Posts Tagged ‘seeking understanding’
I don’t know if you ski or not? I don’t anymore after a rather dramatic exit from the ski slopes in the year dot when I took out 3 ligaments in my right knee and although they were replaced twice in one year, that kind of piste is not one I venture onto any longer!
But even if you don’t ski, you’re sure to be able to bring up images of fresh snow and have feelings of total pleasure at being the first to cut a path across the virgin landscape knowing that you’re marking the ground with your own footsteps, going where no man has gone before.
Or perhaps you’d be like my daughters who hate anyone to spoil the fresh snow, they want to preserve it for posterity, or at least until it melts. They like the pristine, the unclaimed, the unsullied.
What I wanted to talk about was how may clients I get who have suddenly realised that they’ve been busy making sure that they are doing the right thing by everyone else, that they’ve done very little for themselves.
In essence they’ve stayed on piste all their lives, doing what they need to do to keep everyone else happy, making sure that they follow the footsteps laid out, they don’t make any new marks. The trouble with this is that eventually they get piste off and begin to feel like a common dogsbody, a door mat and they start to get angry.
A little problem here because they don’t know how to express themselves and they don’t know what will happen if they stop being ‘nice’. Yes that’s what they’re scared of that some folk will not think that they’re nice. They’re scared of being disliked if they stop doing everything for everybody. So, they continue to be nice, they continue to let others take advantage of their ‘gentle giving’ nature and inside they are getting frustrated, piste off and their heart is no longer in their giving.
I read this somewhere but I can’t find it to quote it properly, so this was the essence –
‘I’d rather be disliked for being me than liked for being someone else’
If you were really you and could be absolutely guaranteed that you would be liked for yourself and not the person you think you ‘should’ be, who would you be? What would you stop or start?
I watched as the group dispersed and one lady hung back, she’d been quiet during the meeting; listening, watching; it looked like she had a question to ask. I smiled encouragingly.
‘May I ask you something?’ she asked. ‘Of course, how can I help you?’
It transpired that she was married to a wonderful man and therefore not in need of mediation, but she wanted to know if she could have done anything differently at the time, 27 years ago, to have kept her first marriage alive. She’d often wondered about it, and could still get upset that she might have been too hasty. She’d learned many years later from her ex mother in law that she ‘should’ have used an iron fist in a velvet glove approach with her ex husband, that was how to deal with him.
The conversation progressed from there, and she began to understand that mediation is more common than most people realise. Mediation is used to find the best possible outcome for those with any form of conflict. Conflict can be internal – this lady still had conflicting feelings and emotions around her divorce. 27 years is a long time to hang on to it.
‘I know I shouldn’t even be thinking of it anymore as it was so long ago’ she confessed ‘but there’s a wee part of me which still wonders’.
With a few questions we quickly got to the cause of her internal conflict, and it was very quickly put to bed. She thanked me and sighed. That sigh indicated that this lady had no reason to carry this burden around with her any longer, it was now gone.
As she turned to leave, she stopped, turned round and said ‘I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from me’.
Mediation is simply a facilitating process, whether with another individual or with the parts of yourself , which cause you pain, fear or simply to clear up things which you are curious about. All it takes is being willing to want to reach an end to the issue.
Stuffing things away and pretending they don’t exist is as helpful as a chocolate teapot.
As I lay in bed last night listening to the wind in the trees, the leaves doing a frenzied dance with epic stamina (they’d been at it for a few days), I stopped thinking. I stop thinking regularly, some folk call it meditation. I used to believe that meditation had to have a purpose and that it was difficult to do because I’m not great at relaxing, but the more I’ve stopped thinking, the easier it gets to define what works for me. If it’s meditation, great, if it’s just no thought, great!
I need that time just to let go, to stop things becoming overwhelming. It doesn’t of course mean that the situation changes while I’m not thinking about it, or does it?
Situations are just that, they aren’t the things which create the stress and fear in our lives. It’s our feelings, our thoughts, our emotions which are all tied up in what we understand the situation to be saying to us. The experience we then have is our story around the problem.
While I lie in a place of ‘no thought’, I’m suspended. Time too is suspended. The situation is still going on, but it doesn’t bother me in a place of ‘no thought’.
One day I got to realising after clocking up so many no-thought airmiles, that actually I didn’t need to go there in order to be there. I could just be there all the time.
If I can suspend time and a situation by not thinking about it when I chose to deliberately, then that was also an option while I went about the rest of my daily chores and life. Imagine how wonderful that is!
Now this could get irresponsible because although you can suspend time and problems from your thoughts, there are things which you might have to change to accommodate the issue and that there are things for which you are responsible and you must take action.
You need to know what it is you want to achieve, what outcome you are looking at. You need a focus and a goal – one which you know is determined by you and is not reliant on others. This might even be as simple as ‘I want to feel happy, or at peace’. So the difference lies by taking stock of what you can do, and doing it.
When you know that you’ve taken the steps required by you, and some of them might be massive pieces of action, you have done what you can. The action required isn’t always done in one fell swoop, but starting doing one thing at a time will make a difference.
Continually ruminating and cogitating over what has happened, where you are and how unfair it all is will hold you stuck. The no-thought helps to stop that process and gives you the added oomph to start taking the steps which will pull you through.
Having someone to help you move beyond what appears to be the problem and help you get to no-thought is the first step you might consider.
Without clients my life just isn’t complete. I shine when I see people move on from their fears, their pain, their acceptance of letting go. I feel them changing at the other end of the telephone line. Their voices lower, their shoulders relax.
Sometimes all it takes is one or two words, sometimes it takes longer. More often than not, just being at the end of the phone for encouragement, support and validation of a client’s feelings is the first step to them being able to move on with the rest of their life.
I want to share this email, and I have permission from the writer to do so. I’ve been moved to tears by her words. Please enjoy them and understand my work too.
Last week, a situation between me, and let’s say “significant other” whom I had been involved in a “relationship” of kinds with in my life reached breaking point. Our relationship terminated forever. Neither one of us can go back to where we were.
For three days I had not been able to stem the tears, the hurt and pain weeping out of every pore, the mind going over every conversation, every event, over and over like a mad person just possessed by the pain, reliving every beautiful moment but unable to comprehend why or how it suddenly, and literally overnight, turned into the ugliest and most painful experience.
I don’t reach out on personal matters. Its something my hard exterior will not allow. If I let someone inside the brick wall that surrounds me, they will hurt me…..past experience tells me this…and now I have learnt that when you allow people inside, where you heart is raw and hurting, there is quite simply the capacity for someone to wound it further.
I am an armadillo. What the world sees is the tough shell.
If there was a chance of making the relationship better I would have leapt in a heart beat to it. Like the word fatal after a car crash, this relationship had ended fatally too. In my heart I knew the separation was ultimately the absolute best thing in many many ways, the pain was still crippling. I could not see a way forward, and despite my life being almost hideously fortuitous in every other way, this person absence from my life was soul destroying.
Through these days, one person was popping in and out of my conscious mind. My twitter contact Jackie Walker. Her location “at the end of the phone” was propelling me to call her. I was not sure why.
The universe I guess was at play. We meet people after all, for a reason, season or lifetime…..and there is no such thing as a chance meeting.
From the moment the phone rang, and I started to talk, the tears started to spill, I was almost hyperventilating as I cried, unable to breathe, the hurt inside as I spoke, tearing me apart and just hearing someone’s calm and rational voice, that cared, someone who just let me talk, who understood the pain, who asked the right questions, who gently probed was enough….….until an hour and a half later not only could I actually breathe again but the heavy black cloud that has engulfed me for the past 72 hours had started to part allowing rays of sunshine to pour into my heart and start to just melt the ice that had surrounded my insides and stopped my lungs from functioning. As Jackie probed and questioned the answers that I was searching for, that perhaps I knew already deep inside, started to talk to my logical brain. As I rubbished the way I felt, embarrassed to say the words “I loved this person, I care, and I feel hurt and angry” Jackie gave me utter permission to not only feel this way, but to almost celebrate allowing the emotion to come out.
It was an exhausting call, I had totally purged my emotion in a way that society tells me is simply not appropriate to do. My instant trust in jackie reassured me it was OK. Jackie left me with some amazing meditations to cut the emotional ties that were holding me down and to just cut myself and focus on all the wonderful things that remain in my life, which are actually the most wondrous and precious things of all.
The next few hours and days became easier to cope with the feelings, and several days later I can now reflect on this call.
Jackie is a mediator. Her passion and dedication is to mediate Ugly situations. I could not ask for mediation as my situation was long past that but, I know with Jackie’s help, my situation would not have ended the way it had if we had tried to resolve it with her help. I’ve never really understood the role of a mediator to facilitate improving a relationship, but I realize now, with no uncertainty at all, that someone with the gifts that Jackie has, can truly truly help.
I didn’t really know Jackie until that call. However the person at “the end of the phone” allowed me to share how I feel, she gently guided me through all the hurt probing me for answers and solutions and ways forward….and it was so natural it was like talking to my best friend, it wasn’t embarrassing or awkward and in such a relatively short time I could see the answers and solutions needed to actually move forward. My life had literally been suspended in mid air for 3 days, I would still be there now if it was not for the support from Jackie.
I absolutely would not hesitate in recommending Jackie to help others, especially people struggling within a relationship and preferably before its too late. I think perhaps we all hold onto so much pain inside, that if left trapped not only does in not allow you to move forward but the ugliness of the situation will always stay within you locked in the “here and now”. Jackie is someone you can open up to who will guide you through and out the other side.
I was reading through loads of the other 215800 blogs and while doing so, burned my oven chips – I know, I don’t usually eat them, but the cupboard is bare today and so’s my tummy after burning the chips! As I sat eating my chicken, salad and remaining chips, it came to me. There’d been a man in my room last night. He came through the window.
Oh and before I go any further – the update to the fitness side of this blog that I also promised to keep up – I’ve kept up my gym attendance as promised – 3 times last week, and today I was there again. The cardio stuff is getting easier and the wee lights on the cross trainer don’t scream ‘Heart attack ready to happen’ until I’m well ready to get off, and not before any more! I see that as progress and am feeling very proud that I’m even still going. I’m not yet enjoying it, but I’m becoming better, maybe that’ll lead to enjoyment!
Consistency is the word that I was given today and I can honestly say that consistency is proving to be so worthwhile – it’s giving me some time off this week too – what a great task master!
But now I want to explore this man. I do my savasana in bed, maybe I shouldn’t but last thing at night, I don’t want to fall asleep on the floor and wake up hours later to climb into bed, so I combine the two!
At some point in the middle of the night I remember a man coming through my curtains and sitting on my bed. I remember being pleased to see him. He was well dressed, good looking, dark hair, well spoken and it seemed perfectly normal that he came through the window unannounced. We spent ages chatting, I’ve no idea about what. Then he left, the way he’d come in.
I don’t even remember wondering who he was, he just was, who he was.
Some time later he came back, wearing different clothes as I recall. This time I wasn’t in bed, but I was in the room, it wasn’t me now, but me then, and that’s not past it’s to come. It wasn’t my room as it is now, it’s as it will be. Again, I have no idea what we talked about but I know he helped me with some advice and then he was gone. He was a busy guy and made a deliberate effort to come and spend time with me. I felt very cherished.
Patently I needed a lot of help last night, he was back for a third visit! This time it was a very different meeting. Much more intimate, much more affection, closeness and there was a depth and meaning to our relationship. He was laughing as he came back through the window. Light hearted, warm, funny and very welcome. I noticed the change and I remember asking him about it, he reassured me. I raised my eyebrows and felt myself relax and be at ease. All was well – he said so.
How could I have forgotten this wonderful presence until now? I think I might have to have an early night 😉
I don’t know about you but sometimes a phrase or a word jumps out at me when I’m reading something and this morning as I read my ‘A Note from the Universe’, it happened again. ‘Seek Understanding’.
So I went and had a shower, and I made another coffee – decaff of course – and still ‘seek understanding’ is bouncing around the walls in my head and more than that, it’s sitting low down in my solar plexus and heart area too – I know that it’s important for me to pay attention when the message has an impact on my body.
It dawned on me that I’d just read a lovely blog by @JaneCWoods about swopping shoes for the day – this too is about seeking understanding.
With a double message in under an hour, I realised that I had some work to do. Who or what am I not understanding?
I started to examine what I’d been missing and I began to realise that understanding underpins love, respect and compassion. This isn’t new and is certainly something I advocate already, but today it’s going deeper.
What is understanding after all. Is it simply making sense of something, is it being willing to open your mind to a wider reality, is it being prepared to be ‘not right’? Or is it really about being willing to let go of your beliefs long enough to create a space into which love and compassion can flow.
Often we say we understand very quickly while inside us there’s a wee niggle which says ‘You don’t really but it’s easier and quicker to say you do’ . It often says ‘Don’t push just agree’.
To truly understand we have to be both passive and active – we might have to ask the question we don’t want to ask, we might have to check whether the understanding to be gained comes from outside ourselves or from within. Sometimes others do hold the answer to our learnings but more often than not, that answer is only the light being shone so that we can see what we have missed.
This morning I’m looking over some events which have happened in the last couple of months where perhaps I’ve not sought better understanding. With true understanding, one needs to detach totally from your own agenda.
We all have agendas and we all have goals and purposes and dreams to fulfill (if you don’t then it’s a good time to start making some ;)) Our paths are littered with people and situations which are there to help us, to teach us, to get in the way, to test our resolve, and to determine whether or not we are willing to understand.
What is it we are seeking to understand though? We need to understand the truth. The truth can hurt until we learn that it’s only feedback to help us grow. The truth is something which when we take personally or resist means you will never gain the understanding.
Stop, look and listen – outside and inside and seek understanding of others and of yourself. It’s a two way message and this is what is so often missing. Thank you TUT and Jane for mine.