In Part 1, we discussed the irony that often our loved ones hinder us in our grandest goals and highest aspirations. We saw how the road to self improvement is not always supported because of its impact on our loved ones and how these changes – real or perceived – may affect the relationship.
Today we’ll learn to recognize the forms this sabotage can take, and conclude by discussing actionable steps we might take to prevent alienation and hopefully, foster even stronger bonds as we continue forward… together.
Recently I consulted with a Malay gentleman who wanted to lose weight, and for more than just cosmetic reasons. You see, he had just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and with a strong family history of hypertension, diabetes and two male relatives dying from heart attacks, he knew it was time to take care of his own health or court an early death.
He was highly motivated, affirming his commitment to make time and effort as I went through the exercise program with him.
But when it came to the diet part he was crestfallen. On questioning I found out that it wasn’t his unwillingness to make changes. It was his knowledge that his mother-in-law, who did the cooking, would outright refuse to stop cooking curries, nor would she alter her original recipes in any way.
I asked him if she knew he was in danger health-wise, and that he was trying to lose weight. He replied yes.
Keep in mind, the gentleman I am talking about was at a stage where losing weight wasn’t an option, it was essential from a Life preservation standpoint
This wasn’t the first time I’ve heard of something like this. There are many variations on the same theme. And it doens’t apply to weight loss only. Any time someone has a major self-improvement goal, like starting a business, achieving financial independence, or going back to work, you can almost bet that one of the biggest impediments is a loved one.
Yesterday was one of those days you feel you’ve been stamped flat as a pancake, peeled off the floor, rolled into a ball, and then stamped on again. Trying to get through a huge crisis while suffering neck and spasm, preparing for a speech and trying to get through a workout without irritating an injury isn’t fun. On top of that, a hundred and one other gremlins had apparently decided that my day needed a bit more spice and were giving it to me… in spades.
To sum it up, I was having a bad day, in a bad state, thinking some very bad thoughts (and words).
Then, something cut through this negative strangle – the plaintiff mewling reminding me that it was time for a feed… for Sesame.
And when I went to feed her, I couldn’t help but smile because it was an instant pattern interrupt, a potent mood shift to see her innocent, cute and desperate face looking at me with a mixture of hope, ingratiation and resentment.
That got me thinking… pets can really enrich your Life.