Tag Archive | respect

Teachers, “Chance” Encounters and Life Lessons

I have had a teacher of sorts for just over three years now.  He may not realise that he is even a teacher but he gives me new lessons to learn from each and every day.  He has taught me (amongst many other things):

  • patience
  • kindness
  • how to respect others
  • positive thinking
  • humour
  • the importance of curiosity
  • to not judge others before even knowing them
  • that stress does not help anyone in any way
  • that I can always become a better person than who I was today
  • open-mindedness
  • that one way of thinking/life is not the way for everyone
  • that sometimes a re-assessment of the ways of the world is needed
  • that I should focus on things that make me happy
  • that I should nuture and utilise my talents
  • that we live in a crazy world but there is no need to get depressed – life should be seen as an adventure
  • to accept that everyone has different opinions
  • to realise I cannot force my opinions on anyone
  • to accept that people can only change if they want to – they cannot be forced

I am not saying that I did not have or practice any of these qualities before I met my teacher (what a sorry wreck I would have been!) but that he has opened my eyes to greater possibilities and more beneficial ways of thinking that will improve both of our related experiences.  Sadly, his subtle suggestions and advice fell on deaf ears for a long time and it feels like suddenly all the words and actions from times he was ‘just trying to help’ have flocked together and landed right here at my side more recently.

I think it is important to mention that I have not fully grasped even half of the behavioural qualities/life outlooks listed above and am very much still a work in progress.  But the main thing is that I am aware of what I have learned and am starting to forge a different perspective on life which brings to the forefront the ability to finally accept myself and other people too – after all it is up to the individual to decide who they truly want to be.

I can’t say that I am proud for seemingly ignoring the words and actions of my teacher for so long, far from it.  I guess I was just caught up in a very toxic cycle of negative behaviour and the only way of finally hearing what he was saying all along was to break the cycle.  Which I have done….somehow.  I think the best way for me to thank him (not that he would ever help only to receive thanks) is to treat him with the respect and kindness that he has always truly deserved from me.  Of course there will be times when it will be hard to exercise this behaviour and it can sometimes seem near impossible to always keep your cool and act right towards others but I will be sure to try my hardest!

I’m not trying to sound all mysterious and state that I believe in signs or that everything happens for a reason but I DO get the strong sense that people enter and leave each person’s life in order to teach/test/guide/grow/awaken/challenge them.  I feel that this may be the case with my teacher because although in the space of knowing each other we have had a less than smooth ride, it seems to me that it was a very intense and challenging learning experience which, wrong as it may sound, I am truly grateful for.  I am not saying it is necessarily a turbulent friendship/relationship that will teach you most of what you need to know and will show you your deep insecurities – that would definitely not be a healthy way of becoming who you truly want to be.  But I have had this experience and am still part of it and although I am not proud of my past behaviour, I am positively focusing on my future behaviour and am truly grateful for all I have learned.

I guess what I have been trying to say with this post is an enormous THANK YOU to my special teacher – you know who you are!  I hope I can gradually give you back as many positive vibes as you have given me along the way 🙂

Much love!

When people call on me for help, should I help them?

This is something that keeps popping up time and time again in my life recently.  It’s a question I keep asking myself and which I need to keep re-assessing and practising to ensure that I approach these type of situations in the right way.

I am the sort of person that has the natural desire to help people.  I don’t know what it is about the whole helping thing that attracts me to it but it seems to make me feel happy to know that I have helped someone out with whatever it may be.  But what do I get back from this process?

I am NOT the sort of person who would only do something in order to get something back from someone else or for a personal gain BUT it keeps crossing my mind recently that maybe from time to time I have been a little bit of a doormat for others to happily stamp their muddy boots on and have neglected to think of what is also best for me.

I’m sure there will always be those types of people who don’t talk to you in months and then BAM, they come along and ask you for a ‘favour’, at which point you think to yourself ‘why me?!’  These are the people who I see as a mixed blessing of sorts because they have caused me to reconsider my approach to the whole ‘doing a favour’ situation and maybe doing myself a favour for once!

My recent reaction to these favour-askers has been to avoid replying to their requests for help for a while.  But I know I can’t hide or run away from these scenarios any longer and need to set out a checklist of ways to deal with these energy-suckers.

When called for help in future, I need to consider:

  • If these people are only suddenly interested in my very existence because they need help from a purely self-focused point of view
  • If with the use of a bit of initiative, these people could probably help themselves instead
  • If these people treat me with kindness and respect in general life
  • If they are the type of person that will just disappear as soon as they have got what they needed
  • If I even have enough time to help out
  • If helping these people makes me feel good or I just do it to avoid upsetting them
  • Whether I actually receive a thank-you that I feel is genuine (those two words are enough!)Image

I will keep adding to this list as I figure out what works best and as I improve my approaches towards this recurring dilemma that I face 🙂  It doesn’t mean that I am going to become a selfish and un-helpful person, it just means that I will consider my own personal needs, how others can affect my time and overall mood more than I realise, and that I will be able to offer my full attention and focus to those that I feel are truly worth helping!  I think each time I encounter these situations then honestly really is going to be the best policy.  I’m sure the people with genuine intentions will understand!

Any suggestions and personal approaches towards ‘help’ and how it is best used would be highly appreciated 🙂

Amanda Leigh Flaker

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

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