Who’s really the problem here?

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Have you ever noticed how life is constantly offering up opportunities to grow and learn, and how we (at least many of us) constantly resist the opportunities?

Life is doing its job.

Too often, we humans are not.

Instead, we’re busy resisting, ignoring, over-looking the abundance before us in our quest to blame, criticise and condemn others for our lack of happiness, joy, love, peace…

For awhile, without my even realizing it, I had been building up a little pile of resentment around my beloved’s inability to understand me. Now don’t get me wrong, I love C.C. deeply, but sometimes, he just doesn’t get me. Know what I mean? When I say with great enthusiasm, ‘Let’s paint the living room!’ He says, ‘There’s a hockey game on tonight’. When I say, ‘let’s go pick out paint’. He says, ‘After the hockey game is over.’

I mean really. Doesn’t he know painting the living room comes over watching hockey? And seriously? Who cares about a hockey game when we peruse the paint chip aisles salivating over teals and aquas and sunshine yellows?

But here’s the deal.

It is not his job to understand me.

That’s my job. Just as it’s his to understand himself and yours to understand you.

It is no more acceptable for me to ask him to go pick out paint colours when the Stanley Cup finals are on than it is for me to pout and shuffle about, maybe even pull out the vacuum in the middle of the game and ask him to lift his feet so I can vacuum the floor beneath them, especially when Crosby has the puck, just because I don’t like his answer.

And no. But I might have wanted to…

See, here’s the thing. Relationship takes work. And sometimes, I like to tell myself I’m doing all the work while he’s watching hockey.

Quite frankly, that is a lie I am telling myself to build my list of resentments so that I can feel sorry for myself. Just because I can.

The thing about life though is that it is always present, always serving up opportunities to get aware and get growing through whatever is eating at my peace of mind — as long as I am willing to stop blaming others for my unease. As long as I am willing to be 100% accountable for my own experience.

And that is something we humans do not like to do a lot of — be 100% accountable for our own experiences.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you thought something like, “What is their problem?” Or, “If they’d just go ‘A’ to ‘B’ the way I want then everything would be just fine.” Or, “Why do they have to be so …? (fill in the blank)”

C’mon. Be honest with yourself.

Now, change the question. When did you last ask, “What is my problem here?” or, “What if I accept their A to B as not ‘wrong’ but simply different?” or, “What’s in it for me to stay so rigid about …… (fill in the blank). What can I do differently here?”

See, life gives us ample opportunity to grow and learn, to understand ourselves better. Life is filled with abundance. Often, we look at it through eyes focused on the other person’s actions, words, thoughts, while we resist looking at our own. And in our resistance to looking deep within ourselves and being 100% accountable for our own journey, we forget, we have the power to know ourselves deeply and in that knowing, change our lives.

We’d much rather someone else changed theirs.

And so, we look at them and wonder why they don’t understand us, when really, the lack of understanding of us is ours.

Life gave me a beautiful opportunity to look inside myself to find the root of my unease. It was a beautiful gift.Especially because, I like what I found in me!

12 thoughts on “Who’s really the problem here?

  1. Acceptance is a journey I have been on for a long time … I’m mostly there but still … hmmm a handful of situations and people can trigger a moment of throwing blame and anger around … these outbursts feed on expectations not acceptance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Acceptance most definitely is a journey Seija. I think of it now less as a point a to b journey and more as a spiral. I move a bit more into it, discover something else about myself, slip back a teeny bit, move around the spiral and constantly, I am moving deeper and higher and along and down and up and closer into acceptance — and yup. I know what you mean about those handful of situations and their triggers! That’s when I really have to practice the question: What’s my role in this? What am I really upset about?… It is a beautiful journey and even though I do want to say sometimes, Are we there yet? — I feel we both share the same desire to always keep learning and growing. Hugs and love.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LG

    Given my experiences with marriages (17yrs, 3 yrs) I must observe that, after one year, if your biggest problem after 1 yr. is the tussle over paint shopping vs. hockey watching, well … maybe you are overlooking deep troubles, or maybe you are lucky to only have such little shite to worry about.

    Seems to me like you have something else brewing deeper than all that, otherwise why use so much ink? Why use metaphors when the truth is available?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Sometimes Mark you surprise me with your capacity to read into what I write. I know for me, whenever I project onto someone else what I think they mean, I am inevitably not looking at something in me that was triggered by what they wrote or said or did.

      I don’t think it’s the length/number of the relationship that makes the difference. It’s our willingness to be real, honest, open and vulnerable. It’s our capacity to look at our own stuff even when we want to make it all about the other person’s stuff that keeps us real and gives us opportunity to learn and grow. Using paint chips and hockey as the metaphor for how we can become so caught up in our own self-defeating games is for me, a way to write about the human condition to make it more accessible for others.

      I wonder what triggered in you to create such an edgy response?


  3. I agree, Louise! Unfortunately, I very recently was involved in a major drama to which I have spent the better part of the last month analyzing. I think we may be more prone to do that kind of work when there is an “endin.” Hopefully we can learn to do the work while the relationship is still alive. Sending hugs and love ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello lovely Lorrie. I think doing the work while in the relationship is how we keep the relationships alive — and how we can determine which relationships belong in our lives, or not. Had C.C. and I not both been willing to do our own work over these past years, we would not be together today — we would have become so embedded in our own self-defeating games we would have fought for the right to be right and let go of our right for love and happiness.

      Much love to you dear Lorrie. Sending hugs and love back at you! ❤


    • So true Pam. It has been a lifetime of learning for me. To look at my stuff — and not keep looking at someone else’s stuff — as the source of any discord I may be feeling. It is what I love about the Choices program I am involved with. It is all about looking at self-defeating games and learning tools to keep me playing hard for my right to be real, honest, open and vulnerable. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

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