Michael rejects Nancy for being overweight and she condemns his smoking.
They have a discipline problem. They cannot control certain needs and urges that are undermining their health and appearance. They both reject themselves for this, but get angry when the other reminds them of what they already know and feel inside.
Nancy does not realize she gets angry when Michael reminds her about her weight or her eating because she rejects herself about this matter. In turn, Michael does not understand that he gets upset when she reminds him about his smoking and his health because he himself is concerned about this. Each is reflecting the otherís own thoughts and fears about him and herself.
Whenever Nancy reminds Michael or complains about his smoking, he reacts like an adolescent and smokes even more, as if to establish his freedom to do whatever he wants. Likewise, whenever he comments on her weight or eating, she gets upset, and within the hour, sneaks into the kitchen and secretly eats whatever will quench her unhappiness with whether or not she is actually hungry.
Both are filled with feelings of failure, guilt, disappointment, and self-rejection, but they also feel deprivation when they can not get what they want. They are covering up and quieting other feelings and needs through their cigarettes and food.
Because each rejects himself or herself, he or she also rejects the other.
What could their lessons be?
Could they need to learn some of the following lessons:
That they are free to do whatever they choose with their lives?
That they are not better persons if they are able to employ a discipline, and that God will not love them less if they arenít?
That disciplines do not limit us but actually free us from needs, desires and weaknesses?
That discipline is a basic path toward real freedom?
To approach discipline as an adult who sees the value it has for him or her because he or she sees it as the intelligent thing to do?
To get free from the role of the child and parent with themselves? (The parent says they must do this so the child feels suppressed and reacts. The Ďparentí rejects the child and so on.)
To love and accept themselves exactly as they are and to do this discipline because they want to, not so they will like themselves better?
To avoid employing disciplines to please others, but rather to do them because they realize they are intelligent?
To think deeply about why they want to do this?
To accept others exactly as they are whether they are disciplined or not?
To develop a deeper relationship with the divine within to become more fulfilled from within?
To free themselves from guilt?
To realize that when someone reacts he is not really free, but is instead limited by the need to react?
To free themselves from past experiences in which they have felt controlled (or the danger of being controlled) by others?
To discover the emotions they are trying to cover with food and cigarettes and release them?
That they are divine beings and are lovable exactly as they are?
That their real freedom is emancipation from their addictions, fears, weaknesses and reactions?
That they have the power within them to do whatever they decide?
If they accept themselves and each other, and approach the matter with self-respect and logic, they will create the lives they want.
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Robert E. Najemy, author of 25 books and life coach with 30 years of experience, has trained over 300 life coaches and now does so over the Internet. Become a life coach.
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