One of the most powerful and inspiring phrases I have ever heard came from a Native American shaman, and goes like this.
'In your own tepee, walk softly, and speak gently.'
We know it's the right thing to do, to treat those we love with respect, to honor them, to listen to them, and to never raise our voice in anger.but we all do, some of us more than others, but we all have those moments when life becomes so stressful that we just snap, and it is often at those times when we take it out on those we love.
I hate war! I hate everything about it, the brutality, the killing, the young men and women who are maimed and killed, doing their duty as soldiers, fighting for the freedom of others, the bystanders, many of them innocent victims of an idea or idealisms that they don't even understand. My father was a professional soldier, and I grew up with stories of war. Some of the stories were gruesome, not to be believed, and sickened me, as they did my father, still though, to him, war was often justified as the only means to end tyranny, and to bring peace.and in many cases, I believe he was right. What a pity he didn't apply his reasoning at home, what a pity that we as a family were almost always in a war zone where battles raged on a daily basis, and where bombs were dropped without thought as to where they landed, or what damage they might do. Rarely were the battles at home worth the fight, as they were mostly about some small and trivial thing like, who left a footprint on the garden, or why the kettle was not on at just the right time. My mother, always tired, had a vicious tongue, and used it often, and although there was no actual killing or maiming on a physical level, there was killing, and there was maiming on a major scale. The truth is that my father didn't have to go away to fight a war.there was a series of battles continually being fought right on his doorstep, and it was a war that never had an end, it just went on, and on, and on.
That's how it was for me as a child. That's how it was for me in my marriage, and that is how it is for me still, occasionally, at those times when I forget to walk softly, and to speak gently when I am around my own child.
Life takes over, stress and disappointments cloud our judgment, make us crazy, impatient, rude and sometimes, even cruel. And then we maim, and then we kill. There is nothing worse than a breaking heart, and when we are at war with one another, without meaning to, we maim, and hearts get broken, and sometimes never mend. There is nothing sadder than to witness a love that is dying because of indifference, neglect, cruelty and spite. Love, I once heard someone describe, is like a weed. It can sprout up in the most unexpected of places, and can survive the cruelest and harshest of environments, and is almost impossible to destroy, but if you try really, really hard, you can even kill a weed. And it's true. I have been the recipient of love from a man who just didn't know how NOT to kill my love for him. In the past, I may have also been that person who, in my insensitivity, has killed another's affection for me. Most of us have had these experiences, and we just can't seem to help ourselves sometimes. We wage our own personal wars, small as they may seem, fighting with one person or another, intolerant and judgmental, maiming and sometimes killing the love, those we love the most have for us, all in our efforts to find peace and happiness.
Just yesterday, as I was coming back from a great weekend away with friends, I passed a group of people carrying placards with words like, 'end the war...bring our soldiers home.peace, peace, peace', referring, of course to the Gulf war. I sympathized, and even agreed, to a point, that they had a point, and this is when I started to think about those smaller, but just as important wars that are waged in our lives every day. How, I wondered, can we have peace in the world, when most of us don't have peace in our lives? What does this say to our children? What kind of example are we setting for them?
The lesson this month is about acknowledging our war zones, and learning to bring peace in our own lives, when and where we can. Here are a few questions for you to work on. As you work with them, it is important to remember that people can only do to you what you allow them to do, so be careful about laying blame at someone else's door, when it comes to examining why you react the way you do.
1) Who is the person in my life I fight with the most?
2) What is my relationship with him/her?
3) What is it about them and about me that stresses me most?
4) Why do I react the way I do?
5) How can I change MY attitude and make things better?
6) How would I feel if I never saw this person again?
7) Do I really need this person in my life?
Some of us like to fight, and we keep a person in our lives because we like the drama, but most of us simply get hurt and anxious, and truly want to change things for the better.
As you do this exercise, I want you to think of other people you fight with, and ask the same questions. Some of you may discover a pattern, you may find that your approach to certain people is the same. If you are sensitive, you may find that you react too quickly to what you may perceive as a criticism, judging a persons intention too harshly. You may find you have a pattern of people pleasing, that you allow people to take advantage, then get mad at them because you let them do it.
If your answer to question seven is yes, then don't wait until it is too late to make things better. Tomorrow does not always come, there is not always another chance, and the worse thing about being in a war with someone you love is when they leave suddenly, and you are left on your own, wishing that things had been different. Make the difference now! Don't wait for someone else to change.you may wait forever. Be the grownup, change you, change your life, change your attitude.ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.and find peace in your heart, knowing you did the best you could.
In your own tepee, walk softly, and speak gently.AND BE HAPPY!!!
Talk with community members about your thoughts on this month's lesson, or write us an account of your progress. We'd love to post it in our spotlight section for everyone to read.
Good luck and be ready for next month's lesson...
For more lessons and insights check back next month and also see our "Weekly Actions," posted, every week here in Own Your Power. Try, too, Rosemary's book, "You Own the Power." for more lessons about owning your power. Get this book and other Books and tapes by Rosemary in our online store.
And again, don't forget to chat with others taking Rosemary's lessons in our Own Your Power, (lessons & insights) message board. Visit our community and compare notes, NOW.