Freedom… related to relationships? How could that be? Bare with me here…
It took me an experience that shook my world upside-the-fuck-down to realize how much my relationships mattered to me. Before then, I took them all for granted.
I said and did what I wanted, with little consideration to how they were impacting the people around me.
…and I took zero responsibility for my bulls***.
The guilt ate away at me and my self-esteem suffered.
My reflection in the mirror wasn’t so happy. And as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t force that reflection to be happy. I, myself, had to be happy first.
And guess what?
My reflection wasn’t only in the mirror. It was also found in the dynamic of my relationship with everyone around me.
This is why I’ve come to realize that my relationships are my greatest teacher.
One of the best lessons that I’ve learned from my relationship with others is that they can help me find my freedom.
Let’s dive into how…
Our perceptions towards other people matter
How can we change our perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors towards other people.
Even better question: why bother?
What’s value does that have to offer?
Well, A LOT.
Perceiving others in the proper way is important, not only for our relationships with other people, but also for our relationship with ourselves.
When we have a negative frame of mind towards other people, we subconsciously block our own success.
The energy that you give, is the energy that you get back.
We are all one. And your perception of others is a direct reflection of your perception to different aspects of your own self.
Let me give you a very, very basic example.
Suppose you’re at a party where there’s tons of people. Everyone’s too busy waiting for the food to come out, so the dance floor is empty. Suddenly, you see someone walking on the dance floor that simply needed to get to the other side.. And they slip. And fall.
In the middle of the damn floor.
What is your frame of mind towards them? Are you secretly laughing to yourself? Are you telling yourself just how embarrassed that person must be feeling? Do you not feel the need to get up there and help them? What is your frame of mind? What are you choosing to pay attention to?
If I could summarize this experience in a few words, I’d say perception is being placed
Do you wonder if they are okay? Do you tell yourself, “oh, it’s okay! We’re all human!” If you’re near and are the immediate person around, do you go to them to help them up, encourage them to brush it off, and ease their potential embarrassment?
Here, our pereption is being placed
Now, suppose YOU were that person that needed to get to the other side. And you slipped. And fell.
Chances are, if your reaction was like the first, you’d feel extremely embarrassed. Awkward. Self conscious. Regretful. Your adrenaline pumping and your ego hurt.
If your reaction was like the second, you would have probably brushed it off and kept it stepping; maybe feel a bit embarrassed, but nothing you won’t laugh at yourself, aha.
In this scenario, your self-esteem isn’t tied to thoughts of humiliation from others.
Instead, you understand that shit happens, and that’s okay.
Do you see how your perception of others affects your perception of yourself?
Now, applying this understanding, we can chose to liberate others from a distorted perception. We can give them the freedom to be who they are, in a loving way. By doing so, we will be doing the same for ourselves.
1. Apply the Golden Rule
Or, as the old adage goes, treat others as you would want to be treated. It’s such a profound truth that every religion has adopted it as part of their truth.
Answer me this… do you think this would be stated across all religions if it had no consequences?
The consequence is Karma. What you do to others, you are doing to yourself.
With that said, allow anyone to do as they please.
Give them permission to write their own narratives, and feel free to hand them the damn pen.
Because I’m sure you plan on doing the same thing for yourself, right?
By liberating them, you am liberating yourself.
2. Your journey is only about you
Please DON’T hit me with:
- “People are haters”
- “People are negative”
- “People don’t want to see me succeed”
- “People don’t want me doing better than them”
WHO THE FUCK CARES? Honestly.
Change those narratives.
Your story was never about other people, it isn’t about other people now, and it will never be about other people.
Don’t block your success by making your story about other people.
Remember: where attention goes, energy flows.
Without even realizing why, you may end up feeling like you need to prove yourself to others.
Or, you’ll pin excuses onto other people for why you didn’t do something you know you should have been doing.
You are not a victim. You are powerful. You call the shots in your life, and no one else.
By making your journey about other people, you’d be the only one to blame for your failings, not them.
3. Lower your expectations to none
Releasing any and all expectations from others is how I stay sane.
No one is obligated to do anything for you or to you.
I could already hear the “yeah, because people will let you down!” narrative. But it isn’t about people letting anyone down.
It’s about people having their free will, and their right to do anything they please.
Now, the way they could do (or not do) something could be perceived as grimy, but that’s usually a reflection of their own weaknesses.. and we all have those.
For example, if you need a favor from someone, and they say yes (and deep down it’s because they don’t have the balls to say no)… so, instead they hit me up later with the dumbest excuse ever. Were they wrong?
I guess you could say they were “wrong” because they could have just said no in the first place. But, who did they wrong? Not you.
We ain’t here to judge. And we ain’t here to hold anyone to a standard of “right” nor “wrong.”
That’s not our job.
We’re all humans. You be responsible for you, and let them be responsible for them. Let’s keep it pushin’.
4. Learn how to put yourself in other people’s shoes
Most of us respond to our own perception of reality, vs. the actual reality.
In our minds we can get so bogged down with our version of reality, that we limit our own perception.
If you ask me – this is the opposite of freedom.
Freedom aims for more options. More possibilities. And there ain’t nothing free about self-imposed limitations.
By viewing things from other people’s perspectives, it gives you more options. More information. More angles to look at the same situation from.
We may come to realize that we weren’t seeing the situation for what it really was.
Here’s a personal example:
During my 6-8 months pregnancy, I was a part-time tax preparer. It was a base pay + commission role; so, the more people served meant the more money in my pocket.
Everyone who sat at the front right-hand corner desk, received more customers since they were the first to greet them at the door.
Well, on this day, I had the opportunity to sit at that desk. I was feeling hella good and taking on a whole bunch of customers.
My co-worker walked in the office for her shift and I had gotten up for all of two seconds before she came and grabbed my desk.
I didn’t even know people get down like that here, like dayummm.
But, I wasn’t going to argue with her for it, she had a very aggressive personality and I didn’t want to go down that road.
So, I sat in the back office. Filing. Paperwork.
There ain’t no commission off of filing paperwork, y’all.
I sat there resentful. I had the perfect desk, taking on many customers, making my money, and here comes this woman… just barely arrived and she took my desk. I mean, I was pregnant for crying out loud.
But I knew I had to stop, give myself the pep talk, and get my mind right. I had to remind myself where my source of money even came from – ain’t nobody out there that could take anything away from me. What’s mine is mine. Period.
I even gave her the benefit of the doubt. I thought about what I did like about her – she was hustling for her money, and I had to respect that. I didn’t know how her current circumstances were, maybe she really needed the money. Perhaps she was just taught to hustle at the expense of her relationships. Maybe she literally doesn’t know any better.
Whatever it was, I let it go.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I walk into the office with balloons everywhere, a cake, and a group of co-workers that had thrown me a surprise baby shower. And guess who threw it? HER!
The amount of gratitude that I felt was immense, and more than just that, I had received confirmation that she’s not a terrible person, after all.
See, because I was willing to see things from her perspective, I didn’t hold anything against her. I showed her nothing but love and respect. This was an informed and empowered decision.
Had I gave her a piece of my mind in that moment, she probably wouldn’t have thrown me that surprise baby shower. I probably would have held onto my resentment. And I would have missed out on the beautiful opportunity to see that side of her.
How informed and empowered do you think your choices will be once you can see things from yours, his, hers, theirs, and the objective perspective?
[EXTRA] Free yourself by asking yourself this ONE question
How can I be of service?
If you are on the road to providing service, you can’t be a vibrational match to ego, guilt, shame… or anything that distorts your self-esteem.
How can I be of service?
By thinking about ways to be of service, BY DEFINITION, you are laying down all beliefs about yourself that say that you are not enough.
How can I be of service?
By asking yourself how you can be of service, you see the best in others; you know they are more than all the ways they have distorted their own self-esteem because what’s true for you, must also be true for them.
How can I be of service?
Your true Self conquers.
Now, that’s the definition of freedom, to me.
How can YOU be of service?