Evergrowth Podcast — Relationship Crimes

Everyone commits crimes in a relationship when we're hurting, but some crimes are easier to spot than others.

In today's podcast, we go deep and distinguish the two most common crimes people commit in their relationship, the consequence of those crimes, and how you might address them.

Please reach out if you'd like the tool that we mention at the end of the podcast.

It's Not Perfect And That's Not Okay.

I'M SHOULDING ALL OVER MYSELF AND IT STINKS.

I made a simple error. And, since I cannot just let go of it, I'm filled with annoyance. So begins my Monday.

Sound familiar?

If you're like me, you CANNOT BE WITH mistakes. Anywhere, really, but especially with your own. 

What happened? It hardly matters, but this time, I booked the wrong Airbnb. I had two windows open, looking for a place to stay in Phoenix. One place would've been okay, but the other had a pool, spa and gym. I clicked the "book me" link, and boom. It was booked. 

But I'd clicked the wrong one, because I had two many windows open and got them confused. 

I *could* just cancel, hope the owner would relax his strict cancellation policy when I explained my error. But, due to a series of miscommunications and my tendency to JUMP and REACT, I've already done that once, because I booked before checking to see if the place met our requirements. Luckily, that kind person did refund (she didn't have to), but we lost the service fee. The consequence.

It's small beans, but it irks me to pay for nothing. I don't want the consequence.

*************

So now I'm in between a rock and a hard place, all of which I created, and am insisting exists, because I can't just LET. IT. GO.

I get to be angry, annoyed, frustrated and disappointed. 

I could ask for a refund and eat the cost (again). Or, I could get over it and empower the sweet little bungalow we've booked. 

BUT,

All I see is WHAT SHOULD NOT BE. Especially, because I was so stupid (not true, but that's the story that is flying around my self-judgment-filled head, hurting my heart).

I lose a lot of my joy because of my stubborn reluctance to release the SHOULDS. It sucks. From big things (WE NEED TO INNOVATE CLEAN ENERGY NOW) to small things (WHERE DID I PUT MY KEYS/DOCUMENTS/WHATEVER STUPID THING I MISPLACED AGAIN), I rail against WHAT SHOULD NOT BE.

*************
Here's the game: It's Not Perfect And That's Not Okay.

If you've followed so far, you probably already know the rules. In this game I'm playing, I can't make a mistake. Neither can you. EVER. I can't forgive myself (I'll likely let you off the hook, but not myself). I'm stuck trying to change the past, which is a waste of time. 

I'm like Dobby, and it hurts. It hurts me, the people around me (sorry, Adam), and poor little Grimby can read my black cloud and gets scared.

So, what can I do? I can breathe. I can grab 5 minutes and do a guided mediation. I can shout into a pillow, or whack the bed with a pillow. 

Ultimately, I can CHOOSE to let this go, so that I can move on to the more important, and much more interesting question: Now what?

Any sufferers out there? Does this resonate? Can you relate to getting stuck with your SHOULDS? And, how do you let go? What's in it for you if you are able (willing is probably a better word to use here) to let it go?

Why you might want to stop calling 2016 “A Bad Year”.

You know you’ve heard it, or read it, or maybe you’ve even said it. You know, the general sentiment of the masses that 2016 was, in fact, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. 

I get it. A lot of tough things happened this year. Political things that will impact the world we live in. Trump. Brexit. Not Hilary (#ImWithHer). Syria. Aleppo. Zika. [more] Terrorism. Refugee crises. Pipelines… I could go on, but it’s too dismal.

We lost a lot of brilliant and talented people this year: David Bowie. Prince. Muhammad Ali. Snape (I mean Alan Rickman). Carrie Fisher (I mean Princess Leia). Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, right after Leia passed.

They are icons, really. And we don’t like to lose our icons, for a myriad of reasons (apart from the fact that it’s hard to lose people and we are saddened by loss), but no less for the fact that we look up to these people at the best of times, and especially in the difficult times. They can be like a lighthouse in the dark, and they are icons of our generation. They are familiar and that is reassuring.

And that’s just some of the stuff that happened in the world at large. Not to mention the endless hardships experienced by smaller groups, families and individuals all over the globe, any given day. 

I mean, 2016, you were an arsehole. John Oliver even made the below video tribute to your demise. People wrote songs telling you off. So obviously, 2016 was a wash.

But was 2016 the worst year? History would state otherwise. How about 1348, when the Black Death killed over one third of Europe’s population? That was pretty rough, even if you were of the lucky few to survive it. The horror. The fear. The loss of loved ones. The smell.

But here’s the thing: Being mad at the year gets you off the hook. 2016 was bad to you. You had nothing to do with it. 

I understand. A lot of stuff happened that felt out of your (my? our?) control. So when you blame the year 2016, you get to be a victim. To an anthropomorphized body of time, made up by a centuries-old, human-made calendar. Yup. 2016 screwed you over. Which is obviously true, since that’s how you feel: victimized (see below). 

There’s nothing wrong with being a victim. I mean, I get it: life happens, and we cannot have 100 percent responsibility for circumstances outside our locus of control (the idea that power over events is either internalized by us, or externalized by outside forces).

The problem with empowering a victim mindset (which is what we’re doing when we blame external forces, or entire years, for that matter, for a bad day/year/life), is that it DISEMPOWERS us. Being a victim is, by its definition, a crappy way to be: harmed, suffering, trapped, et cetera. Victims are hapless, helpless and hurt. 

Being a victim to the current or previous year is not a great way to expect to be anything different than a victim to the coming one, though, since we are creatures of habit.

Why jump so eagerly into a new year, when, quite frankly, we have a history of writing off the year before as a bad hand, by December, if not sooner?

It’s like those people who hate their jobs, complaining their way through their career to retirement, when they're certain they’ll finally get to be happy? I know you know people who are living this way.

Call me crazy, but I believe that we tend to get good at what we practice. i.e. When you do a thing, over and over, you get better at doing that thing. So, by that generally accepted logic, then, if we practice complaining and being a victim to our circumstances, choices, calendars, et cetera, for 35 years (or 365 days), chances are pretty good we’ll continue to find reasons to be unhappy later.

When you practice being a victim, you get good at being a victim, not at making choices and taking actions that change your life.

Being a victim isn't fun, but it is familiar. It isn't easy, but it seems easier than change. It seems better to wash our hands of 2016, call the whole thing a bad egg, write it off and look forward eagerly to the next year, which has to be better. But why do you think the next year will be better? Because you can’t have two bad years in a row? Because science? According to whose rules?

I mean, I love the optimism, but come on. If you want to have a good year, you’re going to need to start deciding that you are having a good day/year/life. We need to practice training our eyes and our hearts (and our minds and our mouths) to shine the light, not to snuff it out. Maybe not all of it will be awesome (that’s just unrealistic), but hopefully, if you’re looking for good, you’ll find more of the good stuff.

After all, some people had a really great year: Babies were born. People fell in love. People got married. People reconnected with long-lost friends and family. People were overcome by the beauty of this world. Someone stood up on a surfboard for the first time (an amazing feeling). 

So let’s just work on being grateful when and where we can. It’s completely okay to have a bad day. For real. Bad times will happen. We are more resilient in those trying times, though, when we have trained ourselves to find the good, to seek out and be love, and to find the beautiful in the every day, and be grateful for any day we get.