Have you ever been taken advantage of?

d34834_8655d6493d334beeb357a4b5b9c5a2f9mv2Person B was complaining about how she gave her credit card to a very trusting friend for a gift and told the friend the amount she could spend for the gift.  When the credit card statement came, Person B found out that the friend purchased things twice the amount B had told the friend.

Person B started moaning and complaining about how people always take advantage if you are nice and kind.

I told person B that I used to think that way as well.  But I realized that people taking advantage has nothing to do with the other person. Look at what’s happening in politics.  Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price used tax payers money to fly in luxury.  Here is another list of Trump administration officials who used chartered flights.  Allegedly Steve Munchin, the Treasury Secretary, requested a government jet for his honeymoon. Tax payers’ salaries are loose change for the above mentioned officials and yet they didn’t even blink when using other’s money.

The point I was making to Person B was that there will be people who will misuse funds and resources irrespective of whether the other person is nice or not.

Changing one’s mindset:  While, growing up, we may have witnessed people taking eeb3f12cdc8cebcb2e233035daf210acadvantage of each other, at home or outside, we have to remember that it’s our thoughts that make us feel taken advantage of. So, have some integrity for yourself.

How to remedy our perception: 

  • Create inner boundaries. This could be the hardest thing because we think others are responsible for our feelings.
  • Be self-aware. Ask ourselves if we are focusing on particular people who misused our resources. How many people helped me.
  • Do not paint everyone with the same brush.
  • Observe people’s behavior before letting them use your resources.
  • Think how others have helped you or allowed you to use their resources.
  • Learn from an experience and do not repeat. One such experience is too many.
  • Do not measure people with your ethical compass.
  • Do not put people on pedestal based on their education or appearance.
  • Have integrity for yourself so that you don’t live in a cycle of revenge or self-pity.

kindnessIf we allow other people to do whatever they want with our money, resources, time, not everyone will be careful.  Some will misuse them, not because they are taking advantage of us because this is who they are, not because they are taking advantage of (only) us.

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What payback do you feed your fears?

As I dig deeper into the emotion named FEAR, I find out that there is a payback to instilling fear in ourselves. The face value of fear doesn’t indicate the payback factor in651dfbab615b3d4ced867737d9cd074b-fairy-tail-quotes-manga-quotes any way because, after all, we equate fear with our survival and forget how much fear has entrenched in our psyche.  I think being afraid is a learned behavior.   I’m talking about not the fear that has helped human race survive, rather I’m talking about every day fear, moment by moment fear, something we may or may not pay attention to unless it makes us uncomfortable.

Next time when someone is saying and doing something, then look into their eyes

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If Twain were alive I would ask him to replace Civilization with Fear.

and if there is fear then think what payback they want.  Sometimes people show us a mirror and perhaps we need to witness their fear so that we can turn inwardly and ask ourselves what’s (the) would be my payback if I were in the same situation.

Fear can gnaw our psyche if left unchecked.  To avoid the discomfort experienced due of fear, because we don’t want to look into the motive or payback of our fears, we blame others.  Awareness is the first step in moving away from something we don’t want.  The power of fear evaporates when we discover motives behind our fears.  Looking into the cause or the payback will inadvertently weaken the grip of fear.

Here are some paybacks for keeping ourselves afraid:   

Fear of Cause Payback (Motives)
Not being good daughter, son.  Later this turns into not being good sibling, friend, spouse, employee, etc. So they like me. Seeking Validation
Showing emotions to others. Self-protection Seeking Control (illusion of)
Changing oneself Staying in the comfort zone Seeking Familiarity
Losing face Shame Seeking validation

What do you feed your fears?

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Life offers us what we envision

“Do you think I can make a living as a freelance writer?” asks the woman. “Yes, of course,” says the man.

quote-on-anxiety-34-healthyplaceThey are talking about how the woman can establish herself as a writer and his advice is based on what he believes.  He is a writer and editor so he believes that everyone can make a living as a writer.

The woman, on the other hand, has not, yet, made a living as a writer so she thinks it is difficult, if not impossible, to make good money by being a freelance writer.  She believes that there is tough competition and the market doesn’t cater to new writers.  She started writing in her 20’s and has been writing for over two decades.  She believed in that she could successfully write anywhere she lives.  So when she moves to a new place she contacts publications and tells them that she wants to write.  They always agree so writing assignments have landed in her lap.  It’s been as simple as that.

She started writing business, food, travel, international events and financial articles.  But she thought of writing as her hobby a74a75218482b9709865ccfc212995858-its-your-life-quotes-motivational-quotes-for-life-happiness; not something she would do to make a living.

So, after listening to her friend again and again she complained to the writer/editor friend that she didn’t know where to start.

“Your best bet would be to go after publications that cater to women.”

When my friend narrated this to me I thought the message being sent to her is that:

  • She has to apply to only a handful of publications that cater to her gender.
  • Then she would have to look for how many of them cater to what she wants to write.
  • This leaves only a few publications where she could get published.
  • This also leads to a new thought process where she has to limit herself and cater only to those who may be willing to accept her writing.
  • That would further curtail her chances of getting published.

This is how we put ourselves in a box and develop a narrow vision for our skills.  This is not to say that we search in the dark we don’t find out the target market or create a niche for our writing.  But once we start focusing on things like oh, my writing would be best only for publications that cater to men or only to women, then that removes a huge chunk of the market.

Different view-points 548x548xdavid-schwartz-pagespeed-ic-ust7ierlgd

  1. He believes she can make a living writing for publications targeted at women.
  2.  She believes that she cannot make a living being a writer because she has never done so.  But to her targeting publications that cater to women only is curtailing her chances of making a living for writing only for a few.

What do you think you are capable of?

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Whose puppet are you?

When we talk about other people in absentia we are connecting with their energy _ A lesson in spiritual healing.

It’s like telepathy.   When we think of a person, the person either calls/texts or we see the person out of the blue.  Latter if they are living in the same geographic vicinity.  I have tested this over and over and it never fails.  Humans exchange energy at three levels:

  • Mind – Thoughts
  • Body – Physical contact
  • Spirit – Soul, and this can be connected through chakra center,  All three aspects are connected.  A disconnection manifests in lack of happiness and bad health, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  That’s when we become restless and start seeing negativity around us.

working-with-others-relationships-in-the-workplace-8-638I say when we complain about others we become their puppets by thinking that our complaints will make us happy and look targeted people bad.  That doesn’t mean that we oppress our emotions.  But that means to find out the root cause of our complaint.

Think of complaint like this: If someone hurts us once, by complaining about them we hurt ourselves again and again.

Before going to the field of complaints think this:

  • What standards are you using to define a relationship?
  • Why are you using those standards?
  • What are your expectations from a relationship?
  • Where did you learn those standards or expectations?

Complaints, whether we do it silently or loudly, are  invisible energy dagger we think we stick in the other lead_largeperson.  In actuality we are attached to it because we are holding on to the handle.  This means even though we may complaint in someone’s absence, we are energetically connected.  We don’t have to verbalize because even by thinking about the other person our energy is triggered and it reaches the person.

tearsthree-300x285A picture of the person holding a wooden stick with strings hanging above me, comes to my mind when I think of complaining against a person.  It’s like I want the strings stick to me, or I purposely catch the strings so that I can be attached to the person. The image stops me in my track even before I think about the grievance.

Complainers have low self-esteem because of which they are focused on others and complaining about others make them feel good about themselves.

It’s very important to keep our energy to ourselves so that we attract the people and events of our liking.

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Do you want to be a lighthouse or stay stuck in a stone house?

5You are an eagle, flight is your vocation   You have other skies stretching out before you – Illama Iqbal – Urdu poet 

Recently a wonderful acquaintance poured her heart out to me. After listening to her a few times, I realized we were just wasting time because she told me that she has sought counseling about her issues. I also thought if she has gone to counseling then she would have been able to find the answers and known how to set herself free, i.e., if she were willing to.  How do I know?  Because I had been there myself!  Though not the counseling but the part about raving and ranting about my misery.

We have all been at a place where we connect89ad9eb58e91f0f8d4078ed69200f8f8 with our issues and relate our self-image to external circumstances.  Why? Because we know that changing old habits are not easy.

Repeatedly seeking information to the same dilemma it could means:

  • We are not listening.
  • We want to keep playing the record in our mind so that we can lick our wounds, so to speak.
  • We think we don’t know how to do it.
  • We don’t want to change our habits because we feel comfortable in what we are doing. And lamenting about the same thing is a habit.
  • We are feeling victim and brew in self-pity without being aware of it.
  • We give our power to the issues by focusing on them.

I suggested buying The Magic by Rhonda Byrne, the book that I’ve recommended to many because it was a stepping stone in my transformation.   7677caa17730a601445aede94294e4f8-lighthouse-quotes-stuff-stuff

After a few days I asked her if she had bought the book and she said that she was extremely busy. But I went online to discovered that it took less than five minutes to order the book and there were plenty of used copies with nominal price. I texted her the information and added that she didn’t have to do anything I suggested.      We may not realize that by making excuses like lack of time or something else we choose to stay where we are – living among rocks, because that’s what feel most comfortable.  It’s like glass windows.  Unwanted dust will cover them and stop the light coming through and over time mould sets in.  This stops not only the light coming through but may even result in sickness.  Who likes cleaning windows?  I don’t.  But we have to clean our windows so that we can let the light come through and see the sunshine and beauty waiting for us to look at.

Let’s rise above the rocks of victimhood, loneliness, confusion, self-pity, judgmentb5af518655823e5ad71c6fa91b3433e5, expectations, and lack of love.  This takes time and practice because first we have to set the intention of finding a way out of the rocks that we have surrounded ourselves with.  Then trust that we can all fly high and shed light on the rocks to guide the ships that are stuck.  It’s the ship’s captain choice whether s/he wants to sail the boat and enjoy the freedom, or not.

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The pregnant woman wearing stockings in summer!

Yesterday I visited Tanya, a friend, who, like me, also visits a weekly farmer’s market held on Saturdays.  Tanya mentioned seeing a pregnant woman wearing stockings.  The woman’s appearance got the better of her because she was still talking about her several hours later and even said that the woman didn’t seem from around here.

“The woman was accompanied by her husband and four children.  They had five baskets, one full of tomatoes, one full of French beans, one with mix vegetables, one…” Tanya continued.  7a9386e094546e650735047297f0e6e1-quotes-about-gossip-gossip-quotes

The Farmer’s market starts in June and stays open until October or so.  They usually sell all you can get in a plastic bag for $10.  The catch is that you have to use their bags.  If you want to buy more than a bag of vegetables, then you can do what they call crop-share and pay in advance.  Crop-share costs a little more but you get a big basket which has considerably more than $10 worth of vegetables.

So we spent a good half hours discussing about what would the pregnant woman, wearing stocking in summer, and her family be doing with so much vegetables and how much it would cost them to buy a crop share and why would they do that because, according to us, it would be expensive.  I proffered my theories and she hers.

Finally I asked, “Why didn’t you ask her what she would do with so much vegetables?”

“I didn’t want to appear nosey.”

“But curiosity is good and that’s why I always ask people.”

“This is how a gossip starts,” I said and Tanya agreed and we briefly discussed the nature of gossip before Tanya said, “By the time the fifth person hears my story she would say, I saw Tanya in the Farmer’s Market and she was wearing stocking and lugging five baskets of…”

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And we erupted in laughter.

I thought perhaps the sixth person would say Tanya was pregnant and the seventh one would think, “Oh, my she has been divorced for a while.  I wonder who could be the father of her child?” and chuckled to myself.

On a more serious note:  How often do you share something with someone and then that someone talks about it to another someone?

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Seeking approval is making yourself a victim

“The only permission, the only validation and the only opinion, that matter in our quest for greatness is our own” –  Dr. Steve Marabeli.

I was on the phone with my sister and she said something like this: “You talked about…”  In saying-no-1Pakistani culture when we use the word “talk”, it means we are complaining or gossiping.  It’s like going to someone and especially bring a certain topic about oneself or a person(s).  What I had done was express my opinion in the discussion that was started by a third person who was present at the time. 

My immediate response was to tell my sister c4075ed709e560538ecba53d6a39f767-jalaluddin-rumi-rumi-quotesthat I didn’t talk.  I just expressed my opinion.  I badly wanted to set it right and call her right away.  But then I asked myself why do I want to convince her so badly that I just expressed my opinion.  Would it change anything?  I realized what I wanted was a validation.  Validation that I didn’t do anything wrong. 

I realized when we want validation from others, we stay in a victim mode.  We think we can be good only when the other person gives us a stamp of approval.  This way we give power to the other person to tell us whether we are good or not.  Do they approve of us or not.  The only validation that counts is that our own.  That’s is not to say that it’s ok to misbehave or mistreat others. 

How or when do you seek others’ approval?  The more we seek approval, the more we treat ourselves as a victim.  Stop seeking others’ approval!

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