“A dad is a superhero”
I grew up with this belief. Naturally I had created an inner image of a dad, who speaks and behaves in a particular way. The image in my mind was a representation of a father figure which I had created. My Appa never behaved in the way this father figure behaved. He never said or did things the way this father figure did. Gradually I developed a dislike towards my Appa. I compared him continuously with the mental image that I had created. Each time he behaved differently the resentment increased and my relationship with him suffered.
Years later I learnt human psychology in the form of NLP and that’s when I understood that my inner representation is my reality and not the true reality. Each one of us have such mental representations for relationships, financial status and career. The conflict begins when the reality that we’ve created internally doesn’t match externally.
I understood that my Appa too had certain internal images of an ideal daughter and somewhere I was unable to match that. Naturally we always ended up fighting. However after this realization, I’ve accepted Appa as he is, with all the flaws, strange behaviours and his weird beliefs. We do have conflicts but those don’t stop us from strengthening our bond.
Man is a social animal and the quality of our relationships directly influence our life. Today I want you to spend some time and look at each relationship in your life. Observe the kind of mental images that you have created with respect to that particular person or relationship. Are those images really the reality or the reality that you have built? Check if those images give rise to a satisfying feeling, if not then shrink, kick, push or drain the colour of those images. Replace the mental screen with wonderful images of that relationship, go back to a time when you had a lovely time with the person you are thinking about. Observe the feeling now.
Most people will tell you that you must get rid of the expectations from others, but they never tell you how. The easiest way to lower your expectations is to clear any mental representations you have of that particular person or from that relationship.
I always found it amusing how a new-born easily bonds with the people around him or her. That’s because he/she doesn’t carry an image within of an ideal parent, grandparent, friend or a teacher. As a child grows, he gets information from his or her surrounding and slowly starts building an inner image. When there’s a conflict between this inner reality and the external behaviours of people, the child feels left out or misunderstood.
Just like that new-born, I want you to clear your mind, now and you will notice that you can easily embrace a relationship fully.
PS: Today my Appa celebrates his 69th birthday and I feel so amazing to see how our relationship continues to strengthen every day.