You may have a daily mantra for abundance, love, luck or success. You may even practice affirmations such as I am loved and wholly supported on a daily basis. If you really want to turn your world and the world of others inside out and upside down, try this one on for size – It’s not about me.
When you are caring for an aging parent or any aging person, for that matter, it is important to remember not to take things personally. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with siblings, the medical community, and an elder’s family members.
What Does “It’s not about me” Mean?
In the world of humanity, we go through our days absorbing knowledge and information. Steady streams that come at us in many ways and from several directions. There is the media – both standard and social – our relationships such as family and friends, job responsibilities and significant others, as well.
How we are being while all this input comes at us at lightning speed is more important than what we absorb from it.
When you step inside the context of, “It’s not about me,” you step outside the realm of ego self.
Detach from Being Derailed
In order not to be derailed by all the information of others coming at us in the course of a day, it is important to sometimes detach. Detaching does not mean that you have no feelings nor care about the feelings of others. It simply means not to latch any attachment onto all of the information coming your way. It also means to remove yourself from any particular attachment to outcome.
In order to grow, it is important to take note of some things and to take heart for others. For example, if someone makes a comment about your tardiness, instead of being defensive, this is a great place to see where you can expand your integrity. However, if someone is bitter or negative toward you, take a moment to detach. Does this individual have a particularly negative attitude in general, is he/she having a bad day, rough time right now in life?
Before you react, take a moment to take action.
Ask yourself pertinent questions.
Is there a golden nugget of truth in his/her statement or reflection that I can use to expand and grow right now?
- Is he/she exuding something about his/her own stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with me?
- How can I keep their stuff on their side of the fence without taking it personally? Send them love, create a new way of being – that of being empathetic toward them.
Ask Them a Question or Two
Are you okay? How are things for you?
- I feel some tension – are we okay?
- Do you need support?
Encourage Dialogue No Matter How Painful
Is there something you need to express?
- Be a good listener. One of the most important parts of communicating is listening. Listen with all your heart and don’t take on being defensive right out of the gate.
- Wait for them to fully express themselves before responding. Watch the look in their eyes, their mannerisms and the inflection of their voices. Give them the gift of being heard and seen.
Shut down the defense mechanism.
- Thank them for expressing themselves so freely
- Express how you feel – For example, I feel surprised, I didn’t know this was between us.
- I am sorry that we fought over this.
- Seek solutions that work together for the good of the whole. What can we do together to make it work for both of us?
- Own your own stuff – see where each of you can take responsibility
Recognize the Truth at All Times
On many occasions, when there is a conflict, there is also a past pain or hurt – also referred to as a trigger. Recognize that how someone is treating you, may in fact be how they were treated as a child. It may come from a past hurt or pain of their own. Don’t take it personally, really.
This does not mean to allow others to treat you in a way that does not work for you; set your healthy boundaries, but remove your “self” from the equation. If you dig a little deeper with this individual, you may discover more than what meets the eye.
The Rights, Wrongs, and Perception
“It’s not about me,” also means that you give up the idea that your way is the only way. Give up the notion of right and wrong and understand that each individual has his/her perception of that notion. At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of perception.
Playing the Game: The Real Meaning of Winning
Living the daily mantra out loud of “It’s not about me,” allows you to choose your perception, as well. There is no losing and there is no winning. It’s all about how you are being while you play the game – that’s the real meaning of winning. You get to win, but so do all the other players of the game. Not’s that what I call a “win/win” situation.
During your caregiving journey, have you ever been faced with a situation where you easily fell prey to taking something to heart? Won’t you be generous and share? You are a contribution.