23 Oct Be the Change you Want
The other day I was on my way to buy a coffee from a free standing “drive-thru” coffee kiosk, situated in a car park of a small shopping complex. As I was heading toward the service window, a car came literally screeching through the car park, making a right turn sharply in front of me at a very high speed, almost causing a collision. It seemed the intention was to get in front of me. There is in fact a service window on the other side of the kiosk from where this car was coming but the queue was quite long so the driver figured she would get served quicker if she drove to the other side where there were no cars.
As I sat behind her car in the queue, I noticed a sign on her window. It read, “CAUTION BABY ON BOARD”. So I thought,
‘You are asking everyone to exercise caution, yet you drove like a maniac to get in front of me, to save 3 minutes of wait time. You are asking us to be courteous because you have a baby on board which I’m sure we are all more than happy to know so that it raises our awareness, yet (despite having a baby on board), you are exhibiting no caution or courtesy yourself.’
I was very courteous to this driver but do you think others were or would be? Even those who would ordinarily be courteous, will they feel like being polite in this situation or are they more likely to be triggered in some way to retaliate with not so courteous words or actions?
Although in this example it is easy to see the point, sometimes in relationships it is not so clear. Often the very change a women or a man wants in the relationship is the very thing they are holding back from their partners. Mind you they will offer plenty of justification-yet it is still the one thing they are with-holding.
If you want more love or to be loved in a certain way- then that’s exactly what you become. The very huggy-kissy person to your partner, the very financially generous, the very thoughtful, or what-ever the case may be. Not easy- maybe try “fake it ‘till you make it”. Pretend you are training to play that role in a movie. Pretend his personality or everything he is harbouring, or even what you may be harbouring is NOT REAL. Try to suspend or step out of your life situation and be this new character. I know it sometimes takes an academy award winning performance- but it works!
Here’s the thing-: if you can’t “be the change you want” then you are perceived as the driver screeching through the car park asking others to be cautious. Nobody cares why you are asking for a particular behaviour, even if it’s highly justified, and most people get triggered to exhibit the exact same behaviour back. So you get more of, what you don’t want.
The good news is whilst you attempt to “become the change you want,” you will develop “presence”. In other words, you can use improving your relationship as a spiritual training session, as it were.
You may need to practice the breathing exercises described earlier, so that you can be very conscious and prevent yourself from triggering. You can transmute the resentment, anger, anxiety or whatever emotions you might be harbouring into presence, by staying conscious and feeling the emotions and not letting the energy filter into your thoughts, words or into a reaction.
TIP1 Being the change you want means to embrace it in its totality. For eg, if you are being very loving and it is not initially received well or even not as you were expecting (maybe it is received with resentment or anger), a loving person does not usually tell the other person to get lost and then give an account of why that person is in the wrong, but rather might ask the person who is angry why they are so angry or if there’s something they could do that might cheer them up.
TIP2 If you do exactly as described above and this elicits a heap of retaliation about all the negative things you are , say or do, then be very happy. Try not to make this personal. Let your partner or this person purge all the thoughts or energy that they are harbouring. You have now provided a space for clearing. Listen (or maybe, don’t listen if you are going to fire back), with interest. They are not telling you who you really are or what you are about, they are telling you “how they perceive you” or “how you impact on them”, which should be quite interesting to know, even if it is not substantiated in your opinion. If you can allow them this space, then you will find that conflict resolution will be so much easier and desire for change will come from both parties.
So the best way to create the change you are seeking in your life is for
YOU to become it first.