Guilt and Grace, The Tango of Relationships
We tend to be gracious, ordered and successful in the areas of life we value most. And we are vulnerable to feeling guilt, resentment, comparisons or sadness when others are gracious, ordered and successful in different areas.
We can feel inadequate, or superior next to someone who is doing better/worse than us, forgetting that better or worse is only better or worse according to what we value.
A couple I met recently differed greatly in what they valued. … I asked them when they each felt most at peace. … She said ‘when every thing around was in order, in its place’, and he said ‘when all relationships with close people were in a good place’. She was dismissive of his need to connect with loved ones, he was frustrated and a little overwhelmed and inadequate around her need for order. In the end, all of these qualities form the rich fabric of who they are.
It’s not that we can’t value more than one thing, but we can’t value and focus on everything. We choose. And sometimes our choices mean others feel envious or judgmental, because they have chosen different values. Sometimes we feel inadequate or superior because others have focused on different values and paths through life. But, we can’t do all of it. We can’t just keep adding.
No one can both relax on the couch in front of the television 24/7 and be super fit. No one can focus on their children, be at all their events, do weekly carpool, sew, shop, cook, and be a loving partner as well as be a CFO of a large corporation working 60 hours a week.
There is nothing missing in any of us. We make choices … sometimes born of others expectations and not our own. But, just as Michelangelo ‘saw the angel in the marble and carved until he set him free’, so too, we too can see our real gifts and what we truly value, and set our hearts free.
In the Mindful Relationships course course we explore how we become mindful and accepting of who we really are, and who others really are. How we judge our selves and others less, and value more. React less, and respond more. Focus on what matters most to us, and to those around us.
When we know what really matters to us, and what our real strengths are, we feel accepting inspired, and enthusiastic. There is no need for external motivation, we simply keep moving toward what matters.
We feel gratitude for all the seeming annoyances, habits, preferences, failures, mistakes and missed steps along the way. We start to feel gratitude for all of our differences, all of the gifts we each bring to the fabric of our interconnected lives.
Through all the momentary ups and downs, gratitude leads to us to feeling endlessly inspired with our selves and others. And that is a life of grace.
Liana Taylor ©