“You’d rather change the outside world than do the inner work of altering your response to it.”
Blaming, complaining, comparing, judging, criticising others is usually much easier than reflecting, introspecting and analysing our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours and then correcting our responses and actions. I believe we do this because it’s harder to admit and acknowledge to ourselves and then to change our familiar patterns.
Also it’s easier to think we can influence, control or otherwise change people, it somehow seems more enjoyable and controllable.
For me the opposite is true, in the end. I start off looking outwards and try to change the external before turning inward. After much resistance and drama, I start inwardly reflecting, in other words introspecting.
If I can open my heart, be still and listen to my higher self, I find that the answers come like downloads and they don’t feel so intense or resistant. The wisdom I receive are usually simple. I felt hurt, so I said mean things, instead of being compassionate to myself; I wanted to be heard so I shouted, instead of asking; I was controlling because I was projecting my loss of control, instead of sitting with the discomfort, etc.
In the end all we want as human beings is to connect with each other and have meaningful conversations, and each of us need to ask ourselves “Would this action make me feel closer to or more distant from the other?”
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi
Why I believe digital detox is a good practice for connection with people we love.
When a device is on and is showing you something entertaining, we cannot help ourselves but glance at it. It’s pulling us in with all the bright colours and feeding our fear of missing out if we ignore the latest news. Because the power of a screen is so great and we are instantly tempted to have a look, it becomes a battle of wills to keep our hands off our devices.
I think it’s a good idea to switch the phone or tablet off altogether for an extended amount of time, whether that’s for an hour, a day or a weekend. Try a digital detox and see how this affects you and your family’s moods, time, concentration, etc.
I believe that the quality of conversations and relationships in general are being degraded by the distraction of those devices. If we want to have a meaningful conversation with a loved one, we would fare better if we put away our phones so that we can focus on each other. This is especially true for when we talk to children. They notice when we, the adults, are not paying attention to them, which after many occasions, might impact their self-esteem and how they value themselves. Then they might start copying us and do the same when they are on their phones/tablets. They need to learn to engage in conversation but only us, the adults, can teach them how by example. Let’s all put our phones down and listen to our loved ones.
One: The 5 Love Languages by Dr Gary Chapman. I recommend this if you want to find out about his proven approach to showing and receiving love which will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner. There are exercises in the book to find out what your primary and secondary languages are.
Two: Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel. I recommend this if you’d like to think outside the box about desire and intimacy, she will challenge you to view relationships in a completely different way.
Three: Getting the Love you Want by Dr Harville Hendrix. I recommend this if you would like to create a loving, supportive and revitalised partnership. There are exercises in the book that you can try with your partner or with a couple therapist.
Four: Hold me Tight by Dr Sue Johnson. I recommend this if you want to learn how to diffuse conflicts, create a safe emotional connection, and strengthen bonds between you and your partner.
Five: Passionate Marriage by Dr David Schnarch. I recommend this if you want to know how to keep passion alive and reach the height of sexual and emotional fulfilment.