I'm sharing the homework that my daughter Serena had to do for school.
When you read what I wrote below you will see why I wanted to share.
Make a list of important or memorable people in your life. Pick one or two of them.
What are the most powerful/ evocative moments you can remember with this person?
The most powerful moments with her are whenever we are having fun. It’s when we are being ourselves the most. We have silly conversations and laugh a lot. And whenever I’m feeling down she always gives me advice that makes me feel better about my situation.
What words would best sum up this person?
What assumptions would ordinary people make when they see this person? How are those assumptions right or wrong?
Most assumptions that people make about her is that she is a normal housewife who supports her kids at their sporting or drama events and has her life dedicated to her kids. Even though most of that is true she is so much more than just “housewife”. She loves her job just as much as her kids and makes sure both of them are equal. She uses her job not only to help out the family but so she makes a difference in other people’s lives by acting as their therapist and friend.
What lessons did you learn indirectly from this person’s actions?I indirectly learned that no matter what people may think of you; you are so much more than you seem.
What lessons did you learn directly from this person’s advice?I directly learned from her that, in tough times in life, you have to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get through it.
Ernest Holmes said, "Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it."
As all life is a mirror, we are all a mirror for each other.
Who I am in Serena's eyes makes me feel loved, happy, safe and cherished. Actually, who I am in Nick's, Ayla's,
and Malana's eyes makes me feel the same. It's the main reason I am so happy most of the time.
Recently one of my dearest friends made her transition, and this is what I said at her memorial service,
"Georgia always saw my intelligence and my value and she was such a beautiful mirror for me.
I always knew where I stood with Georgia and in all the years together I don't remember one single time that we had an argument. When it came to my work and growing into the life of being a therapist, a speaker, a writer she would always support me."
Not everyone is a such a feel good kind of mirror, and just recently I had to tell someone that I didn't like the "me" that I was in their eyes. I let them know that I needed to take a minute and look at my behavior.
If that's what they were seeing. It was up to me to either change what I was doing, or look at the possibility that. what they saw might have been distorted. Either way, I didn't want to stay in a relationship the way that it was,
and I had to look at my part in what was going on.
As it turned out, what the person was upset about wasn't something that I was doing intentionally, and, I wasn't informed about what I did until weeks later. There was no communication to me that I had done anything wrong, just a change in the feeling of the relationship. When it finally came out, and I was able to access the situation, it was their perception of what I had done that made them so angry, and that perception wasn't at all what I had intended. They saw things through the filter of their own "stuff".
I want to know when I have done something to make another person upset. How else am I going to be able to own my behavior? I know that I don't intentionally do malicious things to people, but I don't know when I've done something in my ignorance. It may be uncomfortable to hear it sometimes, but it's so much better than the uncomfortable feeling when someone is pulling away, sensing their anger or their passive aggressive behavior.
Life is too short for that!
If I could count how many times clients come to me and say that they are angry with someone, and I ask them if they have let that person know. They almost always say no, they didn't tell them. For whatever reason, they don't feel comfortable letting them know about their behavior. So, they stay angry with the person, sometimes letting go of a perfectly good relationship because they don't want to confront them in a way that is constructive.
In another recent situation I did let a friend know that there was something bothering me. I used the constructive communication format, and am very happy to say that we "worked through it". The friendship is valuable to me, and it was worth the moment.
How many people are you angry or frustrated with that you have not told what's bothering you?
How long has it been going on?
Why are you not letting them know?
Is it worth staying angry?
Is it worth losing the friendship?
Below is the constructive communication format. It's a practice/process to make this happen.
Comment below if you have any questions.