Happy Sunday All,
This week’s been another hum dinger! But one that seemed to have a theme: Showing up…How do you do it?
Breaking up…Making up?
On Friday evening a friend broke up with the man she was dating. No, no, it’s cool, they are of an age now where there’s no need for the screaming and hysteria.
Don’t get me wrong there was still the hurt, the regret and the upset feelings. The self assessment, the ‘why can’t I get this ‘love’ thing right?’ down the phone, some blame too as well as the usual navel gazing.
I know they’ll both unpack this later and have one or two, or several lightbulb moments, but for now it’s over and they need to learn how to move on in a healthy way.
However, she confessed that during the now common ‘social media’ exchanges; (that’s another thing. I’m old school…what happened to face-to face or the goddamned telephone?) Anyway, I digress!
Who’s to blame?
During their exchanges he mentioned that he suspected she was, like all the women in his experience, ‘flaky’ and that he had been ‘holding back.’
Whether it’s because that’s true or not, or whether that’s his way of masking his hurt and insecurity only time and reflection will tell.
What he said, though brought to mind something I was told years ago; a phrase which had resonated and had always stayed with me. Let me ask you a question…
What percentage of your relationship(s) is your responsibility? 25%? 50% 75%…
The answer is: YOU are 100% responsible for your relationship(s)!
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda!
We all know that the only thing we can control is ourselves; our own thoughts and feelings, our behaviour, but how many of us are in relationships where we insist the ‘other’ ‘should do this,’ ‘could have done that.’ or we critique with ‘I would have done this/that?.’
How many of us are in marriages, romantic relationships, friendships, relationships with colleagues, siblings, and employers and feel that they are responsible for our lack of complete commitment?
That the things that are going wrong are due to their behaviour?
As a result we feel we are justified in moaning and complaining.
We defend our position and justify our unprofessional attitude, even though we are not fulfilling our duties, not honouring the contracts we signed.
We coast…offering only 30/60/75% of our talents and our expertise.
We defend our right to be upset even though we can’t remember the last time we volunteered affection, gave a loving touch or planned a romantic or spontaneous date with our partner.
I’m sure we’d all have something to say if our bosses asked us to accept 30, 60 or 75% of our salary! Yet many of us show up intending to ‘get away with’ less than a 100% contribution.
Are you all in?
How often do we feel aggrieved when we are called out on being less than ‘all in’ only to blame the other party and insist it is their lack of commitment that’s causing the problem?
but how are YOU showing up?
Show them how it’s done!
If you want a loving, respectful, affectionate partner show them how it’s done.
Are you being the most affectionate partner you can? Or do you give your partner the ‘cold shoulder?’
Are you being the most supportive co-worker and colleague? Or do you isolate yourself?
Are you haughty and look down on colleagues or family, believing you’re superior then play the victim when you’re made aware of your lack of effort?
Are you showing up as the most trustworthy of friends?
It’s all on you
Let’s take the first example… Your partner is not as demonstrative as you would like.
Instead of berating and moaning, why not show up as the affectionate partner you would like him/her to be. Try an alternative approach just this once…
Assume it’s your responsibility. Be affectionate in the way you want your partner to be; wholeheartedly, without condition, without expectation.
Perhaps in being this way you’re more likely to boost their esteem. Make them feel good about themselves, improve their mood and their feelings towards you. In so doing, perhaps you’ll finally receive the affectionate response you’ve been craving in return?
If you want a more loving, adventurous, spontaneous, partner check yourself first.
Are you being all these things?
Why then is it their responsibility?
There’s the rub… Fear!
We fear we’ll be hurt, fear they’re getting more than we are, fear, fear, fear…
That old ‘lack’ mentality shows up again.
We allow the fear to take hold…then, afraid and desperate we close some part of ourselves off as protection yet somehow expect the ‘other’ to give us their all.
When that’s not forthcoming we become annoyed, we feel rejected and become angry or defensive. Then they, out of their own insecurity and fear hold back to protect themselves too.
The rejection cycle continues, the distance widens and before you know it there’s nothing between you at all…
Yet how can we justify feeling upset when they’re simply mirroring what we are doing?
The result of all this pulling away is two people offering each other so much less than 100%. Yet every one of us deserves 100%
How can you hope to possibly create a perfect, nurturing, whole relationship that satisfies both parties when you are offering up so little compared to what you are capable of?
If my friend’s former ‘beau’ had been holding back, how could he then expect full commitment from her?
If she on some unconscious level, sensed his lack of commitment, isn’t it likely that she’d ‘hold back’ in some way too, equally afraid?
The change you want to see
Don’t get me wrong, I am as guilty of this as anyone, I do not sit here in some lofty place, wagging a finger. Like the rest of humankind, I’m on a journey, a journey that teaches me more and more every day.
We owe it to ourselves, in the next friendship we form, the next relationship we enter into, the next job we take, to show up fully committed regardless of what we think the other is offering.
When you wholeheartedly commit, your reward is in that very commitment.
It is in the commitment that you will experience the very best of who you are and that is reward in itself. The approval of an outside ‘other’ is no longer necessary.
Mahatma Ghandi said:
If you want your situation, relationship, job, friendship, in fact any situation which means you communicate with others, to change in some way, the first place to start is to look at yourself…
What are you bringing to the situation or relationship?
Are you truly as committed as you think you are?
Are you ‘all in?’
The next time you feel you need to complain about or blame your partner, your friend, your managers, children, siblings, cat, gerbil or guinea pig for the current state you’re in… consider this:
Who are you being?
How are you showing up?