have to accept 100% for everything that happens in our lives and whilst this is a massive thing to take on board, it is in fact the only way to bring harmony into your life.

Our life is a mirror of our mind – what we perceive in the outside world is what we project from our inner mind as wonderfully illustrated in the ode below:

‘Why is everyone here so happy except me?’

‘Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere’ said the Master

‘Why don’t I see goodness and beauty everywhere?’

‘Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.’                                       Anthony de Mello

If we fail to see love in the outside world it’s because we fail to see it inside ourselves. If we fail to see generosity in the world around us it is because we fail to see it in ourselves and in our minds. What we see in our minds – good or bad – is what we see in the outside world.

We project a mirror image of our internal world onto our outside world – ‘perception is projection’. What we perceive in others or the world is what we see in ourselves (project) based on our past experiences. What we see in our world can be very different from what other people see and we tend to overlook this fact especially in our relationships.

If two people go into a relationship with different views, beliefs and opinions they will no doubt see things differently but also have different expectations from one another too and that’s okay as long as both parties recognise that each is unique. Problems occur when we fail to see other people as individuals with individual needs.

For example, if a woman goes into a relationship believing that she isn’t good enough, she may seek continual reassurance from her partner in order to feel less inadequate or insecure. If she doesn’t receive this continual reassurance she may feel let down or even rejected and/or she may begin to see the other person as cold or withdrawn.

Her partner on the other hand may value freedom – perhaps he has been in a controlling relationship in the past – so he expects to do what he wants when he wants. So as their relationship progresses she becomes more demanding – seeking continual reassurances in order to make her feel good enough and he begins to feel smothered, so he asserts his right to freedom by pulling away from her. This leaves her feeling even more in need of reassurances and him wanting more and more freedom to escape her continual demand for attention and so the cycles begins.

So when the relationship ends (she feels let down because he was  ‘cold and uncaring’  and he feels disappointed because she was so ‘needy’) both seek to blame the other because they feel so hurt and let down. Neither accepts any responsibility in the doomed relationship though both we involved, so they go on to do the same thing in their next relationship and the one after that and so on and so on. How many times have you heard people saying ‘I always seem to attract the wrong man’ or ‘I always end up getting hurt’?

By accepting 100% responsibility for every relationship in your life you can break the continual cycle of disastrous relationships. If you blame every one else for your failed relationships then how can you begin to change future relationships? You cant! By looking at how you, not the other person, contributed to the relationship breakdown, you begin to gain some valuable insight into how you see yourself and other people and how this impacts on each and every relationship you have.

When you ask yourself   ‘what can I learn about myself from this relationship?’ you can begin to gain a better insight into how you contributed to the success or failure of any relationship. You can begin to see that perhaps it was your continual need to be valued that drove the other person away or perhaps it was your fear of rejection which meant that you were too demanding?

Yes the other person may well have treated you with little respect but how did you contribute to this? Did you allow them to disrespect you? Did you speak up about how you felt and allow the other person a chance to change how they treated you? If you did and they still treated you disrespectfully,  did you walk away?

If you continually seek to blame the other person you continually fail yourself.  If you accept 100% responsibility for your relationships you allow yourself the chance to let go of blame, bitterness and the desire to always be right. Instead you find it easier to say ‘I’m sorry’ and move on with your life. Each of us is responsible for how we treat others and each one of us is responsible for how we let others treat ourselves.

However – and this is where most of the confusion occurs regarding accepting 100% responsibility for every relationship you have – whilst I accept 100% responsibility for my relationships – I do not accept the ‘blame’.

If you mistreated me or abused me or hit me I accept that there was something in me that allowed this to happen however I neither condone or accept responsibility for your behaviour. You are 100% responsible for how you allow others to treat you, for your behaviour, your actions and how you treat me. I am 100% responsible for how I allow others to treat me, for what I say and how I behave.

We all contribute to every relationship we have (and if you don’t contribute then perhaps that’s why you are on your own!) so we each need to accept 100% responsibility for them. I can accept 100% responsibility for my relationship with you but I can not accept 100% responsibility on your behalf – only you can do that.

Whilst I can accept 100% responsibility for my relationships I can not expect others to accept any responsibility for theirs and neither can you. Some people have neither the emotional intelligence nor the maturity to accept any responsibility for anything let alone for the relationships they have however once you begin to notice that you are allowing these people into your life, you can begin to weed them out!

All people come into your life to teach you valuable lessons – whether it’s to teach you to respect yourself more or to show you how wonderful you truly are – they are in your life for a purpose. The more you learn from each and every person in your life, the more fulfilling your life will become.

Be the person you want others to be and they will become the person you want them to be. If you want respect you need to respect yourself. If you want to be valued you need to see value in yourself.