The election is over and we all have our thoughts and ideas about that. I think we can apply some lessons we’re learning in the election to relationships in general. Let’s see if I can demonstrate…
We all have opinions and outcomes we desire, it’s just part of being human. The way we can best move forward in ANY situation is to focus on the good of the current outcome – no matter if that outcome was our desire or not. There IS good in any outcome, sometimes though, we have to dig to find it.
Louise Hay says, your thoughts create your life and thinking positive thoughts around a negative outcome in your life will help to create a more positive outcome to occur going forward. So looking for the upside is something we can all do and agree that it feels much better to do.
In relationships (or elections), what are you most focused on? The faults, mistakes, shortcomings, timing, how you are “wronged” by your partner? The sad news here is that no matter what you focus upon – you will get more of it, whether you want it or not. Our focus determines what we create in our lives. Focus on lack or blame and you will get more lack and things to blame others for.
Conversely, if you make a choice to focus on in your partner what you WANT, the upside, the positive attributes, what you’re learning about yourself as a result of your relationship with this person – I guarantee you will feel somewhere around 10,000,000% better than focusing on the stuff you blame them for. Blame of your partner, according to Dr. Margret Paul, is an act of being unloving to YOURSELF. Blame is an attempt to control the other person and if we are doing that, we are not taking responsibility for our own feelings, being victims rather then a focus on what we could potentially learn about loving ourselves.
In fact Dr. Paul suggests that if you leave a relationship because you blame your partner for your unhappiness, you are not going to stop doing that just because you leave the relationship. You take yourself with you when you leave and unless you heal your part of the relationship problem, you will continue to behave in ways that eventually destroy relationships.
I often quote something my dear friend and mentor Jim Taszarek said when I was in despair… “This being the case, how shall we proceed?” In other words... how quickly can you turn your focus to look for the good in a situation? This is actually an indicator of your ability to be happy. Those who recover from challenges by focusing on the upside of the outcome are those who live happier, more fulfilled lives most often.
So whether it’s an election that didn’t go the way you had hoped, or a relationship that's changing in a way you had hoped it wouldn't, the thoughts you choose continue to attract more thoughts just like it. This can be tough to do when you are in the face of a “failed” relationship* (see note below) or any outcome that isn’t what you had hoped for – that’s why you have to practice guiding your thoughts when you’re NOT in a challenging situation. Then you are practiced and ready for game day when something comes up – because it WILL come up.
Have you spent much time talking to someone who is focused on problems? Or on blaming someone for how they feel when it’s negative? I have been on BOTH sides of that actually, the listener and the blamer. Do you notice how the life sort of seems to be sucked out of you in the listener position? For the blamer they typically feel somewhat good, because in all likelihood, they moved up the emotional scale from depression and powerlessness up to being angry – so it IS a move up!
No matter how you feel, it’s not “wrong”, you CAN feel BETTER though. When you are on the right side of the diagram above, you simply won’t feel as full of life, happy, lit up, or passionate about life. Most of us want those feelings. So the key is to reach for the next available higher level feeling from wherever you are. If the election or your relationship has you feeling fear (the bottom of the scale), see if you can reach for anger. That would actually be a move up from powerlessness in fear. If you are feeling blame, see if you can move up to disappointment or pessimism! The goal is not to STAY in anger or pessimism but to reach higher and higher until you get in the left side of the spirals.
Abraham-Hicks says it’s just not possible to go from fear, or blame or the downward side of the scale straight up to Joy! It’s just too big of a leap. So just see if you can find the feeling that is the best description of how you feel and keep reaching up a level or two.
One thing we all do that keeps us in the lower levels of the scale is talking about what we see as “wrong” in the outcome or the other person. Whether we talk to others about it or just ruminate in our own minds about it, we are focused in the opposite direction that we want to go and this keeps us very, very stuck.
Another HUGE component in moving yourself up the emotional scale is who are you hanging around with? Are those you spend time with focused on being a victim? Blaming? That will keep you stuck and you may not even realize the impact this is having on you. We are all susceptible to our environment to whatever degree we allow it to impact us. So we are back to the quote at the top of the article – accept it, change it or leave it. Are you choosing to spend time with people who help you to be your best self? Those who inspire you to be more?
Lots of inspirational people I follow or read talk about the importance of your attention or focus; Tony Robbins, Abraham-Hicks, Eckhart Tolle, Oprah, Martha Beck, Byron Katie. They all suggest that what we focus on is determining the path of our lives. "Where focus goes, energy flows." Says Tony Robbins. If we are focused on what we think is lacking, that is exactly what we will get… MORE LACK. If we focus on what someone else did that we blame them for, that is exactly what we will get…MORE things to BLAME for our unhappiness. If we're focused on what scares us about an outcome, we will find evidence to prove our fear is valid and we will also find more things to feel fearful about.
I’m just as guilty as anyone when it comes to mismanaging my focus. I know that I have come a long, long way in dropping blame in many areas of my life, and I’m working to clean up the rest of it. Taking responsibility for my own role in things, and focusing on what I can do to make a difference or what I can learn always feels better than being a “victim” of the outcome or giving away my power by getting pulled into the swirl of negativity that is always readily available for us in the media or other people who are committed to their roles as victims.
Centering myself, focusing on the thoughts that feel better, along with being aware of my self-talk and who I surround myself with are all tools in the kit we all have access to that help us create the life we want for ourselves and others. How quickly can we turn our focus to possibilities and be more at peace? How can you appreciate what is and be eager for more? That is where our power lies.
* = I don't believe there is such a thing as a "failed" relationship. All relationships serve us and help us grow. Love is never a "failure". The only way a relationship can "fail" is if you don't learn anything about yourself from it.
Sandy Edie Hansen
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