When You Wish for More Maturity & Skill in Others
There are particular situations where you expect people to show up with a certain amount of maturity and skill. And when they don't, you find yourself unable to gracefully let go of your expectation. You feel angry thinking of all the the things you need to tell them so that they wake up and own their stuff! Or you feel resentful, thinking, "I shouldn't have to say anything. This person should just know. This person should be practicing what they preach!" Round and round in your mind you go with analyses and big speeches in which you finally tell this person what they need to hear! You imagine yourself finally speaking the "truth" regarding all your opinions and evaluations, afterall you are right and anyone would agree with you.
Somewhere in the back of your mind, your conscience is whispering, "What about the skills you have and could bring to this situation?" A less reactive part of you knows that giving people angry speeches about how they need to grow up and be responsible doesn't work. Speeches like this may set a boundary in the moment, but almost never lead to lasting behavior change much less an improved relationship. And, as long as your mind is spinning with angry and resentful thoughts you lack access to your own wisdom and skills which could help the situation and benefit the relationship.
You need empathy. Often you need empathy from someone outside the situation. This means someone who can keep the focus on your feelings and needs rather than collude with you about what should or shouldn't be happening. When you have taken time to bring all your reactive thinking to the light of empathy and allowed yourself to experience the underlying feelings and needs, acceptance and grief will arise by itself. Having moved through the storm of your own shock and disappointment you will be able connect with your own strength and groundedness. From this place of accepting things as they are, you can take time for wise discernment about how you would like to interact with the situation. Perhaps you will express needs and requests in a vulnerable way asking the other person to meet you, offer empathy to the other person, or perhaps you will direct your energy and focus elsewhere.
Deciding from a place of compassion and wisdom you may still feel grief, but you have a sense of your own power in the situation. You are reconnected with your choice about how to be in relationship with what's happening, regardless of how others show up.
The secret here is to move to empathy for yourself as quickly as possible. Thoughts of how you are right and the other person is wrong are seductive. They create a false sense of power and momentary relief from vulnerable feelings of fear, hurt, or sadness, but they don't lead to wise and compassionate action. It is for you to recognize the chains of suffering that is the reactive mind and turn towards the vulnerable journey that will bring you a true sense of peace.
PracticeSet your intention now to ask yourself what feelings and needs are up for you the very next time you notice yourself judging another or resentfully thinking about they should or shouldn't be doing. Perhaps you can anticipate a relationship in which that will happen. If so, take the time now to look through the feelings and needs list and make a note of what might come up for you in the moment.