You can transform a difficult relationship. It can be done.
It will happen when you:
Stop trying to predict what the other person is thinking.
Stop trying to make them see it your way.
Stop trying to determine who is right and who is wrong.
Transformation happens when we stop trying to spoon feed each other guilt and responsibility.
It happens, when instead of fiercely defending ourselves from wrongdoing or mistake making – we stop. We humble ourselves and we ask…how must it feel?
If you want transformation, don’t say “…but I didn’t mean to hurt you” say “I’m sorry – that must have been painful, I made a mistake.”
Drop the “You remember it wrong” accusation and offer compassion. “I can see why you would have been hurt by that, can I try again to say it how I meant it?”
So often we find ourselves caught in the bind of needing to talk about our feelings with our loved ones – yet fearful the conversation will not go as we hope. Predictable patterns become the cruel choreography of our relationships. Repeating themselves as if we are dancers to the same four lines of a skipping record.
So often when we try to use examples to explain our pain we get caught up arguing the accuracy of each others version of how the story played out instead of moving to a place of understanding. It is as useful and frustrating as each trying to convince each other which shade of blue is the sky, and it does not matter.
It does not matter if the scene played out the same way for us both. It does not matter if yours was in 3D while mine ran in grainy black and white. Nor does the soundtrack matter, nor the timing. What matters is the way I walked away feeling and the way you did. Can we come back to the centre of the stage and suffer the discomfort of having made mistakes? Can we sit in a place of total humility and offer a sincere apology? Intentional or not – can we honour the other person in their experience? Are we willing to adjust, adapt, TRY to do it differently? Can we stop the record skipping and move into a new routine?
Someone once asked me. Isn’t love enough? Is it not enough for you to know how much I love you? I answered “NO”. I wish it were. But it is not. We also have to work, and practice. We need to learn about each other and from each other so that we can find a way to move together. No matter how long people dance together they will inevitably step on each others toes. If we want to achieve something beautiful, we can not just say “I love you” we also need to adjust our steps! We need to give each other a little freedom to move, and we need to LEARN the choreography of each others very special dance.