Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • May 2018
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Three practices to guarantee a better tomorrow

"The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” —Gordon Livingston

I remember many years ago hearing this quote while watching an Oprah show. I used that quote many times when talking to my teenagers about curfews, rules and limits. But I have stopped using it. Why? Because I actually believe that the best predictor of future behavior is current behavior. That changes things a little, doesn’t it?

So many of us believe people to be worthy of our time, love and attention based on behavior they have exhibited in the past, rather than current behaviors we are seeing. As a result, those in our life that matter most rarely get the benefit of our appreciation and gratitude but instead get re-buffed based on behaviors they have exhibited in the past. We have to pay attention to the things we want to see more of. If we take the, “Once a liar always a liar” approach, we will always be looking at a liar because the universe will always bring us more evidence of what we are seeking. Seek goodness and you will find goodness.

How can we create a better tomorrow and free ourselves from believing that the future will bring much of the same as the past did? I have identified three practices that will guarantee that you will have a better tomorrow in your relationships.

1. Let bygones be bygones

When somebody hurts us, there is pain, disappointment and grief. I believe that one of the biggest factors that keeps us holding on to the pain and stories is our inability to trust ourselves. Be honest with yourself. If you know you are not willing to work to regain trust, it is time to move on. If, however, you are committed to staying in the relationship — to forgive and do the work to move forward — then leaving that hurt in the past is vital. In the end, the only person you need to be willing to trust is yourself. Trust that should the person transgress again, you will take appropriate and healthy action on your behalf. If you can truly have faith in your own ability to handle your pain, everything else becomes secondary.

2. Forgive

Forgiveness is never truly about the other person. How do you truly forgive somebody who may not be sorry? The truth is that the person causing the pain is irrelevant in the act of forgiveness. True forgiveness is the deep understanding that the other person did the best they could within their level of consciousness. We can only ever accomplish or behave in a way that is in alignment with where we are in our level of self-development. If something is beyond that awareness, we have a complete blind spot to it and therefore cannot behave differently even if we tried.

I still remember my spiritual mentor saying to me — after talking about the hurt somebody caused — that it was unkind of me to want her to be different or do different. That it is unkind to ask somebody to be someone they are not. Therefore, if somebody causes you pain, recognizing that they did the best they could within their level of consciousness will lead to forgiveness. For example, a puppy that chews up your favorite pair of shoes. Why can we forgive that? Because we know that a puppy cannot possibly understand that those were our favorite shoes. It is the same with adult beings. Our consciousness levels may differ, but we cannot hold on to non-forgiveness once we recognize that they did not have the consciousness or knowingness to do things different.

3. Extend generosity

When another causes us pain, extending them the benefit of generosity is incredibly powerful. It means trusting that their hurtful words or deeds were not done with the intent to harm. In those moments, it is incredibly powerful if we can enter into a dialogue that allows them to clarify what they may have meant or what their intention was in the deed. Starting the conversation with, “When you said/did this thing you did, the story I wrote about that is…” This is a process I first heard Brené Brown speak about and I have used it many times since. It takes the blame off the other person and opens a path to honest conversation where everyone can be heard. What I have found is that rarely are the stories we write about an event the truth. If we can talk about it right away, the story goes away. If we don’t talk about it and allow the story to fester, it grows roots and eventually we allow those roots to take hold and the story we write becomes the truth we live by.

Every day, every hour or moment gives us an opportunity to do things differently. There is tremendous power and freedom in understanding that the quality of the relationships we have are directly impacted by our willingness to see and do things differently. 

Nicole Wettemann

Nicole Wettemann is a Certified Holistic Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Meditation Teacher. She is a member of the Global Association of Holistic Practitioners. Nicole provides holistic life coaching to women looking to excavate their authentic selves. Women that are ready to claim the life they have always imagined and are looking for a path to discovering their voice, their passion and their life purpose. For more information visit www.NicoleWettemann.com or call 920-241-4805.

 

Website: www.NicoleWettemann.com
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