Continued from Grown Up School Part 1

There are 4 aspects on the continuum of Self and Other.

1.  Acceptance

Self Acceptance: On this aspect, a person is able to accept himself right now, where he or she is at, with any perceived flaws and imperfections, and speak to oneself with a voice of kindness.  If a person is unable to accept themselves, the result is a constant inner negator and critic, making happiness impossible- when this is coupled with being able to accept others, it shows up as jealousy.

Q: Do I speak to myself in kindness?  Can I laugh at myself?  Do I feel pretty good by myself?  Can I happily be alone with myself?

Acceptance of others: They can accept others as they are, without trying to change them or judge them.  If one is unable to accept others, but to accept self, it shows up as arrogance and disconnection.

Q:  Can I allow others to be the way they are without judging them?  Can I happily be with others?

2.  Care

Self Care: On this aspect, a person is able to care for the self, however a person only able to care for the self becomes self-centered, alienated and  grasping.

Q:  Am I able to feed myself well?  Am I able to move and care for my body?  Am I able to get adequate rest?  Do I get health and dental care?  Do I create a foundation for my own safety/security?  Do I choose safe relationships?

Other Care: A person is able to provide nurturing support to others.  A person only able to care for others is left depleted and unhealthy.

Q: Do I have empathy? Can I nurture others?  Do I give freely without expectation of return? Am I dependable?  Do I show up for others?

3.  Communication

Speaking:  On this aspect, I am able to speak and listen to truth while staying grounded and holding on to my well being.  As an individual, I know and say what is true for me, and I can listen to others saying what is true for them.  When the skill of truth-speaking is out of balance,  I say yes when I mean no, or make commitments without intention, or keep difficult topics to myself out of fear of conflict, or go along to get along.

Q: Can I say what is true for me, calmly and clearly?  Am I self aware enough to know what is true for me, to hear that still, small voice?

Listening: When the skill of listening is out of balance, when their words make me so uncomfortable that I can’t hear them, I may do things like:  talk over others, bully them into being quiet, leave the room, create a red herring or a distraction, avoid them, or make fun of them.

Q: Can I calmly and deeply listen to what is true for others, and stay present and curious?

4.  Direction

Self Directed: On this aspect, I am able to both set my direction independently and to collaborate with others when needed. I can determine my desires and enact plans to achieve them.  However, if I am only able to self-direct, then I am a loner, a wild card, an eccentric, headstrong.

Q: Can I set a goal for myself and follow through on it?  Can I plan my time and day to be in balance with my priorities?  Do I know what I want? Can I stick to things and keep commitments?

Other Directed: When needed I can follow others and learn from them.   When not balanced with self direction, I am a “yes man”, a robot, an automaton, a “good girl”, a conformist- not fulfilled. I have the sense I am living someone else’s life.

Q: Can I respect others strengths and defer to a larger goal when needed?  Can I collaborate or work as part of a team? Do I how up for other people?  Can I trust others?

Read Grown Up School Part 3: Freedom & Restraint