Often we go through life with blinkers on. We see only what we want to. We see it how we want to. From our perspective. From our point of view. It is extremely difficult to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Simplified it could be because of human nature and basic survival instincts to think about oneself first.

Like the day we’re at the grocery store and we don’t find the item we’re looking for, perhaps our kids are moody or we’re all collectively hangry. Our irritation spills over to the person in front of us, to the person behind the counter. We might not smile or greet them, worse than that, we might be rude to them. Alternatively, they have possibly faced 20 or 50 other people just like this. The ripple effect will be compounded to the sulkiness we see on their faces as they ring up our groceries. In that moment we don’t see it from their perspective we are blinded by our own needs.

Similarly, we have a thousand events leading to something that ends up feeling like the worst thing ever and then we take it out on our loved ones. So from their perspective all they see and hear is you yelling at them. From your perspective you just want someone to help you, listen to you, it’s a plea, a cry for cooperation, a need for understanding and some comfort. To them they don’t see you needing comfort and this results in you avoiding each other, misunderstanding each other or worse everybody being fully armed and ready for battle. The more this happens it becomes labelled a norm … “You always just get angry and shout at me” or ” No matter what I say you are never going to understand”

Always and never meaning that I have never understood you or believed you ever!? Let’s think about that again and this time, calmly, maybe. All relationships are hard and take effort. The ones with your spouse, your children, your family and friends. Whether this conversation is with an adult or a child it ends up going down the same path. It’s blame and fault. Someone has to give in and no one really feels like they have won or resolved anything.

The problem with compromising too much in favour of one side is that it leads to the creation of a gap, an imbalance of sorts. One person may have a tendency towards initiating get-togethers, calls and everyone else decides it’s their job. That means that person never gets called? Or one person can lean towards being a people pleaser, therefore they over compensate for other people’s bad behaviour or agree to do things when they shouldn’t or take away from their own priorities to accommodate the other person. This might actually result in being in a position where they feel disrespected, overlooked, unloved, wronged or neglected. How does one overcome this?

Well, the power of how you feel is up to you. You can’t let someone make you feel this way. If you do feel this way you best realise you have to change something. You can sulk and complain about it. Rather make a decision to not focus on their disregard/disrespect for you and embrace everyone that does care about you. Because I assure you, you have a ton of people who love you best. Acknowledge them, appreciate them, invest time in them and show them as much love and care as they do to you. Don’t always use them for your frustrations or venting and rather say kind things to them. They love you in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you’re a second class citizen in their lives.

With all the attention being placed on women’s rights and women’s lack of equality in a male dominated world,  each individual reading this has undergone some form of abuse, whether it be cat calling while walking down the street or your opinion or idea being overlooked in the workplace or group setting, or any other form of discrimination. It’s something we have grown accustomed to, its something we ourselves sometimes don’t even recognise as abuse. The noise and hype around this topic is allowing us to recognise how far and deep this disposition is. It’s up to us to positively reinforce the behaviours we want and need in our communities.

So albeit already February, a little late for new years resolutions, the first commitment you should make to yourself for 2018 is to be gone with self inflicted misery. All those people who you have expectations of but fall short, extremely short of the mark. To all those people who just get under you skin. To all those people who try to push the boundaries of what’s acceptable. Don’t spend time, energy and resources on analysing it, fixing it or trying to understand it, just let go. If somehow, something clicks and they realise you have disengaged, then by all means renegotiate your relationship to a point where you win too. Don’t allow yourself to be hurt in this way, don’t be pushed over, overlooked, judged, used or abused.

Love the people who love you best, who will not survive without you, who’s worlds revolve around you and who truly want to be in your life for who you are and for no other reason. Love in a way that heals. Love because you have faith. Love because you have family. Love because you make a difference. Love because you are worth it. Love because you care and you make an effort. Love each other because we are human and not robots. Love because your positivity can become infectious until you can see the change your love brings.

Through love, bitter things seem sweet; Through love, bits of copper are made gold. ~Rumi

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