Meeting Someone Where They Are At…
(Not Where We Think They Should Be)
What does that mean? Everyone has had some experience with aspects of this and so here’s an example from my life:
My husband and I go to sleep after a pleasant, but uneventful evening. I’m an early riser, so in the morning I wake up and experience my “hour of power” where I exercise, read, meditate… do the things that I’ve found empower my day. Charged up for the day, I hear Kevin coming down the stairs for breakfast. I look up smiling to greet the “guy who went to sleep last night” and in his place is a grumpy bear (bad dream, work stress, whatever…)
If I meet him where I think he “should be”, it creates suffering for me, for him and for the relationship. I might get mad or resentful because he’s “thrown off my hour of power.” He might feel misunderstood or that expectations are being put on him. And the relationship will need to, at the very least, reset some communication. Not to mention hurt feelings and resentments.
If I meet him where he is, we have opportunity to experience openings in self and relationship. That might mean that I simply ask him what is happening that has him in a different mood from last night. My hour of power results are still intact for me, but now I am curious about what’s going on/where he’s at. He feels heard and experiences a chance to share his current truth. The relationship feels expansive.
Of course this is just an example and the opposite can be true as well – where one person in the relationship expects the other person to be in a bad mood. This can create a “should” as well that can lead to suffering. Either way (and anywhere along the spectrum) the “should be” prevents us from experiencing the now of the relationship. This relationship can be with a spouse/partner, a co-worker, your community or yourself.
Prompt: Over the next week, notice where you are meeting people where they are and where you are meeting them where they should be. (Remember to just be curious about the question and meet yourself where you are rather than where you might think you should be.)
P.S. As I considered writing this blog and what topic I would start with, it occurred to me that there is no “perfect” topic that will speak to everyone in the same way. It really comes down to me… being willing to start typing and organize my thoughts, feelings, experiences and expressions on to the page, trusting that as I let you see into me that you will meet me there and we can sit down together even for just a moment in our very busy days and experience a sense of meeting and recognizing the life in you is the life in me. I find myself deeply curious about what brings you to this newsletter.
And so as you explore and be curious about “meeting” people in your life try to remember a few of these practices:
* To be present I must be fully aware of my own interior world (self) and my exterior world (other, environment).
* In that present opening I can turn my focus to someone else and see them, meet them and acknowledge they exist.
* From that meeting place of existence we can travel together into what’s next.
This is what we want to create with these blogs, a virtual place where we meet and see ourselves and each other as we are…honoring where we have been (past), where and who we are now (present), and who we are becoming, going forward (future).