Archive for May, 2010

Relationships and the Speed Bumps in Life

May 14th, 2010 No comments

Life can be a joyful ride.  It has many ups and downs.  There seems to be a couple of universal speed bumps.  They are money and relationships.  Two important things that have huge effect on our perception of our ride through life.  In relationships, a tough concept for some is that we teach people how to treat us.  Some of you are saying, “right on, sister, I believe that!”  Some of you are saying, “that can’t possible be true!”

Let me give you an example.  We teach people how to treat us by what we are willing to accept from them.  You have probably heard the old saying, “he/she was born with a silver spoon in their mouth”.  Mine was a different upbringing.  I was born with a “guilt spoon in my mouth.”

Guilt is a very powerful manipulation tool.  It is very effective way to get what you want.  It is, also, a very under handed tool that scars both the user and the recipient.  When I learned that I am responsible for my own life, I believed it.  I didn’t bat an eye at the concept that I create all the things I wasn’t happy with in my life.  What was more difficult, for me, was taking credit for the good things.

Being raised with the idea that everything that happened bad in our household was my fault led to my feelings of inadequacy, depression, and of course that familiar feeling, guilt.  This led to my feelings of being a door mat.  That is what I was projecting and I attracted strong personalities that used guilt techniques to interact and control me.  As long as I accepted guilt, people used it.

We teach people how to treat us by what we project. When I was in my twenties, I started taking horse back riding lessons.  I had always wanted to learn to ride.  In my lessons, I always wanted to ride “Snickers”, a buckskin, who was easy to ride.  She always did what I wanted and my riding experience was fun.  My instructor always made me ride Casper.  He was a white horse with mind of his own.  When I had a lesson riding him, I had to work. I came to realize that when I projected confidence and made him do what I wanted, my riding lesson became more fun and I learned more.  I grew to enjoy the challenge he presented.  I realized that life and relationships, we attract the situations and the people that put us out of our comfort zone to learn from it.

When a relationship is a challenge for me, I ask myself, what am I projecting?  What am I accepting from that person that is making the relationship less fulfilling? Why am I attracting that? What do I need to learn from this particular relationships.  The biggest question I ask myself, is this relationship worth working through the challenges?

As I have grown older and wiser, I have grown more comfortable with what I will accept and what I project.  My relationships with others is much more fulfilling, with less drama.  I feel peace regarding how I teach others to treat me.

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Is Prejudice Effecting Your Wallet?

May 13th, 2010 2 comments

In our world today a lot of press is given to prejudice.  What is prejudice?  There are many definitions of the word.  I would like to refer to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition:   “preconceived judgment or opinion (2)  : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge” Even though it receives quite a bit of attention it is not a new phenomena.  It has been around since the dawn of time.  Did it start by helping our prehistoric ancestors survive in a hostile world?  Since I am not an anthropologist, I won’t be able to give you that answer.

Prejudice can effect every area of our lives.  It is a learned response.  We pick up quite a few of these from our parents and our family units.  Unless we question these learned conditioning’s in our lives we will be destined to continue them and pass them to the next generation.

Here’s an example of this learned prejudice.  When I met my husband I was amused by the fact that he had two foods he absolutely hated!  One was raisins and the other, Lima beans.  How could anyone not like raisins?  They’re sweet and chewy and make a great snack.  I thought all children were raised with a box of Sun Maid raisins clutched in their hands.  And, how could a Lima bean make him gag?  I am not a huge fan of that particular bean, but I have never lost my lunch over a plump light green bean!  When I met his family I found out that this profound dislike was shared by all his siblings, his mother and his grandmother.

When discussing food preferences it can be a humorous thing.  But, when that same learned response happens with race, religion, sex and any other thing that stops us from expanding our personal interactions with others it becomes less humorous and downright detrimental to our lives.

Here’s an illustration of this in the work place.  Let’s say that Fred has a realty company and he is looking for sharp individuals for his sales force.  But, Fred doesn’t like people with blond hair.  A young man walks into Fred’s office and sits down to interview for the job.  He is young, ambitious and has all the right answers to Fred’s question.  But, because of Fred’s prejudice to blond hair, this young man’s application automatically hits the rejected pile.  Why does that matter?  There are plenty of applicants waiting in line to be interviewed.  It matters if the man was a young Donald Trump.  By not considering Donald because of his blond hair, Fred has cost his company millions of dollars and changed his family’s financial legacy forever.

As we look at our lives, is there room for prejudice?  How would the world be different if we could eliminate harmful prejudices from our lives?  Is it possible?