Oh my. This post I saw on Instagram last week was like a mini earthquake in my psyche! Tracy McMillan is someone I find very interesting in her books and posts. She wrote an amazing book called “Why You’re Not Married…YET” that I recommend for anyone who is in or out of a relationship, no matter what your status. Even if you are married – this book is an awakening to how you show up in ANY relationship.
Here is the post that Tracy attached to the above quote from Glennon…
Let’s break this thing down a bit, first of all, the start – “obviously you can’t save ANYTHING in your life unless you have first saved your soul.” This is what I think the Glennon quote is talking about; Unless you have done the work to get your soul hooked up with the larger part of yourself, your Source, God, The Universe, get aligned, tapped in – you really can’t do much good anywhere. Agreed 1,000%.
“What often appears to be a crisis in the marriage is really a crisis of the self.” Yup, it seems like the marriage, the relationship is the problem. The other person is the problem, if they just wouldn’t… if they just would…. We are soooooo quick to point the finger of blame on the other person. What they are or aren’t contributing to the relationship. This is a giant trap of victim-hood. It says “I’m powerless! The other person is the problem and I have no say in it!” What’s scary is you can spend your whooooole life in this mindset and never wake up to the realization that YOU are the creator of your own reality.
“The relationship isn’t really separate from either of the people in it – it’s more like Venn diagram where you are a circle, the other person is a circle, and the two circles overlap each other. The space where the overlap is “The relationship”. When Don and my relationship got jolted into waking up due to my actions… I, my counselor, and most things I read reinforced that the thing that was needed was NOT to work on “The relationship”, but to work on ourselves. This can be a super hard concept for some people to be willing to understand because they are more committed to the problems being all about the other person in the relationship than to actually owning their part of the equation. I’ve written previously about how the person we are in relationship with is our MIRROR. They are reflecting back to us what we need to know about OURSELVES, not about them. This hanging onto blame and making the other person the “villain” or “persecutor” in the relationship is the stuff that causes us to imprison ourselves. The role of being the poor defenseless victim can get you lots of attention, so I get why it can be addictive to hang out there. But if you think for a minute that the other person is the entire problem in your relationship – you are unconscious and sleepwalking through your life as well as your relationships and unfortunatley, you will continue to loop back around to suffering.
“However, if you have a bunch of muck in your OWN circle – and almost everyone does – you can be sure it is affecting the overall health of the relationship. You have to clean it up before you can get a clear picture of what is REALLY going on.” OH HALLALUIAH! This is so incredibly true, and it’s is said so well it makes my heart sing! We each have to clean up our side of the street if we ever want to have the chance at a fulfilling relationship with the next person in our lives or that same person we are blaming incessantly. As long as we focus on the wrongs of the other person – we are SCREWED. That self-righteous indignation feels good for a few minutes as we spout off to our friends about how we were “wronged”, but ultimately, you are causing your own suffering my friend. This makes me sad for those of us who do this.
Now this last part of the post, I have to say, was where the earthquake really went to a 10.0 on the Richter scale for me… “This is what people mean when they say you have to “earn your way out” of a relationship. If you just pull the plug and leave, you never get to find out your part – which means you will eventually repeat it.” This Earn your way out thing was a new terminology for me. I found out it originated with Dr. Phil and I get it. My counselor Joy has encouraged me to stand in the storm and learn from the lesson that is right in front of me in my marriage. What I am coming to see is that Don is the perfect barometer for me to determine if I am actually making progress with my OWN lessons – if the things that usually trigger me in my relationship with him, still trigger me – I have more work to do. If I can learn new ways of being and thinking in that same condition – then I am growing!!! WOO HOO!!! We can use ANY person we are in relationship as our teacher to show us what we most need to learn about OURSELVES. The thing is, we have to be receptive to that. OPEN ourselves and stop blaming. This doesn’t mean you are meant to be with that person or that you will stay together, it just means they are perfectly placed in your life for you to learn what you most need to learn to fall more deeply in love with life, with yourself, but you gotta open to it.
I believe you also must Earn you way IN to relationship. You don’t get to have a relationship just because you have longevity. Longevity is not a sign of relationship success. While I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “failed relationship” since all relationships are eternal, we all know people how have been together for long periods of time and their relationships are not what we would term “successful”. Earning your way IN also means owning and cleaning up your patterns and limiting beliefs.
Early last year I read a book that really relates to this idea called “Conscious Uncoupling” by Kathrine Woodard Thomas. This term was coined by Thomas and gained fame when celebrities Gwyneth Paltrow and former mate Chris Martin announced that they were consciously uncoupling on Facebook. I am abot to participate in a two day web conference lead by Thomas and the agenda appears to really echoes this idea of “earning your way out of a relationship”. I'll let you know what I learn!
Lots of people skip the steps of ending a relationship that will actually enable them to create the kind of relationship they long for. They get sort of stuck in the loop of blaming, criticizing, and making themselves out to be “right” and the other person “wrong” which is to be UNconscious and focused on things that are entirely not your own business. This conveniently takes their focus away from the one thing that they not only have control over, but will also change their lives for the better... work on THEMSELVES. As tempting as it may be to focus on what the other person did or did not do, ultimately your relationship health is about YOU. Keeping your primary attention on your role, your learnings, your growth, your patterns it certainly challenging – and it can truly transform your life if you let it. I'm a firm believer that you have to be a match to what it is you want in a relationship. As Gandhi said - "We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
Ask yourself this question… “Where is my attention?” or “What am I focusing on?” If it’s the problem, what’s missing, or the other person just know that you are choosing victim-hood. If it’s the solution or your own growth – you are in the creator position and your chance for happiness is alive & well. Are you looking for the lessons you can learn about YOURSELF in the mirror of your partner? Or are you committed to your own suffering and think that if others just understood your suffering, then you’d feel justified? Justified or not, you’ll still be suffering. Not really a “win” would you say? There’s a quote attributed to others but I think comes from The Course In Miracles… “Do you what to be right or do you want to be happy?”. If you just unplug from a relationship and don’t use the opportunity to learn new skills and break the patterns that YOU have, you’ll stay stuck repeating the past. This not only dishonors what you experienced and shared with your mate, it dishonors love and shows that you are letting FEAR run the show. (Victim-hood rides again!)
Here’s my plan… I’m going to continue to work on cleaning up the muck in my own circle. Anybody who also wants to clean up their own muck in their own circle – there may be a frequency match for you and I. Maybe we’ll be together in some capacity if we are a match in our frequencies and desire to own our side of the street emotionally. I’m not willing to live in my own “repeat loop” any longer and I certainly won’t tolerate things in others that I won’t tolerate in myself. You must know what got you to the place you are currently in, be aware of what you want to adjust in YOURSELF to move you in the direction you WANT to go, and OWN your part in it. Period. We all have sloppy habits of thinking that we need to clean up and get off auto-pilot. Limiting beliefs that we are not even aware that we have that hold us back. I'm big time committed to cleaning mine up, and I expect the same from those I am in a relationship with. We must BOTH be willing to clean up their own thinking and feeling and take responsibility for our emotional stuff as well as be open to new ways of thinking and feeling.
I know for sure that people come into our lives for a reason and just maybe… that reason is to inspire us to clean up our own muck, our own circle as Tracy calls it. We are giving beautiful opportunities to learn about OURSELVES in EVERY relationship. Whether it's long-term, or momentary, easy or challenging, comes with a piece of paper or simply a deep understanding - every relationship offers us a gift, and invitation. It’s an invitation to learn what we can each do to be more fully ourselves, stand fully in our own light and show up as the liquid love we were all sent here to be. It’s not a demand – it’s an INVITATION. That means you have options to accept it or not. I’m IN baby! Sign me up!
Sandy Edie Hansen
I use this space to "Chat" about things I am working through and learning in my life currently. Join me!