“Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
Ahhh February, the month of love. We are surrounded by hearts, flowers, and little cupids a-flight. Isn’t wonderful to be in love? Is there any elixir any sweeter? Love is magical, but we’re not discussing that. You don’t need any help with falling in love but I’m guessing you could use some relationship assistance, so that’s what we’re focusing on this month.
Relationships are a totally different experience than being in love. Love is a feeling; a heady, uplifting whirlwind. But relationships are the day-to-day connections we engage in. Some are romantic, but most are collegial, familial or even temporary, like the clerk in the grocery line. Basically, you are in relationship every time you engage with another, if only for that moment.
Regardless what type of relationship you want to focus on, these steps will work for you. They improve your relationship with your spouse and your boss, your kids and your mother. That’s because they are about you. If there are relationship issues in your life, guess what? You are the constant.
Take Off Your Defensive Helmet
“My father never kissed me, hugged me or told me that he loved me. As my only living parent, he became the filter through which I saw myself, the possibilities for my life, the world and all men. He was a conflicted and dark filter.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant
“If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.” ~ Richard Bach
We all walk around with invisible, protective helmets on. Yours might be a hard hat, or a bonnet, or a tiara. These helmets filter all the information in our environment and categorize it for ease of handling by your brain. Basically they file things into folders that are pre-set up as your personal default ways of seeing the world. The helmet is not trying to cause you problems, it is trying to make your life easier and you feel better by shifting every new person, place and experience into something familiar.
So here’s what it looks like as you walk around with your filter helmet on. For example, say you have a belief running in your subconscious that you are unimportant. What you say doesn’t count, people disregard you and you are practically invisible. So as you interact with people your helmet is always scanning for confirmation of your belief.
You see the Universe does not judge what you want it just looks for it. It’s happy when it finds a match – it’s like Christmas to your subconscious. That’s awesome if your belief systems work for you but a real bummer when they don’t.
OK back to our story. So someone says or does something. That in of itself is neutral. Our helmet then files it into one of our folders to match it to what we are expecting. So you take it as a slight or a dismissal because that’s a match for you.
Here’s an example of how it plays out in your life. You have an appointment with someone and they are late. That is a neutral event. Something happened on their end that caused them to not be with you at the appointed time. Period. But if you believe you are unimportant suddenly their tardiness is an affront to you. It is a complete lack of respect for you and your time. And this is because that’s what makes this neutral event a match for your “I’m unimportant” belief. This is all happening inside your head.
Now your juices are flowing, your emotions are rising and what feels like a negative is really a celebration that your subconscious found another match for you. That feeling of tension is the excitement of all those subconscious high-fives that are happening in your inner control room. After all, excitement and anxiety feel almost identical. Think about it. Similar physiological responses felt in the similar places in your body. You just call it different names and label it good or bad.
So how do you stop this knee-jerk reaction? First of all, acknowledge that you have these filters. Secondly, notice when they get activated. You will know it by the party that breaks out – the one that feels like anger or disappointment or some other negative feeling.
Lastly, start transforming your belief systems to ones that serve you instead of derail you. There are many energy therapies, like The BodyTalk System™, that access your subconscious beliefs so you can shift. Imagine how wonderful your life could feel if your subconscious was looking to match success, happiness and abundance instead of unworthiness, fear and shame.
Get Out of Your Problem Mud Puddle
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” ~ Albert Einstein
“The question is not, ‘Do you have a problem?’ The question is, ‘Does the problem have you?’” ~ Joel Osteen
You can’t solve your problems in the same place as you created it. There is no solution in the problem. You must move away from the problem to find a solution. I could say it a fourth time but I think you get the idea. Why is this so important? Because you must create a space for the solution. Problems take up all the available creativity, they shutdown all input and output and they are self-generating so they can live forever. You have to break free from this constraint in order to have the space for a solution to drop into your life.
Here is an example of how this plays out in your life. If you are having a problem with your spouse, then stop focusing on it. I know you just raised your eyebrow and said, “What? You want me to stop talking about his lack of communication? How in the world are we going to fix it if we don’t talk about it?” See above. You can’t fix it while you are talking about it. If you really want to fix it then stop talking about it!
Let’s say your goal is to feel closer to your spouse – after all that’s why you want him to be more communicative, right? So you feel closer to him? Well, if that’s the case then stop talking about his problem and start focusing on what you can do to feel closer to him. What’s his favorite meal? Cook it. What’s his love language? Speak it.
Re-channel all that energy you put into his problem into creative ways to surprise him. Like loving one-line texts or a note in his pocket. Now, please only try these if you want to change things. If you are secretly happy in your misery then disregard this advice.
If you want to break free and create something new but aren’t sure what I’m saying makes sense, then pretend. Really – just pretend I might be right and try it for 30 days. The most it can cost you is 30 days of fighting.
Wherever There’s a Problem, There You Are
“You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.” ~ Eldridge Cleaver
“If you can talk brilliantly about a problem, it can create the consoling illusion that it has been mastered.” ~ Stanley Kubrick
Notice when you block the solution. The funny thing about relationships, if you haven’t noticed yet, is they really are all about you. More specifically, they are about you taking 100% responsibility for your part in the relationship.
So let’s stick to our above scenario with your spouse. You instituted changes in your behavior so things are going along better and you are both moving toward feeling closer. But then something comes up, a tense subject or maybe he says something slightly hurtful.
You now have an important choice. You can revert to your knee-jerk reaction or you can take a beat and pause before you jump in. In the space of that pause you have the power to create a new belief system – one that supports you instead of spinning you out. You have the power to derail your progress or strengthen it.
So if you derail then notice, take responsibility, and apologize. Get back on track. If you strengthen then you are rewarded with more of what you want – it doesn’t get any better that that right?
These relationship steps work on all relationships: spouses, bosses, kids, friends, even your mother. If you’d like help uncovering your subconscious belief systems and shifting them to ones that bring you pleasure instead of pain then let me know, I can give you some guidance in determining what protocol is correct for you.
Also, in the spirit of February if you want more information on how to improve your couple’s relationship, call my office at 336-540-0088 and I will email you my list of 37 Ways to Put More Oomph Back in Your Relationship. My gift to you ~ Happy Valentine’s Day!