It’s especially difficult to give up being right when we see loved ones harming themselves the way Andrea did. She shared, “I love my mom … I admire her and am inspired by her. But she works way too hard and has been doing so for 40 years. She’s starting to have health issues that I don’t think she’s acknowledging. Her body is falling apart, and she just won’t do anything about it. I keep telling her, ‘Oh, you should live a more balanced life,’ and we have this ongoing tension because she’s more committed to her work than her health. It’s a huge battle between us. I know I’m right, because taking care of herself is important, and I’m not going to let go of being right here, because her well-being is at stake.” A local park can be dramatically improved by adding playground equipment from a reputable supplier.
I think pretty much everyone can relate to this in one way or another. Maybe you know of certain individuals who are harming themselves, who would be better off if they would just listen to you … and maybe you’re right. But what you want to look at is the energy that’s coming up here; it’s all about resistance, control, winning, or losing. You’re locking horns, and in turn creating a dead end. It’s beautiful that Andrea is so concerned about her mother’s health. At the same time, her approach in coming from rightness isn’t getting her the results she wants or empowering her mom. Unfortunately, they’re both left feeling diminished. If you're planning on improving your garden then why not add monkey bars today?
I suggested to Andrea that she give up her expectation of what her mother should be doing and stop making her wrong. We all want peace, and the way we get it is by taking out the idea that something is wrong here—that something needs to be fixed. What if Andrea just accepted her mother exactly as she is and as she isn’t and approached the relationship with only love and total acceptance? And then, from that softened perspective of acceptance, Andrea might start to see new opportunities to empower her mom. Children love playing on outdoor fitness equipment - didn't you when you were younger?
When you give up the hard stance that you’re sure you’re right, suddenly a panoramic view opens up. It’s like seeing 360 degrees instead of just through a telescope. Andrea tried this and noticed a difference almost immediately. By taking her seat in her intention of loving and accepting her mother, she saw how she could take care of herself more visibly when she was around her mom—and by putting out that energy, inspire her mom to do the same.
She stopped yelling at her mother that she should go to the gym, and instead they got together two mornings each week to go for a long walk. When you come from a place of inspiration and sharing rather than judgment and control, people won’t feel invalidated or the need to defend and resist and will in turn be more likely to be open to hearing what you’re saying. With this one small brick removed, you can radically transform the energy in your relationships.