Being People Together

One of the most valuable things we can do is to disengage with the roles we play in our lives – child, boss, parent, spouse, co-worker, etc. – and practice seeing ourselves and others as just people.

Get out of the haze of the morning rush, of what has to get done, of the reactions to what’s not getting done and see these human beings in our lives as complex, vulnerable, sensitive, less than sure people who are trying to figure this all out, too. Just like us.

I’ve never gotten more hugs and kisses in my house since I started practicing this. Being seen as a person is a relief (no matter how little or how big we are).

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Earning Their Forgiveness

Apologies are nice and sometimes we even mean them 😉

And…

People give up a lot to forgive us. They give up resentment, fear, the right to be right and to hold that on us if they are truly forgiving. They clean themselves out for the sake of loving us or partnering with us again. They risk being hurt again.

When we are forgiven, the expectation is that we will do what it takes not to repeat what we were forgiven for doing. Owning that expectation and fulfilling upon it sometimes becomes an afterthought, because we are so glad to be forgiven, we just hope it won’t happen again.

Ideally, being forgiven and still included in people’s lives can be considered an invitation to growth and taken seriously so we can honor that gift they gave us, if we really care about continuing the relationship, earning their trust and renewed vulnerability.

If we have no intention to make the necessary changes, we didn’t get it, we just were looking to get back to the status quo. We’ll probably put people through the same thing again.

We can earn the gift of forgiveness after the fact by looking deeply at who we need to become to get there, to a place where we’re not the same person who would make that mistake again. Often it’s not just about one change in behavior. We may need to become a person who wouldn’t do that again, put ourselves in the same predicament, make the same set of choices. This can change the trajectory of our lives. It can be hard work to learn and get out of old patterns and if we rise to the occasion, down the line we may see how someone’s forgiveness was the start of something wonderful, something we can be proud of.

Who has forgiven you? What’s the opportunity still available in the forgiveness they gave you if you took it more to heart? Who can you thank for what you ultimately made out of their forgiveness, how it changed your life?

This Thanksgiving, Love it and Leave it

tgivingI was inspired listening to Marc Maron’s podcast this morning. Usually around Thanksgiving time he starts complaining and describing the anxieties of the holiday and being with family.

Today he told us he’s really going to try to drop those old, old triggers, resentments, sensitivities and justifications and try to love his family and love being with them.

That was some major growth. It’s one of the fun parts for me of listening over the last few years, really hearing someone work on themselves and witnessing the changes.

So, here’s my take, for you.

Practice loving and leaving it this Thanksgiving.

This is who your family is.

When you get ticked off by your uncle’s comment on politics, or your mom’s, love it and leave it. The conversations from the past might have helped you refine who you are. You may want them to be different, but changing their mind is only marginally useful in the long haul. Just love them, leave it and let them be. Most likely the damage they are going to do to the world personally with their attitude is minimal.

If someone comments on your weight, marital status, health, career for the twelve thousandth time, love it and leave it. They’re undoubtedly hella flawed themselves. They can’t help themselves and deep down they probably want wonderful things for you, but they’re not good at expressing it or seeing your life from your eyes. See if you can say “thanks” and let it be. Thanks doesn’t mean you agree with their words or approach, but they meant to give you something. Love them and leave it at that.

In fact, when I notice how much of the uncomfortable experience from things my family might say is my own making (my reactions are mine, no matter how justified I feel in having them), I often actually get the good information that was in the nudge and even get the love that was embedded in the concern or complaint. It took some work. I needed to be able to love them and leave it first.

And if you want to fight, I get it. Fighting isn’t the end of the world, but if you haven’t mastered loving it and leaving it first, you may take it all personally. Then you’re not going to be very thankful for much, unless people make all gone with that pie you brought and tell you how much they liked it. Then at least you get that feeling when you don’t know if you still really want to be upset with these people. I love making D and Marcus feel like that 😉

May You Live to See Your Dreams Fulfilled

babywithparentsI was blessed to be at a Bris this morning (a Jewish naming ceremony for a male child). Any healthy baby is a blessing, to be sure, and the benefit of recognizing the birth publicly, offering prayers for the life of the child and the parents helps to focus ourselves on the potential meaning we can grant life.

One prayer said at this service includes the following:
May you live to see your world fulfilled.
May your destiny be for worlds still to come
May you trust in generations past and yet to be
May you live to see your world fulfilled
May your heart be filled with intuition
May your words be filled with insight
May songs of praise be upon your tongue, vision straight before you.
Even as you ever yearn to listen to words of the holy ancient one of old
May you live to see your world fulfilled

May you live to see your world fulfilled. Such a powerful statement of the opportunity of life and of the wishes we have for our children. It’s also often translated where you replace “world” with “dreams”.

As a coach, it states the beauty of the relationship we hope to build with our clients, partnering with people to have the world their heart wants, come into being. As a parent, it is a transference of the joy and beauty of this life you’ve been blessed to foster and share. We want their world to be as beautiful as they are and we know we can have something to do with that happening. As a human being, it reminds me of what we tend to forget about each other. How far we stray from relating to each other as fellow ushers of our world fulfilled.

This is a prayer we can say for our friends and for those we don’t understand as well, for our families, for those we don’t agree with, because if we truly fulfill, all the way down to the essence of who we are, who we were as babies, before the world took it’s toll on us, we will all wind up in the very same place, a world of acceptance, joy, cooperation and love.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

Gratitude for Growth!

I’m really happy that my Relationship Circle events have been listed in a DC print publication called Natural Awakenings DC. Natural Awakenings is a magazine that has great articles, resources and lists events that benefit people’s health and well-being.

This is a big step for me, someone who shies away from self-promotion (and is working on getting better at that) and I want to thank Cullen Kowalski and Samsara House 2023 for helping me get my work out to more people by creating the partnership we have for my events. I’m very grateful.

http://issuu.com/dcnaturalawakenings/docs/nadc0215_final