Learning to Come from the Gut
One of the hardest lessons I have ever had to learn
was to become conscious of my "gut feelings". I
used to be a master of pushing down my feelings and
being unconsious of what I was really feeling.
I seemed to be operating from the principle of,
"If I ignore what I am feeling, maybe it will go
Well, I've reached a point in my life where I am
no longer capable of ignoring my feelings and
sometimes they can make me completely miserable.
The trick in making your feelings work for you
instead of eating you up inside is dependent on
knowing who you are and what is important to you --
and then not ignoring what you feel.
One of the main things that I have learned about
myself is that I value being respected. The other
side of that coin is that I can't and won't
tolerate being treated with disrespect. I refuse to
allow the people in my life to treat me as anything
less than a human being. If someone that I know
does treat me with a lack of respect and I don't do
anything about it, that is when I feel
I know full well that I am not perfect and that
I am fully as capable of making mistakes and
screwing things up as well as any human being. But
I insist on being treated with respect in spite of
anything that I have done, simply because I usually
don't mess up on purpose.
If my intention is love and healing and not hate
and destruction, and I do my best, nobody has the
right to treat me with sarcasm and put me down or
try to push me around. I, at the very least want to
be treated with ordinary courtesy.
Lately, my wife has taken to forgetting to deal
with me with the same rules that she automatically
applies to complete strangers. When she wants me to
do something for her, she makes it in the form of a
command instead of a request. "Please", "Thank
you", and "Would you do me a favor?" have been
sorely missing lately.
"You're falling asleep. Get up and go to
"Take off your hat"
"Stop putting these things in the drawer. Throw
them in the trash."
The unexpected commands were making me angry,
but I waited until I had a good night's sleep
before I said anything. Sometimes, my feelings are
caused by not enough sleep or dehydration or
fatigue. But when I woke up this morning, I was
madder than the day before and I knew that I had to
act. When I got back from the gym, I went into her
"I am extremely upset with you right now about
the way that you have been treating me. I feel as
though you don't respect me enough to give me
common courtesy and it has made me extremely
She was startled and asked me what she had done.
I told her how it felt to be sleeping in my
recliner and rudely awakened by her command to go
She immediately began defending herself by
trying to explain.
I exploded: "NO! I'm not listening to your
explanations when I'm telling you how I feel. I'm
I went upstairs to change out of my gym
It took her about five minutes, but she came up,
sat down and said, "Okay. Now I'm ready to
So I reeled off three or four examples of what
she had been doing lately and how angry I was. It
took awhile, but she listened very well and then
apologized. We had a very good day today.
No, she didn't even slow down as to the number
of things she wanted me to do, but she treated me
with kindness and respect throughout the day.
©2008, Irv Engel
* * *
One's life has value so long as one attributes
values to the life of others, by means of love,
friendship, indignation and compassion., - Simone
Irv Engel is a
successful salesman, builder, husband, father,
grandfather and friend. He loves to sing, dance and
is currently taking an art class to learn water
color painting. He is the creator and coordinator
of the Relationship Training Course for Men. This
Real Deal: A Guide to Achieving Successful and Real
is the result of hundreds of hours spent writing
down the lessons learned in a lifetime of marriage,
divorce, re-marriage and raising four kids. He
hosts free telephone conference coaching sessions
in the evening or on weekends.The conference is a
good way to find out about relationship coaching
and to ask any personal questions around your own
relationships without risk to your money or your
him for phone number, access
code and schedule. Irv and Monica live in Lake
Forest, Calif. They have eleven grandchildren. They
have celebrated their thirty-fifth wedding
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