This is the first week since going to a weekly blog that I missed a post. I have retreated into a deep self reflective state to fully absorb and understand some events that have recently transpired. A disruptive change in our life is often times unsettling. However, when we are thrown on our axis, it gives us the chance to see things differently, if we choose to.
Whenever we are confronted with a challenge, there are choices. In this particular instance, I chose to see this as another opportunity to grow. Growth opportunities can be uncomfortable as we peel back our defects. It can feel like someone is prying off layers of skin with a pair of bullnose pliers.
“When we are aware of our weaknesses or negative tendencies, we open the opportunity to work on them.” – Allan Lokos.
With the right attitude, the pain does not have to last for very long. We can start to relax, start to understand there are really no big deals in life, start to laugh at our own naivety, insecurities and what other people say about how we show up for them.
Just because we show up a certain way does not mean we are in actuality that way. My daughter shows up as not caring at times. What’s really true is that she cares very much and stresses herself out. So when you go to talk with her she is so worried that she attempts to deflect the conversation. Understanding this about her, about others and about our own personality … well it creates deeper understanding and therefore a deeper connection to everyone including ourselves. It also gives us space to recognize that when we are out of balance people may mislabel it or not even not know how to put a label other than “I don’t like this”.
So the next time someone shares, or in same cases unloads on you; just take it all in. It does not mean it’s true. It does not mean their assessment of you will change who you really are. It just means your imbalance is triggering their imbalance. Maybe the only thing each of us can see is our own shadow. Carl Jung called this his shadow work. He said we never see others. Instead we see only aspects of ourselves that fall over them. Shadows. Projections. Our associations.
In some rare cases they may recognize their own imbalance and that’s when deep bonds are forged. In most cases it is wise to listen and not expect to be heard. Just work on your own side of the street. Also be mindful of patterns or themes. If multiple people in your life share a common theme of how you show up; then guess what!
I had someone the day my personal belongings were being taken out of my home attempt to share how I show up for others. I burst into tears because I was already distraught as I watched them tear down my children’s jungle gym out of spite. A few months later they felt the need to tell me they had tried to help me, but I was too defensive, and so they just let it go. This person has no idea the lack of timing and lack of sensitivity they displayed. They are a wonderful person, with many amazing talents and have been a loving and supportive influence in our lives. The point being we all have our blind spots.
My goal is to cut others a lot of slack. I have been working on this for years. As I cut them more slack I have noticed they have cut me more slack. I’ve been lost in many of my own blind spots, made many mistakes, have some regrets and can see how much I need to learn. The more I understand how things works, the more I realize that I have a lot to learn about how things work.
I’m not sure any of us embrace these life lessons with jubilation; perhaps Gandhi, Jesus or a few others did…. Some of us do it with some grace, most kicking and screaming, but all of us can celebrate the fact we are willing to make the journey because that indeed is rather rare.