In most relationships I have been focussed on making things ‘better’ which often ment: ‘I wish you would be a little bit more like this and do a little bit less of that’. The main message has been, and is sometimes because I’m still very human ha ha, ‘if you change then my life will be a lot easier.’
IF YOU CHANGE, THEN MY LIFE WILL BE EASIER
Have you ever seen yourself trying to change the behaviour, habits or personality of somebody you love? Still can’t accept your mothers habit of greeting everybody she knows out loud? Or what about your partner having his specific way of doing the cleaning? Have you been desiring some perfect, smooth, joyfull, harmonious ‘oh we exactly know how to serve the other person needs’ kind of connection? If your connection with your partner or mother (or other dear person) looks far from that, this blog might contain a suprising message for you.
Probably you also have developed survival strategies to deal with the lack of connection and ease. Survial stategies are practical ways of dealing with a situation that are famliar to you (that have been effective in the past). I see myself and the majority of humans ‘trying to get away from the discomfort’ by for example ignoring it, inner victemising, pushing it aside, over analysing or trying to change the other person. You have your own favorite surival strategies for sure :).
Straingely enough those strategies might seem to work on the short term, but mostly not on the long term.
THE POWER OF OWNING MY FEELINGS
The moment I say yes to a situation I give space. I see and acknowledge that somebody I love does or says something (fact) which I find disturbing (feeling). The moment I don’t acknowledge the situation I actually suffer, because reality IS. Then I can distuigish between what is and what I make of it. Look at this example. Fact: My partner looks a certain way when we take a walk outside. My interpretation: ‘He looks angry, he is probably annoyed, he should be more open, his heart isn’t warm, there is no warmth for me.’ Feelings : worried, insecure, distance. Survival strategy I ignore it. I analyse it. I think we should break up! (plan B).
To face my own interpretation of the factual situation is liberating. I myself can work with what is. Now I share a bit of my self connection proces.
I now try to notice the moment I run away from the discomfort by falling into surival strategies. I see my instinctual reactions of trying to fix my own discomfort by wanting to change my partner. This approach is -I can tell you- very succesful is you want to screw up the connection. When I try to change my partner to behave the way I want, I give away all my power and make him responsible for my feelings. Feelings which are based on very random interpretations and, in my case, old fears. His reaction is of course one of resistance and less willingness to be open, to listen.
IF I CONNECT TO MYSELF, MY LIFE WILL BE EASIER
What I try to do instead now is to see what is happening from a helicopter view. I witness myself struggeling. I notice ‘I have an interpetation about him which is not THE TRUTH’. I go within and own my feelings, I talk to myself like a friend ‘hey i’m afraid’. I choose to stay with my fear, I breath through it, I see what else is there maybe insecurity? or annoyance? It’s the start of an inner dialogue. I see if I can make a connection with myself first before I communicate with him (NOTE this whole proces took me at least 2 years to learn!).
The magic is that when I communicate about the discomfort while staying connected to myself and owning my inner world, the whole conversation seems to soften. My partner opened his heart for my struggle, he saw my desire to connect, he feels more invited to share about his experience. I feel engaged to listen to him. In our case it ended with a beautiful sharing about some deep things going on in him, which had nothing to do with ‘me’. He expressed his desire to be hugged when he has that ‘face’. We came to a beautiful level of sharing intimately, I felt more understanding for his journey and I have a practical thing I can ‘do’ to support the connection between us in those moments (a hug).
IN THE DISCOMFORT SOMETHING MAGICAL HAPPENS
What I found out is that the discomfort beholds often the biggest learning opportunity and chance of connection. The moment I stop trying to encourage my partner to be more ‘open’, to have a ‘more friendly expression’. And the moment I take ownership of my discomfort.. something beautiful happens. The moment I stop giving my mother feedback about her habits that annoy me and take full responsiblity of what happens inside of me.. little magic can take place.
True connection, self insight, vulnerability, mutual understanding.
Things I would have never found when I had been running from the discomfort. And still everytime I notice feelings of discomfort.. A part of me wants to run..
Feel free to share your thoughts on this