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Does Innocence Factor into Getting Along with Others?


One of the most powerful tools I have learned thru Fearless Living (from Rhonda Britten’s Fearless Living Institute) is Intention Statements. An Intention Statement is a powerful, positive statement about how I want to be; in other words, it has to do with process and presence, not the end result. The amazing thing is that a good Intention Statement can have powerful results because living it changes how I process whatever it is going on around me. How I take it in has everything to do whether I feel positive & motivated, or negative, angry, & stuck.

Why is this so powerful? Allow me to illustrate: you are in a restaurant, they are busy, it takes a couple minutes for your server to arrive at your table and when they do, they seem impatient to get your order and leave again – no chit chat. What do you tell yourself? Do you A) assume they are ill-fitted for this work because they are so unfriendly & decide to watch their service closely because their tip will probably be small; B) wonder if they are having a bad day, either at work or home, and decide to be a little extra nice to them, or C) something else?

Next question, if you were that server, what treatment would you most hope for from your customers as you do your best to get their food and drinks to them accurately and in a timely fashion? In this example, the rest of your story is that 2 servers didn’t show for the shift so you have nearly twice as many tables as you should have, and an hour ago one of your tables spilled 2 drinks then yelled at you for not cleaning it up fast enough, causing a loud scene in front of the whole restaurant.

It was a huge revelation to me to learn that my harsh snap judgements about the incompetence of others fed my own unhappiness. It also fed my own perfectionistic tendencies, which are fear-based behaviors. Perfectionism is a very unforgiving state of mind that not only hurts my view of myself, it hurts my ability to love others unconditionally or feel any love offered to me – though it makes me highly aware of any slight or insult. In other words, perfectionism keeps me focused on what’s wrong while ignoring what might be good and seeing the potential for positive outcomes.

What I have found, is that when I am willing to practice cherishing innocence in myself and others, I am able to recognize effort; and I am much more tolerant of humanity in general. No one is perfect, no one will ever agree with me 100% of the time – in fact, sometimes I even change my own mind when I am willing to let in new information, so I don’t even agree with myself 100% of the time. And I realize I need this flexibility if I truly want to continue to grow as a person and be able to relate to and connect with others more fully.

For me, cherishing innocence in others means that I will remember I don’t know the whole story behind someone else’s current mood, that I have no need to judge them for it, and to ask myself how I would want to be treated. If someone seems to be upset with me, cherishing their innocence helps me remember to listen to their words and try to understand what it is they really want, rather than taking issue with their tone. It also reminds me that they are doing they best they know in this moment and whatever is bothering them is really about them, not me, even if it feels directed at me.

Cherishing my own innocence leaves me open to options and the grace of learning from my mistakes instead of feeling defeated or inadequate because of them. It allows me to appreciate the wonder of the wide variety in creation without feeling threatened by people who look or do things differently than I do. It helps me remain clear on what is my responsibility and what isn’t. Cherishing innocence lets me be me, and lets me let you be you. And isn’t that what we really want, to be accepted? I know I do.

#lifecoaching #anxiety #selfhelp #fearlessliving #selfacceptance