Have you ever found yourself complaining about how someone else treats you? Ever felt dissed when someone doesn’t return your text, didn't take your phone call, or they changed plans on you, etc...? Do you then hear yourself accusing them, blaming, complaining? We ALL do this sometimes, but when it becomes chronic or a regular pattern – it’s time to take a deeper look.
I found myself caught in a loop recently of accusing someone of treating me poorly. I decided it was time to stop and take a moment to see what MY role was in the situation and when I did this, I heard the words “none of this is about them.” What it is really about is getting clear on how I am feeling. As Gay Hendricks says about feeling we are on the receiving end of poor treatment: “The reason this happens is because we tend to demand from others what we are most unwilling to give to ourselves.”
When we seek to GET love, connection, understanding, acceptance from others without GIVING it to ourselves first – we are going to feel like we are on the short end of the stick. That’s because we will never fill that void inside ourselves with something or someone outside of us. Even if we feel we get what we need for a moment, it’s not going to be sustainable if we are seeking fulfillment from externals and other people.
I took some time and thought about the behaviors I felt I was on the receiving end of…
O.K… so what do I do now that I’m aware? Love and accept myself. Contrary to what some believe, loving yourself is far from being conceited. That’s a whole different animal. It’s about not looking outside yourself to feel worthy. No one on the planet is qualified to determine your worth. That is installed at the factory – standard equipment on every human being. All of us. When we use externals, how other people treat us, to gauge our own feeling of worth, lovability, value or if we are acceptable – we suffer. A lot.
Every person in your life is there with a gift for you. That gift may appear to be the very last thing you’d ever classify as a “gift”, but it is. We are drawn together with those who can offer us a reflection, an opportunity to see our OWN level of Divine alignment, our own level of self love and acceptance.
So, in my lifetime, I’ve spent a gigantic load of energy talking about, complaining about, blaming about how someone else treats me. Different places, different faces, but the constant… is ME. I'm not saying that as judgement against myself - but instead the awareness that if I am the constant, that means I have the total empowerment to change the conditions no matter what anyone else chooses to do or not do. Perhaps a better approach would be to look for the gift in it. How can I learn to love and accept MYSELF even more, rather than focus on what I think needs a “fix” in the other person? That’s a more empowered question for sure.
You don’t get to decide what is “right” or “wrong” behavior, interpretations, or beliefs for anyone else. YOU JUST GET TO CHOOSE FOR YOURSELF.
There will always be diversity, differences of intention. Fighting against it doesn’t help anyone. Focus on what you WANT, what you are FOR – now that makes a difference. While you may not agree with what someone else chooses for themselves, the only person you get to choose for is you. Don't focus on what you are AGAINST, focus on what you are FOR.
So when someone behaves in a way that tends to cause you to feel less than in some way, rather than resisting it – consider this suggestion from Esther Hicks: (Recommendation: don’t say this out loud to the other person! Just think it to yourself!)
“BRING IT ON! Because my happiness & how I feel about myself doesn’t depend on how you behave. My happiness depends upon my ability to focus & the worse you behave – the better my focus gets!”
When I traveled to Africa earlier this year, I climbed these two HUGE ladders known as “The Chains” in the Drakensberg Mountains. The picture above is of ONE of the TWO ladders up the side of the mountain. 77 rungs, no safety harness, just you, deciding if you wanted to do it or not. The other day, Don said to me “You are at like rung 75 and you're reaching back to help someone on rung 25.” The more I thought about this comment – it’s a great analogy.
When you love someone, you want the best for them – what YOU think is best for them. We may try to pull them along, “fix” their mindset or view on life. But when we climb back down to where they’ve decided to camp out on a lower rung – we really can’t help them. Now you're both down in the lower level - stuck. Where they decide to hang out on the ladder - it’s what THEY have chosen, where THEY feel they need to or want to be, for now at least.
The only way we can be of any help is to keep climbing up to the top and if they want help we can throw them a rope, or shout out some encouragement. We can only help them through the power of our own example of what is possible – NOT by climbing back down to where they are. When you climb back down you don’t help them and you hurt yourself by making yourself weaker, and less able to help if they even decide they WANT your help. You can only call people forward or higher from a place of strength – not from dimming yourself to make it okay for them to play small.
I preach this stuff week in and week out in meetings with my team at work. As they say – we teach what it is we most need to learn ourselves.
So let others behave as they choose and don’t expect anyone to put your needs first – that’s YOUR job. Get in alignment with the love of you, with the Divine in you and just notice the impact it has on the behavior of those in your life. It’s not about them. It never is. It’s a gift of insight into YOURSELF.
BRING IT ON!
Sandy Edie Hansen
I use this space to "Chat" about things I am working through and learning in my life currently. Join me!