Saturday, August 13

Greater Serenity For the Innkeeper............ 8/13/16

       It feels good bathing in serenity.  It does.

       It is the result of be-ing liberated from a per-son crazed by his inter-pretations, his assump-tions.  I no longer relate with a man who has a hy-per need to control.   After seeing a thera-pist for more than twenty years--not with me ---he is the worse for emo-
tional wear.

       Why?  Beause he needs humility.  Only his conclusions are correct.  I prefer Goethe's perspective, "An admission of error is a sign of strength, rather than weakness."

       That means seeing the possibility that we could be wrong.  It means having an open mind, a willingness to see things from a different point of view.  It does us all well being teachable.

       However, he is not open to other points of view.  Life is only as he sees it.   For him, there are no other possibilities.  Misguided in this way, there's scant hope of him having healthy relationships.  His controlling nature prevents any other outcome.

Does this sound like anyone you know?
       He's a well-practiced player of the victim card. He avoids looking at his part in whatever dif-ficulties he encount-ers.

      The person who plays the Poor Me Victim role always places the blame on the other person.  This individual will feel wronged, but righteous.  The person I was relating with can wear false righteousness all he wants.

       But his life will continue as it is.  Miserable, full of rage.  He was an angry person before I ever met him.

       Poor fellow.  The odd thing is he harms himself.  He be-lieves the aggressive, distorted perceptions created by his active and insecure imagination.  Doing so only continues his unhappy and bitter outlook on life.  Where is the growth in that?

        Let's start from the beginning, when this drama first unfolded.

        The other day while attending an Al-Anon Family Group meeting, I read from this organ-ization's literature.  The book was One Day At A Time.  It has helped millions over the past forty-four years since it was published to overcome passivity, misery and code-pendency.

         This fellow got angry because of the page read during the meet-ing.

          He cornered me after the event.  "I am vulnerable," he said.   "I saw you pull out that book while I was sharing.  Obviously, you were thinking of me when you read that page."

         Not true.  Everything that happens in the world is not about him.  At the moment that is hard for him to believe.  I thought about shar-ing this page with the group earlier in the day.  I plan on reading it at another meeting I attend in Berkeley.

        "I feel you were judging me, saying something about me, with what you read," he continued.  He wanted to make me respon-sible for his feelings.  I am not.  That's his property.  More about that in a second.  The irony of his comment struck me im-mediately.

          We are present when we listen not to respond but to understand.  We can hear this way only when we stay in the here and now, not triggered by our baggage and assumptions.

         "You are using assumptions, not facts, to judge me.  You are do-ing the very thing you are accusing me of doing," I said.

          "You are a good arguer," he replied.

           Wow.  More about this interaction in a moment.

           That's when I knew to stop the conversation.   An Unsafe Person cannot see when they are wrong.

           He didn't like what the book said on page 75, the page shared with others at the meeting.  It men-tioned that continu-ally complaining about our problems doesn't do us any good.  That doing so "Is not working the Al-Anon pro-gram."  The book was written by the co-founder of Al-Anon Family Groups, Ann B.

         Here is where it gets tricky.  We are not responsible for the feelings of others.  No one can make us happy, sad, angry or have any other feelings without us first giving them permis-sion to do so.  (Paths to Recovery, p.13.)

          Our feelings are our property.  Other people's feelings are theirs.  We are not to walk on eggshells when relating with insecure, codependent people. Their fertile negative assumptions could find fault with anything we do.  You name it, even if we were to look at them crossed-eyed.

         We do not want to be anxious how others may understand our comments.  Nor fearful we may offend those who are insecure and defensive.  Worrying in this way is co-dependency, preventing us from truly feeling what we feel and in tune with what we want.   

         Instead, it is better, be re-sponsive to, but not take responsi-bility for the feel-ings of others. People at times will be disappointed in us. That's okay.  That does not devalue who we are.  People will not always get what they want. Or hear what they want.  It is their job---not ours---to handle the disappointment.

          Back to the drama I had the other day.......

          The fellow angry with me said, "You are not showing compassion.   I don't want to have anything to do with you."   And he walked away.

         This was a form of aggressive and emotional control.  An ineffective move on his part.  Why?  Because I am not externally refer-ented.  (Click here also, for more information.)

          I stay in the here and now;  I enjoy life more fully by being pre-sent.   Some people brighten a room by leaving it.  He is one of them.  I have not seen him since.

          And my serenity has increased. 

1 comment:

Thumper said...

Hello Pablo,

I like the quote by Goethe about an admission of errors being a sign of strength. I have been practicing admitting my errors which is very humbling, yet freeing. My husband and children are experiencing a better wife and mother as a result. My new behavior is healing us and bringing us closer.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.