Everyone is in search of balance in life. When we get glimpses of that balance, we plan on it lasting and sustaining itself. Yet, balance often eludes most of us, because just when we think that we have it all figured out, something shifts. What no one ever tells us is that balance is fluid; it ebbs and flows as we change and evolve. Balance sits at the crossroads of perfection and growth. Tangled up in our own abilities to “have it all,” balance tends to slip away just when we insist on “getting it all right.” Our relationships, our jobs, our personal goals tend to stand still when we struggle to perfectly fit every piece of our lives together. We wait for perfection, and in the lull, everything changes. There is a gap that emerges between change and stagnation, between things that last all of our lives and things that do not, stretching our ability to adapt to the flux of our very existence.
With marriage, we buy into the idea of a fairytale, a natural forever . Yet, the single longest relationship we will ever have is with ourselves. Even that relationship pivots and changes. We are not the same people throughout every decade of our lives. We live, we learn, we succeed, we fail, we risk, we fear, we survive, and we begin again. There is individual evolution. So, when we delve into understanding all of our relationships and why they work or do not, we have to hold space for the concept that we all are changing. Even when we don’t personally change, everything around us does.
Our long-term relationships hinge on understanding people less for how we remember them yesterday, less for who we envision them being tomorrow, and more as they actually are today . This challenge is hard, especially when we have history with someone. If we consider disagreements and disappointments in our relationships, much is centered on a misalignment between the stories we tell ourselves, versus what is actually happening in real time. We find ourselves arguing a point based on things that occurred a decade ago. Or we wish that our spouse would do, act, dress, or show up in a certain way. We become upset that our vision, our memory is not matching the moment. The truth is that not much remains frozen in time. If it did we would never challenge ourselves or move toward personal growth.
3 For 4-Ever:
Be True To You : Feeling as though someone “completes you” or “makes you whole” is actually suggesting that without him or her in your life, you are not good enough. Feeling content about YOU is the best way to meet others equally. You are not half of a relationship; you are each the entire 100% and therefore whole all by yourselves. In order to give and receive love without boundaries and expectations, you need to feel comfortable first in your own skin. When that happens you have the capacity to love others and to be loved, because you practice self-love.
To that end, what are you doing for you? What have you always wanted to do, or what did you like to do before you were married? Embracing your inner child and connecting first to being your best you, brings satisfaction, balance, and longevity into your life and into your relationships. Self-awareness equals self-love. It is a great place to begin.
Practice Acceptance : What are you willing to keep tolerating? Tolerating may seem like it promotes peace, but at its core it is seeped in anger and judgment. This zaps your energy and drains your time. Acceptance lets go of that anger because it dispels perfection. With acceptance you take action on what you can actually change (which is your own thoughts and behaviors) rather than on what you hope will change in others. Acceptance lets the possibility of forever in, and with it the flexibility to rebalance and adjust. When we place balance and forever on a realistic foundation, we can evaluate what is actually working for us. Practicing acceptance is much like beta testing! When you experiment with a situation, or a relationship, you go in knowing that not everything will work perfectly. Some things will exceed expectations and some will fail. Feel like your spouse or ex is pushing your buttons? Next time…let that go. Pause. Lose the reaction in favor of the response.
Make a commitment to lose your control. It is the only way to effectively embrace acceptance. Losing your grip on controlling a relationship is your power ticket to gaining back more control over your own energy, choices, and overall happiness.
Lose The Excuses : Waiting for things to get better, to get it right, for the kids to grow up, for your finances to improve is a lock down fueled by perfection and procrastination. So, what can you do? There is always something you can do. Imagine that you have a cup filled with water. Someone offers you champagne. You love champagne. You only have one cup. So you need to LET GO of the water in order to let the champagne into the cup. You need to create room for what you want by eliminating what you do not want. The process of letting go begins in small increments. One excuse at a time. Empty the cup so that you can go for the refill you need next. You can empty it again. There is always an again. There is always opportunity if you dare to see it. Why? Your balance shifts as you pivot, and your forever begins again today with the choices you make for YOU…your single longest relationship.
Are you ready to make these three “forevers” part of your life?
Originally published at www.divorceforce.com.