There is a pattern that I have seen a lot lately that relates to so many of our troubles today. A pattern of not allowing others to be where and who they are. I see so much fear and anger; so much judgement and confusion. It seems that many people think that instead of allowing, the answer is to get rid of the people places and things that cause them any discomfort or challenge them to stretch and grow.
This realization started with watching a friend of mine “unfriend” people one at a time because they were questioning or disagreeing with her. I thought it was interesting to watch her perspective and over reaction (my perspective) to someone asking something as simple as “Why are you doing that?” I thought about how, if I practiced that in my life, I would quickly be alone with no one to challenge me and also no one to love me.
What if we practiced allowing? What if we allowed someone to question us without taking offense? What if we allowed someone to pray in their way, without being right or wrong? WHAT IF we took our feelings of offense, hurt or fear and looked at how we could grow as individuals through the experience?
There are so many things that influence our reactions to any given situation. Sometimes our own reaction isn’t understandable to even ourselves. There have been times when I have wondered why I got so angry with my partner, my kids or a friend. My reactions are never based 100% on what is going on at the moment. There is always my pesky perception that gets in the way of seeing things in an unbiased way.
So how can I get out of my way so that my reactions are a reflection of reality instead of a reflection of my perspective?
I need to take ownership in the situation. What is my responsibility in this situation? What is my part? How did my actions contribute to things unfolding in this way? It is so easy to talk about what someone else did while it can be so difficult to open up to vulnerability and allow myself and others to see where I have fallen short. So I need to recognize where my actions have contributed to the situation and look at how my history/perspective has effected how I am seeing the situation. There has been more than one occasion where my partner says something to me and because of old stories I interpret what he says in an offensive way that he did not intend. And what do I do!? I react as if I have been attacked! HOW DARE HE!!!!!!!! This does not happen as often as it used to. We are both improving in our ability to not project onto each other, but old habits die hard.
So, what can I do to identify what is story and what is reality?
Here are the steps I take to identify what is mine, and where I can adjust in order to respond, not react, from a more centered reality:
I ask myself:
What is real here? What are the actual words the person used, not necessarily the words I interpreted?
How am I feeling in this moment?
Does this situation remind me of something from my past?
When have I felt this way before?
If, through asking myself these questions, I come to the conclusion that this was hurtful, based on the reality of what is happening at this time, then I will respond to the situation that is before me.
Maybe I can ask the other person:
Was it your intention to….?
Can you re-word what you said so that I can
How can we make changes to move forward?
Sometimes one of the best things that can come out of this type of situation, is to find out that the entire problem is based on my own shortcomings. Now I have the opportunity to:
Repair any harm I may have done.
Look at where I can still grow into a better person.
Elevate myself and people around me.
Learn something new that I can take into my coaching career to help others.
There are also times when I realize, “Wow, this is not my circus; those are not my monkeys”. When I do find that the difficulty of the situation is not within me then I am presented with, yet again, another opportunity:
How can I be of service?
How can I take my offended ego out of the situation?
How can I come from a place of compassion?
Where might I be able to grow and help the other person grow also?
Taking my ego out of the situation is never easy, but it is a beautiful way to practice being in touch with my divinity and allowing others to be where they are and allowing myself to be where I am!
I guess what this all comes down to is look within, look without and offer compassion.
Sending you LOVE and JOY and ALLOWING!