There was a time during my first marriage where I thought we both needed to go to a marriage counselor. We were having problems or so I thought.
The truth was I was having problems agreeing with his decisions and ideas. He needed to go with me to a counselor so that another person can repeat and confirm what I thought was so obvious and he wasn’t getting. After that not only will I be right but also he will start changing and we can be happy ever after. This is where our egos can take us if left to its own devices. Yikes!!. Mine went even further.
There was a small problem, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to convince him to go with me. –For sure he is not going to agree to go – I thought to myself.
My idea was to give him an ultimatum – Maybe fear will get him there, right?. I never even asked him nicely and waited for an answer, I went right away for the ultimatum strategy. –We either go, or we can’t be together anymore.
Before I finish my story I wanted you to know that at this point of my life I had NO IDEA (navigating life completely unconscious) that what bothered me about him was my opinion about his actions not his actions alone. When I learned that I then knew I was the only responsible for my emotions because they arise only based on ideals, expectations and opinions I have in my head.
Then it became easier to not take things personally. All of a sudden it hit me. Nothing he is doing has to do with me. We are all doing the best we can with what we know. Wow! what an aha moment that was! I was also doing the best I could with what I knew. Conclusion I knew nothing, there is always so much to learn and to practice, and there is never a finish line.
Little by little I started discovering that every time I felt upset it was a sign that alerted me about a new loving quality that was trying to emerge from inside of me and wanted to be used and applied on the matter that I was feeling upset about. Sometimes was compassion, other times was empathy. There were so many qualities. And as I discovered that, I realized that the more I quiet my mind the easier it was to feel, understand, see and let that quality emerge and heal what needed to be healed. So that led me to start meditating.
As my mind got quieter I was able to see the mirror more clearly, every time I meditated it was as if I was passing a cleaning towel with some windex to an old and dirty mirror. –What mirror? You are probably wondering. The world is a mirror reflecting us back. He was a clear mirror reflecting me back. Every single thing, I disliked about him I was able to find in myself through self-inquiry. The good, the bad and all in between. It’s a challenging work yet very very rewarding.
Did you like the video?
Here is how the story ends:
We didn’t go to a marriage counselor, mainly because we couldn’t afford it. Instead we went to a Spiritual Practitioner. Marielena is her name.
When I gave him the ultimatum he said – ok I will go but only one time, don’t ask me to go again and it has to be in Spanish!
I accepted his conditions. When we were at the end of our first session. I jokingly say to Marielena –I’m so glad I convinced him to come he really liked you! (I liked her too)
She said to me:
If you come by yourself you will be able to see the same progress in your relationship because the work is in you not in him. The only difference to come with him is the pleasure of sharing a learning process together.
My face morphed distinctly from smile to question mark right in front of her eyes.
On our ride back home, I couldn’t stop thinking about what she meant with “the work is in you not in him”. What work? I have to work? what about all he does wrong? is she going to work on changing that?
Oh I had no idea of what was about to come! Another big fat layer of ego meat was about to be stripped away from me. I was ready to be awaken and I had no idea!
The funniest part (that we always joke about now) is that my ex-husband was so excited about the session he couldn’t stop talking about how much he was looking forward to our next session. Meanwhile I was doubting whether Marielena will be right fit for our needs, or better said my needs.
We continued to go to her as a married couple for 3 years after that day. Now a days, both into our second marriages after we happily separated from each other 6 years ago, we still consult with her individually.
One day (hopefully today) you look at a relationship (hopefully all your relationships) and decide that they will be a platform for self-transformation.
Meaning all the interactions and circumstances the relationship provides you with will be used to reflect on yourself and make active changes to self-transform yourself into a version that is higher than the one version you were before that interaction.
This simple yet very helpful concept guides me and gives me a strong sense of purpose through all the challenging times and through the seemingly happy times that my relationships bring.
Even if you don’t know where to start. You can start by saying –I’m willing. The guidance will come to you.
I am definitely no doubt a better and higher version of the self that didn’t know I was to work on my self in relationships not on the other.
Yet, the process will be tough because now you know at a deeper level that all there is to work with is you, the other person is not part of your job.
“You do you” I heard a teenager say the other day and I loved that expression!!
As Byron Katie says drive your life ship, if you abandon it to drive someone else’s life ship yours will crash because no one was in command. Remember you can’t drive two ships at the same time.
A magnificent add on to this practice happens when everyone involve in the relationship decides to consciously be in the relationship for self-transformation. Be open to this amazing miracle to happen in your life (seriously, you never know) but remember to experience greatness, to express the true qualities in you to the world, to touch everyone you know and leave them in a better place even with just a smile, to become the person you have been wanting to be, your true self, all it is required is your absolute commitment to self-transformation, just you, no one else is required for greatness to happen.
I shared one of my favorite stories today. I love telling this story because it’s such a healer for me and it reminds me of how we are just always beginning. What do you think? Remember, what we share can be medicine for someone else and for sure a step closer to a stronger vida!