“The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.”
July is the month of my birth; just barely. Summer has also always been my favorite time of the year. I love the long days, the warmth of the sun, the lazy times, and the night time bike rides.
I can see the crazy hot days and the endless heat and sweat, or should I say glow? In my perspective, July is a great time of the year. I know people who love the winter and the snow and skiing. I know folks who swear by the beauty in the spring and some who love the coolness and colors of fall. It is all perspective. This perspective also is with absolutely everything. In the heat of the moment with a confrontation we often lose our perspective. We get lost in the moment. That moment we get lost in is not as we say, “in the moment”. When we get lost it is really in the trigger of a “past moment”. We temporarily lose ourselves in an old feeling or desire and in doing so, we get too close. We only see the root of our old pain.
I received an email asking for help with understanding a letter that one of my clients received from his father. That letter was an interesting one from the view point of seeing his father’s perspective. His father was reacting to something within himself and not seeing his son separate from his own nose, so to speak. His father was lost in feeling unseen, so he accused his son of acting in a way, which he (father) felt inside himself. He feels damaged and projects that feeling onto his son.
His son, my client, felt the abuse in the letter, knew it wasn’t about him, but….this is his father. The question became how to not react and not respond and also to have a relationship with his father. In addition, how can he deal with similar things he finds within himself? This happens with all of us; finding aspects or dynamics inside of us, which are very much like a parent or influential person in our lives. Sometimes those aspects or dynamics are ones we like, and sometimes they are ones we don’t like. In addition, often the ones we don’t like we are blind to in us. We call that our blind spots.
We talked about how he was afraid of those traits he sees in himself that are like his father’s. I think we all are to a degree. Yet, it is by making those aspects conscious that we then begin to have a choice as to what we respond to and how we respond. So, as he becomes aware of those traits in himself as they are happening, he then develops some control over them. I also asked him what he likes about his father. He named a few things. That is what we do to help us with those things in us we don’t like. We look at what we do like in our parents and in us. Then, we can feel close to our parents in those aspects we like, and we can let go of those things we don’t like. It is a way of having some distance from our parents as we need it, and having closeness also. This way he can have a type of relationship with his father, but at a safe distance, and also have relationships with others.
Again, so much is about perspective; how he sees his father or what lens he uses to see his father and to respond to him. Our early years are important in determining how we see the world, and, with awareness, we are able to let go of what is not really us, and keep what is.
A Guided Visualization/Meditation:
One of the tools I use in my work with clients is visualizations and meditations. If any of you are having a challenging time or having trouble gaining perspective on someone or some thing, here is a meditation that may help you.
Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Which each breath go deeper inside yourself. Ask for guidance along the way. Begin to see the person or situation you need clarity with in front of you. As this person takes shape in front of you, let the image go. Then let another image come before you, and let it go. Try not to hold onto these images. Do this at least two more times; each time after their image comes, let it go; don’t hold onto it. Then let their image emerge one more time, and as they are in front of you in your mind’s eye, move back or have them move back until they are at a distance from you which feels good. Really look at them or the situation and begin to realize that with this distance, you can see also all that is around them; take in the space around them. Just looking, see if anything emerges from around them… another person, an object, a feeling, and let your gaze soften. Allow that image to be with you for awhile, and then let it go. Breathe deeply two to three times, and slowly open your eyes. Just be with you for a few moments without trying to figure it all out. If you have an “aha”, or something or a feeling comes up for you, write it down.
Then, just breathe. Again, if something comes up for you that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.