We laid my Grandma Joyce to rest this week.
It was a sad but beautiful day. Tears and many memories. She was a woman who lived on 20 acres in what felt like the middle of nowhere, gave birth to all her children at home, canned her veggies every year for years and made do or did without. You could learn a lot from this woman. Four children, 19 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren later she lived during a time when television didn’t exist to a time where you could carry one in your pocket. She saw many ways of living, parenting and experiencing life and was always happy to share her perspective. We gathered after the funeral to share our stories and remember.
With that many people at a family gathering comes the many different stories and perspectives of various events of ones life. Out of the woodwork came opinions as fact. Some I agreed with. Some, not so much, and that is just fine.
All perspectives are valid and have worth. We each come with an individual history, even as members of the same family, that brings unique life experiences which help shape our perspective. Those different experiences create the lens through which we view life. Each is valid and one persons perspective is no more “right” than another.
If you are feeling a disagreement with something someone else is sharing, take a minute to quietly reflect on how their perspective has just as much validity as yours. It’s not always easy to do this in the moment of frustration, but with intentional practice this thought muscle will start to work automatically. A moment of tension can be transformed into a moment of understanding.
You already know what you know. Take a minute to listen to someone else. We spend much of our time in conversation not really listening to the other person, but in our heads, planning out what we will say next. We miss vital opportunities to really connect with another beautiful soul who may teach us something brilliantly unexpected. You can agree or disagree with what is being said, but the feelings of frustration, anger or disbelief can be washed away with the simple choice to try to view things through a broader pair of glasses. You are no longer controlled by your feelings, simply informed by them.
The next time you find yourself triggered and tense because of the words of someone else:
1. Pause and take a slow, deep breath. Intentional breathing slows down your heart rate and relieves stress making it easier to see other possibilities.
2. Consider all of the history that shaped the shared perspective. In the moment, it takes practice. If you are still bothered and stewing about a comment hours later, take time to sit down and ask yourself “why?” Then take 10-20 minutes to write down all the other possible perspectives you can imagine. This act alone will calm you down, help you get clear on what you are really feeling and open your heart to the validity of another perspective.
3. Choose to acknowledge what you are feeling, what the other person may be feeling and that both perspectives have validity. Your feelings are there to teach you something. Embrace them and allow yourself to learn from them.
Being open to another perspective allows you to connect on a deeper level with people. And honestly, are we not all craving more connection?
Thanks for stopping by Radiate Vitality. I’d love to connect with YOU! Visit http://www.radiatevitality.com to find out more about my Integrative Coaching program starting in October and to sign up for a free 1 hour consultation. It could be the first step in transforming how you experience life!
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