What if you have one shot at creating the best relationship ever…
The fact of the matter is that everyone would be much better off if we actually believed that we only had one shot to build the relationship of our dreams.
Too many smart, articulate and successful adults around the world go into relationships without deliberate intention, and with the belief that if it doesn’t work they can break up or get divorced.
That one concept is poison to the entire relationship-building process!
- Decide that divorce is NOT an option.
- Figure out who you are in the deepest recesses of your being.
- Stop acting from fear.
- Stop settling for anything in your relationship just being good enough!
When you are a Couple Living With Life-threatening or Chronic Illness, one of the challenges you might experience is that you and your partner will have different reactions to the same situation, different feelings, different needs and different priorities.
Even though you believe that you are facing the same challenge and that you are on the same side, sometimes your needs and priorities and your partner’s needs and priorities will be competing with each other.
While we can’t change, nor would we want to change your feelings, needs and personal priorities, we can absolutely make these differences less prominent and problematic in your relationship.
A first good step to calming the tumult that often accompanies couples living with life-threatening or chronic illness is to remember (and ultimately live by) Virginia Satir’s The Five Freedoms.
I invite you to try this:
We are imprinted, positively and negatively, by the beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors of those in our families.
For thousands of years people have passed along their wisdom and knowledge and built on the past and moved forward into the future telling each other stories.
Storytelling helps us make sense of our early life and family life, and often provides essential clues about the values, behaviors, attitudes and beliefs that we have embraced and live by, or have rejected and replaced.
Part of learning to tell and write our stories, is recognizing the themes and patterns of family beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors.
Does your family have a mythology about children, elders, illness, money, expressing emotion, career etc., to which everyone subscribes?
When I introduce the idea of identifying themes and patterns, I frequently offer examples that may spark your thinking and awareness.
This might surprise you, but values, NOT feelings, drive your choices and behavior. Whatever your thoughts or dreams and whatever actions you take on your own behalf, honor your values and make them real in the world through your behavior (taking action):
- BE your best and most brilliant and passionate YOU
- DO that which affirms and esteems YOU
- HAVE all that BEING and DOING brings into your life
In addition to the principle of “Be, Do and Have,” let’s add the concept of “Being Congruent”: THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, ACTIONS, and BELIEFS all matching.
Whenever your thoughts, feelings, actions and beliefs don’t all match each other, your personal YOU is out of integrity. When you are out of integrity nothing (and no one) will bring you joy and the deep satisfaction you long for!
There is no feeling in the world quite like the profound contentment that comes from being congruent. Everything that has gone before it pales into insignificance beside it.
Now you own the proof of your right to be you; own your belief; and act in concert with your values. Now you have a solid permanent testimony to your determination and spirit. Now you are ready to challenge your limiting thoughts and beliefs; break out of the structures that don’t match for you; and create breakthroughs!