I am coming up on 20 years of marriage and 23 years together. In looking back, I am most grateful that Will didn’t quit on me. I am most grateful for the mentors and teachers along the way. When I would cry my eyes out and blame him for this or that, I was guided to the most aware teachers in my life. They would often stop me in my tracks and return the focus back on me. They would ask me, “what is this bringing up for you?” They would ask all the right questions until I remembered that I was the master of my happiness and the sky was the limit.
Will is my best friend. He has been the most perfect mirror reflecting back to me all that I could conceive. I have chosen to love one day at a time. I have chosen to show up. I have chosen to forgive time and again as he has had to as well.
When we met my capacity to accept and give unconditional love was very low but I had no idea at the time.
23 years later, my heart is so full…full of love, acceptance and an excitement of new beginnings for our next exciting chapter. The sky is the limit and I am so grateful I have you, my best friend, to walk this journey with me.
The us vs. them mentality just doesn’t work and it leaves us in a perpetual state of victimhood and duality. It is much harder, yet more empowering and rewarding, when we take our issues directly to the source of our discontent and have a crucial conversation with positive intent.
What positive intent means is this. Instead of going to someone full of rage and accusation, which keeps others on the defense and problems not solved, instead try approaching them with compassion. That means doing our work first. That means asking what this is bringing up for us. This is our stuff. Once we are honest with ourselves and we have more understanding, we are ready for a crucial conversation.
I will tell you what is easy. It is easy to sit behind the computer and blame and accuse others. It is easy to gossip. It is easy to spread rumors. It is easy to blame others for our discontent. It is easy to buy into everything we read that reaffirms the us vs. them mentality. Yet, it is also extremely disempowering and leaves us feeling more lost, scared and disconnected.
Take time today to open our hearts and see the good in all. The happiness this brings is indescribable.
A first grader was hunched over in the corner, extremely upset, during class, on and off. He felt that his buddy “hated him” because his buddy was playing with other students and had other friends now. His buddy even checked in on him but the student hid his face. While I reminded his buddy that checking in on him was very compassionate and kind, his friend obviously was not in a space to talk nor was it his job to keep him happy. This has happened before. I later checked in on the upset student. This is when he broke down and shared his feelings. I shared space with him and then made a decision. This can be a tough concept for a first grader but I took a risk. This story I tell often and it helps students change negative patterns. After the two students problem solved, and it was clear his buddy was his friend but had other friends too, I shared this story:
Person A and B have just been name-called by person C. (Drawing it out/acting it out can help too). Person B says “Wow, they must be having a terrible day,” and goes off and plays. Person A says, “He hates me, he is right, I have no friends,” and proceeds to have the worst day of his life. At this moment I asked my student who was responsible for their feelings? He immediately points to A and B. He jumped up and said “ok,” and went off to play. Sometimes my 5th graders don’t quite understand the concept but this first grader got a light in his eye, understood this concept and turned it around. Focusing on “I like me” and jumping into a fun activity was the new direction/pattern.
I believe we have many soul mates…people we connect with in some way lifetime after lifetime. When I was 29, I made a conscious choice to attract to me the person I would spend my life with. He entered shortly, thereafter.
After years of observing and experiencing what I did not want, I decided to write down the kind of relationship I did want. Firstly, I realized how afraid I was of commitment and intimacy. I was attracted to what I couldn’t have and when I had it, I didn’t want it. This is a dance many play in avoiding deep relationship with others. For you see, regardless of the reason, fear, belief we have – until we look at the pattern we keep experiencing, it will continue to be our experience.
The first step is to become conscious and aware of the pattern we continually see and experience. The second step is to ask deeply, “How is this serving me?” Is it reinforcing a belief that says “I am unlovable”? Is it reinforcing a belief that says “Everyone disappoints and hurts me?” Whatever the case, is this experience something you want to keep around?
If it serves you no longer, make a conscious choice/intent to create something new. I wrote down an extensive list and pretended and felt, every day, that he was already in my life. He arrived shortly thereafter.
Relationships can be hard work because looking at yourself in the mirror isn’t always easy. Everyone has baggage! Our relationships bring it to the surface so it can be healed and loved.
My relationship with my husband has lasted so long because, 20 plus years ago, I made a decision to work through my stuff with Will. My relationship has worked because no matter how bad things did get, we both wanted it to work. And when things did get bad, it revealed to me what else within me, needed healing. He has been my greatest mirror and the more I love him through all his perceived “faults,” the more I love me and this works both ways.
I am grateful to my soul mate, best friend and lover. Stay tuned for my memoir coming out soon.
Many times a person may come at you with negative intent. What this means is that a person thinks the worst about you, blames, attacks and assumes the worst. I have found that if you let it, the attack can leave you drained. If it goes around in your head, you are feeding the incident which depletes your energy and leaves you drained. What works for me is to take a moment and affirm and know that my intent is pure and I am doing the best I can. I mean well. Once I truly feel this, I am feeding myself positive energy and the incident looses it’s power and hold. And it becomes, not my stuff. Try it.
Most issues in the world have always had the “us against them” mentality. It starts young in a very competitive world. In fact, I recently got caught up with it myself, during the election. We are doing the same exact thing to each other. Are we really that different? Have we walked in their shoes? I have been impressed with people reaching out to the other side…trying to understand. We can’t go wrong with compassion. And this is not saying we accept the unacceptable. What it is saying is that love moves mountains. It reminds me of the time I witnessed a family traumatizing their child because they wanted her to learn how to swim. I came at them with anger and it created more anger and nothing was changed. A week later, I observed the same thing with a different family and I took a moment, channeled my anger into compassion and I told this family…coming from a place of positive intent and love…that there was a large toddler pool down the road and it really helps children learn to swim because they feel less scared…. This family didn’t know the pool was there, thanked me and went on their way. This was the same situation but my response was different and it probably touched a life. When you see an injustice, do not sit back and do nothing. We are all in this together. Take action with positive and loving intent to ALL. Yes, it is a challenge but it is the way.