We started our Wellness Journey on Pain Island where, in a relationship, you might feel unheard, unloved, angry, frustrated, not respected, etc. The journey we are on is taking us to Pleasure Island, where you will feel loved, heard, understood and joyful. Our first of three stops along the way was on Reboot, where we were faced with three challenges – a) setting the stage by understanding what has and hasn’t worked and why, b) the importance of safety and c) the Safe Conversation process. Now we are approaching our second stop – Rediscover.
The three challenges on Rediscover are going to be: a) to examine the past – what has worked and what hasn’t and understand how the past does affect the present; b) to examine the present in order to understand that your relationship is not just about the two of you but about the two of you plus the Space Between you – that real energy field that surrounds you all of the time; and finally c) to examine the future and the importance of the 0 negativity pledge if you want to live happily ever after on Pleasure Island.
Your first task on Rediscover is to take an honest look at the past – the good the bad and the ugly. To rediscover the things that really worked for you – which you will want to do more of in the future? What didn’t work so well, but that you can improve? And lastly, what are the things you absolutely don’t want to carry around with you anymore?
Your second task is to better understand the way the past does affect the present in an intimate relationship. The great insight of Harville Hendrix and his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt in the creation of Imago Relationship therapy was their very counter intuitive insight that, what seems to happen in an intimate relationship, is that we are UNCONSCIOUSLY attracted to someone who has both the positive but also negative traits of our original caretakers. To me this just makes sense; you can’t live with someone for 18 years and not be influenced by them. Here is an example of how this showed up last week.
I had a gal in the office who brought up an issue to her husband which she was concerned about – it was not about her husband, it was just an issue. He mirrored her accurately and then, knowing how competent she is, said something like: “Oh, don’t worry about that; you can handle it; it is nothing.”
Right away, her whole demeanor shifted, I could see it. So I asked her: “What just happened?” She said she felt dismissed. I then asked her if she had ever felt dismissed as a child? “All the time! “ As a child she had felt she wasn’t heard, or what she had to say was not listened to or taken as important etc. That was certainly not what her husband intended but his comment, or the way he said it, or something, triggered the same old feeling from childhood, of being dismissed. Does that make sense?
That’s what I mean when I say the past affects the present; this is how it tends to show up. I tell couples to not be surprised when old feelings get triggered. And because you don’t want to keep stepping on old wounds, you will want to learn to talk with your partner, about anything, but in a safe way which is why the Safe Conversation process is so important.
The next challenge on Rediscover – the Space Between.
I have 5 spaces open for couples who would like a personal coach on their wellness journey. Contact me at 519 966-1408 and let’s talk.