While there is an old adage that you cannot fit a square peg into a round hole, it may have been crafted from a limited perspective. Take a look at this illustration. Do you see how the cylinder can be seen as a square from a different perspective? From the vantage point of seeing both the “square side” and the “circular side”, can you now see that it IS possible to fit a “seemingly” round object into a square hole and vice versa? What you see and what you believe are so subjective.
The illustration visually explains how so many differences and misunderstandings can occur in our “reality”. Not only is everyone’s perspective a little different, their vantage point is as well. The challenge and GIFT in life is to TRY to see the other person’s perspective.
I can tell you from experience, the distance between unhappiness and joy can be as close as a step to the left, a step to the right, a step forward or a step backward. In other words, it’s well within your reach. Yet many times our fear of rejection or long-term patterns of poor communication can hold us back from what we truly seek … to love and be loved!
Recently I had a major shift in my relationship with our daughter. Now a young adult, she never seemed to shed that teenage tendency of taking mom’s comments the “wrong way”. Even if I said her hair looked good, she would think that I was saying there was something wrong with it. One day we were alone and she obviously heard a compliment as a criticism. I made eye contact with her and said “I love you. I’m proud of you. I think you’re great! Would you please assume that what I’m saying is coming from a place of love. I’m really not clever enough nor do I think fast enough to build hidden meanings into what I am saying.” She looked at me seriously for a moment, taking the time to see that vantage point and perspective, saw the truth in my statement and said “oh, okay!” Our relationship has been on a much better track since … with me no longer worrying how my words will be interpreted and her more obviously hearing the words I am actually saying. This only took my taking one step, and she came with me!
This is a little bit about vantage point. When we have been hurt by others, we sometime assume that others are trying to hurt us. I don’t believe that’s necessarily true. I think that sometimes when others are lashing out, it most often has nothing to do with us. [Some time ago I realized that others’ judgment of me was really about them. I realized this because I saw that my judgment of others was MY stuff. It showed me ways that I either wanted to be a better person or had fears that I couldn’t be like that person. This allowed me to let go of people pleasing big time.] I believe observing our judgment of others provides us a type of Treasure Map to making the changes in ourselves that allow us to hold and emanate more light and love.
Unfortunately, we most often judge ourselves. We can make real progress in all of our relationships when we take a closer look at how we are treating ourselves. Beating ourselves up over perceived mistakes will never lead us to the proverbial Pot of Gold (no Treasure Map on that path). Yet, we can quickly minimize some of this negative programming, by treating ourselves with love and compassion.
Perhaps there is a time in your life that you repeatedly look back to and regret a decision made or course taken. There’s even a term for this, right? You “beat yourself up.” I encourage you to stop right here, take a step to the left, to the right, to the back or forward and truly perceive yourself and your life’s circumstances at that age. Possibly you were quite a bit younger?
In the time since that action/decision, that part of self has surely needed unconditional love and support; yet he or she has just been getting abuse … the most insidious kind … self abuse! From a space of compassion say to him/her “I see that you were doing the best you could with what you knew or had as skills at that time. I love you totally and unconditionally.” Perhaps even more importantly say “I ask you to forgive me for judging you.”
Try to be aware that there are many times in life (past, present, future) in which we or others are holding a cylinder yet we can see only the opposing “square side” or “circular side”. Two seemingly contrary things can be true at the same time and allowing others to hold their view is easier when you are coming at life from a space of love and acceptance.
Life is short, fragile, complicated, and precious. Why waste time disagreeing with those you love and care about. Take the time to understand that their view has to be different than yours by the simple fact that they are not you. Even if you are closely aligned to someone, they are in a different physical space and can never see, experience and/or relate to something exactly the way that you do… different perspectives, different vantage points, different internal wounds, different victories. Healing your relationships will be easier as you heal yourself.
In this New Year realize and embrace the power you have to change the quality of your life and the lives around you. Express the love & light that only you can add and see all the love there is in this world!