I beg some indulgence here as my wife and I have just become grandparents. (I promise to tie this in to relationships psychology later on in the column.)
Cameron James Basi was born Tuesday, 12/14/10, at 5:59pm in Boston, MA to Eric and Stephanie Basi. May the blessings of this most holy season rest upon him throughout a long and prosperous life. Although we cannot send him gold, frankincense and myrrh, we send the spirit of those gifts – life, strength and health. May his parents practice healthy relationships with him and with each other and model living in respect and loving kindness.
Thank you, kind reader, for that small indulgence.
The Hindu say that anger arises from unfulfilled desire. Desire is expectation and the holiday season is filled with expectations. These expectations often become troublesome in our relationships, especially when we place our expectations on other people.
Now the faithful reader of this column will know that expectations are also known as pictures in our quality worlds. When what is happening in the real world does not match the picture in our quality world (when our expectations are not met), we have an automatic urge to frustrate and then to do something to try to correct that discrepancy. Unfortunately, this usually means that we try to control others and make them conform to our will and fulfill our expectations.
This only exacerbates our situation and increases our frustration.
Trying to control others is the death knell for relationships and it rears its ugly head whenever we practice any of the seven deadly habits: blaming, complaining, criticizing, nagging, threatening, punishing and bribing. We have a tendency to fall back on these deadly habits in an effort to make our perceptions of the real world and our perceptions in our quality world match. We attempt to control others rather than controlling ourselves.
If we want to actually help, rather than hurt, our relationships then we need to practice the seven caring habits: supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting and negotiating differences. These habits move us away from attempting to control others and help remind us that the world doesn’t revolve around our desires.
If we take a brief look at the Holy Bible then we notice that Joseph (husband of Mary and father to Jesus) had every right to indulge in the seven deadly habits. Instead, he chose to model for his wife and newborn son the seven caring habits. Although St. Joseph is usually given little thought during the Christmas season (or any other time), I can’t help but think that he is a good candidate for the patron saint of choice theory because of his willingness to let go of control and work toward building a healthy family.
Whenever we practice the seven caring habits, we bring people closer to us by helping to fulfill their basic needs. As they come closer, they help to fulfill our needs and a relationship of mutual fulfillment is created. It is only when the basic needs are fulfilled that we are truly happy, ergo, working toward meaningful and fulfilling relationships with others is giving the gift of true happiness.
It may not be easy to wrap but it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
For those of you who need some practice with the seven caring habits or who would like to know more about how to apply choice theory to your life to improve your relationships, give them a call at Knoxville Center for Clinical Hypnosis at 865-851-8687. If you need a quick fix of relaxation and stress relief then call them today. They can schedule you for a hypnosis session and help your holidays become more enjoyable. They offer gift certificates for hypnosis, CT/RT consultation, life coaching and qigong for the unique gift that truly says – I care about you and your happiness!
Experiment with life. Nurture those you love.