Want to change your relationship?
Change starts with you. Always. It’s tempting when things don’t feel great to want circumstances to be different, to want other people to say or do something other than what they have done, to want life to oblige and accommodate us. It’s a very human response to adversity. Let’s face it, not always are people kind or reasonable to us, and sometimes we can feel justified in our anger and indignation, and our insistence that they change.
The problem is, we simply can’t change them. We can’t undo things that have been done, we can’t insist that others act or speak differently, we don’t have the influence or the right. We can only heal when we find ways to change how we ourselves are holding the situation inside, the way we are responding to what has happened.
Does this mean anyone is expected to put up with what is intolerable? No, of course not. Healthy management of relationships calls on us to reflect deeply and carefully about what happens, and to be congruent and clear about what we want, need and expect. Often we can grow together and resolve challenges that have arisen. Sometimes we this sadly isn’t the case, and so we find ways to reconcile to that and to move on.
The first job when faced with relational difficulties is to work within ourselves. Being clear about what you think and feel, about the perspective you are taking and how the situation looks from other viewpoints, and placing it in the context of your wider relationship, and web of relationships is useful. What does this situation say about you? What has your part been in getting to hear? What patterns and tendencies are there within you that have made this possible?
Once we have done this inner work we can from a more grounded place determine our next step. We need only take one step at a time, we may feel our way forward and not know what longer path will emerge for us to tread, but what we can do is be truthful within ourselves about where it is we are currently stood. When we do this, we can find an authentic way to relate both inside, and with other people.
If you hear yourself longing for others to change, just notice that. Be with it, with kindness and empathy, and gently with the knowledge that it’s not a route to resolution or peacefulness. With time, something else will need to emerge if you are to find a way forwards.