"If you think you're enlightened, try spending a week with your family" - Ram Dass
Recently I've been exploring the way I relate to my nearest and dearest, as well as other colleges and friends. How we relate to people has a massive impact on our consciousness and those around us and seeing as our loved ones are so dear to us, it's very important we explore how we relate to one another. Relating to the people around us can be tough, especially to the most powerful of button pushers - our family.
My sharing - how I've related to people up until now
As a child I often felt like I was being pushed into a box This came from adults around me but was also often of my own making, because of a desire to please. And because of my desire to please I actually became very good at blending into whatever situation I was put in. I almost didn't notice that in many of these situations I wasn’t 'me' any more. It meant that I often agreed with people because I adopted their truth as mine. Then in my early 20's I met a lady who encouraged me to stand in my truth, for example that I would sometimes say 'no' when people asked something of me, and I began to become more aware of my own energy frequency. But then the pendulum swung the other way and I would express my truth with my family, sometimes in very challenging and confrontational ways, which of course closed people down and lead to lots of angry exchanges.
So, over the years I've been seeking some kind of equilibrium, with the question, "how can I adequately express my own truth without undermining anybody else's?"
One lesson that has been tough for me is to learn to become unattached to whether people understand me or not, and to accept other people’s truths even when they are go against mine and have an impact on my own life. And this has certainly been put to the test since I had children. It can be all too easy to control the vulnerable, but how do we balance setting boundaries with giving the child space to be themselves, even when their truths are sometimes so frustrating for us parents? How do we react when other significant figures in their lives treat them in ways that we don't approve of?
It's all about the energy
What I've learnt over time and am only now beginning to really grasp, is that what you say in interactions, while important to make yourself understood, is not the most important thing. The most important thing is the quality of energy you bring to your interactions.
Here are a few ways in which you can be mindful of the energy you're bringing to the interaction:
People respond more to energy than words
Test it for yourself. If you focus more on the energy you are giving an interaction you'll start seeing interesting results. If we express our own truth clearly an compassionately then people sense this, even if it goes against their own truth. We can't change people, just as they can't change us, and we shouldn't try. But, if we are focused on our expressing our truth, while acknowledging someone else's with compassion, the interaction will always be a winning one.
Non - Violent Communication
There's some great work by Marshal Rosenberg on non-violent communication. Of course this way of interaction can be difficult as we have been conditioned otherwise, but with lots of awareness and practice we begin to refine our communication with others and recognise the energetic dynamics in play during interactions.
For tons of information and courses on non-violent communication you can check out either:
The Center for non-violent communication, or
Here are some great videos, which apply the basics of non-violent communication. I'd encourage you to watch all three to get a full picture of what it's about.
Finally, good luck. I applaud you for taking on this exploration. You need to be brutally honest with yourself. Sometimes you may not like what you see, so just go easy. Negative, ego driven interactions with people are not your fault – they are simply a result of your conditioning, so don’t judge yourself. They are, however, your responsibility so keep at it. You’ll be surprised how much better your life will become.
I'd also encourage you to express your own thoughts or questions in the 'comments' section below.
My name is Richard. I love to write, and here you can find my general musings, observations and articles. Enjoy!
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