This is one of my favorite photos that my sister-in-law captured at Joe's and my wedding in 1980. It captured a magical quality which was surely present that day. What it doesn't show you is that when I said "I do" I didn't believe that our marriage would last forever. While I told myself I believed in happy endings, deep inside of me, there was a girl who did not. It took me nearly 10 years to get out of my childhood story ("I will never have children because I won't put my child through the pain of divorce").
Seeing the current situation clearly at that point, I asked if we could renew our vows on our 10-year anniversary. We started our family 2 years later. We've been in a nurturing/harmonious marriage for nearly 36 years now, together 40 years this-coming September. Spirit spoke to me when I met this man "he's The One" and fortunately neither of us (more specifically me) sabotaged that calling.
Yet, it happens all the time, doesn't it? We lose the great-for-us thing that's in our hand because we are caught up in a past-tense story of what should/would/could be or a future-tense fear-driven panic of what if/how can I/how will I! Or we are dwelling on a deep-seated hurt that might not even have anything to do with us. Perhaps the situation didn't even directly involve us ... we were just on the sidelines, but we somehow got derailed!
We look at the others in our life and wonder "how can he/she treat me this way or that way?" I was recently asked in session, "How could my own mother treat me this way?" Perhaps she too, did not get what she needed from her mother and/or father and was/is doing the best she can with what she has. The Higher Truth is that, while we are all eternal aspects of love and light, we are all operating from the skewed perceptions of our 3rd dimensional human bodies. From these spaces in which we experience and perceive, we cannot always access the entirety of what we are and what is real. And, perhaps that is "by design"! From a compassion and unconditional love perspective, I would share that, as a mother, I believe we all aspire to do better for our children than what we experienced.
We Are Not Seeing Things the Same Way
When you look at another and ask yourself "How come she's not more caring? How could he hurt me like that? Why did they treat me this way? They think they are supporting me, but it's not even close" we are coming from our own perspective, our own capabilities, our own emotional quirks, our own needs, our own life experiences, etc., etc., etc. They are operating from theirs!
The gap can be difficult for people who are embodying a large amount of empathy, feelings, sensitivity, etc. It's natural to think that everyone else is operating on a "level playing field". We are not. Moreover, seeing/expressing/experiencing life the way we do may not even be within their realm of possibilities. So how can we assume it is a choice?
Comparing the human vessel to a computer, some people have many of feeling/caring/empathy chips on their motherboard, others may only have a few. You might have the latest operating system and programs. Others may not have the same basic equipment you take for granted. Others still may have these programs and capacities, yet they are stuck in a looping subprogram (virus) of pain from another time and space entirely. And, perhaps the one that's stuck in the loop is you?
When we are able to see that others don't react the way we may expect them to because they may not be capable of it, we can find compassion and forgiveness. [If you have not already done so, please read my blog post on releasing expectations.]
Just as different humans have different physical abilities, different humans have different mental, emotional and even spiritual aptitudes. When you dictate how a person "should" act, how they "must" love you, whether they are "giving you their all", you are doing so from your own abilities, your own expectations, your own "if I were in this situation I would". Honestly, that may not always be fair much less loving.
Another aspect to this conundrum is physical perspective. Two people cannot stand and view things from the exact same spot and the exact same perspective. Have you ever tried to show someone something in the distance, even trying to get them to stand in the spot you were in? Still, they cannot see what you're pointing to? They are in a totally different space of perceiving physical reality. They are experiencing you and everything else through the filters of their physical being and, perhaps, their own wounds.
So, what to do? When people don't react in the way that we expect them to and this makes us feel badly, we can throw up a mental caution flag BEFORE we take it personally. We can choose to become conscious that we are making that judgment and go to a higher perspective time-out of compassion. Perhaps that person does not experience the depth and breadth of emotion and feeling that we may? Perhaps she/he is somehow separated from that point of compassion themselves. Perhaps they may have their own life experiences (wounds) that have caused them to be in a self-protection mode because they themselves were hurt when they "allowed" themselves to be more open emotionally. Perhaps it really isn't about us at all! Then, we turn the compassion and awareness back to ourselves that we may be taking on something that isn't ours to own or even try on!
You Hold the Key
For some of us, taking things personally is a way of life, and it is at the core of our unhappiness; yet we've done it for so long, we don't even realize it's a choice. Thankfully, it is a choice once we see we're doing it! Think about it ... if you look at it from a higher, disengaged and non-emotional perspective doesn't it seem somewhat narcissistic to think that others are or should be always thinking about our feelings and our needs before they say or do something? From that vantage point, how can anyone else every truly please you?
We can be aware of our judgment of others is surely pointing to what we are aspiring to or, conversely, rejecting in ourselves. When we judge others it's really OUR stuff we're seeing. Flip the coin and others judging you is a clue to their steps to growth and expansion. [blog post with my perspective of judgment may be read here.] We can disown/reject/not even try on others' judgment of us ... because their judgment of us is really just a reflection of their stuff. That perspective in and of itself can be very freeing!
Getting hurt and staying hurt takes only ONE person. It's not the one you think has wronged you; it's you. Just as our judgment of another is a treasure map to us which enables us to see and learn what we either want to be or don't want to be, the things that hurt us may be an opportunity to rise above feelings of victim-hood, self abuse, loathing or trauma. They may be opportunities to have compassion for and acceptance of others' inability to experience life from our perspective. It is also an opportunity to evaluate if our way of experiencing this person is serving us (singularly and collectively) or if there is another perspective we should try on that's more centered in love.
We can focus on "doing unto others as we would have them do unto us" without expectation or dictation that others must treat us in the same way. Ultimately, we are only responsible for our own actions and cannot change another's way of being, seeing, feeling, thinking. We can also take a look at ourselves and see where our triggers are coming from. Many times it's those darned looping subprograms from another time and space reality.
We can release ownership of other people's treatment of us ... it's their responsibility. Again, their intention may be far from hurting us; they are the center of their own Universe, just as we are the center of ours. We can love them totally and unconditionally; accepting that wherever they are at, they are likely doing the best they can. We can come at things seeing an undertone of love and not an expectation of hurt.
Dreams Do Come True
Circling back to our beautiful wedding photo, we have made a happy marriage and home, to some degree, in spite of me and my own wounds. I now "see" that a lot of my inner angst in the early years of our marriage was because I was separated from myself. I had been told by my father as a very young child to shut down this Divine Gift of healing self and others, which essentially meant I could not be "me". That was experienced not as a loving, protective gesture, but as a rejection of who I AM at a basic level by my own father.
How could I love myself and be lovable when my own father did not love me? That was just a subprogram that was skewing my perspective! It kept me worried about what others thought about me for way too many years. And yet, I now see that the whole thing was "by design". The time to be ME was not then and finding myself was part of this life's challenge to myself from a Higher Self perspective. I see now that the story I had formed that my daddy didn't love me never held Truth.
How could a marriage in which one partner thought it would never last endure? Joe and I made it through the first few years of drama and emotional outbursts on my part because we really clicked on a very deep level. From the very start, we could each be ourselves and still be loved and love unconditionally.
I think we also quickly learned that our focus was not on him or on me but on "us". Happy relationships surely thrive with that recipe ... the two (or more) individuals make the relationship, but there's a stepping forward and stepping back of priorities type of dance that's critical to long-term success.
You can change your life in a nano second by changing the way you see yourself, another, and/or your relationship. Dreams do come true when we are able to get out of our own way. Part of that is allowing others to see things through their own eyes and be themselves without our taking it personally! You will only see what you think is possible, so please, look for love!
If you have questions on applying this to your own situation, post a comment! Need help releasing subprograms and shifting to this perspective, schedule a session ...
Love and light,
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