Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coping with Unfamiliar Behavior

After writing this loving reminder I changed the title from "Handling Immature Behavior".

Some families yell and scream.
Some families threaten and demand.
Some families simply walk away.
Some families know nothing of this.

Can you imagine what it would be like to experience something totally different?
Would you know how to respond if you lived in a totally different culture?
Could you adapt or keep your center or stay at peace with a different way?
We become accustomed to our original upbringing and believe it is THE way?

Children from infancy hear a certain tone of voice.
They learn to respond and mimic what they hear and see and feel.
Children who live in several homes must find a way to adapt to each uniquely.
Adults too must learn to adapt to work cultures, marriage partners and every new situation.

In my family of origin, there was no yelling, screaming, threatening or swearing.
How I grew up was with respect for myself and all others, with not overt anger and no fear.
The way I was parented encourage full expression with respect for each persons’ feelings.
I understood that there was no hierarchy of  greater or lesser, all were equally important.

As a practicing therapist, it took me many years to come to know this was unusual.
As a therapist, I would need to adapt to the style of expression of each individual.
As a counselor and coach, I needed to become listener first, then educator to help find a better way.
However, I learned when people don’t know or want a better way, it is best to be silent.

To be respectful of others familiar adaptive behaviors, customs and cultures, is to honor their ways.
To be understanding of others, I must first come to peace and release all judgments and fears.
To be accepting of others is to truly love them as they are and respect their right to learn as they do.
If love is trust and freedom, I must love by trusting their process and allowing others to find their way.

How I learn is by being flexible and open-minded as I listen both outside to the words and tone and inside to the underlying feelings.  Usually the surface issues reflect just a symptom of the underlying unhealed stuff.  The pain wakes us up to unhealed experiences and feelings from our past (usually early childhood).
So I must listen deeply in order to respond in a neutral way that is non-threatening and opens the door to deeper healing.

Life is a healing, growthful and creative experience at its best.
Life can be a hurtful, destructive and limiting experience at its worst.
Let us learn to facilitate our own healing and growth to create safe places for others to heal and grow.
Let each one of us commit to give our best to ourselves and then offer others a safe place to be.

Loving you, loving me, loving you,
Betty Lue

¤      I love you      ¤
and I know you love me too.

The freedom for you and I to be who we are.
The freedom to live life as we do.
The freedom to make mistakes and learn from them.
The freedom to express our own truth as we see it.

The trust that there is a constant flow of love,
no matter what.
The trust that, in spite of life’s problems,
we believe in and support each other’s right
to live as we choose.
The trust that in adversity,
there is healing and learning and gifts of love.
The trust that under conflict and emotional expression,
there is love

I love you and I trust you.
I free you to be all you are.