enabling January 4, 2012

How do you enable people? Do you support their growth? Do you try to hold them down? Do you want them to stay the same, and when they grow, you work hard to discredit them?  Each of us helps each other grow.  Learn to be open to the lesson. Do you bud your head in other peoples business and then take sides? There seems to be a lot of focus on budding in, making people wrong, putting people down, holding them down, and those patterns are out dated programs.

When someone is venting about something or someone, it is easy to get caught up, and take sides. The best thing to do is just listen.  The person venting just needs to feel okay with letting it out.  Its okay. When you really listen to the person venting, you can open the door to compassion for both parties, or groups of people.  Most people have never felt seen, heard, or loved.  So if they are used to controlling and now their life is out of control or they can’t control it, they in turn try to control.  Again when we take responsibility for our lives, and where we are, then we can begin to feel compassion for the other.  Instead of vomiting our emotions on others and having them deal with our stuff.

I always thought that I would be an actor, in fact for many years I was quite successful. Until the universe decided that it wanted me some place else.  After school  ended, I was a stay at home dad. Which challenged my image of being a man. All the men in my life weren’t stay at home men.  But there I was at home, cooking, taking care of our daughter, from 6 am- 7pm.  I would take her to the park, go on walks, communicate with other parents, play, and try to have my daughter sleep for at least an hour, so I could have that hour to myself.  The challenge wasn’t staying at home, it was dealing with a self imposed image and ideal of a man.  During that time many people took the low road, calling me a woman, making jokes about my masculine nature, and working very hard to drive home the ideal that I wasn’t a real man, who takes care of his family.  Caught up in the nonsense as I look back, I remember going to the park with my daughter and running into another man, we talked, he had the same story. It felt good to connect. He told me that his pop told him, “Son you are doing the most difficult work there is. If others have a problem with it, that is their problem, real men love. Love is a team effort. It takes two.  And love is difficult when others judge you, but they judge you because they don’t want to deal with themselves.”  Looking back, we were both doing what we felt was right.  Our wives were working and we were working.

Now I find myself leading bereavement support groups, counseling, speaking, helping in the process of raising our daughter as a single Dad, writing for different publications, teaching, workshops, meditations, and anything else that comes up. All the work is related to learning. Learning to grow in and give it out.  It has all been part of a process. A process filled with everything a good novel has in it. And I have learned a lot.Still learning. Although my learning now is more moment to moment, and less looking ahead. Beating myself, worrying, have vanished. Laughter has taken its place, along with the following- “Oh well.”

And like a James Joyce novel…it continues on….

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