Every single person lives in a separate reality.
When you start to understand how our mind works and where our experience comes from, it changes everything, but it's not always easy to see how this experience plays out in our relationships.
Yet, in our relationships, we can have the most significant transformation if we are willing to look in this direction.
When you understand that every person is living in the "feeling of their thinking" and no matter what you are doing, or saying their experience is always based on the quality of the thoughts they are experiencing.
On a good day, when our quality of thinking is good, if someone makes a joke or says something that has the potential to be offensive, it's doubtful that this comment or joke will impact us in any way. It will most likely just wash over us, and we won't even give it a second thought.
If, however, if our quality of thinking isn't great, maybe we didn't get much sleep, we are tired, or in pain or for whatever reason our mood is low, then that same joke or comment potentially can have a completely different impact on us.
It's the same lousy joke or comment, but the impact can be experienced in profoundly different ways depending on our internal weather.
And it's the same for ALL our relationships.
The biggest misunderstanding in all our relationships is when we think our wellbeing is wrapped up in how good our relationships are and how the behaviour of others and the behaviours of our self affect our wellbeing. Add to the mix the expectations we have and the judgements we make about ourselves and our significant others.
All our relationships are experienced in our minds.
However, we perceive our relationships; however, we perceive our partner, our children, or the significant people in our lives. That perception is always based on how we are experiencing the relationship in our minds.
All of our relationships with others is experienced in our mind first and then created in our reality.
Don't take things personally.
Often all the things we spend our time thinking about and going over do not mean anything about our relationships. Most of the time, these negative thoughts about our relationship show up in low mood thinking.
As you engage less and less in low mood thinking and taking it personally or seriously, we start to see our partners or significant others in a completely different way.
We understand that whatever they are saying or doing isn't about us; it's about them, and very likely caught up in their low mood thinking.
Remember, one relationship, two realities!
Drop the need to be right or the fear of getting it wrong
One of the biggest challenges in all relationships is the need to be right or fear getting it wrong. The more we move towards that need to be correct, the more we get caught up in that lower-level thinking, anger, resentment, and doubt starts to show up, all of which move us away from experiencing those good feelings in our relationships.
When we are stuck in a low mood, low-quality thinking, and lower levels of consciousness, we close down and are not open to viewing things in new or different ways.
You may not be able to do this immediately, but when you are committed to having good feelings in all your relationships, eventually, this will start to fall away.
Good feelings in my relationships are way more important than being right or getting it wrong.
Let go of blame and get over things.
When we blame, immediately we are in a place of judgement. Letting go of blame and taking 100% responsibility for what shows up in your relationship allows you to drop all the thinking about who is right or wrong or who should or shouldn't do anything.
When you get that your experience of all your relationships are experienced 100% of the time inside your head, letting go of blame becomes liberating because it doesn't matter anymore who is to blame.
What's happening is that at that moment, you are making up a judgment based on how you experience what has happened, that's all. When we are in a good place, and something happens, say your partner forgets to pay a bill, and a final notice comes in, you will probably say it's ok, don't worry.
When we are in a low mood, stressed or overwhelmed, that's when the blame game starts to happen. We react and get into a discussion or argument about who is to blame for that bill not getting paid.
Bringing up past mistakes, old resentments and blaming each other for things that have gone wrong is never helpful for any relationship. It isn't beneficial to bring bitterness alive and revisit all the old stuff and old painful things that have happened because that takes us in the wrong direction and moves us away from our well being and the good feelings in our relationships.
We just get more resentment and more caught up in that low quality of thinking.
When we can look in the direction of what is there, the love, the connection and, even if we can't feel it or see it at times, this is what breaths new life into our relationships and allows us to move back into a place of good feelings towards each other.
Forgiving and getting over things helps us move far more rapidly back into that feeling of love and connection.
Learning to move away from what we think we need the other person to do to change our relationship is the only way to transform our relationships.
It's up to us if we want to experience a change, then we must be the one who first makes that change on the inside first, shifting from the engagement of low mood or level thinking to love and connection.
That's the only thing that will shift the needle in our relationships.
Here's a question I would invite you to ask any time you notice yourself stuck in a low mood or lower-level thinking about your relationships:
Just keep asking yourself that question, and soon you will find your thinking about the relationship lifts to a higher level.
The only relationship you are ever having is your relationship to your thinking!
What has worked for me in my marriage and relationships:
I am committed to having good feelings in all my relationships, and I will do whatever I can to keep my relationships in a place of good feeling or goodwill.
I don't always get it right, but when I notice the needle shifting towards those yucky feelings, I will do whatever I can to find a way to move back into that place of good feeling, as much for me as for my relationships.
I am committed to being in a place of good feeling, so for me, that means being completely honest with myself and doing what I need to do to ensure that all my relationships are coming from a place in the vast majority of the time good feeling.
For many years I unconsciously and innocently competed with my husband. It wasn't something I intentionally did; it just happened. It sometimes showed up in things like who did more domestic chores, child care, work, etc.
And instead of being on the same team, we worked against each other more than we worked as a team.
It caused so much resentment and disharmony in our relationship; I saw him as an adversary rather than my teammate; I saw him as working against me instead of working with me.
As soon as my perception changed, all the resentment that had built up around me doing all the work in the relationship shifted.
And we started to work together as a team, using our strengths and weaknesses to complement the team and create a life together.
I experienced a significant shift in our relationship, and I now do less than I have ever done in our business of creating a life together. Simply because I stopped playing the game of "I do more than you" "you don't do enough".
I stopped complaining, nagging and stepped back and got on board as a teammate and naturally, things evolved in our responsibilities that aligned with our strengths and weakness when it comes to our partnership.
We learned to use our differences to complement one another's strengths, yes we sometimes still bicker about things and get annoyed at one another, but because we know we are 100% on the same team, we always move back into that place of good feeling.
When you are fully committed to your relationship, there isn't any doubt, and no amount of low mood thinking can take you away from wellbeing or good feeling for too long. Because when you are committed, when you are 100% behind that relationship, you will do what you can to move in the direction of love and connection and even when things are bad, you know you will find your way back again.
No amount of low mood thinking or doubts will destabilise the relationship because you know that those thoughts mean nothing. You are committed despite the low-mood thinking, and you don't need to take any of your thoughts seriously; they will pass, and that feeling of love and connection will return.
But if you are only 90% committed or 80% committed, you will always have nagging doubts in the back of your mind that move you away from good feelings and threaten to break down that connection of love and understanding. And lead you back in the direction of low-level thinking in your relationships.
Navigating harmonious relationships isn't always easy; it takes love, connection, compassion and patience to develop strong bonds with the significant people in your life. Wherever you are at, I hope the insights shared are helpful in some way and offer an opportunity to help you always to move back in the direction of love and connection.
If you would like help or support, you can reach out to me here to book a free discovery session or come and join us over in one of our Facebook groups, Avril Gill Coaching or Dissolve Your Anxiety, or follow me in IG for guidance and support.