I had problems fitting the whole title of this chapter on the title line, so here it is in full: Imagine the People in Your Life as Tiny Infants and as One-Hundred-Year-Old Adults.
As I read the title of this chapter with curiosity, I thought, “Now what does this have to do with stressing less, not sweating the small stuff, and living a life of peace and harmony?”
Our author, Richard Carlson, explains that he had used this technique for many years to help defuse the oh so human feelings of irritation toward other people. Perfect! I feel feelings of irritation ALL THE TIME! I’m confessing here that some people annoy me. . . really annoy and irritate me a lot of the time. They may not know it or maybe they do, as I’m not very good at hiding my inner emotions.
For this particular exercise, we are going to have to use our imaginations in a way we thought we never would. We will have to “remove” the irritating person as we know them presently, and shrink them down to tiny infants or imagine them as old people about to croak. (Sorry for my lack of sensitivity)
First he asks us to picture those people who truly irritate us, or make us feel angry, as infants. Tiny creatures with tiny features, all innocent and helpless. Little babies that cannot help but make mistakes. Visualizing those irritating people as babies, reminds us that we all were at one time, a little infant. Now fast forward and imagine that same person (or people) as being one hundred years old and in the last stages of their life. Looking into worn out eyes with a soft smile that suggests a bit of wisdom and the admission of mistakes made, we are once again reminded that each us will (hopefully) reach a ripe old age and will need the compassion of those whom we are now in their care.
From cradle to grave there will be many stages in our lives when we will need to provide or receive compassion. Our goal is to acquire perspective and more wisdom as we go through life and the use of this technique will help us to harbor less negativity toward others.
What I want to know is, “Isn’t there a strategy to get people to stop being so irritating and annoying and why do I have to do all the work?”
Practicing “Imagine the People in Your Life as Tiny Infants and as One-Hundred-Year-Old Adults” will definitely be a conscious effort for me. Irritation comes so quickly, that taking the time to envision babies and one hundred year old people will be a monumental undertaking for me. Most times it IS children and old people whom I’m irritated with, so I’m going to put all my energy in motion to master this particular strategy.
Perhaps someone is imaging me as a tiny infant or a one hundred year old person. Good grief!
THIS WEEKS ADVENTURE ASSIGNMENT
Guess what it is? Read the title…