Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make a heroic shift out of an old paradigm, the default programming that we?re born into Unconscious Loving to a new paradigm, Conscious Loving. Here?s a quick look at the old and the new paradigms, so you'll know what you're getting out of and getting into.
We repeat the same patterns and problems over and over, and we don?t identify ourselves as the source of those patterns and problems. We spend a lot of time ignoring or recycling the patterns, and expend considerable energy trying to prove somebody else is to blame.
We get defensive in situations where we could get enlightened. Somebody says, "Hey, you?ve got a drinking problem." We reply, "Says who?" They say, "Well, you drove into the driveway last night, ran over the kid?s bike, threw up in the flower bed and peed in your wife?s steam iron." We reply, "Nobody?s perfect, and you're a jerk for ruining my day with your negativity." (Defensive maneuvers: Getting sleepy, bored or tired; getting irritable, hostile or tense; getting fascinated by TV, food, liquor, tobacco, drugs; stonewalling, sulking, withdrawing.)
We have feelings we don't share, or are carrying secrets we haven?t told to the relevant person. (Distinction between secrets and privacy: Secrets are things you hide because you?re afraid of how others would react if they heard them. Privacy is when you keep something hidden because to share it would dilute its personal or sacred nature. Example: For Bill Clinton, Monica was a secret, and the relevant person to tell was Hillary. For Monica, the journal she kept would fit the privacy category.)
We think of ourselves as victims and go back and forth between thinking of others as perpetrators or fellow-victims. In conflicts, we argue from the Victim-Position, casting others as Perpetrators. To resolve arguments, we often join the others in being Fellow-Victims...
© Copyright Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. & Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D. This article was originally published at our website, SoulfulLiving.com, in February 2002, as part of Soulful Living's "Love Relationships" Issue.
"Stop focusing on problems, difficulties and issues for a period of time (a month is a good period of time to start with) and instead, focus only on expressing appreciations to your partner (or to anyone else you want to be close to, such as children or co-workers.) At the end of the period of time, you can always go back to focusing on problems if you want to. However, most people find that expressing appreciations clears up even long-standing, recurring problems that nothing else has budged."
--Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks
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