Tag Archives: how to be

Being a Supportive Partner

Allowing your partner to be:  No one will discover who they are if someone is always telling them who they should be. 

This has been one of the biggest lessons Marin and I have had the opportunity to learn. Thank goodness it’s over… It is over right? Oddly enough, when Marin rolled over last night and thanked me for my participation in it, I was surprised to realize that the integration of the simple aspects of this approach had all but taken the reigns in my perception. At least I think it has.

A few short years ago, my attitude towards Marin was slightly skeptical at best.  Arguably she had more dramatic “flaws” back then ;-)…. regardless though, I wouldn’t let her get away with anything.  That’s actually how I felt.  She would get in one of her “moods” and I felt obligated to inform her that she was acting like an absolute twit.  Arguments would ensue over why she was or wasn’t, who’s fault it was, and how I didn’t approach her correctly.

A long arduous road was set out on then by two weary travelers from a culture long since driven numb by judgement and levels.  The road was anything but smooth.

The first lesson she taught me was: listen.  This is soon to be proven by scientists as an ability altogether unnatural to a man’s natural instincts. Until that report comes out though, it might be smart for you fellas to be all ears (as much as possible) to your female counterpart’s seemingly circular, out loud thinking.  What I found is, the more she knows I’m listening, the more she talks on without end…. initially anyways, after which, the time decreases dramatically for her to feel like she has been heard.  Allowing people that space goes a long way towards them realizing for themselves the real source of their frustrations or upset.

Quite possibly the hardest idea to get over is that whatever they say, it’s not personal!  Even when they exclaim, “You are a complete slob!”  Sounds fairly pointed, I know, but what they are really trying to say is, “I don’t like living in a messy house, and I am tired of picking up after others.”  See? nothing to do with you, they’re just expressing their wants.  Oddly enough, they don’t often see the difference in this language either, or even realize that the second option is what they are really upset about.

So this can be a two way street: you realizing they don’t mean you, and them realizing they don’t mean you.  If you’re listening, and catch the finger pointing, you can relax and realize what they are really saying without becoming defensively enraged yourself.

When the kettle simmers down a bit you can proudly re-word their concerns in a less personal way.  Generally speaking, the simple idea that you understand their distress glazes over the fact that you left yourself out of the cause.  Peoples perceptions are their own, allowing someone to have their own point of view without diving in to defend yours, gives them the opportunity to see the reality behind their own emotions.

Lastly, leave the tool box in the shed.  You cannot give her your perception of her problem, unless of course she’s asking you calmly for it (which could be a trap mind you).
Kahlil Gilbran put it perfectly in his book “The Prophet”, when he said, “The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding. The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.  And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.  For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.
So unless you are rashly brave, or extremely foolish, give the person space to find their own conclusions.  I know how tempting it can be to want to address the issue on the spot, “Nothing a little duct tape can’t patch up“, but unless you are planning on using it to strap them to a chair and do your own cooking for the rest of your life, I suggest you weather the storm as graciously as possible.  Remember, without the rain, the fruit of your crop withers in the sun.  Lookie there, I can talk like a prophet too.

Bottom line gang: Giving a wife, child, or friend space to feel out their own story, empowers them to write their own way out of it, learning the lessons that are the reward of every problem in life that we face.

Thank you for your thoughts and stories, they teach me daily.

Brett

Success and Happiness

I often wonder which people would choose if they had a choice of guaranteed success or guaranteed happiness

What if it were more specific like:
Take the blue pill and you will be a guaranteed successful business-man or woman, a millionaire for life, with a beautiful home and plenty for your children, generations to come.
-or-
Take the red pill and you will be happy no matter what. You might be a lonely fisherman in a small, undeveloped village or you might be a paraplegic… This path is unknown, but one thing for sure is you are guaranteed to be happy.

Which one would you choose?

I want to say that most of us, if not all of us, just want to be happy. We choose to aim for things in life that we feel will satisfy our experience or make it worth while.

I feel fortunate enough to have been on the path of success, materialistically and financially abundant. It was a lifestyle I thought was sure to make me happy. What was not so fortunate is the overwhelming desire I had to have more. More success, more money, more wealth, more recognition, more unique experiences
All because of an underlying lack of happiness.

It took a while to realize that while the blue pill to guaranteed riches and success may not exist, the red pill of guaranteed happiness does… because happiness is not limited to any one person or circumstance. Happiness is an attitude, a perception, a choice that we all get to make at any moment in time.

It was hard to feel happy initially. “Just make the choice”, I’d tell myself… But the truth was, I wasn’t happy. Here are some things that helped me identify my happiness within and got me back on track to following my bliss:

  1. Identify what happiness truly means to you. Sharing company with loved ones, experiencing life’s adventures, feeling confident with yourself, finding peace…
    Whatever it is, make sure it is not a conditional circumstance; ie. Marrying Brad Pitt.
    Ask yourself, what is in the idea of marrying Brad Pitt that you think will make you happy. Could it be sharing love with someone you feel is perfect for you? Or maybe feeling confident in yourself for being lovable enough to have a man such as Brad Pitt fall in love with you?
    The beautiful thing is when you identify what makes you happy, you will find there is opportunity in each moment to be happy so long as we don’t hold onto any one conditional circumstance.
  2. Take away all expectations. It is easy to fantasize or put conditional expectations on what being happy looks like. Be open to the possibility that you don’t know or that it could be better than you can possibly imagine.
  3. Try something new. It is easy to distrust the unknown.
    “Can I really be happy quitting the job that I hate to pursue my dreams even if it risks me going broke?” The truth is, you won’t know unless you try it.
    The real question is: Why would you continue to do something that you hate instead of trying something new to find something that you actually love?
    The worst thing that can happen, is you find yourself in another situation that you may not like, in which case try something new again!
  4. Follow your bliss. One great example of following your bliss is just doing something because you simply enjoy it or find passion in it. There is no ulterior motive; ie. If I do this I will make a lot of money and be happy. It is simply: “I find myself happy when I do this.”
    Passion often leads to an abundance of forwarding experiences and successes. Opportunity does not knock for those who are stagnent.
  5. Trust it Will Be There. Most of the unexpectedly happy things that have come into my life were not only unpredictable, they were unimaginable. When we let go of controlling thoughts or trying to make our own way, we allow life to flow and provide us with endless possibilities to fulfill our happiness.

Stay Honest,
Marin

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