Being in charge of our life, means that we are in charge of our thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs. If we walk around with a belief that others don’t care about us, or aren’t there for us, then we will interpret the events and people in our life through that negative lens.
For example, let’s say we are sharing something painful with a friend, and he or she appears to be unsympathetic and doesn’t comfort us in a way that we desire. We may instantly decide that our friend doesn’t care about us, and start to distance ourselves or cease talking to him or her altogether.
Naturally, our friend becomes confused as to why we don’t answer her phone calls anymore or why we seem different around her. At this point, she doesn’t understand what is going on in our head; that we have made an assumption that she doesn’t care about us.
She may become withdrawn and different around us as a result, and stop pursuing us for a time. Her behavior further convinces us that she doesn’t care, has changed or was never a friend to begin with.
Ironically, our angry thoughts, feelings, interpretations and behavior toward her, may have led to the strain in our friendship to begin with. We conclude that the emotional distance is her fault but she was just reacting to the change in us!
If we had taken the time to check it out, we may have found out that our friend was temporarily at a loss for words or didn’t know what to say at the time of our original conversation. It didn’t necessarily mean that we weren’t cared about.
This is not to say that we should befriend everyone or that someone is a good friend or to blame ourselves for the actions of others. However, it is important to be aware of how powerful our beliefs can be, and how they contribute to the problems we face with others. For instance, if deep down we believe we aren’t lovable, then we will look for evidence to support that belief and prove that we are right.
Certainly, if we feel someone does not have our best interests at heart, we can leave in a way that is free of anger, understanding that people can’t always give us what we need; either they don’t know how or are limited in certain areas.
However, understanding what our current beliefs are, and developing more positive alternatives, will help us to feel better, be more forgiving, and more liberal in our interpretations of events.
I have a whole section in my book, The Right Relationship Starts with You, which discusses beliefs and asks that you make a list of what you presently believe and what we would like to believe instead.
This knowledge can help us avoid looking for evidence in our daily lives, that supports the negative theories we may presently have about ourselves or others, and gain positive ideas instead. It helps us to be kind to our mind!
During this upcoming holiday, let thoughts of gratitude permeate your mind. Happy Thanksgiving everybody.