Change the word… change your power

No matter what you are going through at the moment, what your day encompasses, what personal things you are facing, there is something common to us all… we each face similar challenges that arise from one of our most basic human needs – relationships.

And in many of our day to day lives, when the layers of communication are thinned out by things such as ‘busyness’, short cuts and diminishing ability to focus attention… our opportunity to really relate and gain understanding is limited.

How often do you hear about people reaching crisis point – often without anyone even knowing they were at that point?

I discovered another just the other day…

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This person’s partner walked out – away from everything they had both worked hard for over the years to pursue what he termed ‘freedom’…

He said he couldn’t forgive her for ‘the way she was’ – which led her to be unable to forgive him for ‘what he had done’…

What each had ‘done’ to each other, couldn’t be forgiven – and they were so overwhelmed by so many things that had been going on (without each other knowing) that they felt their only alternative was to end their relationship…

Interestingly, these 2 people worked and lived well together and shared many common interests. They had also gone through so much tough stuff together..

They had done a lot of personal ‘work’ on themselves in the past (around spirituality and personal development) and thought they would be able to do what often is suggested and that is to ‘forgive’…

The truth was, they both stated loud and clear they COULD NOT forgive!

And not being able to forgive each other – actually created more angst because – they felt bad that they couldn’t!

They somehow knew they actually loved each other – however things had really become overwhelming.

It led me to share something about my own personal views around the concept of forgiveness…

I know we’ve been told and I’ve done it myself… worked on my ability to forgive…

When I really went into that space around forgiveness – there were a few things that stood out to me…

 

I began to question what it meant to forgive:

  • Did it mean if I have the power to forgive – that I have the right to determine what is right and wrong?
  • Did it mean if I forgive that I am willing to ignore things even when they don’t feel good for me and my values?
  • Did it mean if I forgive that others are ‘let off the hook’ and do nothing to redeem or improve the situation?

I began to see this more as a win lose situation – no matter which way I viewed it.

That’s when I realised that ‘trying’ to forgive someone was (for me) not working. I felt it worked against feeling respectful or honoring differences and values.

Instead I began to ask myself what does actually help me to continue to be in the relationship and want to build on it?

Then it hit me…When I shifted from using the word ‘forgive’ it began to change.

The word I used instead was…

Compassion.

There is a lot of talk about the power of compassion and I must admit I began to understand its meaning much better in this way.

I can honestly without ‘trying’, show compassion for others and their actions for many reasons

  • the times we live in
  • the stress they are under
  • the situation they are in
  • the strengths and vulnerabilities they have

I do truly believe each of these have impact in how we all behave…

So compassion has been the key for me to continue to face the people each day despite what happens.

And that means there is another chance for us to construct opportunities…

where we can take some next steps and actually collaborate and sort things out – so rebuilding is possible.

When I presented the compassion model to this woman… she too felt it more possible to step into the next day and at least face her partner with more willingness…

In that next day she looked for signs (taking responsibility, acknowledging and understanding) and that gave her hope that a solution was possible.

So the point is – that for each day you’re still in a relationship, there is hope of progress…

So perhaps by removing the expectation of having to forgive someone – we may be more able to ‘hang in there’ to reach a better relationship solution…

There may be more chance to empathise for their pain and their struggle.

‘Trying’ to forgive may just squash any chance of progress… ‘Compassion’ may be the key.

So perhaps test out using words that take you into a space where there is more hope… Who knows – compassion may be your word too…

If so, then ask yourself, ‘what things can I be compassionate about to ease some of the tension and negative feelings with someone I actually love?’

Perhaps they too are tired, sad, angry, fearful or unable to communicate what they really want to say?

If that works it may just be something to pursue…

Tricia

 

2016-03-22T12:23:22+00:00