Previously I have written about how we treat others is truly a reflection on how we feel about ourselves titled ‘Self Reflection in Others”
This post was about how we feel about ourselves is manifest in the way we respond and interact to those around us. When we accept this self realization we can become kinder and more gentle, yet more powerful and confident.
The other side of this spectrum also holds true. When we are treated poorly by others, we often react to the stimuli, whether this reaction is silent or outspoken for the world to hear, we all react.
The difficult part of this comes within ourselves. Do we choose to see and listen to the abuse from others, allowing them to ruin our day? Do we shy away from someone due to potential conflict? Do we deny ourselves experiences based upon someone else’s behavior?
Many times we choose to allow others power over us in the way that they treat us. We teach others how we want to be treated based upon what we will accept from them. When we hold our ground, kindly, firmly, yet peacefully we have more power in that moment than the other person could ever have.
Power comes from confidence and knowing who we are. Part of this knowing is understanding this dynamic of how we treat others is a reflection upon how we feel about ourselves.
So true is how others treat us is how they feel about themselves. Those that are angry or mean spirited individuals in reality have terrible self esteem and do not like themselves. Whether it be the waitress that was rude, the tire tech that called you a jerk, the guy that flipped you off on the highway. These individuals who go through life bulldozing over others are so disgusted within themselves that they react to their own internal struggles and guilt by abusing those they come in contact with.
As we lift and serve one another we can find that we actually become stronger, more confident individuals as this manifests beauty within ourselves. We see ourselves in the people we serve with heartfelt kindness and genuine intent. We can improve our own self loathing through this service.
The way we treat others, including strangers, not only reflects how we feel about ourselves but also creates within growth in those feelings. If we treat others in a negative fashion, we will certainly see ourselves worse than we did before. If we are kind, we too see that within ourselves. We gain confidence, strength and humility along the way.
Love for many is elusive. We find infatuation quickly and jump into relationships based upon infatuation while professing we have found true love. True love exists however few understand what this is.
Infatuation makes our hearts beat faster and our minds to go to mush as we get caught up in a whirlwind romance often driven by the flames of physical passion and desire. We crave the burning chemical rush from the flames of this passion and believe we have found our soulmates. We come from a space where our own needs and physical desires are met. These self serving emotions are just as quickly snuffed out and we are left wondering what went wrong. There is no foundation for infatuation, it is fleeting and built from nothing. Infatuation hits quickly and dies faster. We pick up the broken pieces left over from our crushed expectations and move on to the next adrenaline rush of emotions believing this time it will be different.
The world sees this as love. We hear continually that one can fall out of love. I argue this is impossible. One cannot fall out of love. We fall out of infatuation.
Love is different. When love is real it is service. It is kindness. It is compassion. It is not self serving and driven by the whims of change. It is not fleeting and it does not die. For when love is real, our desire is to serve others that we love, not for them to serve us.
YES we can love someone whom does not love us back. This is common and happens often. The greatest love stories are those that both parties have placed the others needs before there own. They serve one another.
There are many stories told of couples when one becomes ill and the other one steps up to serve them and care for them. It is clear that their bond and love they share grows during these difficult and trying times. Their love grows during this season of service and caring.
We often hear of a mothers love for her children. WHY? Because when the children are young they are fully dependent upon their mother. Their mother loves them and this love grows as they continue to serve them. Children learn to love their mothers as they in turn serve their mother as they grow. Children desire to please their parents and in so doing they serve them, this service develops love.
There are many that will argue that in just as many cases that one person serves while the other one takes. While this is true, look at the one that is always the one that is the most heartbroken when a relationship ends. It is ALWAYS the one that served and gave the most to the relationship.
True undying mutual love can only be attained when both parties make the other a priority and serve them without expecting anything in return. True love is service.
Anyone who goes to a foreign country to serve for any reason always comes back with a love for the people and culture in which they served.
If you are struggling in your relationships and wonder where the magic went, try genuinely serving each other and be amazed at where this will lead.
Every single person is born with the exact same innate ability, none of us are exempt from this gift. We are all given it in abundance and all parents especially reap the great benefits and rewards of this gift given at our birth.
The gift we are all given is that of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! Children joyfully share this gift with all they come in contact with. Even as small children, when nurtured, this gift grows abundantly and limitless, when not nurtured, this gift dies quickly.
A small child is able to do what few if any adults can do, they separate the deed from the doer. If a child doesn’t like the meal prepared for them they will refuse to eat it, it does not impact their love for their mother or father preparing that meal. A child does not base their love, nor withhold their love based upon a parents status, employment, education, wealth, physical appearance, nor any other reason.
A child simply loves, without conditions.
Sadly as we grow we lose this ability to love unconditionally. We replace unconditional love with that of unconditional judgement. We apply conditions to those we love based largely upon what we want them to be. Many times as adults we stop loving another person because they will not be or do what we desire them to be.
This conditional love is in direct conflict and opposition to the true nature of love we are born with.
We can learn much from children, learning to love as a child loves will improve every relationship in our lives.
The one constant in life that we all deal with is Change. Change for some creates anxiety, fear and frustration, while for others it brings opportunity and growth. How we face change in our lives determines how successful we will be in handling the newness that change brings.
Throughout my life, change has been a constant companion and something that I have grown accustomed to dealing with. Changes in work, home, family, school, relationships, health and dreams are just some of the many types I have learned to embrace over the years. For others in my life, change is not as common and therefore can cause extreme anxiety and confusion as they learn to manage the changes in life that are presented.
As my wife and I embark into a time of great change, we are grateful for the wisdom we have both learned throughout our lives and the ability we have developed to handle change as it comes. We view this time as one of opportunity and growth, one where our family will undoubtedly benefit.
Change brings a rebirth, a newness to many things. It provides an opportunity to gain greater wisdom and perspective in life. Embracing change allows peace in our lives instead of anxiety and confusion. It allows us to think clearly and manage the change effectively and beneficially.
Much as with anything in life, our attitudes with which we approach anything has a great impact on the outcome and in the end our own peace and happiness.
Do you advocate for people? Do you help others find success even when there is nothing for you to gain from helping? How often do you open a door for someone just to open it? Do you passively or actively look for ways to help someone?
Many people feel like they will help others, oftentimes they will provide acts of service that can help someone in a time of need. I question how many of us will truly open doors for the success of another. We find great satisfaction in the moments of help and service, mowing lawns, helping someone move, feeding a family in a time of need, etc..
There is an old saying often attributed to Confucius that says,
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
I would argue that the same concept holds true in helping others. If we serve them in ways that will open doors and help create a successful future then we are performing a greater act of service than we could ever do by the traditional acts of service such as making a dinner for the sick. While these acts are wonderful and oftentimes needed, how many of us can truly help change someones life through service? How many of us confuse a random act of kindness for that of service?
We all know people, we can all open doors for others. The only question that remains is are we willing?
My life has been somewhat rather challenging, many obstacles that I never dreamt that I would ever encounter in life as a young man. I have quietly rebuilt my life no less than 4 times from the ground up. Choices of others have continually and directly impacted my life. While I am able to see clearly that these choices have created difficulties for me at times throughout my life and without the choices made by others I would never have faced the overwhelming challenges I have.
Hindsight creates a unique perspective. Without these challenges that I have endured I would not be the man I am today. I know this to be true. I also know that one key characteristic in my life that has defined who I have become and prevented utter destruction of my soul is that I have never allowed anyone and their choices the create a stumbling block of blame for where I am in life. Each time that I have stepped up after being beaten down I have risen stronger, higher and with more determination than ever to be the one controlling my life.
Never have I let anyone dictate what I would and would not accomplish. I have experienced decades of of attacks from others whom by their choices they meant to destroy my life and future. From an ex wife to employees committing fraud, Each time that I rose above the obstacles created I have experienced a renewed effort at times by others to tear me back down in an attempt to keep me there. There have been many who know of many of these struggles who have often commented that it would have destroyed them. I beg to differ, for what doesn’t destroy always makes us stronger. It is ALWAYS our choice in what we let destroy us. No one else can ever make that choice for us.
As each of us will certainly encounter severe struggles, disappointments, heartaches and roadblocks in our lives, some created by our own choices, others created from the choices of others, we alone make the choice of where we allow them to take us.
Many times the urge to blame others for our own misfortunes exist, sometimes rightfully and justly so. It is when we give into this urge and blame other people, government, religion, circumstances or other, for our current circumstances in life that we surrender our will to their desire for us. We abandon our own self each time we pass blame.
It is only through faith, determination and belief in oneself that someone is able to rebuild a life, a career and family when others choices are involved. For my choices to let certain people into my life in the first place added to my own heartache. Taking responsibility for my own choices, my own life and staying determined to not be kept down. Anyone can rise above any obstacle placed before them, it starts by faith and believing on yourself!