Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When Relationships Seem MEAN

Difficulties in relationships stem from lack of effective communication. What you think you said or did may not have been received in the way you intended. It may have also been because some word you used was NOT the most correct for the situation.

As an adult learning a new language I’ve become aware that words I use regularly, words others accept readily, are not being used true to their original meaning. An example would be the word ‘MEAN.’ It is one of those ordinary, everyday words with lots of different connotations. I grew up understanding that it referred to someone who was unkind. After researching its definitions I found greedy, selfish or stingy included in the definitions.

 For years I had believed that it referred to someone who was not being nice or wouldn’t share -especially when it involved my feelings being hurt. This old understanding was already hardwired into my brain long before I ever finished primary school so it was a real awakening when, as an adult, I became aware of its truer implication
The English language is a composite of many languages, most of them having their roots in Latin. As my adult mind struggles in relating to  the nuances of the Spanish language I find the the old classical English literature of high school offering the grounded logic I seek. It drew me to exploring old English dictionaries and studying antonyms for the word MEAN. I learned that terms such as ‘mean distance’ or mean value relate to ‘least’ or something of the lowest degree.

Applying this new understanding to some old personal experiences offered me an interesting insight. I could actually see that the other person involved had not had ENOUGH. It makes sense that people can only give what they have. If they don’t have enough money they cannot lend to others, when their self image doesn't allow for enough self-appreciation they cannot praise another or when they lack love for themselves they have none to give.

Relationships are about sharing or giving. When we don’t have what someone is asking for we will substitute something else.  It might be criticism, condemnation or anger. Feeling trapped by inadequacy feels painful so we act MEAN.  The next time you find yourself thinking that someone is MEAN try looking at the event through this new light. You’ll see that it is not about you. And that will bring a sense of freedom that lets you choose your next move.

Have you experienced anything like this before? Let me know.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ignorance VS Indifference


Walking through the remains of storm surf along a shoreline brings feelings of distress to most people of developed nations. Rubble spewed on the beach as an aftermath from one of Mother Nature’s temper tantrums challenges the sense of order in our trained minds. As overwhelming as this evidence is of nature’s might, worse is when she vomits the ocean bottom mixed with manmade rubbish. This is a common scenario in underdeveloped countries that have no trash removal programs.   Weeks or months can pass before the beach seems to regain order. Our regulation trained minds are baffled at the apparent lack of interest in clearing the rubble; ‘ these people don’t realize the revenue they’re missing. Why don’t they clean this up?’ Distress turns into frustration as blood pressures rise while attempting to educate locals to their lost potential. However, it’s not really a lack of knowledge as much as just not caring.

How many times have you found yourself in the same kind of situation? You can see the potential of a person or situation; you talk, teach and preach on the possibilities, buy some necessary tool to help bring your vision into fruition only to see it cast aside rusting or gathering dust. The potential you see is NOT a shared vision. The person or people you are talking to are NOT dissatisfied with where they are in life. They are content. Who is dissatisfied, looking for change? YOU. They are indifferent to your vision. Oh sure they may make a short feeble attempt to gain your approval or get you off their backs, but basically, if they wanted change they would have moved in that direction when you first shared the vision. Their blood pressure is fine.

Without meaning to degrade anyone, the phrase “Casting pearls before swine” fits the situation  I’m describing. Teaching and training or trying to awaken someone who is not interested in learning causes frustration, anger, and accompanying emotional and health issues to the teacher while the student blissfully bides their time to return to their own interest.

Ignorance means:  a lack of knowledge or information, innocence.

Indifference Means: lack of interest or concern; Apathy towards.

Peace of Mind Comes From Recognizing the Difference.

In my book, SHIFT: A 5th Dimensional Approach  I explain the difference this way. Just as ignorance is a state of innocence, indifference is NOT a negative word. Not caring about  something is ok. It offers a sense of freedom and peace that cannot be experienced when force is involved. Somewhat like the difference between floating in a current of water as opposed to swimming against it. Both have you in the water but, one is passive while the other is active. The sharing of wisdom promotes evolution. However, if those pearls of wisdom seem to fall to the ground, they become like seeds lying dormant waiting for the perfect condition. It will take dissatisfaction to begin that process.

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