Results of the “How do you Measure Success” poll last week.
88% voted internal states of happiness, 1 person voted other and the response was equal to internal states of happiness.
Thank you to all who took part in the poll.
This week, I’m writing on two different events that are both about the same issue, which is learning to let go of that which is familiar, but no longer works for us.
I worked at a home show out-of-town last weekend. When I set up my booth to sell my product, I generally wind up interacting with a lot of different types of people. This last weekend was no different, except I noticed an increased amount of unproductive behavior and attitudes. As one who watches humans interact, I’ve seen this type of behavior before, but this weekend it seemed overly acerbic.
On at least six or seven occasions, I had a spouse try my $35.00 pair of glycerin-filled insoles on, and love them. These people usually had bad feet or a bad back or hips, and they found relief wearing my product. On each of the occasions I’m writing about, the other spouse refused to let them buy the insole. The argument was usually, “don’t be silly, you don’t need that”, “no, it cost too much,” or a bitter and controlling, “NO”! On one occasion, an embarrassed husband said he’d try to talk his wife into it, because he needed them since he stood on concrete all day. Ouch!
I found myself feeling sad for these people who were in relationship with someone who had no regard for their needs, and who did not trust their partner to know what felt good for them. How does this even work, and how do people stay in relationship with each other when there’s a lack of respect? I’d stand and watch them walk away and wonder what had happened in each life to create a situation where that person would allow themselves to be dominated by another.
I believe in most cases it is due to a lack of esteem and self-worth, coupled with the feeling of familiarity of being controlled and put down by another. We get used to whatever situation is present in our home in our formative years, and even though it may be extremely negative, we learn how to function in that type of environment. When we’re not doing our healing work, moving into a supportive place may feel out of whack and can be hard to adjust to. We miss the familiar, even though it hurts. I’d like to say that I see more women in this situation, but I actually see as many men in non-supportive relationships.
Walking away from that which is familiar, can be very difficult. It means standing up for oneself and for one’s basic human rights. It means saying no to people and things who want to demean us and keep us under their thumbs or in their game. I know first-hand how difficult it is to walk away from that which does not serve my highest good and from that which hurts. It’s easier to support the status-quo because it keeps the peace and helps everything to stay the same. What we lose in the process though, is self-worth and the ability to recover our sense of adequacy. We sometimes have to face the hard question, “Is it worth it to me or anyone else, to continue on a path that lacks compassion and trust”?
Another event that happened last week was reading and hearing about the huge falling-away of stuff, families, and other relationships. I hear from countless people about the loss they’re experiencing. It seems part of the shuffling that is happening on the planet is causing many to let go of anything and everything that is not of love and trust.
I was talking to a young woman the other day. She was telling me how her family ties seemed to be crumbling before her eyes. For all of her life, the mother was the one who kept the family together, and the mother was no longer doing that. In fact, the mother was the one who had moved away from the circle. Because I know the family I am familiar with what is happening behind the scenes.
It seems family members each learn to play whatever role is required, and dance whatever step is needed to keep the circle intact. Others may be stepping on our toes and we might be in pain, but we keep dancing the same steps because it’s familiar and it’s expected by the group. However, sometimes, as people grow, the dance steps that once worked are no longer viable. As we evolve in our knowledge and care of self, we often develop the sight to see that the dance is actually hurtful and destructive to all. Do we keep on dancing the same steps with the same people, or do we walk away from the circle and sit the dance out?
Anger may erupt because the other dancers not only don’t want to change their steps, they also don’t understand why anyone has to throw a monkey wrench in the works. They want the dance to stay the way it is because it has worked all these years, so why change it now.Unless there is trust and compassion built into the steps, the one leaving the dance could be ostracized and made wrong by the group. When we realize that we’re staying connected to relationships that are no longer working as they once did, we have to step away. It serves no one to continue in a familiar pattern when the pattern becomes destructive.
There’s an old Chinese proverb that says: Enough shovels of earth–a mountain, enough pails of water–a river. Clinging to old ways which may be painful is the same as building a mountain of hurt, or filling a river with suffering. When we know better, we have to do better. We have to make smart choices for our lives based on what works, not on what’s familiar.