You Have to Open Your Own Egg

THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THIS BLOG IN OCTOBER 2014. DUE TO A SERVER FAILURE, IT WAS LOST. IT IS REPOSTED HERE.

Larus fuscus - newly hatched chicks on Flat Holm

Are you dreading a family get-together because there will be someone with whom you don’t get along — to put it mildly? But do you hope that you can get that person to change by well-placed comments and suggestions?

I wish you well, but the truth is that you can’t change anyone, only yourself. In Healing Relationships is an Inside Job I put it this way:

Many children raised on a farm have tried to help a chicken hatch and have learned a valuable lesson in the process. You can’t. A chick has to hatch itself!

Continue reading

What Do You Worry Most About?

THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THIS BLOG IN OCTOBER 2014. DUE TO A SERVER FAILURE, IT WAS LOST. IT IS REPOSTED HERE.

Expand relationships by asking questions about managing emotions

Note: If you are new to this feature of the Support4Change Blog, here are some suggestions for exploring questions for yourself and also for your family and friends.

◊  • ◊  • ◊

Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.

Swedish Proverb

◊  • ◊  • ◊

One of ten “symptoms of inner peace,” which include frequent acts of smiling and a tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experience, is: “an inability to worry (this is a very serious symptom!).”

Source Unknown

Continue reading

Trains Offer a New Perspective in Relationships

Ladder leading to pictureThis post is part of the “Step Into Pictures” series that offers you a new way to explore both difficult relationships and those you treasure. Visit the Step Into Pictures Archive to learn more about it.

 

17 - 7246 - Union Station - sharpen -  medium - pencil 1 - reg. para - medium

The Los Angeles Union Train Station

Click on picture to see enlarged view

In a previous post of the Step-into-Pictures series suggested you take someone with you on a ride on a steamer in New Zealand. This time I suggest a different kind of travel.

Imagine that several years ago your cousin was going to take the Coast Starlight train from Los Angeles to Seattle and had a couple hours to kill. Since he always carried a sketch book wherever he went, he was entranced by this original ticket concourse with more than twenty ticket counters and a 62-foot high ceiling.

Although it is now closed to the public — in this picture one person is standing in the far back of the room, giving you a sense of proportion — you can imagine what it must have been like seventy-five years ago when passenger trains played a larger role in our lives than they do now.

Yet there is still something nostalgic about a train station. Perhaps it is that, as Dana Frank wrote, “Trains tap into some deep American collective memory.” Or as Elisha Cooper wrote in Train, “The train is a small world moving through a larger world.”

Knowing that you were a train buff, your cousin framed his sketch and gave it to you. Now it hangs on your wall, where you may wonder what would happen if you were able to actually enter the Union Train Station.

Now imagine that standing at your side inside the train station is someone with whom you are having problems. What might happen if you turned to that person and began to talk about the difficulties you two have? Might the atmosphere of this place help you think of a different way to approach your relationship in the world outside the picture?

Instead of that person, perhaps you would like to invite a good friend or relative to enter the picture with you. What would you talk about? Would you plan a trip?

How Do You Compare Your Life With Others?

THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THIS BLOG IN OCTOBER 2014. DUE TO A SERVER FAILURE, IT WAS LOST. IT IS REPOSTED HERE.

Build relationships by sharing stories of motivation and inspiration

When I was going through some old emails recently, I found two that made me think — again —of how blessed I am.

Of course, every day I know that I am extremely blessed. Not only do I live in a community where I don’t have to make dinner, but I get to make new friends every day. I sit here in an office that is air conditioned. My needs are well taken care of and I am most grateful to live in a country where I can speak my piece without fear.

Since I received these emails over ten years ago, the statistics to which they refer are at least ten years out of date. I imagine some references to the gap between you and others are less and some are more. But the idea that we often take our lives for granted is still quite clear.
Continue reading

I Am Not Charlie Hebdo, Are You?

A recent tragedy provokes different reactions.

Millions of words and thousands of cartoons will comment on the attack on the French satirical newspaper. From my perspective, some of the best (so far) were penned by David Brooks of the New York Times who wrote an op-ed piece called “I Am Not Charlie Hebdo.”

Like him, I would not have drawn the offensive cartoons — although I defend the right of the magazine to publish them without being killed. I hope you, too, would not engage in the sort of deliberately offensive humor that the newspaper specializes in.

Nevertheless, This Event Can Become a Teachable Moment

Let’s look at two perspectives. First, that of David Brooks:
Continue reading