Mar 31, 2020
This is a difficult time for all of us, not only difficult unusual and we are thrown in circumstances we never thought we would be in. However, there are three things that can help us through this together. Keep your relationship intact, your children balanced, and your family together.
So, welcome to this week’s Living Deeper Lives. I’m Steven Webb and I’m your host and I wanted to come up with three things that would really help us during this time of lockdown and isolation. And I thought about the problems we’re going to have over the weeks ahead. And I thought about three things that we could really tap into, really use in order to, so we’re less triggered, there are fewer arguments, more peace around the house because let’s not push it to a side and go, you know, this is going to be easy because it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be a real hard time for many of us.
We’re not used to being this close in proximity to our family, 24 hours a day. And for some, it’s going to really open them up as a family in a way that it’s going to open their hearts and they’re going to become more loving and closer, others are going to tear apart. And we might love our children and we love our parents and we love our partners but spending 24 hours together adds a difference to worry. So I’ll come up with three things that will make the biggest difference overall. So let’s get on with the show.
I release the show every Monday. I’m, as I said, Steven Webb. I’m paralyzed just below my neck and I help people that have been through a lot in their lives or going through a lot, find a little bit of inner peace.
It’s a difficult time for all of us. I’ve been isolated now for two weeks, not entirely because I have my carers and I have to have carers to come in and get me out of bed, put me to bed, wash me, do my personal hygiene, tidy my house; everything, really. I am vulnerable. I’m diabetic, I’m asthmatic, I’m paralyzed so I’m one of the ones in the vulnerable categories. And here in the UK, we’ve now been locked down for one week. We should have been locked down a lot longer; that’s a different story. Well, we’ve been locked down for a week and I think it’s the right thing, but it’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be at least three to six months of this and we’re just not used to spending that much time with somebody in close proximity. I know what it’s like to have someone around most of the time and it’s not easy.
I’ve got already, typically a big house so they can go and find some time in another room. I’m not allowed to lock them in the cupboard apparently so I put my carers on call. Because literally having someone around you all day drives you insane. So we’re going to be tested as we’d never been tested before. There’s going to be arguments, there’s going to be confusion, there’s going to be ‘well, I thought you really loved me. I thought this would be a wonderful time.’ It doesn’t mean we don’t love each other, it doesn’t mean we don’t care and we don’t think about each other in a real positive way. It just means that such a change so quickly is going to be difficult for anybody to handle.
Oh, by the way, if you wanted to watch this podcast, me doing it, I’m recording it as a video as well on YouTube. I want to build out 1000 subscribers on YouTube and over this lockdown. So people that haven’t seen me, see my face, they can put a face to it. Just got to YouTube type ‘Steven Webb’, you’ll find me. So what are these three things? Well, it comes down to, I talk about core values a lot. And what do I mean by core values? I mean, who are you underneath all the opinions and beliefs or the thoughts of who you think you are or the stories or the experiences in life; who are you beneath all of that?
If I was to ask you three words of how you show up. So we meet over social distancing. No, just imagine, we meet as normal and we shake each other’s hands. What three things would you like me to remember you as? Three character things. Would you like me to remember you as I’m stoic, compassionate, loving, timid, inviting? How would you like me to remember you? So when I go away and I say to someone, Oh, I met you today. This is what I think of him. This is what I think his core values are, and I think if we show up from these core values, we really fundamentally know who we are below all the noise of life.
But I wanted to take it a step further on this and I’ll come up with three words and the first word is understanding. We need to really tap deep into our understanding of ourselves and others during this time. Understand that I’m not the only one in the house that’s stressed. I’m not the only one that’s frightened. I’m not the only one that’s doing my best. I’m not the only one that feels that this is just a wacky time and I know hard to cope. See, to understanding, we take ourselves out of the equation because we very often think other people think the same way as we do and I don’t.
Nobody thinks the way you do. Nobody thinks the way I do, but we think people should. That’s when we look at people sometimes and go, how come you did not see that? Are you really that stupid or are you really that thick or are you really that useless? It’s because we are basing it because we can see it, we think they should be able to see it. So after a few hours, we’re tired, we’re dizzy or something and then someone comes in and says something, we expect them to know how we’re feeling. People have got enough problems of their own without thinking about other people. So understanding is how might they be feeling?
They don’t feel the same as me; that’s okay. They don’t think
the same as me. They’re not in my head, they are a party to my
thoughts, whereas, we think they should be, “Could you make me a
cup of tea, please?”
“Yeah, no problem. Just in a minute.”
“Well, I wanted it now. If I wanted it in a minute, I’d have asked you in a minute.”
Just that simple little trigger like that. Or they might bring a cup of tea in and they put it down and it’s got no sugar it in. And you’re like, “You know I take sugar!” Well, there’s a number of reasons why they may not put sugar in it. Perhaps he just forgot. Perhaps he ran out of sugar and they haven’t the time to tell you. Perhaps there’s something else on their mind. Well perhaps they genuinely didn’t know and we just thought they should know. Again, it’s that presumption. It’s understanding that everybody’s doing their best. That’s the first one. Whether or not it’s what we think their best should be, that’s a different story. So go easy on people, relax your rules a little bit, be a little more understanding.
The next one is very similar and it’s compassion. It comes down to understanding is compassion really? Having the compassion that they’re suffering too. If you genuinely care about them, you care about their suffering and what’s going on in their life rather than just how they should show up in your life or how you think they should show up. Genuine compassion is meeting them where they are. And many of you are going to say, “Yeah, but when is someone gonna meet me where I am?” Well, when you meet them.
One of the biggest complaints when a couple goes into a divorce
court or relationship therapy when they asked the female, “What is
the one thing that you wish your partner would do more?”
And they say, “Well, I wish they would listen more.”
And then when they asked the guy as well, he said exactly the same, “Well, I wish they would listen more.” We want to be listened to. It’s so fundamentally important. The problem is do we listen to them? We almost have it backwards. We having that, “Well, I’ll listen to you once you’ve listened to me.” And do you know what that leads to? It leads to nobody listening because somebody has to listen first. And that’s really important. Somebody has to do the listening first.
So if you want to be listened to, listen. If you want to be loved, love. If you want someone to treat you in a certain way, treat them in the same way. It really is quite that simple. That’s compassion. Listening to them, understanding them, being open to their truth, their suffering. Yeah, we have to share the TV and that’s a big one. Sharing the TV, because we’re used to having the TV perhaps to ourselves during the day or in the evening and suddenly we have to share the TV. Be more compassionate towards that understanding too. And work out some rules, things like that.
And then the last one is patience. Take a deep breath, have some patience with people, this is not easy for anybody. It’s not easy for you, it’s not easy for me, it’s not easy for your partner, your kids, your parents. We’re going to have arguments on the phone. We’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to shout at people. We’re going to be annoyed by people more than ever. The best thing you can do is have a little patience. If you’ve got kids, have patience with them. You want them to do that schoolwork because the school sends you all this work and you want to send them back with all flying colors, perhaps.
Kids aren’t used to learning from home. It’s a whole new habit that they have to build and mom and dad probably aren’t the best person to do that with. It’s completely rewiring of our system. Have patience with them. Have patience with your partner, it’s a new situation. It’s a whole new way of living. So understanding, be compassionate and have patience.
I’m going to give you some practical skills in how to set boundaries. Sit down and have a word with them when they’re not triggered. If you say something and they’re triggered and they argue back and you argue, then is not the time to set a boundary to sit down and go, “Hey, how about we do this?” If you want to really help, sit your partner down or sit your children down or something, and say, “Look, this is going to be tough for us all. At some point, I’m going to shout at some point. You guys are gonna shout too. When we do, we would do this. So if this happens, do this. So if I shout, please, I’m going to take time out.”
And in a relationship with an argument between two of you instead of escalating the argument again, again, again, say, “If we start to argue, please could you take my hand, squeeze it a little to reassure me that you love me and I will then stop and take 10 minutes out.”
A simple solution. There are really easy practical steps that you can put in place when everything is calm. There’s no good doing it when the chimps are flying in the head when you’ve got to button down there [12:38unclear] because it’s already been lost. The calm and the serenity is already gone. It’s no good doing it then. It’s really is in the calmness, say, “Look, at some point, I’m going to find this really difficult. At some point, I’m going to be triggered and I’m not going to be able to remain calm. You could help me if we do this.”
Now, then if they’re flying off and you grab hold of their hand and ask them to be quiet, it’s going to go badly. This is why it has to be done beforehand. And the other thing you can have; perhaps, get some kind of bowl in the house, a singing bowl if you have one. Put some kind of ringing charm that you can tap and say to everybody in the house, gather them all around and say to them, “Do you know what? If anything gets too much for you or there’s shouting or me and your dad are arguing, we all promise, whether the kids are shouting or anything, if somebody taps this bowl, we will all be quiet for 20 seconds no matter what.”
A warning to the adults here: (a) the kids will ring it lots to begin with in the first couple of days. Just obey it, just go with it; it’s fine. But after a little while, you will be in a genuine argument, maybe, if there’s such a thing as a genuine argument. But you’ll be in an argument, it will be happening and one of the kids will have enough or one of the partners or one of you will have enough and you’ll tap that and you have to abide by it. You have to abide by for just 20 seconds. That’s three breaths. Anybody can stop an argument for three breaths and it’s enough to turn things around. It’s enough to calm the body, get a hold of the stress; fight, flight or freeze mechanism. And it is enough to turn the human on in your mind.
So there are some practical tips and the three things we all need right now: Understanding compassion and patience. I’m Steven Webb and this is Living Deeper Lives podcast and I’ve recorded this as well to go on YouTube and I hope you like the show. If you follow us on Skype, if you’re on Spotify, perhaps leave a review on iTunes. Reviews really help me to know where ever I’m going right or going wrong and what you like and what you’re enjoying and what you’re not enjoying so much. So even if you want to just give it one star, give it a star and let me know why. But if you do want to give it five stars and you are enjoying it and you have come back more than once, give a review.
It really, really helps me go up the ranks and I can reach more people, more listeners, and I think that’s what’s important at that moment. If we can just find a little inner peace, find a little calmness in all of this storm at the moment, then we would have done our jobs.
Take care, I’ll see you next week. I release a new podcast every Monday. Thank you. Thank you for the review. Take care. Bye.