What does it really mean to Live and Let Live? Let’s see how we can use this phrase to bring ourselves some peace.
For years I have listened to people suffer due to others not doing what they want. They fear if they don’t get what they want from the other, it means they are being rejected. They may recoil from the other with pain, disgust and bewilderment or reject the other – the very person they wanted to get love and acceptance from. Or, they may feel bad and sense a loss of happiness in one form or another.
What part of us loses our self if the other does not do what we want? What part of us can’t be happy without the other? I believe it is where we shifted our desire for joy, nourishment and satisfaction to another person. There is no true fulfillment in life if your happiness and self-worth are wrapped up in another’s actions.
We thrive on other people’s approval and connection with us. If they do not respond to us in certain ways we feel bad. If they do not act in certain ways, we think it is a reflection of us. We start to track their behavior to determine our mood. Often this comes about from the environment we were raised in. It can also be the way we learned to attach and love. However, we got to this point of wanting the other to respond to us to determine our mood, we can change it.
Let’s start by asking:
How much misery do we get lost in and how much does that actually cost us? You may want to pause and think of something that is frustrating you, what and who it is, what is the frustration and what you think the other needs to do to help you feel better.
It might be, “If just once s/he could…”
“Why do I have to be the one who…?”
Whatever it is for you, write it down.
Now think of how upset you get when that thought occurs, what that makes you do next and what results you get from that action. Next, think if your mood were a bank account, how much is “waiting for the other to be different” costing you? Do you really want to spend that?
I used to have so many more conversations in my head about what the other was doing. I got angry, I got frustrated, I took it personally. Are you doing something similar? Well even if they don’t change, you can and you can be free from the stress, the turmoil and the pain.
Live and Let Live is a slogan from AlAnon. When I turn my attention to it, I think of how all the focus on what the other is doing or not doing makes me frustrated; how it is stopping me from living how I wish to live. So I consciously shift the focus to myself.
All these thoughts will lead to a new perspective and to feeling more fulfilled as I am the one able to be responsible for my own peace and happiness.
“Let Live” means it is not my responsibility to fix, change or do for another. Yes, as a parent, I am responsible for my child but responsible to teach and offer options not to do for. As a coworker, I am able to give my part to the job, but dwelling on others’ errors or shortcomings will not help me do my best.
Live and Let Live!
Take time each day to repeat the motto Live and Let Live often. Set an alarm to ring every few hours and repeat the phrase. Let it become a new habit. Feel free to write me at [email protected] and tell me how it goes.
A recent reader sent in her answers and ended it saying: This exercise was totally liberating. I answered all the questions the night you sent this to me and felt like a new person the next day 🙂 It was a GOD thing of the highest order. Thank you. THANK YOU.