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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] Relationships are always going to be something to work on for most of us, until we accept that others are not us. They don’t completely think like us, act like us, respond like us or much else actually as they are not us. Even when you understand this and are good at acceptance I suspect that occasionally you slip (like I do). Maybe you need a refresher course of action.

Adam and Eve are a terrific couple who have been together for several decades and know each other well…well as well as one can know another person, anyway. They know all the quirks that their partner came into the relationship with and some of the rough edges have been smoothed out over time. Acceptance of those quirks has not always been easy, but to enjoy the relationship and last this long, their has to be acceptance or they would  have become the “Bickersons”! I tell you they are not.

Eve has one thing that is a bit of an issue – she picks on her spouse about driving. You know – like I wrote about in my post “I have learned…my GPS only works for me!” Well Eve had the same affliction of criticizing her spouse wondering why he drove the speed he was or didn’t take her ideal route, etc. It irritated her and she HAD to tell him. Often!

I asked her what she thought he heard when she did this behaviour.

After a moment she replied, “He’s not good enough! I don’t trust him.”

After this huge awareness (and silence) I asked if she trusted him and was he good enough.

She quickly replied that it was yes to both. As Eve had been working on being “good enough” herself this was a real stab to her that she was saying the same thing to him in this behaviour (absolutely not uncommon) and she did not want to continue doing this. She also mentioned that this was certainly not the message that she wanted to convey.

How could Eve amend the behaviour?

So I asked what she wanted to do about it.

Not do it again of course, was her answer.

How would she feel if this is how she was when she was in the car and he was going the wrong way? Probably frustrated at first, but maybe it’s not the wrong way for him.

Bingo! Revelation, now was it possible?

Eve figured it may be difficult as it had been a habit for most of their 30 years of marriage.

Could she apologize, she wasn’t sure.

How could she conscript her husband in the process?

Eve said the next time she was in the car and she felt compelled to do so she would mention it.

The next time they were in the car she commented on his driving (Darn!) and as he looked over at her she realized that she was caught in that old behaviour and immediately apologized, stating she had this overwhelming feeling to correct his driving and that she was working on eliminating it from her not so good habits. He was surprised. He didn’t know she was aware she did it in the first place as she had been a back seat driver forever! This gave Eve an added impetus to work on this. Only a short time later she caught her husband doing the same thing to Eve’s dad and poked him…they both had a good laugh about it and he is now working on it, too.

Eve is not perfect with this but catches herself and apologizes immediately. It was the largest area of criticism in her life. As she has been feeling “good enough” these days she also has not felt the need to defend herself either. All of the work that Eve has done has created incredible shifts in her thinking. Eve told me that she feels really good about giving the right message to her beloved Adam amd this goes deep to her core. I suspect that with all that she is feeling during this process of change, it will aid in the sticking of this new habit of “not doing” something and changing it for a loving action, letting go.

Eve’s knowledge that she is truly a good person and good enough as she is has changed her thoughts, attitudes then actions. This has affected her reality. As she takes care of herself and lets go of others to take care of themselves there is nothing left to defend or criticize. Hmm sounds perfect doesn’t it. Well Eve is the first to note her lack of “perfection” and her goal for the perfect body still lurks in the wings. See you next week when Eve tackles this big part of her growth!

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] I don’t remember which one seems normal; Jekyll or Hyde, but I will use Jekyll as the unkempt one for my purpose here. It’s definitely Jekyll, when I see the woman who has grown the long, messy grey hair looking back at me in the mirror. It is long because I have chosen to grow it so, not because I have just not gotten to the hair stylist. I have actually been to the salon; just not in the past two months as I never know how long is long enough between cuts with long hair. It used to be every 4-5 weeks with 6 being a week too long for short locks. It has been 20 years since my hair was past my ears and actually to my shoulders, so I decided that this may be my last opportunity for big hair before I cannot be bothered with all the effort in taking care of it.

My beloved said I look like the “Butterfly Lady” whenever I let my hair dry naturally, instead of ironing out the kinks. I have images of someone in a flowing flowery dress running through the sunny fields in bare feet or Birkenstocks with daisies in my hair and butterflies all around me while holding a bug net. Not completely unkempt but uncontrolled and free. I do like uncontrolled. The Hyde I imagine would be controlled in everything about his look and demeanor with his pressed suit and tie, and an impeccable shine on the toe of his shoes along with the appropriate hat and walking stick. None of this describes me on a good day.

On that good day, starting from the top I would have ironed my hair, polished my skin with a minimal of cosmetic including lipstick of course and a recent visit to the wax lady for a clean up on isle brow, or should I say brows. If not for her magic, they remain one – brow that is. I appear to be just blind enough not to notice until that is what “IT” has become – one. Oh, I have tried. I have a mirror, a gift from my cousin who felt the need to help me with my plight. I was grateful.

The gift was an 8x magnifying mirror with a tube of light all around to assist in the removal of all unwanted, unsightly (to those who can see), hair. Even with my reading glasses slid halfway down my nose it is still impossible even with contortions necessary to see the blessed hair! By the time I have grabbed the mirror and turned off the light by my mere touch several times to get the perfect angle and brightness, I AM DONE! Not done with the complete separation of the twins – just done. I have a kink in my neck, eye strain and the arthritic pain in my left hand has left me stiff and frustrated by all the effort. Why torture myself when I can have the job done by the 20 year old esthetician at the local salon in 5 minutes for 15 bucks?

As I work my way below the neck to my attire it mostly depends on what I will be doing in my day. My Jekyll owns this wonderfully old and comfy, grey sweatshirt for a measly 15 years that is matched perfectly to a same colour pair of baggy bottom, bottoms that are a youthful 6 years new. Their comfort has yet to be met or surpassed by anything older or newer. Along with a longish t-shirt of absolutely any colour that inevitably hangs longer than the sweatshirt as well as 2 pair of socks. The under pair is cotton to keep my ankles from itching because of the outer scratchy grey wool variety with the red band at the ankle completes my ensemble. This is the kind of outfit one is recorded wearing on that show “What Not to Wear” so one could have the extreme makeover. This may not be such a bad idea!

This outfit is rarely seen by neighbors or acquaintances but regularly by family and only the closest of friends. Lucky them! The good news is that my Jekyll comes with a very relaxed manner and good attitude as long as not forced to give up the attire for a jaunt outside its castle. This may induce either pouts or occasional snarls until the moat is crossed back and the drawbridge has been closed to all further traffic.

My Ms. Hyde is not the coiffed being of stories, but perfectly acceptable for public perusal. When Hyde has her choice of fashion, there is a casualness to mirror her comfort within. Not the extreme of Jekyll to be sure, but a welcome step toward sound comfort and tidiness. I am not a shopaholic by any means with hundreds of unique expensive pieces in my wardrobe, but easy clothes for a not so demanding but tall individual.

Hyde’s garments change from season to season and by level of fitness and activity. There is little fancy or outlandish. Some items are bright and colorful to mimic my disposition yet most are in tones of contemplative blues and green for active growth and enhances my state of mind.

Women’s footwear must have been invented by some man. The same one who invented pantyhose, I suspect. They are always too narrow and too high causing pain in the arches, heels and toes- not to mention the balls of my feet. They pitch me forward unnaturally and I am in agony within fifteen minutes or less. Then my feet start to hurt. I have worn a shoe with a heel and hose exactly once in the past 3 years. Heels must certainly be at fault to turn perfectly normal women into crazed Jekyll lunatics because of the pain their vanity has bestowed upon them.

I am the lover of Birkenstocks and any shoe with a foot bed or orthotic insert to shape and support my ever pained feet. If only I lived in a warm climate all year so I could live in sandals. Canadians need to bury their toes in sheepskin boots to stay warm and Wellies to keep dry 6 months or more each year. I would just feel funny walking outside with socks inside my Birks.

I really don’t know much about Jekyll and Hyde, but I do know that I personally am in a state of quiet growth where sometimes I may appear peacefully reclusive and occasionally vivaciously vociferous but usually I am comfortably me. Not so much this or that but a combination of enough yin and yang to leave room for possibilities. These possibilities may lead me down a yellow brick road traversed by many or a road less traveled. Me that I am at the moment will hike willingly in my old Birks down either road, open to whatever is to come next.

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]Last week Eve spoke of “envy” of what others had that she didn’t and how it made her feel. This week’s session she started out stating how grateful she was with what she did have. Eve is becoming more of who she is and less of what others may have wanted her to be or her past illusion of herself. “Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has.”

This week we are all about her relationships with others. Most of her relationships run quite smoothly as Eve is a loving, caring fun person to be around. Firstly, there is a friend who seems distant and too busy to be bothered to return calls and even forgot to mention a special occasion in town that she hadn’t bothered to let them know of as it was a tribute to a dear mutual friend.  This upset Eve. Not the same kind of crazy crying “how could she” that she had felt in the past or the “what did I do wrong” place that before she may have gone in the past. No – just incredibly disappointed. She also realized that as her closest friend near where she currently lives, she has depended on her and missed her.

She found acceptance in her friend’s life and chose not to bring it up, but at some point when her friend brought up the event and that they were missed, Eve mentioned not knowing about it. The friend somehow thought she had and felt quite bad about not and for being so busy. “Let’s get together soon as there is to catch up on.” Eve understands that her own life is still the same but that she is changing. Not everyone will understand the changes or even like them for that matter.

 We have roles in relationships and when we alter ourselves sometimes who we are with others does too. Eve has let go of most things quite easily these days, even not knowing what her adult children are doing or going through. Even their choices which she may not understand or agree with somehow seem a lot easier to deal with.

Her mom is another person to work on accepting that she has a close relationship with. Her mom knows how hard it has been in Eve’s life to keep weight off and even though it is apparent that she has lost an incredible amount of weight, mom has said nothing. Not a “How is it going?” Or a “You look great!” Her mother is also the kind of person who has never said “I am sorry.”

 I asked Eve is she was “good enough” without her mom’s opinion? She quickly said yes. “How important is it that mom notice?” Not as much as she thought, anymore. Eve used to strive for mom’s acceptance and approval but now realizes she no longer works for it. Is mom a perfectionist? “Apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!” she laughs. Eve actually feels badly for others who have it, too. She is being so much easier on herself these days but cannot let her “perfectionist tendencies” slip in at any point. A great new habit has emerged!

I ask Eve if she has been able to stand in front of a mirror and say “I am good enough and I love myself and my body?” Eve claims it is so much easier today and that is quite an improvement to wanting to cover the mirrors. Eve feels she is getting as good with this as the “should’s” in her life. Life is all about choices and Eve is choosing to enjoy every day of her life and is getting better results because of it daily.

Now, Eve’s relationship with her husband is quite another story. They are a terrific couple, but like all of us there is always something to work on, and that is where we are going next week. Next week we will talk about critical driving. Have a great week!

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] I remember when I turned 40 some years ago, I felt I had arrived. Not perfectly with failing eyesight, a couple of important health issues and a few extra pounds, but arrived well enough, none the less. A sort of coming of age feeling or sense of having deserved the number from how much living and effort went into it. There were tears and laughter to mark the more memorable moments. I am grateful for a memory that forgets or only remembers the generalities of past hurt and resentment but keeps the details of poignant and delicious moments.

There are those moments of clarity, life is changing moments. Moments that great emotion was part of.  The purely joyful moment as both of my sons were born. The incredible sadness in the moment I loaded up my kids, with as many of our belongings that would fit in two cars as I left my sons dad. The moment I said “I do”, when I married my current beloved and meant forever, and still do. The moment of pure silliness, when my girlfriend and I dragged a railway tie up the road for my garden or we painted the long willowy twigs we found and put twinkle lights on for my front step at Christmas. It seemed like a good idea at the time, as they all did.

I have had many memorable and life changing moments in my life, and hope to have many more. Life will continue to challenge me and give me many things to be grateful for. Today I choose to remember the important things and ditch the rest. It is good to take a moment and remember some of the good moments and be grateful for having them and being able to remember how they felt. Have a meaningful Saturday!

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