Now you're in the box. Now what? The first part of getting out of the box is seeing that you are in the box. Simple, but not easy. Looking for signs of being in the box, the feelings/emotions, justifications, etc we can see our box and make the decision to stay in the box, or get out.
Next it is a helpful point, to remember times that you weren't in the box, either with other relationships or other places or times. I think this step can seem superficial, but I think its important in changing our emotions from overly negative to a more neutral place.
After getting in touch with what life feels like out of the box, the next step is to view the situation and person with the new perspective. There are several questions to ask ourselves to help see the situation and person anew.
- What are this person's or people's challenges, trials, burdens and pains?
- How am I, or some group of which I am a part, adding to these challenges, trials, burdens, and pains?
- In what other ways have I or my group neglected to mistreated this person or group?
- In what ways are my boxes obscuring the truth about others and myself and interfering with potential solutions?
- What am I feeling I should do for this person or group? What could I do to help?
All of these questions take us through seeing the other person as a person, rather than an object. As I ask these questions of myself regarding my spouse, I see my husband's challenges as a provider over the past years, I see his burden of feeling inadequate, I see the pain that caused. I see that I am adding to these challenges simply with the request for another child. I see that the thought of added responsibility for him is overwhelming. I have been obscuring the truth about him even inside the argument. I've been seeing him as an obstacle, I've been seeing his feelings as an obstacle as well. I've seen him as mistreating me and I've seen myself as a unappreciated by him. What I'm feeling I should do for this person is honor his feelings about increasing our family size. I can take action to communicate to my husband I hear, understand and respect his feelings. I may still not agree, but I can honor him through the disagreement.