How often do we find fault with someone else, and tell them how they ‘should’ behave, or what they should have done, to be ‘better’ (or at least what we believe ‘better’ to mean)? As if we were the expert on them and only we know the ‘right’ way of doing things!
often do we find fault with someone else, and tell them how they
‘should’ behave, or what they should have done, to be ‘better’
(or at least what we believe ‘better’ to mean)?
As if we were the expert on them, and only we know the ‘right’ way of doing things!
I am guilty of this myself - where by daughter and grandson are concerned.
I know my motives are to help them to live a ‘better', more effective and rewarding life. I've felt it my maternal duty to steer, guide, cajole and sometimes coerce my daughter into doing things ‘my way’…the assumption being that my way is best.
Well, it’s best for me, but perhaps not for her. She is different to me in significant ways.
A lot of what is important to me doesn’t even show up on her radar. She sees life differently to me and I find it annoying that she doesn’t heed my advice or learn from me (or from my mistakes).
And that’s just it…they are my life’s lessons and not hers.
Hers will be different and she must learn what she needs to learn in her own way…but it’s hard to stand by and watch without intervening (or, as she might call it... 'interfering').
My drive to take over, to take charge and to do things ‘properly’ creates a feeling of frustration and stress in me – and no doubt various negative feelings in her too – and these feelings are all of my own making.
If I can detach from the outcome of her choices, ‘go with the flow’, accept what is, and allow things to unfold in their own way I reduce my stress levels considerably.
If I didn’t care I wouldn’t care. What a paradox!
If I am working with a client who has very different values, beliefs, behaviours and attitudes to my own then I just mentally note it. However, when it’s my own ‘flesh-and-blood’ I can't be so detached and accepting – and this dichotomy causes some distress.
I find it instinctive to notice mess and disorder, and to perceive lies, and lack of clarity or order – because I value, seek and promote these in my own life.
How challenging it can be to live with someone who has different values, perceptions and opinions to our own – and yet this is where our greatest learning lies!
When we can stop projecting ‘wrongness’ out there onto others, we can instead reflect upon the motives that underpin our critical behaviour, our lack of tolerance, and perhaps our impatience too.
This reflection requires a stilling of the mind, and taking the time to make an inner search of our core reasons and deeper feelings – and of not focusing upon being right, correct or self-righteous.
And so the cycle turns and the opportunities to learn forever present themselves for our reflection and attention… and I can’t find fault with that!
Maxine Harley (MSc Integrative Psychotherapy)
MIND HEALER & MENTOR
Please visit http://www.maxineharley.com and find out the various ways in which I help men to FEEL better - so that they can BE, DO and HAVE better ... on their own terms and without the burden of their past emotional wounds getting in their way