16 June 2008

We are all Teachers

Monday 8:27pmn 16June08

"I love you and I do what I feel is intelligent and kind and it may not match your request, but as a loving human being those are going to be my standards. I'm not going to sell my soul out, my life out, my self love and respect out to please another human being. That makes me a terrible teacher. We're all teachers and we teach through the way that we live. There's no teaching more powerful than that. If I live a lie, I teach a lie. I teach it to others and I teach it to myself. " Byron Katie

I decided to listen to another podcast while I was eating my dinner and taking a break from writing. I chose to listen to an episode of Conversations with Masters who is hosted by Life Coach, Mary Allen. Holy Cow! I think I found something to replace television once and for all! Of course that's because I decided to listen to Byron Katie first.

I've mentioned her once before in a previous post and everytime I read something about her work or listen to her doing her work, my brain clicks right into it and I have these great AHA moments! On the podcast episode which was from 2007 she talks to a woman who is having disagreements with her mother, as daughters will do, and Byron Katie discusses stuff about love. The above quote is part of the discussion.

How many times have we been convinced to do something we don't want to do, in the name of loving someone? How many times have we spoken up and said, "I don't want to do this," and the person understands or doesn't understand and we've chosen what we wanted, not what they wanted? I've done it but only after years of doing what the other person wants. I admit to it, I've been a people pleaser when it comes to people I love. But all I did was teach them how to disregard what I wanted (because if you guilt trip me enough, I'll give in) and push until they got what they wanted. Wow! Did I really type that? It's what fed into my depression so I might as well be honest about it and stare it down. It was the depression that ultimately made me less of a people pleaser with friends, family and ultimately the men that have come into my life and are continuing to come into my life.

Of course I've mentioned it here about a zillion times but spending Christmas on my own was a big challenge of not hurting anyone's feelings but ultimately it became about me being happy. It is a big example for me because it was such a hard road of accepting invitations out of gratitude and loving my friends and yet never being happy on the day. And more recently my best-friend in Montreal mentioned that I'd need to spend another Christmas with he and his family and when I'd explained that I love spending it on my own he said, "But you can't spend EVERY Christmas alone!" Yes! I can! Until I don't want to anymore.

Byron Katie gives this great example about her new husband telling her several years ago that, despite her having three grown kids and grandkids, he had never been around kids and he wasn't particularly interested in going to family reunions. She said she loved him for being honest, loving and kind. He didn't tell her that she couldn't go, he told her that he wasn't interested in going. So she planned reunions without her husband. She enjoyed the time she had to focus more on her children. She didn't focus on her husband who wasn't interested in being there for that event. It was fabulous if he went or fabulous if he didn't go. A few years later he decided that he was ready and told her, "I'd like to go to the family reunion."

Could you imagine? She describes him as, "an honest human being who knows what he wants and has a willingness to change it, but in his own time."

It's like having best girlfriends who meet the big significant other and then insist that the only time you get to spend with them is with the significant other in tow. You don't always want to do that even if you like the guy. But that kind of honesty can often alter a friendship forever but it could be because so many of us have the attitude that love means, "if you love me, you'll do what I want." That's not love.

I can do what you want for a long time, sometimes years, but eventually I will leave you and so abruptly that you can't figure out where the heck that came from. What happened? Where did she go? Where did I go indeed...

I've been trying my darndest to keep myself being myself as I get to know this man that I find attractive. As I may have mentioned before I often turn interests into plain friendships but if the truth be known with this one, I saw him first and continue to see him as a very attractive man. Friendship, Schmenship! Wow! I typed that too! I've become the giddy girl with giddy girl breathless excitement when he comes around. I repeat friendship, schmenship...

I'm happy to say that despite the giddy girl behaviour that I have been myself. I've used swear words in my discussions. I've said my wacky ideas that come to my head. I've complained about things. I've been honest about aspects of my situation/ environment... And attractive giddy girl inducing man will either like me or not and that's fabulous. Because if he decides he's not interested he won't be interested in me, not some girl that I thought he would be attracted to.

And when I see him again each day, as I do, I will keep more of Byron Katie's words in my head:
"We meet someone and then we turn into the person we think they want us to be. We say what we think they want to hear. We do what we think they want us to do. We become puppets, a facade. We become who we think they want us to be and we haven't even included them in it. We haven't asked them is this what you want. We just assume. Eventually when they do care for us or love us, or tell us that they love us, we don't believe them because they love someone that doesn't exist and we know that. Winning someone's love cannot be done. I cannot manipulate you into loving me."


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