♥LOVE NOTE – Wednesday September 25, 2013.
Greetings Dear Friends♡
Acknowledgements to embodyheart.org for image
Gosh this has been a challenging post to write. I’ve been tossing it around for weeks since I wrote this post in response to ♡Gerald Rogers. I feel somewhat like a Spoil-sport. Killjoy. Wrecker-of-Dreams. Wet Blanket. A Curmudgeon…… especially given how responsive and touched and excited AND hopeful people have been reading ♡Gerald’s manifesto and his call, particularly to the men, to become Epic ♥LOVERS
And why? Because Proclaiming. Declaring. Announcing to all. Stating publicly. is a GREAT beginning to changing. to creating a new story, a new life – yet it is only the first chapter!
My experience both personally and professionally tells me there is so much more to it! I don’t want to disillusion people and I really, really wished it was that simple! Oh how I wished we could change our behaviours and our relationships just by saying that is what we are going to do! How we could become Extra-ordinary ♥LOVE Partners (also fondly known as an ♥E.L.P.) just by deciding and declaring it!
I see it in the same way as a person declaring they are going to become an Olympic swimmer, or cyclist, or marathon runner, or great pianist, or rock star, or get a university degree, or lose weight or stop procrastinating, or become accomplished and successful in any area of their life. Deciding is the beginning. And yes this step is Defining. Crucial. Essential.
Happy, life-long intimate and passionate relationships and being an Extra-ordinary ♥LOVE Partner doesn’t just happen because you want it to!
You need specialized Relationship Education and TOOLS and Skills and daily practice, practice, practice like fitness and health and career success and any other pursuit you want to succeed and excel in.
In our culture usually what happens is a couple gets married and they expect to go out and succeed based on ♡LOVE and commitment with very little Skills or TOOLS at all. ♡LOVE and marriage/ committed relationships are skill-based. It’s just like football…. You wouldn’t ask a football team to go out and win on team spirit alone!
Huge amounts of money, time and effort get spent on weddings but very little on preparing for the marriage. Marriage vows are full of beautiful commitments and promises about how they will do anything it takes to keep their marriage ♡LOVE-ing and thriving.
Yet at the same time there is a huge MARRIAGE MYTH that pervades – it is along the lines of the ‘30-something’ young couple I quote in the I Have A Dream post ……and generally we find it is a belief held by the men. (Why that is so is another whole post)
“…his regular circle of mates would not regard his attending the [Couples] Workshop as an appropriate thing to do and in fact would consider it as evidence that there is something wrong with their marriage and that it is in dire trouble and at risk.”
There are NO accidents what is happening in your relationships or you friends’ relationships! Just like there was no accident that ♡Gerald was the kind of husband he was and loved in the way he did, as well as ♡Gerald’s ex-wife attracted and chose him.
In fact – it is predictable! And formula based!
Relationships are co-created! Your brain is physiologically wired to create the life you are already living and to experience the ♡LOVE and relationships you have!!
We need to be taught to see how –
we are the reason we are having the problems we are having.
We need to stop blaming our external circumstances. We need the TOOLS and Skills to be able to do that and to do something different.
AWARENESS of what part you are playing and the actions you are taking is a crucial FIRST STEP. It requires taking a genuine and sincere inventory of how you are being unloving, not prioritizing your ♡Beloved, not being available when they reach for you, being rejecting, being unkind, criticising, attacking, disrespecting, complaining, blaming, withdrawing, not listening….in fact, how have you not been doing any of the things that ♡Gerald said he wished he “would have done different is a good place to start.
So why do you ♡LOVE in the ways that you do?
Because that is what has been taught to you – you observe and learn from your parents and the other adults that were significant to you how they were ♡LOVE-ing and caring and respecting to each other and in relation to you.
As a child you learn most of it by osmosis – just being around your family, neighbourhood, culture, ethnic group or the country you live in. All of these have an influence on for instance,
– what you thought,
– the beliefs and values that you took on,
– the behaviours that were OK and those that weren’t.
What is not often realized is how automatically and invisibly these childhood experiences are the template or blueprint for how you live your life today.
A child who grows up in a family where for instance, hugging and cuddling is shared, will experience reality differently – like I delighted in watching my 18 year old nephew give his mother (and then me) a full body hug goodnight the other night – compared to a client whose father announced when he was six that they would shake hands goodnight from then on.
With repetition these different environments/realities create pathways in the brain of the 2 growing boys which then creates an automatic physiological response in relation to people they ♡LOVE in regards to affection and touch and the like. And my client’s father wasn’t being a ’bad father’ teaching his son that – he believed he was being a ‘good father’ because it was what he knew best.
Let me highlight –
You do what you do because IT IS THE BEST YOU – and everyone else, INCLUDING YOUR PARTNER – KNOW WHAT TO DO in the moment.
Partnering and most of our relating is done on automatic pilot and out of your Automatic Defence System (ADS). By this I mean the ways you automatically and habitually respond and interact.
- Everyone has default ways of behaving/acting in the same way as you have a ‘native’ language that you think and speak in without having to think about it. It is like if you are right-handed you do things with your right hand – automatically – without thinking and without having to consciously choose! They are physiological unconscious responses to cues in the world.
- What is fired over and over gets wired! And whatever is physiologically wired into our brains we do AUTOMATICALLY, including ♡LOVE-ing.
- If you are not already naturally doing the things that ♡Gerald suggests are what Epic ♡LOVERS do then the bad news is you aren’t physiologically wired to ♡LOVE in those ways. Some of these things will be the hardest things for you to do and your unconscious mind will ‘sabotage’ you acting in those ways – even with his, or your best of intentions.
- Add to this emotions are 90% habituated responses. By that I mean imagine going in a room and flicking on the light switch and it doesn’t go on. What do you do? Usually you will flick it faster. Immediately you try to do more of the same. It’s the same with emotions. You just do more of what you have been doing.
- Doing more of what you are already doing and know will just get you more of what is already happening. It doesn’t matter how hard you try or how much faster you flick the switch!!
- We teach how to work SMARTER, NOT HARDER. As ♡Gerald has proclaimed you will need to do different things. This will mean acting in ways that will often feel completely counter-intuitive and awkward. It will feel like NOT being “you”. It WILL NOT be familiar or comfortable and definitely won’t be easy or automatic to do.
- It will require INTENTIONALITY, REPETITION and PRACTICE to create new ways of being, new habits and new permanent neural pathways.
EXERCISE: For a day have a go at using the opposite hand to the one you are dominant in – when you are writing, using your computer mouse, cleaning your teeth, eating, reaching for things, etc, etc – and see how difficult and awkward that is and how much focused attention you need to give it – and this is just a ‘neutral’ task.
Note that the difficulty is amped up tremendously when there are partners and emotions involved. For example the boy above who experienced shaking hands as affection will be required to S-T-R-E-T-C-H into very new behaviours in relation to his partner if they are going to experience deep physical closeness and connection.
How do you work out what is wired into you and your partner?
- The quickest way to work out what is wired into you and your partner that is not serving you is to observe how you and they act and how you interact with each other, especially when there is conflict. It is crucial to ‘really’ listen when your partner tells you repeatedly that you are being “a certain way”– especially when it feels hurtful or negative to them – and you usually disagree and argue with them about it.
Use these 7 MAGIC STEPS and TOOLS –
a) As soon as you notice yourself becoming reactive when they share their perspective, say: “Oh, that’s interesting!!……” (it keeps your brain in ‘curious mode’) and then,
b) Really show up by giving them your full undivided attention. We teach – you cross the bridge into their world, putting your ‘tape’/reality on the shelf and listen to how it (the way you are being) is for them.
c) Invite them to – “Tell me more…..” until there is no more.
d) Tell them – Help me to understand how I am that way/ how I do that.
e) Let them know that you get them, you’ve followed their logic and they make sense because………. Your goal is to validate them and let them know you see that it is true for them….whether you believe it or not.
f) All the time listening with Curiosity and MIRRORING what they say……. See this post for how to MIRROR.
g) Be Empathic by saying – “Given all that you’ve said – I imagine you might be feeling ______” and make a guess what you think they might be feeling.
- Your partner is actually the most powerful informant of what you can’t see about yourself – and where you need to grow – and our instinct is mostly to “kill the messenger” – we disagree, fight, attack, run away, or do any of the SCABS to them….. (see this post for information about the SCABS)
- The very areas that you need to grow most in are the behaviours that your partner repeatedly asks of you that are the hardest for you to do/give.
- Find out what your partner needs, what says, “I ♡LOVE you” to them and give it as an unconditional gift.
Learn how to ♡LOVE your partner in the way they want to be ♡LOVED. That’s the key.
I wondered whether there would be a big increase in enrolments in Marriage and Relationship Education classes or counselling after the viral spread of ♡Gerald’s post. The cynical part of me very much doubts it. Or maybe it is the realist side of me.
♡Gerald did allude to wishing that someone had given him the advice to work on putting in place the 20 points he makes and to working on developing all the new ways he will be in his future relationships….
And I think he has not made it clear enough how much work is involved in making the changes and how dedicated our brains and physiology are that we act in the very ways that we do. It is important to know and understand this and be prepared.
I imagine because you are reading this post you are interested in what is needed to be an ♥E.L P. and as well, I know many of you are knowledgeable about, and are practicing what is needed…… so my apologies to you if it feels like I am “preaching to the choir”…..I know I need to keep being reminded of this information so I hope you appreciate it too.
For those of you who are new visitors to Susiesheartpathblog and relatively new to this way of thinking there are many more posts on the blog that explain more of this consciousness and The STEPS and The TOOLS in depth. I am in the process of creating a menu that lists these popular posts. Let me know if you would like to be notified when that is complete.
I will expand more in another post by sharing some stories that show how unconscious we are about our default ways and how they sabotage us getting the ♡LOVE and caring we want and that we actually think we are ‘asking for’ – sharing both examples of what I have done and also from some others.
I WELCOME any of you sharing your stories of your unconscious Automatic Defence System and how it has gotten in the way of you receiving the ♡LOVE and caring you have yearned for…..
I value and admire that you choose to live your relationships consciously and for showing up here as well as ‘walking the talk’ and for helping ‘to spread the word’…..and often it is just by giving your friends and the people around you a model/example of what a happy and ♡LOVE-ing relationship looks, sounds and feels like.
Happy ♥LOVE-ing and exploring and discovering, Susie♡
“I saw relationships not solely as the kind of romantic pursuit our society celebrates but as a spiritual partnership that’s meant to change how you see yourself and the world.” ~♡Alanis Morissette.