The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
There was once a woman who was frustrated that her husband made his work a top priority, and she constantly felt undervalued. If he had a phone call, he would take it, even during dinner. She was married to a man who was married to his business.
One morning she was tired of nagging and devised a plan. She called her husband’s office and told his secretary that a “very important” new client wanted to meet with him for coffee- someone he will discover is a valuable person to invest time with. Her husband told his secretary to put this person on the calendar. This “client” was none other than his wife. Luckily, this was a pleasant surprise for him. He felt appreciated in that moment – relieved that he had some time to spend with someone he truly did love. This time slot was prearranged. He understood.
She understood. If I want change to happen, I need to identify what is getting in the way and stop engaging in the patterns that perpetuated the problem.
It does take two to tango.
This story is not new.
We get busy, life gets in the way, and it’s easy to let our loved ones move down a few notches our priority list, often assuming we have time to “get to it later”… and the same patterns perpetuate.
We will eventually begin to notice “symptoms”- subtle signs of underlying frustration, like how we snap more easily or experience underlying feelings of frustration (and don’t know why). We keep moving , but movement doesn’t mean we are growing, it just means we’re moving, or stagnant.
Without a strong foundation, even a small storm can knock things over.
Think Jenga in real life.
I was compelled to write this now because I have seen (and experienced) the power of personal transformation and the effect it can have on our relationships.
What we all need more than anything (especially in times of crisis) is authentic connection. This need for connection is in our hard wiring. We can’t escape it. If we pretend it doesn’t matter, it will manifest in other areas of our lives, perhaps unexpectedly.
If we want extraordinary relationships, we must break the patterns and habits that (perhaps unconsciously) have been getting in the way.
It’s simple (but not easy).
Ask yourself the following question: “What do I need to change right now in order to achieve what I desire?” Tomorrow doesn’t count. What clutter needs to be removed ? What “non-negotiables” do I need to put in place?
Call it spring cleaning for relationships.
Before the coronavirus turned the world upside down, my husband and I had coffee every morning. While it’s harder to get alone time now, we are conscious of the importance of spending uninterrupted time together- now more than ever. No matter how solid a relationship is, if it isn’t forward moving, it will become stagnant. If you don’t nurture it, it will not grow.
As the saying goes “You reap what you sow”.
There are no shortcuts.
Always remember, an extraordinary relationship is not a destination, it’s a journey.