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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Time for Tough Love

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Let's face it. We live in a consumer culture. At first it started with the material world, and unfortunately, this habit of disposable goods has leaked into the realm of relationships.
I see people leave their partners and here are some of the reasons.
"We just don't communicate well."
"I couldn't be there anymore."
It is time for tough love: these are not reasons to leave. The above are excuses tied to our culture's WORSHIP of our emotions and valuing how we feel more than anything else.
Don't get me wrong: feelings are great, however, they change in a split second! And they can be altered, all too easily, by our obsessive thinking. In other words they are not reliable!
To put it another way: our egos are constantly collecting evidence to support whatever idea will keep it "safe" in the moment. Ego is safe when there is no growth, no change, no risk.
When we take a commitment, it is just that, a commitment to stay the course no matter what. I love the phrase "It is called a commitment, not a convenience." This is hard to swallow for a culture that is used to disposing of things when we are displeased with them.
Love is a Decision
What about looking inside instead of blaming the other person? When there is something wrong, a disturbance in the force, we always have the opportunity to show up in a new way. We can always ask ourselves, "What am I contributing to this situation? Am I making things worse simply by taking what they are doing personally? How can I show up in love and commitment?"
In no way do I imply that one should endure abuse of any nature. I do suggest that our relationships have become too easy to throw away. This is so sad, because real intimacy comes from weathering storms together and transcending obstacles in a team spirit.
Yogi Bhajan said that without commitment, there was no chance for happiness. What that means to me is: if I don't commit to something, I am caught suffering in the endless cycle of "should I or shouldn't I?" which is mental gymnastics that I do not want to play anymore.
We aren't trained to stay committed. We aren't trained to approach problems-even with each other-from a team spirit. It isn't easy, but it is possible.
Your Assignment:
Reflect on times that you really committed to something and what that did for you, your self-esteem, your personal growth. Are you willing to stay the course even though it may be uncomfortable? Are you willing to allow love to be a decision rather than an emotion?

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