Read long with the video…
In my experience and personal investigation, the people that cause the most pain and frustration for us are our own family members. Why is this? It seems that within the family unit and our closest relationships, whether by proximity or emotional attachment, we have the greatest chance of emotional upset.
The longer I live, the more experiences I gain that point to one truth that cannot be ignored: everyone wants to be loved. More specifically, everyone looks to the people who are closest to them for support and recognition. Resentment, withdrawal and accusation settle in when we feel like these people: parents, guardians, siblings, friends and spouses are not there to support or recognize us.
We are all looking for the same thing. But, unfortunately, we are not very intelligent when it comes to our emotions. So, instead of being able to confidently state what we are feeling and needing (without expressing it angrily), we sort of expect others to automatically know what makes us feel appreciated, loved, hurt and abandoned. If this is not true, then we must explain why we get so upset when our loved ones don’t say or do as we think they should. We can be very quick to judge their shortcomings and lose sight of the fact that we, in one way or another do the same or similar things. The truth is: when it comes to the people closest to us, we, just like them, are sometimes shooting in the dark when it comes to being sensitive to their needs and the bids they send for attention. This happens, not only because it is impossible for us to know what they may be looking for in specific situations, but also because most times they don’t even know themselves. In this way we are doomed to let one another down and the best thing we can give one another is our understanding. Understanding and open communication is the only way to heal such unintentional let-downs.
So, then, all of this is normal. It is normal for siblings to aggravate one another. It is normal for spouses to feel jealously. It is normal for humans to disagree and also let one another down. But these abnormalities do not express our utmost for our highest. These abnormalities are not excusable for those who intend to create the highest possible version of themselves. We can call this being committed to personal growth. Personal growth also leads to repairing a broken world.
Let’s be honest. We do not know as much as we’d like to think we do. We parade around, soap-boxing to our own beat about what we think we know in order to feel better about ourselves. But, if we wish to be understood, shouldn’t we first understand? If we would choose to be loved, shouldn’t we first choose to be and give love? After all, which one of us would choose to hurt some one close by making them feel unloved or by missing the opportunity to show them that we care? Furthermore, if we want to be loved and understood, shouldn’t we find that love and understanding first from within our selves rather than placing that burden on people who are just as human as we are? Not one human can be there for you in a “perfect” way- a way that makes perfect sense to you in every unknown and unknowable circumstance. If perfection is your standard, you had better be perfect yourself. My point is, whatever standard you want to measure others by is the same standard you must hold yourself accountable by. Anything less is self-righteousness. Again: we are doomed to let one another down and the best thing we can give one another is our understanding. Understanding and open communication is the only way to heal such unintentional let-downs.
Socrates said, “Know thyself.” The Golden Rule, a Law of Life, expressed in every world religion states,”Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
To anyone and everyone I’ve ever let down, I want to say: “I’m sorry for the way(s) I hurt you. I’m sorry that I did not have the foresight, the wisdom, the knowledge, the understanding, the discernment, the discretion or the will to know what you needed, what would cause you pain or how to communicate clearly and in a supportive manner. Please do not hold my humanity against me. But, I do not use my humanity as an excuse or a “cause-pain-and-get-away-with-it-free” card. I will own up to and confess my mistakes to you and ask for your forgiveness as well as the chance to know you better in order to help avoid doing the same things again. I will do this with the hope of creating a new and more solid bond between us.”
I have come to recognize that I have been clueless about the ways in which many people looked to me for support. What qualified me as their support? Well, being their brother, or friend, or husband or father, or son, or coach, or whatever the other person may imagine me to be; the list goes on and on. As Life carries us on our journey we have to be more attentive to the needs of those who are close to us while also being aware of our own deeper needs. This creates a problem. It is difficult to be a resource of support when we ourselves are looking for the same thing; though it is not impossible. These types of situations and circumstances happen to us all. We are both the offender and the offended. Therefore, it is no ones fault. We are all in this together. We are here to know ourselves first and as we learn who we are, we express friendship and love in greater quantity and quality.
But there is one way: If we all will be supportive of one another all the time, no one will be left out. If I will be courageous enough to tune in and be there for my wife in her time of need, that will give her incentive to reciprocate the same thing toward me. SOMEONE must (be willing to) go first. SOMEONE must be bold enough to forget themselves for just a moment and also reap the benefit that Life gives when you make such a sacrifice with an aim to see someone else thrive!
Jesus also said, “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
In Aramaic it can be rendered like this:
“The greatest, most powerful and highest way to live is to love like this: lay down your prized self-image, who you think you are and who you want everyone to see you as. Make that image equal to the breath-spirit of another person, that soul-self (person) that presents him or herself as separate but is, nonetheless, included in the womb of The Universal One along with all humanity, breathing the One Breath- Sacred Unity, since The Beginning.”
If we are interested in stepping up and learning to do this, we must first understand that we are all guilty of causing pain and, in this sense, we are all innocent- hugely unaware of our offense and shortcomings. So, then, this is not a matter of “you vs. me” or “me vs. you”. This is a matter of “us vs us”. To help confirm this from another perspective, the science is in: we are one! At Life’s most basic “building blocks” we are the same, individual but not separate; different vibrations of one Energy. Our words and thoughts have a profound affect on our lives and one another. What we do for one, we do for all, including ourselves, whether constructive or destructive. What so-and-so did to you, they in some way did to their self as well. I know this doesn’t necessarily take away or reduce the pain you felt, but such knowledge is worth considering and, in its own way, can be helpful.
So, it begins with me! Do I want to be the person causing pain in others’ lives? No, I do not! Then every choice requires my utmost for my highest. Am I being realistic and remembering there is only so much my humanity can take in, but my human power of awareness can expand and learn to become more and more conscious and sensitive? Yes, I am. Do I have to take on everyone’s burdens? No, I do not. Being supportive does not mean I have to solve their problems. It just means I need to be there, let them know I hear them and recognize their struggle. This might be as simple as a smile, a pat on the shoulder, a hug, making eye-contact, and saying,” That must be rough. I’m sorry you have to go through that.” or “That’s lame. Is there anything I can do to help?”
I choose to help create a better world. One in which no one feels abandoned and no one feels ashamed. Only when I am helping us move toward this is my highest being expressed. It starts with and within me. Then it can move out to my wife, my kids, my family and friends. An exponential positive effect of “paying it forward” will begin, because humans who feel loved and supported will naturally know how to give love and support in their own way when the opportunity arises! When we look out for one another in this way, we look out for ourselves and the effects this level of emotional intelligence and awareness brings will echo further and deeper than we know toward a changing world. All our fears would become recognized illusions. We would then let go of them. A world of less fear is a world of more love.
So, then, let us support, recognize and appreciate one another as we first do this for our individual selves. Let us begin to know ourselves- that once we realize our true identity, we will no longer have to assert our own greatness by putting ourselves ahead or making ourselves be heard over any one else. We also will no longer have to feel abandoned or let down by the natural shortcoming of people closest to us. Again: we are doomed to let one another down and the best thing we can give one another is our understanding; the understanding that we are humans learning to be better humans. Understanding and open communication is the only way to heal such unintentional let-downs.
Once we truly realize our Identity, we will realize the only war we need to wage is one on the inside as an investigation of our insecurities and inner voices that make us think less of ourselves and, therefore, less of others. When we learn who we truly are, we will no longer have to be a people who hide things behind closed doors and closed hearts. We will know vulnerability is part of our greatest strength- the strength to change, to heal, to love to and to be courageous enough to start this process. We will stand together as one in support of Life itself. No matter how insurmountable it may seem, we will step up to the challenge and opportunity love and peace has called us to. We will do this when we realize our deepest longing IS for love and peace, for these are foundational to our identity.