Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A new thought, or an old one

Something occurred to me yesterday that may have occurred to people long before I thought of it. I think it's worth sharing though.

When we are having difficulty in a relationship with a spouse, adult child, friend, sibling, even George Bush, it might be helpful to visualize that person as a child. What does their adult action say about their childhood? What did they need that they didn't get?

Let's take George Bush for example. I have tried in many ways to have compassion for him. I used this idea on him yesterday and I saw a little boy with an overbearing mother, probably small for his age, maybe bullied. So obtaining power became his overarching goal. Maybe true, maybe not true, but this is how I thought of him, and I felt something for the small boy feeling powerless.

When we reduce each of us to the child, we cannot help but feel empathy. And if we feel empathy, we might feel compelled to address the need in the child/person by giving them stature, hugging them, complimenting them, being interested in them as opposed to belittling them more, shunning them because they annoy us, refusing to indulge their need for recognition, listening with an uninterested ear.

Okay, I admit, I felt something for the young George Bush. It's still hard to not be angry at the adult that is our President. But I've made a start. And if it works with him and me, sisters and brothers, it'll work with anybody.

6 comments:

MitMoi said...

lol at Barbara being "over bearing"!

But anything that works, I'd endorse!

confirmation letters:fhogavz = freakin' hog, Gustov

The Irregular Goddess said...

I have a similar exercise when dealing with difficult individuals. I implement the human factor, and think how the person causing me anxiety or stress is more than just someone bugging the bejesus out of me. They are somebody's mom or dad or sister or brother or husband or wife or son or daughter, etc. I think how someone out there loves them more than anything else, how they are a role model to someone special, and that they make a big difference in the lives of others. It really works!

mamie said...

Mitmoi, I wonder about Laura too. She's seemingly "underbearing" but we don't know if she cracks the whip behind the scenes!!

Goddess, I like that, idea and it can be combined with mine for more effectiveness. Reminds me of the quote Billie left here a few days ago from Greer's book: "We are each the love of someone's life."

mamie said...

p.s. the comma after idea is a typo!

mamie said...

ARRGH - I mean the comma after "that" - when oh when will I learn to read first, hit send last....

The Irregular Goddess said...

HA HA HA HA...I know what you meant!