I was reviewing the month of February in my journal and my main focus was about connecting with my clan. My clan consists of my fiancé, my family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and anyone I come in to contact with during the day. My cats are a part of my clan too. I became aware of the true meaning of empathy and what it means to truly hold out the hand of love to someone. Lets begin with the emotions.
Emotions can rule every single day of your life. The ups and downs that just seem to come out of nowhere and control all your relationships as well. Then we wonder whether we need to see a GP for our wonderful mood stabiliser drugs. Do we really need prescribed drugs to stabilise our moods? That’s the same as giving over your power to the GP and the drugs companies. You can do it yourself. Note: I have to say here that if you have any clinical diagnosis of mental illness you must continue taking your medication and discuss with your GP if you have any concerns. I am discussing here normal mood swings that we all have and does not cause distress or threaten our lives. However, it does lower the quality of our life and relationships. So what’s next and what do we do?
2) The Clan.
Your clan has their own mood swings and it’s directly related to their own personal growth. We all have a journey we are on and we all have our issues to explore. I like to call them “triggers.” Some of our triggers we don’t even know where they come from or why. Some studies believe that we have triggers from the womb and from when we were little and we didn’t have a language to describe them. Example: a baby crying could mean I’m hurting, I need a cuddle, I’m hungry, and I’m thirsty and so on. How do you communicate that without language? Well, a loving parent will try all these things to work it out to alleviate the baby’s distress. However, it’s important to remember that we are not parents to our clan unless they are our children. That is the mistake that can be made. We have this umbilical cord attached to the other person that creates conflict and co-dependence. Then we get resentful because another’s low mood has triggered our low mood and no-body wins. We are trying to parent an adult who needs to check out the signposts on their own road to growth and development. So what is this cord I’m talking about and what can you do about it?
3) The Cord
This is an exercise I practise from Susan Jeffers' “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway.” I strongly recommend this book. This exercise was truly remarkable when I tried it. You imagine that that there is a cord between you and another person. When you move around they move with you and vice versa. You take a great big pair of scissors and cut the cord. Then you see how you and the other person can move around freely while being in the same space as each other. It works so well. So how does this relate to the ups and downs of moods and conflict with other?
4) Dissolving conflict
When a member of your clan is having a low day and it is obvious that something has triggered a bad feeling in them, it is not your responsibility to drag them out of the pit against their will or to get in the pit with them uninvited. The beautiful thing is when we stand back without this big cord attached we are free to reach out and just offer love and understanding. You do not have a responsibility to make someone feel better or enable his or her mood to deepen further. It is your clan’s right to freedom to work it out for their selves. It’s their right to happiness and you have a right to happiness too. Let them work it out. The most wonderful thing is being loving and empathic with your clan.
A definition of empathy: “the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person's feelings.”
A lot of people say that they are being empathic by sharing their own similar problems and then they start to get in to their own stuff. This is not being there for someone else. Empathy is listening and feeling another’s pain without you getting in to your stuff. It’s then easier to support and truly feel compassion for others. That’s all they want unless they ask you for advice. Be honest, be open, be a good listener and just put aside yourself for a moment for someone to work it out with his or her trusted clan member what is the next step they will want to take. My clan needs me as a friend, lover, daughter, colleague and neighbour. I’m not their coach, parent or counsellor. Love is much bigger than that and it involves acceptance. Love your clan with all your heart and let them roam freely to discover themselves.
Wishing you much love and being able to roam freely with your clan through life. Be happy.