If you’re anything like me, or just about everyone else I’ve ever met, one of the things you struggle with, perhaps more than anything else, is your relationships with others. This could be a close family member, a co-worker, your boss or an employee. Would you like to resolve this issue for yourself and get to a place of peace with all of your relationships? No kidding? If yes, read on.
Here are the fundamental reasons why relationships are such a struggle. And if you understand this, peace is right around the corner.
1. You are never upset with people for the reasons you think. When people behave in ways that are upsetting to you, it always looks like the cause of your upset is them and/or the unacceptable behavior. Not true. The real reason for the upset is that they are not behaving the way you would like them to behave or the way you believe they “should” behave. In other words, they are not living up to your expectations and that is the cause of your upset.
2. You also do not understand that they are simply showing you some issue that you have that is unresolved for you. So, for example, a person is loud or overly aggressive and that’s upsetting to you because you think a person shouldn’t behave that way. But, for example, you had a loud or overly aggressive father who used to upset you with his behavior and, as a child, you didn’t have the tools to deal with him and you still haven’t either forgotten that he behaved that way or you haven’t forgiven him for doing so.
Now, if you understand both of those statements, you can hopefully begin to realize that there is nothing bad or wrong either with the other person or your relationship with him or her. This is all about you! I often say to people, although they don’t like hearing it, that you are the producer, the director and the star of the drama that your life is and everyone in your life is sent by central casting to help you play out that drama. If you can get that, you can understand why I say that peace is right around the corner.
So what is there to do? You have to be willing to change your attitude towards everyone in your life. We have all had childhood and even adulthood experiences that have hurt us in some way and the hurt we are carrying around is what’s being shown to us by the other. So where the work needs to get done is over there where you are, not over there where they are. As strange and even bizarre as this may sound, you need to learn to view all others as a blessing and a gift, someone who is showing you the work that you need to do for you.
Does this mean you get to be a doormat and let people walk all over you? Surely not, and that is usually the exception not the rule. But it does mean that you learn to stop judging others, that you literally forgive them for what they are doing or how they are being, forgive yourself for whatever reactions you might have, and get on with the work of trying to figure out what in you from the past they are triggering and getting that complete. What’s really so powerful about this approach is that you take back the power over your feelings you have given them and return it to the only place where you can make a difference: with you!