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Trapped in the Thick of Thin Things - Part 2

My Mom doesn't believe in taking vitamins, herbs, etc., so when she and I have a disagreement (fight), she puts down my taking of minerals, vitamins, and herbs.  She says negative things about them.  And this bothers me and I start to feel anxious.  How do I deal with this?  I'm having a hard time coping with the way my mother treats me.

My mother is going to be 70 in May and I am 40 years old.  I still live at home, but I am not a mama's girl.


                ** Read Mary's Other Emails about Thin Things:     #1    #2    #3     #4

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Dear Mary:

I know exactly how you can "deal" with this situation! But there is a better option that just "dealing" with it. Instead of seeing your mother as an irritant to be "dealt with" and "coped with," . . . you can see your mother through the eyes of empathy—in the same way Jesus would see your mother and respond to her, if He were in the exact same situation.

Your BETTER alternative then, is to learn how to respond to your mother with empathy and compassion.

The reason you feel "anxious" is because of Who You Are presently. When you become a woman of greater compassion, then empathy will naturally flow from you, even in pressing situations. Here is the truth of the matter, as I've expressed it in my book:

There are two foundational reasons why mistreatment or annoyances need not be answered with anxious irritation. One reason is psychological, and the other is spiritual. The psychological reason has to do with the way we perceive reality in the first place: As Stephen R. Covey affirms:

"You don't see the world as it is, . . . you see it according to who you are."

Hence, reality is creatively constructed from the perspective of the perceiver. One's perspective in the present moment is a function of knowledge and maturity. This means that you see and interpret on the basis of . . . what you've learned lately. As Dostoevsky suggested: "Reason only knows what it has learned yet." Harboring false assumptions . . . leads to false conclusions.

The world does NOT simply speak to you, and tell you what is happening; instead, you bring to the world an interpretation according to your learning, experience, and especially your disposition of character. This explains why some people at a perfectly good party will be having a ball while others may say, "This bash is boring!" The explanation of what is happening at a party has more to do with the people attending the party, than the raw content of the occasion.

The fact is that boring people bring themselves--and their boring perspective--to a perfectly good party and surprise, surprise, . . . a boring party is perceived, no matter how creative the curriculum. In contrast, EVEN IF the content of a party IS a tad retarded, people who live in truth and simplicity still find great pleasure in face-to-face associations; to them, this is the curriculum that counts--bells and whistles are not required to make an event enjoyable.

Objective observations of human experience clearly verify that two people who endure essentially the same tragic situation can respond in diametrically different ways: While one person may be tormented by a traumatic situation for years to come, in contrast, another person may live happily and productively as if the adverse event never happened. But the event did happen, . . . so, what is the difference?

Without changing any physical facts of the past,
one difficult misfortune can result in two very different memories.
A Re-Membering that is colored with Compassion versus A Re-Membering
that is tainted with Contempt. As I am mired in today's Contempt, . . . I cannot
access or even imagine Compassionate Possibilities. The meaning of
yesterday's facts Change, . . . as I Change in the present.

Mary, when you become a different person—when you Change Your Stripes—then you can respond to your mother with understanding and compassion, and will cease to respond with feeling of "anxiousness" and being "bothered."

I hope you will take up the most important questions of Life! This way you will meet the measure of your creation, and experience the joy that your Creator intents for you!

Good Luck in all that you do,
Dr Matt

                Read Mary's Other Emails about Thin Things:    #1    #2    #3     #4

* * * * * * *

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(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 274)

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