“Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump: You may be freeing him from being a camel.” ~ G.K. Chesterton
Do you have a camel who you think needs a little plastic surgery? Maybe you didn’t notice his hump when you first got him. But now you think he could use a little nip or a big tuck.
Most of us can relate to wanting our camel, or anyone in our life for that matter, to be a little different than they are on occasion. Or, even a little more than on occasion. This week’s Relationship Rescue Remedy #3 speaks to just that; wanting to remove the humps from others so their way of being doesn’t interfere with our happiness.
Last week I suggested that remedy #3 is perhaps the most challenging and most rewarding ingredient in relationship. In my experience working with couples over 25 years, I’ve witnessed that people who want to change their camel into a koala or a tiger lack a primary quality – respect.
Relationship Rescue Remedy #3
“Respect Your People”
Respect, as we typically define it, is about looking up to someone whose values and accomplishments we honor. We are taught to respect our elders, teachers and people who do the “right” thing. Status plays into this definition of respect.
While this concept has its uses for keeping society in line, when it comes to relationships, the Brilliant Heart Power of Respect is what creates stability and intimacy that deepens relationship.
Consider this subtle truth about the Brilliant Power of Respect:
RESPECT is a heart state, not a state of mind.
The mind has a big tendency toward disrespect. It views life through the right/wrong-good/bad lens, based on arbitrary beliefs. It leans toward judging others for their actions, choices and idiosyncrasies, which creates separation rather than intimacy. Our mind of disrespect offers unsolicited opinions and advise of how others should be or what they should do; based on our emotional comfort zone and our beliefs.
The disrespectful mind insists on attempting to change and control others, creating tension in relationship. Does anyone want to be told what to do or how to do it? This arrogant position doesn’t register this fact:
Everyone has a right to make their choices and take actions in their own way and timing.
Our heart offers the Brilliant Power of Respect. It presences ‘what is’ and honors people for who they are, independent of what they do or don’t do; beyond their choices and actions. Our heart is a compassionate observer that views these strange and sometimes unruly characters in our lives with curiosity rather than judgment. Our heart guides us to our own current of life and trusts others to navigate theirs in their way and time. This is respect.
If you waste a lot of time and energy attempting to navigate someone’s current, or designing a plan to remove their hump, most likely you’ve shifted from heart to head. Here are some symptoms that you’ve left your own current to practice disrespect. You:
- Give advice, which is not specifically asked for.
- Nag and tell people what to do, according to your agenda.
- Feel resentful, cold or intolerant.
- Manipulate to get what you want.
- Believe you know what is best for others.
- Demand to have it your way.
When the tension from releasing these behaviors lets go, a deep surrender happens. The heart opens to infuse relationships with love rather than control. Love is the balm that heals and empowers others to be their best selves.
We may or may not like what our partners do. We may totally disagree. However, if we choose intimacy in relationship, respecting peoples choices is a must. This keeps us focused on our life and permits them to live theirs.
While this may sound separating, the opposite is true. When two people in committed relationship are free to follow their own internal compass, they bring more of themselves into relationship. Respect brings two hearts together; side by side in a co-creative process as witnesses to one another’s life.
If your current and your partners current (values and ways of being) are too diverse, you may be fighting an uphill battle. Never ending power struggles will continue to undermine the relationship. When two people hold similar values a strong foundation of respect can be formed.
When focused on the Brilliant Power of Respect, consider this one truth:
What you do to another Heart, you do to your own Heart.
READY TO ROCK YOUR RESPECT AND OPEN YOUR HEART TO A GREATER EXPRESSION OF LOVE?