Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Everybody Wants to be Heard, Understood, Accepted and Respected

We are all on our own unique Journey of a Lifetime. We are all equipped with our own special tools, views, morals, standards and opinions on this quest. Whatever we don't have at the beginning of our journey, we pick up along the way. This comes in the form of people, places, or circumstances which all add and never subtract from our journey. And life goes on...

I had the pleasure of having one of my most favourite speakers, James McNeil on my radio show a few months ago. I have known James for only a brief time, yet I have felt connected to his message for the empowerment of people. In fact, I have had many well known people to offer to write the Foreword of my novel, "Journey of a Lifetime", yet I asked James because of his view on "Heard, Understood, Accepted and Respected". As much as I would love to pawn this as my own, it came from James.

Heard, Understood, Accepted and Respected is what every single person should be entitled to in every human interaction. It covers the great customer service experience that we would want to be extended, and therefore given. These principals are the gateway to making sure that even in disagreement, we can at the very least agree to disagree peacefully without the other person feeling the need to be defensive.

I know that when I am being defensive, I am protecting my identity which includes my point of view, morals, beliefs, expectations and standards. These are uniquely mine, and they differ from everyone else on the planet. Yet, any time I experience frustration, anger, resentment or any other low vibrational feeling, it is because somebody, somewhere doesn't share my sentiment. (and how could they?) I feel the need to be defensive and be Heard and Understood. I want to be Accepted for all that I am, and then feel Respected. If I am missing any one of these 4, it makes the same difference as if I didn't have any in place at all. In order for me to not feel defensive, I need to feel all 4 at the same time.

When I am being defensive, I am not reasonable. I do not listen fully to what the other person is saying because I am getting ready to say my opinion or statement. Now, when I know or think that I am not being heard or listened to, I try harder to speak louder or try to dominate the other person. Sound familiar? I think we all know how this pattern ends. Until time and cooler heads prevail, there is little point in this communication because it is not going to end well.

The beauty of this is, you don't have to agree with the person you are speaking with! It sounds something like this, "I hear what you are saying, and I understand your point of view. I accept that you have that view, the same way I have mine, and I respect your right to have that view." If all of these are in place, then there is no resistance and if there is no resistance, there is no fight! Best of all, people feel validated and not defensive. I know that I communicate much better when I feel validated and not defensive.

I find the whole thing a little bit silly though. We all have something we are defensive and extremely significant about. Whether it be skin colour, religion, race, sexuality, age, wealth, beauty or any other attribute, I find it funny that we are all spirit beings having a human experience and we relate to ourselves as the bodies we occupy for our short time on this earth. This time around, I look like a white male with blue eyes and curly brown hair who stands about 5'8.

Yet, I am not.

I am a soul; you are a soul which is colourless, genderless, and without form. So why am I defending this temporary form? I realized that attaching my soul to my identity is just not workable because it has me internally wanting to be accepted for how I look. If I am overweight, or too short, or too old, or too white, it makes me think that something is wrong with me. -When there really is nothing wrong with my appearance, or any one's appearance for that matter. Classifying people by their identity is inhibiting us from really listening to what their soul has to say. When I can get clear that I communicate from not being attached to my body, I can free myself up of the judgements other people may place on me which would naturally have me be defensive.

Having this view may not work for others, or it may not work for you. Yet it works for me, and it has enabled me to really extend empathy to others when it wasn't natural for me to do so. This allows me to have much more understanding for people. When I feel understood, it is because somebody has created that space for me.

And I don't know about you, but I feel that this world could use a lot more understanding...

P.S. If you enjoyed this blog, feel free to share it. If you liked my message, then you would enjoy my soon-to-be-released novel, "Journey of a Lifetime." You can find my Facebook page at: or:

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