I fell off my bike this morning – thankfully on the way back from dropping my son off at school. It was my fault. I hit the kerb wrong and the bike slid from under me, leaving me sprawled on the floor in a lot of pain I can say! I picked myself up, relieved that no one else was witness to my fall from grace and mounted my bike, saddle skewed and rode home somewhat downbeat.
The painful lesson I learned this morning – to slow down when mounting a kerb and not to abuse my rights as a cyclist. I’d been going down a one-way street at the time – the wrong way. Now if I’d seen a motorist do the same when I was on my bike……
This painful experience got me thinking. When something goes wrong in our lives it is all too easy to blame everybody else, the Universe and it’s mother (nature?) than it is for us to accept some, if not full responsibility for what has happened. It’s all too easy to carry round our pain (emotional) as badges of honour as to how unfair the world really is.
Okay your ex was a cheating b***d and your friend takes you for granted, but what can you learn from these experiences that will allow you to leave them in the past and move on a little wiser into the bargain?
I truly believe that every experience or encounter we have in life can teach us a lesson, whether it be good or bad, if we are willing to learn. I always tell my kids and my clients that what people do and how they treat other people is their responsibility, how you respond is yours.
If your partner cheated, then what made them cheat? Are they a serial cheater or was it more about your inability to show love and affection that drove them away? If it was the first then show them the door, and if it was the second, then learn from the experience and move on. Find ways to open up more in your relationship or future relationships to avoid the same thing happening again.
There is always a reason for cheating. It may not be your fault but you chose your partner and I’m sorry to have to say this, but yes, there are usually always signs when someone is being unfaithful, and if you choose to overlook them, rather than deal with then, you will face the consequences at some point. If you choose to live with someone who disrespects you then you are equally to blame.
Failing relationships, prejudice, altercations with others, are all signs that you need to learn something about yourself. I recently had a heated debate with someone regarding messaging. I love texting but it’s not a big thing for me, however, for the other person it was their way of seeking reassurance through regular texting. Both of us felt the other was at fault (one for not texting enough and the other for texting too much), so angry words and some upset later, nothing was resolved.
As I sat fuming, I realised there was nothing I could do to change the other person so I needed to learn something about how I responded in this situation instead, only then would I stop going over the conversation in my head!
So what did the experience teach me? That people have different expectations when it comes to relationships and that that in itself is okay. However, my response was anything but okay. I allowed myself to get upset about someone’s expectations of how I should behave. They have a right to their expectations as I do mine and if their expectations differ to such an extent that it makes me feel uncomfortable, then I need to accept responsibility for this not them! Either I accept these differences and live with them, or I move on.
So I now know that I don’t ‘do’ needy people very well and that I, not them, need to address this. After all, if they are happy with who they are and what they do, how could I change that, or indeed, why did I feel I had the right to ask them to change? I needed to understand that this individual had reasons for wanting regular texts, just as I had reasons for being averse to regular and timely texting!
We all have different expectations of one another and that’s okay. We all have different life experiences, which have led us to be the unique individuals we are today and that’s great. However, we need to learn that whilst we are all different, we are all unique and awesome in our own right and no one has the right to take that away from us.
Learning from broken relationships, arguments, disagreements and other people can not only change how we deal with people but ourselves too. When we learn to see the issues we carry around with us daily, we can begin to understand that others too have their own issues to deal with. How we deal with people is our responsibility. How we treat ourselves is mirrored by how others treat us.
So learn to respect yourself and people will learn to respect you. Learn to respect others and they will learn to respect you. You may not agree with what they do but I guarantee they will probably not agree with what you do either.
So learn wisely and move on. We cannot change others, we can only change ourselves and how we respond to others. By realizing we are all different, we can gain some advantage in how we handle those people who perhaps push our buttons. After all, they can only upset us if we allow them too.
Celebrate you uniqueness and respect others’ uniqueness too and who knows, the world may become a whole lot more peaceful.