When we so often get consumed in how we feel during particular situations or within our relationships with others, it is easy to lose sight of what is happening right at that particular time. We can become lost in our own perceptions, lost in our own thoughts and ways that we are used to feeling.
It is very easy now to get all sorts of information and advice. There are endless opportunities for learning. We receive all sorts of quotes, analogies, life lessons and often short tips on how to make the most of our lives. What interests and fascinates me is the way in which we take this information in. I feel that you can take in theory all day everyday, but unless you actually experience it, unless you feel the effects on your life and the lives of those around you, the information is somewhat redundant and inapplicable.
So how do we use it? How do we apply it? What we all want to know is how do we really make our lives better, run smoother and share more positive and beneficial relationships with others?....well at least thats what I have felt, maybe you already know the answers and need not read on!
So for this post think of it as a reflection on experiential learning to improve your response to and interaction in relationships and see what is happening right now.
Firstly....You cannot control anybody else EVER! You have no control over how they feel, how they react, how they choose to behave. How they interpret life and choose to be is entirely up to them.
Secondly...You cannot stop bad shit from occurring (excuse my french!) but it just does happen and that is life. We are all human, we all make mistakes, no matter how much you try to perfect yourself and be the best, there are people in your life that you will meet that you will not click with, you may argue with, not see eye to eye, they may be unfair, you may be unfair.....it all just happens.
So what can you do?
Learn to deal with and learn from all the 'stuff' that has happened
That we have had a difficulty with a particular interaction or we feel betrayed/let down/hurt etc does not mean forever more we must shut ourselves off from these things, or never expecting any better. What we can do is see these things for what they were and gain an understanding of the reality of what happened outside of just your own perspective. You may feel unfairly treated by your parents for example, but look at it from the outside without emotion and think where they may have been coming from, or what may have been their reasoning or understanding at the time. You may be able to look at situations and see how can I learn from this now in a positive way. Sometimes people say things or act in a certain way, and sometimes it hurts or sticks but how you choose to move on is entirely up to you.
****Think of a time someone said something or behaved in a way that you felt hurt. Think of 5 things that may have been going on for them at the time. You may start to understand the situation and the other person a little differently. we may not condone their actions but understanding them means less internalisation for you.
Start letting go of habitual patterns and reactions
Once we begin to understand others a bit better from the points above...you can then understand hat because one person may have acted a certain way, this does not now mean that everyone you interact with has the same agenda. Within all your relationships the main common factor is you, so if you see patterns repeat themselves, most likely it is your response or interpretation that is the common denominator.
Question the reality of the situation you are in
Once you can understand how you tend to feel, or tend to react or respond, ask yourself then, what is actually happening right now? If you can't see things from the other persons point of view, ask them. Communicate. Figure out what feelings you have because of this particular situation, and is it because of how you tend to feel or is it because of what is actually happening right now?
Reflecting on all the points I have written above, the most amazing part is the idea that you can start this all by yourself..what do I mean? I mean that you can start looking at the relationship you have with yourself.
Maybe take your body for example,
- you cannot control it, (e.g. we can work with our bodies/move etc but we cannot control ageing for example or genetics)
- bad shit will happen, (e.g. at some time or another you may get injured or feel set backs)
- you can learn from stuff that has happened in your body,
- you can start letting go of habitual patterns, ways that you see your body, ways that you feel about it, what you believe is impossible or unattainable or that you are not able to do.
- you can look at the reality of the situation that you are in, ask yourself what it is you want to do or achieve and then without emotion or attachment to the outcome, take the steps towards your goals.
Revelation!!!! How we are with ourselves is how we can be with all our other relationships. We can begin with ourselves, in our bodies and take all those lessons and moments of clarity out into the world.......Super! This is what Yoga can do for us, or sports, or exercise, or movement in general. Taking time to cultivate more positive interactions and grounds for growth and awareness.
We all have stories, we all tell them way too much! We all began our stories in different ways, and our beginnings may have caused confusion or doubt or fears....but as you grow up, what you do with these stories is as I have said entirely up to you. You can let go of and hold onto whatever it is you choose. Growing up is as a result of becoming who you are now and taking what is now, rather than hanging on to what once was.
Start bringing awareness to the stories that you tell, the dramas that you get caught up in, the thoughts that meander, begin to see what is simply not useful to you anymore and not helping you in a positive way.
Then.....when we can let go of all the unhelpful stuff and embrace more of the positive, we may begin to see more positive in ourselves and others that we never saw before.....Happy days!