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The world is shrinking! We are becoming more global in many ways including in our relationships. Due to technology and cheaper travel, it is more common to have global relationships—these are exciting times.
Other cultures can approach relationships very differently, and there can be specific norms in the way things are dealt with emotionally. Developing an understanding of other cultures way of approaching things can be helpful in preventing us from taking any differences personally.
Seeing and understanding are the way to love and compassion ~ Buddha
This approach is not to stereotype or to make generalizations, as people are unique in their ways. However, it can be helpful to understand for example that, some cultures are more withdrawn and introverted than others, while others are more outgoing and extroverted.
Some cultures tend to repress their feelings, while for others, quick outbursts and fiery expressions of emotions are seen as normal. How feelings are expressed is due to their conditioning that creates emotional patterns that are passed down from generation to generation.
Understanding this helps us to depersonalize situations, as opposed to thinking the way others deal with their emotions is a reflection of us. Knowing that an emotional outburst is “just Jim,” for example, rather than thinking “Jim doesn’t like me; I must not be good enough,” creates a lot less, if any, stress for us. This is because we have not taken on that emotion. This helps us to remain happy, calm and centred in the moment, rather than letting others determine our emotional state.
If others, regardless of their culture, have crossed a significant boundary with us, it’s helpful to give them our feedback. This gives them the opportunity to grow and evolve emotionally. Ideally, this is best done when we are non-reactive. If we are having a reaction, it’s best to delay our response until we have processed our emotions.
Focus on how their behaviour has made you feel and not on what the behaviour is. When giving feedback avoid using the word you to avoid the other person becoming defensive and unable to hear what you have to say and focus saying I feel (emotion) when (what happens).
The other person may not be open to your feedback and if so that is their choice. Alternatively, you may just want to let it go when you have processed your reaction. Your intuition will be the best guide for this.
The place of compassion
As we live in a more expanded, authentic and open way, it automatically allows us to connect with others more easily.
It is important to note that compassion is different from sympathy. Sympathy indicates we feel sorry for another and can have an air of superiority. Compassion comes from a deep, wise, non-judgmental place. It is where we are loving, empathetic and kind to another regardless of their hurt or conditioning. We remain in our very open heart space.
The only sin is ignorance ~ Buddha
We all do the best we can with the skills we have at the time. If we are in pain or suffering, it can be helpful to tap into wisdom that resonates with us. Wisdom can be found externally from books or others wise words (just ensure it resonates with your soul) or looking within to find the answers.
When we know what the best loving choice for ourselves is, we are living in an enlightened way. David Hawkins, in his book Power vs. Force, states that enlightenment or conscious loving is not even that hard. He says it’s possible to learn the skills to get there—and this can be done by anyone with the desire to do so.
Enlightenment is said to be relatively rare not so much because of the difficulty of following the necessary steps thereto, but because it is a condition of interest to very few, particularly in modern society. If we were to stop one thousand people in the street and ask them, “What is your greatest ambition in life?” how many would say, “To be enlightened.” ~ David Hawkins
To discover more about relationships see Love Now eCourse