Leaping Into The Hole: Does It Help Or Hurt Someone Else

helping someone out of a hole

A neighbour of mine, across the street, recently lost her mother suddenly.  She passed away at the age of 89 years of age.  Flowers still grace the large Italian style front porch that show of her sorrow in this loss.  It’s hard to see as I know the grief she is feeling and dealing with right now.  We can look at age as “oh well, she’d lived a long life” but, when it’s our loved ones, we always want more time with them.  Age has no meaning especially, when the person was still full of life and had been able to do most things on their own still and with full mindfulness.

In reaching out to my neighbour yesterday, wondering how she was doing and her family, I realized that this was this woman’s first loss of a close family member.  She still has her father and brother and many other relatives in her life so, this was a particularly difficult loss as well as lesson for her to have gone through.  My thoughts, prayers and best wishes go out to her as she travels this journey of grief that we all must go through if we live long enough to lose those around us who mean the most to us.  Sadly, the only way to avoid that is by us leaving this planet before those deaths happen.  Neither is a consoling thought but, rather simply a reality.

My own mother has been gone now longer than I had her as part of my life.  I lived without a mother most of my life. My father passed away nearly 18 years ago now too, having watched him suffer a nasty death with cancer.  The brother I was closest to because of our ages being so close, passed away suddenly through an accident at work nearly 6 years ago, leaving me feel like half of me was taken away at that point as well.  I still mourn his loss.  Even when he could not help me with issues that we all have to deal with in one way or another, he could make me laugh or would simply give me one of his famous “Bear Hugs” that made the world’s troubles melt away.  I miss him terribly and I don’t suppose I will ever stop missing him during this lifetime but, I had to go on as I had a husband, daughter and one remaining brother (my “Little Brother” as I call him because there is quite an age gap between us) to be here for and with.

In between those deaths, I’d also lost my entire family, one by one.  Some went by natural causes of “old age” while others suffered horrendous deaths with diseases or through suicides.  Needless to say, I had a banking of a lot of experience on which to draw upon in order to try to offer some sort of soothing comfort to this neighbour-friend.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to not go back and to some extent or another, relive every death you’ve had to endure in order to help someone else.  It’s only through experiencing it ourselves that we can honestly say that we can understand (to some extent or another) what someone else may be going through, emotionally, mentally and even physically.  Grief takes its toll in so many ways and all at the same time.

Though I knew that feeling empathy towards this friend-neighbour and reliving those deaths that I had to endure with grief was not the way to help, it was almost automatic for me to have done so.  There is a difference between empathy and sympathy.  Sympathy would have and should have been enough but, I went automatically to empathy which took me in a tumble backwards emotionally that I really needn’t have gone to as not many others will go down that road to help someone else.  It’s human nature to preserve one’s own well-being, first and foremost before helping others.  Equally sad is the fact that most people will go through the motions of doing what is considered the right thing to do but, emotionally not be there.  Sometimes, that is all that is required and perhaps, the healthiest thing that one can do for another who is suffering through their own travels in Life.  However, there is another piece that I’ve written that goes into more detail and can be read HERE.

Suffice it to say that I have somewhat suffered with her because of empathy but, I also recognized that I cannot suffer for her.  There are lessons that can and will be learned through the hardest times in our lives and it’s not ours to take those away from people we love.  We can’t even do that for our own children.  They need those falls, hurt feelings and everything else we’ve been through in order to learn for themselves.  Should we shelter them from Life, we’d be doing them no favours.  Life Lessons are learned through both the good and the bad.  Most often, the biggest lessons we learn have come through the hardest things we’ve had to face in our lives.  That’s what gives us strength, character and provides us with knowledge that is invaluable for other lessons we all must learn in Life.

One thing that I have learned through this loss, though I really didn’t know this woman’s mother, is that we can offer up our companionship, words of wisdom and even a shoulder when we can but, much like the piece linked above is saying, we needn’t leap into the hole with someone.  We are of no help when we do that.  It’s much more helpful for us to remain on the side and throw down a rope to help them climb out than to jump in with them.  Both remain stuck and helpless when we do that.

From my little corner of life, we can understand other’s predicaments without leaping into a pit with them.  We can offer them our hand to help them out of their holes and we can be there for them.  It’s not wise nor, helpful to say that we “understand” by reliving all of our own Life’s troubles.  That’s akin to leaping into that hole too and does no one any good.

Blessings, Love and Light…stay well.

 

Serenity In Life

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Life and living it have a way of teaching us all lessons.  Some are not what we want to learn but rather what we need to learn.  Not all of Life is under our control just as most other people are not under our control.  That’s a hard lesson to learn but one that needs to be remembered by many of us at all times.

There’s an old poem, The Serenity Prayer that possibly says it all as concisely and nicely as anything or anyone can say it.

Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change those things I can,

And, Wisdom to know the difference.  

Not everything we do in a day, week, month year or even our entire lives will be serene.  Serenity does not come from outside of ourselves but rather, from within.

We won’t always like what happens in our lives.  There will be times when we’re feeling like our world is crumbling down around us.  For the most part, it’s learning that there are things that we can do something about and other things which are beyond our control while knowing the difference which is what gives us that much needed serenity.

If we have done all that we can do then, we have no regrets.  Having no regrets brings us a sense of serenity, even when all else around us is breaking down.

When we recognize that there are things that are not under our control and can let go of those things and move onto things that are within our control, we have the serenity of knowing that it was never ours to deal with in the first place and, whatever happens, was going to happen…good or bad.  Again, no regrets.

  • Nothing remains the same as everything is constantly changing.
  • The only constant in life is change
  • This too shall pass

It’s hard wired into us as human beings to want to do all that we can to solve crises that happen in our lives.  None of us will get through Life without some form of it or another. It’s also in our nature to want to do something about everything we can unless of course, we are emotionally lacking EQ (Emotional Quotient) or have a form of inability to care about things in our lives.  That’s rare.  Most of us want to solve our issues now and when we can’t, we pray, hope, wish, keep good luck charms or even run away from those issues rather than face them and figure out how to deal appropriately with them.  The one thing that we all know is that eventually, no matter what is troubling us, it will pass as nothing remains the same forever.

Key Questions To Ask Yourself: 

  1. Is this situation really something that I can do something about?
  2. What can I do?
  3. What have I already tried to do about it?
  4. Did anything work to change it?
  5. How can I move onwards?

If you answered questions 1 to 4, it means that you’ve already tried.  At the least, you have thought about what you have done or could do.

If you answered question 4 with a “nothing I’ve done has worked to change it”, it’s likely that it isn’t yours to do anything about and whatever happens, will happen.  It also means that it’s time to move onto question 5 and figure out how to move onwards while the situation(s) evolve or devolve into the way that they’re going to go.

How To Move Onwards

  1. Recognize that you’ve done all that you can and there’s nothing left for you to try.  Key to this point is remembering that continuing to do the same things and expecting a different outcome is the definition of either obsession or insanity.
  2. Offer the situation up to either a Higher Power such as “The Universe” and leave it there or, if you don’t believe in anything higher than us, recognize that you are limited in your ability to solve it.  That’s key.
  3. Though you may not want to or it may hurt, moving away from the person or situation may be your only choice.  It’s not easy and it doesn’t always mean a geographical move but, rather one of emotionally distancing yourself from the person or situation.
  4. Get busy!  Find other things that you can do something about.  We all have many things in our lives that we can find to occupy not only our time but, also our thoughts.  Doing laundry, getting out with friends, joining a group or club of others with like-minded interests, listening to music, journalling our thoughts, volunteering for those who need help, taking up a hobby of your interest, working out, getting away on a vacation, changing jobs if possible, leaving work at work, moving stations if possible at work to get away from the person causing you the issues, talking your feelings out with a loved one or good friend…even a certified counsellor, just do something else that takes you away from the person(s) or situations that are bothering you helps.  Remember that a mental break from it is equally helpful as it is to move away physically.
  5. Staying in the “now” is overrated with some things.  During times of great stress or upset, staying focused on the negative happening in your life is not helpful.  Distract yourself during those times by doing things you love, or by enjoying a cup of tea, coffee, warm milk, or whatever it is that you like.  Taking a walk, or observing other things that appear normal to you, will help.
  6. No matter how badly you feel at the time, things will change and it will pass.  Remembering that will oftentimes get us through our roughest times.  Time is a wonderful healer and getting away even mentally can help us pass the time until things change if there’s nothing left for us to do to change it.
  7. Get away from people who are abusive.  You’re likely not going to change the abusive person unless they express the wish to change.  Even then, unless they are seeking out professional help or showing great attempts and making progress at changing, they’re not likely to become someone or something you’re going to want or will be helpful in your life.  Extricating yourself or even spending less and less time with them, is helpful.  The more you concentrate on doing things with people who are more positive, the more you are going to feel positive.  That attitude might be all it takes for you to finally realize that you’re worth more than what this person is handing you and you’ll move onto others who will give you what you need and deserve more fully.
  8. Grieving the loss of ability to change things or people only lasts for so long before one becomes tired of waiting around for change to happen.  If you can make other choices, make them.  Don’t just sit and wait around for change to happen.  Get on with your life and interests, needs, wants and doing what you can for yourself that can help you through the grief.  Grief ends at some point or another.  At the least, it lessens in intensity which allows you to move forward again.  Take that step and move forward.
  9. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.  It takes putting one foot in front of the other and taking one small step at a time before we realize that we’re miles away from where we were to begin with.  That’s forward movement.  Whether you are one step or several thousand away from where you first began, you are moving in the right direction as long as you are moving forward.
  10. Never down-play yourself to yourself or anyone else.  You are worthy of being here and being happy just as much as everyone else is.  You are no more and no less than anyone else.  You deserve to be happy.  Take aim at happiness and move towards it while letting things go that you can’t do anything about.

 

Last but, not least, think about the fact that we have power over only so much in our lives.  No matter what else, we have the power of free will or choice.  Make the choices that are propelling you towards things that are good, healthy and joy inducing versus staying put, banging your head against a wall in trying to change what was never yours to change in the first place.  If you’ve done all that you can think of doing or if it’s someone else’s responsibility…drop it and move on.  No regrets.

From my little corner of life, serenity comes from knowing when to stop trying to change something you cannot change and learning to recognize the difference.

 

Is Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep) The Youtube Sensation Really What He Portrays On His Videos

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As a blog writer, it’s quite fascinating to watch your stats every day.  There’s an entire wealth of information that comes from those figures.  They tell you not only how many people read your blog daily but, also what they read, what they search for on search engines and how much they read of your blog.  Did you know that information is readily available to those who both blog or write articles for newspapers and other sites as well as YouTube video makers and even Facebook pages?  There’s little that one can do on the net that isn’t being tracked by someone, somehow, somewhere.  Even your IP address is being recorded everywhere you go on the net.

Frankly, my concern as a writer is what people are interested in and want to know more about.  Search terms, searches, search engines, countries’ views etc., all play an important part in what I write and why I write what I do.  I want to give people what they are wanting versus telling readers what I had for breakfast or what I did in a day.  Facebook personal walls suffice for that purpose.

More recently, I began to write about a certain YouTube sensation, Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep).  At first, I was hooked in like the many subscribers that Smart has amassed over the 4 or 5 years that he’s been making videos on his channel.  It was only after a while of binge watching his videos that I began to see something in him and his videos that set off alarm bells within me and I stopped watching him, unsubscribing from his channel.  That’s when, out of curiosity, I began doing research into Smart and what I found gave me a larger picture of who this person was and what his true motives likely are versus what comes out of his mouth in his videos.

I began writing what I had found on Smart, my own opinions on it all as well as giving soft warnings to those who are most vulnerable.  Much to my surprise, hundreds of people per day were pouring in to read what I had written about him, having done their own searches on him.  It proved to me that people wanted to know more about Smart than what he was giving them.  Some of the terms that people were using in their quest for more information were also showing me that there are many people out there who are questioning Smart’s veracity as a psychologist and whether or not he’s a fraud.  I obviously wasn’t the only one who heard those alarm bells.  More thinking people had opened up their minds to other possibilities than what they were seeing and hearing from him on his daily videos on YouTube.

Of course, Smart has carefully chosen to hide his net tracks.  There’s not a lot one can find on Smart without having your own sources and digging deeply enough while thinking outside of his box or the one he wants to have you in with him.  Information can be found on him but, it takes dedication and endurance to find it.  It’s akin to putting together a puzzle with pieces being hidden on the floor beneath the table and not knowing where to look.  Sources I followed through with, helped my research to find them sooner than others would have found them, thankfully.

During that time frame, I had written several pieces on Smart as people kept coming in by the hundreds daily, seeking out information on him.  However, his devout fans were less than happy that someone would not like Infinite Waters and his spiels, wasting no time in letting me know that much.  They also felt the need to do an armchair version of psychoanalysis on me as a person having read only one or so pieces I’d written and only on the topic of Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep) on which to form what they believed was the truth about me and put together a crude, rude and lewd personality profile of me.  Sadly, they were so far off the mark that it was pathetic but, laughable for the most part.  A lot of comments were un-publishable, let alone un-answerable because they were simply cursing and swearing or so crudely formatted that no other human eyes would want to read them lest my pieces be considered X-Rated.  I’d simply trash them and go on with my day.

As time went by, more and more of these obviously distressed, delusional and immature individuals filled my in-box with their pitiful attempts to psychoanalyze me but more to the point, express their trepidations that someone was writing something unfavourable about Mr. Smart.  What they didn’t know was the fact that the more they commented in such a distasteful manner, the more that they were proving my points about how much good Smart and his daily videos were doing for people.  It was apparent that though these people were defending what they considered was Smart’s ingenious, enlightening and brilliant pieces, they weren’t exactly soaking it in or, what Smart was spewing out daily, made no difference or even sense to them.  In other words, Smart wasn’t working the magic that they proclaimed he was working for them.

Near the end of January of this year, I tired of hearing the same old and worn out comments from Smart Defenders as they made no sense and were simply foul-mouthed or anger riddled, derogatory remarks that I’d simply have to move to the trash bucket on the server.  I put up a note on each of my entries that I was no longer approving, reading nor, responding to any comments on those pieces.  However, that didn’t sit well with me in that approach either.  It was only after what one can consider the last straw on the camel’s back that I decided I’d had enough of these types of comments and the foul-mouthed commenters and I deleted all except 2 of my pieces that I wrote about Smart.  I’d simply had enough of the negativity pouring out of these less than intelligent people on a daily basis and tired of deleting the comments that were too disgraceful to publish and later, all comments.

Thankfully, I didn’t take anything that they said, personally in spite of the fact that they were oftentimes, degrading me as a person, not even knowing me.  Actually, I was quite amused and had a few good laughs at what they had built into their own bitter delusions.  However, it dawned on me a couple of days ago that what these commenters were truly proving was that I was right about Smart all along.  These very commenters had done the work for me.  They had literally and unwittingly, proven my points for me about Smart’s work and how it affects people, right there in their annoyed, bitter, enraged and deranged comments or diatribes.  Though I still couldn’t publish most of them due to their bawdy and smuttily worded nature, I recognized that Smart supporters were doing a wonderful job of promoting what not to watch or who not to follow in this case.  They were in effect, telling others, what one becomes from watching Smart and what little good Smart’s plethora of videos and advice truly has on people and their minds.  I didn’t have to do anything.  I only have to publish these comments to prove my points.  At least, those that were fit for the human eye, anyway.

It has also occurred to me through watching the trend in search terms that more and more people are now questioning Smart and whether or not he’s legit or a fraud to some extent or another.  At the least, they are in search of more information on him than what Smart has given them or is giving to them.  There’s reason why people like Smart are extremely careful to cover their tracks and only give out what information that they want you to know but, nothing else.  Think about that for a second.  Has it processed through your mind and thinking that anyone who has nothing to hide, will offer up more about themselves than what they will keep hidden?  While some of you might be saying, “but he’s a private person” (perhaps, with explicatives added to that statement), you might want to question that a bit further and more deeply.  For those who are saying, “we know all we need to know about him and it’s all for free”, ask yourself one question, “really?”  Do you really know Ralph Smart based upon his videos and is it really free or is he making money off of your free viewing?  You might be surprised at the answers if you’re being truly honest with yourself.

Yes, Smart has a calming, charming presence on camera in those videos.  What he says during them is also what people want to hear but, he knows that much.  He’s learned it and he’s “acting” for the camera and for you.  He’s saying what you want to hear to keep you hooked on watching. There’s also reason why he’s careful to only let you know what he wants you to know.  You’re not going to find much about him on the net other than what he wants out there.  While some of you are likely saying, “that’s wise to not let out anything personal about yourself on the net”, ask yourself if you can be assured that he’s not created pseudo-names or other nicks or aliases that you’d never know were him.  After all, isn’t that possible?  If you’re still saying “no…there’s no way…Smart is too busy (as he’d say), ‘helping others’ to have the time to do that,” ask yourself if you can prove that to yourself or not.  You don’t need to prove it to me but, you do need to do some real questioning if you’re not questioning him at all. Can any human being always be happy, smiling, calm, not upset?  No.  There’s your answer right there.  Smart isn’t either but, you’re not going to see that in him because he doesn’t want you to see it.  He wants you to believe that he’s found the fountain of eternal happiness.  He hasn’t found it.  He simply portrays that he has for the 20 or so minutes you’ll see him in one of video-a-day videos that he creates.  I can stay smiling and positive for that long.  Everyone can do it.  Smart hasn’t found the answers to Life or the meaning to it anymore than you have.  Trust in that and stop believing that if you watch enough of his videos and follow everything he says, you will.  You won’t.

From my little corner of life, there’s more to a person than appearances will give on the net.  You cannot form a conclusion (either good or bad) based upon what they are saying out here in cyber space.  That goes for me as well.  You don’t know me.  You couldn’t possibly know me and frankly, you don’t know Ralph Smart either no matter how calm he makes you feel.  He’s not who he portrays himself to be in those videos to the world.  He’s a marketer who is out to make money and perhaps, has convinced himself that he’s “helping millions” by doing so.

Have a great day or evening.  Blessings, stay well, Love and Light.

 

 

Can We Be Too Empathetic

I empathize.  Actually, I am an empathy-aholic.  There I’ve said it.  It’s not that I do it on a conscious level.  It comes automatically from somewhere deep inside my brain, I suppose.  I think I have some idea of where it comes from and how I got trained into being this way but, it hasn’t stopped me from doing it yet.

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Being empathetic is a good way to understand others and what they may be going through.  When we draw on our own experiences with issues or situations that we’ve been through, the idea is that perhaps, we can more fully understand and help in some way, those who are traveling down paths that we’ve been down.  At the least, we can imagine what they must be feeling and offer them some form of help one way or another.

Sadly, that’s not how it always works out and there’s good reason for it not always being the case or a help for that person.

We are not that person and no two people are exactly alike.

No one is you or will experience things the way that you do.  Some will take things harder than you would while others will experience those same experiences to a lighter degree than we do.  A lot will depend upon the person, themselves as well as what other experiences they’ve had in their lives.  We’re all created differently.  What soothes me may make you simply annoyed.  What calms you may make me question other things happening because I’ve had a different set of experiences than you and therefore, see and feel things differently.  What your friend, loved one, partner or spouse might feel, you’re not necessarily going to feel the same way.  Vice versa, you may have had a set of life encounters and dealings or issues that your friend, loved one, partner, neighbour or whomever may not have had and you may react far more towards certain things than they will as a result of those things.

Possibly the best thing one can remember or keep in mind is that what you felt during something you’ve experienced, may or may not be what the other person has or is feeling.  Empathizing internally or externally with that person or group of people might be fruitless for them and you because they’re not feeling or reacting the way that you imagine they would be for all of the above reasons.

Trying to feel what someone else may be feeling won’t necessarily help them but, it can hurt you when done too often and to excess.

Each of us in this life will have our own sets of baggage to carry around or deal with.  No one alive is baggage free.  If we’re metaphysical or spiritual or religious, we can put it down to the fact that each of us has a certain number of lessons to learn.  In other words, we need to go through what we have to go through for some Cosmic reason that we’re unaware of as a “lesson” of sorts.

If we’re not spiritually inclined or religious, we can say that perhaps, what circumstances we’re in, we’re in because of choices that we or others around us have made or are making.  If that’s the case, it’s often up to us to either find a way to cope with it or to make other choices wherever possible.

Whatever the case is, we’re all going to be dealt some good and some crappy hands in this poker game we call, Life.  Some will get more cruddy hands than others will.  Is the luck of the draw or our own personal choices or, is it the choice of something or someone else or higher than us?  Often we’ll never know which but we can decide how we deal with it one way or another.

While we can try to give advice or opinions to others we cannot climb into their skin and brains with them or do it for them.  Not only is that not a healthy way for that person to deal with things but, it’s not healthy for us either.

Simply put, we cannot take on everyone else’s burdens, problems or issues too lest we become over-burdened.  Emotional and mental health is fragile when we take on too much of anything.  Certainly, trying to feel what someone else or even everyone else around us is feeling and trying to take some of the weight off of their shoulders, is unhealthy and unhelpful more often than not.  Do that enough times, with enough people and we’ve got a recipe for disaster for ourselves.

Those we empathize with, often move on and out of situations while we’re left feeling dragged out, worn out and depressed.  

Many times now, I’ve worked hard at trying to help someone out of a jam or situation by empathizing with them so that I can draw on my own feelings and experiences to do so.  Unfortunately, I’ve done it with everyone around me at the same time while trying to deal with my own too.  I can say first-hand that it’s not a good nor, healthy thing to do as I’ve been left feeling overwhelmed, burdened, even ill and it’s not solved the other person’s issues.

Worse than that, I’ve found that once I’m a mess, those people I empathized with so heavily, have found a way to deal with their situations and moved on in their lives while I’m laying in a ball, trying to pick up my own pieces.

Human Nature wants equilibrium and will seek it out.

Most people will have to endure some not so lovely experiences.  We all have to face deaths of loved ones if we live long enough to see it or, we’ll all have money issues at some point or another unless we’re born with a proverbial silver spoon in our mouths and a never-ending stream of funds coming our way.  We’ll all feel the sting of rejection from one source or another, one type or another. We’ll all get sick even with only a cold.  We’re all going to die.  That’s the bottom line to Life here.  We’re all going go through negative spots or many.  The reality is, we will all seek out a more comfortable way of feeling and being.  Unless we have a true mental illness that keeps us in one state of mind, we’re going to automatically seek out feeling better and do whatever it takes to feel that way.  It’s part of Human Nature.  No one wants to feel down or depressed forever and we’ll do whatever it takes to feel better for the most part.  Empathizing with someone only takes the energy out of you in this case because:

  1. You can help but you cannot change someone else’s situation, pain, hurt or whatever they are going through.  That is their path to go down.  You can’t change it by trying to feel what they are feeling.
  2. By the time you’ve worn yourself out empathizing, they’ve likely found other ways to deal with their situations or emotions.  If they haven’t already done that, they eventually will.
  3. Because of the first point and the second, you’re doing no one any good except to weaken yourself to your own challenges in Life.

 

Not many will empathize with you in the same way nor to the same extent so, why not reserve some energy for your own struggles? 

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Have you ever noticed that you’re always there for others during their times of crises but, when you need someone or some help, everyone you’ve turned somersaults for during their bad times, is suddenly “too busy” to be there when you need someone?  I’m sure many of us can relate to this one unless we’ve led a rather selfish existence in not helping other soul.  Not many people can or will say that.

Not that we expect something in return when we try to help other people but, we would hope that the kindnesses that we’ve shown others will be returned to some extent or another should we ever need something.  However, that’s often not the case.  The question always begs, why doesn’t that happen?

“I’ve given and given to this person and that person and the other one down the street but, when I needed one simple favour, there was no one around,” you may be saying right now.  “As a matter of fact, the only time I’ve had someone help me, it’s been only half of the effort that I’ve put into them or less.  I don’t get it!”

You’re not alone in wondering why that is but, there’s often a simple answer.

You’ve been far too kind or generous with your time and emotions and, you’ve thought of others in ways that they don’t think about you or anyone else for that matter most of the time.  

If the truth is told, not many people can or will even attempt to empathize with you the way that you have done with or for them.  That doesn’t necessarily make them selfish but, it does stand as a lesson that putting too much effort into someone else, is not only not necessary but, it doesn’t get you anywhere except a lot of being overwhelmed then, frustrated and disappointed.  It’s time for you to turn down the volume a bit on your pouring out of empathy towards others.  That’s not to say that you don’t care about others but, it’s saying that you have to put yourself up there in the ranking of first place because while others may help you, they’re not going to take your problems over.  You need your emotional strength for your own issues.

Some points to remember:

  • It’s ok to understand what others might be going through on a “cerebral level” but, it’s not healthy for either of you to reach down inside yourself and try to feel what the other person is feeling.
  • If someone is in a hole, jumping into it with them (via empathy) is only trapping both of you.  You’re far more helpful to that person to stay safely on the side, being their for them to throw them down a rope so that they can climb out versus you being in there with them.
  • Expecting others to empathize with you in the same way or to the same extent as you’ve done for them, is not only unhealthy but unreasonable to expect because no one is you or can feel like you do and, not many people will be able to or even want to try.  Most people are in this world to look after themselves first and foremost.  Help but, don’t jump into that pit with them because they likely won’t do the same for you when or if you needed that kind of help.
  • There’s a difference between sympathy and empathy.  Sympathy is the ability to feel sorrow for what one is going through without the extra step of actually trying to put yourself in their shoes and feeling what they may be feeling.  Too much sympathy can be unhealthy too but, it’s easier to recuperate from and less intrusive to your life than full empathy.
  • You don’t need to feel what other people are feeling nor, can you really feel what they may be feeling.  As explained above, no two people are alike and even though they may be going through what you’ve been through, their other experiences in life as well as their personalities are going to shape how they react to a situation.  It’s rather fruitless, unhelpful and unhealthy for you to try to put yourself in their emotional shoes because they likely not only won’t fit but, it doesn’t help them or you.  Throw them a rope and let them climb out of the hole they’re in.
  • Look after your own needs first and think about yourself because not many people in your life will be there for you 24/7, trying to feel what you’re going through.  Those who have been there in their own experiences don’t want to re-visit it and those who haven’t, can’t feel what you’re feeling to help.  More to the point, not many will even try.

From my little corner of life, I see helping others as something that should be done when your own needs have been met and you’re able to emotionally be strong.  It does not mean hurling yourself into an emotional tailspin.  No one need do that to help others.  Heaven knows that were doctors, nurses, police officers, first responders, fire fighters etc., were to do that, they’d be crippled and couldn’t do their jobs after one or two incidents.

Do yourself and other people a favour.  Stay healthy by helping others in a healthy way.  Empathy has its place but, it’s limited.

Be well.  Love and Light.

 

 

Spiritual Awakening/Enlightenment Doesn’t Mean Loving Everything Or Everyone

Contrary to what the mass of society tends to believe nowadays, the term “Spiritual Enlightenment/Spiritually Awakened” does not mean loving everyone and everything, never feeling negativity or dislike towards someone or something.  It also does not mean that one has to speak with kindness always either nor, does it mean that when someone lashes out at something or someone, that they aren’t spiritually enlightened or awakened.  On the same hand, plastering a smile upon one’s face constantly, getting into a Zen Pose, speaking calmly and perhaps, even in New Age Terms, also does not mean that someone is Spiritually Enlightened or Awakened.

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One is not religious necessarily because they go to church every week and donate money to the collection plates being passed around.  The physical body being in a building, deemed as a church, synagogue, mosque or whatever religious building it’s been deemed each week and taking out of one’s wallet, does not a religious person make.  Equally, a clergy person, standing at the front of a religious building, dressing the part and proclaiming to be a member of the clergy, also does not necessarily point to a religious person even though religious words are coming out of their mouths. Being a clergy member or a religious person also does not mean having to love everyone and everything, or always spewing out positivity towards everything and everyone.

One need only look as far as the Evangelists who have been caught, taking money under fraudulent guises in the name of “God” before one can find an example to cite.  Though their words spoke the right language and their images were those of Holy men and women, their actions spoke loudly that they were charlatans.  Week after week, they’d produce or pour out television or radio programming and pack churches to the rafters with worshippers who believed in their Biblical teachings and their words that promised healing in one way or another.  Millions watched their television sets each week and some, every day.  Yet, their intentions were no more “God” based or religious than the grifter on the street, taking money from people to play the cup and ball game.  The right words and smile can carry desperate people a long way towards belief.

A few questions needs to be asked.

Would a Spiritually Enlightened/Awakened person allow someone that they see as a charlatan or false “profit” continue on, put a smile on their face, without saying anything against that person, putting no effort into attempting to warn others?  Or, would they speak their feelings?

Sadly, Society in general is becoming lost to the quacks of the world who are out to take, take and take some more for their own profit.  Although, they appear to be doing “good deeds”, giving something for free, appear to be being kind-hearted and helping others, if looked at closely, one can see that the only good these people are doing is for themselves and their own wallets.  The Evangelists who have been caught are one such group.  They are no more trying to help others than they are trying to pad their wallets.  They simply found and used the “hook-in lingo”, the desperate and gullible audience needed and they learned how to use it all together well….some to the tune of millions of dollars bilked from people who were gullible enough to fall for it all.  Thankfully, there were others who called them out on it and some of these Evangelists have done or are, doing jail time for it. There are many others out there who are doing the same thing in different media and different ways.  It’s still the same horse, different breed and the internet is so filled with them that people need to open their own minds and think for themselves first.  The net is easy pickings when someone or many will fall for the bait.

In this case, who was more “spiritually enlightened/awakened”?  The person bilking the money out of people’s wallets or, the ones exposing them?  Think about that for a moment.  I’m sure the answer is clear.

If someone claims that they are something or someone that they’re not but, does so in a pleasing fashion, does that make them who they pretend to be or, does it make those who believe it all, having been taken for a ride?

At first glance at this statement, it would appear that it’s the fault of the con-man.  He did a number on people who were likely wanting to believe that person.  However, on second thought, were those people to have been more awakened and enlightened, they likely couldn’t and wouldn’t have been duped in the first place.

So, whose fault is it really?

Likely, the answer is both to some level or another.  While that might sound cynical and harsh to have said, the truth is, those who fall for a con-man’s game, are usually not thinking clearly enough to have asked themselves questions that would make them second-guess their trust in this person.  Desperate people, do desperate things and want to believe someone who seemingly has all of the answers they are seeking.  Were they to be less in need, they likely would have listened to that little voice inside their guts, telling them that something was amiss in all of this.  Unfortunately, people when desperate, aren’t likely letting this little voice come through as it should and they fall prey as victims to such people.  There’s plenty of these frauds out in this world, out to make it by stepping on other people especially, desperate people’s backs.

“But, I’m getting it all for FREE!  I’m not paying a cent and it’s helping me,” some will claim.

It’s prudent to ask yourself if you really are getting it for free.  This is especially true of people who are trying to sell you something on the internet.  You may not ever take a penny out of your pockets to give that person however, that doesn’t mean that the person isn’t making a decent buck off of each time you click onto one of their “free” offerings.  More to the point, you are paying something to this person from within yourself.  Think about that for a moment, please.

Of course, it goes without much fan-fare or saying that it’s the con-man’s fault for bilking others out of something to get what they want. That’s a given even if that person truly thinks “what’s the harm?  I’m getting what I need and people are getting what they want.”  The fact is, they are  not who they claim to be and they are not giving you what you think you are getting.  No one wins in this scenario though you may not be able to see it.  Worse, no one is spiritually awakened/enlightened by someone who is simply playing a part and making money off of it while others are being drawn into their schtick.

Who can spot these charlatans better than the desperate or those in need of spiritual help?  

Generally, someone who is spiritually devoid or seeking spiritual guidance, is better prey for these types of people than those who are more spiritually awakened.  The reason is fairly simple.  Those who are spiritually awakened or enlightened, will be less likely to be desperate enough to fall for the games of people like this.  They will often see right through the charade that is being put on.  Their gut feelings as they are often called, are more finely tuned and they will pick up the nuances that the desperate or those in search of and in need of, awakening and help will be.  The awakened/enlightened will more quickly pick up on the crap being spewed out with a gut feeling that something is not right about what is happening.  They will question it and seek out truths first.  Even if they themselves, fall for the con-man’s actions, they will rather more than quickly figure  out that there’s something fishy about the entire thing.  If enlightened enough, they will call it out and not simply walk away.

Sadly, those who do call these quacks out on their crap, are often the ones who will take the brunt of criticism from those who are seeking out something from these charlatans as they don’t want their hope to be knocked down.  They have put these self-promoters on a pedestal for saying the right things and seemingly resonating with something within them.  They don’t want to see their hopes shattered.  It’s akin to someone telling them that what they perceive as a life boat, is nothing but a water logged tree limb that will sink the moment that they see it for what it is and look for some other way to keep afloat.  They don’t want to hear it and they will call the person down who has tried to warn them.  It’s part of desperation in human nature but, that’s what the con-men are banking on and using to fulfill their own needs.

Should a Spiritually Awakened/Enlightened person speak only well of someone or something that they can see is taking from others? 

When someone speaks out in a not so loving way about someone that they see is taking advantage in one way or another of others for their own purposes, is it best that a Spiritually Awake/Enlightened person smile and only speak well of the thief or, should they speak out about what they are seeing and feeling?  Would you rather that person go on taking from others and perhaps, you if you let them?

As stated earlier, being spiritually aware, awake and enlightened doesn’t mean acting as though Sainthood has bestowed a vow of love and silence upon them.  As a matter of fact, a spiritually aware, awake and enlightened person is likely more sensitive to the guises that are coming from these types of acts, ranging from unkind and self-serving and leading up to criminal intent and will pick up on it sooner rather than later.  They will likely not be selfish enough to keep silent when they see what has been happening. Something inside of them will nag until they finally feel the need to speak out about it in the hopes of saving others from what they perceive to be happening.  Sadly, they will likely also have to take the brunt of criticism for having done so and perhaps, called names along with accusations that are not fitting their intentions in the first place.

Many of these charlatans will use what they know best about people to get what they want while the true spiritually evolved will recognize their methods and call them out on it.  Is that right or wrong to have done? 

Would a witness to a crime be a hero if they shut their mouths about what they saw happening or would they be a hero for coming forward and helping others capture the criminal?  The rest of this question speaks for itself and is one that everyone needs to ask themselves first and foremost.  Just because they don’t see a crime happening, doesn’t mean one isn’t taking place, does it?  In the same manner, people falling victim to someone who has their own best interests at heart but can’t see it, will call those who do see it, down.  Sad but true.

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Even Jesus upturned tables in fits of anger at those who would take from others in an unfair manner.  Would one call Jesus “unenlightened, unawakened and spiritually bereft”?

I will leave this piece here.

Be well.  Love, Light and Blessings.

 

When Your Adult Child Becomes Abusive

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If your adult child or children were anyone else on this planet, would you allow them the leeway that you are giving to your abusive child or children?

Tough question to answer, isn’t it?  Part of that is because we have that “bond” with our child or children as a parent that supersedes any other relationship that we can have or have had in our lives.  Love is blind as they say so, we often blindfold ourselves to the three dimensional view of our child or children.  We can see glimpses of their flaws and faults but, that’s as much as our guilt will allow us to see.  It’s nearly impossible for us to be as fully objective about our own child or children as we may be able to be with other people.

The word “guilt” was used for good reason. As parents, not only does the love we have for them become overwhelming and blinding but, we tend to tie our own self-worth into our child or children.  The moment we dive deeply into being critical of our own flesh and blood that we brought into this world or even adopted from someone else’s womb, we tie ourselves to that child or children in a way that we cannot tie ourselves to anyone else on this planet.  A put-down of our child even from our own minds and whether we gave birth to them or not, is oftentimes, felt as a put-down upon ourselves as both parents as well as who we are in general as people.  If our child or children are not doing well in life or is somehow “flawed”, we can unconsciously or even consciously, figure that it’s our faults.  We can leap to the conclusion that somehow, we have failed as parents and therefore we are also flawed as people in one way or another.

Not everyone will completely blame themselves for their child’s failures in Life.  Some parents will be able to see that our children have made choices in friends or groups that they’ve chosen to hang around and blame them instead of ourselves.  However, somewhere, deep down inside of us, there’s still a feeling of somehow being imperfect as a parent because our child or children have made those choices whether we’ve discouraged it or outright forbidden it or not. On some level or another, we feel “guilt” in one capacity or another and can tear ourselves to shreds as both parents as well as people.

This then leads us back to the question of whether or not we would allow any other human being to treat us the way that we allow our adult children to treat us.

First of all, were someone else to be treating us with any level ranging from disrespect to outright abuse, we’d likely toss those people from our lives to some extent or another, for some time frame or another or, more likely, until there was at least a sincere apology from that person.  If it was a long-termed thing, we’d likely walk away and not look back.   With family, it’s not quite that easy.  We can even find ourselves being victims as adults to poor treatment from our own parents and siblings out of a feeling of obligation and duty.  However, having said that, we can also come to a point where we begin to distance ourselves either somewhat or totally from them and their abusive or manipulative ways.  Friends or others in our lives are even more likely to be walked away from under these circumstances.  Our children are not quite as easy to distance ourselves from because of the above and for other reasons.

There is likely few people that we put more of ourselves into than we do with our child or children.  Even as adults, we are still invested in many ways in our children’s lives and well-being.  After all, isn’t that our job?  At least, that’s what we may reason with ourselves but, the answer to that is a resounding “no” once our children become adults and, we don’t need to continue to allow them to use, abuse or treat us poorly once they have become adults.  Our “jobs” are done.  We gave birth to them, loved them, raised them, gave them what we could reasonably give them and we supported them in more than a roof over their heads.  There are exceptions of course in the parenting world to this but, we’re talking about the average parent here, not those who were abusive to their own children or neglectful in any way.

There are a few things to take into consideration in how parents can deal with their adult-abusive or even estranged child (a topic that not many sites will deal with).

Your influence over your adult child was watered down many years ago.

We all like to think that we still have some sort of power or control over our children’s lives once they are adults.  For some, this is true but, for the most part, our influences over our child, all of our teachings, morals and values that we feel we’ve instilled into them, was long ago watered down by the influences of many other people in our children’s lives as they grow.  We are no longer their sole source of influence.  Peers, bosses, teachers and society in general, also including technology as well as entertainment venues, have taken over the largest portion of what affects them or doesn’t affect them once they are adults and have been doing so for many years before this point.  Oftentimes, those sources are the biggest reasons for their actions, decisions or choices at this stage of their lives versus us, as parents.  We therefore, cannot continue to place blame upon ourselves for everything that our children decide to do or not do.  Those choices were influenced by many other sources and we are the least likely sources at this point in our children’s choices or lack of them so, we can halt the self-deprecating right there for their poor choices or in taking the blame for the way they treat us now.

Having given your child too much attention or in short, spoiling them.

A lot of parents from the 1980’s onwards are likely guilty of having given their child everything they could possibly give them including monetary things as well as attention, devotion, praise and love.  Parents of children from the 80’s onwards were also victims to a new way of thinking about parenting. Society was at a point where the theory was to reward children for almost everything that they did, including potty training.  They got stars, praise and even rewards or trophies for simply participating no matter how well they did or whether they did anything or not.  They simply had to show up more than half of the time in order to get a reward of some type or another.  Even education was play based and grades were given out according to effort, not necessarily, achievement.

This was a time frame in which parents were also encouraged to praise our children to the hilt for even small endeavours in the home and, it was done by most.  Support, praise, rewards and more of the same.  No matter what children did or didn’t do in those times, they were rewarded for one thing or another.  Not only did that lead us to believe that our children could do no wrong but, it led them to feeling “entitled” to getting rewarded in one way or another no matter what they did or didn’t do.  It was that entitlement that turned a fairly good chunk of those children into little narcissists who believed that the sun rose and set on them no matter what they did or didn’t do.  That wasn’t just parental influence but, also that of society in general.  Even were children to be disciplined at home, they were rewarded for even poor attitudes and skills outside of the home. Parents couldn’t override an entire system and if they tried, the parents became “The Hated Ones” because the rest of society and its systems were telling these children that they were “entitled”.   We did them no favours as human beings because it made it tougher for these kids to grow up into a tough, dog-eat-dog world where they weren’t able to cope well because everything had been handed to them up until this point.  That wasn’t necessarily parent’s faults but rather societal experimentation that failed these children and turned them into narcissistic tending little monsters who eventually, would grow up into adults who felt entitled and angry when they didn’t get what they wanted anymore from Life or their parents.

The “experts” are still saying that parents should tell their children they are loved no matter how badly they’ve treated us or, even if they have walked away on us and are now estranged from us.

Not to put down the so-called “experts” but, how many parents have tried with their children, always telling them that they are loved, only to find themselves being either doormats or punching bags for their children?

Answer:  Lots!

Sadly, many parents of children from the ’80s onwards are now finding their either fully adult or nearly adult children, treating them like yesterday’s garbage and being tossed to the side while they’re still telling their child, “I love you” and continuing to do so no matter how badly they are treated by their children.

Far be it from me to tell parents to not tell their children that they are loved and wanted.  Every parent needs to let their children know that much but, when that child not only disrespects that parent but, treats them poorly, it’s time to give up on the loving words and time to get real with their adult children by letting them know that while they are still loved, their attitudes and abusive, using actions will not be tolerated.  Enough already with sending them messages of “I love you” and leaving it there while rolling with the punches.  These are no longer 10 year old children who can’t understand the meanings of their actions fully.  These are fully grown adults who must learn that for every action, there’s an equal or greater reaction.  That doesn’t mean withdrawing love for them however, it does mean that these adults don’t get to treat their parents poorly and still get the benefits that they would if they were treating their parents with respect and love too.  Poor actions get poor reactions.  Withdrawal of love for them is never a solution but, rewarding them by permitting poor treatment is not the answer.  They need a wake-up call for their sakes as well as the parent’s own well-being.

If you wouldn’t let others treat you this way and would walk away from them, why are you letting your child do this to you?  

As has been said throughout this piece in differing ways, rewarding poor behaviour is akin to a form of abuse from parents.  We are not doing them any good by rewarding our children for their poor treatment of us or by putting up with it and giving them more and more of ourselves.  Life doesn’t work that way so, why should we?

When a child is rewarded for poor behaviour, attitudes, actions, choices or decisions, it re-inforces that behaviour within them.  No, they won’t like being said “no” to nor, will they love the idea that they’re not getting their own way or what they want if we do start to stand up to them as adults and let them know that it’s not ok to treat us in a poor manner.  However, continuing to give them what they want, expect or feel entitled to getting, is only bolstering the idea that poor behaviour, temper tantrums, threats of withdrawal from our lives and whatever else they can throw at us to manipulate us into giving them what they want is simply training them to continue treating us as parents, wrongly, poorly and with disregard as well as disrespect.

Let me say something perfectly clear here.

Giving more of yourself and handing everything to someone who is treating us badly, let alone our children, is a recipe for becoming a “doormat” for others.  In short, we are laying ourselves down on the ground and letting people walk on and wipe their feet on us.  That’s not right.  We are people too and it doesn’t matter who they are to us.  

Sadly, sometimes, we have to let them go and hope that they will eventually come back otherwise, we risk our lives becoming infected with toxicity.  

There’s no bigger health threat than having someone we love, treat us like dirt beneath their feet and making us feel like we don’t matter in this life.  That goes for our adult children.  We all need to feel wanted, loved, respected and treated fairly and well.  We deserve that from others especially, the very children that we lovingly raised to the adult level and oftentimes, sacrificed more than a good night’s sleep for.  Many parents can tell stories of having given up great careers, being able to travel or do things that they, themselves wanted to do for themselves that would have made them happy, in order to give everything to their child or children, leaving themselves unhappy, unfulfilled and only to be treated in an abusive, uncaring manner or worse, have that child or children walk out of their lives, without contact, care or concern for their parent(s) and their well-being.

More to the point, those children have become what one can consider a “toxin” to the parent, making them feel as though they’ve wasted those years of their lives on someone who cannot or more to the point, return that love, care or respect to their parents.  Not only that but, it wears on the parent’s psychological well-being and soon after, their physical health.  It’s a vicious cycle especially, when the parent continues to feel as though they simply need to do more, try harder, give more or plead with that child to keep their love or the adult child in their lives.  It’s akin to a dog or cat, chasing their own tails.  It’s a fruitless exercise in not only futility but in a form of an illness of one sort or another.  It won’t change your child and sometimes, the only way to make one person’s lives healthier, is for the parent to either distance themselves, limit their time or exposure to that child’s ill behaviour and treatment or, to completely walk away if the child doesn’t do it for themselves.

Yes, that all sounds counter-intuitive to what we feel or have been taught to think of as “proper parenting” but, this all leads back to the original question….

If this were anyone else in your life, would you continue to let that person abuse or mistreat you?

If your answer is “yes” then you, yourself need to find some counselling because you’re not valuing yourself as a person and instead, are valuing others above yourself.

If you answered “no” to this question then, why are you allowing and encouraging your adult child to continue to do it to you?

From my little corner of life, while this is a longer piece than I usually write, it’s an under said topic that needs addressing more and more fully.  We’ve turned out a couple of generations of children now, both adult and children who need to learn that you aren’t rewarded for treating others poorly.  There are consequences to their behaviours and reactions to their actions of equal or greater proportion.

Be well and let me know what you are dealing with in the comments, please.

Best wishes from one parent to another or to adult children who might be reading this and recognizing what may be happening in their own relationships with their parents.

Comment!