Archive for August 28th, 2022

August 28, 2022

Research your family

by Rod Smith

There are a number of ways to improve your family relationships. But, before you know what needs improving I’d suggest you do your research. 

At least for a few weeks watch for family patterns. You may think you know all about all the patterns but I would suggest you probably do not. Watch who is lazy (under-performs, is apparently helpless) when it comes to relationships and who works too hard (over-performs). You may also notice that such people tend to find each other and can dance this way for years. Notice where and how you over and under-perform. There is no need to comment. Watch, learn, and think.

Assess how you can more pointedly show up for yourself, self advocate, shape your own behavior within all your many contexts (home, work, social settings). I am not promoting selfishness but self-awareness. So, watch yourself. Become an expert in your behavior. Abdicate the role of being the expert in the behavior of all other family members and friends. Don’t do this dangerous work for them.

While researching, think about how you will know if things are improving so you will be able to identify successes. Focus on your thinking rather than feelings. You will think and behave yourself into new ways of feeling, not the reverse.

August 28, 2022

How you respond!

by Rod Smith

“It’s not what happens to you but how you respond to what happens to you that really makes the difference,” has become somewhat of a cliche.  

The axiom holds some truth. 

Like all bumper stickers and one-liners it doesn’t quite capture the whole truth or the complexity of the human experience. 

To the suffering it can be heard as judgment, as condemnation.

Some things that happen to people are so devastating, so vile, so out of left field, so horrible and unpredictable, that they need considerable space to grieve, to reorient themselves, to find their feet, let alone get back on their feet. 

People hit with heartbreak or significant loss or an act of violence need time, lots of it, to figure out who they are in their new reality and they may indeed not have the energy or the strength to know how to respond to what has happened to them. 

In the wake of devastating events people yearn for shoulders to cry on, arms to hug them, ears to hear them for as long as they deem necessary. How we respond to what happens to us may make all the difference in the world but the response itself may take years.