I was listening to a group of young women in a café recently. They were in great spirits; a bottle of champagne arrived at the table. One of the women tapped her glass with a spoon to announce, ‘We hope you have a lovely wedding and a lovely honeymoon.’
Another woman tapped her glass, ‘We’ve all clubbed in and bought you a lucky charm because we figure every marriage needs one. You can use it in many ways. You can call time out ,rub your lucky charm when the shit hits the fan; or if all else fails you can throw it at him to get his attention. This particular charm is heavy enough and robust enough to be used many times.’
Peals of laughter followed this impromptu speech.
When the honeymoon period is over, the reality of everyday living can be quite unexpected. All relationships, marriages, partnerships and friendships have periods of hard work. A pragmatic girlfriend of mine says, ‘When it’s great, enjoy it thoroughly because the reality is relationships have peaks and troughs, great doesn’t last.’ And she’s right; very few relationships are smooth sailing 100% of the time.
As I walked away from the café, I thought about my relationship lucky charm, what’s worked for me, a tool that has centered me and given me peace when I’ve needed it.
I have found myself in that hard place where I want to blame the other person; to not take responsibility for my part in the issue. The thing that has helped me the most is to walk away from the area, or the person, or the issue and sit with my feelings. Without blame, immersing myself fully in the feeling for as long as I can tolerate it.
Don’t be side-tracked by distracting or rescuing yourself from feeling pain, stay with it. I promise, it won’t kill you. Then when you know where that feeling has settled in your body, focus on that space. Breathe into it and take the source (the other person) out of the equation. Just allow yourself to feel your way through it.
Another human tendency is to beat ourselves up for experiencing the feelings in the first place. That’s just being mean and doesn’t solve anything.
It’s taken me years of failing to do this, before I started to “get it”. The thing I love most about this tool is that it leads me back to my true self and that’s where I want to be most of all.