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Pair #92 Now I see you, now I don't
They say we never really know someone.

This weekend while I was reflecting, I realized I don't know anyone.

I look at others and I meet them of course. I interact with them and most of the time you'd call that 'getting to know them.' Yet it struck me that I only know them via my thoughts about them. I literally experience my thinking, not them. And so I create my experience of them.

But only 100% of the time.

Now if you really want to bake your noodle on this, not only do I really not know anyone, but in a very strange sense, they don't even exist. They are standing there, but my experience of them is coming from me.

Which means that on one level, there is no 'other' at all.

Now, I do realize that saying other people don't exist sounds a bit odd. (Just a bit). But if it's true that we are thinking beings, thinking our way through life and that the only experience we are ever having is the experience of what is in our own mind, then it follows that we can't see anyone outside of our thinking about them.  I mean, how could we?

So the only person I've ever met is a bunch of my own thoughts about them. 

You know, isn't it true that time after time we are shocked when we find out that so-and-so had a secret lover, or was embezzling or actually hates chocolate?  Have you never had the experience of talking about someone only to find out that others don't see them the way you do? Aren't we often deeply surprised when someone very close to us reveals a secret dream or longing, or a deep desire that we had no idea about?  Don't we mainly assume people are basically like us and find it strange when they are not?

In fact, we are just walking around, looking at people, and making them up as we go.

We are self-contained, self-referenced, meaning-makers.   Except that we also assume that what we are making is true and real.

So, I guess there is no real like your own real.
© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
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Pair #63, Just Get Me Out of Here
Talking to Freeman Michaels today about how we relate to our bodies - and how one of the keys to looking at this is developing a new relationship with discomfort.

That seems very true.

I can see all the distractions and covers up and excuses I've created to paper over being uncomfortable with discomfort.  When someone in is going through a hard time, I  definitely want the situation to end. A dear friend is going through what most would call a 'grueling' divorce.  I notice, looking at it, that my position, even as I try to be supportive, is really saying "This is hard for me to watch." I can tell because rather than listening, I am in problem-solving mode.  I can see how unhelpful that is.

What I want to say, when I consider how I would really like to be, is how much I trust that they will get through it, that things will be fine, that I love them just the same, that there is good in everything.  I want to give true support and love.

When we reach the point of discomfort - be it in a yoga pose stretched to capacity, standing in front of the pastry counter with sugar cravings reaching a peak, or listening to someone giving us honest feedback - and we feel the panic and discomfort rising, all we want to do is make it stop.  Rarely do we consider that we might very well survive this moment. Period.  Even by doing nothing but standing in it (much less by actually deciding to move toward it!).

In many self-growth practices this idea of moving toward the pain is called learning to 'be with'.  Hospice workers learn it thoroughly, but for the rest of us, it can be a shock to step toward and not away.

Learning to 'be with' is one of things I can really suck at sometimes.  

So... how do I want to be with the part of me that wants to be rid of that part of me that really sucks at this?

© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
 
 
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Pair #30 Waiter, that's not who I ordered!
A special complaint place used to be allocated for moaning about other individuals - it was called the water cooler.  And although that’s now probably more likely to be the coffee room or the smoking area, figuratively speaking, we all have ‘gathered round the water cooler’ with friend or colleagues to do some collective kvetching about people who annoy us.

A while ago a friend was telling me her particular complaint about a long-time customer of the place where she works.  After a long story about what happened between them, the real complaint landed: “I would NEVER that.  He should not have said what he said.” (substitute: “they should know better,” “that’s outrageous,” etc.)

My response to her predicament was, “Oh, I understand.  You were expecting someone else to show up in this person’s body that day?”

The easiest way to be frustrated daily is simple:  Take someone and expect them to act or speak differently than they do.  This recipe for you feeling bad will work 100% of the time.  

Every time I have tried to control others I’ve failed.  That goes for wanting them to stop doing something as well as wanting them to feel better. People do exactly and precisely what they want to do and that doesn’t always please us.  And frankly. That really isn’t their job anyway.

If I don’t like how someone is behaving, I either get out of dodge or put a boundary down more strongly than before.  A boundary is not a behavioral dictate to another, it is a clear statement about what can and cannot be done in your presence.  You can tell a boundary becuase you can actually back up if you need to. 

But although we know that we cannot control people and we are still complaining that they act in ways that make us unhappy and implying if only they would just stop being themselves, we could feel fine.

That's a recipe for frustration.  Give it up.

The only question we ever really face is not “how do I make them act differently?” but “how do I want to feel right now?” 

When you know that, then you know what to do.
© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
 
 
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Pair #23 He's Just Not That Into You
One of the things that has most brought me crashing to the floor in my romantic relationships has been that I tended to see what I want to see about people, rather than actually letting them show me who they are. The very best way to deceive and fool oneself is to focus on the things about the other person that most meet our needs rather than taking in the whole person. 

If you’ve ever found yourself married to say, an obsessive compulsive, chances are that the signs were there in week #1, if not on the first date. 

An open attitude of discovering another requires withdrawing the agenda a bit and taking more notice of what’s right in front of us.  I suspect it’s also greatly helped by being open yourself, being open to them and then not taking the whole thing so damn personally.

In dating, think simple and obvious: if someone is saying that  they are interested in seeing you, what usually happens is they make time to see you.  

How many girlfriend conversations do we need to figure that out?  All you have to do is notice.  And carry on living your wonderful life.

Speaking as a woman, I think we girls will be much happier if we take notice of what’s there and don’t take things so personally.  Don’t make excuses for why what you want is not showing up.  Like why he’s not calling.  That’s just what you want to happen.  Wanting things to be different when they are not.  Give that up in favor of noticing that what is actually going on. It’s so much kinder on you. As Byron Katie says, reality is what it is.  How do I know I want to stand up?  I’m standing.

The way I know someone wants to talk to me is they get in touch. The way I  know that someone wants to see me is they arrange to do that.  in the end, if you let reality show you the way,  it's not nearly as complicated as what we tell ourselves and there is very little to figure out.  Just a process of seeing. 

And then you can use the energy you saved for something else.

 

 

© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.