What if you knew heading into marriage that everything would be ok?
That you could relax knowing you were on the right path and that everything was in order. To discover in fact that your partner is in fact the love of your life and someone who you want to treasure and grow old with.
I found myself telling this to my car salesman as we were talking about family life while test driving a mini van. I told him that when he finds the right person, to know that the first few years of having children is delightful and life affirming. But for many, it is also laced with the bone chilling trials of learning to live on one income, the wife feeling fatter than before, with no income or financial control, late nights, early mornings and the stress of learning to care for a child. It is a relationship pressure cooker and many marriages don't make it.
My friend thought her marriage was headed for such a fate when she sought out a marriage counsellor. The counsellor told her "most marriages end when children are between the ages of 1 and 5." She said that "if most parents just knew that it gets better they might stick it out."
I am so glad that my friend shared this with me, as at times I felt my marriage might too end suddenly. I wrestled with ideas about what I thought marriage was and the reality of raising children, keeping a romantic partnership alive and my essential self intact. I thought I was the only one who was feeling this way, and perhaps marriage would be one of those unfinished projects for me too.
What I have since learned, is every marriage faces it's trials. That those trials and how you learn to face them is what creates the rich fabric of the relationship. That perfect may show up from time to time, but living with the rest is just fine too. I have discovered I am not nearly as perfect as I once thought I was, and with that discovered the humility to cut my family members some slack. I also now recognize that our relationship has cycles. Sometimes we are cresting and riding high, and others we are low. I know not to panic any more at low tide, as I know there is always another wave. With each wave, we grow deeper in our understanding of one another and how to keep the boat afloat.
So for all you married people out there, keep the faith if you are struggling and celebrate if you are not.
One day I realized part of my heart was broken. Some of the people I loved could not love me the way I wanted them to. Each day wishing and hoping they would show up how I thought they should. Each day breaking my heart more and more when they didn't. I didn't realize that I was creating my own heartbreak as each one of these players was teaching me that my story no longer held true.
I was alone in my heartache only for the few players who comiserated with me. My mind would churn imagining different outcomes. Ways to manipulate these situations. Who should appologize to whom and how each situation would unfold.
My mind was busy crafting a way out of these dramas only to fuel the next one. If only I could do something, say something, change something to make the aggravation in my heart go away.
One day I sat miserable alone in my room becoming more and more upset as each scenario lead to its own set of out comes that invariably would make things worse and me still trapped in these unending patterns. It felt like my own game of "whack a mole," as I could see solving one problem but having two more arise in its place.
For a brief moment, I caught myself and realized how crazy all of this was. Could it be possible that I was to do nothing? To sit in the stillness and let this pass. I realized each person would inevitably react in their traditional patterns. One victim, the other crusader, the other offended. Perhaps what I could do, was see this, step back and allow each player their reaction. To let them be. To not engage.
Needless to say, I was blown away at how this worked. First of all I couldn't believe that I had the ability to shut this kind of drama down in my head. But I did. I saw the truth in the situation and let it be. Like Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is, shares in her amazing experiences, the thoughts just let go of me. I stood there looking at all the familiar players and just let them be, and they let go of me. The "fixer" who is me, was finally at peace and the drama subsided. Like sitting in the middle of a circle with the strings of others attached to me, I just let them all go all at once. To let them be. In that moment I returned to calm.
i hope this can help others who get trapped in their own minds from time to time. We don't all live here all the time, but some of us visit this place a lot. Creating our own anxieties and depression. I am here to let you know there is a way out.
What if you could release your drama too?
1. Become aware of your thoughts. Start to listen to your mind and become aware of how many times per day you run the same upsetting thoughts through your mind.
2. Bring calm to your mind and know that what you are thinking is not of service to you. if your thoughts feel like they are on a runaway train stuck on loop, then you know these particular thoughts will not help you.
3. Become still. Find a quiet place to feel warm, comfortable and safe. Learn how to meditate and experience your thoughts passing through your mind.
4. Find the truth. What is really true about the situation you are in? Continue to ask yourself if what you are thinking is true. Can you really know for sure. (See Byron Katie's The Work).
5. Release. Not cut off, truncate or distance. Say a prayer for those that you are releasing and pray for their well being. Say "thank you for the lessons we have shared, but I now choose to release you."
CHECK OUT KIM"S ARTICLE IN THE NOV/DEC ISSUE OF ENERGY MAGAZINE.