Most of us who have sought spiritual guidance in some way, have heard this saying… ” Give more of what you want”, but what does it really mean?
The other day, a friend of mine was distraught. she had been having a hard time with someone she worked with and it had been a daily culmination to what would naturally become an explosion of emotions that day. Now on a normal day, most of us handle explosions quite well, but on a day when we have learned that someone dear to us has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer and then the carefully crafted coffee we made to soothe us was left on the counter and as we are tardily running down the stairs because we went back to get the coffee, we roll our ankle which makes it harder for us to do what we need to do in a day. Well, you get the picture. (insert crazy face 🙁 )
My cup runeth over….
My friend was having that kind of a week, she had reached her threshold. Imagine a cup under a dripping faucet that hadn’t been emptied and eventually reaches it’s limit and overflows. I think we forget that we aren’t invincible and we can tell ourselves over and over that we can handle what’s thrown at us, but unless we are refueling and resting, however you do it, we will reach our threshold as well. Our lack of refueling shows itself in many ways, skin conditions, gastritis, hair loss, ulcers, migraines, debilitating panic and anxiety and of course, cancers, etc. And if it affects our insides, what do you think it does for our relationships around us? We become intolerant, angry, guarded, close minded, scared, stagnant, anti social, depressed, etc.
The wonderful medicinal properties of love.
My friend had gotten caught up in what we call the drama of it all. She, being a spiritual person herself prayed to God often for strength but did not tap into her own ability and wisdom to understand that we choose how we want to engage in situations. So, while her colleague may approach her in a hostile way, it is how we respond that either empowers us or makes us a victim.
What is it in you that is choosing to see the horrible side of this person?
When i was in NY, I attended the Kadampa Center in Chelsea quite often to listen to lectures. One lesson that resonated with me was when a woman who was in a similar situation as my friend, asked the monk, ” How should I deal with someone I work with who is what I consider a terrible person”? His response was what is it in you that is choosing to see the horrible side of this person? What are you bringing to the situation that may give rise or diffuse your encounter with this person? When I heard his response, I was completely dumbfounded. What a challenge it is for us to actually send love and maneuver with heart when what we are receiving is the opposite. I had no idea that we ourselves had that much control over how someone affected us? I remember thinking how strong you must be to be able to do this. That little lesson helped me so much after that point.
Love is the most valuable fuel in the world.
From time to time, I need to remind myself and on this day, my friend needed that reminder as well. I explained to her that she had the power to use the love that God has put in her heart. It is the biggest and most valuable fuel anyone could ever use against you and the consequence is always positive for you and the other person. You may not see it right away, but continued acts of kindness will eventually make you a happier, kinder and a more peaceful person.
So, if you want a certain reaction from someone, you need to introduce it to the relationship. You can’t give up when it’s not reciprocated because everyone is on their own path and will learn on their own time but you can certainly plant that seed. The best part is, by responding in a positive way and not engaging, we avoid the self loathing and guilt that we may experience when we let our tempers get the best of us. It’s a win-win for everyone. So, if you want to be treated with kindness, give kindness freely. If you want tolerance, be more patient with others. If you want to encourage someone to listen, listen carefully to what others have to say. If you want more respect, learn to give respect, etc. xo