Peace and Good Will Between Neighbours. How To?

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums

Peace and Good Will Between Neighbours. How To?

Postby Clare » Mon May 23, 2005 1:04 pm

I am trying not to react, and somehow quiet myself into grace with regard to my neighbours. I'm not there yet. I was wondering if anyone could maybe help me get there.

Late last year, the elderly couple who had lived next door to me for yonks moved to sunnier climes and sold their house to a landlord. The landlord has converted the house into two flats(apartments). he then moved in a one single man (who was very nice - but has since left) and also a family. All the residents are African - I suspect refugees, although I would never ask.

I live in a terrace. If you live in America and have a detached house, you will not understand this but noise control becomes a real issue. In the night, if somone sneezes in the bedroom next door, I hear it. The brick walls of these Victorian houses are very thin.

I felt very welcoming to these new people. I was actually hoping for a fresh new start to my neigborliness. I had never really got on well with the previous residents and it was a nice thought to have new people to forge a new friendship with. It was also appealing to me to welcome these new people into the country.

The mother of the family has three small children to look after during the day. I reckon they are literally two, three and four years old; a handful and a half, I'll bet. However, I began to get really concerned at the frequency oftheir crying. I hear it all the time, often several times a day, and not just whingeing, but often hysterically distressed screamy crying. it began to interfere with my work. At first I would sit there worrying about the children instead of getting on with things. My background noise frequently is the sound of children in misery. I was immediately put into a dilemma that I could not get present enough to just see. If I complain, or question I start out a pattern of bad feeling between us. I was also concerned for the children in terms of - are they being abused? After one afternoon of almost constant crying that actually left me shaking, I called our local authority and talked about it being simply a noise complaint. They told me they couldnt file a noise complaint for childrens' crying, and that if I wanted to take it further I would have to file a complaint of suspected abuse.

The children when I see them look well fed, well dressed, and not bruised. I have no idea, and whilst I would hate to think of any child being abused, I also understand this is a very heavy accusation against anyone; Iwould not want to do it unless I was sure. I cannot just talk to the mother about it, because she cannot speak English. The only time she had ever tried to communicate with me is when she made a complaint about my dog barking(!!) - and it turned out that it was not my dog she was hearing, but the dog in the garden over the back them, and that was one of the most awkward and confusing pseudo conversations I have ever had.

The other strange thing about her was she never smiles when I smile at her and just mumbles a hello if I happen to say hello to her. She is very 'blank'. And I've seen her laughing and joking with friends, so it is not just 'how she is'.

In the end, I didnt know what to do, so I left it. The crying has subsided somewhat recently, but what is worrying to me is I think it's just I am getting used to it, and phasing it out of my consciousness.

Then, another anomaly happened.

I actually thought I was making headway with this woman. A few times the kids had thrown toys and balls over into my garden, and I always madea point of going around to the door and handing it to her with a smile. She'd THEN smile back and say thank you. Then one day she said 'I'm sorry, it's him," pointing to her two year old, 'he's always throwingthings in the air'. So I thought "Oh Good, and now she's learning English too." and smiled and said it was okay, I understood.

Then a few days ago, I was going out with my dog as she was coming in with the pram full of kids. Her friend was with her. We met over the front garden wall. The little girl put her hand over the wall to pet the dog. My dog naturally put her paws up on the wall to greet her. And the little girl jumped back, suddenly frightened. I smiled and said to the child "Don't worry, she's really friendly and would never hurt you." Then I looked up at the mother and smiled at her. And was met, once again, by this total blank stare . I smiled anyway, and said "Hello there, you must have been out early." And she literally frowned, looked down and turned her back on me, refusing to speak to me. I was so astonished I thought maybe she didnt realise I was speaking to her, so I said again "Hello!" and tried to catch her stare, and she then literaly made this big show of not wanting to meet my eyes or speak with me and hurried inside.
Her friend seemed embarrassed, and said to the kids "He's just being friendly, yes, that's it!" about the dog, But i could see her English was not good either."

At first I felt really offended, and also slightly vengeful. I feel as if I have bent over backwards to be nice to her despite having to put up with terrible upseting noise and unwarranted complaints, not withstanding my house being infused with the smell of her cookery at regular intervals. And I am being treated as if I am some kind of offense to her sensibilities.

I just don't know what to do about it. Should I just accept she doesnt want to communicate and stop trying? Accept the children scream all the time? Should I file a report about the kids? There's two things I want: I wantthe children to stop having to be so miserable, whatever it is that is making them miserable must be awful for them, and is also awful for me to listen to. I would like to be on casual friendly terms with her as a neighbour.

I get on really well with my neigbour on the other side.

And here's one more thing that strikes me as relevant. \The elderly couple who lived there before never spoke to me either. They were as quiet as church mice and never bothered me in any way, but there was this strangething that they would never talk to me, even to say hello. I just accepted it, as I moved in after they did and I thought maybe this is just what they are like. But now I am wondering - is it the house?

Any suggestions and/or insights would be most welcome. I have no handle on this at all at present.
User avatar
Clare
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Limousin, France

Postby heidi » Mon May 23, 2005 4:00 pm

Hi Clare - It's likely something else will get your attention, and the focus will shift from your neighbors. I know that happens with me when I sometimes get obsessed on something. As far as your old neighbors went, I think they just wanted to keep a distance to create boundries for the sake of everyday privacy. I know I do that with my close neighbors, otherwise they'd be in my yard and in my face all the time. Good fences make good neighbors, as Frost so aptly put it. :)

One thing I have learned over the years is that sometimes, just as with animals, we apply our own "anima" thoughts, emotions to others around us, when in reality, what's going on with them is completely unknown to us. I'm Gladys Kravits sometimes, especially when it comes to standing up for people who can't stand up for themselves, so I understand that you might be worried about the crying. Applying PON to your situation could be very helpful. I know it has really helped me in dealing with those around me.

So, the kid is crying, so you observe it, listen to the nuances of it without judgement. Hear the space between it, and the distance between it and you. Make it into a a space consciousness exercise. I do that with jets overhead, and emergency vehicles going by.

So, the woman is "ignoring' you, when in her culture it may be quite rude to meet someone's eyes. So, instead of trying to figure it out on your own terms, just acknowledge it.

I know in years past I've gone wild, such as with the neighbor who put a big light up in a tree pointing right in my bedroom window. I bought lazer pointers and tried to put it out by aiming the pointer at the sensor, I copied Dark Sky stuff and gave it to him, I called the authorities and had them ask him to shade it, and when I completely gave up, the guy put a shade on it. One thing I came to realize, is that they have lots of lights because one of the members of the family is almost totally blind.

Maybe when the kids get acclimated, they'll not cry as much. Boo Hoo
Heidi
http://www.heidimayo.com
wonderment on the third wave
User avatar
heidi
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2703
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:37 am
Location: 42nd parallel, Massachusetts, USA

Postby Clare » Mon May 23, 2005 9:07 pm

Hey Heidi High,

Thanks for your reply and your patience reading it.

I thought about it being cultural, and I don't mind if she doesnt make eye contact - but no smiling? Turning one's back?

I sort of have done, up to this point what you said, and just tuned out the kids screaming. But I also have this concern that this is a little irresponsible of me. Actually my knowing tells me that it is not that she is beating or hurting them, . I get the sense that during her day, she just puts them in a room and leaves them whilst she gets on with things. if they cry, she ignores them. I'm pretty sure that is what it is and I have done lots of asking on other levels.

One thing I am certain about is this is nothing to do with me personally. But I guess I feel a little bit upset about having, once again, to have this silent non communicative relationship with neighbours for reasons I don't understand. It's something to do with the energy of it; it doesn't feel good. I am of a different mind to you Heidi on this. What are we if we cannot be a community? Why talk to people overseas on the Internet and yet ignore the people who live 5 metres away? Ihave high fences, and I value my privacy, and I am certainly not in the face of my neighbour on the other side, nor she me. But it is a pleasant exchange, and there is a familiarity. We exchange plants and recipes and chit chat ( I can make a mean Jerk chicken thanks to her) . On occasion we have a dispute, get it out in the open and then patch it up. This is because we are human neighbours.

Oh well, I am already phasing it out of my attention as you said. But should I? I'm not sure, Heidi. Not sure.

Love, Clare
User avatar
Clare
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Limousin, France

Postby heidi » Tue May 24, 2005 1:06 am

I just smile and wave. :)
Maybe a nice little poem or short story - intuitive action - is in order?
Heidi
http://www.heidimayo.com
wonderment on the third wave
User avatar
heidi
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2703
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:37 am
Location: 42nd parallel, Massachusetts, USA

Postby Clare » Tue May 24, 2005 11:14 am

You mean, for her? :)

Yeah, that would work. I could knock on the door and hand over my Byron Channellings:

"As my neighbour, I would like you to have these. They are channelled from Lord Byron - ever heard of him? No?Well, he comes to me from over the... other... side" <pantomines dying and going to the afterlife>

:lol:

Thanks for making me laugh this morning, Heidi High.

Oh, and to any others who are reading this. I don't really channel Byron. It's just a joke of mine. Although, of course, if I get the book deal, you will forget I wrote this ;)
User avatar
Clare
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Limousin, France

Postby Guest » Thu May 26, 2005 12:46 pm

Clare wrote:One thing I am certain about is this is nothing to do with me personally. But I guess I feel a little bit upset about having, once again, to have this silent non communicative relationship with neighbours for reasons I don't understand.


Hi, Clare.

As a newcomer to ET's writings who has just spent the past three days listening to his material, two things strike me after reading your post (with which I greatly sympathise because of my own past experiences with neighbours).

The first is his repeated advice that we should have no expectations of the world of form - they're bound to be disappointed. I guess this is especially true of the natural wish for community when we live in a fractured world in which most of us are insane to a greater or lesser degree (and by "insane", I mean unconscious, hypnotised by thought).

The second point is the importance of accepting that it's okay not to know, not to understand. That it's essential not to resist not knowing.

You say that it's nothing to do with you "personally", but, of course, that's exactly what it is. This is all very personal indeed. The limited you is offended. The limited you can't understand your neighbour's behaviour. The limited you is even searching for possible justifications to report the woman to social services (although her children appear happy and well looked after).

I think the problem is very much about the limited you.

You can never know the reasons for the behaviour of your neighbours (the elderly couple have left and there's no real communication with their successors). And heidi's observations and Frost quotation probably sum up their attitude very well. So many people have had bad experiences with neighbours that they no longer wish to engage with them at all.

This is sad, of course, but neighbours come and go, like everything else in the world of form. If you can allow your neighbours the space to exist in their own way, I'm sure this problem will resolve itself (just like heidi's and my own neighbour problems, when we learned to let things be and offer no resistance).

Meanwhile, (and I hope this doesn't sound like a cliche), it sounds as though your neighbours are the best teachers you could wish for. Try to see them in that light and you'll be much happier. The lessons they have to teach you are exactly what you need to know at this moment, which is really nothing at all.

There's a deep, profound peace in the space between you and your neighbours and your thoughts about your neighbours - in the NOW. That's where you need to focus.

Good luck! :)

James
Guest
 

Postby Clare » Wed Jun 01, 2005 4:31 pm

Hello Guest,

Thank you for your reply. Although I have to say that I don't agreewith you on a lot of it. You may even be right, but I still don't agree with you. To me, your response points out some of the pitfalls of Eckharts perfectly honed theory. We are human beings; not automatons, and I cannot fully understand any system that would say have no expectations at all - not even for peace and a distant friendliness between neighbours? Well, perhaps then we should not expect peace at all, nor kindness, nor compassion. Perhaps we should be okay about children being beaten? It IS, just ACCEPT it ??

There has to be a STANDARD I think. that even if we miss the mark, we try to live up to, and expect others to. Why would we have laws if this were not the case? As far as this just being about my limited self, well I am genuinely concerned for the children - this is not some personalised ploy to try and get my own back because she will not smile at me - I really am not that 'limited' :) . I said the children looked well cared for physically; I certainly did not say they were happy-- they scream all day. In fact, yesterday for the first time, I saw her hitting one of them in the garden. The girl is about four years old and was already screaming and hopping around holding herself in pain and she went after her and hit her again - admittedly on her back and with open hand, so, after much consultation with my mother who has some experience in social services, I can't actually report that as child beating. But cruel? Oh yes, I reckon that is cruel, and damaging.

So...I have no idea waht to do still. But I wil work on it with the angels. But if I see her hit those children any more severly than I saw yesterday, or I hear them scream any more than I do already, I don't think me writing a poem to make myself feel better about it, or just accepting what IS will be quite sufficient.

Thanks for your reply anyway.
Clare
User avatar
Clare
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Limousin, France

Postby Clare » Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:35 pm

I would just like to point out, not as a defence, but just as an interesting observation, that both of the responses I had to this post defended the actions of this woman. Her complete unmitigated rudeness and her possible child beating were defended and I was taken to be the one with a problem because I was trying to find a peaceful solution and was stating concern for the children. It's been suggested that I am obsessing, and also working from my limited self and 'trying to find justifcation' to report her. I do find that interesting, I have to say.
Blessing to all
Clare
User avatar
Clare
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Limousin, France

Postby heidi » Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:48 am

Hey Clare - The woman's actions were not defended, just looked at from a distant objectivity - not from your close perspective. If you truly feel that these kids are being abused, then for goodness sake, report it.
If you are looking for validation here, you got it.
Love and kisses, blessings, too, :)
Gladys Kravits

Believe me, Clare, I've been there - And then there's this possibilty. Go over with a casserole or book or plant or something for the kids, with NO EXPECTATIONS, drop it off, and hope for the best.
Heidi
http://www.heidimayo.com
wonderment on the third wave
User avatar
heidi
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2703
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:37 am
Location: 42nd parallel, Massachusetts, USA

Re: Peace and Good Will Between Neighbours. How To?

Postby Sandy » Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:29 am

Clare wrote:The mother of the family has three small children to look after during the day. I reckon they are literally two, three and four years old; a handful and a half, I'll bet. However, I began to get really concerned at the frequency of their crying. I hear it all the time, often several times a day, and not just whingeing, but often hysterically distressed screamy crying. it began to interfere with my work.....

Then a few days ago, I was going out with my dog as she was coming in with the pram full of kids. Her friend was with her. We met over the front garden wall. The little girl put her hand over the wall to pet the dog. My dog naturally put her paws up on the wall to greet her. And the little girl jumped back, suddenly frightened. I smiled and said to the child "Don't worry, she's really friendly and would never hurt you." Then I looked up at the mother and smiled at her. And was met, once again, by this total blank stare . I smiled anyway, and said "Hello there, you must have been out early." And she literally frowned, looked down and turned her back on me, refusing to speak to me.....

Any suggestions and/or insights would be most welcome. I have no handle on this at all at present.


Hello Clare, I have been working with children and dealing with parents for over forty years. First of all, even three small children of a possibly overwhelmed mother do not scream all day long for no good reason. Something is wrong. Her friends may come and go, but a neighbor is close by always as a potential witness of what the wrong goings-on may be. This could be one reason why the mother does not wish a closer relationship with you. Also, being newly arrived from another culture, she may not feel she would have anything in common with you. As to why she might be abusing her children, the reason for most instances is the same: she has been herself abused in the past and even may presently feel abused (even if not physically) by her mate. The critical issue here is that tiny innocent beings may be getting damaged. Assuming there is any spiritual dimension to our existence, if you can stop focusing on the rudeness and other relationship issues and key in only onto what may be troubling this woman and her children -- a "coincidental" opening may present itself for you to know by actually witnessing some scene that would make it clear if you do need to make any abuse report.

Another cultural factor is about the dog. Many folks from overseas have only known dogs as wild country or city packs that roam and actually attack humans. I used to have a relative by marriage who had this impression of dogs long after he had lived many years in this country. He loved cats but never got around to liking dogs. So, there can always be various logical reasons why people behave in ways we do not understand.

As to neighbors, my own policy over the years has been that it doesn't bother me one way or the other if they like me as long as they are not doing anything harmful to me. Since we have cars and are not stuck next to people like a few generations ago, why be concerned about what the folks around us are doing or what their relationship to us is? That part of your focus on them, you might look at to let go of. But what may be happening with those children should be looked at.

Pray about it if you believe that way, or just be open to an intention of wanting to help if needed, and then you may actually witness the reason behind the screaming. Do not hesitate to make the call if warrented. Most likely a social worker and detective would go to the home to inquire and comfirm what is or is not going on. Children's protective services these days do usually try to work with the family to prevent abuse and provide help to the parents as well.

Sandy
User avatar
Sandy
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:04 am
Location: Virginia

Postby barbarasher » Thu Jun 02, 2005 11:17 am

Clare and all,

This story is a very interesting and it is a relevant example for me and I think for all.

It raises the question of "where is the limit?". This question applies to me in many cases.

All of the following are not related to your story specifically, but to the general issues that it raises.

Generally, the question is:

"When is something really wrong that I have to handle, and when am I thinking too much and not being present?

Also

When should I love what is and let it "be" and let me "be", and when do I say "enough of this", and go fight for change?

Also

When am I just in a bad mood, (I use the word "just", but they do not feel "just"), and when is something really not right?


Can I hear some input regarding the Tolle view of the above questions?


PS: Regarding the kids, I lean towards reporting them if you think you should.
User avatar
barbarasher
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 6:38 am

Postby erict » Sat Jun 04, 2005 3:03 pm

barbara wrote:When should I love what is and let it "be" and let me "be", and when do I say "enough of this", and go fight for change?

Also

When am I just in a bad mood, (I use the word "just", but they do not feel "just"), and when is something really not right?


It's not either you accept or you take action. First you accept, and then you see if action is necessary. That's what Tolle is saying, as far as I understand it.

Eckhart Tolle wrote:To some people, surrender may have negative connotations, implying defeat, giving up, failing to rise to the challenges of life, becoming lethargic, and so on. True surrender, however, is something entirely different. It does not mean to passively put up with whatever situation you find yourself in and to do nothing about it. Nor does it mean to cease making plans or initiating positive action.


Eckhart Tolle wrote:...if you were stuck in the mud somewhere, you wouldn't say: "Okay, I resign myself to being stuck in the mud." Resignation is not surrender. You don't need to accept an undesirable or unpleasant life situation. Nor do you need to deceive yourself and say that there is nothing wrong with being stuck in the mud. No. You recognize fully that you want to get out of it. You then narrow your attention down to the present moment without mentally labeling it in any way. This means that there is no judgment of the Now. Therefore, there is no resistance, no emotional negativity. You accept the "isness" of this moment. Then you take action and do all that you can to get out of the mud. Such action I call positive action. It is far more effective than negative action, which arises out of anger, despair, or frustration. Until you achieve the desired result, you continue to practice surrender by refraining from labeling the Now.
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."
User avatar
erict
Site-Admin
Site-Admin
 
Posts: 1776
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:24 pm
Location: Israel

Postby summer » Mon Jun 06, 2005 4:52 am

There is so much truth in Eckhart's words, and still surrendering to the Isness of any situation that we find ourselves in, ain't always easy.

I mean, to really be able to do that 24/7 you have to be a Master already. And I don't know about you guys, but I certainly have many moments when I just don't seem to be at peace with a situation that I believe is unjust and hurtful.

Maybe it is fear that we feel at these moments. And maybe someone like Eckhart never feels fear. But my experience is that you cannot just cover up fear with a lot of kisses and red ribbons.

How do we accept all of life's experiences without judging them as hurtful or unfair?
User avatar
summer
 
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:42 am
Location: California

Postby erict » Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:25 am

Who said it was easy? :) Simple, maybe, but easy?
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."
User avatar
erict
Site-Admin
Site-Admin
 
Posts: 1776
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:24 pm
Location: Israel

Postby Clare » Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:59 pm

Hi Everyone,

Sorry it took me a while to get back to you on this. I have been travelling :) France first, then on a holistic training course in Seaford, Sussex. Ahhh! The summer commences! :D

Thanks so much for the feedback on this. The expert advice in terms of what is and isnt 'normal' for kids was very useful. Since I don't have children myself and my nieces and nephews are perfect cherubs :wink: I really didnt know.

Also, the clarification of the difference between acceptance and resignation and how action can be done with acceptance in the present moment was very useful. I'll look into this more.

I've only been back two days, and I have worked with the angels on this, plus worked with energy cards, and so far, for the past two days there has been no crying :?: :!: :!: . I am not going to throw my hands inthe air and proclaim it a miracle just yet, as it is very early days, but it does seem that since I have been calling in the angels to help and workingwith energy, things have calmed down.

I'll report the neighbour if I have to, and even then would come from the perspective of concern and that SHE needed help, not just the kids, but I would much rather get some celestial social care in there first if I can, if you know what I mean :wink:

Thanks to everyone.
Love, Clare
User avatar
Clare
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Limousin, France

Next

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests