We’ve all heard of people who’ve attached an unproductive meaning to an unfortunate experience and then told themselves – and everyone who would listen – that same old story over and over again. You know what I’m talking about…the man or woman-hating divorcee…the self-punishing person who can’t forgive their self for some sort of unintended action…the person who refuses to release a grudge regarding a childhood wound, etc. Now I’m not making light of these situations if it describes you or someone you know. What I am suggesting is that there is a very definite and high cost associated with holding onto a story that does not serve you.
The sword cuts both ways
Let’s take a look at the example I gave earlier of a person whose spouse cheated on them years earlier. Most people would easily concede that someone with that experience may have a real challenge being vulnerable or open again to taking another chance with another partner. However, the reason people get really double-bound and stuck for years on end is that in addition to the obvious drawback – the built-in advantages of staying stuck are pretty comforting also. For instance, the benefit of that story is you get to take no responsibility for your role in the situation and have an easy scapegoat…you get the advantage of playing it safe and not getting hurt again…you don’t have to risk rejection and you get to wrap yourself in pity which feels almost like love if you twist it just right…and it’s a lot less scary. When you add up the cost/benefit analysis…it’s not so surprising how someone can just willingly settle for so much less than they deserve…and even do it for a lifetime.
The risk is in the reset…or is it?
For someone to take back their life after a big disappointment actually requires some risk and a willingness to get back in the game again after a period of healing. That’s what the “reset” is all about…think of it as an emotional “reboot” of your “heart drive.” Taking the time to process, heal and reflect on how your actions could have contributed to the problems is really critical…unless, of course, you want to go on making the same mistakes over and over again with all new partners. By the way, that is the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. When I have clients who want to jump right back into a new relationship without taking any time to process, I have to wonder if there is some sort of addiction compelling them forward that is really unhealthy and not in their best interests long-term. The truth is it doesn’t even matter how great of a partner you attract because a relationship is only as strong as its weakest link…and if that’s you…you’ll have once again put yourself and your relationship in jeopardy.
Maybe time doesn’t heal all wounds
We’ve all heard the saying time heals all wounds but I’ve just shown you how that may not be the case. The truth is – what heals all wounds is when you ask yourself some much better questions – and come up with some much better answers. Then when you go inside, open up and apply those answers to come up with a new compelling meaning…that’s where the magic is! For instance, I worked with a couple that had some huge breaches of trust and I honestly wasn’t confident at all that it could be saved. However, in the process of working with them, I was actually surprised by their willingness to own their mistakes…and that vulnerability has become the very strength that is now keeping them together.
One last thing
We all have challenges – and we always will. That’s how we grow to become the people we’re meant to be by rising to the occasion and proving ourselves more powerful than circumstance. One thing that has made a profound difference for me personally is when I greet my own challenges and actually welcome them as gifts that carry me along on the way to my destiny. Yeah; sounds easy, right? No, it hasn’t been at all…but that is the benefit of years of personal development and spiritual practice. So…I ask you once again…who would you be if you gave up your story? As my girl, Katrina, said just last weekend, do you want the story or do you want the glory? You most definitely can’t have both…so choose wisely, my friends.