I didn’t think about it until some of my family was talking about her and something she said to a person at the occasion where I saw her who was recovering from a recent total rejection by someone he or she had been in a relationship with for a long time.
It was very hurtful to hear about because it was obvious that this person had come to the party to at least distract his or herself from thinking about their recent loss. The lady’s tone of voice was very sweet and it was obvious that she probably would say, if asked, that she was just expressing her concern.
Again I didn’t think about it; but the family members talking about the interaction felt that what the lady did was inappropriate and reminded the person she was talking to of his or her painful experience and the fact that he or she might be not be over it.
It wasn’t til later today thinking over what was said that I remembered that I never felt comfortable around that person because I often felt that she was insincere, possibily even phony, when she was trying to be nice.
The way the person said what she said and the circumstances under which she said it made it difficult for the person receiving her inquiry to tell her to leave him or her alone as he or she did not feel like talking about it; but the damage had already been done.
What do you think? You know what I think. Perhaps this is judgmental of me but perhaps this is a reminder to trust your gut feelings. If something feels wrong even if it sounds okay, it still might be wrong. Could she have been faking it? Could she have been passive-aggressive and by shoving the knife in a little farther reminding him or her of their sorrow?
Have you ever played pretend and created exactly what you wanted in every detail? You probably did so as a child when you were only limited by your imagination. I used to think that the president and his or her family had access to every thing a person could want and many things that ordinary people, even rich people, didn’t have yet. They had color TVs in my child’s mind before they were even invented.
For example, my best friend and I created beautiful ballgowns in our heads that we could really see. Daydreaming, you say just daydreaming…. Did the candy taste just as sweet if only in our imaginations and everything starts with an idea before it becomes a reality.
Your frame of mind can influence your outcome. How do you act if you know you will get something? How do you act if you are sure you won’t get something as things are unfair and no matter how good you are you don’t have a chance!
Think of all the people who have helped you. For a moment, don’t count the times that they didn’t. Be appreciative of what you did get even if you can’t rely on them now. It is unusual to look back and not find at least one person who has helped you. Even people who have did you great harm might have done something that benefited you once. It is also easier to notice the things that have gone wrong than to count your blessings.
So often we do not remember or note in any way things that people who treat you right have done and value more what someone who has neglected us has done. Be truly grateful. Why is a favor done by someone who usually rejects us mean more than one by someone who consistently supports you. “Ah, you say when this happens, “It doesn’t count.”
There was a mother who had a lot of children. Two of them took care of her and even at one point had her live with each of them. Who did she get excited about when they came to see her or when she had a chance to go see them, the ones who usually did nothing for her and usually weren’t around very much. Seems shallow, doesn’t it.
You may feel the same way about family. If they are not the ones doing something for you, then it doesn’t count. Yet hasn’t God sent other people into your life to help you at times maybe when your family wasn’t there. People aren’t all or always bad.
No one’s family life is perfect and I spent some time when I was younger talking about what my parents had done wrong in raising me and did not talk about the good things (Oh, yes, there were some). For example, my parents put me through undergraduate school at a private four year college. Also holidays and family get togethers were important to them.
I don’t want to underestimate anything that went wrong in your upbringing; but many times there are more than one thing to consider if you are looking at how you were raised. Yes, the bad things might have outweighed the good ones; but the good ones still existed.
Do You Hear Only What You Want to Hear Or See Only What You Want To See? Do you sometimes tune things out and skip parts of the material that is given to you? or that is shown to you?I go to a place to meet my spiritual needs and I go to hear what God wants me to know. I try to go with no preconceived notions of what I will get from attending church that day. I quiet myself and pay attention to what is prayed, said, or done. It is a time to be in the moment, not about feeling bad for what has happened in the past or being anxious or worried about the future.
Something was said yesterday during the service that I caught and am presenting here. This idea not only applies to worship services, but also to doctor visits, books, lectures or workshops.We often hear what we want to hear not actually was said or intended. When we learn something new, we often make changes to other ideas we have held or if this makes us uncomfortable we decide to tweak the material that was presented so it fits our notions of how the world should be.
Ever play the game of gossip and noticed how distorted the original message became?
We may tune in and tune out adjusting what we do hear to make it more acceptable no matter what the content. We can have attacks of boredom. We can become irritated because we have to sit there and listen to the speaker drone on and on. We can day dream or even fall asleep. Pay attention there may be something useful there.
This also can apply to visual material like posters, power point presentations. Did you read the quote presented at the top of this post. Here it is again. How did it make you feel: comfortable or uncomfortable. Are you generally open and receptive? or do you not like someone else telling you what to do and/or commenting on your appearance, possessions, and family. You have your own ideas and are comfortable with them.
I realize when I jump to conclusions I don’t pay attention to what is being presented. Stereotypes of people and cultures leave much to be desired and prevent us from encompassing diversity and learning what these people and cultures are really like.
Now you may understand why that Active Listening (Carl Rogers) is so important in communication. Being able to repeat what the other person has said before giving your reply encourages people to hear everything that was said.
Are some people rude and obnoxious because they count on other people to be polite? Also do some people lie because other people won’t correct them for fear of being rude themselves? Some people say hurtful and insulting things because they don’t expect other people to call them on it. They will also tell lies because other people will often give them the benefit of the doubt or don’t want to start an argument.
What is often true is that the other person is uncouth and often cruel because they can get away with it. It is sometimes even extremely obvious that they are doing this but they think that no one will say anything and they usually don’t. Doing so often accounts for a period of stunned silence from the audience members with it being so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
For example, I once entered the room where a large family gathering was already going on and everybody looked to see who was coming in. The rude person in a loud voice asked, “Who cut your hair?” It was obvious that person was being critical of the way I looked. It had already been a long day for me and I replied, “Well, who asked you?” in front of the whole group. This was met by stunned silence not just at the initial comment that had been made but at my reply. I felt it had been very appropriate considering that this person made a game of doing such things.
Sometimes the only way you can handle such comments is by being rude, obnoxious, and impolite in return. Such cruel people love to embarrass people and often do this when they have a crowd for an audience. People who are crude this way often may unconsciously worry that they might have the same problem that they are pointing out in somebody else but we usually don’t call them on it.
Take a trip this Christmas. It doesn’t matter where you go if you know you won’t have to do anything but enjoy the ride. That is what I am going to do when I take a Christmas shopping trip tomorrow. Somebody else is driving and I don’t have to worry about getting in and out of the vehicle and finding a parking space. We are going out to dinner and seeing Christmas lights. The most it will cost me is a small fee for the ride and whatever I decide to pay for my food at dinner. I have nothing in particular to get and I will be happy to get out and about no matter what stores we go to. It is out of my hands and I like it that way. There will be no drama as far as I am concerned as I don’t expect more than what I have described on this trip.
I leaving my worries and bills at home. My motto at home is ” what house gets kept I keep”; and I am sure the household chores that don’t get done before I go will be there waiting there for me when I get home. I will empty my mind and leave room to experience the gift of the present. I will not be concerned with whether or not I will make friends. . I just want to get along with the other passengers. I won’t be rude or crude. I don’t care which seat I get in the bus. I won’t fight over a window seat . I won’t try to take control of the group riding the bus and demand that they sing Christmas carols, the ones that I want to sing
I am going to let go and no matter what happens (even if it doesn’t make me deliriously happy) I am going to accept it and realize that the privilege of getting to go on the trip is enough and so is having a chance to to leave all my cares behind. Now your “trip” might not be my “trip”; but do it anyway. Just let go and do something with few expectations about what will happen. Give yourself a break. If possible, leave all or as many of your responsibilities behind as you can. You can always take them back up again when your “trip” ends.
How well do you stand up for yourself or others when this happens? Are you easily shamed or guilted into doing something that makes you personally uncomfortable even at your own personal expense. When the rolis called up yonder and you go before the ultimate judge (yourself) how will you fare? How many things will you have missed out on? How many chances will you have passed by to do what you knew was the right thing but didn’t have enough courage to do?
What will you have sacrificed to make others happy by letting them get away with abusing your time trying to convince you that they are right when you know they are wrong. Giving up being joyful and happy so that others who will never learn anything the hard way can escape the consequences of their behavior. Do you sometimes feel life is a drag especially when you go along with other peoples’ preferences instead of your own especially if those choices will make you uncomfortable and continue to suck the joy out of your life.
Worse yet you go against your own internal moral code in order to conform to societies expectations and generalizations about “correct” behavior that could be be and might be applied to your behavior. Are you willing to be punished for doing something you know is really “right” even if it goes against the codes of others?
How independent are your standards both for yourself and others. Are you willing to spend time with someone who is boring but doesn’t know it because other people often let him or her get away with it. Would you spend time with someone who has few friends but who would appreciate getting your time or do you follow the crowd and do the same old thing that you do every time you go out instead? What does your intuition say you should do?
Old rolls or old roles? Which are staler. Have you changed even so you might fall back into old roles when you are back in an old situation. The expectations can still be there and you can’t resist them. Does everybody eat at the dining role table when you eat in the kitchen even though you are not a child anymore. Do you wait until everybody else has eaten before you even attempt to eat your food? Anticipating a family visit can take you back to childhood, adolescence and possibly young adulthood. and when you actually get there it can be even worse. The cues that used to set you or family members off, still do. Okay, it doesn’t happen for you. What about your partner when they visit their family.
Do we ever grow up in spite of our families? Daddy’s girl or mama’s boy are roles that are easily taken up again when around mommy or daddy again. Do you or did you have a sibling that used to boss you around, always got their way , or could beat you in a fight verbal or physical? Were you the “STAR”, the one always recognized for your accomplishments or were you invisible and if you you did anything that achieved recognition, did certain or all other family members ignore it or worse yet not even know that something like that happened?
Old habits die hard. Do family members that were used to giving you orders still order you around effectively when you are around them? Do you pick up the check, wash the dishes, mind the little children while the rest of the family doesn’t even thank you and may even go off without you. Enabling, double binds reassert themselves. Do they order for you, refuse to get you a drink, or comment on your hair or what you wear or even go so far as to pick out what you wear.
Worse yet do you become sick or somewhat spacey when planning to make a home visit. Worse yet can be family reunions where you are given no choice as to what happens or do you do the opposite and wind up planning the whole thing with everybody else’s wishes, preferences, and time schedules in mind, not yours, because it is easier for you to just give in. Do you find yourself not making a fuss even when you are grossly inconvenienced. If it is your partner’s family reunion, do you get taken along for the ride and have a miserable time. Do old dramas reoccur like Uncle George drinking all the spiked punch and getting sick and puking all over someone’s pants or carpet.
Do you wonder why you went. Was it just to go and put in an appearance. Did it even mess up your schedule and cause you to miss something else that you would have preferred to go to another family reunion, or a planned event with hard to get tickets. Do the people there smoke, drink excessively, or cuss outrageously even in front of children? How many of these events have you enjoyed? in the past ten years.
Are you still the scapegoat at these events like a school reunion, etc.. Or worse yet do you still get bullied or even worse yet emotionally , physically, or sexually abused. Some times sexual abuse by a family friend or member does not stop when the victim reaches adulthood. Do the people there go off into their own groups (old school friends) and leave you on the fringe. Or instead do you lapse into old negative behaviors deliberately talking about things and doings while openly leaving someone out and who has a miserable time.
I suggest a spa visit before to get ready or better yet after to pamper yourself. Aim to just live through it and give yourself some quiet decompression time possibly both before and after the visit. Reward yourself for getting through it even if you only went out of obligation such as “Honor thy father and mother.” You might even go so far as to do or not do one thing that that you usually don’t do or do (almost helplessly) on these occasions. Stand up for yourself, but be totally prepared for what might happen if you do this. These people can still push your buttons even if they have not been pushed in a long time.
Okay you are strong; you wouldn’t let this happen to you. What about letting it happen to somebody else just because this was the way it always used to be. You don’t want to cause any conflict. Worse yet then they might pick on you too. Have you really matured and do what you think is right rather than falling back into going along with the crowd. “The crowd” can exert a lot of pressure and you may be seen as spoiling their good time.
Taking a Rocket Risk ala Mary Mcellehattan’s book,. Going where my heart’s desire is. Fuflilling my bucket list. It may be my last hurrah; but I am going. Learned a lesson. Don’t wait for somebody else to do it for you.
Create your own happiness. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. It’s your decision. It’s your life. You don’t need somebody else’s permission even if you would like to have it. Don’t lose the moment. I am not going to let anybody else’s opinion spoil your day or days spent where you only dreamed of being before. Being yourself is not necessarily bad and is actually mostly or all good. Most of us have been raised to seek somebody else’s approval (and sometime it’s even the world’s!) before doing something.
Don’t cloud a life time experience by being scared, afraid, or unhappy because somebody else doesn’t want you to do what you want to do. Unhappy emotions are for the most part useless unless they are part of the grieving process. Yes, I may be scared when I announce my intentions. Just as people have different tastes in movies and music, they have different tastes when it comes to choosing a lifetime experience. Do you have a certain food that you dislike and you can’t even stand to see it on somebody else’s plate.? Liver (and onions) is something I enjoy, but I don’t have much company. Are you always eating where someone else wants to eat as you don’t want to make waves and it’s not that big of a deal. anyway. Move over Rover, there is a new dog in town.
Experiment! Campaign for your choices when you are with someone or a group. How often have you listened to yourself when deciding on something to eat. Do you wait to see what others are
going to order first? Have you ever thought, “My, wouldn’t that taste good.” I even eat snails and of course all kinds of mushrooms including those we pick ourselves during mushroom season. I have to agitate someone to get them on my pizza!
Planning a life experience like I am. Go ahead fantasize the best trip ever including every thing you want even if you are not sure how you are going to get it. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared if someone asks you what you want. It’s your trip, it’s your budget. What do you like best about visiting some other place? I like to get to know the people and taste the food. I like for my trips to be multipurpose and accomplish more than one of my goals. I want to be met by a local and showed around by a local. I want them or someone knowledgeable to set my itinerary. I want to really experience the place while I am there.
Do you want to go through life saying , “I wish I could have done something.” That negativity can last for a lifetime. Who is being negative about this. You oar someone else? Is it,”If I feel bad about what you are going to do, you should feel bad too and have a miserable time planning your trip, taking your trip, and talking about it after.” Secretly they may want to ruin your whole life by being this way about things you want to do. Does someone in your family have this power over you? To whose benefit is it? There was a cartoon character that always had a rain cloud over his head. This could be you if you let this happen.
“If I am not happy, nobody else is going to be happy!” Have you heard that before? Does it have to be true? How about having a good time anyway. Happiness is a choice and it’s yours. Don’t listen to this sort of thing. Don’t let this happen! Some people are self-sacrificing and if they don’t let themselves do or have something, they don’t want you to either!
Forgive, forget, let go…. Taking things another step further…. If you feel that you have to forgive someone in order to let go, you might really never let go. Could it be possible that there is nothing to forgive and the very act of forgiveness is standing in the way of getting on with your life?
I had a very nasty? teacher once. He would rap your knuckles with a ruler if you did something that he thought deserved it. Altogether it was a very frustrating experience and I cried many tears over our encounters. I had just started grade school and he was a music director who got stuck teaching elementary school kids along with his other duties as organist and choir director. He was very temperamental as sometimes musicians and other artists are. Teaching was probably very frustrating for him and it probably kept him from spending all his time doing what he really desired to do. He made my life miserable and my cousin who was also in the same class room said that he picked on me when he could have left me alone. I admit I was a challenging child, a quick learner with a lot of creative ideas. It was difficult to keep me busy and I questioned his authority frequently.
For a long time I could not see this situation from his point of view. I had a very unhappy time while he was my teacher (He wasn’t the only teacher that I had that I had trouble with in elementary school.) The point was that in my school we had almost all male teachers and I don’t think any of them thought that teaching elementary school children was their life’s work like it was for women at that time. I had one good year i elementary school, the year I had a woman teacher.
Altogether it was an unfortunate experience and it did not help my self-esteem. My parents were also very frustrated with me being called to the office so often and their having had to come to school to talk about my behavior with my teacher or the principal.
Altogether it was a very frustrating experience for everyone. Now who should be forgiven, the teacher, my parents, myself? Sometimes saying that something has to be forgiven suggests malice aforethought. Weren’t we all doing the best we thought we could. I no longer see myself as a “bad” disobedient child, misunderstood maybe, but not bad. Did I have a “bad” teacher or did he do the best he could in the circumstances?
Was this teacher taking his anger out on the children in the class by expecting too much of them. Was he angry because he was being forced to teach when he would rather have been only in charge of music? My parents at that time like many parents in that era worried more about what other people would think and felt that children should be taught to respect their elders no matter what they were like.
Now that I can see more of the picture should I continue the anger and frustration by thinking that I have to forgive my elders for what they did to me when I was a child or should I let go with the understanding that they were only people that didn’t know better. To me forgiveness can require a lot of time and energy and it has the flavor of something that I must do for my own and others’ good. Letting go does not suggest that what they and what I did were right but that there was a lot of misunderstanding and confusion involved. Also to some extend, I was more concerned about what happened to my brother and cousin when they were in this teacher’s class with me. It is always more frightening to see somebody else get hurt when you are not them and don’t know how badly they might be suffering when you already know how painful it has been for you in the situation.
Hatred, anger when attached to letting go makes it a greater burden than it has to be. What might remain a burden for the “offender” to deal with no longer becomes one for you. The biggest satisfaction an offender might have is not doing the dastardly deed but the fact that the victims have to deal and live with the consequences forever. When it comes to this, the victim has to let go as the offender no longer has them in his or her grasp. I realized a couple of years that after my divorce many years ago, that I was still cogitating over how my ex had treated me towards the end of our marriage and how unhappy I was. and that he may have gone on merrily without me and started his life over forgetting I ever existed.
If you come from the northern part of this country, you may know about mosquitoes and how badly their bites itch and how you can create even bigger sores and create more irritation by scratching them, People who get them often feel they are helpless and can’t leave them alone. Often the next step is that you stop going outside in mosquito season and wound up being cooped up inside in the house during the hottest part of summer without air conditioning. Wouldn’t it been wonderful if you could have avoided that? You can avoid something similar by letting go of old past hurts.
Don’t regurgitate, don’t do what cows do and chew your cud again and again. Yes, learn from your past experiences but don’t let them monopolize the present or scar the future. Sometimes you don’t have to forgive you just need to let go and take what the future brings an opportunity to do something different and new.
CAUTION; A HISTORY OF SEVERE PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE AND SOMETIMES EVEN SEVERE MENTAL ABUSE REQUIRES PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT AND SHOULD NOT BE HANDLED ON ONE’S OWN. Abuse can also happen when you are an adult. Also do not let the abuser dictate how you handle the abuse.