Friday, 29 March 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, 28 March 2013

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!

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?

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Stay and do 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.