I have a very good friend I have always looked up to. He’s a few years older than I am. He is the greatest guy in the world. He is very good at what he does and is always willing to share. He works very hard and is always giving the people he works with every opportunity to have things work out.
But that’s the problem. He’s always chasing his tail. He’s always late. He’s driving himself crazy but doesn’t see it, doesn’t want to see it and justifies what he is doing.
Another concern is that my wife just walked by and said, “Look who’s talking”. I guess I’d have to admit that I’m beginning to run into more than a few of these issues myself. I don't want to end up living like my friend! (Neither does my wife!) What do you suggest? - Jack
Learning Together: Improved Decision Making
Let's talk about how you can further all of your efforts by deciding why you are on this earth. Then you can look to focus you moment-to-moment intent in the relationships of your choice with this purpose in mind. This makes decision making easier especially when you learn to focus your efforts around your strengths as well. You can guide this effort each morning in a way that maximizes your positive impact on each relationship of your life.
By engaging your focus with your spiritual source, the information you need to pay attention to become evident. Instead of letting your focus drift or focusing on too many things, you treat your gift of focus with the respect it deserves. You allow it to expand each of your senses in the most consistently effective direction available. This allows you to relax into the stream of information that is critical to your efforts. You begin to notice when someone seems ‘tight’. You notice a slight hesitation in a response from a friend. And...with the intention guided by your spiritual source, you gently respond.
How does all of this help when you or someone you know acts in way that seems to cause obvious problems? First, realize we are all works in progress. As we slowly sift our issues others tend to pop up. First ask yourself, might I also have at least a bit of this same issue? Often we do and this realization helps us respond to others with a bit more empathy and compassion. Even more empathy can be drawn up as we feel into why a particular issue might be present. They are often driven by some combination of inheritance, upbringing or particularly severe loss.
When we are unable to ‘take in’, ‘process’ or otherwise align any change in our life with the intent of our spiritual source, the information has to be stored until we have the time and energy to incorporate it into our belief system. (By the way, our body has it’s own belief system whether we give it a name or not.) We all know about the phases of grief. This is one of the ways you can hold a change or a loss until you are able to align it with your beliefs. Each episode of grief allows you to explore a bit more deeply ‘what this is all about’ and expand your ability to have empathy for those going through similar events. Here we increase our ability to establish and maintain our Relationship Intent. If we try to settle our beliefs around these issues prematurely we end up in what the Buddhist call one of the three poisons. Please see the article on, 'Three Poisons that cause suffering'.
Maintaining Personal Intent
The ability to maintain our Personal Intent refers to our ability to maintain our relationship with our spiritual source despite a wide variety of distractions like boredom, the misuse of a particular strength or stress. A second measure of our Intent (Relationship Intent) lays in our ability to reach out to our relationship with our spatial source through another's relationship with their spiritual source. These are often described as the vertical (Personal Intent) and horizontal (Relationship Intent) relationship with our spiritual source.
We carry our usual efforts to maintain our Relationship and Personal Intent. Then practice ‘walking with awareness’ of the possibility that a portion of what we experience is due to our or others grieving. Even further outside our ‘comfort zone’ may be the stresses that we and others have been unable to grieve and have taken up semi-permanent residence in our minds existing outside of the control of our spiritual source (Distractions or 'Three Poisons'). This creates distortions in our perceptions and reactions that may run underneath the quality of Oneness we have with our spiritual source. This can also creates distortions in our percieved Intent and can at times run entirely undetected.
These poorly integrated memories will act in a similar fashion to the rest of our memories and actively scan for evidence of similar challenges that gave them birth in our day to day life. Pleas see the article, 'How Buddhist Attachments Affect Our Highest Mind'. Unfortunately, given the lack of integration, these distortions in how we perceive, react, assess and respond will be the rule. These partially processed pieces of information seem to represent our brain’s defense against what it has yet learned to incorporate. The end result is a distorted perception that has us sensitive to anything that might seem similar to the ongoing scanning carried out by our unconscious mind.
When we do face these challenges again, we will respond in an distorted way which only serves to further entrance our distorted view. These types of memories create relationships with our environment that stand outside our spiritual source oriented views of life.
Often these disruptions will peak to consciousness when we atypically (for us) respond to something outside of our usual Personal or Relationship Intent. We may begin avoiding the issue with excessive consumption, anger, fear or judgement. This may leave others asking, “What the heck is going on with you!”
Personal Development Activity
Think back to an interaction you have recently experienced where you and/or the other person reacted in a way that was totally unexpected. Did it leave you feeling just a little bit hurt or angry? It’s difficult to maintain your Relationship Highest Intent feeling this way.
Now try asking yourself this question, “What would have had to happen to me to have this kind of response?”
This often restores at least a bit of compassion for the other person. If you had been the one who ‘lost it’, ask yourself, “How would I appreciate being approached that would be helpful or at least wouldn't make things worse!”