with Tara Lakshmi

The Truth about “Good Manners”

By on July 18, 2014 in Spiritual Healing

…What you Really Need to Know About Denying Yourself for Others.

truth about mannersIntroduction 
I spent a good part of my life trying to please others, without even realizing that I was denying my true feelings. I never directly addressed my true feelings with others because I wanted to be “nice” and I was uncomfortable with disharmony or conflict. Over the years I learned that this behavior results in lack of communication and separation, eventually growing into rifts that separate people completely from each other. 

I feel it is important to bring this clarifying information through at this time for the many sincere people who strive to do good and live lives that inspire and elevate, yet the basic foundation of “kindness” and “good will” have been perverted in ways that actually cause the opposite effect to the good that is intended. 

Because of this perversion, we often do things for others that we really don’t want to do, that don’t feel good to us, or that actually cause us and others pain. We do this in the erroneous belief that this is the polite, good, or kind way. As you will discover, this is a deception that limits our love and inner joy. 

Using Your Free Will Correctly. 
We have all been granted the gift of free will. It is our birthright to use our will freely in a way that feels appropriate to us, in each moment. This sounds great, but in truth we have been programmed and conditioned to continually deny ourselves for the sake of others. We have been taught that to follow our own heart’s desire, to honor our own feelings, is selfish and unloving. 

Nothing could be further from the Truth. When we give to others, or do something for others that we do not sincerely and wholeheartedly feel good about doing, we are giving them a bitter gift. Our labor or action is filled with “disharmony,” with irritants, even with negative energy that is disharmonious, like a poison. If what we give to others is not a true gift coming spontaneously from the heart, then it will not have a positive benefit on the recipient, no matter how much they perceive they want this from us. 

Conversely, when we manipulate and pressure others to do what we want, we are again out of balance with the laws of Free Will. Everyone on this planet, at this time, is out of alignment to some degree with the beauty and empowerment of Free Will. At some time or another we all make the mistake of manipulating and pressuring others to do what we believe is “the best” or most desired course of action, either for ourselves or for them. 

Yet, no one can accurately know what experiences, actions and situations another person needs for their growth and personal development. An experience or situation that to one person may be stressful, upsetting or down right disgusting, to another might be just what is required to face some fear or misunderstanding, or to overcome some habit pattern or limitation. 

When we are truly using our will correctly we are neither manipulating nor coercing others, nor are we allowing ourselves to be controlled or manipulated. The balance point is somewhere in the middle. 

Following the Path of Balance inspires, uplifts and wholly benefits everyone. This is because when we are using our will correctly, it is aligned with God’s Will, which always seeks upliftment and the highest benefit for all concerned. We have been mislead to believe that our will and that of others are in conflict, that in order to “get ahead” or “succeed” we must do so at the expense of others. This is the opposite of God’s Laws of Unity, Oneness and Mutual Benefit. 

Our limited view comes from a sense of lack, scarcity and limitation. When we understand that what feels true and right for us is valid and thus appropriate, we then have the courage to hold our ground when others try to sway us from our path or goals. We can best do this by coming from a place of serene, yet solid strength, rather than defensiveness or attack. As we align our understanding with the God Source, we have more patience and empathy for others who are still at a place of struggle and confusion. This makes it easier not to judge and condemn others, and ultimately ourselves. Because what we think about others is what we think about ourselves, if we are dishonest and untrue to ourselves, then we cannot truly trust others. 

Some people feel that if everyone in the world were doing only what they wanted to do, our society would fall apart and our world would be filled with chaos. Yet, just the opposite is true. Right now, as we all deny our true feelings and desires, our world is full of unhappiness, chaos, attack, danger and tension. The outer is but a reflection of what the “inner” is holding. 

We affect each other profoundly. Minds do communicate with each other. This is why you will think of someone, and then unexpectedly hear from them or run into them. We are often not in touch with the subtleties of our higher realities, but they still do exist and influence our lives. As we learn to become more aware of how profoundly we affect each other, we also recognize that each time we honor our own desires and allow our higher will to direct our life, we are opening up this beautiful path of beauty for all of mankind. Our behavior becomes stronger, clearer and more accepted. Gradually, more and more people will be positively affected and influenced by our choice to be loving and honoring to ourselves; our world will become more harmonious and loving as well. It’s the ripple effect that always occurs. Just as when crime and oppression are on the rise it creates more fear and anger, when more love and goodwill is expressed, more harmony and positive experiences are created. This is how we become co-creators with God. 

Using our will correctly is done one step at a time. Begin with where you are and proceed from there. Judgment is never advised or constructive. Just decide to pay attention to how you really are feeling and begin to notice the times when you are feeling pressured to do something that doesn’t feel good. Does this mean that when the alarm clock goes off in the morning and you’d rather be sleeping that you skip your commitments and responsibilities for the day? No, that’s not what is being said here. It does mean that you need to take a look at what’s going on inside you. Are you in a job that is unfulfilling and unsupportive of your true nature? Have you committed yourself to activities that aren’t really on your true path? If this turns out to be the case, then it is time to sit down and get in touch with your deeper Self, with what you feel deep inside is your next step to furthering your growth and to contributing to the betterment of the world in some way. Then take the appropriate action in a loving and non-harmful way. 

Pleasing People At Our Own Expense 
Society and our upbringing has programmed us to “be a good person” at all costs. The biggest cost of this is often to ourselves. Society holds all kinds of conflicting rules and judgments about what a “good” person is. Some basic ones are: a good person doesn’t hurt other’s feelings or a good person is considerate and helpful to others. This is all true, yet when a relationship or situation is no longer working for us, and we continue on because we believe this is what a “good person” does, we are not only harming ourselves, we are harming the other person or people as well. 

When we are not being true to ourselves and honoring our own needs, when we are not in touch with our true feelings or if we deny them in deference to the expectations of others, this is an underlying cause of aggression or depression. Either we start to “shut down” diminishing our energy, vitality, enthusiasm and feelings of well-being, which leads to health problems and emotional unrest; or we get caught in bouts of rage, frustration and attack toward others. 

An example of this playing out in our society is the large number of depressed people who are on medication. Depression is anger turned inward on oneself. It slowly shuts down our vitality and enthusiasm for life. This doesn’t mean that we should rage and spew our anger at everyone around us. But it does mean that people need to learn to channel their internal anger outward in constructive and non-harmful ways. This can be done through physical activities such as kick boxing, jogging or even smacking a piece of cardboard against the kitchen counter, as well as through emotional release work. Then we need to get in touch with the cause of the anger and correct it. Often, as we get in touch with the core issues behind these emotions, we see that the lack of ability to love and be true to ourselves is the area that needs rectifying. 

Feeling good about ourselves doesn’t come from trying to please others. We have to stop trying to gain approval and validation by “pleasing” people. Once we restore our inner connection to our own divine nature, we are filled with self-love and self-appreciation. When we strive to please others, it is always at our own expense because we are making them more important than ourselves. This will never bring the desired results because we have already set ourselves up to be diminished and we are teaching others the same erroneous belief. 

Resisting the Tendency to Conform to People’s Expectations 
So, now that we are aware that it is best not to allow others to dictate and tell us how to be, what to do and how to respond in situations, how do we stop these behaviors and learn to become true to ourselves? 

A key to successfully achieving this is to learn to stay in the moment and respond from the moment, not from the past or the perceived future. Responding from the past means that whenever mom has asked you to drop everything and take her to the store, you have cancelled everything in your life to “do your duty.” In this case, the new response would be to agree, if this feels right, but to set up the outing at a time that is also convenient for you. Responding from the future means that you go along with your husband’s request that you cook a surprise dinner for his buddies because of fear that he will get mad and ultimately could leave you if you don’t “keep him happy.” Living in the moment is a challenge we are all working to master; in the moment all the power of the universe and God at our disposal. The moment is the only time that is truly real and that is why there is so much power to be found when we can embrace it. 

When we are experiencing our life from the awareness of the moment, we are empowered to hold our ground and be true to ourselves and our true heart’s desires. We start to become more peaceful and less stressed because we are not dwelling on the mistakes, hurts and perceived shortcomings of the past, nor are we anticipating fearful or restrictive situations in our future. This allows us to be more confident and “connected” to our own inner guidance and wisdom. 

Daily periods of meditation and/or relaxation are also of great benefit. These are quiet times, wholly for ourselves, where we are nourished and rejuvenated from the Source that dwells within us. There is so much goodness that we hold within our own beings, and when we connect with it we glow from the inside out. So often we are afraid to look within because, at some level, we think that there are “bad” things inside of us. This is part of the confusion that has caused us to give away our personal power in the first place. The Source of all Goodness and Love resides within us. When we take time to quiet our minds and turn inward, we reconnect with that Beauty and God feeds and fills us, from the inside. This is the most empowering and elevating experience we can give ourselves. 

With regular replenishing from within, it is far easier to stay balanced and stable without. This means that we can calmly access situations and relationships and make the choices that are for our highest good. 

Positive affirmations are another great method to reprogram our minds and our beliefs about ourselves. If you notice that at some level you really don’t think you are worthy of love, then start to affirm to yourself, “I am worthy of love because I am a child of God.” Or, “God is love and God created me in His image, therefore I am love.” Repeat the affirmation over and over for a period of time until you start to feel the “truth” of what you are saying. You can also tape your affirmations, maybe adding some beautiful music in the background, and then regularly relax and listen to your personalized affirmation tape. It is very profound, to hear positive messages regarding the truth about yourself being spoken in your own voice. 

The Universal Laws of: Right Action and Like Attracts Like 
In our Universe there is a Law that directly deals with correct actions. This is the Law of Right Action. According to this Law: when we are following our true course, when we are being true to ourselves, then the outcome will always be for the highest good of all concerned. ALWAYS. 

This means that if someone really wants something of us that we do not feel good about and we hold-fast to our truth and do not cooperate with their desire for us, this is also the path of highest good for this person, whether they understand it or not. Perhaps they need to look at how they are imposing their desires and beliefs on others, perhaps they need to recognize that their motives were selfish, self-centered or manipulative. Whatever their lesson, when we give our truest response, we give others in our lives the greatest opportunity to grow, if they choose. We cannot decide if they grow now or later, but we can offer them growth by being true to ourselves. 

Of course, many people will not choose to look within and see their lesson. Many will just be angry or annoyed that we have not done what they wanted us to do, and what they feel we “should” do. That is their choice. Whether or not they have the ability to perceive the Truth, doesn’t change the Truth. When we are aligned with the highest good, we can continue on our path, knowing that we have honored the other person and that we have made the correct choice for all concerned. If the other person cannot recognize this, at this time, take consolation that the Truth will be revealed to them when they are ready to receive it. So even if they may be hurt, angry or upset with you for honoring your true feelings, eventually, some day they will understand and honor you for following the path of Truth. 

Some people may choose to leave our lives if we do not cooperate with their wishes and we must accept that if this happens it is for the highest good for ourselves and for them. Whenever people leave our life, new ones come in. And when we are on a path of enlightenment and harmony, the new people entering will always be more balanced, more loving, more willing to look within and be responsible for their own feelings and lives. This is guaranteed because of another Universal Law ~ The Law of Like Attracts Like! 

When we are honoring and loving ourselves, we will draw people into our lives that are also at this higher level of reality. It is always a win-win situation when we strive for greater alignment with Goodness and Truth. 

The Law of Like Attracts Like will also show us where we are imbalanced or confused by the degree of these qualities we face in the situations and people in our lives. As we strive to hold our ground and stay true to ourselves we have the opportunity to heal our imbalances. 

Of course, as with all growth, there will be many challenges and times of discomfort as we strive to take the course of Right Action in our lives. It will help us to uncover many of our old programming and erroneous belief systems about what defines a “good person” and it will uproot all of the “shoulds” and other absolutes we hold firmly in our minds. Uncovering this greatly benefits our healing and elevation. 

Shortchanging Ourselves 
Even though our intensions may be for positive outcomes when we try to please others, by shortchanging ourselves it creates hidden resentments and negativity. It gives the impression that others are more valuable than we are when we place their wants, needs and desires before our own. At the other levels of reality this causes a disconnection with our innate unity and oneness with all of life. 

This separation causes us to keep score of all perceived slights and lack of return for our efforts. If we believe that we must give our all to others, even at our own expense, then we expect and even demand that others return this behavior. Giving is no longer joyous or free. The strings and obligations that come with our “giving” are like a poisonous pill that do more harm than good. The recipient of our “giving” is neither empowered nor liberated from our actions and usually will have a hidden resentment for our efforts which come at such a cost and level of debt. These unintended shortcomings deprive others of experiencing true giving first hand and it incorrectly teaches others that this method of martyrdom is the expected way of life. This leads to confusion, depression and despair when nothing really succeeds to feel good, despite our best efforts. 

When we judge ourselves to be less important than others, we carry this sentence over to those we love in our lives as well. In truth no one is greater than, or lesser than another. All have equal value in the eyes of our Creator. We are all perfect children of God, no matter what kind of mistakes in judgment or actions we have made. They are all just lessons on the journey back to wholeness and Oneness with the Source. At our true, and highest level, which is our God-Self which retains its link with God and has never separated from the Source, we are still pure, holy and completely perfect. This is the true understanding of our existence. 

Selfish versus Self Honoring 
Being selfish is self defeating. When one is selfish all their thoughts and actions are motivated by self gain and profit with no regard for the welfare or feelings of others. If our focus is only on ourselves we are out of balance and harmony within as well as without. Selfish people are lonely people because they have no ability to sustain healthy relationships. They are also unhappy people because they are always seeing through the eyes of lack. They constantly perceive others as having something they want, it’s as though the world owes them something for nothing. They constantly project their insecurities onto others, spending much of their time finding fault with others in order to feel superior and thus better about themselves. 

Selfish people are hiding a deep insecurity and lack of motivation. They would rather blame everything outside of them for what ails them in their life. They are never happy and never have enough: enough friends, enough possessions, enough money, enough prestige, enough appreciation, and so on. Selfish people are only interested in self-gain. They lack the ability to look with empathy at the situations and feelings of others. They are so wrapped up in their own reality, they cannot see beyond themselves to the larger vision. 

This is far different from the Self-Honoring, balanced person who does not give in to the demands and manipulations of others. You can clearly see the difference here. When one is selfish, they are rarely concerned about their behavior, much less if they are or aren’t being selfish. Because being selfish is their nature they usually are not seeking to elevate. To be concerned about others and our impact on others; to recognize our unity with others and their divinity is the sign of spiritual development and higher awareness. 

Because you are reading this material, it shows that you are not a selfish person. You do not live your life at the expense of others. What is being suggested to you here is that you stop allowing yourself to be pulled off course because of an old fear pattern and old programming that tells you that if you do not conform to the demands of others you are being selfish. This is simply not so. 

Our families have patterns that need to be looked at to really clear all this out of our systems. Everyone came into a family that operated with some of this programming in place. Each member of the family had a specific role to play and everyone else reinforced the necessity of this role being sustained within the family unit. So, when you first begin to break away from these unhealthy and restrictive patterns, you will likely hear about it from your family members who have a vested interest in you staying stuck in the old patterns! After all, if you shift out of these outmoded behaviors it leaves a gap, an empty space, that is uncomfortable for the other family members. 

Actually, what you are really doing is creating a space between yourself and the dysfunction. This serves as an opportunity for your family to look at this old pattern and to also shift these old patterns, if they so choose. Don’t be surprised if they choose not to shift and instead to try to draw you back into your old dysfunctional role. When you are ready to give up old behaviors that are not serving your highest good, you have to recognize that this is your right. It is also the right of all the other people in your life not to choose to give up their dysfunction. In other words it rarely works out that an entire family is ready to clear out all the dysfunction at the same time. Often one goes ahead and starts the process, opening the way for the others when they are ready. 

The same is true within marriages and in close friendships. Each partner may not grow at the same rate and at the same time. Each individual must be honored and accepted exactly where they are. But this doesn’t mean that it is always best to stay in a relationship when there are major discrepancies between the two individuals that make for constant compromises that do not serve each person’s highest good. 

An example is the marriage of Fred and Maybel. Although there was a strong past life bond between the two and a lot of old karma to be worked out, at the mental, emotional, and spiritual levels these individuals were on different paths, had different needs and enjoyed entirely different experiences. When Fred was in his element, Maybel was traumatized and visa versa. So, the greatest good that could occur for these two individuals was to lovingly move out of the relationship so that neither party had to deny their true feelings for the other. Instead, each partner supported the other as they moved their life forward in more harmonious and healthy ways. 

Some people have been coming together for many lifetimes because of old ties and past associations, when in reality they are such completely different types of beings that they cannot create true harmony between themselves. This doesn’t make one person better or worse than the other, just different. Each person deserves to be honored, respected and allowed to grow and unfold in the manner that feels most appropriate to them. If the other individual is not in harmony with this, then it is for that individual to take a sincere and deep look within and learn their own lessons from the experience. Staying in an unhealthy marriage or relationship out of a sense of duty or out of conditioning that it’s the “right” thing to do often leads to abuse, depression and a diminishing of the life force. 

Contrary to popular belief, God, or the Supreme Being, does not endorse suffering or self-denial in any form for any circumstance. These so called “laws” were created and interpreted by man and are fear based in nature. The Universal Energies are full of love and seek only for love to flow between all members of creation. When you are in harmony with another it is as though you create music that enhances all of creation. When you are in conflict with another, discord is the outcome, and this negatively affects all of creation. It is far better to honor the individual and their right to their own journey, and move on if their journey and yours are not in harmony, than to stay together for the sake of preserving an unhappy union. 

A key Spiritual Law requires Non-Harm of Self and Others. It is just as important not to harm ourselves and not to allow others to harm us, as it is to not harm others. Those of us who have gotten caught in the “pleasing others” cycle have generally learned well the lessons of non-harming others. What has been misunderstood is the non-harm of self aspect of this equation, and the realization that at a subtle level when we aren’t true to ourselves we are harming others. This is powerful to recognize and frees us from creating more karma with others. 

Criticism versus Constructive Feedback. 
Before addressing any situation where there is disharmony, it is always important to first of all work through any strong emotion you have about the situation and to ponder all angles and both sides of the situation, your side and the other person’s side. Then, when you are in a place of balance and clarity, lovingly give constructive feedback to the person. This is the truest response you can give, lovingly sharing your true feelings. The key is to own your feelings and not blame the other person for how you are feeling. 

When the Truth “hurts” 
Often we tell “white lies” or “sugar coat” our words in an effort to be polite, when in truth we are feeling something quite different to what we express. How do we reconcile our true feelings with our concern for the feelings of others? Again, we must be willing to come from a deeper place of truth with our thoughts, words and deeds. The power of our thoughts is profound and even when we think a judgmental thought the energy of that thought goes out to the person and affects them adversely. We are responsible for all our thoughts, all our words and all our actions. 

As much as possible it is our responsibility to purify our thinking, purify our words and purify our actions so that everything we give out is loving and kind and honest. So, you may ask, what about the times when you feel taken advantage of by another. What is the “polite” way to communicate this and not hurt the person’s feelings? The main catch here is “hurting the person’s feelings” it is not always possible to avoid hurting another person’s feelings. While it is very important to consider the feelings of others, it is more important to hold fast to your truth and to be willing to communicate in a loving way what you really feel. Often it is helpful to “own your own feelings” as a means of sharing your true feelings without being harsh to the person. For example you could tell Johnny, “I feel pressured when you continually ask me to come over, even after I’ve told you I am busy.” 

When we communicate with others about feelings or experiences that are likely to cause discomfort or hurt feelings in another, we must be very clear as to our intent. Is sharing this something that will be of assistance to the person? Will it strengthen your relationship with this person. For example if someone has very bad acne and you feel drawn to tell them that their appearance is quite repulsive to you, do you really think this will help this person in some way? Rather it may be better for you to examine why you have such strong feelings of unease around this situation and then work through your end of the situation. 

Many people feel it is wrong to say anything to another that seems like criticism. But constructive criticism is needed for growth. If you have a child who is honestly lazy, you may have to sit that child down and lovingly tell them that they are very lazy and that unless they make an effort to change this behavior they will have adverse affects in their life. You cannot help the person to change if you don’t address the problem. Of course, the key is to address the issue in a respectful and loving manner and to do so only when it is appropriate. 

So, you may ask, how do I know when it is appropriate? It is always appropriate when someone asks you for your opinion or seeks your council. At these times it is always appropriate to tell the truth in the most gentle and loving way possible. No matter how “impolite” it may seem to be. It is also appropriate when you are in a position of guidance as is the case with parents or teachers. 

Sometimes, even if your advise is sought, if after you access the situation you determine that your true feelings would not be helpful for the person to hear at this time, you can just gently guide the conversation away from that topic. If the person persists in going back to that topic, just reply, “I don’t feel comfortable discussing that with you at this time.” And hold your ground!!! 

In conclusion, everyone and everything in creation benefits when you let go of the old programming of “politeness” and people pleasing and learn to be true to your own inner feelings. Let them guide and direct the course of your life. The skills you develop along the way will greatly enhance your life, your relationships and your sense of well-being. Your radiance and balance will touch a lot of lives and inspire others to follow the path of truth and self-love.



If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.