Friday, March 29, 2013

Mistaking self-obsession for self-awareness....

There is a view that Asperger's Syndrome is more common in these times. Perhaps the real syndrome is people who are so self-obsessed that they are incapable of taking the feelings of others into account - the me now, my needs, my wants 'syndrome' where old-fashioned courtesy, consideration, not to mention kindness goes out of the window.

Good heavens, do something which I don't find convenient or which does not give me 'warm fluffies' or 'meet my needs,' or which intrudes on the boundaries I use to control my world? Heavens above, what are you thinking? Perhaps it is only when people who live this way find that their children grow up to treat them this way, they will realise there was and is a reason for 'old-fashioned' courtesy, respect and 'doing the right thing.'

As that song went about a father who was too busy for his son and when he had time for his son, his son had none for him. The most powerful messages a child receives are non-verbal. If you don't take the feelings of others into account then the child when grown will not. If you are not courteous and kind then your children will not be. If you only do what 'suits you' and 'works for you' then so will your children. You will reap what you sow so be careful of which seeds you select.

What you give out is what you get back and what you do unto others will be done unto you. What a pity that so many, perhaps particularly in this age, lack self-awareness - or rather, mistake self-obsession and self-focus for self-awareness.

The difference is simple. Self-obsession leaves no room for anyone but Self; self focus leaves little room for anyone but Self and Self-awareness leaves a lot of room for others and their needs and allows the individual to know why they do what they do and say what they say and to take responsibility for everything that happens.

A child when grown may, as adult, go through these times but they will not be the character of the person and they will get to the other side. A child when brought up this way will have its character made by it and is unlikely to become anything other. Perhaps that is an often overlooked demonstration of karma at work.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Remaining gracious in the face of rudeness

It is hard to remain gracious when people do things which are insensitive at best and unkind at worst but perhaps therein lies the lesson - learning to resist being pulled down to the same base level and remaining compassionate in the face of rudeness and sometimes, cruelty.

It's easy to do the right thing when people are nice to you and  act with consideration and courtesy, and so much harder when they are not.... but therein lies the spiritual path which lives love and doesn't just talk about it.

It is a practice which is important not just with those who play a major part in your life, but with everyone you meet. It's a spiritual workout where your 'love muscles' will just grow stronger. Although it will probably take years of practice.

I read the following story a long time ago and have just found it:

There was once a newspaper vendor who had a rude customer. Every morning, the Customer would walk by, refuse to return the greeting, grab the paper off the shelf and throw the money at the vendor. The vendor would pick up the money, smile politely and say, Thank you, Sir. One day, the vendors assistant asked him, Why are you always so polite with him when he is so rude to you? Why don't you throw the newspaper at him when he comes back tomorrow? The vendor smiled and replied, He can't help being rude and I can't help being polite. Why should I let his rude behavior dictate my politeness?

What exactly do same-sex couples want

Maybe I have not followed the issue closely enough but given the proliferation of posts regarding same-sex marriage rights, perhaps someone can articulate exactly what is meant by this.

My understanding was that most if not all developed nations, including the US, had allowed civil union marriages for more than a decade and same-sex couples in de-facto relationships had the same rights in law as any de-facto couple.

So is this or is this not the case? From any research I have done it seems to be the case, but perhaps I have not been thorough enough. If it is not the case then I can understand but if it is the case, and from what I can see it is, then what is the issue about? What do same-sex couples want? Is it the right to be married in a church, mosque, synagogue or temple?  If it is then they are probably pushing for something which has as much chance of happening as all sporting codes being required to admit either sex as players.

And while one may disagree with much about religion, and I do, surely they have a right to decide what their beliefs are and people may choose whether or not to become a member of that religion. In reality, no-one has the freedom to choose to be married in any religion unless they fit certain criteria.

I would love to see a clear articulation of exactly what it is same-sex couples want as opposed to 'fluffy' posts and images presenting it as a human right.

Personally, if religions can be forced to change their teachings to force same-sex marriage through, I would have thought a more important issue to be forced through was gender equality!

Sometimes we need to talk...

I do wonder about such statements. I mean, slavery, emancipation for women, universal suffrage, free education, universal healthcare, worker's rights..... I could go on .... were all talked about ad infinitum before they were finally resolved with enlightened justice. If those who fought against these wrongs had not talked, would things have changed at all or as soon as they did?

Surely talking about drama you don't want in your life is the first step to healing, resolving or removing?

And sometimes other people bring drama into your life that you don't want but they are wounded, damaged, suffering and because you care about them you share that drama, seeking always whatever resolution can be managed.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A child's natural right is a mother and a father........

There is something terribly wrong about a scientific/medical system which allows human beings to be created in laboratories with multiple biological parents - egg, sperm, womb - and where the child will never have knowledge of or access to those parents.

It is a reality that human beings have a mother and a father and two 'mothers' or two 'fathers' in a physical sense does not make up for the lack of the biological father or mother. Every human being born should have a right to know of and to contact their biological mother or father and now, their biological womb!

Given the trauma that adoptees have suffered through not having this knowledge or access it beggars belief that society should so blithely allow even more complex and traumatic parent/child relationships.

It does not matter how loving two fathers, two mothers or non-biological heterosexual parents might be - as adults, those human beings have been denied rights to their biological inheritance.

Doing the work

Removing ourselves from what we call negative or that which causes pain or makes us feel uncomfortable will achieve nothing unless we have done the inner work.

The same lesson will simply present itself in similar form in another person, house, job, city, country or circumstance.

At a physiological level 'pain' is a signal that we need to take action and it is no different when the pain is emotional or psychological. Seeking to merely remove the symptom of pain, whether physical or mental, will simply drive the 'cause' deeper.

Do the work which will enable you to reach a place of balance and then move on to the new person or circumstance. That way you will 'travel' freely, with no baggage and no demons to project onto new people or situations.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Love does not allow walking away

There seem to be so many 'spiritual maxims' talking about 'walking away' from people who are difficult - don't improve the quality of your life - don't make you happy - don't meet your needs etc., but the reality is that it is easy enough to do with acquaintances but no-one of integrity is going to 'walk away' from family or old friends just because they no longer 'fit' neatly into our lives.

People change and relationships change and the best of relationships can become suddenly painful but that is no reason to give up on them.

That is what love is about - seeing it through, holding to the relationship no matter what. Sure, sometimes you are not right in someone's life and they are not right in yours and the relationship may need to be managed to 'protect' you or to give you 'time-out' so you can continue to act with integrity and maturity, but walk away never!

A parent should never walk away from a child; a child should never walk away from a parent and none of us should walk away from family or old friends.

Another spiritual maxim is that those who can be a source of pain are our greatest teachers. I also believe people are more damaged than evil and more frightened than cruel. Sometimes they need space; sometimes you need space but Love is powerful enough to ensure that if you choose, the connection will remain until they or you are beyond the times of pain.

Friday, March 01, 2013


Are people less polite and if so why?

I remember when if you had someone to dinner they rang or sent a note saying thank-you.

I remember when if you sent someone a gift they rang or sent a note saying thank-you.

I remember when you wrote a letter to someone they rang or wrote back. I remember when if you left a telephone message you would always get a return call.

It is not just courtesy, what happened to gratitude and graciousness and consideration for the feelings of others?

It is the small gestures we make towards others and the small efforts we make to be courteous which makes society and the world a better place.

When we forget or cannot be bothered taking into account the feelings of others we become insensitive and uncaring whether we know it or not and that attitude will impact not just our lives but our relationships with others and with ourselves.

We become what we think and what we do and what we believe and when we drop the small courtesies which show we take others into account, we become not just less polite, but less nice as human beings. A little bit of kindness and plain old fashioned nice goes a very long way.