Seek to understand, not to respond…

Friends talking

So your friend calls you up.  They’re going through a really, crappy, time.  They have a deep longing to be heard and understood, they long to be comforted, not corrected.

And so you open your heart and listen intently to their pain, fears, shame and their vulnerabilityYour mind then steps in and naturally analyzes their situation through the framework of how you would deal with the matter.  You open your mouth, share, correct, and now your friend is not really agreeing with your point of view and before you know it, an ever so subtle debate ensues, totally taking away the sacredness of it all – a moment to display compassion.

Now you’re left with your foot in your mouth and regrettably wish that you put a lid on it.

Here’s the thing.  It is a real art to be a good listener, while it’s an even greater task to keep your opinions to yourself.

I’ve learned that people who are hurting just want to be heard, accepted and consoled. They don’t want to be evaluated.

Sometimes your friend just wants to unfurl, and not receive any unsolicited advice.  They just want to be shown that someone actually cares and supports them.

The role of the comforter being you in this instance, is to remind them of their light, their beauty, and all that they have done right, not what they’ve done wrong.

I more recently read an article about a tribe in Africa, that gathers the offender in the middle of a circle, surrounded by the community.  Then each member of the village, reminds the person of all the good that they have done in their lives instead of judging or criticizing them for their mistakes.  What a powerful, ritual to remind a person of how loved they really are?

What would happen if we could shift our way of thinking from criticizing another for their mistakes to a place of compassion?

I believe miraculous healing would occur mutually for both individuals as we are all divinely linked.

You see, opinions separate us from one another.

It creates divisiveness and forms a barrier between each person and closes the heart.  I’ve found that many of us are more interested in sharing our thoughts, versus really getting to know or understand how a person truly feels.

Case in point, I actually observed myself automatically doing this at a Speaker’s Conference that I attended over the weekend.  The Speaker had us do an exercise, where 4 volunteers, myself included were brought up on the stage with the objective of creating a random story among us in the moment so that we could stay in the flow.

One person would start the story and then pass it on to the other person to continue with the theme they had chosen.  The interesting thing about it all, is each and everyone of us, totally ignored the theme that the person created, and chose an entirely different scenario.

When we realized how much we lived in our minds as opposed to staying in the moment and valuing what the person said, let’s just say that it was an “A-ha” moment of awareness for us all, including myself.

So here’s a final word of Advice…

The next time someone confides in you and shares their pain, seek to understand and not to respond. The ego will naturally want to defend it’s own beliefs.  Be contemplative, leave room to wonder, open your heart and your mind, as everyone you meet is a Guru.

Now over to you?  Has this ever happened to you before?

OR, Need Advice?

Do share your heartfelt thoughts and Comments with the community on the blog, and I’ll be sure to Reply.

As always, I’d love to hear from you!

All love, 

Abby xo

 

 

Simplicity. The Solution to Inner Peace…

Woman overwhelmed

In an era where everything is supersized, googled, or upgraded, a decision can be the toughest thing to make when we are bombarded with a “gazillion” options.  Take myself for example, I finally made the switch from Blackberry to iPhone 5 earlier this year (much prefer the iPhone’s gorgeous, sleek, elegant form being the creative spirit that I am), and now there’s the iPhone 6, Seriously?  I guess you could say that I’m not the most technically digi-fied, hip person out there.

But I kinda’ wish things would slow down a little and not be so futuristic.

Yes we live in a rather noisy, fast and furious, convoluted world my friends, where extravagance and excess is glorified.  Go figure we’re in a global debt crisis.  We’ve grown accustomed to having our wants met “toute suite”, while ignoring our needs.  We’ve learned to drown out our inner voice and take heed to the advice of the Joneses.

What happened to good ole’ simplicity?

I’ve often asked myself this question, having awakened from my hypnotic trance of wanting and consumerism, to focus on what’s really important in life. Yes, less really is more.

I’ve discovered that simplicity is the solution to inner peace.

Pardon me for a moment, but I think we’ve got the whole abundance thing; highly distorted in the sense that we’ve led ourselves to believe that abundance has more to do with acquiring more “stuff” and going outside of ourselves, as opposed to being and feeling abundant within.

This illusory, belief, has resulted in a never-ending external chase with a lack of true, fulfillment, and inner peace. It’s also left a rather large dent in our pocket books while we’ve befriended stress and anxiety as the norm.

Really!?  How much stuff do we really need?

I more recently read an article on Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg about why he wears the same, grey T-shirt ALL the time.  And I gotta’ tell you, I love his response:

I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.  I’m in this really lucky position where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than 1 billion people, and I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life, so that way I can dedicate all of my energy towards just building the best products and services.

What a guy, bravo Mark!

Not sure if many of us would be willing to go to that extreme but he sure does make a good point about putting “first things first and keeping the main thing, the main thing”.

Imagine how peaceful our lives would be without having to make a million decisions a day or if we learned to be more content? 

I believe that life would become more gracious, fluid and kind as we embraced our True Nature as opposed to constantly living in a state of scarcity, incompleteness and wanting.

Can you relate to this week’s topic in any way?  If so, what are you prepared to simplify in your life so as to live a more, peaceful, joyful, existence?

OR, Need Advice?

As always, I’d love to hear from you!

Do share your heartfelt thoughts and comments with the rest of us below on the Blog and I’ll be sure to Reply.

Cheers to inner peace!

All love,

Abby xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to apologize and be unapologetic at the same time…

Apology

So you royally screwed up.  You’ve been beating yourself up for some time now internally about something you said or did and the guilt is just eating you up inside.

You want to apologize to this person, yet the shame is so unbearable that you avoid it altogether and then wham, a random encounter occurs when you least expect it, and there you are face to face with this person, your tail tucked between your legs.

The Universe has lovingly interceded on your behalf, to assist you so that you can make peace with this person, apologize, and free yourself of this pain.  Your moment of deliverance has arrived, yet you’re shaking in your boots.

Here’s what’s going on in your mind?  “What if I apologize and they tell me to stick it?”, “Oh man, now I’ve gotta be reminded of how awful of a person I am again?”  “Why can’t they just forget about it altogether?” “Can’t we all just get along?”

Sound familiar?

I’m sure we’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives unless we’re a super, enlightened being – Not!

Here’s the thing: an apology can be the most cathartic, assertional act of affection that you can do for yourself and the other person, yet you don’t have any control on the outcome.  I repeat – you have no control on the outcome.  And what I mean is that you’re not responsible for how this person chooses to react or receive your apology, and that in itself is freeing.

Contrary to popular belief, your role in the apology is not to alleviate the person’s suffering by making right of the situation, it is more about acknowledging the pain you may have caused this person by your actions, that’s where the healing actually occurs.

You see, we carry a heavy burden on ourselves by walking with the intention of making “nice” of the mess we’ve created with the other person. We’ve missed the mark altogether about the art of apologizing and being unapologetic at the same time. You are apologizing for your lack of consciousness on how your actions may have inflicted pain on the other person, but that does not mean that you are beholden for the rest of your life to live up to the level of expectations of this person, nor be reminded of your dumb mistakes of the past, forever and ever, amen.

You’ve done your part, and if the other person chooses to judge you for the rest of your life, then they have chosen to inflict their own suffering on themselves.

In the wise words of the great poet, Maya Angelou:

“When you know better, you do better.”

And so the question for both parties really is, “Can you love yourself wholeheartedly, even when you’ve made an epic mistake? Can you forgive yourself?”

You’ll find that how we handle these types of situations always goes back to our level of self love in that the more loving you are to yourself, the more you are able to forgive yourself for your own mistakes, and to forgive others.

And so, circling back to the offender for the moment, your ability to no longer judge yourself for the past after an apology has been made, shows the level of compassion that you have yourself.

And really, we’re all doing the very best we can on this journey called Life.

So here’s my final thought…

Apologize and acknowledge how you may have hurt someone, but don’t ever apologize for who you are, or for not living up to the expectations of another.

Over to you: have you ever apologized to someone, only to be reminded of your mistake over and over again?  How did you handle it?  And, more importantly, how did it make you feel?

Please feel free to share your heartfelt thoughts and feelings about it on the Comment Box below of the Blog, and I’ll be sure to Reply.

Remember, you are your own person, flawed and imperfect, a spark of divinity, made in the image of the Creator of all things, it’s okay to screw up on occasion. You are a work in progress, own it, embrace it, love the person that you are.

With love,

Abby xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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