“We don’t always see things as they are, we see things as we are” Anais Nin
That quote has meaning and resonance on many levels. In a previous post we looked at one of the ways – read here
For now, let’s look at that thought as it relates to relationships, whether romantic, friendships, or other.
It is true, that for most of us and most of the time, we see and hear things from our perspective only. The key to a successful relationship is to take ourselves outside of ourselves and consider the other. To consider the other’s perspective, so as to truly understand them and their needs. In other words, to be considerate. To be considerate is to be thoughtful of the other, not just when it suits you.
To accomplish seeing and hearing the other, requires among other choices letting go of your past, letting go of your hurts, and letting go of your fears. It also requires, like Solomon, having a “listening heart”.
Here is a tip for training yourself to see and hear the other:
Constantly remind yourself
Everyone wants to know that they matter.
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” – Hillel
By training (it’s hard) yourself to see and hear the other:
1. You will learn more about yourself
2. You will find it easier to let go of the chains that hold you back, such as your past, your hurts, and your fears
3. You will create better relationships
4. And of course, be happier.
It’s a win-win
Heart and Soul
Whenever we begin something new, whether it be a relationship (all kinds), a job/career, school, exercise regimen……., we begin with the energy of excitement and hopes. Then, too often, for various reasons that energy fades. When it does, so does your odds of success.
One of the many powerful lessons of Rosh Hashanah, the just celebrated Jewish New Year, or more accurately, the Head of the Year, is that of renewal. Kabbalah teaches that Rosh Hashanah commemorates the sixth day of creation, which was the creation of the human. It is taught that the very same energy and light that G-d sent down to this world on that day is renewed, or sent down again on every Rosh Hashanah. In addition, some new and never given before energy and light is sent down to us. It is sent globally and to each and every one of us. The renewed and new energy is sent down to enhance our ability to do good. The more good you do, the “more good” the world will be.
Remember the energy and excitement of your beginnings. If you take the energy, excitement, and hopes from all of your beginnings and renew it each and every time you engage in them again;
1. your chances of success are greater
2. your chances of succeeding sooner are greater
3. all along the way you will find more happiness and create a more constant state of happiness
Even more so, if you add a little new and more each and every time!!
Heart and Soul
When we go to a funeral and listen to the eulogies of the departed, we are saddened and often inspired. This often causes us to think about how we are living our lives. We wonder how we would be eulogized. If we are honest with ourselves, we might not like what we would hear. Which leads us to make promises and resolutions to ourselves to make changes. How often and for how long do you keep them?
We have all heard the idea of “what would you write, if you were writing your own eulogy”?
Let’s try a different approach. There is a tractate in the Talmud that discusses how some of the Sages debated the Angel of Death, when he came for them. How they tried to convince him to leave with his work undone.
How would you debate the Angel of Death?
Would you tell him of the good you have done? If so, what would that be?
Would you tell him of the good you still have to do and therefore that you are still needed here? If so, what would that be?
Would you tell him that you are ready to repent for past sins/misdeeds and now are ready to perform the good that you were created for and meant to? If so, what would that be?
If he accepted any or all of your reasons for his delay, how long would continue doing the things that might keep him away?
In Ethics of the Fathers, it says “Repent the day before you die”. That leads to the obvious question of “How will I know when “That’ll be the Day” (Buddy Holly)? That leads to the obvious answer of….. Live everyday as though it is the “day before…”!!!
“Not a single moment in a person’s life is extra. Each person is given a particular number of days to accomplish their dreams.” – Unknown
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today”. – James Dean
Heart and Soul
Some of this post was inspired by this article read here
Here’s another thought and lesson that Robin Williams death brings to mind
Dr.Viktor Frankl, who is very well-known for his compelling book, “Man’s Search For Meaning” (listed here “Books That Inspire”) tells a very interesting story. A patient (he was a psychiatrist) once phoned him in the middle of the night to tell him, that she was about to commit suicide. He spoke to her for two hours. He gave her every reason to live that you can imagine giving. Finally, she said that she had changed her mind and would not commit suicide. The next time he saw her, he asked her which of the things he said convinced her to change her mind. “None,” she replied. “Why then did you decide not to commit suicide?” She replied that the mere fact that someone cared enough to listen to her for two hours in the middle of the night was all that it took.
When King David was dying he appointed his son Solomon to be the heir to his throne. Solomon was only twelve years old and as you can imagine, was quite anxious. G-d appeared to King Solomon in a dream (1 Kings 3: 9) and asked him what he would like to have as the King. He could have asked for more treasure, a larger population to rule over, more territory to rule over, a greater army, etc. The one and only thing Solomon asked for was “a listening heart”.
We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Robin Williams. A man who warmed our hearts, inspired us, and put a smile on our face, both on and off-screen.
How painful it is to consider the depth of pain that one must feel to take that step. It is heartbreaking to think of him or anyone in that much existential pain.
Here is a telling and perhaps prescient dialogue From “Mork and Mindy”, when Mork is giving Orson one of his regular reports about us
Orson: The report Mork.
Mork: This week I discovered a terrible disease called loneliness.
Orson: Do many people on Earth suffer from this disease?
Mork: Oh yes sir, and how they suffer. One man I know suffers so much he has to take a medication called bourbon, even that doesn’t help very much because then he can hear paint dry.
Orson: Does bed rest help?
Mork: No because I’ve heard that sleeping alone is part of the problem. You see, Orson, loneliness is a disease of the spirit. People who have it think that no one cares about them.
Orson: Do you have any idea why?
Mork: Yes sir you can count on me. You see, when children are young, they’re told not to talk to strangers. When they go to school, they’re told not to talk to the person next to them. Finally when they’re very old, they’re told not to talk to themselves, who’s left?
We all crave to love, be loved, and to know that we matter. Let someone know that they matter. Do it today.
Unless you use it wisely.
Say someone e-mails you a YouTube video, or an article that deals with something you have been struggling with, will you watch it or read it if it takes more than three minutes? Is that how you determine whether or not you will watch or read it?
How much time are you willing to invest in and for your life? How much time are you willing to invest in your growth, improvement, and refinement? How much dedication, discipline, and energy are you willing to spend for your growth, improvement, and refinement?
Or are you content where you are?
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
How much time do you spend in a day on things that don’t lead to your growth? How much time and energy do you spend on avoiding that which will lead to growth and improvement?
“You may delay, but time will not.” – Ben Franklin
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn
“I was planning to procrastinate, but I never got around to it.” – Unknown
Heart and Soul
On the Fourth of July 2014, we will have been blessed with and enjoyed 86,927 days of independence since the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. It said;
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
This was a novel experiment in building a nation based on individual rights and freedom. Without these rights and freedom we could not pursue our dreams and our individual purpose. Something else to be grateful for!
May we cherish and protect those freedoms for many, many more days. May we use our freedom to fulfill our greatest human potential.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY
G-d Bless America