Relationships with Others

In the course of doing my sweeping breath meditation, I'm taking a look at my close relationships with people around me. You know, family and friends and whatnot.As a result of this increased attention, I'm starting to see things that I hadn’t noticed before. Let me give an example: my relationship with my mother when I was very young.

My Mother

Now that I've taken a look at all my accessible memories I can see that my mother wanted to control me. In fact to a large degree she perhaps didn't control me. But when she did, I can see some of her techniques now that I couldn't see before. For instance, she used guilt to control me. She used to try to make me feel guilty about things or make me not do things so that I would not feel guilty. She also used to use the excitement and adventure themes to make me want to do things.

Making Mistakes

But I actually learned how to cope with that when I was young. One of my more vulnerable areas was making mistakes. I don't like being wrong and I don't like making mistakes. Now I can see people who have used this dislike to their advantage. This brings up the big topic of this blog: humiliation. If I don't like making mistakes, and if or when I make a mistake, then somebody could use that against me.

Make it Public

All they have to do is point out publicly what my mistake is and they have humiliated me. Now you could do this just for the simple pleasure of turning the screws on me and making me feel discomfort or pain. or, you could use this to try and change my behaviour. for instance if I am forgetful, and I forget something and then you humiliate me about that forgotten thing. You might want me to not forget in the future. To that extent you are controlling my behaviour.

Poor Motivator

Now needless to say this is a pretty weak motivator. First, it comes from outside me, not inside me. What I mean is, if I forgot something it obviously wasn't important enough to me to remember it. If you humiliate me it will become important to me but not for internal reasons, rather for external reasons so it is not as strong a motivator. Also there's a lot of negative emotions involved in humiliation, and the relationship between those two people in the situation will not be improved. Humiliation is a short-term power tactic to change behaviour. But it draws down on the bank of trust and creates bad feelings between the two people so it's better not to use it. Having said that, some people continue using it.

What To Do?

It will continue to be effective against me as long as I feel that humiliation. On the other hand if I can accept my errors, then I gain in two ways. Number one I won't feel humiliated anymore so that source of pain is gone. Number two if I accept my error I become humble, and humility is a very, very valuable asset. You can only gain humility at great personal cost with lots of pain along the way. But once you are humble the pain stops and you become a great person to get along with. You become more genuine.

Searching for these humiliating situations is now one of my focuses in my sweeping breath meditation practice. Of course I can't remember them all at once. It kind of makes me a hunter. I'm hunting my old memories. When I find them I can extract as much value as I can out of them to become a better human and at the same time get rid of old emotional baggage. The only problem is hunting is hard work.