Every Wednesday morning I have a guitar lesson. Throughout our lesson and practice, my teacher and I have the best conversations. (My teacher also happens to be my oldest son Jordan) Today we talked a lot about our personal responsibility in our relationships and what part we bring to the “relationship table”. How does our mindset color the interaction?
I think I’m finally *beginning* to understand Eleanor Roosevelt’s statement
“no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
What we BELIEVE, we focus on. What we FOCUS on, we FIND.
In business, we understand goals, focus and mindsets and how it impacts outcomes, but sometimes relationships are the last frontier of our mindset implementations.
If I enter interactions with others with the mindset that I am not good enough, not loved, not appreciated, chances are, something will be said to validate that belief. It’s as if I’ve set up everything in advance. I’ve set the table. I’ve prepared the dinner. Why am I surprised at what I see before me?
If I enter interactions with others with a mindset of receiving and reciprocating wholeness and generosity, acceptance and love, chances are the interaction will validate that belief. I’m thinking it’s some kind of law of expectation, like sowing and reaping. This one rings out “believing leads to seeing”.
It seems we could become addicted to self-deprecating thoughts, or at least accustomed to this common exchange. Consistently needing someone else to rescue us out of our negative mantras is a sad kind of relationship, but a common one. Outside influences are not meant to shape us. Brene Brown says,
“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.”
~Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness
When I have thoughts that deter me from thinking the best of someone (including myself), I immediately bring a picture to my mind- it’s meditation, visualization and prayer.
I imagine I’m high on a precipice. The expanse is alone impressive but mixed with an evening glow of sunset, I’m in silent reverence. The clouds are moving quickly and I instantly feel more alive. A burst of joy and gratitude falls down my cheeks. The wind is whipping strong and I smile at the invisible force dancing in patterns around me. Previous thought-weights dissipate like smoke. It’s magic here. My arms are outstretched in acceptance and also in surrender. I appear to be standing alone, but I feel the opposite of lonely. I am present to all that I am meant to be.
Here, there are no teeth behind the lion’s roar, only God’s light and presence traveling in and through, out and in with the wind. A faint sprinkle falls from the sky and in the distance the sound of a storm approaches. Cool air rushes by reminding me of life. Change. Color.
Everything is forever yet fleeting.
The world of paradox makes sense in this place. I feel like a sponge newly soaked in truth.
Yes, I will be called away from this precipice to the valley below. My body will walk the path back down; my bare feet on soil mirroring heaven and earth. But something remains. A hint of the wind lingers in my hair. And when I see another soul, my eyes believe that they can see it, hear it, smell it. I look for the whole in them, not the part. This is the power of belief. I bring —this—into every interaction that follows.
I’m thinking about Eleanor’s quote.
To what am I giving consent?