Leaving Pride Out And Focusing On What Matters

November 27, 2011 by  
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I have just recently returned from a business trip in Brazil.  While there I reconnected with a friend I had not seen in ten years.

This friend and I had been really close and our fall out I believe had more to do with me than her.  Let me explain:  My friend is bright, funny but insecure.  I didn’t understand that and let my ego get the best of me.  All it took was for my friend to forget a couple of times I was coming to Brazil to visit to make me stop calling her.  I felt she didn’t care enough about me.  What I didn’t understand was that her behavior was for show only.

Anyway, this time I picked up the phone and called her.  We met at a coffee shop and although we had not been speaking when my husband passed away, she ignored that and immediately embarked in telling me what had been going on in her life.

Unlike times past, I didn’t get offended by her being more interested in telling about her life than mine, and sat back to get reacquainted with my friend.

She told me her husband of twenty five years had had an affair.  She then went on to describe the process that brought them back together.  Her first reaction was to reflect on the state of their relationship.  Was she happy? Was he happy?  Did she still love him? Did he still love her? After some soul searching she knew she still loved him but she also realized she had been taking him and the relationship for granted.  That’s something she could work on.  That’s something she could change she thought.  But in order to do that she had to get her ego out of the way.

My friend did not accuse her husband of betraying her.  She knew accusations and fights would only lead to more separation.  Instead she told him she knew about the affair but wanted to see if they could find a way to rediscover what had brought them together in the first place.

It was not an easy process.  She had to time and again leave her pride out of it and remind herself what her ultimate goal was; to save her marriage.

My friend succeeded and today they are sharing a second honeymoon.

I’m not condoning betrayal or affairs but I also think sometimes we fail to remember we all make mistakes.  In a relationship sometimes stepping back from the role of husband and of a wife and embracing the role of friend, is the best way to keep the connection alive and healthy.  It brings forgiveness and compassion.

I remember another friend years ago telling me she regretted having divorced her husband for the same reason; an affair.  She said if she could go back in time she would have tried to work it out instead of being indignant and demanding the end of their marriage.

Both my Brazilian friend and I have put our feelings aside for something that was more important to us.  In my case her friendship—although sometimes selfish she is interesting and does show up when needed.  In her case, her relationship with her husband.

It is important to always remember what is it that we want to accomplish in the end.  Doing that allows us to fight for what we really want and not be sidetracked by our pride which only brings regrets.

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Finding Freedom By Letting Go

September 28, 2010 by  
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Yesterday I sent an email to a friend I had not spoken to in 7 years.  We used to be very good friends but parted ways when I decided to change how I experienced my life.  By no means am I blaming her for my past life or how I used to live it.  The separation happened because as I embarked on a path of a less self-destructive life, she did not want to come along.  She still believed living in chaos was the only way to exist and so I let the relationship go.

In my email I let my friend know even though we have not spoken in many years I only have love for her.  A few hours after I sent the email a thought hit me; what if she doesn’t respond? My pride was sticking its ugly head out in fear of rejection.  Now when I first sent the email, all I had in my heart was positive feelings but when the thought of rejection hit me, for a moment I regretted sending the email and felt stupid.

The experience made me think about pride. Not the good kind, such as empowering ourselves by accepting and being proud of who we are, but the bad kind where our ego is so frail that we think we must defend ourselves with all the pride we can muster.

In Greek mythology the myth of Sisyphus tells the story of pride and its consequences.

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Get Rid Of False Pride

July 15, 2010 by  
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I have found the following definitions for pride on the web:

  • a feeling of self-respect and personal worth
  • satisfaction with your (or another’s) achievements; “he takes pride in his son’s success”
  • the trait of being spurred on by a dislike of falling below your standards

Most of us have a frail or misplaced sense of worth.  We look at our world accomplishments to base our sense of self-respect and pride on, i.e. “I have X amount of dollars in the bank”, or “I’m really important I have Y job.”  But what happens when we lose the money or the job?  Do we also lose our sense of personal worth?  If someone tells us the job we are so proud of is not that important, do we lose our self-respect? Read more

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Honesty; A Path To Freedom

April 12, 2010 by  
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We tell lies when we are afraid… afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us.  But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.  ~Tad Williams

Honesty is our greatest liberator.  I’m not so much referring to giving the right change type of honesty, although that is important, but the honesty to be who we truly are.  When we can embrace all parts of ourselves and our actions, we are free.  When we can embrace what we are proud of about ourselves and with the same enthusiasm what we are not so proud of, we are free.

As we try to hide from others the parts of ourselves we don’t appreciate, we are denying ourselves of our humanity.  As humans we are not “perfect” and changing our “imperfections” can only come from acknowledging them.

When we know who we are there is no shame.

Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.  ~Thomas Jefferson

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Video Blog 2 – The Teflon Method

March 22, 2010 by  
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