What stories are you and your partner making up about each other?
What stories are playing out each time you have an argument or disagreement?
Are those stories going around and around leaving you feeling like you’re stuck in perpetual cycle of repetition and never moving forward?
The trouble with stories is that we all believe that our perception is the correct perception and tend to forget that the same story, seen through someone else’s eyes, heard through someone else’s ears or felt with someone else’s emotions can be completely different to the story we’re telling ourselves.
I recently watched the musical “Come from Away” with my son. It tells the story of the 9/11 atrocities but from a very different perspective. It’s the story of the passengers on the 38 planes that were diverted from US Air space and had to make unexpected landings in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland and how the town suddenly doubled in size to in accommodating the 7,000 passengers who suddenly became residents until they were able to return home almost a week later.
It told the story of 9/11 but from a completely different perspective and it was riveting viewing. Many of the stories within the musical are true and whilst they all tell the story of 9/11, every single one of them is different.
The same story, so many different perspectives.
So many of the clients I work with are stuck in a story seen only from their perspective. When I suggest a different perspective, it takes them a while to acknowledge that theirs isn’t the only perspective, but I also see the penny drop; the light bulb goes on and they suddenly understand why they’ve been stuck in that perpetual cycle of repetition.
We all like to think that our perception of events is right, but often it takes someone completely objective to suggest that maybe the other party’s perception is right too. It doesn’t change our own perception but it does give us an alternative perspective.
When we break down the barrier that’s limiting understanding and start to step into someone else’s perception, then we can break the cycle of repetition and start to repair our relationship.
What do you need to see from your partner’s perspective today?
What barriers do you need to break through to rebuild your relationship?
I had everything planned.
I knew exactly what I was going to do.
I had everything for my business planned to the ‘nth degree.
I was counting down the days until my son returned to education (he’s starting Sixth Form Drama College this year) and then it was going to be all systems go.
I was really excited, in that ‘Back to School‘, New Year, New Start way many of us feel at this time of year.
But then I was brought down to earth with a bump.
My son tested positive for Covid and missed the first two days of his new adventure.
My plans, so carefully mapped out, would have to wait at least another week.
I went into full on nurturing mum mode and dropped everything to ensure he was OK.
I was worried, we’d nearly lost my mum to Covid earlier this year, this was my boy, my baby. At 6 feet tall he suddenly seemed tiny and vulnerable, just like that long but delicate little baby I first met over 16-years ago.
Some things I’d planned got done but lots didn’t.
As my son started to improve, so I started to catch up. Then my partner suggested I took Friday off as I always do.
I was reticent at first, I had so much work to catch up on. But he insisted, having kept his Friday free to spend with me as he always does.
We compromised; I did some urgent work in the morning then we went out for the day.
We visited The National Arboretum at Westonbirt Arboretum, a day in the fresh air, surrounded by trees and absorbing their energy, their strength.
As we walked hand in hand through the acres of the Arboretum I felt the stress melting away, and we started to talk about our hopes, dreams and desires, reconnecting.
I felt calmness return.
We talked about our relationship, acknowledging that it seemed to have drifted recently because we’d both been so busy and not made each other a priority.
We talked about my son and our elderly parents.
We talked about what we each need to fulfil our own individual needs and dreams.
It was much needed time together to reconnect.
So when I got home and found that the technology hadn’t worked, my social media hadn’t scheduled and my authenticator app had lost all of the accounts stored in it, I didn’t panic, I didn’t cry.
Yes, I got annoyed but also recognised that it can all be fixed and starting putting plans into motion to fix it.
What was most important was that I stepped into selfish and spent time on my relationships;
My relationship with myself
My relationship with my partner
My relationship with my son
I spent time thinking about and planning my relationship;
With my parents
With my clients
Relationships take time. They take effort, they take commitment. Sometimes the best laid plans fall by the wayside, but if you’ve put the footwork in before and you make the effort to reconnect after, then those crises soon become little blips that can soon be overcome.
What could have been a mountain of a crisis, has been a mole hill that is being easily overcome.
What can you do today, this week to ensure future crises only become little blips?
What can you do today to Bring back the Bliss into all of your relationships?
One of the things my partner and I like to do is go for long motorbike rides. At one time I contemplated getting my own license but I love the closeness that riding pillion brings so chose to stay that way.
Riding pillion on the back of a motorbike gives me lots of time to think.
On our most recent ride it got me thinking about trust. And I asked the question across my social media platforms recently – ‘Do you trust your partner?’
For most people the response was an instant ‘yes’ which is unsurprising. We’re conditioned to believe that if we love our partner, we therefore trust them.
But trust is something very different.
Trust is defined as the firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.
Sitting on the bike of the bike behind my partner I have to have the utmost belief in his ability. I have to trust that he isn’t going to try to show-off, scare me or do anything silly. Being on the back of a motorbike is a vulnerable position to be in.
I trust my partner implicitly. So much so that I’ve even been known to fall asleep, or rather doze off, whilst on the back of the bike!
I have so much trust in him that I am completely relaxed – other than when we were riding over the Swiss Alps some years ago and my fear of heights kicked in. The views were incredible but I started shaking involuntarily. He had to pull-over because my shaking was putting him off! We stopped, I got off, took some deep breaths, and off we went again. I’ve since conquered my fear of heights using hypnotherapy and NLP.
However, back to trust and being on the back of a motorbike.
Would you trust your partner enough to get on the back of a motorbike they were riding? Let’s assume for this purpose that they have a motorbike license and know what they’re doing.
If you wouldn’t get on the back of a metaphorical motorbike with them ask yourself why not?