If there are important people in your life who are a source of pain in your life-- they bring up feelings of disappointment, hurt, or anger when you think of them-- I want to share from personal experience what kind of change is possible for you and that relationship, just from a few shifts inside yourself.
See, I had a big insight about a very important relationship in my life recently. My life, my sense of love, and this relationship, are forever gloriously altered. Here's the story:
Most of my life I've thought I picked up the bad habits I had in my relationships from my father. I felt angry at him for not setting a good example, and instead modeling that criticism. judgement , and deterioration were just how things go in marriage.
I felt somewhat contaminated by him, and rejecting of him, and even more harshly, those parts of him I saw in myself. I blamed him for a lot. So one of the most strained relationship I’ve had in my life has been with him, at least in my own head and heart.
What I always wanted was to feel safe, loved, and like I had steady guidance I could trust from my father, like I imagined other girls I knew had. I thought I just didn't get so lucky.
So I was blown away when, during some relationship self-coaching work I do regularly, I realized I was actually always guided by him. He has helped me become a loving woman in a vitally happy marriage —by example of how NOT to be. He failed so I don’t have to. He made mistake after mistake so I can thrive. He gave me so much guidance that way. It was a large part of how I was able to create the safety and steadiness and love I have in my life now, along with a good dose of my own self-reflection, desire, and dedication to feeling better in my life and relationships.
Though it’s all still sinking in, now when I think of my dad I just feel love and appreciation. I am so better able to see all the ways he really is a wonderful human. It feels kind of weird since I’m so used to feeling resentment and exasperation and judgement. But, wow, does it feel good!
I not only feel I have a whole new relationship with him, but with my personal history— the whole story of my life—too.
This is the power of not just desiring to have happier relationships, but of being willing to look inward, being willing to question the way you’ve always seen things, and being curious about the possibility of coming to different, healthier conclusions. This is the power of just 20 minutes of coaching. And I tell you, it feels like freedom.
I want that for you, too.