This Christmas I’d like to propose a radical problem solving approach. That means, choosing to behave in a way that is uncomfortable, because it expands your capacity as a lover. As someone who loves. It is so fucking easy to say that we love, because we only hold ourselves to a standard where we express that when it is convenient, or when we say it matters. Not so easy to love when we don’t even like that person in that moment.
We get caught in this terrible trap of gradually shaping our partners such that they agree with us in all ways (that we deem to be important). And we congratulate ourselves on ‘allowing’ them to express their differences (in the areas that don’t matter enough to us to care). We fall in love with the potential of someone and spend our lives feeling dissatisfied at the gap between our projection and the one we profess to love.
Over the course of a lifetime, we are exposed to a tremendous variety of influences, people, environments, beliefs, activities and experiences. Imagine that you needed to isolate just one of those that was the quintessential ingredient that makes you so unique.
It is so easy to notice where we are different. The way that we do a task. The values that we hold, or the way we prioritise or express them. Our dreams, desires, fantasies. Words we use, the way we express ourselves. What matters to us, and what doesn’t.
And now, consider that each of the people in your lives have their own rare and unusual combination of those same ingredients. The thing that I find the most surprising of all, is that there are any of us at all who are so alike that we choose to share our lives!
This first act of #RadicalLove is to select an area of continued conflict with your partner (or someone important in your life). Something that you disagree about, and have found yourself in conflict over on regular occasions. This thing will be something that DOES matter to you.
Now decide to never ever speak of this again. Not to your partner, nor anyone else. Through radical love you choose to accept your profoundly flawed imperfect partner for who they ALREADY ARE not the image of them you are projecting.
Choose carefully. Let’s be clear, this is only a very small step in understanding that to truly CREATE a life together we can CHOOSE what to pay attention to. Making your decision and then 3 months later throwing it back into an argument as some kind of martyrmunition is the exact opposite of this act!
It could be that you never complain or comment on the way they drive, their need for excruciatingly detailed planning, or the fact that they never ever put their laundry in the basket. Maybe you will commit to never ever complaining or commenting again on that shirt that you hate, the way they eat, or the face they make when you ask for something.
This thing should matter enough that when you consider having to live with this approach for the rest of your lives, you feel concerned. And, I hope, this becomes a reflection for you that this mundane thing matters so fucking much to you that you would risk LOVE to have it your way.
When you choose this thing, commit 100% to let it go, and now move on with your life. There are things that really matter. This is the kind of cultivation of self that makes our souls blossom.